Castles ~ part 1

It’s been a (long) while since I did a Fraggle Curated post, so as I have a spare day off this weekend I thought why not do an extra post and add to the other ones which, if you haven’t seen them before can be found HERE.

Castles are Forrests of stones” ~ George Herbert

Penrith Castle (and a very small Ben) Wales 1994

“Even castles made of sand, fall into the sea, eventually.” ~ Jimmy Hendrix

Ben & his castle, Seaburn England 1995

“Don’t live in the castles; freedom is in the fields! But I can also say: Don’t live in the fields; security is in the castles!” ~ Mehmet Murat Ildan

Marseille
Chateau d’If, Marseilles, France 2000

“There is no castle so strong that it cannot be overthrown by money“. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Kolossi Castle, Cyprus 2006

“A ruin should always be protected but never repaired – thus may we witness full the lingering legacies of the past.” ~ Walter Scott

Urquhart Castle, Scotland, 2006

“When we look at the ruins, we always get the same feeling: It’s as if the ruin will suddenly come alive and tell its own interesting story!” ~  Mehmet Murat ildan

Château d’Aubry-en-Exmes – Orne, France 2007

“It is as easy to create a castle as a button. It’s just a matter of whether you’re focused on a castle or a button” ~ Esther Hicks

Château Saumur, France 2009

“If you are delighted to be in ancient ruins, you are either a curious historian or a romantic person!”~ Mehmet Murat ildan

Barnard Castle, Co.Durham, England, 2012

“The splendour falls on castle walls And snowy summits old in story: The long light shakes across the lakes, And the wild cataract leaps in glory. Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying, Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying”. ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

Raby Castle, Co.Durham, England 2012

The home to everyone is to him his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence, as for his repose. ~ Edward Coke

Warkworth Castle, Northumberland, England 2013

Have fun storming the castle.” ~ William Goldman (The Princess Bride)

Richmond Castle, North Yorkshire, England, 2013

There’ll be a part 2 at some point 🏰 🙂

365 ~ 28th Nov ~ 4th December

This week is what they call a ‘picture more’ week, a kind of techniqe week. The theme for this one is using framing, in our compositions. You’re going to see a few of my windows as it’s been freezing outside, snowed a couple of days, ice on the car, rain and sleet. The prompts have not been sensible really, but no change there! Let us begin….

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 332 ~ Invent.~ Using nature framing for your photos is always a good idea.  I stood back on the banks of the lake and used the trees to frame this beautiful sunset, it would be good to take a photo without the framing but I really think it helps draw your eye to the main subject the sunset. Make sure that you can find something to frame your photo today, be inventive!

Invent. What kind of cockamamie idea is that!? AFAC, and AAFP right off the bat. 🙄 I think I am not an inventive person. By the time the sun was going down I still hadn’t invented anything so I just took a shot of the view through my playroom window, at least it’s framed so there’s that.

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Day 333 ~ Odd. ~ Odd?  Can you say odd?  Ostriches are super odd in my opinion.  Did you know that their eyes are bigger than their brains? Taking a picture of one item or subject matter takes on a whole new level depending on how you frame the picture.  I always try not to put the single subject in the middle of the frame.  If you put it to the side, or at the top or at the bottom you can create a whole new dimension and give even the oddest subject that ‘WOW’ factor. Find an odd subject to photograph today. Or, if at ‘odds’ with that, find an odd number of subjects to photograph and remember to frame it so that the picture pops! 

Mrs. Cocktail~ Dress is being quite prescriptive there, but no odd subject from me, or odd angle, or even an odd number of things. She says ‘odd’, I say ‘socks’. Of which I have quite a few. So here I am wearing odd socks and my feet are framed by them. I’m winning at odd.

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Day 334 ~ Stillness. Windows and doors can make excellent frames. They can add visual interest and context to an image. They can add dimension, give a peak into an area, help fame a beautiful view or make an excellent light source for portraits. I pass this doorway quite often it is always locked and my curiosity is peaked as to where the stairwell goes? Show us what lies beyond the windows or doors you encounter today!

I meant to take my camera to work and do a window shot there, but I forgot it. I was knackered when I got home from work, so I took a picture of Winnie who was quite still being all curled up on our bed, and put a digital frame around the picture.

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Day 335 (only 30 days to go!!! 😃) ~ Sweater. I didn’t need to go anywhere for my joyful sweater – I just set up some fun props and made my own frame (which sort of looks like a window a bit).  Maybe framing a sweater can mean some window shopping for you today!  

