Saturday, 26 February 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

More sky...

Sky #1
Capture the Sky...
We were fortunate enough to have a truly spectacular sky yesterday morning
 (a forewarning of the rain we experienced later in the day)
after a week of greyness.  I like silhouettes so I used them in both shots.
The first is the skyline looking down from the top of the road
we live in, and the second is some kind of seed-head and branches
that are visible over our garden fence.  I think I've mentioned before my
lack of botanical knowledge...
These are pretty much SOoC apart from some cropping.

No I'm not insinuating that David is an everyday object :O)
This was taken when we went out for lunch at the weekend.
It's the everyday things like this that are special for us
as we hardly see each other all week.
He works shifts, I work nine to five.
If it looks familiar it's because I tried to do it as an 'after'
shot of the photo I took of him when he still had his moustache.

Mrs Pod
Well it had to be a cat.
I've been avoiding trying to take photos of the cats ever since the
shameful Annual Purrformance Review they gave me.
 However, Mrs Pod took pity on me and allowed me to photograph her,
even though she's feeling very sorry for herself.
She had her ears poked and prodded at the vets yesterday
(leaving me £169 worse-off!!!!  I am so glad she is insured), 
and has to go back next week to have them flushed out 
and looked at properly.  In the mean-time she has drops and antibiotics to take.
Not a happy bunny (or kitty). 

Millenium Stone
I really couldn't decide what to do for this one,
then I saw this rock when out walking with my camera
yesterday morning and had an Aha! moment.
(Nothing to do with dodgy eighties pop group).
Evidence of life in Elmesthorpe at the millennium!

This plant lives in my garden.
I have no idea what it is.
Not a lot else I can say!

Mrs P also made me put this photo
of her up for 'Blurred' because she wanted
to show everyone (and Charlie in particular)
just how fierce she can be.
(She was actually doing a long, drawn-out
MAIOWWWW, but it looks good) :O)

Camera Critters & The Weekend in Black and White

Horse in b&w
Inquisitive pony who came to see what I was up to
when I was out walking with my camera yesterday morning.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

A Wee Bit of Me Wednesdays...

1.  Do you always wear your seatbelt in your car?
Yes! It's against the law not to here, it's second nature to me now.

2.  Do you crack your knuckles?
No - I don't think I can anymore - another skill lost :O)

3.  What is your favourite flavour of gum?
It comes in flavours apart from spearmint and peppermint?  I obviously know nothing.  I think I'll stick with spearmint anyway, I tried Jucy Fruit years ago and it was truly vile.

4.  What is your favourite piece of jewellery that you own?
I don't have one - I like statement jewellery if I'm wearing it.  I don't do gold or delicate pieces.

5.  Who is your best friend?
That would have to be Cath, we've known each other for almost twenty years. (Posky says it's actually him).

6.  What is your favourite smell?
I like all kinds of totally unrelated things like basil, rosemary, cut grass, Amarige by Givenchy, marzipan, tar... the list goes on and on.

7.  What is your favourite lunch meat?
I don't eat meat.  I like Linda McCartney Sausages on a sandwich though if that counts.

8.  Do you still have your tonsils?

9.  Do you untie your shoes before you take them off?
Always! It drives me mad that David doesn't.

10.  What colour is your car?
Officially it's pepper red, but it actually looks like a metallic plum colour.  Somewhat unimaginatively our car is sometimes referred to as 'The Plum'.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I had to break up a giant bar of Galaxy chocolate to take this,
David put all thought of himself aside and volunteered
to eat it all afterwards.

on a Snakes and Ladders board.

Canned Food...
You can never have too many tins of pulses
in your cupboard if you're a veggie.
(This didn't inspire me as much as the chocolate... 
and David didn't volunteer to eat these) :O)

Mono Guitar #2
My guitar and a brick wall - 'nuff said.

Old Books...
It is a truth universally acknowledged
that a book-worm cannot pass a second-hand
bookshop without diving into it 'just for a look'.

Colour Carnival

Yellow Roses...

Friday, 18 February 2011

Annual Purrformance Review from the Cats...

Posky here, our friend Cody over at Cat Chat posted this review of his Mum and we decided it was high time we had our say on that strange woman we live with.

