Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Photo Challenge, Life Challenge... - Life, Photography, and the Rest...

Photo Challenge 
Day #5 - 'After Dark'
-- in my case, 'At Dusk, in the Garden' --

So it turns out that I'm also not so good with prompts. Or at least not all of the time. Some of the prompts for my personal photography challenge worked well, but others leave me somewhat uninspired. Others still are difficult for me to achieve because they don't fit in well with how this family works. So I rarely traipse around outside after dark, because, quite frankly, I'm totally exhausted and planted firmly on the sofa long before it even GETS dark this time of the year, and the last thing I want to do is head back out there to experiment with nighttime photography.

I'm not ready to throw in the towel, though, because the prompts do give me a way of thinking more about photography again, of using my camera in more experimental ways. It prompts me to look around me more again, and this is something I've been doing far too little these past few months. It's soothing to get out there again, to look around me, and to see the world afresh.

The last few months - heck, the entire year so far - have been difficult. I don't often write about much of a serious nature on this blog, partly because it's public of course, but also because that's just not quite how I use the blog - it's not what it's for. I use it to think about the good things, the fun things, the things that keep me sane, so I don't tend to bring the things that are more difficult into it very often.

But goodness, life just doesn't let up at the moment. There is work, of course, but it's mainly been on the home front that the real challenges lie. Boy #1 has been ill so much in recent months. Nobody quite knows what it is, although a range of blood tests were able to rule out all of the really sinister stuff. The consultant at the children's hospital we were referred to thinks it's M.E (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), which, for a normally very energetic and active little lad, would be pretty devastating. Reading up on the symptoms he is ticking rather a lot of the boxes, though, so it's certainly looking plausible. Needless to say, this worry has occupied a lot of our time in recent months and continues to do so.

In addition to that boy #2 has recently had a diagnosis for Aspergers. It's been long in coming, and we've known for some time that there were things (mainly on the social interaction side) that he was struggling with, so it's not really a surprise but rather a relief that it's confirmed, but again, this has taken, and will continue to take, a lot of our time while we figure out how to best support him.

It hasn't helped in recent weeks that both boy #2 and boy #3 have constantly been low-level unwell with sore throats and general lack of energy. I've been fearing that they were developing the same symptoms that boy #1 is exhibiting with the ME, but it turns out that it's actually a latent case of tonsillitis -  they had a swab and it's been confirmed. I had no idea that this could happen (had associated tonsillitis with raging fever and unbearable throat pain), so both are now on antibiotics. At this point I'm just relieved it's a *something* and it certainly goes a long way in explaining why the past few weeks have been extra special tough around here!!

Wow, what a whingy post! See what I mean when I say I don't like to bring this stuff into the blog? I am still crafting, I promise. Right now I'm struggling to find time to take pictures of WIPs and FOs so that has been delaying my blogging. The weather is good today so I may find some time (and good light) to drag some of the projects out for their photo shoot. :)

I'll leave you with another couple of prompts from the photo challenge:

Day #4 - 'Something Green'

Day #11 - 'Something Blue'

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Photography Challenge Day #3 - Clouds

We spent the day today at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Such a good day out, even if most of the animals appeared to be asleep - I can relate to that, I spend a lot of the time wishing I could have a nap. ;)

The theme for today was 'Clouds' but there weren't any particularly spectacular clouds and the sky overall seemed a rather uninteresting pale grey/blue. Still, the lioness was impressive, and some retrospectively added filters helped the sky along. :) 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Photography Challenge Day #2 - What You Wore

Out with boy #1 today, catching Pokemon, when I remembered that I needed to think about 'What You Wore'... Now, with a bit more time I could have dug up all sorts of "interesting" clothes that I used to wear, but as it is you get a picture of my flipflops! 

I've been wearing them all summer and they are just... perfect! I bought them on a whim, online, because they have moulded orthopaedic soles. My feet, you see, are utterly terrible, collapsed arches and bunions and everything. I'm basically like a duck, waddling along flat-footed. This means that these flipflops, with their arch support, are soooo comfortable. I swear, if they ever break I'll have to order another pair immediately. 

Anyway, there you go - Day #2 complete! 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday 19th August is World Photography Day

... or so Facebook told me this morning.

I had no idea previously, but thought it was as good a reason as any to challenge myself to take more pictures and to blog more again. 

With that in mind I've decided to do a 30-day photography challenge. It's an old one, originally from THIS WEBSITE, so I'm not joining any big internet (or real-life) event - this one is just for me (or you, if you care to join me).

Every day I will post a picture inspired by the theme for the day - sometimes I may write a few words to provide context, other times it might be just the picture, but I think it will be a good way to push myself a bit, and also to re-discover good blogging habits because, let's face it, my blogging has been rubbish ever since Christmas!!

So here we go, this is the list: 

Today's challenge is a self-portrait. 

I haven't had much time today because it's of course the summer break and I've had boys at home, and also doctor appointments for boy#1, who's not been too well recently, so I just snapped a quick picture earlier, before I had to rush out to the first appointment. 

Me, today, no make-up, clearly no hairbrush has touched my hair, taken with a Sony Alpha 58 and a 50 mm / 1.8 SAM prime lens.