The Corona Chronicles ~ 4

Into week four of lockdown, and though it feels like it’s been forever, I still haven’t really ‘settled’ into it. No routine has popped up, the yoga went out the window when I pulled a muscle in my back 🙄 but at least the house is spotless and the washing done! They’ve just announced the lockdown is to continue until at least the beginning of May which is 2 or 3 weeks away, but I’ll be surprised if it’s lifted even then. The incompetancy of the government has never been so obvious/staggering/unbelievable – delete as applicable (I still can’t stop myself reading the news daily) the latest is our Health secretary launching a green enamel badge with CARE written on it, for carers in the community to buy themselves to make them feel appreciated. You couldn’t make this up. The care badge is the idea of a consortium of business people in the care business who run care homes, the chairman of it owns several of the homes. His instagram feed looks like something out of Hello magazine. They run Care England, a registered charity, apparently the leading representative body for independent care services in England. Charity my arse.

Phil was refitted for a FFP3 mask on Sunday so is now able to do his job and also to work in ICU if required. His shifts change constantly as people go sick so he’s been off all this week as he’s now covering the weekend instead of his normal shifts this week. As it’s been sunny for a few days (mostly) even if quite chilly, he’s got the garden up to scratch.

Battling the Leilandi.

He also had to go to ASDA to pick up his eye drops prescription and did a full shopping thing whilst he was there, Took me a good 1/2 hour to wash it all down in the garden and pass it through the window for Phil to put away! We must look like mad people to our neighbours, but after reading about people licking their hands and wiping them over products on the shelves in shops, I don’t really care. My hands have cracked open in a couple of places from all the handwashing so am going to have to use gloves more often indoors.

I’m still doing a bit of photography. I have to post a ‘fast shutter speed’ photo in the 52 frames group on Sunday so my ‘diving Homers’ last week were a good practice and I spent 4 hours yesterday dropping things in various receptacles. It’s not easy as I only have wrong size vases, I really need a fish tank, and no flash, but the sun was so bright I did it outside with a reflector instead. Out of nearly 500 shots I only got 6 useable ones, have narrowed it down to 2 but can’t decide which I like best and I can only post one, let me know if you have a preference!

Red Pepper Meteor
Tumbling Dice

Hedgehogs are still visiting the garden and I’m keeping their Youtube channel up to date, you can find the link on the home page of this blog, don’t think it shows up in the reader though. We’ve seen some in the flesh so to speak on the past couple of evenings and it’s cool to hear them crunching on their biscuits and see them running along on their little legs, they don’t half shift when they want to. Hope we get hoglettes this year!

I’m keeping in touch with Sophie, we are really missing our outings and I feel bad for her as her chap Mentat lives in Spain and is in lockdown there. Although they use Skype to talk it’s not the same, and with no end in sight of getting together in the near future it’s hard for them both.

My great friend Kathy who moved to Florida for good with her hubby on Saturday facetimed me today and that was just brilliant. When all this is over we are planning get togethers both here and over there. Something to look forward to.

Have just stood outside and heard the estate clapping, honking car horns, setting off fireworks, all to support the key workers, it’s quite amazing to hear it, we don’t of course, Phil is far too cool to clap and he just wants everyone to stop clapping and stop voting Tory, that would be thanks enough for him. Anyway that’s it for this week, it’s Phil’s Thursday night movie tonight, he hasn’t told me yet what it is, he does like to make it a surprise 🙂

Hope y’all are staying frosty,

and here’s a pretty to finish with

Wardley Sunset 15th April 2020

WIP Wednesday on Thursday Thoughts Day

The mosaic table top is finished and installed in our living room and looks quite nice and appropriate there I think.

I should have posted this yesterday but got carried away with planning our week away.  Regular readers will have followed my posts on our trip to WW2 sites in France, Belgium & Holland last October and as the model show that Phil attended at the end of that trip is on again in a couple of weekends time, so we are having another week travelling before we get there.

Still sorting it out, but we’ll be doing Arnhem and the Overloon Museum again, definitely Nijmegan which we missed last time, and possibly a bit of Germany, but ending up at the model show in Eindhoeven.  Of course a camera (or 2 or 3!) will be coming with me, and I’m hoping to give the Rolleiflex SL35 a good workout, but I’ll still need my Fuji for the model show.

Got a bit of a hiccup to sort out in Germany, who knew there were 2 Munsters??  I (now) know one has an umlaut over it and the other doesn’t, but it’s a bit confusing!  The Munster we want to go to is not as short a travelling distance as the one we THOUGHT we were going to. 🙄 Never mind, there’s still time to cancel the hotel! 🤣 But there’s a panzer tank museum in the far away Munster that Phil really wanted to go to, so we may yet decide to do it. Phil will have a fit when he gets home from work and I appraise him of this situation. The moral of this sorry tale is- CHECK YOUR UMLAUTS people! Make sure they’re not sneaking up behind you to b ite you on the ass! 

Laters Gaters 😀 

Thursday Thoughts

Easter is nearly upon us, so for those of you into the resurrection thing, Happy Easter! and for those who are otherwise inclined, Happy Ēostre!

