Planarchy Archive - August 2004


The Planarchy Stone

Giving a wrong time and stopping a traffic line is all very well.... as is forming nice little anarcho-syndicalist collectives and bringing down global capitalism before breakfast (I get up early but break my fast late so it's pretty easy).  But I like to think a little bigger with my anarchy.  And so I unearth The Planarchy Stone.....

Each of our paving slabs, be they 600x600, 300x300 or 600x300 has a little metallic label on the side which, if you forget to remove will not budge once the slab is concreted in.  So it's important to remove them early... as you unload them for instance.  Initially I was sticking them underneath the slabs so that I could easily see that they had been removed.  But then I came upon my cunning plan to bring down the next civilisation.  I stick the ones from the 600 square slabs onto the bottom of the 300 square slabs.  And vice versa.  The tags from the oblong slabs are torn up and mixed in with the concrete mix.  Thus when archaeologists unearth these slabs in a few millennia they will think they have found a way to translate our archaic metric measuring system. 

But they'll get it wrong.

Sometimes my evil genius amazes even me.

20040831   20:27

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Oh Bondage, Up Yours!

Our next patio will be of polystyrene.  These 600mm square Wentworth slabs are too bleeding heavy when you have to carry them all the way through the house (there is no side entrance to Planarchy Towers).

...and if you can't spot the relevance of the title from that you need a musical educashun.

20040830   20:28

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Ooo are ya?

The radio awoke me early this morning with three headlines.... Greg Dyke was attacking Phoney Tony, there was some fighting in Iraq, and double Gold medallist Kelly Holmes was out celebrating her success. Leaving out the question of whether this really rates as the third most important new story of the moment, it put a nice picture in my mind.  The heroic (no irony intended) Kelly is getting screaming drunk in some Athens bar chanting football hooligan stylee at all around her...

"Ooo are ya, ooo are ya" with a particularly cheery chant for one of her co-athletes...

"Where's your medals,
Where's your medals,
Where's your medals, Paula R,
Where's your medals, Paula R?"

No?  Well, why not, she deserves a good night out...excellent performance Kelly and good to see someone so enjoying their well deserved success.

20040829   11:50

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In the beginning....

Is this where it started for me? 

Certainly this framed flutterbye and its companions, that hang to the left of my parent's fireplace have fascinated me for more than thirty years.  They were made my by late uncle Dee who, as a young man, pinned the newly emerged flutterbyes to a card and placed them within a home-made pine frame.  I don't know if he then sold some or if they were merely given as gifts.  Either way we ended up with a collection of three that remain the only item of "art" in my parent's house that I really care for, though obviously the attraction is emotional rather than aesthetic. 

Though there were many brotherly fallings out between Dee and my father he was always my favourite uncle (maybe his not talking to my father was part of the appeal during my teenage years, for in that we had much in common). 

In my sixth form and University holidays I would work for Dee as a labourer for his building business and he always paid a more than fair wage.

Sadly uncle Dee died much too young of a heart attack about fifteen years ago.  For his funeral his partner passed on his request for there to be no flowers but instead money sent to Butterfly Conservation.  My cheque was duly sent and I hope the flutterbyes forgave him earlier misdeeds.

20040826   17:50

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Charging for credit

We spent a portion of yesterday evening in Ikea looking for a new bed.  Aside from the fact that they had the head and foot board, slats and mattresses but not the sides of the one we wanted..... and I can understand the slats and mattresses being suitable for many different beds but how can the side frame?...... anyway, as we left I noticed that as of 1st September they will be applying a 70p charge per transaction for those who choose to pay by credit card.  I didn't think such practices were allowed..... not that it will stop me anyway... with a 0.5% cashback- 0.0% interest credit card it'll take more than a 70p charge to stop me using it.  Even so, a worrying trend I think.

20040825   20:25

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Gatekeeper Butterfly

I showed you a Gatekeeper before, though wrongly identified it at first.  It's back again today as firstly, there aren't many flutterbyes around anymore and secondly you can see his lasso in this shot (and yes it is called a lasso, not a tongue or a proboscis). 

There was a far more exotic Comma in the garden also but he didn't want his picture taken (I always obtain clearance and get them to sign a model release form before publishing).

