Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Street

Streets: Farmers' Markets. ( PS filters )

Streets: Parking directions, Penticton.

Streets: Art Displays. Downtown Penticton.
It is amazing how many functions and uses we have for streets. "The space between the buildings."  In some places we put a raised part on one or both sides where people can walk safely, and the centre part is supposed to be reserved for vehicles. This in turn led to crosswalks, or zebras, and jaywalking. The centre is also used for parking, parades, farmers' markets, policemen on horseback, farmer's tractors, hockey-games, buses, taxis, bicycle races, picking up and depositing rubbish, "occupying" and other demonstrations, even riots. A more recent innovation is to have purely walking streets. Also bike lanes are rapidly being introduced. and all kinds of other fancy lanes, like HOV lanes. In the old days the streets were occupied by trams and their lines, or trolley buses and their wires. In some cities hardly anyone walks, and sidewalks (pavements?) are taken over by bicycles, wheelchairs, scooters, even electric mopeds. In our little town there are no railways so the streets are being used by huge noisy smelly tractor-trailers hauling goods. In New York I think they ban private cars in some areas because of congestion, only allowing taxis and commercial vehicles. In Asian countries all these functions take place simultaneously, leading to appalling overcrowding. And so in more regulated countries conflicts and rules abound. Things have changed. In the old days car-drivers would be stopped by flocks of sheep or herds of cows, or even mother ducks and their brood.....nowadays it could be that a street is closed so the residents can have a communal garage sale! or even just a birthday party!

Friday, November 11, 2011


A historic day, numerically. There will be one more like it next year:- 12.12.12. Then that's it for all of us for a millenium.
11.11.11. Auspicious for the superstitious and the gambling folk. Otherwise known as Remembrance Day. Whilst we are counting, 158 Canadians soldiers died in Afghanistan since 2002. Meanwhile about 2000 died on Canadian Roads. We are not going to tell how many died in the World Wars, but if you look up on a clear night, you will see all those twinkling stars. That's where they all are now.
Veterans Remembering. (Spean Bridge Scotland. 2011.) Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/ Getty Images

Vancouver Island. November 2010.

Digital Painting November 2011
Here are some photos for today, my favorite is from Spean Bridge in Scotland. The second is from last November in Victoria. Not bad. Only six more for this year. The last is a painting I finished yesterday, showing color from a Skaha Lake Autumn in Kaleden...

Thursday, November 10, 2011


As you know, I am always harping on about alternatives to fossil fuel, so I was heartened to learn of this project in Nottingham using solar power, even on "This Clouded Island" (Caesar). Yesterday in downtown Penticton I photographed our early 20th Century Wind Power Mill. We definitely have a lot of wind in our valley. We are also encouraged by the success of voltaic cell research going on at Sheffield University.
On a different note, the red leaves result from a Danish Folk Song about colors. "My boyfriend is a mailman, so my dress is red" and so on. The last quote for today is for bloggers. "The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think"
(Edwin Schlossberg)
Solar Electricity in Nottingham! ( not everyone signed up though )         (Thanks to "The Guardian")

Wind powered electricity in Penticton. I love the title "Wincharger"

Downtown Penticton. Why not have a Gazebo on your roof? Why not have a yellow car parked outside? Why Ever Not? The front door is Yellow...

"My Boyfriend is a Mailman, so my dress is Red!"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I am always interested in public signs. As in:- " Do not throw stones at this sign"  for example." No swimming, fishing, or boating" is a frequent one on the Okanagan river as it is strewn with weirs that suck you under. The ducks and geese take no notice however, and neither do out-of-town strangers, one or two of whom every summer drown. This one from yesterday's walk is definitely odd. One can see the gate is closed. But just in case you didn't notice, you can read about it. In Downtown Penticton the signs say maximum speed 30Km/hr, but also in case you didn't notice, it is written all over the roadway at frequent intervals. At Pigeon Lake the signs not only say 30Km/hr but they add "Strictly Enforced". In areas of importance to safety in BC they put speed signs twice the size, as if the ones who disregard speed limits are short-sighted. Maybe some of the people are: we were honked at twice the other day by a tailgater in a 30Km/hr playground zone!
( probably we were doing the speed limit posted)
Okanagan Falls Provincial Park

Bilingual Sign

Stolen Road Sign in a local Penticton Garden
In Canada signs have to be bilingual, although very few of us folk are. In Quebec they have "Stop" signs in French, but in France they are in English. To conclude, I think it would be a good idea to take all the speed limit signs down, and replace them with a few illuminated signs showing compulsory speed limits varying according to conditions. That would be too expensive though...they work on the M1 don't they?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


This is a blog about Alderley Edge by a chap who passed away on Friday. Roger was a good example of a good blogger about the countryside. We all have to go one day, hopefully just after the last blog, like Roger! You can enjoy his blog here.

Today here it is snowy, and the hills around have turned white. Not much on the ground though. Here are some photos from last year at this time....

Monday, November 7, 2011

Control of Speed

Hanne after church yesterday

Fire bush in our back yard yesterday

Else and Kurt's for lunch!
In UK in 1865 a car was limited to 2mph  in town, 4mph out of town. The limit was 14 in 1896, 20 in 1903. Interestingly, the AA was formed in 1905 to help motorists against money gathering policemen enforcing the speed limit! Since then, a number of different devices have been invented to stop speeders, by measuring their speed, photographing their licence plates, and /or billing them automatically for an offence. I'm sure in the future new cars could be secretly equipped with micro-chips for controlling speed. Or GPS measuring satellites in space could be employed. But at present I like the Mexican system of using pace cars on stretches of highway with either high abuse rates or high accident rates or both; and I love the Swedish system tried out last year where "good" motorists can enter a lottery, the winnings coming from speeder fines! I am also in favour of "rumble strips". The noise is enough to slow you down. In other places tolls are used. You have to stop to pay a toll, then the ticket shows the time. At the next toll-booth the ticket shows the next time, and can add to your toll by a fine if you got there too soon! The trouble is, roads are being built better all the time to make your journey quicker!  In UK they are considering raising the speed limit to 80 mph. And so the game goes on. And on....
Incidentally I believe the land speed record for a car is 763 mph. Wow! I'll get one!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Grown Up

When is one grown up? There is very little on the internet about what this means, and it varies from place to place anyway. I have always had difficulty with the fact that one can fight and die for one's country ( shades of Remembrance Day in the back-ground here ) at 18 and yet not be allowed to drink a pint in a pub until 21 (British Columbia).
"Fall" is actually happening here right now. Hanne is shown as a good example of a grown-up...

This is somebody's grown-up idea of a house ? (Penticton)

It has a nice view anyway.
Vikings in Lewes UK last night. ( thanks to Mary Turner/ Getty Images)
One can get a driver's licence at 16 in Alberta but one has to be 17 in UK. One has to be mature to be a grown-up, yet some grown-ups are so immature. " He's got the Key of the Door; Never been 21 before" ? We discovered that Queen Victoria got the key of the door at 18 and threw her mother out !
The recent Guy Fawkes shinanigans in UK are a good example of immaturity? Why did the Lewes Bonfire Society have to parade down the streets with flaming crosses? Even the Danes were there dressed up to kill (see photo). It is quite amazing how the fifth of November has changed since I was a child. Grow up you Guys! Go back to your grow-ops and grow them up!