Tuesday 31 December 2013

Out With The Old.

Pine needles on the carpet.  Nikon D7000
31st December 2013

The Christmas tree seems to be gearing up for the New Year already; it is discarding its needles at quite a rate each time the dog brushes against it.

The tree only needs to hold out for a few more days, then it can dump its load if it wants.

Preferably once the tree is safely outside however!

Swedish Metalwork

Ikea metalwork.  Fuji F10
30th December 2013

No holiday period would be complete without some form of DIY.

This Christmas is no exception and after a trip to Ikea, we now have new furniture.

We also have heaps of crap that came out of the old furniture that now needs to find a home....

A job on the list for 2014 already then!

On Frozen Pond

Pond Ice.  Nikon D7000
29th December 2013

It has been a rare event so far this Winter, but this morning was white with frost.  Even the pond had just about frozen over.

The fish are still swimming though but looked a little perplexed.

Grapes of prefernce

Grapes.  Nikon D7000
28th December 2013

I have noticed that different people have a different preference for the colour of grapes that they like.

Whoever is the main grape fiend in the house likes the green ones by the look of it.

Slow Growth

Rhubarb.  Nikon D7000
27th December 2013

Given how warm this Winter has been so far, it is interesting to see that the Rhubarb is at about the same growth point to where it was last year when it was much colder.

I assumed the plant liked warmth not cold,

As long as I can make a crumble in a month or so, who cares!

Hover, hover, Bang!

Alex with a remote control helicopter.  Nikon D7000
26th December 2013

Alex has been trying out his flying skills today.  The first attempts at flying the helicopter in the house were exciting to say the least.

For such a small lightweight vehicle, it certainly demands much attention!    How it survives the impacts with static objects on a regular basis I do not know.

Not the Heron.

:) Merry Christmas.  Nikon D7000
25th December 2013

The price per pound of turkey falls quite quickly as the weight of the bird increases.  There is an interesting price point where you can get many kilos almost for 'free'.

It may mean you need to get inventive with Turkey recipes however....

Merry Christmas!!

Leggy birds for Santa

Heron by the canal.  Nikon D7000
24th December 2013

I am sure Santa likes a blonde in stockings really, but I saw a rather nice leggy bird by the canal today.

The Heron seemed to be waiting for something; for once not too long to wait until Christmas though :)

I also turned up a good crop of carrots from the veg plot for tomorrow; all we need now is a bird to cook...

Garden Carrots.  Fuji F10

Colours: Grey

Charcoal.  Nikon D7000
23rd December 2013

There is the odd night when it is cold enough to light the fire.  We did not get a chance to use all the barbecue charcoal in the summer, so it is keeping us warm this Winter instead.

I thought it may make a nice addition to the series on colours too.

Hail and Thunder

Hail.  Nikon D7000
22nd December 2013

The weather today has been quite grim.  It has rained hard and has been windy again.

To make us feel really cold, one squall had a crack of thunder and pelted down a good coating of hail.

Hello Winter at last!

Coloured Balls and Solargraphs.

Jo's Knitting.  Nikon D7000
21st December 2013

I saw Jo's knitting this evening and thought the stripy wool looked rather fun.

I then realised that stripes and the 21st are really significant too and rushed quickly to change the paper in my pinhole solargraph!

The image shows that September was a bit crap, but otherwise, better than the last 6 months!
June to December 2013 Solargraph.

Almost in a lather.

Shaving soap.  Fuji F11
20th December 2013

It has been a really hard month for work and I am cream crackered.   There was almost a calamity too as I realised that I had not taken a picture today!

Luckily I remembered with 15 minutes to spare....

The shaving soap is super fabulous though and available here.

Reflections on a Sunrise

Sunrise reflected.  Fuji F11
19th December 2013

With my ears still ringing from last night's concert, I pitched up for work this morning to be greeted by the building opposite being lit up with a reflection of the sunrise.

The tinted glass of the building captured the opposite skyline really well.

Unfortunately the main road was between me and the building otherwise I would have got closer and filled the frame with the reflected image; a crop of this image did not do it justice really.


Tenacious D performing.  Fuji F11
18th December 2013

These are not the best pictures in the world; they are just a tribute :)

We travelled up to Birmingham this evening to see Tenacious D in concert.

As expected, the music was loud, the language was foul, and Jack Black sweated profusely.

What a great night!

