365 ~ 19th ~ 25th December 🎄

This week has been a colour week, and they chose indigo for some godforsaken reason. Indigo is a vague colour, not really blue, not really purple, or it’s both, if you look it up on google it’s quite mind-boggling. Also it’s the run up to Christmas, so we’ve got a whole heap of clichés to contend with too! Nevermind, onwards to the end dear reader.

Abbreviations you may come across during this post. AFAC~ airy fairy abstract concept. AAFP ~ annoying as F-bomb prompt. CBBP ~ completely bloody barking prompt. HDBS ~ hippy dippy bull****. AWP! ~ Absolutely wonderful prompt!

Also- there may be swearing.

Day 353 ~ Decorations. ~ We had a bit of a debate in my house about what color Indigo actually is. I just wanted to use that little gnome for today’s idea but I was told that his hat just isn’t the right color. I always thought of Indigo as more of a purple hue, but I was outnumbered a bit when I asked my family.  Indigo is one of the colors of the rainbow – it’s right between blue and violet. To my mind, that gives us permission to sway between those two colors a bit this week – maybe you’ll find something with more of a blue hue, or maybe it will be a bit more of a violet hue. Either way, counting down to Christmas this week sharing special decorations is sure to put us all in happy holiday moods!  

See what I mean about vague? Anyways, finding a decoration wasn’t too onerous as I have some bluey purply tree baubles and tinsel.

decorations

Day 354 ~ Prompt Free. ~ Prompt Free days often bring to mind the saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side.”  Some days, we feel restricted by the prompt, but on other days, no specific prompt makes us feel lost by having no point of departure. Think about these prompt free days as a check-in as to how this project is changing you. What do you notice that you would have overlooked previously? What small moments in you day now feel bigger and call to be documented? Today is a blank canvas for which all of the other prompts have prepared you. Keep your eyes open and have fun!

Long day at work today, lots of people realising they’re not going to hear the Christmas Movie or conversations with the family so making last minute appointments to get their ears cleared. As I’m coming home every night in the dark I’m noticing my next-door-to-the-right neighbours have got their tree lights on, so I set up my tripod in the bushes on our side of the fence and took a picture of it. I think it’s indigoish.

Prompt~free. Indigo.

Day 355 ~ curly. Today’s prompt of “curly” immediately brought curling ribbon to my mind. You may think that indigo is a strange color to focus on during the Christmas Season, but more and more non traditional colors are being used at Christmas. Adding non-traditional colors to your gift wrapping can give your packages a modern flair! If you don’t have indigo ribbon, look for the color in other curly items. The curling of tree branches or other decorations.

Urk. AAFP as I don’t have any curly indigo bits of anything. I do have blue Christmas ribbon though, and with a tweak in Potatoshop indigoed it quite well I think.

curly

Day 356 ~ Believe. ~ As we approach the end of this year, think about what has gotten you through these crazy times.  The mind is a powerful tool.  Believing that there is good out there and looking for that positive energy may be what has saved our sanity in 2021. What have you believed in this year that has helped you navigate the past twelve months?  Share it with us in your photo today.

Well dear reader can you guess how many abbreviations I’m giving this? AFAC, AAFP, HDBS just about covers it I think. Firstly, though, ‘gotten’. It’s horrible. I’m sorry American and Canadian peeps, it just sounds horrid. It’s the past participle of ‘get’, which for us in the Motherland is got, although I think in this case ‘helped’ would have been the more pleasant choice. Nevermind, it is what it is. Believe. In indigo. Pfft. There is NOTHING, nada, niente, rien, in indigo, that I have believed in this year. Actually there’s nothing in any colour, I don’t go around believing in colours, I just get on with life, whatever it brings. And so, I believe I shot the cat.

believe. 🙄

Day 357 ~ ornament. ~ The colour indigo is definitely in my favourite colour spectrum. I make Christmas cakes and sometimes I even get time to ice them. I put ornaments on top to dress the cake.  Adding the string of lights to the background helped me tie in the blue ribbon that is around the cake.  Do you have an ornament that is indigo?  If not don’t worry just show us your favourite ornament. 

Actually I do have an indigo ornament, how serendipitous! I have a little candle holder with a lid that has cut out dolphins and waves in it so it makes patterns on the wall when you stick a tea light in it.

ornament

Day 358 ~ valuable. ~ Together time is valuable and in nature it is even more so.  We like to hike and do so in every season no matter what the weather.  Winter hiking brings on a whole new light!  The light was low in this photo bringing on a bit of a blue hour purplish/blue, or indigo hue.  Get outside today and find some of that blue hour light.  You may have to jazz it up a bit in editing to get that purplish blues the colour prompt calls for. No indigo light?  Is there a piece of jewelry, clothing, decoration or valuable procession you can photograph instead?

