Some of the tipis in this years
Glastonbury Festival.


The mercury is on the climb
here in SW19.

Today it's sitting at 30 C, towards the end of
the week is going to get hotter and hotter.

I have developed a nasty migraine because of
this heat so I'll be signing off for a few
days until it cools! Back ASAP.


Nick Newman,
Sunday Times 28.6.08.



After her fourth afternoon snack today Geraldinho
found it all a bit too much and promptly crashed
out in the middle of the lawn. It's a hard life!


Usually sauna's are not airborne but the participants
in the first The Midnight Balloon Rally in
Finland arer doing just that: flying
one in an hot air balloon.

This weekend the night skies over Jyväskylä will
be speckled by about 20 colourful balloons
from 5 different countries.

This rare opportunity for balloonists to make night
time flights between 11 pm and 1 am has drawn
enthusiasts from as far away as China.

The main take-off site is the Laajavuori skiing
centre, where spectators can observe the
setting up and departure of the balloons.

You can watch a video of
the flights



PS: I wonder how long before the conspiracy
theories pop up? MJ did an Elvis?

EDIT 3.7.09: The answer
would be not long...




It's hard to believe these are real!

Check out the amazing micro sculptures, like
America's First Family below,
by Willard Wigan.

The British sculptor is known all around the world
for his miniature sculptures that are
invisible to the naked eye.

Willard uses tiny homemade tools and paints with
a hair plucked from a housefly's back. He carves
the microscopic figures from grains of rice or
sand or sugar. The sculptures, which often
take months to complete, are then
mounted on pin heads or needles.

His latest exhibition is on now at My
Little Eye Gallery in Bloomsbury,
London WC1A 1LU.


Astronomers believe they have seen hints
of the first planet to be spotted
outside of our galaxy.

Situated in the Andromeda galaxy (below), the planet
appears to be about six times the mass of Jupiter.
The method hinges on gravitational lensing,
whereby a nearer object can bend the light of
a distant star when the two
align with an observer.

The results will be published in
Monthly Notices of the Royal
Astronomical Society (MNRAS).

The team, made up of researchers from the
National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN)
in Italy and collaborators in Switzerland, Spain,
and Russia, exploited a type of gravitational
lensing called microlensing.


Ah, what a nice story! And a reminder
that microchipping your pets works.

A dog which disappeared from its home in Cornwall
four months ago has been found over 550
miles (880 km) away in Scotland.

The 17-year-old collie called Lucy vanished
from Sonya and William Mckerron's
house in
Redruth on February 6.

They spent months looking for her and had
given up all hope until they received a
call from an animal rescue
centre in Edinburgh.

Lucy was found in a garden in East Lothian and the
homeowners took her in to be scanned for a
Sonya drove to Scotland to be
reunited with her pet at the Edinburgh
Dog and Cat Home last Saturday.

"It feels overwhelming to see her as we didn't think
we would ever find her. I was in the house and
I went to the toilet and when I came out she was
gone from the drive. We hunted high and low,
phoned everybody including rescue centres
and because she is chipped we thought
we would find her," Sonya said.

Dave Ewing, the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home
manager, said he suspected Lucy had been taken
by someone rather than having just become lost.

"I am confident Lucy was taken by someone
either because they thought she was genuinely
lost and they were doing her a favour or they
knew they shouldn't have taken her."


The original little yellow box is no more.
Kodak has finally pulled the plug on
Kodachrome, one of the first colour
films to be available to the masses.

I was sad to hear that they have made a decision
the stop making a photography great after 74
years, used by myself many a time when I
still employed a 35 mm on a daily basis.

Kodachrome has had a special place in the hearts
of many photographers and was at its peak of
popularity during the 1950s and 60s. Today
it accounts for less than 1% of
Kodak's sales of film.

Kodak is currently running a collection by a number of
photographic greats (some of the images above
and below) and it's worth checking out

The Kodachrome project as well.


This little bit of news was in
TheLondonPaper today.

