Sunday, 31 August 2008

I'll keep it brief

I'll keep it brief because I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open.

It's been a great weekend. Weather yesterday was glorious, today wet. Very wet in fact.

I wasn't at the camp much as I was also attending a show for Greyhound Gap but the short time I was there in the evenings was great.

Himself has had a few dramas. I haven't had the full details yet but he managed to drop his mobile phone in the bonfire and it burnt to a crisp and when I came home tonight, he has his hands slathered in cream for the burns he has on his hands. He told me they were "fire-surfing", I have no idea what he is talking about and he is not explaining much further. I suspect they were doing something very stupid with the bonfire after I went to bed and now he's paying the price for acting like an idiot.

Am I sympathetic? No.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Still camping

No blog from me today as I should still be sleeping under the stars.

Unless it's all gone horribly wrong, in which case you won't be reading this post but another that tells you why it all went horribly wrong. If you are reading this post, all is well!

Friday, 29 August 2008

And we're off!

We are leaving at lunchtime today for a family camping trip.

Every year, Himself's family have this get together and it's soemthing I really look forward to. There is usually about 25 of us and we play games or go for long walks and just be together as a family. I love it because no-one is expected to do anything they don't want to do, so I use it as an excuse to chat or sit in quiet contemplation with my book. I don't often get a chance to just sit and read all day.

This year is slightly different as I had already got the weekend booked to do a fundraising show for Greyhound Gap. But as the show isn't too far from where we camp, I can combine the two.

Organising everything is a logistical nightmare as not only do we have to take all the camping gear but I also need to sort out everything we need for the show.

I am anticipating a lot of swear words as we pack the cars this morning!

See you all on Sunday!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Update on the wing-walking

I mentioned here that I was hoping to do a wing-walk to raise funds for Greyhound. I sent off for all the information and found one problem clause. It says...

Please note : Unfortunately, due to the rules of the air laid down in the UK Air Navigation Order, performing a wing walk as a means of raising money for a charitable cause is not allowed. This means that you cannot be sponsored (i.e. have a sponsorship form) nor be promised any kind of payment for performing a wing walk on our team aircraft. This also means that you cannot use a wing walk as a fund raising raffle prize either.

Damn, damn and damn again..... I'd really got myself psyched up to do this.
There's an area of open and wooded green space not too far from us that, for reasons we cannot fathom, attracts cruising homsexual males, and all the activities that go with cruising homosexual males.

Now, I will make it abundantly clear before I go any further that I have no issues with homosexuality. I have had, and still do have, gay friends - both male and female - that are very dear to me.

These cruising homosexuals are after casual sex. They are usually closet gays, quite often married with families, after a quick fix. What really annoys me is that the wooded are they use adjoins an open space used regularly by families and dog-walkers and, not unsurprisingly, they probably like to venture into the woods too. And what are they greeted with? If they are really unlucky they will be met by two (or more) men engaged in sexual activity. If they are lucky (and I use that term loosely) all they find is the detritus the men leave behind - used condoms, sometimes drugs, and other things that I will not mention as it's pretty bloody messy.

I was at a meeting today to discuss this problem and what can be done about it. Several things were made clear:

1. The politicians and local councillors don't want to get involved in "banning" these cruising homosexuals because some factions in the gay commmunity start shouting that they are being victimised because of their sexual preferences. And boy is that a sure fire way to lose your political seat.

2. The police? The police are happy with the status quo because they at least know where these men are. If we start moving them on, the problem will just be spread somewhere else.

A part of me does understand the police point of view. They have a hard enough job as it is and a problem contained is one thing less for them to worry about. But the politicians and local councillors? Inexcusable. Why should these men be allowed to do this, when it is against the law to have sex in a public place, just because they are "homosexual"? I am not discriminating, I would be equally peeved if this was an area where men and women met to have casual sex with each other.

This is positive discrimination at its worst. And it stinks something rotten. Homophobia is rife, and it's wrong, but what about the rights of the parents and their children who stumble across them? Do they not have a right to enjoy this open space too?

