365 ~Hipstamatic Week 12

This week I chose the Aegina Hipstapak which consists of the
Aphaea 12 lens which adds vibrant contrast and saturation to images, and the Aeacus 6 film which has light bursts coming from unexpected angles and a strong grain pattern.

Sunday 19th March
Today was Mother’s Day in the UK, and Shelley and the kids came over with cards, flowers,chocolates and hugs, so that was lovely.

Lots of love!

Monday 20th March
A steady day at work, we’re not so busy of late, and can only think the upsurge in the cost of living is putting some people off getting their ears done, priorities change as the economy tanks. Anyway, Winnie cares nothing for that, her ears are one of her superpowers!

Winnie

Tuesday 21st March
Oh my tree is really giving it’s all to the pinking, it only lasts a couple of weeks so there’s going to be a few shots of it until it’s over.

The Happy Eater Tree

Wednesday 22nd March
Today was new carpet day. Phil spent the previous few days emptying out the East Wing and painting the skirting boards, then the gadgies arrived at 8am and were gone before I left for work. When I got home in the afternoon Phil was rebuilding the stereo.

Building blocks

Thursday 23rd March
A busy day for me. This morning I took the car in for a service, and this afternoon I went to see the chiropractor who has his business in the same set of buildings as where I work. I went to see him as my neck isn’t getting any better, though it’s manageable and my boss offered to pay for me from the business to see him which is really kind of her. Anyways, apparently I’m wonky of bone structure (subluxation of spine I think he said) and need treatment, which I’m actually a bit wary of but I’ll see how it goes. This morning the tree was still looking spiffing.

Tree 2

Friday 24th March
A day catching up with laundry and housework, and in the evening we met up with Carl, (Phil’s son) his wife Karly, who is currently awaiting a liver transplant so it was lovely to see her looking well, and their son Matthew to go and see one of our favourite bands, Daughtry at the City Hall.. Anyway it was a disappointing gig for various reasons, but at least we got out and tried!

Daughtry

Saturday 25th March
This afternoon we went to see Liddy performing on stage. She goes to a drama/singing/dancing school once a week and every year they put on a show consisting of musicals’ songs, dance routines etc. Liddy is both the youngest and smallest amongst 20-25 older girls but holds her own very well, she’s a natural performer and absolutely loves it. Towards the end of the year she is going to be on a kids Channel 5 TV programme, I expect she’ll be famous one day!

Happy Liddy.

So that’s that and time to move on to a new combo. This one was OK, I quite liked the texture, but the lightleaks are a bit naff, so a bit of a non event. Onwards….!!

365 ~ Hipstamatic Week 11

This week I’ve gone with the Madalena lens which is inspired by the warmth and vibrance of Vila Madalena in São Paulo, this lens adds a strong flavor to any print. The film is Blanko, a simple film with a light border.

Sunday 12th March
My pal Connie is doing the hipstamatic 365 with me, and I am also doing the Sunday Coffee series with her, though on Flickr not here on WP, but today I did an extra one for the 365, which is killing 2 birds with one stone, a phrase I’m not keen on as I wouldn’t kill a bird ever but I can’t think of an alternative. Anyhoo, I may do that again, being a lazy~daisy.

Sunday Coffee

Monday 13th March
Back to work, nothing new there and no time for photos. I thought I was getting a cold as I had the sniffles and a slightly achy neck. Still trying to get the hang of this Hipsta combo, it seems to do better with close up things than landscapes. This is my water feature lamp Shelley bought me for Christmas.

Zen thingy.

Tuesday 14th March
Still feeling a bit rough though nothing mega and I had an easy day at work. I took a picture of my flowers when I got home. I bought these in ASDA 2 1/2 weeks ago, they appear in week 9’s set of photos. There’s no water left in the jug but they just don’t seem to give up the ghost, magic!

zombie flowers

Wednesday 15th March
A steady morning at work and then the weekly shopping on my way home. My neck was more achy now and I needed to take ibuprofen for it. Phil had been practicing his bass guitar when I got home, so after we put the shopping away I had him give me a performance. He’s trying to play Hysteria by Muse, which is hellishly fast and difficult.

