Sunday, 28 January 2018

Playing with Photography

Just a short one today. I start my new job tomorrow and I'm busy panicking over all the silly little things (Is there a microwave for heating up lunch? Should I wear the company polo shirt or a proper shirt? etc). I have managed to keep myself busy to try and stop fretting about what I know are silly things, and as a result its been quite an eclectic week!

My last day was Friday and I'd already organised it to be a half day. It went really quickly - one of the instruments was being difficult (clearly its going to miss me!) so I helped out with that in the morning and then took a really long morning break as I was handing out homemade shortbread to everyone. My new role is still in the same company, but its a completely different department and a different building, so I wasn't sure if I was going to get the big cheerio from the wing. 
I did get the big send off - the entire wing crammed into one of the labs and, despite trying to hide behind one of the instruments, I was presented with a card and some gifts (a multicoloured, multi-tool - is that not the best?! And a porg mug! And magnetic poo, but everyone gets poo, that's what happens when you work for the water industry!). Whilst I certainly didn't get upset or cry or anything, I could feel the emotionals trying to get me. I think its good to move on from a place before you grow to hate it, but I know I need a new challenge - still, there's a few faces there I am really going to miss.

Friday I also hosted Burns night for the family (sadly not many photos) and despite the fact that I despise haggis in any form, managed to pull together a feast that went down very well. As always, dessert is important to me and the crowning glory of the night was the apple and bramble pie I made. The hubby did the Haggis Hunting poem, which went down far better than Ode to a Haggis (which I always felt was far too long!) and I think we managed the right amount of tradition that it felt like a Burns Supper and not just a get-together.

Is it still #NoFilter when the filter is an external sheet of glass?
Yesterday I met up with a friend who has just gotten herself a D-SLR (canon, so sadly we cant share lenses etc as I have a Nikon) and we took Missy out on a photography walk around Dechmont. I've talked about the abandoned asylum before and its a great place to get some weird and wonderful photographs. One of the things she brought were glass filters that slot into a holder in front of your lens (I got to play with these as she needed the 58 clip on ring, and I was a 55), so we had tremendous fun seeing what colours did what. I knew previously that a yellow filter actually adds extra depth for black and white photography, so we put that to the test amongst other things.

It was quite fun to see that we both had a different eye for a picture - whilst effectively taking the same shot, we would frame things differently or spot different little oddities to focus on when going around the same building. Missy also showed off how good she is at having her picture taken, happily going were asked and patiently waiting for her reward. She did burn off a lot of energy chasing squirrels and bunnies too, so the whole walk wasn't spent bumbling about after us!

Today has been a sewing day - I have my next dance exam in February (Highland and National) and the Hornpipe outfit I'd picked up second hand was just all the wrong sizes, so I've dropping hems and nipping in seams for most of the day. I'm in a distracted mood, so really the job shouldn't have taken as long as it has! But I'm happy with it now, so its just a case of trying to get some practise in!

On a side note, I've been tagged in that 7 day black and white photo challenge thats been doing the rounds on Facebook, so I'll put them all together on here next week with an explanation for each of them!

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Cairns Castle

Well, the winter weather hasn't let up, that's for sure! I've had friends and colleagues get stuck on the motorway and snowed in. Fortunately we managed to avoid the absolute worst of it, although there is still far more than my fair share of snow out on the street!

We were meant to be in Aberdeen this weekend, but with amber warnings for more snow (and a snowmageddon warning from the Lothian and Borders Police asking people not to drive) we just canned it and decided safe than sorry was the best protocol. As hubby has been cheated out of a weekend home, we decided to make an effort to go and do something nice, and found this little gem!

Castle Cairns is an odd little find and was more the centre focus of a lovely walk around and about the reservoir it sits upon. With it being sat literally in a farmers front garden, we didn't investigate too closely and instead were treated to mallards and a heron flying over the water. The views were stunning, it was that kind of snowy day where the sun is out and there is no wind, so the water was like glass and a beautiful myriad of blues.

We found a woodpecker trail on one side of the reservoir and a bird watching hut on the other. Looking through the observations diary (we added the heron, several ducks, three collies, a black lab and a very old border terrier along with our mutt) we were a bit disappointed not to have spotted a clearly holidaying Loch Ness Monster, which someone else reported. 

Above, one of the aforementioned collies. Missy had fun bounding about in the snow, although, as you can see, at knee deep, it was a struggle at points for her to get around. I literally followed in the hubby's footsteps and allowed him to break through the worst of the snow, which is tiring work! All in all a lovely morning spent in the snow followed by a well deserved pot of tea! 

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

First post of 2018!

As I said in my last post, this is a funny old time of year with work stopping and starting and the majority of people being on holiday. To bring in the bells we met up with some good friends of ours and, whilst their little ones gave up long before the clock struck midnight, as did Missy who snored away in her bed, we managed to see the New Year in.
With nothing being open on the first, we settled on going to the National Museum for a few hours – a surprise find as I have lived in Edinburgh pretty much all my life and never knew it was open the public holidays! The hubby was back to work after that and I spent the second getting stuck into some small craft projects, including:

I got the game for my Christmas (brilliant game, really good fun) and decided that I needed little bags for the tiles to go in, just because. And I'm planning on making a matching bigger bag for the box to go in, for the original mixing of tiles!

After that it was again and the first party of the year! My niece became a teenager (a part of me keeps dying every time I say that) and, as she’s daft on Pusheen, that was the theme for the cupcakes and the main cake.

I modified a blank template for the cupcake cases and, should anyone fancy making their own cupcakes, please feel free to use it and link back to me! Just print it on A4 with minimum margins and its good to go! I'm not gonna copyright it or anything seeing as Pusheen belongs to someone else!

Just a short one today, plans this week include rehoming all the baby plecs and the seond birthday party of the year (and yes, more cake!)

Hope everyone had a lovely time seeing in the bells!