Home | Links | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Videos | Oxted Paris Cycle Ride | Scarlett | Site notices

About This Site

A personal weblog with photographs and comments. Quiet ramblings, quite rambling...


Login | Register | Why?


Advanced Search

Most recent entries

Recent entries with comments



Monthly Archives


Lately listening to

Site Statistics

Site Credits


Tuesday, 28 December 2004
Leysin - 17h00


While we were skiing this afternoon on the mountain it snowed steadily. At first it was only snowing on top of the mountain, but by the time we made our last ascent at 3pm it had started snowing in the village.  This photo shows the same view as this morning, but reflects the different conditions at this time.

Posted by bigblue on 28/12/2004 at 06:10 PM
Filed under: EuropeSwitzerland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Leysin - 08h00


This is the view I woke up to this morning in Leysin. Visibility was not good as there was mist but this cleared in mid-morning.  After breakfast we made our way into the village and did a bit of shopping. Bluemeanie needed some snow-boots as she was slipping wildly in her flimsy shoes. Then we went to Jacky Sports to hire some skis, and then made our way to the Ski School to meet up with Keiko.  We had two lessons on the mountain with her, with an hour�s break in-between. (She had another lesson but this was convenient for us as we went to the restaurant on top of the mountain for an ovalmaltine/coffee break).

Posted by bigblue on 28/12/2004 at 06:01 PM
Filed under: EuropeSwitzerland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Saturday, 27 November 2004
Hopkin, der grüne Frosch

Hopkin Lost frog

When we (Carles, Ash, Marcus and myself) were on our snowboard trip at Engelberg earlier this year, we stayed in a family and youth hostel. In the hostel was this strange poster which I took a photo of.  I have changed the wording on the poster, to follow the theme of Hopkin Lost frog.

This month 18 people so far have come to my blog searching on the phrase “Hopkin Green Frog” (or similar).  One poor soul used the search-phrase “what is the deal with the hopkin lost frog?”.  In case he or she or someone else comes back with the same question, let me give an explanation (as I understand it).

There are these people who collect “found objects” such as flyers, lost property, etc. They take a photograph of each item they collect and publish it in a magazine and on a website such as this.  One of the things found was a quaint hand-drawn flyer that advertised a lost frog. Presumably it was drawn by a child, called Terry.  From this particular item another web-site was spawned (using it as a meme). 

Go to lost frog and click on each photo to progress to the next one. 

Edit: Well third time lucky, and this image was accepted on Lostfrog (it’s image #83 at the moment). 
News comes that the meme has been unravelled. Terry is a 16 year old with autism, Hopkin is a McDonalds Toy. (I found the link via Boing Boing).

Posted by bigblue on 27/11/2004 at 12:02 AM
Filed under: EuropeSwitzerland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Tuesday, 04 May 2004
pousser comme des champignons

Anthroposophic Architecture

Here’s another of these odd-looking buildings that have mushroomed all over the place in Dornach. Apparently you should be able to tell, by looking at the building, what it’s purpose is. For some buildings this is made easier by the little placard on the outside which says something like “book publishing” or “natural sciences”.  Not having read the placard on this one I am still trying to work out this one.

Posted by bigblue on 04/05/2004 at 10:08 PM
Filed under: EuropeSwitzerland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
c’est creux à l’intérieur

Dornach Goetheanum

This is deep inside the belly of the Goetheanum at Dornach. Eva and I slipped into it on Sunday afternoon during an interval of Faust in between several guided tours to have a look at the stained-glass windows.  These were not at their most impressive as it was not very bright and sunny outside.

There are about 8 large stained-glass windows, and the design inside the building is distinctly, um, anthroposophical. The art on the ceiling is distinctly new agey, but it was apparently painted during Steiner’s lifetime according to his own design. The seats in the auditorium are rather plain, and I worked out that there were 25 rows with 40 seats in almost every row. So the hall seats about 1000.

This, incidentally, is the second Goetheanum. The first one was built of wood and it burnt down.

Posted by bigblue on 04/05/2004 at 12:33 AM
Filed under: EuropeSwitzerland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Monday, 03 May 2004
le verso

Anthroposophic Architecture

The above photo shows the reverse of the photo yesterday. Here we are looking down from the terrace of the Goetheanum at the house where Eva stays.

