Photo Blogging Challenge – ‘Two’

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I’m knocking on the door of too late here, but I think I’ll squeeze in. The prompt for A Li’l HooHaa‘s photo blogging challenge for March is ‘Two’ and it must be done by today, or we’re into April and a new theme.

Now, I knew about this one from the start of March because of having joined in with February’s challenge, so I’ve been keeping an eye open for pictures which fit the bill. We’re supposed to avoid posting pictures from the archives, because the whole idea is to encourage us to go out there and work a little on our photography – and that’s what I’ve done. All of these pictures were taken during this month with this challenge in mind.1

As soon as I saw my son and one of his small daughters on the bouncy bike and sidecar, I thought of the old music hall song ‘Daisy, Daisy’.2 DS No 2 (ha! Another ‘two’) is a Stay At Home Dad, so he has a very strong rapport with the twins. Can you tell?3

Here are both girls together. Yep, two of them – identical twins, who happen to be nearly two years old. Very handy, that.

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I think Son No 2 is really very lucky to have this opportunity to be with his young daughters so much.

So then I started to get into the swing of the challenge and thought about some more unusual ‘twos’. Taken on the same day, here’s a picture of the grandparents… or rather, our shadows on the grass as we watch the young family at play. This one took a little post-processing because it wasn’t shot in black & white. It also needed a random bit of stick taken out and the shadows deepening for better contrast.

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The bright spot in the top right was part of the original composition, though.

The next one was the product of a deliberate trawl through my kitchen to find pairs of things to photograph. Believe it or not, this shot was not set up. The lovely glass oil and vinegar bottles were right there, just as they appear, next to the two jugs on the dresser shelf. I have a bit of a thing about jugs!

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This one was shot using the ‘candlelight’ setting on the camera, then converted to black & white. I also made a new layer of the larger jug and added a filter to bring it out a little more. It’s always hard to balance shadows and highlights on a mix of porcelain and glass, but I liked the way the wood back of the dresser came out. Sharpened up the grain nicely, didn’t it?

Lastly … hmm … which of the others shall I use? Let me see …

How about this one? I just loved these stamps when I found them on a piece of wrapping paper in a pile of papers I was sorting. Loved the colours, the 1940s style, and the crumpled perforations and texture of the paper etc. Best of all, it’s SOC!4

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Thanks to A Li’l HooHaa for hosting this photo challenge. I’m looking forward to finding out what April’s theme will be.

1 See? I can stick to the rules if I have to. Aren’t I good?

2 For you youngsters out there, it goes like this:
‘Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do.
I’m half crazy, all for the love of you!
It won’t be a stylish marriage,
I can’t afford a carriage,
But you’ll look sweet,
Upon the seat,
Of a bicycle made for two!’

3 Naturally, they’re also really, really keen on Mum when she comes into work. Here she is with the other twin. Consider it a bonus: ‘It takes two, baby’!

4 Which means, just in case there’s anyone out there who doesn’t know, that it is Straight Out of the Camera, with no processing whatsoever. Well, apart from cropping.

March Winds And April Showers

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Last night, we watched the weather forecast and OH said ‘Good heavens! Look at that wind!!1‘ Tightly packed little arrows were sleeting viciously right across the UK chart and swirling across to Europe where presumably they intended to upset a whole lot more people.

And then, not being someone to whom the weather matters hugely, I forgot about it until this morning, when I woke to the merry sound of those little arrows, sleeting away like mad and producing all kinds of vicious windy noises, and incidentally bringing buckets of rain along with them which they were dropping carelessly all over the place.

The dogs didn’t get walked very early. That was just as well, because Sid got up around eight-thirty and pootled into the lounge to sink gratefully into his favourite bed, and Jeffie didn’t put in an appearance until nearly ten – only to do the same thing. I didn’t even have time to take his pyjamas off before he was asleep again by the radiator as if he’d been there all night.

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Around 11.30am the rain stopped and the sun came out2. We quickly hustled the dogs to the door, where I put their collars and leads on, and a raincoat on over Jeffie’s pyjamas, and we took them for a very quick walk.

On the way back, OH said:

‘Is that a helicopter? I would have thought it was too dangerous to fly in this wind!’

I listened carefully, and couldn’t hear one. Then a car came out of the village towards us going ‘thrumthrumthrumthrumthrum’ and I turned to him and said:

‘No, not a helicopter. It’s the wind. It’s gusting so hard it’s snatching the sound away.

Not sure I’ve heard that happen before.

