Bellerophon symbol, variation 7
Saturday 1st September 2007

img_3324.jpgimg_3342.jpgimg_3345.jpgimg_3352.jpgimg_3357.jpgimg_3359.jpg Beccy and Simon came round in the afternoon, presenting A****** with a couple of toys: his first set of Duplo (a fire engine) and Mr. Potato Head. He greatly enjoyed both, but was slightly wary of the fire engine, for reasons that only A****** could really understand, I suspect. The lion and giraffe heads are from another thing altogether - I think a set of animal finger puppets from Ikea.

Sunday 2nd September 2007

file under miscellaneous
img_3369.jpgimg_3368.jpgimg_3367.jpgimg_3366.jpg I've no idea why, but M**** wanted these pictures kept, so there they are - our lounge with horrible green venetian blinds (they came with the house) and still unfinished fireplace.

Wednesday 5th September 2007

Well, that was odd. Choosing my timing impeccably, I thought now was about time to do a bit of cleansing of unneeded files from my hard-drive. Not that it was nearly full or anything; I was just bored, more than anything. Anyway, I managed to break my computer so that I couldn't log-in or nothing. So that meant I had to put in my rescue disk and try to repair the damage. Trouble was, every time I rebuilt the system (or thought I had), something horrible went and happened and I was back to square one (or zero). Not good. I'm not sure how I eventually got it all working again (recompiled the kernel and then issued an 'emerge -e system' followed by 'emerge -e world' - that may have helped), but it seems fine now. I seem to have inadvertently upgraded Apache (that is, I had to remove and then re-install Apache, hence the down-time of the web-site), downgraded gcc and god knows what else. Blah, blah, blah.

Friday 7th September 2007

img_3411.jpgimg_3413.jpgimg_3414.jpg Someone (I think I know who but, like guessing the ending to a film, I prefer ignorance and the inevitable surprise) recently did send me this marvelous camera tripod, that far excels the previous thing I had. Because of this tripod, I can take strange pictures like these. Sadly, it seems there is still something not quite right with my camera, regardless of which tripod I use, or whether I use a tripod or not. Note the horizontal bands. Perhaps the camera wasn't happy about the source of illumination: a 4ft UV tube, one glowing USB keyboard and an optical mouse. Who knows?

Saturday 8th September 2007

Crook O'Lune

Sunday 9th September 2007

img_3491.jpgimg_3486.jpgimg_3484.jpgimg_3482.jpg I think I was thinking that there are not many pictures of M**** and I in our car, so I was like, "Well, why not?" Here we are on our way to, erm . . . somewhere around Arnside/Silverdale. Destination: the Pepperpots. As usual, we're late (we were meeting Helen and Stu at the car park there), but not by much.
img_3502.jpgimg_3492.jpgimg_3493.jpg We stopped at the top for a bit of a rest and so that A****** could have some food (his lunch). Erm . . . the picture of the telegraph pole and Archie was taken when we were at home, later on that evening, whilst A****** was having his dinner. It was kind of odd - there were dozens and dozens of birds (all of a similar kind, but I know not what) all gathered on telegraph cables and aerials, and there was Archie . . . watching them all, trying to climb the telegraph pole.

Just started a Wikipedia article about the Bellerophon here. I think it needs a bit more information somehow. Hmmmmm. Plus, people keep trying to delete it (if it's not been already), claiming it's of no cultural importance, or thereabouts. Which is probably fair enough, thinking about it.

Monday 10th September 2007

With regard yesterday's entry . . . blimey, the staff at Wikipedia sure move fast. Turns out you can't create a Wikipedia article about your own band and, even if a devoted fan does one day decide to create an entry, it has to be regarding a band of some cultural significance. This sounds like a challenge. As you can guess, the article I was talking about yesterday was swiftly deleted.

