Greece: Day 1-2 – Getting to Tseria

The beginning of full coverage of my holiday, starting atv the beginning with the journey to Tseria and the rest of that day.

INTRODUCTION

Yes folks, after yesterday’s little offering I am now able to start the story of my Greek holiday in earnest, and my usual logical fashion I am beginning at the beginning.

THE JOURNEY TO TSERIA

The flight to Kalamata (nearest airport to my parent’s house in Tseria) takes off at 5:40AM (the return flight leaves Kalamata at 12:00 Greek time, enabling the same crew to do both flights), which means that for a public transport user who lives in Norfolk the only way to get to the airport is to travel down the night before. I did this, arriving at Gatwick as planned just after 1AM, and making my way via the automatic monorail to the North terminal, where I waited landside until the EasyJet check in desks opened just after 3AM. An uneventful passage through security and I was safely airside and had about 90 minutes to wait for gate information to appear on the screen. I had had a beer landside, and now airside I had a bagel and a coffee while waiting. 

There were equally few dramas boarding the plane. I had an aisle seat, which meant no chance of seeing anything through the windows (they are too small to be of use unless you are in a window seat) and also that I had to get up more often than would have been the case had I been in a window seat.

I had had the forethought to equip myself with plenty of reading matter. We landed at Kalamata fractionally ahead of schedule, a gain that was more than lost to slow baggage handling at that end. My parents collected me in their hire car, a nice sensible Skoda Citigo, very economical on the fuel, and suitably robust for handling rural Greek roads (which are much better than they were when I visited Greece in the early 1980s, but still a fair way from being describable as ‘good’). 

Inspite of a sleepless night I managed to get through the day without napping and went to bed at a sensible time, following a meal at the new taverna that has opened in the village. It was good of its kind and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Network MapLondon Underground MapBathroom mosaic, Tseriatelephone teapot, TseriaJazz poster, TseriaKardamili Jazz Festival ads, TseriaPoster

Church just below my parents house
This is the first of a number of pictures taken from the balcony outside my parent’s house.

View towards the seaLeptiniView down the mountainsOlive posterbird mosaic photographsMosaic over the stairs

New tower, Tseria
This tower is newly built since I was last in Tseria.

Coloured posterModel TortoiseThe view of Kardamili

Kardamili from above
A distant view of Kardamili and the mouth of the Viros Gorge.
artwork, local church I
There is a lot of fascinating artwork set into the walls of the church just below my parent’s house in Tseria and I captured some of it.

artwork, local church IIartwork, local church IIIartwork, local church IV

A Couple of Puzzles and Some Butterflies

A couple of easy problems on brilliant.org that have generated considerable controversy, and some butterfly pics of my own.

INTRODUCTION

A couple of this weeks puzzles on brilliant.org have generated considerable controversy, so I am going to share them with you as a prelude to the butterfly pics. Both puzzles are actually very simple, and I will provide solutions and explanations some time on Friday.

PUZZLE 1: DR FRANKENINE

Here is a screenshot of the first puzzle:

Dr Frankenine

PUZZLE TWO: FUEL TANK

Here it is:

Fuel Tank

BUTTERFLIES

These are from Saturday and Monday. In addition the ones I have photographs of I have seen one other species, mainly white but with flame coloured wingtips but not yet been able to photograph it.

Small Tortoiseshell IIISmall Tortoiseshell IIWhite butterflySmall Tortoiseshellgreen and white butterflyveined white butterfly

The First Ducklings of 2018

Pictures of ducklings exploring the Gaywood River.

INTRODUCTION

I saw two broods of ducklings while on my way to a Musical Keys session on Saturday. 

THE PICTURES

I was delighted to see the ducklings, particularly in that location, on the Gaywood River, where they are far enough from the Great Ouse that they should not fall victim to large and aggressive gulls (yes, gulls do target ducklings).

Duck family outingDucklingspale ducklingducklingduck and ducklingFemale mallard with ducklingssix ducklings

Cricket Season Underway

Celebrating the start of a new cricket season.

INTRODUCTION

The first round of County Championship matches in season 2018 is drawing to a conclusion. Where there has been action (Yorkshire’s failure to get their ground into playable condition caused their game against Essex to be abandoned without a ball being bowled). I also have some photos to share, and will provide answers to the last problems I posed.