Hysteria

Thursday 16th March
Neck even more painful and restricting the movement of my head, wasn’t easy to drive over to Kendal’s place to get my manicure but lots of straight roads thankfully and not too much traffic. Had to park up and get a shot of the crocuses/croci (take your pick, both are right).

crocuses

Friday 17th March
Last night was an experience. My neck was so painful I couldn’t sleep, and so I spent the night in the spare room ouching in between dozing fitfully. More ibuprofen today and we tried the tens machine, but that didn’t work. We went out for a walk as I’m desperate to get out and shoot some film, but it was too much pain and we came home not long after we set off. Plus I took one shot with the Contax and it packed up because the batteries went flat. I’d left the spares in my other camera bag, duh. I took a couple with the Hipstamatic though.

Hawthorn

Saturday 18th March
No way was I going through another sleepless night, so had a diverse cocktail of medications that would floor a buffalo, and managed 4hrs straight before I got up and redosed before another 3 hours kip. Whatever it takes. Today I’m still in a lot of pain but keeping it at bay just about with 4 hourly meds. I HAVE to go to work on Monday so this HAS to be gone, and I’m FED UP, but my Happy Eater Blossom tree is gearing up for the big bloom regular readers will know from past spring posts, and that lifted my spirits.

Pinking up

I like this combination, took a while to get the hang of it but came out with some nice results, at least I think so 😊.

Anyhoo, time to be movin’ on…

📱😊

365 2023 ~ Hipstamatic week 10.

This week I chose the Kantõ HP lens which adds moody cool tones and Panaji Film which adds subtle texture and a warm vignette.

Sunday 5th March
As usual, a quiet and chilled day today, rubbish weather. Read the paper, read my book, ironed my uniform for work tomorrow and played with photos until I found the combination I liked for this week.

Winnie.

Monday 6th March
Back to work and as usual Monday is full on. I noticed daffodils and crocuseses appearing on the grass verges on the way to work, so on my way home I parked up where I knew some grew near me, and took a picture of them.

Spring~time!

Tuesday 7th March
We had a smattering of snow overnight, and I guessed it would be gone by the time I got home, so I took this shot in the morning before breakfast, and before it disappeared.

Winter~time!

Wednesday 8th March
No snow today, but a chilly sunny day. I finished work at 2pm and went off to recce one of the Ray Lonsdale statues that’s on the next art trail Sophie and I do over on the Universe Blog.

Fiddlers Green.

Thursday 9th March
SNOW DAY!!! Yippee! Lord Vincent is not impressed. He doesn’t like getting his toes cold. It didn’t stay around, gone by the afternoon, sigh.

Winter~ time 2 & Lord Vincent

Friday 10th March
SNOW DAY the 2nd!! Yipee! this didn’t last long either. Sigh.

Winter~time 3

Saturday 11th March
No more snow, there’s a few patches where the sun doesn’t reach it, but that’s it. My blossom tree is budding like crazy though and I was a bit worried the snow would kill off the buds, but everything is carrying on regardless and I can’t wait until it bursts into pink!

Spring 2

Mad weather, but not unusual when I think about it, am sure last year was all over the shop too. Anyway, that’s it for this week. I like this combination, not too arty farty but some nice tones and subtle texture in the vignette. But onwards we go… so

📱😊

365 2023 ~ Hipstamatic Week 8

This week I’m using a Kuma lens which adds a vintage soft focus and warm color shift, and the Rasputin film which has a ragged black frame with warm tones.

Sunday 19th February
Just a quiet day today, no family visitors, so a very chilled end to the week. There was a magnificent sunset though.

A Wardley Sunset

Monday 20th February
Mondays are always the busiest days at work for me, and today was no exception. Not much time to think about the daily shot. I’m going on a flying visit down south for a couple of days on Wednesday so started the prep. I went to pump up the tyres on my car at one of the local garages in the evening after the rush hour, and thought to do a petrol station shot.

V-power

Tuesday 21st February
Another busy day, and this evening sorting out the packing to go away, under the watchful eyes of Miss Winnie.