Wednesday 12th September 2007

Cow's milk, A******?
Nice to know that someone agrees. Whilst in Leeds, the NHS was very, VERY keen to push breast-feeding, as are many people, organisations and various members of the chattering, middle classes. So all those new mothers around the world, why beat yourself up about it? Get some SMA, get a baby-sitter, go out for the evening, go crazy. I mention all this because both M**** and I did have pangs of guilt when the breast feeding thing went all a bit awry, and anything that can be done to alleviate these feelings of guilt for other people has got to be a good thing. Won't someone please think of the children?!?!?

Friday 14th September 2007

Glen Tarras
img_3505.jpgimg_3507.jpgimg_3511.jpgimg_3514.jpgimg_3524.jpg Today, after all the packing and stuff, we did head North, just slightly over the border of England/Scotland. The plan was to stay at this cottage belonging to a family friend, and where me and my family used to stay during my childhood, but where I hadn't been for . . . ooooo, about 20 years? Something like that. Location is a couple miles south of Langholm, along the B6318, at the bottom of a valley where runs Tarras Water. Is this important?
img_3525.jpgimg_3533.jpg We arrived kind of late afternoon, meeting my parents there, who had been shopping in Carlisle (about thirty minutes drive away). My parents showed us around (although this was more of a reminder for me) and explained the water, electricity, coal, et cetera. As these pictures imply, we went for a walk afterwards, along a path that follows the other side of Tarras Water.
img_3538.jpgimg_3546.jpgimg_3550.jpgimg_3554.jpgimg_3559.jpg And more pictures from our walk, M**** taking the clichéd picture of the thistle. Later on that night, I was amazed by how clear the skies were, the Milky Way being clearly visible. Of course, my ailing camera was completely unable to convey this, as these last two pictures testify. I think that was a 15 second exposure. Note the strange edge of black disc thing, left middle, that had nothing to with anything I was photographing. Is that a word?

Saturday 15th September 2007

img_3568.jpgimg_3572.jpgimg_3573.jpgimg_3576.jpgimg_3581.jpgimg_3583.jpg Today we did head for Vindolanda, or Vindalanda as I seem to prefer calling it. That first picture there is A****** peering through the cat-flap (front door of the cottage) and the rest are at Vindolanda, walking along the ruins of a Roman settlement and all that.
img_3606.jpgimg_3602.jpgimg_3600.jpgimg_3591.jpgimg_3589.jpgimg_3586.jpg Continuing the list of (did we begin it?) strange things that freak A****** out, we now have sit-down lawn-mowers, or whatever you call them. He didn't like it. Other items in the list include hair-clippers, wind-up mechanical toys and Tigger. I wonder if there's a pattern here.
img_3609.jpgimg_3615.jpgimg_3617.jpgimg_3619.jpgimg_3624.jpg more pictures here . . .
img_3629.jpgimg_3631.jpgimg_3632.jpgimg_3633.jpg and here . . .
img_3638.jpgimg_3649.jpgimg_3655.jpg and some here, but we're back at the cottage now.

Sunday 16th September 2007

Raining in Hawick
img_3676.jpgimg_3673.jpgimg_3672.jpgimg_3669.jpgimg_3666.jpg Yeah, so erm . . . M**** wanted to go to Hawick. But then it started raining, so that kind of limited what we could do. We had lunch at this place called Bean something or another. I think the complex was called Tower Mill, built over the river with a strange glass floor so that you could see some water wheel thing underneath. Oh, and there's a heron. Blimey.
img_3694.jpgimg_3692.jpgimg_3690.jpgimg_3684.jpgimg_3680.jpg So, erm, M**** wanted to go to this museum thing. It was okay. A****** seemed to like it. M**** wanted pictures of the pictures for some reason, so this I did. The curator (?! receptionist?!) gave me filthy looks on my way out, perhaps because the gallery had photographic restrictions that I just trampled all over, but the limit of her being bothered was the casting of evil looks to the protagonist. Something like that.
img_3695.jpgimg_3698.jpgimg_3701.jpgimg_3703.jpg Some more pictures here.
img_3726.jpgimg_3724.jpgimg_3721.jpgimg_3720.jpg Then, on the way back, the wind and rain having abatted, we fed the ducks at Langholm, almost getting mugged by ducks, in as much as you can.

