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Friday Flowers

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Hello again. I don’t have much to tell you today, which I guess is a good thing after all the negative stuff that’s been flying around me these past weeks. The sun just came out of hiding after a day that was forecast to be all rainy, I’m going to a party tonight to say goodbye to a colleague who’s going back to Canada, and I have several little vases of rununculi on my coffee table. I love rununculus season and am looking forward to a constant supply for the next two months; I do like tulips but when there’s not much else available even that can get boring.

As usual, my plans for the weekend are to take lots of pictures, but I guess we all know what can become of plans. Mostly not much. Still… fingers crossed.

Happy Friday & have a good weekend, everyone!

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Friday Flowers

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Hello, I’m back among the living. And I feel like I should be welcoming myself back to this blog because it seems so long that I’ve posted properly here. This is my first week back to work after another two weeks of sick leave. I feel like I really should be done with sickness for the rest of the year, I just hope life agrees.

Naturally, I haven’t done much or gone anywhere during the past weeks, and I feel ready to properly start 2017 now. Apart from reading an awful lot these past weeks, the only things I did were  food shopping and trips to the pharmacy once a week. Which also means I didn’t get “proper” flowers during that time, but I did buy supermarket tulips. That’s pretty much all you get at the supermarket right now, and out of boredom I took tulip pictures.

Today I’ll be going to the market again, maybe I’ll find more interesting flowers there; I’ll definitely be stocking up on veg & fruit, I love that it’s currently blood orange season. I try to make the most of it, peeling some every evening to take to work as a snack the next day as well as juicing some to use in salad dressing or mix with buttermilk for a refreshing drink.

If all goes according to plan, I’ll be baking bread; have been meaning to do that ever since the class I took in autumn last year. There are also a couple of other things that have been written on my kitchen chalk board for quite a while, like making caramels, making more macarons, making onion soup… We’ll see what I’ll really feel like making this weekend.

I hope you’ve all managed to stay healthy and have nice plans for the weekend.

Happy Friday!

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Life

2017 January In {A Few} Pics

Déjà vu anyone? The German saying New Year – New Luck didn’t turn out to be true. As much as I wanted to start this year on a more positive note, I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I went into the new year with a week of sick leave. Then I went back to work for two weeks until I was sent home with the words “Do not come back until you’ve fully recuperated”. This turned into another two weeks of sick leave, I’m in the middle of the second one now.

So many people I know are having the same problem with a really persistent cold, and some are, unfortunately, much worse; cases where a cold has led to pneumonia are abound. I wish everyone who suffers that they get better soon.

While I’d made a list of what I’d like to take pictures of this month, it didn’t happen, of course, what with being housebound and sick. The few pics you’ll see here are from New Year’s Day, some of my cooking endeavours from the two weeks I actually felt well, and the few bits & bobs I photographed while being home these past two weeks [and I didn’t know taking pics at home could be so exhausting!].

I was trying to do some stock photography for my own purposes, and I had so much more planned, but we’ll have to make do with this. It can only get better from here on out.

Having said that – my laptop is on the brink of giving up and will need a new installation. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the kind of tedious tasks this entails. I’ve been trying to delay this but not much is working anymore so it needs to be done pronto. I just wanted to get this post up, and then we’ll see what happens. I’ll try the WP mobile version to keep up to date with stuff.

And not to sound sappy, but there are people out in this world who are so much worse off with real issues in their lives, and I’m fully aware mine are 1st world problems.

I hope you’ve all had a much better January!

PS: Since preparing this post earlier today, I tried to do a new install on my laptop – it wouldn’t let me. I tried the DELL backup & recovery tool – success. But only until I had to login with my Microsoft account… Apparently a few years ago when I created my MS account, I had to state an alternative email address, which meanwhile no longer exists. So on updating that information, MS told me I needed to wait 30 days for them to give me full access. Until then, I cannot access some apps on my laptop nor “confirm my identity” on the laptop. Hilarious. I think it would have been less hassle to buy a new laptop 🙂

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Friday Flowers

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Good morning. After starting into the new year with a cold and on sick leave, with wanting to climb the walls because of my horrible neighbours and thus feeling physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, I’m doing my best to feel better.

I’m very actively looking for a new place to rent, having looked at a place earlier this week, and I’ll be looking at another one tomorrow. The problem is that there’s more demand than supply, which means rental prices are really up the roof. Then there’s the fact that you want to move asap but don’t want to take the first place available (and affordable) either just because you want to leave your old place behind. The place I looked at earlier this week was great. On first glance. I’m tempted to go for it because it’s a very quiet place, new, equipped with a beautiful kitchen (major plus for me) but I can’t turn a blind eye to the things that aren’t so great. I feel I get more picky with age, too. We’ll see where it goes.

