Saturday, May 31, 2008

Update

I am experiencing bloggers block. I have tried to start a new post now for a couple of days and the abortive attempts this evening alone run into double figures. I have to face facts, I've got nothing. Where are all the meme's when you need one?

It's not that I don't have ideas or that I haven't done anything, for some reason the words just won't come. I'm putting it down to general busy-ness and the fact that my mind is refusing to do any of that bothersome thinking I've been making it do all week. Anyway, just to prove that I am alive and have not run away and joined the circus, been abducted by aliens or become trapped under something heavy, here is a quick run down of life this week by bullet points. Yeah, I can manage bullet points, my mind likes those!
  • I am busy at work trying to tie up loose ends, get my ducks in a row and destroy the evidence before I leave my current job.
  • I am also trying to recruit someone into my job as soon as possible. As my boss is still off sick this has fallen to me.
  • I have had a bit of a sci-fi week as I watched High Definition versions of 'Blade Runner: Final Cut' and 'The Matrix'. The picture quality was phenomenal.
  • The grass in the front garden is mowed but the back garden remains a small jungle. I swear I saw a tribe of pygmy warriors out there.
  • I got my hair done so now the roots match the rest of my hair!
  • I also got it cut as it was getting quite long and I had started to resemble a shaggy dog.
  • I bought 'The Colour Purple' for only £3 at the local entertainment store
  • I went historical fencing twice. On Friday it was so humid I thought I was going to expire.
  • I plan to go and see the new Indiana Jones film this weekend.
That's about it in a nutshell. There has also been housework, but lets face it, that's just boring. So, what have you been up to?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

See! Turtles!

video

With a long bank holiday weekend ahead of me, it seemed the perfect opportunity for a day out somewhere. I have always loved animals and I love photography so I wanted to combine these in my day out. We decided on the Birmingham Sea Life Centre and so off we set. I have always found aquariums to be relaxing places, despite the throngs of people clamouring around the tanks. As I watch the fish effortlessly glide past I lose myself in their underwater world and everyone around me slides into the background. The only thing that can break this is the shrill screech of a young child who isn't getting their way or actually being jostled. I was prepared for all this and we got there early to beat the crowds. I had fun taking photos of the fish and managed to get a few nice photos, a couple of which I have posted on my photo blog.

video

There were fish from all all sorts of watery habitats but the thing that entranced me the most was the sea turtles. The two turtles were rescued as hatchlings and were called Molokai and Gulliver and were housed in a giant tank with one of those amazing tubes you can walk through. They seemed just as interested in checking out the curious visitors as we were about them and cruised by in lazy circuits surrounded by bejewelled fish of all sizes. Sea turtles have been on the earth since the dinosaurs were around but as ever, hunting them and adverse effects on the habitats and hatching grounds has meant that many species are endangered. I find that so sad so I'm putting my money where my mouth is and adopting a turtle through the Marine Conservation Society. It was a wonderful to see the turtles at the aquarium, who essentially act as ambassadors for their species. My friend took a couple of short videos on his mobile phone which I have posted here. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Red Letter Day

(Photo from the internet)

Today was a normal working day on the whole. I got up, went through the motions of going to work. Got to work, logged in to my computer, read my emails, answered my emails, worked on a spreadsheet and a couple of documents, took phone calls, had lunch. But a Red Letter day is a special day, so called because they were originally the holy days and saints' days indicated in early ecclesiastical calendars by letters marked in red ink and this is pretty run of the mill stuff on the whole. With a difference. Because today I formally accepted a new post on promotion.

Yes, in case you haven't joined the dots, I've been promoted and that will mean a change of job for me, but within the same organisation. I went for the interview last Friday and received the formal offer and accepted it today. My new role is in Technical Assurance and will be a whole new challenge and will definitely take me out of my comfort zone for a while. But I'm looking forward to it. So, some of the ordinary run of the mill stuff has been around negotiating my start date with the new team and getting the ducks in a row for whoever my successor will be. So today is a Red Letter day because this is a big deal, and as many people who know me have said when I have told them "About time too". Shucks.

My Wordless Wednesday post is up on my photoblog. Click *here* for instant transportation to something sweet.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

When in Rome

Ermine Street Guard - April 2008

It's not often you get to see so many bare legs since the demise of the British Seaside knobbly knees contests , but at the Gloucester Historical Fair they were on parade! The Ermine Street Guard, a Roman re-enactment company were taking part in the fair along with Vikings, Medieval, Civil War and World War re-enactment groups.


Gloucester is an old Roman town and when the Romans built their wall around the settlement (remains of which can still be seen today) they called it Glevum. When I first spied them, they were camped next to the cathedral, going about everyday tasks and due to the cold, chilly and grey April day, trying to keep warm! Later on, I was at the dockside where most of the World War re-enactors were situated and I turned to see the Romans marching towards me. It seemed like a second invasion as they marched with purpose to the sound of a large circular horn which was being blown by one of the soldiers and heralded their arrival. They then proceeded to the parade ground and put on a most convincing demonstration of Roman drill and fighting.


Last weekend I posted the image above. I had been taking a few photos of the Romans at their campsite and this shot made me laugh as I later reviewed the shots. It seemed perfect for a caption competition so that is what I did. It had a great response with many witty, amusing, imaginative and downright funny captions. A big thank you to everyone that took part. I was surprised to find there were no Monty Pythonesque jokes about 'Biggus Dickus' and the best I could come up with was 'Is that your spartha or are you just pleased to see me?".

