Sunday, November 30, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

There’s simply no conjecture
About why you missed your lecture
So don’t come in here, Sir Hector
All dressed like Hannibal Lecter

Horse Sense

Going Round And Round In Circles

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

They had never met before. She knew who the medium was, but he had no idea about her, or about her family background. All he knew was what she did for a living.

But shortly after their paths crossed for the first time, he said that he sensed the presence of her deceased father. He said he got the distinct impression that her father had spent part of his life working with horses. But he also told her that he got the distinct impression that her father had never actually owned the animals, or ridden them, or had ever trained racehorses.

It might sound strange, but the medium was absolutely right. The woman’s father had been an artisan. In his time he had created horses for fairground carousels.

Check out the rules at Camera Critters or go to Misty Dawn.

The Sunday Roast

Time To Take Stock Of Precious Stones

This week's interview is with Jules,
who writes the blog Jules Stones.

The first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

I started blogging a little over a year ago when an old friend encouraged me to give it a try. Over the years I had attempted to journal here and there only to find that I would fill the pages of a book for a couple of weeks and then get sidetracked and give up. I quickly learned a quirk about myself in the blogging world. What was so hard to put down on paper was a breeze as my fingertips hit the keyboard. It took a bit for me to figure out my writing style.

Did I want to be funny or cute, serious or emotional, expose a part of me or all of me? Who was "me" anyway? That became my question and quest. Being a full-time mom to teenage girls, home schooling, and working in both children's ministry and youth ministry; I learned that I didn't allow myself time for me. I learned that there is nothing wrong with being committed to multiple things .... as long as I take time for myself as well. Blogging has helped me learn to do that. It has helped me to find the line between what I do and who I am.

I absolutely LOVE to write. You can point your finger at me and say that I am a bit nuts and that is okay. But here is the big thing that drives me .... to me writing is like creating music, choreographing a dance, or sculpting a masterpiece. (I cannot do any of those things) That doesn't mean that I think myself a fantastic writer. What I do mean to say is that I get such an amazing thrill in finding the flow of words that speak the heart of what I want to share in a post. Words have the ability to take the reader on a trip, a trip filled with experiences and emotion beyond their regular world. I get a rush in being able to concoct how that weave fits together to make a picture unlike any other.

What is the story behind your blog name?

My first name is Julie and it is what I answer to in almost any given situation. "Jules" is the name my brother has called me for as long as I can remember and then a couple of friends have picked it up over the years when silly situations arise. The "Stones" part was my own attempt at trying to find a purpose for my blog. A stone, a nugget, a learned revelation ... to me they all weighed together in a sort of unified idea.

My hope has been that by writing my thoughts down it would:
#1 be a way for me to remember and not lose sight of my personal growth.
#2 that my own revelations would in some way bless and impact the lives of others.

Then as I put the two together I found the play on words that held a third meaning for me. When Jules Stones is said quickly it sounds like "jewel stones". My life experiences are my treasures and I hope that other find them to be a treasure as well.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

Without a doubt I say the friendships I have gained. Shamefully, I freely admit that I had huge reservations about meeting people online. How many stories had I heard about stalkers and scary people just waiting online for a naïve person to come along? Haven't we all raised our children to be careful of who they speak to on the web because you never know if that person is being truthful about themselves?

Okay. maybe for 21st century standards I was a bit behind the times, but I am being honest. I have learned that there are really amazing and wonderful people in this cyber world. I have learned things from them and been touched by their experiences and transparent sharing. I can't imagine any other way that I would have met these dear people that live in places like Hawaii, California, England, Australia, France, and so many other places where my feet may never tread.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

I have seen this suggestion here on probably every "Sunday Roast" post but it is true and bears repeating. Remember the adage ... "to make a friend you have to be a friend"? Well, to have blogger comments you must visit other bloggers. If your purpose in blogging is to record your personal details and never think on sharing them with anyone, that is totally fine. But if you are looking for feedback, it is imperative that you mingle with others. And remember that the typed word, without the advantage of audible voice, can take on different meanings.

My other suggestion would be to take time to read over your posts and comments before you publish them. I say this carefully with tongue and cheek because it would be just like me to have a bunch of silly typos here. It is so easy to be typing along with a thought that is flowing and use "sea" instead of "see" or "cap" instead of "cape" and it can change the entire meaning of what you are trying to convey .... ultimately losing your reader.

