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Betty LaRue
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My good thing: yesterday I had an Alamy whack. It was for a specific restaurant in Switzerland, AND it was zoomed. Fingers crossed it will be licensed for big $$$. ūüėÄ

 

I also licensed another photo for a decent amount. I’m actually having a very good month for a change. Wonder why.

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8 hours ago, Cecile Marion said:

My good thing: yesterday I had an Alamy whack. It was for a specific restaurant in Switzerland, AND it was zoomed. Fingers crossed it will be licensed for big $$$. ūüėÄ

 

I also licensed another photo for a decent amount. I’m actually having a very good month for a change. Wonder why.

Swings and roundabouts Cecile, my zooms have dropped catastrophically this month, but a low  $$$ TV lease showed up.

 

However the good thing refers again to trees, or more particularly to a single leylandii that an erstwhile neighbour planted years ago. This thing is reaching for the sky and is shading a row of four gardens, mine included. The tree is planted on council land, beyond the fence line, and months ago I asked the council to deal with it. A string of council employees have shown some interest but were noncommittal regarding its fate. However yesterday a bloke turned up and asked which tree was involved, it appears he will be involved in its pruning. I suggested that it should be removed completely, but, apparently, that's not on the agenda, however a reduction in the height is a possibility. I look forward to hearing the sound of a chainsaw next week. 

 

To anyone contemplating planting a hedge or specimen tree, avoid leylandii, they grow like a weed, something like a metre per year when established, and are the cause of many a neighbourly dispute. 

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3 hours ago, Bryan said:

Swings and roundabouts Cecile, my zooms have dropped catastrophically this month, but a low  $$$ TV lease showed up.

 

However the good thing refers again to trees, or more particularly to a single leylandii that an erstwhile neighbour planted years ago. This thing is reaching for the sky and is shading a row of four gardens, mine included. The tree is planted on council land, beyond the fence line, and months ago I asked the council to deal with it. A string of council employees have shown some interest but were noncommittal regarding its fate. However yesterday a bloke turned up and asked which tree was involved, it appears he will be involved in its pruning. I suggested that it should be removed completely, but, apparently, that's not on the agenda, however a reduction in the height is a possibility. I look forward to hearing the sound of a chainsaw next week. 

 

To anyone contemplating planting a hedge or specimen tree, avoid leylandii, they grow like a weed, something like a metre per year when established, and are the cause of many a neighbourly dispute. 

 

Agree. Pity they cannot be banned from being planted in residential areas.

 

Allan

 

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19 hours ago, spacecadet said:

Even I used window light (and high ISO) last time. But I did use a white background (slide screen).

 

16 hours ago, Martin L said:

In the end I just had them against a white wall, directly facing a window and they went through ok.

 

Thanks to you both. Yes the plan is that window light will be the main source of light assisted by fill in flash using one of those bounce-card accessories on a Metz CL-4 Digital hammer head on a stand behind me. Those flash guns are extraordinary, so different to the ones that came before with manually selectable flash power down to 1/64 on the dial and fantastic Ni-Mh batteries. Went in to Hobbycraft in Reading to get an A1 sheet of white foam board as the back drop. A1 sheets are the same price as A2 sheets, strange, £4 a sheet or 4 sheets for £12, maybe they're running the stocks down.

 

Actually my wife needs a passport photo as well and I need to get one of those new-fangled photo driving licences as I can't find the scruffy old paper version anywhere so this has all been worth while, and I should probably sell some of that flash equipment rather than put it back in the loft.

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On 21/01/2023 at 09:55, Harry Harrison said:

 

Thanks to you both. Yes the plan is that window light will be the main source of light assisted by fill in flash using one of those bounce-card accessories on a Metz CL-4 Digital hammer head on a stand behind me. Those flash guns are extraordinary, so different to the ones that came before with manually selectable flash power down to 1/64 on the dial and fantastic Ni-Mh batteries. Went in to Hobbycraft in Reading to get an A1 sheet of white foam board as the back drop. A1 sheets are the same price as A2 sheets, strange, £4 a sheet or 4 sheets for £12, maybe they're running the stocks down.

 

Actually my wife needs a passport photo as well and I need to get one of those new-fangled photo driving licences as I can't find the scruffy old paper version anywhere so this has all been worth while, and I should probably sell some of that flash equipment rather than put it back in the loft.

Well at least twice a decade there's a use for a projection screen that hasn't seen a slide for 20 years. Although it's handy for still-life to screen off the table so I don't have to clise the curtains.

