Whizzing around on the London Eye during our whirlwind tour of points & people various in southern England.
Piccy's rather limited due to leaving charger in north west USA (my excuse - packing in the dark because of the storm ).
Combine wind, lots of trees, and overhead power lines and you get... ~1,000,000 households without power. Luckily we still remembered how to do toast the low-tech way...
The wind and rain didn't stop a very enjoyable evening learning about football (i.e. not soccer) - although the elements & traffic did their best to delay things a tad.
Thanks Mark for a great night out, although next time I hope the home time wins ;-)
After several recommendations (a big thank you to everyone that mentioned it, and to Dawn for driving!) we popped into Bellevue to see the lights at the Botanical Garden .
More on flickr .
A quick cycle along the Sammammish river between Woodinville and Redmond along part of the Burke-Gillman trail .
Andy had a bear in the street (but no photo's yet!!!) so, not wanting to feel left out, we had to go and get one for ourselves...and no, the heckling from afar had nothing to do with it.
The snow went - eventually. The cold artic snap stayed with us for a few days and Mr. Snowman stayed for a while too. That reminds me, I wonder if there's a scarf and hat out in the garden. Maybe the deer took them with the carrot...
Baking goes down a treat.
From the National Weather Service :
1245 AM PST THU NOV 30 2006 ...WETTEST MONTH IN 115 YEARS OF WEATHER RECORDS IN SEATTLE... WITH THE ADDITIONAL PRECIPITATION RECEIVED OVERNIGHT...NOVEMBER 2006 HAS NOW SURPASSED DECEMBER 1933 AS OFFICIALLY THE WETTEST MONTH RECORDED IN THE SEATTLE AREA SINCE 1891. AS OF MIDNIGHT LOCAL TIME...THE MONTHLY PRECIPITATION TOTAL AT SEA-TAC AIRPORT STOOD AT 15.59 INCHES WHICH ECLIPSED THE PREVIOUS SEATTLE AREA RECORD OF 15.33 INCHES RECORDED AT THE FEDERAL BUILDING DOWNTOWN IN DECEMBER 1933. ...RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE SET AT SEATTLE-TACOMA AIRPORT... A RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE OF 18 DEGREES WAS SET AT SEATTLE-TACOMA AIRPORT YESTERDAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 22 SET IN 1975.
Paul turned the remains of our thanksgiving gravy into a fat ball for the local wildlife (something attacked the one in the last feeder and carried it off into the night).
Here's two something-or-others having lunch - you can see from my bird spotting skills that the YOC subscriptions were [[email protected]\($\)#] well spent!
[[email protected]\($\)#] = the sound heard when realising there's no 'pound' key on this keyboard.
pound key = key that inserts a character like this '£'
Dunno how low it went last night - for that I need one of those fancy high/low thermometers like mum and dad used to have in the greenhouse.
The snow from last week has crept down the mountains disguised as small people...just realised that the thermometer scale goes down a looooong way. Although the good news is that at -40 I won't need to keep converting from Celsius. snowy piccy's on flickr (that means click on the words " snowy piccy's " to see more snowy piccy's).
Since everyone appears to put up decorations straight after thanksgiving here, aiddy's lost the annual argument over when to buy the tree . I did try to delay things by strapping the tree the wrong way round on the roof, but unfortunately it stayed put ;-)
Since we were in the neighbourhood we popped into see a windy but water level reduced (since earlier in November) Snoqualmie Falls
Recommended for your first day or two in Seattle - a duck tour . Alternatively you could do what R & P did and do it on route to the airport on your last day.
The Captain of our duck was Captain Hal Aleluia - you get the idea...
Great: the local Safeway has import Sapporo beer!
Not-so-great: hummm, import means floating beer across from Japan, that's not exactly 'eating local' is it?
Ah ha!: in this case import means driving it across from Canada
Thanks to Granddad Chris and Nanny Kim the air has been buzzing with elastic band acrobatics.
Luckily Paul was on hand to provide comprehensive flight training prior to the boys flying solo
The gang after round one of the great snow ball fight. Collateral damage on the sign above. Some of them are there still now - it's dangerous to touch cold metal objects when the temperature is below freezing (and painful too!).
And yes, the points on the compass are a bit different here in the Pacific North West - apparently it's all to do with the fluctuation in magnetic north this close to the Arctic.
The tress on the Snoqualmie banks at Twin Falls State Park were absent leaves
Six(ish) miles further down the road the trees are covered in snow - the difference between being above and being below 'the snow line' .
Travel restrictions over Snoqualmie Pass : "Restrictions Westbound: Chains required on all vehicles except all wheel drive, Oversize Vehicles Prohibited." means dodgy driving conditions...
but ace snow balling conditions...
The girls went shopping, so the boys got wet at the zoo.
Paul said "As you can see, Adrian's hair loss has progressed somewhat".
'twas a bit blowey up top at the Space Needle yesterday
but the monorail got us there and back from the Westlake Center without bumps
and the sky's cleared just enough for a glimpse of the Olympics .
[More for family on flickr]
flickr Looks like we were right - there's a lot of leaves on the lawn at the moment.
But there's 450 gallons less than there were this morning (less however many have dropped off the branches since we stopped raking).
We managed to get the swing swinging this afternoon - slightly slowing the leaf collection rate.
Here's our latest new friend out on the deck this afternoon.
Two dead cameras. The Sony went all 'smeary' on us before we moved and is now all wrapped up to go back to Sony for a repair. The Canon, purchased to replace the Sony, has suffered a lens-won't-go-back-in glitch, so that too is off for some TLC.
Hopefully things will go as smoothly as they did for Dan .
flickr Les ponders what to do next with the latest and greatest in self assembly furniture instructions. At least he now knows why we were sooo keen for him to come and visit :-)
My suggestion was to frame the lot and hang it on the wall in Tate Modern .
flickr A hazy Seattle skyline as seen from the bottom of kite hill in Gas Works park .
If you're thinking that we've been here before, you might be right .
flickr This reminded me of a piece from some late night documentary on BBC2 about Glastonbury where somebody had studied the amount of time people spent deciding which bin to put what rubbish (trash) into. Apparently at the start of the day people could decide very quickly, but as the day wore on it took longer and longer until some tipping point was reached where the time taken rapidly dropped down to effectively zero…
flickr 0.666666666666667 of our visitors flew back to the UK this afternoon (or at least we hope they did, last we saw they were waving from the other side of the security section). Thanks to J, P, S & H for sharing them.
Piccy's for family are up on flickr .
Sorry, but it hasn't been a proper walk until you've snapped a piccy of your feet in situ.
Anyone that say's otherwise perhaps isn't confident in their shoe selection.
H snaps the boys on a trip to the space needle.
flickr Nice wine . Other Harlequin's are here , here & here .
Note: This post was updated on 2020-12-28 to fix broken links
flickr We did a walk along the River Wallace at Wallace Falls State Park this afternoon.
Granddad took the train to Vancouver this morning, so the rest of the boys went to The Zoo while the girls (and baby) went shopping in Fremont .
Changing 8 time zones can have an odd affect on certain people...
Grandad, Hazel & Fred are visiting! Grandad insists he had "a great flight" - despite photographic evidence (such as this) to the contrary.
flickr Watching Orcas from San Juan County Park .
F shows how to enjoy eating chocolate pudding
Saturday was too foggy, so instead of taking the float plane , we took the...
... ferry (from Anacortes to San Juan )
where it was beautiful, if a little damp.
But the weather cleared just in time for a great flight back down to
Kenmore via Lake Union and the Space Needle .
Herb's in Friday Harbor . Weird foreign cold beer? Has 'Erb gone mad?
When F plays with the animals you'd better watch out, Tigers and bears lurk at every chair leg and corner.
...and yes, he's quicker than me.
Looking across the sports fields to the building where I work on a foggy [Autumn | Fall] morning.
Newspaper vending machines lining a street in Redmond .
