So logging photoaday isn’t quite working..

You know when things just don’t quite go right.  Well that’s where I am with this.  I like the photo a day challenge and actually am taking photographs most days but the link between taking a photo, getting it onto my laptop (the hardship of removing a SD card from the camera and inserting it into the computer), a teensy bit of editing and then uploading onto here just isn’t happening.

Like 4 months not happening.

I’ve taken a lot of images on my phone as well and that should be easier – there’s an app … but I’m not using it.

What to do?  I really enjoy the photographs, I love my camera, I like sharing my favourites into the interweb but writing about them isn’t quite happening so much.  I am tempted to blame life – there’s been a lot on (seriously – it’s been busy, we’ve sold a house, are buying a house and have moved 400+ miles) but the reality is that posting my pictures just does not come high enough up my priority list for me to get round to it when I get some precious down time.   I’m only writing now as I’m in the middle of a week’s holiday, it’s quiet and I’ve had enough of knitting for a while.

I’m not quite ready to give up on this but we’ll see what happens for the remainder of 2017 and make a call when it’s time to renew the domain in December I think.

Anyway – here’s some pics starting with a small group of mostly flowers.

Followed by three very random pictures that I happen to like – a colourful tunnel under Leeds station, a birthday cake I’m rather proud of having created and a miniature steam train that was a lot of fun in the rain.

Then last but not least a small selection of photographs from the summer.   Bottom centre and the featured image are not by me – it was taken by James from Worthy Photography – if you’re in the Winchester area, I’d highly recommend them and it is lovely to have a nice memory of the family before we moved.

Hopefully back with more soon ….


a little snap happy

It’s only been a week and I might have a few more images than that.  Blame spring, or Easter, or the chocolate.  I’ve even got my lovely X-Pro1 camera out again with the 60mm  macro lens on – it was great for shooting in the bluebell woods and it made me realise that I’ve missed playing with my camera.  Hopefully I’ll take it out more again (it’s a good start that I’ve dug it out from under the bed).

As always, there’s a bit of a nature theme – a couple of bluebells, some blossom and two that I have no idea what they are but I just liked the look of.

Next up, and deserving on a photograph on its’ own solely as I’ve nothing similar is a shot of Bath weir.


Then onto a few shots of my favourite muse.  I didn’t honestly plan for him to have a yellow fleece and wellies but it just sort of happened.  At least he’s easy to spot in them 🙂 This is a mix of iphone and camera.

Finally two images that I’m actually pretty proud of – DH with his youngest two sons (purely unintentional that mostly they are in black / red (with the wee one in obligatory yellow) and the dog while out at Micheldever woods . You might think I’d composed it with them all in a vertical line but actually, they worked that out themselves and all I had to do was try to get them in focus.


Finally, from the same woods, I just love the light coming through the aperture above onto the wee one’s face as he’s playing in the tree house.  Definitely my shot of the week.


Hope everyone has had a lovely Easter.

off the wagon

I’ve been trying to write this since Mothers day, then the target was the end of March, now it’s nearly Easter.  Ah well.

Mothers day – I allowed myself one cake, even though it was lent and all.  The following weekend I went off the wagon properly, a hard week, disturbed nights and I just needed cake, and mini eggs.  Lots of them.  Then there was chocolate brownie made by my youngest stepson and that had to be tried, followed by chocolate ice cream and and and …. suffice to say, I didn’t stick to the plan after that.

Yet again however, it’s a large collection of photo’s rather than a snappy weekly update so they’re getting grouped by theme rather than date.

Lets start with nature shall we?  I do like photographing the changes of the seasons, particularly when the season is spring.  We’ve a mix of different things here – blossom, raspberries (seriously early for them to flower but hey), local views, a swan … whatever caught my imagination on the day.   There is one truly awful photograph in there – you might see a small blue vertical line – it’s a kingfisher.  Oh to have had my big lens that day, what a beautiful bird and out of 100+ photographs on my phone, this was the best of a very very bad bunch.