Do what you want people, but please, keep it private.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

What shall I do today?

I could do Witty Wednesday as many of my blogging friends do, or I could do Wordless Wednesday as the rest of them do. That would be appropriate given I have a new camera.

But no. Today, I am going to do WTF!!? Wednesday.

You all know I volunteer for Greyhound Gap. I foster and am also Treasurer. We've also done some wacky fundraising things - like spending the night in a haunted house and recently, although I couldn't go, they spent the night in the haunted Derby Gaol. It's all fun and raises lots of money for the dogs.

Then someone, rather tongue in cheek I think, suggested something she'd seen at a show she'd been to. And I, stupidly, said I'd love to try doing that and before I knew it, I seemed to have put my hand up and said I'd do it. And "what is it" I hear you ask, and where does WTF!!? come into it? A good question.

Well, this is what I have said I'll do.....

Yes, wingwalking. I think that rather takes the WTF!!? crown, don't you?

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

New toy!

It's arrived!

All weekend I have been tracking my new camera through the Fedex tracking site. This morning the site told me it was in England and on its way and I told all my colleagues to find me if I wasn't around when the Fedex van arrived (I'm sure it was only once I told them but they say it was at least three times).

The van arrived just after lunch and as one, all my colleagues yelled "Fedex is here!" and there was a mad stampede for the door...well, OK, two of us ran for the door and stood there waiting patiently whilst the driver sorted his shit out and got his butt out of his van. OK, we didn't wait patiently, we stood there tapping our feet saying "C'mon, c'mon!".

This afternoon was tediously long but I am now home and playing. Actually, no, I'm not playing. I am staring at this camera as if it has just landed from outerspace. This, dear readers, is a Mothership camera. And I'm lost already.

I may be gone some time.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Fun Monday - Useless Information

Our hostesses for this week are the lovely ladies at MamaDrama and this is their assignment:

Remember way back in elementary school when you had to do a report on James Garfield, the 20th President of the United States and you told the class all about how he was shot after only four months in office? You also remember that he recovered after a week, but doctor's continued to probe at the healed wound causing complications and resulting in his death almost three months later? Okay, we all knew that about Garfield, but you also remember that James Garfield could write with both hands at one time and in different languages.!!! Why do you remember that? Maybe for you it wasn't James Garfield, but somewhere in your past education, you picked-up some little bit of useless information that you've never forgotten.

Useless information. Hmmmm. I'm not one for keeping random bits of information in my head, I have enough trouble keeping all the stuff in there that needs to be there. But there are one or two things from my farming days that I do remember.

Did you know there is no such thing as a brown cow? Nope, those cows you might think are brown are actually correctly termed "red".

And that old chestnut about bulls chasing things red? Wrong. Bulls are colour blind. They chase things that move whether it be red or sky blue pink with polka dots.

See, I told you it was useless.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Sunday Smiles

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee. (Hardly seems worth it.)

If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb. (Himself is well on the way then)

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet. (O.M.G.!)

A pig's orgasm lasts 30 minutes. (In my next life, I want to be a pig)

A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death. (Creepy.) (I'm still not over the pig though, I'm changing my name by deed poll to Porky!!!!!)

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour. (Do not try this at home!!!...... maybe at work.)

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male's head! off. ("Honey, I'm home. What the....?!")

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It's like a human jumping the length of a football field. (30 minutes... lucky pig... can you imagine?? No, i'd get bored and walk away)

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds. (What could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?)

Some lions mate over 50 times a day. (I still want to be a pig in my next life...quality over quantity)

Butterflies taste with their feet. (Something I always wanted to know.)

The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue. (Hmmmmmm......down girls!!!)

Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people. (If you're ambidextrous, do you split the difference?)

Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump. (OK, so that would be a good thing....)

A cat's urine glows under a black light. (I wonder who was paid to figure that out? And how much?)

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain. (I know some people like that.)

Starfish have no brains. (I know some people like that too.)

Polar bears are left-handed. (If they switch, they'll live a lot longer.)

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure. (What about that pig???)

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Sex in my garden!!

