Monday, May 11, 2015

The prodigal cat

Oh noes. He's back!

KattyTroubles
Apparently, Riley the cat has too much character, and his new owners gave him back after less than a week. So, on return from Vienna we had to go and pick him up again. However, Riley is so much trouble, that I begged for another cat to distract him. The rescue woman suggested Blackie, a probably older and definitely much calmer creature of similarly large stature. It's worked pretty well so far, although Blackie, a scraggy stray when he arrived with us, seems to be getting rather sleek and fat. He does have a very different temperament to Riley. He does nothing much all day apart from doing purring while being stroked. He also has been trying to teach Riley to be more of a gentleman. While that may not be working our that well, he does at least occupy some of Riley's time, and the two now seem to be quite good friends. So now both cats are advertised together on the rescue website. Hope they find a home soon!

Read more...

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Vienna

We went to the EGU in Vienna last month. I've already published my photos on postcards to relatives, via Touchnote, so the desire to blog them was less urgent.

Not being anymore bound by Japanese rules, which do not permit one to stay away form work a minute longer than necessary, we had no need to bunk off and go touristing during the conference, and instead took an extra day post-EGU. Having visited quite a few times before, we didn't feel the need to visit lots of museums and galleries, although we did manage a performance of Mozart's Requiem, in the wild vibrational acoustic of Karlskirche. So, on Saturday morning we just wandered around the city.


Stephansdom, the church in the middle of town has been undergoing major works for years. This tower was under wraps when we visited 2 years ago, and even now the lower part of it is still covered.

Stephansdom
After walking around various markets, we ended up at the Belvedere where we enjoyed coffee and cake.
Belvedere
Vienna from Belvedere
Which was followed by more Austrian food at nearby beer restaurant, Salm Brau.

Read more...

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Vienna Market

 Subliminal wise advice for those who have been exercising their brains too hard at the EGU all this week.

Read more...

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter in Scotland

Swans, Skunk Cabbage and Rhododendrons

swans
skunk cabbage
rhododendron

Read more...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mountain Biking

Even I, who am not a great fan of running, admit it has certain advantages over mountain biking when the ground is wet and slippery. Round here the mud is mostly not too thick, but it is quite slimy and the limestone is slick. But we thought that it might not have been raining quite as hard recently, so last week we risked a bit of mountain biking: the Whernside Loop. Only sunk the front wheel of the tandem, into mud once. Must have bounced off my handlebar as I still have a huge bruise on my thigh. Then the soles of my shoes fell off. But apart from ha we had an excellent time.


Great Victorian enterprise: Ribble Viaduct, with James for scale.
MTB-1
MTB-2
Great Californian enterprise: the Ventana El Conquistador.
MTB-3


But now poor James has had to go and represent the team in Ringberg, Germany where they are discussing climate sensitivity (See #Ringberg15 on the twitter). What you don't hear about on the twitter is about all official Germanic "fun", eating three very large meals a day, going up mountains, and even, um, singing. Unfortunately I was too busy to attend. My talk was on Wednesday morning which happened to be quite sunny.
MTB-4
MTB-5
MTB-6

Actually, it was't the busy-ness. I am testing a theory about meetings, and it is that it is better if just one of us attends so that we don't spend he whole time conspiring together but instead actually talk to some of the other people. Furthermore, as part time workers without a hoard of postdocs to do our work for us we could easily spend the whole time preparing for, going to and recovering from meetings. And then we'd get no work done at all. And it's slightly less harmful for the planet. Especially this time; James showed not just my slides and his slides but also those from Dan Lunt (Bristol) and Ayako Abe (Japan)!

