Search This Blog

Sunday, 29 November 2009

New printer

Spent most of today trying to sort out the new printer/photoshop interface.  The prints looked dark and rather flat. I've tried all sorts of combinations of settings, but finally, when I was just despairing, I think I've cracked it.  Now need to sort out profiles for the papers I'm using and ultimately to get a continuous ink flow system. What an expensive hobby this is, but very addictive!

Managed to print a photo of a candle snuff fungus set amongst a beautiful moss. I don't think it will look like anything on the stand at the photo club, but I'm pleased with it.  Perhaps I'll save up for a macro lens next year......

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Alex Rider

Read the first Alex Rider book on Thursday. I can see why Anthony Horowitz is popular with young readers. The style is simple, easy to read, but despite this he achieves brilliant, exciting descriptions, equivalent of a James Bond movie.  I'm now reading the seventh adventure (don't feel the need to read them all) and I think that will be enough for me. Still putting off reading the last Stieg Larsson - may try to keep that for a Christmas treat.

Camera gear

Treated myself to a new backpack for the camera. Seems excellent - have to get used to all the zips and pockets. I'm sure I'll be losing things in there for a long time to come. Then had a real splurge and ordered a new 50 mm lens. Can't wait.
Off to St Cuthbert's tearoom for their Christmas fair. I've printed cards and notelets for them to sell and more for the village shop.  Hope they go well.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Quorn and Haltwhistle Burn

My first experience of cooking Quorn tonight - made a sort of vegetable stir fry. Quite successful and very tasty. House reeks of garlic AND soy sauce!!
Went to Haydon Bridge Nature Club tonight to hear CM speak about the Haltwhistle Burn. Much more interesting than I imagined, but awful technical problems with the enormous Powerpoint presentation. It contained a large number of images, probably uncompressed, and the images seemed to be different sizes, but the projector also showed the images to one side -very odd and never completed solved. The second computer brought in proceeded to crash and needed a system repair.......The technical gremlins were having a great time tonight.
D came and tidied the garden - delighted.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Edgar Allan Poe

Heard Gail Nina-Anderson speak at the Laing this evening about Edgar Allan Poe. She said that many people think he lived at the end of the Victorian era but he was earlier: 1809 - 1849.  I thought he was writing into the 20th Century.  She spoke about the illustrations linked to his work, most of which were made after his death. It was fascinating. Then we had a pleasant supper and a lively chat with the other women at our table.  Discovered lots of similar interests.
Before that I was out walking with the Haltwhistle crowd. We did an 8 mile circular from Haltwhistle to Greenhead, Walltown and back via Hadrian's Wall Trail.  Wild, wet and windy this morning; just wild and windy this afternoon, but very clarty underfoot all day.  Felt much better after the exercise and all the chat.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

What to read?

Have to decide what to read next after the second Stieg Larsson.  Hmmmn. Maybe just the Observer tonight. (Bought this in village shop today, a) because I wanted part 2 of the Kings and  Queens of England, b) because i needed to prove I do not take the Sunday Express!  Last week a Sunday Express had my name on it; I didn't collect it of course, but it has taken a few goes to convince various volunteers in the shop that I do not take a regular Sunday paper, I have never taken a regular Sunday paper, and, if I did, it would not be the Sunday Express.  (Could have been worse and my name might have been on The News of the World!)

Went to craft fayre at Wentworth while Mum went to church.  Enjoyed it and spent some money on this and that.  Came home with 2 ham knuckles which are ENORMOUS and weighed me down as I went around the stalls. Also bought a bottle of delicious Porto wine.  It may spoil me for my usual cheaper choices.

Very wild weather here tonight: high winds and rain.  Still better off than the poor folk in Cumbria.

The Girl who played with Fire

Just finished reading the second in the Stieg Larsson Trilogy.  Could not put it down! It's a long time since I've found an author who makes me want to keep reading in such a compelling way. Love the unexpected twists and turns all the way through. I'm going to create a gap before I embark on the third book - something to look forward to for a quiet weekend. Hope the fourth book gets published.

Pride of Tynedale awards

Busy day on Friday. Rehearsed with the Unlikely Ladies. We have a new member and are starting new repertoire for our next gig in February. Lots to do and good to have new stuff to prepare.  Left early to go to the Pride of Tynedale awards at the Racecourse.  This was my first awards ceremony and, since I am highly unlikely to be nominated for an Oscar or a Bafta (!), probably the only one I will attend.
The volunteers for the Festival were shortlisted in the Tourism Category. The others on the short list were JM of Shepherds Walks and the volunteers at Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum. Our category was last to be announced.  I was sure that JM would win because he has worked so hard to build up his business, and been very successful.  So I was quite taken aback when we were the winners.  Ian, Colin and I were there to represent the volunteers and Maureen and Brian were there because of M's Haltwhistle Column. We were so excited.
The overall winner was Eileen Charlton of Haydon Bridge for her work on the Haydon Bridge by-pass. Well done to her.
At the end we all received a goody bag (like they do at the Oscars) but ours contained a Courant, a pen, pad of paper and 2 toilet rolls!!! (The joint sponsors were the Courant and SCA at Prudhoe.)  Great story? Wonder if they will publish that in the Courant?!
It was such a happy lovely do and we are thrilled.
I had to go and do the shopping before coming home to teach M's flute lesson. The others went back to Haltwhistle and had bubbly.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

