Snappy title, isn’t it? Add a little Yellow Swordfish and what have you got? A fun meeting with fellow bloggers over lunch at a local pub, that’s what!

I’ve only met one fellow blogger in person before – the lovely Kate, from iRamble, who very kindly came and visited me when I had my shoulder done – but I’ve got to know quite a few over the years. One of these blogging friends is Silverback of Retirement Rocks, who often pops up on IM when I’m using Facebook, and we’ve had some fun chats at odd times. Sometimes at very odd times, because I’m a night owl, and he spends half the year living the good life in Florida where he travels around by golf cart poking gentle fun at the locals. OH knew Silverback through his own blog ‘Yellow Swordfish‘ too, so when he suggested we could meet up in person before he goes back to Florida, I said yes, despite the risk that he might Not be What He Seemed.

Some of you will know that the very first person I met in person after talking with her online was fellow greyhound-owner and Johnny Depp fan, Tennesse Jenn. I took a bigger risk in meeting her, because she lives (yep) in Tennesee, whereas I live in England and I’d arranged to fly over and stay in a holiday rental with her. We had many semi-joking conversations about the possibility of her not being a ‘her’ at all, but an axe-murderer called Dave, but she wasn’t. TJ turned out to be exactly what I expected; a lovely, fun-loving Southern Belle with a most unladylike sense of humour (thank heavens), who only swooned over greyhounds and Johnny Depp. Interestingly, Ian made jokes about sharpening his axe ready to come and meet us, but he too turned out to be pretty much as I expected, only in his case, not a Southern Belle, but an Irishman transplanted to Leeds. Fun-loving he might be, but he appears to have no tendency towards chopping people into little pieces, or swooning, for that matter.

He brought Daphne with him, who writes My Dad’s A Communist and we all went out to lunch at the Rose Inn. And very nice it was too! We had a great time chatting over a very nice meal, and I for one was sorry when it was time for them to leave because Daphne had a deadline to meet, south of London. Silverback and Daphne are lovely people, and I hope we can all meet up again sometime in the not too distant future.


I’m adding this to the Friday Finding Beauty list, because to me it’s a very beautiful thing to find new friends, but also .. I mean, really. Take another look at the dessert up there. This is the Rose Inn’s rather idiosyncratic version of ‘cheesecake’. From the taste of it, it’s made with mascarpone cheese and cream, resting on a very well hidden layer of shortcake and strawberres. There is chocolate. There is an edible ‘spoon’ of homemade toffee! There are far, far too many calories for any sane person, and wow. It even tastes beautiful!

The feeling of self-righteousness when you manage not to eat the entire pot is pretty nice, too!


So today a new round of ABC Wednesday begins with the letter ‘A‘! And once more I’ll be adding my tuppenceworth .. but what should I do for my theme this time around?

I thought about this long and hard. I came up with a few possibilities, but in the end I narrowed it down to this: I have decided to show you a few of the shops I’ve found worth photographing for various reasons over the years – and of course, if I spot any more, I shall photograph them specially, but I will try not to bore you. I mean, you’ve all seen plenty of shops, right? So I’ll do my best to make it a little more than just ‘Here’s an accessory shop, see you next week’!

This first post was easy. I’ve had the picture at the top there for several years. I think it’s quite wonderful, but I’ve never had the opportunity to share this wonderful thing with you, until now.

Anyone know what it is?

Well, I’ll tell you. It’s the Apple ‘Cube’ building in Manhattan, New York! Which is, of course in America, so you get two ‘A‘s for your money!

Going closer, you can see how the only part of the shop which is above ground is that huge, empty, 32 foot glass cube. All of the activity takes place underground, down that gorgeous glass spiral staircase.


According to MacDailyNews, the flagship store cost $9 million and opened its doors in May 2006, and was the first Apple store to be open twenty-four hours a day. Reportedly, a glass elevator broke down only six days later, trapping a group of students for 45 minutes. I just love the following extract from a news story in AppleInsider about the incident –

“As the students waited to be rescued, Apple Store employees used step-stools to slip bottles of water through the elevator’s erratically opening and closing doors. All the students eventually exited safely once police leaked the hydraulic lines, though some were reported to have received minor burns”

Although … not the bit about the burns, obviously. It seems that the police leaked fluid out of the hydraulics so that the elevator would descend and they could get at the doors with their equipment and pry them open, but the lift was still sinking to the basement level when the last two people climbed out, and they burned their hands on the lights in the shaft.

I assume that the glitch in the elevator system has now been fixed. One can only hope, otherwise, there’s no disabled access, and no way for people with babies in buggies to get down there, and no way to ascend again.

Oh, and by the way – do you know what my desktop picture is, on my own Apple laptop?


Yes! It’s the delicious Johnny Depp in his role as Inspector Abberline in the movie ‘From Hell’. And yes, he is in the bath. You might almost say it’s an aqueous picture.


After last week’s Macro Monday, in which my supposedly ‘not too difficult’ picture puzzle was a tad too much ‘difficult’ and not so much of the ‘not too’ for most of you, I’m trying, once again, to give you a puzzle which is neither dead easy, nor too hard.

Pretty, isn’t it? Such a nice curve to it, and such soothing colours! But what is it?

Well, it’s meant to be outside in all weathers, as you might tell by the corrosion patina, and it’s made of metal. This particular thing really has to be made of metal, or it’s purely decorative and won’t work properly, although you can buy all kinds of decorative versions of this thing, in all materials and all colours imaginable. Some are tiny, and lightweight, some are extremely large and heavy, though (just to confuse you) there are some examples out there (which you might see more of at particular times of the year) which are enormous and yet quite lightweight. Conversely, I have seen examples which are much smaller than this one, and yet rather heavy for their size.

They vary in design too, according to the function required, but this one is of a classic design and shape.

Over to you, lovely readers! Answers in the comments please, and on Tuesday evening (UK time) the answer will be added here, in this post, in the form of a picture link.

Have fun!

Well, here we are on Wednesday – my apologies for not getting back in here last night – and not a single one of you has guessed this one! I am surprised! I suppose Denise is the closest with her guess of ‘garden gate’. It isn’t a garden gate, but it is hanging on one.

Not a weather vane, not a pivot on (or of) anything, not a bench, and not upside down. This is what it is!

I will have something easier for you next week. And that’s a promise! Thanks for playing – I hope you did have fun, even though it turned out to be impossible this week!


A couple of days a go, we were walking through the village when Sid paused, sniffed the grasses and flowers at the side of the road, then shuffled his bottom as far into them as he could and did … well, what dogs do.

Now, as you probably know, the law says we have to ‘pick up’ after our dogs and we have no problem with that – after all, nobody likes to step in what someone else’s dog has left on the path, do they? I know I complained bitterly enough about it when my boys were young.

What you probably don’t know, is that Sid has been suffering from an antibiotic-induced case of what, in greyhound circles, is known as ‘the Big D’. He’s being treated for that, of course, but it’s a tad slow to clear up, and meanwhile his offerings are … shall we say .. a little ‘soft serve‘. Less than cohesive. Nuff said?

So both OH and I gaze down at what Sid has managed to deposit so far into the vegetation that someone is going to have to practically get down on their hands and knees, and then, after a thoughtful pause, OH spoke.

OH: ‘I’ll do anything you want if you pick that up’.

Me (cynically): ‘Oh yeah?’

OH: ‘Yes! Yes! Anyth … ‘

His voice trailed off and there was another thoughtful pause, during which I simply looked at him.

OH: ‘You know, the trouble is, you sometimes don’t want the right things!’


Silly me. I was quite hopeful there, for a minute!