Saturday, 30 January 2010

Dow there's an idea

I still have the cold from hell. I am going through bogroll at a rate of knots and I posted a "poor me" post on Facebook at 4 am. There followed a chain of comments including an entertaining story.

I once had sucha a shocking cold, I decided the best way I could make sure I had hankies on me all the time was to hang a toilet roll on a ribbon around my neck! I was at home. I was proud of my clever, practical idea. Then a delivery man came to the house and I completely forgot it was there, until he'd gone........ 

What a great idea, I thought! I really am at the stage of needing it very close to hand all the time. I had no ribbon but a luggage elastic sufficed. I felt a little like a St Bernard with it's keg of brandy and that sparked the idea that this would be an excellent and practical addition to a nurse's uniform - I would suggest that it was extra soft toilet roll for this purpose. It could be useful for the nurse and for her/his patients. 

This train of thought led to my great business plan (and this is where you must stop reading unless you are a trusted regular/friend). My female readers especially will be familiar with the hazards of female anatomy when eating drippy food. Any stray items end up in full view. This could be averted by using the "Napkin Roll Necklace" which would become a fashion accessory for visitors to all the best restaurants. They could be made in all sorts of bold colours and patterns and chosen to match the evening's outfit. Now please don't tell anyone but soon, I think you may see me on Dragon's Den selling my prototype. I will of course share the profits with my Facebook friend. 

In the meantime, this is such a practical solution although not yet fashionable. I suggest for that reason, that if you wish to begin wearing toilet roll or kitchen roll necklaces, that you should do so when you are alone and not expecting a delivery unles, of course, you have already publicly established your eccentricity - as I have. Should you have other people living with you, you may find that you are going public sooner than you intended (see Sleepyduck's blog).

Wonderful accessory, though it is, I hope to stop wearing my necklace soon. 

P.S. I may have a temperature.

Later edit:

Here's a bit of light relief:

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Old Chestnut

I haven't been out taking photos so I'm still scanning old negatives. This is a very old chestnut tree that I went to visit with the friend who is pictured here. I have lost contact with her and the photos have reminded me of her again. I'll try to find her.

That was a great day out and I loved the tree. Here's another image for you.

My feeling a bit ill has mutated into a fully developed cold with stuffy dose. It's been another day at home for me. I managed to lose my iPod Touch for 3 and a half hours. I got really frustrated looking for it but, as Sleepyduck pointed out, that means I need an iPad because it will be harder to lose. I can but dream.... It's a very desirable object in spite of a name too closely related to feminine hygiene.

Nearly the weekend folks :-)

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Stuff and nonsense

Do you remember this chap and how I said he had a secret?

Well here he is again. If you squeeze his middle then his eyes pop out.

This is my friend who came round today shining my cow torch on my pig and squeezing him till his eyes pop. My how we laughed.... I am feeling quite ill today and that's about as intellectual as I can get. It's very frustrating as I planned to go out and meet people but I don't feel well enough - not terribly ill but ill enough to not want to move. There seem to be so many colds and flus around just now.

I've still been enjoying scanning some of my old photos with my new negative scanner. In the process though I discovered that the latest Mac operating system is not compatible with my high quality flatbed scanner so I'm a little peeved about that!

Here is one of my favourites from today's discoveries in the old negatives.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Old photos scanned from negatives

I haven't been taking photos today but I've been playing with a new toy - a USB negative scanner. I have a scanner and it has a negative attachment but I rarely use it as it is a bit awkward to use. The USB scanner does not provide top quality but it's very small and easy to use to scan a lot of images at once. I also really like the peculiar effects it has on the edges and the colours.

The photo above was taken in Heidelberg, as far as I remember. It was around 1990 when I spent some time in Germany visiting a friend. It was taken with an old Olympus Trip. The camera was old even at that time. It was one of the ones with the light meter round the lens and you focussed by judging the distance. I took many photos with it.

