Sunday, 22 February 2015

Bits and Bobs

Apologies for not getting round to reading and commenting on many on your excellent blogs this week- half term is always busy in this house and we've been out and about as well as catching up on doing home stuff. I may be a bit more absent over the next couple of weeks too as college work has piled up and I have various assignment deadlines looming.

Things should ease in April when there are no more assignments only exam revision! Butterfly transect season starts then and I am now the coordinator for the college transect which means writing rotas, organising recorders and training new volunteers on flutter recognition, as well as going out recording myself. Should be fun.

I spent yesterday afternoon at our local branch moth conference. There is something wonderfully eccentric about a hall of 60 people all avidly listening to Moth Related Tales. I lowered the average age by about 30 years and boosted the female percentage of the audience considerably too. M has a theory that there is something in the male psyche that prods men to collect/ hunt things and that trainspotting, bird watching, mothing and the like fulfill that urge. Looking at yesterday's audience he could well be right.

They were a great bunch, all so enthusiastic and keen to support all the vital work that goes into bio-recording and everything that spirals out from that in terms of conservation and legislation (the first ever bio-record dates from the early 1500s and relates to an Oak).

M had visions of people attending in moth-related fancy dress and was most disappointed to hear when I got back that everyone was dressed normally :o)

We dragged L out to Christchurch marshes, to a place called Stanpit. I loved the line of beach huts across the water. Behind them you can see the Isle of Wight. There were Curlews, Oyster Catchers, Stonechats and Widgeon,







In other news, Phyllis' cupboard is finished, so she has a nice place to sleep and I have somewhere to store most of my fabric. I did a mercy dash into Winchester on Sat late afternoon and spent a (small) fortune choosing some delicious fabric for the quilt which is replacing my William Morris one. Although the WM is lovely, it looks wrong in our room. Possibly because the back colour of one of the patterns is black and therefore a bit heavy for going in to Spring. The new fabric is lighter and has old fashioned roses and swallows and things like that on it. I'm stitching it together at the mo so will post a pic when it's done, but so far so good. I have some left over so am thinking about making a patchwork cushion cover out of it.
Ma has just taken delivery of a dressmakers' dummy (we've called her Hermione, in case you're interested ) so there is really no excuse not to make some clothes now....

I am wavering re the DSLR macro. By coincidence, one of the Moth Talks yesterday was on moth photography and it made me realise I don't have the time/ patience/ inclination to learn/ use all the fancy buttons on an expensive camera. What I really want is something like my old Lumix where you just zoom in on the subject, press the button and all's done. Something simple and non fussy that does the job with minimal effort. If anyone has any thoughts/ suggestions please shout.

Mrs Brimstone has woken up and left the wall. I don't know where she is, but the temp got down to -3 here last night so I hope she is tucked up somewhere warm. I have also now got two pupae to look after. No idea what the second one is so that will be fun when it emerges :o)

Poppy and Ted are well. Pop has been running with her dad and comes back covered in mud but pleasingly tired. Ted remains at home and sits staring at the door till they get back. 

L's replacement pooter for school arrived this week. It didn't cost the earth and is a netbook so incredibly light. I'm still annoyed about wasting money on the other tablet, but that has now taken up residence in his room where he is using it to write stories when he can't sleep, so I suppose it hasn't been wasted. He has surprised M and I by enrolling on an Open University Maths course. They offer a whole range of courses on all sorts of subjects and he found out about it and registered off his own back. They run for 8 weeks, require about 3 hours work a week and you get a certificate at the end. He has found one for me on Stats which I think will be very useful. It's the first time he's sorted something academic like this out for himself and it has made me very proud of him. Having said that, it's now half ten and there is no sign of him so I don't think we're quite out of teenage sitting-on-your-bumness quite yet.

I'll leave you with a pic of the Daphne, which is blooming Like Mad and bathing us all in its wonderful scent. I just hope the bees come out soon to enjoy it.



Hope all are well and enjoying the weekend,

CT :o)

27 comments:

  1. Your daphne is glorious isn't it!! What a fabulous sight. Though of course I am now picturing a village hall full of men of a certain age dressed as moths now instead of concentrating on the birds and all of the other lovely things you shared. Actually, I wasn't looking at the birds, I was looking at the great beach huts! Shh, don't tell anyone! Well done to L on the maths course thingy, that is good isn't it! I hope that Ted doesn't miss Pops too much when she is out and about having adventures with out him! xx

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    1. We've got two Daphs, one either side of the path and they are fabulous this year. I have some fabric with beach huts on, can't decide what to use it for- poss a quilt for J when she goes to uni in the autumn. Yes, v pleased re L and the maths course, he is v enthusiastic about it which is perfect as far as I'm concerned! Hope all's well. T and P send you a snuggle xx

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    2. How did T&P know that I needed a snuggle yesterday - scary huh! - I have another cold and was otherwise icky yesterday too! I chose the tea towel because the saying reminded me of T&P as well!! xx

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  2. The Daphne looks so lovely, especially on this cold, icy Kentucky morning!! Hope your studies go well and look forward to more tales coming!! The colorful huts made for some beautiful photos!! Also, I grin over the interesting names you have for objects :)))

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    1. I was looking at your pics this morning- can't believe the conditions you have there at the mo. Take care on that ice! We have always named everything- cars, sewing machines, nicknames for each other too! A mad family really :o)

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  3. I love the idea of the people at the meeting in Moth fancy dress. A real 'ugly' bug ball. Since reading your blog I'm aware of all of the different and wonderful types of moth there are. A moth ball (excuse the pun only just noticed it) would be smashing.

