Friday, 23 April 2010

Little Incidents

Today I went out for the first time this year without a coat. I'm always a bit slow to get round to losing my winter wear, until I start sweating. In fact I'm not really very good dealing with summer weather. By the time I get round to short sleeves winter is about to set in again, and I've never worn shorts since I was about six, even when cycling.

A few days ago I went into the temple-like public convenience in Hastings town centre and happened to somehow drop the empty bag that I was carrying under my arm into the gutter of the urinal. It's a bag I've had for years and grown attached to. At first I thought this was maybe the end of it, but I've never been able to find a replacement for it although it had got dirty over the years, so I decided to risk putting it in the washing machine. It survived and came up looking almost as good as new! It has the label "Guardsman" in red on the side, and inside is a small label with the legend: "Cat No. N5159, MADE IN CHINA, Z804, 100% NYLON." Perhaps this may be sufficient to trace whether they are still made.

Someone from the five other flats in the building where I live has put out an old sofa in the front patio (if that's the word). It has been there for over a week. I don't know whether they think the council's waste disposal men will take it away. They won't. I've put a little notice on the inside of the front door asking for whoever put it there to make arrangements to have it removed. Whether this will have any effect remains to be seen.

This morning I had a small nose-bleed. This is the first time it's happened since I had a long bout of nosebleeds last year and had to see the doctor about them. I hope it's just a once-off and not the start of a series again.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Spring in my Steps

I went for a walk along to the Arts Forum this afternoon to check that it was all in order for the Hastings Humanists meeting tomorrow evening. Although it was dull when I set out the sun soon came out and I carried on along the front as far as the railway bridge, then turned up St Saviours Road and Filsham Road as far as Silverhill. The Silverhill Computers shop is now empty, the business having moved down to the bottom of London Road.

From there I continued walking through Alexandra Park. On Shornden Reservoir, among the many seagulls, there was a lone black-plumed bird with a long beak which I think must be a cormorant. It was repeatedly diving below the surface, emerging several feet away, usually with a small fish in its beak. It's a pity I didn't take my camera, but I hadn't planned the walk beforehand.

In the park the birds were singing and the grey squirrels were busy. I saw very few people until I reached the section nearer the town centre. I ended up at the town hall and remembered to pick up some pink bags for the recycling. I've given up putting any rubbish in the two bins outside my flat, since the refuse collectors are no longer emptying them properly.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

My Website Reorganised

This Sunday I've spent most of my time at the computer rearranging the material on my website. Most of the content is unchanged, it is just the way the pages are classified that has changed. The Index page now leads to three sitemaps, one covering Chessics and the others Reality and Fantasy. It took much more work than I expected, and several FTP sessions, to get all the links, forward and backward, to work correctly.

I've more or less given up on CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) methods, finding them more trouble than they are worth, particularly if you want to change anything. I've reverted to simple HTML. All necessary styling, which I keep to the minimum, is all on the page itself.

There is one new item, namely a version of the missing Issue 45 of the Games and Puzzles Journal, which was lost but now is partially found. It comprises only three articles, the others needing further work.

The website got confused when NTL closed down my old Home pages and I was forced to squeeze them into the mayhematics site. The different sets of material are now much more spaciously arranged, which should allow for ease of development.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Art Appreciation

Since the Hastings Humanists have been meeting at the Arts Forum where paintings and other art works are on show, I have been taking more interest in art. The exhibitions there are changed every couple of weeks. There is quite a range of different types of artwork on show.

Last week's exhibition was mainly of oil and acrylic paintings by a Canadian artist, showing colourful landscape scenes. However only one of them appealed to me to the extent of thinking it might be good to have on the walls of my flat. While clearly being a representation of sea and cliffs, it was also clearly an abstract pattern. I've come to the conclusion that this it what appeals to me more than either fully representational art or completely abstract.

The exhibition this week, in both Arts Forum galleries, is of very abstract work that I'm afraid has no appeal for me at all. It seems to me that the artists have spent more time on thinking up fanciful titles for their work than actually producing them.

On Thursday, when I went to look at the History House in Hastings Old Town, as a possible future venue for Hastings Humanists, I also chanced to see that there was an exhibition on at the Bourne Hall nearby. Most of the pictures there were merely representational. There was one of the head of a panther peering out of darkness that combined real and abstract in the way described above.

I'm tempted to start buying some paintings for my flat, though I'm not supposed to make any holes in the walls, so there might be a problem in displaying them. Also the prices can be quite high, but on the other hand good art should remain quite saleable, so perhaps it is not too great an extravagance.