Saturday, 21 July 2012

Wet and wetter plus the joys of being BlackBalled

It was off to Scotland and Norfolk last week or as I will now always remember the trip,  wet (Scotland) and wetter (Norfolk)....  The Scotland part of the tour was a wild life trip.  Our main quarry  being British Cetaceans (order of marine mammals, including whales) particularly the minke whale, that allegedly hang around the Corryvreckan whirlpool (The bronze medallist  of whirlpools according to size* – what can I say? I’m getting into the Olympic spirit) in large numbers.  As well as being wetter than an otter's pocket, the trip will be long remembered for its total lack of whales -  I guess someone must have accidently left the Corryvreckan on full throttle, as not only had the minke’s vanished but so had all the fish......   No doubt sucked into the rotating mass and taken away like greedy punters being offered entry into the world’s third largest Ponzi scheme or Mrs B and myself signing up for a wild goose chase looking for whales in the west of Scotland....

* The thrill of  learning that Britain is the home of the third largest whirlpool in the world was somewhat dampened (as if we were not wet enough already) when I discovered that whirlpools are not the all powerful entities that Hollywood Blockbusters would have us believe.  i.e.giving black holes a run for their money as they suck in large ocean-going liners like they were a light training snack for Adam Richman (Man Vs Food)....

Fortunately the rest of the trip offered an abundance of wildlife including dolphins, red squirrel, otter (about time I saw one – up yours otter pimpernel), mountain hare, a pine marten (It always sounded like some sort of tall tree dwelling bird to me - especially when I thought it was a martin), deer, umpteen birds, including Mrs B breaking her owl duck** with not just one but three varieties of the formally elusive Strigiformes – barn owl, short-eared owl and a tiny owl.

** No, that is not some new variety of Owl , although how awesome would that be?  An owl with huge webbed feet landing on an ice-covered pond – I’m getting visual flashes of Roy Hodgson (current England football Manager or ex-England Manager if you are reading this in the future)  entering   “Dancing on ice” after having a few too many drinks beforehand in order to boost his confidence.

The recently discovered Owl Duck
Looks like a wise old bird but guaranteed
to waddle through any football tournament
before crashing out early....
The Norfolk part of our break saw us meet up with our friends Hugh (Farmer), Catherine (Teach), Joe (Stunt Cock),Kirsty (La Terriere) and Alfie the dog (CEO of Xupes).

We got to climb up the inside of a wind turbine, with the promise of views over the Norfolk countryside (well, there would have been if the day had not been full of dull brooding clouds awaiting the opportunity to spew another reservoir's worth of water on us .... It was quite interesting as a one-off experience, unlike the two gentlemen who joined us, who claimed (with excitement) that this was their 10th flight (OK, I guess 300 stairs - 600 if you include the return trip- can be described as a flight) and talked rather too passionately for my liking, about getting frequent-flyer status...for god's sake get a life.... 

We visited Sandringham,  where Queenie and the rest of the royal family spend Christmas and New Year.  I learned a number of things, including  –
  • It pays to be inside when it is pouring down with rain.... I kind of already knew that...
  • The Queen likes to do jigsaw puzzles – I saw her more of a Grand Theft Auto type of gal....
  • Her Maj likes to hang her own Christmas Tree decorations  - I suspect this is a throwback to the days when her predecessors had the joys of hanging us commoners on the slightest whim– I guess some habits are hard to break....  
I managed to help educate one of the room guides – they were in the Ballroom (which also doubles up as a cinema room – I wonder if I could convince Mrs B that we really need a ballroom?).  Sandringham has annual exhibitions in the Ballroom when the house is open to us commoners....This year it was dedicated to the royal dogs who have lived at Sandringham.  I was chatting to the guides and the subject of Crufts came up.  I managed to inform the guide that Queen Victoria had been a winners of Crufts,  as a breeder not an actual contestant. Although in her latter years she could probably have passed herself off quite convincingly as a breed of giant Pug....