Quantity of Output
Posky: The problem here isn't quantity but quality as far as I can see it.  She writes a lot of drivel.
Pepper: I like it when she puts up a post about me.
Charlie: No, she puts up far too much about you Pepper.
Pepper: I feel nothing but compassion for you Charlie...
Charlie: And enough with the Buddhist crap!
Posky: Moving swiftly on... Mrs P would you like to add anything?
Mrs Pod: Well it would be better if she only posted about us wouldn't it? I think this blog suffers from an excess of diversification.
Other three: Eh???

Quality of Output
Posky: Hmmm, tough one this.  She does try with the photos (she's very trying), but I don't think she's caught my full gorgeousness on camera yet.  Did I tell you about the time I won those cups at the cat show...?
Charlie: Oh dear god he's off again.  Look, I'm sick of her shoving that camera in my face.  Next time she tries it I'm going to have it off her and bury it in the litter tray.
Pepper: Do you think you may have issues here Charlie?  I like the photos she puts up of me because I look pretty and everybody says so.  I think it's interesting when she talks about me and I wish she wouldn't put up photos of other things.  They're not interesting at all.  What's that photo of a candle about?
Posky: Back on topic here people!  Are we satisfied with the quality or not? What about you Mrs P?
Mrs Pod: I think she's ok with the photos, and the imagination isn't bad, although I don't think she captures the nuance of our thoughts accurately.
Pepper: (Whispers) What does 'nuance' mean?

Client Pawticipation
Posky: Well I think we're all agreed on this, we might as well live in a black hole for the amount of contact opportunities she gives us.  Show of paws? Yep, agreed, she's rubbish.  Next.

Posky: I didn't even know we could enter contests and go to parties.
All: General rumblings of discontent and revolution...  Pepper conspicuously wipes a tear from her eye.

Client Catisfaction
Posky:  Well given the limited exposure she gives us, what do we think?
Pepper: People like it when she posts a photo of me, they write and tell me.
Charlie: No they do not! Anyway, I don't think anyone likes this blog at all, and that's all I have to say on the matter.
Pepper: I am sending out loving thoughts to you Charlie because I still feel compassion for you and I think you're unhinged, can you feel them?
Charlie: You'll feel the back of my paw in a minute, you little...
Mrs Pod: SHUT UP! I think we can safely say that reactions are 'mixed'. She must try harder, she's got an MA for goodness sake, you'd think that would mean she could keep people interested for the length of a posting.

Overall Rating
Posky: I'd say two paws, and 'must do better'.
Pepper: Me too, and it would be better if the blog were called 'The Magic of Pepper'.
Charlie: Well I say two swats. I just like the violence.
Mrs Pod: I give her four paws.  She knows how to use the tin-opener.

Comment from Barbara: I feel shame.

For more cat reviews - some a great deal less critical of their poor slaves than this one got to The Cat Blogosphere.
More pets can also be found at the lovely Bozo's Pet's Foevever site.

The Weekend in Black and White and LEM Photo Challenge

'Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will not be shortened,
Happiness never decreases by being shared'.
Have a happy Friday!

To see some mono masterpieces visit The Weekend in Black and White

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Cats on Tuesday and ABC Wednesday...

E is for Eliot as in T S, originally from Missouri he became a British subject in 1927 and member of the Anglican Church.  Writer of such twentieth century classics of poetry as The Wasteland which established him as the voice of a disillusioned generation.  The cats however prefer the book of verse he wrote for children called Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.

And to illustrate this:
Everyday Name: Mrs Pod
More Particular Name: Lady Bracknell
Secret Name: She who gives withering glances...

Everyday name: Charlie
More particular name: Oliver Onions
Secret Name:  He who must not be named -
he says if we find out he'll have to kill us.
(I think it's probably something like Fluff and he's embarrassed about it)

Everyday Name: Posky
More Particular Name: Earl Grey
Secret Name: He who has achieved perpetual nomming
 (or Mummy's Brave Little Soldier when he goes to the vets)

Everyday name: Pepper
More particular name: The Roo
Secret Name: Pepper says 'If you're trying too hard to
seek my name you won't find it, it lies in plain sight
for those who would see it'
 (she's been talking to her
friend the Buddha again and is rather Zen)

For more E words visit ABC Wednesday
And for more kitties visit Cats on Tuesday

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


When I'm not hanging around here I can usually be found on Flickr.  One of my favourite groups to participate in on there is the T189 group (the number of the photography course we all took), and every so often they pick a photographer to answer questions and say a little more about themselves.  This week it's me, so if you'd like to read a little about me and photography please pop over and have a look.  There are some wonderful photographs to look at on the group's pages anyway so it won't be a wasted journey :O)  Here's the link

Monday, 14 February 2011

Meet Me on Monday...