I have just succeeded in cutting my first mount with my new Logan cutter - bevelled edge and all! Delighted, although I can see that I need practice to achieve a consistent pressure.  At the top is the duotone print from my homework for tonight's class.  The lith print was taken in Barcelona - don't think the subject was ideal but I've followed the instructions.  There is a lot to learn!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

New printer

Had an anxious time installing my new photo printer.  It took over 45 minutes to install.  How can anything take so long in 2009?  It's an Epson r2880. Have I made the right decision?  Only time will tell.  I'm very vary about the amount of ink they are said to use.  Have to sort out the proper profiles for my photo paper now. It's all getting a bit technical.  Have been trying out duotones and lith prints for tomorrow's class.

Quiet Wednesday

Enjoying a very quiet Wednesday at home. Still nursing the cold, but it's not too bad.  Picked raspberries from my garden this morning. I grow only autumn fruiting ones, and it is always a joy to be still picking into November.  In truth they are not as good as a few weeks ago - not as big or juicy, but still pretty good.
I fed the birds, dealt with the rubbish, did some washing, talked to Marjorie, Paula and Lesley on the phone, went to the village shop for milk. All very mundane.
Carla caused me some anxiety because she did not come home this morning and stayed out until lunchtime. She has a habit of doing this when Mum is away. Whoever heard of a cat who is so fixated on one person. She does come to see me occasionally and eats the food I put down, but I know she will be straight onto Mum's knee on Friday evening!
Now I'm tacking the photo homework: I have to produce a lith print and a duotone print.  Interesting but since I'm not very good at monochrome I think I have a lot to learn yet!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Pride of Tynedale awards

The volunteers who help to run the Haltwhistle Walking Festival have been nominated for a Pride of Tynedale award. I'll be one of those attending the lunch on Friday when the awards are announced.  Sounds exciting.  We had wonderful publicity in the Hexham Courant this week too. The editor recognised how important the tourist industry is to Haltwhistle and acknowledged the efforts that people there are making.
My Singing for Pleasure Group worked very hard this afternoon - and they were really up for it. Having something like a concert in December does concentrate everyone's minds. They love the Calypso Carol, which rather surprised me, but they sang it lustily. Just have to work on Still, Still, Still with the various parts for next time.
Just heard that my friend Pauline needs a mother of the bride outfit for next year. Lovely news.

New printer arrived safely as did the mount cutter that went to Pratts Bottom yesterday!

Just printing off final version of carol for this afternoon.

First experiment with uploading photos to the blog. This was taken during the Wooler Walking Weekend. I like the subtle colours and the way the sheep almost blend into the landscape
Sunny and windy here today. My cold is developing - very irritating. Have to sort out music for this afternoon's Singing for Pleasure group (Hexham U3A). We are preparing for our Christmas afternoon when we invite the rest of the U3A and our friends and family to join us. It's always a lovely afternoon. People bring poems and readings and we sing carols and Christmas songs.
I'm enjoying having the house to myself for 5 days while Mum is away on a painting course. It's very quiet here - although she is not exactly noisy!! Feel a bit guilty about enjoying the time alone.
Now I MUST sort out that music.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Phone call today from UK Mail. They were trying to find my house to deliver a parcel. Unfortunately the postcode indicated Pratts Bottom, Orpington. No wonder they could not find our house!
Spent the weekend in the Cheviots, staying at Wooler Youth Hostel, and walking each day in the hills. It was my first experience of hostel life - found the room tiny and stuffy - so glad I did not have to share! The place was very clean and food hearty and good. Both walks were excellent: one with Richard Holmes and one with Peter McEwen.
Back home on Sunday night to look after the cats. Mum is away at Higham Hall on a painting course with Tiane Marie. Looking forward to seeing the outcome.
Had a very lazy day at home today - not sure if I'm going down with a bug or not - might just be tiredness.
Must get ready for Singing for Pleasure tomorrow.....

Friday, 13 November 2009

Glorious day. Off to Wooler for walking weekend. Patio and front path completed and look great. Even managed to get Barclays to take the fraud block off my card which they put on due to "unusual activity" last weekend. Only me trying to buy something on line. Good they look after us, but it takes ages to get through to the right person to sort it all out.
Now all is well.

Thursday, 12 November 2009


Completely hooked on "Collision", drama on ITV all week. Will have to record tomorrow night's episode to view later - can't wait.

Busy Thursday

I originally planned to go to Richmond today to buy new walking boots at the Altberg factory, but there is too much to do before I go off for the Wooler walking weekend tomorrow. Also Dosser and his mate have arrived to finish off the patio (hooray), so it is good to be here to answer any queries.