Sunday, 25 May 2014

Week Twenty-Four: Caesar of Flowers?

Thank goodness for the invention of the four-day work week. After all that exhausting travel and three weeks of arduous six-hour class days, I don't think I could handle five whole days. So there are lots of flowers herein, but if you get to the bottom, there is much Roman things to see. And they even came out not too terrible. Hip Hip!

Day 1 (162): 19th of May
Still no internet. Ok, there is internet. I just cannot access it. Honestly. Probably fine, though. Has made me go on a Shakespeare binge of the filmic variety. Have plenty to go round, too. Should at least take me to the w/end. Joss Wheedon's Much Ado was last night. Gosh that thing is brilliant. So beautiful and Wheedon-y and honest and lovely. And I really enjoy that particular play. Tonite I shall start The Hollow Crown, which is a BBC do of Richard II, Henry IV (Parts I and II), and Henry V. Lots of brilliance in those as well. All Whishaw and Stewart (Sir), and Irons and Hiddleston. And before you judge (for that), I've read all of the above, so I'm not totally ignorant of the plays themselves. Have even seen the Henry ones and Much Ado (among others) performed in proper theatres. On that note, check out this sky.

Oh and this my neighbour's vineyard. Finally got a half decent shot of it (usually my timing is awful).

Day 2 (163): 20th of May
Sorry. Was Madly Distracted by Shakespearean versions of Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston and Simon Russel Beale (best Falstaff ever). Could watch Henry IV on a loop. And that is just Part I. Not sure if my eye-parts can handle any more. Just have to carry on, eh? Oh, here's a photo. It is rather pink.

So is this.

This fool rose got put through the edit wringer, getting temperature changed here and vignetted there. But of all the versions, I like this the best.

Day 3 (164): 21st of May
Pulled the trigger on going to Rome for the long w/end. Haven't been in about a year, and last time I didn't have the camera (or the blog to motivate the picture taking). Four days should get me some relaxation (and some internet...grrrr) and some good photos. I think the fact that this thing is still going at all after 24 weeks is a miracle, so I suppose having a few down weeks with muse-y dystrophy is not so bizarre. At least that is what I shall continue to tell myself. Till it is resolved, this is on a tree.

This is not. Not sure I like it all that  much. Ah well.

Day 4 (165): 22nd of May
Today, as I watched a packet from some iodised salt float gracefully on the air from a floor vent, I realised firstly that I'd gone a bit mad, and secondly that all I've done lately is take really rather boring photos of flowers. Mostly in my garden. Really don't want to become one of those people. How dreadful. Turning into something one despises... guh. At least I don't take staged shots with gleaming water droplets... So here is Merry. Yes, I flipped the photo, but it is more fun this way. He looks like Garfield.

These smell really lovely. Not sure they look lovely...

Day 5 (166): 23rd of May
What to do with oneself on a day off? Hmm. Let me see. One could be awfully energetic and work out. Ok, but only for a bit. Watch a bit of a film purchased in the impulse buy section? Good idea. Who is this Veronica Mars cat? Oh, there was a show? Ah. That explains it. Meh. Trains need catching. And apparently busses to train stations need to be sat upon for 35 minutes while drivers wait and pack as many people as physically possible onboard. Never change, Napoli. Really must learn to get a map when in a city have not visited in a long time. I'm sure my memory of the Google Maps I checked yesterday is good and my hotel is just near... Isn't it fun to read someone's internal monologue written down a few hours after it happened? Salve your aching brain with this photo of... wait for it.

FLOWERS?? REALLY?? You get completely the eff out of town and still... Ok, here's a not flowers. I found Gay Street (that is what it's called! There was a sign and everything!) Gosh I'm not good at street shots...

Day 6 (167): 24th of May
So there's this place called Rome. It is in Italy. Maybe you've heard tell of such a place? Well I'm here to tell ye lads and lasses it is no fairy tale. Ok, maybe a little bit of a fairy tale, but largely it is a real place. Full of people and everything. And one or two frightfully (frighteningly?) historical places. Like this one. Maybe it looks familiar?

