The Last Auction Of 2017

An account of James and Sons’ final auction of 2017.

INTRODUCTION

James and Sons last auction of 2017 took place at our own premises in central Fakenham on Wednesday, and in this post I tell the story of that sale.

THE PRELIMINARIES – TUESDAY

On Tuesday we moved the stock for auction downstairs, and with that laid out, and the smaller high-value lots in the vault until the morning I then brought down and set up such of the IT equipment as I could (we are a laptop down at present so I would be pressing my own machine into service once again) and carried out a brief test which suggested that all was in order and that there should be no issues. 

THE AUCTION ITSELF

I arrived at work bright and early since not even Stagecoach can contrive to have the first bus of the day run seriously late. For those living in Norfolk and uncertain regarding buses in the holiday period services will stop early on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, there will be no services at all on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and a “Saturday service” will operate from the 27th to 29th of December inclusive (and since that day is actually a Saturday presumably also on the 30th). 

Coffee made, emails checked and a few things gathered up to go downstairs I went back downstairs at 7:45AM. The IT setup went smoothly, and I had the slide show running before any bidders arrived (there were a few room bidders on this occasion). Here are some pictures from this period:

Stock 1Stock 2IT setupBig Screen

BANKNOTES AND COINS

The auction kicked off with some uncirculated banknotes which went for very high prices. Lot 43, a display book showing old and new format New Zealand banknotes, brought the curtain down on that segment, going for £440. 

Lots 44-50 were less valuable banknotes. Then lots 51-56 were very rare coins. Unfortunately the reserves had been set too high to attract bidders, with the exception of lot 51, a 1787 gold guinea which went for £600. 

The remaining lots of coins and banknotes went fairly quietly, although there were a one or two good prices achieved. 

1
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.

44343-a43-d

1-p
Lot 51.

POSTCARDS

Lots 151-300 were postcards, mainly military themed, and while there were no headline grabbers in this section, most of them did find buyers. 

STAMPS

Not quite on a par with the extraordinary happenings of November 29 (see here for more details), but much better than our stamp sections have historically been. 

EPHEMERA

The last 100 lots (501-600) to go under the hammer at James and Sons in 2017 were all ephemera. I expected a fairly quiet end to the auction, and that is what eventuated. Lot 545, with a modest estimate of £20-30 went for £75.

545

Immediately before that an optimistic bid I placed on lot 544 met no opposition. At some stage I will probably do a whole post about this lot. This is the picture that everyone was able to see:

544

Here are some more pictures taken today…

Farnham and AltonHampton CourtEgham and ChertseyArrangements with other railway companiesReading, Guildford & ReigateLondon BridgeWhitchurch, Andover and SalisburyGuildford, Fareham, PortsmouthRichmond to WindsorStaines to Wokingham and WokingWimbledon to CroydonReading extensionHavant to GodalmingSalisbury to YeovilYeovil to ExeterBranch to Cambridge TownSussex and SurreyAmalgamationBasingstoke to NewburyDorsetNorth Cornwall

Computer Aided Composing

An account of my recent doings at Musical Keys with a photographic interlude.

INTRODUCTION

A few sessions back at Musical Keys, an event run for autistic people that I am a regular attender of, I switched from using Scratch to using a different package called Reaper. This Saturday just gone I reached a point at which I feel that my work on Reaper is now worth talking about. Also I have some good pictures that I can slip in as part of the back story.

SCRATCH AND REAPER

Scratch enables one to play notes on various musical instruments and also has some saved sound loops for variation. Effectively therefore Scratch enables one to play music and sounds but not really to create anything beyond the framework within which to do so. Reaper is both less and more – less in that it has no versions of musical instruments, more in that is really all about combining different recorded sounds into a larger whole, and therefore has much more of a creative element to it. 

