Monday, 17 December 2007

Meaning of life


video


Such is life. Think about it then click here

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

YesBut - ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

And the skies opened and a voice spoke.

“Be gone YesBut and show your face no more on this blog”.


All future postings will be made on YesBut Thinking Aloud blog. Click here


Thank you for visiting this blog in the past, I hope you’ll visit me when I’m YesBut Thinking Aloud.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Winner of the YesBut's Image - Caption of the Week Award

Another week of captions and yes, yet again some gems posted.



The following are just a few captions which caught the eye of YesBut’s Editorial team, (I use the term ‘team’ very loosely, more of a rabble).

Saturday:
Doug’s caption –
Construction worker to boss:” Wasn’t the wider section supposed to go on the bottom?”
Boss: “Looks fine to me so shut up and no one will probably notice”.

Sunday:
Shecky R. Love’s caption “Having found the bottle on the beach Gregory opened it and read . . . .’Congratulations you may have already won our sweepstakes . . .’”

Doug’s caption in the form of a letter -
“Dear John,
I’m sorry to write this letter but your rock collection has become more important than me. I’ve taken the house with me and left you the rocks.

Signed,
Your former wife,
Mary


Lin’s caption – “Drats, according to this, piece 4157 is missing but I think I can cobble something together

Monday:
Chertiozhnik’s caption – “For all their training, they still hadn’t got the hang of the Basic Pantomime Horse”.

Thursday:
Chertizhnik’s caption – “ Cindy didn’t really understand what a ‘plectrum’ was, but she was delighted to have been offered the job anyway.”

Friday:
Chewy’s caption – "Keep up the act . . . once those two ladies are gone, it’s back to spray" painting.



Click here to see the winner of YesBut's Image Caption of the Week Award for the week 1st to 7th September.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Where have I seen that picture before?


The picture above, is part of a picture posted between 1st & 7th September on YesBut’s Images.

Click here to see if you can identify which day’s picture its from.

While you are there, join in the fun and post a caption for today’s image.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

YesBut was she there? - Part 3


Continued from yesterday


For 26th June 2007 YesBut’s Image Doug suggested the caption –

”What a nice view...wait, isn't that the bridge that Uncle Bill jumped off last year?”


The photo suggested the following story to me (continued from yesterday) : -


David looked around the room as he waited for the old lady to return with coffee. The furniture was old but well kept, original paintings hang on the wall each illuminated by its own light. The room itself was lit by four matching table lamps. He was struck by the number of books in the room, on shelves on tables. He loved books, he knew he would like the old lady.

She shuffled back into the room carrying a tray with cups, saucers spoons, cream, sugar and a large pot of coffee. After she had poured out the coffee, she questioned him about his meeting with Elaine. After he had told her about his encounter and her request for him to help her. She saw a tear appear in the corner of her right eye.

“You might never find out how, but my dear you’ve been very lucky.”
“What’s happened, where’s Elaine?”
“Elaine died seventeen years ago. She was killed in a train crash. It was the same express train you took today. It was derailed when it collided with a truck at a crossing, seven people were killed, Elaine was my only child, she was one of them”.

He stared uncomprehendingly at the old woman.

“I don’t understand, I met the girl in that photograph this morning”.

She smiled. “Your not the first one who has visited this house expecting to meet Elaine, there have been six others previously”. “All I can tell you is, and I have no evidence, is she intervened for a purpose to delay your journey home”.

He sat talking with the old woman. She seemed genuinely interested as he related his journey around Europe, and the minor adventures he had had. He judiciously avoided giving an account of his more amorous encounters. It was the chiming of the ornamental clock that reminded him of the time, and he had a flight to catch. At the front door he thanked her for her hospitality, and promised to keep in touch. She smiled, the others had said the same think, but she had never heard from them again.

To him he seemed to wait for ever for a bus to take him back to the city centre. It had started to rain again and there was nowhere to shelter. Finally the bus arrived. He climbed aboard, but has the bus drove off he realised he had left his bag in the old woman’s house. Turning quickly he jumped off the bus. Under those conditions there was no way the motorcyclist following the bus could have braked in time.

The old lady picked up the strangers bag and carried it upstairs, she opened the door of her daughter’s bedroom and placed the bag with the others. She smiled, it was nice for Elaine to have friends.

Friday, 7 September 2007

YesBut was she there? - Part 2


Continued from yesterday

For 26th June 2007 YesBut’s Image Doug suggested the caption –

”What a nice view...wait, isn't that the bridge that Uncle Bill jumped off last year?”


The photo suggested the following story to me (continued from yesterday) : -

When the train had finally stopped, she stood up and looked at him,

“You’ve been staring at me”.

“Yes, sorry . . . Very rude, sorry”.

“It doesn’t matter.
Will you help me?”

“Sure, help with the luggage . . .?”. He looked, but unlike the other passengers she had no bags.
“No, not that, something else”.

“Sure, what?”

“Let’s go for a coffee and I’ll tell you”.

He pull his bag down from the rack and followed her out of the train and into a café in the station concourse.

“Coffee?”.
“No, tea please”.

She returned to the table with two cups.

“What do you want?”

“Not here, can you meet at this address?”
Handing him a slip of paper.
“I’m due to catch a flight to London at 07.0pm.”

“Ho, I thought you said you’d help”.
“Yes, No problem I’ll change my flight. By the way, I‘m David”

“Hi. I’m Elaine, I‘ll see you at 8”.

