Shameless theft of great video!

30 November, 2010

I got this from Mike K’Nipe’s excellent blog this morning, but it’s so utterly wonderful that I have to post it here too, so that I don’t lose it 🙂

Many thanks, Mike (and also JJ, who sent it to Mike).

And also…

29 November, 2010

What’s happening to YouTube? Y’all have to click the underlined ‘Watch on YouTube’ links to watch these ones. (They’re worth it, though 🙂

Music for a Sunday night

28 November, 2010

Well it’s not Christmas yet, but here’s one of my favourite renditions of one of my favourite carols: for starters 🙂

Something I’ve loved for 30 years.

Brings back walking in the Lakes when I started going on my own, some 20+ years ago.

And back to Billinge, all those years ago: just as good now as it was then.

And, of course, I can’t do David Bowie without the best DB of all 🙂

Another walker killed crossing cow field on public footpath

15 November, 2010

Chatting with Jane Egg just now on the phone, I heard that last weekend yet another walker was killed by a cow (well, this time a bull) when walking on a public footpath through a field.

A man of 63 was trampled to death, and his wife was critically injured. There was no mention in the Guardian’s article of any dog being present on this occasion. Farmers’ unions have once again warned walkers to be aware of the dangers posed by cattle.

As I’ve mentioned in the past (here, for instance), it seems to me that it’s long past time for farmers to start making fields through which public footpaths run safe for walkers. I’ve had several very frightening experiences, both before and since I started walking with Piglet. Now that courts are awarding damages to injured walkers I’m sure that the farmers’ insurance companies will be in the process of taking steps to ensure that farmers meet their legal responsibilities.

I wonder how many more walkers will be maimed or killed before the farming community wakes up to the need recognise this as being a problem that *they* need to address.

Adventures at home, abroad and in the Australian jungle

15 November, 2010

Light fades on the beach this evening

What an exciting day Piglet and I have had!

This morning we got on the cross-channel modem thingy and zipped across to commune with other Border Terriers, and their families, in La Belle France. Le français BT owners are incredibly welcoming, and bore patiently with my linguistic cockups as I first of all explained that I had une petite Terrier de Frontière (apparently they’re just called… well, Border Terriers, over there: oops!) and then told one of the other posters that her photos were absolutely HUGE when what I actually meant to say was that they were great! *blush* That led to a bit of a rumpus (as far as it’s possible for me to tell from the online translation widget), but I think I managed to expliquer the nature of my error in the end. Anyway, it looks like a great place, and both Piglet (who is now known as ma petite Louloute) and I look forward to brushing up our language skillz.

After that we went out to the woods for a run (in Piglet’s case) and a walk (in mine), and that was fun as well. Piglet was a little hyper, and barked ferociously at a large boxer which walked past with its owner. Thank goodness the boxer was on a lead, because had it run at Piglet then I know she’d have shot away screaming. Piggly then had a minor scrap with a Jack Russell, but that ended well with mutual lickings and swappings of kibble. We got down to the beach just as the sun was going down, and for a few minutes it was sublimely beautiful. Soon after that it became difficult to see where we were going, though, and I’m not sure I’d have been able to make it home had Piglet not led me unerringly back through the sandhills (quite complicated even in daylight) with the assistance of her sensitive little nose (and a small compass she conceals behind her collar).

The third exciting thing was the return of Celebrity this evening on ITV. I look forward to it all year, and this evening it didn’t disappoint 🙂 I know from past experience that things can change rapidly there, but based on this evening’s performance Brit Ekland is already looking like a front-runner to me, and I thought Kayla Collins (um… what’s a ‘playmate’?) and Stacey Solomon (from X Factor, apparently) both did well. I’m afraid that the loathsome Nigel Havers always brings out the very worst in me, and so I couldn’t help laughing with vindictive delight when he tipped out of a canoe as a result of his own idiocy in standing up while somebody else was disembarking, and then had a major sense of humour failure and tried to blame it all on the other bloke! Since the other bloke was Lembit Opik (can it really be spelled that way?) NH got away with it (politicians almost always get voted out first), but I reckon we had a brief glimpse of his true couleurs, and it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on.

Right! Must go and watch the follow-up thingy, now: hurrah for the hilarious Russell Kane, who made me laugh so much last year 🙂

Jigsaws — more fun than they sound

14 November, 2010

I came across this site last week from a forum I read, and it’s turned out to be quite addictive. They have a new puzzle every day, as well as a large archive. I’ve been doing the winter scenes and wee critters (insects) ones.

Click the picture to get there. Enjoy 🙂

Boogie, boogie, boogie!

14 November, 2010

I know this is one of the tunes I posted a few days ago, but since then I’ve barely been able to stop listening to it. The playing is so sparklingly light and lovely, but at the heart of it is tummy-twistingly wonderful Bach.

Eugen Cicero was born in Romania in 1940, and by the age of 6 he was playing a Mozart piano-concerto with the Klausenburg symphony orchestra. Over the course of the next 57 years he made a name for himself playing jazz versions of a range of classical works.

I’m not a great fan of jazz, and I’d never heard of Eugene Cicero until I made a search for Bach’s Badinerie in Google a few days ago. Having heard how he played this, though, I’m once again torn between joy at having stumbled across something that I know I’m going to enjoy for the rest of my life and depression at the realisation that there are so many pieces of music out there with the potential to make me dance around the room that I’m never going to hear 😦

If you didn’t listen when I first put it up then do take a quick look now: it’s truly magical!

Wow! See this brilliant little Border Terrier :)

13 November, 2010

This must be the cleverest little BT in the world, I think! I’m going to send Piglet over for some lessons 🙂

Earth Star Fungus

11 November, 2010

Amazing Earth Star fungus

During our walk in the woods late this afternoon I came across my first Earth Star fungus of the season. I’d never seen them until I started looking where I was going in the woods a few years ago, and when I saw my first one it looked so peculiar and unusual that I thought maybe small aliens had landed and taken root.

They really are the most amazing things. They look like albino tangerines, from which the peel has been… um… peeled back, in 5 little sections. They’re related to puffballs, but vastly more exciting.

The one I saw today had begun to deteriorate, and had I not been familiar with them I’d have walked on, imagining that it was a common puffball. I spotted what remained of the ‘peel’, though, and so stopped for a closer look.

The wee creature was clearly well past its best and so I picked it up. (I generally don’t pick fungi: the poor things have enough to contend with, what with the masses of people who seem to take joy in smashing them into small pieces and leaving them in tears, littering the side of the path.) Fascinatingly, there was a big hollow underneath, and yet again I was sorry that I’d not taken the camera out.

Anyway, I didn’t spot any more on the way back to the car, but I’ll be keeping an eye out now. I love fungi, and the woods are tons more interesting when autumn comes and they begin to rear their beautiful heads.

And while I’m at it…

7 November, 2010

…prolly my favourite piece of Bach of all time ♥ (Well, until I re-stumble across the next favourite, of course…)

I can’t remember what I was doing 5 minutes ago, but here are people revelling in what J.S. Bach wrote over 250 years ago!

On electric guitar 🙂 What a blast!

Funky piano version–major boogie!!! I can’t stop listening to this 🙂


Pretty pianist piano version

Solo trumpeter–very, very fast!

A bunch of trumpeters!

On glass harp…

Et finalement, en francais 🙂