RAIN, WICKETS AND THE ODD RUN

A lot of drawn games have resulted due to poor weather before and during the matches. However, those matches which have had definite results have been absolute crackers. Only one game remains in progress – Sussex against Warwickshire, with the former’s David Wiese having scored the only century of this first round of fixtures (and off a mere 94 balls, helped along by 14 fours and three sixes). Sussex are building are useful lead, but it will take something spectacular in what is left of the match for anything other than a draw to eventuate. Gloucestershire beat Kent in a very low scoring affair (the largest team total in any of the four innings was only just over 150). Middlesex also won their match in short order, completing the job early on yesterday. Two other matches had definite results:

HAMPSHIRE V WORCESTERSHIRE

Worcestershire generally have a lot of away games scheduled for early in the season to give the New Road ground an apportunity to recover from its winter inundation (it is very close to the river Severn, so this is pretty much an annual event), and this year is no exception. Their match against Hampshire at Southampton (I refuse on principle to refer directly to grounds that are named after a sponsor) saw many twists and turns, but Hampshire were pretty well always ahead of the game. James Vince’s spirited 75 on the opening day was a fine effort, but yet again he failed to turn a good start into a really significant score. All-rounder Gareth Berg matched Vince’s score. Worcestershire fought back from a dreadful start in their own first innings to top the 200 mark, but they still conceded a deficit of 79, and Hampshire then scored 244 in their second innings to leave Worcestershire needing 324 to win. Worcetserhsire were so far short of threatening this target that it took a defiant last wicket partnership to get the final margin below 200 runs. 

LANCASHIRE V NOTTINGHAMSHIRE

Lancashire were all out for 158 in their first innings, Nottinghamshire responded with 222, and overnight Lancashire were 58-2. Harry Gurney and Jake Ball (Left-arm Fast and right-arm Fast Medium respectively) bowled magnificently this morning, and Lancashire’s last eight wickets scraped together a measly 15, which meant Nottinghamshire needed just 10 to win. Nottinghamshire themselves managed to lose four wickets while chasing down this target, making the score for the day 25-12. 

PHOTOGRAPHS

These are all from this morning:

MagpieTwo cormorants ITwo Cormorants IICormorantsBlackbird

Bee
My first bee picture of 2018

Bee IIBee - close upSlugPollinator IPollinator IISmall TortoiseshellSmall Tortoiseshell - close up

SOLUTIONS

I posed these problems on Friday, in a post titled “Solutions (And New Problems)

  1. Deck of Cards:
    Card problem

This is a multi-choice question, the possible answers being:

a) Less than 50%
b) More than 50%
c) Exactly 50%
This problem generated a huge amount of controversy among solvers on brilliant (many of those who opted for exactly 50% being unable to accept that they were wrong and arguing over it). The answer is “less than 50%” – whatever colour the top card in the pack is there remain 51 cards of which 25 are the same colour as the top card and 26 are the other colour. Hence the probability of the bottom card being the same colour is the top card is 25/51, which is just less than 50%. The more cards the deck contains the closer to 50% the probability gets, but it never reaches 50%.

2. Groyne

Groyne Q

This one caused such confusion to solvers om brilliant that over half of them got it wrong. The answer is A, since the groyne acts as a block against waves approaching it from the right as you look at it, and therefore the reduced speed of those waves causes sediment to deposited on that side of the groyne. 

Musical Keys On a Spring Saturday

A brief account of my session at Musical Keys yesterday.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday was a Musical Keys session, and Oliver who runs Musical Keys put in an appearance. Also, some of our stuff was recorded – we will hear it in a fortnight’s time.

THE JOURNEY TO THE SCOUT HUT

Immediatedly after a light lunch of salami and salad I set off on my journey (I was starting early because I needed to check in on my aunt’s house en route and also intended to take advantage of heading towards that part of the world to visit Gaywood Library). After the few minutes it took to make sure all was OK at my aunt’s house I headed for the parkland and thence the footpath between the two academies, before a diversion to Gaywood Library and a walk along the bank of the Gaywood River to finish. Here are some pictures covering the period between leaving my flat and exiting the parkland at Tennyson Road:

Saturday Market Place
A welcome return of market stalls to the Saturday Market Place.
Hampton Court Cannon Ball
This cannon ball hangs in the entrance to Hampton Court (near my aunt’s house)
Red Mount Chapel
The Red Mount Chapel
Guanock Gate
The Guanock Gate
Black headed gull
A black headed gull in The Walks.

Not fit for play!

The cricket season is underway in most parts of the country, but Yorkshire and Essex have had no play on any of the first three days of their match due to a sodden outfield. Norfolk has not been battered as much as the north, but this picture from The Walks shows the problem – saturated soil means that there is nowhere for water to go.

