Blogging Up The Works

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

WebOct 31

So where to end up? It's a site which is very much a work in progress. Hopefully by Spring it will be fully built and populated. It is the website for our business.

VACANCES D'AUDE.

It's not the world's most interactive site, not technically brilliant, but I can build it which at least makes me feel useful.

And if as normal there isn't much happening here after today, it will be because I am trying to work on the above.

Monday, October 30, 2017

WebOct 30

Today's site is just coming into it's own,

CHRISTMAS MARKETS.

If you fancy a trip to a Christmas market in France, Switzerland or Belgium, this is the site for you. A day trip or a weekend away to get you in the Christmas mood whilst visiting a picturesque town or city is usually a pleasure. The big cities are obviously very busy but it certainly feels more authentic than most of the UKmarkets manage. It helps haveing much colder tempertures, and they do make an excellent vin chaud!

When we lived in the UK we used to do Lille some years and we also did Bruges. I can recommend both. Go on, give yourself a treat. Eurostar makes is so easy.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

WebOct 29

Today we have a shopping site I have been known to use.

MY SUPERMARKET

Usually I do it because there is aone off item I want and I want to know where I can get it cheapest. Such as this evening. We are coming back to the UK at the end of this week and I will be looking to buy a large multipack of Diet Cokes. The best value appears to be a 24 can pack at Iceland for £6.50 but have discovered through this site that Asda do a 30 can pack and it is only £7.50. Bargain!

One feature it has I have never used, but think it would be useful for the weekly shop, is that you put in the groceries you want and it tells you which of the supermarkets can supply that total shop the cheapest. Of course, you could work out which shop sells each individual item cheapest and visit four or five of them but the petrol driving from one to the other might outway the savings.

Now, where can I get a bargain Malt Loaf...........

Saturday, October 28, 2017

WebOct 28

Today's site is another nod towards my life here in France.

THE AUDE SHANTYMEN.

Although there is not one photo of me on there, this is the singing group I now belong to. If ever there is anything on here I want you to know about I will let you know!

Friday, October 27, 2017

WebOct 27

I've mentioned before, I'm sure, that I've dabbled a bit in astrology. And if you are going to do that you need this!

EPHEMERIS.

This is the position of ll the planets on a daily basis, which you want to know if you are casting horoscopes or birth charts etc, but actually it is a useful device if you are stargazing anyway as you can position the planets within the constellations. So it is astronomical as well as astrological.

It also gives the Sidereal Time, i.e. accurate time in space, for each day so is possible to calculate your exact time of birth. Nobody can be bor on February 29th as no day exists like that in the sidereal time calender so it is quite possible, for those born within a few hours of midnight, depending on the four year cycle we use for leap years, to have really been born on a different day. Which is intersting, or not.

I'm definitely not getting out enough!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

WebOct 26

I'm not sure really how to describe the appeal of todays site.

BLITZORTUNG - Lightning and thunderstorms in real time.

The link is for the page that shows Western Europe and is probably the worst day for doing this as there is not one thunderstorm across the continent as I type this. A nasty storm to the East of Australia and a bunch of them just off the North African coast.

I do actually use it to see where the storms are in our bit of France sometimes or in the UK but then I also sometimes like to just see where there are major storms either in the US or Far East.

I think this might mean I'm a bit of a weather geek!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

WebOct 25

You may or may not remember that last December I became the proud owner of a piano accordion. It was purchased from an auction house which I now keep an eye on. It is

BROMPTONS AUCTION HOUSE.

It really specialises in stringed instruments. They have auctions every two to three months. I have got used to the fact that violin bows often go for one to two thousand pounds but even I was somewhat amazed by this one

£57,000's worth of Cello Bow

And the most expensive violin this time was

£288,000's worth of violin.

My accordion was not of that price range!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

For amateur dramatics there is an umberella organisation and is the fount of all knowledge.

NODA or the National Operatic & Dramatic Organisation.

as well as providing insurance for am dram companies they have awards and help promote companies, offer advice and help wth legal problems. We also get to check out what other companies are putting on and whether we want to run off and perform with them. They also offer reviews of performances which can sometimes be a good thing and sometimes not. In fact the pantomie I am performing in France is scripted by NODA which perhaps I shouldn't really be mentioning as it may not be licenced for eperformnce here. (Oh yes it is, oh no it isn't etc.).

I became very involved with them at one point when we discovered a problem with one of the reviewers and they were exellent at dealing with the situation.

Anyway, you can find your local societies if you want to go se a performance or perhaps tread the boards. And even mre imortant for a lot of companies, if you want to work backstage.