12 down …. 9 to go.  Next up some knitting (and a sneaky extra pic).  I started these socks about 14 months ago and they’re finally progressing – the colour way is macaron so the extra pic is of some lovely macaron’s from Karine’s in Morningside.  Then there’s a pic of the knitting shop I visited in London – squeezed in between meetings.  I just *needed* some new needles and this saved on postage.  Finally, my mother’s day knitting.  This will eventually in a very long time become my Birlinn blanket  and I enjoyed taking time as the wee one napped to make a start on it.   It’s my next travel project – as each square is knit individually it’s perfect for the train.  I just need to finish my socks first.  The blanket is by the same designer as my jumper that I’m working on.  There are no pics of the jumper as it’s a bit boring just showing sleeves – maybe next time when I’ve joined it all together (that’s for Easter weekend!)

Last but by no means least, my muses.  The poor dog had a nasty cut (bite?) so was contained in her cone for a few days but is back up and enjoying life again.  We’ve also pics from waving at planes, waving at trains, throwing balls for the dog (and that jumper had to be worn like that apparently) and going for a walk.  It’s a hard life being nearly 18 months you know.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter.

not a cake

When is a cake not a cake?  an interesting question I’ve been exploring over the last 20+ days of lent.

Chocolate is easy – something either contains chocolate or not and I’ve successfully managed to avoid chocolate with the exception of a couple of mouthfuls of chocolate brownie to celebrate the dog’s 6th birthday.   It was only a couple of mouthfuls as it was pretty awful brownie from a pub and I really didn’t want more.

Cake however is more challenging.  One friend kindly agreed that hot cross buns are not cake and then brought me some last week.  Definitely good.  Croissant, eaten instead of cake is not cake either.  Flapjack is getting a bit closer and anything called cake is a definite no.

Biscuits however – they’re not chocolate or cake.  That said, eating half a pack of custard creams sort of defeats the purpose of having less cake and chocolate.  So does drinking half a bottle of red wine in an evening as well.

Overall it’s going ok.  No weight gained and even a little lost.   I do need (like) a little something sweet mid afternoon but can normally restrain myself to a digestive (or two).  Is it breaking my sweet tooth habit – time will tell but definitely in a better position than before Lent with my 3 sweet things a day.

Anyway, on with the photographs.  20 days to get through and rather than a day by day blow, they’re grouped and we’re starting with coffee.  An espresso from home with a fairly good crema, a coffee from when out and about and a lovely mug that I was gifted by a friend.  It’s great – insulated and keeps my rooibos perfectly warm.

I’m following this with springtime as although today is wet and not that nice it is the official start of spring today and all that.  We’ve a collection of a sedum, laburnum, daffodil, magnolia, more daffs, the local dog walk and a swan.  Most were actually taken on rainy days (with the clear sky being the obvious exception)


Moving on, a collection of photographs loosely related to work, my first working lunch in the sun, a sketch from a launch with the NHS (not by me), pudding from a work event which looked nicer than it tasted and a snapshot taken from Waterloo bridge in London when walking between meetings.

A complete about turn and now a few family related images – a very small selection of photographs from home over the past month.

Last but not least – jumper progress – I’ve finished the body and am now working on the sleeves before joining them and moving onto the yoke.

Feeling quite proud about the jumper actually and in the last 20 days I’ve received the paper copy of the book it’s taken from – Inspired by Islay by Kate Davies – just a stunning book and the essays are great as well.  Anyway, onwards into spring time we go and I’m going to try and not develop a biscuit habit.


and that was February ….

Where has the month gone?  I can’t believe it’s March tomorrow.  More importantly it’s pancake day today – what do you have on yours?   We had blueberry pancakes (the thick scottish type – also known as drop scones) for breakfast and they were just yum.  They were eaten too quickly for me to take any photographs.

Anyway – it’s nearly the start of lent.  I don’t normally bother much with it but this year I need to try and cut down on my sugar addiction habit to proactively help prevent an expanding waist line.  I don’t really need chocolate and biscuits and cake every day, especially with the wee one being fully weaned.  So … for lent 2017 I will be aiming to abstain from chocolate and cake.  I will however work my way steadily through the hot cross buns in the kitchen cupboard in the interest of them not being wasted.  I’ve decided they’re a bread instead.

I also like the idea that instead of (or in my case as well as) giving something up, you can do something good.  Have a look at  or  for ideas.  I think I’m going to support the Trussell Trust with their 40p for 40 days campaign and then duplicate it for my local Nightshelter.  If you are donating – remember to giftaid!

