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 🙂

Tune — Boogie!

7 November, 2010


I love the lazy and tummy-twistingly wonderful wandering bass guitar line 🙂 I’d happily dispense with the middle, but I can live with it for the ultra-funky intro and the end.

Here’s a version closer to the way God Bach wrote it.

And here it is on guitar! (I’m just off to burn mine…)

Ghosty stories…

3 November, 2010

I think those of us who’ve applied must now be only a day or two from news of our applications for the TGO Challenge next year.

My mind has been on potential routes today, so naturally it’s turned to spooky, haunted places 🙂 In browsing around I came across a really deliciously spooky thread over on Outdoors Magic. I thought I’d read all the ghostly threads there, but this looks like one I’ve not seen before. If you too like ghosty stories then wrap up warm, turn down the lights and read on

Whooohoooo! The best cook won :)

3 November, 2010

Claire Lara wins Professional Masterchef, 2010

Whoohooo! Congratulations to the amazing Claire Lara on winning Professional Masterchef this evening.

Right from the first round she was in a class of her own, and it was an absolute thrill to see her win the competition tonight. The other two were brilliant as well, but Claire was extra special.


Another year to wait, then, for the next round of my favourite cookery competition. I’m already looking forward to it 🙂

Kudos to Trekmates, and good luck to Claire

2 November, 2010

Great kudos to Trekmates! Yesterday I stumbled across a fantastic offer on their website: their Amphibian Gore-Tex Shell Socks (only available in small) reduced from £29.99 to £9.99 per pair. They’ve been discontinued, apparently, but since I’m not very fond of Sealskinz (they’re bulky, they seem to spring leaks quickly and I find it virtually impossible to dry them in the tent) I decided to give the Amphibians a try.

I ordered two pairs yesterday afternoon at about 1.45pm, and they arrived this morning with the postman! When I asked, on ringing yesterday afternoon to check that the socks were in stock, how long they were likely to take to arrive, I was told that they’d probably come this morning if the dispatch man was as quick as he usually is, so it sounds as though this level of service may be typical for them. I’ve not bought from Trekmates before, but I’d be very happy to do so again.

Incidentally, Trekmates describe ‘small’ as being sizes 6-7. I have size 7 feet in most walking shoes, and I found the socks slightly large, so anyone out there with size 8s who may be wondering whether or not to give them a go may just be in luck. I plan to use them with my trail shoes on wet days.

Tonight’s the final of Professional Masterchef, so fingers crossed all round for Claire, please. She’s been hugely impressive throughout on every front, and it brings me real joy to see her do so well despite the disadvantages she faces as (i) a woman (ii) a scouser and (iii) a portly sort of person. If there’s any justice in the world then she’ll be lifting the cup tonight 🙂