Here is one from the same time period taken of Newhaven Harbour in Edinburgh.

I've been posting more pictures on Flickr as I get through scanning the negatives. It is possible that I have mislabelled some of the places in Germany as it is so long ago so if you see an error then do correct it.

I'm tired after all my travels in the last few days so I'm enjoying a quiet evening at home. Hope your week has started well.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

First time for everything

Do you remember the first time in your life that you ever got to feed the birds? Probably not, eh? Well I witnessed this little chap's first time. I have no children but am lucky enough to have some in my life. It's lovely to watch him explore and learn about the world afresh. He also called me by name for the first time. It was a lovely afternoon with these friends and the lovely man.

Here is another one where he would happily have got more closely acquainted with this swan but had to settle with blowing him a kiss "bye bye".

Soon I will have to start the trip home. Hope you're having as nice a weekend as me.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Lovely visit to Dundee

My couple of days in Dundee was lovely. I caught up with friends and discovered that Santa had left me things in Dundee too! This is my friend sporting her gloves. I have a pair of these too. They're great when you're using a camera on a cold day as you can have them either fingerless or as mittens.

I spent time with three friends I've known since I lived in Dundee some years ago and then was treated to meeting a new friend - b1tchesbru - one of you people I have contact with through our photographs online. It was great to talk about life, the universe, photography and everything. What a lovely afternoon that was!

This photo is of a new friend... not b1tchesbru I hasten to add. This was taken with the lensbaby plastic optic. This new friend has a secret which you may learn on a slow photo day.

All in all, I didn't take many photos on my travels. It was hard getting pictures out and about as I had all my bags with me and when I was with friends, I was busy catching up with them. I then travelled on to Edinburgh yesterday to the lovely man. I arrived with that warm glow and sense of wellbeing you get after spending time with really lovely people.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Old house

I didn't take any pictures today so I'm cheating. Here's one from yesterday. This little street in the West end of Glasgow is where I lived for four years from the age of 18. The top floor and attic of the building on the left was where I had a bedsit. My window was the little attic skylight on the left side. I remember this flat with a great deal of affection. There were eight rooms - a couple with their own kitchen upstairs. I shared a small kitchen with one person and there was a big kitchen for the four rooms downstairs.

They were bedsits and the landlord decided who moved in but there was a period when a lot of us there got on really well and spent a lot of time together. A couple of the people I met while living there are still close friends. It was a fun time and, for me, a difficult time as my mother died when I was 19 and few of the people the same age had lost a parent. The overwhelming feeling I have about the place is an affection for it though. There are many good memories.

I'm off to Dundee tomorrow for a couple of days. I'm looking forward to seeing people and having alternative photos to take.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Tree Creeper

I've had a lovely day today. I met my brother and we spent some time going in search of birds and wildlife. This image was the one I was most excited about as it is of a bird called a tree creeper. Not only had I never photographed one before but I had never seen one.

The squirrels around there are very friendly and I took some lovely shots but I particularly liked this squirrel shot.

I was also treated to seeing a heron.

It shows how much wildlife can be seen in the centre of urban areas.

I hope you've been enjoying your week as much as I have mine.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Blast from the past!

I had a mad spell of clearing up today. Unusually for a Sunday (usually a dressing-gown day if I'm in Glasgow) I had an energetic spell and left with the lovely man. I went to Argos and got some stacking boxes and attacked my cupboard. I found this leaflet amidst other remnants of my darkroom photography. I still have a nostalgia for it but am otherwise delighted that we no longer need to hang about with all those chemicals.

Here is my cupboard:

Up until today. It held an old kitchen unit with stuff in the drawers. Using my new boxes, I have been able to get rid of the unit and fit all sorts of things in there that were in the middle of the bedroom for ages - including that folding bike down there! I'm feeling very smug and pleased with myself (so long as I don't think about that big pile of dishes that need done...)

