Friday, 31 October 2014

31st October 2014 - Happy Samhain

Thought for the day: "I went into a haunted house and saw a Wide Scream Television"

So - Happy Halloween!!! The door is bolted against small random callers ....

And today is Samhain - the beginning of the spiritual new year with the two-day festival of Samhain. Samhain is the start of winter and of the new year in the old Celtic calendar. This is a time when the ancestors are honored, divinations for the new year are performed, and festivals are held in honor of the gods. It is a time of final harvest before the long winter ahead.

It appears that people celebrate Samhain at different times and in different ways. Some will choose to wait until the nearest weekend to the full moon to hold ceremonies. Others observe it a bit later, around Nov. 6, to mark the midpoint between fall equinox and winter solstice. In the southern hemisphere, Samhain takes place towards the end of April and beginning of May.
Rituals can include bonfires, dancing, feasting and ceremonies honoring ancestors and those who have died in the past year.
What is Samhain?
Samhain, pronounced saah-win or saa-ween, comes from the Gaelic word “Samhuin,” which means summer’s end. It is one of the eight annual Celtic festivals and one of eight "sabbats" that modern pagans celebrate in the course of the year. Paganism is an umbrella term for a movement of different nature-based religions. It is not related to Satanism or any form of devil worship.
“Samhain is the turning of the wheel. It feels almost like shutting off the lights for the evening or closing down the store for the night,” “It is time to go inward and focus on family and self.”
For many, the festival is a time to honor ancestors and those who have died in the past year. Seances are popular rituals since this is the time when the veil between this world and the spiritual one is at its thinnest, pagans believe.  
It’s a kind of memorial day for pagan people. The strongest theme is that of remembering, honoring and paying respects to the beloved dead. 
Common rituals?
There are several rituals that can be practiced during Samhain. Some decide to celebrate in group settings, while others choose to perform rituals in private.

Rituals include bonfires, divinations like tarot card readings, reflecting on the past year, meditative nature walks and commemorating the dead with a cemetery visit, telling ancestors’ stories and preparing a Feast of the Dead. The latter involves placing an empty setting at the dinner table for the deceased. Each person is meant to give an offering from their plate to the one that belongs to the deceased. A variation of this is called a “Samhain Dumb Supper” where the meal is conducted in silence.

What’s the difference between Samhain and Halloween?
In the eighth century, the Catholic Church decided to mark Nov. 1 as All Saints Day to honor saints and martyrs. This was in part influenced by the pagan festivals already taking place during this time of the year. The mass on All Saint’s Day was called Allhallowmas in English. As a result, the night before became known as All Hallows Eve. This eventually became the popular holiday, Halloween.
While they might take place on the same day and mark the end-of-harvest season, Samhain and Halloween have different focuses. Halloween is considered a secular folk holiday celebrated by people of all denominations. Samhain is a religious observance honoring the dead. Rituals are somber and done in private. 
While part of Samhain festivities involve a certain level of grief and mourning, there are celebrations or céilidh (a Gaelic term) that take place.

And there you have it ....
So while the witches fly, I will raise a glass to the living and the dead - and celebrate in the comfort of my home with a glass of  Chateau 41...


Old Time Religion 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

30th October 2014 - Halloween Tomorrow

Thought for the day: "I was at a Hole in the Wall at the Bank and this old lady asked me to help check her balance, so I pushed her over"

I am not going to have a rant about shops and their contents showing Christmas goods in August or their inclusion of Halloween products at this time of year. I try to just ignore them. But since it is the day before Halloween I though I would share a rather nice picture ...
I rather liked the makeup here and thought the idea was good..

That is about all for today really
Have a happy day before halloween

Old Time Religion

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

29th October 2014 - Of offers and Offensive Marketing

Thought for the day: 'I saw a sign that said "watch for children" and I thought, "That sounds like a fair trade." '

It is Wednesday. A good day to check the offers around the shops. Tesco doing a litre of Bells for £15 and a litre of Gordons for the same price.  Seems like a plan. A good check around shows that Morrisons are also price matching though it is Grants for the Whisky. Offer limited to 2 bottles per customer. LAst time they did that I was caught going in three times through the self service. "These two are for my Mother!" "These two are for my wife". Don't think anyone believed me. Went through a different checkout the last time !