With that she got up and left. He sat there with half a cup of cold tea trying to workout what had happened. Had he agreed to cancel his flight home to meet a total stranger, had he gone mad? “What on earth was that all about“?

Looking around the station and saw a travel agency where he changed to the last flight that evening. He didn’t know how he knew, but he just did, that whatever she wanted him to do would be accomplished in time to catch the flight. He left his bag in the left luggage office and spent the afternoon idly walking around the centre of the city. After eating a snack he collected his bag and made his way to the bus station. Finally he found the correct bus to take him to Elaine’s home.

It was raining by the time the bus got to his destination, he pulled the anorak hood up over his head as he stepped off the bus. It was a tree lined street, the street lamps reflected in pools of water. A young man passed. “Excuse me number 56?”. The man nodded across the road. He hitched the bag on his shoulder and walked across the road. Number 56 was a well kept two story town house, a slit of light immerged between the drawn curtains of a ground floor room.

He climbed the two steps and rang the front door bell. After a few moments he heard shuffling feet coming towards the door. It was opened by a grey haired stooping old woman. She looked puzzlingly at him.

“Good evening Madam, is Elaine at home“?

“Elaine”?

“Yes, she asked me to meet her at 8pm“

“Are you sure it was Elaine?”

“That’s what she told me”
“You better come in from the rain”.

He followed her down a hall and into a warm elegantly furnished lounge. The first thing he noticed was a photo of Elaine on a side table. At least he knew he was in the right house.

“When did you see Elaine?”
“We travelled on the same train this morning”
“I think you’d better put down your bag, and sit”

(To be continued tomorrow - Bookmark this page)

Thursday, 6 September 2007

YesBut was she there? - Part 1


For 26th June 2007 YesBut’s Image Doug suggested the caption –

”What a nice view...wait, isn't that the bridge that Uncle Bill jumped off last year?”

The photo suggested the following story to me: -

“People are so stupid they stand in your way, they leave there luggage in the middle of walkways“.

He cursed all those around him as he rushed, barged his way through to the train.

“What time, what platform?”
He saw a monitor with arrival and departure data, 11.50 platform 5.

“Shit I thought it was 11.55, I’m not going to make it. Platform 5, that way”.
More barging past crowds.

”Stupid foreigners get out of my way”.
He bounded up the stairs to the platform, station staff were slamming the train doors shut.

“Stop wait“ he exhaled.

He dived through the closing door, landing in a heap. He laughed, “close call”. He picked himself up off the floor and unhitched his rucksack off his back.

Having regained his breath he strolled into the carriage and stored his bag on the rack. The train was making its way through the suburbs passed office blocks and car parks. He loved travelling, but this was the penultimate leg on his homeward journey. A few hours stopover at the next city, then out to the airport for the flight to London. Now the train was passing small workshops and garages, soon it would be houses and back gardens before reaching the countryside. He sank back into his seat and made himself comfortable.

It took him some time to see her. He had been looking out of the opposite window and didn’t at first notice her. She sat unmoving in the shadow. As he became more accustomed to the light her features became more discernable. He was embarrassed when he realised he had been staring. But she didn’t move, just stared into space. He was fascinated, there was something ethereal intangible about her. She sat there transfixed waiting for her to acknowledge his presence. But she did not move.

He was brought back to the present moment by the other passengers preparing themselves for the arrival at the terminus.

(To be continued tomorrow - Bookmark this page)

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Memorial day - 13

Walking up Northumberland Avenue from the Victoria Embankment London, instead of continuing to Trafalgar Square turn left into Whitehall Place, towards the Old War Office. At the junction with Whitehall Court there is a shady group of trees, on sunny days you do not see, until you are nearly upon them, a group of figures in the deep shadow. The five figures are turned away looking towards Whitehall as if expecting to see something or someone coming towards them. Their body language clearly says they are friends and comrades, they are the members of a tank crew.



Click the “view show” tab if the slideshow doesn’t open automatically




The Royal Tank Regiment Memorial statue was originally designed by G.H. Paulin and reworked in bronze by Vivien Mallock. It was unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 13 June 2000. It commemorates all ranks of the Machine Gun Corps, Tank Corps and Royal Tank Regiment. The figures look towards Whitehall and the building in which the first tank was designed. The trees were brought from Canada to signify the country’s relationship with the regiment.


Though the figures are 1.2 life size, set at ground level the statue is one of the most realistic, “friendly” and “at ease with its surroundings” statues in London.

Two bronze plaques are set in the pavement before the statue. One reads:
In tribute to the Crewmen who have served in the Heavy Section and Heavy Branch Machine Gun Corps the Tank Corps Royal Tank Corps and Royal Tank Regiment since tanks were first in combat at Flers on 15th September 1916.

The other:

Royal Tank Regiment Memorial Statue.

This memorial statue depicts the crew of a World War 2 Comet Tank which was issued to the Royal Tank Regiment in 1945. The Comet had a crew of five: Commander, Gunner, Loader, Hull Machine Gunner. Driver. It was equipped with a 77mm high velocity gun and powered by a 600 horse power Rolls Royce engine. The Comet proved to be highly effective against enemy tanks of the day.

At the other end of Whitehall Court stands the memorial to the Gurkha Soldier the subject of 27th June 2007 blog.

Click here to see YesBut’s Image of the day, and leave your suggested caption.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

YesBut is sex overrated

There has been a debate in the UK on whether it is morally correct to run an immunisation program to inoculate 12 year old girls against cervical cancer. Opponents say it would encourage promiscuity. The medical profession point out the vaccination is only affective if given before girls become sexually active. The results of recent surveys in the UK showed 50% of 16 year old girls were sexually active and 10% of 14 year old; hence the need to inoculate girls as young as12 year olds.