Firstly, it’s not a sweater, a horrible word that invokes an image in my head of smelly fluids leaking out of people’s upper region clothing. Yuck. No, it’s actually called a jumper, which, I grant you can invoke an image of someone badoynging down the road, but at least there isn’t a nasty body odour involved. And no I didn’t tell my boss she’d have to do my clients whilst I went window shopping for said jumper. I waited until after work and asked my favourite old jumper to dick about outside my window and make like it wanted to get back inside. Which it did as it’s bliddy cold out there now.

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Day 336 ~ Candle. ~ The Christmas season is the perfect time for an evergreen scented candle.  I like sitting in our dark living room with the Christmas lights and a lit candle providing the only light.  It’s a great time to just sit back and relax from all the hullabaloo of the season.   For this photo I’ve used framing in a more concrete sense.  The candle is framed by the Christmas ornaments gathered around it.  The bokeh in the background also provides a frame for the candle. For some it may be a tad early for Christmas decorations for others, it can never be too soon.  Regardless of where you stand, take a moment out of your day today to light a candle and relax.  

A tad early??? It’s only Dec 2nd for heavens sakes! It seems she isn’t the only one though as I’ve seen peoples houses already festooned with illumnated reindeer/santas/snowmen etc, and that’s since the last week of November. I suppose with all the pandemic trauma people want to have as much Christmas as possible before it starts all over again next year with the omeycromey variant or whatever it’s called. But no decorations here as yet, I’ll wait for a couple of weeks and then stick the tree up. So for my candle shot I put some on one of the window sills in the shed-of-dreams, and took a picture from the outside.

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Day 337 ~ Gracious. ~ This week we are looking for ways to frame our photos when we compose them. Framing doesn’t always have to be obvious or precise. This cute little “gracious” fox is framed by the dots of evergreen. It isn’t an obvious frame, but it makes her stand out. The definition of gracious is “courteous, kind or pleasant” The example photo is pleasing in its subtle framing. Think of ways to frame your subject in a subtle way.

Actually no. My picture is about as subtle as a ton of bricks on the big toe. Gracious! Seriously. 🤦‍♀️🥴 AFAC, AAFP. And I think she’s really reaching here with her fox and green dots! However, Winnie to the rescue! Winnie goes out in the wee, quiet, dark hours, and hunts. She graciously brings back her captured prey for us to be impressed with, and I have photographed her collection. The ‘frame’ is made from several cable ties she has tracked down, the blue foamy things we think are missiles from a pop-gun of some sort. The orangey/pink cross frame are 2 sherbet filled straws, (sherbet removed to save carpet). In the top left square is a white cable tie and a pencil split in half lengthways with no lead in it. Top right has a missile and pigeon feather, bottom left another white cable tie and an arm from a pair of spectacles. Lastly, bottom right her two favourite finds so far, a lollypop stick and a straw.

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Day 338 ~ 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?

Ya dah ya dah, yipee for prompt free. I took a couple of just-in-case shots

Lord Vincent
Livvy
Matty

But went out with Sophie today to Chillingham Castle, and in spite of it being closed for the winter (which we did not know) managed to get into the courtyard and take a few pictures. This one has more frames than you can shake a stick at!

prompt~free, Chillingham Castle

SO that’s frame week over, and I think we can say I’m winning at frames 😃. Next week is the final sodding selfie week and I am more glad than a glad thing on a glad day about that!

Stay tooned dear reader 😘

365 ~ 18th ~ 24th July

This week has been sodding selfie week, but also I have been away since Wednesday visiting my son Ben and his lady Charlotte, and Ben’s son Lewis, so doing pictures for this project has mostly been a quick snap on the iPhone as I wanted to focus on my little family.

On with the pictures! (Warning there’s a swear word in here somewhere).

Day 199 ~ Togetherness. ~ As we start another Picture You Week, remember including yourself in your 365 project is important BUT it doesn’t have to mean a week of selfies! That’s right!  You can share just a little of you or something representative of you! Consider the details of your day as they relate to the prompts.  As you can see from the photo above, I was able to document our get together with the “mermaids” without including very much and the best part of all? No one grumbled about having their photo taken. How will you photograph “just the details” and manage to include yourself too? 