The architecture is very interesting in Dornach. I read

I particularly liked the wild flowers on all the verges and open spaces. I think you can just about make out the glorious yellows and whites in these photos.

Posted by bigblue on 03/05/2004 at 12:29 AM
Filed under: EuropeSwitzerland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Sunday, 02 May 2004

Dornach Goetheanum

Today I drove down to Dornach (just south of Basel, Switzerland) to visit Eva. When I arrived and stopped my car this was the first view of the Goetheanum. Eva seems well, although a number of people said that she looked tired today. I felt tired, even though I managed a siesta in between our walks around the town. The architecture is interesting: I will try to take some photos tomorrow. This evening we had supper in an anthoposophical restaurant (biodynamic food), and tomorrow are going to an art exhibition in Basel.

Posted by bigblue on 02/05/2004 at 12:25 AM
Filed under: EuropeSwitzerland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Monday, 02 February 2004
la vache mange la merde de volaille

Swiss cow

The cows above are Swiss cows. The story below is about American cows.

I am on an environmental pluck at the moment. Ever since I read in le petit blog de mewn about the incident at nearby Fessenheim nuclear power station, I have experienced an inexplicable pain in my leg. I think one could be starting to develop in my back and stomach too. 

You may laugh, but I have been reading a number of articles in the past year about how all our assumptions about safe levels of radiation (and what levels of radiation cause cancer) have been dangerously wrong (on the low side), as the scientiests made some errors in their interpretation of the statistics of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

So on to more cheery subjects, and what could be more cheery than what we eat, and what is eaten by the animals that we eat?  Some scary news about this is headlined:

Expanded ‘Mad Cow’ Safeguards Announced to Strengthen Existing Firewalls Against BSE Transmission

But when you read the article you wonder about these “existing firewalls”, if the new regulations only now ban the following from human food. Firstly,

—Any material from “downer” cattle. (“Downer” cattle are animals that cannot walk.)

—Any material from “dead” cattle. (“Dead” cattle are cattle that die on the farm (i.e. before reaching the slaughter plant);

—Specified Risk Materials (SRMs) that are known to harbor the highest concentrations of the infectious agent for BSE, such as the brain, skull, eyes, and spinal cord of cattle 30 months or older, and a portion of the small intestine and tonsils from all cattle, regardless of their age or health; and

—The product known as mechanically separated beef, a product which may contain SRMs. Meat obtained by Advanced Meat Recovery (an automated system for cutting meat from bones), may be used since USDA regulations do not allow the presence of SRMs in this product.

So this is what people have been eating all the time!  The article goes on to say that secondly,

the rule will also ban the use of “poultry litter” as a feed ingredient for ruminant animals. Poultry litter consists of bedding, spilled feed, feathers, and fecal matter that are collected from living quarters where poultry is raised. This material is then used in cattle feed in some areas of the country where cattle and large poultry raising operations are located near each other. Poultry feed may legally contain protein that is prohibited in ruminant feed, such as bovine meat and bone meal. The concern is that spillage of poultry feed in the chicken house occurs and that poultry feed (which may contain protein prohibited in ruminant feed) is then collected as part of the “poultry litter” and added to ruminant feed.


the rule will ban the use of “plate waste” as a feed ingredient for ruminants. Plate waste consists of uneaten meat and other meat scraps that are currently collected from some large restaurant operations and rendered into meat and bone meal for animal feed. The use of “plate waste” confounds FDA’s ability to analyze ruminant feeds for the presence of prohibited proteins, compromising the Agency’s ability to fully enforce the animal feed rule.

And fourthly,

the rule will further minimize the possibility of cross-contamination of ruminant and non-ruminant animal feed by requiring equipment, facilities or production lines to be dedicated to non-ruminant animal feeds if they use protein that is prohibited in ruminant feed. Currently, some equipment, facilities and production lines process or handle prohibited and non-prohibited materials and make both ruminant and non-ruminant feed—a practice which could lead to cross-contamination.

This is shocking. Thank dog I’m a vegetarian.

Well, I was browsing the Internet a bit this evening, and came across the Daily Mail-o-matic headline generator. Am I being random? Well doesn’t our media tend to blow up triviala into the most sensational stuff, and then totally downplay real environmental risks that we face?

Posted by bigblue on 02/02/2004 at 11:26 PM
Filed under: EuropeSwitzerland • (1) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Page 3 of 4 pages  < 1 2 3 4 >