For the rest of the day, the dogs stayed close to the radiators, curled up in their beds. It’s true that Jeffie came and poked his nose outside once or twice, but when he felt those little arrows tearing around, he poked it right back inside again and went back to bed, sure that his bladder would hold out just a little bit longer 3.

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At one point, the parasol over the fish pond broke clean in half, despite the fact that I’d ripped gashes in each section to let the wind through, and we had to go out and fight the wind to get it down safely and into the garage where it couldn’t break any windows or cause a traffic accident. OH then drove to the nearest garden centre for pond netting – without which we’d probably have woken up to a complete absence of fish4 – and we struggled and fought to put that over the water.

We walked the dogs during another lull in the rain. I got grit in my eye twice as we passed the place where they’re demolishing a bungalow (who does this kind of thing in a howling gale?) but we stayed dry. On the way back home, OH turned to me.

OH: ‘This is not very lamb-like! You said it would go out like a lamb!’

Me: ‘Well, these Old Wives Tales aren’t exactly 100% accurate, you know.’

OH: ‘But you promised!’

Me: ‘I’m sorry .. but you know, we have a few days yet. Let me see .. yesterday was the 28th, so … Tuesday. We have until Tuesday.’

OH: ‘But this is ferocious! You think this will calm down by Tuesday? We’re supposed to be getting a bad few days, you know!’

Me: ‘Well, you never know, it might! These are definitely March winds. Maybe we’ll get April showers next.’

Fast forward to the evening, when we were watching an hour of television and eating bacon sandwiches. The rain was lashing down so hard it was managing to go horizontal and bouncing off the windows.

OH: ‘That is NOT an April shower’.

Me: ‘No, that is a ‘Flood The Patio’ shower’.

OH: ‘April showers are supposed to come out of a clear blue sky. They are gentle things!’

*Pause*

OH: ‘Delicate.’

We both stared glumly out of the window to where the wind and rain were joining forces in a kind of vendetta against mankind.

OH: ‘In like a lion, out like a lamb. That’s what you said.’

Well, all I can say is that March did indeed come in like a lion, but against all the old-wifely rules, it appears to be going out like one, too.

If it goes on like this, the April showers won’t be bringing us flowers to bloom in May, they’ll be beating those shrinking violets to death and shredding the primroses like confetti. But we do have until Tuesday…

1 This is not exactly what he said. He said a Rude Word. I didn’t want to sully your ears.

2 Those bloody little arrows were still at it, though. And there were millions of them.

3 And amazingly, it did. For an old guy with some issues, he did well. That Vivitonin4 is doing a great job!

4 A drug used for Canine Cognitive Disorder, or as we like to call it, ‘Dogszheimer’s’.

5 We live in the fens where the land is flat and criss-crossed by dykes. The dykes have small fish and frogs and toads and small grass snakes and so on that live in them and therefore it is a great place for herons. Unfortunately for those of us with pond fish, in the winter and early spring, the small fish in the dykes are all hard to find and there is a definite dearth of reptiles and amphibians of all kinds, so the herons like to visit us to take advantage of what they probably think of as an all-you-can-eat buffet.

We’d sunk an old, but extremely sturdy garden parasol deep in the earth by the pond to deter the herons, with air vents so it didn’t take off and it’s done well all bloody winter, right up to now.

Cee’s Photo Challenge

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Cee’s Photo Challenge for this week is ‘Weathered Wood’. It so happens that I love weathered wood, so there are a ton of suitable photos in my archives!

The one up at the top was taken not far from here, deep in the fens, at an abandoned farmhouse. It’s detail from one of the old gateposts .. the gate is long gone, but the posts remain. I don’t know what type of wood they were made from, but it certainly has lasting quality!

This next one is driftwood on a river bank near Squamish, Canada.

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There was so much of it that I was spoiled for choice. I wondered if it was the result of logging, but I don’t know .. maybe it’s just that the river floods – and it’s a big river – and just kind of washes out the roots over time. There were certainly roots on display in some places, but these are not quite whole trees.

Another type of driftwood, this time on a beach in Italy. You don’t see so much driftwood in Tuscany, but I’m very fond of this picture. Not only does it remind me of a great holiday, but each time I see it I think ‘Sea Snake’, which amuses me (I’m very easily amused).

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And here’s one of my favourite weathered wood photos – I took it while driving through Molise, in Italy. It’s a fairly poor area, and there is a lot of crumbling architecture and decay, which can result in some spectacularly interesting photography, but I don’t know .. this looks deliberate, doesn’t it?