Have to say they didn’t look much like mermaids, I would have thought having a fishy tail would be a necessity, but they all had people legs. In spite of being an AFAC (airy fairy abstract concept) it wasn’t hard to fathom.

togetherness

Day 200 ~ Junk.~ My hubby wasn’t very happy with me when I told him we needed to take a photo with his Bronco for my prompt word “junk.”  His exact words were “My Bronco isn’t junk!!” I just giggled at him and made him play along. He has owned this truck for 22 years but only drove it for 7 of those years, which is exactly why I consider it junk!  When we started dating, we spent countless hours driving around getting to know each other personally (and romantically to be completely honest *wink, wink*) in this truck. To me it’s junk, but special junk for us both. My hubby is holding on to it hoping to one day get it running again.  I hope you’ll be able to share with us something you have that you consider junk but aren’t willing to part with. Or maybe your “junk” isn’t something YOU consider junk – but other people do. There’s a lot of truth to the phrase “one person’s junk is another person’s treasure.”  Don’t forget to include yourself in your photo with your junk today!

Frankly that was more information than I needed to know and seeing their legs sticking out of the front passenger door of the Bronco was just wrong. They had clothes on for heaven’s sakes, if you’re going to simulate car nooky *wink, wink* at least take your jeans off. Also I have to say there is no way that Bronco is ever gonna run again, it’s a shitheap. (That was the swear word) Anyway I don’t have any junk and said as much to Phil, and he said “what about all the stuff in your shed??” I was quite offended.

(not) junk

Day 201 ~ Contentment. ~ I have always considered myself to be content.  I love life and I try to see the good all around me.  It doesn’t take much to make me happy.  One of the places I feel most content is when I get to spend time with my best friend, Marie.  We have been best friends since the age of 5. We don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like but we do spend a weekend together every summer at her family cottage.  I always have my camera with me when we visit as I like to capture as many details as I can of our time together.  I think the smiles on our faces show how much our friendship means to both of us.  What small things make you happy?  What details can you capture today that represent contentment to you?

Today was not conducive to being content (another AFAC!) as work was full on ~ our office manager treble booked all my appointments for yesterday and today as I’m having 10 days off 🙄 so I worked my proverbials off, then when I got home I had to do ironing and packing for going away as I was setting off early the next day. I didn’t have time to do a ‘proper’ photo but found Winnie embodying contentment at the bottom of our bed. No I’m not in it but I’ll use the something representative of you part of this weeks prompts, and Winnie is my representative.

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Day 202 ~ Heart. ~ What captures your heart? Don’t overthink it.

Congratulations to Mrs. Hypaethral for the shortest prompt ever, non AFAC too! This was an easy one for me. After a 4 & 1/2 hour drive I landed in Leighton Buzzard and got to hug my grandson Lewis. He stole my heart 11 years ago and still has it.

heart

Day 203 ~ Amusement. ~ Google defines amusement as “the state or experience of finding something funny.”  It can also refer to an Amusement Park, something I love!  I don’t know about you, but I can become quite easily amused when I get together with a particular group of friends.  A simple look at one another can send us into laughter. When it comes to having a house full of cats, there is no shortage of funny moments.  Today was laundry day and Lafayette always knows best.  I don’t know what it is, but pets always seemed to be amused by whatever we humans are doing. Please show us what amuses you today.  It could be a pet, an interaction amongst friends, a trip to an actual amusement park, or anything in between.

We decided to visit Willen Lake today at Milton Keynes. It comprises 180 acres of landscaped parkland which surround around 100 acres of water across two lakes. Both lakes are balancing lakes, the southern lake offers a wide range of activities on and off the water, whilst the northern lake offers a more natural and tranquil setting, ideal for quiet walks and spotting wildlife. Actually this was not a great idea. We walked round the lake in 30˚C (86F) heat, having stupidly not taken any drinking water with us. I did struggle a bit, but the kids did OK. Anyway, we thought this picture was amusing, as we always stick our tongues out when being photographed.

amusement

Day 204 ~ path. ~ It is the monthly Where I Stand prompt, it is good to get your feet into the photo, but if not possible don’t worry. I was walking along part of the coastal walk in Cornwall, United Kingdom.  The whole trail is 630 miles long; we only did about 10 miles this day!  I just love all the paths that the walkers create along this bit. Which path are you taking today?

Another nice prompt especially as we visited Rushmere Country Park this day. It was a. few degrees cooler and quite shady what with all the trees so a much better day all round.

path

Day 205 ~ interact. ~ Do you remember what you did on January 9th and April 3rd of this year? Do you remember the photo you took on that day? If not, go back and look because you will need to revisit that spot again today.  These are my photos from the beach in front of my house. I cannot wait to show you what it looks like today in July! Today’s Picture Your World prompt invites you to photograph the same location four times throughout this year documenting the changing seasons along the way.  You may choose a different perspective or choose to include different subjects in these repeating photos, but try to make it obvious to the viewer that they are seeing the same location. It is ‘picture you” week so you may want to include yourself or part of yourself “interacting” in your world. Once you have taken today’s photo, create a triptych using it and your January and April photo.  There are many apps that make creating triptychs simple.  

