Tuesday, 31 January 2012

It's Cold Outside...

The weather is desperately trying to remind us that it really IS winter.

We have steadily falling ice crystals outside - I could get all dramatic and call it an ICE STORM, but people who have suffered the real thing might get upset with me and I don't want that.  It is settling on the odd roof, but not on the ground and certainly not causing power pylons to collapse...

But I am fine - I have got my thermals on and am munching my way through a nice warm Cornish Pastie - perfect.

Nub was out when I left for work this morning - he is becoming much more active each day and increasingly aware of his surroundings.  It is reassuring that he hides when anyone gets too close - I think he is safe from the cats now, both because of this and also because they seem to have lost interest in our garden at least for the time being.  Frou Frou is also doing a great job, wanting to "check the perimeter" every 10 minutes or so in the evening.  Custard is less enthusiastic and is happy to let Frou do the routine unless a noise sparks his interest.

Studying continues.  I have started reading for my next essay and it is looking like being good fun - all about landslides and how climate change may affect their frequency and severity.  Think it might get a bit grim sooner or later, though...

OK, time to head off and get a breath of very fresh air!

Have a great day.

Monday, 30 January 2012


The new baby rabbit is called Nub.

Mrs RC thinks it suits him.

My youngest son thinks that he looks slightly evil, being all white except for black ears and eyes.  The black eyes look odd on an almost totally white rabbit.  We are used to seeing albino rabbits with pink eyes, but Nub is different.

He is something of a night owl at the moment, and was frolicking around in the run late last night - running, leaping, digging in the dirt, climbing into the food bowl to eat, chewing on bits of cabbage an carrot, etc.  No wonder he is so quiet in the day time, he must be exhausted!

Houdini and Panda have now been separated.  Panda was suddenly intent on expanding the family.  We will know in around a month or so if he succeeded before we moved him...

Stop laughing, Shadowthorne!  There will be NO bunny barbeques, OK?

Mind you, if I can find a recipe for Maltese Rabbit....  :-)

Saturday, 28 January 2012

As requested!

The new sofa.  Very comfortable, even with 4 of us and Frou Frou on it last night as we watched the final of Celebrity Big Brother - which went pretty much as we had hoped! I am sitting on the sofa as I type....

Houdini with her baby.  I took these without the flash, for the baby's beneit, but I think they are clear enough.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, 27 January 2012


Had a bit of a shock last night.

You might remember that we have got 2 boy rabbits called Houdini and Panda?


They have a baby.

The vet assured us that they were boys, but no.  Houdini is a girl.

We have our sofa - it was rushed to us yesterday and was there when I got home.  We love it  Just the chair to come now.

Celebrity Big Brother finishes tonight!  What will we do then?  Any ideas?

Have a great weekend.  Things are turning cold here - snow further north (maybe Shrinky will get some?) but probably not here.  We will see.....

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Eventful Day...

OK, what to talk about first?

I did my presentation about my dissertation this afternoon.  Time is a funny thing.  I did a few practice runs and came in well under the time limit, which sort of worried me, but when I was talking I seemed to expand on the topic a bit more and before I knew it I was getting the "1 minute warning"!  But I was happy with how it went and a couple of students said that I did a good performance so that is OK.

Time to step up to the next assignment now!


Before Christmas, we ordered and paid for a new sofa and armchair for the sitting room.  It was supposed to arrive this week, but no news.

Mrs RC rang up to see where it had got to.

Hm, a slight problem.  They are in stock but don't match.  The chair is the wrong colour.  They are 90% sure that the sofa is the right colour. 

We can have the sofa tomorrow if that is OK, but will have to wait for the chair.  They might even only charge us once for delivery as a good will gesture!  Mrs RC told them that this was not a "good will gesture", it was something that SHE considered a no-brainer, something that should not even be under question - if they expect us to pay delivery twice because they messed up, she was cancelling the order and getting a refund.

I hope for their sakes that the sofa is the right colour and arrives tomorrow - we have been sitting on camping chairs for a couple of weeks now (had to make sure the old stuff was gone before the new stuff arrived*) and it is wearing thin...


Have a great day!  I think I have a bottle of wine that needs drinking tonight!

* If you scroll down you will see that in a photo of Custard you can see that what looks like an armchair is actually a camping chair with a fur throw over it.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Soggy Woodland Photos

"I hear you are looking for the White Wizard!"  We both took photos at the same moment!

The struggle for survival on the woodland floor.

Gorse bushes - pretty but don't get too close!

"One day I will be...

"just like YOU!"

They kept leaving my behind...

The White Wizard and a student who have just killed a tree (Ent?) with a ranging pole.

Spooky-looking fallen trees.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

If you go down to the woods today...

you're going to get soaking wet!

Yes, this morning was one of our walks in the local woods.

As I lay in bed this morning, listening to the radio, there was no mention of rain.  It was going to be cold, but getting warmer.  So I got up, got dressed, pulled on my walking boots and headed off to meet everyone.  I had not gone far when the drizzle started...

