Posted on July 17, 2013 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay10 Comments »



I’m joining in with a new meme today!  It seems fun, and it will give me something to do with these Photoshopped pictures I keep stashing away!

You see, I take a TON of photos, and there are the inevitable failures. Maybe the focus isn’t as pin-sharp as it might be. Maybe the colour is a bit off.  But there is something about the picture which takes my fancy and I can’t seem to drag it to the recycle bin, so I play around with it.

Sometimes I get spectacularly attractive pictures, and I have used some for home-made notecards in the past.  No doubt I’ll do so again, too, so if you see one that you particularly like, let me know!

This particular photo was grabbed in a hurry while waiting for OH to do … something or other, I can’t even remember what, now … in one of my most favourite Italian towns; Lucca in Tuscany.  It shows the wonderful texture of the bark on a plane tree in the Piazza Napoleone.  Naturally, since I grabbed it in a hurry, the light was fading and I had no tripod or anywhere to rest the camera, the focus was not the best, and the colours in the bark didn’t show well.  So there you go – an abstract was born!

This meme has been started over at Nature Footstep.  I don’t know her name, but I’m sure she would be very happy if you played along too!  The rules are simple: make a post which fits the meme, link to Nature Footstep, and add your own linky on the NF site.

Click the badge to visit the site!


Have fun!

Posted on July 15, 2013 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay14 Comments »


Did I promise you a doozy for this week’s Macro Monday puzzle?  I think I did.


Okay, ladies and gentlemen – feast your eyes upon this.  Maybe I’ll be surprised and every single one of you will guess the answer quite easily, but I don’t think so.  You need to think about angles this time, as well as try to imagine the whole thing instead of just this little piece of it.  It is a macro, which means life-size or larger, but this time the photo is taken from an unusual point of view.

Each and every one of you will have seen one (or more) of these things, many times in your life-time.  I can’t think of a single country which doesn’t … um … use them.  Most of you will have had them, some of you will have created them.  You see them mostly in homes, schools, hospitals, wherever there is a community, really, and at times, in offices and at work.  You also see them in shops and at various events – though not like this.

And while they do pretty much take the same form, there is a lot of variation, in shape and colour, and detail.

Take your best shot, my lovelies, and leave your answer in the comments. If I get no correct answers, I’ll link to the blogs of the most entertaining three guesses! If I get more than one or two correct answers I’ll eat my hat*.

And as usual, I’ll be back tomorrow evening to give you the answer in the form of a picture link.  That’s Tuesday evening, UK time.

Good luck! And don’t forget to visit the others on the Macro Monday blog!



* You know, the one made out of an apple. Um. The one I will make out of an apple. If necessary. Don’t worry, I’ll post pictures to prove it. If necessary. ;)

Tuesday 16th July:

Aaaah, there you go! Not a single one guessed right on this one, which is actually a bit of a disappointment. I always hope for one or two, even if I have tried my damnedest to make it nigh-on impossible! Oh well.

So, who was nearest? That would be Taffy’s Mum. Go here, to see why! Well done for coming close, Taffy’s Mum!

And the most entertaining guess? Stewart M gets the link-back for his triple-threat: Two slices of chocolate cake, a blunt knife sawing through a piece of wood or a CD about to hit a chair leg. HAHAHHAHHAHAHA!! I honestly cannot decide which of those made me laugh the most! I think it’s a toss-up between the two slices of cake and the CD! Thanks for the laugh(s), Stewart!

For the rest of you, never mind.  There’s always next week … and I’ll be back to the usual ‘let’s see if I can get a 40-50% correct guess rate’ model!  See you then?

Oh, good!



… well, wine glasses anyway!

Some years ago, OH found three rather lovely goblet shaped wine glasses in a junk shop in Oundle, near where he worked at the time.  They were crystal, and clearly very nice quality, but he was unsure about the purchase, perhaps because there were only three and it was extravagant.

They quickly because our favourite, everyday wine glasses, following the philosophy that if you have nice things, you should use them and not hide them away.  I also managed to find more of them on eBay when one got broken, and discovered that they are ‘Winchester’ by Royal Brierley.

