Saturday, 30 June 2007

YesBut that was the last week of June

People get problems thinking what to blog about. Writers block shouldn’t occur to the British – there’s always the weather to talk about! April was the warmest on record. In some parts of the country June has been the wettest. Last week was particularly bad with flash floods.

Last weekend was the annual mud bath, known as Glastonbury Music Festival. One of the surprise hits at this year’s festival was the geriatric Dame Shirley Bassey (She of the Gold Finger). The TV National News on Monday reported her helicopter taking here home from the gig had to make an emergency landing due to bad weather. And what’s more, wait for it Dame Shirley, asked a nearby householder if she could use their toilet. Wars all over the world, the Middle East in chaos and all British TV News can report is a sing peed!!

If Glastonbury attracts mud, then the All England Tennis Championship at Wimbledon attracts rain. This year the British were pinning their hopes on Andy Murray but he had to pull out before the tournament started with a bad wrist. Big gloom descended over the country – and I’m not only refereeing to the rain clouds. Then a miracle occurred, the written off former British No.1, Tim Henman managed to win a match. You should have heard the crowds “Come on Tim”, “We love you Tim2 – you would have thought he had won the Championship.

So he (I’m determined not to mention his name again) has finally departed and is no longer Prime Minister of Great Britain. At this point I’ll call for three cheers hip hip, hip hip, hip hip.

His last overseas act was to go and see the Pope. There are rumours that he (the former PM, not the Pope) is thinking of converting to be a Catholic. I assume he thinks being a catholic will give him a better chance of becoming a Saint. To become a saint you have had to have done one miracle. He missed out on his miracle in not finding WMDs in Iraq. If he does become a saint he will be known as Saint Anthony the Bringer of Death.

It is interesting to note that even at the start of the 21st century, its thought to be inappropriate to be a Catholic and British Prime Minister!

One advantage of his departure was, we also got rid of the "Fatman" on the right. He was the Deputy Prime Minister. He had two peaks in his political career. The first, during a general election campaign, when he landed a punch on the chin of a protester who had thrown an egg at him. The second, when he raised to the occasion, and was caught screwing his Appointment Secretary on his Ministerial office desk.

This is the last week when you can smoke in English pubs. A new law will come in force tomorrow banning smoking in enclosed areas and work places. I knew I should have invested in the company who makes nicotine patches. England is the last, Ireland & Scotland went smoke free last year and Wales in April.

Friday, 29 June 2007

YesBut's Images Caption of the Week Award - Final reminder

Today is the last day to post a caption for the photos posted on YesBut’s Images on 23rd to 29th June.

So put on your thinking cap and think up captions. But your participation doesn’t end there. It’s up to you to select the Caption of the Week. Your vote of the best and runner-up caption should be posted on YesBut’s Images blog by midnight Sunday 1st July.

This week there have been a number of imaginative and humorous captions posted on YesBut’s Images, which will make the selection of the Caption of the Week a challenge, so please cast your votes. Don’t leave to YesBut’s Editorial Team. I don’t think I could endure another of their meetings, the constant sniping between Mrs YesBut and Mrs Mop. Trying to persuade Dai the Blog to keep his mind on the business of the meeting and his hands off Big Bev’s assets. Heaven forbid even Dai Roaming is threatening to find his way to the office. So for the sake of my sanity please cast your votes.

To remind you of the rules:

  • Visit the blog and review the captions for the postings 23rd to 29th June inclusive.
  • Select your wining caption and runner up
  • Post your choices on the blog (some times contributors submit more than one caption each day; so please clearly identify which caption you are nominating).
  • Voting will close at midnight GMT Sunday 1st July.

First nominations will be given 2 point, 2nd nominations 1 point. The caption having the highest total of points will be awarded the “Caption of the Week Award“.

Results will be posted on this blog and YesBut’s Images.

Join in the fun cast your vote even better post a caption - click here.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Winners Logo

YesBut's Images Caption Award Winners logo looks great on Bart's blog

YesBut how can I speed up my computer?

One of my pastimes is to visit message boards especially those devoted to technical forums. I admit at the onset, I’m very much a dummy rather than a geek. But I like reading about Firebox extensions and Plugins, don’t understand a word of what I’m reading, but I admire people’s ingenuity and technical skills.

One of the main questions asked on message boards is “how can I speed up my computer?

I have had YesBut’s computer boffins to address the problem, with the additional requirement it must be easily applied even by the most inept and computer illiterate person (i.e. me).

Edward de Bono, the pioneer of “lateral thinking” tackled a similar problem some years ago. The problem he had to address was:

For the fifteen minutes before the start of the workday at a large office block, and again at the end of the working day, large queues formed for the lifts (elevators). There was no room to install additional lifts, nor any method of speeding up the existing lifts. How could the congestion be relieved?

Phasing the starting times was one option, but it would have unacceptable disruptive effects on interdepartmental activities. The solution was simple and inexpensive. Mirrors were installed in all the lift lobbies. People were so busy looking at themselves in the mirror; they no longer noticed the time taken waiting for a lift.

So back to the speeding up a computer problem.

It takes about a minute from the time I switch on the computer to the time the Windows XP bing bong sounds and I can click to open my account. It then takes another three minutes to (I think the jargon is) boot-up, and I can surf the internet. So applying the mirror solution. I start up the computer, go into the kitchen fill the electric kettle and switch it on. Go back to the computer, click to open my account. Return to the kitchen and make my breakfast. Return to the computer which by then is up and running and ready to go.

That solution is OK at the start of the day, but what about during the day? There you are up and running wanting to post your blog, and your computer has sneaked off to its private dreamland. No problem, have a book of Sudoku puzzles at hand. Direct your attention to finding the missing numbers and forget about the computer. Or get yourself one of those executive desk toys - click your Newton’s Balls. Simple

Another thing you can do is click here see today’s YesBut’s Images, then when your computer has its little siesta, think about a caption.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Memorial day - 4

Between the Embankment and Horse Guards, at the junction of Horse Guards Avenue and Whitehall Court, north of the Ministry of Defence in Westminster, London, stands the Gurkha Soldier Memorial, unveiled by Queen Elizabeth 2 on December 3, 1997

“Bravest of the brave, most generous of the generous, never had country more faithful friends than you",
the words by Sir Ralph Turner, inscribed on the memorial, who served with the 3rd Queen Alexandra‘s Own Gurkha Rifles in World War 1..

