Bird Pictures and Other Stuff

Sharing some of the best recent finds from the internet, and also some of my own photographs.


I have some bird pictures to show you from earlier today, and also a lot of fabulous pieces I want to share with you. I will start with the sharing and finish with the pictures.


I start with a gem from whyevolutionistrue, titled “An open letter to Charlotte Allen, an ignorant, evolution-dissing writer“, which takes the person it is addressed to to task for a poorly written, ill-informed (indeed virtually uninformed) article.

All the rest of the pieces I am sharing with you have to do with…


I start with a piece from a blog which is new to me, anotherspectrum, and a piece title “I am atheism“. The piece tackles a particularly vile commercial put out by anti-autistic hate group masquerading as autism charity Autism Speaks, the title of which was “I am Autism”.

Another  new find is Discovering My Authentic Self, and I point you to “Autism Resources“, which is precisely what you might expect from the title.

My third autism related share comes with a challenge attached. It is Autism Mom’s piece “THE CONFUSION OVER THE LITTLE WHEELCHAIR” which tackles a problem that the recognised symbol for disability reinforces – the assumption that disability always means physcial disability. The challenge is this: can you come up with a replacement symbol for disability that acknowledges the full range of disabilities? If you create a post about your idea, linking back to this post, and I am impressed by it, I will reblog you.

I end this section with a reference to The Autistic Bill of Rights. The success of the original post on this theme from stimtheline has resulted in a shareable image from the same source (I printed one out at the library today), reproduced below:

Autistic Bill of

Please follow my example in sharing this as widely as you can!


For the first time in its 154 year history Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack has a woman on it’s front cover. Anya Shrubsole who bowled England to victory in the 2017 World Cup is the woman thus honoured:


Identifor produced this gem earlier today


Finally we come to my photographs…

gullblackbirdOystercatcher IOystercatcher IIGullsMuscoviesbrown muscovyPair of muscoviesswimming muscovytrio of muscoviesDark muscovytrio of light muscoviesLight muscovyBlack Muscovygrey backed muscovycontrasting muscoviesmotltled muscovyBrown backed muscovyClassic muscovy



November Auctions

An account of a hectic and sometimes stressful work week.


This post covers Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Monday and Wednesday were auction days.


This auction consisted of 455 lots, mainly stamps, with some first day covers at the end. The feature of the day was a selection of rare Chinese stamps, which it was hoped would fare well. Arriving at the shop bright and early I had a little time to myself before anyone else arrived. The IT setup and audio/video checks went smoothly, and exactly on schedule at 10:00 the first lot went under the hammer. Here are some pictures from before the auction…

Auction stock
The Chinese Stamps were still upstairs at this stage for safety.
IT setup - shop
The IT setup
The big screen.
A close up of the locomotive on the big screen (at one image per 3 seconds and almost two hours of running through 455 lots on a loop you can work out how many times each lot appeared on screen while the preauction slide show was running.


Most of the lots early in the auction were very large, and they did not attract much attention. There were hints of things to come when some of the first Chinese stamps sold well. Before we get to the main meat of the day, there is one essential stop…

LOT 169

Coming a little bit before the rare Chinese stamps were due to appear this was a Japanese railway stamp, and I got it unopposed. Here are the official images that were available online:

This was the image that appeaqred on screen during the auction – scanned at 300dpi.
For those who were on the internet this close-up of the locomotive was the second image if they wanted to investigate more closely.

Here are a couple of pictures of it taken at home…

169 - home
The complete item
169 locomotive close up
Locomotive close up
169 locomotive - using vignette
A second close-up


The Chinese stamps did better than any of us had dared to hope. A Chinese man living in Chelmsford had driven up tlo Fakenham (something in excess of two hours each way, though quicker than the public transport option of train to Norwich, bus/walk from Norwich station to the castle and then bus to Fakenham) to bid live, and he with some vigorous internet competition ensured that these stamps sold between them for over £10,000 (his own spend was over £9,000). Here are some the stamps at the heart of this story:



The remainder of the auction after the last Chinese stamp had gone was anticlimactic. Once I had disconnected the IT it was time for me to switch focus for a day and a bit to…


The link between these auctions and our final auction of the year, which will take place at our shop in Fakenham on December 13 is that there are some more Chinese stamps goign under the hammer. This auction will start with 50 lots of banknotes, including some very valuable uncirculated Australian and New Zealand, before proceeding to 100 lots of coins, 150 lots of military themed postcards, the stamps and some ephemera. I had already done the banknotes and one of the coins, and on the Monday afternoon I was scanning stamps. 

