Sunday, 26 January 2014

Week Seven: Love Letters

Was on the fence about whether to pick a theme this week or just photograph things in general. Then decided to just try another theme, as it forces me to challenge my Eye. Have been a child of the written word all my years. Learned to read young, thanks to my wonderful mother reading wonderful poems and stories of all kinds to my brother and I every night from the Begining (Best Beloved). And have loved both reading and writing with a passion. Still blast through books at the speed of thought. Thus the theme of letters. Either letters on things or things in life that look like letters. Quite the array. And do us both a favour by skipping day five. I'm not proud of that.

Day 1 (43): 20th of January
Still in Romania. And last night, the Battery in my Olympus died. I brought a second one, but it holds a charge like a big baby. Fitting that the day we are to go see the second largest government building in the world, I will be rolling the dice with Baby Wimpy McNocharge and then relying on the iPhone. Ah well. Serves me right for not having three batteries. Or just remembering the charger. If any of you out in Blogverse feel the urge to see Romania / Bulgaria (which I highly recommend), you simply must use this guy Valentin who showed us around. Went way above and beyond the call of duty, taking us places we'd not normally see, paying for food and beverages (even one meal that he just thought was not up to standards). Today he was not on the bill to take us anywhere, but took his own vehicle and time to show us around Bucharest a bit and go to lunch and then to the airport. Genuinely nice fellow. Whilst enjoying this stroll about Bucharest, got these piccies of cool letters. First some Cyrillic on a grave marker.

Then this graffiti. Not sure what it says. Besides "NECRO ->"

Day 2 (44): 21st of January
Every week should start on Tuesdays. Got stuck in training all day. And as usual, much was repeat from previous classes I've attended. They never tell you these things before the training starts. That said, I suppose there have been useful tidbits of information that I'd not have gotten otherwise. Remembering again that I themed myself in to letters, I've gone all abstract or something, and found things shaped like the letter X. Like the letters that sponsored Sesame Street. Granted, this is a bit of a cheat and was motivated partly by poor timing and lack of creativity. That said, I think the ones I've chosen are decent. Amazing how much one can get out of so little. I have a ceiling fan or two, so here is one. Love the shadow that light makes.

And here is my floor. I have tiles. They are square.

Day 3 (45): 22nd of January
More training, and when one is in a foul disposition, the prospect of same becomes a bit daunting. Have reached the point in the month where all things dribbling slowly from day to day have finally accumulated and threaten to make like a Naples pothole and swallow me whole. A bit melodramatic, I know, but that is just that. Not really helped by the fact that the day started poorly, with the hot water on the fritz, then forgetting the thing I was going to bring to work, then forgetting to bring gas coupons so I can fuel up on the way home, then getting bitten in the heel by the metal turnstyle through which I pass to enter work. All that before 0530. Thank the Green Man for short weeks. This day can suck it / stuff it up its jumper / etc. Any hoo. Photos. Right. Letters. these are v dark, but they are letter-ish. Tried to make an L out of a thing on my wall, but it was silly. Too much so even for me. So there is this. It is my stair railings. Like a T.

And another. It is a bit of a table. Also a T... and dusty... hmmm must find duster thing...

Day 4 (46): 23rd of January
Spending more time away from my office than in it gives me a new perspective. That perspective allows me to understand that I like my office and dislike meetings that take me all over Christendom (and up and down the same zillion stairs). Such a revelation. Like realising that some people are rather absurd. Or that crime indeed does not pay. Or even that it was all JUST A DREAM?!?!?! So sorry. It has been that sort of day. Thus the motivation / inspiration for the below shots. Oh, the things we can do with seemingly innocuous storage baskets (conveniently marked so as to not lose sight of their purpose in life - if only all things were suchly marked)...such as focus on one's years...

Or indeed one's emotions. Bottled or no. And this is not an admission of a violent personality. Just a photo. Hold off calling the nice young men in their clean white suits.