Winnie

Wednesday 22nd February
It’s my Grandson Lewis’s 13th Birthday today, and I travelled down south for a visit with him and his Dad, my son Ben. 241 miles, 4 hours driving and a 10 minute stop for the loo and to pick up a coffee to go. Glad I filled up with petrol at Morrisons, £1.40 per litre, the service station was at £1.74!! 😳 I mean, there’s ripping off customers and then there’s total greedy ba***rds. Anyway Ben and I picked up Lewis from school and then went home to watch him open his presents. In the evening we went out to Lewis’s favourite restaurant in Woburn, The Woburn Thai.

The Calamari Kid, aka Squiddly~Diddly

Thursday 23rd February
Today Ben and I took a drive out to Cranfield, to take some flowers to my Mum’s grave. A few tears from both of us. Ben cleaned it up, and then we went to lunch in the pub she used to take him to for lunch when he stayed with her at weekends when he was a young lad, and we remenisced about her.

Mum and Ben

Friday 24th February
We took Lewis to school and then went for breakfast together in Leighton Buzzard town. I got on the road home around 10.30am and did the reverse journey, stopping at the Woodhall Service station, which is more or less the half way point. It was nice to get home to Phil.

Woodhall.

Saturday 25th February
Today my legs and back ache all over. In my jurassic era I could do that drive without even a tiny problem, now I feel like I walked the whole way! I received my updated driving license today. When you have a picture I.D card you have to update it every 10 years, which is a pain, but easily done on line. The new license has had a Brexit make-over.

Pfft.

and that was the week that was. Not too awful a combination that worked better on some shots than others.

Onwards, ever onwards… so

📱😊





365 2023 Hipstamatic week 3

This week I chose a Jane lens, which boosts contrast and saturation, with Robusta film, a textured discoloured matte film.

Sunday January 15th
Shelley and Liddy came over in the afternoon, and of course I had to take a picture of Liddy eating her way through a huge piece of rainbow cake whilst wearing pink headphones, as you do.

Liddy the Pink

Monday January 16th
Nothing out of the ordinary when I got up for work, still in the dark here. I washed and had breakfast, looked out of my window and ka-boom, severe snowing going on. It lasted for about 20 minutes, stopped, and was all gone by the time I got home from work. Poor show really, sigh. I know other parts of the country got a lot more for a few days, but we missed out.

Snow Day! Well Snow 20 minutes at least.

Tuesday January 17th
I tried to get a decent picture of Teddy, my boss’s dawg, but everytime I bent to take a shot he came trotting forward for a fuss, so he’s blurry. Serves him right!

Blurry Teddy

Wednesday January 18th
I don’t have a sweet tooth, and me having a cake or dessert is rare as rocking horse poo, so when Shelley brought cakes on Sunday I left mine sitting in the fridge. On Wednesday I didn’t have time for lunch at work and it was way past lunchtime when I got home, so I bit the bullet so to speak and had this. It is white chocolate (which I don’t really like) cream, (which is OK in soup, curry & chilli etc) and packed tight biscuit crumbs, making this a cheesecake apparently. Being that cheese is the only part of this I would like, I couldn’t taste any at all, but I have to say this was bloody lush! I’m a convert!

A no-apparent-cheese cheesecake.

Thursday January 19th
On Thursday Phil and I did chores. The biggest one clearing out one of the kitchen cupboards which had got to a point where you couldn’t get one thing out without another falling out with it. It’s all very neat and dejunked now, and to celebrate we took ourselves out to lunch at the Red Lion in Boldon. Had the awesummyummiest scampi and chips with mushy peas 🤣, you can’t beat 70’s pub grub! They do it really well at the Red Lion.

Phil & menu.

Friday January 20th
Friday was a busy day, Phil at work in the morning and I got more housework done, then spent the afternoon doing a post for the Universe blog. I got a cyclamen not so long ago, and it’s a bit quirky compared to normal houseplants in that it likes to be cool, doesn’t like the sunshine, needs moist soil all the time, and goes dormant in summer so you have to hide it away in the shade. I mean, what’s that about? Anyhoo I’m renowned for causing death to houseplants so getting a complicated one probably wasn’t my greatest idea, but encouraged by my continuing success with a spider plant I took the plunge. So far, so good.

Pinky.