What is the cause of change in moral attitudes that has occurred in the last sixty years? Even as late as 1960, young women would “reserve themselves for the wedding night”; and men would expect to marry a virgin. Undoubtedly the contraceptive pill, with the resultant decrease in risk of pregnancy, had a major impact. But that cannot be the sole reason.

In the last twenty years there has been a fundamental change in attitude, not only towards the loss of virginity, but also with respect to having children out of marriage - no longer is illegitimacy a stigma.

In magazines and on television, sex is projected as “the ultimate source of pleasure”. People have forgotten that the anticipation is far better than the realization. A moral barrier no longer exists. Mothers no longer counsel their daughters “not to have sex“, but rather “to take precautions”.

But has the breaking down of barriers been a positive influence in society? Certainly in the UK, the number of unmarried teenage mothers has skyrocketed. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of the mothers, their children will be born into a socially and economically disadvantaged household - there the vast majority will remain for the rest of their lives.

The pendulum has swung fully from advocating complete abstinence to not only indulging in sex being the norm to advancing the message “if you haven’t had sex by the time you are 16 you are frigid and a weirdo”. While it would be unrealistic to re-establish the former norm, there needs to be a re-alignment, where young people do not feel pressured to having sex. Rather they make love to the person they really want to make love to at the time they really want to, without feeling any compulsion.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Winner of the YesBut's Image - Caption of the Week Award

Another week of captions.



There was no need to draw up a short list this week.

The winners this week’s Caption of the Week Award jumped out of the screen. They were posted for Thursday’s image (which when I posted I thought no one will ever think up a caption for – wrong again!)


Click here to see the winner of YesBut's Image Caption of the Week Award for the week 25th to 31st August.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

YesBut how many words?

How many words can you make from the letters in the word PARENT? Words must be at least three letters long.

31 words - good
47 words - great
62 words or more - excellent.

Then make a meaningful sentence using as many of the words.

If you want another puzzle, then click here to go to YesBut’s Image and select the caption of the week - leave your nomination as a comment

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Sudoku 2

If bloggers have problems finding things to write about so do newspapers.

The main purpose of the newspaper isn’t to report news but to sell advertising space! To do that they need to publish a paper with a given number of pages. One easy way of filling the gaps between the adverts is to have a puzzle page: Sudoku, crossword, chess puzzle, etc.

Yesterday I suggest Friday should be made a fun day.

Why stop there?

Why not join in the fun and post a caption on YesBut’s Images, or give your brain cells a workout with a Sudoku puzzle.

Better still, do both, first post a caption, then return to do the Sudoku puzzle.

Leave a comment and let me know how long it takes you to finish the puzzle.

Have a fun day.

Friday, 31 August 2007

Let’s make Friday a fun day.

There’s the Monday morning blues - back to work after the weekend.

But why not make the weekend arrive a day early, by making Friday a fun day. Steps to be taken:

Tell your: husband, wife, partner, lover (whichever is appropriate), how much you love them. Give them a cuddle. The same with your children, yes even those obnoxious teenagers, also give them a hug and show how much you care.

If you haven’t seen a friend for sometime, give them a phone call or send an email.

Show some consideration to your work colleagues, even the “grumpy old fart” - it could be me. Fetch them a coffee, avoid for one day having disagreements. - you might be surprised by the reaction.

Share in the fun of posting a caption on YesBut’s Images blog. Also encourage others to participate, even if they do not want to post their own captions, they can have a good laugh at those posted by others.

Click here to go to YesBut’s Images

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Yes But its so refreshing

For YesBut’s Image on 2nd July 2007

Doug suggested the caption -

"I like this city. Every park bench includes a free girl."


The photo suggested to me the story: -

It became so much easer to travel when Romania joined the European Union. While there wasn’t a significant increase in tourists to Transylvania, it enabled Transylvanians to visit and work in previously restricted countries. Not that he sought employment, he was happy to travel and indulge his requirements in new countries.

He so loved London, the populace was so diverse Africans, Asians, South Americans and Europeans. Like wine, each with its own flavour, which a connoisseur could detect and appreciate. The African was so strong and refreshingly pungent, something new to his taste buds.

In the summer evenings he wandered by the riverside on the South Bank. He would look for a young lady sitting alone on a bench, and join her. Often they were lonely secretaries on their way home to their dreary depressing bed-sitters. They were so grateful for someone to speak to them. With his accentuated accent he would turn on the charm. It worked every time it was so easy, they would almost fall into his arms.

“You must be tired, rest your head on my lap”.
As he leaned forward they expected to taste his sweet lips brush their lips. They were surprised then thrilled when they felt his lips on their neck, followed by an almost undetectable pinch as his teeth broke their skin. There was a swooning feeling as their life blood was drained out.

He was never greedy and overindulgent. He never drained all the blood, not that he was showing any compassion; but getting rid of empties was time consuming and such a tedious bore, not the pursuit for a Count!

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Memorial day - 12

Every Wednesday for the last couple of months, I have posted blogs on memorials and public art works. These are normally prestigious works of art located in prominent locations. Today’s memorial is very different, and is probably the most moving.