So far so good - I've managed 2 bike and 2 bus commute's this week. That brings the bike total up to 60miles, and yes, I am feeling it :-)
Best bit is knowing that every car that passes you at the top of Avondale will be stuck in the traffic that you wizz through at the bottom. Worst bit is the way that the real pro's cycle past you as if you where standing still on the 520 trial.
...when red lights are flashing.
Here's hoping H doesn't apply the same rules to playing soccer in the garden. He's already better than his Dad.
Superman sneers in the face of danger... again.
No arty farty stuff here, just a straight up piccy of F and H yesterday afternoon somewhere North of Paradise with a volcano in the background.
Obviously this picture was sponsored, hence the caps.
Pictures of the kitchen to follow...
flickr Us on a bench at Kautz Creek trail head 1.
The little hill peaking up in the background is Mount Rainier , all 14,411 feet of it.
US-English / UK-English translation: ''Trail Head' == 'Where the footpath starts' ↩
While on route to Mount Rainier we stopped for a break - and spotted an Eagle!
Pictured is the AACV - Aiddy Alternate Commute Vehicle, or, in local lingo, the Aiddy alter-Nate Commute Vee-hee-call.
Did 10 miles there and 10 miles back yesterday and am feeling it slightly today. For the unfit like me, the hill up to campus is a killer.
No wonder my request for a "tall late with an extra shot" gets odd looks around here...
...and here's the best local coffee (the little hut, top & left of middle)
flickr It felt sooo great to be able to get a bus again, and, ~~worse~~ better, to be using a bus to commute in the homeland of the automobile.
Public transport here is far from perfect, and really does need to get a whole lot better, but at least it's actually usable for my commute - Berkhamsted to Cambridge on public transport doesn't work at all. Even better, there's even an in-bus wireless trial.
This piccy is at Bear Creek Park & Ride - nothing beats a bus journey on a sunny autumn day, except of course a train journey.
Note: This post was updated on 2020-12-29 to fix broken links
There's an apple tree in the garden (as well as a couple of plumb trees). This afternoon we picked a load of apples, & F did his best to make sure there weren't enough for a crumble!
The windfalls disappear very quickly - we think they make a tasty pudding for the dear.
Last night we had a fire - of course it had to be a 'minimalist' fire to be in keeping with our sans-furniture house.
H sorted out the mess with the
...and this is how the boxes look on the other side .
Rock hopping on the Snoqualmie River
Just downstream from Snoqualmie Falls (where H asked "would dad kayak off that?").
Luckily power plant #2 wasn't running.
flickr …another entry in the 'need a long lens' - 'don't need a long lens' debate .
H spotted this woodpecker in a tree in the park this afternoon. I've no idea what kind of woodpecker it was - I'm guessing a Hairy Woodpecker , but I'll leave it for you to decide.
flickr Having a swing at Farrel McWhirter Park this afternoon.
Note: This post was updated on 2020-12-29 to fix broken links
flickr After the sun came the rain. We like rain.
Note: This post was updated on 2020-12-29 to remove broken links
Or at least not when I'm looking!
flickr Another in an occasional series...[August 'o5] [June '05] [May '05]
flickr I'd had enough of listening to iTunes, the BBC , and my new love NPR on tinny Dell laptop speakers. After some sound advice (thanks Brov) and a quick mouse click on Amazon, a nice man from FedEx left an Acoustic Energy Aego 2 on the front porch.
flickr We've been here less than two weeks, and Fay, ably assisted by Dawn, did a run to the British Pantry for some goodies.
Initially I was very disappointed with the lack of discipline (Fay that is), I thought we'd manage at least a month...then I tried the meat pie ;-)
The teapot came with us (yup, we used precious baggage allowance on a tea pot!)
Look up in the garden and the trees are full of beautiful leaves that gently sway in the wind to catch the evening sunlight.
In a couple of weeks there'll all be dropping to the ground, the skies will be low, grey, depressing stratus, and I'll be down there sweeping up the leaves with a rake.
You can always look on the bright side...
