DSC_8709- blog

Super Moon, Ordinary Day – 14 November 2016


Not such a bad day today compared to yesterday. Thankfully, Scamp is feeling a lot better and I think a phone call this morning from Hazy helped too, that and looking forward to a visit from JIC and Sim has lifted her spirits. Still a bit cloudy with the occasional rain shower, but we had that in Lanzarote last week too. Having said that, the temperature differential is significant, nearly 20ºc .

Last night’s attempt to resurrect the damaged partition on the external hard disk ended in failure, as I expected it would. However PhotoRec which comes as part of the free TestDisk partition recovery suite managed to find all the photos in the damaged partition and, using it I also managed to download some of the photos to check that they were intact. It looks like most if not all of the photos are recoverable. The problem now is where to put them while I sort them back into their proper folders. Sorting them into the folders won’t be a big problem as the Hazel app on the Mac and File Juggler on the PC will manage that task with relative ease. The problem is that I now need (yet) another external hard drive to use as temporary storage while I do the filing. I might just bite the bullet and buy another external HDD and be done with it. Then I’ll format the old one and use both as a photo repository. It does make you think though, that a free program downloaded from the ‘net can search your hard disk and recover deleted photos even from a formatted drive. If a free prog can do that, what can dedicated forensic software used by police and other agencies do?

For the rest of the day, I went to the gym and then for a swim. Really quite enjoyed it. Salsa and Kizomba tonight was demanding, but also enjoyable.

Today’s photo is of the ‘Supermoon’. Did look slightly bigger than normal, but nothing to get excited about.

Looking for sunshine tomorrow. Always looking!

DSC_8709- blog

Write and Post the same day – 20 October 2016

20-oct1That is today’s target.

Yesterday, or to be more exact, early this morning I was still writing the blog just before 1am.  That’s what happens when you try to cram in 1 hour’s driving 2 hours of Salsa, a pen sketch, photo processing, posting to the now despicable Flickr and blog writing into six hours.  It just doesn’t work.  I must try to clean up my workflow on Mondays and Wednesdays.  Thursdays?  They’re not so bad.  Still bad, just not so bad as Mon and Wed.

Today we went to the leisure centre in the early afternoon.  Me to gym and swim, Scamp to swim.  It was very pleasant.  Gym wasn’t busy and neither was the pool.  That’s because we are in the middle of half-term week, so loads of families are off grabbing some last minute foreign sun.  I’m not complaining, just explaining.  After a late lunch I went to find some photos and if possible find something to sketch.  “Nights are fair drawing in now” as Billy Connolly said and it’s true.  The sun is setting sooner these evenings, so although it provided me with some lovely sunset shots, it also cancelled out any opportunity for sketching in the wild.

Earlier in my driving around I spotted some strange looking clouds.  I thought it was the end of the world, such strange shapes.  It turned out to be Cumulonimbus incus.  Google it.  It’s a classic anvil shaped thundercloud.  Luckily they sidled off westward before they could drop their thunderbolts and the inevitable rain.  The sunset really was lovely.  I don’t usually shoot sunsets because you get suckered in by the colour contrasts and just shoot wildly, but this time I planned the shot with the old tree and fencepost in the middle distance to hold the viewer’s eye while allowing them to appreciate the colours in the sunset.

img_3457-flickr-1I was stuck for an Inktober shot tonight and it defaulted to my glasses on the coffee table.  That meant I couldn’t wear them and that’s my excuse for poor proportions.  That coffee table is almost forty years old, an antique.  It was my second year project at college and it’s still standing.

Well, that’s it.  I’m hoping to get to bed the same day I woke up.  It may happen.

DSC_8709- blog

Back in harness – 17 October 2016


Today I returned to the gym for the first time in months.  I took it easy, not wanting to undo all the good the physio had done.  I did my 10 mins on the recumbent bike and 10 mins on the treadmill, although I did up the incline and the speed to get my heart rate up a bit.  I also did one of the arm machines and one of the leg machines, so not too much yet.  I even managed a swim as the pool was nearly empty.  Unfortunately, Mondays are busy days and I had to get back home to get the dinner made.  Then it was off to Kizomba and Salsa.

Kizomba was quite stressful for me as we had to work on foot moves and arm moves too on Saida and Cross Step.  If I continue with the class, as seems likely just now, and if I look back at these posts (DV), the Saida and Cross Step will seem very tame, I’m sure, but tonight they were tough.  Salsa was frantic as usual and also very enjoyable.  Nice to see Catherine Mc back.

img_3452-flickrToday’s photo was of the peanut thief caught raiding the bird feeder again this morning.  The Inktober sketch is of Scamp’s Venetian mask.  It was a bit out of my comfort zone because of the amount of curves in it and the fact that there was light and shade to deal with on those curved surfaces.  Still, it’s a fair representation of the article.  What will tomorrow’s be?

