Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sunday Photo Walk

I went out for an hour this morning to take some photos for the scavenger hunt.  I'm not posting those photos today, but I thought I'd share a few of the other photos I took when I was out.

I started off in Westbury (about 3 miles from home) because I wanted to photograph the War Memorial for the hunt.  This is part of the wrought iron railing that surrounds the memorial.












Then over to the Southwick Country Park (about 2 miles the other side of home) to look for some photo opportunities.  There's still plenty of autumn colour about, some lovely purple ....
and some vibrant yellow .... 


















and finally, I want to do a series of  a monthly photo of the same subject.  This view is a possibility but I'm still looking around.  I plan to start in January.
Many thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes yesterday.  I had a lovely day with family and friends.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

An avenue of trees in Calne, taken yesterday. 

The Simple Woman's Daybook - 26 November 2011

FOR TODAY - Saturday, 26th November 2011, 18:35pm

Outside my window... it is sunny, but very cold.

I am thinking... what a lovely day I've had today (it's my birthday).  The children sang 'Happy Birthday' to me at band practice this morning and I've had visits from friends and family with more family to visit later.  Also lots of birthday messages on Facebook.

I am thankful... that we have got the heating working properly and the house is lovely and warm.  I thought we'd need to get a service engineer as we couldn't get the house warm enough but it's all sorted. 

I am learning ... to get myself organised.  There's still lots to do but I am finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

In the kitchen... I'm just about to cook the evening meal. Steak for Ced, lamb for me + roasties, veg and gravy. 

I am wearing... t shirt, skirt and cardigan.

I am creating... the photos for the Photo Scavenger Hunt.  The list was hard this time but I'm plodding my way through it.

I am going... to catch up on my posts for Project 365.  All of the photos are ready, I just have to get blogger to work properly so that I can upload all of them.

I am wondering... how next week will go ... I've organised a Christmas music concert for one of my schools and it's on Wednesday.   

I am reading... 'The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly

I am hoping... that my sister has enjoyed our birthday.  She's has to work all weekend so for the first time in years we haven't seen each other on our birthday.  We did speak this morning though, but it's not the same!

I am looking forward to... having Julie and Lauren to tea on Monday.

I am hearing... the TV. Ced is watching 'Miss Marple'

Around the house... it is quiet.  We're both in the living room.

I am pondering... what the visit to Ced's neurologist in two weeks time will bring and what changes we will need to make as a result of the consultation.

One of my favourite things... frosty mornings when you can see your breath ... but only when I don't have to de-ice the car!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Teaching Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Friends visiting on Monday and family on Tuesday.  Concert on Wednesday evening.

Here is a thought I am sharing ...


image from Google


If you'd like to see other daybooks, or take part yourself, please visit this site.

All about ... My Birthday

My birthday = 26 November

Go to Wikipedia and type in your Birthday month and day only, then

List 3 Events that occurred that day:
  • 1922 - Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon become the first people to enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3000 years.
  • 1983 - Brink's-MAT robbery: in London, 6,800 gold bars worth nearly £26 million are stolen from the Brink's-MAT vault at Heathrow Airport.
  • 2003 - Concorde makes its final flight over Bristol, England.
List 2 Important Birthdays:
  • 1910 - Cyril Cusack, Irish actor (d. 1993)
  • 1922 - Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist (d. 2000)
List 1 Death:
  • 1996 - Michael Bentine, British comedian (b. 1922)
List a Holiday or Observance. (if any):
  • 26th November is the feast day of Saint John Berchmans

Friday, 25 November 2011

26 Week Photo Challenge 2 - Photograph the Light

Here are my three offerings.  I had loads of ideas about this theme but the weather failed to co-operate on the days I had time to do some photographs!  In the end I took all of my pics today.  I arrived at my Friday school early so had 20 minutes to search for some photo opportunities and was lucky enough to have strong, bright sunlight in those 20 minutes - almost like a summer day.

All were taken using aperture priority but I didn't take note of the other technical details.  I'm only sure of of the aperture priority because I was actually organised enough to set that before I left home!  All of the photos are straight out of the camera.

