Sunday, 25 May 2014

Wedding over - here's one exhausted Ms Waddle

I'm not writing much about it tonight as I'm completely knackered!  800+ images to sift through and edit.  Some are utter rubbish and only fit for the 'Shite Shots' folder, but I'm happy to say that the majority are absolutely fine.

I'll do a longer post at the first opportunity.

I hope you have a great weekend.  It's a Bank Holiday here in the UK and typically the weather is dismal, but hey - I have the week off work and it's my birthday on Thursday, and that means lunch with the Happy Old Bags on Wednesday and out with family on Thursday.  I hope Grumpy Trousers cheers up.  He's been beyond Grumpy today.  I texted daughter earlier this evening to come and drag him off to the pub quiz.  She didn't take much persuading thank goodness.

Right, that's me done for now.  Posting again soon.


Thursday, 22 May 2014

One more sleep...................... the wedding.  It's tomorrow!  OH - MY - GOD how has it come round so quick???!!!!

It seems like yesterday since I was asked to do this, yet it was this time last year.  How it seemed like a great idea at the time.  It doesn't quite feel like that now it's so close.  I have a right old belly-ache and haven't slept properly and for the last few nights due to revising the tutorials that I set myself up online with various schools and academies.  I've been getting through them slowly over the last 6 months and my brain is riddled with apertures, exposures, ISO's, metering and all the guff that accompanies a DSLR camera.  That's just the technical stuff.  The there's the posing and the lighting.  Lighting?  What lighting?  I don't have a light meter, or a Speedlite or a Lastolite flash thingy-doo-dah, all-singing, all-dancing umbrella whatsit.  I bought two see through umbrellas from Primark today but they're just for keeping the rain off!

As if this wedding wasn't enough of a challenge, it's set to piss it down  rain all day tomorrow.  Brollies at the ready - big golfing one for me and the two see through ones for the bride and her dad.  Low light, dull conditions, slippery footpath to the church, not to mention the innanely grinning vicar.  If there are no fine slots in the weather, all the photo's are going to end up taken by windows at the reception venue, or using flash.  See I did pay attention to my tutorials.

I got a great tip from one of them know how flash can make dark shadows behind people if they are near a wall?  If you put a white handkerchief over the flash and fasten it on with a hair tie,  it softens the flash and doesn't create such hard shadows.  Well who knew?  It seems I do now. That little tit bit won't stop me having another crap night's sleep though.

In fact, roll on tomorrow as I will be so glad when it's all over!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Rehearsal for Friday's wedding. And and a strange vicar

It was the happy couple's rehearsal at the church last night and I was on hand to:
  • take instruction from the vicar about where I can take pictures from
  • get a few test shots
  • introduce myself to the few friends and family who were there
Did it go according to plan?  Of course not!  Well, not from my angle anyway.  The vicar was the strangest bloke I've come across in a long time, with a fixed grin that shot on and off his face randomly.  He was helpful though and I now know that I'll just be shooting from the bottom of the aisle only.  The family intro's went nicely, and a few pictures outside with the bridesmaids went reasonably well.  I even managed to try out my telephoto lens that I'm planning to use for the random guest shots later on at the reception.  Unfortunately inside the church last evening was a different matter.  This was down to:

  • the vicar not putting on the main church lights above the pews
  • me being in the darkened bit at the bottom of the aisle
  • the backdrop of the altar area was lit up like a stage
  • I forgot to change one of the settings within the camera to compensate from shooting in a darkened area through to brightness
  • Once I'd thought on to make the adjustment, AND steady my camera on a pile of hymn books, things got marginally better.  Unfortunately not enough to make me happy though.
  • Result?  A set of shots so poor that they are only fit for the 'Shite Shots' folder on the laptop.  Out of about 30 shots I took, only 5 or 6 came out any good.

I tried not to be too disappointed in myself, but as I looked at them despairingly on the laptop later my stomach began to drop into my shoes.  

What if I make this kind of mess on the day?  
Will I be able to salvage anything?
Will I be quick enough to respond to opportunities? 
What if I miss stuff and all my shots come out boring as hell?
What if all the guests take better snaps on their phones?

I might just go lock myself in a toilet and not come out all day. With THIS face.....

Alternatively, someone just shoot me NOW!!

Monday, 19 May 2014

All kinds of daft stuff.............