The Gurkha people take their name from the eighth century Hindu warrior saint Guru Gorakhnath and are native to Nepal. They fought against the British East India Company in the Gurkha War (1814 - 1816). So impressed were the British, that after the war ground to a stalemate the “Company” were granted permission to hire Gurkhas. So came into being the Gurkha Regiment to fight as mercenaries for the British. Today, under International Law the Gurkhas are not treated as mercenaries, the Brigade of Ghurkhas is fully integrated into the British Army.

One hundred thousand Gurkhas fought in the First World War and 250,000 in WW2. Post WW2, while American troops got bogged down in Vietnam, the Gurkhas were one, if not “The”, major factor in quelling the communist insurrection in Malaya.

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest award for valour “in the face of the enemy” granted to members of British forces. Gurkha soldiers have won 13 VCs; in addition 13VCs have been awarded to British Officers serving in Gurkha regiments. The Gurkhas are truly legendary soldiers and are one of the foremost elite fighting units, not only in the British Army, but any army.

The emblem of the Brigade of Gurkhas is the “kukri” knife, an iconic symbol of bravery.

Click here to see YesBut’s Image of the day and make a suggestion of a suitable caption for the picture.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

YesBut what's the local news?

Over the last couple of weeks I have attempted to find some interesting snippets from local papers, to inform and entertain you.

From the Mackay Daily Mercury, Queensland Australia – “Rude customers will not be served - cafe owner”. “

GORDI'S Bar and Cafe owner, Gary Choy said people might complain about bad service in Mackay, but from his perspective on the other side of the counter, customers could be just plain rude. "Customers can be horribly rude in Mackay, but that's the same everywhere else," he said.
"If I have someone who clicks their fingers at me, I won't serve them. We are here to serve not to be treated like a piece of dirt."
He instructs staff at Gordi's Bar and Cafe and his restaurant, Pacino's, to do likewise.
Mr Choy's comments come after hospitality consultant Rowena Hardy said there were a significant number of businesses in Mackay which gave bad service.

From the Lennox Independent, South Dakota – “Shootin’ in the Dakota Territory to be held in Lennox July 21-22
Yeeehaa! Get ready for some cowboy fun! On July 21 and 22 the Dakota Territory Mounted Shooters (DTMS) will host the 2007 South Dakota State Shoot - Shootin’ in the Dakota Territory at the Whitehead Arena just south of Lennox.This state event will bring riders from four states together, all competing for points that will help send them to the national event in Las Vegas, NV next November.Dakota Territory Mounted Shooters is a local club formed in January of 2006 to foster the family oriented equestrian sport of Cowboy Mounted Shooting. President of the club is Mike Whitehead, of Lennox. They have a business meeting once a month and practice twice a month.What is Cowboy Mounted Shooting? According to the DTMS website (, Cowboy Mounted Shooting® is one of the nation’s fastest growing equestrian sports. Mounted contestants compete in this fast action timed event using two .45 caliber single action revolvers each loaded with five rounds of specially prepared blank ammunition. Courses of fire are set in a variety of patterns. The first half (5 targets) of a course of fire will vary with each go and requires the horse and rider to stop, turn, change leads and accelerate rapidly. The second half (5 targets), called the “run down”, is a straight course with targets set at 36 foot intervals.Typically, a competitor crosses the timing beam at a full gallop and engages the first pattern of five targets. After a shooter fires the fifth shot, he or she returns the empty revolver to a holster and proceeds to and turns around a barrel and then races to the far end of the arena while drawing a second revolver. At the far end the horse and rider turn another barrel and then engage the five remaining targets of the run down at full speed.”

And from the UK, the Chester Observer – “Vandals steal underpass safety barriers. Thieves have put walkers and cyclists in danger by stealing safety barriers at a Bognor Regis underpass.
The tubular aluminium structures were stolen overnight from both ends of the underpass which connects the northern and southern sections of Gordon Avenue.The 40-yard long passage goes through the banks of the A259 Hotham Way flyover and is used as a cycleway and a footpath.The barriers were separated from their supports which have been left behind in the pavements.Stunned West Sussex County Council's highways officers believe the barriers could only have been stolen. "They have probably been taken for their scrap value," a spokesman said."We take the matter very seriously. The barriers were there for safety reasons and we will be replacing them, though we don't have a date yet.

From the Port Elizabeth Herald, South Africa – “Top cop asked to explain MEC rumpus”.
“A LATE-NIGHT altercation between Humewood police and Eastern Cape safety and security MEC Thobile Mhlahlo at the weekend took a bizarre turn yesterday when a senior Port Elizabeth police officer was summoned to Bhisho to report on the incident.
This comes amid fresh allegations that Mhlahlo was apprehended by police after he became embroiled in a heated argument with police when his chauffeur, Constable Zotwa, was stopped for driving under the influence at about 1am on Sunday.
The Herald has learned that Inspector Ronald Koll, station commissioner of the Humewood police station, was ordered to report to provincial commissioner Mpumelelo Landu to explain what took place during the confrontation between his officers and Mhlahlo.
Koll confirmed he was in Bhisho on Monday, presenting statements taken from the officers on the scene.
He said Landu wished to investigate the matter at a provincial level.
However, Mhlahlo yesterday denied he had been apprehended and refused to comment on the incident, saying only: “If we have moles within the SAPS we should follow and talk to those moles.”
The Herald reported on Monday that Mhlahlo had been called by Zotwa after the chauffeur was pulled over by members of the flying squad for changing lanes without indicating.
According to a police statement issued on Sunday, Mhlahlo and his driver went to the Humewood police station, where the matter was solved and the driver issued with a fine.However, a well-placed source said yesterday that when Mhlahlo arrived on the scene, he threatened to take away a police officer‘s gun and throw him off a bridge.”

Click here to view YesBut's Images

Monday, 25 June 2007

Winner of the YesBut’s Image - Caption of the Week Award.

Before I announce the identity of the first winner of the award, I have to say, the standard of the captions posted last week was extremely high. YesBut’s Editorial team had great fun each day reading the captions and discussing their merits. (Actually some of the discussions were less than affable).

Starting with Friday 15th, YesBut’s photographer Dai Watch the Birdie, liked Ozlady’s caption “I may be a square, but you’re just muzak”

On Saturday Big Bev loved Doug’s Yes officer . . . They were sitting right there before the UFO landed. And Dai the Blog agreed, but that’s not saying much, being under Big Bev’s cleavage power he agrees with everything she says.