Read more...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fountains Abbey


It was dissoluted by Henry the Eighth so is no longer a proper church, but last Thursday we visited Fountains Abbey. Faced by about 15 members of the Cambridge Uni Society of North and West Yorkshire (plus me and James) the tour guide tried really hard to fill the hungry minds before her in the hour long tour. It was all extremely interesting, with the history of the foundation and growth including explanation of the historical differences between common all garden Benedictines and the back to basics Cistercians (Fountains Abbey was the latter), and there were many insights into the daily lives of the monks. Quite a lot has been deciphered by archaeologists analysing the features of the ruins. To me it all looked like piles of stones of many colours (see pretty pics at the bottom of this post), but they can see cupboards and notice boards,  can identify who the sculptures are of,  and even find plumbing. Yes medieval plumbing!

In Japan, quite a lot of religion occurs out of doors, which really is as it should be, but over the hour long tour I grew to appreciate why this is not very practical in Yorkshire. Fountains Abbey no longer has a roof (thanks to Henry, who also realised this was the best way of making the place uninhabitable), and even on  pleasant March day, it got very cold. By the end everyone was hoping that the warm and furry dog that someone had brought along would come to them to be petted.

Walk through the Abbey and you get to Studley Royal Water Gardens and the tea shop. Then walk through the deer park and you get to St Mary's, which, like our house is a Gothic Revival Church.  Unfortunately it is only open from Easter so we couldn't go inside. Some similarities in style between St Mary's and our house are apparent, but St Mary's is really very beautiful. It had a famous architect.

The water gardens may be a historical feat of engineering, but they are a bit dull being just grass and water and statues. There is also a stately home built mostly from stones taken from the Abbey after it was ruined, and a Mill which dates from when the Abbey was a big profit making enterprise. We had only the afternoon so no time to visit these two places. Together all of this is a World Heritage Site. It is a bit strange that Kamakura failed to obtain this status a couple of years ago. Just its water gardens are much better let alone the many temples. 















Read more...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cat update

Someone (Steve Bloom) asked after the the foster cat. I think Riley is now pretty much living the life of Riley. He's adjusting quite well to home life, and is now awake and playful in the mornings, becoming more peaceful in the afternoons. He's more settled. Only in the last few days did he get brave enough to snooze on rather than behind chairs. Now he like to position himself rather regally, centrally positioned on a chair or cushion. He still does not fully appreciate that toys are for chasing and hands are not, which is not fantastic when he gets very excited. But he's improving. And is actually now not all that bad at playing fetch, considering that he couldn't do it at all a week ago. Shockingly, he didn't seem to mind when I slipped a harness on him today.  Let me know if you'd like to adopt him! I reckon he needs an equally rambunctious cat friend as well as a new owner, but people tell me that cats often do not get on when newly introduced to each other as adults.


Read more...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The pitter patter of tiny feet

Well.. it's more like... things that go bump in the night


This is Riley, and he's up for adoption. We are fostering him for Bentham Pet Rescue. Apparently it is much better for homeless cats to stay in people's homes than at a cattery. He's been at the rescue since October and it is hard to imagine why he hasn't found a home as he is as big and furry a cat as you could hope for. He also plays games, demands to be stroked by head butting, and purrs whenever you go near him. He talks quite a lot and comes when called, and hasn't even broken any of our belongings yet. Having only been in the house only 24 hours, he still seems a little lost, wondering what is going to happen next. We are at home for quite a bit of the day, so we are hoping he will adjust to being a bit less nocturnal. 

Read more...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

morning snow

jules' first rule of photography: seize the minute.

snow-4


(no parking!)
snow-3


snow-1-3


snow-2
We went out just as it stopped falling and the snow was entirely blown and washed away by the next storm that came through in the afternoon.

Read more...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

winter sunrise

Ingleborough and Settle at sunrise this morning.

Sunrise on Ingleborough in the snow
No one drove past our house for quite a while, and the road outside Booths was an ice rink.

Read more...

Search This Blog

Dreamstime microstock

Royalty Free Images

About This Blog

A picture is worth a thousand words... right?

free counters



The Women's Conference

Promote Your Page Too

Google+ Badge

Followers

  © Free Blogger Templates Photoblog III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP