Distance in the UK

On a filthy night we set off for Portsmouth to meet a long lost cousin on a flying visit to England, en route from their home near Washington DC to Bologna, Italy. As is customary for visitors to these parts they probably looked at the dots on the map that represent the British Isles and expected everything to be a stone’s throw apart: “Where are you? We’ll meet  you anywhere close to London, Stansted, Canterbury, Kent or Portsmouth!”

But they were in luck, as we live just 25 minutes from Portsmouth. It’s pointless talking miles or kilometers, as traffic densities around here will set a trap for the uninitiated visitor, especially those used to the vast open spaces of South Africa. When we lived in Pretoria we often jumped in the car on the spur of the moment to have Sunday lunch with my parents in Gelukspan, about 300 km away, and came back that same afternoon, hardly breaking a sweat. Nineteen years ago during our first trip to England we crisscrossed the length and breadth of the island with that same carefree abandon. But I suppose the endless hours hemmed in on jam packed motorways have instilled a degree of realism. (Having said that: Mrs Gidi still occasionally sets out on day trips to view properties in far flung Welsh villages, a journey of 4 or 5 hours each way, to the mild amazement of her English friends.)

So there we were, aquaplaning along the A27, with the oncoming headlights creating eerie light sabers in the driving rain, and the crosswinds pummeling the little Fiat.

We met our visitors in their hotel lobby, and walked into Gunwharf Quays to find a meal. As luck would have it we found our usual haunts jam packed with Saturday night revelers and one helpful waiter pointed out that we might find a table nearer to the harbour front, where horisontal rain would scare off most of the early evening punters. And so we sat down to a scrumptious meal of Korai Lamb, Bhuna chicken, Madras, Roti, Peshwari Naan, and Cobra lager. All in all we were seven people around that table, including our two boys and their 9 year old girl. Total strangers we were to start with, but we needn’t have worried, as the company was delightful, and we experienced a real warmth in the conversation.

The wind died down a little, and as we wandered along the harbour front the kids were already monkeying around like old friends, climbing onto the railings and grinning from ear to ear. The adults followed at a more leisurely pace, taking in the magical atmosphere that is Portsmouth by night.  All around us the fairy lights glittered, the gentle throbbing of the night clubs spilled out onto the cobbled walkway, and the silvery blue glow of the Spinnaker Tower guarded the skyline.

What’s distance anyway, between friends?

Spinnaker tower, Portsmouth

Spinnaker Tower and Gunwharf Keys, Portsmouth

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Hoe om ‘n foto of album uit Picasa Web Albums te blog.

Iemand het my gevra hoe ek my foto’s blog uit Picasa Web.

Hier is een manier:

1a. Teken in op jou Picasa Web en kies die album of foto wat jy wil plaas. Vir ons voorbeeld kies ek ‘n album, naamlik die eende uit my vorige inskrywing.

1b. Aan die regterkant kliek jy op “Link to this album”.

2. As jy op “Link to this album” kliek maak die boksie só oop:

3. Kliek op “Embed Slideshow”.

4. ‘n Nuwe venstertjie genaamd “Slideshow options” maak oop. Kliek “Select slideshow size”. Ek kies gewoonlik “large 400px”

5. Laer af in “Embed Slideshow” kliek in die boksie en die inhoud (html kode) word outomaties geselekteer. As dit nie gebeur nie tik “Ctrl+A” of regs kliek en “select all”. Daarna “Ctrl+X” of regs kliek en CUT.

6. Gaan dan na jou oop blog venster, waar jy besig is om die blog te skep. Maak seker jou cursor is op die regte plek in die teks waar jy jou slideshow will embed. Dan kliek jy aan die regterkant op “HTML”.

7. Die HTML Source Editor maak oop. Kies die plek waar jy die kode wil paste en tik “Ctrl+V” of regs kliek en paste.

8. Onder links in die Source Editor kliek op “Update”.


En siedaar, jou skuifievertoning is geplaas. Jy moet gewoonlik ‘n paar sekondes wag vir die prentjies om in jou blog te verskyn.

Eendjies op ‘n ry

By die Arundel Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust is daar altyd iets interessants om te sien. Hier is dit al diep herfs, maar die gidivetters was gister in die buitelug tussen die watervoëls. Ek moet sê ons was die enigste mense wat bùìte piekniek gehou het en ons hande en ore was bietjie gevries teen die einde. Dit was egter oor en oor die moeite werd. Hier word nie net britse eende aangehou nie, maar daar is ‘n groot versameling rare spesies, met die mooiste kleure. Ek maak verskoning vir die gehalte van die foto’s. Dis wanneer dit sterk skemer begin word wat die ware kameras hulle kleure begin wys. Myne is nie so ‘n ene nie. Nadat ons tussen die eende en ganse rondgeloop het, het ons gesien hoe hulle die “Icelandic Collection” voer met vissies, en later het ons self bietjie die voëls gevoer. Teen die einde toe dit al goed koud geword het het ons die besoek afgesluit met ‘n bootrit tussen die fluitjiesriete. Hier is ‘n paar honderd “water vole” ‘n paar jaar gelede vrygelaat en hulle getalle het goed opgetel. En wonder bo wonder breek die son vir ‘n paar oomblikke deur om vir ons ‘n magiese toneel op te tower.

Vir die wat belangstel: Daar is ‘n hele klompie sulke watervoëlreservate in Engeland. Hierdie tyd van die jaar is hulle te pragtig met hulle helderkleurige veredosse.

http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf