Saturday, 8 November 2008

More HDR

Another HDR experiment, based on five pictures taken on Friday at lunchtime. Deadlines at work and DIY around the house has taken precedence over pic of the day, which is likely to be slightly sporadic over the next few weeks unfortunately.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Proof That Our Parents Don’t Really Read Our Blog?

Alien Wally and Mags are convinced that their parents don’t really read this blog. After all, if they did, surely they would have commented on this series of pictures?

By “commented”, Mags doesn’t mean write a comment on this actual blog, although that would have been an option. After expecting some sort of reaction – emails full of exclamation marks, phone calls full of verbal exclamation marks, heck, even a carrier pigeon come to poop on their heads – Alien Wally and Mags feel rather disappointed.

It can’t be them, of course. Oblique? Never. Nevaaah. Those pics-of-the-day were as clear as, well, day.

But, just in case this is one of those “it’s not you, it’s us” moments, here’s a more obvious picture.

If this doesn’t elicit any kind of appropriate parental response, well, then… consider that proof of parental neglect, and the appropriate authorities will be informed. Don’t y’all know that children need some discipline and boundaries? Otherwise they go out and do things like buy motorbikes. Oh. Wait… too late.

This, by the way, is Charlie. Alien Wally didn’t want to name his bike, but Mags insisted that Ruby’s new brother be called something. Why Charlie? Well, he’s a Honda CBF600… in phonetic terms, that’s Mr Charlie “Bravo” Foxtrot to y’all. Well, except to Alien Wally, that is. He still refers to Charlie as simply “the bike”. How boring. But, not oblique. Nevaaah.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Down (And Up!) In Durham

Not so bright, but definitely early on Saturday morning, Alien Wally and Mags left Scotland to once again do some raiding across the border in England. Their destination this time: Hogwarts!

Oh, no, wait… that’s just one of the bridges used for the Hogwarts Express. In. The. Movie. In reality, Alien Wally and Mags went to Durham, which turned out to be a surprising and magical place after all.

Although Durham is just south-west of Newcastle, Alien Wally and Mags decided to take a different route to the one they had previously used to go down south so that they could drive through and experience the Northumberland National Park.

And what an experience that was! Mags is sure the Park is beautiful at all times of the year, but it was certainly breath-taking at sunrise on a clear Autumn day, with snow on the mountain peaks (um, large hill tops?).

Snow? Yes, folks, it’s been cold and icy here in these climes, and both England and Scotland have had some snow. In addition to the snow on the hill tops, the ground was also covered in frost.

And then they hit the ice on the roads. Mags means that literally, as Ruby skidded around a corner, her wheels losing grip on the icy surface. For the sake of mommies everywhere, and particularly those belonging to Mags and Alien Wally, Mags would like to state that the previous sentence has been slightly exaggerated for dramatic effect. Alien Wally and Mags were driving cautiously to begin with, which (together with Alien Wally’s skillful handling of the car) resulted in a fairly sedate and controlled slide around the icy corner. Other mommies’ children, however, were not so cautious it seems – upon sliding around the corner, Alien Wally and Mags were faced with not one, not even two, but three cars that had slid off the road and plowed into the embankments at various points.

This trail of carnage continued for the next thirty or so miles. Throughout this section of the journey, Alien Wally and Mags joined a queue of cars driving in a slow-moving and reverent line behind the almighty Gritting Machine, as it made the roads safe for all drivers ever more and amen. The procession paid their respects along the way to the many cars that had gone before The Coming Of The Gritter, cars strewn across the landscape without bumpers, owners standing forlornly next to them awaiting rescue from the many police cars and tow trucks busy mopping up the mess and escorting folks through the treacherous countryside.

Finally Durham was reached, and our conquering heroes made their way through the pretty city, across the bridge and up the hill to Durham Cathedral.

If any cathedral deserves top marks for presentation and style, this is it – from the moment you spot it from down below, to the sight of this large structure sitting pretty across the green before it, Durham Cathedral makes a statement. Unfortunately, no pictures could be taken inside, so you’ll have to take Alien Wally and Mags’ word for it that the inside of the cathedral is even more impressive than the outside.

Like Yorkminster, Durham Cathedral allows visitors to climb to the top of its tower for a bird’s eye view of the city. Had to be done of course, although Mags had a moment of panic when she read the official blurb promising narrow spiral staircases and more steps than the Scott Monument (325 versus 287 to be exact!). Luckily, claims of narrowness were exaggerated much to Mags’ relief – claustrophobia in addition to fear of heights is not a good combination! They weren’t kidding on the 325 steps though, and it was a long way to the top. As always, though, the views were worth it. This is why Mags does this to herself.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Edinburgh in HDR

Alien Wally's first attempt at HDR photography. Since he's not yet prepared to lay out cash for professional software, he's using a free basic version of FDRTools. Depending on his future successes, you may or may not see a few more of these.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Morning Mags

Ah, the golden rays of morning touching the radiant features of Mags. Note the return of the beanie; with the dusting of snow that was covering the hilltops on the way down to Durham, this was more necessity than luxury. And yes, Alien Wally is shamelessly recycling pics taken over the weekend.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

End Of The Weekend

A superb day to end the weekend on, although the MacNoodle household didn't get much chance to make good with the weather what with all the DIY needing to take place. That said, the puddles of water on the kayak outside never truly defrosted, so staying indoors mostly was probably not a bad idea.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

On Top

Alien Wally will leave the extended blurb to Mags, however here they are on top of Durham Cathedral, after a day's raiding South of the border.