Well, the UK weather surpassed itself this weekend.  We had beautiful sunny days with temperatures in the low 20's, thoroughly pleasant evenings worthy of sitting outside with the newspapers and a nice drink.  We had our chums round on Saturday evening and as they only live two doors away they don't have far to stagger home.  In any case, it was a great excuse to sweep and scrub the patio of all the muck and old snail shells that seem to accumulate in corners.  I hate doing that bit so I get Grumpy Trousers to wield the sweeping brush just in case there's any mouse or frog corpses, the discovery of which would send me hurtling up the garden, screeching like a banshee.  I'd be hiding behind the honeysuckle, a quivering wreck until the offending thing was removed.  I'm such a wimp!  Yet, I have no fear of live things; shifting spiders and daddy-long-legs are my speciality.  Weird woman!

So how did you spend your weekend?  Was it warm and sunny for you?  Did you get to the pub, or the park?  Did you go for a walk, sunbathe, or like me sit in the garden with a drink and something to read?  For that short time, all felt well with the world.  Comfy in my relaxing chair, I had no aches or pains, and Polly snoozed contentedly under the patio table in the shade.  

Only later when I tried to struggle out of the chair did my old friend 'Mrs Pain' come to visit.  You see, my foot has been a bugger during this last week.  Sometimes it settles down to a dull ache that I can live with, then at other times it keeps me awake in the night with it's nasty stabbing sensations.  I think this is all down to my hip being a bit more comfortable because I've felt able to do  more activities.  Logic would have it that can only be a good thing but my foot is suffering as a result.   Mrs Pain is clearly overseeing the proceedings, lying in wait for me to feel comfortable then swiftly reminding me that it isn't allowed.  I've called her some right old names these last few days - I'll leave your imagination to guess what. Anyway, enough of that, I'm sick of moaning!

Exciting Challenge!
On Friday this week, I have an exciting and challenging day.  I'm photographing my first wedding!  This is for a friend of my younger daughter, who for some reason has more faith in me than I have myself.  She asked me months ago to take her wedding pictures and it seemed an awfully good idea at the time.  Now of course I'm not so sure, but I'm not going to let her down.  I shall go and do my best; meet the challenges head on; wing-it if I have to, bluff it out where necessary and TRY and behave like a pro.  However, I'm not passing myself off as any kind of professional photographer.  I'm just there to capture a few formal shots inside and outside the church, in the car, cutting the cake etc.  The rest will be random pictures capturing the fun and laughter.  I desperately hope I don't panic and start faffing about during the formal bit.  If I'm under pressure I can soon lose sight of what settings and apertures I need to be using.   I'll be using my trusty tripod though which is an enormous help for keeping the camera steady and the images sharp.  For some wacky reason I seem to have more confidence when using the tripod, rather than hand held.  

Various friends have given me some great advice such as (if hand holding the camera) tucking my elbows in, supporting the lens underneath and pressing the shutter release on an outbreath. It all works as I've tried and tested it so many times, but with 120 wedding guests around me am I going to remember it?  

Here's how I SHOULD be doing it.....

Hopefully I'll look a bit smarter than this geezer.  I plan on swearing my best black trousers and black and white patterned silky blouse.  I'm a guest like everyone else but with all the to-ing and fro-ing and being on my feet for ages, I need to wear my trainers. They're black and hopefully no-one will notice.  

I'll be posting again before Friday; no doubt being quite candid about the butterflies in my tum!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Photo project for this week - Recycling

Hello all

I set myself a photo project from time to time and a few weeks ago I did 'Ephemera', using my old typewriter.  I found some others from that project but haven't loaded them yet.  I forgot to edit them, so that's why I held off.  In fact quite possibly they may never make it out of the folder on my laptop.  Nothing wrong with them, but they'll sit there for about 2 years when I'll find them again and wonder why I didn't do anything with them.  That's how I roll!

Anyway, with my usual gung ho attitude I rapidly moved on and this week it's been 'Recycling'.  I popped a few on here so you get the idea.

The wood under the tulip is some old stuff that Grumpy Trousers had hanging about in the garage so he made me a 3ft square little platform to put my subjects on.  Good bit of recycling there as this little platform will work well for years to come for my still life bits and pieces.  Grumpy looked at this photo and completely missed its beauty, instead seeing that the boards had come adrift and were not butted up properly.  Personally I like it that one is sitting a tiny bit lower than the other as it casts a shadow.

The jar is one of a set that I made for my daughter for her tea lights .  I had a bit of burlap and some stray ribbon and did a set of three.  They don't half look nice when the tea lights are glowing inside.  Not sure the photo captures that aspect well enough but after about 20 attempts I got proper fed up and just chose the best of the bunch.  I might make some more and give them to the local scout group to flog at the summer fair.  I reckon they'd go for a couple of quid each, don't you?

The tin cans have been salvaged to decorate and use as pen pots or for make up brushes.  Wound with paper string and off cuts of chiffon I reckon they look pretty and quirky.  Maybe another donation to the summer fair.

