Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I collect teapots...or rather, I have a teapot collection. P now says I have enough and won't buy me any more. Some are large and capable of brewing tea but I also have a mini-teapot collection. These are some of them.

I got my hair cut and coloured today; it was well overdue and looking horrible. We've had a quiet day ; I spent some time taking photos to enter into a comp and then just messing around with the camera while the girls recovered from their sleepover. Another day of overcast skies and intermittant rain. S and I watched a DVD called "Our House" - funny if gross in parts!

Big Brother starts tonight - yes, I watch Big Brother. Only the summer version though - it's the only show of its type I watch and I get quite addicted.

Time to cook supper I think...yawn; am so tired today!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

P and Gemma

I've been tagged by Akelamalu
You have to answer the questions with one word only!
1. Where is your cell phone? Pocket
2. Relationship? Treasured
3. Your hair? Straggly
4. Work? Challenging
5. Your sister? None
6. Your favorite thing? Cuddles
7. Your dream last night? Reflections
8. Your favorite drink? Prosecco
9. Your dream car? Lexus
10. The room you’re in? Study
11. Your shoes? Uggs
12. Your fears? Loss
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? Alive!
14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? Family
15. What you’re not good at? Everything
16. Muffin? Chocolate
17. One of your wish list items? D80
18. Where you grew up? Thingwall
19. The last thing you did? Shopping
20. What are you wearing? Hoodie
21. What aren’t you wearing?Scent
22. Your pet? Cat
23. Your computer? Essential
24. Your life? Glorious
25. Your mood?Anxious
26. Missing? Parents
27. What are you thinking about right now? Friendships
28. Your car?Skoda
29. Your kitchen? SMALL!!!!!!!
30. Your summer? California
31. Your favorite color? Blue
32. When is the last time you laughed? Today
33. Last time you cried? Sunday
34. School? Life
35. Love? Family

I tag Anna,, Mafia Wife and John but only if you guys feel like doing it!

Last but not least it's K's birthday; she is 14! Hopefully there will be lots of birthday pics in tomorrow's blog! Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter!!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

This is Heidi, one of my sister in law's Cavalier King Charles spaniel puppies. We visited there today for a buffet supper in honour of K's birthday tomorrow.

I went for another training walk this morning and the steep hill is getting easier!! Not long now until the Race For Life; if anyone wants to sponsor me the link is in my sidebar! Apart from walking I made bread, bought Helsby Honey and helped S make a birthday cake for tomorrow. A very pleasant domestic sort of day!

The honey was granulated however so I'm going to have to return it, damn.

It has been pointed out to me that there are occasional TYPOS or even (the shame!!) spelling mistakes in my entries. I now have this terrible compulsion to go back through my entire blog and correct everything. Truly I am "the biter bit".

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into. ~Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts, 1858

Saturday, May 26, 2007

You've heard of "mad cows" - well, does this sheep look sane to you??
I took both these photos when out with T; I only had the Olympus with me so they are just snaps. I have some lovely ones of T too but she has threatened me with dire consequences if I post any :( T has a far better pig pic on her blog.

I have been thinking a lot about friendships tonight and I found these words on the Net: they seemed to sum up something of what I've been feeling.

For special friends...

When one is surrounded by love, the feeling of excitement fades away, and one tends to ignore the true love that lies in between the peace and dullness. Love shows up in all forms, even very small and cheeky forms, it has never been a model, it could be the most dull and boring, and romantic moments are only used and appear on the surface of the relationship. Under all this, the pillar of true love stands......and that's our life. Love, not words win arguments... Sometimes we expect far too much of the people around us, and because no one can ever live up to those expectations, we are almost always disappointed. Wouldn't it be better if we just let go, and let people be who they are? Then we'd be able to see them as they are -- with all their beauty and goodness in which we take joy, and with all their faults which we can also see in ourselves.
When we have put someone up on a pedestal, sculpturing them to fit our needs and desires by smoothing out the rough edges and creating new curves here and there, we cannot see the real person underneath our work. All we see is the illusion we have created. That is denying the person's real identity and is disrespectful. It's much better for our friends and for ourselves if we drop our expectations and illusions, and accept them all just the way they are. Whether we realize it or not, everyone we know is very special to us. The most important thing to remember is... Always appreciate the friends that you have. A fight may come and go very easily, but a friendship could last forever. The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

for the nice comments on P's commission. We are still pinching ourselves that this is happening!

