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May 2006 Archives

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i thought of a great title for this picture, but decided i couldn't really put it on the site as i think it might be a bit rude (though in fact the word itself is not that rude). have a think, then click this link for an explanation (i can only apologise).

i do like the picture though.

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it's not quite Moses parting the oceans and leading his people across the sea. instead it's esther leading the family over some stepping stones across a pond in a National Trust property. It didn't quite have the same religious significance of course.

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if you have to give priority to the slow pedestrian then you are going to be walking slower than them and you then become the slowest pedestrian and so it goes until everyone is stationary.

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it's probably best to walk down here on your own, or make sure everyone starts off by running so you'll at least make some distance before you all grind to a gradual halt.

jane spotted this and knew what it was.
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how's this for a weird thing. on monday i 'lapped' my Canon 350D and went over 9999 shots causing the numbering to reset. This was the first time since i bought it in July 05 and both contain my neice Sarah looking very sleepy (she's usually very jolly)

here is shot IMG_9999.jpg and IMG_0001.jpg
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now, the very strange thing is my Sony DSC-W12 camera (my work-a-day camera - (link to the replacement version)) which went over it's 9999 shot count yesterday ! This was the second time since i bought it in August 2004.

here is DSC09999.jpg
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and here is DSC00001.jpg (notice the tail being chopped off - by a carving knife no doubt)
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so what can we learn ? well, i take more shots with my Canon at weekends than i do during the week with my Sony camera, but i get a higher hit rate of usable blog photos with the Sony as they are more likely to be of nonsense. As shown by the two random samples above.

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georgina (you know, alvin's wife) sent me this picture of a 'no unauthorised entry' sign because she thought it was amusing due to the severity of the expression. it is very good.

but i wonder if the chap looks a little alien like and he's about to zap humankind with his powerful black hand. i can understand people not wanting that kind of thing happening and it's surprising we don't have more of these anti-alien invasion signs about.

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this hotel front is very uninviting. every little bit says 'we don't care that much'. i almost want to go and stay to see how bad it is, so perhaps it does work on a certain level !

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here's my first official podcast. it's not as good as the demo one, but i'm sure i'll learn how to use the software eventually !

video podcast
ipod version (9.4MB): m4v ipod version (use quicktime or itunes to play)
mp4 version (7.4MB): mp4 version for windows (use quicktime)
wmv version (3MB):windows media player version

let me know if you have any problems playing them.

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i went out for a stodge-fest with Big Eye and Richard last night. i had a great square orchard pudding with piles of mash and sausages (and a little pot of gravy plonked in the middle)
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we had a family discussion about names recently and esther questioned whether 'Gertie' could be a boys name as well as a girls name. Jane said "no, it's short for Gertrude so it can' t be a boys name".

So i added that i though it could be a boy's name as it's also short for 'Gertrand'. Jane looked at me puzzled and asked for an example.

"Gertrand Russell" i replied, very pleased with myself. Esther even went to get the book of names to see if i was right.

about 10 minutes later i realised it was Bertrand and not Gertrand and i felt a bit silly (for a change).

and then, a day or two later, i walked back Gertrand's old house.

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i had some parma ham and melon at Cafe Uno in Henley yesterday. it came with just a teeny weeny bit of ham and black bits on the melon. just in case you were interested. a small amount of ham is a hamlet

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you can still use the lift. it's just a bit dangerous
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a new coffee shop has opened on one of the platforms at my local train station and it's been interesting to see who has been loyal to the existing newspaper shop (which sells some hot drinks) and who has flirted over to the new establishment.

i was very anti the new until i bought some pain-au-chocolats last week which changed my mind. and the people working there are really nice too

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i do like their sign too. open monday. like that's a rare thing in the coffee trade. i chose not to get excited by this.

the section section is a little intriguing too (and i won't be checking them out).

and the final statement 'get involved.' is a little over encouraging i think.

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i've loved this last winter. cold and dry is my favourite. but the last two weeks or so (ever since we got our hose pipe banned) have been dreadful and wet. rubbish for photoing the kind of things i like to photo.

it was quite nice yesterday afternoon though. so here's a picture from a month ago before it went wet.
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sounds a bit like football
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(from paul yonks ago)

an interesting one this
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the shape of the handle is quite unexpected and it's only when it's closed that you see how it fits together
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i couldn't work out which bit to lift initially. but then i did
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(click to inspect)

i know what you are thinking. i was thinking it too.
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why would anyone want a machine which you can go in to nice and clean, but come out dirty
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i discovered that they are filming spooks here (which i also saw yesterday). this time it was the red watering cans which caught my eyes before i remembered the film crew which were hiding round the corner.
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yesterday i said i thought it was funny that someone put up a sign saying 'temporary sign'. and then i spotted this which i think is a legimate use of both the word temporary and permanent (in the same sign)