Now Sunday brought out the worst in YesBut’s Editorial team, with team members almost resorting to violence to get everyone to agree with their selection. Dai Ready Money liked Chewy’s “Smile and look at the birdie!” – because it was open to a multiple of interpretations: the conventional “watch the birdie”, the fact the hats looked like pink birds, and the none PC reference to women as birds.

Monday Dai Roaming, YesBut’s foreign correspondent managed to find his way to the office, and Mrs Mop struck him over the head with her brush. When he came around he was enthusiastic about Ozlady’s “Don’t get shirty with me”. But on reflection he might have been addressing Mrs Mop.

Opinions were divided on Tuesday between Ozlady’s “**swaying** . . . and you-u-u, light up my life . . .”; and David McMahon’s “Watts up”.

Wednesday was very special, Dai the Box laughed at Ozlady’s “Guys – shut up, I’m trying to read this sign . . . ‘U-N that’s un, D-E- R, that’s der . . .”, (being a grumpy old fart i never laugh). While Mrs YesBut (she who must be obayed) thought David McMahon’s caption “Okay, so you won the Monopoly game this time, but here’s an IOU for the station”, was very clever.

What superlatives can be said about Thursday’s captions? Anyone of them could quite justifiably be chosen as the Caption of the Week. As far YesBut’s Editorial Team were concerned they couldn’t come to an agreement on which was the caption of the day.

A high standard was maintained throughout the week, none more so than on Friday. It was great to see a new contributor – Mrs YesBut and Mrs Mop both agreed (which is a rare event) that she (they tell me Wackjobs is a she) will be a strong contender.

I’m afraid only two people voted – sad (I’m sure it’s not a reflection on the quality of the captions posted).

One vote was for Chewy’s caption on the 21st June – “Drank that frozen Margarita too fast! Brain freeze, brain freeze. Oh, that hurts!”

The other was for Bart’s caption on the 19th June – “84 squares, 85 squares, 86 squares, orange and green blockades...? Oh crap, now I've lost count...1 square, 2 squares... “

I really wish YesBut’s Editorial team didn’t have to decide. But after much squabbling the first winner of YesBut’s Images Caption of the Week Award is – BART.

There are two reasons:

I originally chose the photograph because no caption was readily obvious, and to
post any caption was an achievement.

Bart’s caption showed a high
degree of both imagination and humour.

I hope you agree with the final choice. I also hope more people will vote at the end of this week.

The winner - click here to see.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

YesBut that was the third week of June

Just about got over the disappointment of not appearing in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. At least Beefy, Ian Botham got a knighthood which he fully deserves for his cricket achievements and fundraising. Through long distance sponsored walks has raised £10 million for leukaemia research. (Glad to see the Duke of Edinburgh is keeping his head warm - can’t be too careful when your 86 years old)

So they’ve discovered that the Amazon is the longest river in the world, at 6,800km (4,250 miles) it is 105 km longer than the Nile. Who says size doesn’t count!

Last Sunday there were ceremonies in London marking the 25th anniversary of the end of Falkland Island conflict. The events finished with a fly past. Tony Blair was accompanying members of the Royal Family and Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister at the time of the war.

I wonder if Blair was thinking “this is a celebration of Thatcher’s triumph, but in 25 years time there will be no celebration for me”. Too right! In 25 years time Blair will still be remembered as the Prime Minister who lied to his country and took it into an unwanted war.

On Tuesday in response to the posting “YesBut what does it mean?” , B.T. Bear asked for suggestions for a word for the time between someone farting and the reaction of others in their company. My first suggestion was “pungent pause”. But after due consideration I’ve come up with:

Using the prefix for before “pre”, you get prepong, or prestink or pressence. But if you consider the word relates to the
time period between the fart and the smelling, you could use smellspell. But I think my preferred word is preordouraction.

David McMahon wrote in his blog on Thursday, about being in Melbourne on the Shortest Day of the Year. What a coincident it was the Longest Day of the Year in the UK!!! We blog a World apart. For the record in Wales it rained and rained and rained.

Like the Indian Royal families of old, and Alpine goat headers; YesBut and his entourage has moved to its summer pastures. After the sun and the rain of May and June the grass is so high, its difficult to find the computer! One result of being away from YesBut’s HQ is I have to rely on the local library to get internet access, so there will be no posting tomorrow. I’m posting two images today on YesBut’s Images site, so you can think up plenty of captions.

I really really hope you vote in the Captions of the Week Competition, there have been some fantastic entries this week, so please click here for YesBut’s Images and cast your vote for the captions posted 16th to 22nd June inclusive.

Friday, 22 June 2007

YesBut’s Images Caption of the Week Award - Final reminder

Last week I announced the inauguration of a new competition, where readers of YesBut’s Images blog can vote on the most humorous or clever caption of the week. Today is the last day to post a caption for the photos posted on YesBut’s Images on16th to 22nd June.

So put on your thinking caps and think up captions.

But your participation doesn’t end there. It’s up to you to select the Caption of the Week. Your vote of the best and runner-up caption should be posted on YesBut’s Images blog by midnight Sunday 24th June.

To remind you of the rules:

  • Visit the blog and review the captions for the postings 16th to 22nd June inclusive.
  • Select your wining caption and runner up
  • Post your choices on the blog (some times contributors submit more than one caption each day; so please clearly identify which caption you are nominating).
  • Voting will close at midnight GMT Sunday 24th June.

First nominations will be given 2 point, 2nd nominations 1 point. The caption having the highest total of points will be awarded the “Caption of the Week Award“.

Results will be posted on this blog and YesBut’s Images.

I do hope you vote otherwise the choice will be left to YesBut’s Editorial Team; and I am sure you wouldn’t want to inflict on YesBut the agony and frustration of chairing a meeting of:

  • Mrs Yes But - the Power behind the Throne
  • Mrs Mop - cleaning lady, and usurper of the throne during YesBut’s absence
  • Dai the Blog - YesBut’s Wales correspondent
  • Big Bev - YesBut’s fashion correspondent (we are still waiting for her first contribution - but she keeps Dai the Blog happy)
  • Dai Roaming - YesBut’s foreign correspondent (last seen queuing for a ticket at Victoria Coach Station).
  • Dai the Box - mistakenly employed as TV critic (we only found out afterwards he acquired his name when working for an undertaker).
  • Dai Ready Money - treasurer and financer (we send him out to telephone boxes to see if he can find some coins)
  • Dai Watch the Birdie - YesBut’s ace photographer (actually he doesn’t own a camera, but he is Mrs YesBut’s brother- enough said!).
The last time that lot made a decision was last year when they decided to invest in a gramophone manufacturing business - they reckoned the public will not take to CDs’ and the future lies with 45s and LPs. So please cast your vote. So visit YesBut’s Images and vote.