BEFORE SATURDAY’S SESSION

I had spent one session assessing the available sound segments, working out which ones I liked and which of those combined well together, and a second session combining shorter segments into longer ones by putting together segments that would or could naturally flow together, but at the start of Saturday what I actually had was a set of useful components that I could start to think about assembling into proper length pieces…

INTERLUDE –  WALK TO THE SCOUT HUT

I had decided to lengthen my walk to the venue by taking in a stretch of the Great Ouse before rejoining the regular walking route to Gaywood by way of Seven Sisters and the Vancouver Garden, and a quick sampling of the air outside my flat convinced me of the need to don an extra jumper – it was cold, as some of the photos will make very plain. I had also allowed myself time for a visit to Gaywood library, since I would naturally pass very close to it. It may have been cold, but the birds were out in force, especially near the Great Ouse.

lapwings and a gulllapwings and gullsFlying lapwingswimming birdBlackbirdsBlackbird

Leaving the river by way of Hardings Pits I headed for the South Gate and thence Seven Sisters and the parkland areas…

framed magpieKL signSouthgatestarlingsthree birds

Among other things the walk through the parkland provided me with absolute proof of how cold it was – gulls walking on water. 

Gull walking on waterGull walking on water 2Gull walking on water 3rooksBlackbird II

DECEMBER 9TH AT MUSICAL KEYS

John, who usually supervises the sessions was not feeling well, so having driven the equipment over he spent the afternoon sat in his car, while his assistant Kirsten took charge of the sessions. 

Once I had opened up Reaper, checked and adjusted the speaker volume (at least 99% of the time it is set too loud for me and I have to reduce it, often considerably – on this occasion it had been set to 70% of full volume and I reduced that to 35%) it was time to put my plan of exploring options for combining various elements to make a larger whole into practice. Before moving on here is a photo I took at the end of the session.

Reaper

The piece that I called Organ and Strings was one of three background sounds that I used in the bigger pieces, the others being the drum and brass backgrounds. “Ensemble” and “Composite” as those names suggest were medium sized components, while “Horizontal” and “All in” were the two large scale components that I combined to make the final full size pieces. The two big pieces (12 and 16 minutes long respectively) were comprised of “Horizontal”-“All-in”‘-“Horizontal” and “Horizontal”-“All-in”-“Horizontal”-“All-in” respectively. By the time I had listened to the 16 minute piece at the end it was pretty much the end of the session. The next session is on January 6th and I shall work out some way to build on what I have already created. 

 

Links, Pics and a Thunderclap

Some links to excellent pieces by autistic writers, especially on the subject of Judith Newman’s book To Siri With Love. Details of a thunderclap on the subject of driven grouse shooting and some of my own photos.

INTRODUCTION

I have had a busy few days imaging for James and Sons’ final auction of the year (takes place on Wednesday – click here to view on online catalogue), so it is only today that I have time for another post. Before getting into the main meat of today’s post there is a small matter of an…

APOLOGY

Some of you may have noticed snowflakes falling across pictures on this blog (as I did today, when I accessed it at the library to get a picture I needed for something I was doing). I am aware that some of my followers have sensory issues that make this sort of thing unwelcome, and I have changed my settings so that those snowflakes will not appear again. I apologise to any who were inconvenienced by this ‘seasonal’ addition of WordPress’s.

SOME AUTISM RELATED PIECES

I will start this section by stating that most of the pieces I link to here were drawn to my attention by Eve Reiland at americanbadassactivists. Another excellent source of good material by autistic people is Laina, both in her own right at thesilentwaveblog and via her specialist sharing blog Lainascollection.

My first links concern the representation of autistic people in the media:

The remaining links in this section all related to…

#BOYCOTTTOSIRI

The title of this section refers to the backlash by the autistic community against Judith Newman’s book To Siri With Love. Although they make unpleasant reading, because of what they reveal about the book, I urge you to follow up the links I give, all of which, save one, are to pieces about this book written by autistic people. The exception, which ends this section, is to an alternative reading list, and was also created by an autistic person. 

I start with what is actually last piece I read about this issue, “An Autistic’s Thoughts On To Siri, With Love by Judith Newman” which was posted on writeabledreams.

My next offering, by Susie Rodarme is titled “AN OPEN LETTER TO HARPERCOLLINS ABOUT TO SIRI WITH LOVE“, and was published on bookriot.com

Next, courtesy of goodreads.com comes Kaelan Rhywiol’s review of the book – it is a superbly written take down of the book.

Next we turn to autistichoya and “Why we must #BoycottToSiri / An open letter to Judith Newman“. 

The last specific #BoycottToSiri piece to which I link is Eve’s as yet unanswered closing challenge to the author “Judith Newman | Stop The BS and Evolve into an Actual Autistic Ally #boycotttosiri” 

I end this section with a link to a post on huxtales simply titled “The Essential Autistic Reading List“.

