"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."

"Don't think, feel....it is like a finger pointing towards the moon. Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory!" -Bruce Lee

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Pumpkins! by kipperfrog
Pumpkins!, a photo by kipperfrog on Flickr.

Here are this year's offerings!

Stitch pumpkin

and of course, the annual pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin pie!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Skywatch Friday: Beautiful Autumn day

Skywatch Friday by kipperfrog
Skywatch Friday, a photo by kipperfrog on Flickr.

Hooray for the weekend! It looks like it's going to be a nice one!

For more skies from around the world, check out http://skyley.blogspot.com

Friday, October 07, 2011

Skywatch Friday: Cloudy and windy!

Box Hill from Denbies by kipperfrog
Box Hill from Denbies, a photo by kipperfrog on Flickr.

It's definitely cooled down a bit since last week, the vineyard people were harvesting all the grapes on Wednesday, and I was back in my snow coat today! Here's a photo from my lunchtime walk up towards Ranmore Common, overlooking Box Hill and Denbies.. it's a great view up there!

For more skies from around the world, check out http://skyley.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Only in Japan! Melody Road - Mt. Haruna, Gunma Prefecture, Japan

On a road near Mount Fuji, the road surface has actually been textured in such a way that it plays tunes as you drive along! I love it!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Skywatch Friday: The fog lifts!

This is the view out of my window when I got into work this morning..

Skywatch Friday

only to clear into the most beautiful sunny day!

Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday

For more photos from around the world check out http://skyley.blogspot.com

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Third time lucky..

By jove, we have finally managed to grow a pumpkin! It has managed to survive 5 months of slug attacks - I'm very impressed with it! This is a major accomplishment, I've been trying to get one to grow for the last three years!! I think the key was actually planting it in April this time, instead of September! Now, what to do with it.. I was envisioning a pumpkin pie, or maybe a halloween lantern, but it is a bit on the small side! For now, it is decorating our doorstep!

The pumpkin we grew!


Herding kittens

On Saturday, we decided to let the kittens have their first proper play in the garden. We've given them the odd 5 minutes out there in the last couple of weeks, since they had their jabs - but now they've got to the point where they storm the front door as soon as you open it, and all efforts to keep them inside are now totally in vain! They just love it out there! This new game is going to make trying to go to work a lot more interesting. I think we're going to have to raise our game so we don't end up kitten herding every morning! Hmm.. a cat flap is definitely looking more appealing by the day.

Anyway, here are some photos of their first proper kitten adventure..


Mitsu making a huge mess!


And.. pounce!




Guess which one's the naughty one..


We got back from the cinema the other night, and I saw what I thought was a sky lantern at first - but then, it looked too high in the sky, and too large. I then had a moment of panic when I thought it might be that satellite we were expecting to crash down! Eek! On closer inspection though, it didn't seem to be moving, so we decided it was probably ok after all! At this point I remembered what the astronomer at the Greenwich observatory had told us last week - Jupiter has returned to the night sky! Sure enough, the iPhone stargazing app confirmed it. It is amazingly bright, but then again, it is a huge planet. We got out the binoculars, and managed to see it a bit closer, we even got a glimpse of all the colours!

Apparently Jupiter and the Earth will be as close as they get to each other all year on 29th October. It's definitely worth a look!

In the absence of a photo (maybe I'll take one when it gets dark..), take a look at the Best Astronomy Photos of 2011 from National Geographic! There are some lovely ones. It makes me want to get a nice telescope! Or maybe I need an observatory..

Monday, July 04, 2011

Pun Street

On the Dave Gorman podcast I subscribe to, every week listeners send in the names of any pun-based shop names they've seen, to be considered for submission to Pun Street - a fictional street, with one of every type of shop. Only the best puns get on the street, as they have to both win over the Pun Street Planning Committee, and then they have to remain usurped by better puns!

Anyway, if you like puns, check out the full list of shops on the street.. it's quite funny! I wish this street was real, it would be brilliant! I'm still looking out for one to send in.. I'm scuppered since they banned submissions of "The Codfather".

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Exciting things in Dorking

Well it seems that Denbies is getting a lot of celebrity attention now that global warming has improved their Chalk Ridge Rose to 'Best in World 2011' status. I have actually managed to miss two celebrities in two days! I had a heads up on Thursday that Prince Charles and Camilla were paying a visit at around 11ish, so I was planning to pop over and wave, but with the worst timing, I had a team meeting that overran until 12.30. By the time I got there they'd scarpered! Boo! I did see someone who looked like Jennie Bond, ex-Royal correspondent, driving away though!

