Category: family

28 Mar

Confined to barracks: Day 12

Bruce Little / family / / 0 Comments

Saturday. I wake up at 5 in the morning feeling hot and can’t get back to sleep. Is this a fever? Is this it? Paranoia strikes. However, it is accompanied by a heavy stomach feeling and is an old “friend” – a consequence of over indulgence of food and drink the night before and the pub’s generosity in portion size. The feeling passes and I doze off, to wake up at about 8.

Normally of course I’m getting up at 5-ish at this time of year and heading out for a spring sunrise. Teignmouth pier is good around about now.

After breakfast I head into the garden. The weather is still nice and there are things to do. A Gardener’s World “Job for the Weekend” is to trim back old fern leaves, so that gets done. The trimmings join other stuff in the green collection bin. No point filling this up really, as the council has paused collections, but I figure that it can dry off in here and one day I’ll have a good old fashioned bonfire to get rid of it.

I dig up my flower border to rid it of weeds and invading grass. I’ve tried to avoid doing this since we moved in as the previous owners left us with a plethora of bulbs and I’ve not wanted to disturb them. However, at this time of year I can see where they are ‘cos the leaves are up – old snowdrops past their best and daffodils in their prime. There is an awful lot of grass to pick out. When I’m finished the borders look much – much – tidier. Several perennials have been split and re-planted as several smaller ones. Plants for free – woohoo!

Before I’m finished I hit concrete. What the..? Turns out to be the mother of all lumps of concrete. Foundations for an old post or something? I don’t know, but out it comes. Bloody heavy. Can’t take it to the tip as it’s closed so it gets thrown in the “wasteland” behind the shed that I’ve been meaning to sort out since we moved in. Next year, hopefully.

Lunch is the remains of the obscenely-sized food from the pub last night. Ragu and tagliatelle with a little bit of hot garlic and chilli olive oil drizzled over to add my own touch, and the remaining fries. Does two of us handsomely for lunch, and that was 1/3 of the original meal! After we finish we put together the Tesco delivery order. 80 item limit is reached and staples such as pasta are in scarce supply. Worried that only two more deliveries are scheduled before we run out and no more are available. This is the biggest looming disruption to our weekly schedule. We’ve had home delivery for the past 3 years or so and it’s great. Now, by necessity, everyone else is in on it too and delivery slots are like hens teeth.

In the afternoon I decide to leave the house for my cycling “exercise”. It’s really son #2’s exercise and a pootle for me. It’s an ideal time to get him on his bike on the road with so little traffic. We go up the hill to the top of the village and turn around. Back down the hill past our house and to the church. Then back up the hill to the house. Plenty of stops but “can we do this again tomorrow Dad?” makes it all worth it.

More gardening. Two rows of spuds planted, and the chillies that turned up in the post are potted on. I ordered 4 plugs and the nice people at chilliworld gave me 2 free. Ironic really as I’d planned on scaling back the chilli production this year to give more space over to other greenhouse crops like peppers etc. But thanks anyway. I’ll be a return customer next year.

Five o’clock and I’m knackered. A bottle of home made cider is opened and I sit down to write this blog entry. Food supplies still good as I rescue a gurnard from the freezer to cook tonight with rosemary roasties, a spicy tomato sauce and a cool white Rioja. A leisurely evening in front of the telly awaits.

24 May

Photographers Block?

I’m feeling a bit photographically jaded at the moment, and I’m not sure why. I’m on holiday, and have brought my landscape kit with me, but am not having a vintage time photographically. In a new part of the country I thought I’d be scouring out new locations and taking best advantage of them, but I’m not. And I’m not too bothered. The strange thing is that I still want to go out and get some great photos, it’s just that when I set up I don’t feel too enthusiastic about it. On top of that, my 24-105 has broken and will only shoot wide open – not ideal for landscapes. So why am I feeling jaded?

Time of year? Perhaps. It’s not the best time of year for landscapes, with very early mornings or late evenings required for that “ideal” light. Following that kind of regime on a family holiday would be a bit antisocial. I have been trying to compensate for the lack of “golden-hour” images with long exposure monochromes, but I’m having little luck in hunting out subjects that work for such shots at the moment.

Burnout? Perhaps. I spent all of 2010 doing a monochrome photo a week challenge which had to be mainly concentrated into weekends. My self-imposed challenge for 2011 has been to get up early for sunrise landscape photography and that, too, has been a mainly weekend, i.e. free time, activity. So perhaps I am a little burned out and just need to relax on my holiday.

So what to do? Well, as my favourite lens is broken, it will have to go into a Canon service centre. On past experience I can expect to be without it for a couple of months so, even though I can use other lenses, I intend to slow down a bit and concentrate on the images I’ve already collected this year. I’m guilty, along with many others I imagine, of collecting hoards of images and letting them fade into obscurity on disk. I’m quite good at pruning the wheat from the chaff, so don’t store rubbish, but I don’t give the good ones the respect they deserve by printing them out and putting them on the wall.

So when I get home, I will concentrate on post-production and get some pretty damn great prints to hang on the wall. By the time I get my lens back, I should be ready to get out and about with it again. For now, I’ll just relax and enjoy the rest of my holiday.

13 Mar

Like father, like son?

When I started this blog, I had no intention of using it for family snaps, and that is still my aim as I have other outlets for that, but I just cannot resist this one time. Well, it is linked to photography …

We had taken advantage of a beautiful, fresh, spring day to have a family outing to the coast at Dawlish. I took my SLR, tripod, and 10 stop ND filter with me (more of which¬† to come in another post) and had just spent quite some time on the piers hoping for an interesting sky, and had reached that “photo’d out” point, so I made my way back to the family and Read more