1 - the first photo: This is the roof of the school reflected in a puddle. The lines across the centre are the relections of some cables.












2 - the best/favourite photo:  Back out to the road, this is the avenue of trees in front of the church which is next door to the school.  I like the lines created by the shadows and the vanishing point, although not in the best place, still works for me.


















3 - the final photo: This one was taken from inside the school looking out through a locked window across the flat roof which is always inches deep in rainwater. The grey shapes at the top of the photo are the roof of a shed and part of the heating system.  I was on tip-toes to get this photo and couldn't avoid their inclusion as the alternative was the inclusion of a very out of focus (and dirty) window frame.

I've enjoyed the challenge this time and am looking forward to seeing everyone else's photos.  Thanks to Karen for organising the challenge.



3 in 30 Challenge - November 2011, week 4

Here's my update for week 4.  Good progress has been made so I'm calling this month a success.  

Goal 1: I've got behind on the paperwork relating to my work so by the end of this month I want to have cleared the backlog and sorted out an achievable routine for keeping up-to-date.
Week 1 update: I'm about half way through the backlog and should have it all cleared by the end of next week.
Week 3 update: I'm just about up to date on this. All the backlog is cleared and I'm trying to manage a system for staying on top of things.
Week 4 update: The backlog is completely cleared and I've decided how and when to do the paperwork in the future. I've managed to keep on top of things this week so am feeling quietly confident that this new system will be a keeper!

Goal 2: Another sort of decluttering but this time with the computer. I need to clear out loads of obsolete bookmarks and documents and set in place an achievable routine for backing up files.
Week 1 update: I've been steadily working through the bookmarks but still have loads to do. This is a fairly simple task and I've been doing it during the TV adverts!
Week 3 update: I've still got loads to do on this one. I haven't made any significant progress in the last two weeks mainly due to problems with internet access. I think this goal will have to continue next month as I can't see how I'll get it finished by the end of November.
Week 4 update: I'm still plodding through these but there is no way I'll get them finished this month.  Christmas performance start next week so I'll be working longer hours and won't have the time to devote to this.  I'm calling this a partial success.

Goal 3: I have a list of small DIY jobs to complete which will make life easier but I never get round to doing them. Nothing major, just things like oiling a lock, adjusting the hinges on a couple of kitchen cupboards and a few checks which need to be done before winter sets in.
Week 1 update: I haven't started this one yet. I hope to do a couple of tasks this week.
Week 3 update: I'm about half way through the list so I'm still hoping to be finished by the end of the month.
Week 4 update: All done. Another success.

Linking up with the 3 in 30 Challenge

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Slim Down Sunday 15



Goal: To change my lifestyle and in doing so, lose weight and increase fitness.

Pounds lost: I don't know - I'm not weighing. I've now lost approx. 2 inches from my measurements since I started.

How it's gone this week: I seem to be stuck - no further change in measurements at all. I'm doing well with controlling portion size and fluid intake. 

Plan for this week: Continue with plenty of fluids and the calories in/out balance. Stick to the 400 calorie breakfasts and midday meals and build up my recipes/ideas for this.  Start to do this for the evening meals as well although it'll have to be a gradual thing because I still need to use the contents of the freezer.  Lack of proper exercise is obviously the next major thing to tackle so I'll give it some thought, see if I can come up with some ideas to get me started. 

To see how others are getting on, or to join in yourself, visit Slim Down Sunday at this site.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook - 19 November 2011

FOR TODAY - Saturday, 19th November 2011, 11:15am

Outside my window... it is sunny, but cold.

I am thinking... about the band practice this morning.  Mostly went to plan but one boy ended up in tears through frustration and had a bit of a melt down.  I managed to sort it out but am feeling quite stressed at the moment!

I am thankful... that I have access to the internet again.  I just need blogger to sort itself out and then all will be well.  I can't get my photos to load and am having difficulty commenting on other people's posts - is anyone else having this problem? 

I am learning ... about the various modes on my camera.