Haha Mrs Cocktail~Dress, you crack me up every time! CBBP! If you think I’m going out there in the pouring rain you are sadly mistaken. And also we didn’t have a blue hour, we had a grey hour, preceded by several grey hours, and culminating in a black hour, to be followed by several more black hours. But at least there’s a let-out with the ‘valuable procession’ bit. I am of course assuming she meant posession, but who knows? My Mum was an Avon lady for many years, and in 1996 she purchased a musical advent Christmas tree which came with 24 baubles in numbered drawers and a set of twinkle lights. It turns and plays ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ when you wind up it’s key. Avon used to do a different tree every year I think. When she died and I cleared the house, I took the tree home with me, and it gets put up every Christmas on the window sill, and some years stays there all year round. It gets slowly tattier as time goes on, and some of the bauble’s golden hangy-up strings have broken, as well as the lights gone missing, but I mend or replace the strings and have got some more twinkle lights for it. So I don’t think of it as being valuable so much as being priceless. I googled it to see if any were out there for sale thinking it would make you laugh when I found some on ebay for a fiver in mint condition, but was surprised to find only one, in America, labelled, ‘Rare vintage Avon Christmas Tree, $134.’ Valuable and priceless then. 😊 And it has a few indigo decorations! Winning at indigo!

valuable

Day 359 ~ Christmas Day. ~ From the team at 365 Picture Today  Wishing you peace, joy and happiness – now and always! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

Aw, that’s lovely. Christmas Day has been a busy one, I’ve been shopping, cooking, cleaning and cat herding. Not much time for photography so I cranked my polaroid up and took a few shots along the way. I’ll be surprised if you can make much out but from top left to right- 1) my tree, 2) my present from Phil, New Bride and Groom Skulls! Love it! 3) My present to Phil, a double volume book, The Lyrics by Paul McCartney. Bottom left to right, new vinyl I got for Phil by Thunder, Christmas dinner (it was total lushness in spite of what it looks like!) and James Bond movies, as tonight we start a series of Daniel Craig Bond movies before we watch the final one next weekend. No indigo I’m afraid and it’s a sh1t shot, but who cares? It’s Christmas!

Christmas Day

And that’s the last of the colour weeks. Next week is the very last week of all, yippee Ki-yay! We’re supposed to be doing ‘leading lines’ but I can forsee a few off-prompt days!

Merry Christmas dear reader, hope Santa was good to you. 🎄🤶

365 ~ 12th ~ 18th December

This will be the last week of ‘picture style’ prompts, with the overall theme of taking pictures indoors. And as it’s coming up to Christmas time, a few prompts are leaning towards decorations and festive fun. So, cliché week is probably more apt, but who can begrudge our laydeez some Christmas cheer, especially as we are all going to be eaten by Omicron at any given moment. On with the photos!

Abbreviations you may come across during this post. AFAC~ airy fairy abstract concept. AAFP ~ annoying as F-bomb prompt. CBBP ~ completely bloody barking prompt. HDBS ~ hippy dippy bull****. AWP! ~ Absolutely wonderful prompt!

Also- there may be swearing. But not too much, it hasn’t been a bad week really.

Day 346 ~ tranquility. ~ This week our photo taking vantage point will be from Indoors. This means your camera settings and the location will need a little more consideration. For instance you may need to increase your ISO, adjust your white balance, and lower your f/stop. You will want to take into account where the light and shadows are as they move through your space. Today is also about tranquility! So show us what has kept you calm and content!

Never mind me, Lord Vincent is the epitome of tranquility.

tranquility

Day 347 ~ Sloped. ~ I love old records.  I found this turntable at a friend’s house recently and thought that this was perfect for an up-close and sloped indoor subject.  

Sloped seems a weird one to me, but not worthy of an abbreviation so there’s that. And I must mention that her picture of the turntable shows a record on it covered in dust and the stylus needle clogged up with hairs and dirt. Disgraceful. Anyhoo my kettle has slopes, so a good excuse for a nice cup of tea.

sloped

Day 348 ~ Candy Cane. ~ Candy canes abound this time of year.  They are traditionally white with red stripes and flavoured with peppermint.  However these days you can find them in all sorts of flavours and a multitude of colours.  You can get creative as you want today or you can keep it simple.  What you do with your candy cane today is completely up to you.

