Day 300, there’s a milestone 🙂 only 66 days to go, so light at the end of the tunnel. Today is also exciting as the Woman~cave has arrived!
Frego didn’t know it was coming.
“Wow, look what’s turned up in the back garden! Where did THAT come from!?”
‘Surprise! This is your new home.’
“Woah! I’m going to live in it!?”
‘Sure, when it’s all kitted out with insulation and electricity and furniture & stuff.’
“It looks so big. I’ll get lonely”
‘Oh no, Skego will be with you and the other little people and The Bears, and I’ll be there a lot making mosaics and doing photography with you’
“Well I’m not sure I want to share it!”
Another week gone by, 25 days left till Christmas and a bit of time off, but still work to do and photo’s to take. This week I’ve managed a few so here we go. Firstly I got in the car Monday morning and spotted a spider web on my wing mirror, had a go at a quick snap with the iPhone and din’t expect to really get it, but it turned out surprisingly well.
On Wednesday although it was cold, there was a sunny day, and as I was travelling a fair way up and down the North East, I set my camera up on my phone so that I could drive and just hit the ‘click’ button when I saw something I liked, so here is a little travelogue of my work day in pictures 🙂
On Thursday I took a picture of Skye, waiting for Phil to come home from work.
and made a pie 🙂
Friday I took advantage of the Black Friday sales and purchased some new processing programmes, can’t help it, I’m an addict 🙂 Phil meanwhile was trying to do his modelling…
but Skye had other ideas 🙂
On Saturday Phil was working, and I had my friend Sophie over for the day to do some indoor photography. Mostly we took pics of my cats 🙂
we also messed about with laser lights, crystal balls, prisms and a kaleidoscope..
and took macro’s of flowers I bought.
Am very happy with my purchases! Anyway today being Sunday, I’m getting ready for work, but also cooking Sunday lunch, so, off to peel the potatoes,
Well it’s slim pickings at the moment with my photography. I’ve been working extra hours, and it gets dark here at 4.30pm so once I get home from work, sorted home work out, and had dinner, it’s being difficult to feel inspired or motivated. On top of that the weather is pants. But hey- ho I did get a couple to be going on with.
Last weekend we went to the Annual Free convention held in Tynemouth, about 20 mins up the road from us. It’s (obviously) a yearly event where die hard fans of the band Free meet up, have some drinks and see Free tribute bands, as well as special guests from back in the day. This year the tribute band was Freeway, who were really good, and prior to them we had a solo singer, Toby, who Free’s now departed bass player Andy Fraser, discovered and recorded with. Not my cup of tea songs wise, but he was a great guitarist.
after him we were treated to a couple of class musicians, the guitarist Chris Spedding and singer Mr.Snips (real name Steve Parsons) both of whom joined a band called The Sharks, formed by Andy Fraser after Free split up. They were great and told loads of stories from the olden days when they were hot stuff in the music business.
I had a little outing to Seaham to visit the 1st WW memorial there. Its a statue called 11-0-1 but nicknamed Tommy.
This imposing metal sculpture, entitled 1101, owing to the fact the armistice went into effect at 11am on November 11, 1918, stands 9ft 5ins tall and weighs 1.2 tonnes.
Built out of special corteen steel, it has been installed on Seaham seafront in Country Durham to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War and was supposed to remain in place for three months. But the townspeople of Seaham wanted to keep it, so they raised the £85,000 it cost to buy it to keep.
Created by local artist Ray Lonsdale, the sculpture is also intended to represent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which many of the returning soldiers endured. Mr Lonsdale got his idea for the piece after hearing a story about a soldier from nearby Murton who won a war medal.
there is a plaque on the rear
I visited a client who lives by Woodhorn Church, St Mary the Virgin. It was built in the early eleventh century but most of the external features are from a restoration of 1842. The church was made redundant in 1973 and is now Woodhorn Church Museum.