Saturday January 21st
Friday night is always music night here and we play youtube videos of bands/singers we like, CD’s and vinyl until the wee hours and imbibe a few sherbets along the way. So Saturday morning is the one after the night before and a gentle day is required. It is a cold but blue sky day today and I took another shot for my ongoing House Across the Road series.

The House Across the Road, and visiting magpie.

So week 3 is over, and I really like this lens and film combo. The lens is sharp and clear and the film has warm tones and a nice bit of texture, but not too much. Onwards though….

📱😊

365 2023 Hipstamatic week 2

This week I’m trying a combination of Lumière Lens with Delauney 1941 film. The film is named after Sonia Delauney, a French artist who co-founded the Orphic Cubist art movement, and the film adds a cubist filter to pictures and does funny things with colour.

Sunday January 9th
Phil and I went over to the coast and had coffee in Marsden Grotto, a gastro pub now, it started out as a home for a chap known as Jack The Blaster back in 1782.

A lead miner from Allendale, Jack Bates and his wife Jessie moved to the area in 1782. It is alleged he moved into a small cave at Marsden Rock either after refusing to pay rent on his house in Allendale or simply having nowhere to live. Using explosives from a local quarry, he blasted the small cave into a much larger one, earning his nickname “Jack the Blaster” in the process and creating a rent-free and landlord-free home. The dwelling was accessed by zig-zagging stairs down the cliff, thought to be built by Jack. The unusual and eccentric choice of dwelling attracted visitors, which the couple supplied with refreshments at a cost. It is suggested that he became involved in smuggling activities – offering refreshment to smugglers using caves of the coastline to hide contraband cargo.

Marsden Grotto

Monday January 10th
Back to work. The converted farm building in which I work, the land it sits on and surrounding fields are owned by the Duke of Northumberland. He is building 310 houses on the land next to us and last week put up a prefab sales office in our car park. This chap was laying slabs for a path to the office door.

Gadgie

Tuesday January 11th
The rains came, and didn’t stop.

Rain

Wednesday January 12th
I finish work at 2pm on Wednesdays and go straight to Asda to do the weekly shop. The car park in our Asda is down a slight gradient, and it was still raining.

Flood

Thursday, January 13th
Once a month I go to my pal Kendal’s place to have my nails done. I’m not really bothered about them any more but I’ve been going for over 10 years and I’d miss her if I didn’t go, plus she needs the money! This is her 18 month old son William, and a bowl of spaghetti in tomato sauce. He scoops some spaghetti into his spoon nicely, then picks it out of the spoon with his fingers and shoves them in his gob. 🤣 He is quite adorable.

William

Friday, January 14th
I was hoping to do my blogpost for yesterday at this point on Friday. Sigh.

Winnie

Saturday, January 15th
Went to the local shop for a few bits and bobs, a blue sky morning but cold!

Three Tall Trees

And that’s week 2 finished. I quite like this combo of lens and film, but next week I’ll be moving on.

😊 📱

Tales From Fraggle Towers ~ December 2022

It’s that time of year, where some of us look back on the year that’s been, before jumping in to the year ahead. It seems to me this year in particular the World has become a more turbulent, more unkind and more expensive place to live, but here we must stay, and at least there is music, books, movies, art and some good people still left in it.

At Fraggle Towers we have had some ups and downs, some health issues both for Phil and I, and also for some of our younger family members, and they are still all ongoing, but we’re not dead yet so there’s that!

Work has been much the same, clearing the North East of earwax, and I’m an angel/darlin’/miracle worker or star, depending on the vocabulary of the client, and that’s a nice thing to be at work.

Arty Farty clinic windowsill shot.

The cats have continued to be their annoying selves. We have always had ‘easy’ cats in the past, and though Lord Vincent is quite sedate and cool, Winnie is a veritable monster at times. She’s mean to Vinnie whenever she comes across him and he doesn’t bat an eyelid. He’s had his quiet revenge though, Winnie used to sleep on our bed, and one day Vincent usurped her position and has kept it ever since.

Usurption Day!