I rarely get annoyed by the machinations of the large companies - but the decision by Coca Cola to reduce the size of their bottles from 2 litres to 1.75 litres and then sell at the old price caused me enough personal dislike to boycott their wares in bottles.

I toyed with Lidl special Cola at about 45p a bottle, but was not really able to take the taste. The artifical sweeteners were just a little too much, and they did not live up to their slogan "Same as brands only cheaper"

ASDA came up trumps for a while...   They marketed 30 cans of diet coke for £7 - they are back up to £9 this week, but last week they were the same price for 30 as Tesco was for 24. With all the different sizes and different packs, I note today that 4 x 1.75 litre of diet coke varies in price from £5, to Tesco running 2 for £7.

That at last brings the price back to lower than the old offers on 2 litre bottles.

So, looks like a trip to Tesco today, with a quick nip into Morrisons.. Better do that as my daughter is visiting. Without the children as well. Sounds like a Gin and Tonic will be needed this evening..

Cheers !! 

Old Time Religion

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

28th October 2014 - Preparing for 42...

Thought for the day: "I wanted to make a pun about Philosophy - but I Kant"

Took the opportunity to finally get around to organising the party for next summer. The date has been checked and rechecked on line and we can't find a conflict - it is a couple of weeks before the Curious Pastimes August Bank Holiday Live Roleplay event. I am hoping to be at Herstmonceaux Castle again.

With my trip to Germany before - it seems that the weekend of August 15th is going to be the correct one...

The subject matter is of course the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything (note the use of the Oxford Comma there !), is of course 42.....  And this will be 42 years of marriage - 11th August 1973.

We will be returning to Llanthony Priory, or rather the field below Llanthony Priory owned by Farmer Alan Powell and Hazell at Henllan Farm. We have been there several times, for parties and weddings, and of course it was the site of the 60-40 party last year.
Lower Henllan Farm

More to follow ...

Old Time Religion

Monday, 27 October 2014

27th October 2014 - More Containers (Part Five) and small rooms

Thought for the day: 'The first time I got a universal remote control, I thought to myself "This changes everything." '

Continuing a random series of container conversions around the world ...  Here is Poteet Architects who created this San Antonio guest house. It’s just 360 square feet, and has a living room, study area, bathroom and patio.
I will let the pictures tell the story ...

This one is only small - really just one container and a flat balcony / patio area...
But it is quite well maintained...
It has all the facilities ..
and shows what can be put into a small area..

Of course the sunshine can help !!!

But if you are really interested in making the best of a small space, then the following video shows what you can do in a tiny flat if you use your imagination..
It says that 1100 sq feet can condense into 420 square feet ...  I think they manage that !!

Starting with a small flat in Soho - it was a bit of a mess to be honest !!
And clearing the whole space to make it work...
Two years on and they ave not only one bedroom there
But the double bunks
And that is not to mention the toilet, shower, kitchen and of course - when brought out - the dining table..
But you will have to watch the video to get the full effect ...

Enjoy ...

Old Time Religion 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

26th October 2014 - Crooning and Chronoclasm

Thought for the day: "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up."

So the clocks change and the world goes on...  Sadly, while you have a dog in the house, the body clock of a Labrador s based upon its stomach, with alarms that go off at the same temporal moment each day - not based upon the ticking of the clock...

We have had collies for the last couple of doggie generations. They seemed to have an inborn ability to adapt to whatever the household felt. We used to be a little incredulous when they happily swapped dinner times to a new hour without blinking. Not our current incumbent. We did manage to delay the morning breakfast by about half an hour - but I am not confident that it will stick.

Meanwhile, another gallery of Photographs has been sorted and developed. This is once more from the Cornwall wedding...   sadly they do not want the pictures public on facebook, but the galleries are done..  Will put them onto a memory stick and get hard copies printed in due course.