The lady who owned our cats before we got them got in touch with me on Facebook, and sent me some pictures of Storm & Skye when they were kittens
and I’ve taken some of them this week too 🙂
Skye has taken to sitting under my work station when I”m on the computer when Phil isn’t here to entertain her.
but she much prefers to be with Phil 🙂
As always, I’m back to work tomorrow, a long day ahead. So time to get sorted and ready for action!
Here we are at the end of October and beginning of November and only 54 days til Christmas :). So as well as my days out and travels, of course there have been incidental bits and bobs to catch along the way.
At the beginning of the month I travelled to the Scottish Border land to see a client in a little seaside village called Eyemouth, and took a few shots with my Eyephone 🙂 It was a lovely blue sky day, with lots of shadows and contrasts.
We had a couple more blue sky days before it all went a bit meh, and I got a couple of the trees around where I live..
and that was the last of the nice days. So of course I then had to resort to taking pictures of the cats.
First a study of Storm sitting in the sunlight coming through the kitchen window,
and Skye in the conservatory
and maybe just one more of Storm 🙂
Storm absolutely loves cat milk, I’ve never given cats milk before, only water, but this is special milk made for cats and they were brought up with it by the previous owner so we give them a little for a treat now and then.
We had a visit from our grandson..
You may remember from a previous bits and bobs, that Phil’s socks clone themselves in my washing machine, while I discovered mine halve themselves, not a pair amongst them!
I bought a new Salt & Pepper set when I was on the ferry back from Holland,
One of the blogs I follow is a cartoonist called Tony, who is currently putting up collector cards of his characters..he’s very funny and you can check his site out HERE
I wanted to show the before and after pictures of our new patio in the back garden, but rain has prevented the builder chaps from completing it as yet, so that will have to be in November’s bits and bobs. It’s looking fab so far.
And yesterday was halloween! I carved a pumpkin, got lots of sweeties in for the trick & treaters, and then took pictures of them all when they came to the door.
First though my lovely hairdresser Kendal came over to do bits to me..
looks a bit of a mess with my biro going wrong, but it looked OK in the dark
The ToT’s had some fab costumes, these first 2 are out of focus, but you get the drift, the rest are OK 🙂
and my favourite…
and to finish this set of bits & bobs, the only sunset I managed..
I have such a busy work week coming, working late everyday and working one of my days off too, grit your teeth and crack on sort of a week, so best get everything ready to go..
It’s kind of getting horrible here. Not much sunshine, a lot of the autumn leaves are down on the ground, and it’s getting cold. The clock went back an hour last night making evenings dark quickly, so it’s getting to that time of year where days out with the camera are not so many, and cosying up at home seems a better option. So I have given myself a little project to do. A little while ago I got my old film photo’s out of the loft as I was looking for a particular shot, and realised how many I have. And it appears that although I took up photography ‘seriously’ about 7 years ago, I have been taking pictures all my life since being a teenager. I can’t remember many of the cameras I used, and I didn’t know anything technical. I didn’t do it as a hobby, I just took pictures. So In the winter months I’m sorting them out, scanning and posting them, more as an archive for me, and to have fun remembering stuff in the dim and distant past, and cringing/laughing at how bad some of them are, and being pleasantly surprised with a few happy accidents too! I’m pants at remembering dates but will try hard to figure out the whens and the wheres, and if anyone needs a fraggle fix, they can find the posts on FRAGGLEFILM, or go through the link on the menu up top, it would be so nice to see you there 🙂
Of course the usual blog continues as always, probably now with more cat pictures than gardens, 🙂
It’s just about the end of September, and apart from days out, as always I’ve been taking pictures of daily life. We went up to Edinburgh at the beginning of the month, as a new scale model show has started up there called Scale Scotland, and Phil was asked to do a demonstration of figure detailing and composition. The show was held at The Airport Hilton, which is a nice enough hotel, and it was cool to be staying in the same place as where the show was held, as we didn’t have to get up too early :). I got to try haggis for the first (& last!) time too. Packing to go wasn’t all that straightforward..