I like photographing still life, primarily because it sits still, minds it's own business and doesn't complain when I faff and prat about.

Nothing wrong with a bit of faffing and pratting.  It CAN get results :-)

Sunday, 11 May 2014

I hope you had a great Sunday

Hello followers and lurkers

I hope you've had a great Sunday.  How did you spend it?

I've had a good day today mobility wise and have been hurtling about like there's nothing wrong with me.  I also helped husband clear out one of our spare rooms as it's going to be turned into an office soon.  I prepared some food around 6pm as younger daughter called round on her way to work.  Normally by 6pm I'm well and truly knackered, but hey - I still feel fine.  Last Thursday evening I went to my yoga class as usual and we did some different stretches and poses, and I've felt a bit better since then.  That's good isn't it?

Anyway, just for you and all my other crazy girlfriends (including Dorne at   This is JUST for you xxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Bottom Wiggling

Inspiring fellow blogger Dorne Whale over at is a music lover just like me.  We share similar eclectic tastes and mine range from Mozart to Led Zepplin to a nice bit of reggae. AND come on let's face it no music collection is complete without a bit of cheese going on.   Don't turn your nose up at cheesy songs - you know perfectly well you've got some in your CD collection or in your playlists.  Oh you haven't?  Well, PISH!  Get away with you and stop fibbing.

I don't mind admitting to my playlists being littered with cheese, none more so that my Housework Songs list. They lift my spirits, make me get my bum in gear then go like a whirlwind with the mop and duster. If and when my house twinkles and smells sweet [that last one's really down to stashing all the shoes away]  its all thanks to the Housework Songs playlist.  It's amazing how music can get you going and in all it's forms, it's therapeutic.  It can make you high, make you cry, and it can even make you wiggle your bottom.

This one has a folder all of it's own called Best of Cheese.  Incidentally get a load of Philip Bailey's hair.  What the heck.....???

and here's the bottom wiggler - not cheesy at all.  This song gets more tidying up done in the shortest space of time!

I hope you enjoy.  There's so many more to share in time :-)

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Drunken postings!

Note the date of the extract below.  This is from an old blog I used to write several years ago.  This post never actually got published (for obvious reasons) but recently one of my fellow bloggers had a bit of an enebriated rant on her own blog which I found hugely amusing.  I thought she might like THIS one from me.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I really shouldn't drink....... much red wine.

I'm pissed as a fart!  I don't do boozing.  Girlfriends decided I need to go and loosen my corsets, 
so Is've been out with two of them and had 6 glasses of red wine.  Large ones.  Jeez do I feel weird!

I'm really giddy, and the typing of this is hilarious as I need to make so many corrections. 
 i'VE EDITGED IT SO FAR, BUT i'M, Leaving the rest, just so you ge the diea of how pissed  i AM!  
It's ba d let me tell you!

I have to be up in the morning at 7am, and it's now 23:48.  God knows if IU'll get up, but 
i'LL DO MYU BEST.  Correections so far unedited.  You gfet the drift??

Been tgo visitg husband in hospital tonight and he's belligerent.  Go be exdpecfgted apparently.  
I've booked next week off work and this is what I can look forward to when he  gets home on Sunday. 
Belligerence.  Hey ho, and Ho Hum.  Watcdh this space. xxxxx

Fuck tghe corrections - I can't be arsed!


And here's the contrite posting from the following day.......


Saturday, March 12, 2011

How the hell.....

......did I manage to spell belligerent last night?????  Maybe it took several attempts and a load of 
corrections.  Who knows.

I'm a bit delicate this morning, and contrary to the tripe I put in the last post, I only had three glasses 
of red wine.  But they WERE large ones!

I'm off to work now.  The painkillers are in my bag.  Bye for now xxxxx


The girlfriends were very kind and never mentioned whether I had to go back 
and apologise to anyone.  I suspect it wasn't really necessary as I'm usually 
a very affable drunk by all accounts.  A bit loud maybe - you know the kind
 - chiefly because they get on your nerves in the pub while  you're trying to 
have a quiet drink, and they'll be squealing with hysterical laughter and treating 
the whole pub to some indigestible shite that's running through their heads at 
that precise moment!

There's always one, isn't there?  On that occasion (that rare occasion) it was me.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Peter Kay Misheard Lyrics

Just found this on You Tube - now I can barely see to type for laughing so much!!!!

Take a listen and you'll see why. It's Northern humour at it's best.

Go on, I defy you not to laugh.