Day 5 (47): 24th of January
I'll not detail the details of my day, for plausible deniability reasons. Suffice it to say I learned a lot about myself and my minio-, no... those under my comm-, er, orde-, hmm...direction. And really none of it was awkward or embarrassing. Which takes a bit of the fun out of it, but I suppose that cannot be helped. Have had the theme music from Full House stuck in my head. And demonstrated that I have far too much trivial knowledge from that particular show. Ah well. As an adult I can look back and see it for what it was. Really not bad family TV, and with plenty of Saget humour surreptitiously inserted for parental enjoyment. Might want to skip to tomorrow's photo. I'll not make this seem cooler than it is. Was fully lacking in ideas. But had a scarf. Took many versions, and none were any better than this one... Lovely HD camera takes a lovely look at my hairs that do seem to be everywhere...

Day 6 (48): 25th of January
Many things need doing on the w/ends. Especially when one spends other w/ends galavanting about the continent. That being so, a Naughty Nellie will still find time for doing not v much for a bit. Can be therapeutic for us Introverts to spend time in an introverted fashion. Even if that involves running errands without speaking a word to another human. Which is how it ought be, really. Errands are to be finished, not interrupted by or shared with random strangers. My, how perfectly antisocial of her! Yes. But it is better than having terrifyingly awkward conversations. The following was seen whilst I erranded. Am oddly attached to it for an unknowable reason. It ticks the "letters" block by having both an I and a V in it, but really I cannot say why I like it. I just do.

Here it is again in greyscale. Because I like it, that's why.

And this lovely ancient ladder up against a tree in the nearby field also speaks volumes. Whether I've captured them is up for a short debate, but it does look like an H. And has great texture.

Day 7 (49): 26th of January
I've invented a new hairstyle. I call it the Wu Man Chu. It came about as I was enjoying the latest episode of Call the Midwife and had my rather long hair hanging equally on both sides of my head. The next obvious step was to braid the two sections under my chin, creating a sort of necktie down my front. Looks a bit like something worn for ceremonial purposes on an Amazonian-esque planet far away. Or like the product of idle hands and a strange mind. Would be less bad if I'd not left it in, but I braided it like that about four hours ago. Good thing I've neither roommates nor visitors. The letter sponsoring today is A. Because it is First. And was the first letter of my nickname as a wee thing (and still today). Played with the tripod in front of the wall, then hung the good old sheer green shower curtain as a backdrop. The below was the result of a 200 ISO and a 15 second exposure. Thus the strange light and colour. All washed out is neat and required no post-production to achieve. And there are three As going on in the picture. Ta da.

And a more close up version. Tried to make it unique, as A is an important letter.

Realising I've gone a bit border-heavy this week, as well as heavy on post-editing. Not that I've any problem with that. Am not a snob about "pure" photos. There are many out there who are just bloody brilliant enough to get the perfect light and colour balance etc etc at the time. Am not one of them. And am OK with that. Besides, I like making things look different than the way they normally do. It is part of what I see in my head before hitting the pickle button. Besides, I've been called contrary my whole life. My photos really ought reflect that. 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Week Six: Parts Part Known

Knowing that the tail end of this week, and the first bit of next, will be in another country, I've had to change the theme from light-related stuff to no theme at all whatsoever. This gives me the chance to just shoot from the hip for a few days, though if I'm honest, it'll more likely be from the normal position, or possibly from a tripod. At the end there will be a couple days of "oooh, foreign stuff... and neat places!" So please stick around till the end. Promise there'll be something different.

Day 1 (36): 13th of January
Strange how knowing my Niners won their game yesterday and getting to bed at a semi-reasonable hour makes the effects of my insomnia rather lessened. Not demolished, but the five hours I was sleeping were relatively restful (and all in a row!). Am a fan of making certain a couple of times each week we learn things unrelated to work in the shop. Sometimes it is grammatically based (once explained to my guys the difference between i.e. and e.g.), and other times culturally based (another time was useless film trivia). Learned today about the phrase "Son of a gun." I'd no idea where it came from, but apparently the women of questionable morals were most often found on the gun deck (figures). When an illegitimate child came of such insalubrious behaviour, any questionable paternity was by default attributed to the chief gunner. Gives whole new meaning to the term "gundecking" (usually means to slag off some task or another, or only do it half-assed, but now...well I never!) Took gratuitous outside photos today. They are neat. Outside is pretty.