The BlackLOG gets BlackBALLED
For some odd reason many of my recent comments on Blogger sites, especially in the US, are being frogmarched directly to the Spam section  and dumped unceremoniously – “Ouch, that hurts”.  Admittedly many of my comments are uninformed drivel but it is well intentioned, uninformed drivel and deserves better than being left on the scrap heap of word life that the spam file represents...

Oddly enough  Wordpress and other blogging arenas don’t seem  to be taking the same hard-line approach as Blogger, which happens to be my blog engine of choice....I wonder if Blogger is trying to tell me something and this is the start of its eviction attempts on  BlackLOG.....

If you are a regular target for my misinformed prose and are wondering what has happened to your regular dose of ignorance, check out your spam area first before filing a missing commenter's report ....

Watch of the Week....

The regular section in support of Joe (Stunt Cock) and his growing watch business Xupes. Joe mentioned that they had been getting a number of hits via the BlackLOG. Xupes has been trading for over 2 years and Joe has recently developed some great contacts in the trade which enables him to pick up surplus stock and sell them at great prices. Mrs B is a regular purchaser from his jewellery section, going self-service once she finally realised that her husband is not the jewellery buying type…

Audemars Piguet Limited edition Black Carbon Ceramic 
Bumble Bee Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
Royal Oak Offshore Bumble Bee Black Ceramic
PRICE                 £18,495
RRP                     £25,480
SAVING                £6,985
This is your chance to acquire an immaculate unused Audemars Piguet Limited edition Black Carbon Ceramic Bumble Bee Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph watch. Black forged carbon case with stunning black and yellow dial, with black crocodile leather/yellow stitched strap and deployment buckle. This is the XL 42mm size. The watch is in absolutely unworn condition with all tags, boxes, and manuals/European guarantee dated June 2012 so under manufacturers warranty

Record of the week

Here Comes the Rain Again by Eurythmics
Rain in the Summertime by The Alarm
Why Does It Always Rain On me? by Travis
With A Little Help From My Friends by Wet Wet Wet

Photo finish
Scotland and Norfolk as seen by The Beast in the gaps between the many rain showers.... 

A Pine Marten
part tree, part bird
all  mustelid ...
Otter just makes it to the bank for early closing
The new Puffin range is waterproof which
proves ideal for  reading in the bath.....
Mrs B's Russian routes showing through....
If only he could talk I bet he could tell us a tall tale
Is that a gun in his pocket or is he 
just please to see us.....

How embarrassed is he going to be 
when he finds out his flies are undone, lets 
hope he hasn't lost his nuts....
This misguided little fellow seems to have taken a short cut and has
ended up going down the wrong branch of the evolutionary tree.   
Mission Mmpossible V - (Bark worse than bite)

Tom Cruise (as Nathan Hunt) takes on his arch
enemy  Secret Squirrel - possibly the only co-star

 to be shorter than the diminutive  Mr Cruise 
Oops, I think I may have just shot Bambi's Mother ?
Dolphin porn

Don't you just wish they would get a room .... 
"Suicide Hare" It's always embarrassing 
when you have to wait ages to be...road kill  
------
There is allegedly a  cafe on Route 66 in America called
 The Road Kill Cafe - that cooks your road kill for you.
A case of -  "From your grill to their grill"

Depending on your driving skills you could find yourself dining on

Squashed Nosh
Splatter Platter
Sauteed 
Squirrel 
 Big Bagged Stag
Highway Hash
Possum Pie
Baked Badger


and not for the faint hearted


Human stew 

Best to eat it all in one sitting
after-all
"No evidence, no conviction"
Possibly the world's first rechargeable Kestrel.....
This is some sort of fancy fly trap -
 I wonder if we should warn that flashing squirrel... 
Scottish lakes - just like English lakes
except they have a billion more midges ...
He might look cute but don't be fooled. This is half of the infamous
body snatching gang -

I'm not sure where Burke has got to? 
Great Scottish cuisine  No. 23

Roast hare on a bed of heather......
Looks like David Cassidy had let himself go
no wonder they cancelled "
The Partridge Family."