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Anyway, there we were, merrily driving along, and came across these wonderfully warped doors on an outbuilding in a very, very small community whose name I am afraid I’ve forgotten. Naturally, I made OH stop so I could take pictures. It’s a feature of our holidays; me constantly yelling ‘stop, stop – I want to take a picture’ and him saying ‘I can’t stop here!’ or ‘Oh, alright, but you’ll have to be quick!’ Or if I’m really lucky, we find a proper pull-in and we’re not in a particular hurry, and I can take my time. This was an ‘Oh, alright, but you’ll have to be quick’ moment.

And now for some fun. If I have any choice in the matter, when I’m taking insect pictures, or fallen leaves, or bits and pieces of this and that, I’ll use a natural background: stone, tile, pebbles, sand, or wood. So I’m lucky that this Small Tortoiseshell butterfly happened to land on some outdoor garden furniture which had been outdoors in the garden for quite some time.

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Lastly, a couple of .. I’m not sure what you’d call them. Skeletons of flowers, maybe? They had fallen from the loggia on which was growing a grapevine and a couple of other climbing plants, all intertwined. I’m not sure what they are, but I loved the juxtaposition of nature and finished wood, both in a state of decay.

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It’s A Greyhound Thing …

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It is, it really is. Greyhound owners are known for it. You think it won’t happen to you, but … yep. We end up talking about poop. Shh! It happens.

You see, greyhounds are a breed which can have delicate digestive systems. To be fair, there are many greyhounds out there who’ve got a cast iron gut (like Sid), but for the rest, we worry over what might loosely be called ‘output’ – or as OH calls it, ‘product’ – and sadly, the word ‘loosely’ is all too apt at times. For example, when you first adopt a greyhound, you may notice that all is not well in the product department because the stress of leaving the kennels and adapting to home life can cause what is known in some circles as ‘pudding poop’. Pudding poop is somewhat less than pick-up-able. But not to worry, because it settles down fairly quickly once your dog has settled in and you’ve found the diet that works for him1 and stopped trying to feed him too many treats.

There are times, however, during any dog’s life, when he finds himself under the weather and the digestive system can give you clues as to what is going on. So the dedicated owner will Pay Attention to the Output of their Sick Pooch. Because when you get to the vet, Questions will be Asked, and you’d better have an answer or there will be the tiniest hint of an un-heaved sigh in the air while the vet silently wonders why nobody pays attention to these things.

So anyway, on this occasion, it was Jeffie whose product was being noted, because Jeffie wasn’t doing too well. He was not eating properly, he wasn’t drinking much, and he seemed more tired than he should, even for a twelve-year old greyhound with degenerative myelopathy and Dogzheimer’s2.

We often get separated a little bit on our walks because one dog will hang back, or want to go on ahead. You know how they are, and I had stopped to pick up after Sid, and when I caught up, OH was just tying his little green bag having done the same for Jeffie.

OH (discreetly jiggling the bag in my direction): ‘This is very odd!’

Me: ‘Is it orange?’

OH: ‘Yes! Well, part of it is … How did you know?’

Me: ‘Because Sid’s is the same. It’s the food they had for breakfast’.

OH: ‘What did they have?’

Me: ‘Wainwrights tray food. It has a lot of veggies in it’.

OH: ‘Wainwrights .. oh, yes. That’s the one in the orange box. Well, there you go, then.’

There was a pause. And then:

OH: ‘We should get the one in the blue box next time, and see what happens!’

It took me a while before I got it and then the old mind kind of boggled a bit.

Although I have heard stories3….

1 Which usually isn’t the one the kennel told you he was being fed with absolutely no problems.

2 Since writing this (I’ve been busy, OK?) Jeffie has been to the vet and had a thorough examination. He is now on a short course of antibiotics and is looking a lot better. He has his mojo back! Yay!

3 They mostly involve stolen sweets swallowed complete with their wrappers, or Christmas tinsel, but sometime other, more unsuitable things. The funniest of which is always pieces of brightly-coloured, chewed up greyhound basket muzzle, placed on the dog to (yes, you guessed it) stop them chewing things.

Walking in the Sunshine

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Walking in the sunshine .. and not forgetting the blustery wind!

It would have been a really spring-like day today if it hadn’t been for that wind. It was really warm in the sun, but when the wind blew, which was most of the time, the temperature dropped like a stone. It was one of those days when it can be hard to know what to wear when setting out for a walk with the dogs.