Good news and bad news from Fraggle Manor, the good news being I purchased the new macro lens released by Fuji I think back in February.  I didn’t think they’d ever get round to it, and their 60mm macro lens that I have been using, was a disappointment to me after having been used to the Nikon 105mm, which was just awesome. I am chuffed as nuts with the new Fuji 80mm, so much better than the 60, it’s bigger, and heavier, but it’s quality all the way.  It has OIS for the shaky-hand brigade (moi) and a minimum focus distance of 25cm and full-scale 1:1 reproduction ratio. It’s a bit slow to focus (as was the 60) but that doesn’t matter, macro isn’t about speed shooting. I love it already and here are some test shots

and yes that is my cherry blossom tree’s first lot of flowers, might be a tad early as we’re forecast another few days of bitter weather, but the tree doesn’t seem to care.

 

So whats the bad news? Stress has arrived at Fraggle Towers in the shape of a new kitchen. When Phil semi-retired he decided to get the house into shape, and has decorated a few rooms himself, but we came to the conclusion that as the fridge freezer was in death throes, and other bits of the kitchen were in a poor state, we would go all out and have a new kitchen. It started this week on Monday, with the kitchen stripped out, first phase electric and plumbing (i.e shutting everything off) and plastering. Today was to be floor- levelling day, with the new kitchen units due at 7.30am on Tuesday after the bank holiday, and the fitters following hot on their heels. But the leveller hasn’t turned up. Neither has the plumber who is supposed to remove a floor heater thingy that’s still plumbed in so the concrete can be poured.  Of course I’ve been in touch with the project manager guy, and he’s passed on my number to the plumber and leveller to have them ring me when they’re on the way, but it’s 5.30pm now so I think they won’t be here today.  Phil thinks they’ll come tomorrow or Saturday, I hope he’s right or Tuesday morning is going to be a right palaver.

In the meantime, we have converted our little conservatory into a mini kitchen, microwave, breadmaker, kettle, cool~bag as a fake fridge and our little chest freezer all in there, and prior to this week I spent a day cooking lots of different dinners for us so we don’t have to rely on take outs.  Sweet & Sour chicken, Chicken in black bean sauce, lasagne, Chile con carne, spaghetti bolognese, portions of spaghetti, rice, mash.  We’re eating better than we normally do when we had a kitchen! My mosaic shed is now a storeroom for all the kitchen stuff, most of which we didn’t know we had 🙂 Tonight though we’re going to see Phil’s sister and have dinner there while we do a load of washing in her machine. Nice to have family nearby.

Hopefully everything will sort itself out with the kitchen, and then it’ll be a good news day! Luckily I have a magic button which should make everything OK, feel free to use it yourself if you have a need!

scary biscuits! 😱

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Thursday Thoughts

It’s taken me a while to get back here to The Other Place while I’ve been concentrating on getting 2017’s posts up on The Universe blog.  I didn’t know what to do with this place either for 2018.  I kept reading other people’s posts about exciting goals/resolutions for their blogs in 2018, but couldn’t really get enthused about any for my own. I didn’t want to keep doing the same old thing, but couldn’t get inspired or think of a project.  On top of the creative limbo, I’ve had and still have the damned flu thing that’s sweeping the world. Phil has it too, so we are a sorry pair at the minute,coughing and spluttering and sniffling our way through the days wishing it would go away. :/

I have though now found a little project I’ll share on the blog.  Last year I wrote a post on the Hipstamatic app on the  iPhone (HERE) and I’ve just bought the latest new lens/film pack for it.  When I looked at the ‘my gear’ section I find over the years I’ve built up 87 different packs, that comes to about £86! Not much in the grand scheme of things, (I’ve had the app since it came out in 2009) £9 per year really, but I’ve never really used the packs purposefully.  I’ve taken pictures with it of course, and then faffed about with the ‘lenses’ and ‘films’ to process the shot, but never chosen a pack first for a specific shot. So this year I’m going to take a picture with every pack, and see what each one does. Monday Mobile Moments will be resurrected for the project.

I still do the Sunday Challenge over on Ipernity photo site and I thought I just might post those shots here too. Probably on a Sunday 🙂

For regular visitors, you’ll remember last year I decided to grow my own veg, and what a disaster THAT turned out to be (goddamned horrid worm thingys) though I did get a few tasteless potatoes  and a good crop of herbs. So this year I’m just growing herbs, building on success and ditching the failure seems a good way to go 🙂 . Instead of trying to grow food, I’m making the effort to cook it instead, not that I don’t already, but I’m trying out lots of new recipes I’m finding on various cooking blog sites, and I might feature the good ones on here, I could do with some practice on food photography.

I love reading blogs where people review books, TV, movies etc and I’m not very good at that so I’ve been thinking I might have a go now and then, but I’m blowing hot and cold on it as it doesn’t involve my camera!  I think my pictures are much more interesting than my words.

So we will see. There’s not much structure in this is there?  🙂 but I’m OK with that, I’ll post stuff willy nilly as and when and that’ll do.

Last night my dear husband woke me up at 1am to tell me it was snowing 🙄 and though I’m eye-rolling, really I was pleased and stayed up for half an hour watching it come down in big fluffy white blobs.  I took a shot of it with the iPhone which came out pretty rubbish

but this morning I set the alarm for sunrise time and watched the transformation

Here comes the sun doo-dn doo-doo

Most of it’s thawed now, yet again a one day snow day for us, though the west of the country still has swathes of it and no doubt Scotland has a good share.

Oh and one more thing, for Frego fans, she got a gorgeous box of chocolates for Christmas, which she didn’t share at all! I imagine she will be popping up in the blog now and then.