Monday, May 30, 2011

Luton carnival 2011

Second year we go to Luton carnival and it second year it rains on their parade. You can see the rain in some pics. Stupidly, I didn't take an umbrella out of the car, so we started moving pretty fast just as soon Acro Iris went past us, and didn't see the tail of the parade properly. It's a nice event though, rain or not.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

would smell as sweet?

Once setup for "black mirror" photos is set up, so to speak, it's difficult to stop making small still-life images with it.

The rose bud is from our garden, rosebush came with the house. The plant is very old and the trunk base is as thick as a small tree's. Flowers are not particularly pretty, they open too quickly, loosing the central swirl, most attractive feature in a rose flower to me. But they are highly scented, so much so that it seems almost unnatural. The scent is so strong that it reminds me not so much of other flowers, as of a small tube or essential rose oil that we used to have in our house in Moscow, years ago.

I just looked up the rose oil, and think that maybe "our" rose is related to rosa centifolia (cabbage rose) that is apparently one of the two main sources of the oil.  Well, all roses are related, but some more'n others

black mirror images on shutterstock

Monday, May 23, 2011


There was an international market in Saffron Walden over the weekend. We only got there on Sunday afternoon, when it was pretty much over (*), so it was bit empty

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

trio of onions

No reason for this picture, except they look nice. I don't know how is it around here, but my granny would always put an onion that has started to sprout into a jar of water to get the green "plume" of spring onion eventually.

Onions that we buy here hardly ever sprout, or maybe it takes them so much longer that we eat them before it happens. But this trio did eventually, and was placed in water, and made water brown overnight.

Today Yuri came from school, looked at them and went "mum, why do you have onions standing in what looks like beer?"

And that brought another memory - of coloring Easter eggs (real chicken eggs, hard-boiled) with outer layer of onion skin, the thin papery stuff. You put a lot of onion skins in water, add eggs and booil. They go lovely rich brown.

Of course, it involves saving a lot of onion peel, first eating a lot of onions.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

old lens

I had my sigma dc 17-70 2.8-4.5 idling ever since I switched from cropped frame canon 20d to full-frame 5d. I theoretically knew that nothing terrible will happen if I put it on fullframe camera, but something always stopped me.

Monday, May 16, 2011


there are a lot of splashing fruit&veg pictures around, but they are always fun to make, because the results are somewhat unpredictable. I like taking pictures of smoke for exactly the same reason.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

knit fast, die warm

Couple of days ago a lady electrician came to check wiring and fitting in our house. She noticed that I have a stash of knitting yarns (I readily admit to compulsive yarn-buying, me) and mentioned a wool shop in Saffron Walden. It happened to be in one of the nooks you hardly go to, unless you have a specific place in mind - a passage between King Street and High Street where Mocha cafe is. It doesn't even show on the googlemap as a separate track.

Of course I felt I must go check it out, and today I did. The motto "Knit fast, die warm" was on a blackboard outside. The shop is small and cute, with a lot of interesting yarns, considering the available space. For example, the blue ruffle scarf is made of a pre-kitted strip of loose netting, which you crochet tightly on on side. I never seen one of those yarns before, and spent a minute trying to imagine how much time it must have taken to knit that much ruffle in what looks like a very fine yarn (came up with "an awful lot" figure ). With that strip thing, you can make two scarves a day, if you feel so inclined :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Non flowering lake and more flowers

My visit to Norway was short (less than one full day), but there was no plan, only a vague idea that I want to see more white flowers (wood anemones that is). So when we went to a lake and didn't find any around, it was decided that we will go back to T√łnsberg were they we in plenty. There were also lily-of-the-valley, just starting to bloom. We met a guy in his fifties who was collecting them. He probably was not supposed to do that (I know you were not supposed to pick them round Moscow when I was growing up), which probably explains why he produced some sort of vague mumble instead of articulated words. But I understood him - he just wanted a few for their beautiful smell :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Egg tree of Stavern

We went to a little town (village?) of Stavern to have a little walk and some food. There is a fortress there, main building of which is on a small island (or maybe it's a peninsula, I am never sure with those scattered large rocks in the sea). The main visual impression on me was made by the row of large yellow sheds (maybe used to store ammunition, or maybe not. Sadly, I don't know Norwegian) and by a lilac bush branches hang by easter eggs, which somebody put on a bench just outside of them. Somehow, it seems sweet that they went into trouble of giving branches some soil to hold on to. Lilac responded well - you can see green leaves

Monday, May 09, 2011

white flowers and snakes

it's second year in a row that I go to Norway in early May, to visit my friend and to see wood anemones (hvitveis) everywhere. Last year I discovered that there were blue hepatica flowers there, too - not as many as anemonies, but still. And this year, lily-of-the-valley, wood-sorrel and violets suddenly caught my attention. I am sure they were there last year, too, I must have not been paying attention

Sunday, May 08, 2011

yesterday's sunset

in Norway. Not sure what the name of this beach is, but, as so many other things in Norway, the place is connected to vikings. There are big piles of (big) boulders, and they are remains of burial mounds, unless I don't get the explanation right.

And you not only are not supposed to remove "beach material" (which could be tricky, considering the size of some of those boulders) but not even allowed to build cairns. Probably the idea is that somebody might confuse your creation with a real thing and rush their finding to a nearest archeological society. Or something