Tag Archives: photographs

Day Off

Well, this is vexing. I wrote this post and pressed the buttons and sat back as it loaded. I had added (Part 1) to the title, but when I switched on to write Part 2 I tried to link it to Part 1 and found it wasn’t there. This means that, for the first time in 72 days I have failed to post.

I am not happy. Ah well…

It was a day off today, and instead of making me drive to a distant tourist spot Julia allowed me to relax with a short trip to the Mencap garden.

We managed to fit in a Harvester Unlimited Breakfast on the way – so it wasn’t an entirely bad start.

At the garden, instead of making me walk round and look at things, and probably enjoy myself, she allowed me to do a number of jobs including refilling bug boxes (using hollow stems from the scabious we’d cut back a couple of months ago) and putting some bird boxes together.

I fear I may have seemed a little ungrateful for the opportunity to spend our day off working for an organisation that won’t allow me to volunteer officially. (For those of you new to the story I’m not allowed to volunteer to work with my wife, as I’ve been doing for the last five years, because of “conflict of interests”.)

We had a fig each after that, and I took some photos of the vine leaves.

It wasn’t one of my better days, though building nest boxes is always a good thing to do. So is eating fresh figs.

After that, we returned home for a cup of tea. I downloaded photos and, whilst snoozing happily in my chair, dreamed of Derbyshire.

At that point Julia demonstrated the depths of depravity to which a wife can stoop, waking me up to remind me I’d said I’d give her a lift to Wilkos to buy paint for nest boxes. Obviously I’d meant I’d give her a lift if I wasn’t asleep and it wasn’t too close to Pointless. I don’t ask much from life and a snooze and a TV quiz seem quite modest requirements. So does freedom from being woken up to go shopping.

We went to Arnold, and I took some photos from the rooftop car parks at Wilkos and ASDA (who are currently renovating their car park). They aren’t great photos, but they didn’t offer much in the way of scenery. The main theme is Rain, with a secondary motif of More Rain.

 

 

Philosophy, Photographs and Puffins

The featured image shows my first attempt at using the Panorama setting on the camera. It just goes to show that a boring photograph is a boring photograph, no matter how you dress it up.

The wheelbarrow is quite interesting, as barrows go, and is a lot easier to use than a conventional  barrow if you have mobility problems. The recycled BBQ/herb planter adds a splash of colour. Apart from that the view from the front door of the container/office/canteen is very dull. Julia has plans for this and I’m hoping to document them over the coming year.

What starts as a dull picture therefore has potential to become an interesting  series of dull pictures., though it would be foolish to ignore the possibility of producing a dull series of dull pictures.

It is likely that in next month’s photo the barrow may have moved, but will that simple change be enough, or will I have to include another item in the picture to ensure  that people keep looking?

I also used the Self Portrait feature. I’m not actually sure what it does. In a break with tradition, I wasn’t wearing my selfie shirt, so maybe it is just a liberating setting to break people out of a rut. It certainly doesn’t make bad haircuts look better. After a few practice shots  I have now learned how to avoid the Fungus the Bogeyman look (wide in the chin and narrow at the top) and can make my head vary in shape quite considerably, but that, again, has nothing to do with the setting, just experimentation.

They say the camera never lies, which is true, as the camera, philosophically speaking, cannot form the intention to mislead. It can, however, give a false picture, depending on the angle you take your selfie from. I won’t show any of these shots as you suffered enough last time, so here’s another Puffin. People like Puffins, and it gives me a chance to work three P’s into the title (though a Phalarope would have fitted better). At times they can look very sad. This one appears to be thinking of ending it all…

Goodbye, cruel world

Goodbye, cruel world

 

 

 

 

A better day – Rufford Abbey

It was a better day today, a much better day, though it didn’t start off that way.

We nipped down to Lidl to look for Waxwings on our way to the farm, and found none. I hadn’t really expected to see any as it was extremely windy and the small branches were whipping about. It must be extremely hazardous feeding in tree tops on days like this.

Such is life: I’m not going to start stressing out about seeing a bird, even if it is pink and has a crest.

We cleared the polytunnel this morning, and are within a couple of days of finishing.  It’s amazing how much stuff you accumulate over five years. Much of it is now crammed into the house. Considering I used to have a junk shop and still have a hoarding problem, this is not a good thing. Currently I also have a car that’s rammed to the roof with plants, but it doesn’t seem worth taking them out with the weather we’re likely to have. It’s good to be finishing. Though we didn’t really want to go, we now want to draw a line under it.

If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well, It were done quickly:  as Macbeth said, and I’m not going to argue.

We left around 2 pm (I’m currently self-unemployed, so days are flexible) and took a detour to Rufford Country Park.