But while I will not be posting pictures from the wedding per se... There was a guy called Alan Marshal, who did the best 1940's crooner impersonations that I have heard.
He did a lovely set - though I understand that he normally busks with his speakers and music box running from a car battery..
One of the high points was an impromptu version of "Saying something Stupid". As far as I know, they had never sung together before - but the powers of Karaoke are wonderful.. They did a wonderful rendition.
So.. we are trying to persuade the dog that it is not yet supper time...     So far so Good...
I shall try one more glass of "41" before going downstairs..

Old Time Religion

Saturday, 25 October 2014

25th October 2014 - Just a thought

Thought for the day : "Say what you want about deaf people... "

Another day seems to have passed me by ...
Oh well
Clocks change tonight - may give me another hour tomorrow - probably not !!!

Old Time Religion 

Friday, 24 October 2014

24th October 2014 - just a thought

Thought for the day: " My grandfather has the heart of a lion... and a lifetime ban from the local zoo."

hmm - day has slipped away - bets be a thought and a glass of "41"


Old time Religion 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

23rd October 2014 - On doubting oneself.....

Thought for the day: "Whiteboards are remarkable."

I have had some thoughts about auto-corrects and even mused about the options for auto-grammar corrects, but it still remains that Blogger and Google and much of my intertweb is influenced heavily by the impact of the misuse of language and spelling by the United States of America.

I can ignore the suggestions most of the time, confident in my knowledge of my language, punctuation and grammar. The little red squiggly line that appears under a word as I type is more often than not correct, as my typing is often more erratic than the thoughts running through my head. I have some bad habits in typing. Apart from just having clumsy fingers that tend to hit more than one key at a time and create some language more suitable to Cthulu. One of them is badly typing the word "FROM". My fingers tend to default to "FORM", a spelling which causes no problems to the machine, but only has an affect after trying to re-read the storyline. Often, as I speed re-read and speed proof read what I have written I still miss the required correction. I now have a habit of doing a quick word search for the word "form" prior to publishing, and checking the sense...

I note that Cthulu provokes a red squiggle...  Spell checkers are not well read in HP Lovecraft it seems.

No, I can live with most of the suggested corrections - but on occasion it is possible to start doubting oneself. Generally, as I we sit in the living room, I will get a request from Susie "How do you spell..xxxxx?" and I will be able to rattle it off. In my case, if in doubt a quick dictionary search on line is sufficient - but I am an easier source of information, and rarely will I hesitate..  But there are some words that have always caused a little bit of a problem.

As a youngster, I used to enjoy reading comics - not Superman and Batman - that came later. I am talking about the Beano and Eagle. A search of Wiki shows that it was actually the Beezer, and Blimp had a far more interesting start as a Film in the War and a satire character. But Blimp was not the problem. The Word Colonel in my young days had no homonym with "kernel". No it was a Col - oh- Nell.  For years I thought only of Col - oh - Nell Blimp and misread the word in any other context..

Though I was not alone in this sort of mistake. I had a history teacher at school who continually talked of Ar-kan-sas with a clear "SSS" at the end, confusing all of us who searched for this other state which was so similar to Ark-an-saw...  We never challenged, those were gentler times when Teachers were obviously right all the time!!!

Another problem was from Lady Pen-a-lope in the comic versions of Thunderbirds, or was it Pen-a-lope pitstop!!!   I cannot properly recall but it was years later that I discovered that this was pronounced in a different fashion - the same way as on the television - Crazy Americans.. mm - interestingly "Thunderbirds" comes up with a red squiggly line !!!

No, over the years I have corrected most of my childhood misconceptions - but on occasion it is possible to start doubting oneself.

