Summer in France & Benelux : back-filling the Blog

returning from a lengthy trip always

means a big backlog of photos and stuff needs to be put on the blog. Maybe when the iPad arrives things will be easier, as it may allow blogging from far-flung pairts.

Meanwhile, however, Jim has still to finish getting the South African stuff posted, and we’ve been back from there more than nine months now!

So in the next couple of weeks we hope to finish posting our holiday stuff from July 2010 in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands - all of it back-dated to the relevant dates.

You can find the relevant stuff, all together in one reverse-chronological screen, here

Keep watching, and keep in touch!!!

J & R

Milano (2) : The Art Factory

Here are some pictures Ruth took of a remarkable emporium in this city remarkable for its Emporie (Armani and others)

This one sells baths, and bathroom "stuff".

Take a look : if you've never strolled down the Via Fatebenefratelli of and evening, you've never seen the like of this....

Sicis - The Art Factory


Milano : La Piazza del Duomo and the Roof of the Duomo

Milan's cathedral is unlike any other Italian cathedral we've ever come across. It has over a thousand statues on the exterior of its roof alone.

Every point of this vast gothic edifice is extruded to produce a pinnacle which serves as the plinth for a sculpture of a saint


Click HERE to view a slideshow of pictures Jim shot on film using his Voigtländer Bessa R rangefinder camera in the piazza and on the roof.

Interesting to work on film again, and to rediscover the gotchas of celluloid. On this occasion it was the 24-shot film. Ran out half -way round the roof.. Ho hum. Thought it was a 36. Gotcha!


hailstones and rainbows

sometimes it's hard to explain

how magical the climate up here can be, even when it's not the best of days weatherwise

So here's a pic from our window this morning as a hailstorm made its way down Loch Linnhe, passing across a pair of rainbows



day 3

well, some progress, if a bit slow

Added "Comments" input system, which works through a website called Doesn't preview inside RapidWeaver, which can send you scurrying around trying to see if you've accidentally switched it off, but. Don't expect to get a lot of comments, but it's there...

This afternoon first experiment with the "Photo Album" setup in RapidWeaver. Use the "Test Gallery" link above to see it in action. You'll get either a Flash Slideshow or a regular html gallery interface, depending where I last left it. Can't say I'm too pleased with this side of RapidWeaver's performance. Square thumbnails - WHY?

Last thing for today - a change of "Theme" - so far this site has been built using the "Clean" canned theme in RapidWeaver. Tonight it goes to bed in "Business"

Oh and every day a picture... so here's one from yesterday, up by the frozen shores of Loch Lochy, looking at Ben Nevis and the mountains of the Nevis Range

Ben Nevis from Bunarkaig


still testing

day 2 of testing RapidWeaver

as a candidate to transform Witter-n-Grunt from a rundown backwater on the web into a vital, convivial and easily-updated blog + galleries combo thingy.

Discovering more about RapidWeaver: it is just the basic tool for the job, and does really require the use of a range of plug-ins to enable it to deliver. Also, I'm surprised to discover that it's a non-WYSIWYG interface. I'm typing away in an editor, and have to move to the Preview tab to get to see how it will output. What's most amazing about that, is that I've not really noticed.

One noteable omission from RapidWeaver is a thing to make larger images open up when you click the thumbnail or reduced-size image in the body of a blog entry. See, for example my screen-shot of the weather widgets in my last post. Click on that and nothing happens. Surprising, this, and disappointing, as Blogger, which I found much dumber and less intuitive to operate, "just does it", as if it knew that was what you wanted.

Seems I need a plug-in to make this work in RapidWeaver, and the best one - which works much better than the basic Blogger tool - is called PlusKit. And PlusKit is available for a free trial demo, but only for 10 minutes!! Then it shuts down any demands cash!!

So here goes - I'm going to download PlusKit and apply it to this picture, which I've output from Adobe Lightroom with a max width dimension of 640 pixels @ 72ppi. After dragging/ dropping it into this page and shrinking it to 60% to fit, I'll get PlusKit to work on it (if I can beat that 10 minute cut-off). Hopefully that'll mean you'll get to see the 640 pixel version by clicking on the inline shrunken version
Loch Awe

Not bad, eh. Some would doubtless say "Cool". I'll just say awesome...