Monday, October 23, 2017

WebOct 23

Well, at least one of you will have thought this site would be coming up.

Geocaching. The problem is you might not be able t get very far with it, bar the same one person, as access requires sign up.

Anyway, if you haven't heard of Geocaching it is, or was, the finding of various hidden items by use of GPS, usually of a decent size in a nice location. That is how it was, now it is finding some mall film canister or smaller hidden somewhere not very interesting. However, don't get me started on that or there will be problems!

As well as finding them you get to hide tham too, and I used to have three physical caches but they have now been retired because they got "lost". There used to be something called a virtual cache which, instead of a physical cache, required you to find some information to claim the find. I still have one of those going. MMMonument. It has now been visited by over 5000 people who have visited London.

As for taking part, it is not something I do much now but as I have decided I need to do more walking this winter I might have to dust off my old hand held GPS.




.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

WebOct 22

This is another site that will have little interest to anyone but me and locals who lived near where we were in London.

Brentford TW8.

This is one of the many community websites covering the country. It allows us to check what is still happening but mainly in a way that allows us to get anrgy about things that are happening. Nothing more enjoyable than becoming Mr and Mrs Angry!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

WebOct 21

I don't have a lot to do with soaps. In fact other than occasionally watching Eastenders, TV soaps are a complete mystery to me. However, there is one soap I've been involved with for about 25 years now, although that is less than half it's number of broadcast years. It is of course.....

The Archers.

I started listening when I was driving for a living. When the repeat was the next day at 1.45pm in the afternoon rather than 2pm as now. One of the reasons I liked it was because it was gentle unlike TV soaps which are nothing but sensationalism and stressful event after event. Even when characters are killed off it tended to be done discretely. And I always knew what was happening in the farming year.

There have been a number of new scriptwrites over the last few years who are trying to drive it to be more gritty and get some controvertial storylines into it. But that isn't what The Archers were about. It would be nice if things were just left alone once in a while.

Anyway. if I miss anything or want ome background information. This is where I head.

Friday, October 20, 2017

WebOct 20

Todays visits

Narbonne Cathedral.

Jacqueline Riu. For M's benefit not mine.

And a walk along The Canal du Robine.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

WebOct 19

Where we went today

Dali Theatre-Museum. More in a minute!

The City Arms. Luncheon was taken here. Not the best place ever but better than some of the reviews state.

Ok, Back to the first link. I have to expand a bit. As the young people say on that there Facebook - O! M! G!. Now I'm no great art expert. I like what I like and I don't mind a bit of Dali. I grew up with a large print of Swans Reflecting Elephants on the lounge wall as it was my mother's favourite picture. She just thought it was very clever. It costs 14€ to go in and it is worth every cent. It also gets you in to his jewellery exhibition of pieces he made few of which will have heard of his prowess in that direction. We spent over two hours in the main museum and I need to spend a lot more time there. I enjoyed looking at all the stuff but I just had an incredible feeling of being overwhelmed that drawings and paintings he made were right in front of me.

I could wax lyrical for hours about different bits but I won't for which you will be mightily relieved I'm sure, but if you ever get the chance to visit and you have even the slightest interest in him YOU MUST GO!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WebOct 18

Places we visited on purpose but probably won't bother ever again.

Cerbere - The last town in France.

Portbou - The first town in Spain.

Llanca The first decent sized town in Spain.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

WebOct 17


La Plage Aux Mouettes where we had lunch.

Chateau Royal where we visited this afternoon.

La Vieille Cave where we had dinner.

Monday, October 16, 2017

WebOct 16

A slight change of how this is done for the next 5 days as we are on holiday but still as a weblog.

http://www.hlecatalan.com/en where we are staying

http://www.hlecatalan.com/en/restaurant-le-miradou where we ate tonight.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

WebOct 15

Most of my dictionaries are in storage. I have dictionaries of different languages, dictionaries of phrases, dictionaries of fables, the odd thesausus and an Etymological dictionary. They aren't anything I look at regulary but I like to have them around and sometimes I will spend half an hour reading through them for the fun of it. But I suppose like many reference works, the physical is losing out to the online. My present choice of an etymological dictionary is

ETYMONLINE.

This seems quite comprehensive (adjective 1610s) and trustworthy (adjective 1791), which is what you want.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

WebOct 14

The area just to the south of us is prime walking country. In fact last weekend I had 6 mates over from the UK for a couple of days walking. The weather was sunny and in the low 20s and we had a great time. We found the walks on the following site

Walks of the Audoise Pyrenees.