In the kitchen... I'm just about to cook brunch - bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns, tomato and mushrooms.

I am wearing... t shirt, skirt and cardigan.

I am creating... havoc!  The back bedroom looks like a bomb has hit it - I'm finally getting to the end of sorting out all our papers and now need to get some storage sorted out.

I am going... to take some photos tomorrow for the 26 week challenge and also try to catch up on my posts for project 365.

I am wondering... how my niece is.  She has been very poorly but is now on the mend. 

I am reading... 'Killing Floor' by Lee Child.

I am hoping... that our friend's treatment starts soon.  He has been diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus.

I am looking forward to... visits from family and friends next week. 

I am hearing... the radio.  Ced is listening to a Sherlock Holmes story.

Around the house... it's definitely time to do some housework.

I am pondering... the changes that will be needed to care for Ced in the future as the Motor Neurone disease progresses. 

One of my favourite things... time spent with Ced, enjoying the moment.

A few plans for the rest of the week: family visiting on Tuesday and Wednesday. Teaching Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Here is a thought I am sharing ...
image from Google


If you'd like to see other daybooks, or take part yourself, please visit this site.

Friday, 18 November 2011

3 in 30 Challenge - November, week 3

Due to a combination of sickness, problems with internet access and problems with blogger, I didn't manage to do an update last week.  Here's my progress so far this month:

Goal 1: I've got behind on the paperwork relating to my work so by the end of this month I want to have cleared the backlog and sorted out an achievable routine for keeping up-to-date.
Week 1 update: I'm about half way through the backlog and should have it all cleared by the end of next week.
Week 3 update: I'm just about up to date on this.  All the backlog is cleared and I'm trying to manage a system for staying on top of things.

Goal 2: Another sort of decluttering but this time with the computer. I need to clear out loads of obsolete bookmarks and documents and set in place an achievable routine for backing up files.
Week 1 update: I've been steadily working through the bookmarks but still have loads to do. This is a fairly simple task and I've been doing it during the TV adverts!
Week 3 update: I've still got loads to do on this one. I haven't made any significant progress in the last two weeks mainly due to problems with internet access.  I think this goal will have to continue next month as I can't see how I'll get it finished by the end of November.

Goal 3: I have a list of small DIY jobs to complete which will make life easier but I never get round to doing them. Nothing major, just things like oiling a lock, adjusting the hinges on a couple of kitchen cupboards and a few checks which need to be done before winter sets in.
Week 1 update: I haven't started this one yet. I hope to do a couple of tasks this week.
Week 3 update: I'm about half way through the list so I'm still hoping to be finished by the end of the month.

Linking up with the 3 in 30 Challenge

Sunday, 13 November 2011

26 Week Photo Challenge 1 - Backyard

I found this theme really difficult and, although I've managed to end up with three reasonable photographs, they are definitely not my best - I wouldn't bother to print any of them.

Why was it so difficult? Well the back garden was overrun with brambles and has been sprayed to kill it off so definitely not a photographer's paradise - full of dead brambles and cleared patches of soil, all very 'brown' looking! The front garden is not much better, just the concrete drive, some gravel and a wheelchair lift for my partner.

With no real chance of taking any 'beautiful' photos I've tried to work on technique aiming at improving depth of field and focus. I haven't been entirely successful, so any tips to point me in the right direction will be very much appreciated.

All photos are straight out of the camera, taken on a Nikon D3100 using the 18-55mm zoom lens. I forgot to take note of the actual set up for each photo, sorry.

1 - the first photo

This is the first one I took and is a 'slightly out of focus' shot of the only green thing in sight - no idea what it is, probably a weed, found growing in an opened bag of sand. I'm pleased with the out of focus background but am struggling with my new camera to get the subject matter completely in focus.















2 - the best/favourite photo

Despite the fact that this is a 'nothing' sort of photo with boring subject matter and I wouldn't have it on the wall, it is my favourite one. It's one of the handrails on the wheelchair lift (thought I'd tell you that so you didn't waste too much time trying to figure out what it is!). I'm pleased with the depth of field and for once the focus, although still not spot on, is on the correct place.













