madness frozen out

bones interred together        warmed

peace       buds in waiting

Early morning view from my sitting room window: the clock tower of the once notorious Victorian "lunatic asylum" at Menston, now luxury flats. Over 2,000 bodies of former inmates are buried close by

Early morning view from my sitting room window: the clock tower – about 1/2 mile away – of the once notorious Victorian “lunatic asylum” at Menston, now luxury flats. Over 2,000 bodies of former inmates are buried, together, close by

I’m taking the unusual step of making a post from a comment I’ve just left on another blog, in response to a post saying that WordPress seem to be making things more difficult rather than easier with ‘new introductions’.  I may well copy this to my other blog too.

WATER

Before I do that, you may notice the ‘badge’ above at the bottom of the right-hand ‘widgets’ column. A French blogger – ben – put a ‘like’ on an old post of mine, about the summer rain in Iasi, Romania, but among the stuff on his site was an invitation to put this badge on my site, in return for which a French medical company would make a donation to provide clean water to a child for a year. That was an offer which I couldn’t refuse so there it is. Click on it to find out more; if your French is a bad as mine the ‘translate’ button does it well enough. (If the widget – the WordPress instructions are not clear – doesn’t appear clicking on the above image should work).

Back to my comment about the new WordPress introductions:

This is what I wrote – 

“I agree that, although there have been some good new introductions (like the picture mosaic), whatever has been done has made things more difficult not better. It’s similar with Google, Ebay, Yahoo – they never learn to follow the mantra: ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. It was easy in WordPress to put in media, including pictures and edit them, before. Now it’s more limiting and more confusing. With Ebay it means that I rarely use it now as a seller and I’ve abandoned Yahoo completely.
Reading between the lines it seems to me it’s about money; I have the impression WordPress are trying to force us into getting upgrades which cost money. With Google, Ebay and Yahoo it is certainly about money. For WordPress, why else are we bombarded with hints, prompts, challenges, exhortations to ‘postaday’, etc? I have enough problems finding the time to write about what I want to write about.
I’m also irritated by the frequent posts about grammar – as a former teacher of English mine’s pretty good I think but I don’t pick up on every little grammar error in posts I read or follow – I’m interested in what they want to say not whether they know what a past participle is, and I often choose to break the rules for creative reasons.
I agree with Carl too about the creativity-repressing ‘rules’ which WordPress choose to impose upon us. I hadn’t noticed the forced initial letter capitalisation but the inability to put in space is a real pain, especially when considering poetry (or in my case haiku).
I’ve been thinking about doing a post about it.
I haven’t had any problems with speed of uploading but I don’t post more than two or three times a week”.

By the way, the original post is a:  http://loiselden.com/2012/12/17/struggling-with-wordpress/ 

If WordPress made things simpler and, more especially, were much clearer in their instructions and ‘help’ pages, the mosaic I mentioned above might be more widely used and I wouldn’t be getting 5, 10 or even 20 posts a day from several photo posters, each with one picture (I have to delete most of these unread/unviewed because I don’t have the time). As far as the photo posters are concerned they could combine the multiple posts in one mosaic and then I’d see all the images, but of course even without the mosaic they could enter the pictures one after another, as many do, and then I see them all with just one ‘opening’. I don’t have an answer for the multiple daily written posts.

 

 

This post isn’t about photography, and it’s rather late for a weekly challenge, but having been out of posting for a while I couldn’t resist using this recent weekly photo challenge to show why where I live makes me happy, and to learn how to make and insert a gallery (which is what the WordPress posting was about). I live in a village called Menston, on the upper southern slopes of the lower Wharfe valley in Yorkshire, just on the edge of the enormous Leeds/Bradford connurbation.

The first picture is the view I wake up to every morning, that from my bedroom window. There isn’t always a rainbow of course but we do get more than our fair share, I guess because we are looking approximately north so the sun is traversing right to left through the day. The colours and shadow patterns change not only with the seasons but with every minute – it’s a constant delight. More about each picture under the gallery.

