Saturday, June 12, 2010

test cellspin post

Test from cellspin on hd2

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Quick intro to my new website

I just wanted to let you know that I have started up a full website where i will be making blog posts to in the future – I will do my best to cross post them here too but the new site will be my first focus.

To see how it’s going pop over to

It’s early days and I have already decided to change the template look but it was my first effort.

See you there.

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Let’s see how photos behave from Live Writer

IMAG0703 IMAG0695

A mention for this blog in Cornish World magazine (and some Link Love)

A very flattering mention for this humble and, of late, somewhat tardy Blogger blog and the pressure is on.  The item is in the smartly turned out Cornish World magazine.  (For anyone not completely familiar with the online world, click on the magazine tile in the previous sentence and it will take you to the magazine’s website.)

imageIn addition to being highly flattered at being given a mention, it was particularly pleasing to be featured in a magazine that is both in touch with Cornish culture and bang up to date with technology.  Reading the June/July edition, No. 70, I see they are clued up with a web presence both at and, a Twitter account and a Facebook page.

My only regret was a dearth of decent photographs to offer following the death of my Acer netbook, (that’ll teach me to be lax about backups).  The one that was used was not the sharpest of the bunch but, then again it woud have detracted from the writing if it had been pin sharp, so I will console myself that the low resolution photo plays it’s part.


If you have come to this blog from reading the article, then welcome gentle reader.  Do visit again and I will aim to live up to the warm reception Catherine gave me in her article.

Of course, you may well be a fellow blogger who has visited in order to confirm for yourself that your efforts trump anything I may have recorded.  So be it, read, confirm any preconceptions and submit your blog for a mention in despatches by emailing

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Putting my best foot forward

I would like to declare at the outset that this post id the result of a competition that I won recently.

A while ago I started my search in earnest to find a really good pair of walking boots with a view to a trip to the States to celebrate a special birthday for my wife, Cathy.  One of the places I went to look was Brasher.  While on their site I saw they had a newsletter and, as I signed up, I saw that they did a monthly drawing to win a pair of boots for new subscribers.  I signed up in the hope that I might get some sort of discount offer in a newsletter, what I got was a complete surprise.  A few weeks after signing up I found that I had been drawn to win a pair of new Brasher boots of my choice from their catalogue!

The boots arrived today, Lithium GTX, full of Goretex goodness.  I couldn’t wait to get them out to try on.  IMAG0615

These boots mark a change for me.  I have always been a leather boot sort of chap, never gave a lot of thought to newer developments – to be fair I didn’t expect to be buying the top end type of boot and many much cheaper fabric boots seemed to be more like beefed up trainers.

Having the freedom to choose any boot I took time to learn about the many different types and what they were best suited for.  We will be visiting a variety of terrain in the US from mountains to salt plains to westrn seaboard so I needed a boot that was versatile.  We might undertake activities such as horse riding so I needed a boot that wasn’t too bulky.  The boot would also need to comfortable in all sorts of locations as I intend wearing them in urban and country settings, in hot and cold temperatures. 

I needed to have my feet carefully measured before committing to size, since Brasher would be sending the boots direct.  Fortunately with the help of Sarah in Brasher’s publicity department I went along to their Premier stockist nearest to West Cornwall – Penrose Outdoors in Truro.  Cathy and I were treated really well at the store, even though I explained I needed measuring but the boots would come to me direct from Brasher.  While Cathy would need a pair of boots for the US we had decided that the most we would do is by some socks to say thanks for measuring my feet.  (In fact, Lynette at the store was so knowledgeable and helpful we ended up getting Cathy a pair of boots from there, plus some sets of socks and boot care products).

I can’t wait to be able to try the boots out on a walk but that’s another post, as they say.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

When does one stop waiting for the big idea?

I have started a bunch of posts over the last month, (yes, month).  Not one idea managed to grow into something resembling my idea of a post.  The month before that I struggled to hold on to the big thoughts I have when driving in this beautiful county of Cornwall; much of what I have to say when behind the wheel relates to the views, reflections and memories of growing up here. But that’s where it stops, (yes, I started a sentence with But – that isn’t necessarily a crime, no matter how uncomfortable it is making me feel.  I am trying to get to grips with whatever creature it is that gets in the way of my writing these days.  With the idea that the human mind will put all sorts of obstacles in the way to avoid change, I am embracing the awkward and uncomfortable, in the hope that I am doing good, making a difference, playing my part in the electronic world I have hung out in for all these years).

Harbour in Sunshine IMAGE_265-714727

It’s views like this when nipping down to the shop, that pass me by nine times out of ten but that one time pulls me up short every time. 

Thoughts that occur to me, when I visit coastal locations similar to Porthleven, I immediately think about how closed in they feel but I never think that about my own village; even though, looking out from the Harbour Head (as the grassed area at the back of the harbour is called), I struggle to see the open sea.  Where the natural geography stops the man made finishes off the enclosure but I do not normally see that.  When I say don’t see i mean that I have a scotoma, as Lou Tice would put it, I just couldn’t see it.  I can look at it but I couldn’t “see” it.  It could be because I have climbed the sides of the village and see the open sea but I don’t think so, I think that like so many people before I see the world in a drop of water, the world in the life of the village.  Porthleven, built from the fractals of the rest of the world.

I have been thinking about houses lately, in comparison to many our little cottage is plain but I have decided that I don’t mind what the house looks like – when it comes down to it, if I live in a house it’s the outside that means more.  There are places in Cyprus which are pretty much boxes but that’s fine, they have something to look at, greenery, sea, whatever, heck in the right location most of life can run outdoors.  When things are rough weatherwise, I can be at home in a room, this netbook my window on the world. 