And this one.

Oh, and mustn't forget this one. Things happened here. Rather a long time ago, but still.

Oh. More ruins. How Roman.

Sorry, I've a thing for poppies. Not sure why.

How Neverending Story is this??

Omigosh! A fountain! Swear I saw this in Vegas... they made another all the way out here? Wow.

Huzzah! A church.

Oh actually this one is kinda cool.

Day 7 (168): 25th of May
I do try to not get all serious for the most part (I'll pause whilst you remove your chin from the floor). But there is a little something about Memorial Day that really rather sings a true sort of tune. Does that sound silly? Probably. But I've lost important people to war things and have watched friends go through the same thing. It is no fun (yep, get that chin again). But it really means something to donate even a small thought to those who decided to put their lives on the line rather than take the safe, easy route of living a life at home. Not to discredit those who live that life at home. It gives those of us serving something to protect. A purpose. Hmm. Sounds a bit empty like that, but I mean it. Thoughts don't bring back the dead. But thoughts do provide a tiny bit more meaning to the lives lived. On that uplifting thought, I give you more of Rome. A place that knows a thing or two about loss. Get it? They rose and fell, the Romans. Sorry, too soon? To the Vatican! No, wait. This isn't a comic book. Hmm, shall we see the museums? Why certainly we shall!

I dug this guy, Not sure why. There certainly is rather a lot of this sort of thing in the Vatican Museums. Took two hours and change to see the whole thing (whilst being shepherded through like so much livestock).

Did you know it was cool to posh up all the ceilings? Not just the Sistine (sorry, no pics of that - "novideo, nofoto," sayeth the nice young men in uniforms). Though the Chapel itself was more gobsmacking than I was anticipating. Not like in the books. Nossir. This ceiling is in a hall of the most gorgeous maps I've seen anywhere.

Saw my first live in person Van Gogh. Holy Wow. That guy could paint.

This guy not so much (whoever he is...). I could totally draw a white circle on black. Though he did paint a rather talented if funny looking photographer in the middle. That might be beyond my talents. Just a tad.

Went to St. Pete's to check out the Basilica, but didn't feel like another run through the cattle chutes for hours on end. But checked out the square. Neat place.

So yes. Lots of flowers and lots of Rome. Some pretty successful shots despite the boring subject matter (not you, Roma. You were lovely). Gosh I'm hungry.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Week Twenty-three: Roy G.

I remember an episode of what I think was Bill Nye, but for all I know it could have been Beakman's World. Either way, the episode was my first introduction to the way the rainbow works and how to remember the order of the colours. As part of photography is closely tied to colours (can't think why), I wanted to pay homage to the nice bow of rain.

Day 1 (155): 12th of May
Red. A great colour. Some of my hair is red. Sort of. Especially when I get a bit cross. Which is hardly ever, really. Losing one's temper is so, well, unnecessary. Other good things that are red...hmmm. Roses, fezzes, some kinds of curry. Mmmmm... curry... Right. Oh of course. Stop signs.

And apparently some little pickups. This one was a bit tricky to get just  right.

Day 2 (156): 13th of May
Orange. Like the fool cats. And some of the more unfortunate Gingers out there. I rather compare it to my spinal pain level after several hours of marching up and down metal stairs on a day when Beelzebub was in control of the weather, on a big flat-topped boat. I've never seen one of them before. Oh, sorry, sarcasm doesn't really show through in type. If you've met me you'll know I'm rarely not sarcastic, so if there is a question, just presume on the snarky side. Nearly missed my chance to take a photo as it got late, and there was not an orange car to be found. Though in retrospect that's a good thing. Orange is no colour for a car. But there is this. Thanks, Taco Bell.

