Comfortably Warm

I have spent the majority of this week, either outside with the camera, taking commissioned shots, or in the workshop on the lathe or cutting and assembling frames.
The only time I have been truly warm is during the evenings.
I now understand why we do not see glamour photos of Eskimo ladies:-D
Given that the forecast is for a snowbound weekend, I have been to the shops and bought sufficient milk, and a loaf of bread, to ensure that there should be no further need to venture out again until well into next week.
And I will not be deprived of tea and toast. :-)

So, having been cold all week; today, when the snow appears to have arrived in earnest, I am safely, and warmly esconced indoors.
Sorting out artwork.
Producing mounts for a variety of pieces of art.
Hand-finishing some framing profiles.

Grand !!!!

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the start  1Kpx 1801 012 silly crow
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Mum, we need to get out in the snow – Pleeease
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this looks as if it’s in for the duration
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with a ‘Landscape’ Menu setting – to try to make it look less grey and dismal than it really is.  The first four shots are on a ‘Neutral’ Menu setting, which is actually more accurate in terms of tone & colour.

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my workshop roof
taken from the comfort of the ‘clean workshop’ window.
  :oops: :-)

A client who is presently out in the States and due to arrive home on Sunday, suggested that he may call round to collect his finished articles as soon as he arrives back in the country.  Unless it is anything like this on the eastern seaboard, I suspect that by Sunday, having travelled from New York, via Heathrow, to Northampton, he may be happier just to get his feet in front of the fire.  Maybe he is made of much sterner stuff than I am: or can imagine.
We could, though I sincerely hope not, be knee-deep in snow by Sunday evening.

PCs and laptops take precedence over lathes, Morsos or carving benches.

As the daylight faded, I took some bread to the lake, to feed the ducks.
There was not one in sight when I arrived on the bank.
I clicked my tongue, twice, and magically mallards appeared from everywhere.
Almost instantly my feet were surrounded by at least fifteen ducks (and drakes).  When I dropped small pieces of bread into the snow for them, they couldn’t find the pieces. So I threw the bread pieces into the lake – it appears that fowl find food by sight or feel, rather than by smell   :lol:
For just those few moments I was as popular as I can ever remember having been.  :-D
It wasn’t much of a meal for them:   3 slices of bread between 15 ducks;  but they did behave as if that was all they had eaten all day.
And up to their waists in cold water too.   :-(

Do have a comfortably warm weekend folks  :lol:

A Bad Day

Today commenced as a day like any other.  A working week day.
Utterly normal.   Except that today has been one of those days that I hate.

Please be assured that the following is not a ‘sympathy trip’.  It is merely a record of a day, in the same manner that I have recorded many other previous days.

The plan for today was to sort out the commencement to a prestigious turning job. Then make a high quality frame for a military commission.
But, to start off, by quickly taking a photo of the the tripod adaptor and inserting it into yesterday’s Tripod blog, in the designated spot.

From the moment I set up my camera and equipment I knew that it was going to be awful.
I have days like today as a result of my strokes.
My memory, particularly my short-term memory, is shot to pieces -
my concentration is nil -
my co-ordination is all over the place.
If I tell you that the two very mundane photos in the Tripod blog are the result of maybe 20 to 25 attempts to set up the camera and lens and get a decent shot: and that it has taken me over an hour to write this, and correct all of the mistakes in it:  :oops: :roll:
you will have some idea of just how bad it has been so far.

I was getting results from the D300 that I had no idea how I had achieved, nor any idea of how to correct them.
I couldn’t figure out whether bounced flash made it better, or worse.
In P, A or S, I couldn’t remember how to adjust the variable.
I kicked the tripod leg on the several occasions when I thought I had it all set up perfectly.  In the end, after many puerile attempts to edit in PS CS4, I managed to get the two shots which I have now inserted into the Tripod blog, because I resorted to Manual mode – but it took me 20 minutes, and possibly 10 attempts, to upload them because I couldn’t remember how to carry out the insertion process.