A hundred metres south of Waterloo Bridge, London, there is a roundabout at the junction of four roads. To allow access from the South Bank to Waterloo Station there is a warren of underpasses radiating from the roundabout. In the 1970’s, 80s and 90s these underpasses were the site of a large cardboard city; the home for hundreds of homeless, drug addicts and mentally ill patients prematurely discharged from hospitals as part of Margaret Thatcher’s discredited “Care in the community program”. The existence of the homeless squat was an embarrassment for the “well-to-do”, passing men and women sleeping in cardboard boxes, as they made their way to a concert at the Royal Festival Hall, or to watch a play at the National Theatre.



The cardboard city was removed in 1997 to allow an IMAX cinema to be constructed in the centre of the roundabout. The homeless were dispersed, some to hostels, others to find new nooks and crannies to sleep in.

About two years ago, a few started to drift back to the underpasses, to beg for money.

Early this year a very simple memorial was painted on the walkway from the National Theatre.

The words are heart felt and poignant.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Boy's with new toys

On Saturday I wrote in the blog, the reasons for putting my hand in my pocket to buy a new camera.

Well I've finally worked my way through the 150 page instruction manual. Understood some of it, think with time I'll understand other parts, and know there are other sections that will continue to pass none stop over my head.

So I took the camera out for a test run.

For the summer (what summer?), a merry-go-round has been set up on London's South Bank. The shot on the left was taken with it going at full speed. I'm pleased with the crispness of the image.



Between the Royal Festival Hall and the London Eye, there are always buskers and "human status" entertaining the tourists.

The "Bubble-man" is a new addition. I like the way the camera captured the colours of the soap bubble; and the depth of field which allows the details of the building on the Thames north bank to be clearly seen.



On the way home I passed the National Theatre, where a Tea Dance was being held.

Elvis and partners dancing prowess matched their dress sense!


Finally there was only one more thing to test - the camera's video mode. And now that Mr Google has made it so easy to post videos on blogs I'll finish with the short clip of the merry-go-round.

video

I'm very pleased with my purchase.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Winner of the YesBut's Image - Caption of the Week Award

This week there were some difficult photos to think up captions for, but yet again witty and humorous captions were posted each day.

But which one should be awarded the accolade of caption of the week?

Saturday, Pope Terry suggested the caption - I left my training wheel back there can you get it for me, I don't think you can miss it.

Tuesday, there were four great captions posted:

B.T.Bear (esq.)'s - Unable to find one on the tacky souvenir stalls, Mabel decided to steal a hat off a small boy.
Pope Terry's - Still drunk from the night before Margery, decides to try her luck on that nice midget on the bench... Only to have him leg it a few seconds later yelling "I need and adult".
Chewy's - Leave me alone, you smell like old people.
Doug's - Lady, if I told ya once I told ya twice...Buy your own cigarettes and quite bumming mine.


Thursday: Pope Terry 's suggested caption - Funnily enough, 7 pints ago this was a bad idea! and
Siddharth Khandelwal' s - Hey, those guys have the cool next generation bikes with two tyres.

Friday, and the week finished on a high note with the following captions:

Pope Terry 's
- Tex so wanted to buy the pink one, but the rest of the guys back at the ranch really would of picked on him for it.
Chewy 's - The girls wear the pink hats and the poofs wear the lavender. Doug 's - As Buffalo Mary adjusted his fab new pink cowboy hat he barked to the bartender:" A thick chocolate milkshake Mister and skip to it!"

Ten captions to choose from, narrowing the choice, I drew up a short list of:

Pope Terry 's - I left my training wheel back there can you get it for me, I don't think you can miss it.
B.T.Bear (esq.)'s - Unable to find one on the tacky souvenir stalls, Mabel decided to steal a hat off a small boy.
Doug's - Lady, if I told ya once I told ya twice...Buy your own cigarettes and quite bumming mine.
Doug 's - As Buffalo Mary adjusted his fab new pink cowboy hat he barked to the bartender:" A thick chocolate milkshake Mister and skip to it!"

Click here to see the joint winners of YesBut's Image Caption of the Week Award for the week 18th to 24th August.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

YesBut that was the fourth week of August

One word sums up this week - blur.

The week started with Mr & Mrs YesBut visiting Holland. We returned by overnight coach on Tuesday. Ten hours in a coach is enough to scramble anybody’s mind.

I did learn, or rather one thing was confirmed while I was in Holland - my dear old camera which I love dearly, while being adequate for taking shots of mountains that haven’t moved for millions of years, or buildings that remain relatively stationary, is wilfully inadequate when trying to photograph a one year old granddaughter.

I always knew it was slow. When I say slow, I mean positively sluggish. When photographing a tortoise, if the shutter button is pressed just as the tortoises head appears in the viewfinder, the shutter opens just as the tortoises tail is disappearing out of view.

So at my granddaughters first birthday party, she’d give me a broad smile - press shutter button >>>>> click. Look at photo, she’s either turned her head or has disappeared out of view completely.

So when I got back to London, I invested in a new camera. According to the reviews its “ace”.

I cannot understand people who enjoy shopping, I hate doing it intensely. I can’t just wander around shops, I need to know what I want before leaving the house. So before buying a camera, I had to spend hours on the internet researching cameras. That’s where the trouble started. First, there are all those model numbers. Not only is there a Fujuo A600, there’s the Fujuo A600x and the Fujuo A600x - fd. All very confusing.

I’d read a glowing report on a camera; think, “this is the one for me”. Do a quick check, and find another review if not rubbishing it, doesn’t rate it highly. Finally, I selected the make and model I wanted. Went to London’s Tottenham Court Road, (the location of all the camera and computer shops), only to be told that the camera has been superseded by a new model. OK, you might think, newer hence better, no it doesn’t work like that. The new model doesn’t have the same features the older model had. Which should I buy the old model with all the glowing reviews, or the new model, which hasn’t been tested yet? YesBut’s brain couldn’t take the stress and strain - went for the old model.

