Wednesday, 31 December 2008

New Year's Eve

Out with the old and in with the new. New Year's Eve. How are you celebrating?

I'll be sitting at home with MyMan. With a book in one hand, one eye [well half an eye!] on the television, a choc bar at my side and a glass of something alcoholic in my other hand.

Wishing you all a very healthy and contented 2009.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Snap Shots

There are pictures, photographs and snap shots. There are cameras, digi cameras, DSLR cameras, compact cameras and mobile phone cameras. I have most of them it seems. No one camera will do all I want it to. I have a lovely Fuji Finepix E550 which has enough features and the chance to use it in manual control to keep me happy. But this year I found it wanting one way or another.

We had a few friends celebrating their milestone birthdays and an anniversary. Birthdays: two at 70 years, one at 60 years, one at 50 years and one couple their 40th wedding anniversary. I found the Fuji Finepix just a wee bit too cumbersome to fit neatly into my handbag which is very small with just enough room for a very large purse, a mobile phone and a comb. I like to travel light. Especially if I'm trying to enjoy a drink and a few nibbles at a party.

The autumnal colours in Devon have been so spectacular this year. But I found the lens on the Fuji was just not wide enough to take the stunning landscapes that I wanted to record. So I have been looking around for a compact camera. I fell in love with a cheap n cheerful girly pink Fuji Finepix Z20 which will be perfect for snaps of friends at party events. At less than £100 I bought one. It will slip easily into a coat pocket and can go anywhere with me. Very convenient.

Now I need to decide on a compact camera for wide angle travel/landscape shots. I'm wondering about a Panasonic Lumix. Any suggestions, advice, comments or views gratefully accepted.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

White Van Man

I don't often stop for coffee in Honiton. I'm usually too busy doing tasks at the bank and the shops. I don't linger as I'm inclined to do when I go to Sidmouth. But it was so cold on Monday I stopped off at Montgomery's coffee shop for a cappucinno and a free read of a newspaper. It was a welcome liesurely time and I decided I should stop more often rather than haring around town and then rushing straight home. I decided to be lazy for a couple of days and called in to buy some chilled dinners from M&S. Driving home I was thinking how pleasurable the morning had been.

On the way home on a narrow village road I clashed with a large white van. I'd thought he was parked. So I indicated, pulled out and went by it on the right hand side of the road. As I started to pull in front of the van I heard a loud bump and a grinding scrape. I'm sure that large white van man pulled away without checking his blind spot. I extricated myself from his bumper and reversed to pull up behind him. I was relieved to see the driver behind me was still there. So quickly shot out of my car to ask him what he had seen. But that small white van man who had followed me all the way from Honiton said he 'hadn't seen anything' and drove away. Hmmm.

As large white van man and I exchanged details he claimed he wasn't parked. He also said that he hadn't seen me at all until I was reversing ! He was not a local delivery driver. Yet he knew the name of the street we were in. I'm local and have never known the name of the road. It's just the road to and from Honiton as far as I'm concerned. If he hadn't parked to deliver to a nearby house then I am convinced he had paused to look at Sat Nav [or answer a mobile phone call] and pulled away without checking. As it is I have no proof.

Bloody White Van Drivers.

I'm going to request that Santa send me a CCTV system for front, sides and rear of the car.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Mercurial Moods

No wonder men find us difficult sometimes - well, all right then, - often. I'm cross crabby and a right volatile woman at the moment. I'm blaming it once again on the approaching full moon. Watch this space.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Home from Home

A good coffee shop or tea room should be, ideally, a really comfortable 'Home from Home'. Brophy's used to be such a place. I've rarely ventured in there for many a month now. However, I met up with Lou the other day. She told me although the coffee is much improved, the food is still a bit "over priced and indifferent". I thought I would go into Brophy's and test the quality of the coffee for myself. But then this morning I met Simon and he told me not to bother - poor quality coffee.

After our bridge class this week we all piled into the Tudor Rose Restaurant for lunch. I was really impressed. I only had a jacket potato but others had roast beef or chicken. It looked really appetising. The cost was modest. I'll certainly go there again.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Wildlife in Winter

Wildlife in our winter garden is missing one thing. A hedgehog. I love them. It's only recently that I read that hedgehogs are not found in the same area as badgers. I was told that badgers eat hedgehogs. I'm not sure if this is fact or not. I suspect more that they are in competition for food. As badgers always follow the same route every night then maybe some hedgehogs visit my neighbours' badger free gardens. I have slugs a plenty in my garden so could happily harbour a family of hedgehogs. The badger is continuing to look fat and well fed. It's a pity he doesn't fall into one of the holes he dug in the lawn over the summer.

Update: 6th December
Cleaning up fallen leaves, a bucketful of smelly stagnant water and pond weed today I found a huge common frog sitting on the edge of the bucket peering up at me. My sister gave me the pond weed when I last visited. I was hoping to dig a pond during the autumn but just not had the time or the muscle for such a task. I'm wondering whether the frog travelled all the way home from Croydon to Worthing to Devon. If it did I'm glad it didn't surface during my drive home.