Friday, May 25, 2007

I'm so proud of him!
We have just got the news we've been hoping for - HR have backtracked and told P his unpaid leave is at the discretion of his manager. And his manager, he say "YES"!!! So it's all go.
Some time ago P applied for a photographic commission for the Duke and Duchess of Westminster.
It was a vague advert so we didn't know what he was in for! Applicants were narrowed down to a shortlist of 5, three of whom were professional photographers. They all had a day at Eaton Hall for interviews and to take photographs and have their portfolios viewed.
A few days later we heard that P had been selected to take photos of lanscape and archictecture in the four rural estates belonging to the family. Another photographer was to concentrate on flora and fauna. He is to show the estates through the course of a year. There are two in England, one in Scotland and one in Spain. There is a talk of an exhibition at the end of the project and he has already been asked to take photos for a brochure on Eaton hall Open days on Sunday, weather permitting as an additional commission.
It's a great opportunity to possibly developing a photographic career and I'm so thrilled for him!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New Brighton Lighthouse...again!
Another shot taken the same night as the other one but the light is really different. I was surprised about how these turned out so unlike one another.
I have been away visiting T in Leeds. We had a really nice visit although I didn't take many photos. I am already looking forward to my next visit to her on June 18th.
Today was a hard day at work; I had to do a couple of things to do that I find really difficut but of course I survived!! As you do...tomorrow I'm going in for our weekly reading group then I'm taking time back and coming home. Not sure exactly what I'm going to do yet. Take photos i hope!
Next week the girls are off school and I'm only working Thursday so it will be a real holiday :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

New Brighton Breakwater/tank defences
I've had a busy few days and I apologise for being behind in my blog comments! I am off to Leeds to visit T early tomorrow and will be back late Wednesday night. Hope to get caught up after Thursday when - HURRAY - I have a few days off :)

My Capability stage 1 interviews went ok today; the second one in particular had a positive outcome as the lady concerned was so relieved afterwards she gave me a hug :)

I had fun scrambling about on the seaweed covered rocks trying NOT to drop the precious new 70-300mm Nikkor lens in a rockpool!! I could never have faced P again!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

New Brighton Lighthouse at dusk
The wildcat and I took a flying visit to New Brighton yesterday evening and had a couple of hours fun playing around on the sand and rocks with our cameras and new lens. I was also experimenting with my newly aquired (from P) filters.
This is probably my best shot and I'm not crazy about it but I DO like the colours. Today we went to a craft fair. Despite feeling very negative when we got there we sold six pictures ranging in price from £40 to £20 and met some lovely people so it was a good day!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

It's been a funny week. After the "high" of hearing that P's boss had said yes to his unpaid leave; the HR department have now said "no". Their reason - they do not have a policy on unpaid leave and they are also not happy that the people commisioning P's work will be paying him! P is devestated. I think it's fair to say he'll never get a chance like this again.He's not giving up yet but I think he's almost lost hope.

Here's another Big Cat pic. I have such a soft spot for the lions now.

Friday, May 18, 2007

It's catblogging day again and here is Shea drinking from our pond!

P has had a tentative thumbs up from his boss re the unpaid leave he'll need to take to unertake the photographic commission. I'm allowing myself to feel cautiously optimistic and hope that he really WILL be able to ahead and do it. it will mean some travelling and will take up pretty much all of his annual leave as well as the unpaid leave but it really is an amazing opportunity. I'll be able to be specific when i know it's all really going to happen.

TGIF: am REALLY looking forward to the weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I find Anna's photography very inspiring and Anna often looks UP at what's above her. So she was my inspiration for this photo, taken in the Natural History Museum.

The second photo is also from the same place.

P & got a new lens yesterday - a Nikkor 70-300mm. Am really looking forward to trying it out.

S had more problems at school. I am getting so worried. It's so hard to see her so upset and not know how best to help her...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Old Boat, West Kirby

I noticed this boat on my lunchtime walk. I liked the colours and the textures against the sand. In the BG you can see Hilbre Island. I really needed my walk today after a very stressful morning. Sometimes I find it really hard to be a manager and follow procedures that mean causing distress to other people.

I came home to more distress; S is upset about friendship stuff at school. It breaks my heart to see her so upset and it's hard to know what to so. Now i'm off to wash dishes then treat myself to a cup of tea!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Marine Lake, West Kirby
I took this with my camera phone and thanks to T, have finally worked out how to transfer pics I take on the phone to my PC. I was kicking myself Saturday lunchtime as a big sailing race was taking place and I didn't have my camera with me! The colours of the sails were so beautiful against the grey water and skies. It has taught me a less to take a camera everywhere as the phone really couldn't do this scene justice!

The picture below is of me and two friends from the Corner
on our Big Cat Day. As usual I'm hiding behind the camera!! We had such a fun time. I'll certainly never forget it. Thanks to everyone who has commented on my cat pics. I'm sure there will be more to come so brace yourselves.....

Saturday, May 12, 2007


I promise not to post any more big cat pics for ages. I still have hundreds to look at and edit. This little chap was hard to capture as he was very lively. I didn't think I had anything decent of him but am quite pleased with this one.

I've been tagged by Ruth for this meme:

1.What do you want to accomplish with your blog?
Nothing really! It’s more of an on-line journal. Not an intimate diary as I wouldn’t put that on the net! It’s also another way to get feedback on my photos. A nice side-effect has been “meeting” such great people in blogworld.

2. Are you a spiritual person?
Yes. I am a Christian and I believe I’ve had personal experience of God in my life; at a time of great need. I do have a lot of doubts but I keep coming back to a certainty that I can’t explain or rationalise but is there at the core of my being.