But we got there cat free 🙂
One of the organisers works for Lambourgini..so he had one parked outside the hotel
Our hotel room was nice enough..
Phil’s demo went well
and he also won some medals in the competition
I asked the organiser of the show if I could be allowed into the competition room during judging to take photo’s for the Tyneside Model Club web page which I run, and they said yes, so I got loads of pictures of all the models, unencumbered by the hoipoloi 🙂 these are a couple that won gold, great painting skills.
Phil’s Volksgrenadier won a silver which he was well chuffed with. We called him the mushroom man due to the ground work Phil did, he made mushrooms from plasticard, they’re really tiny. For scale, the chap is 12cm in height.
After the show the organisers and demonstrators all had dinner together and we sat with our good friends Hermann and Kristoff who were over from Belgium,
and the next day we went home.
Ah… home, or now The Menagerie. Phil’s son Carl and his family have had to move out of their house for 6 weeks while the council goes in and does a big renovation job. His temporary house is too small for his pets, so we are looking after Penelope & Rango…
They are bearded dragons, and have to be fed live crickets. I can’t watch, Phil has to do it, and though he didn’t like it, he’s got quite good at it.
We’ve had Cal & Liddy over last weekend..
Cal loves Storm..
We had a really odd sunset..
I watched Bryan Adams on the TV doing The Hyde Park Festival in London, he was great, I really like him.
I had some of family photo’s printed, they hang up on our staircase walls, so we can see them grow up as we go up
Phil had an old magazine shot of one of his favourite ever singers Paul Rogers and it was all scratched and creased and faded, so he asked me to do my faffographic techniques and get it up on a canvas..
this is the original ( wish I could find out the photographer to give him credit, but this was in Phil’s scrapbook from 1970’s so that’s not happening)
and this is it cleaned up and on our wall
Found some mushrooms hiding in the front garden when Phil was mowing the lawn..
I collected some acorns in my adventure hat..
and today I strung them together and hung them around our defunct bird feeder in the back garden as a weathervane.. apparently they open their spines in warm weather and close up in cold, though I have no corroborating proof of that and anyway I can just look up at the sky! But it was fun to do.
Phil is on the go with another tank..
Went into South Shields to go to the bank for work…
I discovered that Phil’s socks mysteriously clone themselves, he wears 7 pairs a week, and I do the washing on the same day each week but find between 10 &14 pairs come out of the washing machine..
I did some faffography for the Sunday Challenge group on Ipernity..
and yesterday had a go at an upside down shot, using the inverse glass of water technique!
set up shot….
The upside down finished article..
I hadn’t thought it through properly….removing the glasses afterwards wasn’t pretty.
And then there are the cute cat shots :).
But first have to say Storm’s trip to the vet did not go as planned. We went as she chucks up more than we consider normal, most days, (regular readers know this drives us mad!) and we thought she probably had an ulcer or some malabsorption thing and need medicine. So they sedated her, took blood and did X-rays, and found a renal lymphoma, maybe one on each kidney but definitely one big one. So that’s a death sentence really. Even with chemo and radiotherapy the prognosis is poor, and we won’t put her through that. The vet said not to leave it too long before we take her in for ‘the injection’, but I can’t do it yet. We found this out last weekend, and are quite in shock and devastated, she is only 6yrs old and we’ve only had her 6 months. She isn’t acting ill and is carrying on oblivious to her state, isn’t distressed or in pain, still eating and doing the other end well, so not yet. Not yet Mr.Vet. She is my special friend and this is breaking my little heart.
Skye is fine and just loves Phil to bits, won’t leave him alone when he’s playing his guitar/on the computer/having his brekkie/dinner or tea 🙂
I love it when they cuddle up, Storm always puts her paw over Skye..
Caught Skye on the speaker in the conservatory with a fetching piece of grass attached to her pink bell 🙂
and caught Storm looking regal..
I should think there will be lots of Storm photo’s to come, while I can still have her.