Unless I am in a huge hurry, I read my posts and comments aloud to myself so that those typos stand out. Sure enough, there are always plenty to find.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

There are so many posts that stir emotions and thoughts from me. When David first began this "Sunday Roast" concept I often found myself wondering, "Gosh, what would my answer be?" This afternoon it has finally hit me. I would have to say that the posts that impact me the most is when Joni at Morning Coffee shares in her loving and transparent way of her weekly visits to a group of homeless people in her city. You can read some of her experiences here and here.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

This is another hard question to answer as my mind yells out, "how do I choose only one?" So I will choose a few ... because I can. Heart Journey was a hard, long, and cleansing post for me that detailed my week of going back to see my dad when my step-mom passed away. I'm Back was a day I had at the beach to be my own person. And I'd also like to share How Do We Let Them Go because it was a revelation time for me.

Today's Sunday Roast with Jules is the 45th in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.

Alien Behaviour

Maybe The Sofa Is A Disguised UFO

A British family claim their sofa is haunted. Christine Strange, of Bristol, says her couch has started making weird noises that are getting louder and louder: "It could be an alien for all we know." Her husband Nigel refuses to sit on the sofa.

FOOTNOTE: Take me to your reader.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Knees up, Mother Brown, this is no time to frown
It’s tough times in the town as the economy hunkers down
If your signature is jerky, it’s because you are too quirky
So order in the turkey from your neighbour Farmer Burkey

Top Gun

Cannon to Left Of Them, Cannon To Right Of Them

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

No, we weren't riding into the Valley of Death. Nor were we re-living the famous cavalry charge put so memorably into verse by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. I took this shot late last year, when I was in India for just five days.

I was at the Indian Military College in Dehra Dun, in the country’s north and this cannon was on the perimeter of the parade ground. I framed this shot very carefully - to get in both of the huge wheels as well as their shadows on the concrete plinth. You did notice the shadows, didn't you?

And if you spotted the shadows, you would also have noticed that the "spokes" on the wheel nearest the camera do not line up exactly with the spokes on the other wheel. Look carefully and you'll see that their positions are not synchronised, which is odd for a parade ground display.

While this sight evoked schoolboy memories of learning the poem The Charge Of The Light Brigade, I could not find a commemorative plaque that detailed the history of the ancient weapon.

I guess that could be a sign of maturity, perhaps. When I was in primary school and had the privilege of travelling around Southeast Asia, I wasn’t seriously interested in the history of too many of the places we visited. But now I seek knowledge – which is probably a good thing.

After taking the first shot of the cannon I walked away to take a shot of some really strong triangular colours that you can see at Guardian Angles. Then I heard the sound of someone marching past and behind me, so I had to try and get the officer into the frame somehow - with the cannon to the right of the frame.

As a last resort, I might have had to take a clue from the wartime song and roll out the barrel.

Visit TNChick, creator of
Photo Hunt. Today's theme: "Metal".

Put It On My Tabby

Lucky It Wasn’t A Luna Eclipse

An Austrian motorist couldn't work out why his Mercedes car was "purring" along better than normal - until he looked under the bonnet. The man discovered that his neighbour's terrified cat, Luna, had been perched on the engine block - for nearly a week.

FOOTNOTE: As purr usual.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Post Of The Day

Today's joint winners are Moannie with GI Jive and Shrinky with A Nice Bird Almost Landed Up ….. The other top contenders were Cuckoo with A City Under Attack; Jennifer Harvey with This Thing Of Ours; Sandy Carlson with Gratitude To The Least Likely; The Egel Nest with Christmas Spirit?; MamaGeek with Season’s Eatings; iMac with New Skywatch; Nottingham Daily Photo with Long Way From Home; Pea Soup Of The Day with Me Again; Vincibene with Sky Watch Friday; John with Sky Watch - Drammen; Travelling But Not In Love with Welcome To Mali; Carver with Cockadoodledoo and DSLR Beginner with Sunsets And Windmills. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

Finally, a very happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Mixed Grille

A Peri-Peri Mason Mystery

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Sometimes you see things that put a big grin on your face. This Nando’s delivery truck was parked in the city on Wednesday and so I walked round the front to take a shot of the words painted above the engine grille.

Peri-Peri Sauce is the famous hot sauce perfected by Nando’s and is thought to derive from the Portuguese "piri-piri", which is a generic term for any spicy sauce. No doubt Erle Stanley Gardner, who created the fictional Perry Mason, and Raymond Burr – who played him on screen – would have approved.

