Life through the Lens (24 October 2021)

When my eyesight was still good, I was a bit of an amateur photographer. This is one of mine.

image showing a silhouette of a camera

Prairie Dog. All you Americans will be able to tell me – is this actually a rat, not a dog? I had my suspicions when I threw a stick for it.

The Saddo

Over on Songshine Sounds, Where Were You Tuesday asked about the last live concert we went to.

That guy dyes his hair, surely?

That’s an easy one to remember. At least, who it was.

I’m not quite so clear as to when. It was definitely before the stroke, and I think before all the shit went down with my daughter, because we had a conversation about whether it was wise to leave her home alone. It was definitely summer, so my best guess is 2015 or shortly before.

If that seems a long time ago, it’s because however enjoyable music might be, there are more important things in life.

It was in Bristol, UK. Someplace there. The venue wasn’t memorable.

Paul Heaton was a guy I loved way back when I was a teen in the mid-Eighties. He was the lead singer with The Housemartins, who I’ve mentioned before were a favourite. After they split, he formed a band called The Beautiful South, who I guess you’ve all heard of.

Jacqui Abbott was recruited to sing for the band in about the mid-Nineties. She has an excellent voice and it added a new dimension to their music, but she quit in about 2000. It was quite strange because by all accounts she had this regular family life alongside the pop star existence, it became increasingly impossible to juggle the two, and she walked away from the music.

Fifteen years later, kids presumably done and dusted, and Heaton, now solo, and Abbot decided to tour again and played a superb concert in Bristol.

One of the things I liked was the audience. Heaton was originally from my youth, and by the looks of things, everybody else’s youth too, and the audience was about my age. So, this wasn’t stoned teeny-boppers not being able to handle their drink, it was stoned forty-somethings instead 🤣. Only joking, I’m sure there wasn’t a joint in the place.

Here are Heaton and Abbott singing as The Beautiful South. I think you’ll agree, her voice is sublime.

Incidentally, I almost did another gig in the year before COVID. I felt I’d recovered enough from the stroke by then, although I’d never have been able to stand for long.

Manic Street Preachers.

Always loved ’em, from their early days when I was a student living in Cardiff (they’re from the Cardiff area too) and they were unknown.

But they wanted so much for the tickets… two tickets for the gig (Mrs Bump too) was the equivalent to a year’s Spotify subscription. I’m not thirteen any more, and these days, that’s a no-brainer.

Chicken Talk

Did I mention that we’d taken on two more hens? We went from three to five.

I might not. A neighbour came around one afternoon and offered them to us. I suppose we should have suspected something, but… well, we already had three so what difference would two more make?

And so arrived these two, beautiful pure-breed Welsummer hens.

I mean, we keep vanilla rescue hens now, but some of these pure breeds are absolutely beautiful creatures to look at. Just look at those speckles! If you think in terms of money, one of these girls in her laying prime is worth GBP50! A “regular” pure-breed will set you back makbe £10-15, and common brown hens next to nothing.

Now, our girls are regular-sized hens but these two Welsummers were enormous. Twice the size.

That wouldn’t have been a problem, except they were unfriendly with it. Not just to us, but to the existing chooks.

They’ll settle in, we thought. But that was about two months ago, and they just seemed to settle into their bullying ways.

Two effects they had on “our” hens were that they stopped using the coop for sleeping – we found them in various bushes around the garden – Mrs Bump would sometimes place them into the coop (they are incredibly docile at night) but my disability made me useless.

They stopped using the coop to lay, too. They layed fewer eggs, and selected various points around the garden, again. So not only did the increase in birds mean that the overall yield went down, but each day we would have to hunt the garden for eggs. The Welsummers were not good layers, by the way, only about three eggs between them in all the time they were here.

So, you’ll have guessed… they went to a new home last week. They appeared to be going to somebody who’d let them live rather than stuffing them into a pot, but you never know. By the time they went, we were definitely leaning toward ambivalent.

The immediate effect was that our girls started sleeping in the coop again, a relief since our nights are becoming increasingly longer here.

They’re still laying al fresco, but hopefully that will come back. There has got to be a point where dry straw is preferable to a cold, wet bush, I’d think.

You wouldn’t have thought it, just with chickens, but it was interesting how these Welsummers just completely upset the dynamic.

Life through the Lens (17 October 2021)

When my eyesight was still good, I was a bit of an amateur photographer. This is one of mine.

image showing a silhouette of a camera

This is the river close to home. We had just had a fall of snow and I played around with software trickery.