Day 3 (157): 14th of May
Yellow. Oh good, we are starting each day with a single word. How v creative. Not at all lazy. For weeks there has been a horrid yellow Charger with an awful bumble bee on the side. But on the day I want to take its photo, it of course vanishes. Went on a great sojourn to find other yellows (as I've given up on the Colours of Cars idea I started with). Found a nice hydrant.

And a nice "don't kill pedestrians" sign. Considering I was a pedestrian as I took the shot in the middle of the street, I was glad for its existence.

Day 4 (158): 15th of May
Green. My, my. Wherever will I find something green. I miss the kind of green that abounds here. Doesn't mean I actually like it here. Nope, just the trees. Except the ones that spew cotton at me and make my allergies go mad. Fabric of our lives my foot. Though I do rather like cotton when it is processed and made into shirts. Stumbled upon a grand hunter green Mustang all kitted out to look absurd. And it was in front of trees. How nice.

Then of course there were the bushes. This one was fun.

Day 5 (159): 16th of May
Blue. Ahhh. Blue. Glorious blue. My eyes are blue. Rather a boring version of blue, but blue nonetheless. I also own rather a lot of blue things. Like TARDIS toys and assorted paraphernalia. And jeans. Lots of jeans. But I also have a windbreaker, which got simply soaked when I went out in a monsoon to take some photos of the stormy beach. Apparently windbreaker is not the same as rainbreaker.

Here is the stormy beach. Took lots of photos, but won't waste your eyes on them just now. Not a terribly blue day for the ocean.

And once it cleared up, I could tell that my rental car is indeed quite blue.

And really rather reflecty. I see now that this is rather less of a blue shot.

Day 6 (160): 17th of May
Indigo. What the devil is indigo. Once this week got along, I realised I had no idea what made indigo something other than blue. Besides of course a word that precedes Girls. Turns out I should have researched the difference earlier. Yesterday I was apparently looking at indigo as well as blue. World = shattered. So today I guess I'll be looking for more of the same. Between the two days I'll surely cover the blues. Typical. Bloody colours. Bloody EM spectrum. Got to catch a plane, too. So here is the solution. I have a keyboard protector that is well worn, but still sort of blue / indigo / whatever.

And the sky was a lovely bluey of some description. With a nice bird.

Day 7 (161): 18th of May
Violet. Also known as Purple. Like royal things and Joint things, and little old ladies. I quite like purple, but it turns out I own rather little purple. Also turns out that my landlord wanted to play one more trick on me (it has been a while, so I suppose I am due). They rejiggered the internet at the villa so I've my own ADSL line, but did not leave me the info to set up the fool thing, or how I am supposed to receive the bill / pay the bill (details, I know). So off I trundle to the NEX to borrow WiFi. And after a rather long time on planes and in airports. Boo. But there were rather pretty thistle plants to satisfy the purple for the day.

See? Pretty Purple.

Also took a shot of these poppies, because it is my blog and I'll do as I please.

Back in Naples now. Internet I cannot access and a water heater that won't quit sounding on the verge of nuclear meltdown. So nice to be home. Oh, and I like colours. And traffic lights. But only when they're green.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Week Twenty-Two: Come, Josephine

This week was generally all good things. Across the spectrum. Aced a test, got some sun, had fun. Took photos of static display airplanes every day, except when I did not. One day there were flying trucks. Really. Check them out.

Day 1 (148): 5th of May
Both Cinco De Mayo and Revenge of the Fifth. I realise now that I failed to say anything about yesterday being Star Wars Day. Really the fault of that rubbish travel bother yesterday. Ah well. Hardly diminishes my level of nerd. I had forgotten the vagaries of VaBeach weather, but the past few days and the expectations for the rest of the week are a stark reminder. Spring in this area can be dreary and rainy and gloomy one day, then hot and humid the next. Despite the less than gorgeous day, went out to snap some photos outside, and decided the result needed some oldification to compensate for the poor light conditions (and because it is an older plane).

