sandiquiz's WunderBlog

A tropical view.

By: sandiquiz, 3:06 PM GMT on June 21, 2014

It is the first day of summer, or mid-summer's day, depending on how you view June the 21st.

It was a bright blue morning and a trip into town was on the agenda, as C wanted to have his hair cut at the barbers, and then he would treat me to breakfast.

We drove into the city centre and parked right outside as it was still early. Whilst 'he' sat in a barber's chair I wandered around the centre. I began looking at all the plants and trees in the planters, and thought... ah, new blog material!

So with phone in hand, (the new iPhone 5 has a brilliant little camera) I took a dozen or so photos as I wandered around.

Opened in 1979, the Centre MK has a steel and mirrored glass facade that runs along two interlinked single storey arcades, each half a mile long. Some of the shops, such John Lewis at one end, and Mark and Spencer and House of Frazer at the other, are two or three stories high, but the rest are all on ground level.

Due to the high quality of the originally chosen materials – terrazzo used for the flooring, Italian tile planters, and steel seating - the area still looks immaculate The coloured wall tiles and glass windows/doors are all well maintained and still look in perfect condition.

In July 2010 it became a Grade II listed building, meaning 'it may not be demolished, extended, or altered without special permission from governmental planning authority and English Heritage'.

The centre, being all glass, is the perfect place for tropical plants and trees, which flourish, softening the hard edges of steel and concrete.

The first thing I noticed was that the tallest palm tree is now touching the roof…. As they can't lift the roof, due to the Grade 2 listing, perhaps they will have to chop it down and replace it with a new one, giving another 20 years of growth .

Many flowers blossom in the central planters, bird of paradise, peace lily and even bananas! Last year there were long 'hands' of bananas hanging from the trees.

There are several types of palms - ferny fronds that grow up, ferny fronds that hang down, broad leaves, thin leaves and multi-twisted leaves!

The centre is also a place for Man-made and Natural works of art.

The golden rods hanging from the ceiling move ever-so slightly in the breeze, but as yet I haven't heard them chime even though they remind me of a huge garden wind chime!
There are several unusual bronzes around the centre, and the twisting trunks and fronds of the palms make their own 'art'.

Finally, I saw C striding down towards the breakfast venue, so snapped a quick shot when he wasn't looking. He is wearing his favourite t-shirt that says….

"Nobody is perfect
But if you're from Yorkshire
You're pretty close!"

And the new haircut doesn't look too bad, either! lol


Locations of Site Visitors

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LOCAL AIRPORT (25 miles away)



'Explore' my garden flowers!

By: sandiquiz, 12:28 PM GMT on June 13, 2014

Those of you who belong to Flickr know they have a category called EXPLORE, where photographs that get several favourites, can be picked up by a computer sweep using an algorithm ...(back to my coding instructions, lol).

In the last four weeks I have had seven photos in Flickr, all but one taken in my garden. (I will leave you to work out which isn't blooming in my garden!)

Other Flickr friends hardly ever get any photos into Explore, and it isn't the camera I use, as I have used both the Canon and Panasonic, and even one of them was taken with my iPhone 4s! When I joined the "Photo a Day for April I never had one get into Explore, but since the beginning of May I have had nine photos chosen, and as I said, seven of them in the last four weeks.

Anyway, they obviously have something others enjoy seeing, as each one has been viewed over 1000 times, and has dozens of favourites, so I thought you might like to see them, too.

"Glistening Balls" posted May 17th.
Seen 2097 times with 39 favourites

"Jacob's Ladder" posted May 19th
Seen 10,471 rtimes with 115 favourites

"Bird of Paradise" posted May 27th
Seen 7,013 times with 61 favourites

"Early Bumble bee on Geranium" posted June 5th
Seen 1213 times with 25 favourites

"Love in a Mist" posted June 7th
Seen 22,180 times with 195 favourites

"Mock orange" posted June 8th
Seen 1,781 times with 22 favourites

"There must be some in here... it's called 'honey'suckle!" posted June 12th
Seen 5,112 times with 35 favourites

Sorry Ylee - only two are in WU...but if you want to see all... check here:)


Locations of Site Visitors

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LOCAL AIRPORT (25 miles away)


Updated: 9:03 PM GMT on June 13, 2014


Creative Coding - ABANDONED!

By: sandiquiz, 12:00 PM GMT on June 09, 2014

Here I am at the start of week two.

I must admit I am half looking forward to it, and half not.

Access to week two was released last night, so I am aware of what the week will bring...."digital patterns and interaction, looping and repeating".

Bring it on... bring it on... bring it on.... etc! lol

DAY 1 / Week 2

It is 5:20 on Day 1 and I have to admit I have LEFT the Coding course:(

It is meant for "novice" coders, but the course is full of folk with lots of prior coding knowledge, who have been able to complete week two's exercises today, in less than three hours. I took five hours to work on the first exercise, and suddenly realised I was BORED! I was not getting anywhere, and when I went to the help forum, I found I wasn't the only one who felt it was asking too much of course members who had no prior knowledge of coding.

So I looked through the other courses on the list, with spaces available, and found, and joined, one that begins in late September on HADRIAN's WALL... much more to my liking!

I also was finding spending so much time at the computer when the weather outside is glorious - with gardening tasks awaiting me - was making me frustrated. By September, the gardening will not be such an issue.

So I apologise to those who were helping me, Bogon and Data, and to those who were encouraging me, Bug, Ylee, Shirley, Wabit and GG, and declare myself to ever be, a coding dunce!!


Locations of Site Visitors

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Updated: 5:01 PM GMT on June 09, 2014


Creative Coding Week One

By: sandiquiz, 10:51 AM GMT on June 03, 2014

Well, Day One is over, and although I was exhausted, I feel I should be able to keep up, even if it is at my own pace, and not at the pace of many who are nearly 50 years my junior!

Reading through the threads on the 'Welcome' page there are folk from all around the world on this course!

After signing the 'Code of Conduct' and the University rules and security, I am not able to post course material, but telling you, in my own words, what I am doing, should be OK.


I spent over 8 hours today just loading the processing programme and getting to grips with what it does... even following the course notes I got lost several times, eventually deleting the programme and starting again I had also to go on to Uncle Google to find out how to "un-zip" a file, as it is something I have never done before.... but now know how to do it!

To make matters worse there are many on the course who are young coding whiz-kids, or experts in the coding field, who insist on posting, in the open discussion threads, that they have done it... found it easy, and are ready for the next section!

Our task for week one is to write our name using our mouse, then edit it and insert colour..... did you know that "mice" can't draw... well mine can't, anyway!

At the end of day one I was mentally exhausted, but, I'll come back at it fresh tomorrow - that is if I can find whereabouts on the hard drive I have "saved" everything!!


After doing some household tasks, and grocery shopping, I made a coffee and sat down at the computer ready to recap on what I did yesterday....and the site is down! It says they are "upgrading", and tell me to.....

"Grab a quick cup of tea while we do a bit of maintenance work. We’ll be back in a few minutes"

Erm, I don't drink tea, and have already got a coffee! lol


I have completed week one, I can now relax, deal with other pressing matters, or just "play" with what I have learnt.

At the end of the 15 sections there was a self assessment test, luckily with the chance to "have another go".
I got 80% correct on my own, and needed a "clue" for the last one, as I think I miss read it.

Check out comment #16 to see if you can work it out! lol


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Updated: 4:55 PM GMT on June 04, 2014


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About sandiquiz

I have been a WU member since September 2005. Now a retired teacher, enjoying my garden, writing, sketching, taking photos, and having great fun!

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