Hah! That got your attention didn't it!?

I have no idea how many people looking for garden porn that title will send to my blog but I'm sorry to disappoint you if that's what you've come looking for.

There was sex in my garden this morning, but of the "nature doing it's stuff" variety.

(Clicky the piccy to see a bigger version)

Friday, 22 August 2008

Pedigree Dogs Exposed

Following my rant the other night, you might want to watch the programme I was ranting about.

Pedigree Dogs Exposed

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

It lasts an hour in total. It's worth watching.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Good news day

When I was on duty at the weekend, a distraught woman came in to say the 6 month old Jack Russell Terrier she was looking after for a friend had been spooked and had run off. Complete with extendable lead still attached to his collar.

It's now Thursday and still no news and we were all beginning to fear the worst.

Then, when I was half way around the supermarket tonight my mobile rang. It was one of our staff ringing to let me know that a dog-walker had heard some yapping in the bushes and found the puppy all tangled up.

She's dehydrated and hungry but well enough to give me puppy snuggles!

I like stories that end like this!

Oh, and I may just have bought a new camera. Shhh, I haven't told Himself yet!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008


I should blog today.

I blogged twice yesterday. Can that count for today as well?

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

I am spitting feathers!

I am so angry I can hardly get the words out.

I am watching a programme on BBC2 about the Kennel Club and their inability to understand what they are doing to dogs in this country. Their breed standards are barbaric. There is no other word for it.

An example, a Ridgeback breeder believes that all Ridgeback puppies born without a ridge should be put to sleep. Because the ridge is apparently the defining feature of the dog. This is despite the ridge actually being a form of spina bifida.

King Charles Cavalier Spaniels - the breed standard calls for a small head. The breeding has fixated on this to the point that the dogs brains can no longer fit into the skull and leaves 1 out of 20 of them are in agony.

Pugs - they can't breath properly because they've been bred to have a squashed face. Their corkscrew tail - insisted on by the Kennel Club Breed Standard - is caused by a spinal deformity.

German Shepherds in the show ring that can barely walk on the hind legs because of the Breed Standard of a sloping back.

The Kennel Club can see no problem with father to daughter or brother to sister breeding.

What has made me so angry is that many of the breeders are so f**king arrogant that they cannot see anything wrong with any of these things. They don't care. All they want is for their dogs to meet the KC breed standard because that's the holy grail. They cannot, or will not see, that they are destroying these dog breeds for the sake of cosmetic appearance for the show ring.

All because the Kennel Club will not admit that their standards are wrong.

I am not saying breeding is wrong, of course it isn't. It's the standards they breed to that are destroying many of the dogs that we love. The difference in the dogs of 50 years ago are so very different that they are barely recognisable as the same dogs.

I'm sorry if this is a rambling post but I am so angry.

Edit. I forgot to mention the arrogant bitch who quite nonchalantly, when talking about the Ridgebacks born without ridges, said "young vets these days, they won't put these dogs to sleep. I have to go to an older vet". Words failed me at that point.

Talk about hoist by their own petard.

The proprietor.....

.....of this blog is not feeling at her best. So she is taking herself off to bed with her laptop for company.

Damn vertigo.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Fun Monday! A question!

Our lovely hostess this week is Lisa over at Lisa's Chaos and this is our assignment:

What is one thing you would like to ask your readers? Come up with a question to pose to your visitors and throw it out there on Monday. As we’re all visiting each other’s Fun Monday posts we should answer the various questions we come across.
Show&Tell me about a bird, I’m easily made happy.

I have pondered during this last week what question to ask you. I wanted it to be an original question, something to make you perhaps stop and think, and ponder awhile too.

Then I thought, you know what? I am going to presume on our Hostess's hospitality....and cheat!

As I was trawling the net for some esoteric question (yes, I am that sad), I came across a site that listed the most amusing questions asked on Wikipedia and I thought "I'm having me some of that!". So here you go, have a little chuckle over these and perhaps wonder what on earth the future holds when these people are in charge!

Do Christian's believe in gravity? Well, do ya?