In case you are curious about the way a traveling naval officer lives, here's the startlingly comfy bed. Not necessarily the standard, as some quarters seem to want to mimic ship life...

Day 2 (149): 6th of May
Had our test this morning, and despite the two point five hour time limit, I finished in about forty. And that included a few minutes to make sure it was mostly legible. Thankfully my quickness meant that we had time to go get v sophisticated brunch by sampling the phenomenon of the Waffle Taco. Judge away, but it was really not terrible. Asked for bacon and got sausage, but was still not terrible. Also they made us wait so long they threw in an extra hash brown and some cinna-thingies. Perhaps should feel bad, but when in Rome...(or America...)

Better in BW??? Better yet in the belly.

And to continue the theme of planes... One of my better reflected self portraits.

Day 3 (150): 7th of May
Well, because no one in the class failed (and I got a perfect score...humble brag? Naw, just brag), we had a get together at one of my old stomping grounds last night. Was quite a fun time, and this time there were no rescue ops for guys too drunk to walk and generally no youthful shenanigans. Though Keagan's is an Irish pub, so shenanigans would not be the strangest thing. Although I only had a minor amount of alcohol, I did eat the dickins out of some fish n' chips and a foodgasm called fried cookie dough (with ice cream). Still get a shiver remembering it.... but here is another oldified plane.

And a nice little birdie.

And I may not know the muffin man, but I know where he works - the NAS Oceana Commissary. He makes magical pistachio muffins... I just had to share. Not the muffin, mind you. Just the fact of its existence.

Day 4 (151): 8th of May
This morning was startlingly (though no surprisingly) hot and humid. But the first thing I saw outside was the tree below. Really drives home the difference in schedule, since as mentioned I leave for work in Italy before the sun comes up. Here, it is well into the sky before we head out.

On a walkabout in the lovely afternoon / evening. Love the light this time of day.

This poor fellow has been in a state of being disassembled for a few days. Johnny Five would not be amused.

Pretty tree with pretty sun. Hardly touched this one...

Day 5 (152): 9th of May
Another early release day and another lovely (if hot and humid) day. Almost forgot to get my piccies, but as we were leaving base to go eat AYCE sushi (mmmmmmmm), I pulled over quick and snapped this gazebo / smoke shack. Realise that I got too quick and didn't center the thing...

Have always enjoyed poking fun at the F-14 Tomcat (especially around those who used to fly it). Thus the photo of one's backside, but the focus of the photo is on the little picnic table...

Day 6 (153): 10th of May
Last w/end was so busy, this one will be decidedly lower stress. Early morning visit to the gym, out to the beach to check out the lovely day and the Monster Trucks, evening out with an old friend. What's not to like? And I met this charming fellow outside the gym.

I love Monster Truck / Drag Race people. So v America.

Same thing but from the front.

Day 7 (154): 11th of May
Happy Mother's Day!!! I've got the best one, so just be aware of that fact. You may think yours is better, but studies have shown mine is the tops. No car today, but that did not stop the fun. Took a Canadian classmate to the Monsters on the Beach, because why not? Who doesn't love Monster trucks? They are great for building international partnerships. The brilliant automotive carnage was followed by beer and hot wings, to really solidify the American Experience. Took about two million photos, so choosing the below was v hard. Still a lot more than usual, but I narrowed it down to a handful. First to set the scene.

And another. Classic SEALs... Checking out the Monster Trucks from the air.

There were ATV races as well.

All the flying machines (different from the others pictured above) were incredible.

Though sometimes it ended badly. A Delorean this is not...

Mostly it was just brilliant. I wanted a shot of the massive dirt being kicked up by trucks doing donuts, but had to draw the line somewhere.

And there was a tank that turned into a dinosaur that ate a car and shot fire from its gob.

Yes, do come, Josephine. This is the best flying machine.

A bit cheeky this week. Really don't know where it came from. I've certainly never been cheeky before. I'm usually such a pragmatic and rational gal...