Friday, 10 July 2015

light levels

I've been playing around with my camera some more thanks to a quick how-my-camera-works masterclass (or idiot's guide) from my brother. The fun thing about photography is that when you accidentally completely mess up the settings you can still get kind of pretty results, such as the over-exposed bee above, and the underexposed flower below (you'll see it better if you click on it, the white background on this page doesn't help).

Don't you think the bottom one looks like a book-cover? Some kind of gloomy literary fiction I think.

While tidying up yesterday I found the book I bought when I first got my camera - an Idiot's Guide or a For Dummy's one, can't remember, for my particular model of camera. So I've been flicking through it, reading bits that seem relevant. I should probably read it properly, cover to cover, though that I don't find that kind of book very easy to read to be honest, so probably dipping in and out and playing with the camera is my best bet.  Miss M is often a fairly willing model when she's in the right mood, as is Cat2, so I can play with different settings on more or less the same pose and see what works.

In other exciting news, I got my Open University course results yesterday and got a Distinction, which I'm really pleased about. I knew my assignments had been Distinction level, but the final big assignment which counted for half the course was not hugely enjoyable and I honestly didn't know how I'd done on it. Turns out I'm a really poor judge of my own abilities when it comes to assignments!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015


I have things to blog about, I know I do - things flit through my head all day, so why do I go blank when I sit down in front of the keyboard? And it's a beautiful keyboard too! Darn.

Summer is happening - we've had actual warmth. My thermometer said 22.6°C today, which is far lower than further south but plenty warm enough for me, thank you very much, given that it's also horribly muggy. Poor Cat1 is a large boy with thick fur and has spent most of the day lying around. In honour of summer happening I bought myself a summery yellow stripey cotton scarf the other day, because I'm a sucker for yellow stripes and I still had birthday money to spend. I'm not sure yellow suits me but it makes me happy so I can live with that.

I have been knitting - thick cosy socks for Miss M naturally, just what everybody knits in warm weather. They're the ones I started back at the end of April-ish. The first sock was very quick but I just haven't been knitting much recently, too many other things on the go I suppose, so the second sock has been languishing at the toe stage (which, given that it's a toe-up pattern, isn't good). Miss M insists that the first sock is 'fine' but it's tight to pull over her heel so I'm doing the second one looser and fully intend to rip back the first one and reknit the heel when she's not looking. She has no idea how much her feet will have grown by the time it's cosy sock weather again! 

I think I need to sleep now..

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Favourite Things

Raindrops on roses poppies (yes, the school holidays have started with torrential rain again)..

Whiskers on kitty..

Dum-di-dee, dum-dee,
Warm woollen mittens, maybe.

Er, can't remember.

Day One of the school holidays and aside from torrential rain, there has been shopping, pottering around, the making of optician's appointments, and, best of all, the receiving of a call from the dentist saying could I come back in so they could refund me because they'd accidentally overcharged me for my root treatment last week. I had no idea how much root treatment cost never having had it before and to be honest I was so spaced out at the time that they could have requested the contents of my bank account, a kidney and my firstborn and I probably wouldn't have noticed. But yay, refund!

So why the singing of Favourite Things? Because this evening I discovered that the freezer door was ajar, had been for some time, and its temperature was 8 deg C. So not so much of the freezing. All of which necessitated clearing everything out, chucking a whole lot of it out, and mopping the floor. And more than a little teeth-grinding, along with quite of lot of stomping around with sotto voce swearing.

Oh well.

Here's a rather brilliant favourite thing though:

My friend L in Vermont has been clearing out her late mother's stuff and has been rehoming all sorts of linens and things, including these beautiful boudoir pillowcases which have come to me. I need to make some small pillows/cushions to fit them, though they're so pretty that part of me would just like to frame them! I may be a total scruff but I do appreciate the pretty stuff too.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

day four in the garden

 Pond buttercup

 Sea pink

Still sunny. Well, not now, it's eleven o'clock at night. But it was sunny, all day. It's all been a bit weird. There were loads of things I was going to witter on about but typically, now that I'm actually sitting down at the computer,  I can't think what they were. Ah well, enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

three days of sunshine

Three consecutive days of sunshine. School sports day went ahead the other day and was a success (thank the weather gods - last year it had to be cancelled due to torrential rain). Miss M won the running and came second in the egg and spoon. The Boy, being uncompetitive, just had fun. I 'helped' on the PTA juice stall*  but owing to having been at the dentist for root treatment that morning and the numbness just wearing off, mostly what I did was entertain our Chair's baby daughter.

Today is glorious. I have been laundering and gardening, Cat 2 has been slinking and prowling, but thick-furred Cat 1 has been sleeping in a cool spot indoors almost all day. Yesterday he wouldn't go out until I hung the washing out and he could sit in the shade of damp sheets.  I don't know what he'd do in a hotter climate.

I have a mystery plant. Don't I always? It's doing very well but I don't have the foggiest what it is. For any experts/Dad, it's in the next two pictures and the 'flower' is about as big as my thumb nail:

* That's the Glaswegian use of the word juice, before you go thinking phrases like 'juice bar' and 'freshly squeezed'. 'Juice' is squash, 'fizzy juice' is a fizzy drink. The kids got squash and an ice-lolly. The parents got coffee or tea. I got a headache.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

a non-post

I'm so sick of that Safeway carrier big picture! But I don't really have the time for a proper post so here's a picture from our visit to Greenbank Garden in the rain a couple of weeks ago. Although it was really chucking it down the garden was lovely (if a bit squelchy underfoot).

The jigsaw got finished eventually, slightly hindered by the larger cat who scampered over it one day and tore a whole chunk up again.  I really enjoyed doing it but it's not that convenient having a board with a half-completed jigsaw lying on the floor for days so I'll investigate alternatives.

I'm in the home stretch with my OU course this year - just doing my EMA. I forget what it stands for, but it's a final assignment that counts for half the course, done instead of an exam. Obviously I want it to be good, and at the moment I just can't see beyond it. Another day or two and it'll be done - I have a good essay plan, half a draft and copious notes - but like an exam you can't really imagine it being of the past. See you on the other side!

Saturday, 18 April 2015


Dull picture

Today Miss M requested that we do one of my (1000-piece) jigsaws. I haven't done a proper jigsaw for years, for fear of toddlers eating the pieces or some such thing, but it must be admitted that neither of the kids, or indeed the cats, are especially likely to eat jigsaw pieces now, and as Miss M has never done a proper jigsaw it was about time really. So we opened up the box and all the pieces were inside a Safeway carrier bag, which is a bit, ooh, vintage seeing as Morrisons took over most Safeway stores in 2004. That bag is from the days when the Boy was so young that he wouldn't even have attempted to eat a jigsaw piece (he was notoriously reluctant to wean onto solids). Good grief, it even predates Facebook, from the days when people could still distinguish between 'lightening' and 'lightning'. Miaow.

In case you're interested, Miss M's first reaction to the jigsaw was 'Ooh, the pieces are tiny', quickly followed by 'This will take forever' and, after some sorting and the ritual of the Finding of the Corners and the Edge Pieces, by 'I'm going out to jump on the trampoline'.  I've enjoyed it though. I'd forgotten about that calm meditative state of mind I fall into when I'm idly rummaging through the pieces looking for pieces of sky-with-a-bit-of-wall or somebody's-elbow.