How many pancakes does it take to shingle a doghouse? Ummmm.....

Where is the cream filling? Oh yes, I want to know that to!

How do you say Merry Christmas in Britain. Watch my lips "Merry Christmas"

When Mozart died, did he start to decompose? Think about it.....

Why is a book a thing with pages? It just is OK?

And finally

How would you know you were a virgin? Answers to this one in the comments box please!

Now head over to Lisa's to see who else is participating (properly) this week!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Food Glorious Food

I seem to spend my entire life on a diet these days.

Having no thyroid gland, it makes weight an issue for me. Although I take medication to compensate for the lack of thyroid hormone, drugs can never replace what should be there naturally.

I did really well last year and got down to below my target weight of 142lbs. I actually reached 139 lbs although I knew I wouldn't stay there, I balanced back out at 142lbs and I was a happy bunny. Then came Christmas. There were going to be eight of us and, stupidly, I put Himself in charge of shopping for all the "extras", you know, the cheese, the biscuits, the chocolates.......

I think he thought that we were feeding the 40,000. How much chocolate can 8 people eat? Not that much, let me tell you. So we ended up with all this chocolate left over. Now my mother brought me up properly and food cannot be wasted. What do you mean chocolate isn't food!? Well, OK, you might have a point. Anyway, the upshot was that by February, I was back up to where I was before I started dieting last year.

I put myself back on a diet. Unfortunately, will-power and I are not exactly bedmates.

I was good and had salad for dinner every evening - I'm just not convinced that the dollops of mayonnaise where helping.

So three weeks ago I went back to Weight Watchers. So now I'm still on salad but sans mayonnaise. And let me tell you, I am sick to the back teeth of salad. All winter I look forward to summer and salad and now I am fed up with it.

I am going to start looking like a damn lettuce leaf soon.

It had better be worth it.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Experience List

OK, because I'm too damn tired to think of anything to blog about, I have shamelessly nicked this from Stu.

The experiences in bold are the ones I’ve done. Feel free to tag yourself!

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said ‘I love you’ and meant it - well, I'm sure I did at the time. And what is love anyway?
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped - not a cat in hell's chance.
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights No, but I would love to.
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa (now closed to the public)
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip on a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Got drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
42. Had amazing friends - hell yeah!
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken for longer than when you were in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds - ugghhh too anal
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo - been meaning to do this for the last 3 years
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking -
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived.
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you - just about to!
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone’s life

Friday, 15 August 2008

OK Ladies

I was going to start this post by telling you that I am not your average woman. Why am I not your average woman? Because I hate shopping. Wrong. I hate shopping with a passion.

However, a quick poll amongst my Plurk buddies, and the knowledge of my friends' shopping habits, I realise that I am an average woman. We don't really like shopping that much.

So that old chestnut about women and shopping is a myth.

Today I had to go to M&S to return a blouse (yes, Nettie, THAT blouse). M&S is about 7 miles away. Even by London standards it shouldn't take me more than about 20 minutes. Three traffic jams and an hour later I'm still sitting in traffic. Not a good start.

Once I reached my destination, I had to contend with the unhelpful "I can't do that here" members of staff. Twice. Finally having obtained my refund, I decide that whilst I'm there, I might as well try to buy some new bras.

And here we come to the crunch. Shopping for bras. The general advice when it comes to buying bras is buy the best you can afford. Yeah right. I might be contemplating spending the best part of £1,000 on a new camera, but pay more than £15 for a bra? Forget it. So about a month ago I bought two cheap M&S t-shirt bras. Wrong! They are dreadful! They don't sit smoothly and are so uncomfortable I am constantly adjusting them.

I like t-shirt bras but I have to be careful. I'm not small and I have to be careful my boobs don't look like they'd be better suited to Pamela Anderson. I like some padding so if it turns chilly, I don't start standing proud. Because that is not good when you work with a bunch of testosterone fuelled ex-soldiers. Actually, the Pamela Anderson look is not good for that either. So you see the tightrope I'm walking here?

