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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Blackberry Requiem.

We have a new phone, a lovely Moto G from Motorola, we haven't set it up yet but here's hoping it wont disappoint, it really needs me to set up WiFi again for all sorts of reasons so more news when I do so.

My old work phone took a fatal hit to the screen, midweek, and is now semi operational.  The blackbastard as I affectionately called it wasn't entirely terrible, it was just an unsupported nightmare. with nothing of any value on the BBM store (little free and no emulators, remember this is a classic Blackberry not the new APK compatible phone its become now). It did do some things nice, such as physical controls and erm... that's it.  But its negatives outweigh the positives. Vastly.

I'm currently using my bosses old phone a touch screen Blackberry Curve, the version where they gut the entire physical keyboard and try to kid us that its an improvement.  Its not of course, its a plastic shelled abomination masquerading as a smartphone, with a screen the size of a postage stamp and the same horrible onscreen keyboard that is a nightmare to use.  I've never used a physical keyboard Blackberry phone, but I would imagine that the keyboard there would be a vast improvement over what we have in both the Curve and Torch models.

Its said that work is upgrading us to iPhones sometime in the near future but as I hate the entire Apple ethos (and more pertinently used iTunes) I don't see myself going ahead.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Lindley Library Tour.

This is a brief round up of our club trip to the RHS Lindley Library up at Victoria in London. Situated in Vincent Square close to Vauxhall and Pimlico, is the Lindley library, a shared home (along with Wisley Gardens) of a massive collection of  books, magazines, art and ephemera to do with gardening and Horticulture (and other stuff that is only tangentially relevant).  Its split into two areas a public library for RHS members and the general public and a basement area that holds some seriously rare tomes for researchers and that.  

You can register to become a researcher at reception, but you'll need two forms of I.D. Its open weekdays only and if you have any botanical interest, its well worth a trip. Bear in mind its closed mid August for annual housekeeping, but any other time so long as its a weekday is fine.

You are even allowed to take photos (no flash) of the materials for your own use, (though I didn't) if you are using it for any commercial reason (a book, a talk, a website including no mark blogs like this) then you may have to pay a fee. The Library itself will issue you with a Hi res photo for your use taken by them. (As it was explained to us, if you are going to be promoting the library, then we want the best photos for Public Image reasons.) 

OK main info over, what did I actually see on my trip.  If you're a long term reader of this blog you'll know I like to talk cactus now and again.  So this was a trip out arranged to talk about all things cactus, with a trip down to see some seriously old books and some botanical art too.  After a brief talk in the upstairs library and an explanation on how they work (fun fact books are separated by genera and not language so if you want German works on cacti you'll need to look in the cactus subsection) we headed downstairs for our main talk.  

A tiny room with a few PC's, bookshelves and a set of tables with books seated on cushions that reminded me of people loafing on beanbags. This was to stop them opening too far and protect them from wear, a few were really fragile including a work on observations of a "Hyiucca" (Yucca) complete with uses and pictures.  
The first book was a dutch herbal from the 1500's detailing the use of Aloe's in medicine. There were a few other books with much more up to date plates from the 1600 and 1700's but the next one that really stood out was a massive red tome that looked like Lord Zetta from Makai Kingdom.  This had some really gorgeous artwork of  "Aloe" as well as being really detailed, there were plates that looked much more modernist to my eyes, especially one yellow Aloe which could easily have been a poster from the 1930's.

The last book was only tangentially related to Cacti, being a work on citrus fruit, lemons and the like, but with the odd inclusion of a large drawing of Selenicereus Spinulosus with a map of Nuremberg and its attendant villages in the background.  We ended up looking at some botanical art, which included plates from a failed book project from the 1600's (shades of Kickstarter there) and how they typeset pages from the old Vera Higgins books (hint is largely a collage of single drawings put onto white paper).  The last thing was an impressive picture of Astrophytum Ornatum, the lady told us it took three attempts to make this as the artist wasn't happy with it.  After that and looking around the library for a bit decided to go home, all in all a great day out.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Son Baulo 2015 Pt 2

Before I begin I absolutely love this, apparently there is some old film of ermaj (or Queen Elizabeth the Second as she is properly known) doing a Hitler salute as a little girl in the 30's.  There is the dear old Queen mum reiching it up as well as evil uncle Eddy also doing a salute, her dad stammering George is thought to be behind the camera.  I'm not much of a royalist but I loved this, last time I had anything this heartwarming about  the royals was when covert snaps of  Kate's paps where taken by some long lens paparazzo.  The whole incident of course has been filtered through modern constructs and mores, its quite clearly a young future queen larking about in front of the camera for family, taken massively out of context, although I am curious to know what other clips that royal archive holds.  Of course they are not the first to be tainted with a bit of the racism, Prince Harry is of course partial to a bit of dressing up as a Hitler, so what I propose is this, whenever they all congregate on the balcony of buck house, for one of those gatherings and such, they should all do a Nazi salute to the crowd. 

Anyway Son Baulo PT2.