A THUNDERCLAP

To take part in a thunderclap you have to be on at least one of facebook, twitter and/ or tumblr. I am on the first two named, and as such have contributed approximately 5,500 connections to this thunderclap calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting. If like me (see here for a previous piece on this subject) you hold those who take pleasure in shooting at birds in utter contempt, and you are on one of the three networks mentioned please add your voice to thunderclap – more details below:

GrouseThunderclap.jpg

PICTURES

Lights, Tower StreetLight chainsLights, Broad StreetStarVancouver ArchLit up treeBlack headed gullGullsB7ackbirdBlackb1rd

Bus window 1
This network of cracks were in the upstairs front window of an X29 bus – when it is a double decker I invariably sit upstairs, and the best seat is the front window seat on the side opposite the driver.

LeafRMCSquirrel

Olympics 50p.jpg
I needed this 50p for my bus fare, so I could not keep it until a better opportunity to photograph it arose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers

Answers to a query of mine and to a puzzle that I set, accompanied by some photos.

INTRODUCTION

This little post features answers to two problems and at the end a few photos.

BIG AVIAN FIND

A couple of hours ago I put up a post featuring some large water birds that were new to me. Since then two people in the comments section (Cindy and Vicki) have suggested Muscovy Ducks as a possibility, and my twitter friends @team4nature have made a similar though more detailed suggestion.

This level of consensus is sufficient for me – these are Muscovy ducks, possibly domesticated and possibly crossed with some other breed (possibilities raised by @team4nature). Here to conclude this section is the feature image from the previous post:

Swimming Bird II

SUPERPRIME RESOLVED

I offered up this problem from brilliant last night:

SP

This is my own solution, posted as such on brilliant, and reflecting mu frustration at the sheer number of people commenting based on failure to fully read the terms of the question:

SPS

PHOTOGRAPHS

To finish here are some more of my photos:

Gull on flagpoleaerial action!starlingsBlackbirdMIaowGull on logMoorhenMoorhen 2

Can You Identify These Birds?

Can you identify these large water birds that I saw near Kettlewell Lane, King’s Lynn, today?

INTRODUCTION

I was out walking this afternoon, and one of the places I walked was a section of river that runs parallel to Kettlewell Lane in King’s Lynn. It was there that I saw some birds I have never seen before…

BIG NEW AVIAN FIND

These are large birds, similar in size and build to a goose, but with colouring unlike any goose I have ever seen, and not matching any of the goose species listed in my bird book. They were probably about half as big again in each direction as the mallards that I also saw (and due to being overfed King’s Lynn mallards are bigger than average mallards!). I have lots of photos for you…

Geese 1Geese 2Piebald birdWhite birdMixed plumagesVariegated birdsMixed birdsSplendid birdshiny birdMainly white birdMainly white bird IIBlack bodied birdPink billed birdBrown birdDark birdMainly Brown BirdSwimming Bird ISwimming Bird IISwimming Bird IIITwo birdstwinsFront ongrey and blackDouble actHeadBeakFront on shot

Based on the size of the birds and all the features that my camera managed to pick up can you identify them? If you can please let me know by commenting.

A Meme, A Puzzle and Some Bird Pictures

A meme about Evolution and Creationism, courtesy of @AtheistRepublic, a puzzle courtesy of Brilliant and some bird pictures of my own.

INTRODUCTION

Just a brief post to keep me on your radar!

EVOLUTION IN A MEME

This was posted on twitter by AtheistRepublic, and I think it is very good indeed:

Evolution

A PRIME PROBLEM FROM BRILLIANT

This little problem generated a surprising amount of controversy on brilliant – though it is not particularly difficult, and there were no real grounds for controversy:

SP

I will reveal the solution tomorrow.

BIRD PICTURES FROM KINGS LYNN

We had a bit of sun in King’s Lynn today, but in consequence of it being December it was already virtually level with the horizon by 3PM. However, it being as pleasant as a December day in Blighty can be I did get out a couple of times, and augmented my stock of bird pictures along the way:

Blackbird IIBlackbird IIIBlackbird IVBlackbird VMoorhen triangleMoorhenFemale BlackbirdFlying gullGull and westering sunRookGullsGulls IIFlying gull IIbirdsFlying birdFlying cormorantGulls and flying cormorantSmall birdGulls and cormorantCormorant with guard of gullsGathering of birdsCormorant