The second part of the walk to the Scout Hut provided a few photos as well:

Purple FlowersPurple FlowerYellow flowerDaffodils, Gaywood RiverLittle Blue Flowers

Blue tit
For more on the bird on this picture please visit my previous post.

BlackbirdThe above picture was the Featured Image in my post Blue Tit and Butterfly

AT THE SCOUT HUT

Once it was time for the session to begin I did not take long to decide what I was going to do…

Yamaha music system
This Yamaha music system is not quite the equal of the Korg that I jhave used on previous occasions at Musical Keys, but it is still a very fine gadget.

InstrumentchordFACE4 chordQuintCAFE

After I had been recorded I spent what was left of the session creating musical words (e.g playing the notes F, A, C and E for face or, C, A, F and E for cafe). For the bit was a recording I used a double pattern – each four note chord I used comprised two pairs of notes separated by two, and with an octave between each pair.

HOMEWARD BOUND

The entirety of my homeward journey took place not only in daylight but under a bright sun (yes, we sometimes forget about it, especially during long winters like the one we are just emerging from, but even here in Blighty we do get to see the sun). I only added one solitary picture to my collection during this journey – a pair of drakes swimming in formation in the Gaywood River…

drakes

Blue Tit and Butterfly

A blue tit and a butterfly from yesterday.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday was a Musical Keys day, and on the way there I got a few photographs which I think warrant a post of their own, before I move on to the main meat of today’s blogging.

THE BLUE TIT

This was a picture I took more in hope than expectation, since small birds nearly always fly out fo shot before the camera has picked them up, but on this occasion fortune smiled…

Blue tit
blue tit in tree branches, on the path than runs betwee the King Edward the Seventh Academy and The King’s Lynn Academy.
Blue Tit - close up
The blue tit, extracted from the foregoing picture.

Blue tit - bird book

THE BUTTERFLY

As I approached the Scout Hut where Musical Keys sessions take place, walking along the bank of the Gaywood River I spotted a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly. I investigated further and finished with six splendid pictures.

Tortoiseshell ButterflyTortoiseshell Butterfly IITortoiseshell Butterfly IIITortoiseshell Butterfly IVTortoiseshell Butterfly VTortoiseshell Butterfly VI

Come On Aldi, Show Some Tree-spect

A petition, a Thunderclap, a message to Aldi, some photographs, and a couple of little snippets.

INTRODUCTION

Although there will be a couple of minor items tacked on that the end, this post is mainly devoted to a thunderclap and a petition, both regarding an area of woodland that adjoins a Nature Reserve and is under threat from plans by supermarket chain Aldi. 

SAVE QUESLETT TREES

There are two parts to this, starting with…

A THUNDERCLAP

To participate in the Thunderclap you need to be on facebook and/or twitter and/or tumblr. Below is a screenshot formatted as a link:

ATC

Linked to the Thunderclap is a petition, a screenshot of which appears below, again formatted as a link.

QTP

The main business of this post ends with…

A MESSAGE TO ALDI (AND PLANNING AUTHORITIES)

I feel very strongly that Aldi should accept the initial negative decision, especially given how many supermarkets (including two other Aldis) are located close to this area already. I am a fairly regular customer of Aldi stores in my own part of the world, but that may not remain the case if Aldi do not reconsider their stance over this. I conclude with some advice for all involved in this decision to consider, tendered in the form of a picture created by Anna from a comment I posted on her blog:

Nature Meme.jpg

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here are some of my recent photographs, before I finish off with a couple of minor items. 

Black backed gullsBird gatheringBird gathering IIelusive squirrelBird gathering IIISquirrelSmall waderBirds in treeBirds on a wallbird laden treeCormorant MDCLXVICormorant MDCLXVIISea BirdsWest Lynn ChurchCormorant and gullsRedshankThree gull specieslesser black backed gullsBlack headed gullHerring gullSmall bird in valley

A COUPLE OF NUGGETS

The last few days have seen two numbers come up for me:

  • 300 – the number of successive days on which I have solved at least one of brilliant’s problems – here is one of them for you:
    triprob
  • 900 – my Lumosity Performance Index has just exceeded this value (after this morning’s workout it now stands at 917. Below, concluding this post is first the breakdown of my LPI, and second a little puzzle for you:
    LPI

    Ebbinghaus
    Solutions will be in a future post.