Canon DSLR

Dismal melting snow

4/52 for the group 2021 Weekly Alphabet Challenge

This week's theme was: D is for Dismal

We woke up to a thin covering of snow. My online friends have been posting photos of snowmen, but our snow is already melting and it's all a bit dismal.

Dismal melting snow

Signs of spring?

It's early days yet, but the birds are starting to twitter in the morning and when I walked into town round the playing fields yesterday the flood water had disappeared and I saw that the daffodils were sprouting.

Signs of spring!
Canon DSLR


3/52 for the group 2021 Weekly Alphabet Challenge

This week's theme was: C is for Closeup

We haven't eaten all the Christmas chocolates yet, so I had a little photoshoot with them this afternoon. :-)


In flood news, the water has all gone now. We even had a bit of sun this afternoon and G went out for a walk.
35mm slide

More old photographs

The weather is horribly wet today. I can see a lake on the playing fields in the distance and the water is beginning to rise in the swampy wood beyond the back gardens. Storm Christoph has arrive with heavy rain but, thank goodness, it's not windy. I didn't want to go out because of the rain, therefore I've been scanning some more 35mm slides.

Though I scanned the whole pack, there weren't many that were worth processing in PhotoShop to get them to a standard where I would want to post them to Flickr. The mountains in Scotland look the same as they did in 1968. But I liked the photo of the Clydesdale mare and her foal which has scanned really well.

Unfortunately the weather forecast is also bad for tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the weekend and better weather.

Aberfeldy Highland Games 1968

Clydesdale mare & foal

I thought this one was worth posting because you can't take this photo any more. I shot it from the train as it crossed the railway bridge across the Firth of Forth. The Forth Road Bridge was only a few years old (opened in 1964) when I took the picture, but now there's another road bridge beyond it that opened in 2017.

Forth Road Bridge

Note: I wrote this post initially in Welsh to post on Journaly, a new blogging site for people to practise writing in the language(s) they are learning. Before I click "Post" I put it through the Cysill spelling and grammar checker but I also put it into Google translate to check that it says what I meant it to say. Google translate is pretty good, except when it goes completely haywire! It translated "mare and her foal" as "mare and her snail"! I have no idea where it got that from because the words for "foal" and "snail" are entirely different.
African flower crochet motif

Shopping update (early this week)

There was a flurry of panic on the local Facebook group over the weekend and a rumour that the Co-op and Eurospar were closed because staff members had covid. It turned out that the Co-op had got a couple of staff off sick or isolating, but they had only closed early for a deep clean and were open as normal today.

Working on the principle that the best time to do something is right after there has been a scare and everyone is now doing their absolute best to stop it happening again, plus the fact Storm Christoff is forecast for tomorrow, I went shopping today while the weather was dry. Besides, last week was probably the most dangerous time to visit the Co-op and I can't do anything about things that are in the past.

The Co-op was the quietest I've known it, so I did my shopping in record time and came home to do the ritual wash (hand, face, spectacles and mouth wash) before putting the shopping away.

Today I also did some crocheting, went for a short and slightly damp walk and scanned another pack of slides, this time from August 1968. I may process a few tomorrow and post them.
African flower crochet motif

A wonderful collaboration

Apparently sea shanties are a thing on TikTok. A friend on Facebook alerted me to an article which explained the way different people who didn't know one another and had never met in real life had built up an amazingly rich sound from the original solo. Here's a compilation of the final results. I just love the modest baritone who says, "filler baritone which nobody will hear but adds gentle thiccness." (sic)

There's something about that bass harmony that makes the hairs prickle on the back of my neck and all the versions, which increase in complexity, are amazing.

Here's the link to the article which explains how it arose and then a YouTuber made the compilation I've linked above.

Article showing how the song grew!
African flower crochet motif

Pottery owls

2/52 for the group 2021 Weekly Alphabet Challenge

This week's theme was: B is for Bird

Like last week, I've reverted to ornaments for the theme photo.

The weather is grim, the light is dull and flat, the birds in next door's garden are too far away to photograph so yesterday on the way back from town I spotted these in a local craft shop.

I'm looking forward to the longer days and better weather.

Pottery owls

Quick shopping and egret update

As I think I've said before, I post these shopping updates because the Co-op and Eurospar are the only places where I'm venturing indoors with other people. As I don't have the covid tracking app on my phone, I like to note where I went and when, just in case.

So this morning I did a quick walk into town to get pizzas, the local paper and a couple of other things at the Co-op. I also popped into the hardware shop en route to get rubber gloves, a couple of paintbrushes, and bags for the Henry vacuum cleaner. I was pleased to see that they are taking social distancing and mask wearing seriously.

In the Co-op, because I was in a hurry, I ventured to use the self-service checkout. They are new since the major refurb. I'm rather ambivalent about them because it's obviously a way to reduce staffing, though having said that, whenever we've used them when away on holiday, we've often had to have a staff member come over to check we're not underage when we're trying to buy a bottle of wine. Next time I use one I must see if I can get it to speak Welsh. :-)

I would normally have gone to the kiosk, but there were a couple of people already waiting at the counter and I wanted to be quick because I needed to be back by 10.30 to phone my elderly friend M so we could do the crossword and zygolex word puzzle together. That done, I also managed to solve the word wheel anagram. For this puzzle you're given 9 letters and have to make as many words (with 3 or more letters) as you can out of them. There is always one word that uses all the letters. I've noticed that I can either see the word almost immediately (in this case it was "attenuate") or I just can't get it at all and have to cheat with the anagram solver app.

Re the egret, G went for a walk along by the estuary this afternoon and reported that he saw more of them. They are definitely heron size, he says, so that does sound like great egrets. If it's not too cold, I may go for a bike ride on Sunday in search of them.
African flower crochet motif

Weather wet, thank goodness for the internet

It was the usual Welsh informal chat this morning via the Skype group. It's been a great way to keep in touch with the local gossip as well as excellent language practice.

Today's subjects included: cooking and eating offal, baking bread, mushrooms (ways of cooking and whether we had ever picked and eaten wild ones), how to sprout mung beans, what we'd been watching on TV, when we're likely to get the covid jab, and other things I've now forgotten.

One piece of news that was a little worrying is that a local garage with attached shop and mini-cafe has had to close due to one of the staff catching covid. They seem to be fine and as long as they haven't given it to any other staff members the garage will be open again in a few day's time, but it was a reminder that though levels of the virus are very low here, covid is not nonexistent.
African flower crochet motif

Guinea pig ornament

1/52 for the group 2021 Weekly Alphabet Challenge

This week's theme was: A is for Animal

The weather has been dull and cold and I've had things to do that kept me inside. I could have photographed some sheep, but distant sheep in a soggy field on a dull winter's day wouldn't have made a good photo. So in a last minute panic on the Saturday, I took a quick snap of my guinea pig ornament.

Guinea pig ornament

I've had this guinea pig for many years. Back then there was a gift shop in town (there are still lots of gift shops, but this particular shop is now an antique shop). This guinea pig appeared in the window and I couldn't help admiring it every time we passed the shop window. I had a couple of guinea pigs when I was young and I still love them. I felt this pottery ornament had captured the essence of a guinea pig perfectly, despite the lack of detail.

I hadn't meant to drop hints, but the two young people who were working as our assistants at the youth hostel presented it to me for my birthday. I have cherished it ever since.