Don’t know what the weather is going to do tomorrow.  The majority of the votes are for some sunny periods but with the chance of rain and some strong winds.  That about sums up any day in Scotland.

DSC_8709- blog

A New Start – 8 August 2016

8 augToday we returned to the gym after a couple of months lay off.  Hopefully it will be a return to fitness for us with our stated intention of having two days a week at the gym and pool.  Well, the weans will be back at school next week, so there should be fewer of them in the pool.  It was good to get back to a bit of exercise.

In the afternoon I went for a walk along the railway and got some good shots of a couple of Red Admiral butterflies as well as some abstract looking photos of translucent seed pods on the gorse bushes.  It was a lovely day when I was out, but half an hour earlier it had been heavy rain.  I wasn’t complaining, because the sun shone all the time I was out.

To complete our ‘new start’, Scamp started back at salsa class tonight and her shoulder held up with very little pain or awkwardness.  Tomorrow will be a better test to see how successful it was.

Off to Larkhall tomorrow for eye checks for us both.

DSC_8709- blog

Friday Bank Holiday – 27 May 2016

DSC_5883- flickr--148Today is the second May Bank Holiday. Why do we have two bank holidays in May? It could be because we usually enjoy some good weather in May. It might be because the bankers need an extra day or two to spend their exorbitant wages. Wages they earn by screwing more money from us by investing our money and then creaming off the majority of the interest and leaving us with the odd penny or two for our efforts. I was thinking about this when I closed my old pocket money account with Santander or Abbey National as it was when I opened it many moons ago. It’s not been used for years and recently I got a letter to say that it was being made dormant. As part of my ‘tidying up’ day on Wednesday, I closed it and pocketed my £14 and some odd smash. My interest had remained the same for the last seven years, 1p per annum. Before that it had been at the heady heights of 11p p/a. If it hadn’t been for that 10p drop, I would have been a rich man today and could have retired on my profits much earlier. I admit I would have had to pay capital gains tax, but I wouldn’t have minded. That’s the effect the credit crunch has on my life.

Gym and a swim for us today. Scamp was being very cautious and only attempted leg exercises but didn’t swim. She did soak up some heat in the sauna and steam room plus, of course, she had to have her 10 minutes in the jacuzzi.  A good place to be on such a dull day.

Today’s photo marks the start of the strawberry vodka season.

DSC_8709- blog

Moves Like Jagger – 16 May 2016

combo bWent to give my blood donation for testing for diabetes and lots of other things. Came home and enjoyed a plate of porridge by which time the cloudy skies were breaking up and blue sky was shining through again. Later, after lunch I went to the gym, the first time in weeks, and it felt like it. I really must get into a more realistic regime to utilise this fitness resource. I don’t think once a month is going to be good enough. While I was on the torture bike, the video for ‘Moves like Jagger’ was on the screen. I don’t usually watch or listen to the music videos that play in the gym, but I did in this case.

After returning from the gym and without a photo, I grabbed a few shots of flowers in the garden. Scamp had just given them a drink with the hose and the water beads made them a bit more interesting. White pasta for dinner AKA Spaghetti Carbonara. We ate it watching Pointless, a must watch in out house. One of the questions was about ‘Moves like Jagger’. Now there’s a coincidence.

For a wee bit extra exercise tonight, I drove in to Glasgow on a lovely balmy evening for an hour of salsa and an hour of bachata afterwards. During the bachata we were practising a move called Elvis Presley and the teacher said “I don’t have any Elvis tracks, but I’ve got the next best thing. You guessed it, ‘Moves like Jagger’. I think it’s following me.

DSC_8709- blog

Just walking in the rain – 13 April 2016

combo bIt’s been a bit of a mixed up day. It started off dry then it rained then it was dry for a while then it rained again. We had both decided to go to the gym in the morning. It turned out to be early afternoon, but who cares. Pool was busy when we got there, so we agreed to do a bit of gym work first. It looks like about 1pm is the optimum time for a swim. The “brown towels” (the spa folk) go for their lunch then and the pool empties. At least it did today.

