Welcome to my blog

This is my diary blog which I started when I retired from the Civil Service in April 2010. I like to include some of the things that I see and do with as many photographs as possible. Thank you for visiting my blog I hope you enjoyed it and will return to see what I have been doing. Or you could always join and be one of my followers.

If you would like to use one of my photographs then please ask me first, as they are all subject to copyright.

If you are interested in my crafts then I have added these to my crafting blog -


Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Digital Photography Course - Week 10

This is the last week of my photography course and I feel I have come quite along way.   I happily take my camera off auto.  I use white balance, increase or decrease the ISO setting, use the other modes available depending on the subject.  I also have more idea about the composition of my photographs and how to crop and alter them to create much better pictures.

As the weather was so bad today, heavy snow, there were only 4 of us that made it to the class.   We looked at taking good Christmas photos and also the use of candlelight.   

I took this picture of the other students and he is lit by candlelight.

Here are the candles taken on Portrait mode, making the close candle in focus and the remainder out of focus. 

It snowed..........but it is only November!

Today we were greeted with a dusting of snow, very pretty.    But it soon started to snow more heavily and then did not stop all day!   Trees and bushes all look very pretty when it snows.

But when you have to get anywhere it is a nightmare, getting home from the Photography course took 3 hours!!!!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Southwark and Vauxhall Water Co

This is a building that I have grown up with and it has always reminded me of Brighton Pavilion, probably because of the dome on the building.   It is the Southwark and Vauxhall Water Company pumping building at Streatham and dates back to 1888.  It is right next to the railway line between Mitcham and Balham on the way to London.   After several attempts I have managed to get some photographs, which I took from the train.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Book - One Day

I have just finished reading One Day by David Nicholls.  Interesting story about 2 people that continue to meet up over twenty years and how their lives have changed.   It was ok, but I think I need a book which is a little faster moving than this one.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Sutton Chamber - Ladies Pamper Day

I took part in the Sutton Chamber - Ladies Pamper Day.  This was a Pre Christmas Pampering for Women in Business and was in association with Time & Leisure and sponsored by NatWest, Smarter Travel Sutton and the Holiday Inn. 

I was one of the Sutton Complementary Health Network giving therapies to the ladies that attended today.

Here are the other therapists..........

                           L to R  Ingrid, Theo, Lynne, Brenda and Manuela    

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Digital Photography Course - Week 9

This week we used a tripod and went into the car park at the Smitham Centre to take photographs of the trees.   Now the leaves have gone the trees make some interesting pictures.   Once we had plenty of photographys we used Picasa to crop, darken, lighten and also add background colours to some of the photographs.    These are some of my photos. 
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Christmas is coming

I finally gave in and bought some Christmas cards.  I have been meaning to make some all year but the year has gone to fast for me.    This morning I went to Cards for Good Causes stall in the Library and bought a selection of cards.  I had to get some for Mum too as I usually do hers at the same time. 

My only problem with doing the cards is that I cannot find the last years Christmas cards address list.  I can only find the one from the year before, so fingers crossed there have not been too many people moving etc.

Friday, 19 November 2010

I learnt how to do a photo collage

Posted by Picasa

I noticed my niece had made a couple of photo collages on the blog, well it has taken me awhile but now I have found out how to do it. Even though I posted these photographs of patterns the other day I am posting them again as a collage as I think this is a really cool way to show them off. Thank you Laura for showing me something new.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

I won a wind-up mobile phone charger

This prize arrived when I came back from Italy but I have only just got around to telling everyone about it.   It is a wind-up mobile phone charger.  I won this through the Metro and Soreen and it was one of 2,000, so probably not that difficult to win.   I haven't actually tried it yet to don't know if it is a good prize or not.

Digital Photography Course - Week 8

This week we were still looking at composition of the photographs but concentrating on patterns.  Now those that know me will know this is right up my street.   I love taking these sort of quirky pictures and even more so if there is a row of something in front of me.   These are some of the ones I took today.



And took this one a Smitham Station on the way home. 

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Evening mist over the golf course

On my way back from the photography course today, when I was changing from the tram to the train, I couldn't help but notice the mist over Mitcham Golf Course.  The sun had gone down and it was really feeling quite chilly.   The mist gives a real atmospheric look to the course.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Digital Photography Course - Week 6 & 7

I missed week 6 of the photography course as I was enjoying a meal at Le Gavroche at the time.   But the course covered ISO's - now this is something I need to read up about and practice.

Week 7 - we worked on Composition.  Using gridlines like noughts and crosses grid to help us with the composition of our photos.  I found that I had grid lines on my camera while I was in Florence, when I was talking to an American tourist with the same camera.  I mistakenly thought that I needed to place the subject I was photographing in the middle pf the grid, but this is not the case.  By placing the subject on the gridlines or putting the cross of the gridlines on the eye of the subject you get a much better photo.   

I don't have a great deal of examples but here are a couple.

The picture of the cat was placed in the middle of the grid............

Now by placing the gridlines at the eye level of the cat, a much better photo.

Also did the same when taking a picture of a person, plus even chopping off the top of the persons head does not matter in some portrait pictures like the one below.

Florence - Street Furniture

As everyone knows I cannot resist taking a few of those street furniture photos, so here they are.......... lamps and bikes.

Florence - last day

Day 5 - it rained this morning, but we did visit the San Lorenzo and the Medici Chapels, which was a fasinating tomb, also the Santa Croce and Leather School.   We did pop into a couple of shops and had that last day of your holiday madness with the credit cards. 

That evening we ate at the Restaurant Accademia, my last meal was lamb kebabs followed by a scrummy chocolate and chestnut dessert.

Siena and San Gimignano

Day 4 - We took a bus too Siena where we saw the Duomo and the Piazza del Campo.


We decided to take another bus on to San Gimignano.  This is a most stunning hilltop town.  We went up the Torre Grossa to get that amazing view across the roof tops.   As I took so many photos of this town I made another little video, about 2 1/2 minutes worth.

Saturday, 13 November 2010


Day 3 - we took the no. 7 bus from Piazza di San Marco to Fiesole.   We started with a look around a look around the remains of the Roman theatre and baths.   


During the visit we acquired a little friend, we named him Oscar (or was is Romeo) and he made himself comfortable on Rochelle's lap.

We stopped for lunch (a rather large Pizza) in the town square before making our way up to the steep hill to the San Francesco church. 

<< town square
<< restaurants


It was lovely and peaceful at the top of the hill.  The sun had come out which meant the view of Florence was hidden in a heat haze.

Courtyard of the San Francesco church