And gratuitous moon shot... oooh the moon!

Day 2 (37): 14th of January
If ADD were a radio station, it would be most stations in Italy, at least those broadcasting in the Naples area. This morning I was serenaded by Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" followed by some bizarre song about dancing, then by Daft Punk, James Blunt, and Madonna's "Vogue" (all with the typical Italian commentary and occasional singing over the last bars of the song). Is enough to put a gal in a more bizarre mood than usual for a v early Tuesday. Even more bizarre is the fact that I just realised today that in my head, Nicolas Cage and Denzel Washington are basically the same person. I know. I know. Not the same person. Cage is much taller. And a bit funnier. But for some ungodly reason, my previously thought to be flawless mental movie trivia database has been mixing up their films for years. Totally rocked my foundation. I need a moment. And it is raining.

And rather chilly. Needed these. Almost always wear same in winter months, but really needed them today.

Day 3 (38): 15th of January
Someone (I'll not say who) told me today that I'll never be happy till I "get out there" and "find someone." By which I presume was meant "hunt for a man." Who says I'm not happy now? OK, maybe not every waking second, but I'd hardly categorise myself as miserable. What is it that makes some people feel the need to "fix" other people? Leave bloody well enough alone, eh? Too short - cannot be helped; too ginger - not dying my hair; too blonde - which is it?; too nerdy - oh well; too smart - assed?; too stubborn - am not; too 'low maintenance' - still not sure about that one. Some humans - i.e. this one - are just set in their ways and happy to live life as it plays out. Twenties, thirties, forties; alone, attached, dazed or confused... who cares? Let others take all the Life Stress that comes with following The Plan. I don't even tend to plan my w/ends until they are well under way. As for the rest - it'll get sorted as it gets sorted. No need to fuss about it. Have a good laugh and move on. And don't forget to take pictures. Always take pictures - or else who'll believe you were there?

Day 4 (39): 16th of January
Thursdays are odd days. They rarely have the spotlight, except for the much-loved "Thirsty Thursday" tradition that I miss (and many of you out there still enjoy). Not really a feasible pastime here, where no one lives close to one another, and Italian bars are not anything like American ones. Thursdays also have a history of some decent TV programming (looking at you, 1980s/1990s NBC; ignoring you, current US prime time). Beyond that, they are kind of the Jan Brady of weekdays. Easily forgotten and envious of the other days. Got stuck twice before I could leave work today, after spending the vast majority of the day in meetings, trying to not kill someone or drool on myself. Adds to the mleh factor of Thursdays. But for the sake of making a rather repetitive thing a little less uninteresting, I took my life in my own hands and took a number of iPhontos whilst driving at great speed. All for you, Dear Reader. But they are poor pixel quality, and there were many, so I've collaged four, so it is less ugly. Follow them left to right and top down, to take a drive home with me... See the theme that is sneaking into the week? Sky porn of a sort...

Day 5 (40): 17th of January
Leaving for Bucharest tonite. First trip to someplace in Europe that is not Italy or a German airport or the UK. Did go to Malta last year, but that didn't really feel like Europe (don't suppose it really is, as it is an island in the middle of the Mediterranean). Seems most everyone around here has already been, but I just figure that means they'll not be there to crowd the place up. I'd like to keep the riffraff out of the quaint small town (only a couple million). Rather incredibly foggy when we arrived, which apparently happens, but typically there is a mass of snow this time of year. Did some silly photos of my harmonicas before I left for the airport, and then took a photo of my foot in said airport. Tried for some photos of fog, but they were really truly abysmal.

