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Life in Virulent Times

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Offline Alfie

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I needed a haircut and all the barbers are closed due to Covid-19 so my wife kindly offered to cut my hair for me today. She did a good job - with my very careful guidance.

This week, my wife, my daughter and I have been quite musical - playing the ukulele, guitar and singing (ukulele, me and my wife; guitar, my wife, and my daughter singing).

And we've been doing a bit of art. This time last year my wife and daughter went to a week-long summer art class. This week my wife has been teaching me what she learned last year and also doing her own paintings. It's nice to learn new things but I will never be an artist.


Online Roger

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Thanks for the pics CK - I'm certain the bricks ARE actually yellow not painted and I've noticed that elsewhere, Exeter or Exmouth maybe   ???  Nice to have something else to think about. Isle of Man looks deserted enough so I guess that's your 'hour a day' exercise.

Marks and Spencer ? I thought UK was only allowing ONE person per Family to do the Family shopping which made sense to me. ATB

Alfie - the VON ALF family players ? Sounds fun.

''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


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Isle of Man looks deserted enough so I guess that's your 'hour a day' exercise.

The 'one hour' was always advisory: people soon pointed-out this was folly, given there is plenty of space (as you can see!). A friend went for an 18km run this morning and only passed 6 people. The lack of traffic meant he could run in the middle of the road to avoid them. I think common sense is prevailing. There were fears good weather might tempt people outside, but it's raining!

Marks and Spencer ? I thought UK was only allowing ONE person per Family to do the Family shopping which made sense to me. ATB

Couples are allowed in. They would not want entire families. The kids waited outside for us. Some shops don't allow children at all (except in exceptional circumstances) which makes sense as they are much more likely to be carrying the virus unknowingly. I was surprised by the number of elderly people in the queueing system, given there are times set aside for this group. Both of us shopping meant we could do the shopping in half the time as we split up and grabbed what we needed.


Online Roger

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CK sometimes . . .  ::)

For sure deserted is OK until someone else is there. Just as well all your M8's don't do it or   >:(   As for running in the middle of the road - OK until something goes wrong   ???  Rain is no excuse.

Advisory - yes - so heed it ?

Common sense may prevail but let's hope C-19 doesn't.

As for the Kids waiting outside M & S while you shop - OK - so they're NOW around all the comers and goers. You have no idea who they talk to. Leave them at home ?

You really live in a World of your own and on I-o-M. In England for a fact, 'elderly people' have turned up at SuperStores at 'times set aside' (like 6am) to find that they can't even get into the car park for the traffic queues  ::)  Why not leave the Kids at home and either you or your Missis do the shopping ?

ATB
« Last Edit: April 04, 2020, 07:52:42 PM by Roger »
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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Sorry CK - I'm always grumpy on Saturday nights - (there's no episode of 'The Archers'). Just seen that Birmingham and Manchester are getting worse - the virus is moving North slowly.

Wilful failure to observe 'social distance' is costing the lives of courageous and devoted NHS workers, often sent into the fray by a Govt. without the wit or balls to have made sure they have sufficient protective eqpt.

As for this below, I'd spray these buggers with yellow paint :-

https://uk.yahoo.com/news/coronavirus-weather-covid-19-lockdown-143940128.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8186935/Police-tell-holidaymakers-stay-home-Easter-holiday-period.html

It's 'quiet' in Th. at the moment, 2000 cases and 20 deaths yet I believe that Thailand was the first outside China to have Covid-19. However, I guess it could turn very nasty here too, at any time. TCOY's
« Last Edit: April 05, 2020, 08:13:17 AM by Roger »
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Coolkorat

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Sunday 5th April

There are a number of glens on the island that are renowned for their spectacular displays of bluebells. Sadly we will miss out on seeing it this year. M&S were giving away daffodils, so this will have to make do for the moment.

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Off for our exercise. It was a bit grey and overcast but the rain held off.

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I've always liked this view of Douglas when the tide is out.

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This chap was taking social isolation a bit far! That pipeline was covered in seaweed and didn't look like the safest place to walk!

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A this point there was some grumbling from the two ahead: Alex has his basketball and is desperate to get to the court. His sister is grumbling in sympathy.

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This couple were a long way out on the rocks and the scene seemed to sum-up these strange times perfectly. To the left and out of frame the ferry is heading into the harbour. The sea was fairly choppy: no passengers on board though; just freight and the ferry workers. The border is closed, and the only way to get in is with an exemption issued by the Cabinet Office.

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Online Coolkorat

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Time seems to be at a standstill and the day blend together.

Good Friday, 10th April 2020

We've had a run of good weather; a good thing as the government might have struggled if people had been trapped inside by cold and miserable weather (and had to queue in the rain; it is averaging 45 minutes to get into Tesco at the moment, and once inside it takes at least twice as long to follow the one-way system and social distancing).

We walked up to the Millenium Oak forest, a decent hike and great views. This sculpture is of the Manx Sword of State, the IOM equivalent of the ceremonial mace.