This is a round up of all the other bits an pieces that do not revolve around the natural kingdom. Its mainly unfunny stuff  I've seen or trips out that I've been on.  The sole shining star of the whole thing is a set of murals by local graffiti artist Joan Aguilo.  Taking a set of murals with the theme of ducks and children and scattering them along the coastline on old buildings and sea walls proved to be quite a find, I have twelve individual shots and am pretty sure there were more.

There were a few bars and cafes on the coast catering to Germans mainly, one had a massive toy Gorilla set up on the wall with a cocktail already out.  If you went up close of course his arm moved giving you a shock.  Its all rigged up with fishing line and provides the guys in the bar some massive laughs at the same time, though not from the Germans.  Incidentally they seem to like the same stuff as we do, if T Shirts are anything to go by, where we differ of course is that we do not have any about....  Tractors. Like those Massively broken PC farm games, the Germans love a tractor it seems as none were translated into English.
German's all farm boys at heart.

Oh and Helene Fischer, who looks like the German version of  Denise Van Outen. Of course when you are on the beach there are of course naked Germans (as well as Spanish) looking like an explosion at DFS with so much saggy tanned skin and that (the one Spanish couple I saw were hot, him quite fit, she definitely a MILF with a Hitler Tache arrangement).  

The British of course are here but seem to be either massively tattooed, massively overweight or just both. Even their kids are fat.  Although I have finally seen some southerners around its still mainly northern types. 
Sadly I have bumped into the last Everton fan in existence.  He ran a shop in Can Picafort, and I had the misfortune to wear a Liverpool top that day.  Cue whining like a bastard, eh eh that's an Everton top eh. You aint from Liverpool eh eh.  We named him the Everton cunt for good reason.

We had a few entertainers in the hotel whether its singers, Abba, a fat Britney Spears that was supposed to be Adele or a Black Michael Jackson, I saw none of it.  We did hear some from the hotel down the street including a club singer murdering Elvis (return to Satan) and La Bamba (I like it uppa ma bum bum).  Though one night there was a woman who was pretty good, she covered the Cranberries Zombie and it was pretty cool.

One final bit that was adorable was a small chihuahua that kept barking and barking at a slightly bigger dog in the end the owner simply took off her shoe and whacked it with it.   

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Son Baulo 2015

You were supposed to get a post from us explaining about my up coming holiday and maybe a link to some stuff interesting or not.  Blame me for being preoccupied and that but still have a link to something interesting
(especially if you own a PSP still).

I've dug out the blog post from back in 2010 when we were last at Can Picafort. A few things have changed since then, including an archaeological survey team sent to fix up the Iron Age Graves at the necropolis on the headland and an absence of the Guided walk to the Son Serra Museum.  Also the Torrent (small river) has been capped, where it used to flow down to the sea, now it doesn't.

However as I'll detail here, there is still a shedload to see especially if you like animals.

Still a good walk down to what I call Leekspin Island (S'illot Des Porros) where the little beach and attendant watchtower are still there.  Finally had the guts to actually swim out there (I estimate the sea floor to be about 8ft/ 2.5 metres down  at the deepest and as there are no real currents you could conceivably walk most of the way out) but as the rocks surrounding it are full of urchins not to mention the island itself is composed of largely jagged rocks I'd recommend flip flops or some other waterproof shoe to swim with.

There is a smaller island further out that is a regular seabird roost with Audoin's Gulls on one side and cormorants on the other. You may catch a glimpse of a Little Ringed Plover on the rocks as well as a few other things too. There are a load of ducks as well as Moorhens and Coot on the Torrent by the hotel and occasionally there were Little Egrets stalking the shores.

There was some pretty cool insects too, a massive amount of beetles this time (more later) as well as the ever present Cicadas too as well as an incursion of  Painted Lady butterflies mostly on Sea Holly.  Most interesting of all was some huge hornet (actually a hornet like Mimic)  Scolia Flavifrons an easy 2inch/ 5cm in length, that sculled around the dunes (we have film as well as a few photos) with ease.  Most odd of all was that we saw some dung beetles packaging up some fresh horse shit and bundling it into a pre dug hole in  the dune.  We have a good clip of this including the smaller beetle shirking its responsibility and buggering off up a dune halfway through.  I also saw a dead longhorn beetle (and at present still unidentified) which is impressive as well as a number of smaller ground beetle types.

Finally if you really want to go to a great place to see wildlife and have binoculars with you then the marshlands at S'albufera at Playa del Muro, a mile or so outside of Alcudia is well worth a trip. Its free to go in but do pop into reception to gain a permit (and browse through their collection of guide books, they had bird books in all major languages including Collins Birds Of  Britain and Europe) and see whats around.  I saw Egrets using a tree as a sort of Heronry as well as knobhead Coot (red knobbed Coot) and a suspected Gallinule lurking in the reedbeds.

Anyway that was part one, stay tuned for nude beaches, days out and a dog being hit with a slipper.  As I've yet to upload any shots anywhere have some old clips from 2010 or so.
Sand Cicada
Incidentally they've added a Italian translation and misspelled "Pickpokets" now.

Small hermit cave Son Baulo.
Cylindropuntia Possibly subulata, what a cracker.
Oil is 32 an lives at the bike hire place, its the bollocks cocker.
S'illot Des Porros aka Leekspin island.