 My early years in Policing were harassed by the conviction that Alcohol had more than one "A" in it. You say Alc-ah-hol and my gut feeling was that it should be spelled accordingly. It even looked correct on paper. Alcohol with too many "o"'s looked wrong, but I trained myself out of it. Back in those days spelling was considered important. Hand written statements and writing out the statement of facts for summons would be picked up by the Sergeant. One or two corrections of the "college guy" by the old time sergeant who prided himself on not passing any exams broke me of the habit - but never the conviction that it was still wrong! By the time I finished my policing, very little paperwork was scrutinised by any except someone in an prosecution office, you can blame me - I introduced centralised administration units to streamline the work and reduce paperwork ( as if it ever would!). The biggest bane by the end of my career was the avalanche of emails that cascaded every day on the principle that every email should be forwarded in case someone needed to know about it - with no selection of relevance. I put it down to the blame culture that said if you had been sent an email then you could be blamed...

My google checks have red squiggled scrutinised and centralised. Requiring the "z" ...

Of course it s a hard held belief that these "Z" 's are a terrible Americanization - urr Americanisation...
It is not true of course. According to the larger dictionaries, the "Z" form is the correct one, though not in current usage.

Rules as I understand them :

Hart’s Rules for Compositors and Readers at the Oxford University Press, orig by Horace Hart 1893, this edition (37th) 1967

THE -ize, not -ise, ending should be used where both spellings are in use. Generally, -ize is a suffix applied to the stems of nouns ending in -ism, -ization, -izer, -y, or to the complete noun.
agony − agonize
civilization − civilize
appetizer − appetize
criticism − criticize
canal − canalize
transistor − transistorize

The ending -ise is correct when the noun has –is ­as part of the stem, e.g. in the syllables -vis­ (seeing), -cis- (cutting), -mis- (putting), and is also used for those nouns which do not terminate in -ism, -ization, etc. Exceptions are aggrandize­ment/aggrandize, recognition/recognize, and others noted in C.O.D. as `assimilated to verbs in -ize'. Reference should be made to C.O.D. and Collins, Authors' and Printers' Dictionary, if there is any doubt. Some of the more common -ise words follow:

advertise         disguise            misadvise
advise             emprise            premise
apprise            enterprise        prise (open)
chastise           excise              reprise
circumcise       exercise           revise
comprise         expertise         supervise
compromise     franchise         surmise
demise            improvise        surprise
despise            incise              televise
devise             merchandise    treatise

In words such as analyse, catalyse, paralyse, -lys­is part of the Greek and not a suffix like -ize. There is therefore no parallel with -ize words, and consequently the spelling -yze is etymologically incorrect, and not to be used — except when following American printing style.

Clear ??   Well....

It must be admitted that there are words with a ‘z’ in them that are purely American, like advertize, or maybe just wrong, like surmize. Sometimes it is simply error — a word whose spelling is not known, and whose correct spelling is not sought, is arbitrarily given a ‘z’ in the honest but mistaken belief it is correct. Sometimes words with a z-form in American represent an older (perhaps Elizabethan) form of English that made its way to the USA before the language was standardized in England.

More likely, the American ‘z’ is one of Noah Webster’s attempts to ‘standardize’ or ‘improve’ American usage of English when he produced his famous dictionary in 1828, in which his decision to make deliberate and extensive revisions of spelling was implemented — he has been described as a great spelling reformer  Webster evidently decided to use a ‘z’ wherever he considered the pronunciation called for it. This was a highly unusual example of a dictionary leading the written language rather than attempting to reflect it.

This polemic is nothing to do with the Americans. If we overlook the various words that the Americans deliberately choose to spell differently, the majority of words that take a ‘z’, or an ‘s’ that is pronounced like a ‘z’, seem to fall very clearly into those that must take an ‘s’ (like compromise, where the derivation is –misser), those that must take a ‘z’, (like prize), and the rest, about which controversy apparently rages (if only here).

It seems that in books printed in England the use of the ‘z’ overwhelmingly predominated until the Second World War, though on a far smaller scale the ‘s’ can be found used by some printing houses, even in Victorian times. Textbooks set out the correctness of using ‘z’, some of them setting out in considerable detail the rationale for use of ‘s’ or ‘z’ depending on origin.

