Ginkgo meets X-Acto

So I woke up at 5 am today when the day promised to be a glorious warm(ish) Saturday. Of course, I had some work to finish. By the time I had finished sending my emails at eight thirty, it had started drizzling.

Obviously I saw no option but to break out my much loved, yet severely underused, X-Acto knife and inflict a little good old-fashioned punishment on my stash of coloured paper. I used to use an old mouse pad as a base before, but having pretty much shredded that mouse pad, I now use plastic files. Clean to cut against, and cheap to replace.

Can you tell that I love the general fan-shape of ginkgo leaves?

I finally decided to go with a blue background. The fact that the only sheet of paper I had that was big enough, was blue, may have had something to do with the decision. White made it look too cold, and I’m not a fan of cool decor. Which is why I may swap the blue out with a warmer colour when I get round to it. In any event, till I can take that momentous decision, here is my mini-ginkgo-outburst.

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Justice for Ferdinand

This is Ferdinand (or Ferdi), a much-loved family pet.  On the evening of 30th December 2010 Ferdinand went out of the house and didn’t return. See Ferdinand’s story at Justice for Ferdinand (

Here is the picture of Ferdinand’s body, as it was found. [Warning: This picture is very distressing.] It cannot be conclusively proved but (thankfully, for small mercies), many of his wounds appear to have been post-mortem. The Justice for Ferdinand website explains the full (and horrific) extent of his injuries.

His owner has since been fighting to get a full investigation done into his death and mutilation. It is probably best to explain in her own words (from her webpage):

“Ferdinand’s death and mutilation has not been investigated by any authorities because it can’t be proved that the person who mutilated his body also caused his death. The Greater Manchester Police Force do not recognise the mutilation of a pet after death as an offence (not even criminal damage), although forces in other parts of the country see this differently. We now have a petition set up demanding that these sorts of cases are consistently dealt with as an offence throughout the UK.”

The petition, which at the time of posting, has had almost 1200 signatures, can be found here. I hope you won’t mind sparing a minute to sign it, in honour of the memory of this beautiful innocent cat. Justice for Ferdinand also has a Facebook page, which at the time of writing this, has almost 1700 supporters. There has been news coverage of the matter as well.

The lady below gives a brief explanation too in case you’re interested:

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Pongo’s in Trouble: the Orangutans are Dying

This post is about our joyfully named cousin in the genus Pongo. I mean, of course, orangutans.  The rest of the story is far less joyful. The intention of this post is not to depress, though it is indeed upsetting writing about it. Did you know that orangutan mothers and their young stay together for as long as six to seven years, and that they use tools and have opposable fingers and toes, like humans do? Orangutan babies that come to rescue centres are often severely depressed and most have lost their mothers to traumatic causes. They require lots of love and care before they recover.

The reason these gentle foragers are already endangered and are dying in gruesome ways- directly as well as indirectly- at human hands- is deforestation of their natural habitat, and of course, the illegal pet trade, bounties being set on their heads, and people killing them to eat them. 

The pictures in the links below are upsetting. But they are part of the reality.

  •  This orangutan in East Borneo died after he was tied to a post. He was tied to it with a rope round his neck in December 2010. He died in February 2011, just a few days before this blog post. Look at his sad eyes as he sits there as if he is nothing, as if he is just a piece of rubbish discarded to die.
  • This baby orangutan in Indonesia lost his mother to a severe beating. The pitiful thing is how he clings to her half-dead (dead?) body. Another tiny baby orangutan huddles in a cardboard box- his mother was beaten to death with iron rods and hacked with machetes in order to kidnap him.
  • Rescue teams have found orang utans beaten unconcious and buried alive, butchered with machetes, bludgeoned to death with iron bars and wooden planks, and doused with petrol and burnt alive.
  • Each day, the killing continues.

© Tbachner via Wikimedia Commons

What can you do? So please, if you can do something- a fundraiser, a charity walk or run, or can sponsor an animal, anything, please consider a conservation charity or an orangutan rescue. Here are a few organisations doing a fantastic job. Oh, and please be alive to the dangers of palm oil.

And here, in a shameless attempt to tug at your heartstrings, are some terribly cute orangutan babies. I would say 1:50 minutes in is the cutest scene, but that’s not true because the rest of it is equally cute.

© FirstScienceTV

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The stegosaur collage

This lonely stegosaur had been in need of a background frame and a story ever since I blogged about him in January 2010.

And here, finally, is the completed collage where he finds himself in company, and what’s more, in the presence of food. Very glad to have finished this, considering this has been waiting to be completed for more than a year now!

"Ernie had a sneaking suspicion that the best ferns were being snapped up on the sly right under his nose."

Click to see the picture in greater detail.


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Selfridges windows

I love Selfridges windows. Always something new and interesting to see.

This stunning castle was made from newspaper.


This was a bit visceral. A bit "Here is the motorbike, and here are its innards".


I got a red-induced sugar rush just seeing this. In an entirely wonderful way.

"Because you can never have enough of the colour red."

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The food trail at Soho

Here’s China Town festooned with paper lanterns. No pictures of the dimsum- who can be bothered taking pictures when they’re just begging to be eaten?!?

And a lovely pork Mooli at Mooli’s in Soho with some delish mango lassi on the side.

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Baker Street

It was a rain swept day, as usual, but with a small surprise – shall we call it a pot of gold? – at the end of it.

 I was on the phone. I hung up immediately to take a picture. Judging by this picture, the pot of gold should be somewhere directly behind Madame Tussaud’s, but we won’t put too fine a point on it.

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Out and about

First of all, I’ve been AWOL for so long I’m amazed that my blog even responds to my password! Sorry about that.

And to kickstart 2011, I’m going to do a series of posts on my favourite city. Which is to say, there will be a lot of pictures taken when I’ve been out and about. When I can identify where I’ve been, I’ll caption it.

Kicking off with the unlikely Canary Wharf area then!


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When life gives you lemons, suck it up

“The tree shafted Fred by letting its fruit fall for the squirrels”.

(Please note that Fred’s abuse of choice is “Cats!” as opposed to “Rats!” Though given that he’s moaning about squirrels, ‘rats’ might have been more appropriate.)


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Summer Days!

..and hot air balloons! Oh, and ice cream!

"The lamp post's attempt to outdo the balloon was a bit unsuccessful."


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