Over the next few months I am going to do my best to get through some if not all of them. As I sit here, I think I might even blog about them. But knowing me I won't quite get round to it. Anyway, there are some nice photo's on the site of the sceney in this area. If i don't make it round them at least I'll know where I would have been!

Friday, October 13, 2017

WebOct 13

When I have had my fill of music from the Musicals I have a second string to my internet radio based bow

JAZZ RADIO.

If you have any interest in any form of jazz you will find a channel for it here. From calssic jazz to modern and from New Orleans to Paris. Big band, bebop, blues and ballads are all there in the aliterative glory.

Whether it is the music of your parents or a guilty pleasure of your own all jazz is here for your enjoyment and edification. Nice!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

WebOct 12

I love a good quiz. And there aren't any pub quizzes here, mainly because there aren't any pubs. So once a week I sign in to

JOHN KUTNER'S MUSIC QUIZ.

Sometimes there is a theme, sometimes there isn't. There are plenty of participants many of which are better than me. I normally end up between 50th and a 100th over the 12 week league averaging between 7 and 8 points out of 10 but I once managed 38th with an 8+ score average.

In addition he has a "single of the week" page giving the story behind the song, birthdays for the week and other trivia pages.

If you like a music quiz then why not join in? Just please don't beat me!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

WebOct 11

Todays website is an important one for us but other than perhaps a look at some pictures, of very little interest to anyone more than a few miles from where I sit.

LOUPIA WEBSITE

This is the official website for our village. It lets us know what is on, sometimes, allows us to see who is selling up, and gives us a chance to swot up on the history.

The downside is that it is, of course, in French!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

WebOct 10

Photographs once again.

BBC PICTURE CHALLENGE

The BBC run a photo competition every week. I enter quite often but never get a picture published but one never knows. Well, I do. I tend to be more of a snapshot photographer and don't put the time in to get the right shot or to frame it properly but one day I might have a lucky break. Interesting to see what others make of the topic. Sometimes it is very literal and others it is interpretive. So now I need to work on - On Toast, Footprints and Shivers over the next three consecutive weeks....

Monday, October 09, 2017

WebOct 9

I do like a good show tune. Or I do when I'm in the mood. Other than Elaine Paige on Radio 2 of a Sunday lunchtime you only get to hear songs from musicals in special programmes so I was happy when a friend online linked to

ENCORE RADIO.

Although it is only available online I can get my fill whenever I want. And that includes when I'm driving as long as the mobile network holds up. To be fair, even as an enthusiast of musicals, I can't manage much more than two hours without needing a change. But dipping in and out is a pleasure.


Sunday, October 08, 2017

WebOct8

Today's site is another of my photography tools,

IPICCY.

iPiccy is a photo editing site which is easy to use. I can use it so it must be. I'm sure there are better ones with more features but it has enough different actions and filters to make me feel as though I am in control without having too many you don't know what they are for.

In additions to photos, I've discovered, or rather I've realised, it is good for improving scans that I've made.

I haven't tried the collage part of the site yet but I should probably try as no doubt we will have plenty of opportunities to make hundreds of collages of Grand-daughter no 1 once the Magnificent M realises it is possible.

And best of all it's free and being a web based programme it isn't eating up 100s of gigabytes of the hard disk to change a 2 mb photo.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

The foolowing site is the one I guess we should blame for us ending up living in France.

FRENCH PROPERTY LINKS

From the very first time we thought about the possibility of moving we checked out what was available, really to see what we might want when we retired. It was on this site we found the house which, although not the house we bought, meant we ended up seeing the house we bought.

Whether you fancy the idea of relocting or just want to see what a comparable house costs in France to the UK, you can browse for hours looking as French chic, or wrecks and a smattering of houses that still have gaudy 1960's orange geometric wallpaper.

Friday, October 06, 2017

WebOct 6

There are loads of backing tracks to sing along to on YouTube if you want a bit of Karaoke but if you want to go one step further then the site for you is

AMERITZ

There are thousands of professional backing tracks which are all very well, but the addition that they have over some others, is the chance to change the key that the music is in so it sits comfortably in your range. They are great for practicing with before performances, even if you are just chorus and often proves that you haven't learnt the words half as well as you think whilst you've been practicing against a recording with the lyrics sung. I tend to use them for singing but actually they would also be good for solo instrumentalists.

Lots of different genres and with the occasional sale there are times when you can pick them up very cheaply.