Immediately after I took this shot, I cocked my head to listen for the drums. You’re not familiar with the drums? Let me explain - "Can you hear the drums for Nando’s".

Visit MamaGeek and Cecily, creators of Photo Story Friday.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

When Sergeant McGog came home in the fog
He was really agog with the hair of the dog
So it isn’t our fault that there’s no single malt
And the whiskey decanter is now filled with Fanta

Is The Sky Afire?

Melbourne's Gearing Up For A Hot, Dry Summer

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Sometimes it's hard to predict what the evening sky will be like. Actually, let me amend that sentence. Most of the time, it is utterly impossible to work out what the sunset will be like.

But on Tuesday evening, when I took this sequence of shots, I knew we were in for something quite extraordinary. There was a clear horizon. There was a flaming sun. And there was a smattering of cloud. That's generally when you get some great colours, after the sun has sunk below the horizon.

Still, nothing can prepare you for the swiftness with which the colours ebb and flow - or how dramatically they appear. Nor can anything prepare you for how swiftly they vanish, leaving just grey streaks.

You have to be quick, you have to be decisive - and most of all, you have to be lucky. In this case, I was able to use the nearby plane trees as silhouettes, to highlight the sulphurous yellow that flickered across the wide expanse of Australian sky.

When I took this sequence of shots, there were several people on their evening walk. They were all concentrating on negotiating the hills, or lost in the music of their iPods, or simply engrossed in thought.

Not one of them was looking at the sky. Truly, I think they missed the best part of the day.

For other participants in Dot’s concept, go to Sky Watch HQ.

A Smile On Your Dial-Up

Nice Street, Pity About The Connections

A Polish man who bought a house on Internet Street, Warsaw, is selling it - because he can't get a broadband connection. Andrzej Gromek said: "I have written dozens of letters to the national telecom regulator. At first they thought it was a joke."

FOOTNOTE: Dot come.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Post Of The Day

Today's joint winners are The Journey Of Motherhood with The Story Of My Adoption and Deborah Gamble with Choosing The Wrong Stinks. The other top contenders were Rambling Woods with Serendipity; Mrs Nesbitt with For My Friends In Norway; Eric with My Pele; Jo Beaufoix with The Best Job In The World Ever; Cath’s Cradle with Wordless Wednesday; Merisi with Rainy Morning; Britt-Arnhild with The Last Rose; Leslie with Life Speed; Jo with Hope and Ivan with Merle Haggard and The Depression of 2008. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you ....

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

It’s raining, it’s pouring
And the Dow Jones is soaring
Perhaps Barack Obama
Has wrought financial karma

Cheek To Cheek?

Seriously, Are You Serenading Someone’s Butt?

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Consider this a test, kind of. I’m going to give you some options and you tell me what you think the answer is, before I reveal all. Okay? Thinking caps on? Your test starts now.

So here’s the question. What have I shot here?

a) An advertising hoarding for microphones?
b) A sandwich board for an auto parts supplier?
c) A denim display in an Outback travel promotion stall?

d) A bus painted to look like a real-life scene?
e) A denim-clad passer-by checking out a painting?
f) A lifesize mural in an art gallery?

Time’s up. Just drop me a comment saying a, b, c, d or e before I tell you what I’ve captured here.

Here's the answer. If you ticked option E, you are correct. The wheel is real. The vehicle is real. The singer is obviously painted on the side panels of the ute, or what we call a utility vehicle.

But is the denim rear-end part of the painting? No, it's a real person standing beside the ute. That was the whole object of the exercise. That’s precisely why I shot such a tight frame here - to make you like twice, in order to make you think about what I’ve shot.

Did you look twice at the shot? You did? Thank you - that's the greatest reward for any photographer.

Don't Take My Art

My Achin’ Bacon Art

The world's first bacon-flavoured chocolate bar is proving an unlikely success with British consumers. Selfridges, the only UK stockists of the US invention, sold its entire stock in 48 hours and is urgently seeking more supplies.

FOOTNOTE: Frier tuck.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

I went to college with Theodore Toohey
He had red hair and was nicknamed Bluey
He dated a brunette who was rather cluey
And she started called him "Ratter" Touille

S Is For Sequence

A Can-Do Attitude Always Helps

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

We were on our way to the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, four months ago when I shot this sequence of images. The twin towers were so close to our hotel that we were able to walk down and as usual I was the laggard, several metres behind the rest of the family. It’s not that I dawdle; it’s not that I don’t like walking; it’s just that I am repeatedly compelled to stop and take photographs.

