Posts Tagged 'Photos'

Queenswood Arboretum

I had a lovely day out at Queenswood Arboretum, in Herefordshire, last weekend. It was the October meet for the Shropshire Community flickr group. We went to see the Autumn colours. The sun may not have particularly shined much for us, but the trees were lovely. In fact it rained a little, but that just made the leaves sparkle. Here’s a few of my pictures.

No particular focus

Screen

Splash

Autumn's finest

Red and Yellow

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Out with the old and in with the new

Well…another year draweth to a close. In a very foggy manner…

Spooky!

Foggy evening, Shifnal, Shropshire

It’s been a mixed one. I’m not too sorry to see it go. April was brilliant obviously, but then things always seem brighter when I’m next to the Pacific!

On the pier at Santa Monica

Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles, California

I never did get my family round for a meal, so I failed there. But on a positive note, some important things came out in the open which have hopefully helped me start to be able to lay some skeletons to rest (even if I have ended up ping-ponging backwards and forwards to the doctors). I would still like to have them round for a meal. Maybe next year!! My head’s still a bit cluttered at the moment and I can still only think about ‘so much’ at one time. Bit silly really.

Waxing lyrical

Head in the clouds

Back to 2008 – I also really enjoyed the courses I did – especially the photography one. I’m also really enjoying being part of the ‘Shropshire Flickr Community’. I’ve met up with them 5 times now – although only 2 were for the purpose of actually taking photos!

Dusk - Shrewsbury

Tower, St Chad’s church, Shrewsbury Shropshire – dusk

I think I have improved photography-wise over the year – although I’m very much aware that there’s still loads left to learn. But it would get a bit boring I suppose if there wasn’t something else to work on.

I’ve got a new lens on order at the moment. A proper macro one. I do hope it’s worth it…. *crosses fingers and toes*

Anyway, I’ll leave you with a picture I took this evening of the Christmas lights in the little town where I live. They’ve done away with a ‘real’ tree this year in favour of this steel structure. it’s made by our Christmas Lights Committee group. I have to say, I actually really like it! It’s very pretty in the dark when it’s all lit up. Our lights really are pretty good for such a tiny town.  The photo is a long exposure, and I like the ‘twinkly’ lens flare effect around the lights…

Shifnal Christmas Lights

Anyway – Happy New Year. May it be happy and healthy for us all. One hour and counting….

Here comes the bride..

One of my cousins got married yesterday, and they asked me if I’d like to have a go with some photos. I very much consider myself still a beginner, but they’re not too bad I hope.  Here’s a few, and as I have 600 pictures to go through, no doubt I’ll be clogging up my flickr stream with more over the coming days…

The bouquet

I know I’m biased, but I reckon she looks absolutely beautiful.

The blushing bride

Awww…

Kiss...

o)

It was a lovely, lovely day.

*sighs*

Warm weather causes slight garden activity

Apologies for not posting much lately. My energy reserves seem to be a bit low thus resulting in a minor case of CBA* lately. However the weather has been kind enough to allow me to do a few bits and pieces in the garden the last two weekends, so thought I should ramble my way through an update.

Like many in the UK, it just took a few hours of warm sunshine last weekend to have me scuttling off to my two favourite plant nurseries and coming back with a boot-load of flora and fauna:

Went shopping

Since then I’ve managed to spread  most of it around the back and front gardens – and there’s still plenty of space for more. I haven’t put most of the summer bedding in yet though since there’s still a chance of the odd late frost or two. Here’s yet another gratuitious picture of the back garden:

Getting there

I finally feel like I’m starting to get somewhere. Things are starting to put on a bit of growth now which is great. I just wish the shrubs that are meant to clamber up and obscure the fences would get a move on.  They can’t grow fast enough for me. *prays for lots of nice warm, sunny weather with frequent rain showers but that the rain showers would only happen conveniently at night when I’m tucked up fast asleep*

My next job, next weekend – assuming the weather plays nice – is to dust off the pressure washer and give the patio a good old blast. I love doing that, so I’m looking forward to it already. We have another three day weekend this weekend which will help. I really have no idea why we have two bank holiday weekends in May and then nothing until the end of August… you’d think they could space it out a bit better really…