I had a bag of sunflower hearts in the back of the car and used them to tempt some birds from cover in the car park. It wasn’t quite as simple as it could have been, because just as they started gathering a couple with a dog walked right across the seed. Eventually I tempted two Blue Tits and 15 Chaffinches, but a pair of pigeons found us and scared everything off. When you’re bird watching in a country park you can’t really pick and choose, or scare pigeons away.

We moved on to the main duck area, with the usual suspects. There were two unusual ducks across the lake, one Pochard (which we don’t see here often) and one empty pop bottle. OK, I made a mistake on that one, but I did once spend 10 minutes stalking a bit of fertiliser bag that I thought was a Kingfisher, so it’s not the worst mistake I’ve ever made.

 

Whilst I was searching for a pied wagtail that kept eluding the camera, a Grey Wagtail popped up. They aren’t rare, but they like fast running water and we normally see them when we’re in Derbyshire, so it was nice to see one here. I expect it likes the mill race.

It got even better when we rounded the corner to find a flock of Long Tailed Tits in a tree with a couple of Blue Tits and a Goldcrest. The Goldcrest came so close I could see it plainly without the binoculars. Unfortunately it was so quick that I couldn’t get a picture.

My time will come.

Finally, as the clouds rolled over, we tried for a few more shots on a picnic table but the pigeons moved in again. We cut our losses and took some shots of clouds before going for tea and Bakewell tarts in the cafe.

 

School visit

It was an intensive session today – the underground world, cheese scones, soup (using potatoes from the school garden), apple pressing and microwave jam making.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so help yourself to a few thousand. 😉

Yes, it’s a lazy blog today…

Could do better…

Sorry, I seem to have lost focus this week.

I have written several thousand words, but none of them were suitable for a blog. It’s interesting to me to indulge in biographical musings and a polemic about the waste of time and trees involved in the typical grant application, but it’s not so interesting for the people who have to read it. (I’m just having to print out a load stuff for a grant application that could easily just be submitted as links to various internet pages).

Similarly, the new outbreak of hostilities between me and the Farmer’s Sister, whilst giving me a great arena in which to indulge my sarcasm and vitriol, is not a fit subject for publication. Quite apart from the possibilities of a suit for defamation, it’s rude to talk about people behind their backs.

So, in the absence of masterly prose, I will bung in a load of photos.

It’s also bad policy from another point of view;  if I ever describe how to make a bomb from agricultural chemicals it won’t seem so funny as it comes up in court and moves from being “a blog” to becoming “the evidence”.

Even my email box fails to inspire me, with the same old ungrammatical notes purporting to be from banks and credit card companies, and one very persistent accountant, all wanting details and money. Come to think of it the accountant could be for real – as he keeps lecturing us and adding more penalties each time he writes. Ah well, he should write a more convincing letter.

Once in a while I did get an imaginative letter from the widow of an African politician, but they seem to have dried up lately.

Instead of agonising over my lack of output, I’m going to promise to do better next week.

I usually manage to get out of trouble by doing that.

Let’s see if it works this time.

(The title, in case you haven’t guessed, is a quote that appeared in many of my school reports over the years. They probably have to be more upbeat these days but in the 1970s teachers were still allowed to be cynical.)

 

 

 

 

In which I enter the Twittersphere…

I’m on Twitter now in a self-seeking effort to publicise the project. I’ve been on for a while but really concentrated on button pressing this weekend, following people who run care farms, are local or are into the same sort of things that we are. I have moved from 14 followers, which was where it had been for months, to 283 though I am not sure some of them should be allowed access to a keyboard.

The problem is that after I hit 2,000 follows in the selfish hope of being followed back, I found that I couldn’t follow any more. So if anyone out there wants to follow me, feel free, but it may take a while until I can follow you back. The address is @QuercusCommy. They don’t let you have enough letters for a proper name.

The trouble is that they say you get more followers if you put a picture of yourself in the profile. That’s OK for normal people but I have a tendency to look grumpy at the best of times, and downright homicidal from some angles.

One of the kindest things that was said in the discussion was “Can I have a copy of that one, I want something to scare the kids away from the fridge.”

My hair and beard have grown a little since then and it now looks like my stuffing is leaking so I’m going to have a tidy up and get some new photos. In the meantime I’ll see if the followers keep coming when I have the picture up. I currently have 285 so they haven’t stopped yet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think the books in the background make me look like an intellectual, My wife points out that both Dr Crippen and Buck Ruxton were well-educated, but you still wouldn’t want either of them as the public face of your business.

That’s @QuercusCommy – read about my boring life as it happens…