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Jeffie is old and frail, so he wore his tee shirt which gives some protection against wind without adding too much warmth on a nice day. Sid, though he is now eleven years old himself, has a nice thick fur coat and enough meat on his bones that he doesn’t need a coat unless it’s blowing a gale AND raining AND the temperature dips to near freezing1.

This morning we set out in their favourite direction: north towards the open fields. In the verge by the footpath, we saw the first daisies of the year, looking as fresh as … well, as daisies!

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They can only go this way if they’re both feeling reasonably good, because there are three stiles to negotiate and they’re really made for dogs with a maximum height of about one inch shorter than Sid or Jeff2. With Sid’s tendency to muscle cramps and Jeff’s wobbles, they are not for the ‘less good’ days. But oh, how they love to get into the fields and sniff, and sniff, and sniff, and then pee on the really good smells. So many other dogs pass this way, and there are rabbits and foxes and mice and birds, and probably weasels and hedgehogs and badgers, too. A veritable banquet for the nose.

Because they are neither of them spring chickens, we decided that halfway across the fields, OH would leave us and go back for the car and bring it to meet us on the other side. There is a little country road at the end of this section of the footpath and it has space for one car to park up for a few minutes at the end.

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Crossing the first field, I heard the green woodpeckers and the jackdaws (probably complaining about our unwanted presence) and noticed that the wild arum lilies3 are showing well above the ground now, and the first celandines are out on the banks There is plenty of rabbit activity in the form of holes and shallow scrapes in this, and the second field and for that reason, I am nervous about letting Sid off the lead there. If he broke that single hind leg I have no idea how we’d get him home.

The third field, for us, consists of a bare path between small, scrubby trees, right at the edge by the dyke. It’s quite short, which is good, because it’s pretty much single file through there, which isn’t easy on a winding, muddy track with two greyhounds, one of which is a stubborn old three-legged fool who’d rather fall over than give in when he feels the leash tighten, and the other of which is pretty much only able to see light and dark these days.

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The last section is more open and has a steep drop to a small dyke on one side, and a set-aside field on the other. We saw a white shape by the water in the distance and in a few more steps I realised it was the heron. Sadly, with only my phone camera with me today, I didn’t manage to get a good shot, but it was nice to see him. He took off before we got anywhere near close and flew back alongside the dyke and quite close to us, but all I got was a very blurry picture.

And then the taxi4 came into view and both sets of ears pricked up.

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Jeffie was glad to see it. By this time he was tired and needed just a little run-up to get into the car, whereas usually he manages a standing start. Sid, old fart that he is, was not so glad, and walked slower and slower, and sniffed more and more, the closer we got, and though I gave him his usual run up to get in (which he always needs, being a rear-leg amputee) he baulked at the last minute like a show jumper refusing a fence and had to be walked round and run up again. To give him his due, though, he never tries to jump out again, but settles down quite quickly for the ride home. Unlike his companion who never, ever lays himself down until the engine starts.

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1 I call it discrimination. A Jack Russell is small enough to squeeze through all but the smallest gap, a labrador is hardy enough and well-padded enough not to mind scraping through a narrow space between bits of sticky-out wood, but a greyhound is neither small nor well-padded, nor is he (in this sense) hardy. Last year, Jeffie caught his shoulder on a piece of the stile and got himself a deep graze which healed fairly quickly, but has left a large-ish, triangular, and completely bald scar.

2 And even then he loathes it and it’s a struggle to a) get it on him, and b) get him to actually walk in it.

3 Otherwise known as Cuckoo Pint or Lords and Ladies.

4 Other people might call it a Toyota Yaris Verso. It’s my car, the one I use as a Dogmobile.

Playing With Words

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We really thought we were going to lose Jeffie last night. He’s an old dog, and he’s old in that way that you see with dogs sometimes1, seeming to be physically older than his years. He’s just so skinny all of a sudden, and looks really quite skeletal. Last night he didn’t eat all of his dinner, refused to get up for his bedtime milk, which is pretty much unheard of, and just looked so … dull. But this morning he seems a lot brighter, ate his breakfast (and some of Sid’s) with enthusiasm, enjoyed his foam bath2 and was eager for his walk.

Possibly this contributed to the frivolity which ensued as we approached our house on the way home.

Me: ‘Oh look, there’s the post lady!’

OH: ‘Yes, she’s late today, isn’t she?’

Me: ‘We may have some post, after all.’