    Jean
    x

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    1. UGLY bugs Jean????!!!! I have been smiling to myself since M mentioned it with visions of old men in floppy hats with boinging antennae and purple velvet wings bouncing about.... Perhaps I should suggest it for next time? xx

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  4. You have been up to a lot and some exciting things to come, finishing assignments will take some time as well as organising Butterfly transect.
    My dress makers dummy is called Betty, but sadly now living in the loft with all my great ideas! Youngest son aged 17 has got passed the staged of been dragged out, this week we have been out and back before he even gets up !!!!!! and I have seen honey bees this week on Gorse bushes.
    Amanda xx

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    1. Ooh, you should bring Betty downstairs! I know what you mean about doing stuff before the kids are up- I frequently have an hour and a half's walk with the doggies before the kids have stirred themselves. No bees in our garden yet, although my ma in law had a honey bee in theirs on sat xx

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  5. Your are definately busy right now. Good luck with your course work (distant memories for me, thank goodness) I can just picture the moth meeting, and like the idea of a moth fancy dress party. Wonderful photos of the beach huts and birds.

    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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    1. I think a moth conference where everyone came dressed as a moth would be brilliant! I am still smiling about it... :o) xx

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  6. Your college course sounds very interesting CT. I love the photos of the beach huts and the Daphne looks beautiful :-)

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    1. It is a great course, I love every minute (even stats). x

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  7. You live so far away from me! The Isle we can see from our bit of coast on a clear day is the Isle of Walney!!

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    1. Where are you, Rach? My geography's a bit vague- I don't know the Isle of Walney. Are you better now? Hope your eye has gone down in time to not scare the kids tomorrow :o) xx

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  8. You do sound busy, but in a good and very positive way. I did a two-day photography course for DSLR beginners, and after just a little practice you do quickly get the hang of all the buttons and things. Having someone explain it all, walk me through it all and answer my questions was invaluable. Well done to L for sorting out those OU courses, I'm very impressed. I hope you both get on well with them. CJ xx

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    1. I think you're right CJ- I need to go on a course. I'm sure I don't use half the buttons on the bridge camera I've got as it is. xx

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  9. It lovely to see all those beach huts across the water, I always enjoy vising Stanpit. I was interested in reading your thoughts about the DSLR. I have occasionally thought have upgrading from my Lumix. We bought a Daphne last weekend it will take a while to be as magnificent as yours. Sarah x

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    1. Hey Sarah :o)
      I thought you'd enjoy the beach huts. My old Lumix was a dream of a camera. The new one has fantastic zoom and takes a mighty crisp pic, but the macro (moth) function lets it down- it'll focus on things v close but you need to hold the camera practically on top of the subject so it throws a shadow across it :o(
      In a couple of years your Daph will be spectacular. I always look forward to Feb for that reason xx

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  10. love, love those beach huts.

    Gill in Canada, your newest follower

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    1. HI Gill, welcome and thank you for the follow :o)

      Beach huts seem to do something to the British psyche, not sure what but we all love them! :o)

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  11. The beach huts look fab, I always get excited when we see some when on a beach. Well done to L, what great thing to do off his own back. Is he good at maths, Harry pretends not to be! Your moth talk sounds good but perhaps more fun if they were in fancy dress. I have a lovely image of Ted in my head now waiting for Poppy to return. You really do have the sweetest dogs xx

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    1. He is a bit of a maths whizz, unlike me :o)
      Was thinking of you on Fri- hope it went well x

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  12. I love the beach huts - very photogenic :) The maths courses sound interesting - are they connected with FutureLearn? There is some excellent free courses on there. Not sure what to say about dslr - I think you would need to buy a dslr and a separate macro lens. When I had mine I bought a magazine/book which I worked through. It explained all the settings etc. and how to use them and I used my camera instruction book at the same time. I learnt a lot but it was time consuming. I still haven't a clue how to use the bridge camera D and I bought. Trouble is now other half is at home its difficult just to set aside a day to please myself and try and get the hang of it. I think some bridge cameras may be better than others for macro work.

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    1. I'm not sure which course other than it being OU and a free one. They do offer a great range- I was very impressed when he showed me.
      The trouble re the camera is not having the time to do all the learning and without that I think it may be a colossal waste of dosh :o) I'll have a dig around and see what else I can find x

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  13. I did a day DSLR course on Saturday. It wasn't very good unfortunately but it has encouraged me to stop using all the fancy buttons on my camera and stick to AV mode for just about everything - you really don't need all those other settings. Well, that's the theory...But you take great pictures anyway.
    Love to Poppy and Ted and have a lovely week, Lily xxx

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    1. I only use AV too Lil, if only my old lumix hadn't got the wobbles all would be fine for the moths this summer :o( Still the new one is great for close ups, just not macro ones of moths and I suppose you don't get everything! Love to Floss and I hope you have a nice week as well xx

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x