Uh oh, she's going black and white again. Still just your foot, Rodeo...

Day 6 (41): 18th of January
Still frogiferous outside. I imagine it is a lovely city, but will have to wait until our tour guide shows us the sights. Also visiting Transylvania, which has been on the old list of buckets (I just didn't know it until I heard that was the plan). Have always wanted to see where all those poor people got impaled...But turns out that happened somewhere else entirely. Leave it to tourist traps and authors to build one up to a disappointment. However, I had a blast. We blasted through a gobsmacking palace (wish we'd gotten a bit more time, but was still lovely) where the king lived, then feasted on delicious meat goodness whilst overlooking Bran Castle (fake vampire castle). Our tour guide apparently gave Bourdain the same tour (I think B was underwhelmed with the whole experience). Ah well. Got good (and not good) piccies, so you shall not be too disappointed. Still only giving you a couple, as this is not a "what I saw in Romania" blog. First is a chandelier from Bran Castle. Looking v eerie. With a litle help from my friend the photo software...

Second, a window from same.

And thirdly (thirdly, you say?) a cool lion guard from the king's palace. Not sure what facial expression he is going for, but I dig it.

OK. One more (ravy, no?) This is Transylvania. Of course it is. Seen from the window of a speeding Merc van. So ignore the blurry field and ooooh at the mountainy cloudy goodness.

Day 7 (42): 19th of January
Today is Bulgaria Day. Not a real thing. Or maybe it is. I'm not Bulgarian, so I'd not know, would I? Should probably say it is Rodeo Goes to Bulgaria Day. Border crossing done, we saw some really brilliant country and some really interesting people. First, there was the other tour guide in an old church, who passive aggressively shut the door on us in another space, and got all huffy when we wanted to see the same space... "we cannot possibly both speak in the same area. Did you even tell them about the wheel?" Then she responded to our "thank you" at leaving, with "It's OK." How brilliant. Then at lunch (which took a million years and they clearly never caught the rabbit for the one dish we never saw) we were witness to Bulgarian Iron Man. This chap was the patriarch of a family dining at the place. What made him great was that he was head to toe seafoam green track suit / leisure suit. And at one point he strolled past the window carrying an iron. A classy man never lets his track suit get a wrinkle... Here be photos. I am typing this in a haze of migraine, so my screen is v dim. hopefully the edits (and comments) worked anyhow. iPhonto first. The morning of frog and awesome.

Then this. The reflection is almost cooler than the real houses, but it was a neat effect.

And this. The inside of this church was v eerie 1980s frescoes of rather disturbing scenes. Even for biblical scenes...

Maybe this. So many photos. Another Church, rising up above the town. In really neat light.

Finally this. Another lion. Or rather another lion and its ass. Guarding the castle and creepy church.

Once again at a loss for how to close. For a themeless week, I've had a decent amount of luck finding inspiration (or something). Took loads of photos on the trip (and there's still tomorrow to go!) Starting to get a feel for this whole "composition" thing, so there may be hope for her, yet. The natural landscape of Bulgaria and Romania is breathtaking, but in a stark and curious way. This is the first trip I've taken where the place I go reminds me of nowhere else. Even Africa reminded me of the US. If I squint I can see aspects of the PNW or Midwest, but all the foliage and mountains are really quite different. I could not stop staring at it and wondering all sorts of crazy things. Now all head wurzzie, that is all I have. Back to the sofa. 

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Week Five: Five O'Clock Right Here

Maybe it is all the time travel-themed things I've watched / read / listened to lately, or maybe it is just the feeling that I live and die by a bleeding clock, but the v well-defined theme for this week will be Time. Not like Hootie's Time. Not Closing Time, either. Not even Time after Time. But Time is On My Side (yes it is) and while my forays into fotos this week were not spectacular, I think there've been worse. Have been Thematically Challenged much of my adult life, so it is just a struggle I shall continue in silence (except for the sound the keys make as I type).

