Friday to Sunday (22-24 Nov)

Think these posts might be getting too long so this one’s only 3 days long.

Friday 22 November 2013

There was a daytime moon – not the easiest thing to catch on a hand held camera. You’ve got to try, though, haven’t you?DSC_1751Moon


So a picture of the moon over the pond seemed obvious, trouble was that it took oodles and oodles of ‘shoppery to get the moon to show without wiping out the foreground:DSC_1710MoonoverpondGood though innit!


The sparrow bush was full of sparrows:DSC_1723Sparrows


This one seems to have a little grey/brown hat on.DSC_1719Sparro0w


The grebes were still on t’pond:DSC_1732Grebes


Autumn gave us gold:DSC_1758Gold


This robin was a little shyer than some, hiding in the bushes:DSC_1775Robin


Hawthorns are home to hords of blackbirds. Here’s a double take of one:


Think this tit is probably blue:DSC_1814Bluetit


Had this down as a female blackbird but I’ve been told it’s more likely a thrush.


Love getting mallards landing. It’s easy but looks so good:DSC_1877Mallard


Wanderings of a Wazzock

Astounding has now changed to Analog. It was edited by John W. Campbell. Incidentally if it weren’t for him and it there’d probably be no Scientology as L Ron Hubbard spouted forth his “Dianetics” crap there, to the approval of Campbell. The magazine was then just about the only source of ‘modern’ SF.
One of the stories I read in that mag involved involved, as I recall, a man who was trapped in a vacuum chamber. It gave me nightmares for some weeks. The major (only?) prizes for SF writing, movies and stuff is the “Hugo” named for Hugo Gernsback who started the first mag in the thirties.
Thinking further there were quite a few other sf mags, many were transatlantic crap but one or two were homegrown, in particular “New Worlds” which had Michael Moorcock as editor and Brian W. Aldiss as an occasional contributor..

Some years ago I was writing a book – actually a science fiction novel. I’ve been reading SF for about 60 years now. I got turned on to it by reading an “Astounding Science Fiction” mag at a friend’s house.

Anyhow, I’d got about 200 pages done when the computer went splaaaaaaa with a virus thing. I got the computer fixed but, with a total lack of common sense, installed Linux on it in order to safeguard against more virals – this wiped the disc. Obviously there were no backups or even a printed version. All I’ve got left is a rough outline and some character descriptions. I’ve tried to rewrite it but without getting the same feeling of “rightness’, so I’ve scrapped it.

I suppose my sf inclination began before I went to school, with Alice in Wonderland (don’t mean I went to school with Alice but that’s what my sf started with) I think that Alice could be called sf, very loosely. I do remember that I was possibly better read than my first infant school teacher. In an infant school spelling test the words included “chimney”. I spelled it “chimbley”. When it was marked wrong I argued that I had “read it in a book” – I didn’t get the mark. The book I’d read it in was Tom Sawyer (or Huckleberry Finn?) the teacher had no idea what I was talking about.

I used to go to Sheffield Central Library with whichever parent could be cajoled into the task. I recall my father being all snooty about a book I wanted to borrow: “What do you want that for? It’s all dragons and dwarves” – it was, of course, The Hobbit. Back then there was a publisher “Gollancz” who had genre related colours to their books. I pretty soon battened on to their yellow SF series. Apparently: “In December 1998 the Orion Publishing Group acquired Cassell & Co and turned Gollancz into its science fiction/fantasy imprint.”(wikipedia).

On with the pictures.

Saturday 23rd

Sparrow looking anxious:DSC_1931Sparrrow


The gulls were attacking our kestrel. This one was particularly persistent and chased its target for ages until the kes gave up and buggered off.