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We completed a circuit, coming back via the disused Douglas to Peel railway line, now a popular walking/ cycling/ jogging route. A small section is also the access road during the TT (the only way to get inside the course when racing is on). This railway crane lived in Ballasalla for many years.

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15th April 2020

Charlotte officially starts school on Monday. They are going to run it remotely, with the children 'registering' at the start of each school day, and following an online lesson plan. I am not sure how successful this will be, but we can only try. Alex has finished school until the Autumn term; all exams are cancelled and we now have to hope the arrangements to award grades are fair and equitable.

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The Great Bored Bake-off continues. These are my efforts at lemon drizzle cake. Now down to one, courtesy of no.1 son.

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So far four have died on the IOM, including a retired police sergeant who was only 58. Four men are currently in "the Jurby Hilton" (the local prison) for breaching the quarantine/ social distancing laws, including one whose 'essential journey' purpose was to buy drugs. There really are some complete numbskulls, and we are fortunate to live somewhere these idiots are already well-known to the police.



Online Coolkorat

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16th April 2020

With the sun still shining we took the opportunity to get out for some more exercise and vitamin D. Charlotte loves to walk, and we managed a good 16.5kms including some decent climbs! I took my 'lensball' along; I've not had much chance to experiment with it since I got it.

Building rock towers on the beach is an absolute must!

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Online caller

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Online Coolkorat

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Online Roger

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Boats . . . .  :'(

"The French navy is investigating how the coronavirus infected more than 1,000 sailors aboard the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, amid growing pressure on government leaders to explain how it could have happened."

https://www.france24.com/en/20200417-france-reports-40-of-aircraft-carrier-group-crew-test-positive-for-covid-19
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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Hey CK - sorry to bring the dreaded C-19 into this lovely thread   8)
But it was an amazing picture of the Aircraft Carrier, (not the tragic story), that made me pop it in here   ::)  Keep 'em coming.
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Coolkorat

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We're into week 7, but life is gradually restarting. The rules are being relaxed, people in various trades are back at work. No word on the schools yet.

20th April 2020.

The bake-off continues. This time gingerbread men. I didn't have any crystalised ginger so had to make that first (with the pleasant by-product of lovely ginger tea). They didn't last long. Some of the decoration was questionable and perhaps leaned more to a liking for icing than artistic endeavour....

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24th April 2020

We went to a place called Santon Gorge. A really lovely place.

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Hard to see from this picture, but the house in the distance is circular. Build recently, it has a large atrium in the centre. It is owned by John Taylor who made his money by inventing the thermal switch in kettles (and various other things). He is a renowned collector of historic clocks and has a very valuable collection of international acclaim. The island has a strange connection to clocks: the late George Daniels lived on the island and created a handful of hugely valuable timepieces. His apprentice Roger Smith now produces watches on the Island that cost hundreds of thousands each - the kind of watch that is bought by billionaire collectors and spends its life in a display case or safety deposit box;Roger W Smith

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Water+stones = skimming competition:

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30th April 2020

I have been participating in some group tutorials on Zoom, hosted by two professional photographers. The next one is tomorrow (Tuesday). If anyone wants to participate please let me know and I will PM the Zoom access codes. The group challenge this week was to photograph three things without styling the set. One of the photographers is Tim Clinch, who regularly wins prizes for his food and travel photography (and who often just uses the camera in his phone).

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Charlotte also had a photo challenge from school. This is her picture on the theme 'circles' (with me as hand model):

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1st May 2020

Another walk, this time up Glen Helen in the centre of the Island.

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The tree behind this plaque looks younger than the 87 years old it should be. I seem to remember the original tree was blown down in a fierce gale a couple of decades ago, and a new tree planted in its place. I didn't ask my kids if they had heard of Amy Johnson (they wouldn't have). Perhaps there should be another plaque explaining who she was and why the tree was planted and her legacy worth knowing. She disappeared just eight years after this tree was planted.

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Online caller

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It's an absolute pleasure being able to come here and enjoy your photography. I guess it helps that the props are wonderful in their own right, but it's what you make of them that matter!

I'm a bit of a watch nerd, so both George Daniels and Roger Smith are names very familiar to me. George Daniels is credited with designing the first major improvement to the movement of the humble wrist watch in about 200 years, such was the genius of those that came before him, many of them British. By movement, I mean what's inside, not the rotor seen on the outside of the movement that powers automatic watches (invented by John Harwood with his 'bumper' watch. In the late 50's, Rolex had to apologise in print media World wide for claiming the invention as their own, even though his was from the 1920's). Daniels created what he called the co-axial escarpment which has two effects, less friction thus less lubrication, increasing service intervals; and maintaining efficiency or timekeeping accuracy as the watch begins to wind down (if not being used). Omega eventually snapped this up and now virtually all their mechanical watches contain the 'co-axial' escarpment, generally announced on the dial. I have three Omega's and two of them are 'co-axial movements'.

