The End is Nigh

It certainly feels like that right now. It is hard to be cheerful when the world seems to be in such a pitiful mess. The doom-mongers are out again proclaiming the end of the financial world as we know it, governments everywhere seem to be increasingly paranoid and are stamping out investigative journalism with their bullying tactics, Princess Di is back in the headlines, Gerard is planning to ban men from voting (not necessarily a bad thing), the People’s Front for the Liberation of Gibraltar is recruiting fast, the Indonesian thought police (surely an oxymoron) are allegedly slowing down the hamster wheel that runs their bit of the interweb and I haven’t seen a decent bird or bug all day. Now that is serious.

I went to check out my shoreline patch this morning. The tide was high but Debbie Harry wasn’t. A Common Kingfisher flew off as I arrived. Two Little Egrets splashed about and six Grey-tailed Tattlers loafed on the rocks, ignoring a Common Sandpiper who wanted to join them. A Chinese Pond Heron was pretending I hadn’t seen him. The light was too harsh to contemplate any attempts at the tattlers. I wandered through the scrubby area and found a damselfly. Just the one. I took its picture ‘in habitat’. Just because I could.

Common Blue JewelAnd then I wandered off to explore an area I had not walked before. It turned out to be a barbecue site set back off the road. Surrounded by mosquito-infested vegetation. Just what the doctor ordered. Still deserted though. It did strike me as a place where in winter I might well find some thrushes. They tend to like these areas, I find so I have made a mental diary note to get out early one morning when the first cold front hits us. I found one ladybird beetle:

Lemnia duvauceliNot terribly exciting but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.  Its name is Lemnia Duvauceli. Sounds like an Italian film director but isn’t. Have you seen the latest Duvauceli?

And then I came home and wrung myself out. Half way through the afternoonI got bored. It happens. I pulled the 85mm F1.2 out of the dry cabinet and tried to photograph a lone flower in the garden. The minimum focal distance made it pretty much a waste of time so I tried with extension tubes, every boys favourite toy. That made the DoF so shallow it was pointless. In the end I cropped a full frame.

IMGL0574 And that 15 minute foray outside left me dripping again.

The worst shock of the day was the electricity bill. Almost double the one before last. The cost of air-con and dehumidifiers.  If you don’t use dehumidifiers here the fungus starts growing on everything from clothes to books to dog within a week or so. We are a captive clientele. Nevertheless we’ll carry on regardless and look on the bright side as always. We could be a lot worse off. We could be hamsters employed by the Jakarta Interweb Company. Faster, Hammy, faster!!!!!




25 thoughts on “The End is Nigh

  1. I love the little bar graph they give on your electricity bill, which actually looks like the annual temperature graph, but yes, my range is roughly THIRTY TIMES HIGHER in summer.

    And that is madness.

  2. Thank you Andrew for putting my piece on you blog. I am seriously thinking of warmer climes. The dafs are out but today’s maximum was just 8c with a hard wind. We heat by gas, so our gas bill will be horrendous and have capitulated to frugality by not heating during the night. Our sitting room was 9c on wakening this morning. Even so, I believe humidity and heat are not pleasant either.
    Loved the Lady beetle photo. Are there man or gentleman beetles and are they less beautiful. or is the lady beetle a bloke?

  3. Sounds like rough times, Andrew. Nothing like all that happening hereabouts. 🙂

    The lady beetle image is excellent. The beetle is nice, but the stem and background have such delicious color to them. The beetle is necessary to have a solid interest point, but the other elements are what make the picture for me.

    • Thanks Steve. It turned out much better than I had expected as I only managed 2 frames before it disappeared with the help of my tripod leg 😦

  4. Oh lol-de-lol about the Jak intraweb! 😉 very funny Andrew!! we also got our electricity bill today, it’s rather scary when it reads into the millions. Fortunately we don’t have to use de-humidifiers as the house is mostly open to the elements and what doors and windows there are, are thrown open every day to let air circulate. I hate the thought of Lulu getting fungus so I’m glad that you are using them.

    Very nice beetle by the way, it didn’t happen to be called Alexander by any chance? Since I know that you are a fan of AA Milne I thought this might brighten your day and help you forget the leccy bill

    I found a little beetle; so that Beetle was his name,
    And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same.
    I put him in a match-box, and I kept him all the day …
    And Nanny let my beetle out –
    Yes, Nanny let my beetle out –
    She went and let my beetle out –
    And Beetle ran away.

    She said she didn’t mean it, and I never said she did,
    She said she wanted matches and she just took off the lid,
    She said that she was sorry, but it’s difficult to catch
    An excited sort of beetle you’ve mistaken for a match.

