Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Tin

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The humble tin plate has played such a big part in my life…

I was a Girl Guide for years, and absolutely loved camping across the Highlands of Scotland (where I grew up), sleeping in giggling groups in the old heavy green cotton canvas bell tents, cooking hearty meals on an open camp fire, eating on old-fashioned tin plates not unlike the one above (although my well-used original was much plainer – just white enamel with a dark blue rim) all sitting on the ground circled around the flickering embers.

This more modern version of my old tin plate gives a proud nod to those wonderful memories, with the cute overall pattern of black-face sheep a fun addition to my little blast-from-the-past treasured memory 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Tin

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When Life Intervenes

I’m quite good (or is it bad?) at starting things, but not always finishing them. It’s not deliberate, but sometimes it feels to me like life simply intervenes and gets in the way of my plans. So I don’t necessarily feel that I give up on them entirely, more that something else comes up that takes precedence at that time, and then I don’t always remember to go back to them straight away…

I mean, I decided a couple of months ago that for the six weeks before my 55th birthday I would try to do some yoga every day, to build a solid habit I could continue wherever I go. And I was doing not too badly with that plan until things started going wrong with my daughter’s third pregnancy and all hell broke loose in my head and my heart, leaving the yoga thing trailing behind in the dust.

It was the same with biting my nails – I decided in September to stop biting my nails – and indeed I had nicely filed nails right up until my stress levels went through the roof due to a type-1 diabetic pregnant daughter having uncontrollable hypos (dangerous to the extent of being potentially life-threatening) and an unborn granddaughter showing seriously concerning decelerations in her heart-rate (ditto).

But thankfully all of that stress is over now, baby is here and daughter’s blood glucose is reasonably stabilised again, and so it’s time to go back to trying the daily yoga practice and giving up biting my nails again – well, until life intervenes again, of course! 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Intervene

Weekend Coffee Share: 21 Dec 2018

If we were having coffee this weekend, I’d be feeling tired but happy after four hectic weeks spent visiting with my family in the North of Scotland… ❤

In the midst of all the stress and excitement of a new baby arriving six weeks earlier than nature intended my 55th birthday came and went almost unnoticed, but with the wonderful gift of a new grandchild exactly one week beforehand, I enjoyed the perfect (for me) family oriented day free from any fuss.

Thankfully my newest granddaughter Lily is now safely home from hospital a full three weeks after her birth, but still three weeks before she was due to be born, so my daughter is understandably relieved and delighted to have her tiny new daughter home in time for Christmas.

We had all been joking while she was still in hospital that the little one (all of 4lb 5oz at birth) was probably still small enough to fit comfortably into her Christmas stocking – and even now she’s tipping the scales at just over 5lb in weight she does indeed fit, with room to spare! Happy Christmas everyone! 🙂

Lily-stocking

Weekend Coffee Share: 21 Dec 2018

Technological Advancement: Help or Hindrance?

Fandango has asked an excellent Provocative Question this week –  Is technological advancement a net positive or a net negative?’

As with most major technological advancements throughout history leading to a paradigm shift in the way we experience the world we live in, there are always good things and bad things to be considered when deciding on whether or not the long-term good outweighs the short-term bad in our relatively nascent electronic/ digital age.

The problem with the concept of progress of any kind is that there are always winners or losers at the end of the day. Look back to the Industrial Revolution here in the UK when factory machinery on one hand ruined the livelihoods of individual cottage-industry cloth-making family enterprises but on the other hand, brought about a huge economic boom for the country as a whole. The Luddites physically attacked the new machinery, and this lead to the introduction of the Riot Act.

Then there was the introducion of the railways, of electricity, of the motor car, of airplanes, of television and the telephone, of space travel – all considered dangerous scary threatening stuff to begin with, yet all taken for granted and easily accommodated in everyday life today.

Part of the difficulty with living in the electronic age (in my opinion, anyway) is that it’s the creative young people who have seized on the possibilities of all this new technology and have run away with it, faster than any previous generation has been able to envisage, towards frontiers and futures never before considered. And there’s where we hit the biggest problem – kids can do stuff with technology parents can’t even imagine.

There is therefore a huge dissonance between this younger generation of fast-paced digital visonaries and the slower-moving mechanically-minded older generations – particularly the Government – who are generally the people responsible for ruling (or not) on suitable legislation to control the use of these new technologies they hardly begin to understand the complexities of themselves.

So inevitably we end up with the serious grown-up issues of digital security and identity fraud, with drones delivering contraband to prisons or disrupting flights at a major airport – for example today at Gatwick Airport, as we speak. Or Russian Hackers infiltrating FaceBook under the radar, and US Senators questioning Mark Zuckerberg without having one iota of an idea of how FaceBook even works…

But as ever this period of confusion and consternation will pass soon enough – the non-digital dinosaurs will become extinct and everyone will soon forget what life was like before computers… Well, that’s me added my tuppence-worth to the ongoing debate, anyway… 🙂

Between Motion Blur and Camera Shake

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While out for a winter woodland walk in Inverness last week, I took a few shots of a fast-flowing stream (or a burn, as we call it in Scotland – this one is the Holm Burn). It looked so lovely from where I stood looking down from the little low bridge crossing over it I thought it might be fun to try an impromptu motion blur effect with a slow-ish shutter speed, but I didn’t find it as easy as I’d thought…

I had no tripod with me (as I was just out for an everyday walk) so everything was taken hand-held, with the helpful support of the bridge structure itself.  The first ‘ordinary’ shot was taken at f5, 1/50 sec, and the second ‘motion blur’ shot at f14, 1/5 sec – but trying to keep the camera steady for even that short period of time was surprisingly hard, especially in the freezing cold weather.

I took several different shots, trying several different settings, but this was probably the best of the lot – finding that fine line between motion blur and camera shake was a frustrating blend of trial and error – and without a tripod I’ve found it’s all a lot harder than it looks 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Easy

 

Upholding the Lie…

We’re still following the news in America with bemusement, amazed that the blustering White House still maintains that Flynn was ambushed by the FBI, even when everyone else – including Flynn himself – admits this was not the case.

Trump seems intent on upholding the lie to the bitter end… he can bleat ‘Fake news, fake news’ with regard to the media coverage of his presidency all he likes, but surely ‘Fake judge, fake judge’ won’t hold water, even with his blinkered base…

Maybe we should all start to denounce Trump by chanting ‘Fake President, fake President’ every time he continues to peddle his warped world-view, whether personally or via press secretary puppet Sarah Sanders…

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Denounce