Update on hip

Had first appointment with Musculo Skeletal physio person yesterday. Thankfully no arthritis, so the wear and tear isn't as bad as I'd thought. However, the lateral tendon (hope I got that right) is inflamed and my hip joint bones on both sides are sore because of surrounding muscle weakness, and there's even possibly a bursa.  So - result is 12 weeks of physiotherapy to stretch and strengthen the muscles round my hip joints. 

This has gone on far too long, as has the problem with my foot.  I'm happy that someone is taking me seriously at last and that my future mobility looks waddle free!  It's a long way down the line yet, but there's hope and a reason to smile, if only at the thought of me being pushed, pulled and pummelled in every conceivable direction.

Happy days!

Polly is better!

To continue from last week's post on family pets, I mentioned that Polly had been to the vet because she wasn't well.  Well, I'm happy to say she's back to her usual loud self, eating and functioning normally again.  Phew, thank goodness!

Here's Polly last evening, taken with my camera phone.  We were having a game before bedtime :-D

I still don't know what was wrong with her,  The water infection theory doesn't seem to fit somehow, though being a little stressed does.  There's a new 'cat-on-the-block' who's paying her rather a lot of attention.  Polly doesn't take easily to other cats and is normally quick to see them off, but this one seems a little different.  We think its male, so we keep referring to it as 'he'.  The reason being he's a bit of a hunk!  Drop dead gorgeous, all black with vivid green eyes and a bit muscly.  We've called him Dave.

This is Dave....

He gives Polly every indication that she's the boss, even though he sneaks in when she's not looking and helps himself to her cat biscuits.  If she sees him, she doesn't chase him off, just leaves him to get on with it.  He then rolls on his back in front of her and as a result there's very little animosity between them.  UNLESS the cat mint is involved!

We have a tub with some growing and Dave loves to jump in it and sit in there licking all the leaves.  He then jumps out if Polly is near as if he's made way for her jump in.  She doesn't.  She prefers me to pull a sprig off for her to have a little chew on then she rubs her face in it.  She makes the strangest noises and drools all over the sprig.  The white fur round her face turns a bizarre shade of nuclear green but she's not vain - she's more of a 'who cares if I have green stuff stuck to me face' sort of gal.  No pride, that one.

So, in my usual misguided way two days ago, I pulled off a sprig of cat mint for both cats, setting them a distance apart.  Both were happy to get stuck in, until Polly decided Dave's looked juicier than hers, and went to take it.  For the first time, I saw Dave assert himself and he cuffed Pol's ear!  There was a moment or two of caterwauling before things settled down, then Polly chased Dave off down the driveway.  He didn't appear again until this morning, coming to call for her as usual.  She was very wary of him but eventually went out, sat by the garden gate and gave him warning signals to keep his distance.  The last I saw of them as I headed out to work an hour later was the pair of them sitting together on the patio.

OK, I've digressed a bit though I think it was necessary in order to paint the picture of why Polly might be a bit stressed.  She's getting used to having another cat call round on a regular basis, and I think it hasn't sat easily with her.  Perhaps she'll get used to him eventually, after all she lets him eat her biscuits!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Family pets

When Teddy, our wonderful 14 year old Golden Retriever died in 1999 we vowed never to have another pet.  Losing him was like losing a family member and I recall the pain morphing from emotional to physical and back again happening for a number of months afterwards.

Ted was a handsome dude; a laid back sort of guy and very sociable.  He was always happy when my daughters had their mates round so he could sit in the middle of them as they strummed guitars, or just laughed and chatted.  He didn't care which, he just enjoyed the fuss and attention.  It was easy to include Ted in stuff like that he just went along with everything.  For him it was even better if there was a drop of Newcastle Brown ale shared with him in his bowl, although I'm given to understand he passed up on the spliffs!

I've included this photo borrowed from as it's almost Ted's double with the same fur colouring and nice black nose.  The facial expression is one he wore a lot; happy, pleased, joyful.  But Goldies are like that and such a pleasure to own.

After Ted's death, we went many years without a pet, and would probably still be without one now if it hadn't been for a little stray cat who appeared on my younger daughter's doorstep one day.  She was pretty persistent so my daughter having recently lost another cat, decided to take her in.  It quickly became apparent that this little cat was in a pickle!  Within a matter of weeks she'd given birth to 5 kittens in the wardrobe, so as she'd arrived in a pickle, Pickles became her name.  She was less than a year old herself, so in effect she was a teenage mum.  One of the kittens didn't survive, but the other four went on to thrive and become lovely little creatures.  We didn't want to see them go out of the family younger daughter kept mum Pickles and one kitten (Jasmine).  Elder daughter took one and called her Trinity.  She now lives in Malvern, Worcestershire, and we had the remaining two which is my gorgeous Polly and her brother Rastus who sadly got run over a while ago.  Rastus was  a beautiful Tabby and very loving but a free spirit and kept his own hours.  I always feared he wouldn't see old age.

