Spider Babys.

Araneus diadematus, the European garden spider, has been busy in my garden. I spotted this group of bouncing babies having fun on my wheeliebin and thought I’d share!

The focus isn’t perfect, but I think it’s the best my little camera is going to manage as close as I had to get. These spiderlings are little more than a millimetre across each. Click the picture to get a larger version.

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Araneus diadematus - Baby European Garden Spiders

I hope you enjoy this International Day for Biological Diversity. Why not have a rummage around your own garden or street, and see what you can find! I’d love to see pictures, especially those of you in distant lands.

The British Big Freeze of 2010

Via Twitter from Ysharros. It really IS cold. This is a NASA satellite image from today.

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The British Big Freeze 2010

Truly epic.

In which it is still very cold.

It’s the nothingness.
The whiteness.
The endless…ness.
Stretching on beyond the human imagination.
Desolation of the soul!

The Mighty Boosh – Tundra Rap

And that was pretty much the story of my walk into town today. Except with less dancing, and more nervous shuffling over icy surfaces.

In which I walk past Norwich Cathedral

I’m on a work placement at the moment, and every day I walk there and back past one of Norwich’s fine pair of cathedrals.

Our Catholic Cathedral, The Cathedral Church of St John the Baptist was built quite recently by English standards, only being finished in 1910. At that point it was simply an extremely grand parish church, but in 1976 it became the base for a new diocese, the Diocese of East Anglia.

The Catholic Cathedral Church of St John the Baptist in Norwich, England.

It is a rather grand building to get to walk past everyday, and it always keeps my attention as I stroll towards it up Earlham Road. It was such a lovely day I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures. I’ll see if I can get a decent picture of our far older Anglican Cathedral this week. I’m in a photography sort of mood at the moment!

In which I go to Wembley

So, this blog has gone a little quiet for a month or so. What have I been up to?

The chief suspect is Pirates of the Burning Sea. I got quite heavily into it, running the forum for my Nation, and currently chairing the Council of guilds. My addiction seems to be waning though, so we might see a bit more posting here in the future.

Far more importantly, I was lucky enough to get the chance to do a week of work experience in the newsroom of Radio Broadland. It was a massive learning experience for me, and the folks I was working with were wonderful.

Even better, they hired me the next week to do some filming and film-editing for their website. Nikki Fox and myself travelled down to Wembley with Lowestoft FC in preparation for their FA Vase final on the 11th of May. Neither of us had ever done anything like this before, so I think the results turned out quite well, especially considering the only video editor we had was Moviemaker! If you look really carefully, you can see my head reflected on the side of the coach, and yes, that is me waxing lyrical about the joys of bacon.

Not got any more work coming up there currently, but I’m hoping they’ll get desperate enough to call me eventually. I’m missing the place like crazy.

In which I finally become free of Magdalen Close.

I just handed back the keys to my old flat to the council. After a week of cleaning up the detritus of 5 years of not being terribly tidy, I am overjoyed to see the back of it.

In the time I lived there I had to cope with crack-dealers and prostitutes using my stairwell as a meeting point, and constant screaming and yelling outside my flat. There were mysterious fires, including arson attempts on the chap who lived in the flat downstairs from me. There was also the famous time when someone took an almost impossibly large dump at the bottom of my stairs. Goodbye Magdalen Close. Ain’t missing you at all! I’m amazed I got away from you without being stabbed, shot, or burned alive.

Back in Christmastime 2006, East Anglia was terrorised by a serial killer. Not something that’s supposed to happen in our quiet little bit of the country. His final tally was 5 Ipswich prostitutes. Due to his choice of victims he was known as the Suffolk Ripper, though in fact the Suffolk Strangler would be a far more appropriate title for him, and I shall use that term. While all the crimes took place in Suffolk, the fear definitely spread the few miles north to Norwich. In early December it seemed that every day there was a new grisly discovery, or turn in the investigation.

The killings were spread over November and early December 2006, at an unusually high rate of activity for serial killings. They stopped when Steve Wright was arrested on the 21st of December, but at that point the case could no longer be reported, so as to not prejudice his trial. As a result we don’t actually know very much about what went on, or why the police think Steve Wright is responsible.

Steve Wright’s trial begins today with jury selection, and many of our questions will be answered. He has plead “Not Guilty”.

In which I survive an oil rig explosion, and all I get is this lousy haddock goujon.

I have returned from my oil rig adventures. In truth, it took place at a Holiday Inn near Norwich airport. I have little to say about it, as sadly they were most keen on confidentiality, so I wasn’t able to take any pictures, and I had best not name the companies involved either. It felt like I was pretty much the only person there taking the damn thing seriously, apart from the organisers. My fellow evacuees were mostly random lads having a laugh, and the folks supposed to be tending to our recently blown up nerves were far more interested in the buffet. A buffet, I might add, that was poor in choice, flavour, and quantity. Bah. I shall never set foot on their doomed oil platform. Let us make up for the lack of pictures with this shot of Elm Hill, which I walked up on my way there.

Elm Hill

Any journey that leads me up Elm Hill is a worthwhile one. There is a tree, about halfway up, with an ancient circular wooden bench surrounding it. It feels like it has been there forever, and I like to sit there and read my old books, forgetting the 21st century completely. Bit cold for that at the moment though.

Frustratingly, on Monday morning I received a phone call from a local radio company, offering me a week of work experience starting right there and then. As I had already contracted to the roleplay job I had to turn them down, though we did schedule me a week in April. As usual, my timing absolutely sucks. Working for Broadland Radio (Norwich’s local radio station) in the week leading up to Christmas would have been awesome :( My Remploy contact had arranged things with them months ago, but forgotten to tell me, as the Wavelength Films gig drove it from his mind. Fair enough, as Wavelength did do me an awful lot of good. I have no pictures of that either though, so I shall compensate you with this iron pig I met on Elm Hill. I hope with all my heart that it is made of pig-iron, though I suspect even in this shall I be frustrated today.

Elm Hill Pig