A bit of a niche site perhaps but an important one for me.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

WebOct5

Sometimes French radio is too much and I don't fancy any of my cds so where do I head?

LIBRIVOX

This is a vast range of audio books that you can download free. I have been working my way though the detective mysteries. It's been very interesting listening to books written around 100 years ago. There are often things crop up that are relevant to political or social situations now and it gives a different perspective on the present times.

It is based in the USA so most of the readers are American which can lead to some interesting pronunciations of British place names some sounding funny but others being annoying.

There are many genres of fiction and non-fiction therein, with famous authors and others whom have probably not been heard of in many a year.

Anyway, it's free, so why not downoad one. There's not much to lose and a lot to gain.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

WebOct 4

Today brings another site at which I while away time when I should probably be doing something a bit more constructive.

PUZZLE MADNESS

It has a number of different format puzzles miainly based on japanese number puzzles. A number of versions of Suduko of which I prefer Mathdoku, a particularly bad mashup of Japanese and English terms. Whilst being number based I like Nonograms. On this site they are random puzzles but a brief google search comes up with some magnificent pictures,


a modern version of painting by numbers.

They also have what for me is one of the most pointless puzzles - wordsearch. There isn't any skill in it. But each to their own.

Now, do I write the work emails I have to do or am I going to be diverted to do today's puzzle.......

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

WebOct 3

Today's site charts all things astronomical.

HEAVENS ABOVE

Whilst Kirsty McColl sang "it's hard to wish on space hardware", should you wish to do so, this is the site for you. You can follow the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope and a number of satellites, the positions of the planets in the sky in case you want to spot a tiny point of light which might just be Jupiter, and what's happening to all those satellites they got excited about when they were launched? Like Voyager 1, which is still going some 140,000+ light years away!

The reason I originally found it was because of Iridium Flares. This is where light from the sun bounces off a satellite and as you look at the sky you see it flare up and die away. It interested me for a bit but then I thought it was a great way of getting kids involved in astronomy beyond just showing them stars.

So, if you want to know what is going on up there bove your head, this is the site for you.

Monday, October 02, 2017

WebOct 2

Throughout my time Blogging I have occasionally picked up on photography sites that I can flex my artistic muscles over. The one that occupied my time most was BLIPFOTO. It is a simple premise - Just post a picture a day. Whether you choose to run your page as photo only, give a basic description or a full post explaining it is up to you. I haven't actually posted anything for about 10 months although I keep thinking I will go back to it. I "met" a few people through it who became online friends. Even as I write this I am thinking it would be a good idea.

Anyway, if I do post again it will be here, on DAY BY DAVE

Sunday, October 01, 2017

WebOct 1

Welcome to the month long Weblog event. A different website each day that means something to me either for personal reasons or just for interest.
But where to start? Particularly as I haven't had time to think about this for long. So I am going to start where I start with my day's browsing. Which is with another blog.

DIAMOND GEEZER

You may or may not be familiar with him. Diamond Geezer is based in Bow, East London and blogs every day. every singe day. And not just a quick dozen words about what he had for breakfast, although I think that has once happened, but a good 500 - 1000 words per day. He's been doing this longer than I have and if nothing else I admire his stamina.

Some days his post is very local to where he lives. Who of his readers can forget this years Bus Stop M saga. Although even some of thoe posts are interesting. But through his site and the occasional gems that pop up I now know there is a place in Essex which has a scale model of the solar system. Not just in a display case but starting on a village green with the Sun. The planets are then placed radiating out from the sun in their correct orbital positions. If I remember correctly, Pluto is somewhere in a field outside of the village. He also won't blog on behalf of companies
wishing to promote themselves which usually leads to a quarterly review of what he's been asked to write about and the ways in which he is approached.

In the last week, and this is quite a good week to look at he has covered;
1/10 - A look at Hampstead and Camden as part of an ongoing series looking at the proposed London Boroughs which never happened.
30/9 - 50 years of Radio 1. Looking at the daily running schedule every 5 years and where the DJs are now.
29/9 - What transport plans were proposed in 2006 and what happened to them.
28/9 - A visit to the Heights of Abraham in Derbyshire
27/9 - A visit to Derby which was mainly spent on the train with little time in the destination itself.
26/9 - 50 things that niggle me. 50 things that annoy me. 50 things that make me angry
25/9 - A look at Wandsworth as part of the same series as 1/10.

I think it is definitely a blog for those who have a connection with London but he certainly has plenty of readers from around the UK and the rest of the world who get an insight into his world. I commend him to you, if only for an occasional dip in to see what he has been up to and why.