Anyway, today I walked over there again to try and find the tree they planted yesterday, only to see a convoy of 3 cars driving up to the top of the vineyard, which turned out to be a camera crew. I followed them up there, and walked past them a couple of times to have a look, but I couldn't see who it was properly without walking right up to them. In the end, I guessed it must be Denbies updating their tour video after the Royal visit, and decided to take the scenic route down the hill to make sure I got on film.. hehe. When I was most of the way down the hill, I heard a load of Ashcombe D of E students who were bothering the film crew excitedly screaming, but by that point there was no way I was going to climb back up the hill again to see what was going on! I didn't think anymore about it until James picked me up after work, and told me that Matt Baker had been filming Countryfile in Denbies and on Box Hill today! I must've walked past him twice and not even realised. Typical! Still, at least I may still get on TV, wandering around randomly. I'm just hoping they didn't film me puffing up the hill!

Countryfile filming at Denbies

In other Dorking news - today I found out that there are caves in Dorking! How exciting! Apparently they were used for smuggling and cock fighting! The tunnels go down 50ft below street level, and connect up many of the shops underground - some sections even date back to medieval times! The entrance is the small blue door to the left of the war memorial on South Street. Who'd have guessed. I think I will have to book us on a tour!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Canada is cool..

This is the sort of thing that would happen if you left me in charge of town planning! Good old Ottawa.. check it out on Google street view =)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Royal Wedding preparations

Outside Buckingham Palace by kipperfrog
Outside Buckingham Palace, a photo by kipperfrog on Flickr.

I love all the flowers and flags the royals have wheeled out for the wedding next week - this is what the pavement in front of Buckingham Palace looks like at the moment.. hmm.. I wonder what their colour scheme is going to be..

They've also built some temporary studios outside the palace for all the international press to use:

Outside Buckingham Palace

It's a shame none of the Americans will actually be able to use the palace as a backdrop in their live broadcasts though.. lights out at 12.30am UK time, just before the evening news in the US!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Pumpkin Plants

Pumpkin plants by kipperfrog
Pumpkin plants, a photo by kipperfrog on Flickr.

It's time to try again with the pumpkin plants! Hopefully they'll actually do something this year before being eaten by slugs. I have actually managed to plant them in April rather than September this time, so there is at least a glimmer of hope we will have a pumpkin in time for halloween!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Centre Pompidou

In my previous post I mentioned the Richard Rogers, the architect behind the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Lloyds Building in London. I thought I'd post a couple of pictures from our visit to Paris in February for comparison.

Here's the Pompidou, I absolutely love it! I can't decide if it looks like a scaffolded hamster cage or a chocolate factory, but either way, it's very cool! =)

Centre Pompidou, Paris

Centre Pompidou, Paris

The City

I was up in London on a course for 3 days this week, that's the second one up there in a month! I actually quite like having to go to "The City", it's a bit of London we never usually see when we go up there for day trips. My course was on New Broad Street, which is just around the corner from Liverpool Street tube station, so the first day, I braved the tube all the way, not nice! The Northern line was absolutely rammed, and I ended up watching train after train go by, people squeezing themselves in, and ducking their heads to avoid the doors. My elbows are evidently not honed for city travel. After finding out everyone else on my course had walked from London Bridge - in half the time it took me to catch the tube, I decided to give it a go on the way home. It's a great walk!

Here are some photos I took on my way in the following morning.

The Shard is coming on nicely, it's going to be enormous when it's finished! This one was taken just outside London Bridge station, as you can see I was nearly stampeded by commuters when I stopped to take the picture.
The Shard by kipperfrog
The Shard, a photo by kipperfrog on Flickr.

Here's the view of it from half way across the bridge:
The Shard from London Bridge

Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast:
Tower Bridge

The Monument:
The Monument

Leadenhall Market:
Leadenhall Market

I made a slight detour to take a look at one of my most favourite buildings ever, the inside out building, Lloyds of London (by Richard Rogers of Pompidou Centre fame):
Lloyds building

and The Gherkin:
The Gherkin

The Heron Tower is nearly finished now. Last time I saw it, there were only foundations!
The Heron

There was a great cut-through to get from Bishopsgate through to New Broad Street, by walking down by St Botolph. In the churchyard there is, what looks like, the tiniest restaurant in the world. Apparently it started its life as a Victorian Turkish Bathhouse, modelled on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Reading up about it, it turns out the building you can see is just the entrance, with the main area spreading out under the ground:
The Bathhouse, St Botolph without Bishopsgate

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Walks in and around Horsham

I spotted a reference to http://www.horshamhealthwalks.co.uk in the Parish Council Newsletter today. Apparently the Horsham District council runs guided walks in and around the town, ranging from short ones for beginners, up to all day walks for the hardcore! It looks very good, I might raid their website later for some walk ideas!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Boyzone Brother Tour 2011 @ The O2

Laura and I went up to see Boyzone at the O2 on Tuesday! For the encore, they actually ran through the audience to a mini stage just a few rows behind us, and I managed to film a bit! Very cool..