3 - the final photo

This is some peeling wood on the back of the shed. I think it could have done with some more contrast by use of light/shadow.


















Not a good start to the challenge and I promise to do better next time (but I have my fingers crossed as I don't know what Karen has planned!). Well done to everyone who took part and I'll be visiting later to comment. Thanks to Karen for organising the challenge.

Linking with Karen @ Me, My Camera, Eye


Monday, 7 November 2011

Welcome to Yvonne

.... to Yvonne @ Yvonne's Life and Loves











image from Google

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Slim Down Sunday 14



Goal: To change my lifestyle and in doing so, lose weight and increase fitness.

Pounds lost: I don't know - I'm not weighing. I've now lost approx. 2 inches from my measurements since I started.

How it's gone this week: No change really.  I haven't put any weight back on but I haven't lost any either.  I've sort of started on the 4 x 400 calorie meals daily but it's going be a staggered transfer to this way of eating as there are too many things in the freezer to waste.  This week I've been sticking to 400 calorie breakfasts and been searching the internet for ideas - so far so good and the breakfasts are easy to sort out.  Still no exercise but I'm managing to stick to the correct amount of fluids.

Plan for this week: Continue with plenty of fluids and the calories in/out balance. Stick to the 400 calorie breakfasts and build up my recipes/ideas for this.  Also introduce some 400 calorie midday meals if possible. Try to do some exercise! Bet I don't manage this last one!!

To see how others are getting on, or to join in yourself, visit Slim Down Sunday at this site.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook - 5 November 2011

FOR TODAY - Saturday, 5th November 2011, 17:20pm

Outside my window... it is dark. It's been a cold, wet day.

I am thinking... about a friend who is going into hospital next week.

I am thankful... that this week is nearly over.  It's been hard going!

I am learning ... to use my camera without relying on the auto features.

In the kitchen... not a lot is happening.  I need to get the evening meal ready, but I'll finish this first.

I am wearing... t shirt, skirt and cardigan.

I am creating... the slide show for my Thursday school's Christmas music concert.

I am going... to take some photos tomorrow.

I am wondering... what to buy my sister for her birthday.

I am reading... 'Never Look Away' by Linwood Barclay.

I am hoping... that I can get all the Christmas presents sorted by the end of November.

I am looking forward to... seeing my friend next week and catching up with all the news.

I am hearing... the TV. Ced is waiting for a Mr Bean film to finish so he can watch the news.

Around the house... it's time to replace the kitchen and bathroom.

I am pondering... nothing. I'm still trying to live 'in the moment' and not dwell on what the future holds.

One of my favourite things... laughing so much it hurts!

A few plans for the rest of the week: family visiting on Tuesday and Wednesday. Teaching Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Here is a thought I am sharing ...

image from Google


If you'd like to see other daybooks, or take part yourself, please visit this site.

3 in 30 Challenge - November 2011, week 1

I've decided to change direction slightly to see if I can get back on target and achieve the goals I set myself.  So with this in mind I have set three fairly simple goals this month:

Goal 1: I've got behind on the paperwork relating to my work so by the end of this month I want to have cleared the backlog and sorted out an achievable routine for keeping up-to-date.
Week 1 update: I'm about half way through the backlog and should have it all cleared by the end of next week.

Goal 2: Another sort of decluttering but this time with the computer.  I need to clear out loads of obsolete bookmarks and documents and set in place an achievable routine for backing up files.
Week 2 update: I've been steadily working through the bookmarks but still have loads to do.  This is a fairly simple task and I've been doing it during the TV adverts!

Goal 3: I have a list of small DIY jobs to complete which will make life easier but I never get round to doing them.  Nothing major, just things like oiling a lock, adjusting the hinges on a couple of kitchen cupboards and a few checks which need to be done before winter sets in.
Week 1 update: I haven't started this one yet.  I hope to do a couple of tasks this week.

Linking up with the 3 in 30 Challenge

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Welcome


... to Karen @ Me, My Camera, Eye



image from Google