You know the feeling, don’t you? You’ve got the camera around your neck and you just have to capture every interesting scene that you spot.

We were literally in the shadow of the towers when I spotted this artwork near an underpass, so of course I had to drop anchor and take the shot. I took the first shot (above) from about 100 metres away, and at that distance it looked as if the artist/s had used paint to create this mural.

Just after I took the second shot, one of the Authorbloglets up ahead (I lag like a recalcitrant keyboard, remember?) called out to me. I was too far away for him to call out a specific message above the sound of the traffic, but I could see him pointing to the mural. By this time I thought it was made up of coloured tiles or patchwork colours.

It was only as I drew closer that I began to realise the whole mural seemed to have a metallic sheen to it. Metallic paint, perhaps? But I could not reconcile that theory. Metallic paint is fine on a vehicle, but why on earth would you use it for artwork, no matter how large the display.

When I finally caught up with the rest of the clan I realised what my son had been trying to draw my attention to. The striking display had been created using cans of locally-manufactured soft drink.

I guess there’s no end to what an artist can do. But Jeez, did he or she have to consume the contents of all those cans?

For the home of ABC Wednesday, go to Mrs Nesbitt's Place.

Washing Tonne

Anything For A Clean Reputation

Laundry poles, Singapore. Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Pretty Chirpy For A Lost Bird

That’s A Feather In His Cap

A missing parrot has been reunited with its owner after chirping its own name down the phone from the home of its rescuer. The woman who found two-year-old cockatiel Smokey wanted to be sure she was speaking to the rightful owners. So she passed the phone to the bird, and it immediately squawked its name.

FOOTNOTE: Pollywood star.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Post Of The Day

Today's winner is Katherine with A New Gang Member and Maggie May with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The other top contenders were Eyes Mind Heart with Today's Flowers; Celebration Of Life with That's Punny; The Birdbath Chronicles with Lavinia's Disappointing Sunday; Northern Michigan Experience with Enjoying Winter; Rhea with Pink Light Sabera Are Used To Fight Shame; Louise with In Honor Of My Mother’s Birthday; Hilary with Zentonym; Abraham Lincoln with Red-Bellied Woodpecker; Tina’s Bird Yarns with The Singing Of Colour; Ramblings Around Texas with My World - Texas and Babooshka with Fishy Mermaid Tale. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you ....

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

I sometimes wonder if Sir Roger Bannister
Sprayed his spikes with an aerosol canister
And if he ran laps near the banks of the Nile
While he trained to break the four-minute mile

Flinders Treat

He Was More Than Just A Seafarer

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

This is no ordinary mariner. This statue in central Melbourne honours the late Captain Matthew Flinders of the Royal Navy, who died on English soil in 1814, at the age of only 40. He was not the first person to use the word "Australia" but is acknowledged as the first to use the word on a map.

At a time when this country-continent was generally referred to as "New Holland" or "Terra Australis" he wrote to his brother in 1804: "I call the whole island Australia, or Terra Australis". He died the day after his book, A Voyage To Terra Australis, was published.

This statue of him stands outside St Paul’s Cathedral, just off a prominent street that runs past a landmark railway station. The street is called Flinders Street. The station is (you guessed it) Flinders Street Station.

I was once told that there are more monuments in Australia to this redoubtable sea captain than there are to any other Englishman. Honouring his name are the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, and that state also has a prominent university named after him.

If you haven’t heard of Flinders bars, allow me to explain. They’re not pubs. If you remember your early geography lessons, you would recall that iron substances aboard wooden sailing vessels of that era caused magnetic deviations in nautical compasses. Only when I sat down to write this post did I realise that Captain Flinders was the man who suggested a way of overcoming this potentially fatal flaw.

We should all drink to his memory. I’ll just duck out and see if I can find a pub called the Flinders Bar.

Visit the creative team behind That's MyWorld Tuesday.

Lend Me A Tenor

But Can He Sing For His Supper?

A student opera singer from the Cardiff International Academy of Voice telephoned for a last-minute concert ticket and was instead offered a lead role. Adriano Graziani, 32, was asked if he would stand in for the tenor who had fallen ill with a cold. He had less than two hours to get to the venue for a last -minute rehearsal.

