Monday, 18 June 2012

In the picture

Warning - very bad photographs are gratuitously scattered through this blog post.

At last I have a functioning digital camera again, albeit a very basic model.  I'm not complaining - it was free, thanks to Freegle, and I even got 10% off when I ordered a memory card for it.  So for the princely sum of £4.49 I am again able to publish photographs to this blog.
A swan.  I was actually quite close to it, but the camera helpfully adds distance.

Which is my lame excuse for how long it's been since I posted.  When I wrote a blog a couple of years ago, it was all words.  I didn't have a camera and didn't feel the lack.  But these days a blog post without any images looks and feels a little dry, so having posted once with only words I didn't want to do it again straight away.  Consequently it's been a while and I have a few things to tell.

This is the best picture by far that I have taken with the new camera to date.  Admittedly I managed to chop the top off the very nice belltower, and include someone's backside bottom right, but at least you can tell it's the right way up and what it is.

The table-top sale was several weeks ago now, and I am gutted that I couldn't take a photo of my table, because I was quite pleased with it.  I didn't sell much, so obviously my efforts at artistry didn't impress anyone, but they lifted my spirits and that's the important thing.

Amongst other things, I sold 600 grammes of superfluous yarn, which astonished my mother because she is firmly of the opinion that there is a one-way valve between me and the entire yarn stock of the world.  I do have a fair bit, it's true, and to be honest 600 grammes is a bit drop-in-the-ocean-ish, but it is a start and does at least prove that I am not totally obsessed with the stuff.

The money I took wouldn't keep me in groceries for a week, but the most interesting outcome of the morning is that one of the other stallholders is also a crocheter who runs a small haberdashery shop a few miles from my home.  We have very different styles.  She uses mainly natural fibres in neutral, classical colours, whereas I use almost exclusively acrylic yarn, having found a brand that is soft, reasonably priced and which comes in rather more than a rainbow of wonderful colours - Stylecraft Special DK.  She makes mainly small items such as hats, headbands and flower brooches, whereas I have a penchant for making blankets and baby/toddler clothes.  So although we both crochet, we produce very different items.  She suggested that we could probably come to an arrangement whereby she could sell my stuff in her shop for a share of the proceeds.
This is what I was crocheting when I met the haberdashery shop lady.  It's my adapation of the Mount Vernon Throw square.  I will be blogging further about this square, which I reckon is a corker.

I was pleased by this, but didn't get quite as excited as I probably should have done, mainly because I suspect she'll want quite a big percentage, and partly because I'm a bit of an old cynic these days and tend not to allow myself to rejoice before the good news event has actually happened.  So far I have visited her shop twice, but each time she's not been there, so I'm still not too excited!

But I have started making preparations.  I've been crocheting more stuff that I hope will sell, and I've bought some card to start making tags to hang off my things, giving care advice as well as price and dimensions.  I'm thinking of using my dad's old sit up and beg typewriter, to give the tags a vintage air, but I'm not totally decided yet.  Decisions, decisions.  Not my strong point as anyone who knows me will attest.

It was my birthday earlier this month, and Husband took the day off work so we could spend it together.  Unsurprisingly it rained quite a lot of the time, and we sheltered under the eaves of a chip shop eating our lunch out of paper with wooden forks, which wasn't quite the picnic I'd had in mind when the day was in the planning stages.  It brightened up enough to let us take a stroll alongside the body of water that runs through part of residential Emsworth.  I'm not sure whether it's a river, a long thin pond, a canal or maybe even a bit of the sea that stretches inland a way, but it's very pretty with lots of waterbirds and colourful cottages. 

My notice period is ticking away, and there are rumours that several interviews are to be held the week after next, which is encouraging, because I was starting to think that my replacement would turn up the day I left and that wouldn't be good for anyone.  It's a complicated old job, which nobody but me knows how to do.  Recipe for disaster or what?

Although I'm not in a position to look for a new job yet I've been scanning newspapers and websites for local opportunities.  Far and away the most active sector is care - care of the elderly in their own homes, care of people in residential homes, care, care, care.  You could say that in this area we specialise in care of the vulnerable.

I've done this sort of thing before - a little, a long time ago.  I've wiped bottoms and washed genitals and neither hold any horror for me beyond the initial embarrassment of such intimacy with someone you barely know.  But that passes quickly, mainly because the person receiving the help has done so many, many times before and is long past embarrassment.  So that is an option.  I would prefer to be dedicated to one household rather than skipping from place to place - I think I would find it more rewarding to be able to build a personal relationship - dare I hope for friendship? - with someone rather that just nipping in for an hour each week to wash someone's hair and push a hoover round, then onto the next person.  We shall see.

Well, this blog entry has taken a couple of days to write, consequently Emsworth has now been re-visited and the new camera tested out.  Hmm.  It has its weaknesses, as you may already have noticed. 

A wonky road in Emsworth.  I don't remember that man being that short and fat, so perhaps it was the camera which bestowed these qualities upon him.  Being overburdened already in both these areas, I shall be taking care never to be on the wrong side of this camera.
The photos it takes are not terribly good quality and the view screen turns almost completely black at the first hint of any ambient light, so you can't actually see what you're taking a photo of, which is something of a drawback.  So you don't know what you're going to get until you download it to the pc, at which point you notice the lack of tops of things and the attractive bollards in the foreground.

See?  And I'm sure said bollard was not at that weird angle - neither was I, so I again have no choice but to blame the camera.
 My old camera had an ordinary viewfinder like a non-digital camera, as well as an electronic screen, and I tended to use the traditional one because I could see so much better through it.  I know I sound like I'm describing the proverbial gift horse, but I really do need to be able to take decent shots of my crochet if I am to stand any chance of selling online, so I'm not being picky for the sake of it.  I'll download a manual for the camera (the one that came with it is written in Spanish, a language which is completely Greek to me) and see whether there are any helpful settings I can try.  Otherwise I shall have to dig into the coffers, and the timing on that is not good.

Emsworth (revisited yesterday) was pretty and interesting and the weather was the best we've had for ages, so I'm glad we decided to go there again.  I'm sorry I don't do it justice with my photos, but I will try to do better in future.  Discussions with Sony re my old camera and its eventual fate continue, but I think it's probably for the bin.  Which is sad as it was a present from Husband and has not had a lot of use.  I do hate waste!

Emsworth being pretty.  You had to be there.

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