Jack Black and Kyle Gass on stage.  Fuji F11

Grate Expectations

Grater.  Nikon D7000
17th December 2013

Another everyday object is the humble cheese grater.

In the same way as the grated cheese often has grated finger nail in it, taking the picture was a bit of a sod.

I stuffed the grater with black paper in the end to stop the internal reflections a bit, and then was really careful with what was being reflected to make sure there were no super bright highlights.

Mincing Around

Mince Pies.  Nikon D7000
16th December 2013

You know Christmas is really coming when the first batch of mince pies are cooked :)

These are made with my own ultra-low sugar recipe that I put on the blog last year.

Fluffy Chick

New chicks.  Nikon D7000
15th December 2013

Although it is usually a Spring phenomena, there are still incubators running producing chicks that will hopefully lay quite early in the year (as long as they are hens that is).

I must fix my incubator as Spring is approaching fast!

Pulling a cracker

Giant cracker in the town centre.  Fuji F11
14th December 2013

We went Christmas shopping today.  It has been quite some time since I have been to the town centre.

I seem to remember last time they had Christmas decorations up too!

Not afraid of the dark...

The garden without the orange street light.  Nikon D7000
13th December 2013

They say Friday 13th is unlucky for some, but I am not sure.

There is a path which runs along the back of the garden and there is a bright orange street light at the corner of our fence. The light is very useful to keep those using the path safe, but it does stop us seeing a good crop of stars here.

The light is out today; given Christmas is coming I doubt the council will be out anytime soon to fix it.

Fingers crossed for a few cold clear nights so that we can see some stars...

A Good Boneing

Well chewed bone.  Nikon D7000
12th December 2013

The dogs had an early Christmas present this year of a bone to share.   It has been chewed and sucked well now.

I am sure it is close to the point where Xena will hide it somewhere ....

Everyday Objects: Keys

Old Keys.  Nikon D7000
11th December 2013

In my quest to capture some of the everyday objects that normally get overlooked, I found some keys today.

Keys are wonderful things in that they open locks reliably, but can wear holes into your trouser pockets.

I do not like it when a key finds a hole in my pocket and touches my leg; the small spots of cold can be quite a disturbing surprise!

Bug House

Bug House.  Nikon D7000
10th December 2013

Alex made a bug house at Cubs a few weeks ago.  The glue is very well set now and it is holding together well.

We just need to decide where to put it now so that the last of the hibernating bugs can find a home for the winter.

Squeezing Baps

Tray of baps ready for the oven.  Nikon D7000
9th December 2013

It is soup this evening and Jo has made some baps to go with it.

Nothing like warm baps with butter on!

Fancy a cluck?

Randy cockerel.  Nikon D7000
8th December 2013

We do not have any cockerels in the garden to roger our chickens on a regular basis, but we do know gardens where cockerels do strut their stuff.

This one seemed to be wondering whether to have a go at the funny looking chicken that seemed to have a lens and made a clicking noise.


Buds.  Nikon D7000
7th December 2013

Some of the trees have already started to prepare for spring; the buds are forming and ready to sit tight for the Winter.

I feel like doing the same.

Walking through the leaves

Autumn leaves.  Fuji F11
6th December 2013

One treat that I really like in Autumn is walking through the fallen leaves and imagining I am a kid again; kicking the leaves in the air and risking the wrath of a hidden dog turd.

Some may say I never grew up :)


Sunrise.  Nikon D7000
5th December 2013

The sunrise this morning as I left to work was an interesting mix of orange and purples.  Unfortunately it is very dark by the time I get back in the evenings at this time of year :(


Thin leaf with thin veins.  Nikon D7000
4th December 2013

The sun was out this morning and shining through the veins in the clematis leaves on the patio.

The clematis is evergreen and gives a nice bit of colour during the Winter.

Autumn fading

Flowering Current.  Nikon D7000
3rd December 2013

Autumn has been with us a long time this year as it has been so unseasonally warm.   The flowering currant is hanging on to its leaves well and they are only now just starting to deviate from green.

The oranges and yellows, mixed with a little green still and the dark branches are really wonderful in the morning sunrise.

Not yet hanging around

Decorations waiting to be hung.  Nikon D7000
2nd December 2013

Although we managed to erect the tree yesterday, it is back to work now and the rest of the decorations are just sat in their boxes in the living room, waiting to be hung up.

They may have to wait until the weekend now, but at least they are sort of on display.