We've given the tree house (bunk house) a sweep out - and hopefully significantly reduced the spider count...
...although H is still working on a critical examination of all the nooks and crannies!
The view of, and from, the new home office - the trees are in the front garden, and the sunlight is from a big yellow fiery ball that does a circuit across the sky each day (or at least has each day that we've been here).
I'm trying to get the room as organised and permanant-feeling as possible before Fay decides it would make a nice studio ;-)
flickr One week on, and this probably sums it up best.
Note: This post was updated on 2020-12-29 to fix broken links
Kite flying and seaplanes today in Gas Works Park .
The park turned out to be an excellent spot to watch the world go by on a sunny Labour Day , where the world appeared to be ' going by' via boat, kayak, bicycle, and plane.
The park was also a good base camp for a mini-expedition to the Fremont Troll , which, this time, wasn't hiding .
More piccy's on flickr .
Oh, and yes, we are having fun. Hope you all are too :-)
F does skype - or is it an impression of an air traffic controller?
We like skype, even if it is a bit dodgy at times ;-)
An evening stroll to, and around, our local Cottage Lake Park .
As the crow flies, it's very close but for those of us restricted to ground level travel the lack of foot paths (or trails ) means it's a tad further.
(and no, the piccy's from a T-Mobile SDA aren't as good as from a SonyEricsson K750 )
It's been too long since I've spent time in a library, I'd forgotten what wonderful places they can be.
In the age on the jolly interweb, we sometimes forget that there are other, often better, sources of knowledge and information. A library is one of them. Whether or not the shelves in your library have been replaced by computer terminals. Afterall, if Gutenberg had been around today, he'd probably be the inventor of the Tablet PC .
flickr We took to the high seas on Goodtime III today - well, actually it was Lake Union with a quick dash out into Puget Sound - to see a little of our newly adopted local city place thingy.
Note: This post was updated on 2020-12-29 to fix broken links
Window cleaning at the Seattle Aquarium this afternoon.
Following a trip to The Gardens at Cottage Creek we now have a mini-herb garden. Not nearly as cute as the previous herb garden featured on Crossoak, but it's great to have some plants around none the less. I wonder how long before the deer find them?
Either they were in the zone or they were completely zoned out .
Answers on a postcard please.
Destination for the BigMove .
Another post with a bang in the title.
This time it's for a brand spanking new kettle, and it wasn't as hard to find as I'd expected . The only down-er is that it doesn't boil as quickly as our old new kettle, but then what do you expect from only 110 volts? ;-)
I used to get all excited when we had deer in the garden at Barrington Hall - but waking up this morning we find we now get them in the garden.
Good news thrice: I get to see them without a 100+ mile round trip commute; les and jessica got to see them in realtime via skype; and they're close enough not to need a big lens .
With over 30 trips to the USA in recent years this was the first with the whole gang. Oh my, what have I done? Actually, it wasn't that bad, except that the boys slept enough on the plane to keep us up all through the first night in the hotel. Duh!
H waiting at Heathrow for BA049 - the boys did good at the whole airport & security thing
The nearly empty dinning room at cross oak road on the last Friday evening
The look-out-post cleared of toys
Where we're off to houses older than my children are said to be 'old', houses older than me appear to be ancient.
Keen eyed spotters will notice the Eucalyptus is doing well too.
One house, many boxes and, thanks to Paul, a tidy garden too.
The crossed out items on the to-do list finally outnumber the todo's!
Day 2: "Mission control, we have a problem, I think you may have packed my socks".
Then again, most of them come courtesy of BA , one of the ' benefits' of traveling so much - or so I'm told, so buying some new ones might be a good idea.
I hope James doesn't notice I'm sockless when we meet for a beer later, worse that Magoos turns out to have a 'smart casual sock' dress code.
flickr A mad mad day today sorting stuff out before the packers arrive. Been too busy to take piccy's - which was a shame because there was loads going on. Instead, I grabbed this image of our magwall, now devoid of interesting stuff with just the essentials remaining.
Bart also thinks this moving lark is way outside the comfort zone, but then we're not off to Strasbourg .
