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Keeping out the cold

Quite an interesting look, but alas, all the eye sees is a muzzy grey-blue smudge of shapes.

I hate being cold, especially indoors. I lived in Canada until I was 29: yes, winters are below 0degC there, but every house and apartment has central heating, so you’re warm — often too warm — inside. In London, heating in my various rented apartments was dodgy; it would come on at odd hours (when cheapest for the landlord!) and often was wholly inadequate even when on. I remember one especially miserly landlord who loudly insisted an extra sweater would be fine, and forbade electric heaters (I ignored that rule, and moved out asap). And in Australia (Sydney, at least) central heating just doesn’t exist, despite it sometimes getting down to 5degC at night in winter. The combination of plug-in electric heaters (and the associated eye-watering electricity bills) and gappy windows is not a happy one.

We’ve just come out of an unseasonably early winter spell. Nights of 10degC outside — and mornings of 15-17degC inside my 1936-built apartment with its ill-fitting, thin-paned sash windows. I’ve put weather-stripping everywhere I could and stuffed rolled-up towels along the tops of the bottom sashes, which helps with the drafts but not the slow, insidious seeping-in of the cold.

Here, though, is the latest weapon in my war to keep warm indoors during winter: bubble wrap on the windows! The air bubbles act like insulation. All you do is spray water on the window and press the wrap on, bubbles facing the window. Amazingly, it seems to stay in place. You can’t see anything, of course, which could be a drawback.

And I do think those bubbles look rather blobby!

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Sextets of pelicans

Six pelicans

It may be hard (impossible?) to tell, but the six Australian Pelicans above are not the same six as in the feature photo. I photographed these birds on 3 April at The Entrance, which is on the Central Coast north of Sydney.

One Word Sunday: Six

And, this fits very neatly into “Birds seen in the past two weeks

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Skyline – 25 years apart

Above 1993; Below 2018

These two photos were both taken from the Hungerford footbridge across the River Thames, 25 years apart. As you can see, the London skyline changed quite a bit during those years! The perspective in the two photos is not identical, but it’s close enough to compare.

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On a separate note, I am absolutely furious that WordPress is now forcing me to use this unwanted Gutenberg editor. The only way to get Classic back is – of course – to go for a paid plan so that I’m allowed to install the plugin that will kill this thing.
Update: aha! If I copy an old post created with Classic, I can also edit that copy using Classic. Sorted. 🙂 (At least until WP takes away that option, too.)

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Sling your hammock

Sydney’s Hyde Park Barracks — heritage-listed former barracks, hospital, convict accommodation, mint and courthouse — has reopened after extensive renovations and renewal. One room is set up as a dormitory with reproduction convict hammocks; audio brings alive the experience of trying to sleep in a room crowded with men talking, snoring, shouting, singing, fighting, etc.
The very rough texture of the rope used to hang the hammocks looks as if it would play havoc with soft modern hands and I hope the workers who tied those knots wore sturdy gloves!

Posted Posted as part of Jude’s 2020 Photo Challenge, specifically: Texture; and also Debbie’s One Word Sunday Challenge, specifically: Knot.

Man climbing the rigging with bagpipes
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Climbing the rigging

Crew climbing the rigging on 'Tenacious', 2006

Crew climbing the rigging on ‘Tenacious’, 2006

Three photos on the theme of Climb. If you’re wondering what’s poking from the bag in the feature photo, it’s bagpipes; don’t ask.

Me climbing the rigging on 'Lord Nelson', 1994

A rare shot of me going aloft! (Safely in port, you’ll notice.) ‘Lord Nelson’, 1994

Crew climbing the rigging on 'Lord Nelson', 1995

Climbing the rigging is hard enough in normal conditions — in unwieldy oilskins and wellies, it’s a real challenge! ‘Lord Nelson’, 1995


sailing-badge

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Blue Foot Boogie

Blue-footed boobies Galápagos Islands

Check out my blue feet, babe!

According to National Geographic, “Blue-footed boobies are aptly named, and males take great pride in their fabulous feet. During mating rituals, male birds show off their feet to prospective mates with a high-stepping strut. The bluer the feet, the more attractive the mate.” I photographed these birds in the Galápagos Islands in 1999. The images are poor quality but you can see those blue feet.

Blue-footed boobies Galápagos Islands

Struttin’ my stuff.

Blue-footed boobies Galápagos Islands

So I’ve got blue feet. What’s it to ya?

Blue-footed boobies Galápagos Islands

Posted as part of One Word Sunday: Blue