This particular shot started off as seven images and I processed them into a single HDR image. This was long before the days when even mobile phones had an HDR option, and I thought the processing brought the still-laden sky, in particular, to life.

A processedphoto showing a river close to me, in the snow.

Spammer in the Works

Just had to share this email. Looks like I’ve been rumbled! Feel free to give up early but be warned… the laughs keep coming.


I have got two not really pleasant news for you.

I have been monitoring your internet activities for some time by now.

The only person to blame in this situation is you, since you are a big fan of adult websites and also have got an uncontrollable desire to indulge yourself with another orgasm.

Simply speaking, all your porn websites search requests have become a key to access your device.

The thing is that I word in a company that provides services related to security and performance of email providers, including xxxx as well.

During the pandemic outbreak a lot of providers have faced difficulties in maintaining a huge number of staff in their offices and so they have decided to use outsourcing instead.

While working remotely from home, I have got unlimited abilities to access the user databases.

I can easily decrypt passwords of users, access their chat history and online traffic with help of cookie-files.

I have decided to analyse users traffic related to adult websites and adult content.

I was truly shocked to discover that nearly 75% of users regularly access porn websites or participates in sex chats.

I have filtered out the worst perverts from the list. Yeah, you are one of them. Not everyone chooses to watch such hardcore videos… Basically, I have infected your device with one of the best Trojan viruses in the market. It was relatively easy, since I have access to your email address (xxxxx).

It was sufficient to prepare one of your routine emails asking you to click the harmful link…

My spyware functions as a driver. Hence, I can fully control your device and have access to your microphone, camera, cursor and set of symbols.

Generally speaking, your device is some sort of my remote PC.

Since this spyware is driver-based, then I can constantly update its signatures, so that no antivirus can detect it.

While digging through your hard drive, I have saved your entire contact list, social media access, chat history and media files.

One week ago, I have montaged a videoclip, which shows you masturbating on one side of the screen and on the other side a porn video that you were watching at that moment of time – recently this type of exotic stuff is really popular on the internet!

Don’t worry, I will need just a few mouse clicks in order to share this video with your entire contact list and upload it to some porn website, like Bigle.

I believe that you would not like this to happen, since a long holiday season is just about to start soon – just imagine the number of silly jokes and loud laughter that would get provoked by your video all over the neighbourhood bars and pubs…

I am offering a simple and reasonable solution:

All you need to do is transfer an amount equivalent to $1150 (USA Dollars) to my bitcoin wallet and we both forget about this silly story forever.

All your data and this video will be deleted by me once and for all. You have my honest word!

You’ve got to agree, this amount is really insignificant. Just imagine how much time and resources I have spent to get this done… If you don’t know how to operate the cryptocurrency – you can always search for assistance online. It is that simple.

Here is my bitcoin wallet (BTC): bc1qtzqgwqe3cd4cnv26vawxvfg3kr09r0jv53p8nw

You have exactly 2 days (48 hours) from the moment of opening this email.

I can easily track when you have opened this email (my software will notify me about it). Once you complete the transaction – I will be able to see and confirm that.

Please, do not try replying me via this email – there is no point in that (as you can see the email is sent from your address).

Remember that there is no point to complain anywhere, since I cannot be found (Bitcoin system is anonymous and I am also using I2P network in order to access your device).

I have considered all the small details.

In case, if 48 hours after you have opened this email, I still don’t receive the required amount of money, then your videoclip will be automatically sent to all your contact list and uploaded to public websites.

Good luck and please don’t hate me too much!

This is life! You are merely out of luck this time.

Who knows, maybe next time you will get lucky at something else…

Life through the Lens (10 October 2021)

When my eyesight was still good, I was a bit of an amateur photographer. This is one of mine.

image showing a silhouette of a camera

These birding cruises we used to take offered so much material, not just sea birds. Returning back to port one evening, I looked out to sea…

‘This is a pod of bottlenose dolphin swimming alongside tohe boat.

Photograph of a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins

Celebrating Autumn

We live close to a river, and as the weather gets cooler, there is always plenty of mist in the early mornings.

Home on the Range

We had a stormty day yesterday and it was very sunshine-and-showers today. We did manage to get out for a walk, for a coffee, and just about got home as the heavens opened.

This is one of my favourite viewpoints, a place called Castle Hill, just inside the New Forest. About 10 minutes from home. This scenery is why I live here, especially when I worked so far away.