I think "passport photo stories" deserves its own thread so I'll start one to find out.

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So it came to pass that a decision was required on a replacement plant for our much loved, but removed, Juniper Skyrocket tree. 

 

We wanted something that didn't grow anything like as tall and that a fragrant evergreen shrub outside our front door would fit the bill.  I did some research but didn't come up with an answer, but my wife homed in on a flowering evergreen Daphne called Perfume Princess.  Our local garden centre had some in stock so a purchase was made, it's stored in our unheated greenhouse until the weather warms up.

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3 hours ago, Bryan said:

So it came to pass that a decision was required on a replacement plant for our much loved, but removed, Juniper Skyrocket tree. 

 

We wanted something that didn't grow anything like as tall and that a fragrant evergreen shrub outside our front door would fit the bill.  I did some research but didn't come up with an answer, but my wife homed in on a flowering evergreen Daphne called Perfume Princess.  Our local garden centre had some in stock so a purchase was made, it's stored in our unheated greenhouse until the weather warms up.

If it is as powerfully scented as Daphne bholua (one parent) it should be a good choice.  At The Garden House we grow a number of bholua varieties and on still Jan and Feb days the scent is noticeable 50+ metres away.  They seem to do well on the edge of Dartmoor so should be hardy for you.

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It was Burn's Night on Wednesday and this week's Folk Show included a few appropriate songs.  My favourite is the sad but beautiful "Ae Fond Kiss" sung here by Rachel Sermanni.

 

Catch it here (if you have access to BBC radio), it's the last track on the show.

 

If you can't access the radio, or if you find the dialect hard to follow, you can find the words here

 

 

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I heard a lot of bird racket out in our garden and went to the window. Blue Jays!  First a pair and then a third (smaller) one. A minute later there was a fourth. No way to photograph them but such fun watching them dash around the courtyard.. up on fire escapes.. down into bushes. Then they all disappeared. One year a pair was trying to build a nest right outside my window on the fire escape. I still had cats then and my upstairs neighbor had a cat that patrolled the fire escape so I had to chase them away. It had been fun watching the building. The male would bring a long piece of plastic and the female would look like she was saying "What am I supposed to do with that?". The robins we have almost every year seem to like to include some blue strings.

 

Paulette

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I've booked a US road trip (prob the last big holiday before I retire!) LA > Bryce Canyon, Sedona, Route 66, Palm Springs > LA. The same holiday that has been cancelled for 2 years running because of Covid, and wife's tumour in her leg (thankfully benign) Hopefully 3rd time lucky :)

 

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5 hours ago, StokeCreative said:

I've booked a US road trip (prob the last big holiday before I retire!) LA > Bryce Canyon, Sedona, Route 66, Palm Springs > LA. The same holiday that has been cancelled for 2 years running because of Covid, and wife's tumour in her leg (thankfully benign) Hopefully 3rd time lucky :)

 

When are you going? Hopefully the springtime or autumn. I always preferred going west in late September, after school started to avoid the heat of summer & the family vacationers.

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5 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

When are you going? Hopefully the springtime or autumn. I always preferred going west in late September, after school started to avoid the heat of summer & the family vacationers.

Hi Betty, as my wife works in a school we're limited to the summer holidays :(  (late july and into August). Hugh

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7 hours ago, StokeCreative said:

Hi Betty, as my wife works in a school we're limited to the summer holidays :(  (late july and into August). Hugh

I get it. I hope your trip is all you want it to be.

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We aren't allowed to have fires on our allotment site from spring to early autumn, so winter is fire season. Unfortunately recent winters have been very wet, so it is next to impossible to dispose of hardwood cuttings, thick stalks etc. by burning. However yesterday we had a strong NW wind blowing, carrying any smoke away from the nearby houses, drying the materials and fanning flames. I keep kindling dry in the greenhouse, and was able to get a fire away which burnt most of the autumn prunings etc.  I guess that it's not an environmentally sound practice, but, once a year, a fire is a very satisfying thing.

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12 hours ago, Bryan said:

We aren't allowed to have fires on our allotment site from spring to early autumn, so winter is fire season. Unfortunately recent winters have been very wet, so it is next to impossible to dispose of hardwood cuttings, thick stalks etc. by burning. However yesterday we had a strong NW wind blowing, carrying any smoke away from the nearby houses, drying the materials and fanning flames. I keep kindling dry in the greenhouse, and was able to get a fire away which burnt most of the autumn prunings etc.  I guess that it's not an environmentally sound practice, but, once a year, a fire is a very satisfying thing.