3. If you were stranded on a desert island what three things would you want to have with you?
Food, water and flares to attract attention!!

4. What’s your favourite childhood memory?
Oh, difficult! I think lying in bed in our caravan, listening to my dad tell stories about his time in the Merchant Navy. He was such a wonderful storyteller. One of my big regrets is I didn’t tape his stories for my children to enjoy.

5. Is this your first meme?
I think it is ! I'm quite pleased to be tagged!

I'm going to tag -

Mafia wife

...but only if you feel like doing it!!

I am still really hurting. The pains are in my back but also extending round into my pelvis. The painkillers are helping but not much. Now its going down my right arm and into my wrist. Ouch. I think it's possibly the damp weather.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Catblogging Friday

Well, he does look happy, doesn't he? This not very lively cheetah refused to do anything for the camera except yawn and stretch!!

Had a very busy and productive day at work.We have found out more about P's commission. In many ways it is even better and more exciting than we thought BUT it will take a lot of time. He's going to need some unpaid leave from work. I just hope he can get it. I can't imagine he'd be able to bring himself to turn down this dream job for any reason. Oh well, must try not to worry too much.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Two different shots of the iron men on Crosby Beach, a large scale art installation from Angel of the North creator Antony Gormley called "Another Place"
I really enjoyed my windblown evening here with the Wildcat; although her photos are more impressive than mine! I never get tired of this beach and the wonderful statues. Many of them are developing interesting growths of marine life.
The Corner monthly competition results were announced last night; the subject was HUMOUR and I got second, third and joint fifth places!! I can't say my most successful photo was of any technical merit - just something I happened to see!! click HERE if you want to see my photos and the winner; which IS a good photo!!
This morning I'm off for my training walk - it's less than a month now until my Race for Life. I have RDA this afternoon. My back and right hip are really hurting today despite liberal dosages of painkillers - I think it's the rain. Hope it holds off while I'm out walking.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

This is a tiger portrait that P edited for me on Saturday. I got POTD with it today; a lovely surprise. Yesterday was a quiet day although the evening was fun as I went to Crosby Beach to take photos of the Iron Men with the Wildcat; we had fun although it was VERY windy. Afterwards I was desperate for the loo so we called in on her lovely parents. He dad is such a funny man; he always has me howling with laughter - just as his daughter does so much of the time.

Today started badly as P mislaid his mobile phone and S lost her school shoes. Oh well; it can only get better I hope!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Here today, gone tomorrow....

We had a nice Sunday. Some friends came round Sunday evening and we had a really fantastic evening. One to remember.
Today we are going up the Wirral to see P's winning photo in the exhibition. Apart from that no plans; it will be nice to have a relaxing day!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A look of concentration...
I think this is possibly my favourite shot from the Big Cat Day. One of the the three male lions took up position opposite me and and started to..well, pay a call of nature! He looked so serious and intent - I loved his expression. I just hope he doesn't have access to the internet or he may sue me for invading his privacy! (or maybe EAT me...)

P has got a photographic commission from a very famous and "important" source. I don't know all the details yet but he got it against competition from hundreds of photographers all over the country, and the final 5 consisted of two pros, two photography graduates and P, the only amateur. It involves photographing landscapes and architecture here and in Spain. One of the other finalists shares the commission and is concentrating on flora and fauna.

Well, we have friends coming today for Sunday dinner so I'd better get cooking...what an exciting few days it's been!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Tiger's ear detail
A wonderful end to the week...
We got some great news yesterday! I can't say exactly what just yet but P has just landed a photographic commission for some very important people!!! He was chosen out of 100s of applicants and was the only amateur on the shortlist. I'm so proud of him :)
So last night's Mexican meal was a double celebration. We had a great time.

In flight...
This photo is of a new statue they have erected in Coronation Park, West Kirby. I like it!

Burning bright...
Another tiger shot. I don't think my focus is in quite the right place here unfortunately. But this tiger liked to spray us with urine so I was glad to get any shot I good without getting drenched!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Memories of Venice...I have had several times moments this week when I've felt that no matter how I try, I'm never good enough. Not as a wife or a mother or especially as a friend. I suppose the only thing to do is try harder.

I found a wonderful blog called Venice Daily Photo.
It brought back some wonderful memories of happy times. We are starting "The Mayor of Casterbridge" with our reading group tomorrow. Hope it goes all right; it's ages since I read it.

In the evening we are going out to celebrate P's birthday.

I hope everyone has a great Friday.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A predator....
This shot isn't as sharp as I'd like but this snow leopard kept moving - bother. I do love his intent expression however. You would think he was stalking an antelope through the undergrowth but in fact he was after a bit of raw meat the keeper had tossed in the cage for him! This is for my friend JS aka Wildcat. If you want to see a truly amazing snow leopard shot, go to her website, look in the nature/wildlife gallery and click on "Santago". The rest of her work is well worth a look too!