Anyway – onto photographs.  I’ve had a bit of a floral and scenery thing going on.  Primroses, snowdrops, daffodils and two randoms that I’ve completely forgotten the name of.  I love this time of year onwards as things begin to bloom.  The crocuses are just about to appear and then it’s tulips and blossom and spring!


I was off work for two weeks for one reason or another so the bottom two in the set above are from when I was away and had a lovely walk round a reservoir near Edinburgh.  The advantage of being away meant very few images like the one below.


Instead – when not looking for flowers or scenery it was the local wildlife (and their wooden counterparts).

Or images of new shoes and Sunday morning stories while daddy is still asleep.


I didn’t quite manage a photograph a day – 19 days, 14 images or thereabouts.  There’s a couple I just want to check about before posting here as they’ve got friend and family children in them so I may update the post later.    I wonder what march will bring?  More frost as on the car this morning (it was stunning)?



I’ve just sat and reviewed my images from the past week and deleted 90% of them.   I’d just been using my phone and the focus wasn’t right or the composition was beyond recovery or the lighting was that bad touching up just wouldn’t cut it.  As such, I’ve three images to show you from the past 7 days.

First up – a work event.   Not very inspiring in terms of image but in terms of who was brought together in this event, just fabulous.


Next up – an combination of old and new – hand operated sewing machine (seriously – how cool!), being operated by a 15 month old.  He loved it.  It now has pride of place in my office.



Last but not least – I just loved the colours on the church brickwork and the wood.  I’ve walked past here many many times but yesterday, the lighting and the colours just caught my eye.2017_feb-2


Speaking of colour …. I’ve been mostly knitting colour work this year in various different forms.   The colour itself is cheering considering the time of year and I’m finding that I like having more colour in my life in terms of clothing or accessories or whatever.   Black and dark blue and very bland and dull and suck the light and energy out of me (although you’ll never see me wearing jeans any other colour).  I’ve not quite worked out why I want to blog about this but apparently I do so read on if you want and stop if you’d rather not read about knitting.  It does also take me up to the 7 images for this week …. the four images below all of (current) projects, all using colour work.  Three are actually WIP’s so please excuse uneven stitches and wrinkles etc.

The first is a poncho type thing – it’s called Haven by a designer Holly Yeoh.  I just saw it and thought “oh – I want to make that”.  The bit in the picture was lovely – the rest is one colour just knitting back and forward in reverse stockinette and is a little bit boring.  As a result, it’s been on the needles since before the wee one was born – it was originally planned to be a useful breastfeeding cover-up.  Now – it will just be a nice poncho when it’s finally done and I’ve still got a long way to go.  The colour work is quite clever – you knit this with fingering yarn doubled so the plain colours are holding two strands of the one colour and the mottled bits are holding two different colours together.  About the simplest way I’ve come across to do colour work without thinking about it.


Next up is some squishy brioche which may make it into a cowl one day.  I started this back in October using the other half skeins from above (the yarn is Suilven by Ripples Crafts and the most lovely soft merino, yak and silk mix – mmmmmmm).   This is a bit of a hack of patterns combined but it shows single colour brioche through to two colour and then a bit of a play with patterning.  I’m not giving the pattern names as I also can’t follow them and there are so many mistakes I’m not fancying linking to how it should look like.  Anyway, it turns out that brioche is nice but travel knitting a pattern in brioche is a bit beyond me so it’s stalled as I need to do the next bit at home.  What I really like, (apart from the lime and purple together) is how you have both colours so visible.  You could really have fun playing with colour here.


Last but not least I have two images of “fair isle” – traditional stranded colour work which I love doing – I don’t know why but I just find this very very satisfying.  I’ve knit colour work like this in bits and bobs before for a motif or a yoke but never a whole hat (it’s Saudade by Ysolda using Little Grey Sheep – I took a photograph of the cakes during January when I started).  I think I might have said in a previous post that I wanted to learn two handed colour work so I can knit an allover fair isle jumper by Kate Davies – there are lots of different ways to do this but for me to do that, and get sensible tension, I needed to learn continental knitting (holding yarn in LH), then two handed colour work and then onto the jumper.   I’ve been knitting the miles of stockinette in Haven very slowly continental since Christmas.   I finally felt confident enough to try it in a hat – below and the swatch (to check sizing) of what the jumper will look like.   2017_feb-4

If anyone wants to know the advantage of blocking – look at the difference between above and below in stitch definition.   I just need to finish sewing in a gazzillion ends and then I can do the same to the hat and it will be oh so lovely crisp and clear.  I might even then be able to take an image fully in focus.