Daniels only hand made 30 something watches in his lifetime, now all keenly sought at auction by wealthy enthusiasts. Smith became his only ever apprentice after sending Daniels a watch he had hand made, only for Daniels to send it back saying do better. A few years later he did just that and this time he left his home to work with Daniels on the IOM and is also the keeper of the Daniels museum. All Smiths watches are made in the same way as Daniels were, it's all about quality over quantity!

Their relationship is enshrined in the film, 'The Watchmakers apprentice'.

A Daniels watch:



Roger Smiths 'Great Britain' watch commissioned by the British Government:



My two co-axials:





Online Coolkorat

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Thanks Caller!

After Daniels died, his vintage car collection was sent to the UK for auction. It was so valuable the insurers would not permit the cars be shipped on the same ferry: they had to spread them over a number of sailings!

I have a friend who lives in Manila and is a keen watch collector, particularly Bremont and Bell & Ross. There is another curious link to the IOM with Bremont: it is the official timekeeper of the TT races, and one of their collaborations is with Martin Baker who make ejector seats. Martin Baker have a factory on the Island Martin Baker MB Brement

Lovely watches C: I'm sure these are appreciating assets and well worth having.



Online caller

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I have a friend who lives in Manila and is a keen watch collector, particularly Bremont and Bell & Ross. There is another curious link to the IOM with Bremont: it is the official timekeeper of the TT races, and one of their collaborations is with Martin Baker who make ejector seats. Martin Baker have a factory on the Island Martin Baker MB Brement

Yes, I am a huge Bremont fan, still a fledgling British watch company. After formation, it took them five years to produce their first watch for the market in 2013 Their rise on the international market since has been incredible and they open their new Atelier in Henley later this year.

I have 2 Bremonts - the U2 Blue and the Martin Baker III (MBIII) and Pam, my other half, has the white Solo 37mm. They were sold in Thailand for a while via Pendulum, a major Bkk AD. But the market for innovative or new watches in Thailand is quite small. Face dominates, so the big and recognisable watch players are in demand by those Thais that can afford them - and there are many.  I also believe Pendulum  failed to understand the ethos of the company or promote it in the right way. At the time, they had several AD's in various malls in Bkk (many now closed) and they split the collection amongst their stores, rather than creating a dedicated display to promote them. I think this a failed policy and subsequently they placed them on display in their concessions at the Watch Galleria's at Siam Paragon and Central Chit Lom. But this did the brand no favours as they were placed alongside much cheaper brands (still very good quality), but it made them a bit 'fish out of water'. Also their staff really weren't clued up about the brand or watches. Hardly helpful if seeking to introduce a new brand to a new market.  I met only one sales rep who was really enthused and knowledgeable about the brand and when I see him as I do the rounds of the watch stores (not recently obviously), he still looks at my wrist to see what I am wearing.

I should add that most of my watches are of the cheaper variety, not all 'high end'! I like watches, not necessarily expensive watches,


Online Coolkorat

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Yes, I am a huge Bremont fan, still a fledgling British watch company. After formation, it took them five years to produce their first watch for the market in 2013 Their rise on the international market since has been incredible and they open their new Atelier in Henley later this year.

I have 2 Bremonts - the U2 Blue and the Martin Baker III (MBIII) and Pam, my other half, has the white Solo 37mm. They were sold in Thailand for a while via Pendulum, a major Bkk AD. But the market for innovative or new watches in Thailand is quite small. Face dominates, so the big and recognisable watch players are in demand by those Thais that can afford them - and there are many.  I also believe Pendulum  failed to understand the ethos of the company or promote it in the right way. At the time, they had several AD's in various malls in Bkk (many now closed) and they split the collection amongst their stores, rather than creating a dedicated display to promote them. I think this a failed policy and subsequently they placed them on display in their concessions at the Watch Galleria's at Siam Paragon and Central Chit Lom. But this did the brand no favours as they were placed alongside much cheaper brands (still very good quality), but it made them a bit 'fish out of water'. Also their staff really weren't clued up about the brand or watches. Hardly helpful if seeking to introduce a new brand to a new market.  I met only one sales rep who was really enthused and knowledgeable about the brand and when I see him as I do the rounds of the watch stores (not recently obviously), he still looks at my wrist to see what I am wearing.

I should add that most of my watches are of the cheaper variety, not all 'high end'! I like watches, not necessarily expensive watches,

I did a quick search to see if I could find any Bremont MB1's. Watchfinder have three listed, each at just shy of £20k. A pilot in the US was selling his MB1 for US$55k: a lot of money, but ejecting from his plane broke his back and stopped his military career so he needed the money!


Online caller

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There's actually a great youtube clip of the Jimmy Fallon show, where he surprises his father in law with an MB1, which he qualified for as he too, had used a Martin Baker ejection seat for what it was designed for - and survived unscathed. Great publicity for Bremont.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0cn5C1-c90" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0cn5C1-c90</a>
« Last Edit: May 05, 2020, 09:47:42 PM by caller »


Online Roger

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A large King Cobra is pulled from a drain in Singapore   :o

https://uk.yahoo.com/news/rescuers-capture-king-cobra-urban-094411661.html
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


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Bit slow to post: here's a selection from this month:

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