Corona Chronicles ~ 9

It’s been a few weeks since I did an update, so here’s number 9. I’m now in my 8th week back at work and it’s not letting up. I’m getting through 48 patients a week, and have got a routine down pat now. Masks are compulsory of course and I’ve got used to wearing one for most of the day, though when I have a plastic apron and my headlamp on I get uncomfortable and hot, but I’d rather that than be unprotected. So far no virus detected so although I’m certainly not blasΓ© I’m also not too worried.

Phil is more worried as it’s so difficult in the full bifta, with face shields, masks, gowns and xray lead gowns to cope with, he is dreading a 2nd wave.

We have had an entertaining 4 weeks at home however. At the beginning of June Sophie got on a plane and went to Spain to visit her chap Mentat. They hadn’t seen each other for 3 months due to the lockdowns first there and then here. She was only going for 2 weeks and asked me to have her 2 cats whilst she was away and of course I said yes. Then the flight she was on got cancelled but they gave her an earlier one so that made it 3 weeks, and then her home flight was re-arranged for later and we’ve ended up with them for a month! Today when I get home Phil and I will return them.

They are a funny pair, Vinnie is HUGE and just wants to eat and sleep

Vinnie

and Winnie is small, doesn’t eat a huge amount and is mad as a box of frogs, chasing balls, up a height, here, there and everywhere!

Winnie on top of a door πŸ™„

They’ve been no trouble, well maybe there was an incident when Winnie climbed the curtains

πŸ˜†

and a few times we couldn’t find her

🧐

they like sleeping a lot, especially in the sunshine

πŸ’€

and Winnie loves being in a box

or in a plastic bag

but her favourite spot is our Herky’s old place of preference

Vinnie really liked Phil

πŸ™‚

and he can do the cute thing too

and he made us laugh as he is too big for the cat toilet Sophie provided and has to stick his head out the door!

πŸ˜‚

It took Vinnie 2 days to come out from under our bed when he first arrived, but Winnie just got straight into everything. We’ve had to keep doors and windows shut as she is an escape artiste extraordinaire, which hasn’t been easy, so am looking forward to opening up the conservatory again when it’s warm. But we will miss them when they’ve gone home, it’s been so nice to have pets for a while.

But no, we won’t be getting our own, we still haven’t forgotten the trauma of Skye & Storm, and are not ready to be open to that again, and maybe one day we’ll be able to go on holiday again too!

Talking of which, it’s my birthday next month and it’s traditional to go away for that. We’re going to stay in Jedburgh for a couple of nights, a place not too far away but somewhere I’ve wanted to take my camera for a long time, so will look forward to that.

The garden wildlife is still ongoing, not as many hedgehogs as there were in spring when it was hot, but June and July have been pretty dismal regarding rain so the Hedgeies probably have enough natural food, the bugs and stuff. We have had an unexpected visitor though,

He was a bit of a surprise!

And that’s all my news!

Feb 01 ~Tales from Fraggle Towers.

Not the best of weeks, Phil has had a bad cold, and gave it to me so am not feeling the best. I also gave up alcohol last Sunday which (apparently) made me grumpy at work πŸ˜€ . I stopped giving up last night so I must be happy again, but I’m feeling poorly so I can’t tell.

In spite of that, Sophie and I had a little outing today, to see the visiting Knife Angel. We also went into the Baltic art gallery, and went to lunch in The Empourium just over the river in Newcastle. I took the Rollei but I noticed after a few pictures that the counter has not moved, though it feels like the film is being wound on, so not sure what’s going on. I’ll take a few more to see if it gets to the end of the film and it’s just the counter not working, but it may be the film isn’t being wound on and I’ll have to retrieve it. πŸ™„ I should just stick with the Minolta, no problems with that little baby.

The Knife Angel is a 27ft sculpture crafted out of 100,000 knives that have been surrendered to police forces across the country. It is also known as the National Monument Against Violence & Aggression. It was first unveiled in 2017 and has been touring the UK since. Artist Alfie Bradley worked with The British Ironwork Centre who contacted the Home Office requesting permission to collect knives from police forces in the hope of prompting new knife amnesties with the Ironworks offering to supply each force with knife bins free of charge. Permission was granted and the campaign took off.

Once the knives and weapons were delivered to The Centre’s workshop in Shropshire, artist Alfie got to work. He created a structure out of steel and formed the basic shape which the knives could then be welded onto.

He then disinfected every blade, some which were still blood-stained.

He then blunted each knife before welding it onto the sculpture. The wings were created using the blades only, creating a feather like appearance.

Knife Angel at The Sage

Day 365 ~ The End

So that is that. A 365 project is not always as easy as you’d think, it doesn’t sound hard, just one picture a day, but when the weather is pants and you’re knackered after a days work, sometimes the creative juices are nowhere to be found and you end up doing what I call ‘throw away’ shots. I don’t think I made too many of those, but more than I’d like.