On the way I picked up some cookies to share among the students - always goes now well, but especially well on a cold, damp day like today.

As we toured the woods the drizzle continued, making us all cold and damp.  Spirits were high, though, helped by the cookies.

Then it was time to head to the Uni.  Cold and wet I climbed onto my bike and headed for the warm and dry...

As I went I slowly became aware that as I left the woods, by bike had sprayed me with mud.  I was now cold, wet and muddy, and, to add insult to injury, because of my confidence in the weather forecast I did not have spare trousers with me. 

Yes, I was faced with an afternoon if damp, cold, muddy legs, etc.

Nah, sod that for a game of soldiers!

I headed to the shops and grabbed a new pair of jeans and a nice and cheap fleece top.  I was not sure how good the top would be as it seemed quite thin, but sitting hear in it now I am toasting.  Mmmmm, so good after the cold of the morning.

I got to the Uni and got changed.  Now only one more thing to sort out - I was hungry.  Off to the refectory to find that they are doing a special Chinese meal for the New Year!  Wonderful!  I ate slowly, savouring the flavours while reading a book (about the Korean War if you are interested). 

There was a Fortune Cookie with the meal.  It said:

A chance happening this week will reveal your destiny.

Sounds pretty dramatic, doesn't it?  Stay tuned, you never know...

OK lunch hour is over, time to get to it again.

Hope you are having a great day!  More soon, maybe even some of the photos I took in the woods!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Bad things

My old friend Shadowthorne seemed to be disappointed at the lack of non-food "bad things" that were talked about in the comments to my last post, so I thought I would put that right now.

By the way, Shadowthorne, I must get your recipe for Oxtail Soup.  It sounds totally different to what I get over here - just right for a Britsh winter!

Anyway. back to the post.

For the last 2 weeks Mrs RC and I have been indulging ourselves in a really bad thing.  Each evening, we can't stop ourselves.  When all of the day's work is over our minds turn to it. We try to resist it and find other things to distract us.


Listening to music.

Watching a movie.

Nothing works.

We are hooked, and can't help ourselves.

We need therapy.

We are addicted to

Celebrity Big Brother.

Don't judge us.  Somethings are just too enjoyable, regardless of how bad and just plain WRONG they are!

UPDATE   One of the people on the show just asked "Where is Japan?"

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Just for a change...

No photo today!  I bet you are all totally shocked, dismayed and confused!

Have I come to the wrong blog?

Has RC stopped taking photos? 

Broken his camera?

What is going on?

Well I did have a photo planned, but as tends to happen, my plan did not quite work out.  I will start at the beginning.

[Imagine that the screen has gone all wiggly to show that this is a flash-back.]

6am - I was rudely dragged from my slumber by the radio coming on and Mrs RC prodding me while reminding me that I had to get up early today.  Sigh.  I usually have another hour to go at this point, drifting in and out of sleep, catching the important issues on the local radio station (such as the town that has 11 unemployed people for each vacant job), but not today.

My daughter has got an interview at a vets today.  She wants to do a week of work experience there, which is great as it would tie in nicely with her college course next year.  After school she is jumping on the bus and I will be at the other end to meet her, take her to the interview and then travel back home with her.  This means that I had to take the bus to work this morning, something that I do not enjoy as I tend to feel sick and end up walking the last mile or so.  Today's trip wasn't so bad, though, as I got to take the bus with Number One Son.  Early morning random chit chat helped the journey pass without my stomach complaining AT ALL!  Except to grumble that it was empty because I skipped breakfast.

Arriving in Canterbury I looked around hoping to catch the planned photo.  I wanted to get the Cathedral in the light of the sunrise.  It was going to be beautiful.  Maybe even something to be printed off on large paper for display on a wall.

But no.

There was no sunrise.

Thick, low clouds meant that there was only a gradual lessening of the murk.  At 9am it is still twilight outside.  So that is why there is no photo today.

On the bright side, getting to work really early meant that I could raid the refectory and grab a fried breakfast.  So bad, but so good.... 

Why are bad things often so good? 

Dare I ask what your favourite bad thing is?

Monday, 16 January 2012


Never mind the recent frosts - this winter has been really warm.  Add to that the fact that our garden is really sheltered so the frost doesn't really get to the plants and you get some strange things. 

Like this:

This is a Wild Primrose that is in a pot next to the rabbit run.  It hasn't got much in the way of leaves (party because Bubbles loves the taste of them and begs to be fed them through the wire) but it has produced this cute little flower.

OK, better go -  have a presentation to prepare for and want to have a quick play with PowerPoint.  See you soon!

Sunday, 15 January 2012


The weather has given us a cold snap - cold, but sunny, dry and still.  Nice winter weather, IMO.
We have had some good frost:

After a walk in the cold, Frou Frou is happy to snuggle up for a rest.

She has become a bit of a poser recently,don't you think?