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i went to a seminar yesterday which was held in an exhibition hall. the exhibition was for police forces and the stalls were amazing. i'm not a policeman so i found it all quite amazing (and rather surreal).

my favourite thing were these fantastic bollards which sort of pop up out of their base and are fairly industructable (eg you can run over them with a car and they just pop back up).

here is one of the sales chaps happily modelling one for us.
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if you are interested you can get them from here
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there's always filming all over london (that's a complete over exageration), and i sometimes wonder if i'm in that film with Jim Carrey where he wasn't funny. which narrows it down to .... all of them. only joking. or am i.

anyway, here is some filming of something. or. other.

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why would anyone go to the trouble of printing a sign that says temporary sign ? you might as well jump to the final version, or simply not tell anyone it's temporary. it's like all those 'under construction' websites in the 90s.

i await in eager anticip - ation for the permanent version (which i hope will have 'temporary sign' on it just to confuse us. or perhaps this is it already)

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vin spotted this 280 hiding outside his house.
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here is another fantastic animal sign from Andrew.
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look at this vacuum cleaner causing chaos. it's stamped on the slippery floor sign and is running away from the carpet.

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english summer fetes are terrific things. there's something timeless about a community getting together and entertaining each other on a rainy summer's day.

at the end of our soggy thames walk we reached Castle Eaton (as you can see) and we were greeted by this terrific sign.

Look at the sign - it's fantastic. The giant capital italicised F sticking outside the board is inspired.
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but what if you're not a fan of home made fun and games ? well, you needn't worry as this fete has a 'reading room' for the more studious fun lover.
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If you're in the area on the 20th May 2006, you should go along. It's here if you need a google map. We're not so won't.

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Our old blog-friend Laurence of Christies (job title: Specialist, Mechanical Music and Technical Apparatus) dropped me an email to tell me there's an auction on which may be of interest to funkypancake readers, especially those who love street signs.

he sent me these pictures and there's more in the guidebook
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The sale is on the 31st May and more details can be found here (signs start from lot 221)

There's a few street signs including one of a tube station which no longer exists !

some pictures of the street signs in an office (click for big)

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both of these sticks are measuring the depth of the thames. there's some discrepancy between the readings.

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my father-in-law turned 70 last Saturday. i used to think 70 was incredibly old, but now it doesn't seem so amazingly old. It's still impressive though!

i walked through a field and picked a buttercup. it's funny how people leave their buttocks lying around.
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(sorry - old joke)

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here are kezia's toy babies on shelves. there's something very sci-fi about this.

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here was our first sighting of the thames on this part of the walk
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kezia said "everytime we walk the Thames Path it rains" and yesterday was no exception. it fact the rain was exception - in quantity. we were soaked to the bone. but i got to wear my military poncho which was a boon

to begin with things weren't too muddy, but with the wind and the rain it soon got very slippery and muddy. this was quite a nice bit near the beginning
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obligatory pooh-sticks
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things weren't helped by a sudden jump in undergrowth meaning we lost sight of the path quite a lot. These weeds were higher than esther's head !
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we're making slow progress round the path (it's taken us 4 days to go the walk which the book says should be doable in a day). but then we have got a 4 year old with us !
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good news - i managed to rebuild the boot sector on my dead hard-drive (like you do) and have managed to recover all my photo archives - (more than 44,000 photos or 62.7GB). I also saved my 'pending' blog photos including of snow i still haven't posted yet !

so, hoorah for TestDisk which is great for recovering dead hard drives or harddrives or hard-drives

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the other side has been edited subtlely
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what on earth is this ?

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fly tipping is a bit like cow tipping. with wings.

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as a pedestrian, i approve of this sign
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i had a day like this yesterday. i caught the girls lurgy headache illness and then my hard-drive blew up (losing about 560 photos i'd got lined up for funkypancake and loads of other historical stuff - turns out i was backing up everything except that one drive. d'oh.

still, i've suspected my computer was on its last legs ever since smoke poured out of it a few weeks back (with no obvious damage)

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i love this sign. it's been very nicely produced and laminated. it's states it thing (with four exclamation marks !!!!) and even offers advice to would be bin fillers as to how they can find their OWN bin service.

why have i called this item 'past possessive' ? because 'bin' is past tense of 'being' and they are being very possessive of their bins.