I went into the workshop and took the length of framing from the rack, for the military piece and almost dropped it.  It cost me over £13 per metre.
I can’t afford to mess a 3 metre length of that up.
So I very carefully put it back into the rack.

I’ll do no more today.  It is so demoralizing.
A thoroughly Bad Day.

Tomorrow will be better.  In fact, tomorrow will almost certainly be fine.
I have a bad day possible no more often than once or twice a month.
I’ve had to learn that no matter how devastating a bad day is, it is part of having suffered a stroke and I have to just accept that – being grateful that I’ll be able to return to normality tomorrow.  I suspect that had I not persevered with keeping myself fit and looking for ways to remain active – with the photography and the workshop – every day would, by now, be a bad day.   And I’d be thinking  “I’ll be glad when I’ve had enough of this.”

So, in truth, I have a very great deal to be thankful for.  :-)

Wednesday 9th January

Back to normal today – even yesterday evening was better.
This morning I cut and fitted the military frame, and have half finished the commission for the engineering company.   :lol:

Positive Critique

One of the very satisfying characteristics of this website is that, increasingly, people who visit to view, to browse, or to purchase, feel sufficiently comfortable to comment upon aspects of the site which they enjoy, appreciate, like, dislike, find either helpful or, alternatively, unhelpful.  If you don’t administrate a website you may possibly have no appreciation for the help and support that such constructive comment provides.

Today, someone with whom I have a very long and satisfying relationship, explained to me that he gets distracted.        By the blogs.
Upon the Home page are a list of the most recent blogs on the left hand side, of which, this is one.  And a random title will, apparently, catch his eye.  So he reads it.  Then he will spot another one which he thinks may be of interest.  And after some considerable time reading a number of blogs, he leaves the website, having completely forgotten that his original intention was to purchase a picture frame, or an article of wood-turning, artwork or a photograph.  And whilst sales and commissions are not the sole aim and purpose of the website, they are nevertheless an integral part of it.  Viewing, enjoyment, relaxation, information accessibility and resource are also vital to the website structure: yet the observation is a very valid one – if the viewer cannot easily find what he or she entered the site to find, they may become distracted and immersed in another aspect of the site.
And consequently, miss the whole point of their visit.

So I have added some advice – a directive – to the ‘Welcome to TAA‘, in green, at the head of the Home page.  Whether this proves sufficient to enable visitors to comfortably, and conveniently, navigate the site to find what they’re seeking, remains to be seen.  I’m sure that someone will comment appropriately. :-D
All of you good folk who have already registered with the website can easily add your observations and comments to this, or any of the other blogs.
And, of course, anyone who visits, who wishes to register and participate responsibly, will always be assured of a very warm welcome.

A Sign of the Times

Upon recently visiting a local retail park, on the perimeter of Northampton, to carry out a commission to photograph particular retail outlets, I was faced with the evidence of our present economic recession.
Household name shops closed.
Others selling liquidated stock as aggressively as possible.  Not with the intention to make as much from the buying public as possible in the run-up to Christmas: rather to convert as many of the goods on the sales floor into ‘book-balancing-asset’ for the creditors.

I have placed these shots – along with a shot of two apparently flourishing businesses, in the Photo section, under the Secular heading.

I always find it quite distressing to witness the end of what commenced as someone’s aspiration for prosperity via provision to the purchasing public.  Such ambition and hope.
Now dashed.  Splintered and laid to waste.


A client, last week, mentioned in passing, not at all in the manner of a complaint, that he had not found it easy to locate my name on the website.  I had, obviously mistakenly, assumed that a visitor would come across my Email address. Retrospectively, I now accept that this was not a particularly wise assumption, given that the address appears on only a few pages.
So, to rectify that error, I have accordingly added my name and a thumbnail photo, click to enlarge, at your own peril :lol: plus the Northamptonshire coat of arms, to the start of my Home page.
You will probably have noticed it, when you entered the website.

I do welcome such constructive comments, and value the input of you good people who look through the website, whether occasionally, or regularly.

So, to the client concerned, a very sincere thank you, for your timely and practical observation.