OH: ‘It’ll be a bill. Oh, you might get something else. You’re always getting post … but I suppose I don’t really do post like you do.’

Me: ‘Mmm… It might be my new CD!’

OH: ‘What new CD?’

Me: ‘The Great Nef!’3

OH (Sighing): ‘Haven’t you got enough yet?’

Me: ‘I could be facetious and say ‘You can Neffa have enough!”

OH: ‘Ha! That’s a very good pun.’

*Pause*

OH (Muttering disconsolately) ‘And it should have been mine!

And Jeffie? He seems to be back to his usual self, thank goodness!

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1 And with people , too, for that matter. I could name some names … but I won’t.

2 A while ago the vet gave me (Ha! Gave me and charged me for it .. ) a kind of foam shampoo for dogs called Ermidrá. You squirt foam all over them and rub it well into the coat, then a couple of minutes later, brush it out. Their fur comes up so beautifully shiny and clean, and it keeps Jeffie’s dandruff in check. Both Sid and Jeff really love the massage that comes along with it.

3 ‘The Great Nef’ is what OH calls my new favourite Italian singer. His name is really Giovanni Pellino, but he goes by the stage name of ‘Neffa’. Neffa doesn’t seem to have a translation in Italian, but in English a nef is ‘an elaborate table decoration in the shape of a ship for holding such things as table napkins and condiments’ Somehow I don’t think Sr. Pellino meant that.

If you so wish, you can hear one of my favourite Neffa songs here. It’s about the end of a relationship as far as I can tell, and he goes on and on about how he’s not going to miss her. Uh-uh. Not at all. Yah boo sucks to her, and so on.

Cee’s Photo Challenge – Farm Animals

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Now that I’ve decided to do more in the way of photo challenges to help with learning my way around my new camera, I’m finding myself searching through existing folders rather than using the darn thing.

You see, this week, Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge is ‘Farm Animals’ and I’m blowed if I know where to go to look for them. I suppose I could get in the car and drive around the villages, but firstly I haven’t got that kind of energy or time, and secondly, I’ve done quite a bit of driving around lately one way and another and I can’t remember actually seeing any farm animals in the fields for quite some distance around, which is actually rather disturbing, because it suggests to me that they are in indoors somewhere1.

Now I do live in an arable region, so mostly it’s crops of grain, oilseed rape, vegetables or sugar beet, but I’m sure there used to be more animals around. The local manor farm has recently been sold, the parents having passed away and the son (or sons) not being interested in the business. When the farm was a going concern, there were often cattle in the fields with calves running among them, which was nice to see. Just like in this field, which I spotted on the way over west to meet up with some friends last August.

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There used to be bullocks in the fields right opposite us, but apparently it became uneconomical to buy them in as calves and raise them for meat. There have been none for years, now. Just the odd horse on the open triangle of field at the end.

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There also used to be sheep up on the edge of the next village, but I haven’t heard them lately. There may be some sheep over at Hills & Hollows, but that’s a bit hit and miss because they only graze them there for grassland management2 and most of the time there aren’t any.

So here you are. A selection of animals from the past. The Gypsy Vanners are often staked out on odd patches of grassland around here, as Travellers pass through on their way to the fenland market produce farms for seasonal work. Beautiful horses, aren’t they?

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And searching through my files from last year, I found a folder of pictures from a visit to Hamerton Zoo, where Son No 2 and the lovely B took the twins for a picnic one day and invited us along.

Son No 2 does not like goats. Their eyes give him the shivers, and he won’t even drink goat milk. B used to like them, but she picked up a tummy bug shortly after the visit to Hamerton and blamed the goats, now she doesn’t like them either!

Doesn’t look as if he could do anyone any harm, does he? Or does he … ?

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Why not join in this week? Cee’s Photo Challenge is open to all! Or you could just wander over and take a look at the other entries.

1 I can only hope that they are only indoors for the winter and will be out soon. Factory farming is why I now choose to buy free range meat whenever possible.

2 It’s a nature reserve in an old limestone quarry. It is very old, and there are some quite rare species there, like the Pasque Flower and various grassland orchids. Apparently, sheep do a great job of eating the grass and leaving the flowers, and crop it to exactly the right height, so they are run over the reserve in temporary paddocks once a year, and then they are gone.

Winter – Photo Challenge

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Seems to me that I might as well join a photo challenge, while I’m trying to learn my way around my new camera, so here goes with ‘Winter’ from A Lil Hoohaa

It’s a little bit late, since this was the theme for February, but hey – the photos were taken in February, so doesn’t that count?