Hosted by Java at Never Growing Old, here are today's questions.

1.  Did you get any Valentine's gifts?
2.  What is your favourite topping on something toasted?
3.  Do you pick out your outfit the night before?
4.  What food item do you absolutely despise?
5.  Righty or left?

1.  No, I think Valentine's Day is weird... see A Post for Valentine's Day.

2.  I love most things on toast, but my favourites would have to be mushrooms, and also tahini with banana. Sometimes I take this to work with me and make my friend Sandra jealous as she loves it too.  Sometimes she brings it in to make me jealous.  Such is our entertainment...

3.  Ha, ha, no.  This would suggest a degree of organisation of which I am just not capable :O)

4.  Licquorice, aniseed and marmalade. The foods of satan.

5.  I'm right handed but strangely, I eat with my fork in my left hand and my knife in my right. My old piano teacher always said she wanted my left hand - which I found frankly disturbing.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

A post for Valentines Day

I don't do Valentines Day... I've always found the whole commercialisation of love thing a bit strange.  But to be seasonal here is a picture of a heart because, well, it was just there, and also two snippets from Wendy Cope's June to December.  Enjoy :O)

Going Too Far
Cuddling the new telephone directory
After I found your name in it
Was going too far.

It's a safe bet you're not hugging a phone book,
Wherever you are.

Spring Onions
Decapitating the spring onions,
She made this mental note:
You can tell it's love, the real thing,
When you dream of slitting his throat.

(From Wendy Cope's Making Cocoa for Kinsley Amis)

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

A bit of a mish-mash this week - partly due to lack of time and partly due to feeling a bit under-the-weather.  Shadows and Bright White are from the archives, the other three are from this week.

I could have used my Tennyson one again :O)
However, decided on this shot of an apple
on my worktop.

The stairs at work - I actually took this for The Daily Shoot:
Take a photo from an unusual angle.

Bright White...
Have to say I was pretty stuck for this one.
There's no snow, no ice, nothing here weather-wise that would help.
I resorted to a shot I took last October and played around with it.
All I could keep thinking of when I was processing this 
was the Dorothy Parker poem One Perfect Rose

 A single flow'r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet -
One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the floweret;
'My fragile leaves', it said, 'his heart enclose.'
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.

My coffee.  I was grasping at straws for this one!

Another one of Pepper on her blanket
from the same shoot as yesterday's.  A bit noisy
as I had it on a very high ISO but I like the colours.

Saturday, 12 February 2011


Avert your eyes ye who are easily shocked for here are two images that are actually in colour...

The first is one I took early yesterday morning - I couldn't sleep so marched (stomped) off with tripod over shoulder to get a shot of lamplight on the wet road.  I had to do it quickly as standing in the middle of the road in the dark with eye glued to viewfinder can be a bit risky.  Afterwards I was annoyed that I couldn't get the framing quite as I wanted it, but what the heck... 

The second is of course Pepper.  She almost turned herself inside out with rage about not having her photo taken the other night with the others (see Cats - for no particular reason), she then did her 'sad' face and sat looking pathetic on the back of the sofa until I caved-in and got my camera out.  She was much happier once  I had apologised (grovelled) and assured her that I would post her photo on here, and that it would also be part of The Daily Shoot (take a photo where some or all of the image is out of focus).  Amazing how obliging she is as long as she gets everything she wants...

(What I like about this is the impressionist quality the softness gives, with just some sharpness around the eye and the fur there).

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Cats - for no particular reason...

Posky asked me to post a photo of him because he is sure his many admirers miss his fabulousness if he doesn't appear at least once a week.  So here he is for his adoring public...

'Autographs will be signed later...'

'But I've got nothing to read...!'
And then because he was jealous of Posky,
Charlie had to have his picture taken with his toy.
You can tell it's his toy by the way he's completely
ignoring it.