Looking forward to trying it out, once I’ve finished reading the 150-page instruction manual. But at least it looks as if it’s written in English. I think the manual for the last camera was written in Japanese and translated into English by someone who knew neither Japanese nor English - total gibberish.

What’s EV and White Balance?

Did you know that “When the amount of light striking the CCD doubles, the EV increases by 1”? I think this is going to be a struggle.

Friday, 24 August 2007

YesBut she was beautiful once - Part 2

For the photograph posted on YesBut’s Image on 21 May 2007, Ozlady suggested the caption - “Hag drags bag while havin' a fag!”

Story continued from yesterday

All was well until Doug was recalled unexpectedly to the US - he had no opportunity to contact Sophia before leaving. Tragedy struck the first night he arrived back in the States, eating a hotdog he keeled over and died. The results of the post mortem were not made public - the CIA didn’t want it known that one of their operatives had been poisoned. But some in the Agency were suspicious that he had been called back to the States in the first place - was the Agency involved in his death? To cover-up his death the CIA sent messages to all the field operatives Doug was handling (in truth there were many Sophies‘), telling them to continue sending their messages, but for security reasons Doug had to maintain radio silence.

And so Sophie continued to be Aleksei’s lover, cooing in his ear encouraging him to talk about his work. Then one day he broke the news. He was to be transferred to the London Embassy. What was she to do? She sent a shortwave radio message asking for advice. But unfortunately for her there had been an administrative error made at the CIA section of the American Embassy and they had lost Sophia’s code book. So all the information she had passed on had disappeared unused into the ether. Receiving no reply she used her own initiative and told Aleksei that she would follow him to London.

In London they continued to be lovers, and Sophia continued to send her reports, up until the fall of the Soviet Union. As suddenly as Doug had disappeared, so did Aleksei, recalled to Moscow to assist in the destruction of KGB files.

Sophia hoped that one day he might return. As for the CIA, she still waited for them to contact her. Not wishing to risk missing the message she carried her old valved shortwave radio with her everywhere. It was inconvenient especially having to drag around in her bag a 12v car battery to power it.

Click here to submit your caption for todays photo on YesBut's Image

Thursday, 23 August 2007

YesBut she was beautiful once - Part 1

For the photograph posted on YesBut’s Image on 21 May 2007, Ozlady suggested the caption - “Hag drags bag while havin' a fag!”

The photo graph suggested the following story to me:

Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Sophie Holstein-Gottorp, to be correct by the time she was born she wasn’t an Imperial Highness - the empire had ceased to exist with the Russian revolution. And being the youngest daughter of a Russian refugee family (albeit related to the Russian Royal family) living in 1950s Paris, she wasn’t much of a Grand Duchess. But there was something about her, not just her stunning beauty, but there was an air of sophistication, which drew men to her like bees to honey.

She was working in a bar when Doug met her. They exchanged a few words, he was intrigued by her accent - she might be the one he had been looking for. He sat sipping his bear till he had the opportunity to talk to her. Once he heard of her Russian ancestry he knew he was onto a winner. Over the next three weeks he took things very slowly, now that he had found her the last thing he wanted was to be scare her off. He took her to dinner, to the ballet - even though he was bored and nearly fell asleep.

It was only after he had slept with her, and was confident she was well and truly hooked, did he reveal he worked for the CIA. Up till then he had maintained his cover story of being a young footloose American writer in Paris. Slowly he nourished and coached her until he knew she was ready to do his bidding. She was to ingratiate herself with Aleksei Machitov, the 2nd Secretary at the USSR Embassy - and assumed by the CIA to be the KGB Head for Western Europe.

He orchestrated a meeting at a dance given by the British Embassy to celebrate a victory of their croquet team against the Argentinean Embassy. She was beautiful and he was charming and they soon became lovers. For months on her love bed Sophia extracted reams of top secret information. This she passed on to Doug using a shortwave radio he had given her.

(To be continued tomorrow - Bookmark this page).


Click here to submit your caption for todays photo on YesBut's Image

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Memorial day - 11

The Buxton Memorial located in the Victoria Tower Gardens, west of the Houses of Parliament, looks more like a Victorian spaceship designed by Jules Verne than a monument erected in 1835 by Charles Buxton MP in commemoration of the Emancipation of Slaves in1834 and in the memory of his father Sir T. Fowell Buxton and those associated with him in the struggle for the abolition of slavery in the British colonies: Wilberforce, Clarkson, Macaulay, Brougham Dr. Lushington and others.

The memorial was originally erected in Parliament Square, but was removed to its present site in 1957 to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1807Act abolishing the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It received extensive restoration work in 2007, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Act.

The memorial was designed by S.S. Teulon in the then popular Gothic style. The spire is timber framed clad with enamelled sheet steel. Many techniques are used in its decoration including wrought iron work, mosaic, rosso marbled enamelled metalwork and terracotta. The memorial predates by 35 years the far larger and grandeur Gothic style Albert Memorial designed by Sir Gilbert Scott.

It now appears incongruous, and in no way exemplifies the abolition of the slave trade, but it is a perfect example of Victorian public art.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

YesBut is it sculpture?


