Goodby Brenda

Our oldest chicken Brenda died last night, she was still boss of the coop right up to the end. Its always sad but she had a good life.

She had a good last summer, it was just a shame the last few months she has been stuck in a enclosed run due to bird flu restrictions.

Planning, making time and looking ahead

Life had been getting very busy, things were getting dropped, photography was not going well as I lost focus and interest. Then Covid happened and we all got locked down. It was then decided we would not go back to the office but would work from home. I started heading up my own team with staff to look after. I started to focus on my photography.

Before Covid for the previous few years I kept myself organised and sane with planning diaries and journaling, whether it was planning the meetings and projects ahead or planning the veg plot.

Life is getting back to a new normal, I have started planning expansion of the chicken run now that chicken lock down seems to be a regular thing each winter.

So I need to get my planning back to to scratch. Note books, digital planners, Microsoft Notes, Outlook, my Apple iCalendar all have a place, but to get things physically down on paper with a nice fountain pen I find clears my mind and reduces my worry and concerns.

On the run up to December I got out some fresh note books and started to transfer the things I needed for the work ahead. My system does change from time to time, from just one large notebook, a home and work book plus journal and sometimes a Travellers notebook for carrying around when you need to jot things down.

I am note sure how things will altogether work but I am working on it.

another year has gone

Leica Summicron 35mm

So another year has come and very nearly gone.

It’s been a year of change and of more the same.

My day job in IT has changed this year. From being a senior engineer, looking after my own area its evolved. COVID-19 had me leave the office and work from home full time. This is now permanent. I still head into a few clients data centres occasionally to under some task but this is generally only for projects implementing new hardware. The head of the infrastructure team has now left to go onto new things, so my roll now has additional duties. I now head up the infrastructure since April last year. Its challenging but I have some good engineers I can rely on and has certainly improved my people skills, having to deal more with the customer and not just the technical side of things.

My part time photography has also done well. Last year I pushed hard and this year I continued this, ensuring each month I did a good piece of work. On the equipment front, I have built out my grip and flash accessories, plus I am really enjoying the Nikon Z7 I treated myself last Christmas.

With being at home over the last few years I have developed a few bad habits, too little exercise, certainly not journaling enough and letting house work slip. Its odd that coming home from work at the office you then got on with other tasks, now being at home so much you leave your desk and do not want to do anything else at work. This has to stop.

Lastly I want to read more and practice my music more. The last few months I have been quite good at keeping up with the piano practice but I really must read more.

a Bikers – Night before Christmas

I have posted this before but as it is Christmas Eve I thought I was worth posting again.

On the Biking Blog “Ride it like you stole it!” which is sadly no more by Dave Dragon, there was a poem “The Biker’s Night Before Christmas”.

Biker Days

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the pad,

There was nada happenin’, now that’s pretty bad.

The woodstove was hung up in that stocking routine,

In hopes that the Fat Boy would soon make the scene.

With our stomachs packed with tacos and beer,

My girl and I crashed on the couch for some cheer.

When out in the yard there arose such a racket,

I ran for the door and pulled on my jacket.

I saw a large bro’ on a ’56 Pan

Wearin’ black leathers, a cap, and boots (cool biker, man).

He hauled up the bars on that bikeful of sacks,

And that Pan hit the roof like it was running on tracks.

I couldn’t help gawking, the old guy had class.

But I had to go in — I was freezing my ass.

Down through the stovepipe he fell with a crash,

And out of the stove he came dragging his stash.

With a smile and some glee he passed out the loot,

A new jacket for her and some parts for my scoot.

He patted her fanny and shook my right hand,

Spun on his heel and up the stovepipe he ran.

From up on the roof came a great deal of thunder,

As that massive V-twin ripped the silence asunder.

With beard in the wind, he roared off in the night,

Shouting, “Have a cool Yule, and to all a good ride!”

Coffee Love

Leica M8 & 50mm Summilux ASPH

Last two weeks I have had the opportunity to visit Lincoln. So I took the Leica and did a little street photography. I also visited one of my favourite independent coffee shops.

I love supporting such places and we have a few now in Lincoln. While the chains are here and still expanding, its great to support the smaller independents.

Social Media and Censorship

I am predominantly a people photographer. While I do some wildlife, landscape, the bulk of my work is people.

Weddings, family and corporate photography is some of my photography that generates an income but my studio, work, especially art nude is what I love.

With this being my personal blog, I try to keep it safe for work, my more professional site has a selection of work including up to full frontal nude.

Having a site to show ones work is great but social media is where it is at, if you want the general public to find you. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter being the main three.

I do not use Facebook but do use Instagram and Twitter. I find social media to be a bit of a cesspool containing the best and worst of people. Twitter seems to allow nearly anything and I can post any of my work, but twitter really does show the best and worst of people.

Instagram, like Facebook I have issues with. They do not allow adult shots or any nudity, unless your very famous or playboy. The more famous you are the more you will get away with. They are more likely to allow a shot showing violence against women, then a wonderful shot of a woman breast feeding. The internet is very much two faced.

I do not know the answer when it comes to the internet and censorship, I have more of an issue with violence than sex. So we use what platforms we can and promote ourselves without upsetting our internet masters by showing a nipple.

With the recent changes to Twitter I have now created an account on Mastodon. I like how you can find a server that supports what you need and you can mark you work as ‘NSFW’ Not Safe For Work and they can then only view it if the select to.

My Queen

For many of us, in the UK, Canada and Australia, and the other Commonwealth realms she headed. She was the only head of state we have every known.

She was not known as a photographer, but often carried her little Leica with her on state visits. Documenting the many people and places she visited.

Whether you are a republican or monarchist we can say she dedicated her life to service.

Where I live she visited in 1978 where we got a glimpse of the queen. Years later I had the privilege of photographing her son the then Prince of Wales. There was a bunch of us photographers trying to get the image we wanted, and he knew exactly what to do so we got the photographs we wanted. Those slides are currently in the archive of our local paper.

The Queen will be missed, she served her people well and now that responsibility falls on her son.

Rest our Queen, and long live the King

Shooting Events

Two years into COVID-19 and events are starting to open up.

Last month we had the local duck race at one of the local Lincolnshire villages.

I could not resist making one of the pictures I took there, photo of the month.

We still need to be careful, in doors I am often still masking up, but its nice to see local events like this happening again.

Winter Walks

Ted the Greyhound

For the later part of this winter, between the recent snows we now are seeing the odd warm sunny day.

Being able to walk in the sunshine and take a few pictures has been extremely pleasant.

Local village church

So far as we are still in lockdown, so the walks have been just myself and Ted the Greyhound. Hopefully when lock down ends the Lincolnshire Greyhound Walks group will be able to restart and we can have some nice walks through the countryside of Lincolnshire.