Wednesday, February 28, 2007
I don't think I am completely reactionary when it comes to architecture - sure I love old buildings like in Paris or the tenements in the West End in Glasgow, but I don't mind some modern stuff too (60s and 70s rough-cast monstrosities omitted, that goes without saying), however what on earth is this nonsense? I mean someone was probably paid more than my annual salary to design these 5 varyingly-coloured turds blocking the entrance to the BT telecom building in central Glasgow - come on - when did this become art?
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
I guess if I try to look on the bright side of things - this morning was light, dry, sunny and warm. I was not driving alone with Marcel and Charlotte in the dark on the Kingston Bridge at 50mph at 7am, rather stuck in a traffic jam at 8am with Thomas, who unlike me did have the strength to unscrew the bolts on the wheel, it was payday so I could buy a new tyre and because of the speed, the car didn't skid out of control. However, I can think of easier ways to start a Monday morning, and I would rather still have that £111 in my pocket :-(
Oh and the Citroën handbook was a great help :-\ The first instruction it gave us two, not-very-adept wheelchangers was to 'remove the embellisher'. It was 8am, we'd just had a tyre blow up on the motorway - we stood there like a pair of numpties scratching our heads - the what??? Then suddenly re-reading how to remove it, I suddenly realized they were actually referring to the hubcap - I write dictionaries for a living - I have done for 16 years and I have never once heard the word 'embellisher' used to mean hubcap - so a blowout can be very educational - I made an instant mental note to add a category to the next big dictionary - a definition reading something along the lines:
embellisher n (=hubcap) an obscure term used in car handbooks to puzzle stranded motorists: 'Before jacking up your car, first remove the embellisher'
I wonder how often statistically you have a tyre explode anyway - this is my second in 22 years of driving. So that is approximately 1 blowout ever 110 000 miles, not too dangerous I guess!
Friday, February 23, 2007
...And I mean the real Beetles 'of the people' as opposed to the Yuppie Beetles you can buy these days if you feel like spending twice as much on a little car as a car is actually worth just for ponce-value. I remember this one fondly - not sure why I photographed it in black and white (a teenage phase I guess) as it was a beautiful pale blue colour with a dark blue roof. It was the first car I ever drove - I had been nagging my dad from I was about 6 to teach me to drive so when I got to 16 I was fit to burst at the prospect of having to wait yet another year until I was old enough to get a provisional, so my dad, as a treat let me drive my mumś beetle (notice not his own Saab!) on my 16th birthday. I not sure that was a great idea in retrospect as it probably made me even more unbearable for the 366 days between my 16th and 17th birthday. Anyway like most 60s babies I have a soft spot for the original Beetles - they were the car of my childhood, the first old bangers we drove in the 80s. But by the 90s there were few left and we all missed them and secretly moaned. Then around the millennium they brought out the replacement yuppie Beetle - nice enough - they do stand out as different as the original did but the market was all wrong. They were aimed young rich singles, not families with loads of kids and little money. I still remember driving to Blackpool in a Beetle in '77 - 4 people, 2 suitcases, a tent, airbeds, camping equipment, where did we put it all?! (It had practically no boot) And they had those fake leather seats your legs stuck to on the one hot day every summer if you had the misfortune to be wearing shorts. That was what Beetles were really about, not those silly vases on the dashboard the new ones have. You are probably wondering my point by now? Just that 70s were Beetles driven by family men, 80s were old Beetles driven by teenagers, 90s were no Beetles and noughties started off as new poncy Beetles BUT in the past month I have started to notice them all over once again in Glasgow and around it - lovingly preserved Beetles of all colours - all around 1970 models. I have seen one or two every day for the last month, and all different ones - I would even kind of like one myself - well as a second car - for nostalgia's sake :-)
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
We are going to the sun!!!!
This book tells you about rockets and planits. Furst I will tell you about the sun. The sun is a hot plas to go. If you go to the sun you will di becose the sun is the hotist thing in the eoonavers. Now I will tell you about the Eerth. It is a plas with lods of animals.
Now its mars is a rela hot plas but the sun is hoter than mars also mars is made of lava. It is now Joopiter. Joopiter is mad of lod of gas. I thinc that Joopiter is the onla Planit that has gas in it.
Now I will tell you about rockets. I thinc that a rocket to the sun wood tack about ten yeers. Now I will tell you about the Erth if you teak a rocket to Erth wood teak 7 yeers. Now its Mars. I think a rocket to Mars wood teak about 8 yeers. I thinc a rocket to Joopiter wood teak about 6 weeks.