So that’s September just about finished. Next month have got a day out with Sophie coming up but not sure where we are going, and also a trip to Holland for another model show, and we’re going on a ferry to Calais, that should be interesting as Calais is having refugee issues. Back to work tomorrow, it comes round too quick!
Cooking a fried rice is a labour of love. The cooking time itself is short, but the preparation seems to go on forever. This one took over an hour, but I don’t mind, I was in the mood. You can fry most stuff up with rice and do a little or a lot, but this was a special one so had lots of different elements. It was a sunny day today and I had intend to go for a walk to Wardley Lake with my camera, but we took our chucking up cat Storm
to the vet this morning as she has started eating cat litter in the middle of the night and then chucking THAT up,sigh, and then we went to ASDA food shopping, and I had to see a client this evening so had to do my cooking this afternoon. I was determined to take photo’s though, so thought I’d do some food photography with the Fuji. I also thought I would process them uniformly and applied a VSCO cam fuji kodak gold preset to each shot, I’m not overly a fan of presets that make your digital shots look like film, because of course they don’t look like film. I’ve got old photo’s on Kodak film and they look nothing like my digitals with a preset. Maybe they just look how we would like film shots to look 🙂 anyway I quite liked the effect of this particular preset.
So onto the cooking bit. OK, when you do a fried rice you need to gather your chosen ingredients that are going in with the rice, chop them all up and put them in separate plates/dishes. Then fry them in a little olive oil, in a wok, one set at a time, and in the right order. You need a large bowl with a colander in it, as each time you fry a set you then tip it into the colander and any excess oil/water drains through to the bottom of the bowl. While you’re doing this you should already have your rice cooking, or you can use rice you already have cooked. I use jasmine or basmati rice and add a good teaspoon of Turmeric or Saffron to the water to colour the rice. I like a lot of different colours in my fried rice.
So here we go..
always start with frying the chopped onions and garlic together. I used a red onion just for the colour. Get your oil hot and flash fry at high heat for a minute to get tasty charred edges to the onions. Yum. 🙂 Then into the colander and wipe your wok out with a paper towel. Trust me, it’s better to start each time with a fresh dollop of oil. You don’t need a lot of oil, just enough to coat the bottom of the wok, this is a healthy recipe :).
I like peas in my fried rice so thats the next thing to go in the wok. Once you’ve given them a quick stir fry, add a 1/4 glass of water, turn the heat down so they are bubbling not boiling,put a lid on and go to the loo/ take a pic of the cat/
read a book/go on internet for 2 minutes,~ then tip into the colander and wipe out the wok, OK, I’m not going to put ‘ tip into the colander, wipe out wok’ every time now, tip & wipe will suffice.
Add any other veg you like, I did this next 3 all at the same time, (no I don’t know why peas are separate, trust me and just do them on their own). Make sure your oil is hot before chucking them in. When you’ve done a minute flash fry, add a little water and also this time a couple of good lugs of light soy sauce. Put a lid on and get a drink/take a picture of the cat/check your FB,Twitter,Instagram for 3 minutes. Tip & wipe.
I know, not the easiest name to deal with, but I like the exotic oriental stuff for my fried rice, and shiitake mushrooms are from Japan. They are more chewy than the usual mushrooms with a delicate nutty flavour. It is considered a medicinal mushroom in some forms of traditional medicine. Maybe I’ll give some to the cat.
I like baby sweetcorn, it’s sweet. And a little crunchy.
This was the first time I used Mangetouts, and just fancied something different, plus I liked the name. Very tasty, quite sweet and crunchy, I left them whole.
I like to add some bamboo shoots as Phil loves them, I don’t, and water chestnuts as I love them,Phil don’t.:) I always use canned ones as I wouldn’t know where to buy fresh.
Same cooking method as for the veg combination.
On to the meat. If you’re veggie you can leave this bit out and still have a lush fried rice. You can use most types of meat & shellfish, but lamb and beef don’t really work as well as chicken, prawns or pork. Today I used pre-cooked char siu pork ( pork with a coating of chinese 5 spice) and chicken coated in chilli & spices, and king prawns soaked in chilli and coriander. You can use just one or a combination of any cooked meat.
