Thursday Thoughts

It’s all about the snow of course. The pesky white stuff that is inundating the British Isles at the moment. Facebook is full of camera phone shots of people’s back gardens or streets, the news is all about the disruption to schools and travel.  The met office is issuing yellow, amber, red weather warnings. (Don’t go out if you’re in the red area as you’re likely to die!). People went out and stock piled food items so nothing is left in the smaller shops. 20 vehicle crash on the A19, the A1 is closed now too and police warnings telling people to stop being stupid and stay home.  The whole of the North East is shutting down. People living in Canada, USA, Finland et al look at us and laugh at our inability to cope with this weather.  We have a few gritters careering about ineffectually, and there is a tractor company that turns them into snow ploughs for rent here and there, but on the whole we just shut up shop and hunker down until it’s gone. Disfunctional Britain due to snow.  Our excuse is that we don’t get snow very often, have even heard that we haven’t had it for over 30 years!  I must have been living in a parallel universe most of my life then.   This is me back in 1961, I’m the cuteypatooty on the right…

That white stuff  happened every year of my childhood, for a couple of months at a time, didn’t stop us going to school, we walked as we got older. Didn’t stop Mum from going to work in her car.  The roads were cleared every night and we had heaters in the classrooms. This was in Yorkshire by the way, I wasn’t living in the arctic. Oh but that was back in the olden days our snowflake (!) generation say, less traffic on the roads – what they really should say is less idiots on the road. I drove to work yesterday and the amount of stupid I saw had me swivel eyed all morning.

In 2009 here we had a month of snow, and I went to work as usual


but came off worse for wear when going downhill in Newcastle and an idiot in a great big Landrover pulled out of a side road and hit my car, knocking me into several other cars parked up on the other side of the road

I was really peed oft at the driver, he blamed me!!  The insurance sorted that one out so no harm done, and I continued to go to work in the replacement insurance vehicle.

The following year we had even more snow,

Herky 2010
Yoyo 2010

I went to work then too, without incident that year thankfully, but had to take Phil to work and pick him up a couple of times as his car couldn’t get off our estate, we live at the bottom of a little hill.  So why on earth everyone thinks we don’t get snow so it’s not worth investing in the equipment needed to keep the country going is beyond me.  I’m lucky to be off for the next few days, but come Monday I’ll be going back to work no matter the weather, if the roads are open that is! No metro service from here to there and the buses are irregular if at all. 🙄

Phil and I took a walk to our local shop this morning

for milk and vodka supplies 🍸 so we’re tucked up indoors with the heating on. Of course I’ve been taking pictures, (hasn’t everyone?!) mostly on film camera’s but also with the fuji,

and day
my bathroom window this morning


and I’ve been making sure to put food. out for the birds, they’re having a right old time at the Happy Eater tree, and I got some shots of our Bobby Robin in his element

Christmas card 🙂
snow bound.

and finally for a quick giggle press HERE



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.






Across the pond 2017

Back at the end of 2016 my friend from across the pond in Rochester NY, Kathy, and I, decided to do a collaboration throughout 2017, where once a month we would take a square iPhone shot each on a given theme, and I would put the shots into a diptych and post them on this blog. We took it in turns to choose a theme, and now at the end of 2017 beginning of 2018 our collaboration has come to an end. It was great fun as neither of us knew what the other one planned.  Kathys blog is at however Kathy hasn’t blogged for a while as she’s been through a lot of family health issues and upheavals this year.  She still managed a shot each month though in spite of it all, and the good news is that things are getting better so hopefully she’ll be back on the blog this new year!

Here is our collaboration in full, with our final shots to see out the old year.

January ~ Water
February ~ Graffiti
March~New Growth
April ~ Music
May ~ Food
June ~ Festival or event
July ~ People in B&W

August~ use the plotograph app to make stills with moving parts.

September ~ the lego girls





October ~ bottles
November ~ animals in the wild, (kind of)

Our last theme for December was something American, something British. Kathy did the Ginny brew house Christmas tree, which is made from kegs of beer and is 26 ft. tall. I did the Tyne Bridge.

Hope you all enjoyed following along as much as we did doing it!