For all that, I am not an unusual size. 38c. Did they have any "not so cheap" t-shirt bras in my size? Nope. Did they have any bras in my size? Not many. I found two. In a big out of town M&S superstore, I found two bras that might do.

And don't even get me started on the mirrors in the changing rooms.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Photography stuff

A friend and I took ourselves off on a photography course yesterday. We learnt "How to Photograph Dogs". You might think that is an easy thing to do and why on earth do I need to go on a course about it. Well let me tell you, it's not that easy.

The course was run by Nick Ridley, a well-known photographer of dogs here in the UK, and it was held in the Hearing Dogs for the Deaf HQ just outside High Wycombe. What an amazing place that is. Apart from the setting, I don't think I have ever been anywhere where the people were so incredibly friendly and welcoming. Perhaps it has something to do with working with the most amazing dogs. The work they do there is invaluable for the people who have need of their dogs.

But I digress. For all the photographs I've taken of my dogs, and there have been a few, I have failed miserably to capture any decent image of them moving. Very frustrating. Despite the weather conditions yesterday - it was seriously overcast and raining most of the time - by the end of the day I was able to capture images of dogs in motion. None of these are perfect by any means, they are not as pin sharp as they should be but at least I now have the necessary knowledge to put into practice on my own dogs. The weather also meant I was shooting at ISO 800 plus and the Nikon D70 I use does not, I have discovered, function at it's best at such speeds. The images were incredibly noisy and there has been some post-processing work to remove the noise.

And a few portraits too

I also now have some decisions to make about my camera. I love it and it's great to use but if I want to continue taking photographs of my dogs and other peoples, possibly to sell, I need to think about upgrading the camera. The problems with noise at high ISO speeds and woth only 3 frames per second, the D70 will be restricting. But, am I really going to be doing that much photography work that I can justify spending the best part of £1,000 on a Nikon D300?

Something to ponder.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Another great day! And an "ewwww! alert.

I have had a fantastic day taking photographs today and I'm way to tired to blog about it properly so I will do that when I am more with it tomorrow.

In the meantime, I thought I would share with you the sight that we found on the small shed outside my front door last night. If you ever wondered how slugs copulate, let me enlighten you. They do it like this

Ewww enough for you?

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Fun Monday follow-up

Can I thank everyone who took part in my Fun Monday assignment yesterday! It was lovely to see some new faces, and to welcome back some old ones!

It turned out better than I could have hoped. There were posts that had me chuckling, others that had me close to tears and others left me gasping in awe. The simplest of images brought back some of the stongest and deepest memories. And, of course, weddings and the birth of your children featured strongly!

Thank you all so much for participating! I hope that I got to all of you, I don't think I missed anyone out but if I did, please yell at me! it was great fun but I forget how tiring hosting FM can be!

Lisa over at Lisa's Chaos is hosting next week and your assignment is already up!

Monday, 11 August 2008

Can I just apologise

I'm really sorry that I am not going to get to everyone's Fun Monday posts today. I've just come out of a 4 hour Board meeting after a full day at work and I now have to write the minutes by lunchtime tomorrow. I have a friend staying tomorrow night and I'm away all day Wednesday on a course.

But I do promise that I will get to you all by the end of the week. If I'd been sensible I shouldn't have offered to host this week but being sensible doesn't really come naturally to me!

Fun Monday - Photographs

I am your hostess this week and this is the assignment I set you:

Show me your favourite photograph and tell me why it's your favourite.

It can be one you've taken yourself or one someone else has taken, a snapshot or a more professional image. Is there a story behind it? Do you love it for the memories it gives or just because it's pleasing to the eye?

Show me and tell me!

A few people have already mentioned that choosing just one photograph has been difficult. And they're not wrong! But far be it from me to cheat on my own assignment! But if you want to, go right ahead, I don't really mind how many you choose!