Note: This post was updated on 2020-12-29 to remove broken links
"When I was a lad we had to share our shoes".
Does this make me a bad father?
The little ones went to Mead Open Farm with some of their friends today for some fun before we up sticks and fly.
Early morning view of Braunston .
[ local.live.com ]
flickr Following the success of the Thames Booze Cruise we embarked on a lazy jaunt along the Oxford Canal to Braunston and back.flickr The section around Newbold was straightened in the 1820s - resulting in these lovely iron bridges to carry the tow path over the dead ends that remain of the original contour canal. flickr
Nothing better on a summer evening than a kick about in the garden - anyone's garden will do. Only trouble is that we now need to remember that it's soccer not football .
flickr When the two ladies are out everyone has to be very careful in Jeco land. It used to be that if one of the two ladies went missing, everything else stopped for the Great Tortoise Hunt . Now, they just wonder home in time for tea.
flickr Another summit & another trig point for the boys - this one was on top of Ivinghoe Beacon this afternoon.
[ live.local.com ]
Fantastic sports day at school last week - started early before it got too hot. Very different from when I was five, much more fun and loads more things to do.
flickr A delightful little boat house, downstream a little way from Wallingford, where Oxford University Boat Club are building a new boat house (at least I think it's OUBC, there do seem to be a lot of Oxford University rowing clubs ).flickr The boats outside the new boat house appeared to be converted Dart sailing catamarans .
There's a nice new Waitrose in Wallingford. Just down stream from the town is the bridge over the river for the bypass, underneath is this graffiti.
Not sure if it was protest or advertising.
I wonder if Richard Neale can shed any light on the subject?
Okay, not really a booze cruz, but we did get to a rather nice hotel by the river for lunch...
flickr Continuing the elephant theme , we present " baby elephant with train, digger and roll of sumint "
Grandad was over to help fit a new back door - thankfully he'd also borrowed Brendon's 'chock', making the whole plane-it-to-fit routine that much easier.
Thanks Les, and thank-you Brendon.
flickr One of the nice things of clearing the utility room (corridor?) to fit the new back door, was that we got to see the coat hooks - normally they're hidden under coats, hats and bags.
Because of the rain, cycling to the nursery wasn't on, instead we went by buggy along the canal, past Bushes Lock .
It's been very hot, humid and dry... until yesterday, when it 'absolutely bucketed down'
Thanks to aunty , and the wonders of streaming video over wireless networks, the fact that the england game went to extra time didn't spoil the barby.
Two old ladies - rose and florence - except they're not, ladies that is. Oh well, easy mistake to make.
Thing is, finn prefers their wooden cousins , they don't 'nip' so much ;-)
flickr Here's the view from the hotel room at the weekend - nearly as good as the view from the flat in Padstow.
A weekend break up in London town to see the sights - in this case just in time to see the last flight on the London Eye -
flickr Good news, the Eucalyptus tree in the garden is starting to recover from it's haircut .
Tonights sunset wasn't too bad either.
flickr Another aspect of my comedy Boise hotel room was the (fake) rock walls, seen here sporting two hand towels, carefully tied up to make them almost impossible to use.
One of the joys of spending a night in Boise during a Soccer Tournament is that you get to sleep in places that have elephants as showers...
Heathrow to Seattle to Boise to Phoneix to Heathrow in 48 hrs. This is BA288 in Phoneix taken from the BA lounge - complete with window reflections.
The rose bush is going for broke. Must have been the massive hacking we gave it last autumn. I wonder if the Eucalyptus will be the same after its haircut ?
flickr So, what with the sunshine, we had to have a BBQ. Fortunately E&C had booked a spot at Wendover Woods . Perfect.flickr …and the sky stayed blue, despite all our smoke.
More for family & friends on flickr.
The Ridgeway long distance path glimpsed from our lunch time picnic spot. Something I'd like to do one day... maybe a start would be walking to Wallingford .