I’m amazed anyone can forget we are doing this ‘same shot in different seasons’ thing, especially as we’ve already done two, but I guess there may be some senile people doing the challenge. Anyways I hadn’t forgotten. Unfortunately this is the day I travelled back home, and after the long drive back at night I knew it wouldn’t be possible to take it on the day. So for the first time I pre-empted the prompt and went out on Wednesday evening to take the shot. I didn’t want to include myself as I hadn’t in any of the others and wanted a coherant series.

interact

and this is the large version. Interact seems a strange title to me but hey ho, whatever.

interact

Another sodding selfie week accomplished, not the best perhaps, but seeing my boys was the main thing for me this week. Back to normal life now, and this week we’ll be having adventures in ‘still life’ so stay tooned!

Midnight Snow

For three days it rained non stop, right up to 11pm last night. Then we went to the kitchen about 11.30pm to make a cup of tea to take to bed and through the window we saw

Snow

It’s been a long time since we saw ‘proper’ snow and we ran to the conservatory and opened the door and stood watching, as big clumps of snowflakes floated to the ground, and stayed. It made us smile and wonder. The world was quiet all of a sudden, the traffic noises deadened in the whitening. I grabbed my phone to take some pictures, but it gives an other worldy orange filter to everything

So I took some from all our windows and converted them to black and white

We spent a long time watching it, and were glad that we could enjoy it and not have to go anywhere in the morning. But we got up this morning and it had gone. It left us as swiftly as it arrived, with only a vestige of it’s former self on the lawns and shed roofs. We sighed, our winter wonderland was a fleeting visitor, and I’m glad we didn’t miss it.

New Year’s Eve retrospective.

Traditionally we photographic types do a year’s retrospective and choose a few of their favourite/best photo’s to showcase what they’ve been up to. Well hang me and bedamned, I’ve got too many to choose from and you’ve seen them all anyway, so I’m going to do something else instead.

 

First up a short video of the view from my bedroom as it changes throughout the year, I was supposed to do one a week, that’d be 52, but to be honest some weeks nothing changed so I’ve just done 34 stills and run them together.

 

The second short video is via an app on my phone called 1SE (1 second every day) and you take a shot or do a 1 second video and it puts them all together for you. I didn’t manage every day, but most of my year is covered. It has sound too 😊.  Possibly boring to anyone else but me, but I like it and so here it is.

 

Finally we had a lovely sunset here to see out New Years Eve day, and I wish you all a wonderful 2019!

Sunset New Years Eve 2018

 

Day 333 & Day 334~366

Yesterday morning I got up at 6am, packed my bags and went off to Newcastle railway station where I met my friend (and boss) Brenda to go to a product launch in Manchester.  It was due to start with lunch at 12 midday and to get there on time we were catching the 9.43am to York, changing trains and on to Manchester Piccadilly for 11.45am with a 10 minute walk to the venue.  Brenda arrived at the station with 1 minute to spare, and we ran on to the train and off we went.  There was a delay at one point, when we slowed down and stopped, which apparently was down to someone falling ill on a train at Northallerton and having to be taken off it in an ambulance, but 5 minutes later we were off again.  I didn’t realise Brenda was then panicking that we would miss our connecting train at York, but we got there with 7 minutes to spare.  Once we got off the train Brenda charged over to the platform where our train was and chivvied me up, ‘come on come on before they shut the door on us’ she yells, and on we rushed, into a nice empty carriage with tables, and we sat down. ‘What are you panicking about?’ says I, and she told me that on her last trip on a train to London, she got to her changeover train and the guard shut the door just as she got there and wouldn’t let her on. “Can’t have the train being late” he said, “it’s not late” she said “there’s still 2 minutes to go”, “well we are allowed to shut the doors 2 minutes before it’s due to leave” he replied “everybody knows that!”  And he would not let her on, so she had to wait for the next train to London, and pay £126 for a ticket, for a journey she’d already paid for.  So that was the reason for the panic.  The train set off and we got comfortable, and the Captain (? driver/pilot, not sure what they’re called) came over the tannoy, “Good morning, this is the 236 to Newcastle, calling at Darlington, and Durham! We were on the wrong train going back the way we came!  It took 45 minutes to get to Darlington, where we got off and went to the travel office to ask what to do. The lady told us we’d have to get on the next train and tell the ticket collector what had happened, and he would then either let us off or we’d have to buy new tickets.  When’s the next train we asked, well it’s been cancelled, she said so you’ll have to get on the direct train to Manchester which is with another company and leaves in an hour. So we went and had coffee, and hung around the station until that train came, and then got on that. Now Brenda was certain we’d have to buy new tickets, but when the collector came around I did the googley sorrowful eyes at him, explained what had happened and he let us stay on without buying a new ticket.  Of course the barriers in and out of the platform areas are automated and work by wafting your ticket at a sensor, and of course ours wouldn’t work, so we ended up having to explain the thing all over again to get out.  Eventually we got to where we were supposed to be, 2 hours late, and stopping off along the walk from the station for Brenda to buy a new top for the evening dinner, as she’d forgotten to pack hers!  We had a fab time at the product launch, the company doing it paid for us to stay in a very nice hotel (£235 a night!!!) and took us all out to dinner, and all drinks were paid for the whole night.  As there were about 30 of us, it must have run into a few 1000 quid, so I hope they all sell lots of the product.  I don’t do sales anymore, but have to know about it all as I do fittings and service work for Brenda so it’s still useful for me to go along. I don’t think we stopped laughing about our journey for hours on and off!  On the way back we had a direct train to Newcastle, and got to the platform 10 minutes before it was due, but then it got delayed by 34 minutes due to problems somewhere with the signals, so had to sit in the freezing cold waiting for what seemed like ages.  I missed my car a lot!

