Submission Nerves

Wish me luck! I just sent off a disk for a first submission to Alamy. I hope they pass the quality check. If you don't try you'll never get anywhere...

Balloon Flight

After a cycle of excitement followed by let down when it was too windy or too rainy to fly, finally the gods of the weather saw fit to produce an almost perfect day for my 9 June rebooking of my balloon flight. The flight was a present from my parents over a year ago for my birthday and Christmas present and it’s taken until now for me to manage to actually get airborne. I’d booked to fly from Westonbirt Arboretum which is slightly north east from where I live. When I got there at around 0615 the balloon crew were already present and sending up a helium balloon to assess the wind direction and strength as the helium balloon rose up.


A work colleague stunned me today. The guy I sit next to at work needs to go on a business trip next week but won't be around on Monday to make the necessary bookings. He's entrusted me with his credit card which I am to give to the secretary on Monday to make the necessary arrangements.

But whoa! The guy has trusted me with his credit card! That trust gives me a warm feeling inside.

Another Necklace

I had a huge bag of matt clear seed beads bought at the Essex Bead Fair and a piece of fused and combed irregularly shaped glass that I was at a loss on what to do with it. Coupled with no projects on the go at the time, I decided to use the seed beads to make a twisted rope and the glass to use as a cabochon. I'd seen a similar idea of using seed beads to set up the cabochon in one of the beading magazines, but also Googled to find other instructions.The ones I eventually used were from an Article by Ann Brodrick published in the October 1998 issue of Lapidary Journal. The Article was reprinted at

Ndebele necklace

I mentioned in one of my previous comments that I had a project on the go. Here it is. The main body of the necklace is of triangular bluish beds with a sheen and matte finish. It's a rope with wire threaded through to keep it from bunching. The chunky beads were deliberately made in an irregular shape but in graduated sizes because the pattern itself used polished chunks of semi-precious stone.

Ndebele necklace: Triangular seed beads with large chunky lampwork ones.Ndebele necklace: Triangular seed beads with large chunky lampwork ones.

The triangular seed beads felt a little odd to work with at first but the rope soon grew.

Panorama of the cockle boats

Over Christmas, I couldn't drag Kat from the sofa to visit Old Leigh so I went on 22 January to try out some more panorama shots without using a tripod. The day was dull and raining but nevertheless I decided that I would go and forget about the rain. I forgot to look at the tide times so arrived at high tide when none of the beach was showing, the area was deserted and I could wander round in the rain.
Leigh is an ancient small port so the streets are narrow and cobbled. Cars have to be parked a few hundred yards away near the train station on higher ground. I paid my 70p for one hour of parking, grabbed the camera and walked down to the sea front. Some of the houses and pubs look as if they date from the 16th or 17th century. There are the usual art galleries, boat yards, rock shops and sea food bars, mostly shut in the winter but teeming with visitors in the summer months. Here's a shot of the boats and mounds of empty cockle shells looking from the road which curves up to the higher ground and the newer part of Leigh and it's shops along the Broadway.

Suburban Safari

By the time that this is finished and posted it'll probably be Christmas day. As the last child returning to my parent's house I have the unfortunate honour of sleeping on the lounge floor. This is not too bad as at least my parents own a camp bed so it should be reasonably comfortable. I m currently holding the laptop in one hand while typing with the other as I lie in my sleeping bag. Unfortunately my typing hand is my left, non-dominant one so if there are some strange spelling / typing errors in this post that might be why.

My parents own three cats which used to sleep on the family's beds but have since been relegated to non-bedroom areas of the house. Now a prime bed opportunity has been given to them in the shape of one slightly drowsy person in a sleeping bag, co-incidently also called Kat, they have all decided that they need to take up residence on it / me for the night. There's one by my feet at the moment while another waits by the side of me. Its eyes are glowing green in the light from the laptop while it waits for a moment of in-atention when it will pounce, trying to nest on my chest. I feel like an antelope that knows that the lions have singled it out as the one they will chase and is just waiting for the staring to stop and the running to begin.

The cats have now flanked me...It'll all kick off soon...I just have to hope that my ability to fend them off has been naturally selected to be superior to their ability to snuggle.

Merry Christmas to all

I only have email addresses for many contacts so am posting this Christmas card of us on the Fox glacier in New Zealand. I'm not really this fat! I am wearing about six layers of clothes to combat the cold. On the glacier the temperature is just like walking into a giant freezer. John, poor soul was offered a multi-coloured hat but wouldn't wear it. He subsequently bought a white one. We were fortunate to be able to get the helicopter ride that day because all rides were cancelled the day before and all subsequent rides after ours that day were cancelled too because of the bad weather.
Here's hoping you all have a happy Christmas and do not over indulge too much over the New Year.

Exam is Over!

Woohoo! My exam is over! I officially no longer need to feel guilty about doing something more fun that revision! The exam was odd in that there seemed to be more time provided than was required. Normally this would make me think that I had done really badly but there was so much more time than was required that I think it was just a weird exam. The exam was two hours long and you had to answer 3 questions. I'd answered the first two within half an hour. After chatting to the guy who was sitting it with me he said that his experience was similar. The first question I answered was a math related one so there's only one way that you can derive the equations and use them.

Photo Statistics

As I'm meant to be finishing off my coursework and revising for an exam next Friday I am of course wasting time in whatever way I can to put off having to do work. My flat is relatively tidy, the washing-up and laundry are done so now I'm looking for other things to do to procrastinate. Given this, I saw Exif Stats Utility linked a long time ago on one of the bulletin boards I frequent. I saw it again today so thought I'd give it a go.

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