Mrs Pod...
She wasn't really in the mood for photos, her
ears are sore and she has drops for them.
Still, ever the pro, she sighed a 'the show must go on' sigh
and managed to open one eye long enough
for this one...

And if you're thinking... surely there should be four? You're right, there should be, but Pepper decided she was going to be a little sod and run around like a dervish so missed today's photo opportunity.  I expect her teddy will be thrown out of her cot when she finds out...

Black and White Wednesday...

This is for Black and White Wednesday hosted by The Long Road to China.

This was prompted by The Daily Shoot's 'Use a window or door as a frame for your image today'.  Sometimes it's the simple things that make a difference when you're having a bad day, here it's a friendly cat asking for nothing but affection (and cat treats!).

Monday, 7 February 2011

Meet Me on Monday...

More Monday questions from Java at Never Growing Old...

1.  Did you watch the Superbowl?
What's the Superbowl? :O) Seriously, no, I'm English so it's not really a big thing here.  We have more than enough sport of our own on tv, which I always avoid. (Do you know, when I typed this question out my finger hit the wrong key and I wrote Superbowel at first! LOL!)

2.  What is the last book you read?
The Killing Place by Tess Gerritson.  I read a lot and usually have more than one book on the go, David thinks I'm mad, but I think it comes from my study of literature when I had to be reading one or more books at the same time as writing about others.

3.  What is your favourite kind of cake?
Gingerbread Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. They are seriously good.

4.  Do you snore?
Yes if I lie on my back - David has to poke me in the ribs to make me turn over.  My half-sister's snores are so loud she wakes herself up sometimes!

5.  Do you play an instrument?
Yes, at school Music and English were my best subjects. I play piano (studied it to grade 5 and would love to own one again if we ever had a big enough house), am trying to learn classical guitar, and was forced into playing bassoon in the school orchestra when I was studying O Level Music (I hated it! I wanted to play the oboe but they didn't have one spare at the time).  I wasn't dedicated enough when I was younger, but now I wish I had worked harder at music and could have made a living as a musician (I remember a Career's Teacher telling me it wasn't practical - what is it with those people?  Smash people's dreams and ambitions why don't you!).

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Cat drama...

Charlie was unaware that at any moment almost 15lb of hairy grey Posky was going to land on him from a great height...

For more pets visit Bozo and Pets Forever

Saturday, 5 February 2011

More images from this week...

Three images illustrating my current obsession of light and shade, a self-portrait taken outside (when it was BLOWING A GALE I tell you, camera and tripod were in danger of taking off!).  The ring is genuine metal and plastic - If I'm wearing jewellery I like it to make a statement, I don't really do discrete :O)  And finally - nourishment for body and mind - a book, lapsang souchong tea, and dark chocolate (no there isn't any left).

Friday, 4 February 2011

Macro Friday, The Weekend in Black and White, Scavenger Hunt Sunday...

The black and white version of the yellow leaf pic below.
I love black and white :O)

And now Scavenger Hunt Sunday...
Nice bright yellow leaf (I don't know what it is but it has a lovely smell)
 that was floating in our bird-bath.
(Well it was after I artfully placed it there).

We went to Grafton Underwood in Northants on Sunday
and when I saw these paths the Robert Frost poem
just came straight into my mind, so I had to get a shot of them.

Charlie ponders life, the universe and everything, as well as
the blackbird hurling insults at him from the lawn.
(His bum isn't really this big... this is why you should never let
anyone near you with a camera and a wide-angle lens...)

Page twenty-five of a magazine...
No this isn't a picture of a magazine, it's a picture of a poem,
but hang on in there and I'll explain...
The magazine I chose was Black and White Photography,
and on said page were some featured photographs of shadows.  
Any mention of shadows immediately makes me think of Tennyson's
'I am half sick of shadows, said the Lady of Shallott...'
 (Told you we'd get there in the end...)
The beads are attached to my current favourite book-mark.

When he's not working, or cat-wrangling (and endangering life and limb)
 as my assistant, David's favourite activity is photography (see Retro Air).
Here he is in the depths of Northants, minus moustache, but with camera,
and rather snazzy camera strap.
I wanted to get a sort of hand-tinted effect
on this, so I duplicated the background layer, converted it to b&w,
then adjusted the opacity so just a hint of colour showed through.


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