Well, what I'd like to know is are the people who make
Targeting Benefit Thieves adverts for the
government going to be found guilty of racial
discrimination because all of the actors
playing the thieves are white?

Of course not.

If you're going to do this racial bollocks then do it
across the board. Let's have some black and Asian
benefit thieves as well! Why not? Even it out a bit.
Maybe a person in a burkha?

But oh no...we can't do that because you can't possibly
have a black or any other "minority" thief,
I mean that's just stereotyping.

But making them all white? That's alright!

Enough already. Use black, Asian etc actors in
adverts with negative associations as well as
or "normal" ones or stop whining.




Watch this little livewire in action!

A squirrel has built up a close relationship
with a builder who found him when
he was only a week old.

Tony Hattersley, from Stockport, rescued Nutty
the squirrel when he fell from a roof he
was working on and the pair have been
practically inseparable ever since.

Nutty goes everywhere with his new best mate -
even jumping into the shower with
him for a quick shampoo!


The Stig, a mystery driver who tests high-performance
cars on Top Gear, has been "revealed" as

Michael Schumacher.

The seven-times Formula 1 champion dressed
as the show's famous driver and
removed his
helmet during an interview with
presenter Jeremy Clarkson.

However, an appalling driving performance by
Schumacher at the end of the show cast doubt
on the "revelation".
Clarkson told viewers:
"I don't think Michael Schumacher is the Stig".

After the show, a BBC spokeswoman would not
confirm whether or not Schumacher was the
genuine Stig, or a stunt to mark the first
episode of a new series of Top Gear.

Perry McCarthy, a former Formula 1 driver,
was the original Stig, wearing black
overalls for his appearances.

He left the show in 2003 - when a "new" Stig,
dressed in white, took over - and later
disclosed his identity in
an autobiography.


You know when you hear a song for the first time
and you're just blown away? Well that's exactly
what happened to me with Gino Vannelli.

I'd never even heard of him until a couple of weeks
ago my favourite 80's net radio station
Star107.9 FM played a track of
his called Wild Horses.

I immediately went on eBay to see I could buy
a CD and as it happened someone
in China was selling one.

The track is on
Big Dreamers Never Sleep and
the whole album is brilliant! If you like 80's
keyboard pop you'll love this!


Amazingly enough it's not raining. It's the
first week of Wimbledon, it should
be bucketing down!

With the weather set fair for the first week in Strawberry
Fields, bookies William Hill have slashed the odds
on the new Centre Court roof becoming the next
great white elephant of sport.

They quote 6-1 (down from 10-1) that the roof is
not used at all in the Championships' fortnight.

If bad light intervenes and a match is played
to its conclusion, it's only 7-1 that a
match finishes after midnight.

Should it rain it will take about seven
minutes for the roof to close and 30
minutes before play can resume.

The roof is made of a lightweight material called
Tenara which is stretched over the court's opening
by 10 trusses and is 16m above the court surface.
The decision to close it is made by
tournament referee Andrew Jarrett.

If you were to fill Centre Court with tennis balls
while the roof is closed you would
need 290 million.


All of the information about Colliers Wood, where I live
in South West London SW19, is scattered all over
the net so I decided to put it all under roof.

Here's my page. Hopefully I've covered
most useful bits but if anyone can think
of something else give me a shout!



Tomorrow is the Finn's annual drinking
(and sadly for many: drowning)
festival Midsummer or Juhannus.
The party starts tonight with
bonfires known as "kokko".

It is also the official day to
celebrate the Finnish flag.

Here in SW19 we will celebrate in an time honored
fashion by doing bugger all. Maybe a little bonfire to
keep the evil spirits away, we'll see...oh and might
have a cider and go completely crazy!

EDIT 20.6.2009: Above some
of the kokko's from last night.


Please click on the images
to view a larger version.

JUNE 2009

There are some lovely vivid colours and fantastic
details in the neighbourhood flowers
and plants at the moment.
Here's a few shots.

Please click on the images to
view a larger version.