Life

2017 November In Pictures

Aaaaand another month gone. I had to take a look at my calendar to see what all I did in November, but it appears that apart from attending a Thanksgiving dinner, candle making with a friend, and a trip to Hamburg with said friend I really didn’t do much socialising.

My immune system must have thought “Why not end the year on the same note as we started!?” and gave up. I returned home from my Hamburg trip sick, and have been on sick leave this past week again, basically sleeping off my cold, hence the lateness of this monthly review.

Luckily I only got sick on the last night of the trip, so I was able to enjoy the first three days. Immensely. I visited friends, together with the friend I traveled I got to see areas of Hamburg I hadn’t been to before, because she actually grew up there, which is always a bonus, having a local accompany you.

As you can see I tried some night photography, which I was content with as I honestly have to say it was a half-hearted attempt without a tripod and without much fiddling with the camera. I was enjoying the city too much to be bothered with how the pictures would turn out. Also, I only used my 50mm lens, even though I’d brought the tele lens. Note to self: only take one lens on city trips.

Looking forward to do Xmassy things in December once I’m fit again.

PS: If you click on the first pic of the gallery, do you see something weird happen? For me, the image appears sharp and focussed for about 1 second, then it jumps and blurs. I’ve re-uploaded it but don’t know why it keeps happening.

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TALWL 2017 Advent

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The Arrival Of Advent Season

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True Meaning

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True Meaning

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Life

Finally!

Picture Rail Wall

I’ve had these two picture rails sitting around for about a month, as I had decided to print some of my own pictures. However, I wasn’t sure where exactly I wanted them on my huge living room wall, which is 3m high and about 5m long.

I had this lone frame that you see on the left up on the wall for years, and it looked kind of lonely there, and it definitely looked boring.

Over the past few months, I bought about twice as many picture frames as you can see put up here, most of them on sale. I wanted to put them on a picture rail so I can exchange them easily, or according to season.

I’m one of those people who dither when having to make a decision about drilling holes in a wall. What if I chose the wrong location and it doesn’t look as I’d visualised it? That’s why it took so long to make an appointment with my DIY Queen sister. She just shakes her head at my thoughts and says: “You know you can fill drill holes with spackling right!?”

It took her less than 15 minutes to get everything done. Had I attempted this by myself, the rails would have ended up thrown into a corner accompanied by lots of swearing.

I have about 2.50m of empty wall to the left of the big picture, but we were both not sure if more small pictures would look too crowded/cluttered. I’ll think about it, because I have those other 20 framed pictures lying around…

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Mud + Scum

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Singing Through Mud & Scum

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Wishing + Planning

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Wishing vs. Planning

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Life

Halloween 2017

For the past three years I was invited to a friend’s Halloween… I was going to say party, but really it’s a Halloween extravaganza. The number of decorations and details is mind-blowing, both outside and inside the house. You don’t know where to look first, and even though you know there are critters around that will jump up and make noise when activated by motion sensors, you will jump every time.

This year I brought my camera, but bear in mind the pictures were taken in daylight, just before the kiddies came for trick & treating, so it doesn’t look as spooky as it actually did at night. You’ll have to use your imagination to picture all this at night fully lit and come alive.

One of my personal joys these past three years was to watch the “cool teenagers” who pretend they’re just looking out of curiosity, and that they’re really too cool for it all, then sneak up on them and just go RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAH! Works like a charm every time, and makes them jump and scream πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ .

The absolute highlights, though, have always been my hostess’ self-made costumes. Unbelievably creative. We usually talk about our costumes for the next year right after the party, and my friend mostly already has a vague idea, and then you see her creativity come alive through the year, and you know it’ll probably be even better than this year’s, even if it’s hard to imagine. And then to see her actually dressed up is just amazing.

Here’s a small selection of the decorations, as well as my friend in her costume. The motto this year was Come Take A Walk With Us On Cemetery Lane.

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Life

2017 October In Pictures

Goodbye October & hello November! October gave us the full spectrum of autum weather – lots of sunshine and crisp sunny days, but also foggy mornings (which unfortunately I didn’t get to capture photographically) as well as wind & rain storms. The leaves started to turn very late this year, and then all of a sudden they seemed to have fallen down all at once .

As you’ll see from this month’s pictures, I got the biggest yield out of my two forest walks; I was really happy to be out and about with my camera again. I also took my camera to yesterday’s fabulous Halloween party but, not using a flash, did not produce anything good in the dark.

I was quite busy this month with “normal life”, too, and once again it felt like October flew by. Let’s see what November has in store.

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Cemetery Lane

Life

Tonight…

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Life

2017 September In Pictures

Surprise – I have good things to say about September πŸ˜€ . It seems like the good and the not so good balanced each other out perfectly well this past month. Brace yourself for a long post, or jump straight down to the pics!

The weather went autumn on us right at the beginning of September, but at the end when I had two very long weekends in a row it turned absolutely beautiful.

I started reading a book on mental decluttering, am still at chapter 3 after a month, and I haven’t felt so calm in a long time. Maybe just looking at the book title made me feel better πŸ˜‚ .

While I only took my camera outside twice, the yield of pics I was content with was quite good, and I enjoyed both food photography as well as creating in the kitchen last month.

My lovely 91-year-old neighbour died. I only saw her about six or seven times a year, we had a quick chat in the hallway, but it was always a pleasure to see this little woman, always full of energy, always smiling, and her eyes would light up when she saw you. She’ll be dearly missed.