20040823   17:48

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Green Veined White

Did we do this one already?  I don't think so... it's a Green Veined White.  Nuff said.

20040822   9:08

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Which cheese.... made backwards?  Doesn't work in Praha where they've mischievously called their Dutch style cheese Eidamsky.  Surely they're taking the piss?

And no sign of Seal either.

20040819   18:24

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Don't Walk... Run!!!

I wouldn't be at all surprised if we saw a couple of medals for the Czechs at this Olympics-thing (topical or what eh?).  For the timings on their crossings are somewhat awry.  None give you any hope whatsoever of actually reaching the other side of the road before the ticking stops and the heart-thumping starts.  Yet, despite this the Czech seem to actually take notice of the little red man and not cross until his green antithesis appears.  This could have something to do with the very stern warning we saw a policeman give one tourist who crossed on red...

...and we really will return to the cows soon, it's just that there were rather a lot of them.  I didn't capture each one for you (though Zee thinks you'd believe me if I said I had, as "they all know how anally retentive you are by now"  .... I take anally-retentive as a compliment by the way.)

20040818   19:17

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The raison d'être for this post is rapidly unravelling.... but I've started so I will finish. 

After a long day at work it's hard to believe that we've only been back 24 hours... and even harder to believe that 48 hours ago we were sitting down to dine in Prague's old town square with this wonderful view.  The pavement tables in this square are supposedly the most expensive in Prague and thus usually avoided.  But it was a glorious evening and we fancied pushing the boat out.  A sumptuous Veggie meal and a lot of alcohol and still only £28.  Not really exorbitant I'd say.  And finding Veggie food this time was a breeze.... whereas 8 years ago it was very hard indeed..... and Czech for Vegetarian actuallyis Vegetarianska.

Anyway, this view of the 14th century Church of Our Lady before Tyn is one of my favourites in Prague.  It's wonderfully gothic and I love the different dimensions of the two towers.  This is apparently to demonstrate both the masculine and feminine in everything.  And it is here that the post starts to go awry.  For Zee has always told me that these two towers are called Adam and Eve.  Thus I name the small peak between them Pinch-Me-Tight.... you do know the rhyme don't you?

 Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me-Tight went down to the river to bathe,
Adam and Eve were drowned,

Who do you think was saved?

The naive sibling then replies "Pinch-Me-Tight" at which point you pinch them on the arm. 

Excellent fun from age 5 to 43 and counting.  Except Zee claims that Pinch-Me-Tight doesn't make any sense and that in her family it was Pinch-Me-Well. 

Which is just plain wrong.......... we've been arguing this point for most of our 15 years I think.

But, and it's rather a large but, as Zee and I were sitting in the evening glow she admitted that she may have made up the fact that these towers were called Adam and Eve.  Which is the sort of thing I'd do.  So you have to admire her for it.  A small amount of internet research has confirmed that indeed they are not so named........ although there are two other towers in Prague that are called Adam and Eve. 

....and maybe we'll get back to the cows tomorrow.

20040817   18:42

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Well, the Sumo graffiti may have gone... but there are other strange things afoot here in Praha...  

20040815   17:44

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..and this is probably the only shot I took last time that might really give you a clue (if you've been there).  I've no idea what camera they were taken with... a leetle compact I suspect.  There will be more pictures taken this time.

20040815   00:88

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Guessed yet?

Some above standard graffiti.. I wonder if it's still there eight years later?

20040814   00:77

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Hurrah!!  I've whisked Zee off for a belated birthday trip to a wonderful city we have been to before...... but not for a long time.  Sadly my selection of pictures taken last time don't show you the best side of this place.  But I'm sure you can guess where it is, can't you?

20040813   00:66

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This is the imaginatively named Wasp Spider.  I didn't even know we had such colourful species in Ingerland until I nearly walked into him whilst pursuing a flutterbye..... if you view the bigger version you can even see the characteristic (apparently) ziggy-zag bit of her web.  Which, says the Beeb, is for an unknown purpose..... though it stopped me walking right through the web (or being eaten for tea... these spiders are nearly four foot across after all.

....and they're a protected species in Belgium.  I shall no more on that.

20040811   20:52

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Pictures of Lillies

They're supposed to point at least vaguely skywards obviously. But somehow they've opted for the parachute look instead.  Which is nice.