Winnie then took to sleeping on the radiator downstairs, so I purchased a little bed for her, not really expecting her to be interested in it as she’s so ornery, but two minutes after I put it up…

Happy Cat

Christmas was quiet and lovely, just the two of us and we had a chilled out day. I cooked dinner which was yummy and we watched a daft Christmas movie. We did the present thing, a photography book, perfume, earings, a 12″ single and socks for me, books, whisky, a decanter and favourite chocolates for Phil. We’ve both been off work in the week between Chrismas and New Year which is cool. A mini staycation, reading, watching movies, cooking, playing records, nothing new, just lots more of it!

Red Vinyl

I’ve been thinking about next year, photographically of course. In the past few years, 2016, 2019 and 2021 were all years where I completed a 365, or one-picture-a-day project it’s also called. Well it’s going to be 2023 in 4 days time (as I write) or tomorrow (as you read) and I seem to be mentally gearing up to do another one. Not with the Fuji’s or the film cameras, but using just the Hipstamatic app on the iPhone. There’s some parameters to work out over the next couple of days, and the final decision on whether I do or don’t is yet to be made. If I do I’ll be posting them weekly here and if I don’t, well who knows?

My Contax will be employed for photographic outings with Sophie, and I have a stock of film now which I need to crack on with. The weather is pants, grey rainy cloudy windy and forecast more of the same all week, but I’ve been seeing the weather reports for the USA over the past few days and so my complaining is very quiet and small. I do keep thinking I should make a resolution to go out in the rain with my camera, but I’d break it straight away, I do not like being cold and wet, not even for photography. #wimp

And that’s a wrap for December and 2022, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose and all that, but let’s hope 2023 isn’t as bad as we think it’s going to be! Pink thoughts people, pink thoughts! 🦩

Happy New Year to all, wherever and however you are 😘

📱😊

Tales from Fraggle Towers ~ October 2022

It’s been a funny old month here at Fraggle Towers with health issues to the fore. Phil had his Corona booster and Flu jab at the beginning of the month and was not well for 3 days, I had mine later on in the month and apart from one day being wierd got through that Ok. But I’ve had a couple of visits to the Doc’s for blood tests and other stuff. Then just this week I twisted somehow getting up from my sofa and did something to my back, with the result that I’m having time off from work. Can’t remember the last time that happened, and if I was able to drive I’d have still gone in. Sigh. Getting old and decrepit is just no fun. I seem to be improving anyway, fingers xt.

Winnie has been to the Vets as she has chronic cystitis they’re trying to get to the bottom of and she’s now on a daily dose of Loxacam which seems to be helping. None of this stops her being as mad as a box of frogs! Out in all weathers and doing a cracking job of rodent disposal.

Winnie Up.

Lord Vincent is hale and hearty, and in between patrolling the perimeter of our bit of the estate and eating for England, he spends most of his time on the bed ~ not one for rain and cold weather. He can’t even be bothered catching a mouse.

Lord Vincent

It’s been great having Sophie back in the country and we’ve had a couple of outings which has given me a good bit of fodder for the Universe Blog and for Fraggle film, though I’m still waiting to receive the scans back for that.

Work has been so busy, I’m getting through 40 people a week on average and I only work 2 & 1/2 days, so it’s full on, but I still get 10 minutes here and there to have a bit of lunch or take Teddy for a quick trot around the carpark. He is such a happy little soul and makes me smile.

Teddy, my BFF

Tonight is Halloween, and all the Grandkids turned up to go out trick or treating, which really is ‘begging for sweets’ apparently, but most of our estate get involved so I have sweets at the door ready and I get to take pictures, though use my iPhone now as the Fuji freaks people out 🤣. Phil and Shelly went with the kids to do the rounds and I stayed home to answer the door. Liddy and Livvy made a good effort at dressing up! Phil tells me that one house had made a fake cemetary on their front lawn, and another had a spooky figure that spoke to the kids as they got near to it and made them jump. Another had a giant spider across the front of their house. ALl good fun and the kids loved it.

Liddy ~ a dead bride 🤣
Livvy ~ zombie schoolgirl (I think!)

The boys are ‘too old’ to dress up being 11 and 12 (pfft!) but are happy to have the sweets of course! To anyone moaning about copying the USA, or commercialising Halloween, or begging for sweets etc I agree, it’s true and I don’t bliddy care, as having the grandkids round laughing and being happy for a daft evening is fine by me. One day they’ll be in their teens and this will just be a memory.