Amidst all these problems, thoughts, worries and decisions to make, a post on Helen’s 365 Journal popped up in my reader that I immediately loved and am going to internalize:

sound-of-my-feet-helen-boydMy plans for this weekend are maybe trying recipes for the food blog and definitely sorting through all my (too many) possessions. I really want to be prepared for a move, however long it’ll take to find a place, and get rid of unused and unnecessary things and clutter.

I hope your new year has started well for you. Happy Friday!

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Life

2016 December In Pictures

So this is it – not just another month flown by but another year. Both people around me as well as people online have been saying – albeit in more elaborate words – “good riddance to 2016“. Every time I heard or read that, I was thinking that it hadn’t been that bad for me, really. Considering my life as a middle class European and the fact that I don’t live in a war zone, I think complaining about what I have would feel like complaining about the price of champagne.

Having said that, we all have our baggage to carry, and it’s always subjective how we feel about that. Personally, I’ve been complaining about being uninspired regarding photography almost all through 2016. This last month, though, I’ve picked up my camera more often, and I’m having fun taking pictures again, and I feel like I’m no longer down in the dumps there.

Not so pleasant for me is the fact that I’ve been feeling a very big psychological strain this past year due to absolutely horrible neighbours. This one is more difficult to solve than my photography blues, as finding adequate living space has become quite difficult here with more demand for than supply of apartments. I also feel like I’ve been paralysed in the situation instead of being more proactive with regards to moving, because I have lived and felt at home in my place for a very long time. Now I feel no longer comfortable in my own home, and I’ve finally woken up to the fact that if I don’t get a move on (pun intended) and help myself by doing all I can to find a new place, I’ll be stuck here. So fingers crossed.

Here’s my personal recap of 2016, which despite being frustrated about the above mentioned things did also bring wonderful experiences:

  • my friend E left the country early in 2016 – far from wonderful, but we’ve been FaceTiming, which makes every chat special;
  • another friend & colleague whom I basically saw almost every day had a baby and is on parental leave – when we see each other now, that time is even more precious;
  • I did a few photo collaborations with Ines from imonnet, which was both fun and challenging;
  • I made a new friend who has a let’s do it mentality, to which I owe many, many fun (photography) outings in 2016;
  • I traveled to the UK, my favourite place;
  • I met up with Laura from eljaygee while in London, a definite highlight;
  • I rang in the New Year with the same people as the past 2 years, which is a valuable kind of continuity of our friendship.

I don’t really have any resolutions for this new year except to try as best I can, and not to write such lengthy (and personal) novels for my posts, which should really be concentrating on the pictures.

And here’s my selection for 2016.

Happy New Year everyone, and much fun & success in your own photographic & personal endeavours in 2017!

Click any pic to open gallery

 

 

 

 

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Life

Visit To London, Pt. I

After leaving York last week, I took a train down to London, where I spent another three days. There’s obviously a vast difference between the two cities; while York can be explored in 3 days you can likely spend three days in one area of London and still not have seen everything.

Luckily I had a little help. I had seen one of Helen Ogbourn‘s London pics on Instagram and asked her where exactly it was taken. So I went to South Kensington on my first day out, then went on to Canary Wharf, and from there to Greenwich on Mike Osborn‘s suggestion. Thank you both for your suggestions – I had a lovely day out!
I also walked from my hotel in Bethnal Green to Brick Lane in Shoreditch, and on to Spitalfields, which was an interesting trip with all the food establishments along the way as well as the graffiti I encountered.

On day two I finally met Laura, whom I was supposed to meet last year but technology had kept us apart. This time we made a time and meeting point, and we managed to find each other at the Southbank. We’d only known each other from commenting on our respective blogs, so it was quite exciting to see whether we’d get along in person. I’m happy to say we did, and I had the best day out in a very long time. With Laura being a native Londoner, I had the privilege of having my own personal tour guide.

We spent the day walking from Waterloo Bridge towards London Bridge, and while I’ve been complaining here for a while about being uninspired – well, that flew right out the window. I brought back an abundance of pictures, and I was really content with 90 % of them, which is a rare occurrence for me these days.

Here’s part one of my pictures, a mixture of graffiti, architecture, reflections, and lines.

Click any pic to start gallery
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Trip To York

The other week I visited England, starting with three days in York. I found York to be a beautiful city with lots of old brick buildings, which I love. Everything I wanted to see was very close to my hotel, and I walked the city several times, to take pictures, go for breakfast and lunch, and to shop.

When I returned home I found I’d taken more mobile phone pics than DSLR ones, so the majority of pictures shown here are unfortunately phone pics. I say unfortunately because while they look great on a phone, they’re definitely not made for the bigger screen.

I really enjoyed my time in York and am planning on visiting during summer next time.

