Friday, February 27, 2009

Every picture tells a story, don't it

This week Stu's Tuesday Challenge was to take a photo of something that wasn't there; he describes the mission thusly:

"This week, the subject is absent from the frame. This could be for various reasons - location: your subject is present but off to one side of the frame; temporal: your subject was present but has now gone."

I had several ideas (and might yet set one of them up, weather permitting) and missed a corker through not taking my camera to work. A client rushed in with her dog which had cut its leg quite badly, and it left the most perfect trail of scarlet footprints across the reception floor and into the consulting room. Instead I came up with these:

I reckoned that the flower-bedecked tree where a young girl died was ghoulish and in poor taste.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Who do you think you're fooling?

*cue Toggy rant*

It's really irritating when young whippersnappers, barely out of nappies, are firmly convinced they're right and you're wrong. I needed advice about some embroidery I was planning, so thought the best thing to do was visit a little specialist shop I know in town. Unfortunately when I arrived there was a notice in the window saying that they'd relocated, so I followed the directions from the window of the closed shop and scoured the streets to find their new premises. I'm not sure I actually found it, but there was nowhere else for it to be. Usually the staff in sewing and craft shops are remarkably helpful and friendly - I found the exception. When I was asked if I needed help (I was looking round rather randomly because all I could see was fabric) I asked if they stocked embroidery equipment.

"No, emb.."
"Machine embroidery then"
"No, hand emb ..."
"There's no such thing. Either tapestry or machine."
"Sorry, but tapestry is done on canvas with wool ...

Embroidery is done with cotton or silk onto other sorts of fabric."

She glared at me, pushed past and stalked over to a drawer cabinet and pulled out a random skein of embroidery thread.
"Like this?"
"This is called tapestry" she triumphantly announced.
"No it isn't, I'm afraid, and I don't think you're going to be able to help me."

I left, thinking 'So, I put the egg in my mouth and suck ...'

Sunday, February 22, 2009

You'd laugh and say nothing's that simple

For the past few weeks the newspaper has printed a voucher for a free gift - just cut out the voucher and take it to the relevant shop to claim the item. Some weeks it's something I'm not in the slightest bit interested in so I don't bother, and some weeks there isn't a local branch of the participating store. Other weeks are different; we thoroughly enjoyed our free box of Thornton's chocolates a fortnight ago! This week the offer was for a free pashmina (retail price £19.99) in a choice of colours. I thought that sounded rather nice so decided to do the week's shop in Leamington rather than Banbury because that's where the nearest branch of the shop was. We didn't bust a gut to get there particularly early, and I was surprised when I arrived, at about 11 o'clock, that there were still some left, although the choice of colours available had reduced during the morning. So I chose one (even with a limited choice of colour I think I should have gone for cream rather than brown, but hey-ho) and queued to hand over my voucher.

What amazed me was the woman who arrived shortly after I did and proceded to complain loudly about the reduced selection. She made certain the poor shopgirl knew that she'd made a special effort to come in from all of 10 miles away (so had I) and accused the staff of false advertising and so on and so on. Hats off to the poor girl - she remained very polite and explained that they'd opened at 8.30 and there had been a full selection then. It was also politely pointed out that the voucher did say "while stocks last".

I couldn't help but think about gift horses and mouths - the damn thing wasn't costing her anything, after all.

*notices that several pashminas from that particular chain of stores have appeared on ebay!*

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blue, blue, my world is blue

This week's Tuesday Challenge was simply "Blue". A seemingly straightforward topic has many possibilities; as well as just blue objects, 'blue' can mean depressed, or the Boat Race (Oxford and Cambridge blue), or the police force (boys in blue) or even pornography. But on a beautiful day like today, all I had to do was look up ...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Give me one moment in time

This weeks's Tuesday challenge was to take just one picture,and do all the planning and setting-up in your head before taking the picture, and not take another one when you notice the telegraph pole sprouting from someone's head - that sort of thing. And, if possible, make it more of a challenge by shooting a moving object. Well life's pretty peaceful round and about - the only dynamic moving object was one sheep's jaws as she chewed the cud. So with the flipping annoying shutter delay I couldn't get her with her jaw amusingly over to one side, but instead she has her mouth open.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

"I don´t belong here", said old Tessa out loud

I had a cunning plan to obtain another image for the 'Red' theme; I'd go to the supermarket greengrocery area and arrange the red peppers into an artistic heap to see what interesting shapes could be obtained. What I hadn't realised was that, because of the inclement weather, the supermarket would be heaving with people stocking up as though for a siege. Anyone would think it was a bank holiday. When I eventually struggled through to the fruit and veg I was alarmed to see that there weren't many red peppers left; but to make matters worse no sooner did I start arranging the remainder than other customers came and snatched them away. So I had to snap what I could before they vanished entirely, and hope for the best. This is the best I could get in between the grabbing hands.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

I was following the pack

Just in case there are people who aren't yet bored with pictures of the recent weather conditions, here are some more ...

I love the way the falling snowflakes flare in this one of the village church. Unfortunately I didn't get it quite in the frame due to the dogs I had with me at the time jogging me, and then the camera battery finally died. But it's still a nice enough shot.

This tree just looked so beautiful I couldn't resist it.

I was very taken with the monochromism monochromosity black-and-whiteness of this scene through the wood. It makes me think of Narnia and the Lantern Waste.

Our road never gets gritted, which makes for interesting driving.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Three to get 'reddy'

Three possibles for the Tuesday Challenge.

I have an idea for another one - but it depends whether we can get out of the village!

Today's your birthday, friend

It's Beattie's birthday! When she was an adolescent she developed a health problem that we were told meant she'd be unlikely to make old bones; that's when the course of her life changed and her planned role as mother to my next generation of dals went out of the window and she assumed the sole role of companion dog. So to reach her 14th birthday, especially after her stroke last autumn, is surely a cause for celebration!

In her prime ...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

When I'm feeling blue

What a shame this week's photo theme isn't 'Blue'. Blue we can do. Harry and Piglet love running in the snow ...

Beattie, however, wasn't impressed. (And was about as red as we could manage.)

I'll have a bash for 'red' another time.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

It's been a long cold lonely winter

This week (just got in by the skin of my teeth) Stu's Tuesday Challenge was to produce an image suitable for a magazine, either front cover (portrait layout) or for a double-page spread (landscape layout). My muse ran away screaming at this particular idea so here's a fairly rubbish (but showing willing) picture for a bonsai mag showing the green shoots of recovery.