When I was a girl growing up in a small town, we raked up huge piles of leaves on a calm day & burned them, along with any small fallen branches/twigs. Loved the smell of them burning. People also burned off their dead winter grass which also killed weed seeds. It was beneficial to a healthy lawn when spring came, just kept a water hose handy.  Nobody used Roundup or any other weed-killers in those days, probably too expensive for my neighborhood even if they were commonly available.

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12 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

When I was a girl growing up in a small town, we raked up huge piles of leaves on a calm day & burned them, along with any small fallen branches/twigs. Loved the smell of them burning. People also burned off their dead winter grass which also killed weed seeds. It was beneficial to a healthy lawn when spring came, just kept a water hose handy.  Nobody used Roundup or any other weed-killers in those days, probably too expensive for my neighborhood even if they were commonly available.

The smell of wood smoke brings back memories of cycling through Northumberland countryside villages in my teens, whereas back home there was the sulphurous stink of coal burning! 

 

Re weedkiller, I don't use it. Rake up the weeds when they are small and let them rot on the soil. 

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I need to take a rest from my complaining over on the Bad Thing thread. Here's a couple of good things about Liverpool verses where I lived in Lower Manhattan. 

 

When I go for my walks in Liverpool, I see lots of young families with adorable small children done up in pink or blue. The kids who are 2 or 3, walking on a lead, often smile at me. Smile or not, they lift my spirts. 

 

In Lower Manhattan, there are (were) far fewer families. The families are out in Brooklyn or in Queens. I encounter more friendly dogs here too. 

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The first three sales of the month have followed an interesting mathematical series. $1, $2, $4

 

Does this mean that, by the end of the month, I should be seeing some astronomical fees?

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29 minutes ago, Bryan said:

The first three sales of the month have followed an interesting mathematical series. $1, $2, $4

 

Does this mean that, by the end of the month, I should be seeing some astronomical fees?

Reminds of the chessboard and rice fable - you’ll be wealthy by the end of Feb. Only 28 days though unfortunately.

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1 hour ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

I need to take a rest from my complaining over on the Bad Thing thread. Here's a couple of good things about Liverpool verses where I lived in Lower Manhattan. 

 

When I go for my walks in Liverpool, I see lots of young families with adorable small children done up in pink or blue. The kids who are 2 or 3, walking on a lead, often smile at me. Smile or not, they lift my spirts. 

 

In Lower Manhattan, there are (were) far fewer families. The families are out in Brooklyn or in Queens. I encounter more friendly dogs here too. 

 

We have a lot of kids now in Greenwich Village. I remember the days when couples immediately moved to Brooklyn or New Jersey when they started a family. One client of mine stayed a few years and when they decided to move away she told me her son would have to get used to being one of many. In the City lots of people made a fuss over him because little kids were rare here. 

 

Paulette

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3 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

After some bitter temperatures, it will be 60 degrees here today. I will stick my nose out & go to the grocery store at last.

 

That cheers me up. I am currently experiencing the cold you had a couple of days ago. Single digits now but it will warm up to 24F before I need to go out. I was lucky not to have work this morning but later I must go and feed Algernon and Eustace. British cats, of course.

 

Paulette

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2 hours ago, NYCat said:

 

That cheers me up. I am currently experiencing the cold you had a couple of days ago. Single digits now but it will warm up to 24F before I need to go out. I was lucky not to have work this morning but later I must go and feed Algernon and Eustace. British cats, of course.

 

Paulette

I heard the east was getting brutal temps, but they would be a somewhat one or two day wonder before moderating. I’m sorry your cat-sitting job has you out no matter what weather you’re having. 
I’m waiting for a good deep snow so I can get out and shoot snow pictures. I can engage 4-wheel-drive in my Subaru if I need to. Before I ever got into stock, I used to get out & shoot snow. Film, back then, me & my little Honda with front-wheel drive. I never slid in it, but one also needs to know how to drive in snow/ice, and I do.

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6 hours ago, NYCat said:

We will be twenty degrees warmer tomorrow. So odd. 

 

Paulette

A few decades ago, I waited in front of my office building for my husband to pick me up after work. It was February, and it was in the 70s, a rare warm front.  Thunder sleet began, and by night we were below freezing.
Remember the old movies when there was thunder? I read once that back then they made the sound of thunder by banging corrugated tin pieces, and waving it for the rolling thunder sound.

Thunder sleet sounds just like that. Tinny, because the sound is bouncing off ice. I stood there transfixed & have never forgotten the phenomenon.

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