The stump in the school grounds has erupted a second flush of honey fungus on t’other side. I really like the colours here.DSC_1981HoneyFungus


I don’t know one tit from another really but I think this is a great tit.DSC_1984GreatTit


The grebe kids have all gone now leaving the adults alone – at last.DSC_2008Grebes


Maggie leaping off a tree top.DSC_2056Magpie


This moorhen reminded me of the penguin in “The Wrong Trousers”.DSC_2058Moorhen


Another of those “blackbird with a haw” pictures. picsDSC_2074Blackbird


Gulls lining up looking over the canal.DSC_2102Gulls


Having a stretch after a dive.DSC_2154Grebes


The gulls attacking a diving tufted duck – they’re after anything it might have got to eat.DSC_2167Gulls


And back to the sparrows in the sparrow tree.DSC_2187Sparrows



I’m an avid BBC Radio Four Extra (R4e) listener – at least to the comedies and one or two other bits, but now tend to get my ears bent to the internet. There’s a couple of sites that play a continuous diet of stuff that I like, in particular ROKLink which takes me back as far as 60 years.

Listening to some of the programmes on here can be quite an eye opener. Everyone knows of the umpteen double entendres in “Beyond Our Ken” and “Round the Horne” but you can find thinly disguised smut in many old programmes. Hugh Jampton is a recurring character in “The Goon Show” for example*.

Some progs are so terrible that they’re not listenable to: “Ray’s a Laugh” comes to mind – by today’s or anyone’s standards it’s very amateurish sounding. Sadly it’s one of the progs that I remember well and thought I liked until hearing it.

Why do I like this stuff? It’s more a matter of disliking everything else – I’m totally non sporting and not particularly musically inclined. The news is anathema at the moment – I hate the Tories with a hatred so intense and feel totally betrayed by the LibDems – so can’t cope with it. I often say that I was born before the NHS and the way things are going it’ll be dead before me.

*Hugh Jampton → huge ‘ampton → huge Hampton Wick → big prick (rhyming slang)


Sunday 24th

Tufties have to be the cutest ducks:DSC_2212Tufties


There’s a tree just below the school grounds that’s still covered with, rather manky, applesDSC_2223Apples




Fruit of the ivy:DSC_2262Ivy


Skeletal tree against November sky:DSC_2264tree


A tit:DSC_2271TitDSC_2273Tit


Played with this picture of haws:DSC_2282Haws


Another of my favourite subjects: the umbrella of cow parsley:DSC_2295Umbrella


And my definite fave plant:DSC_2307Teasel


A pigeon tree in bloom:DSC_2324PigeonTree


Lichens on hawthorn:DSC_2335Lichens


Just a sparrow:DSC_2344Sparrow


Great tit!DSC_2361GreatTit


7 thoughts on “Friday to Sunday (22-24 Nov)

  1. I love that you’re including more little snippets of information. I was nodding along to your literary journey. Alice was one of the first books I ever read, and still holds pride of place in my bookshelf. Analog, Astounding, Omni and several other titles which escape me now. were prized by my elder brother, who passed them to me, but only after he realised that I already loved Science Fiction The first Science Fiction book I ever read was called Journey to Untor which I borrowed from the Pollokshaws library, aged about 7. Allan expressed surprise that I was interested in SF, I didn’t even realise that’s what it was. I found that book again, many many years later and read it again. It wasn’t quite as good as I recalled, unsurprisingly, but at least I had remembered the basic plot and there was a sense of coming home and blissful affirmation as I made my way through it. My father adored all things Mark Twain and although I was not quite as big a fan, I did read Huckleberry Finn at the tender age of about ten. Can’t stand sport, and never listen to or watch the news. No point, it’s always miserable, always the same and I can never change it. My father also adoredthe Goons and for that reason I am fond of them, though not overly familiar with them. I do remember Michael Benteen’s potty time with great fondness too, though as I was born in 68 I must have been very young –

    And back to the photos. The moon above the pond is beautiful, ‘shopped or otherwise. The robin and the mallard too. I find your fondness for the teazel quirkily pleasing. If ever I am back in the UK I am going to go and have to look at one in real life.

    And just start writing the story again. It doesn’t matter if it’s not the same, don’t try to recapture it as it was, just make yourself write a few pages a day and I bet something good comes of it. I’d read it.

    This post made me happy. “Friendship is born when one person says to another, What! You too?”


  2. Pingback: A Wazzock Wonders | The Wisdom of a Wazzock


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