Thursday Thoughts

Well this is my first chance to do a post since returning from our holiday on Monday night.  Washing done, photo’s (633!) all sorted and uploaded to my photo site, and was back to work yesterday. I also had a dental appointment yesterday afternoon that has resulted in me having to take the rest of this week off!  Dental pain and trauma is just so horrible, and I’m surviving on soup :/ .  Never mind it’ll all get better soon I hope.  I’ll be posting the main reports on all the places we visited over on the universe blog.  I’ve cried a fair few times this holiday, at the wickedness of war, the sadness of young men buried too soon, the humility of those who survived, and at the kindness of strangers in other lands.  I’ve learned a lot of history, and seen some amazing places, had some lovely food, met some really cool people, driven many miles through France, Belgium and Holland and had a great time in the company of my wonderful, slightly mad husband.  We lost everything we had at least three times, where’s my purse? Where’s my other camera battery? where did I put this, that and the other.  Phil left his box of models on top of the car in the carpark in Dover and only realised 10 minutes after we checked into the hotel, (run Forest! Run!).  We got into Europe via Calais without a hitch but got searched by armed soldiers (they looked no older than 18!) on the way back at Calais. Then searched by the UK border force at Calais. Then pulled off and questioned and searched by the UK border force in Dover- practicing for Brexit no doubt! I pity all those Brits who go off to Provence and the like every summer, they’re in for a treat! 😀  Driving in Europe is lovely. Long straight motorways and no-one sits in the middle lane holding everyone else up, the only traffic jam was getting around Antwerp on the ring road, but even that was moving reasonably well.   Got back to Dover and then took 13hrs to do the what should be a 6hr journey home, because of roadworks, traffic jams and stupid sods who crashed and had the A1 closed!  In Europe we  found Radio 4 on AM and got edumacated about Lucien Freud the artist, the Russian revolution, on womens hour we laughed at Sarah Milligan and listened to Hilary Clinton about democracy and social media. Turned off the god spots but found  Jane Gardam (author) talking to Kirsty Young on desert Island discs, all fascinating stuff. Phil did his judging at the model show, which was huge and heaving with modellers, trade stands, club displays and some amazing models in the competition, over 2000!  I couldn’t photograph them all but did the best I could before my eyes went all googly.  Here are a few I-phone shots I took along the way

Dinner at our fave Chinese restaurant the night before we sailed.
Banksy in Dover making a point, or unmaking one I suppose.
white cliffs and seagulls (no bluebirds!)
waiting for dinner in Bruges
where did I put the car park ticket!!??
lunchtime selfie in Waterloo
one top of Lions Mound, Waterloo
soldier at Calais
going home



Across the Pond 9 ~ Sept 2017

Our ongoing collaboration of iPhone photography (details HERE).

It was my turn to choose the theme for September, and thought Frego and Lady O could do with an outing

I took Frego to the coast, and Kathy put Lady O on a chest of drawers 🙂

Thursday Thoughts

The weather is crap. All day grey, dark and rain.  Last week I wrote that I was looking forward to the colours of Autumn, but this isn’t quite what I meant!  But, I have a roof on my house, the garden furniture is still in the garden, soaked, but there, my car is not upside down  over the fence.  I didn’t wade to the shop up to my knees in muddy water to find no supplies, and I have water coming out of the tap to fill the kettle still working through the wonder of electricity.  Chopwell Woods are not on fire and blocking out the daylight, and I am not packing a bag to head to a shelter. I’m warm and toasty in my home, and bloody grateful I live in a land so far not plagued with extreme climatic conditions.   I cannot imagine how the people in Irma’s swathe must feel, or those living in the path of the fires in Montana, Oregon, Washington & California,  or the family’s of over 1200 people killed in the floods of India, Nepal and most of South East Asia,  they are devastated for being through it or panicked that it’s on the way, nothing that I’ve ever experienced, or am likely to.  Or maybe I will?

I wish the world and the leaders of it would see this as an apocalyptic  warning, that instead of political point scoring, instead of religious persecution, instead of killing each other, instead of funding terrorism, instead of being isolationist, instead of being greedy, instead of all the shit we do to  each other and the planet, we should be doing so much better for each other and this ball we live on.   Mother Nature has had enough.

In other news, I burnt my fingers this morning after stupidly heating up a cup of tea in the microwave in a metal coated mug, then even more stupidly attempting to pick it up.  I give myself todays Darwin Award. Surprisingly the metal didn’t create an arc in the microwave thereby blowing it up, and even more surprisingly the cup and tea survived. I however, have sticky plasters over blisters and hurt too much to do my mosaicing. 😦

Shout out to a fab blog time!

This time I’m giving a shout out to Sarah at More or less it’s the dressing up adventures of Choppy and Schooner, a dog and a cat, the celebration of mad national holidays in style, but also of travels and bad puns 🙂 a smile a day guaranteed.

tell her I sent ya.