Sorry these are not terribly interesting as photographs but I am planning on setting myself some photographic projects soon and will share these with you. Hope your weekend has been good.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

He's very at home in the pub!

Well you've seen him many times. He's a star of my blog - along with the lovely man. I've told the people in our local cafe/bar that he's my weekday man. Here he is in the pub for the annual event which is his birthday drink. The lovely fleecy dressing gown was a pressie.

I just stayed for a fairly short time and then went to join the lovely man who'd arrived at my house. He was, of course, invited too but Friday is a tiring day for him and he has a whole freezer full of food to scoff so he had to get started right away ;-).

Here's another picture of the birthday boy:

Hope your weekend started as pleasantly as mine. Now to help the lovely man in the scoffing food task :-)

Thursday, 14 January 2010


I think it's a real security thing that I have the cupboards stuffed with food. I also hate food going to waste and I will often cook to freeze food. I really need to stop buying so much food till I've eaten stocks. I can never seem to let the freezer get low enough to defrost it and where will I put the soup I make from all the veggies in the fridge if the freezer is full?

This habit has got considerably worse since I started getting groceries delivered and therefore don't have to carry them all myself. Still... I am very much looking forward to eating a lot of this yummy stuff... Mr duck will be fattened up considerably this weekend.

Wild Wednesday

Well it was for me at least... I met friends in the pub and two of us were lucky enough to get beautifully wrapped pressies which we are holding up here. One of the people I met is an old friend I have seen only twice in the last decade so it was lovely to see him.

Where it became a wild Wednesday was when a friend and I went for an adventure - we went to a Karaoke pub afterwards. Ok. So it's not very wild but it's not my usual. Before you ask - we did not sing. It was quite a friendly place and there were a few excellent performers and unusual sights. For some reason, apparantly unconnected people in different parts of the bar were wearing bunny ears. That made for a few good images.

Today I'm having a rest from the rock and roll lifestyle and will be having a quiet day at home with lots of tea....

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Puzzler for you

What is this a detail from? I'll tell you in couple of days if no-one gets it. I'm afraid sleepyduck is barred from answering but not for bad behaviour. He just knows what's in my house!

It's been an enjoyable and quiet day. I haven't been out for photos, hence the indoor shot. This was taken using my 50mm lens and a +10 macro filter.

Hope the week is treating you well.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Manky windows

I'm home again in Glasgow and feeling relatively unscathed after my bout of sickness. This picture was taken on the bus home and might give some idea of how dirty the windowscreen of the coach was. The driver kept squirting on it to improve visibility but it just seemed to spread the muck around. It seemed so bad as to be pretty unsafe. A few weeks ago, whenever I was at the station in Edinburgh, they would have a bucket of soapy water and the driver would wash the windscreen before the bus took off. I think they should reintroduce it.

Sorry it's not a very exciting photo but pictures weren't my priority today. I'm glad to be feeling well again and it was lovely to stay another night with the lovely man. Now I think I'll nap in front of the telly... What an old fart I am!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

A shadow of her former self...

I'm just recovering (I hope) from a few hours of being very sick from all ends. It started very suddenly just as I was uploading pictures to Flickr. I'm trying a cup of tea now which I'll sip very slowly. This means that I haven't made the journey home and am still being pampered by the lovely man.

Before I got sick we'd had a short walk and I took the lensbaby with the plastic optic on it. There were a few shots I liked.

I really liked the lensbaby effect on the golden dress in this window.

Now I'm going to get busy nursing myself back to health. I'll catch up with you all tomorrow. Hope you're fitter than me today.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Still Christmas in Glasgow

I'm blogging early today as I'll be spending my afternoon heading to Edinburgh. This was the scene in a misty Glasgow this morning. Boy was it cold! The mist just adds that freezing dampness to already cold air. I have a cosy little flat but it's not warming up so easily now.

I couldn't resist this image and it was almost a shame that I was in a happy mood when I took it. These were both taken with my Lumix LX3 rather than my SLR.