I have been able to narrow it down to one. I can't say this image has any particular emotional meaning to me, nor does it evoke any memories. The story behind it is quite simple. I belong to a wonderful online community for photographers, Pixalo, and every month, there is a competition with a theme. The theme for January 2007 was was "Silhouette". I knew immediately the image I wanted to capture - I wanted a man on a horse with the sun setting behind him. I knew the "how" of taking the photograph but had never attempted it before. I grabbed one of my colleagues and his horse, headed for the one and only hill in the vicinity, and started shooting.

Now, when you take photographs, you know when you've got the shot in the bag. And I knew as soon as I pressed the shutter that this was the one. Being a rank amateur photographer, this hasn't happened very often; I set out with an image in my head and that was the image I came home with. Let me tell you, it was an epiphanous moment.

The image won the competition and this was the critique that I received for it:

Man and Horse – the thing that makes this jump out at you is the sharpness of the outline of the subject. Every detail is crisp, there is nothing to distract you about it and it positioning with the shape of the horse from its back leg, up its hind onto its neck and finally off its left ear, almost form a perfect diagonal across the page to lead the eyes. There is some ground and small amounts of shrubs/bushes to set the scene but these are suitably positions so that they will never interfere or distract from the main subject. Everything is backed by that wonderful sky. The shot is not perfect though…the sun is blown out and the picture would have benefited from a second exposure of just that area and a combination of the two. Unlike some other images though Angela has got away with it to some degree because the rest of the image is so strong.

Whenever I struggle with my photography, I just look back at this image and tell myself "you can do it" and it keeps me going.

Now, click on the list of Fun Monday participants in my sidebar and see everyone else's favourite images!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

In my Garden

The fruits of my labours.

The first ripening tomatoes of this year

Courgettes, which have been growing like crazy and we've had loads of just this one plant already.

And not strictly in my garden, but just outside my gate, a lovely blackberry bush that's laden with fruit just starting to ripen. I've picked a bowlful already and shall have them for my breakfast tomorrow.

Food doesn't really get much better than this does it?

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Do you ever wonder?

Do you ever stop yourself sometimes and wonder how you got to where you are?

Do you ever think that maybe where you are isn't quite the place you thought you'd be? Are you happy anyway or do you wish you could find a way to get to the place you now want to be?

These are just rhetorical questions. I was just wondering.

Friday, 8 August 2008

All a bit too much

I like to think that, most of the time, I can cope with whatever life chucks at me. OK, I might swear a bit, or turn into the local mad-woman that people go out of their way to avoid and I might rant and rave too, but I generally just get on with it.

Today was an exception. It all suddenly got too much for me and I came within inches of having a panic attack. There's nothing out of the ordinary going on and no more than I've had to cope with before. Yes, I'm busy and there's lots of things happening over the next few weeks so why now? Who knows.

I owe a big thanks to Karisma, Molly and Emsquared who were in Plurk at the time and got me back together. Thank guys, you are good people.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

OK. What next.

I was so smart on Sunday. I got four blog posts done and scheduled for the week so I could give myself a bit of a blogging break. Except now we've reached Thursday and I've run out of scheduled posts. So this is me in real time wondering what the hell to write about.

I could tell you about the fun to be had in Plurkland but most of you know about that already.

I could tell you about the toad I found in my kitchen and the slug I stood on (barefoot) when I took it outside. But that's just way too ewww.

I could tell you that Brodie headbutted me in the face yesterday and nearly broke my glasses.

I could tell that I had my first weigh-in at Weightwatchers and I've lost 1.5lbs this week. But there's still 14lbs to go.

I could tell you, I can't tell you about that.

I could tell you...oh wait, no, I can't tell you about that either.

So, all in all, not a lot to tell you really.

Oh, but don't forget I'm hosting Fun Monday next week so sign up here!

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

A few more Photographs from Gatcombe Horse Trials

You know, I could sit and photograph horses all day long. I wish I had the time to get to a few more events.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Morph Update

Morph has been on holiday in Wales for two weeks with Lisa and her family and friends, hence the delay in an up-date on the boy.

