Sunday, 29 December 2013

Week Three: Things We Never Knew

One of these days, my time in the Journalistic Endeavours will pay off and I'll remember how to write a hook. For now, I think it probably best to just dive in to the week's rambli-- I mean Photos and Words.

Day 1 (15): 23rd of December
Tis the season. Of what? Whatever you please, as a matter of fact. Clearly good and notsogood things. There are more deer in the UK now than at any other time since the last Ice Age (I think that's the era, not the delightful Pixar film franchise). For that reason, among others, being hateful at Christmastime is just, well, hateful. Like not appreciating the requirement for brilliant Christmas songs sung by brilliant classic singers (no, Mariah, that does not include you... nor you, Bieber). Or questioning the need to wear jolly red hats all day at work. Or giving dirty looks in response to whistling the Chipmunks great Holiday Ballad "Please, Christmas, Don't be Late" (Does he get the hula hoop? The world wants to know!). Also the playing of it on a loop over a door sound cover. Someone who meant a great deal to me used to poke fun at me by singing that song, so it holds a special place in my heart. And the obvious, of course - it is just a perfect Christmas song. So there. Cue badass Selfie. Promise this'll be the only one.

That's why there's two.

Day 2 (16): 24th of December
Seven Fishes. Crowded Sidestreets. Busy Base Gates galore. And the only thing left is the music. Eat a Burger. Have a Cold Beer. Full of Holiday Smiles. While the cats stare at you through the door. Ring a ling. Hear them-- oh enough of that. Christmas Eve looks like any other day in December here in Naples. Aside from the odd Christmas lights, the busy nature of the area seems the same as the usual. Really needs snow, Christmas does. Or at least weather chilly enough to require a jacket (barely needed a cardigan today). Was a lovely day, I admit, but it is WINTER!!! But I did my duty. For Queen and Cou-- no. Wait. For Christmas Dinner. Ice has been obtained. So have wine and toothpaste, but that's neither here nor there. Oh, and a couple photos taken, for good measure. Now I'll be watching the Psych Musical, as it arrived yesterday, like my own Christmas Miracle. And I''ll be having another beer. In Brazil BBQ-ing is a form of public protest. This stump has a face. It is not amused.

But this is cheery, no? V Christmasy.

Day 3 (17): 25th of December
Now...feels like there's something I've forgotten. Not sure why. What could it be? A date? Hahaha, no. An appointment? Unlikely. Dre? Possibly. All the words? Must be it. Ah well. Probably not important. Weather's a bit dreary today. Must've heard my ungrateful moans yesterday about lovely weather at Christmas (THAT'S what I forgot!). Hopefully doesn't portend ill climate for the week. Would like to stretch Indy's legs at some point. She's getting rather bored, sitting in the garage with her shiny new saddle bags. Popping out for a jaunt to work would be v therapeutic. Moreso for her than for me (obviously). Speaking of getting out, spent the digital equivalent of a roll of film at the Christmas dinner trying to get a decent photo of a gull in flight. One of many photographic skills I do not have is birds, especially if they have the gall to fly. Not that gulls/gannets/seapigeons are the most majestic of fowl, but beggars and choosers and all. That, and J.L. Seagull has long been a favourite book of mine. Got sort of close. But whatevs. Early days, eh? A hummingbird's brain accounts for 4.2% of its bodyweight. That's higher than any other bird.

And see about the weather? Hmm. Actually, makes for rather a nice sunset. Do like a nice sunset. Fly, J.L.! Fly!