I had a hospital appointment this morning in Orthotics. I have such trouble getting shoes that I can wear without pain due to my arthritis. I was measured and scanned and I will have a pair made. The styles are not particularly exciting but they're not bad either. I'm really excited about being able to have shoes that actually fit for a change and hope it might mean I can walk further. At the moment I am wearing a men's size 7 shoe as they were the only ones that my broad and distorted feet could get into to. I've though of myself as a size 6 or 7. I learned today that one of my feet is a 4 and a half and the other a 5!

When I can move from this huddle on the sofa I will have some of the lovely soup I made yesterday and then I'll be preparing for the trip east. Hope the M8 is ok today!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Playing with new toys

I set up my new tripod and started playing with my new lensbaby optics. This was my favourite shot. It's taken with the plastic optc. It's terribly flattering when you make everything fuzzy!

I also tried the pinhole optic.

This image was taken using 1600 ISO and a 4 second exposure. Somehow I haven't quite got the hang of what the pinhole optic can achieve.

I also ventured out into the outside world this morning. Here's the train station I waited in for 30 minutes on the way back from the doctor. Boy was that cold!

My visit to the doctor cheered me up. Why? Because he agreed not to weigh me so soon after Christmas! I got a reprieve - hooray!

After that I went shopping. My local supermarket is Somerfields which was recently taken over by the COOP. I think it's improved it. There were some good bargains in meat. I also try to buy ethically when it comes to poultry and they have started stocking "Freedom Foods" which have an RSPCA endorsement. Ducks are half price at the moment.

Don't I live an exciting life? Bet you can't wait for the next installment.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Question for you

What is the purpose of this implement? I'll let you know in a couple of days.

Today, I've had a quiet day at home in my slippers. I've been catching up on a little domestic stuff and some reading. I found my Digital Photography Masterclass book that I got for my birthday (back in August). I hadn't seen it for a while as I'd tidied it away somewhere. Just goes to show how dangerous tidying is. Anyway, that means that I will work on some of the photographic tasks it sets and I'll share the results with you.

I love snow. For a little while. Go away now snow. Please.

Hope you're all having a good Wednesday folks.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Reconnecting with friends

Those of you who've been looking at my pictures for a while will know this face. I couldn't resist lifting the camera when he started to become passionately involved in description. I love how people talk with their hands.

I didn't blog yesterday but I did take a picture of the lovely man.

It was so lovely for us to have so much time together. It's always hard to separate at the end of holidays.

Hope you're having an ok start to the year.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Winter visit to Inverleith Park

The lovely man and I went for a walk to the local park today. The pond was mostly frozen over. I took the lensbaby out and most of the shots were taken using the single glass optic though I also took some with the plastic optic. I took a lot that I liked so I'll treat you to a few though you can find more on Flickr.

He's looking rather dashing in his winter regalia don't you think?

The birds were so hungry. I wished I'd had some food for them.

Here I am warming the beak of the lovely man who is prone to a chilly nose.

Saturday, 2 January 2010


It's been another relaxing day. We went out and got fresh supplies and decided that the cold, sleety outside world wasn't for us. This is sleepyduck striking a winner in the Wii table-tennis.

Hope you're having a good Satuday.

Friday, 1 January 2010

First joint portrait of the year

Still playing with the new tripod...

Evening trip on New Year's day

We've been having a quiet and pleasant day. It's nice not to be suffering from excesses on New Year's day. We took ourselves off to Portobello where I tried out my new tripod. Here's a picture of the beach taken tonight. We didn't linger too long as it was bloody cold. I still have a bit too learn about using the tripod and taking long exposure images. I should have put it on timer as there was a little bit of shake but it was fun giving it a go.

Here's another shot I liked which was actually taken from inside the car when we were stopped at lights.

What a pleasant and relaxing start to the year. I'm going to be fed soon too. Life is good.