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selfridges have some great window displays. i haven't been by for a while so it was nice to see the current crop.

these chaps were made out of jelly beans (including the one with the beard in the foreground)
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and here was a giant pile of shoes
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a few weeks back i had exactly 10 minutes to spare before a meeting so i stood still and just looked at the big mound of sugar cubes (or whatever they are) in the Tate Modern. After a few minutes you start noticing some of the details, like how they big piles 'spill' on to the building structure, and how some of the piles have order.

after a while it nearly turns in to a Where's Wally book of obscure angled blocks. "where is the slightly crooked up-ended one" etc

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(you might need to click the picture to see what's going on here)

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a bollard is guarding something. but what ?
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ah. it's some no entrance signs
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it's taken a while, but Mr Gilbert's wig shop is finally going

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my colleague toby spotted this outside a cafe. it's Chris Eubank's lorry cab. i wouldn't bother following the link to his site by the way.

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this shop is called happy days and seems to be selling cranes to grab koala. it's probably run by mad kiwis (the hairiest of all the fruits (except the coconut which is probably not a fruit))

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i walked past the This Morning studios on the way to a meeting this morning.

this lady was sitting on a wobbly chair in a rain coat
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and this man was topless jogging
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i've no idea who they were or why. but they are probably someone vaguely famous otherwise they wouldn't have bothered filming them. although they could be just turning up for an interview (read this)

i spotted these traffic wardens putting tickets on some bikes and couldn't believe my eyes, so i went to see what the tickets said
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in fact they weren't tickets at all. they were stickers warning bike owners to secure their bikes more securely !
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blades of grasss

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a sign appears in this street about once a year asking neighbours to not leave their rubbish out. i just love the effort that must go in to creating these signs.

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(from last february)

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a photogenic tube station

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i wonder if the chap (or chappess) buried here asked for a chair on their grave.

it's a great idea though. a bit like one of those benches with a little name plate on 'in memory' of someone. but more extreme.

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here are some frog crossing signs on a country lane
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it's not clear whether these are warnings to frogs or people. they could be outlines of previous incidents.
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there's some fancy music thing going on in Reading's forbury gardens at the moment. you get to borrow MP3 players and wander round the gardens listening to different compositions in different locations.

at one point a choral ensemble ensembled themselves near the lion and sang a special piece which was really good. kezia was transfixed
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we got to stand behind the major too
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i'm not a sports fan (other than the bingo, which isn't really a spectator sport). yesterday there was no escape from football which seemed to be playing on tellies in every cafe and bar in town. to escape the misery i took kezia on a tour of electronic shops, but it was no good as banks of televisions were tuned to the same channel and people (mostly male shopping-widows) were stood watching.

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i've been collecting photos of the posters in paddington station which all seem to have page numbers on. The posters are usually huge (A0 sized ?) so they must be from a very big book.

however, this one was A4 sized ('legal' page size minus a bit if you're not from round these parts). what can it mean

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i revamped my first attempt with this. it was quite a lot of work coordinating the flying words so i'm not sure if i'll do that bit again. i'll just have to see. i think it also looks like an early experiment in powerpoint or an early 1990s website.

but i'm much happier with the intro and outro and i'm exploring software options too, so if you have any smart ideas let me know. this was done using a demo version of Ulead Videostudio.

video podcast
ipod version (8.8MB): m4v ipod version (use quicktime or itunes to play)
mp4 version (13.2MB): mp4 version for windows

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here is the first funkypancake video podcast (suitable for video ipods and watchable in itunes). how very modern.

this is more of an experiment than anything else. there's plenty i can improve on if i do another.

anyway, let me know what you think.

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download here (you might have to right click and 'save as'):
video ipod: funkypancake_test1.m4v (3.1MB)
windows media player: funkypancake_test1.wmv (1.7MB)

Improved version of these are here

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have you ever been to Holland Park ? it's not too far from Olympia and is really lovely. i walked through it as a short cut to get to a meeting and was really pleased i did.

can you believe this is right in the centre of london ?

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another new look foxton mini. i guess they've all been redone ?

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they were giving out these drinks in paddington station yesterday so i took one and put it in my bag. unfortunately the lid wasn't on properly and some spilt. which i don't think was part of their marketing plan.

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who wants a haircut like their dad's ? this shop claims to be a specialist in afro caribbean and european hair cuts. i hadn't thought that the European hair was a particular genre of the hair cutting game, but it must be.

i also like how there's some wire hanging in front of the 'uni' of unisex suggesting a very different sort of place.

the laundrette next door is good too. but have you ever seen a laundrette which isn't incredibly photogenic ?