OK this would have worked a lot better if it had not been a Grouse
or if  the series "The Grouse Family" had made it into production..... 
Here is someone who is not looking
forward to the Glorious 12th
Another Scottish lake,  another billion midges...
Still it gives you something nice to look at while
you are being eaten alive.... 
Blackbird singing in the dead of night....
or would have been if he wasn't frightened of the dark .
Meet the Marti Pellow of the sparrow world 
Wet, Wet, Wet

"Wishing I Was Lucky"
It's not a case of luck but proper planning 
he should have brought a brolly......   
The weather looks better than it was, honest.
Windy Miller will be spinning in his box 
View from the flight deck

On a clear day you can see probably see the next wind vane.....
Alfie
CEO of Xupes


I think he might have dropped the ball!!!

Pop in next time for Paloma Faith, my patriotic jacket and possibly me in my London Ambassador uniform (Although I'm not sure I'm ready to reveal all yet.....) and as I've had a few enquiries some highlights of the wedding that I photographed....I.e not the full 1700 shots....

9 comments:

  1. mr B your wildlife photos are really excellent. thank you for sharing. I might formally advise you, that the friend formerly known as Cathryn really prefers that spelling and isn't too keen on Catherine. So, formally, 'sort it out please!' Have had such happy times with you and the Mrs recently, hoping it won't be so long between meetings.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very nice. I like your trip. I would also love to take lovely pictures of the wild and I'm planning to explore corryvreckan whirlpool. The whales and the dolphins are so lovely. You've got awesome photos.

    ReplyDelete
  3. skipperthewonderhorse said...
    mr B your wildlife photos are really excellent. thank you for sharing.
    Thank you for your kind words, always good to inflate my ego...

    I might formally advise you, that the friend formerly known as Cathryn really prefers that spelling and isn't too keen on Catherine. So, formally, 'sort it out please!'
    Teach, I’m blaming my editor Mrs B for not picking up on the incorrect spelling of your name – what can I say, you just can’t get quality staff these days.....she’s too busy editing my texts (and working 27 hours a day) to spend the time that the BlackLOG needs....

    Have had such happy times with you and the Mrs recently, hoping it won't be so long between meetings.
    It was great catching up and we are looking at trying to get up to see you before the boys vanish into the mist ....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous said...
    Very nice. I like your trip. I would also love to take lovely pictures of the wild and I'm planning to explore corryvreckan whirlpool. Mr or Mrs Anonymous, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, Let me know when you go exploring and post some pictures, I would be interested in seeing your results...

    The whales and the dolphins are so lovely. You've got awesome photos.
    Thank you, I’m sure your will be equally good, with so much wildlife it’s hard not to get something special....

    ReplyDelete
  5. You mean that whirlpool in that stupid Pirates of the Caribbean movie was all jive?
    Crap.
    There are a lot of words to describe Norfolk, Virginia, but "wetter" isn't one of them.
    I think we'd rather have YOUR version.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Al Penwasser said...
    You mean that whirlpool in that stupid Pirates of the Caribbean movie was all jive?
    Crap.

    I know it’s hard to believe that Disney films are not bastions of truth and honesty....

    There are a lot of words to describe Norfolk, Virginia, but "wetter" isn't one of them.
    I think we'd rather have YOUR version.

    As a coastal county which relies on tourism “wetter” is not a good thing – sorry to take so long to respond or even visit, it’s been a bit hectic around here...

    ReplyDelete
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  9. The waters seem to look peaceful in the pictures. It would be a nice time to go for a cruise if that is the tide. If you are in for an adventure, corryvreckan boat trips would really be awesome for you.

    ReplyDelete

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