After the Second World War the ‘s’ alternative is more frequently offered as a possibility and some house style manuals (though not Oxford’s) indicate a preference for ‘s’ — not because of any suggestion that ‘z’ is wrong, mark you, but because ‘s’ had come to be tolerated and it avoided having to remember which usage is which. Recent manuals and dictionaries seem to have given up on the prescriptive use of a ‘z’, though it is usually offered as an alternative where correct.
Summarizing, and using a ‘z’ correctly and non-Americanly, that:

Whether americana or not that was not my latest problem - but on occasion it is possible to start doubting oneself.

The doubt was the word Litre. I type it automatically. It is a subject close to my heart as the ubiquitous "Chateau 41" arrives in containers of this size in both red and white category. I have no doubt as I write, and then the red squiggle appears. I ignore it dutifully and move on ... I check for the "Form" word and do a re-write, and proof read briefly, and then I dwell upon the offending word...  I have little doubt.. Truly. But there is a doubt. I try it the other way just to see.  No it does not look right as Liter.. But there are no red squiggles!!! It is like Alcohol! Have I trained myself wrongly. Should it be ER as in Elizabeth Regina or RE as in about, concerning, regarding, with regard to, relating to, apropos (of), on the subject of, respecting, in respect of, with respect to, with reference to, as regards, in the matter of, in connection with, referring to, touching on. Doubt sets in.

I am ashamed to say that yesterday, the culminating sentences contained the word LITER. Written. Examined. Doubted. Re-spelled and left in the offending form ...

It is only re-reading today that I decided to get another opinion. It looked wrong! I should have more confidence in my convictions. Good old Wiki!!!

The litre (International spelling as used by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures) or liter (American spelling) (SI symbols L or l) is a non-SI metric system unit of volume equal to 1 cubic decimetre (dm3), 1,000 cubic centimetres (cm3) or 1/1,000 cubic metre. A cubic decimetre (or litre) occupies a volume of 10×10×10 centimetres (see figure) and is thus equal to one-thousandth of a cubic metre.

Just a thought - would Meter look better than Metre??

It's enough to drive you to drink ...  Cheers!

Old Time Religion 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

22nd October 2014 - On Storage Containers (Part Four)

Thought for the day: "I haven't talked to my wife in three weeks. I didn't want to interrupt her."

I think I am probably in trouble now !!

But back to Containers and housing !!   This one is from the Mojave Desert ..
Ectotec Design ...

Every picture tell a story ...  and needs little in the way of comment ..

Did little in the way of  much today ... Got up late, walked the dog... Diet Coke is currently £7 for  30 Cans in ASDA - cheapest around .. I may look back on that post and laugh one day !!!
Whyte and Mackye Whisky - 1 litre was at £17 - but sold out !!!

Glass of 41 it is then !!!
Old Time Religion

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

21st October 2014 - Just a thought

Thought for the day : "My wife told me to stop impersonating a flamingo. I had to put my foot down."

Didn't win the lottery Euro Millions today ..
Going to have another day poor ...
Better have a glass of Scotch - that will make it better ...

Old Time Religion 

Monday, 20 October 2014

20th October 2014 - Of Towednack and Troths

Thought for the day: "I hate Russian Dolls - they are so full of themselves"

Finally managed to get some photographs loaded from the Cornwall trip - well the first 208 anyway. There are still a lot more to go, but it is a start ...

A bit of History ....
The church's patron saint is St Winwaloe who was a 6th century hermit on the Breton coast. He founded and was the first abbot of the monastery of Landévennec in Britanny and is buried there.
According to O.J. Padel, Winnow and Wednack are both diminutive forms of Winwaloe, and with the addition of the Middle Cornish word To (= Thy) becomes Towednack. There are other Winwaloe foundations in Cornwall, e.g. Landewednack, Gunwalloe, and he is also known in East Anglia. St Winwaloe's day is March 3rd, hence the East Anglian jingle:
First comes David, then comes Chad
Then comes Winnoe, roaring like mad.
The 13th century church was probably built on the site of a Celtic hermitage rather than to serve a village. With St Ives it was the daughter church of Lelant.
Towednack Parish Church
The church is characterised by its short, stunted, massive tower. Totally lacking in ornamentation, it was built in 1500.
Legend has it that once the tower had reached its present height, subsequent building work carried out during the day was destryed by the Devil during the hours of darkness. In due course the frustrated masons abandoned the task and hence there are no pinnacles - a feature that makes it unique in Penwith. The tower staircase is unusual, springing from the north-west angle of the nave within the church itself.