My Wednesday postings are devoted to looking at memorials and public sculptures. One of the attractions on London’s South Bank last year was Jeppe Hein’s Appearing Rooms. It was so popular that it has been brought back and will be on view on the Royal Festival Hall terrace until 16th September.


But can something that doesn’t exist be classed as sculpture? Does it exist? What is certain, it is always changing, never the same, influenced by wind and water surface tension. Now you see it now you don’t.

Danish artist Jeppe Hein’s interactive installation draws in the viewer to participate to laugh and have fun. Appearing Rooms is made up of walls of raising water, randomly raising and falling resulting in a continuously changing pattern of rooms. Step into a room and it no longer exists, or get your timing wrong and be caught as the jet of water rise.



Click here to see YesBut's Images blog and leave a caption for the competition.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Winner of the YesBut's Image - Caption of the Week Award

Yet another week of witty and humorous captions.

But which one should be awarded the accolade of caption of the week?

A tough call. However, as always when the going gets tough the tough get going - Mrs YesBut and Mrs Mop were last seen disappearing down the road on a tandem, arguing who should be sitting on the front seat. Leaving Big Bev (YesBut‘s Fashion Correspondent), Dai “Watch the Birdie” (YesBut’s ace photographer) and myself to decide on the winner.

Sorry this week’s review of the captions is short and sweet – I assure you this does not reflect the quality of the captions, rather the difficulties I’m incurring using an unfamiliar Apple Mac, with all the tool bars in Dutch!!!

So in brief, this week there are three joint winners. Cue trumpets and drums.

They are (in order of time posted), cue more trumpets -

Click here to see the winner of YesBut's Image Caption of the Week Award for the week 11th to 17th August.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Stop wait for me!


Just missed the bus. But no problem, I have plenty of time to get home to count the votes for YesBut’s Images, Caption of the Week Award.

There have been some great captions this week which will make the decision difficult. I hope plenty of people vote.

Have you voted? No, then click here to go to YesBut’s Images site and cast a vote for the best caption posted between 11th to 17th August inclusive.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

I say dear, stop police!

For YesBut’s Image on 24th May, Ozlady’s suggested the caption -

We all knew the police were a bunch of skirts, but don’t u think this is taking it a bit far?

London had suffered a spate of audacious jewellery thefts. The robberies were all performed by a gang following the same modus operandi. Breaking into exclusive jewellers in the middle of the day, they made their getaway by running into Ladies Toilets; the police being gentlemen were unable to follow them into the establishments.

To counter the robber’s tactic the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair formed a specialist squad made up of transvestites. The limitation of the squid became apparent when members wearing high heal shoes twisted their ankles when chasing the gang. They refused to wear flat healed shoes, saying “they had their image to think of”.

Sir Ian was forced to form a quick response support unit consisting of one woman on a mountain bicycle. To date the strategy has been successful, with a reduction in the number of robberies. Although there have been complaints from the general public that the special force were using too much makeup, and refusing to perform any duties that might risk them laddering their tights..

Fact, (honest its true), in 2006 a special Police squid was set up to patrol London’s Royal Parks: Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’s Park. They were provided with rollerblades to chase after petty thieves operating in the parks. The trial didn’t last very long - thieves found it easy to escape, they merely ran across the grass, the rollerblading police were unable to follow.

Friday, 17 August 2007

YesBut can we trust it?


In the preparation of my Wednesday blogs “Memorial day”, I have to research the history both of the memorial’s subject and the sculpture. To do this I rely heavily on the internet. But how reliable is the information posted on web sites?

I have in previous blogs decried the accuracy of reporting in both newspapers and television.

In the main, non fictional books go through a review procedure to ensure the facts are correct - even if the subsequent interpretation is questionably.

But there is no peer review of information posted on the web. The result of this is the perpetuation of miss- and dis-information.

I enter into Google a name > a list of relevant web pages appears > click on what is judged the most pertinent and read the information. Unfortunately the author of the web site has made a typo, the date quoted is 1998 when in should have been 1989; I do not spot the error and quote 1989 in my blog. The next person comes along reads my blog sees 1989, thinks that’s not correct, checks the web site I had looked at sees 1989, shrugs thinks it must be correct, and quotes 1989. Now there are three sites which say 1989 so it must be correct!

Even Wikipedia isn’t 100% correct! This is due to genuine errors by the contributors; but unfortunately also due to the perverted actions of dingbats who think they are clever in corrupting published information.

So a word of caution, if you are relying on information obtained from the web:

  1. Ensure the reliability of a site - you can be fairly (but not absolutely) confident of information provided by official sites but treat with extreme caution information stated in blogs, (especially this one!).
  2. Try to verify any information, using independent resources - go back and check original source data.
Having said all that, take the opportunity to add further to the store of erroneous information. Click here and enter YesBut’s Images caption competition.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

YesBut I’m all alone.


David MacMahon suggested the caption -

"Landlord to tardy tenant: `You're behind on your Wren cheques again’'

for YesBut’s Image on 23rd June 2007.

The photograph suggest the following story to me: -

By all recognised measures she was successful. Governments sought her advice. Multinational Companies invited her to become a non-executive member of their board of directors. She was the first woman to become the Chief Executive of a multinational oil company. Yet as she looked down on the City from her penthouse apartment inwardly she felt a failure.

She was too old now to become a mother, even if she had a partner, which she did not. She realised that while she commanded respect, there wasn’t a single person in the whole world who loved, even cared for her as herself. They merely respected the posts and positions she held. Her father had died when she was seventeen, she thought he might have loved her, but he was an aloof person who never showed his emotions. Her mother had died three years ago; she had been proud of her success, but when they met, it felt like meeting an acquaintance on a train. She truly regretted, she had been an only child, if only she had a young brother to love or an older sister to confide in. But she was alone, all alone.