Anyway, I digress. And in a new departure, here’s a quick glimpse of the front (photo taken specifically from a very cunning sort of angle where you can’t see all the bits that really need sorting out). I’ve been trying to get this right for about four years now. It’s north facing, so doesn’t get as much sunshine as the back garden and so far I haven’t cracked the best sort of plants yet. Plus, I don’t like gardening out the front (I feel a bit on display myself) so it tends to get a little bit neglected on occasion. *slaps own wrist for being naughty*

Out front

I did a bit of organising in the four L-shaped bed today. (You may notice I have similar shaped beds out the back. I think I did that subconsciously. These ones were here first – my 2004 ‘garden design’ project. ) The 6 red heucheras are all new, but the 6 euonymous (sp?) (if you can actually pick out 6!) are all existing plants that I’ve jiggled around from other places – but since you haven’t seen where they were before, I’m not quite sure why I’m telling you . The white things (can’t remember their names) are also not new.  I plan on having a tree of some sort in the middle one day. Something like a silver birch perhaps.

I need to think of things to fill up the remaining bare bits. I’m toying with hostas as the gravel means I don’t get that many slugs out the front. I’m not sure if hostas disappear to nothing in the winter though. Must do some research because that will be the clincher.

The hedge at the back is lavender. It’s just coming back to life and hopefully will be buzzing with bees soon. A baby elephant appears to have sat on one of the bushes (on the pavement side) which is very annoying. Since there is a huge crater and evidence of branch snappage, I think it’s beyond salvation. I imagine it was most likely a drunk elephant in the middle of the night. That sort of thing really winds me up. Especially since it’s not the first time drunk elephants have sat or trodden on plants of mine.  I know they’re replacable, but when someone else wrecks something of yours that you’ve spent money and time on (and probably thought it was hilarious as they did it) it’s just….you know….

Anyway – that’s all for now.

*CBA – can’t be arsed.

Finished…!

I think I’ve finally finished the photography project. Only a month or so late. Oops. I need to have one last read-through of the work book, but hopefully nothing is missing and all being well I can hand it in tomorrow evening when I’m at the college for my web-design course.

Here’s an “aerial shot” (I was standing on a chair) of my portfolio pictures. I was outside this evening spray mounting all the ones with a white border. That was interesting. And sticky. (And occasionally slightly sweary and the cause of several trips back to the printer for fresh copies….)

I know there’s nothing amazingly original or anything, but I’m quite pleased with how they’ve come out anyway.

I FINALLY think I've finished.

And now I must away to bed (as they might have phrased it in years gone by) as I have a stinky headache and I’m very tired.

Turfing by twilight

I had 21 rolls of turf delivered on Friday. (It looked an awful lot as it arrived.)

Garden swiss roll

I wasn’t able to do anything with it until the evening, but once I was home from the doctors and had had a quick cup of tea I got on with laying it out. It was about 6.30pm when I started and 9pm when I finished. As you can imagine, not all the bits fit just right first time, so you end up having to cut things to size here and there and creating a grassy patchwork. This is what took the time – especially as I don’t have quite the right equipment for that job. I was alternating between using a very small kitchen knife and a pair of old wallpaper scissors – neither of which were particularly sharp.

It was just going dusk when I finished, and I ended up standing there in the darkness giving it a good old soak with the hosepipe. This meant I couldn’t properly admire my handiwork until the next morning. I’m pretty chuffed with it though. It’s even been nice and showery today so I haven’t had to go out and give it a drink.

All turfed up and ready to go

So what was I doing at the Doctors on a Friday evening? Well I regularly get cramp in one of my feet and after having had a particularly unpleasant 20 minute painful spasm the day before, I went along to see if there was anything that could be done. I was prescribed Quinine. I wish I hadn’t been. I’ve never reacted to any medicine before, but I think it’s fair to say that Quinine and I do not get along. I spent the whole of last night feeling like I was going to throw up, and had nasty stomach pains. When I got up this morning (after a more or less sleepless night) I found some weird, itchy spots around my ankles. These are all things that the advice leaflet that came with the pills said could happen.

After googling Quinine (and getting myself unnecessarily alarmed – things like finding out the side effects caused withdrawal in the US as medication for muscle cramps) I ended up ringing Shropdoc (my local UK healthline). I spoke to another doctor who told me not to take any more (not that I was planning on it any time soon) and to spend the day drinking plenty of fluids with my feet up. I have done. The stomach pains seem to have gone, but I’ve basically spent the day feeling generally a bit unwell.

I would much rather just have the damn foot cramp!