FOOTNOTE: Rock ‘n’ role.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Post Of The Day

Today's joint winners are Rune with Today's Flower Is Frozen; Quilly with The Co-Worker Compatibility Test and French Fancy with My Story, By Poppy. The other top contenders were The Wonder Years with Grateful; Fresh As A Daisy with Memories Of China; Or So I Thought with To Pee Or Not To Pee. That Is The Question; Serendipity with The Abandoned Cake; Fat Frumpy And Fifty with The Magic Of Old Things; Life Or A Reasonable Facsimile Thereof with The Roads That Take Us Home; Kat with You Dissin' Me, Homie?; If Only I Had Superpowers with Young Love; Sara G with Tonight's Awesome Sunset; FrogBlog Thaidings with Giving Birth In Thailand; Woman In A Window with Goddess As Size 8 and Sandi McBride with When In Doubt, Blame The Cat.

And if you fancy a great challenge, do check out Jeff B, who is setting new standards with December Portrait Of Words.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Pray tell us, Maxim Gorky
Why your visage is so chalky
We’re so privileged that Olga
Helped the tramp from the Volga

Clockwork Oranges

Bouquets Aplenty For My Fair Ladies

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

I was very little when I saw the movie My Fair Lady for the first time, but the cinematography in certain scenes really stayed with me. The opening shots of the flowers must have really struck my fancy, with the camera seeming to caress the petals of the multi-coloured blossoms.

Was there one single example of camera work, albeit a movie camera, that had a formative effect on me? Honestly, it’s very hard to tell, but perhaps that sequence of shots stayed emblazoned in my memory for a reason.

So there I was on a drizzly evening a few days ago, hurrying to catch a train at Flinders Street Station, when I caught sight of the beautiful display of flowers for sale, as they are every day. That evening, the striking contrast between the endless gerberas and the deep purple of the cellophane wrapping just stopped me in my tracks.

Out came the canmera. Off came the lens cap. Quickly, I stole a glance at the station clcoks in the concourse. Did I have enough time? Probably not, but I was going to take the shots anyway.

One quick horizontal shot. I should have stopped there. Okay, give in to that instinct. Take a vertical shot. Put the lens cap back on. Camera back in the bag. Ticket through the slot. Rush down the escalator. Sprint to the carriage doors before they close.

The train on the plain stays mainly out of the rain.

Visit Luiz Santilli Jr for the home of Today's Flowers.

Oven Wilson, I Presume

Just Get A Grip, Will Ya?

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

This might look like the jaws of some mutant alligator with misplaced DNA, but it's actually a simple, everyday item. Recognise it? It's just a heavy-duty plastic oven mitt. All I've done is shoot it from an unusual angle, so the sight doesn't immediately ring a bell.

Look carefully at the surface of the inner grip itself and you'll see rows of tiny protrusions all along it. Remember what normal table tennis racquets looked like before Stiga and other hi-tech companies produced the thick, smooth sandwich surfaces? Once upon a time they were thin plastic (generally green or red) and covered with these pimple-like protruberances.

Just like the oven mitt here, I guess it was all about creating grip. And service with a smile.

(The Odd Shots concept came from Katney. Say "G'day" to her.)

You Talkin’ To Me? You Talkin’ To Me?

The Job Ain’t Finished Till The Paperwork’s Done

Britons' favourite toilet activities reveal that they enjoy reading, chatting and texting on the loo. A study suggests more than 14 million people in the UK read, while eight million people talk - either on the phone or to family - and one in five send text messages.

FOOTNOTE: Sitzkrieg.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

When Simple Simon met a pieman
Who coached him in the art of rhymin'
He conquered metre, he vanquished rhythm
And always kept the talent with 'im

There’s A Bounty On His Head

No, Maybe There’s A Mountie On His Head

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

It wasn’t quite the scene in Northern Exposure, where Morty the Moose wandered in pensive fashion through the shot. But there I was, walking through the city of Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon – and sure enough, there was a moose in front of me.

Not a live moose, mind. But just as thousands of tourists before me must surely have done, I made sure I had the right angle to get the shot of the moose dressed in the uniform of a Mountie.

Yes, I had a flight to catch, but I wasn't going to miss this shot for anything. It wasn’t a cop-out.

Check out the rules at Camera Critters or go to Misty Dawn.

The Sunday Roast

Now Showing: The Last Auction Hero

This week's interview is with Simon Cotter,
who writes the blog An Ordinary Life.

The first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

Two reasons. The first is a daily dairy on general "bits and bobs", so friends and family can see what is going on.

What's the story behind your blog name?

"Ordinary Life" is a story about growing up in Sydney's west - again so my children can see what it was like in the 60s and 70s etc ....