Get your oil hot, chuck it all in and stir fry, reduce the heat if it starts sticking to the bottom of the pan. Don’t add water this time but do add a couple of splashes of dark soy sauce. Tip & Wipe.
By this time you’ll be getting hot, so get a cool drink to keep you going 🙂 I recommend
Now we put it all together. Heat some oil in the wok but on a medium heat. Put the rice in and get it all stir fried, then tip the contents of the colander in on top and start turning it into the rice, when you do this don’t ‘stir’ as such, it’s more like the action you do to fold flour into cake mix.
Add a good sprinkling of Chinese 5 spice, a tiny dash of sea salt (optional) and a good sprinkle of ground black peppercorns. Leave on a low low heat turning every so often while you
Make an omelette.
Chinese fried rice always comes with chopped up omelette so get a little frying pan, and make an omelette in your usual fashion, when ready, cut into strips and add to the fried rice. Chinese people eat from bowls with chopsticks, if you can’t manage chopsticks a dessert spoon is better than a fork. But still use bowls so the rice stays hot, on a plate your last few mouthfuls would be cold. Some chinese crackers and a glass of wine to go with and some oyster sauce splashed on top finishes it off nicely. Try it, it’s delish!
I have not included how much of anything you need to have, it always depends on how many you are cooking for. I use a ratio of 3/5 goodies to 2/5 rice, thereabouts. But these are the other bits you need..
I once lodged for several months with a lovely lady called Jo
and she taught me some of the ways of cooking chinese, 25 yrs on and I still do dinner parties with her recipes, lucky to have had the experience 🙂
I haven’t been on any day trips, but have always got cameras of some kind at the ready, so this is just a bits and bobs post. I have been travelling for work though and made use of the iphone. The first is of Skiddaw mountain and Lake Bassenthwaite in Cumbria, if you’ve followed my little blog for a while you’ve seen photo’s of it before, but it looks different every time I stop to see it, one day I’ll collect them all together and post them all in one go.
I love the little church in the clearing by the lake, one day I’ll get to visit it.
That was my Westward journey and then the next day I was Northward bound to Eyemouth in the Scottish Borders, somewhere new for me.
Last weekend we had a visit from Phil’s son Carl and the grandkids, Livvy had decided to wear her brother’s Batman swimming shorts over her jeans, I thought that was cute 🙂
The cats are still driving us mad, Skye is mad for chasing a lazer pen light around the house, and Storm is still over eating and then chucking up. Last night Phil forgot to put the lid on the cat biscuit box, eventually this morning…well… it wasn’t pretty!
Cooked a sunday lunch last week which was lush, I love using the herbs I grown in pots in the garden,
We’ve had a couple of sunny days lately, and had a couple of Bar B Q’s
We’ve also had some rainy days..
I’ve also been doing some faffography with potato shop, for the Sunday challenge group over at Ipernity (which is like old flickr)
The challenge was to take a shot with in camera processing (I shot the shells with a Tungsten WB setting) then do some post processing. So I made an underwater scene.
Last Sunday we had to do man made bokeh, which involves cutting a shape out of cardboard, then putting it on the front of a lens so any lights in the distance become the same shape as the cutout, whilst you focus on an object nearer (thus making the background lights blurry).
This week the theme was chairs, and I’ve got a rotten cold so didn’t feel like going out, I used my garden chairs and made them fly 🙂
my super hubby helped out for that!
and a bit of faffography for no reason except I wanted to fractal one of the owl pics from last weeks outing to Segedunum
Hope this cold goes away soon. 😦 Phil is cooking Lamb in red wine sauce for our dinner this evening really looking forward to that. And as always on a Sunday, I’m back to work tomorrow. Am having a trip out with Sophie on Thursday to a new Cat Cafe (as if I needed more cats in my life!) in Newcastle, where you can have lunch with cats! Photo’s of that for sure and then some of Newcastle.