Looking at the captions submitted, its not going to be an easy choice.

Join in the fun cast your vote even better post a caption - click here.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

YesBut copy first

In my blog two weeks ago YesBut its a new world, I touched upon the use of photo editing programs.I apologies, I omitted a word of caution, which I should have included in the blog.

Make a copy before you start manipulating any image. And only edit the copy never the original. Even if you have an idea in your mind of the final image you are striving for, make a copy of the original before you start and work on the copy.

There are two reasons for the golden rule.

  • Sods law "if things can go wrong, they will go wrong". Unfortunatly things do go wrong when editing a photograph. If you have copy of the original you can start again (not forgetting to work on a new copy).
  • There are many many images within a photograph. The joy of photo editing is bring-out hidden images. You can use copies of the original to make different images.
The photo in today’s YesBut’s Image is a cropped version of the photograph on the left.
The photographs below show a few images that can be obtained by cropping the same original photograph.

Cropping is just one of many tools available to you when using a photo editing program. The photoes below illustrates just three:

  1. Cropping the original photo
  2. Adjusting the cropped photos saturation (making colours more brilliant)
  3. And applying one of many filters giving the saturated cropped photo a twirl.

Go on have a go. But first click here and add your suggested caption to today’s YesBut’ Image

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Memorial day - 3

This is the third in a series of blogs looking at memorials and public sculptures. Worldwide hundreds of monuments were erected to commemorate Queen Victoria, one stands at the north end of Blackfriars Bridge, London. But that is not the subject of this blog. To be perfectly accurate, the object of discussion is neither a memorial nor a sculpture. But in reality it is both!

Even as late as the middle of the nineteenth century the domestic water supply in London was contaminated. The 1832 Cholera pandemic claimed 6,536 victims in London. In 1849 a further 14,137 people died. The 1853-4 epidemic claimed a further 10,738. The latter was proved to be the result of contaminated drinking water supplies. To safely quench their thirst the poor reverted to drinking bear and gin.

In 1859 Samuel Gurney a Member of Parliament and philanthropist, and Edward Thomas Wakefield formed the Metropolitan Free Drinking Fountain Association with the objective of constructing fountains that would provide cold perfectly pure drinking water. Eighty-five fountains were built in the next six years. The one at Blackfriars was built in July 1861. The figure represents Temperance and is the work of Wills Brotherss, working for the Coalbrookdale Iron Company.

In 1867 the Association broadened its remit to include animal welfare and changed its name to The Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association.

Often donations to the Association were inadequate and Gurney paid for fountains out of his pocket. As can be seen from the photograph, the fountains were not merely functional, but decorative. And while not constructed as memorials, they do stand as reminders of the great philanthropists of the Victorian era.

Regrettably the fountain no longer provides cool pure drinking water - tourists have to buy this in bottles.

Click here to see some tourists.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

YesBut what does it mean?

Awoke this morning with the word “repensity” on my mind. Looked it up in the dictionary no entry. Entered it into Google and got Do you mean "propensity"?

Obviously I had discovered a word that had fallen off the lorry on its way from the word factory. The question is: was it a spare word, or is there a meaning out there still waiting to be united with the word?

Or had I discovered a dastardly crime, was repensity thrown out of the lorry by a renegade “p”, who then took its place, disguised as “propensity”? I then found another word “repensiation” - obviously a relative of repensity. Google wanted to know if I meant “presentation”. Obviously Google has got some fundamental shortcomings when it comes to the English language!

I think I have the duty to rescue the two words and find meanings for them.

re - means negative, (as in resign, recant)
pen - writing
sit - be in position

So “repensit” means - no writing i.e. before I write my blog it is repensit, afterwards it’s a load of old codswallop.

Repensity” means - a state of not being able to identify anything to write about. A condition that frequently occurs when I sit in front of the computer, thinking of a subject for the blog.

Repensiation” means - an act that I’m tempted to do at this very moment i.e. hitting the delete button to send this blog to the bin.

There is also “reprensiating” meaning the act of inadvertently clicking on the delete button before first saving a document.

This lexicography game, is far easier than I thought it would be

I wonder if I can think of a suitable caption for YesBut’s Image? Click here to see.

Monday, 18 June 2007

YesBut what's the local news?

In the absence of nominations of local papers worth featuring, YesBut has once again, taking his life in his hands and risking all without a safety net, has cast his beady eye far and wide to find some gems from the local press. Whether YesBut has been successful, is up to you to judge. But don’t forget, if you have come across any interesting or humorous articles in local newspapers, then please let me know.

From The Guyra Argus, New South Wales, Australia - “Super Spuds bounce back to form”.

“A fair to middling crowd saw Guyra grab a long overdue hattrick of victories over hapless Glen Innes Magpies sides. In three grades the Spuds scored 28 tries, 28 conversions where in a day of golden boots Under 18's Tom Starr gets the toe poke award for his wobbling bobbling field goals to snatch victory 30 seconds from full time.” - I think it was a Rugby League match(?).
The Herald Tribune, Southwest Florida’s information leader reports - “Backyard gunshot in rural Manatee County brings up questions”.

“NORTH MANATEE -- A judge this week said a man who fired a gun in his backyard off Ellenton-Gillette Road, in rural Manatee County, can be prosecuted for unlawfully shooting a gun in public. But is Joe Forestandi's backyard public?”.
I have been struggling to find anything worth reporting in New Zealand, but from the Nothern Courier - “Model Result From Tawa Girl”.

“A DREAM of Tawa’s Ellese Forbes may become a reality. Ms Forbes is one of 12 young women from around the country to make the final of Cadbury Dream Model Search 2007. Almost 900 hopefuls tried out in the competition, which is open to young between the ages of 13 and 24. It seems Wellington is a hotbed of aspiring young models, with half of the national finalists from the capital. “Selecting the final 12 was hard, as the standard was very high,” Caroline Barley, competition organiser and director of Nova Models, Talent and Actors, says. “However, we’re very happy with the group we’ve chosen. In a major coup, organisers this week also confirmed a representative from Trump Model Management New York as a guest judge in the final.” Now was that waiting for?

