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    • My into into the world of Auto's  
    • Many thanks for all your responses. I have not answered or given a reaction to all of them in lieu of thanking everyone individually because there are some arguments I do not know enough about to comment on or react to; the most notable of these concerns the pricing of the watch by various dealers and waiting lists for Rolex watches. One issue I will just clarify, raised by @Bobby123, concerns the visual differences between the new Explorer II and the previous model, especially with reference to the picture of both models side by side. In fact, I believe that the two pictures well illustrate how Rolex have improved the legibility of the watch in the new model, which in the white dial colourway now has matte black PVD coated white gold hands to counter reflections, as well as an anti-reflective coating on the crystal. Note that in terms of visual differences between the two models, @rhaythorne summed these up quite well, so thanks to him, especially for spotting the slight difference in number font between the two watches which was not mentioned in the sources I used to compile the review. My feelings about the 100 metre water resistance tend towards acceptance of this in the new Explorer II, as per @deano1956. However, in reflection, I do wonder why Rolex didn't up the ante and go for 200 metres as @Rotundus rather graphically indicated would have been his preference, and not to forget @Jet Jetski who suggested the change could have been made to 200 metres WR relatively painlessly. Finally, I smiled at the point raised by @spinynorman indicating that surely the new watch should be called the Explorer III, just as I smiled at this when reading up the history of the type. For me personally, I am pleased that Rolex decided to retain the Explorer II as the name of a type rather than a model; had they done otherwise they might have been sorely tempted to make major changes to the watch in line with changing the type to Explorer III. As it is, the new Explorer II remains for me a thing of beauty and still a crowning achievement in watch design.  
    • FRAUD Forget reading an understudy's diary.  DORKS 
    • Today I took some pics of the fabulous ferns I have growing in the garden. These shade loving plants really brighten up a dull corner and there are numerous types around. The most common ferns are the so called 'Male fern' (Dryopteris filix mas) which can also be found growing wild in shady woodland, especially along the banks of streams, though do not dig plants up from the wild...it's illegal. It's hardy and once the spring arrives, the new fronds are one of the first to emerge. Like most ferns, it reproduces by spores which are produced in the sori, small reproductive bodies found under the fronds in midsummer. Another common fern, also found in the wild in damp places, is the Hart's tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium). The tough, glossy leaves give it an exotic look, and like the fern above, the spores are born on the underside of them. It's an unusual fern in that the leaves are simple and undivided. The sori have a fanciful resemblance to a centipede's legs and the Latin scolopendrium means 'centipede'. Here it is emerging in the spring. Later, the bars of spores can be seen under the leaves. These ferns pop up all over the place in the garden once the spores germinate. Here's a third diminutive fern, belonging to the same family as the one above, the Common Spleenwort, or Maidenhair spleenwort as it's sometimes called (Asplenium trichomanes). This can also be found growing wild...in fact I once found several growing in a road drain outside my house! The next couple are a bit more exotic and go by the name of Japanese Painted ferns (Athyrium niponicum). There are several varieties and they all have coloured fronds, though they tend to be brightest on mature plants. 'Ursula's Red is probably the most striking...(this pic from the net as mine aren't mature enough yet) This is one of mine at the moment...it might take another year or two to fully develop the colour...something they don't tell you in the catalogues. This variety just goes by the name f. metallicum, and the fronds are a metallic silver with maroon veining. Finally, here's another Dryopteris, (D. erythrosora) the 'Buckler fern'. This beautiful fern has copper/bronze coloured young fronds which gradually change to bright green as the season progresses. All the ferns mentioned above are hardy in the UK. The fronds slowly turn green as the spores develop on their undersides. Finally, there is my favourite, the Shuttlecock fern, (Matteuccia struthiopteris). These large, bright green ferns look like a shuttlecock (hence the name) and look magnificent in a group. They differ from the other ferns as the spores are born on special fertile fronds that appear towards the end of the season and persist into the new year. They also form an upright stump from the top of which they appear in the spring rather like the more expensive New Zealand tree fern. Their only bad habit is that they spread like mad by underground stolons and pop up all over the place, including in the lawn, but are easily pulled out or mown off. Emerging in spring. They look really majestic in a group... The special fertile fronds just developing... Here's the stump similar to a tree fern...they get taller each year. This one's about 5 years old now and about 8 inches (200mm) tall.
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