On the Tuesday I started on the postcards, and also did some coins. Here are some pictures of what you have to look forward to…

Imaging these uncirculated banknotes was a fiddle. They had to be imaged through the plastic covers they were encased in to avoid damage, and the black bakcground was needed for use in the catalogue. Additionally, since both sides were required what you see are two images joined to become one.


This 1787 gold guinea starts the coin section. This image came from 2 600dpi scans, bolted together.
As witness


I also photographed the coin, and this is the one that woulkd be my front-cover image for the printed catalogue.


Lots 52-6 got similar treatment.


Laying these postcards out to best advantage is a challenge as some are landscape oriented and some portrait.


Stamp scans…


While I was doing this the van was being loaded up to go Norwich, and as you will soon see the fact that I could not be spared from imaging to help with the process had consequences…


I managed to get my intended bus, and arrived at Norwich bus station at about 7:30 AM (to arrive early enough to help with the setup and then run the IT a Norwich auction I need to be on the First Eastern Counties X1 which departs Lynn at 5:30). I walked down to the venue, arriving there at about 7:45, got the room unlocked, fired up my computer and checked my emails, and waited for my colleagues to arrive. Finally, at about 8:20, they did, having got stuck in heavy traffic on the route between Fakenham and Norwich. Once the van was unloaded it was time to set up. Unfortunately no one involved in loading the van had thought to include a multi-point extension lead, the camera or the microphone. The Maids Head were able to lend us most of what we needed, and I was dispatched (with cash provided) to purchase a usb attached web camera. My first port of call was Rymans, in the pedestrianised shopping area of Norwich, where I had to wait a few minutes for the shop to open. Rymans did not have the necessary, but they did have an assistant who was able to point me in the direction of Maplin on Castle Meadow, close by albeit in the opposite direction to the Maids Head, and I found precisely what we needed there (though it took me a few minutes – the place was organised rather strangely, at least to me). I was back at the hotel by 9:20, and fortunately there were no technical hitches in the IT setup. Here are some pictures from this early part of the day…


The books fared much better than I for one dared to hope, with those that sold going for good money. On the Tuesday, along with the imaging for December I had corrected a problem with some of our online images, deleting two images and renumbering about 25 others so that images and descriptions matched. Unfortunately, when we came to these lots on the day my editing had been over-ridden by someone at the ATG Media end of things and the wrong images were back in place. Lots 901 to 1,000, which concluded the auction were military themed postcard lots, and they sold incredibly well, one single lot going for £200. The sales made at this auction were a welcome bonus after Monday’s extraordinary success. 

The auctiuon concluded it remained only to take down the IT and reload the van. 


My colleague Andrew had decided that he wanted to spend some more time in Norwich and go back by bus, so before heading off for my own extra time in Norwich I showed him where to pick up the bus from. I then headed for the library, which I always like to visit when I am in Norwich and did a few other things. Here are some photographs from Norwich, some taken that day and some on the previous Thursday evening, when I was also in Norwich…

St Peter Mancroft 2
This is St Peter Mancroft Church, Norwich
Light Tunnel
Next to it at the moment is this magnificent light tunnel. As you will see, Norwich have excelled themselves in the matter of Christmas lights this year.

Light Tunnel 1Light Tunnel 3Light Tunnel 2Light Tunnel 4

St Peter Mancroft clock through light curtain
This is the last of the Wednesday pics…
Castle - lit up 2
But I had taken more pictures of the Norwich Christmas lights the previous Thursday.

Davey Place lightsLights forumLight Tunnel 1Light Tunnel 2

Lights - Norwich tree
Note – just a few clumps of lights in the tree, not completely smothering it – a nice show of “treespect”

Davy Place, full darkIn the light tunnel 1In the light tunnel 2Light tunnel in full gloryLight stringlight stringsLightLooking down the light tunnel


Super Sharing Saturday – The Last Post

The last of my series of “Super sharing Saturday” posts, includes some of the lighter moments of the last few days.


I finish this day of sharing with my last few bits. These are in the main fairly light-hearted pieces, although more than one touches on serious issues.


For more about this statue, possibly of Ramesses II, please click on the image below to read the article posted on


This comes in video from courtesy of mashable and is great fun to watch. SPOT A FUNNY SPELLING ERROR

Somebody failed to proofread a church bulletin, resulting it being much funnier than intended. The image is below, and links to the piece on whyevolutionistrue where I first saw it. 