Becasue of health issues I hope the thread of this story will provide them with the encouragement that they can live life to their full potential.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

The people I meet and communicate with. They are So encouraging, really. Some have become great friends over the years.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Try and blog about what you like, be creative, and enjoy. Set up comment moderation at first so you can be comfortable about whom you "meet". I have had to do this as I got some spam ... and silly comments at first.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

Marriam from Marrakesh, when she pours her heart out.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

"Stolen" - the chapter in Ordinary life (until I get to the next one!)

Today's Sunday Roast with Simon is the 44th in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.

Fur Goodness Sake

Do They Use The K-9 Locker?

Two sheepdogs have become honorary members of a Chinese swimming club. Four-year-old Paris and her six-month-old pup Carlo swim at least five kilometers each day in the Jialing River, with the city’s winter swimming team - and even have their own shower cubicle.

FOOTNOTE: Dog paddle.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

If you’re ready to mosey with Nicolas Sarkozy
Be prepared to collect a bouquet or a posy
And if he should dabble in an evening of Scrabble
Just don’t be aghast if he forms the word "rabble"

Snow Patrol

There's Always Time For A Backward Glance

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Sometimes we are privileged to gaze on paradise, but we don’t always realise it. Mountains have been a part of my life since my high school years, when I was a boarder at St Joseph’s College, Darjeeling – which probably explains why I spend so much time photographing them wherever and whenever I can.

A few weeks ago I was in Canada at the invitation of Yukon Tourism and literally a few hours before I flew home, Charles McLaren of Shadow Lake Expeditions took me on a memorable four-wheel-drive ride.

We explored the Coal Road area outside Whitehorse and when we returned to his vehicle after one stop, I was just about to put my seatbelt on when I spotted this sight. I asked Charles not to start up and not to move his vehicle an inch.

He looked at me quizzically, but I pointed to the rear-view mirror mounted on the left-hand side, where this mountain was reflected clearly in the glass. Yes, I could have got out and probably got a better shot, but by taking this from where I sat, I was able to capture an unusual view.

Around the perimeter of the rear-view mirror you can see the hillside in front of us, while the reflection itself shows the mountain that was directly behind us.

In retrospect, this would have been an even more spectacular shot a fortnight later. You see, the fall colours were just starting. A few days later the hillside would have been covered in reds and yellows, forming a virtual wreath for this mountain reflection.

Then again, the real challenge for any photographer is to capture the moment, not to wait for a better opportunity.

Visit TNChick, creator of
Photo Hunt. Today's theme: "Reflection".

The Wicked Witch Of The Yeast

Forget The Taste, We’ll Drink To Your Health

A "beer" that could prolong life and prevent illness has been created – but it apparently tastes awful. BioBeer has been genetically modified by students in Texas. It is brewed using a yeast called resveratrol, which is used in red wine and is thought to help prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

FOOTNOTE: Hops scotched.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Post Of The Day

Today's winner is Klaus with Ring-Billed Gull. The other top contenders were Dishing With Debbie with Uhm, Honey; MamaGeek with The Shadow; Cecily with The Dirty Window; iMac with Rainbows; Carver with Can You Spot The Birds?; Quintessential Magpie with Thankful Thursday; Bob T. Bear Esq with Hogs Knees An A Boomzyay; Lynn with Calling It Off; Green Jello Land with Morning Conversation; Fireblossom with My Window and Positively Organic with It's Okay. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you.

That's Hot, Rod

Never Mind The Hood, What's The Gearbox Like?

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

The things that catch your attention, hey? I used to drive past this place every weekday on my way home from work. You know what it's like - music turned up loud-ish, thinking about the kids and how their day went, and just ticking off things in your mental to-do list for the rest of the day.

You kind of see the same sights that you are familiar with - the wide streets, the beautiful trees, the expanse of green ovals.

Then one day you do the drive on a public holiday and all of a sudden you see a few things that you don't normally see. Thing is, whenever I drove past this place it was open for business, so these roller shutters would be retracted. All I'd see would be mechanics working on a variety of cars.

Then along came this public holiday. No cars in front of the place. No people. No clutter. And the roller shutters were down. So for the first time, I actually saw the great paintwork and the vivid colours on the corrugated surface of the shutters.

A bit like life, isn't it? You see what you think are familiar sights, and then suddenly and unexpectedly, you look at them once in a different aspect or a different light. That's when you appreciate the hidden beauty.

Visit MamaGeek and Cecily, creators of Photo Story Friday.