Monday Mobile Moments ~ Hipstamatic

I think of all the millions of photography apps for the iPhone that are available, Hipstamatic is my absolute favourite and the one I use most.  Released in December 2009,with version 100, we are now on 339 and the app is still going strong.  It simulates different films and lenses, which you can use in any combination, and then you can change those combinations after the shot is taken if you change your mind.  Every now and then they release a new combination, which is an in app purchase currently at 0.99p a time.  The app itself is free and comes with a few preloaded films and lenses to get you started.I have had the app since it came out so have built up quite a collection over the past 8 years.  You can combine a film and lens and make it a favourite, and you can shake the phone to get a random combination.

You can choose different camera cases for the look of it

and you can choose to shoot in classic mode

or pro mode

the advantage of pro mode is the ability to change aspect ratio’s, classic mode only has square ratio, also you can set the focus, ISO, shutter speed and white balance by means of a very responsive slider

Choosing a combination of film & lens is easy once you’ve taken a shot

or just choose them separately

as well as choosing lens and film, there is a full suite of editing adjustments that can be made, clarity, definition, exposure, tone curves, depth of field, and lots more, so this is a really versatile app. You can also bring photos in that you’ve taken with other apps, or even your digital SLR if you’ve imported them into your iPhoto library and edit those within the app too.

My latest combo the Laos set, has the peculiar ability to make everything black and white, or desaturated,except greens, which it turns red, and is getting good use on my days out!


The app has never been available for android phones, and I’m not sure why but imagine Apple Pay them to keep it exclusive!  Hipstamatic was the first photography app I bought, and I’ve been through a fair few apps since 2009, mostly now deleted, but the endless possibilities with Hipstamatic would make me choose this over all the others, if I could have only one.



Monday Mobile Moments

I was clearing out my iPhone album this weekend to free up some space, and was struck by how many photo’s of signs I’ve taken in the past few years. SO I thought I’d share a few here and entitle my post

The Signs Of (my) Life

Italy 2013
Pub in Leighton Buzzard 2016
Bruges 2012
Columbus, Ohio 2014
Columbus 2014
Lake Ontario 2014
rest stop on Interstate 90 2014
Kentucky 2014
Nashville 2014
Nashville 2014
New York Times Square 2014
Sign of the Times (Square) 2014

Which one’s your fave?


Have a good week Wordypeeps!




Thursday Thoughts

It’s been a busy week, and mostly I’ve been thinking about going away tomorrow.  It’s my son’s birthday on Saturday, and he and his lady, Charlotte, wanted to go away to Amsterdam for a few days,

Charlotte & Ben

but couldn’t find anyone prepared to dogsit for them.


In desperation he rang and asked me, so off I’m going to Leighton Buzzard for 6 days.  Lots of washing, ironing and packing done over the past few days, and think I’ve got everything but the kitchen sink 🙂  I’ve checked out the nearby National Trust properties, so will  hopefully be making some Fraggle Reports from down south for a change.  I’ll also be going to Biggleswade to see my friend Helen and if the weather’s good go on a photo outing.


Also I’ll get to see my grandson Lewis who I haven’t seen in over 6 months, so am really looking forward to that 🙂

Lewis & Ben

But mostly I’ll be walking the dog and keeping her company. She’s a Staffy, and a very loving dog, and in all the times I’ve visited Ben, I’ve never heard her bark, so she’s also a very quiet dog, though she gets excited to see people.

But I’ll miss being at home and miss my hubby, although Phil’s on night shift next week so wouldn’t see much of him anyway.  I’ll also be missing the Sunderland Air Show, which I mean to go to photograph every year, but something else always comes up to prevent me! Maybe next year! It’s a 5 hour journey to Leighton Buzzard, and on the busiest weekend (other than Easter) for travelling of the year, as schools are breaking up for summer and everyones heading off on their holidays or to the airports, so am not looking forward to the travelling tomorrow.  Driving down south is quite different from up here, the traffic is faster, more dense, and more aggressive, but nothing I can’t cope with.  My son calls me Miss Daisy when we’re in the car together!

I will still be posting here and on the Universe blog now and then, I’m taking a laptop, Ipad and all the usual gizmo’s that we can’t do without these days, so my regular readers won’t get chance to miss me 😂

So stay tooned, I’ll be back 🙂

Monday Mobile Moments

It’s been a couple of weeks since I repotted the cauliflower plants, and am chuffed to see they are coming along very nicely 🙂

as is my potato bag, which is surprising as I planted them late

and also my mint and rosemary plants are taking off now as well

SO far the lone broccoli has grown 2 more leaves yay, but as yet is not photo-worthy and of 3 pepper plants I bought from Asda, 2 are surviving, one has been eaten by an imported bug that came with them grrr!  So one plant death only which is a good result for me, but also a bug murder, he deserved it.  🙂

Thats the end of tales from the greenhouse for now :). have some flowers..