The Irish contribution comes from the Donegal News - “He’s retiring, but his mother was still from Derryreel”.

“WELL known Letterkenny man Liam O'Neill retires from Carpet Interiors, Mountain Top next week having spent most of his working life in the carpet business. Work colleagues presented him with a cartoon at a special function last weekend which captured Liam's well used catch phrase "did you know my mother came from Derryreel"?”.
Finally this week from the Scotland, the Ross-shire Journal - “Silver lure for fully-clothed swimmers”.

“AN historic trophy up for grabs in Invergordon this week really is a matter of life and death. The Littlejohn Man Overboard competition dates back to 1906 and encourages the art of lifesaving. Competent swimmers prepared to take the plunge have to swim lengths of the pool at Invergordon Leisure Centre – fully clothed and with a casualty in tow.”
Well that is some of the local news for the week. If you come across a story in your local paper that you would like to share, then please let me know.

But don’t forget to post your entry to YesBut’s Images caption competition. Click here.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

YesBut which one?

Friday I announced the inauguration of YesBut’s Images web site “Caption of the week Award”. I decided to do this to give greater recognition to those who have contributed some brilliantly funny and clever captions to the photographs.

The first unsolicited humorous caption was posted on 27th April by B.T. Bear who commented on a photo of the London Marathon - “WOW look at all those water bottles! The loos must have been busy”.

His caption gave me the idea of inviting other humorous captions. For the next couple of weeks B.T. was the sole contributor. Things started to pick up when the blog was listed on David McMahon's Aussiejourno’s Weekly Blog Awards.

Since then there have been some gems of captions submitted, these are a few that come readily to mind:

Ozlady’s cutting caption to a stark photo - “Hag drags bag while havin’ a fag!”,

B.T. Bear’s very clever caption - “Archaeologists find stalagtights in Petticoat Lane”

Barts caption, asked so many questions - “Perhaps if I keep looking intently, nobody will realize I accidentally glued my thumb to the inside of this book”

Chewy’s imaginative caption - “If I blow enough hot air into this balloon I could rise above it all”.

David McMahon has been a regular contributor, but I consider the one made on the 3rd June to be exceptional. It ties in the name of the restaurant with its location and the rumbling of the trains passing over the bridge - “Can you hear the drums, fer Nando’s?”.

There were a number of great captions for the 4th June photo, including Doug’s - ”Babe, the Cyndi Lauper look went out ages ago”.

It is interesting how viewers see different things in a photograph, Scott from Oregon suggested - “Every year, the baton twirlers fought for the front position . . .”.

Again Bart’s caption on the 6th June was so imaginative - “What are you in for? I’m in for loitering”.

Looking back over the previous weeks submissions, which would you consider notable. I hope next Sunday you will cast your vote on the best caption submitted between 16th and 22nd June. Even better submit your own captions.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

YesBut that was the second week of June

Last Saturday I mentioned the re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall, London, after being closed for two years for refurbishment and re-development. Regrettably the crowds jarringly revealed the inadequacies of the South Bank Centre, which despite a £100 million refurbishment, the hall built for the 1951 Festival of Britain, is way, way past is best by date. The first problem the hall is sandwiched between the River Thames and Belvedere Road. If they had built the Hall backing onto the road, leaving an open area on the riverside, it would have been welcoming. Unfortunately they left a large unusable area behind the Hall and a restricted area on the riverside. Events on the riverside terrace were congested with the audience unable to see the performers and the normal flow of people walking along the river brought to a crawl. The main auditorium was notorious with musicians, as having the worst acoustics of any major concert hall. Despite computer aided design and acoustic modelling the acoustics in the auditorium remains harsh. What a disappointment.

I heard on the radio that more people inhabit virtual worlds such as Second Life, than live in Australia. I find that sad, that people think it necessary to escape the real world. Though I would surmise the Australian Aborigines wish Captain James Cook had restricted himself to virtual journeys.

Some months ago Primark, with much publicity, opened a store in London’s Oxford Street. It was overwhelmed with crowds with the doors having to be closed. Since then Mrs YesBut has been nagging me to take her to the store. Tried to explain to here the omens weren’t conducive - planets in the wrong alignment, wrong Feng shui and all that. I finally had to cave in under her pressure. I thought it would be reasonably empty on Monday afternoon. If there is that much crowd there on a Monday, on a Saturday it must have more shoppers than the combined population of Australia and New Zealand (including the sheep). Mrs YesBut didn’t buy anything, said it was only a reconasance visit, we have to go back next week . “We” I think not.

Tuesday Tony Blair gave a speech criticising the press, saying the “media is feral beast obsessed with impact”. I am no defender of either newspaper or television news reporting, but for the first time Blair shows his true colours. He wants a supine grovelling unquestioning press. Certainly not a press that questions why he lied to the British public about the reasons for going to war against Iraqi. And he certainly doesn’t want a press questioning the manner post invasion events have been handled. Less than two weeks before he’s gone - can’t wait.

Well that’s it for another year, no honour for YesBut in the Queens Birthday Honours list announced today. No Knighthood or Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (C.BE.) not even a measly Member (M.B.E.). What has YesBut to do to get the recognition he duly deserves for his services to the preservation and welfare of second hand rubber-bands and paperclips.

Never mind about outdated honours; click here to enter the fun of YesBut’s Images “Caption of the week Award”, enter early and enter often, be the first to win the award.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Caption of the Week Award

On 14th April YesBut’s Images came into existence. I explained the reasons for the new blog, in my blog “YesBut why a new blog?”. In just over two months the blog has evolved and now has life of its own!!

It started when I added captions to the photograph. Then I thought, “why not invite visitors to the blog to post suggested captions”. The blog took-off thanks to the publicity given to it by David McMahon in his blog.

Over the last few weeks there has been a steady flow of contributors, including: David McMahon, Chewy, Doug, Catmoves, Bart, Helena and last but very much not least Ozlady. I hope visitors to the blog have been as amused as I have at the humour and imagination of the captions. I thought some recognition should be given to the brilliance of some of the captions. So the idea of having a “Caption of the Week Award”. I know which captions I have enjoyed the most, but the blog is as much the contributors as my own.

So, I am announcing the launch of the “Caption of the Week Award”, the winner will be selected by visitors to the blog. So the rules.

