Friday, April 22, 2022

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Traditional Rowers and the PLA

Back on the 28th March I spotted the PLA launch and this rather elegant traditional rowing craft heading down river.

Any ideas what this was about?

Saturday, April 09, 2022

Fast cars! Drones! Astrophotography! The Thames!

One evening the skies miraculously cleared, so I took the camera with the biggest lens I've got and star tracker down to the local park. After the usual faff of aligning with Polaris, it was rotated to a suitable target and the camera set taking a couple hundred of shots.

That left a long time hanging around, looking at the stars, listening to traffic and dog walkers fail to control their pets.

Then there was this light, out on the Thames, slowly gliding up-river. It was followed by the familiar whine of a drone. So I left my camera doing its thing and rushed to the bank to see what was going on. 

I had time to snap the above, which didn't tell me much, apart from the need to go Google "Eletre", which I did. And up popped this video, which did indeed show a glowing box with Eletre on the side gliding up and down the Thames. It was the latest electric vehicle from Lotus:

Very cool!

It and the drone was last seen heading under Putney Bridge so I returned to my camera, and this was the resulting image:

An interesting evening

Sunday, April 03, 2022

The Boat Race is Back

 As we all know, the last two years have been weird in many ways. Life changed, plans were cancelled and a new normal became normal. 

So it was good to see the University Boat Race back on the Thames were it belongs. I missed the Woman's race (which Cambridge won) but got to see the Men's race (which alas Oxford won, above leading comfortably by Hammersmith Bridge). But I guess a draw is fair.

There were the usual crowds, TV crews and Clare Balding presenting for the BBC:

There were some changes. The sponsor is now some sort of crypto exchange, but I'm yet to be convinced that crypto has any benefits so I won't mention their name.

I also spotted this innovation: a drone launching boat speeding down the Thames:

Very cool!

The PLA were a lot more sedate:

You will spot that Hammersmith Bridge is free from spectators. This relates to the ongoing renovation work which remains stalled.

But that is another, long story....

Friday, April 01, 2022

Titty's tooth and London's beaver

As with many sailors, I have fond memories of the Swallows and Amazons book series and the 1973 film of the first book. I've posted before about the behind the scenes eBook of the filming by she who was Titty, namely the multi-talented Sophia Neville who reminisced that:

“The film ends with Ronald Fraser playing 'What shall we do with the drunken sailor?' on his accordion. As a twelve-year-old I noted in my diary that he was completely sloshed at the time.”

During the filming, the 13 year old Sophie apparently lost a tooth and recently wondered what happened to it, mentioning the incident on BBC Cumbria.

And listening in was the film's make-up designer, Peter Robb-King, who kept it in a film canister labelled "Important: Titty's tooth". 

As a heart warming end to this story, he was able to return it to Sophie after almost 50 years.

Another heart warming story was the return of beavers back to London. A male and female beaver have recently been released into an enclosure in Forty Hall Farm in Endfield. Apparently they're not just amazing animals, they also help the ecosystem because the dams they make ponds and dams.


And the April Fool is - these are not April Fools, but real stories!