Shopping and Waterfalls – 13 July 2021

Basically in that order.

We spoke to Hazy in the morning and found out how things were progressing now that Neil-D is on his last week of teaching before his summer holidays start. Plans were discussed and decisions made. I missed the start of the call because I was playing “Dress the Dolly” to see if my suit would still fit me for the service on Saturday morning. It did.

We went shopping later in the morning and Scamp drove us to Tesco. Lots of stuff on the list to buy. Not all of it was for us, because Scamp was using up one of our Covid test vouchers and we’d already agreed that half of the value should be ploughed back into the community by way of the food bank. We both chose things to put in the bank and then we added the things we needed, finally completing the shop with things we would like. That’s how I saw the shop progressing.

Back home and after lunch Scamp was gardening and I was going out to test my 10 Stop ND filter on the waterfall of the Luggie Water. Basically the filter cuts out lots of light from reaching the sensor of the camera, allowing me to use a much slower shutter speed than normal. You’ve probably seen those moody photos of misty looking sea or clouds apparently streaking across the sky. It’s done with a dark filter. The ND part just stands for Neutral Density, in other words, it doesn’t add any colour to the shot.

The waterfall is really quite impressive for such a small river. I usually try to photograph it from below, but this time I though I’d try a view looking across the top, or down from the top. It wasn’t the best decision because the water rounded rocks at the top of the falls were slimy and slippery. I had to grab some low growing branches to keep me from falling in. Unfortunately there were nettles growing over them and I got a few nasty stings from them. They say that if you grasp a nettle quickly and hard you don’t get stung. That’s not true!

I got the shot I wanted and you can see the result above. I was quite pleased with it, but I wish now I’d taken the shot from below. I suppose I could go back and do it again some time. I maybe need to wait until there’s been some rain and the falls are flowing faster.

I walked down to the old railway bridge and tried a shot from there. To get there I had to wade through some gigantic plants about 2m high with leaves that look for all the world like rhubarb. I’m not sure if its Butterbur or Chilean Rhubarb (Gunnera tinctoria) which is an invasive plant from South America. Anyway, the shot didn’t work very well. More work needed on the ND filter.

Tomorrow we’re planning on going to The Fort and maybe having lunch there.

Another early(ish) rise – 23 November 2020

Off to get some paint, not watercolour and not for me.

Shona is getting her living room painted and needed transport to get the half a dozen tins of paint from B&Q. I didn’t think it would be open, because away back in March it was closed for the first few weeks of Lockdown. It was open today but there was no queue. Found the paint after a hunt round the shelves. Organisation is not the watchword in this B&Q by the look of things. Drove back to her flat and carried the tins up the stair, dumped them and headed back to coffee in our house, our good deed done for the day.

I waited a while before I started interrogating the NAS drive again, but I was fairly sure it would work this time. It didn’t. I couldn’t get in through the control panel (called a Dashboard). I couldn’t get in through my homemade access app that’s worked for the last three years. I couldn’t get in through the low-level Network app in Utilities. I eventually succumbed to the inevitable and sourced a video that showed how to get into the case without the use of a claw hammer. That worked quite neatly. The upshot was the drive is undamaged, but it’s formatted to Linux and the partitions are Linux too. One person suggested booting into a Linux distro and using that to access the files. It works, but I can’t work out how to download them from there. More research needed.

By the time I’d gone through all these hoops, it was too late to get any photos, so after dinner I took the NAS hard drive and set up the tabletop you see here. If in doubt, use minifigs to set up something to laugh at. This one brightened my night. Well, that and the remains of yesterday’s wine.

Today’s sketch is brought to you by the letter ‘C’.  It could have been Citrus, Coconut or Camera, but I finally settled for two carrots.  Pencil sketch with a splash of watercolour.  I was fairly happy with the final result.  Managed to post it to Instagram from the computer, using Developer Tools in Chrome.  Nice little workaround.

That was about it for a really dull, depressing day. I’m sure my Italian Pal who understands Linux will have a solution to my problem. I’ll email him tomorrow. A wee challenge for him.

Tomorrow we have no plans. There may be dry spells in the rainstorms that are blowing in from the Atlantic. We might manage to catch one of those dry spells for a walk.

In better tid today – 21 November 2020

I learned the word ‘Tid’ when we were down in Newton Stewart. It sort of mean ‘state’ and I’ve only heard it in a positive setting.

So, today my head was in a better place, that’s what I was saying. Number one, I had a good sleep and a long one too. Woke fairly refreshed. Secondly, the problem with the NAS drive had resolved itself. Yesterday after the electrician plugged in the hub for the Hive, my NAS changed its IP address and nothing I did would get it back again. Today, I think, the OS had taken a long hard look and consulted its DNS spreadsheet and discovered the new address for the NAS (I apologise if that’s too many UPPER case abbreviations, JIC). Whatever happened, the NAS was online again.

A possible third reason was that our Hive controlled lightbulb arrived and we could play with it. Scamp was the first one to get it installed on her phone, but couldn’t quite remember how she did it. Then my phone registered it too. We had some fun switching it on and off, brightening it and dulling it, and then it was lunch time. Simple things and simple minds!

After lunch I chose to go out for a walk and a rainstorm was just waiting for me to walk about half a mile before dumping on me. I walked to the butchers and waited in the queue which went down quite quickly until some dimwit wanted a whole lamb rack French dressed, and then said she wanted them cut into individual chops. All the while she was chatting up the butcher. Eventually the women who work in the shop could see their wet customers considering leaving and decided they could allow two people in the shop as long as they were socially distant. When the dimwit entered the shop there were two of us waiting outside, when I left there were about nine wet, disgruntled shoppers. Some people just don’t care about others.

Came back home via St Mo’s and as the weather had brightened up considerably, I got some photos in the sunshine for a change. My favourite, and PoD was the tree.

I wasn’t long home when my parcel arrived from Amazon with its autofocus adapter to allow some of my old Nikon lenses to work seamlessly with the Sony A7. I was pleasantly surprised to find that two out of three worked completely. One didn’t quite cover all the bases, but enough to make it a worthwhile investment.

Nick the Chick (no, I wouldn’t risk calling her that to her face!) put a large swathe of Scotland into Level 4 on Friday, yesterday. Unluckily for me, I’m in Level 4 of the Scottish Covid prevention scheme. It’s not total lockdown, but it’s fairly close to it. With that in mind I decided I’d start sketching again. Initially it will be alphabetical subjects.
Today it starts with ‘A’ is for Apple.

Tomorrow may be a case of sunshine and showers, but we can survive that. We may go for a walk.