Last week, I found some more on eBay at a very good price and snapped them up … and they arrived a couple of days ago. They are, indeed, Royal Brierley ‘Winchester’ pattern, but I’d not read it very carefully, because these are the next size down!  I’m still delighted with them though, and on days when I don’t feel like a full glass, they are perfect!

Also this week came a knock at the door when none was expected. It was a man in full cycling gear, complete with impenetrable shades, and a startlingly futuristic carbon-fibre framed racing bike.  Before I’d even had a chance to recognise him as an old colleague and friend of OH’s, he pushed an envelope into my hand bearing my name, handwritten, along with the words ‘by hand’.

I opened it (naturally) and look what was inside!!  Johnny Depp!*


Gorgeous.  I mean, look at the man!  He really does a very sexy line in smirks, don’t you think?  And best of all, inside this magazine is a really nice long interview, with lots of interesting detail and insights.  It quite made my day, and I did, of course, thank my cycling benefactor for the gift.

Another thing that made me happy this week was that I took Jeffie to the vet expecting to hear that he’d developed a heart problem. You see, he’s eleven years old and in this recent heat we’ve been having, he’s been panting a lot and coughing.  However, it seems there’s nothing wrong with the old fraud, except possibly a mild infection, for which I’m very grateful!  Turns out that he’s in pretty good health for his age and maintaining a good weight, too.  He’s hovering around 29kg, which is the correct side of skeletal. He’ll never be fat, bless him, but at least now he doesn’t look like a cruelty case.


Lastly, these roses are from the garden.  The white one is a rambler which covers part of the back fence.  I think it’s called Iceberg and it smells rather nice … but the pink one is Albertine, and Albertine is the real star.  It’s also a rambler but a very old variety, and it smells exquisite.  Just that one bloom in the lounge is enough to perfume the air.  It’s a real treat to have such lovely roses from the garden.HTBH-Jly2d

I’ll just leave you with this YouTube video of a chap called David Armand.  I’d never heard of him before, or his chosen form of entertainment.  He specialises in something called Interpretive Dance Mime.  He is not above being a tad rude but is so endearing you can’t be offended – and he is hilarious.



* Well.  Not actually Johnny Depp, of course, merely a paper facsimile.  Do you think if I’d been handed Johnny Depp on my doorstep I’d be wasting time writing a blog post?


Easy? Difficult? I don’t know. Looks easy to me, but then I know what it is, don’t I? And I can see how misleading it could be …

Oh, I do so enjoy Macro Monday puzzling!

Take a look at the picture above and see if you can work out just what it is. I’ve got nice and close to the object in question, so this is perhaps not what you’d see if you just glanced at one from a distance. The angle is correct though .. I think.

Clues? Hmm … let me see.

Well, this is something you won’t find everywhere, that’s for sure, but I would think all of you have seen one at some time or other.

I do have one, but this was taken in someone else’s house. Not every home has one, but some have more than one, and some have quite a lot of them.

I’ve seen them outside the home, I’ve seen some in other countries.

I’ve seen big ones, little ones, different shapes and different shades. Some consider them to be a damned nuisance; others protect them.

Have a go. I think some of you will guess pretty quickly, others will struggle .. .but hey, what’s new?

Add your answer to the comments and I’ll be back tomorrow evening (Tuesday, UK time) to give you the answer in the form of a picture link which I’ll add to the bottom of this post.

Do check out the other entries. There are some amazing macro photographers out there!

So, what a very clever lot you are! Only one or two of you did NOT guess this week’s puzzle correctly! For those one or two, here is the answer.

As is my custom, the first to guess correctly is awarded the credit as the … um … first to guess correctly, and this week, that honour goes to Nicola of Herding Cats, a photo blog which I found through Macro Monday. She has a good eye and takes some nice sharp pictures. To Nicola and to the rest of my correct guessers, well done!  To Rob Lenihan: I have to award you The Wrongest Guess of the Week – and thanks for the laugh!

Gird your loins for next week, because it’ll be a doozy if I can only find one!

Thanks for playing!  Oh, and go here for the picture!