Day 4 (18): 26th of December
My body did not get the memo. I told it before we went to bed that we were not to wake until two hours later than usual. Stupid body with its getting up normally. Fixed its wagon, though, as I made it stay in bed and watch the Doctor Who Christmas ep I'd left downloa-- erm legally purchasing. Damn that show. Damn it to hell. Makes me go all misty like nothing else can. Am a conflicted fan, for certain. Am in love with a work of fiction and don't even know exactly why. And not like "Gee. Really love that show" in love. More like Occupies More Thought Than is Healthy in love. Why. Really, I want to know. Few other things come close, so if I can sort out one, perhaps that will translate to the others. No? Nothing? Fat lot of good you are. Right. Don't alienate the reader, Self. They are a Happy Few, and deserve your appreciation, not your sass. Sorry. Forgot myself. Enough about my Soppy Conflicted Nerdiness. The most effective time to drink coffee is between 0930 and 1130. Plan A was to try taking piccies of the blekhy rainy stormy windy day, but then it was suggested I try playing with long exposure, as that is number 543 on the Skills Rodeo Lacks list. Also gave me an excuse to show off Indy. She's so purdy. Any rate, after Herself (me) figured out that timers and tripods and lamps work best when used properly, she had some success.

Not so much in the long exposure stuff (a project for later), but in the taking pictures in the dark.

Day 5 (19): 27th of December
Always a good idea take someone not good at sitting still, and tell her to sit in a chair for twelve hours. Not liable to work. There will always be a wander from time to time, or just a dance party. Always more fun with pie, though. That can be said of many things (most things, I should think) I just learned today that tears do not fall in space. So there is no crying in space. And it follows that there ought be no crying in other places (or all places). Vindication is sweet. I also learned that "God's Bones" was the sweariest phrase in medieval times (someone should tell Follett) and that until this year, "being an incorrigible rogue" was a criminal offense (and should still be, in my mind - basically gives legal reason to imprison "D-bags"). What also ought be criminal is the following photo. Could make excuses all day, but just comes down to lack of skill. Got too big for her britches, I think. "Oh, well, I've clearly mastered the art of night photography, I can totally do outside at night." Sorry, love, but not so much. Does look sorta cool, but still is a poor pic. Projects for later. And yes. I know. It is a cat.

Day 6 (20): 28th of December
I've had "California Dreamin'" stuck firmly in my cerebral music player all day. Not because I've been wistfully thinking of the Far South West US, but because it was on in the background of my v strange dream last night (will spare you the details). That is one of the few constants in my dreaming: the soundtrack. There is always music playing, and it usually fits either ironically with the dream or makes no sense whatsoever. A few nights ago I dreamt that myself and others were suffering from a rampant skin fungus and a friend of mine decided that the solution was to bomb the lot of us. The music to that cheery little vignette was a Head and the Heart medley. A bit distressing, that, as I love that particular group so much and their music makes me happy. Not much happy about being bombed. Or fungus, for that matter. Monkeys avoid selfish people. The Sun was ruddy gorgeous today, and I spent a fair amount of time sitting outside. Then the boys decided to have a go at each other, clearly the nice weather made them feel rather good. Took some photos of them being silly, but will leave those off this place, as I fear it becoming a Dreaded Cat Photo blog. What I will share is the result of my experimenting with my filters and lens hood. I've done worse, but still feel there is something missing from my overall product. Something more than just Skill. Passion? Could be. Conviction? Kind of the same thing. Whatever it is, here's to figuring out what it is and digging up a bit of it from time to time.

This I fancied because it is a bit grim, especially reflected by the fluff photo from before. This is the After to last week's Before.

Day 7 (21): 29th of December
Apparently we learn to grimace in the womb, so we can express our discontent at birth. That explains a lot. I wonder if we learn to smile before or after birth. Seems equally important to be able to express pleasure. All cliches aside, I find that laughing really does heal rather a lot of ailments. Not necessarily things like Russian Flu, or The Plague, but certainly things like Meetings, VTCs, and Staff Work. Having a good laugh before and after said events can make the drudgery all the easier. Also seems to me that a baby who smiles makes people less uncomfortable... but that I suppose is the point, right? If Big People are uncomfortable at the unhappiness of a baby, they are more likely to do whatever it takes to stop the madness. Well poop. I guess the grimace is a good thing. I bet Rainbow Dash didn't grimace when faced with a Dalek, though. So... can Friendship be Exterminated?

Clearly not. Even the Daleks are no match for Ponies.

Wisdom of the Week: Urban blackbirds grow up faster than their country cousins. And the mathematical chance of meeting your soul mate is one in 10,000. Put that in your bathwater and drink it. 

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