Short Walk…

At the Ladies Probus Group I belong to, besides having super lunches, great speakers and various outings we now have organised walks. Lois our secretary has very kindly arranged for some short local walks once a month in and around the Essex area and thoughtfully has chosen that they all begin and end at a ‘pub’!!

Starting at a pub not only allows for parking but it also means at the end of our walk what better than to be able to sit and relax enjoying a glass of ‘whatever’ and a light lunch!

Prior to the actual day of the walk Lois likes to do the walk herself to check it out for the route and suitability for the members. So in readiness for the next one my DH and I went along with Lois to do the walk.

Here are a few photo’s I took as we went along, it wasn’t the best of weather and hence the reason for the sky looking very washed out. We did have a little light rain at one point but in between the sun peeped out but not long enough for me to capture any blue. It’s not a long walk, took us about an hour but through some very nice countryside, across a field belonging to a local Mansion, which I won’t give details of as it is privately owned, down through the woods and back up through a nice pathway to the main road and then a few quick steps back to the pub The Bell this is the only picture I can find on the net. Silly me I didn’t think to take one myself! The Pub hasn’t changed since this was painted all those years ago…thank goodness somethings in life stay the same!

So here are the photo’s taken including one of the back view of our leader Lois:

Just a quick note on my photography..yes I’m going through yet another ‘bad’ patch at the moment whether it’s me being over critical of my work I’m not sure but of late I’ve seen a lot of ‘noise’ on my photo’s so I’m playing around with different settings and then checking the photo’s out on the PC..lots of deletions!!

The flower at the start of this post is a good example of something else I’ve got to address. I spent so much time concentrating on the composition and just didn’t see the little bug crawling

around in the flower!!

Thanks for dropping by, I’ll see you again soon but in the meantime stay safe and sound!


Fun weekend..

the weekend just gone by. We had a friend Paul to come and stay with us. Some of you will already know Paul from PFAF or through his site where you’ll see some great photo’s from his travels around the world.

Well of course I was going to take advantage of having Paul here for some photography tips and also I wanted to pick his ‘brain, yes he does have one!, regarding a couple of things re my own web site. Needless to say my DH and Paul also spent some time talking about computers and their mutual ‘love’ of certain programs that they both have on their PC’s.

So what did I learn in between all the chatting, taking Paul on a visit around our area and of course eating and having the odd drink or two!! One thing I did notice was the number of shots Paul would take of the same subject matter. He knows his camera so well that he is changing the settings so quickly in between clicking the button for the shot. He would take at least 6 shots whilst I was still thinking about taking one or two. So that is something I must practice and I must also get more familiar with my camera that I don’t need to keep looking down and checking where to change the settings.

I’m posting just a few photo’s taken this weekend as I have a busy week ahead for me but I’ll be back soon with some more photo’s which I’m sure I’ll find time to take in between playing Golf, Probus Lunch, and some shopping!!

Now I know they’re not going to be happy with me for doing this but so what!!…this is what I had to put up with for the they look bored I ask you!!….well actually I think they were in deep conversation about putting the world to right or if not, that then something to do with computers!!

Thanks for visiting and I’ll see you again the meantime stay safe!


Here we go again..

Yes isn’t he a cutie. I met him when over at Thorndon Park last week. He’s a stranger and yes I do feel it’s safe to talk to strangers in the park but only when they are a few months old, have 4 legs and are as cute as this little man!

Lets go back to the beginning….at a BBQ a couple of weeks ago we met up with some neighbours who had moved away to another part of town but were now back living just about 6 houses away from us. As it turns out the husband takes lots of photo’s mainly of birds but is happy to include other subjects as well. So the conversation went as to how I as a women didn’t feel comfortable going off walking on my own taking photo’s. Chris the husband said just let him know and he would be happy to walk with me any time. So I wasted no time but contacted him a couple of days later and we arrange to meet up last Wednesday for our first outing.

So off we went to Weald Park. I wanted to play around with Shutter priority this time out and I know for those of you with experience will be saying ‘ so what’s special’ about shutter priority but again it’s all part of my learning photography and I must confess to saying that it doesn’t come easy to me. Although when I look back over the last couple of years I can see that I am making progress.

Anyway here are some photo’s I took that day:

and with this photo I wanted to capture the ducks swimming in the rays of the sun coming across the works ok to a degree but I think I could do better!

Now to other everyday living matters… I had a busy time last week with golf played at my own club in our Lady Captains Day and yes I won a prize for the straightest drive which is so not like my golf, and then on the Friday I went off with my friend Kathleen to a Ladies Open at another club where I’m afraid it was not a repeat of Tuesday. In fact the weather was so hot and humid which didn’t help and I really think with playing on the Tuesday, walking for 5 hours taking pics on the Wednesday my body had decided it was tired and it showed with my golf. Oh well there’s always another golfing day.

So my final photo for you today is of something ‘very delicious, very fattening, and one must have a piece of everyday, and it’s home made by me!!

It’s called Rocky Road!!

Thanks for visiting and leaving your comments and a special thank you to Diane and Nina for your support against ‘Mr Pauls’ comment about my Mum – it will cost him dearly!

Time for another update..

Ok so what’s been happening since the last post…actually not a lot but some how I’ve managed to keep very busy, I suppose it’s the usual household chores that take up time as there always seems to be a basket full of washing needing attention and of course the ironing follows on from the washing. I’ve also played golf and whilst that is mostly enjoyable there are times when I wonder if I ever did have a ‘golf lesson’!! but, then you get the good round which makes you go back to try again and so on.