I’m really enjoying colourwork as a way to have interest in a pattern – I know there are different stitches and things you can do as well but for me right now, this just suits where I am.

The last third of January

30 days and we’re up to 30 pictures.   Last week actually was a little bit of a nightmare in terms of managing the work / life balance so there were a couple of days that I missed but I’ve just chosen other extra pictures that I’ve taken on better days.

Where to start …. well around the 20th/21st (was it really only 9 days ago) I seem to recall a few just lovely days and the photographs reflect that.  The first image I took my lovely camera with me, got everything set up and then realised that the card was still in my laptop.  Idiot mistake but with a backup iPhone the situation was recovered.  The duck was very friendly, until it realised I had no food.

Sunday 22nd was actually a pretty spectacular day as well which prompted a rare “selfie” as I really don’t like having my photograph taken.   Actually, the selfie didn’t work and the photograph was taken by my obliging husband.


After the Monday though, that’s when it got a bit mental.  Tuesday was a bit of a sobering day.  Quite happily working away on the train on the way into London when on go the emergency brakes, the announcement “can the guard please contact the driver”, and then a few minutes later “we’ve been involved in an incident”.  I know that SW trains come under a lot of grief but on that day, they did a very good job in a very difficult situation.  It did take 4 hours to complete my normally 1 hour journey but they did their best to keep us informed and we were warm, dry and safe inside the carriages while they had a much more gruesome task to resolve.  It did however mean I had a bit of a rush, didn’t get my lovely walk over Westminster bridge so the only photograph I took was of the platform in the dark as I got home.


Wednesday wasn’t much better with every meeting running into one another so I’ve a “make-up” picture for that day.  Thursday was much of the same but I was working from home rather than in London and getting time to walk the dog was a challenge, let alone remembering to stop and take a photograph.  Actually – it’s these sorts of days where taking two minutes out to stop and appreciate one little thing by photographing it can make a world of difference to how you’re feeling.  Need to get better at that.

The “make-up” pictures are from being out and about – I didn’t quite manage to capture the sun on the walk up to the cathedral quite so well by camera but it was quite something.  The dog was just happy to pose for a biscuit!

Anyway, Friday is the second of three pictures of my son in this block.  He is fascinated by the window … it’s just at the right height for him.  He’s normally so energetic and so busy it was lovely to see him still and almost contemplative for a few minutes.


On to Saturday and on this occasion I did remember to stop, find a moment and photograph it.  A cup of coffee (with pretty impressive latte art) may not seem like much but with a wee one, a chaotic household and just life – 20 minutes to sit and drink a latte (and knit) in peace is absolute bliss.   I wish I could do latte art – it’s so pretty.


Sunday was a bit less nice and instead of a photograph of being rained on, I went for indoor play and some cheerful bright colours.


Last but not least, some knitting.  This is actually a test – trying to work out the size of my stitches so I can make a jumper.  However – being typically me, I’m not doing this the easy way – a jumper with this pattern all over is quite a lot and to make it manageable, it’s much better (in my opinion anyway) to be able to have one colour in one hand and the second colour in the second hand.  The only problem being I had no idea how to do that.  January’s project has been learning how to knit with the yarn in my left hand (continental style) which has gone quite well (my green hat above was done like that) and this was a very very first trial of using two hands – I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.  Gauge is way off but I’ve a bit more practicing with a couple of other things first before the jumper gets started.


One more day and then it’s February – exciting!



Ahead of the game

More photographs than days.  This is an odd feeling.  Not all the images are very good really though.

First up (Jan 12th) is a lovely chunky warm hat using some wonderful yarn I was gifted at Christmas.  It’s Rusty Ferret B.A.M.F yarn.  You just have to love something called Big Ass Mooshy Fluph.  Shame the pic isn’t quite wonderful – the model didn’t have her makeup on or hair done or even think that having the kitchen sink in the background isn’t the best idea.

