christmas


it feels like only yesterday that it was September and we were moving into our new house – yes, you can see the theme here. Where DOES the time go?!!! Seriously though, I promised Stoney an update a while back, and someone else some photos of our new home, so I’m combining all this and a year review in one blog post. And then I shall probably go silent again till I get another break at Easter…!

Anyway. Be warned. This is a VERY photo heavy post, which is why they’re all behind the cut. the page will take a while to load…

First of all, though, an update. The last three months have been very sad ones, as well as busy. University studies have taken most of my time, and are mostly going well – you can look at the Education page to view marks for specific assignments. But outside of studies, they’ve been sad because I lost both my grandmothers: my paternal grandmother at the end of October, and my maternal one just 2 weeks before christmas. Both had been ill towards the end; Nannie (Paternal grandmother) had broken her other hip and was in a great deal of pain, Grannie (Maternal grandmother) had had a spell in hospital a few weeks before but had just given up, mentally. For both, death was a release, a blessing, so to speak, but it still doesn’t take away from the fact that this year has been a very bad one for our family, especially as I lost my father in January 2011. I just hope 2012 will be substantially less painful.

Dad, in one of his favorite places in the world, Scotland.

Christmas was especially painful – not just because of Grannie’s funeral, just a few days before Christmas, but because, as a cousin of mine put it, “there were too many empty chairs”. I know exactly what she meant. It will take a while to get over this. I was far closer to Grannie than to Nannie – Grannie was the lady who owned Stoneheads house, the inspiration for this blog, and a woman who was also directly responsible for my childhood love of history and who never stopped encouraging me to learn, to develop, to make the most of myself. I shall miss her greatly.

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photos from the archive again… of course i made my own xmas cards again last christmas, although for a while with time issues i wasn’t sure i was going to! I purchased a couple of sets of clear stamps, the first two are Penny Black stamps – ‘Holly Day Critters’, ‘Christmas Critters’ and ‘Perfectly Clear Merry Messages’ – and used these for xmas, along with some other sets i had from last year…

i loved this cheeky cat hanging in the xmas decorations. I used a mix of chalks, colouring pencils and glittery pens to colour in the stamps. the cards were bought ready made - all i had to do was make something to insert inside them.

more behind the cut…

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… said in my best Monty Python voice.. although not as nuts as Monty Python’s stuff, i hasten to add!

I said before i was going to catch up with some of the photos i’ve been taking over the last six months or so.. so here’s some of the ones from Christmas… As usual, most are behind the cut, but be warned, its a very image intense post.

I adore this photograph. It just says "Christmas!" to me. This is actually a long table decoration that i made for Michiel's mom and dad when we visited them before christmas - there are wider shots behind the cut. there are actually four candles in the long decoration, the last is out of shot on the right, and unlit, as is the custom - we were then only 3 weeks into advent.

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raspberry in the garden

a frozen forgotten raspberry in the garden, a late bloomer caught by the winter snows - taken a few days before christmas. Happy Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone (and yes, we’re having fun!)!! Apologies for not blogging. I will try to come back in the new year, and start blogging again, i do miss it. I’ve been taking photographs all along, but my computer is really struggling now – its taken upwards of 10 minutes just to load this one photograph and get wordpress/flickr working, and i don’t have the time or the inclination to do that for a lot of photographs, even though i’d like to share them. However, in the new year, we’re getting new computers so hopefully then things will change and i can do my photographs much more easily.

In the meantime though, happy Christmas, everyone – and a very happy new year!

hmmm. its the end of the year again. When did THAT happen? it sneaked up on me, that’s what it did.. very naughty!!! 2008 – go to your room! you’re not the year-end, you’re a very naughty boy!!! (bonus points for the movie reference on that one…).

Seriously though. It feels like only yesterday i was writing one of these for 2007. I’m not even sure i want to write one for 2008. It feels like i’ve not done very much, and at the same time, i mean… really. i’ve documented all i wanted to of this year on the blog. What’s the point in repeating it? Now a review of where i want to go in 2009.. yeah, i can see the point in that.. hm. i wrote one of those last year didn’t i? Maybe the best way to do this, instead of rehashing old blog posts, is to look at the 2008 plans and see how much, if any, i actually achieved of it… (cut for length)

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if you’ve been reading my blog already then you’ll know that my old camera, a Fujifilm finepix 1300 recently bit the dust – a small piece of plastic holding the battery cover – and therefore the batteries – inside the camera broke, and the only way to keep the batteries in was a big wodge of duct tape. That, coupled with the knowledge that the memory card in the camera was now severely out of date (they don’t even make them any more) meant the writing was on the wall: I needed a new camera. Pronto.

[Fortunately Mum lent me her digital camera for the intervening period, and its that that i’ve been using for the last six months.]

So i asked for one for Christmas. Some money went towards it from my birthday, and i asked everyone to give Mum money towards the camera if they were going to get me a present. Nearer christmas she asked me what camera i wanted, and after discussions with Sez, we settled on a Fujifilm F40fd (review, photo of front, photo of rear).  I was quite keen to stay with Fuji – the old camera had lasted me for 8 years, which is pretty good going in today’s throwaway society – and Sez, who knows a lot about cameras, reckoned that of that particular class of camera, the F40fd was getting better reviews than the newer F50 or even the F60, even though the F40fd was getting on to be almost 2 years old by that point (and two years is a long time in the world of digital cameras, obviously). I think it cost around £100, so it didn’t break the bank exactly, but its not cheap either.

Am i pleased with it? Oh hell, yeah. It takes really lovely photos, has some great macro capabilities (macro = taking photos up close and personal, which i do like, not so much of people but of things) and the colour handling is pretty good too. There’s a 2GB card in there now, and with that it’ll do 28 minutes of video as well, which is really excellent – I’m looking forward to playing with that! There;s a huge screen on the back that you can use for viewing the photographs with – which feels ginormous after the finepix1300’s titchy lil thing.

I’ve had a little play, and its the results of these i want to share with you. Nothing earth shattering, just some nice photos of the frost from last night, photos of jess, and photos from around the house… i took too many to share here – the rest can be found on flickr, here, but for now, there’s a few behind the cut… (okay, i lied, a lot behind the cut..)….

[oh, and as an aside, Dad gave me a new phone too… my old one had been on the blink for a while, buttons not working, the charging connection only working intermittently, so i knew that one was a matter of time too. Where he works, people are always upgrading to the latest phone so when he needs a “new” one, he just asks around if anyone has an old one he can buy… only this time, no one was getting rid of one! Must be the credit crunch. Anyway, because he knew mine was going, he went and bought me one. Not a hugely expensive one or anything (thank goodness), a Nokia 2760, but it does have a camera in it – and this is the point – it will also record short videos. So i’ve been rather snap and video happy the last few days. been driving Michiel up the wall. poor guy. ]

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I promised christmas photos didn’t i?

There’s a lot more on Flickr (here), but here are some of the best ones. There’s a lot of them, so they’re behind a cut.

These are also the last photos taken with this camera, by the way, which is the one i borrowed from Mum. Later that day (these were primarily taken on 27th), I got my new camera as part of my christmas present – and i’ve been snapping happily away! (I’ll share those photos later).

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