Screenshot 2017-03-11 at 5.20.39 PM - Edited


This one was also brought to my attention by WEIT and is a classic example of the fictional (and very foul-mouthed – you have been warned) newscaster at his best. Here he is getting seriously aerated by the fact that there is ban on public swearing in Salford (where the BBC are based these days):


Here are some of my pictures to end this post:

Close up of Norfolk cost tea towel.
This tea towel is in the window of the coffee shop.


Three prints side by side – from L to R as you look these are of Greyfriars tower, the Custom House and the almshouses on Queen Street.
NAS branches map
London has its own branches map on the reverse.

Architectural Features of a Norfolk Village (1)

I am treating this as the first of a series of related posts owing to the fact that time restrictions on Wednesday when I took the photographs that are its raison d’etre meant that we (my mother and I) accounted for barely a tithe of the interesting buildings in the village (East Rudham).

We had hoped to start with the Manor House but this was not accessible, although the publicly accessible part of its driveway provided an angle to capture the rear window of The Old Reading Room and also a section of brick and flint wall…

Brick and flint walls are classic for the part of Norfolk.
Brick and flint walls are classic for the part of Norfolk.
The rear window of The Reading Room
The rear window of The Reading Room

Having got a shot of the rear window of the building, The Old Reading Room was an obvious next port of call…

The front door of the Old Reading Room
The front door of the Old Reading Room
A close up of the name plate.
A close up of the name plate.

Just across the road from the Old Reading Room, is the Wesleyan Chapel, these days a private residence rather than a religious building…

The Wesleyan Chapel
The Wesleyan Chapel
A close up of the name and date plate.
A close up of the name and date plate.

After the Wesleyan Chapel came several very quirky specimens of local archiecture at the near end of School Road…

The lines of brickwork show the original shape of this building.
The lines of brickwork show the original shape of this building.
A modern version of a brick and flint gable end.
A modern version of a brick and flint gable end.
This outhouse roof section was a real curio.
This outhouse roof section was a real curio.
Another gable end whose history can be read clearly!
Another gable end whose history can be read clearly!
Brick and flint is the regular mix in this part of the world, but this building features brick and carr (the dark brown stone)
Brick and flint is the regular mix in this part of the world, but this building features brick and carr (the dark brown stone)

From the near end of school road, we proceeded round the south side of the village green, starting with a shot of a section of brick and flint wall and continuing with a couple of a large barn behind which lurks a modern house…

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Before proceeding to take front on shots of the barn and the cottages that adjoin it, I took a couple of panoramic views from the green…

The line of properties on the main road ends with one that until recently was both an eyesore and a health hazard (years of neglect had left it so run down that even the rats had moved on)
The line of properties on the main road ends with one that until recently was both an eyesore and a health hazard (years of neglect had left it so run down that even the rats had moved on)
The village pub and the tea room next door to it.
The village pub and the tea room next door to it.

The barn has a very fancy weathercock above it…

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Next we come to two cottages painted in pastel colours (one yellow, one blue)…

The yellow cottage
The yellow cottage
Both cottages in one shot
Both cottages in one shot
The blue cottage
The blue cottage

These two properties are separated by the width of what I have called “Fox Gate” from the detached cottage called Caradon…

"Fox Gate"
“Fox Gate”

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The name plate
The name plate

Between Caradon and the old post office (a very short distance) were a number of other properties to be photographed…

070 071 072 073 074 075 076 077 078 079

The building that used to be the post office is now much improved from the mouldering wreck it had become before restoration…


From here, via a shot of the side of the pub it was on to the church, the approach to which goes past an old cottage…

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I took several shots of the church, was is almost entirely 19th Century, with a few hints of older stuff around…

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The entrance ti the building.
The entrance ti the building.


I spotted this quirky window on the way out of the churchyard.
I spotted this quirky window on the way out of the churchyard.

Although it involved some mildly unpleasant walking, the churchyard provided a few other good brick and flint shots and a slightly tree obscured shot of the Manor House…

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The penultimate phase of this picture gathering expedition involved taking close ups of London House and the adjoining building that had not so long ago been an eyesore and a health hazard – there were loose tiles on the roof, and a not terribly wide pavement between the front of the building and the A148 (and for all that for that part of its length IT IS THE VILLAGE STREET not many motorists take due note of this important fact)…

This is the replacement for the derelict shop which had become an eyesore and a health hazard.
This is the replacement for the derelict shop which had become an eyesore and a health hazard.
And this is London House
And this is London House
The name plate.
The name plate.

The final picture was this ‘home shot’ – on the right of the shot as you look is Mulberry Coach House and straight ahead is part of Mulberry Barn (this property now forms a right-angle, as two loose boxes have been converted into extra rooms)…