Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring Lambs and Sunshine

Apologies for the late update, I just simply ran out of time at the weekend.

Spring must finally be in the air because I did some cleaning :o) Rob and I hung a couple of pictures in the hallway and we finally got round to getting some much needed coat hooks on the wall as well.

Saturday, Rachael popped over. I promised I would give her a quick lesson in Photoshop and prove to her it's not as hard as she thinks...I think I convinced her. She brought her youngest son Dean with her and while we were talking tech upstairs we left him and Rob watching The Inbetweeners downstairs...Just as well she is broad minded and doesn't mind what he watches. I never watched The Inbetweeners in the UK, no doubt I was too busy watching something else on the other side, but now it's on Netflix I have caught up with it and both Rob and I have been in stitches watching it. For anyone reading that doesn't know what it is, I will recommend it to you, but only if you are not offended easily!

Sunday Anne, Smiffy and I went out for the day. Rob stayed at home (he was invited, just in case you were wondering), but wanted to stay home to study for his up coming Gas exam in May. The weather on Sunday was positively gorgeous, beautifully sunny without a cloud in the sky and the temperature reached the heady heights of 17 degrees. I think we might have finally turned a corner on the weather front. Anyway, Anne, Smiffy and I headed out to visit a work colleague of Anne's. Doug and Heidi have a hobby farm in the Avondale area, although I am not sure I would call it a hobby with 100 acres to deal with...(They have jobs in the city as well!) We went to see there to see the new lambs that have just been born and just how adorable were they!!?? Very lively and nibbley thinking were were going to bottle feed them :o) We spent ages taking photos in the barn (most of which were a shambles on my part sadly, I got more blur than sheep for the most part). It was great fun.

Upon leaving there (quite sometime later) we headed to a spot that Smiffy new for lunch, a rather odd little 'one shop does all' kind of a place, it's a B&B, Gift/Craft shop, restaurant and hardware shop. The food was very good, homemade and tasty. As we were leaving I needed to use the loo and wandered through the hardware shop to get to it, on my return I was admiring a garden rake (I don't have one and there are a lot of leaves in the back yard (to date I have always borrowed one from neighbours and friends). The owner shouted out to me I could have it as she was getting rid of the hardware shop...I was thrilled, and proceeded to pick up a broom and asked her if I could have that too, (cheeky....I know)...She said yes...Bargain! While I was there I did also buy 3 wool balls which apparently are revelation when tumble drying. They supposedly cut down on energy by 20% as the wool absorbs the moisture more quickly hence the drying time required is reduced. I shall let you know how that goes when I test it out. I shall leave you with a couple of images of the sheep and lambs. Click to view larger.

Just as cute as can be!

The adult sheep were so friendly and just wanted fussing

What no milk?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Right Rural Outing

Busy week this week, once again I been working late on various projects, I really don't mind if it means bumping up my time off, always a good thing in my book.

Wednesday I went to the camera club, had a catch up with a few people. I must confess I love seeing everyone there, but sometimes it gets a bit hectic trying to get round everyone and cram the conversations into a short space of time. I found the content of the meeting to be utterly boring this week, and nearly dropped off a couple of times as the guest speaker (nice chap) meandered on and on and on about the ins and outs of taking sports/hockey shots. Something I doubt I will ever do much of.

During the meeting Anne got some great news from Smiffy, he finally got a job, so pleased for him as I know the last few months of searching have proved difficult and frustrating. Now he has a job in a position that suits his skill set in an reputable Architects firm in down town Halifax. Well done Smiffy!!

Thursday I went out to lunch with my friend Lucia, who is looking to recruit my services for her firm on a freelance basis for her marketing dept. This is something that I could do as well as the full time job I already have (and enjoy).  I am still undecided what I should do about this as having heard more about what may be involved I am not sure if I am suited to some of the work. I am going to meet her again this week and hopefully find out more.

Saturday I went out with Rachael to ride shotgun on a stakeout...It's a very long story, but basically some guy sold her a car (bought for her teenage son). It had a current MVI (MOT) and looked okay for a runaround, old but in fairly good nick. Well it turns out that the MVI was well dodgy, and the vehicle should not have had a certificate at all, It was stripped of it last week and she is stuck with the car and now needs to sue the fella. She wasn't sure if the address he gave was fake or not, so we went to investigate on Saturday. Turns out the bloke is a complete dumb ass, we found the place, big old garage next to a mobile home with a red truck for sale at the end of the driveway, with details and matching phone number to the one Rachael had for him...Job done, I took some photos and off we went, he will be served with papers hopefully next week.