Monday 17th September 2007

Today we did go to Hermitage Castle. I been here many times as a child but the last I came here with M****, I think it was a Sunday, so the place was closed. But yeah . . . obviously open today. Those pictures after the castle are of the nearby chapel (remains thereof), the whole of which (especially beneath that gorgeous tree) had this incredibly peaceful, serene atmosphere. Perhaps in the past I had been too busy running around the place in a similar vein to how A****** was today. I'm assuming those three window frames would have once belonged to the chapel but, again, I had never really thought too much about this. My parents have picture(s?) somewhere of me and my siblings likewise standing underneath those arches.

Tuesday 18th September 2007

img_3848.jpg This is the only picture I have from today. We went to Tullie House and were staggered by the admission cost for an adult (down on the web-site as £5.20, but I'm sure it was much more than that), considering that museums are usually free. I was ranting and raving about the admission cost went this assistant very kindly pointed out there was a children's section that had free entry. Cool! We're there! A****** loved the children's museum, as there was loads of stuff to look at and play with, plus loads of interesting things for parents to read and look at. Whilst A****** was serving us pretend dinner with his pretend tea-set, I was reading about the origin of superstitions and bad-luck and what-not. So shoes on the table is symbolic of hanging, apparently, and I would guess to have shoes on the table would be very bad luck, as you would be encouraging death into the house. Whilst there is an obvious health risk of placing shoes on a table (that is, shoes that have been worn/used outside, as oppose to brand new shoes), the pamphlet I was reading was suggesting that all these silly superstitions were usually founded in a time when science was not yet evolved enough to say, "Don't be silly." The picture of A****** in that bee costume was . . . well, we got him to wear a wolf costume and something else (a fox?!), but then he would say, "Don't like it, fox" and would have the costume off before I was able to photograph him.

Wednesday 19th September 2007

It's all about the timing . . .
img_3883.jpgimg_3878.jpgimg_3867.jpg So yeah . . . we're happily driving along the A7, heading north towards Hawick, but actually with Jedburgh as our destination, for to visit a deer park, recommended by my elder sister. We're about five miles out of Langholm, doing about 60mph when, all of a sudden, the car lurches forward and makes this horrible whirling/screeching sound from the engine. Thinking something is very, very wrong, I go into neutral and coast into a nearby farm access road on the opposite side of the road (fortunately there was no traffic about). The car refuses to start again so we have to get some breakdown rescue.
img_3885.jpgimg_3886.jpgimg_3887.jpgimg_3888.jpg A tow-truck (from Armstrong's Garage) turned up about thirty minutes after making the call, if that. The driver was very helpful, even carrying out some of our stuff from the car to the cottage. I think I'm all out of sequence here. To cut a long story short, my parents very kindly agreed to pick us up from the cottage, which meant we were able to do our packing and cleaning up whilst our broken car headed back towards Lancaster.
img_3891.jpgimg_3892.jpgimg_3894.jpgimg_3895.jpgimg_3896.jpgimg_3897.jpgimg_3898.jpg Once all packing/cleaning was complete, we went for a walk on the other side of the stream, as we had done on the first day here. M**** took a load of these pictures; I wasn't sure what to do with them all, whether to keep them or not. Ah well. Oh, I nearly forgot - the problem with the car was the timing belt - it broke.

Saturday 29th September 2007

img_3899.jpgimg_3902.jpg So, we're trying (trying being an understatement) to potty train A******. Joy, joy, joy. One of the prizes on offer is a kaleidoscope, so I figure I might as well make use of the unclaimed prize. There's other prizes, all of which are still unclaimed, but I'm not really interested in a toy Monster Truck or whatever.