A musical interlude at this point.  As I go to write more, in the background the theme music from the science fiction series Star Trek Voyager isplaying.  I love this piece of music, with it’s classical and futuristic associations.  Here is a link to a version on YouTube:  

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Monday, March 15, 2010

An Encounter with the International Space Station

Another beautiful day today, again almost completely spring-like.  Particularly pleasant behind glass, the breeze that has been so cold of late has warmed a little.
I went outside this evening to caqtch a sight of the International Space Station (ISS) as it passed over Cornwall.  There was still light in the ky at 7.09pm and I wondered whether I would be able to see it.  I needn't have worried.  From the West came a golden ember that travelled more than twice as fast as the airliners that pass by going to or from the USA.
It was literally a brilliant sight and what made it even more poingnant was the fact tat I have been reading Tweets from one of it's astronauts.  Soichi Nguchi is an astronaut currently onboard the ISS and a very active member of Twitter @astro_soichi. The connection between me in our back garden, on an almost balmy evening, in the last glow of an evening sun and a group of people sailing outside the atmosphere, was something special.  I felt like our cottage was my station and I was on an earthbound spacewalk.
I have been getting alerts of an impending flyover of the ISS via Twitter for quite sometime, ( setup instructions at ), but kept forgetting at the last minute.  I will definitely making extra effort to get out and watch in future.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fighting the apathy not to post

I just don't know what it is - that hidden creature that saps my energy when I feel the urge to write.  Creeping up on me and dulling the desire or arranging circumstances to ensure that I do not put fingers to keys.
My friend Alan tells how the ideas come but fade before he has time to write them up.  For me it's the energy to get the thoughts and ideas typed up.  I can get fired up in the morning and be back  in a state of calm by tea.
I started a post 2 days ago and it faded, for familiar reasons - I come home, get the coal fire lit and eat, then start to watch the regular television that I have got into.  Watching programmes on the laptop is fine but I do think that I would gain some time by recording them, (even more time by not watching of course).  I'm keeping my eye on for a recording option but have yet to find one that will record in the background while I go off and do other stuff, a prerequisite for the operation I would say.
As I type this I am undertaking the compromise that works for some programmes.  In one FireFox window I have Time Team playing.  (Time Team is the UK television archaeology show, which visits under explored sites and tries to find out as much new information as it can in 3 days).  I am typing this in a window over the top of the FireFox browser and that allows me to listen to the show but not see.  Shows like Voyager, the Start Trek spin-off I missed when it was first shown so watch it each evening now, is a visual experience - the story lines may be easily translated to what we have now but the added value is in the visuals.
Well, this post is in danger of going the same way as the last if I don't get it posted.  There's a nagging voice in the back of my head, it's trying to point out that this post isn't polished and I should work on it before sending it into the outside world; trouble is I am even more rubbish at the editing than I am at the writing.  I am ignoring that voice and the next mouse movement I make will be to post this.  A post of some sort is better than no post at all with be my watchphrase.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A beautiful day at the Japanese Garden in St Mawgan, Cornwall

I have neglected my blog for far, far too long. I would like to think that it is because I didn't have anything to say, as in. "If you've nothing to say, say nothing"; truth be told I just couldn't get my self motivated.

I read constantly and am sure that I am a born and bread consumer. I soak up other people's output without the urge to replace it. What could I do to get myself writing again? I have asked myself this many times and at last I think I have come up with something.

As word has slipped out to Cathy about the destination, I can now refer to something big enough to bring me back to blogging. Later in the year we are going to be visiting the United States of America. It's 31 years since my parents and brothers visited our Uncle and Aunt in Utah. I stayed at home to take mock exams, foolishly in my opinion; I missed time with some wonderful people and failed most of my mocks wishing I was abroad. To compound things my birthday was during the month they were away. But hey that was then and this is now.

We spoke about it and said I could go once exams were out of the way but then life got in the way and I never made it. Both aunt and uncle have passed away now and I do regret not getting there. This year we aim to rectify that by making it the destination of a celebratory 50th birthday trip for Cathy.

The birthday trip is the catalyst for a long overdue visit to see some great people and places.

The bit that Cathy now knows ahead of her birthday, due to a friend's
accidental slip, is that we are visiting relatives and friends. There is a second half, that also includes friend visiting that I am not divulging till Cathy's birthday on 26th March 2010.

Even the preparation for the trip is exciting. I hardly knew how ignorant I was about the size and layout of the USA. I casually mentioned to someone about meeting and felt a little foolish when it was explained that it would involve a drive 6 hours one way.
What can I say? The UK is quite a few inches from the US in an atlas so I haven't directly compared. My thoughts would always stray to the US of my childhood when I looked across the page. Images of Californa, the Banana Splits, New Mexico and Petrocelli, the streets of San Francisco, cities pounded by Columbo, Mission Impossible, the Rockford Files. So much colour in a black and white world. It was all so exotic for a Cornish lad in a small fishing village that formed the engagement ring in Mounts Bay. (I think it still is).

I have started to conduct research into the places we will be visting and that's almost as exciting as the travel. Also various stages are fun milestones such as, flights booked, visa process sorted. I'm already at the: why didn't I do this before stage!

It's going to be some trip and there's so much yet to define. We are pushed to cram everything in now, goodness knows how people manage to get the time to travel even further afield.

About Me

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Cornwall, United Kingdom
A married Cornishman who is getting an inkling of what he wants to be when he grows up. I currently work for the NHS. [See bottom of page for Blog Archive and Links.]