Picnic lunch today at Ivinghoe Beacon
Clearing evening squall from the back bedroom window
Some fresh air at lunch time with a walk around Barrington - I have Ivory Coast in the sweep stake at work, but they weren't out training on the green...
Flowers in the garden - fay tells me the one on the right is actually some kind of allium .
Blue skies and summer are here - looks like we skipped most of spring
We nearly had a disaster with a trip to the Rex - the buggy had a flat and refused the first corner.
The buggy is 5 years old and has nearly had it, what with montains, beaches, rivers and other mistreatment. Yesterday, I decided that 4 puncture repairs were as much as any one wheel should expect in the call of duty, and so replaced the inner tubes. After regreasing the hubs, adjusting the front wheel and break, and tightening the bolts that hold the frame together... it should be okay for a month or two longer.
This is the gap between two houses - our house and next door. In fact it's more the gap between kitchens than the gap between houses. For those that have been to visit, can you spot the mistake?
Mid afternoon on Friday, just before the weekend, someone decided to dig a hole in the middle of the road outside. Nice one :-)
Sunset over berko from the back bedroom
Rain drops on the newly painted back bedroom window sill - yes, it did dry in time (just)
flickr Seatle again , this time for the Windows Hardware Engineering conference (claim to fame - company logo in the keynote )
Looks like someone had a really bad car day...
Up early on Saturday for a walk with the boys on Northchurch Common
While at the Hare & Hounds for lunch
Today, the water of the River Bulbourne downstream of the building work at Waitrose was muddy - at least I hope it was mud. Here's the pipe where clear water became cloudy water.
Fun with yogurt - I wish I could get away with eating like this ;-)
The Eucalyptus tree in the garden needed a hair cut - but once you start you just can't stop.
Judging by the junk mail that came in the post this morning, volvo think they know something that we don't. Either that or we're in for a big surprise... or maybe the marketing data they bought is 5+ years out of date.
Is it just me, or is this a stupid waste of resources?
Prolonged periods in close proximity to children has been scientifically proven to increase the chances of you looking like a wally from 1:25 to 1:2
Party time - Harvey at five - time flies.
More for family on flickr .
The garden reflected in the last bolt for the boys tree house / look out post / er, climbing thingy
flickr There was a hole in my jeans , they were about 8 months old so I sent an email to Howies to ask if their returns policy included such things. Indeed it does, and so by return post they sent me a new pair.
Thank you Howies, that's great stuff. I'm planning on buying another pair ;-)
Hand rail support on part of the sea defences at Frinton-on-Sea
On the beach while down at Frinton-on-Sea for a day with great granny
flickr Weekend walk at Wat Tyler Country Park - lots of fresh air therefore lots of sleep on the sofa when we got in :-)
flickr What to do when waiting at airports? Start snapping away with a camera phone. This is just round the corner from international check-in at SEA-TAC.
A trip to Palm Springs for Lyra's Imaging Symposium.
Heidi, Sharon and Paula are 30 this year. So a bit of a no brainer then - a big party at Sharon's new place. More piccy's on flickr (flickrtag: heidisharonpaulaparty )
Sean wondered what the piccy's from the SonyEricsson K750 are like - so here's one from today's lunch time walk.
Cemex have a proposal1 to extend the quarry at Barrington; but the extension threatens the 'Whole Way'. Someone's been digging holes to take a look at what else might be there - before it all goes.
something which is long since lost on the interwebs
Note: This post was updated on 2020-12-19 to remove broken links ↩
A weekend in honiton: new valves for 6 rads, a dab of paint, and some screws in the floor. But, more importantly, beer at the holt and the curry.
Note: This post was updated on 2020-12-19 to fix broken links
Herbie, by candle light, at the grand old age of 2 (ish).
Bonus pictures on flickr. DSC04729 , originally uploaded by aiddy .
Note: This post was updated on 2020-12-19 to remove broken links
The boys building up energy credits on the way to herbie's birthday party.
Look out for the back-to-school sewing frenzy. Proof that bone is tougher than metal, least the bone in my left foot is.
Here's to a happy, peaceful and generous 2006.