I used the iPhone a few times along the way,

Newcastle Station, which is quite a beauty

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I did take the ball with me, but not too many opportunities to use it, I did one at Darlington station which I wish was a bit better than it turned out, but it’s all I got, so this is Day 334

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iPhone shot of the station, another lovely station, that’s Brenda on the left walking ahead

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I took a shot of Huddersfield Station as we went through, as this is where I grew up

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This was my hotel room

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and the mini bar and coffee making machine I couldn’t figure out how to work it, it’s one of those George Clooney nespresso things, half a bottle of champagne, £17.50 ~ needless to say I didn’t avail myself of it!

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After the product launch, which was at the top of the hotel, we went onto an outside terrace, and I took a shot looking down through the glass safety barrier

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and the sunset over Manchester was spectacular, so it had to be done

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manchester-copy

and my final shot was my ball shot today, on the way to the station we stopped for a coffee and I took a shot of the Chetham Music College

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but I like the sunset shots best 🙂

Now home again, and back to work in the morning! Adventure over for now 🙂 .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 319~366

I took the ball to  ST.Mary’s Lighthouse this afternoon after work, and had a play. The tide was all the way in so couldn’t get onto the beach at all, but that wasn’t a problem. First though a couple of shots taken with the I-phone, got a new app called Filmborn, and this was taken with the kodak portra 400 setting.

ST.Mary's Lighthouse
ST.Mary’s Lighthouse

 

I also did a pano for fun and because the sky was quite spectacular

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Panorama at St.Mary’s Lighthouse. Iphone6

and then my regular crystal ball shot(s) with the old Fuji,

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I liked this next one best

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Hoping to get a superman shot tonight but there’s a lot of cloud about!

 

One year

A year ago yesterday I downloaded an app onto my phone called Close-Up  . It prompts you to take a dreaded selfie everyday at the same time, then after a period of time it generates a video of all the shots. Because of all the travelling I did with my job I thought it would be fun to do one in all the different places I go to.  I sometimes forgot, and rarely did them at the same time of day, the photography is rushed and not always the best (mostly not the best!!)  but it was fun, and since I am no longer travelling it’s cool to have a reminder of where I got to and also some of stuff at home. And the cats, especially Storm before she died.

I hate selfies, especially on phones, so this is definitely tongue-in-cheek time 🙂

 

Day 168~366

I had to go into South Shields today to pay some cheques in to the bank, got the Fuji all ready, and then left it behind on the sofa! I didn’t realise until I got to Shields so wasn’t going all the way back for it, so I made do with the Hipstamatic app on the I-phone.  Won’t do the that again in a hurry!  Firstly though…

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It’s 16th June and rainy, grey and NOT summery.  So my trip with Sophie tomorrow to see the puffins again on Farne Island has been cancelled due to high winds. 😦  Sad face. Pouty lips.

SO here are a few window reflections from South Shields, I’m in there somewhere 🙂

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I wanted to get the lion outside the library in that one.

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That lady was wanting to look at something in the window, doesn’t look happy with me haha. Sorry old lady.

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This is the shot of the day, though I think I like the holiday one best, wonder why!