Some neighbourhood kids

Not sure who he’s supposed to be, ? Pennywise
???
another Pennywise I think
who knows?
Jail bait. 😄

So that’s the end of the 10th month and we’re going into Outer~Christmas Land now, as people are mad for it up here. I’m off down South at the weekend to visit with Ben and Lewis, fingers crossed my back has recovered as it’s a long old drive, and I’m dreading sitting still in the car for 5 hours doing it in case it sets it off again, but am thinking pink thoughts, like that’ll help.

Back next time with a November round up so stay tooned!

Tales from Fraggle Towers ~ March 2022

Yep I’m a couple of days late with a ‘tales’ post for March, but c’est la vie. March has been a busy month for us with Phil doing a make-over of our dining room.

stripper
paperer

We had a new floor done too, I can’t remember why but I like it so not to worry.

job done

New music equipment was purchased at the beginning of the month, well not new, Phil rarely buys new as it’s mega bucks for what he wants, he waits until new stuff comes in and then buys stock that’s getting sold at a bargain price in order to make room for the next things. We went off to Stockton on the River Tees for his latest aquisitions, a phono cartridge pre-amp and a regulated power supply. He tries to explain to me what these things do but I just can’t. Anyways we got lost getting there or rather we didn’t but just couldn’t see it, as the building entrance faced the river and the car park didn’t. We spent some time ogling the amazing music systems they had in their upstairrs showroom

ogling
more ogling

and I took a couple of pictures out of the window,

River Tees

The cats have been their usual selves, Lord Vincent has been loving the sunshine we had last week

LV

and Winnie has been bonkers

Boxed Winnie

WInnie has learned how to get up on top of our conservatory roof, and the other morning I woke up at 7.30am to her meowing. Couldn’t see her in the room but when I opened my curtains

let me in!

there she was shouting to come in. Not best pleased as I wasn’t going to work that day so getting up at 7.30 hadn’t been the plan. Sigh.

Talking of sunshine, it’s been a mad month for the weather. Last week was like summer, and then this week we got snow and sleet in between some sunny bits. I’ve been out walking a few times with the Contax Aria, with Sophie away a lot more than she used to be there are now several weeks in between our outings, so walking out into the nature bits around where I live is a substitute. Not a great one, but better than nothing.

Phil’s sister Annette had her 70th Birthday last weekend and 13 of us went out to a local restaurant, The Lakeside (there’s no lake anywhere near it) where she had booked us in for a celebratory meal. When we arrived they had no record of the booking. That was a shock and Annette told them she’d spoken to a chap but didn’t know his name. The place was really busy too. Have to applaud the manager and her staff though, they apologised profusely and went straight into action, managed to find enough tables to cobble together for us to sit at and we were sorted and our orders taken within 15 minutes. Not a bad meal either which Annette’s husband Brian paid for which was lovely of him. Afterwards we went to their house for cups of tea and some birthday cake.

Birthday girl

Annette rang us the next day to tell us that she’s booked another local restaurant, The Green, for Brian’s birthday meal in a couple of weeks time. They asked her why we hadn’t shown up for the booking she made for the day before. 🤣🤣

My Happy Eater tree is in full bloom now, it’s strange to see the bees buzzing about on it in the middle of a snow shower.

The Happy Eater Tree

Unfortunately we seem to have aquired a herd of Magpies who are going through the bird food at a fast pace. I’ve counted 7 of them, ‘seven for a secret never to be told’, which I won’t because I don’t know what it is. Anyway I’m not keen on them but everything needs to eat so I keep topping it up. Sadly the cats are no deterent as Winnie barks at them from the windowsill and Vinnie sits under the tree but they know he’s there and wait until he goes indoors.

I drove over to the coast at South Shields the other day, managed to photograph the sea with a weather front coming in.

Incoming!

My boss was off sick with Covid last week, the guy who works for her the 2 days I don’t had picked it up and then, as he stays over at Brendas when he works for us (he lives in Scotland) she was the next in line. So far I haven’t had it, nor our office manager, we dodged a bullet there as they say.

Well that’s about it for March, I’m glad we’re into April now and looking forward to Spring springing and getting out more.