Now, we haven’t really had much in the way of frost or snow, and very little mist or fog, and since one can’t actually capture the feeling of very cold air in a picture, you’ll have to use your imagination a little bit1. Up there at the top, though, is rather wintry simply because of the mist combined with the blue sky and the ponies being fed hay because the grass is so thin on the ground. These ponies are being grazed on a rather limited area anyway; just a thin strip on the top of one of the many drainage dykes.

Next, I suppose, the low lighting generally should get a look-in, since that’s also a feature of this season, with or without visible manifestations of the chill factor2. Here’s a view I often get of OH and Jeffie as Sid and I pause to allow them to catch up. You see Sid, being a tripod, finds it easier to bound along at a fast-ish pace. Certainly it’s more than a fast walking pace for me, and I don’t do more than a very slow jog at the best of times. It’s not particularly comfortable for me, but it’s impossible for OH and Jeffie to keep up, so … there you go. Outlined by the low light of winter:

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This winter having been so mild, we’ve seen quite a few flowers blooming relatively early, but of course, the snowdrop is famous for putting in a ‘dawn-of-the-year’ appearance, and ours were true to form and have been out for a couple of weeks now. I have doubles and singles, but I much prefer the single flowered ones.

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Another dog walk, this time at the boating lake, which is a very popular dog-walking, child-walking, and general recreation area. The lake itself is frozen over, but with lots of cracks and un-frozen parts around the edges. The wildfowl seem to be managing OK, but it’s definitely not suitable for boating – or skating, come to that!

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Lastly, the sunset. This is fairly wintry, since it’s either in the late autumn or winter that we get such spectacular colours here in England. The sun was sinking so fast, as I stood taking photos, that I only had time for four before it was gone. I think it was worth getting out of the car for, though, don’t you?

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1 Yes, yes, I know. England doesn’t exactly reach hideously low temperatures compared to .. oh, I don’t know, Saskatchewan … but it feels bloody cold to us, OK?

2 Like snow, ice, hail, sleet, that kind of thing.

Babysitting

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There’s no doubt about it, if you go babysitting, and all goes well, you have time on your hands.

OH and I don’t watch much television. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I did actually watch television … oh, we do have a TV, and we do watch things on it, just not live broadcasts. We mainly use ours for playing DVDs1. So, I suppose, when I’m in someone else’s house, their television kind of bewilders me; first I have to get to grips with the remote, and then the programme guide, and then … well, maybe I’m just out of the habit, but often I simply don’t find anything I want to watch. OK, National Geographic is always good, and you can often find re-runs of various shows you’ve enjoyed, but on the whole, TV is pretty crap these days, as far as I can see.

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So yesterday, when I found myself babysitting the twins 2, I caught up on email, Facebook, forums, etc on my computer, decided against reading my book, and got out my new camera and set about continuing to learn my way around it.

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And when you’re in someone else’s house, and you don’t want to turn it upside-down setting up shots, you just wander around photographing whatever is handy.

These pictures here are probably fairly representative of most households with very young children in them.

The bath ducks were photographed on the corner of the bath (naturally) and once I had discovered that it was the best lit room in the house and that the white of the bath and the tiles made a great background, I took a couple of other things in there because I only had the little pop-up flash which is built into the camera, so I was a bit stuck for lighting.

The Olympus OMD E10 seems to be a great little camera. It has more options in the multitude of menus than I’ve had hot dinners 3, so it’s going to take me a while to learn it all, and customise it to the way I like it, but I think I’m going to enjoy it.

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And if it can take pictures like these right out of the box, without any extra lighting, I’m really quite impressed! I needed something more serious than a point-and-shoot, and much as I’ve loved my little Panasonic Lumix TZ30, it has dust inside the lens once again and .. well, it does have its limitations. The Lumix bridge camera is great, but it’s bulky and again, does have its limitations. The Olympus is a compact system camera, which means I can change lenses, and use filters, and just stretch my photography muscles a little bit.

I took it out with me to lunch at our favourite Italian restaurant, today. No flash, because of not wanting to disturb the other diners, so I’m quite impressed with the results.

AquaPannaWEB

1 At the moment, an old series of House. Then we’ll be catching up with Downton Abbey, and after that we’re planning to settle in for another series of Montalbano.

2 On my own, because we’d both been out for four hours in the morning and Jeffie wasn’t happy and had been sick once already.

3 Yes, that was a pun.