Another thing we’ve been busy with is trying to sort out a return visit to Cape Town. WOW have the cost of flights gone up, each day as we check there seems to be an increase and of course we have a ‘chicken & egg’ situation where we don’t want to book flights without having an apartment decided on, and then we don’t want to pay a deposit for an apartment unless we are sure we can get the flights we want – this is all bought about of course because we’re doing all the bookings ourselves? We are very lucky to our friends Fiona and Anthony in Cape Town who are busy finding and checking out apartments for us..we are hoping to be out there for 6/8 weeks so the apartment must be in the right location, right facilities, security is high on the list and so on…we’ll get there I’m sure in the end.

Now back to my photography. Well the last few days I’ve been out in the garden trying different settings but not quite achieving what I have in mind. Anyway here’s a few photo’s I took this week including the one at the start of the post..

The photo’s look pretty but I’m not happy with them as I can see that I haven’t got the focus just where I want it to be and that there is a ‘softness’ around areas that I would wish to be sharp but then this is all about the learning process of photography. I expect if I was to get them ‘just perfect’ then I’d be selling them and making lots of money…now that’s something to aim for!!

That’s all for now, take care and thanks as always for visiting my blog. I know quite a few of you that just come in and read what I have written and look at my photo’s but don’t leave a comment and that’s fine by me. The important thing for me is that you have stopped by.


Getting up todate…

with the latest things on the market to keep us entertained!

So only a couple of photo’s with this post as it just a quick one to let you know what we’re up to in the Aston household.

A couple of months ago we treated ourselves to an iPod and I’m now feeling quite pleased with myself that at long last I’ve transferred several of our music DVD’s onto it and I can then play them at random which helps me through the boring jobs like ironing!!

Well the next thing we bought was a Wii complete with the games Tennis, golf (for me) and of course the fitness and some other games that came as part of the package.. What a laugh to see me doing the fitness but I must say what a clever design and creative work to produce something like this! As for the other games lets just say I can at least in ‘real life’ still play a better game of golf than on the Wii…tennis we haven’t tried out yet but it all got very competitive when it came to a game of Ten Pin Bowling and a return match will be held very soon…but I just might have to pour DH a large glass of something strong before we start as I really need to win the next game.

And something that happened only yesterday afternoon. We do know most nights that a fox or even foxes take a route across our front drive on through the hedge and goodness knows where when on their nights out. Well there we were in the lounge in the afternoon which is at the back of the house and what walks past our French Doors yes you’ve guessed it a fox!! It spent quite a bit of time wondering around the garden quite casually even at one point stopping and looking directly at us before going down the other side of the house where we assume it climbed over the fence (7ft high!) or over the gate to carry on with it’s afternoon outing..they are getting very brave these days!!

Finally, as I was sitting here at my PC last evening I couldn’t help but notice this sky, so I grabbed the camera and quickly took this shot…it was the end of a lovely evening weather wise but with a forecast for the horrible wet nasty day we have today.

Another day of learning…

On Friday just gone off I went on another photography workshop being run by Daniel Bridge. Todays workshop was held at a local plant/flower nursery about 6 miles from where I live so an easy journey for me. Because of where it was being held the emphasis would be on taking photo’s of plants and flowers. There was a poly tunnel made available for us and we were free to either go out into the nursery with tripod and camera and take photo’s or to find plants in pots that we could then take back into the poly tunnel. We could set up the photo in a composition we wanted with the aid of coloured backdrops etc. and believe me I took full advantage of this as it was so lovely to have many plants of different colours, shapes and sizes to choose from.

As there was quite a strong breeze around I found it easier to do all my photography indoors and it was such a lot of fun setting up the plants to create a composition that I liked. I could then also play with different settings etc. without having to worry about the breeze. Daniel was of course on hand with his usual help and advice.

I must say I came away yet again having learnt a little more about taking a photo.

So here are a few I took including the one at the top of this post…

Thanks for looking and I’ll be back soon.


Catching up…

so we’ve still been going away and having some days out over the last week or two and of course lots of photo’s taken so I thought I’d better get posting and let you know where we’ve been.

My last post told you about our visit to Norfolk, well the following weekend we had a super day out at the National Gardens at Hyde Hall which is about 10 miles from where we live. It really is a beautiful place to visit and of course at this time of year if you love plants and flowers well it’s a paradise and of course just the place to go to take loads of photo’s!!

When we went through the entrance gate the lady suggested to us that we should not miss seeing the ‘wild flower’ meadow and we were so pleased she told us about it. What a wonderful site it was and although I took some photo’s they really do not do justice to the flowers and colours that we saw. Here are a couple of photo’s showing part of the meadows that we walked through and a close up of the poppies.

It was very difficult to decide what flowers I wanted to take a piccie of and also bearing in mind that although it was a lovely sunny day there was quite a breeze.With my photography I am happy and comfortable to stick with aperture priority but if I was going to take any photo’s this day and hand held with a breeze then I needed to start thinking of ‘shutter priority’ a complete unknown for me…but hey that’s part of the fun to try out new things.

Ok I took lots of photo and yes quite a lot are ‘ok’ but this one I was very happy with. We came across the rose garden and of course at this time of the year it was at it’s best. There was one area that was just a mass of pink roses and to take the photo as it was wouldn’t have done it justice so I decided to concentrate of finding one of the roses that wasn’t fully opened and hopefully with the pink in the background it would work…anyway I’m quite pleased with my result..

Here’s another couple of flowers and then I’ll leave you for now.

Thanks for coming along and I’ll be back soon with the next trip out and more photo’s