The only entrance is the South Porch giving access to the South Aisle, the Nave, and the Chancel.
The Arcade consists of five four-centred arches supported on three octagonal pillars.
The Nave and parts of the North wall are Norman. There was once a gallery at the West end of the nave. The South Aisle was added in 1460 and the Tower in 1500.
The Chancel Arch dates from the late 13th-14th century, and is unique in West Cornwall.

The Altar is on of the most striking features of the church, being rough hewn from a solid block of granite. It has five crosses incised at the centre and four corners (representing the five wounds of Christ).
It is late Norman and was probably thrown out at the Reformation which required that altars be of wood. At the beginning of the 20th century, the late H. Dunstan, Churchwarden, found it forming part of the wall at nearby Churchtown Farm. A faculty was obtained for its restoration and use in 1934. There can be few altars in the West Country of such antiquity.

The font is a simple octagonal shape bearing the date 1720 and incised with the initials W.B. and J.R.
It is unusual in that the base is the inverted bowl of an earlier, undoubtably Norman, font.

Almost certainly in the past there were many finely carved bench ends. Only two remain and these were used to form a chancel seat on the North side of the altar. Both were stolen in 1997. However, a chance recognition of their description in the catalogue of a London auction house by a visitor to the church has ensured their recovery. They are now attached to the North wall of the nave.
They are of great interest. On each is carved in deep relief the profile of a gentleman in a high felt hat with sweeping curves, wearing moustaches and a pointed beard. One bears the lettering 'Matthew Trenwith' and the other 'James Trewhella', and both dated 1633.

Inside the South Porch is an interesting stone with an incised cross of the Celtic period, which is thought to be the shaft of a cross which stood nearby.

Over the porch is a Sundial bearing the inscription:
Bright Sol
and Luna Time and
Tide doth hold.

1869-1870 The church was extensively restored.
1880 The farmhouse behind the church was a public house and there used to be two in Nancledra, 'Ye Olde Inn' and 'Miner's Arms'. There were two at Cripplesease. 'The Engine' and 'The Wink'. 'The Engine' is the sole survivor.
1902 Towednack was constituted as a separate ecclesiastical parish from Lelant.
1923 The parish consisted of approximately 2400 acres. In that area there were once 22 tin mines and of these Giew was the last to close in 1923.
1931 A pair of gold bracelets was discovered in the course of farmwork at Amalveor Farm, about one mile due West of the church. They were declared Treasure Trove and dated to the middle Bronze Age, about 1000 BC. They can be seen in the British Museum, but copies can be seen in Penlee Art Gallery and Museum in penzance.
1933 Towednack was the first church in modern times to hold a service said in the Cornish Language.
1975 Towednack Church was used for the marriage and burial services in the BBC television series 'Poldark', and later for the film 'Penmarric'.
1987 There was a great Ecumenical Celtic Pilgrimage to Towednack to celebrate the connection of the church and the Abbey at Landevennac in Brittany. Thirteen hundred people attended including the Bishops of Truro and St Germans, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Plymouth, the Abbots of Landévennec and Buckfast, and the Methodist Chairman for Cornwall

So back to the wedding...

And on into the evening - but that is another 214 pictures - so lets cut to the end ...

I'll drink to that - Lots of Luck and Happiness to Gray and Cathy

Link to Photo Galleries on Facebook

Link to Galleries on Flickr (Higher Resolution)

Old Time Religion
A stitch in time...