  • Visit the blog and review the captions for the postings 16th to 22nd June inclusive.
  • Select your wining caption and runner up
  • Post your choices on the blog (some times contributors submit more than one caption each day; so please clearly identify which caption you are nominating).
  • Voting will close at midnight GMT Sunday 24th June.

First nominations will be given 2 point, 2nd nominations 1 point. The caption having the highest total of points will be awarded the “Caption of the Week Award“.

Results will be posted on this blog and YesBut’s Images.

So visit YesBut’s Images and vote.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

YesBut you can catch time as it passes.

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

On Sunday I posted the blog “YesBut nothing remains the same”, which illustrated how the London skyline had changed in a matter of months. Specialist time lapse cameras are expensive. But interesting results can be obtained with a cheap compact digital camera.

Suitable subjects:

Children or grandchildren - especially in the first two years of their lives. Take a photograph of them the same day every week. When you see them every day their growth and development, while noticeable, isn’t as dramatic as seeing a series of shots taken over three months or a longer period. As they get older, photos taken once a month can be equally enlightening.

The view from your home - even if there isn’t the dramatic changes as occur in a city. Take a series of photos to form a panoramic view on the first day of each month. These will show the changes with the seasons. And will be an interesting and in time valuable historical record of where you live.

If you have a garden keep a record of how it changes. Adopt a tree - there must be a tree near your home, (unless you are reading this blog in a desert). Photograph it once a month.

There was an interesting exhibit in Tate Modern in London. It was a time lapse video of a bowl of fruit slowly decaying. Use your imagination, look around you for subjects.

I assume you store your digital photographs in your computer. Create a file for each subject, then when you download your photos onto your computer drag the photos into their respective files. Important take a view moments to name each photo with the date it was taken.

Finally you can make a slide show of each file. Or even better download them to Photobucket, make a side show to share with friends and family or put them on your blog.

Click here to see YesBut's Image picture of the day and leave a suggested caption.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Memorial day - 2

The subject of last Wednesday’s blog was Henry Fawcett; one of the leaders, in the late nineteenth century in Great Britain, of the women’s suffrage movement.

However in Britain universal suffrage is inexorably linked with the Pankhurst family, Emmeline and to a lesser extent her daughters Sylvia and Christabel. To see Emmeline Pankhurst’s memorial you have to go to the entrance of The Victoria Tower Gardens, adjacent to the Houses of Parliament.

Emmeline was an active supporter of the campaign for women’s suffrage, but by 1903 she had become disillusioned with the National Union of Women’s Suffrage (NUWSS), led by Millicent Fawcett. She broke from the NUWSS and founded the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). By 1907 Emmeline and her two daughters had formulated WSPU’s tactic of civil disobedience. Women chained themselves to railings, and went on hunger-strikes. The WSPU and NUWSS suspended their campaigns for the period of World War 1, (1914 - 1918).

As a reword for their patriotic support during the War, in 1918 the British Parliament passed the Representation of People Act, giving voting rights to property owning women over 30 years of age.

Emmeline died in 1928, the year women over 21 were given the right to vote - giving women the same voting status as men.

There is a small plaque on the left side of Emmeline’s memorial to commemorate her daughter Christabel. She went to live in the USA in 1921 where she became a prominent member of Second Adventist movement. She died in the USA in 1958.

As for Emmeline’s youngest daughter Sylvia, there is no plaque! She was opposed to the concept of a marriage contract, where the woman took her husbands name. At the end of WW1, Sylvia began living with Silvo Corio, an Italian socialist. In 1927 she had a son. Because she refused to marry the father, her mother Emmeline refused to speak to her again. After WW2 Sylvia went to live in Ethiopia, where she died in 1960. She is buried in front of Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, in an area reserved for patriots of the war against Italy.

Click here to see YesBut’s Image of the day.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

YesBut remember Sod’s law of plumbing.

The horror photo on the left is the innards of a lavatory cistern. The over-flow from the cistern has been dripping for a couple of weeks, (I tell a lie, more like months and for the last month more of a dribble than a drip). But I’ve been procrastinating, I hate tackling plumbing repairs because they always go wrong.

But solving a dripping - OK dribbling - overflow is relatively simple:

  • Shut off the water supply
  • Remove the end cap on the valve
  • Remove the split pin
  • Remove the plunger
  • Change the rubber washer
  • Reassemble and turn the water on.

Simple, simple simple.

But, and there is always a but when it comes to plumbing, because we live in a “hard water” area, the valve was covered in hard limescale, which could prevent the removal of the cap. Soaked the whole thing with scale remover for a couple of days. Then picked up courage, armed with a Mole wrench I attacked the cap. Would you believe it, unscrewed without an effort. Joy of joy, this is one plumbing job which would be care free.

Went to turn off the water, but couldn’t shut the stop valve fully off - but that shouldn’t be a major headache. Went to pull out the split pin, and damn damn damn it broke. The limescale was welding the split pin rock hard into the valve.

There was no alternative but to remove all the gubbins (a good technical term!). Now the fact the water wasn’t tuned off completely became a pain in the butt!!. Because as soon as I unscrewed the gubbins from the supply pipe out flowed the water. Cry for help for Mrs YesBut to bring towels and bucket.

Left Mrs YesBut in-charge of catching the water while I got a hammer and nail to remove the broken split-pin. That done I removed the plunger, damn damn damn would you believe it, it needed a ¾” washer and the one I had was ½” diameter.

Changed my cloths and went to the plumber supply store. Bought a ¾” washer, it cost 10p (20 cents). Yes all this rigmarole over the replacement of a rubber disc costing 10 measly pence!!!!

Got back, Mrs YesBut doing a magnificent job collecting the water. Got everything reassembled in quick time and reinstalled. Figures crossed I turned on the water. Damn damn damn damn and double damn the connection between the gubbins and water supply was leaking - not much, one gentle drip every 10 seconds. Not only that, but damn damn damn, even with a new washer the ball valve wasn’t sealing. “To hell with it” decided to leave it over night to see if the dripping would stop.

It’s surprising how quickly a gentle dripping can fill a bucket!

Next day, still dripping. Decided the only thing to do was buy a new ball-valve gubbins. Back down to the plumbing store. One of those old stores which has little draws of washes, screws, pipe-fittings. Unlike the modern D.I.Y. supper stores which sell things in plastic bags - you have to buy a bag containing 6 screws when you only want one. In the little shop you can buy single items.

