Category Archives: Magic Moments

Ready for Take-off: A Magic Moment

For Magic Moments this week, hosted as usual at The Oliver’s Madhouse, I’m posting this picture of a bee. It isn’t the (technically) best picture of a bee I have ever taken, but I don’t think I will ever, EVER, capture a split-second moment like this again:

That Magic Moment...When I first viewed this shot after taking it, I couldn’t work out what had happened. Then I realised, by the process of elimination, the moment I had captured. The bee has opened its wings, but isn’t yet buzzing! That must be a very small interval, surely?

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Real and Surreal: A Magic Moment

A few weeks ago, I happened to take a short walk just above the historic town of Wirksworth, Derbyshire. The combination of  the desolation of these old lime workings with a very overcast and dramatic sky made the scene inspiring, yet weird, like something from another world. (Remember Charn, in the Narnia books, anyone?)

Old Lime WorkingsI am linking this up with this week’s ‘Magic Moments’ at The Oliver’s Madhouse.

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Shoulder to Shoulder to Day

Today, I’m taking the liberty of using the Magic Moments blog hop, hosted here at The Oliver’s Madhouse, to shout out a call for others to help provide some encouragement, and maybe some ‘magic moments’, for another blogger.

As many of you already know, Emma Day, who blogs with great intensity of feeling, over at Crazy With Twins, is fighting hard against thyroid cancer. And the next stage will be especially gruelling, because internal radiation therapy will mean that, for around 33 days, she will not be able to have contact with her baby girl twins. Imagine, if you can, the impact of this requirement on a mum for whom her family mean so much. ‘Agony’ doesn’t begin to cut it. Emma’s own blog post giving more details is here, and Vicky, over at Verily, Victoria Vocalises, has also written about it here.

What Vicky and I would like to do is to put together a series of blog posts on successive days, to show our solidarity with Emma through this time of anguish, starting from the first day Emma will spend in Hospital. Such a post could be anything offering interest, humour, or inspiration… You name it.

If you’d like to contribute a post, then, as they say in the competitions, here’s all you have to do: Leave your name and any comment in the reply box on Vicky’s post. She will then allocate dates to contributors. If the number of offers is higher than around thirty, then we can run extra posts on some – or all – of the days. You can, of course, prepare your post in advance, and hold it as a draft until your turn comes round, then just publish and link on the day.

Oh, and an important note: Don’t worry about the technical stuff! Victoria will host the linky and organise the rota. The rest of us just need to link up as required!

Thank you for reading. We’re looking forward to hearing from you. And we hope for a truly ‘magic’ outcome for Emma.

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From Ratcliffe, With Love

To link up this week with ‘Magic Moments’ this week, hosted at The Oliver’s Madhouse, I’m giving you this photograph, that captured a magic moment one June morning nearly two years ago. This heart-shaped plume had formed over the cooling towers of the large generating station at Ratcliffe-on-Soar, Nottinghamshire.

Ratcliffe HeartIt is somewhat symbolic that this should have happened over Ratcliffe. Some years ago, a large sum of money was invested in this station to install flue-gas desulphurisation equipment. This enabled the station to continue to burn British-mined coal with a high sulphur content. The sulphur-containing compounds removed are used in the manufacture of plaster for the building industry. Thus there are benefits to both industry and the environment. Generating capacity at this station is never shut down except for overhaul. It contributes about 2000 megawatts – that’s enough to power a million 2kW electric kettles at once – into the grid, twenty-four hours a day, all year!

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There She Goes!

As some of you already know, I have a weakness for all things steam. Well, back in the days of school metalwork, after completing my ‘set pieces’ I decided I wanted to build a small stationary steam engine. Luckily, I had support from the teacher and others. Cutting a very long and involved story short, I completed one in about a year’s worth of lessons and some extra time in the workshop whenever I could. And so the great day came to test it.

The boiler was filled with water. As we had no methylated spirit at school, a Bunsen burner was used instead of the spirit burner I had made. After a few minutes, bubbling noises issued from the boiler. The piston rod moved slightly, then stopped at the end of its stroke. After a flick of the flywheel, the engine spluttered out condensate… and picked up speed!

Now, of course, technically speaking, there was no reason why it shouldn’t have done. But, to a lad not long a teenager, there was a ‘what if’ factor; so this was indeed a magic moment.

Sadly, no-one recorded the event on film. (That’s right, you youngsters – FILM. Digital imaging was still a long way away.) But, on Monday this week, in honour of the  Magic Moments linky at The Oliver’s Madhouse, I steamed this little creation and took some pictures…

Steam EngineAh… Methylated spirit fumes on the spring air! It quite took me back, I can tell you. One day, I’d love to make a bigger, better one. Maybe I will. But the first run will be no more – but, perhaps, no less – a magic moment than that first test run all those years ago.

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Shape, Line, Colour…

Once again, it’s time for ‘Magic Moments’ at The Olivers’ Madhouse…

Well, the highlight of last year, for me, was getting involved the the luminarium project ‘Exxopolis’ run by Architects of Air. Keeping the story short (for now) a number of us helped to make a ‘mosaic’ panel out of small pieces of plastic sheet. Ah, the heady aroma of solvent on the late spring air…

But enough of the reminiscing; what we made formed one small part of the whole massive structure, essentially a vast plastic tent, kept up by a system of fans blowing air into it. Now, if you had suggested to me, say, a few weeks before, that people would be thrilled to go inside a plastic tent, I would have been tapping my skull! But this was no ordinary tent…

Our ‘thank you’ from Architects of Air was free admission on the opening evening. An evening I shall never forget. After the formal opening ceremony, we moved across to where the structure now stood, inflated…

Exxopolis 1

and took off our shoes…

Exxopolis 2and went inside, where an amazing display of shape…

Exxopolis 3line…

Exxopolis 4and colour, combined to give every visitor…

Exxopolis 5not just one, but a whole series…

Exxopolis 6of the most exquisite…

Exxopolis 7incredible…

Exxopolis 8magic moments!

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A Short Long Journey

And so we move on, to another ‘magic moment’ for the linky at The Olivers Madhouse…

As the driver, I was somewhat nervous as we set off, because for one thing, I wasn’t very familiar with the route. Fortunately, my passenger knew it well, although we still had to do a fair number of turning-round sort of manoeuvres. At one point, the erratic behaviour of another motorist, who seemed to want to drive down the opposite side of the road from everyone else, didn’t help, but I managed to cope with this. I was, however, just a little apprehensive as to whether, from my point of view, our journey would be fruitless. I tried to stay calm about this.

As things turned out, I needn’t have worried; as we reached our destination, my passenger asked me a few questions. (We were only just getting to know each other.) He turned and looked at me, with just the flicker of a smile, and then came the magic moment…

“You’ve passed your test, kid!”

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As The Sun Rises…

This post is prompted by the brand-new linky idea here, at The Olivers Madhouse. The idea is to say something about a magic moment, that is, a moment that was magic to you – recently or otherwise, each week.

OK… Well… I collect moments, as I’ve said before. Some people call them photographs. But every photograph records a moment. And for an opener for this new linky, what could be more appropriate, and more magic, than a moment at dawn?

Now, for me, these are some of the hardest moments to record; this is because the task entails getting up early on a day when I otherwise have no need to, and going out in the cold. But it’s worth it. Try it. Oh, and somehow, dawn and water go together. Just watch, and record, the most spectacular, magic, moments.

That Moment at Dawn
That Moment at Dawn

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