A bit of an AAFP this, as Candy Cane isn’t really a thing abounding about in the UK and I didn’t get what they’re all about. So I wiki’d them, and for the benefit of my non USA reader I can tell you there is evidence of sweet sticks going back to 1837 in Boston Massachusetts, (I always want to spell that Massachoosits) with the Chicago confectioners the Bunte Brothers filing one of the earliest patents for candy cane making machines in the early 1920s. So I Amazoned a pack of the things, and will ruin my grandkids teeth with them when we see them over the Christmas period. They’re peppermint flavoured and I refuse to eat anything that tastes like tooth paste ~ I don’t mind it for cleaning my teeth but that’s all.

Candy Cane

Day 349 ~ Adaptability. ~ Winter is a great time to practice indoor photography. The holiday season is perfect for honing your skills. There are many ways to be adaptive and use the interesting lights around us to capture our image. One way to adapt to the low light indoors, is deliberate soft focus. Instead of trying to capture the crisp and sharp images we photographers normally strive for, go out of focus with intention.  An easy way to capture an image like the example is to put your lens in manual focus and turn the focus ring until you get that beautiful out of focus bokeh. If you don’t have a tree, anything with lights will do!

Pfft. AFAC. I’ve lost count of how many bokeh Christmas Trees I’ve done in my photographic life. That’s the biggest cliché of them all! Here’s another one.

adaptability

Day 350 ~ Transparent. ~ There is something about the way that lights and glass dance together and make magic.  Who is leading the dance?  The glass?  The light?  Experiment today and makes some magic happen between these two.

I didn’t do the lights, just my glass snow globe with polar bears in it.

transparent

Day 351 ~ Stunning. ~In addition to the Christmas tree, I love indoor decorations around the house.  This star usually sits on top of the piano and it is stuffed full of lights. To get this to really shine, I turned the lights down low in the room and put my camera on a tripod and used my delayed timer so that I avoided any camera shake.  I eventually got the right level and then with processing I made the blacks, blacker and the whites brighter.  I added some text to really make it stand out. Show us your favourite ornament and dress it up to show it at it’s best.

I didn’t ‘dress up’ my ornament but left it on the tree. This butterfly is my favourite one. Back in 2012 we spent Christmas in the sunshine in Cyprus, and for Christmas day night time we went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. We were the only customers in the place and the owner was so pleased to have us there! The food was great too. She gave us this decoration as a gift when we left, so it holds good memories for me. Stunning might be a bit OTT but it is lovely.

stunning

Day 352 ~ Broken. ~ It is ‘song lyric’ day and the word is BROKEN. That is a difficult one for Christmas!  I know, because I googled it and all the songs with broken in the lyrics are so sad!  Instead I thought about the Grinch, because honestly I am a Christmas Grinch when it comes to decorating!  The Seuss story is funny and it has a happy ending and I know all of us have a heart that grows 2 sizes when celebrating the Christmas season.  

“You’re a mean one, you really are a heel
You’re as cuddly as a cactus, you’re as charming as an eel
Mr. Grinch, you’re a bad banana….”

I decided to go with a reenactment of Mr. Grinch stealing and breaking the decorations in Whoville.  I made the shoes which proves I am not always a Christmas Grinch! What can you come up with for “broken” in a song lyric?  There are a lot of Country and Western songs with broken hearts if you are looking for inspiration.

Actually Mrs. Cocktail~Dress, not all the songs with broken in the lyrics are sad. I give you Cat Stevens and Morning Has Broken. Except I don’t because when I got up early to catch the bliddy sunrise through my conservatory window, the world was shrouded in fog. My tree saved the day, when I was looking mournfully out of the bedroom window I spotted a broken branch (bliddy magpies did it I think!) and I found two songs on YouTube entitled Broken Branches, so I’m winning at broken!

broken

Another week over and done, and only two more to go! Next week is a colour week and Indigo is the choice, which isn’t easy, try googling ‘what colour is indigo?’ – it’s a nightmare! Stay tooned, it’s nearly over!

365 ~ 5th ~ 11th December

Here we are at last on the final sodding selfie week. Hallay-blinking-looyar! This one has the added weekly theme of ‘what I love’. Sigh. No more needs to be said, let’s crack on!

Abbreviations you may come across during this post. AFAC~ airy fairy abstract concept. AAFP ~ annoying as F-bomb prompt. CBBP ~ completely bloody barking prompt. HDBS ~ hippy dippy bull****. AWP! ~ Absolutely wonderful prompt!

Also- there may be swearing.

Day 339 ~ Amazing. ~ I love winter!  The colder and the snowier the better!  I especially love it  when the sun is shining and the sky is blue.  It makes me just want to get outside and play. I also love it that my mental age and the mental age of my grandchildren is now on the same level.  We love to go outside and enjoy the gifts of nature. I think its amazing that the same things that thrilled me as a kid still thrill me now.  It is doubly amazing to share this thrill with Eloise. She makes everything fun.

An AFAC there from Mrs.Cocktail~Dress, whomst, I’m happy to report is not wearing one for sledging. Amazing is a bit hackneyed now I think, I’m sure we’ve done this sort of thing before. Anyway, I cooked an Amazing Roast Tomato/Red pepper/Red Onion soup ( except my onion was white as I’d run out of red) and an Amazing chicken in sweet chilli and garlic sauce. I love them both. 🙄

amazing

Day 340 ~ Glitter. ~ Well this is our last Picture You week of 2021 so let’s shimmer & shine!Today add some glitter to your What I Love photo! Be as creative or literal as you like! Are you wearing something glittery and festive? Do you have a favorite holiday decoration that you just love? Or maybe you are like me and love your coffee with a side of glimmering bokeh!  Whatever direction you take I can’t wait to see What you Love!

Well glitter is straight forward enough, and I had some in the shed. Unfortunately getting the lids off the tubes without breaking them turned out to be impossible so it was quite a mess in the end. Damn stuff gets everywhere! AND it’s itchy! I love glitter. No, really, I do. Honest.

glitter

Day 341 ~ Couple. ~ I am so grateful for my sweet Luna!  She keeps me moving no matter what the weather is which is so important for me since I work at a desk all day.  Morning and afternoon, we walk together.  I don’t mind thinking of us as a “couple” – after all, she is by my side 24/7 and I wouldn’t have it any other way!  

Pretty sure we’ve been down this road before too, but never mind. A bit of a left-field shot from me. I didn’t want to bother Phil (he will either murder or divorce me if I do another year of this apparently so am quietly getting on with it now the end is insight!) so employed my brand new slippers. For those of you whomst have noticed the other pair of sheep slippers I have in previous shots this year, you will appreciate that these ones are a different colour, I like to change things up now and then. Anyway, here are a couple of slippers on my couple of feet. I love my slippers.

couple

Day 342 ~ Forward~Looking. ~ This is our Where I Stand prompt for the month.  Where are you standing today?  I took this photo when I was in Prague a couple of years ago.  We visited the Jewish Museum.  It was such a fascinating place.  On the walls of the museum they have written the names of Czech and Moravian Jews who perished under the Nazis.  There are 80,000 names on these walls.  I was overwhelmed with emotion as I was reading through the names.  Wherever you are standing today take a photo and show us what you are looking at.

2 years ago????? And not the cheeriest of prompts to start your day. No matter, this was a good one for me so I’m giving out only the second AWP of the year. I have saved up my pennies this year, initially to replace my Fuji XT2 with the XT4, but that will have to wait now, because I’ve done a volte face (ooh hark at me being all Boris) and decided next year is going to be the film year I was going to have before Lockdown got me. I’ve instead purchased a Contax Aria, a magical film camera that I’ve been yearning, nay, lusting even, after for a few years and I am looking forward to getting out with it and seeing what we can do. So yes, me standing in the conservatory, (in my new slippers) looking at the Aria and looking forward to using it. I love it muchly! ♥️

forward~looking

Day 343 ~ Competent. If you are like me, getting in front of the camera is always intimidating.  Looking at personal competencies sometimes adds another layer to that intimidation.  We are going to avoid the negative list and focus on all the wonderful things that we are able, capable, and qualified to do.  After all, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”We have horses, and I am a competent rider—which just means that I’ve developed the skill of keeping the horse between me and the ground! Show us YOU and the great things you do and love.

Oh for heavens sakes. Haven’t we done enough show and tell this year?? AAFP. Anyway, I was so annoyed I got together all the shots from the sodding selfie weeks where we’d had to be showing our skills and whatever and made a collage. And actually I’m more than competent at most of these! Well, maybe not the gardening, and the mosaicing can be a bit iffy, but definitely the having fun.

competent

Day 344 ~ Community. ~ Community is an amazing thing!  Community is where we find “our people.”  Community is the place where we belong. I am blessed to have an awesome community of friends.  With this group, I share a love of the theatre, especially musical theatre. With whom do you share community?  If possible, grab those folks for a photo today.  It may be easiest to try a quick phone selfie so you can then get on with the fun! 