“Hello my friend, back again”
“The washer didn’t work, I need to buy a complete bottom feed ball valve”
“OK my friend” placing a plastic gubbins on the store counter.
“No, I want a brass valve”.
“Brass valve! The last time I sold a brass valve was to Noah when he built the Ark. Don’t make them any more”.
Bought the plastic gubbins. Got home had Mrs YesBut standing-by with bucket. Installed the plastic gubbins - great it worked. Damn damn damn, treble damn, it was dripping at the connection to the water supply pipe. Undid the connection, redid the connection, still leaking. Undid the connection again, redid the connection, still leaking. . .What a pain.

There was only one thing to do, apply the Plumbers Golden Rule - if at first you don’t succeed put a bucket under the drip and come back tomorrow.

Click here to see today’s image of the day.

Monday, 11 June 2007

YesBut what's the local news?

Last Monday I shared with you a few stories from around the world reported in local papers. I asked you to let me know of any interesting or amusing stories from your local newspaper. The response was overwhelmingly underwhelming. But YesBut isn’t so easily put off, so I’ve done another troll of the internet.

From the Northern Territory News, Australia - Naked snaps wake teen”. “A TERRITORY woman is scared to be alone in her home after a man poked his arm through her window and took photos of her naked as she slept.”

The Ashley News Observer, Arkansas. Four members of family arrested in for-day period” .“The Ashley County Sheriff's Department, the Arkansas State Police and the Crossett Police Department recently arrested four members of one family in four days."

The Evening Times - Scotlands top selling evening paper. “My new kitchen collapsed on my head”. “A WOMAN had a lucky escape when her newly-fitted kitchen units collapsed on her head and knocked her to the floor."

The Agassiz-Harrison Observer, British Columbia. “Village buys inflatable dikes”. The Village of Harrison Hot Springs is the proud new owner of 1.7 kilometres worth of inflatable dikes called Aqua Dams“.

Bournemouth Daily Echo, Dorset, England. "Drivers subjected to tirade of abuse by car park man.” CUSTOMERS of a Bournemouth car park were shocked when an attrndant unleashed a barrage of insults and expletives at them."

Apologies for the thought that flashed across my mind at reading the Agassiz-Harrison Observer’s headline.

Click here to leave your suggested caption for YesBut’s Image of the day.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

YesBut nothing remains the same.

In my 11th May blog Tag that” I made reference to how the City of London skyline is changing so quickly. As I looked out of my window I could see 29 tower cranes, busy demolishing and replacing buildings built in the 1960s.

The two photographs were taken nine months apart, on the 12th August 2006 and 12th May 2007. Can you spot the difference - apart from it being sunnier in May? (Click on the photographs to have an enlarged view).

Fortunately Wren’s St Paul’s Cathedral remains in place, as does Tower 42 (formerly known as the NatWest Tower) the tallest building in the City of London, and the Swiss Re Centre (known affectionately as “The Gherkin”. And Blackfriars Bridge still spans the Thames. So what has changed?

Let me give you some close-up views.

At least two buildings have been demolished and a new one under construction. And a lot more tower cranes!!

Fortunately, even in a dynamic bustling city there are still peaceful locations to be found. Click here to see such a place in London.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

YesBut that was the first week of June

Last Saturday Scotland Yard told the Jamaica police, based on a UK Home Office pathologist’s post-mortem, they now consider Bob Woolmer the Parkistan cricket team’s coach died of natural causes, and was not murdered. His death on 18th March, or rather the suspicion that he had been murdered by a betting syndicate had cast a dark shadow over the ICC Cricket World Cup played in the West Indies. At the time I had questioned the betting syndicate theory.

On Monday the London 2012 Olympics Committee unveiled the emblem for the games. The Chairman, Sebastian Coe said:
“London 2012 will be ‘Everyone’s Games’, everyone’s 2012. This is the vision at the heart of our brand”.
It is reported the “brand image” cost £400,000 ($800 thousand) to produce. Be honest, does that logo speak to you of London, Olympics and 2012. It looks like a fat man sitting on a collapsing chair. I will now make a prediction - the log will be changed. The only problem is saving face and finding a good excuse to change it.

After several centuries Spain has just realised its National Anthem has no lyrics. Up to now Spaniards have had to stand embarrassingly or sung la, la, la (or the equivalent of la, la, la, in Spanish). The Government has now set up a committee of politicians to write words for the Anthem. Can you imagine a Spanish athlete standing on the winners podium singing:

Our Party is the best vote for us.
No our Party is the Best vote for us.
Don’t listen to them, our Party is the best vote for use.

It was Henry Allingham’s birthday on Wensday. Henry who?
In the year Henry was born; Utah was admitted as the 45th U.S. state, the first X-ray photograph was taken, the first modern Olympics was held, Wilfred Laurier became Canada’s 7th Prime Minister, gold was discovered in Klondike, William McKinley won the US Presidential election and Victoria was Queen of most of the World. Henry was 7 years old when the Wright Brothers made the first aircraft flight. Henry Allington is oldest surviving British veteran of World War 1; he was born on 6th June 1896 - and is still going strong.

England and West Indies cricket teams had so much fun two weeks ago that they’ve decided to play against each other again. This time in Manchester - higher chance of rain, and the two men in white coats declaring “bad light”. Click here to see the definitive description on the rules of cricket.

April thought is was June. May was confused. June with the rain and wind thinks it is April. I really hope the weather will be good for the next two days of events; celebrating the re-opening after two years of restoration and redevelopment of the Royal Festival Hall. Mrs YesBut was there last night dancing the night away; while YesBut stood with an aloof sophisticated look on his face, beating time with his big toe.

Click here to see YesBut’s Images, and leave a caption.

Friday, 8 June 2007

YesBut its a new world

About a month ago I started posting a new blog YesBut’s Images. Why did I start a new blog? Mainly as the result of David McMahon, who posts authorblog, suggesting I should show more of my photographs. But I could have done that on this blog. By starting a new blog, I could post a selection of photos independent of the content of this blog. But the driving reason for starting the blog was, because I had to! Just like mountaineers need to climb Everest, so too I have a creative desire that I must satisfy - I know, I confess, unashamed egotism!!!

About a year ago I bought a very cheap digital camera. Which I carry about everywhere I go. My life has changed since acquiring it. I no longer go for walks, shop or go to meetings. It’s not that I’ve stopped going out, the opposite I go out more, but now going shopping is a secondary activity, I am primarily looking for things to photograph - much to Mrs YesBut’s annoyance.