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looks like the foxtons minis have a new livery. here's my first spot yesterday evening. it's 272.

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there are only 4 options and 2 of them are the same as the other 2

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this might make a nice desktop perhaps.

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can you believe i've still got some olympic pictures to show you ? this is one of a chain of slope cleaners working their way down the slalom course.

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'of the' in small.

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i like the signage here (you may have to click the picture for a big version). It announces Public Conveniences and offers three options: 'gentlemen', 'ladies & disabled' and 'bus shelter'.

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i don't think i've mentioned it here before in much detail, but not many whiles ago (within the life of this blog) i suffered from chronic pain. I posted about my last trip to the pain clinic here (note the unfortunate URL !). I threw all my old tablets away today as i no longer need them and i thought you might be interested in my personal story (or is that the story of my personals?)

Continue reading "dealing with chronic pain" »

this is absolutely fantastic advertising. we saw it back here, but here is a bigger better picture. especially note the beer bottle with 'cheap booze' written on the label.

the 'off licence open' next to the closed shutters is good too.

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i'm not convinved dragging your family across a roundabout is a good plan. even if they are made of stone
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we saw this daffodill in kew gardens about a month ago. it was standing proud whilst all the other daff's had died. well done sir (though i imagine it too has been chopped down by now)

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here is poochy (esther and kezia's granny). it was her birthday yesterday so we had a big slap up sunday roast and birthday cake.

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finally, we caught the bluebells in full bloom.

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we went a couple of weeks ago and then there were none. Last week they were just starting, but yesterday there was plenty of them
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it was a cloudy day, so the colours don't show up fantastically i'm afraid
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of course the bluebells always look bluer from the other side. And this carpetted wood was not open to walkers. oh well.
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looking back at the archives we did this in the same place last year too

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here is the big building was the inspiration for some of Orwell's 1984 seen from BT Tower. It's Senate House (see link for details on the 1984 connection
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Battersea Powerstation was featured in a film version of 1984, and here it is also seen from BT Tower
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julie sent me this picture of a clock in her local high-street. it's actually a stop watch, but it's all time related.

there's a great pun in here, but it's escaping me at present.

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no dog sign from new zealand (from Paul)

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there's a new soft play place opened up in Henley on Thames and we went along yesterday to check it out. it's very good and if you've got kids aged 0-8 it's worth a trip.

[NOTE IT IS NO LONGER THERE, SO DON'T GO !]

the staff were really friendly and there was loads more than just the soft play stuff (eg painty, watery things, trampoleny things, dressing-upy things, a cafe and - how inspired is this - wifi for parents to use whilst they are there)

[shame they shut down, but hey ho. apologies to anyone who made the trip unnecessarily]

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here is a regional dog sign
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created by and for local people
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is there a non-patronising way of saying 'young people' ? it sounds frightfully grown up.

will the lone bollard meet the entry requirement ? he's surely not a people.

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i like this picture. it's kind of soothing.

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you think the hooky thing is the gate lock ?
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well, you'd be wrong. that's the lifter end. shocking hey ?
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i love how this rectangled picture doesn't look rectangled

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here are two fantastic pictures from regular commenter Rascle.
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he writes (in the third person):
Rascle's daughter works at a day-nursery. She doesn't even look at FP but guess who frequents the nursery.
Mr Conehead does everything with the children!

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we like a good pun here on funkypancake don't we. so i was delighted to see this sign outside a shop selling cheese. you'll probably need to click the picture for a closer look at the cheese films. the quality reduces as you get closer to the bottom.

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two chaps up a cherry picker enjoying the view (cheeky cherry chaps perhaps)

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this play park has been closed and is gradually being reclaimed by nature. play parks which ban kids sad places

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jane did her first 10K race yesterday in preparation for the Windsor half marathon later this year. she did terrific and we were all very proud.
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as this was really part of her bigger training for September, she tried various different techniques including this one, of running with her arms out like she was going to tickle the other competitors. she'll do anything to give herself the edge over her competitors.
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jane is hiding in the wood. can you see her ? kezia couldn't.

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here is kezia in a tree trap. these things can close up at any moment, so she looks justifiably frightened

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i love these old people signs which show a little old lady pushing an old man down the street. "you be careful dear" she's shouting whilst pushing him over.

or is she tickling him ? or stealing his purse ?

great use of the word 'vicinity' too.

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a slow animal is a tortoise. children aren't ever slow. unless it's close to bedtime and you ask them to get in to bed quickly.

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here is baby rowena who came for lunch yesterday with her mum and dad. getting to know new people is good fun. even if they're just a few weeks old (her parents are older)

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