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The 2012 Olympics come to Dorking!

Well, it'll be an interesting day in the office when the Olympics comes to town! I found out today on one of the Surrey Life blogs that the cycling event is rumoured to include an ascent of Box Hill, and will then progress through Dorking town to Shere. It would be great if it's true, I should have a brilliant vantage point! The traffic is going to be a complete snarl up though, I know that for sure..

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

My Little Trojan Pony goes to LA!

I was very excited to receive a package through the post from LA today. A few months ago, I was approached by a graphic artist who was designing an advertising postcard for a production of Mark Shultz' 'Everything Will Be Different: A Brief History of Helen of Troy' by the echo theatre company in LA. He'd seen the My Little Trojan Pony I made on flickr, and wanted to use it in his design. He said he'd have to run it past the producers of the play, but if all was OK, he'd send me a copy of the finished article! Well, it seems the producers liked it, because it the post came 4 postcards, and a lovely note saying the response had been "overwhelmingly positive"! Hooray! I do absolutely love them, I think he's done a brilliant job! I've even got a sculpture credit on the back! =)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I accept your challenge, Øyvind!

So, I woke up this morning to find I have been set a challenge by Øyvind, and I do love a challenge! It comes originally from the Norwegian blog Åpent hus.. Here's how it goes..

“Present something that has a high immaterial value for you. (Something that you valuate more than it really cost) and explain why. Then link to the lottery-post and forward the challenge to two blogs. Earlier posts can also be used. Remember to forward your challenge to two new blogs”.

I must admit, this is not much of a challenge, I am a total hoarder! The real difficulty here was to choose just one thing..

Here is my choice - my Polish dagger! I don't think this thing was very expensive at all.. I bought it on my first visit to Poland when I was around 10 years old, at a time when the value of the Polish zloty was extremly low, it was around a million zloty to the pound! It was very confusing with so many zeros - the country was full of poor millionaires! This dagger reminds me of the beautiful town of Zakopane in the Tatra mountains, the farmers with their pitchforks in the fields, the amazing markets selling amber, wooden carvings and painted eggs, Russian boxes, nesting dolls, and army gear, the little old ladies selling sheep cheese in the shape of animals, everyone mistaking me for Polish - and my Dad as German, mashed potato with dill, wild bears and wolves in the woods, rationed toilet paper, stern police with guns, and rafting through the mountains! It was very different to any country I had ever been to before. It felt very adventurous, eastern Europe was not a place that many English people visited, so we were very rare in those days (not the case any more I imagine)! This was my first road trip across Europe, and it was probably partially responsible for my incurable love of road trips today. It is definitely the best way to see the world, seeing the gradual transitions between countries and cultures that you just miss when you take the plane!

Anyway, I love my dagger, I always wanted some kind of sword, and this thing is beautiful! I also felt very clever not getting it confiscated going through any of the border controls on the way home, despite many people's bags being emptied out and checked at each border!

As an aside, I also just remembered one guy asking the coach to stop by a gnome stall right by the Polish border, and then proceded to buy the biggest garden gnome I have ever seen, and then he had to travel all the way back to England with it sitting on his lap!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Supercool t-shirts!

I found the most brilliant t-shirt shop for geeks today.. take a look here.

I think these are my favourite ones..

Sunday, January 09, 2011

BBC Stargazing Live - Local Event

I was looking up local stargazing events on the BBC earlier, after those brilliant Stargazing Live shows last week, and I was very pleased to find that the Herstmonceux observatory is opening to visitors next Saturday evening! Hooray! We went to the castle there in 2009 for the Medieval festival, and when I saw the observatory, I was desperate to have a go. Now it looks like I might be able to! =) Fingers crossed for a clear night!

Herstmonceux Castle


Dates: 15 January, 6:30pm-11:00pm

Herstmonceux, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 1RN

Looking at the Moon, Jupiter and deep sky objects through 3 large historic telescopes & through smaller modern telescopes as well as helping people to recognise constellations. No pre-booking required. Suitable for all ages. While the Centre is accessible to wheelchairs the historic telescopes are only accessed via narrow steep stairs. Special offer price of £4 per person.

Contact: 01323 832731| s.voss@the-observatory.org

Website: The Observatory Science Centre