Flower of the Day: 23.08.2016 Celosia Caracas

Celosia caracas

Another one of those strange flowers I found in the local supermarket. They have them now and again, but had to search for the name. What they have to do with Caracas I do not know, perhaps they grow wild in Venezuela, no idea. I have never had one at home and do not know how well they grow. but they are interesting.

Flower of the Day: 23.08.2016 Celosia Caracas

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge: Feathers

spotted woodpecker 10

I do not know where he came from, but a lesser spotted woodpecker once visited our garden and the sparrow looked on.

Rooster in Feldbrunnen

Chicken Feathers from the local chicken farm

Blue fronted Amazon parrot

A blue fronted Amazon parrot who used to live at my vets, but is now in retirement in a senior home, and is probably a lot older than most of the seniors.

Waltham Abbey 15.07 (17)

Mum and dad swan and the kids at Waltham Abbey in England. The kids seem to be growing fast.

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge: Feathers

Daily Prompt: There is always something to learn

Camera

I learned it all. In the school I learned for the examinations, I passed them and then I learned for my occupation: nothing special, how to type and write shorthand. Then I learnnt what it meant to be a housewife, cook, larundrywoman and childrens carer. On the side learnt how to become a logistic expert, a perfect example of multi tasking when I took on a job as export clerk and managed the family as a sideline. This is not problem, just a matter of organisation. Now my learning days are over, finished, there is nothing more to learn, but wait. No, I soon discovered that being unemployed, a golden oldie being paid by the state was boring. They were paying you for exisitng, for surviving the whole process.

Now I am retired, and can do what I want to do and not what I have to do. So I am supposed to fill my days with what??? Visiting the doctor, discussig the latest illness or complaint, analysing an ache or a pain. I could join the local senior citizens groups where we probably also discuss our common problems. Not me.

At the age of 48 I realised a sort of past dream of mine and enrolled for a Russian language course. I stayed for 12 years. It was a good group, and we battled through the problems of understanding and writing the language together. This now lays behind me, but I never regretted one moment. I do not actually understand every word that Vladimir Putin says in his speeches, but I am not sure if I want to. I can more or less get through with a simple basic conversation and I also partake in an online learning curve for Russian, which suits me. Again there is not have to, but if you want to, although they do remind me now and again to fulfil a few tests, but it is voluntary.

It is also voluntary that I have rediscovered photography. Digital photography always fascinated me from the day when Mr. Swiss gave me his Digi camera because he bought a new one. He only used his camera now and again, and I used it almost every day. I was shooting photos everywhere. This was no problem, and coupled with my continuous learning curve on the computer, (Microsoft and in the meanwhile also Apple) I could upload my photos straight away.

I began to prepare for my future when I was still at work, although it was a background thing. I did a course to learn how to make a web site because I wanted to know how it worked. I learned how to use the Dreamweaver programme and managed to set up a site for my finishing exam. Afterwards I continued and did a site for the local first aid group. I was still not retired and did it all as a side line.

Now back to photography, because this is something you can always occupy yourself with.I enrolled for a course, but still did not have my 100% DSLR camera, just a so-called bridge. After the course I decided to take the plunge and bought myself a Nikon D7000 camera with two lens. I was still a beginner, and although I knew about the intricacies of the camera, working with shutter speeds and light, I did not really go into it in detail. I got a little lazy and mainly applied the automatic picture solutions. Just set the dial for whatever it is  and press the button. The camera does the rest.

However, I began to see what the others did, the various WordPress photo challenge sites arousing my interest. I like to write, something else I discovered I can more or less do – not perfectly, but we all develop our own style. I liked to incorporate some of my photos.

I discovered Macro photography, but did not have a macro lens. I had known some photographers through my days with Multiply. Multiply was an excellent blogging site and I got to know a lot of interesting people who wrote and took photos. Multiply unfortuantely collapsed due to the greed of its owner who went into marketing and shifted the company to his home country of Indonesia. We were many bloggers and photographers left to find our own way. I eventually found my place in WordPress, many eventually formed some groups in Facebook and some went to Blogger. We still have contact with each other, and if I have a photo problem I can always use the facebook messegner and ask.

