A few times I’ve thought of taking a photography course but I’m usually put off because the only courses available are either too expensive or over subscribed or because I need access to a DSLR (why?) to do them. Lately I’ve been thinking that perhaps a design or an art course may be better for me and help me understand my own work better. Perhaps then I’d know what it is I like about these shots because I don’t know why I like them but I do. Flickr set: I don’t know why I like it but I do
Organic November 13, 2010
About a month ago I won a photography competition and for the last four weeks I’ve been enjoying my prize of a months supply of organic fruit and vegetables. And I really mean enjoy. As well as the organic potatoes, onions, carrots (some of them purple!) I’ve had cabbage of various varieties, the biggest aubergine I’ve ever seen, satsumas, apples, pears, a mango, chestnuts, organic ginger and garlic and so many other things I’ve forgotten about. This is so the perfect prize for me, a veggie who likes vegetables and is on a limited income. I also received this fruit, I have no idea what it is but it was pretty enough to take a pic.
(This is a heavily processed and stylised pic, sometimes my camera’s limitations makes it necessary to get creative. )
Book Launch November 11, 2010
So, after months and months and rewrites and rewrites today I received an email to tell me that the Pulp Idol – Firsts book will be launched on 8th December.
The book contains the first chapter of novelists who, like myself reached the final of this years Writing on the Wall competition. It’s my first experience of what it will be like to be a ‘real’ writer and at times I’ve wondered if I wanted to be.
This has been my first experience of having to rewrite based on an editors notes. And then having to rewrite and having to rewrite again. It was frustrating at times although I know it was being done for the best, to ensure that my/our work is to the highest standard it can be. I’m hoping to use this book as a spring board, to get the attention of agents and publishers and so it isn’t really a complaint. More of a frustration. Given that this was just one chapter I can’t imagine how much rewriting needs to be done for an entire novel. But I’m willing to learn.
So, I suppose I should start shopping for dresses and practising my elevator pitch. This could be the start of something truly wonderful.
Almost every knitter who’s seen my netbook cover has asked me how it’s done. So here it is. It’s incredibly simple, even a beginner knitter can and has knitted this pattern. And as I’ve seen, it’s very effective. (I can’t remember which knitting pattern I first saw this in but I’ve never forgotten it.)
2 different colours of wool, (colour A and colour B)
Suitable knitting needles (the size of knitting needle most appropriate to the wool you’re using can be found on the label.)
Using colour A and suitable needles, cast on an uneven number of stitches.
Row 1: Using colour B, slip 1, knit 1, [slip 1, knit 1], repeat from [ to ] to last stitch, slip 1.
Row 2: Using colour B, purl across row.
Row 3: Using colour A, knit 1, slip 1, [knit 1, slip 1], repeat from [ to ] to last stitch, knit 1.
Row 4: Using colour A, purl across row.
Repeat rows 1 to 4 to form pattern.
There you go, it’s that easy.
When using Colour A on a right side row, knit every first and last stitch. When using colour B on a right side row, skip every first and last stitch. You will need to make a tension square in order to gauge correct number of stitches when making a garment using this pattern, the finished piece is tighter and will give less length than if using stocking stitch.
Me, my head and the NHS October 12, 2010
It was 6 years ago that the intermittent pain in my head became permanent. I’d told my GP about my ‘headaches’ on a number of occasions. He told me I was depressed. I didn’t buy it at the time and so took no antidepressants instead letting him counsel me on a weekly basis. Of course this didn’t work and the pain became worse. He prescribed pain killers. They didn’t work, my ‘headaches’ were getting worse. He prescribed stronger pain killers. These didn’t work either. Eventually I became so disenchanted with this approach to my health that I started to take ibuprofen which worked as well as anything else (hardly at all) and stopped seeing my GP. Besides his counselling skills had run out after the first few weeks.
When I moved back to Liverpool in 2008 I saw a new GP. She asked me if I’d like to see a neurologist for the pain. I wanted to hug her, I genuinely had to stop myself. Of course I did and a few short months later I had an appointment. The neurologist examined me and asked questions and diagnosed me with migraine. In that moment it was a huge relief to have a diagnosis. Millions of people have migraines and so I assumed that the end to my pain wasn’t far off (the end to my migraines seems a million light years away, but that’s another post). But then she told me something else. She told me that I was addicted to Ibuprofen. This was quite a shock. It had never occurred to me that I would ever be addicted to anything. I’ve just never seen myself as that sort of person. But it seems that addiction to pain killers for headaches is different. Less an addiction as we usually perceive it, more a case of the brain being so weird and mysterious that given too many pain killers it has the tendency to turn relief signals into yet more pain signals. Whilst I’m utterly fascinated with the brain, it does have it’s down side.
I accepted this explanation and asked her how I went about ‘getting off’ them. She told me simply to stop taking them. Forever. That was that, no help, no alternative. Just a label and the promise that things would be fine from now on.
I did stop taking them. I was rather proud of myself for ending my addiction. It was hard not to reach for the ibuprofen every time I had pain, which was every day. But I did and for the last two years I’ve been suffering alone, waiting for the next neurologist appointment, checking the internet to see what the latest developments in migraine relief are.
But the pain didn’t stop.
So, this morning when I went to see a new GP and explained my history with head pain I was surprised to say the least on being told that Ibuprofen can’t cause bounce back headaches and therefore I could never have been addicted to them. My frustration got the better of me and I cried, right there. Two years of my life wasted. Two years with pain and no hope of relief. It’s no wonder I cried. And so, he’s referred me back to the neurologist, the one who told me not to take pain killers, and has prescribed some pain killers.
I’m still going no where, but at least I can hope again to have one, just one pain free day.
Looking at Flickr September 12, 2010
This shot works so much better in Lightbox. Click on the photo or press L within the flickr page and you get to see it against a black bockground.
I’d been slightly resistant to the new flickr but my sister kept telling me that I’d get use to it and we’re all just too resistant to change. I like to think that I can go with the flow but it’s taken me a while to get into it. One of my absolute favourite features however is the option to see every photo against a black background by either clicking on the photo or pressing L within its page.
But about the picture and Thamesmead in general, I went for another visit recently to the place where I lived for a good few years in London. It’s worth reading the Wikipedia page about it: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thamesmead There are many parts of Thamesmead like this and I think that the key to living there is in appreciating the beauty rather than paying attention to the rubbish and well frankly, the smell. In other parts of Thamesmead there are lakes, vast lakes, home Geese and Swans and Ducks, surrounded by fields of horses. One thing I really wondered when I started watching Misfits recently, (filmed almost entirely on location around Southmere Lake) is what did they do with the wildlife?
Have a look at the other pics in my Thamesmead set: www.flickr.com/photos/astrogirl72/sets/72157622907218918
Security Risk? August 13, 2010
Taken by the shops by Central Station in Liverpool. Not a particularly good photo and I was about to take another shot at it when a security guard appeared and told me that I wasn’t allowed to take photo’s in there. I suffer from anxiety and have trouble speaking to those in authority, yes even security guards and so a stammered “Why?” was all I could manage. “Security.” was his response. I wish I’d responded further but my anxiety meant that I put my camera away and left. Needless to say it was the last photograph I took that day..