Moon Shot

I've been itching to take some night sky photos for a while now but the weather in Bristol hasn't been co-operating lately. If there has been a clear night it has always been on a weekday and my sensible side tells me that getting no sleep the night before a day at work is a bad thing. Yesterday, however, was a relatively clear night and now that the clocks have gone back to GMT it's getting dark very early. I therefore set out at around 1900 last night with the intention of probably trying to get some starfields if possible and had picked a possibly dark enough area to try around one of the local golf courses. I set out on my bike, which hasn't been ridden in at least a year, with a warm coat and gloves, a full pack of camera gear and a spare battery. I did get to the golf course but to be honest it was so out of the way and I was on my own that I didn't really want to venture further in where I might get less light pollution from the city. I resigned myself to the fact that I was chickening out and decided instead to take a ride around the local area and photograph anything that looked interesting.


It's 10.50 here. We are in an internet cafe in Invercargill - so far we haven't found anywhere with wifi availability, however the laptop is still worth its weight in gold. We have 250 pictures saved so far, after four days. (We have also been playing pinball, before going to bed, together with something called Spider solitaire, which seems virtually insoluble apart from the trivial easy level.)

We've seen: Christchurch, which really is like you'd imagine an idealized version of Bournemouth; Timaru, an industrial town, where we stopped the first night after picking up the camper and heading south down the improbably empty State Highway 1. [The camper is easy to drive (apart from reverse, where you don't get as much practice) and all in all a very good choice -- we have a microwave, toilet, shower, cooker, double bed, enough storage space. Pictures will follow, no doubt at tedious length.]


Off on holiday today, flight at 2215. Watch this space.

British Citizen Test

Saturday mornings usually find me browsing the BBC's magazine pages while eating breakfast and drinking a cup of tea. I decided to have a go at the Citizenship Test that the BBC has put up based on the book 'Life in the UK' from which the actual test questions are taken.

I heard about ProjectOpus through the Drupal Showcase Forum at recently but I only just decided to check it out. The site is still in beta currently but there are already some quality albums and singles available. The site allows you to purchase music but also lets you listen to all the music through a nifty little streaming player. Everything I've listened to so far has been very good quality and I've even been tempted to branch out into other music styles that I'm not normally interested in such as Pop and Jazz. This site looks like it can only get better as more and more artists register. I strongly recommend that you check it out!

Less Formal Photos

A couple more photo's from the graduation.

Edward and Jez: Edd on the Motor Club's Fire Engine Jez.Edward and Jez: Edd on the Motor Club's Fire Engine Jez.

Edward and the LionEdward and the Lion

Edd's Graduation

My brother Edward graduated with a degree in Chemistry on 26 October 2005. I've already given him a personal congratulations but I can now give a very public one as well. He graduated from Imperial college, London who hold their ceremony in the Royal Albert Hall. I think the surroundings got to everyone as the ceremony was very staid and people didn't start to loosen up until the very end when the Med students decided to bring some fun into it by cheering and clapping their friends.

Royal Albert Hall: The Royal Albert Hall where Imperial college, London's graduation ceremony was held on 26 October 2005.Royal Albert Hall: The Royal Albert Hall where Imperial college, London's graduation ceremony was held on 26 October 2005.

Just Another Statistic

I have become just another statistic in the local authority crime figures. After returing from my brother's graduation yesterday and heading to my car I found that along with millions of other people in this country my car had been scratched and the person who had done it had not left a note on my windsheild to confess to it. I'm pretty easy going and with my old clapped out car of before I would not have given it a second's worth of irritation but with my new one it warranted at least 10 minutes worth. The reason for this is that the scratches, although not long, are rather wide and therefore more noticable and more prone to encouraging rust patches as they are down to the bare metal. Added to this the car hadn't even tripped the 1000 mile mark on the odometer. I was so close - only 25 miles to go.

The car is still there!

My car is currently parked in the space by the entrance to my block of flats so you have to walk next to it to enter the block. On the way past I noticed that the door was open. Obviously I'd forgotten to lock it. The thing is though that I haven't actually driven it since Sunday so it has been sitting, completely unlocked for three days!

I must live in a quiet area. I can't imagine it staying untouched anywhere else I have lived. Even the CD's that were in the centre well are still there.

Or maybe my music taste sucks so much that no one would want to knick them?

Want a Hug?

I'm now in a macro mood so I thought I'd try something different.

Spider Hug

This picture was taken using the macro lens through my reversed zoom lens. Doesn't it just look like it wants to give you a hug? Actual head size is approximately 2mm wide. It's quite hard to keep everything still and in focus with an extra lens to keep hold of but it seems to have worked ok. I'm not quite comfortable with creating some sort of contraption to hold everything together yet but give me time and I'm sure I'll be covering my new lens with tape and holding it in a clamp to keep it steady.....that reminds me - I have a vice in the broom cupboard. I could possibly hold a lens in that....

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