Click any pic to start gallery

 

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2016 {Half Of} November In Pictures

As you can gather from the post title, for the first time in four years I didn’t take enough pictures to pick 30 for the monthly review. Usually it’s either cutting it close and taking a pic or two on the last day of the month, or having an overabundance of pics that make it hard to choose. But this is a new low for me.

Motivation-wise the month was split – for the first half I tried out a lot of things that were new to me, like using a tripod with a 90º coloumn, trying out darker photography, trying new angles (in food photography). Most of this was inspired by a wonderful photographer I’ve been in contact with for the past couple of years – Rachel Korinek from twolovesstudio.com .

At the same time I heard from several photographers that they felt uninspired and didn’t take many pictures in the past months. I could also relate to that.

Then in the second half of November I got upset by this reblogging thing again; don’t worry I’m not going to rant here as well, I’m over that. But earlier this week someone actually stole a complete post from my food blog, and asking them nicely to remove the post showed no result. So another very helpful photographer suggested to write a post on it and do some naming & shaming, which I did. I think in the end, though, I’ll have to file a DMCA notice. I just can’t abide people who create a blog just to steal from someone else, and for their very first post, too. It’s just a matter of principle for me, I’m going to fight this.

But as you probably can imagine, this whole episode leaves me with no joy for blogging, at least at the moment. I’ll be going on vacation this weekend, and I’ll just try to have more happy thoughts.

I’m still burning for photography, though, even if I don’t have enough material for this month; I took a lot of pictures but they were of very similar things, so I will have to diversify my subjects next month. Which hopefully said vacation will help with.

And on this maudlin note – see you in a bit!

 

 

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First Sunday Of Advent

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Friday Flowers

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Good morning. Today’s flowers were on my coffee table two weeks ago. I’ve meanwhile picked this bunch apart, and only a few stems remain. I was really drawn to them right on entering the florist’s because the pink of the carnations was so unbelievably vibrant, a real eye catcher. I know you can’t see that in this photo, because I used a preset on it; I chose this version because to me it reflects a beautiful thing in dreary weather, which unfortunately we’ve been having throughout the week.

Speaking of presets – do you use any at all? Make your own? Download free ones? Buy them?
Until yesterday I had only every used free ones and have made two myself. However, when I see pictures I like, I find it too time-consuming to try and figure out which settings people have used, it’s too much fiddling around with levers in Lightroom, I’m also not exactly familiar with the tone curve, but on the other hand I shied away from buying presets just because I’m too lazy making my own.
Yesterday, though, I bought some because they were 50 % off due to Thanksgiving. They’re beautiful, and I’m looking forward to trying them out.

Wednesday was my second dentist appointment, and I’m happy to report that I didn’t feel anything this time. The sounds during the procedure still weren’t pleasant, and I’ll have to take painkillers for a couple more days, but I’m definitely no longer afraid of the next and hopefully last visit.

This week my car got its winter tyres, so I’m prepared for snow now. Thanksgiving was celebrated in the US yesterday, and I’m invited for a late Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, which I’m very much looking forward to. Our Stuttgart Christmas market starts next week, and it’s always nicer to go there when it’s actually snowing, so fingers crossed.

I’m hoping to get in a few hours in the kitchen this weekend to make some homemade gifts that need to sit and infuse for a while before they can be given away as Christmas presents.

There’ll be some more photography experiments as well. After I finally managed to disassemble my old tripod to use the ball head with the new 90º coloumn tripod, I realised I hadn’t bought a weight to keep it from toppling over; I’ll be doing that tomorrow, because at the moment I’ve got a little cooler bag filled with bags of rice and flour hanging at the tripod to keep it stable.

What are you up to this weekend?

Happy Friday!

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Friday Flowers

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Good morning! Rainy day today, but I don’t mind as I don’t have any plans except visit the market after work.

Today’s flowers are a throwback to summer, when I had them on my coffee table and then unexpectedly received a gift in the mail from my friend E in the US. The card she sent with it nicely fit the colour scheme of my flowers, so I decided to take a picture.

Last week I received my new tripod, not to replace my (not so) old one but to use for different things as it has a 90° column. Only I haven’t been able to use it yet, because I have to unscrew the ball head from the old tripod first, which I haven’t managed to do. Ah, the things you have to postpone because you have to go ask for help…

I’m still planning on doing some photography experiments again this weekend, and also do some recipe experiments. On Sunday I might go to the annual Slow Food show with a friend, but otherwise it’ll be a quiet weekend. This morning I got a call from my dentist to move my next appointment forward to next Wednesday – I’ll be glad when all that is behind me.

Question: I’ll be in the UK first week of December, and will be visiting York for three days. Does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations for breakfast/lunch/afternoon tea places that are nice and where I can go by myself?

Happy Friday!

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