Day 1 (29): 6th of January
Fitting that a blog themed of time starts with a day during which that infernal clock makes me want to commit atrocities of an indiscriminate nature. I've officially reached the point at which I am no longer happy with so much down time. Have nearly exhausted my "housework" list at work, and busywork for the sake of busywork is just not in my nature. Holiday periods are all well and good, but really. Enough is enough. Give me some boring tasker or short-turn requirement, PLEASE! Being at work for practically just the sake of being there gets old. I asked my boss if I could leave half an hour early the other day. He said, "Only if you make up the time." I said, "OK. It's 35 past 50."
Any rate, in keeping with that, here is a gimmicky clock I bought a while back that looks all melty / Dali-y. I've tried photographing it before, but had minimal success. Outside seems like an interesting place to find a novelty clock...

Plus sunset. Even more of a novelty? Bah. Forget the clock... Pretty clouds...

Day 2 (30): 7th of January
I guess that a truly Grown Up Person knows their own schedule. Not this GUP.  It is far more fun to arrive at work at 0530 blissfully unawares that one needn't be there till 0800, because one has to be there until 2000. Why have a 10 or 12 hour day when there are 14.5 hour days out there in the world, unloved and unappreciated? The late hour of my return home is the reason the below shot looks the way it does. That, and it is I suppose fitting that a blog focused on time has (at least) one shot that falls short due to a lack of the stuff. At least that is my excuse. My version of a GUP occasionally makes poor excuses. Just not in the presence of the D-Bag jar (at least not always, or intentionally). Observe, if you will, the time upon the face. It is incorrect. I did not roll back this clock when that was the thing to do. And I will not. Because then I'd have to roll it back forward in a couple of months. It is a boring clock.

Even with a non-boring angle. It cannot help itself. Jiggly second hand shows I used a single second exposure... interesting.

Day 3 (31): 8th of January
Was reading today about the ways in which the Victorians had it right when it comes to dating. The things referenced included were a) the grooming ritual; b) dancing; c) walks; d) chaperoned dates; and e) romantic gestures. Am a rather old fashioned person when it comes to romance and courtship, so I can get on board with most of that, but I'm a bit of a nincompoop about some of the details (fancying up, mostly). Do like the idea of an old-style courtship, but not necessarily chaperoned dates, though it might stave off some poor choices... The notion of two people falling wildly and madly in love and running away into the night, regardless of family disapproval was not so common for the upper and middle class. Which is a bit of a shame, but I suppose courting and marriage were more career moves, or socio-political arrangements, for the wealthy to stay wealthy. The poor of the world had more freedom to be rakish and wantonly non-snooty about things. Despite that rather random thought train, in keeping with the fact that this is as always a photo blog, I took piccies of a new 2014 calendar, and none really came out, so I gave up on that. Really the best I got was of an old fridge magnet 2013 calendar I only had because I opened a letter from a realtor, only to realise it was not for me, but there was a handy calendar in it so I wasted not. For to want not, you see?.

Day 4 (32): 9th of January
Spent a considerable amount of time today discussing and demonstrating accents. By considerable, I suppose I just mean more than one might expect for such a thing and curiously in more than one setting. Regardless, odd how such things end up linked. Still kind of wish I'd gotten a degree in linguistics; would make my discussions and explanations about accent differences more legitimate and technical. Not that there is anything wrong with my statements of "it's more singsongy" or "it's more spongy" or the ever-popular "it has a bit less stuff in it." Who knows. Everyone has to have their party trick / super power. And while I cannot fly or open champagne bottles with a knife, I can mimic accents. Not voices, mind you. Still my funny voice, just with varied accent and diction. Hmm. What does that have to do with time? Nothing really. But this photo does, and that is the point, isn't it?

Do love this fob watch. I wish I wore garments more regularly that facilitated the wearing of same.