Well! I thought. That’s bloody marvellous. I’m not a member of any type of local group, I don’t even know if there are any. And it’s not my thing really. I’m not anti~social really, just anti~ getting together with people in groups. And that’s without the plague going on. So I was going to do a picture of my Christmas Tree now it’s up, but meh, cliché to the Nth. So I did a macro on Vinnie. But then I thought, blogging gives you a community, OK so it’s a virtual one, but these days that’s just as important. So I stole the avatars of some of the the people I blog with, and did a fake zoom meeting, they’re in my community, and I’m in theirs. Job done. Winning at community!

community

Day 345 ~ Giftwrap. ~ Brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favourite things! What I love about Christmas is giving gifts. I was able to blur the Christmas tree in the background by using a large f stop number (ie f/4) and give the photo a festive feeling.  Show us your love of gift wrapping! If that is not you? Then show us your attempts at something else that you love about this time of year.

Well that at least is straightforward if a little uninspiring and cliché, (that’s two usages of cliché, but it’s Christmas time, which is the mother of all clichés when it comes to photography IMHO). I have no love for giftwrapping, though I can do a good artistic box~wrap if I put my mind to it. But I’m thwarted by not having bought any gifts to wrap as yet so there’s that. So here is my wrapping paper ready and waiting, and a blurred Christmas tree in the background to give the festive feeling. 🙄🤣

giftwrap

And that’s a wrap! OK, groan~inducing pun aside, that’s the end of sodding~selfie week FOREVER!! Happy dance here. Next week is picture style week and our photo taking vantage point will be from Indoors. That’s where I’ve done most of this challenge so no change there. I’ve checked the prompts… 🤦‍♀️ covers it.

Stay tooned dear reader, there’s light at the end of the tunnel now!

Camel Parade~South Shields~ Dec 2017~ part 1

2017 saw the 4th year that the Camel Parade has been an event in South Shields, Sophie and I went for the first time last year a few photo’s of which I posted HERE, so this year we made a return trip knowing what to expect.  It involves 3 camels with their handlers and riders dressed up as wise men, parading the length of Ocean Road, which is quite a long old road, followed by stilt walkers and a drum group called Sparks! It’s been controversial as the animal rights group PETA, who I have a lot of time for usually, have decreed it bad, and say that camels shouldn’t be used for public entertainment. I kind of agree with the sentiment, but really, all they do is walk the camels down the road, and then put them back in their vehicle and bugger off.  They don’t get prodded or poked or stand around being gawped at. PETA Campaigns Strategist Luke Steele said: “Using live animals in these sorts of events sends a damaging message to young people that animals are little more than living props”, according to our local newspaper, with one of the comments underneath being “it’s disgraceful that anyone should find this acceptable.  It’s not about the climate, it’s about the crowds, noise and the basic lack of respect enough to use animals for our entertainment. Animals are sentient beings, they are here for their own purpose, not for human monsters to use and abuse as they wish.  It’s archaic and needs to be stopped!”  I have to say the human monsters, particularly the baby monsters loved the whole shebang, and this monster doesn’t get to photograph many camels in our neck of the woods so was happy to see them.  I expect eventually the council will give in and the camels will come no more.

A lot of monsters turned up for the parade, and luckily it didn’t rain.

The trees along Ocean Road were all lit up

and the kiddies all waiting for the show to begin

the camels came first

so fluffy!

they were followed by stilt walkers I think representing the 3 shepherds

and this guy who was I think, the star of Bethlehem

then “The Creative Seed” wagon came, but I’m not sure what that was all about!

and these were followed by my favourite part, the Sparks! drum group

at the bottom of the road a stage was set up which Sparks! ascended and then played a cracking set of drum tunes. Well not tunes really but whatever it is that drums do without other instruments being about.

they somehow illuminate themselves and the drums and the whole thing is quite exciting to watch

stay tooned for the 2nd part when we see the firework display!

(pictures clickable for embiggening)

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Day 360~366

Into t he home stretch now, 6 days left.  I saved my Christmas Tree lights for today’s post, hope everyone is having a fab day.

 

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Day 359~366

To all my Wordypeep  followers, especially those who are following my 366, thanks for your encouragement and comments 🙂

 

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Day 356~366

Countdown at 10 now 🙂

Tonight I’ve been trying to shoot my fibre optic lamp, which is not as easy as I thought it would be,

first I tried with the macro lens

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then with the 35mm

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and then I thought I’d move into the lounge and shoot it with some Christmas tree bokeh behind it, but that didn’t quite go to plan! 🙂

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I think  the middle one will be my shot of the day, but the bottom one is my favourite 🙂

Day 350~366

More messing around with candles and christmas tree lights, made a heart shape bokeh card for this one 🙂

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