1 EAGLETON NOTES: January 2018



Wednesday 31 January 2018

The Moon

Humans everywhere and through all time have been obsessed with The Moon and tonight's super-blue-moon has engendered lots of interest. It's not particularly easy to photograph the craters at a full moon because the direct light flattens it to the ordinary camera. My photo in the sidebar of this blog (taken with a far less powerful lens over 10 years ago) is not a full moon and some of the craters are more obvious because of the shadows. However despite the fact that everyone will have seen pictures of superb quality in every newspaper and on television I cannot resist showing my own effort. It was taken about 4 or 5 hours before the optimum time for this grid reference. 

When I think about it the words in the sidebar are even more poignant at a time like this when so many people everywhere in the world are looking at the moon. "We may be apart but when I look at the sky and remember that we are standing on the same earth, looking at the same moon, somehow you don't seem so far away after all." I love the notion imparted by those words.

Friday 26 January 2018

My First Digital Photo

On the 18 July 2000 I took my first digital photo with my first digital camera: a Kodak DC280 Zoom Digital Camera. The zoom was x2.

The picture was of two of my parents' 'mascots' which lived on the settee.  The koala was brought back by me from Australia the previous year. I cannot recall the origin of the other one.

We went for a drive to Delamere Forest where the next picture was taken. This one is of CJ and I and is unusually rare in that CJ is outside but does not have his camera on him (obviously it would have been within easy reach). Interestingly, despite being the owner of a newfangled digital camera, I am still carrying my trusty Pentax SLR which, in fact, I continued to use in parallel with the Kodak for several years.

The Kodak with it's 2x zoom. A far cry from the 50x zoom of my last digital camera (a Canon SX50) before I decided a couple of years ago to go back to Pentax but with a DSLR.  I still use the Canon occasionally for its sheer lightness and convenience.

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Clean Recycling

As I was washing out a peanut butter jar I was pondering on the hot water, power and washing up liquid  being used to wash out the jar. 

A friend refuses to wash any jars he puts out on the grounds that he will not waste the time and resources I've mentioned.  That's a considered point of view. I know from the smell and flies that a house I pass occasionally does not clean out any animal food tins before disposing of them. That may or may not be a considered and conscious action: it may be sheer laziness or lack of thought.

I have two arguments in favour of washing dirty items before disposing of them. The first is out of consideration for the people who have to work in the plants sorting all the rubbish (or for one's neighbours on a warm day). Degrees of automation in recycling plants vary enormously. The second is that whilst glass  and metal may be automatically cleaned as it is crushed I understand that plastic cannot be. One of the reasons China gave for refusing any more recycling was the amount of plastic that cannot be recycled because it comprises jars etc with food still inside them which have to go to landfill. How true or significant that is I do not know.

Friday 19 January 2018


Heron of A Heron's View posted recently on the problems of commenting on Blogger recently. From the comments he is obviously not alone. As it happens I had already started to draft one on the inordinate time it takes for comments to publish I recently timed some comments that I made and the fastest to appear after I'd clicked 'publish' was 17 seconds. That's not a lot if you are waiting for a bus (whatever a bus is) but it is if you are commenting on blogs and responding to comments on your own. Just for the record I have super-fast broadband

On the other hand if you want real slowness hard to bear the Royal Mail with this one. I received on the 7th January a Christmas card which had been posted on the 2nd December (sic) so had taken over 5 weeks to travel from Sheffield. It was designed (possibly not intending it to be a Christmas card!) by my great nephew Toby (aged 1) which I thought showed a remarkable talent for colour and composition. 

Sunday 14 January 2018

It's To Be Expected

This week we have had some beautiful weather....until yesterday and, particularly, today. For your information the mainland is about 40 miles (60 kilometres) across The Minch from the Isle of Lewis where the photos were taken. The photos were taken throughout the week with the last one taken this morning.

Sunrise over the Mainland with Lower Bayble in foreground

Late morning

 Late afternoon

Sunset over the hills of Lewis

But sometimes it was also cold and frosty

Today we had 70mph winds and all the ferries were cancelled.
Most will recognise Bayble Bay down from my house.

Monday 8 January 2018

An Envelope

I sometimes receive unusual mail. No one, though, can surely ever have received a letter in an envelope like tihs work of art which I received from my brother a little while ago:

Saturday 6 January 2018

Snail Mail

On 2 January I decided not to turn on my laptop until the evening. Given that it's usually the first thing I do after I've had my shower in the morning that was quite a big decision for me. Of course for WhatsApp etc I still had my iPhone but I tried to keep away from emails etc. What was the reason for this decision? I wanted a whole day to write letters, cards and billydos. Well perhaps not really billydos as that term comes from billet doux (literally, in French, sweet or soft ticket but translated as  a mild love letter) but you probably get my drift.

In fact I did spend a most enjoyable day with a fountain pen in hand writing to friends in various parts of the world. 

I have become a devotee of Moo who, amongst many other things, will custom print greeting cards, post cards and books of stickers. They featured amongst many 'ordinary' letters.

PS.  If you want to use Moo please let me know and I'll recommend you to our mutual benefit (Love MOO? Refer your friends and you’ll get a £10 Referral Gift Card when they place their first orders. And they’ll get 20% off, too! High fives all round.)

Thursday 4 January 2018

Thankful Thursday....'I am!'.

I was chatting to a dear friend in New Zealand this morning. We were talking, amongst many other things about being alive. She made the point that we are so astonishingly lucky to get a life. "How," she asked rhetorically, "do a bunch of molecules come together...against all the rules of entropy? And call themselves ‘I Am’?"

She keeps a book in which she writes down things for which she is grateful. Tonight she will write ‘I am glad that today I am still alive’.

Over breakfast I kept thinking about that and how I, and probably most of the society in which I live, take for life granted. In fact we take so much for granted. 

Of course my friend was talking on a much higher level about life itself rather than 'our lives'. 

On the 'our lives' level though a very large percentage of the world's population can't take life for granted at all even at the most basic level. We have become aware of that because of television and, ironically, have also become inured to to it. A million or so Rohingya Muslims added to the millions of other war-torn and starving nations hardly makes us even bat an eyelid. Shame on us.

It made me feel very sheepish about feeling irritated that I have had this stinking cold that has kept me from seeing my new Grandchild and about the water in my oil tank that had caused my central heating to fail and the boiler to need new parts. My cold will get better and Bob has just repaired the boiler and my heating is working again. I have my health and I have the money to pay Bob's bill. 

Today I am very thankful for my life (at every level) and for the lives of my friends too.