    She said that she was sorry, and I really mustn’t mind,
    As there’s lots and lots of beetles which she’s certain we could find,
    If we looked about the garden for the holes where beetles hid –
    And we’d get another match-box and write BEETLE on the lid.

    We went to all the places which a beetle might be near,
    And we made the sort of noises which a beetle likes to hear,
    And I saw a kind of something, and I gave a sort of shout:
    “A beetle-house and Alexander Beetle coming out!”

    It was Alexander Beetle I’m as certain as can be,
    And he had a sort of look as if he thought it must be Me,
    And he had a sort of look as if he thought he ought to say:
    “I’m very very sorry that I tried to run away.”

    And Nanny’s very sorry too for you-know-what-she-did,
    And she’s writing ALEXANDER very blackly on the lid,
    So Nan and Me are friends, because it’s difficult to catch
    An excited Alexander you’ve mistaken for a match.

  5. The Gibraltar Popular Front sadly lacks Wolfy/Foxy.

    I am awaiting a photo of our esteemed warship HMS Westminster before I publish my next post. I do hope he manages to take it vaguely in focus.

    I should like to point out however, that Gib does not need to be liberated. It was liberated 309 years ago courtesy of the Anglo-Dutch force in the Spanish War of Succession. (see, I have these riveting facts at my fingertips although not at my bruised toetips).

    Investigative journalism? Can’t even get accurate news reports half the time let alone anything controversial. Remember those days when the Observer/Times had four pages devoted to one long story? People can’t even read that much these days. Morons.

    As for Gerard banning men from voting, I would restrict men’s activities to three categories. 1) shopping 2) working 3) the obvious, although clearly the other two are more important.

    If there was a high tide was there any green grass? (RS ref – High Tide and Green Grass). I thought that was a toad at first glance. I finally found the tiny thing. I love ladybirds, we usually get lots at the finca 🙂 But they are red. Like British ones.

    Air con. Dehumidifiers. So unroughseas. Is your climate really that much different to ours? You are in the early 30s we are 20s at the mo. But we have the humidity. Windows perm open with mozzie screens and expensive paint on the walls plus – when active – some endless cleaning of furniture when dust turns to damp.

    Fortunately the damp avoids Pipps.

    • I would like to be exempt from shopping please. I have never been to Gib so I can’t compare climates but 15 minutes outside and I need to shower and change – if there is a good breeze we try leaving window doors open front and back and sometimes it works but often it just means we get an assault by the mozzie stormtroopers. We tried to fit mozzie screens but for some odd reason they can’t be retrofitted. I hope HMS Westminster relieves the siege soon.

    • I am assuming # 3 is watching sport on TV – although I don’t personally get that involved in that particular activity and I gave up number 2. Yikes, I think it makes me redundant.

  6. Well thank you very much Mr Sunshine. I started out my day quite chipper, then read your post.
    I like the damsel in this press (that was the best I could do). Nice to see it in situ. We are looking for about 100 ladybirds (ladybugs over here) as we have an invasion of aphids this year. I need to borrow your extension tubes to get an aphid shot. We are experiencing hot weather too – but we complain if the humidity reaches 60% and the temperature is 32. We have had to resort to the air-conditioner for a couple of days though. Luckily our hydroelectricity is quite cheep right now.

  7. Bill hicks once said “Watch CNN headline news for an hour, its the most depressing f***ing thing. This half hour: war, famine, death, AIDS, homeless, recession, depression… And you look out your window… (chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp) Where’s all this s*** happening man?!” 1992

    I really do feel that 24 hour news has just made the world far too intense and depressing.

    Just don’t mention Gibraltar in Poland, The british flew a post WW2 general into the rock because he was going to cause problems with Stalin and upset the allies agreement over eastern europe.

    • No, the British did not fly him into the Rock.

      The British were not involved in the flight. Unless you include Philby’s dubious involvement.

      Nor did the flight crash into the Rock, it was the sea. You are talking about Prime Minister Wladslaw Sikorski?

      Unless loads of other Polish generals were killed here. Never let the facts get in the way of the story.

      More here:

      • Just reporting the the facts in 24hr news style.
        I was talking about Sikorski and for me his case smells a little fishy. Thanks for link it is a good read.

      • Thank you. Standards of journalism have plummeted. Into the sea no less.

        I spent a lot of time on that post, which is why I commented on yours. Internet errors are too easily reproduced. It’s not just fishy, it stinks.

  8. Waaaaw, the humidity at the Azores (min 80% all year, up to 95% in summer) in combination with the fungus almost killed me there. I’m highly allergic to black fungus and it – unfortunately – might be a reason to never return to the Azores 😦 I appreciated Dehumidifiers very much – and they were full after just 10 hours!

    I like the Ladybird beetle but just out of interest: is this the same that is invading Europe and eliminate the local red ones?

    Liebe Grüsse

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