At her wake, I shared a table with 4 other neighbours, and oh my… it was enlightening, and maybe also a reason why I’ve managed to feel even calmer. I told a friend afterwards: There I was, living in my ivory tower on the top floor, suffering about all the noise and inconsiderate behaviour around me, thinking I was the only one noticing all this stuff, and feeling overly sensitive. And then it turns out everyone has the same issues – some with the same people, some with others. Of course, that doesn’t make the issues any less annoying, but it helps to see I’m not a nutter in an ivory tower πŸ˜€ .

Yesterday I worked from home because the hot & cold water meters were going to be exchanged. Guy arrives on time, guy leaves, I go shopping, I come back home and notice I have no hot water. In fact, when I turn the water to the warm position – no water at all. Naturally, it’s too late to call the janitor or the housing society. I check with a neighbour to make sure I’m not the only one with the problem, but of course I am.

In the course of the evening I connect with another neighbour who turns out to be not only lovely and helpful but also enraged on my behalf. It turned out the emergency number provided by the housing society was not the current one, so I’d have to spend the weekend using icy water. I know, I know, there really are worse things but it’s the principal that got our dander up, the not updating of an emergency number. This morning I woke up to a light bulb moment: when the meter people announced they’d be coming by, I took a pic of the phone number just in case. I jumped out of bed, found the pic, called the guy at 7:30 am and got a return call at 8:00 am. They would be coming round again in the afternoon, it seemed to be a defective part, and they would do their best to tide me over the weekend with hopefully at least lukewarm water. That’s more than I expected, so I’m good with that.

So now I’m off into my long weekend. It’s German Unity Day on Tuesday, so most people will have Monday off – hopefully not those who I expect to fix my warm water issue πŸ˜€ – so four days off altogether. I will most definitely take the camera outside to be ahead of the game to deliver pictures at the end of next month.

I hope your September was calm & enjoyable.

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Life

2017 August In Pictures

Welcome to the end of August! Quite a hot month here in Southern Germany, but I’m sure that as every year there will be people saying we didn’t have a proper summer. So I went to the trouble to look up the August weather in Stuttgart, which apparently was 24ΒΊC on average, so definitely summer weather. We’ve been having a lot of days over 29ΒΊC, but we also had lots of summer storms; luckily these were always followed by sunshine.

I definitely enjoyed the fruits and vegetables of summer, provided by my parents’ garden as well as the weekly market, and I made quite a few damson cakes. I’m going to freeze lots of summer fruit this year so I can “beam myself back to summer” with food when it gets colder here.

I took the camera outside a little more often in August than the previous months, as you can see; I went to a farm brunch, took a walk in the forest, and went to a friend’s birthday BBQ. I also met my friendΒ E in the city for breakfast, our usual routine when she visits from Dubai. Let’s hope I’ll keep this up in September.

Although I’m in no way prepared to let go of summer, and I’m going to enjoy the last three weeks of it, I’m kind of looking forward to autumn photography.

How was your August?

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Life

Back To The Olden Days

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Life

The Unicorn Has Lost Its Horn

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Life

The Right Light

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Life

2017 June In Pictures

What can I say about June? We’re halfway through the year already, but so far I’m still waiting for positive things to happen.

I should be on my way to the Dutch North Sea right now with friends, but decided to cancel due to illness in the family with uncertain outcome. And while I’ve been very much looking forward to this vacation, it was the right decision to stay home in order to see what happens next. I’ll still be on vacation from work, but I wanted to be on call for the family if needed.

The weather in June was mixed but even when it rained the sun came out afterwards. We’ve had a really hot month with temps up to 38ΒΊC here in Southern Germany, so nothing to complain about.

As you can see from June’s picture collection, I really haven’t taken the camera out much. I spent most evenings after work on the balcony now that everything’s blooming nicely, but I have a few outings planned for July, so maybe that will finally be the month my camera gets to see the outside world again πŸ™‚ .

How was your June?

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Life

Edinburgh 2017

I’ve been to Edinburgh before, about 10 years ago, but that was before I got bitten by the photography bug. As I was traveling by myself this time, I decided to do a tourist bus tour to get an overview of what I wanted to see in detail later on. So I did the whole tour at first, then on the second round I hopped on and off the bus.

I did a lot of walking during the 2Β½ days I was there, and yet when I walked up to the Nelson Monument I realised it was steeper than I’d thought. OK, so I hadn’t been jogging for a year, but I arrived up there panting, which I desperately tried to hide because all the elderly people around me seemed to have no trouble at all with the climb πŸ˜‚ .

I’m always nervous when I download my pictures back at home, because what looks totally OK on the camera display can be completely different when viewed in large. I was quite pleased that for once you can see where I was from my pictures, which isn’t always the case, as I tend to get more caught up in details than sightseeing and tourist spots.

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Life

2017 April In Pictures

April was quite a diverse month, both weather- and photography-wise. The weather showed both its pleasant as well as its unpleasant side, as is typical for April. With regards to photography, I did much more than in the previous months, both outside and inside. I made some DIY photography backgrounds/surfaces, and I enjoyed testing them as you will see below.

At the end of April I traveled first to Edinburgh, and then on to London, where I was happy to meet fellow photography blogger Laura of eljaygee for the second time after our meeting in December last year.

All in all, April was a balanced mix of positives and not so positives. I’m still looking for an apartment, but I got to go on vacation. My business trip to Rome was cancelled, but I’ll be traveling to the Dutch North Sea coast next month. I still haven’t broadened my photographic horizon as much as I would have liked, but I’m on a good course. So no complaints, really. Let’s see what May brings.

How was April for you?

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Life

Happy Easter

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