There she is walking down the street talking to me, but I’ve stopped 200 metres behind to take a photo of a reflection in a window. She doesn’t stop, and I have to trot to catch up, I get a scowl as a reward. I hear mutterings about toys for small boys. “Yes dear“.

Looking through a 3x4cm LCD camera screen, has changed my perspective of the world. It’s true, when you really get into looking, as opposed to just seeing, things around you, everything changes. Colours become more vivid. Shop widows reflect a distorted world. Paving stones form patterns. There are straight lines, angles, curves, shapes, solids, translucent reflections, so much more to see that previously went unnoticed. So much I never noticed before. "That’s beautiful". "Look how the light strikes the water". It’s a new world.

How things have changed with the development of computers and digital cameras. Before, people had cameras, photographs taken, films processed and photos put in albums or left forgotten in draws. Taking a photograph is now only the start of the creative process. Photo editing programs allow pictures to be cropped, colours changed, images distorted. Now every photograph taken has the potential of being a good picture, irrespective if it is out of focus, or whether the camera was held at an angle. More mumbles from Mrs YesBut about spending too much time in front of my computer. “Yes dear“.

Enough typing lets create an image.

Click here to see image of the day.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

YesBut what a disappointment.

In my blog YesBut a slideshow I described a method of incorporating a slideshow into a blog. I was particularly excited because I thought I had replaced my static blog title header with an all singing all dancing slideshow.

This week I had cause to use a borrowed computer; imagine my disappointment when I logged onto this blog not to see the slide show. Just a plain blue strip, as the photo on the left shows. It didn’t take me long to discover Internet Explorer doesn’t support a slideshow! It only opens using Firefox.

If you use Firefox, I hope you see the slideshow, please let me know.

I don’t know if the Mac browser supports a slide know, I would appreciate it if a Mac user would let me know.

What do you see at the top of this page - a blue strip or a slideshow?

And for those PC users who still use Internet Explorer, it doesn’t compare favourably with Mozilla’s Firefox. Why not download Firefox for free (Google “Firefox download” to the web address). Try it and see, you’ll never look back.

Click here to YesBut’s Image and leave your suggested caption.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

YesBut are schools capable of engendering in their pupils the qualities necessary to establish a community having a moral code?

Click here to read YesBut's Thinking Aloud blog

Memorial day - 1

Click the "view show" tab, if the slideshow doesn't open automatically

As promised last week, this is the first in a series of blogs which will be posted each Wednesday on the topic of memorials and public sculptures. No don’t log off, read on, I’ll try to make it interesting, if not entertaining.

The Victoria Embankment Gardens located between Hungerford and Waterloo bridges is an oasis from the hustle and bustle of daily city life, for tourists and Londoners alike. You can sit on a bench and leave the noise of the traffic drift into the background. You are however jarred back to the present moment every 3 to 4 minutes by the incongruous sound of a passing underground train. Look shrubbery is a wall. Enclosed by the wall is a ventilation shaft for the section of the District and Circle Underground Line running between Embankment and Temple stations. around but no train is to be seen. But look carefully, hidden by the

There is a drinking fountain on the north side of the enclosure. No longer in use, nevertheless it is an object of interest. On the bronze plaque forming part of the fountain are the words “Erected To The Memory Of Henry Fawcett By His Grateful Countrywomen”. Who was Henry Fawcett, what had he done to warrant a memorial to be erected by his countrywomen?

Look closely at the relief and you see the figures eyes are closed, as if in sleep. Henry Fawcett was born in Salisbury, England in 1833. Aged 25, while out shooting he was accidentally blinded by a shot from his father’s gun. Despite the handicap, he continued his studies at Cambridge University. Five years later he became Professor of Political Economy in Cambridge.

Two years later, in 1865 he became a Member of Parliament representing the south coast resort town, Brighton. Once in Parliament he attempted, with John Stuart Mill and Peter Alfred Taylor, to persuade Parliament to change the law to grant women the vote. Through his campaign for women’s suffrage he met Millicent Garret. Although she was 14 years his junior they married in 1867. Together they were active members of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage (NUWSS).

In 1880 Henry became a member of the Government led by William Gladstone. As Post Master General, the Minister responsible for the postal service, he introduced the first parcel post service, postal orders and the telegram.

In 1882 he was taken seriously ill with diphtheria. Although he survived, he was seriously weakened. Aged just 51 he died of pleurisy in 1884.

In 1890 Millicent was elected president of the NUWSS and continued to be a leader of the suffrage movement. She died aged 82 in 1929; one year after all women, aged 21years and over, finally gained the vote in Great Britain.

So that is why his fellow countrywomen erected a drinking fountain in the memory of Henry Fawcett.

Click here and visit YesBut's Images site and join in the fun.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Yes But not Ceilidh

Saturday morning I heard on the radio Coin Street Community Builders were holding a ceilidh in Bernie Spain Gardens on the South Bank of the River Thames. I thought absolutely brilliant. I remember they held a ceilidh about nine years ago. There was a group of Scottish drummers there, how they danced and swirled as they played their drums. Between dances they sank glasses of beer. The more beer they drank the faster they danced. The faster they danced the higher their kilts swirled. The higher the kilts swirled the more was revealed of what Scotsmen wear; or rather do not wear under their kilts. I can tell you, that day a number of old ladies lives were shortened by the increased strain on their pounding hearts. “Ay Jimmy is that your sporran and Sgian Dubh I see?”

Off Mrs YesBut and I went to the banks of the Thames. What a disappointment, it was an English Ceilidh. An English Ceilidh, there is no such thing as an English Ceilidh. Ceilidh is a Gaelic word for a Scottish or Irish informal gathering for music, dancing, song and story. Is the English language so bereft of words that it has to steal words from other languages?

Many years ago when I was working overseas, an Indian clerk told me “Ah you English are so clever, you have words for everything”. Wrong on two accounts, I’m not English, secondly the English language hasn’t got words for everything. Its always been open to take to its own words from other languages. From the time of Britain’s occupation of India, we get from Hindi: bungalow, juggernaut, shampoo, jungle. From Yiddish: bagel, glitch, nosh schmuck.
But Ceilidh is the usurping of a word too far. Why not call it an English Folk Festival? Thank goodness they didn’t use the Welsh word for a cultural festival “Eisteddfod” - they probably couldn’t spell it and certainly not pronounce it.

Click here to see more images of the day, and add your caption.