Today, Rachael, Cheryl and I went out for the day...a long day...We left at 9 am and got back around 7.30pm this evening. I wasn't sure how fruitful the day would be in terms of photographs, we headed for the general area of Truro and deviated a fair few times on route. Found some old homes, one of which we struck gold with as the woman who owned it said we could go inside and take photos...It was so good, peeling paint moldy, bits and bobs everywhere...Great stuff. We also shot a lot of farms including Shady Lane, which was the Farm B& B Rob and I stayed at two years running when we were on holiday here back in 2005/2006. I have always stayed in touch with Betty and John and they were kind enough to let us wander round and also let us up to their old barn in the top field for a poke around. Definitely my kinda day. Loved it.

Now I really need to get some sleep, I think I am wind burnt and so tired! Below just three images from our outing today. More to come next week. Click on the images to view larger in full HDR!

Footsteps on Old Floors...
There couldn't have been a more apt title in the pile!

I think that sofa's going to need a clean!

Home and The Range :o)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Social Media Junkie!

Not much to report this week, mainly as the weather has been crappy again this weekend which in turn has led to me doing pretty much nothing.

Got a call from Lucia (if you remember way back I met her whilst being delayed at Gatwick airport after my trip back to the UK in 2011). In all honesty I thought perhaps her and her other half had left Canada and moved elsewhere, but it turned out she has just been experiencing an unfortunate turn of events which left her out of touch with everyone for a year or so. Anyway, she wanted to know how I was doing and if I would be interested in some Marketing and Communications consulting work for the company she works for. I am of course thrilled that she would think of me, and it would be something I could possibly consider as an extra role to current position on freelance basis. The money would be excellent double my hourly wage now or more.. Just a couple of things to consider...Can I do it? And paying taxes on the extra income...Would it be worth my while or would I lose more than I would gain as seems the norm round here with taxes! I hope to meet up with her next week sometime to find out more about  the requirements.

I have spent most of this week creating signage and marketing material for work, I don't know where the time has gone, I have been putting in some extra hours as well.

On the home front, I have been updating my website and adding to my online presence by jazzing up my Twitter page and my YouTube channel. I think it's now fair to say I am a social media junkie...BUT...I stay firm on my never having a Facebook Page!

2 months today off the smokes...It feels so much longer. In truth I have had a couple of puffs on my more stressy days. I have found that the odd puff (maybe half a cigarette) keeps my angst at bay. But the great thing about this is, one doesn't lead to two ...So I am pretty sure now I can control it and just have to odd puff if I need to. Of course the cravings are still bad, I am beginning to wonder if they will ever subside!

The key to this whole thing is having cigarettes in the house...That must sound crazy right? But that fact is, it's not so much that I have given up, it's more the case that I choose not to and knowing that I have the cigarettes in the house helps. If they weren't there, I think psychologically I would find this much harder. So if anyone reading this is still a smoker and wants to quit. Try it my way...No patches required. Although in the first stages an electronic cigarette is a great tool.

Instead of a whole thwack of photos this week, I have put together a slide show of my photographic endeavours from the Lumber Yard last weekend. I am so pleased with the results from this trip. There definitely is Art in Industry! Also below is a video that I stumbled across on YouTube which cat owners amongst us may find very familiar and entertaining. I am now completely hooked on Simon's Cat.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Getting Creative

A super busy week this week for me. I have been working some extra hours and getting to grips with a new project I am working on which involves writing copy and creating images for part of the company website focusing on the printing side of things. It's something I will definitely enjoy doing, but it will take up quite a bit of my time and I have to co-ordinate all the information with other parties involved.

My brother Clive sent across his old Windows 7 smart phone this week for Rob to use as his antique Motorola flip phone was about ready for the knackers yard. After getting over the fact that the dear customs people had opened the parcel and charged him $40 tax on a second hand phone (not bought or reconditioned as the paperwork stated), he then proceeded to try and start using the phone...OMG the ultimate definition of frustration...Rob and that phone! All I heard for the first day was a never ending torrent of swear words, and I thought I was bad with mine! Anyway after a bumpy start he fixed himself up with a plan from Bell and has now got to grips with most of the features. Even took some photos with it yesterday and tweeted one!

Yesterday, Rob and I joined several other camera club members on a field trip to
Baratts (decommissioned) Lumber Yard. It was very cold the wind was biting and we had snow intermittently which was nice...NOT! Luckily most of what I was interested in was inside rather than out. Had a blast with all the left behind tools and equipment all covered in sawdust. Great photo fodder. Would absolutely love to go back there again better weather. Photos to follow next week from this outing.

As the weather has been so crappy lately I haven't really been out and about much, which has made me somewhat depressed and grumpy, although I do believe the not smoking is partly to do with this as well. The good thing to come out of my dark frame of mind, is the fact that it has forced me to be more creative. So I have been turning my hand more and more to indoor photography. You have already seen examples of the Easter collection, next on my list was Cool Britannia, using items that my friend Sarah had sent to me, I created a mini series of UK themed minimal art pieces which I am pretty pleased with (See below). If you are reading this and would like to buy any of my work you can check out my website.

Finally birthday wishes go out to my brother Clive this week. I hope you had a wonderful day!

After the Party

Wooden Heart

Home is where the heart is


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