Lisa's report:

Bless him the lad has had a great time. He has continued to gain weight although he is still thin and the weight gain is slowing down, he is also now starting to build a bit of muscle on his spindly legs. He has also started to relax enough now to allow us to see his *cough* other sides. There is no denying he is an entire male as his dominance is starting to show, he can be a little bit pushy with the other males and is now less tolerant of other dogs behaviour and had a couple of punch ups with Bod who is just as bad and a pop at Edgar for no reason.

There is also a very vulnerable scared lad lurking and when we first got on holiday he showed us how terrified he is of being left and you not returning which again re inforces to me what I believe and he was locked in somewhere and left. The first few times we left him he got really really upset but seemed to settle towards the end, I just hope its helped him realise that we do come back. It also helped as he was so tired.

Still its onwards and upwards and he is in a much better place physically and mentally than when he first arrived.

So here are the handsome lads holiday piccies.......

Running on the beach with his dad

Sniffing the sea air

Party Princess at a birthday party!

Running with his pack!

Such a difference isn't it?

If you missed the earlier Morph stories, you can find them



and here

Fun Monday Assignment for 11th August

Another easy one from me for next week!

Show me your favourite photograph and tell me why it's your favourite.

It can be one you've taken yourself or one someone else has taken, a snapshot or a more professional image. Is there a story behind it? Do you love it for the memories it gives or just because it's pleasing to the eye?

Show me and tell me!

As I failed to understand Mr Linky, please sign up in the comments box and please leave me your blog addy as well.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Fun Monday - Word

Our Hostesses this week are Mothers of Brothers and this is their assignment:

Words are our building blocks, our stepping stones, and, for many of us, our salvation. We string them together so quickly at times, we often lose sight of how precious they are. So tell us about your favorite word… or if you can’t pick just one, tell us about a few. Are there certain words that feel good the way they roll of your tongue? Do some words make you feel smart? Or silly? Or happy? Which words do you find yourself selecting to put in your posts? Since this response could be a short one, feel free to poll your family and friends and include some of their favorite words as well. If you think a definition is required, please share one. Please keep the words rated G for all audiences. Any language is acceptable, but please provide a translation. And stick to real words as opposed to ones made up along the way. We then challenge everyone to visit the posts on Monday and try to use other bloggers’ favorite words in your blog next week. We can’t wait to expand our vocabulary!

I love words. Do you ever find yourself browsing a dictionary? You start by looking up a word and then another word catches your eye, then another, and on it goes. It's hard to narrow it down to one, so I won't. I love words that roll off the tongue, like

Ablution (
a washing of the hands, body, etc.), or Imbroglio (A difficult or intricate situation; an entanglement) or how about Rodomontade (vainglorious boasting or bragging; pretentious, blustering talk) - doesn't that just roll perfectly off the tongue? I just love long complicated words for simple actions. Fascinating!

I can't tell you my real favourite words because this post has to be G-rated but remember the opening scene of Four Weddings and a Funeral? That's me.

Now head over to Mothers of Brothers to see who else is participating this week.

I am hosting next week and your assignment will be up tomorrow.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Can I just say....

...that yesterday was possibly one of the best days out I have had in a long, long time. Thank you, Ali, for making it such a fantastic day!

I mentioned in yesterday's blog that the two of us were heading out to Gatcombe Horse Trials with our cameras. The weather forecast was crap quite frankly but, undaunted, we drove 200 miles in the miserable rain determined to enjoy ourselves anyway.

But someone was looking down on us because the rain stopped, the skies started to brighten, then brighten a bit more. Then there was a bit of blue sky, and a little more, then the sun came out and shone on us for the rest of the day.

I have taken over 300 photographs and am still in the process of trawling through them but I thought I'd share with you a few of the outakes from the water jump!

Saturday, 2 August 2008

A grand day out

A girlfriend and I are off to Gatcombe Horse Trials today. Gatcombe, the home of Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, hosts one of the premier eventing festivals in the UK, and boy am I looking forward to it!

Gatcombe isn't as big as Badminton Horse Trials so it's easier to get up-cloe to the cross country fences. So, as we are going armed with cameras, I hope to have a feas tof photographs for you on Sunday.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Skywatch Friday

Stormy skies

See othere Skywatch photos here.