Polly however, is a homely girl.  Very pretty as you can see here - yes this is her!

We adore each other and have snuggles first thing in a morning before I have to get up for work.  She has the world's loudest meow though and even the neighbours can hear her when it's dinner time!

Because Polly doesn't venture very far or get much exercise she's got a bit curvy so that's a bit of a concern.  None more so than this morning when she didn't wake me up.  I just thought she'd overslept (rare for her) but she later showed signs of being off her food, and was lethargic.  We took her to the vet who couldn't find anything directly wrong with her.  I was worried that her being a bit overweight was starting to impact on her health but it appears not.  Its possible she may have a water infection so she's being treated for that.

My fingers (and everything else) are well and truly crossed that it turns out to be nothing much.  Having a poorly cat is as bad as having a poorly child.

I bet you've been there haven't you?

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Update on foot consultation

Had appointment with Consultant on Tuesday about results of the MRI scan on my foot. Seemingly there's nothing horribly wrong, though there is actually a tendon problem. However, the main source of the pain is within a joint deep inside my foot. Plan of action is to inject it with steroid and if that's successful they know they've found the correct area. This will result in an operation later this year to fuse the little joint.

Hmmm, can't help feeling somewhat cynical about it, so let's wait and see if the injection is successful. Have to wait until 2nd July for that.

Meanwhile, onwards and upwards!

Hello, nice to see you. Come on in!

In anticipation of someone popping round for a catch up, I uncorked a bottle of wine and also put the kettle is on.  Park your bum - I saved you the comfiest chair.  So,  coffee?  Tea?  Something stronger?  There's cake too......don't want you going home thinking I'm a bad hostess!

Ok, so now we're settled, let's have a bit of nice background chill music.  I hope you like Sting - he's one of my hearthrobs.  I'll drone on about the others later (Robert Palmer, and Robert Plant to name a couple, both for different moods!)

Here's a couple of my favourites from Sting.  They are very different from any Police tracks, and in my view in a class of their own.  Are you comfy by the way?  You might like this cushion to lean on.  Shall we listen to this first?  We can always natter afterwards.

How did you like that?  Good?  Try this one!

Relaxed now?  That's good.  So how was your Easter?  I really hope it was a good one!  Loads of chocolate?  I tried to keep it to a minimum but my lovely daughter treated me to a Smarties Egg.  I was restrained and took 3 days to see it off.  I could happily have munched my way through it in an hour but she was with us at the cottage in Wales so I figured I shouldn't be a greedy guts and show myself up.

So, now that the ice is broken again after no postings for almost two weeks, I'll try not to bore you with how great Wales was, but I have to say it was better than great.

The condensed version is:
  • Stayed near Porthmadog on the coast of West Wales
  • I'll be posting a few pictures in the 'Gallery' at the first opportunity.
  • Weather was mostly sunny and warm(ish)
  • Only two dull and rainy days out of seven
  • Cottage was wonderful and I owe my friend a huge thanks for letting us use it
  • Went up Snowdon to the summit on what had to be the clearest day.  It was all wonderful.
  • Visited the lovely Portmeirion
  • Rode on the Ffestiniog railway.
  • Dined out on three evenings in the local pubs/restaurants, and also had fish and chips twice from the local chippy.  If I said to you it was like eating REAL fish, would you know what I meant?  My reason for asking is because we have a chippy in our village at home and I don't know what they do to their fish but it sure doesn't taste or look anything like you get from the coast!  It's supposed to come fresh from Grimsby - fresh my @ss!  I've resorted to having sausage and chips from there now!  Anyway I'm digressing as usual.....
  • Did a bit too much walking and went beyond my limitations resulting in some very uncomfortable days, accompanied by tears of frustration followed by more painkillers.
  • Husband kindly offered to buy me a walking pole from an outdoor centre but I grumpily and rather ungraciously told him where to stick it.  He calmly placed it back on display and went off whistling to check out rain jackets.  Poor bloke!  I crept up behind him and gave him a hug to apologise.  
  • I bought a limited edition painting from a little gallery in Porthmadog which now has pride of place over my sideboard in the living room.  It was love at first sight and I couldn't get the image out of my mind all week so I guess I was meant to have the painting, don't you?  Please say yes, of course you did!
So, that's all my news for the time being.  You're not asleep are you?  Did I bore you or shall we blame the wine?

Oh, you ARE awake.  Come on tell me all about YOUR Easter...........