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Monday, 26 December 2011

Lumix Me Up

We went down onto the beach to join the crowds. It was quite windy up on the esplanade and not much better below. This year the brave and foolish started from the Staincliffe Hotel so they had quite a jog along the top and then even further down the beach because it was low tide. Some started on the beach!

Getting up and down to the beach is still tricky cos there are limited stairs available and the longer they leave it the less there are! These new ones are half under sand and disappearing fast.

Well, I'm very pleased with the new camera. It takes pics quickly and in focus. These were all done on "intelligent automatic" and needed no tweaking. The ones from the fuji were getting dingier and gloomier and I was having to do quite a bit of restoration using the windows photo package to liven these up. I can now go back to honest shots. At least until I've worked out all the wonders the software can perform!

Cheers again



Kelly isn't the only person at our xmas eve party. Some have been and gone on to a club, some have gone home to babysit grandchildren and some are in the snug having a go at the target shooting game. But it was grand and we got to bed later than usual and so rose late on xmas day...very slowly and carefully. The pressies were duly unwrapped and the garments put on. I think the hat has a moose on it and of course the apron has a grand Santa. Tigger didn't get any gifts so I shared my "angry bird" with her. If you squeeze it, it makes the sort of noises that fascinate cats.

I stand here, blocking the view of the xmas tree and ready to have a go in the kitchen. A turkey is over the top for a dinner for two so we roasted a lovely bit of sirloin and all that goes with it.

It is now Boxing day and after watching a couple of hundred fancy-dressed people plunge into the sea at Seaton Carew we have returned to have tea and xmas cake and complete the procedure for putting the old Fuji camera away in a drawer and installing the new Lumix.

These are the last of the fujipics on this blog. I hope that the new one will produce better close-ups and clearer images generally. The human factor will still be important, but the new camera does seem to have "greater intelligence". The big question is "Can I match it?"

Hope you all had a great xmas day.

Cheers for now Gillian

Saturday, 10 December 2011


DJ has been training Tigger to climb the loft ladder and do sentry duty at the small hole which is attracting the Jackdaws to enter the roof space. She is being praised and rewarded with Kittie Treats. In the mean time she is also demonstrating a willingness to have a go at rounding up sheep. I think the black and white dogs attracted her.

For those of you unfamiliar with this TV show....It is called One Man and his Dog. It shows off the best skills of the shepherd and sheepdogs. "One Man" will have to be changed soon because more and more of the younger competitors are girls.
Tigger loved it when the rounding up and driving of sheep into pens, took place.

And she couldn't resist giving the dog a helping hand.

Cheers Gillian and Tigger

Sunday, 4 December 2011


Yesterday was Addison's Winter Auction and so we braved the weather and went and watched the bidding. We had pre-viewed and selected interesting lots and done some research into probable artists, fakes and values so we were ready to wave our bidders number.
I lusted after this terracotta reproduction of Madame Recamier, made to look like the original bronze by Chinard but worth far less than $500,000. Madame now adorns the sideboard in the sitting room and it made me clear away all the things that end up on sideboards when they haven't got a bust to display.

DJ fancied Frieda. Well that's what she has been named because she was painted by Pal Fried, who signs all his paintings as Fried Pal so that he makes people think of cooked dogfood. This lady is wearing clothes. Many of his don't. And she has a nice bit of Paris in the background like they tend to. There's some space on the wall beside her so she might get a friend at the Spring Auction.

There were some very interesting paintings "in the manner of" various artists that I liked. They look pleasing on the wall, are real paintings and don't need six figures to buy. A dealer was snapping them up and I missed out on a painting "after Boudin" which had a lovely seaside scene. But you never know how far other people are willing to bid so he got it for the next bid after I stopped bidding!

It snowed this morning so we got the xmas tree out. Well we were going to anyway, but it made it feel like winter is really on the way.

The lights still work, the baubles all hang well and the corner will glow for a few weeks.

Xmas approaches.

Cheers Gillian

Friday, 2 December 2011


It was a sunny day so Seaton Carew was on the agenda. The local council have nearly finished the seawall and esplanade renovations, or would have, if the stormy tides hadn't brought all the sand back up the beach that the summer tides took away.The hand rail at the bottom of the steps is not of much use right now! At the next flight, along the prom, they had a digger moving sand by the giant shovel load and scattering it down by the retreating waves, so that the new steps could be accessed. And at the carpark steps a large lagoon welcomed people to what was a vast sandy beach just last month. Trying to stop the sea having its way is futile, but local councils still waste money trying to stop the action of the waves rather than changing their rigid coastal paths.

This afternoon was spent warming up at home.
At the top of our stairs is the den, and I suppose it is like having a shed/studio/office. There has been much in the news lately of the benefits to men of having a shed. I think this is what this area is to DJ cos his shed is only big enough for some tools, a couple of bikes and the empty paint tins. I'm having a go at oil painting at the moment. That means taking one of my photos and copying it. I read some how-to-do-it books and have a couple of good ones which show how to get from blank canvas to finished picture in step-by-step pics and I'm following the method, sort of.

I was doing mixed media last month and watercolour the month before. I'm too much of a butterfly to get into anything in a serious way but I'm enjoying it.

I like the way you can tweak oils. I have scraped off the chicken's face, cos it looked gormless and shall have another go tomorrow at making it look more like it has a personality. Also its tail needs more tarting up .
DJ's desktop and printer are up here, and so are lots of books, comfy chairs, lots for Tigger to play with and the only window that gives a view of farm animals on a good day.
Apparently cats and dogs can see digital TV much more clearly than the old sort. Tigger is certainly an avid TV watcher and is engrossed in it as I write this blog. At least it stops her from trying to share the keyboard with me and keeps her off the desk and away from the pens. She is especially fond of soccer and loves Sky news and seems to read the "breaking news" strip as she follows it across the bottom of the screen.

Cheers Gillian