20040810   20:05

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Quantum Flight

Well, the confusing flutterbye book says this is a Grizzled Skipper.  I, however, suspect it is either Gael's underwater species or Somewhat's Quantum one.  For no sooner had I begun to post the picture the skies round here did open and large volumes of water did issue frenceforth.  The sky has gone dark, the temperature has plummeted and wooly mammoths have once again been sighted North of the river.  Strange days indeed.

Flutterby week may have finally been put on hold....

20040809   17:54

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Comin' at ya

Well, butterfly week appears to be continuing here at Planarchy Towers.  Today's specimen is probably a Cleopatra (distinguished from the Brimstone by that pastel orangey  stripe on the underside of the forewing, don't you know).  And isn't it a dinky little fellow... costively Disney.....  I can see him as the next big thing after Nemo and Clown Fish.  You heard it here first.

20040807   19:46

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First the good news.... a new flutterbye on the block, a Speckled Wood.  Feasting here on a rotting blackberry... yummy!

But the bad news is that when I told you t'other day that I'd showed you a picture of a Small Heath it would appear that I was mistaken.  It was actually a Gatekeeper (... was that the lovely Sigourney Weaver or the nerdsome Rick Moranis?).  But they are both of the Satyridae family (the flutterbyes that is, not Weaver and Moranis).

Sorry.  I'm only just re-learning my Lepidoptera and obviously need a better flutterbye book.

20040806   20:53

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...and we'll finish flutterby week (probably) with these two Whites playing.  As that's what they're a very strange angle.  I'm not sure whether they're Large or Small Whites... the size difference is only 7mm after all.

20040805   20:55

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Blue & Black & White

As a tribute to Henri Cartier-Bresson, who's death was reported today, today's Flutterbye picture is in black and white (though colour on roll-over).  Bresson didn't do flutterbyes....though on converting this one to monochrome I was surpised at how little colour it actually lost.  Nevertheless, the best selection of his excellent work I've found on-line is here.

Today's Lepidopteron is a Holly Blue, though the ones round here are clearly a bit confused on their plant knowledge as above it's feeding on a Sweet Pea and here (not a good shot) is laying eggs on our golden hop.  Neither is anything at all like Holly.

20040804   20:53

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Small Heath

Flutterbye week continues with another littlun... this sub-inch variety is a Small Heath which was indeed where I found it.  My butterfly book says it ".. never displays the upper side of its wings at rest".  Which makes this other shot something special.... he sat there in the never seen pose for several minutes proudly displaying his upper wing surface... I love a rebel.

20040803   18:35

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Leetle Copper

Zee and the girls set off early for Devon and Cornwall yesterday morning.  My plan was to get up when they left (7am) and do some more work on a patio... after all, I never, ever get back to sleep and have a lie in.  It was with some surprise, therefore, that I when I next looked at the clock it was 9:30.... and nearly 11 by the time I got downstairs.  I did manage to finish Saturday's paper and my breakfast before 1pm when, with the sun near it's zenith I actually started mixing cement and laying paving.  By four I'd had enough and cycled up the road to the Dragon & Damsel pond in search of one or the other.  But instead the day was mainly filled with capturing flutterbyes on memory card.  This  one is a Small Copper, less than inch from one wingtip to the other.  His portrait view reminds me of some seaplane or other.... I don't know which anymore.

Zee returned later sans filles.... a strange child-free week awaits us!

20040802   18:57

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The girls were somewhat concerned but also a little proud that Zee and I were to spend the evening at a Witch's Barbecue.  They needn't have feared....we put our hands into the bubbling cauldron, doused with Polos and coat hangers (with which most managed to detect the paddling pool), were licked by some other bloggers' dog (even cuter in "real" life) and a very familiar hoverfly, watched by a D'Ove throughout, played some games, but mainly we ate, drank and were very, very merry.  The blue moon stayed resolutely hidden for much of the evening and had turned orange by the time we began our journey home.

The feet?  Ah, yes... never before in the field of human blogging have so many bloggers stood in the same paddling pool at the same time.   At least I think it was a paddling pool.... maybe it was just a large pot to capture our essences.  Or something.

Thanks Witchy, a lovely evening.

20040801   14:04

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