She walked to the window clutching a cut glass tumbler half full of whisky in her hand. She had noticed over the last year, she was more and more seeking solace in a glass of whisky. The sound of the tinkling ice was reassuring. She looked down at the ants scurrying across the bridge on their way home. Home to what? Would there be a wife, husband or lover waiting for them? Would they quietly climb the stairs and peep through the half open door at their children sleeping? Or like her would they be returning to a lonely box, with the only comfort found going to the fridge getting the ingredients of a snack and a drink. Out there beyond the double glazed window was life, inside there was deathly ear shattering silence. She walked over to the TV and switched it on, not caring what channel it was tuned to, she just wanted the presence of another person in the room, even if it was only an electronic image on a plasma screen.

Returning to the window she saw the train leaving the station, on its way to suburbia and normality. She shuddered at the thought of normality: 2.4 children, a mortgage, sex on Sunday mornings, car in the drive, clean sparkling kitchen and bathroom. She knew she didn’t want, never had wanted normality. What did she want? She wanted people to see her as a person who wanted affection; who wanted people to talk to her as a person and not as a Chief Executive.

What was it all about? Not the money, she scoffed she didn’t even take a holiday - there was nobody to go with, she didn’t want to be pitied as a lonely spinster. Was it for the prestige? How many of those ants crossing the bridge would recognise her? Probably none. The power? Yes, it was nice to make decisions which would have long term consequences. But is that what life is all about? How you earned your livelihood! She was frightened. She realised there was only one way to step off the tread mill - to empty the Aspirin tablets into her whisky, sit in her favourite armchair drink the contents of the tumbler and wait for oblivion.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Memorial day - 10


The Robert Raikes memorial is located within the shadow of the Savoy Hotel in Victoria Embankment Gardens, London. The statue was erected in July 1880, under the direction of the Sunday School Union and paid for by contributions from teachers and scholars of Sunday Schools in Great Britain.

Robert Raikes was born in Gloucester, England, in 1736. His father was the founder of the “Gloucester Journal”. On his father’s death in 1757, Robert took over as the Journal’s Editor. He used the newspaper to campaign for prison reform. He realised that prisoner’s lives had been shaped by their deprived childhood.

In July 1780, Raikes and a local Anglican curate, Thomas Stock, started the first Sunday School at St Mary le Crypt Church, in Gloucester. The schools while a success were not universally accepted and were criticized by some for educating ragged dirty urchins and running schools on a Sunday, considered an inappropriate activity for the Sabbath.

Robert Raikes died on 5th April 1811.

By 1831, weekly 1.25 million children were attending Sunday Schools in Great Britain.

It is worth noting the monuments sculptor Sir Thomas Brock R.A. (1847 - 1922), most famous work is the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

YesBut what's the local news?

From the Chronicle Herald, published in Halifax, Nova Scotia:

Gone fishin’:

No girls allowed. 9-year-old wants to join boys-only outdoor day camp, but girls offered only day at the spa. -

Nine-year-old Lydia Houck was looking forward to a day of fishing, hiking and golfing when she browsed through a list of summer day camps offered near her Nova Scotia home, but the only option that fit her interests was just for boys.


In contrast, the only all-girl camp, dubbed Glamorous Girls, offers jewelry-making and a trip to the spa for manicures and pedicures for girls aged five to 12. Lydia says she’d rather be fishing.

"It was really frustrating that they were being discriminatory and they were saying that boys should look forward to doing this and that girls shouldn’t do this," Lydia, who will be entering Grade 4 in the fall, said in an interview from her home in Windsor. "My brother and I go fishing a lot and I enjoy going outside a lot, and this camp seemed to fit that description and it was pretty much the only day camp that did."

The Municipality of the District of West Hants offers three other day camps that are co-ed — a trip to an amusement park, a day at the waterslides and a pirate-themed excursion into Halifax — but Lydia said none of them sounded as fun as the camp for boys.


The municipality says the idea for next Monday’s spa day came from similar all-girl day camps elsewhere in Nova Scotia, with at least one Halifax-area community staging its own spa event for young girls this summer.
West Hants recreation director Kathy Kehoe denied the camp lineup is discriminatory and said there are no plans to reverse the decision before the event for boys takes place on Tuesday.

From the Milton -Ulladulla Times, New South Wales, Australia.

Shed 'inappropriate'

A MEN'S Shed, planned for the grounds of the Milton-Ulladulla Baptist Church, is inappropriate according to neighbouring residents.


Opponents of the workshop support the need for such a facility in the district, but believe it would be better suited to an industrial or commercial area, rather than a residential estate in Narrawallee.


The Men's Shed is planned for a site on the corner of Matron Porter Drive and Leo Drive adjacent to the existing church building.


The project is part of the national Men's Shed network and will provide an opportunity for local men to work on timber and metal projects for local charities and community groups, while fostering men's health and providing a meeting place seven days a week.


I have only one question: What about the girls and women?

Monday, 13 August 2007

Winner of the YesBut's Image - Caption of the Week Award

The captions that caught the eye last week were:

From Saturday:
Pope Terry 's caption - "if all these people weren't around I could eat that pigeon"

Siddharth Khandelwal's caption - "The two guys telling the girl, 'Now you dye your hair Green so that we can pass off as the Lithuanian flag'"

Sunday:
ozlady 's caption - "How on earth am I going to play that?"

madkatmom 's - “The sign here says this sculpture was formed from the millions of bits of Pete Townsend's smashed guitars from 1968 to 1978.”

