shaggy dog story

Tomorrow is the last day of the Chinese year of the dog; as of Tuesday February 5th, we’ll be in the year of the pig.

Although I tend to always write at least one blog post to mark the Chinese New Year, I don’t really know a lot about the Chinese calendar. Nor do I know much about the zodiac, though a colleague once told me that if I was a Gemini born in the year of the dog it explained why I was a two-faced bitch. Everyone else in the staff room expected me to be very, very cross, but I reckoned it was the first witty thing I’d ever heard the guy say, so I laughed and treasured it up to use myself when it seemed appropriate.
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the crimson petal

I keep looking at the photos I took of hellebore flowers the other day and the only thought that comes to mind is about Byron swimming the Hellespont. Surely there should be some connection?

But, no. It seems that the Hellespont is the sea of Helle, who fell off a flying golden ram into the sea when trying to escape death with her twin brother Phrixus. Hellebore, on the other hand, although also derived from the Greek, combines ‘to injure’ and ‘food’.
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like a circle in a spiral

Years ago, if you wanted a copy of the words of a song, if you were lucky you might find them included on the album cover. If not, you could listen to the song over and over again until you managed to write them all down.

In the first case, back in the days before photocopiers became common, unless you actually owned the album yourself, you still had to copy the words out by hand.
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howling at the moon

All over the internet, people are talking about tonight’s eclipse and the “super blood wolf moon”.

Me? I’m just wondering how many adjectives you can reasonably put in front of the word moon, and what order should they go in.

I understand tonight’s full moon is close to perigree, so is what’s called a super moon. (Though so are the next two full moons. And, of the three, the one in February will be the superest.)
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they paved paradise

Years ago, I worked for around six months in the centre of Birmingham, somewhere in the shadow of the old Nat West Tower and directly opposite the – then brand new – Copthorne Hotel.

Returning to the area a few years ago, I couldn’t find any way to reconcile my memories with the reality: – the development and construction work in the city centre has been tremendous and the landscape has changed both along the skyline and at ground level.
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dawning realisation

In, through the crack
between Earth and the heavens,
slips the imperfect day.

sunrise over the Mediterranean

lies, damned lies and Photoshop

In the first post of the year, I suggested the outlook for the blog was “clear with a touch of Photoshop.” I’m not sure the photos in this post actually live up to that, as the sky is hardly what I’d call clear. Still, they have been manipulated in Photoshop.

In fact, there is only one photo and it’s just been altered to support my theory that how you feel about things has lot to do with your attitude and perspective. Note that I haven’t actually changed the colour levels between the different versions of the photo; all I have done is crop in on different sections.

So, life lessons from parasols:
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