Day 5 (33): 10th of January
Another Friday. There do seem to be rather a lot of them. I am looking back wishing I'd thought at the start of this week of adding a colour element to the time theme, i.e. Monday=Blue, Tuesday=Grey (Wednesday, too). Thursday, well, I really don't care about you (does that have a colour?). But Friday, I'm in... well you know the rest. There are those weeks wherein one lives simply for the last of the workdays. This is one of them. Due not to excess amounts of stress, nor to Big W/end Plans. Nope. This week just has a feel to it - one that says "things are not as they ought be." The best response to such a sense is to simply get over it and get it over with. Must say, though, I hadn't realised how out of sorts not having my things in order had put me. But having a full tank in the bike and a car that is safe to drive (i.e. have full escape options available) has me feeling more at ease than I'd noticed I'd not been. Does that make sense? I imagine so. Enough, any rate. This is another clock. It looks neat. Proves it is five o'clock somewhere...just not here anymore.
A nose walks into a bar and asks for a drink.
The bartender says, "Sorry, I can't serve you. You're already off your face."

Day 6 (34): 11th of January
Wait. They're going to put a clock on the leaning tower of Pisa. That way it'll have both the time and the inclination... No? Nothing? Oh all right. One of these days I may even see the dreaded tower. Problem is that there's not much else in the area, and while it is a short hop from Florence, I generally would rather stay in Florence. Decisions, decisions. Not much else to say. Just going to show the photo. Another clock. This one less boring than the one from Tuesday. And this one is showing the correct time. But only because I bought it after the time change.

Day 7 (35): 12th of January
Figures. Always comes too late (for what, I'm not sure). If I had a time machine or tame time traveler, Sunday would never come too late. Time Travel does exist, I just discovered it next week. Sorry for that. The light this morning was really interesting. All foggy and smoky as it so often is. Got some interesting pics of it, but as I type I'm debating posting one of them as they don't fit the theme. May change my mind by the time I publish the blog, in which case, one will be below. If not, I've teased you and for that I'm (sort of) sorry. What did the butcher say when he backed into the meat-grinder? Looks like I'm getting a little behind in my work! Not sorry for that, however. Nope. Not even a little. Decided to wave the nerd flag in keeping with my tastes and the theme this week. For that reason I put all my sundry TARDIS things together and had a studio-y go with them (the TARDIS is a time machine, for those of you out of the nerd-loop). While the overall shoot looked a bit too "I'm selling things on ebay" (which I most certainly am not) for this blog, suffice it to say it was a pretty impressive assortment. Lunch boxes, USB ports, safes, coasters, toys, a wooly hat with strings, a mug... the list goes on. What I will make you see is just one that I think worked well. Was using a borrowed contraption that puts a series of filters on the end of the lens to futz with the light. Will be something I need to play with more to really understand. Any rate... my time machine.

And the pesky finish. I know that the whole point of this blog thing is to get better at photography, but it certainly seems that I've gotten a bit worse. Especially in the joke department. Not sure if that is because I've stepped away from pre-sets on the camera and focused more on playing with the settings, or if I genuinely have gotten less capable. The jokes are... well there's really no excuse for them. They must be late to the Christmas Cracker auditions. Hopefully (for your sake as well as mine) over the next forty-some-odd weeks, that trend will swing back the proper direction - both trends, really. I've a feeling that themes I choose will rather often start out as good ideas and sometimes not quite hit the mark in execution. But sometimes, the stars will align and the gods will take pity.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Week Four: Requiem for Oldies

To celebrate the passing of another year in which I did not get arrested, maimed, sued, murdered, or fired, I thought I'd have a bit of fun this week, by taking perfectly nice pictures and putting them through the oldification engine. Not through Instagram (though that certainly is fun, and may be a topic of a later post), but rather with some prune wombat software I have. OK. Maybe not that PW, but Pruner Wombat than my camera. We'll just see what you think.