That said, the next image of yarn (Jan 18) which is mostly Little Grey Sheep Stein Fine Wool Mini Skeins and a little Ripples Crafts Suilven isn’t much better.  Wonderful yarn that I spent an hour happily winding and then I take a photograph on my phone using lamp light at night rather than the amazing sunshine of the following morning.  Still, it’s squishy.

One of these days I would love to be better at photographing knits.

Next up a trio of scenery images.  Two of which I like and one is just a bit grey.  Last Friday (was that the 13th?) we’d had the snow the day before and it hadn’t quite melted.  This was just as the sun was coming up on the loft window.  I just liked it.  Short focal depth and quite zoomed in but the ice patterns were pretty.

Yesterday (although the date on the pic is the 19th as I’ve saved wonkily) I enjoyed a rather early morning dog walk.  This morning was even earlier so there was no light in the sky.  It resulted in a slightly camera shaken iphone image of the sunrise which I liked.

Finally, Monday’s image (although the saved date is wrong – Monday was 16th, not 15th) was taken on the dog walk.  Unfortunately it was grey and dull and a bit yawn so I’ve kept the image thumbnail sized.



Last but not least we have the random pictures.  The trainers (Saturday 14th) are a bit boring from a photography perspective but really important for me.  I went to a pilates class and walked there wearing trainers.  See – I told you – a bit boring.   The significance is that

  1. I’m well enough to do a pilates class
  2. I’m well enough to walk there
  3. I’ve not been well enough to wear trainers in about 4 and half years … it’s a big thing.

The knife really is Friday 13th’s image although I didn’t manage to either take the image then or save it in the right order.  It’s a lovely new santoku knife acquired using birthday money from 2015 at a cookery class gifted for said birthday.  I got to chop things, agressively, for a few hours.  It was a lot of fun.   Anyone in the region – I’d recommend the Waitrose Salisbury cookery school.   Once you get over the weirdness of being in the store and looking out on a coffee shop, it’s really really good.

Next up is an espresso complete with camera shake and focussing issues.   You’d think I’ve forgotten how to use my camera properly in the past year and I think you might be right.  My stepsons very kindly gave me a coffee grinder for christmas and I’ve been tinkering to get the right grind to get a wonderful crema.  On Tuesday, I just about got there.  Now all I need to do is photograph it!

Last but not least is a second image from yesterday, I stumbled across Leadenhall Market in London while looking for somewhere to take a work call.  It’s really cool so I snapped a photo to remind myself for the future.

It’s nice taking images again, and not worrying about whether they are on the camera or the phone.  It would be better if they were in focus or of better quality but that should come (slowly) as time goes by.  Hopefully you will have some patience while I get there.

A jumble of days

Here we are on a 2nd post for 2017 and it’s only 11 days in.  My goodness.

January 3rd to 11th has been a bit of a mix.  3 days in London, a weekend baking and some random bits’n’bobs.  Lets start with the randoms.  January 3rd was a trip into town and a quick shot of a nice bridge.  It was sunny but with it being winter and all I completely got the timing wrong and arrived far too late for there to be anything but shadows on the bridge.   The fourth was a walk slightly further up the river and a young swan trying to remove the grey.  Then we have wellies from January 6th (they’d just been used and I love the difference in sizes between us all) and finally some lovely chunky Rusty Ferret B.A.M.F yarn I was given as a christmas present which was about to become a hat (more on that in the next post).  I didn’t get the white balance at all right for that shot – it’s not green, it’s more blue.

Next up we have London and a fabulous day on Jan 5th so I just had to stop and rub shoulders with the tourists when walking over Westminster Bridge.  Somewhat depressingly, I didn’t realise at the time that I had some camera shake / focus issues so it’s not as sharp as it should be.  I’ll just need to try again on another lovely winters day.

It wasn’t quite so nice on the 10th when I was walking past Westminster and yesterday (11th) the photo options at Elephant and Castle eluded me so I caught the Old Vic on the way back to Waterloo.

Finally, we have cake from the weekend.  A cake of the world no less. Well, actually it was a cake of  a bit less than half the world.  I might write about this separately actually as it was a pretty impressive feat for a 14 year old.  The images are from (failed) attempt number 1 and the carnage from decoration.2017_jan-72017_jan-8

Hope you’re all having a good week and enjoying the snow which is apparently due to arrive.