I wanted to respond quickly and take photos specifically for this challenge so all the pictures are taken on my little pocketable, early digital Contax SL300R T*, one of the (too) many cameras I have which make me happy too (I’ve recently created another blog specifically for my photographic interests – grumpytykepix – and hope to start posting regularly on that soon). All the pictures in this post were taken over a period of two days. I really like how clicking on one of the gallery pix brings up a slide show of them all.

The hills over the top of the houses in the first picture are the northern slopes up from the river Wharfe. The river down in the valley is about 5 minutes in the car, with the lovely little towns of Otley, to the right, and Ilkley, to the left, about 10 and 15 minutes away respectively. A few minutes into real country as you will see in later pictures, but the magnificent city of Leeds is only 15 minutes away on the regular train from Menston station, a five minute walk from home – the best of all worlds.

The second picture is the view from our living room windows, over the village park, which look south so have sun all day; another constantly changing scene usually teeming with children and many dogs with their owners. If you look carefully in the centre background you’ll see why we don’t need a clock – if I had zoomed into it you would see clearly the time on the clock tower of the once notorious Victorian High Royds psychiatric ‘hospital’ (“Menston” to most locals – we live with it!) – now luxury flats.

Underneath the clock picture, top right in the gallery, is the scene I wait for on my journey home from my two day a week job in York. Driving back along the A658 I crest the hill leading down to the A65 Harrogate/Leeds road and there it is – the Wharfe Valley – dominated here by the torr Almscliffe Crag (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almscliffe_Crag). I’m about 15 minutes from home.

Continuing home, I cross the river at Pool, climb Pool bank then turn along the high ridge – known as Otley Chevin – running along the south side of the valley, (http://www.chevinforest.co.uk/)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otley_Chevin). The magnificent view in the fourth picture, with again the Crag dominating in the distance, is a 20 minute climb on foot from home, 5 minutes in the car. A short distance behind me as I take this picture is Leeds-Bradford airport, the UK’s highest, and another great convenience as it’s about 3 hours door to door for me to visit grandchildren near to Dusseldorf (and there’s a bus direct to the airport from home, so no car-parking fees!). No, aircraft noise is not a problem – though my wife wouldn’t agree about the 7am flight on a Sunday morning (I don’t hear it!).

Fifth picture: Even closer here, the first sight of our flat, across the park, windows on the right, first floor. A minute and I’ll be home.

Half an hour walk or so in the opposite direction from the Chevin are the rocks shown in the sixth picture, the famous Cow and Calf which overlook the town of Ilkley. Like Almscliffe Crag, this is a favourite spot for would-be rock climbers to develop their skills, though most visitors just go for the great views and a pint in the nearby Cow and Calf pub (or an ice cream or coffee from the car park (free!) cafe seen on the right).

If you return to Menston by car you can take the road into the village seen in the seventh photo. In the middle distance is the Chevin and if you look carefully you might see the long hill climbing to the top which I take to go to work – 2nd gear for Lofty the camper.

At the bottom of that hill, so half the climb from home, is one of the many great pubs around the village – called appropriately enough the Chevin. Here it is, eighth picture, on our Sunday 14th October walk. The road you see twists down the side of the Chevin through woods to reach Otley and there’s a great small camp site on the right for visitors.

But, ninth picture, we don’t make the climb to look at the front but to sit in the garden at the rear with, for me, a pint of an excellent Yorkshire beer (Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, another happy, brewed in nearby Keighley where I went to school) and an excellent cider for my wife Petronela – both of us wondering at the view.

Hopefully, if I manage to crack getting back into medium format rangefinder photography, I’ll be posting some better pictures from 6 x 9 of the wondrous scenery of where I live on my ‘photography blog’ – grumpytykepix. But maybe the few ‘snaps’ here will show you why where I live is ‘happy’ for me.  

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