Day 1 (22): 30th of December
Stuff happens. There was a wee earthquake last night. At first I thought the ruddy great tractor the farmer nearby had been doing godknowswhat with all day had run into my house. That or I was going mad. Then I saw my TV wobbling and the stringy things on the ceiling fan dancing about. Not a whopper by any means - I think the Scientists said a five-point-something 60 miles away. Mostly I sat hoping that this was not a "Surprise, Vesuvius woke up" thing. Then I resigned myself to possible death and went back to my business. Only so much a girl can do on a Sunday evening. Days like today are interesting. Both a Monday and a Friday, people don't seem to know what exactly to do. In depth projects can hardly be to focus of effort, but new tasking is likewise not the best idea, due to the mental sloughing that will inevitably occur round about 1500. There are certainly things need done. Cars need serviced. Papers need filed. Food needs bought. Probably more things as well. For now, there is this. Played with both the greyscale and sepia settings, and this is what I ended up with. Looks all scratchy and old...

 Less exciting with just the trunk in the shot... will remember that next time.

Was just going to leave it at that, but then I went out to check on the boys and saw one orange fluffball making horrible noises at a muddy bloody ball of wet that had the relative shape of the orange one's previously orange brother. Got him a bit towelled off, but the poor thing is clearly banged up and hurt, and while he was tolerant (and somewhat appreciative) of my cuddles and conciliatory gestures, he kept making horrible "owww, that hurts" noises. Gosh, has me in a horrible state. Totally neurotic about a bloody stray cat. Good grief.

Day 2 (23): 31st of December
Ugh. Still a bit neurotic about Daft Merry. Looks more like a cat but still not a happy camper. Am such a sop I just get gutted by four leggedys in pain. Ugh indeed. If only I could convince a feline of the benefits of the Mighty Cuppa. Must refocus efforts on Rest of Day. Though Rest of Day entails v little, as Plan A is to be mildly energetic with a quick workout, but spend the rest of the day as a Listless Layabout. Yesterday was an indoor thing made old, so today's experiment is to do an outdoor thing. Tried bits of the house, bits of the wall/fence, bits of flowers, and bits of trees, all with my warming filter on, to see what that does for the Oldification Process. Results?

 Turns out that while I like going true greyscale, sometimes futsing with the saturation and intensity of the greyness makes is cooler (to me), as it keeps a little bit of the colour.

Day 3 (24): 1st of January (2014! gosh)
Really Gosh. Mad cliche to be amazed at the passing of time into another year, but I guess things are a cliche for a reason. If following good Life Plan, should have Life sorted by now. Don't have Life sorted. Make resolution to get Life sorted? Nah. Resolutions are supposed to be reasonable. Today for example is "clean house, you slob." The dust bunnies will kill you in your sleep like feral dogs. And enjoy Nice Day for taking piccies. Filter free work, but a little inside and out, since my mind is all ideas and usually little action, and when the action happens things get a little spacey. This time went all sepia, all the time. V old timey waterspout...sure it is. A bit better with the composition, though (maybe??)

This was a little fun I had with a fabric shower curtain I bought to use as a privacy screen, but turns out is nearly totally sheer. Who wants a sheer fabric shower curtain? Honestly, that is just madness. So now it is a cloth backdrop for candles. And a fob watch. That might look familiar to certain people in the audience... you know who you are.

Day 4 (25): 2nd of January
Still 2014. Will get over this eventually. Will not, however, get the date right on gas coupons and work papers for a while yet. Be reasonable. Even second guessed myself a few times to the point that I was putting 2012 on things.... Have waxed a bit poetic about the significance of a new year, and sadly came to a highly pessimistic conclusion. I want to see golden opportunities to start afresh and anew and again and asuch. Humans make that hard. To avoid being too terribly Deborah Downer about things, it'll suffice to say that for this Weary Traveler, a new year will simply mean a new date, and hoping to keep on the current path. My, how uplifting. Not my fault. Got rear-ended on the way to work, and after darting off, the twat who hit me had the gall to go to the authorities and want to press charges. After Breaking My Car. Gee, sir. So sorry my car's ass damaged your hood when you plowed into me at great speed. Let me do what I can to help you out. Any rate, felt not brilliant when Gertie and I limped home, so I used the same silly cloth backdrop but changed the subject. Had been thinking about doing something with my cowboy boots, so today was that day. Did one in BW, but went all funny, so the Sepia-y one wins. Not the best, but was not at my best.