After our lunch the sky cleared and the rain stopped and I went out to St Mo’s to get some photos, armed with both Olys in my new bag. I hardly got out the door when the rain started. However, I plodded on and got some shots of coots’ nests. I don’t remember ever seeing them before. Saw a deer, but it was off too quickly for me. There were lots of snails and slugs about, so that may be a sign that the worst of the frosts are past. Finally got some decent shots of bursting buds. Impressed with the sharpness from the Panasonic lens if I switch off the vibration control and rely on the in-camera anti-shake. Another lesson learned.

DSC_8709- blog

Moody Monday – 4 April 2016

P4040124- flickr--95It has rained almost all day, but that’s ok, because it produced today’s PoD which is a water drop of the curve of a tulip leaf with another tulip leaf or two behind.  Taken with the somewhat bypassed E-PL5.  That shouldn’t be the case, because the E-PL5 is an excellent camera.  In some ways it surpasses the E-M10 in that the rear screen has even more flexibility than the ’10’s and the EVF can flip vertically to allow the camera to be at ground level with the photog looking down through the viewfinder and out through the lens rather than lying prone to get one eye to the viewfinder as is the case with the ’10.  Without the EVF, it’s just that little bit nearer too which is a great advantage for taking candid shots which I occasionally do.  I used the kit lens for the above shot and it makes a fine fist of the job.  For some reason, the ’10 doesn’t like the kit lens and produces dark blobs which look like dust bunnies but aren’t.  I’ve checked with my sensor checker lupe and the sensor is clean.  The lens also had a problem with the aperture leafs sticking which caused the ’10 to overexpose occasionally, but the ‘5 hasn’t shown either of these faults so far.  I’ll keep a weather eye open for problems in the next week or so.

Like I said, it was a wet day today, and as is Monday which is Scamp’s day for Gems, I made myself scarce this afternoon and did a little bit of work in the gym and then had bit of a swim and then 15 minutes in the sauna to round off my session for the day.  Pool was very busy, but that’s to be expected with the school Easter holidays on.

Hoping to go to salsa tonight and maybe try to remember what we did in bachata last week.  Hoping for better weather tomorrow and the chance to get my bike out.

DSC_8709- blog

Another day not wasted – 30 March 2016

combo bUp fairly early and went to the gym. Scamp was quite circumspect with the machines, not wanting to aggravate here sore shoulder and then a heat soak in the steam room, the sauna and the jacuzzi.

After a quick light lunch I toddled off to fill up with petrol which has gone up to 101.99p per litre a rise of 2p since last week. I drove around for a while after that frittering away that expensive alcohol looking for some photos. I eventually settled on Hulks Road but luckily didn’t encounter any gigantic angry green men and got a few shots looking down the valley towards Glasgow an the incoming rain clouds.

Tonight we went to salsa as we hadn’t had our dancing fix on Monday because it was Easter holiday.  Drove through some torrential rain showers with the sun shining brightly behind them.  Worth it though.  Exhausted after two classes and found they were pretending to repair the motorway again and there were diversions everywhere. I made my own diversion and found a way back on. Why do they divert you to a slip road that’s closed? Only Glasgow has the answer and they’re not telling anyone. Looks like a decent day tomorrow, so we’re heading for some scenery somewhere. That’s the plan anyway.

DSC_8709- blog

More bright intervals – 23 March 2016

combo bWent to the gym and then had a swim this morning, or to be more precise, we split it over midday.

After lunch we went different ways. Scamp stayed in and did the ironing, and I went a walk along the old railway. It seemed like a good idea as there were occasional breaks in he clouds and the sun was managing to shine through. Everybody and their dog was out walking today and I mean that literally everybody had at least one dog. Some had two, some had three. One woman went over the score and had five or six of the yappy wee things. I must get a dog. Everyone else has one. I hate to be left out (Joke!) I have no intention of saddling myself with a dog, cat, rabbit or budgie. I’ve got Scamp and me and that’s more than enough.

Today’s shots are all of weeds I saw on the walk.  To some they are just weeds, but when you look closely, there are so many little details in them that you miss if you see them as ‘just’ weeds  It’s that and the shapes they make and the hidden colours in them that I find interesting.  Well, they are to me.

There’s a sign halfway along the path I walk explaining that the path follows the route of an old mineral railway which linked various pits and quarries around Kilsyth and Twechar. The sign goes on to explain that the wagons were pulled by little engines called Pugs. I remember my dad telling me about the pugs that pulled the Hutches (small wagons) at the clay mine he worked at quite near Twechar. The sign always reminds me of my dad and his stories and the way he would kind of draw the scene in the air as he was talking Almost like his hand holding an imaginary pencil. Also the way he used to talk. The way he smacked his lips when he was really involved in his story. It’s when I take the time to remember these things that I can see him sitting there telling stories. He was a great story teller.