I wanted to explore Black & White photography, as I’m such a colour junkie normally, and I think I’ve done OK there. I have shifted how I view things and have been constantly on the look out for light and shade, making more of contrasts than I used to do. I feel I’ve learned and grown into it.

So what next? As always I’ll be going on outings with Sophie and writing them up over on the Universe Blog. As well as that I will be delving more into my film photography, I did very little of that this year as outings and the 365 took up my photography time. This year I’m going to attempt one roll a month, so you won’t see anything much before mid February when the first roll gets developed, and then I’ll be doing a weekly post with some of the results. These will all go up on the Fragglefilm blog so if you are not following there go on over and click the Follow button πŸ™‚ !

I’ll still be popping up on here too with various bits and pieces.

Lastly I especially want to thank Pete, Kim, April and Naomi, who have commented on just about every photo I’ve posted here this year, I really appreciate that, that support meant a lot to me and helped keep me going. And thanks to anyone who liked my posts and popped in a comment occasionally too, you are also very much appreciated.

Happy New Year everyone and see you next year hopefully!

Day 365 ~ ready to go!

Day 363

Hmm, if this is day 363, then 365 will be on 30th December, and as I started this on Jan 01, I should be doing my last one on Dec 31st. 😳 Dang it, will have to check and see if I’ve mislabelled one.

In the meantime, back to the Land of The Giants

Day 363 (maybe) The Pastry Portals to Vollyvont Land.

Day 361 & Tales from Fraggle Towers

Phil’s little tank thingy is now the proud owner of a S I G 33 heavy infantry gun. Made from the parts in 2 different kits, and also some of it was built from scratch. Once the tank body is painted he’ll attach the gun, do some figures, and Bob’s your Uncle. That might take a while yet.

Day 361 ~ SIG 33

In other news today we’ve had our Christmas lunch, which of course took most of the day to cook, Leg of Lamb in a garlic & herby rub, with roast Balsamic and honey Brussels, roast parsnips & carrots in a honey & maple glaze, cauliflower & broccolli in cheese sauce and Dauphinoise potatoes. Took most of the day to cook and 15 mins to eat πŸ™„πŸ€£ `Loads left over but it won’t go to waste :).

I’m liking Netflix, we have discovered that you can watch it through an Xbox 1, which Phil has, and have now found out that you can set up the X-box sound output for dolby atmos, which is cracking great sound, and our TV room is set up for that.

SO we’ve been doing movies of course, with all the bells and whistles. Firstly – 6 Underground starring Ryan Reynolds, an actor I’m quite fond of through his Deadpool rolls. The movie is directed by the love-him-or-hate-him Michael Bay, and the script written by the same guys who wrote Deadpool, though this is no way a super-hero movie. It’s a roller coaster action movie, and worth watching for the car chase scene through Florence in Italy at the start of the movie. Phil and I sat there going wow that’s incredible CGI, and when I read up on the movie found it wasn’t CGI at all but the real thing. The movie is rated R which means when people get shot or stabbed or whatever they bleed and lose body parts which is always good fun. 🀣 There is a plot, and it’s nothing really new, but interesting characters and the acting is done with seriosity and enthusiasm. It’s funny a lot too. If you like action movies, this one’s on steroids, you’ll love it. Sequel’s look likely from something that you see in the plot.

We’ve also done The Hateful Eight by Mr.Tarantino, more blood and brains and guts, (really we are nice gentle people here at Fraggle Towers!) and some great ham acting by Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell and Tim Roth (love him) and a corker of a performance by Jennifer Jason Leigh.

On Christmas day while I was doing the ironing I watched The Christmas Chronicles also starring Kurt Russell, he has the best hair! I don’t like Christmas movies, but Keith over at Keith & The Movies convinced me it was worth it to see Russell doing Santa, it kind of was, but really there’s only one good bit in it, I’ll leave you with a clip of that just to put smiles on your by-now christmas~jaded faces πŸ™‚ Kurt Rocks and watch out for the multi talented Steven Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteens E-street band & who also played Silvio Dante in the Sopranos and can currently be seen in The Irishman, πŸ˜€

4 days left now until the 365 photo project is finished, and this blog can have a little rest.

Day 359

Phil has got all his Mum’s wartime correspondence, a great treasure. His Mum Ethel, her sisters Maureen and Betty, went off to Aldershot to work in the N.A.A.F.I and later Ethel did her nurse training and became a Sister in the Queen Alexander Royal Army Nursing Corps. Betty met her husband Walter, a Canadian, while working in Aldershot, and they got married and ended up in Canada after the war. In 1944 Walter was on his way to Italy, and sent Sister Ethel a Christmas Airmail, which Phil still has. πŸ™‚

Day 359 ~ Christmas 1944