Day 5 (26): 3rd of January
Life carries on. Got to stretch Indy's legs today, which was really v therapeutic for us both. Nothing quite like a nice 0500 bike ride to zen out the brain. Bad Things Be Gone! Why can't all problems be so easy to solve? They really are, when it comes right down to it. If only Italian weather and roads were more conducive to frequent rides... Or really, if only I were less of a wuss and had proper rain gear. Meh, as they say. Got lucky both ways today. The Gods may be Crazy, but sometimes, they're rather kind. Days slowly getting longer, so there was more light (ish) when I was home, but Mr. Tri Pod still got some play, as the longer exposure was rather necessary. Bloody wind was not helping in that regard. It couldn't even play nice and give a nice arty blur in the background. No. Had to be splodgy. Many poor lemon (lime?) tree shots later, finally settled on a pair of stone garden things that seemed to me entertained by my misfortune. After treatment, is a bit too bright in the middle, but I think it looks kinda cool.

Day 6 (27): 4th of January
Things happen. Woke this morning with but one thought: "Why are you awake? It is 0525 on a SATURDAY! And you've nowhere to be! And that was a nice dream this time. And wow... your neck rather still smarts a bit, no?" Fine. That was several thoughts. Not even sorry. Well, maybe a little. All rainy and drudgey today, which means Little Hermit Annie has her day. Non-worky Car and non-rain-ridey Me means no-leavey house. But there are things. Things to do. Like... continue re-binge on Copper, or read new book (!!). Maybe dust a shelf or two... Bah. TO THE COUCH! Oh, all right. VIA THE GYM! Took two sort of similar shots today, but the second one started out as a good idea and in the end failed to make me happy (hmmm... metaphor, anyone?). I'll show it any rate. First one seems simple and boring, but for some reason, I really like it. So v non-Americany but non-specific-placey. And the light really felt good. Why? How should I know? Not like I'm a professional. Just a Bloody-Minded Nerd with a Camera.

And Number Two... mleh (splotchiness was my doing in post)

Day 7 (28): 5th of January
Cursed weather. Splendid thunder boomer, but it is just enabling my slothful nature. Spent the morning blasting country music (neighbours be damned) and fighting with my Photo Plan. Reason for the country music was that I woke with "Hungry Eyes" in my head, after my dream got it stuck there. Was like some odd avant garde play, where myself and three friends were sitting around a table drinking tea, whilst mass riots and violence and explosions and etc were happening all about behind us. The ruckus made only muted noise; most of the sound came from pouring tea and the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. OK dreamologists - what the bloody eff does that mean? Back to the pic. Tried umpteen zillion different set ups and poses and things to add or subtract (when dealing in RAW, starts to take up space on the card...) and finally got something I kinda like. The original colours were pretty cool, but that is not the point this week. So there. The books are boxes and the little necklace is a christmas pressie from Home. The backdrop this time is a pair of wraparound "Djibouti Pants" in shiny blue that I got for some amount of local currency in - you guessed it - Djibouti. They are flowy and pretty and comfy.

Thing at the End. Damn. Seems I've forced myself to write something summatory at the end of these things. Does remarking on that fact count? Probably not. Wisdom or Commentary is better. Relevance is Optional. Ok. End of Week Four. Seems like a monumental thing for someone like me. But a month is just a month. And really is not a proper month till the 9th of January. New year opened with a bang, though, eh? Wish it had been a bit less literal about it, though. Ah well. Little Harm, Little Foul. Well, OK. Bigish Foul on the part of the soandso that hit me. But serves me right, I suppose, for being In the Way.