Monday:
Pope Terry 's suggested caption - 'oh look its one of those flea ridden mangy parasite birds..... and a pigeon' Take that backpackers!

ozlady 's caption - “Having slayed the dreaded Backpacker, the pigeon sauntered across the railway station, disappearing into the flock of docile pigeons like the trained assassin he was.”

Doug 's caption - “Well that's the last time I date a human. Interspecies erotica is way
overrated!”

judyduncan 's suggestion - “Wow I guess my breath IS that bad....anyone have a Tic Tac?”

Tuesday:
Pope Terry 's suggested caption - Guy in Orange: "So if she said meet me on the second floor, does that mean I've been stood up again!"

david mcmahon 's caption - “Bottom falls out of the building industry.”

Siddharth Khandelwal's caption - “This building could be a perfect office for the "Top Heavy" company I work for.”

Wednesday:
Doug 's caption - “My bag of Limburger cheese did the trick. The beach is all mine now!”

Pope Terry 's suggestion - “After a long time from home Odyseus finally gets some good news or so he thinks: "HA, Poseidon be damned I have the bag of winds.... oh no I don’t, this is just Billy’s lunch..."

Thursday:
dadvid mcmahon 's suggestions - Does my (gun) butt look big in this?

Friday:
Chewy 's suggested caption - "Old Mother YesBut went to the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone."

Doug's caption - "Y2k Supplies! 1/2 off on 1999 vintage Y2K Supplies. Still freshly sealed. Stock up now for the next phony Apocalypse while supplies last!"


The first task was to produce a shortlist:

ozlady 's caption - “Having slayed the dreaded Backpacker, the pigeon sauntered across the railway station, disappearing into the flock of docile pigeons like the trained assassin he was.”

judyduncan 's suggestion - “Wow I guess my breath IS that bad....anyone have a Tic Tac?”

Siddharth Khandelwal's caption - “This building could be a perfect office for the "Top Heavy" company I work for.”

Doug 's caption - “My bag of Limburger cheese did the trick. The beach is all mine now!”

dadvid mcmahon 's suggestions - Does my (gun) butt look big in this?

Chewy' s caption -"Old Mother YesBut went to the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone."


It doesn't get easier 16 to 6, then to 1!

Click here to see the winner of YesBut's Image Caption of the Week Award for the week4th to 10th August.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

YesBut I know that place.


The image is taken from Google Earth, what is the building marked X?

If you want a clue, click here to see the photo of the start, it finishes close to X.

If you want another clue, click on comments to see.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

YesBut that was the second week of August


Poor old Gordon Brown, two days after becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, suicide bombers tried to blow up a London nightclub. The next day they tried to blow up Glasgow Airport. Then there came the rains, resulting in flooding and billions of pounds damage. Now we have a Foot & Mouth outbreak. As the “Son of the Manse” I bet he’s wondering

“Is this a Divine revelation? Was the blessed Tony truly the Chosen One, and I shouldn’t have got rid of him”.

Gordon had one days holiday before having to return to London to manage the Foot & Mouth emergency. If Tony was still PM, by now he would have been sunning himself on some private beach owned by a geriatric pop star.

This week its been noticeable how the days are getting shorter. Two weeks ago it was still light at 10:30, now its dark by 10pm, with sunset at 8:30. Even now I hope we will get an Indian Summer to compensate for the dismal one we’ve had.

India has been very much the theme of the week. With festivals throughout the country and programs on BBC television and radio to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the creation of Pakistan and Indian independence.

I have visited both India and Pakistan; a challenge - not places to go to relax. But I would really like to re-visit Pakistan, to judge for myself the degree of radicalism that exists. General Perez Musharraf, intones one message to the outside world “you must support me, if I’m deposed the Muslim fanatics will take over”. Is that the true situation? Is the West being conned to support a dictator, who opposes democracy? The image I have perceived this week is of a very conservative but not fundamentalist country.

Friday, 10 August 2007

YesBut clean-up your act.

Mrs YesBut accumulates kitchen gadgets. You know the things I mean, advertised on TV as the chefs answer to grating cheese, or the ultimate lettuce dryer. In the kitchen cupboard we have food processors, fruit blenders, bread makers, rice cookers. Used once then stored as they take too long to clean, compared to conventional kitchen utensil’s.

I have to hold my hand up, I am equally delinquent, with computer program downloads. I see a write-up for a program or a Google widget and I download it. And there it sits collecting cyberspace dust and clogging up my computer.

Its worth taking some time to review the programs on your computer and asking are they necessary? When was the last time you used them? If you don’t use them get rid of them.

But before starting take the precaution of saving the programs installed, then if anything goes wrong you can undue your actions. Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore > Create a restore point. Simple!

To get rid of unwanted programs Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs > Change or Remove Programs. And remove unwanted programs - but be cautious be sure you know what you are removing. But if anything goes wrong use System Restore to get back to the previous status.

Having said that, I am going to advocate downloading another, albeit small program. Its worth looking at the programs that start-up when you switch on your computer and continue to run in the background. If a program isn’t required, then why run it?

If you go to http://www.mlin.net/ you can download a program written by Mike Lin, which allows you to see which programs run when your computer starts, and allows you to select which programs you require. I wish it was that easy to persuade Mrs YesBut to get rid of all her unwanted kitchen utensils.