It’s the kind of weather suited to hibernatory creatures. Thickly frosted windows, an ice-blue sky, arctic temperatures and a slicing wind jetting in from Siberia.

Walking the dogs for an hour, swaddled in layers and scarves and a thermal hat was – stimulating – not entirely horrible, but an hour out of doors was sufficient today.

This afternoon I made a few changes to this blog, and created a new one.

I’ve removed all links that haven’t had any clicks in the past year – that’s all the animal welfare and cooking links – and added two new ones.

The first is The Ranting King Penguin, a turbo-driven and profanity-ridden “Indignant of Tunbridge Wells” soapbox. The RKP picks up those news items about life in the United Kingdom (what a misnomer!) guaranteed to raise your blood pressure to a critical level, and vents his spleen in a most satisfyingly vitriolic manner. You may not agree with all his sentiments, but you’ll probably be with him on many.

The second link, Through a dragon’s eye, is my new photography blog. Since I was a teenager I’ve been happy with cheap and cheerful cameras with no knobs, dials or twiddly things, requiring only to be pointed at the subject and have their buttons pressed. Very occasionally they captured a decent shot, which was entirely the result of good luck. Mostly they generated rolls of film that remain undeveloped to this day, victims of my reluctance to shell out the cost of processing with no guarantee of satisfactory results.

Digital photography has changed that, and having progressed from a cheap and nasty “point-shoot-and-cross-your-fingers” box to two decent cameras – a Kodak Z740 and Canon Powershot S3 –  I want to move on from the “Auto” setting with its rather hit and miss results, to achieve more hits and fewer misses. Apart from cropping, I’m not a fan of digital enhancement;  somehow it smacks to me of cheating, so the photos on the blog are pretty much as captured by the dragon’s eye.

And the image header on the blog is the serendipitous outcome of my accidentally pressing the button while the camera was swinging around my neck. 🙂

It makes me wonder

There are a series of photographs in The Mail today 0f a fellow being chased around a vehicle by a polar bear in the snowy Arctic  wastes.

Apparently, by the time the man reached safety he had sustained more than 100 injuries from the bear’s claws swiping  him, although the final photograph as he is about to escape the animal by climbing into an unlocked car shows no visible sign of damage to his clothing. Hm.

As an enthusiastic novice photographer I well understand the desire to capture the shots; but if I was being chased to certain death by a two-ton killing machine, and somebody stood by recording the event for posterity instead of doing something useful, I’d be very, very highly pissed off in my final moments.

What I a wondering is this: if the bear had caught its victim, would the photographer have continued snapping merrily away until all that was left was a large red stain in the snow?

My unusualest Xmas present

Santa, bless his big fat tummy and luxuriant beard, delivered some gorgeous gifts chez nous, including all manner of delights both edible and not.

The most unusual item from Santa’s sack is this snowglobe which, at the moment, is unique:


Thank you, AM.  Full production next year? 🙂