It was difficult to choose a winner so I didn't just choose one. There are three winners who will all receive postcards from me:

Neptharia for: "I *told* you to go before we left Rome!" and
Panthergirl with: "Jimmy Choo sandals??? Drop and give me 20!" and
R. Sherman for: "Local 'Men In Skirts' Dancers Finalize Preparations For Musical Homage To Edward II's Alleged Poofiness Outside Gloucester Cathedral."

These ones just appealed to my sense of humour the most. Winners, if you would like to receive your postcard then please send your postal address to my email (link on my profile page). Honourable mention goes to everyone else who entered and their captions can be viewed *here*. Thank you again to everyone who had a go and for visiting me!

Friday, May 09, 2008

What's going on here?

The Ermine Street Guard ~ Gloucester Historical Fair April 2008

On a grey April day I went to the Gloucester Historical Fair. This was a huge event held over the whole weekend throughout the city and in the cathedral grounds and docks. Vikings rubbed shoulders with Romans who camped next to Medieval folk who went about their business as soldiers from both World Wars marched by. It was an incongruous sight.

I enjoy these historical events having an interest in history and traditional western martial arts. They are also wonderful places to take photographs and this event was no exception and provided rich pickings despite the inclement and chilly weather. I will post more about this soon but first a little competition. I noticed this shot when I got home and was reviewing the days photos on my computer. I had set up near a group of Romans and was taking quite a few shots as the soldiers went about their business and so didn't notice the exact poses I had captured until I downloaded the pics. When I saw this one it made me laugh.

A competition is a first for
Bobkat's House and there is a prize, albeit a modest one. The winner for the most imaginative, witty, apt caption as judged by moi, will receive a colourful postcard, handwritten with greetings from yours truly (which will mean emailing me your address if you win). Please leave as many captions as you like. Meanwhile (in the interests of shameless self promotion), come and visit my new photo blog. The link is now in my side bar but you can also visit by clicking *here*. Encouragement from folk like you really gives me a boost so do stop by if you can. Thanks :)

If you are here for Wordless Wednesday you'll find it on my photo blog. Just follow the link in the side bar and thanks for dropping by!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Taking the Pic

Pink Daisies ~ Heading Up Bobkat's Photo's Blog

I am not one to sit around idle for long and while work has continued to be incredibly hectic I have found that finishing my MBA has left me some time to
persue more creative avenues. This is a good thing as now I have time to indulge my love of photography.

From time to time I have posted my photos on this blog and I have been really happy that some of you have liked them enough to say some nice things about them. I have been greatly encouraged by this and so I have started a new blog, Bobkat's Photo's, sorely dedicated to showcasing my photos as I explore the art of photography and (hopefully) improve as a
photographer. It will differ from my Bobkat's House as it will be far more focused on the photo itself and how I came to take it. You can visit it at the following link:


I do hope you'll visit it as your encouragement is a great inspiration for me.
Meanwhile it'll be business as usual at Bobkat's House. I will still post about random niff naff and trivia from my life, my days out, my travels, my thoughts and anything else I think you might like to hear about, or just stuff I might want to share. And, yes, there will still be pictures here as well. The photo of the pink daisies is the photo I am currently using at the top of my new Photo Blog. I hope you will enjoy visiting it (links in pink).

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Meer-friends

Meerkats ~ Longleat October 2007

I have always have a soft spot for animals of just about every type. I grew up around animals and have had a pet of one sort or another for the majority of my life. So it is no coincidence that many of my days out are to zoos or wildlife parks or animal reserves of one kind or another. It is also no coincidence then, if we follow this line of logic, that many of my photographs are also of animals and I have also found that I love taking photos of them. Sometimes you capture a moment and it paints a wonderful picture of the animals personality. That is why I love the picture above. These Meerkats look like two old friends (though more likely to be family members) sat out enjoying the late afternoon sun. I was stood behind them and couldn't get to the other side of the pen so I waited until one turned his head and got the shot. I love the way the light makes their fur almost glow around the edges.

While I am on the subject of friendship, I thought I would share some quotes from my 'friendship' calendar which was given to me as a Christmas present by CrazieQueen.

"Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer"
~ Ed Cunningham

"My friend if I could give you one thing, I would wish for you the ability to see yourself as others see you. Then you would realise what a truly special person you are"
~ B.A. Bilingsly

"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people"
~ Victor Borge

"The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away"
~ Barbara Kingsolver

"No road is long with good company"
~ Turkish Proverb

"Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is slow-ripening fruit"
~ Aristotle

"The worst solitude is to be destitute of friendship"
~ Francis Bacon

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Cat on a hot windowsill


I have written before about my cat, Bob, the namesake for this blog. He has been a feature in my life and a companion for a looong time. In fact it's coming up to 17 years now. I have no idea exactly how old he is as he is a rescue cat but he was estimated as being between 2-4 years when I adopted him, so he's quite an old boy.

Bob likes to 'help'. This is the alternative cat definition of 'help' which seems to translate as getting in the way and sitting on stuff. Through out my MBA studies, he has helped in this manner. He has walked over the keyboard, sat on my books and papers, head butted me while I was trying to work, stood in front of the monitor and stuck fur to my mouse mat. I wouldn't have it any other way though as through those long and many hours of studying he has also sat quietly on the window sill next to me. Just being there. Sometimes he watches the world outside and other times he would nap. Sometimes he would snore and I would gently poke him to make him stop, and he would open his eyes so that they were narrow slits and give me the 'look'.

I took this photo of him one day when I took a short break while completing my final MBA essay. He was sat on the sill as always, enjoying the afternoon sun and taking a nap. I know he isn't human and therefore does not understand the moments of pure despair I have had at times trying to do my studying with work as well, but he has been there right beside me, all the way through. Now, doesn't he look peaceful?