Wednesday, April 23, 2014

HAPPY 450th BIRTHDAY, BILL!

  
Today is Shakespeare's 450th birthday (and also, oddly enough, the anniversary of his death).

We have a local link to him in that the very first amateur performance of one of his plays occurred at Surrenden Manor, Pluckley (burnt down in 1952).

In the Folger Library in Washington is the handwritten adaption of two of his plays which were performed at Surrenden in 1623.

Sir Edward Dering put together  the two parts of Henry IV for this private performance at his home. He paid the local rector to write out the play and laid out the princely sum of 17 shillings and eight pence "for heads of hair and beards", which were presumably wigs and false beards for Falstaff, et al.

So our local claim to literary fame is not just limited to H.E. Bates' "The Darling Buds of May" TV series, which was filmed nearby (and is also a quotation from a Shakespeare sonnet).



Sunday, April 20, 2014

EMERGING (SLOWLY) FROM THE DIGITAL FOREST


Well - I finally had to buy a new PC to overcome problems.

I have had a week of trauma trying to get to terms with my new PC, which runs on Windows 8.1. Trouble with "8" is that it is dual configured for this modern age so that you can "swipe or pinch" all the apps if you have that kind of machine face (I haven't, still stroking my mouse). Luckily (when you know how) you can also access the traditional "desktop" which we all know and are experienced in using. I went back to the PC store and bought a book on the 8.1 system which is helping me a lot and showing me how very simple something is, which has been causing me frustration, if only I had KNOWN how to do it. But I am getting there - slowly.

All my various devices like printers and scanner loaded on this new PC OK, as did all my various programmes on disk such as my photographic applications. Would you believe that the only one which would not load was my disk for Microsoft Office Professional (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc). I tried to put it on but got the message that Microsoft Windows 8.1 will not support it, so please buy a new one from us for £300! (the b*****ds!). They are so cynical - continuous updates to perfectly good programmes, just to keep us buying their products. So I took advice and loaded instead a completely free programme called "Open Office", which does most of the stuff that Microsoft's "Office" does and enables me to load and use all my existing Office files.

So - we are getting there folks. I sometimes wonder if it is all worth it!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dog Walk in the Spring


A warm spring morning, with no rain for the last few days. Our local woods have been hard to access since most entrances are across drainage ditches. These have been serving their purpose recently and have consequently been full of water. However, one has at last dried into a muddy puddle and is possible to cross.

Dog Rex was delighted since recent walks have been on pavements - good for keeping claws in trim, but no squirrels to chase!

Everything is blooming about a month ahead of time because of the mild winter, so bluebells are apparent everywhere; their beauty all the more poignant because of their ephemerality.



 
Good, too, to see the black-thorn in frothy blossom. A reminder to return here in about November, after the first frosts have been on the resulting sloe berries. Sloe gin is a good restorative after a winter walk.
 
 


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Regarding the last "Frustration" post

Well - I have finally got into my blog on my laptop (which uses Internet Explorer as the browser with the dreaded Windows 8).

I eventually realised that my PC, which operates on Vista, crashed before Christmas and when it came back from repair Internet Explorer no longer worked properly. Fortunately I subscribe to a help line with PC World, my supplier, and a very nice young man took me through things over the phone, said that Internet Explorer can be a real pain and changed the PC's browser over to Chrome.

So since the browser has been changed to Chrome (which is Google's own product, for heaven's sake) I can only part access my blog (only the start-up panel and not all of that) , the "settings" don't work and I could not post a message like this - only the post heading where I posted of my frustrations, thinking that I would no longer be able to speak (write?) to everyone.

Just as I was thinking I really must get back to blogging once more, too. Also my blog's head image needs updating for "Spring". So guess it has to be the laptop for the time being, folks.

Any ideas on sorting the PC blog problem would be gratefully received as I much prefer using it to this laptop!

By the way - thanks for the supportive comments with the last post.

Monday, December 23, 2013

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS

I  see that my last posting was back in sunny July - climate is a little different today, cold, wet and very windy. However, I have been very lax recently with blogging so my apologies and my wishes for a peaceful, happy and healthful time, both over Christmas and for 2014.

Something a little different for Christmas for you all:

Below is a picture of Rembrandt's "Night Watch". The Rijksmuseum museum in Holland wanted to bring art to the people and hopefully, they would come to see more. They took one Rembrandt painting from 1642, Night Watch, and did the following in a busy mall.

Before clicking on the link, take a good look at the painting. And view with sound on.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/a6W2ZMpsxhg?feature=player_embedded




Monday, July 01, 2013

Church of St Thomas Beckett, Fairfield


A pleasant Sunday ride on the hottest day of this year, so far (about 25c). This is the isolated church at Fairfield, dedicated by the monks of Canterbury who were responsible for "inning" (draining) this part of Romney Marsh in mediaeval times. Its full history can be seen here.

Plain brick outside because of the later renovation (see the history). But inside (ancient key kept by the local farm house) is an undiscovered 18th century gem of box pews and oak beams:



Then it was about time to head for Miss Mollett's "High Class" tea shop for a light lunch of Bacon,brie and cranberry toasties with salad, plus a large pot of tea. Just sitting outside in the warm sunshine and watching the world go by in the ancient village of Appledore.