Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Black and White Tuesday - GB

It's not often that GB gets on his hobby horse but next time he does I shall remind him of this photo!  (Taken by Dad when GB was three or four.)

Shades of New Zealand

GB's New Zealand blog has sometimes had little notices like the one below. This was outside the shop 'Maison by Emma Jane' in Heswall and is the first I can recall seeing around here. Perhaps we'll soon go the whole hog and start painting our buildings.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

How are you doing?

I was supposed to see my surgeon on Thursday for a review – it’s now six weeks since I came out of hospital. Unfortunately he was stuck in Turkey because of the ash cloud. I've now had three continuous days of really long walks in the sunshine – not particularly fast and I have to sit down every so often but there’s no doubt I’m a lot fitter than when I went in for the by-pass. After months of going dead slow and stop because of angina it’s great to be able to wander around at will. There are a few scars still to heal, one or two minor complications and a few weeks to go before I can lift heavy stuff or do the Twist but I’m delighted at how quickly I’ve recovered. A triple by-pass is not pleasant but anyone suffering from angina who gets told a by-pass will cure it should take the chance – it’s a whole new lease of life.

And can I take this opportunity to say thanks again for all your good wishes. Hopefully you'll hear no more about it...

One Swallow does not make a Summer

The first Swallow I heard about near us this year was one seen at Benty's Farm, Thurstaston, on 10th April. On 23rd, as I passed the farm, there were two there. There is a saying that "One Swallow does not make a Summer". But surely, two Swallows making whoopee at least tell us it is Spring!

Flying the flag

Yesterday was St George's Day and I saw more places with the flag of St George (a red cross on a white background) outside than I have for years. Not since England was doing well in the World Cup a decade or more ago. Cafes, pubs, churches, schools and all sorts of places - some of them with long strings of multiple flags. Public buildings normally fly the Union Jack at full mast on St George's Day but for some reason Heswall Fire Station had two flags out - A Union Jack at Full mast and a Union Jack at half mast. How strange.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Friday My Town Shoot-out - Honouring Trees

This week's subject for the Friday My Town Shoot-out is Honoring Trees
- chosen by Gingerv.

I have decided to honour them by looking at their bark.

Swamp Cypress



Paperbark Maple

Chile Pine (monkey Puzzle Tree)

Tasmanian Blue Gum

Silver Birch

Silver Birch

Chusan Palm

London Plane



Have you ever thought about the fact that no two trees in the world are identical?

If you would like to see other members' shoot-outs please go to the link page.

To learn more about the Friday My Town Shoot-out why not pay a visit to the
home blog.

Not an Ash Cloud in the Sky

They are flying again!

St George’s Hall

Tomorrow is St George’s Day so I thought I’d take the opportunity to show you around St George’s Hall, Liverpool.

St George’s Hall is one of the finest neo-classical buildings in the world.




The Minton tile floor of the Great Hall comprises some 30,000 tiles and was laid in 1852 at a cost of £2,000. It is 140 feet by 72 feet.

The floor is covered by a wooden dance floor for most of the time but there is a grand ‘Reveal’ every ten years or so.

The main circle in the centre has the Royal coat of arms in it and is 40 feet in diameter.

Two circles containing representations of dolphins are on the raised section of the floor. this is never covered and as a consequence the tiles are much worn.

The organ for the Great Hall at St George's Hall was selected at the Great exhibition of 1851. Created by Henry Willis, it was famed as one of the finest organs in the country.


In my view the ceiling of the Great Hall is as magnificent as the floor. (Note that St George appears yet again.).

St George's Hall was the first air-conditioned building in the world. The system was a great scientific achievement and marked a growing concern about problems of public health. The inventor, Dr David Boswell reid, was interested in the spread of infectious diseases and saw a connection between lack of ventilation and clean air. In his revolutionary system the air was drawn in and cleaned of pollutants. Giant fans pushed the air around and a labyrinth of flaps controlled its movement around the building. The air was warmed or cooled according to the requirements of the day.

This new sculpture celebrates the recent renovation of the Hall. It depicts St George as a ship’s figurehead, spearing the dragon with its lance as it emerges from the ocean. The Liver Bird flies overhead protecting the two globes that signify the world trade routes that created Liverpool’s wealth.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Wednesday Wildlife - the Nuthatch

The nuthatches are a genus, Sitta, of small passerine birds belonging to the family Sittidae. Characterised by large heads, short tails, and powerful bills and feet, nuthatches advertise their territory using loud, simple songs. Most species exhibit grey or bluish upperparts and a black eye stripe.

The only species in Britain is the Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea). It is a beautiful bird with a streamilned appearance and a habit of climbing head first down tree trunks.

It is a resident bird of deciduous woods and parkland, with some old trees for nesting. It feeds on insects, seeds and nuts. Its old name “nut-hack” derives from its habit of wedging a nut in a crevice in a tree, and then hacking at it with its strong bill.

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