I examined macro lenses, and asked my photographer friend of many years, what he thought. He said he would definitely go for my choice, although he did not have Nikon, and after a month of thinking about it, I ordered it and received it within a couple of days. He did tell me that this lens was more geared to manual  operations, so what did Mrs. Angloswiss do? She began to take photos with the lens she had, only in manual style and I discovered, at the age of almost 70, that I could do it.

This has now opened the door for me and I want to know more, so I have got myself a book about all the details, another book arriving in November when it is published and I am happy. I enjoy every twist and turn on the way. Not all my photos are perfect, far from it, but some are not too bad.

What can I say more, never give up. Tomorrow I might break a leg, perhaps even worse, but I did it all and never looked back. My specialist doc called me today to make an appointment. It seems that things are moving and my treatment for MS has now  been given the OK by the insurance. I will learn how to give myself an injection, another learning curve – no problem.

Daily Prompt: There is always something to learn

Good Morning

Hedge

We have a gardener. He is programmed to arrive four times a year and the next visit is planned for end August, mainly to cut the hedges and clear the unwanted remains away. However, we noticed in the last couple of weeks that some of the neighbours had trimmed their hedges already. Our hedges were also looking something like flower power. Various climbing objects had stopped climbing and their flowers had become seed pods, brown and not very good to look at. I said nothing, just thought can we really wait so long.

Yesterday afternoon, it was a pleasant afternoon – not to hot, I saw Mr. Swiss armed with the hedge cutter make his way and began to attack our hedge forming a sharp straight line where it was a helter skelter of ups and downs, he was doing it all by himself. My hedge cutting days are long gone, but he continued bravely overcoming the problems of a golden oldie hedge cutter. I think he only intended to do the hedge seen in the photo, but he got above himself, beame euphorius and did it all. I was glad and so was he, our hedge was now as tidy as the neighbour’s hedges and we now longer had to be the odd ones out. You know how it is in life, you cannot be the people with the unkempt hedge. People will begin to talk, you become an outcast, and worst of all are the sideways glances from the others and the shaking of their heads. You have to belong, be one of the masses, and this means the hedge has to conform with the rest.

Luckily my No. 1 son arrived home from work and could help his father, who was now feeling his back more than usual, to clear away the remants of the hedge cutting exercise. We are now the proud owners of a hedge, that looks like all of the others – see photo.

What was I doing whilst my husband was carving this masterpiece. I was blogging of course, now that is something that none of the other neighbours do. I have only ever seen one neighbour with a computer outside on the porch and he was a male. Of course I do not observe my neighbours and what they do, just keep an eye on them to make sure they are not doing something that we should do – like cutting hedges?

Otherwise the day continued as normal and not once did Mr. Swiss complain that his back was aching, which was an exception. Perhaps hedge cutting is healthy. I took a few photos in the garden, and nearly fell in the act which would have been a disaster, mainly because I was carrying the camera which could have been damaged. We have hospitals to repair our damage to body parts, but cameras have to be sent to their headquarters for repairs and are not usually insured, although my new lens has a 3 year gurantee.

Today is  day of cleaning so I am off, time is going. No shopping to do, Mr. Swiss will go for me. My No 1 son announced yesterday, that today he is on short time. I had not arranged a midday meal with him. No big problem, but I planned mushroom risotto and he does not eat mushrooms, one of the few foods he does not eat (autistic problem). Quick decision, and the mushrooms will now be fried separately to accompany the rice and Mr. Swiss will buy a couple of pieces of chicken parts to cook with the meal, that is the result of us both being experts in logistic.

Have a good day/night everyone, enjoy it, and do not foget cut your hedges if they do not look as good as the neighbours.