Decorating your baubles

Christmas Decorations.  Nikon D7000
1st December 2013

Today we nipped out and bought a Christmas tree.   As the Christmas decorations spend most of the year in the loft, it seems right to maximise the time they are on display by hanging them right at the start of December.

It is almost a year since I forgot just quite how painful Christmas tree spikes are!

Angry Pigs

Titan and Alex's T-shirt.  Fuji F11
30th November 2013

Alex was holding Titan the Guinea pig this evening and I could not help notice that he had 'angry pigs' on his T-Shirt.   Titan is nice and cute though; never angry.

Ozone Friendly?

Recycling.  Nikon D7000
29th November 2013

The last few days of manic printing have taken a toll on the printer.   After many reams of paper, the spent toner cartridges start to mount up.

Although printing is really bad for the environment, the amount of ozone the printer produces must be filling in a hole or two somewhere in the atmosphere.


Wavy lines of the side of a stack of notes.  Nikon D7000
28th November 2013

I have been back to the printing and binding chores today.   I noticed the side of the stack of notes however had an interesting 'wave' imparted by the heat and rollers in the laser printer.

I will get Liz to do the binding chore bit; she likes the cash payments!

Cook Twice, Eat Once

Chips!  Fuji F11
27th November 2013

Chips are interesting shapes when piled up, but quite benign colours with only a small range of tones.   The shadows in the gaps help with the image however.

These chips were nice and scrummy though as I had long enough to cook them until they were just starting to rattle when the basket was shaken, left to go all cold and soggy, and then flash-fried before serving to get them crisp on the outside, but all lovely and fluffy on the inside.  Perfect.

Icy Sting

Frosty Nettles.  Fuji F11
26th November 2013

Jack was back again this morning and for once, he was rather useful.   The nettles do not seem to sting so much when they are frozen which meant they were quite easy to walk through today.

Here's hoping for a few more frozen mornings...

Getting a head

Poppy seed heads. Fuji F11
25th November 2013

Autumn is starting to recede into Winter at last.  The last of the seeds have now fallen in the veg plot; I had intended to collect up some poppy seeds to add to my porridge in the morning, but it looks like the ground will be a poppy-fest instead come the Spring!

Full Metal Jacket

Film Canisters.  Nikon D7000
24th November 2013

It has been a while since I did any developing, but luckily the chemicals were still in good enough condition.   It is always a bit scary when you open the lid of the dark tank to see if it has all been a bit of a cock-up or not.

All went well however and there are now a few more strips of film in the queue for scanning...

Today lets look through the famous window...

Autumn Colours at Lacock Abbey.  Nikon D7000
23rd November 2013

This afternoon, Alex and I had a short visit to Lacock Abbey.   It has been a while since we were last here and the Autumn colours were super spectacular.

The trip had a particular image in mind; I had to capture the Oriel Window using a particular stereo pinhole camera.   The image has developed fine and is set-up for crosseye viewing at the bottom of the page.

Stereo view of Oriel Window.  Stereo Populist, Kodak Gold 200

Statue at Lacock.  Nikon D7000

Anyone for a Cold Bath?

Icy water.  Fuji F11
22nd November 2013

This morning was clear, crisp and frosty.   It has been quite warm so far this Autumn but today it was cold enough to freeze the surface of the water of this horse trough.  

The ice was not thick enough for skating on though; it would be bath time instead.

Sunday 22 December 2013


Leaf veins.  Nikon D7000
21st November 2013

The leaves on the shrubs in the garden are beginning to all change rapidly now.  There is a good range of colours forming on each leaf however.

I liked the way this leaf ran from green in the centre and along the veins, through yellow and then finally to a hint of red along the edge.

Autumn Colours

Autumn Colours.  Fuji F10
20th November 2013

The walk to school was very different today; after having spent a few days in the almost monochrome Arctic, the colours of the trees and bushes here in the UK are astounding.

We have daylight too!

Icicles and sunsets

Icicles.  Nikon D7000
19th November 2013

We had a super trip across the island this morning, stopping to marvel at the massive icicles by the side of the road.

We got to the beach exactly at local noon  (11.20am here).  The sun was lighting up the clouds, but did not rise above the hills to the South; the sun will be gone in a day or two and will not return for months.

As the sun continued to set, the snow clouds lit up into a dazzling fiery display.  It was well dark by 2pm when the flight left heading South.

Noon at the beach.  Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000

Sunset, Nikon D7000