Now thars tow aleeins. One of the aleeins gets eatin by a monster from Mars the uther aleein made a rocket and floo it to the moon. It can be yelo or gray. When the aleein went to the moon there was an asanot on the moon and the asanot spoc inglish but the aleein did not speec inglish so the aleein did not undrstand the asanot but after they traid to tock there sheeps brock down. They thot they had to sta on the moon forever but anuther rocket came and took them away but the aleein that was in the roket did not lete the astanot in the roket so the tow aleeins got bak to there on planit.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Stung by my failure to produce a stunning shot of Lotsie's green eyes, I did a quick colouring in (or colouring out as you actually have to do it) of a photo of I took of a bush near my garden last spring - just to prove to myself that I could actually master the technique. I think I have got the hang of it, now I need to find a more interesting subject or two.
Tonight I had this great idea. After seeing Thomas's Blue Pudge in a grey world and yellow duck I got this idea that a simple black and white shot with just my kids' eyes coloured in would be nice - Marcel's are olive green, Charlotte's a lighter green and Pudge is blue so I thought this would work for all three. I went through all the steps in the GIMP tutorial but the eye colour was so pale against the grey that it simply still looked grey - I was more than annoyed so put on my thinking cap. I went back to the original photo, turned up the greens and down the reds till the photo was much stronger in colour. Then I swapped into black and white and set about erasing the grey mask over the coloured eyes, expecting my lateral thinking couldn't fail to result in anything short of a stunning shot of Charlotte's beautiful green eyes...Wrong again - I got this seriously weird result which was so far from what I was attempting that I felt it necessary to upload it anyway. I guess I should retry over then next few days - I'm sure my idea will work eventually - I just need to adjust my greens a wee bit.
Friday, February 16, 2007
I love sunflowers. I was out for a walk one day last summer in Southern France when a huge thunder storm hit - while everyone else ran for cover I decided the best thing to do was to run into a nearby field of sunflowers and try to photograph their beautiful yellow heads under a grey and menacing sky rather than the stereotypical blue one. And of course now we use digital rather than film, there was nothing to stop me taking over 50 photos in the hope I would actually catch a fork of lightning above my beloved flowers. As it happens I only caught one, here off to the side - but it is real - there was no cloning involved here!
Thursday, February 15, 2007
This is a photo technique I have always wanted to try, and just like cloning it is a ten minute affair with the GIMP software. I can´t wait to have a look through my photos this weekend to find something I can try to partially colour like this!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Charlotte decided today she needed a blog - I hadn't signed her up before because with her only being in p2 I didn't think her literary skills would be up to it...WRONG! She looks like she could become quite prolific!
(Oh and unlike her girlie mummy, Charlotte's blog isn't PINK, it's predictably BLACK.)
Monday, February 12, 2007
I was sitting at the traffic lights in Rose street the other day with Charlotte in the car in the front passenger's seat. She spotted this sign and immediately came out with: Look mum, if you take the 's' off that and change the 'r' to a 'y', then swap round the vowels then that sign would say 'Monday'! What???? Whatwhatwhat? did you just say? How and why does anyone think like that?
I saw this staircase in Kelvingrove museum on Saturday and just knew it had to be the perfect setting for a clone photo! Given Charlotte hadn't had a clone shot done, she was more than happy to pose as soon as Thomas took out his tiny tripod!
Sunday, February 11, 2007
But I'm sure you'll be the first to know if this repair also fails - you may need to shield your eyes from a barrage expletives if it breaks down again.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
First I did some DIY - I tiled a wall in the kitchen and am impressed by how straight I managed to make it! (Photos to follow once it is actually finished and grouted).
Then I had a birthday - that's me 39 - how can that be possible when I still only feel 23???? I think I'll cancel next year's for sure - I can almost deal with 39, but 40 is just unimaginable - I still remember when it was my dad's 40th! I think I'll try living by Amanda's philosophy. She explained to me on Sunday that she turns 35 in 3 weeks - she's going to stick there until she turns 50 when she then might start admitting to being 39! Cool :-)
On my birthday the wee guys had a bath together for the first time. There's a whole series of shots, if you want to see them. They had so much fun. Being born within week's of a cousin definitely seems to make for a closer than normal relationship. Let's hope they'll still be this close 20 years from now (though hopefully by then they'll have better ways of amusing themselves than chasing each other naked up and down the hall in Gordon's house!)