Custard also likes to get in front of the camera:

But he is not such a good model.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Thursday, 12 January 2012


When I was at school, we used to have special classes on Wednesday afternoons.  They were not assessed, they were just something to let everyone do something different.  I chose the photography class which was run by a lovely guy who lived 2 doors away from me.  He was also my maths teacher.

We played with cameras.  We took photos.  We developed the film and printed our pictures in the dark room.  It was great fun.

Getting a finished picture involved extracting the film from its case and winding the film into a developing tank- in complete darkness. Then the tank was filled with chemicals to develop the film.  What teenager does not enjoy messing with chemicals?

Then, because we were doing black and white photos, we could work with a red light - feeding the negatives into the enlarger (a big contraption with a light in it that projected the image onto the paper), timing the exposure (get it wrong and you photo is too light or too dark), and then putting the photo into the developing fluid where your photo would slowly appear.  It was like magic.  We all looked forward to Wednesday afternoons...

Today I went to a local photo store and did the same thing, 21st century style.  I put my memory card into the machine, chose the images and sizes and hit a button.  Out came my beautiful photos.  The results are great, but somewhere along the line I think it lost some of the magic.  But I do get to spend a lot more time taking photos instead of floundering around in the dark!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


The moon was still up this morning!

The view to the west.

The view to the east.

Had a great evening last night - crushing stats for my dissertation!    Morans I Spatial Autocorrelation.  OK it was really dull but the results are wonderful. Within the 9 years that my data covers there is an steady increase in the concentration of many American industrial sectors, i.e. companies are continuing to locate and relocate close to other similar companies.  I love that this can be seen over such a short timespan.

OK, forget the last paragraph.  Hope you liked the photos.

Monday, 9 January 2012

California Dreaming

Well maybe not California, but hey.

I had a dream last night.  I think it was inspired by the fact that my Big Trip is getting close enough to feel real.  Anyway, on to the dream!

I had just entered a new town, past a big sign that said:


Seemed a little extreme, but hey, who am I to judge?

I continued down the road.  There was a guy ahead of me and coming towards us were a couple of young women.

Suddenly a lightning bolt came out of the sky, hitting the guy on the head!

He staggered, smoking slightly, and shouted "Oh God!"


He was hit again.



Wow, they weren't lying were they!  But I guess they knew not to?

PS  As it was a dream, I didn't have my camera with me.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Sunday Morning

Time for a quick post. Hoping for a slob day today, so starting with this.  Next week is likely to be hectic so posts might be few and far between  :-(

A few more pics:

My Mom's pony, Humphrey eating an apple.  For those who don't know the story, she got him when she lived in Scotland.  He was owned by a pony trecking place but refused to be ridden.  My Mom bought him to stop them sending him to the "glue factory".

Frou Frou in the bed we bought for Custard when he was a puppy.

A plant that I was while walking around the Uni the other evening.

Sunrise a couple of days ago, taken while on the way to work.

Not much ore to share right now - time to get on with more slobbing!  Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

It rained and it rained....

I took these pics on the way into work this morning.  The first 3 show all that remains of a water mill.  The races are usually dry, but the level of the river has risen to the extent that they are acting as over-flows!

I don't know who the guy on the bridge is...

This is the view down river along The Great Stour.  I love that this little stream has such a grand name - so British, don't you think?

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

First day back

I woke quite a few times last night, which is very unusual for me.  I usually just go out like a light when my head hits the pillow, but not last night.

I was kept awake by the howling wind and the sound of things being blown around in the garden.  The rabbits were snug in their houses, but you can't help worrying about the little guys can you?

As morning approached there was little let up outside and I began to dread the ride to work.  Finally the time came and I had to dump my slothful ass into the saddle and get peddling.  It was not nice.  The first trip after 2 weeks of doing as little as possible is always a shock to the system but having to battle against wind and rain that was hard to walk into, never mind CYCLE into was something else!

But I made it, of course, happy to get into some clean, dry clothes for the day's work.

The weather got even worse as the morning went on - here is a video of some of it:

Glad I wasn't out in THAT lot!

Things have improved this afternoon, though, and we now have clearish skies and the trees have stopped thrashing around too, so hopefully the return journey won't be as bad.

Hope your first day back was OK!  Assuming that today WAS your first day back, of course...

Monday, 2 January 2012

Back to normal

Yes, today is the last day of my Christmas holiday - back to normal tomorrow.  Not that this is a totally bad thing as I have been a bit of a slob for the last 2 weeks and need to get back in the saddle - literally! I had to feed Hunphrey the pony this morning and riding up the hill to his field almost killed me!

I have continued to have fun with my new camera and it is also good to have my own laptop to post them with.  Here are a few new pics.

This is about half a mile from where I live.  Not quite as idyllic as it looks.  To the right is one of the main roads out of town and the pic was taken from a bridge over a 4 lane motorway!

Custard with his birthday teddy.

Frou Frou with a cuddly duck that we bought for her after she had her annual injections.

Sunrise a couple of days ago.  As we had to get Frou Frou to the vets early I took the other dogs out for an early walk.  OK, I haven't been a total slob...
Looking forward to 2012, despite the Olympics!