Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Day 232: Peacock Butterfly

Well I didn't have much time to get this before running out to Rainbows but it turned out not too bad for the small amount of time I had with them.  And the fact they don't tend to sit still for long!  Just one fuzzy wing tip, and a less than desirable background.  The buddleia is absolutely covered in butterflies and bees just now and it's beautiful.  It's a pity it doesn't last forever.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Day 231: Sploosh!

Me and my best friend ran away to North Berwick today!  We had the most enormous burgers for lunch, stood on the rocks and watched the waves splash, sat on the wall overlooking the beach, ate ice cream and had a wander round the shops.  It was a beautiful day and it was really good fun and I even took a photo of me and my ice cream!
I didn't think of that until after I had licked it though.  We had quite good fun taking photos of each other and the ice cream.  It was a bit of a revelation since I don't try taking photos of myself very often as I don't often like what I see.  I have, however, discovered that if you crop a photo enough you can sometimes see something you don't mind!  I also really like that you can see the beach and the sea in my sunglasses.  The wave photo is a little too dark I think but I absolutely love frozen water shots like that.  We spent so long stood on the rocks watching the waves and commenting on how big/small/medium/disappointing/excellent the waves were and even urged them on sometimes.  Imagine one of those pop star competitions with waves - that's what we were like!  It was a very good day :-D

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Day 230: Nice Fins!

I went for quite a wide shot here because some of the rockets go so fast you miss them out of the frame and just get a smoke trail which is no fun at all!  I didn't crop it though because I liked seeing the beautiful blue sky.  It was a great day for high power launches and there was a lot of model flying too but I didn't send any of mine up.  It was pretty windy despite the clear blue skies and I would rather have fun watching everyone else's rockets than worry about losing mine (which I do all too often).  One of the highlights was a member of our club achieving his Level 1 qualification at the age of only 13!  It was a really good end to International Rocket Week 2010 and there's so much to do for next year's rocket flying season already and we might even have the chance to fly a couple more times this year depending on the weather!  So much to do and so little time.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Day 229: Biplane

Largs has a Viking Festival each year at about the same time as International Rocket Week.  Last year they had a Eurofighter Typhoon displaying on the Saturday and I certainly would have loved to have seen that again!  The display was a little more sedate this year with a Scottish Aviation Bulldog and a replica SE.5a (above).  It was a good diversion too as the weather wasn't very amenable to rocket flying (as you can perhaps see from the very black cloud behind the plane screwing with my exposure) and there wasn't much going on today.  Being down on the waterfront also gave me the opportunity to get to the RNLI shop and bag myself another station name badge :-D

Friday, 27 August 2010

Day 228: Measuring Up

We were building rockets in the shed when this wee guy decided to join us.  He had a good look round the instructions for the kit my dad is building and inspected the fins on the V2 before walking along the ruler.  I got him back on the ruler and took him outside and after another wee wander up and down the ruler he was off.  I hope the balsa dust didn't do him any harm - it had me coughing and sneezing all afternoon!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Day 227: LED Rocket

It's International Rocket Week again - hurray!  My dad has some time off so we managed to get through there today and hopefully we will be there on Saturday and Sunday too.  I really need to do some building - I only flew one rocket today!  It was a beautiful day as well and since I'm nervous about flying things in anything much of a wind (I have a history of being attracted to thin, light rockets that go very high, very fast and are never seen again) it would have been perfect.  We also have a lack of motors situation - fingers crossed we shall be able to get more when we're back there Saturday.  The rocket above is so cool - never seen anything like it.  It's a kit and it has LEDs on it that flash on and off.  It's not easy to see in daylight but the idea is excellent and reminds me of a project I had considered and have not yet pursued, hmmmm...

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Day 226: Beautiful Evening Sky

We went radio controlled plane flying and my dad's plane seems to be pretty much there - it was airborne and my dad had a go via buddy box so that is a major step forward!  The sky was pretty fantastic later on as the sun started going down.  It made flying a little difficult as you can't see much when you're flying into the sun but there was only one mishap and hopefully it's not as bad as it looks :-/
 There was a jet flying today (pictured left) and I have to say I was really dubious about it.  I vaguely remember seeing a jet years ago and it had some sort of problem and crashed into a tree and then fell out of the sky.  Even without that I wasn't impressed by the sound or look of it, as I recall.  This jet, however, was incredible.  It sounded like a jet from the moment it was switched on, it taxied like a real jet, it has wheel brakes so it can taxi and then go from a standing start, it has retractable undercarriage which is really quick, it goes really fast and it flies like a jet.  I was really impressed.  I also saw a real Tornado but it was up pretty high and didn't do a flypast unfortunately.  I did get a good enough look to see that it was fully laden though - I wonder what it was up to.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Day 225: My Treasure

This is some of my hard earned treasure from Pirate Brownie Pack Holiday.  Today wasn't a particularly good day either.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Day 224: Pirate Earrings!

I got new earrings on Friday and I'm obsessed with them - they're all long and dangly and jingly and shiny and skull and cross bony and piratey and so cool.  I don't feel very well today so I decided to share my obsession since I couldn't think of anything else to do and it has rained quite a lot too.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Day 223: Chinese State Circus Unicycler

Unicycling, on a very tall unicycle, with one foot, balancing bowls on her head, balancing more bowls on the foot not on a pedal, all lip to lip and base to base rather than stacked, and then kicking the foot balanced bowls up and catching them on her head.  Mental, right?!  Yup, but also pretty impressive!  I have no idea how you learn to do that - I think the tall unicycling is way beyond me let alone the rest.  My best friend and I managed to catch the Chinese State Circus on it's last day in town and it was good fun - pretty insane - there was a dude balancing himself on pointy things (like spears) - but I'm glad we managed to get there.  I have now seen a total of 2 Fringe shows this year - yay!  Previously, the only thing I had been to was the Muse gig at Meadowbank Stadium a few years back.  That is still the best gig I have ever been to.  But this year I finally got to do a comedy show - Paul Zerdin the ventriloquist - who was great fun.  I earned geek points at that show too by being one of only about 3 people who got the Star Wars joke and laughed :-D  I doubt I will make it to anything else by the end of the festival but 2 shows is pretty good considering my track record.  Oh and there will be end-of-festival fireworks soon!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Day 222: Tartan Gig 100

Girlguiding UK is celebrating it's centenary year and there have been lots of extra special events for the girls to attend to make sure it is a memorable year for everyone.  We took our Guides to a gig organised just for Guides!  You wouldn't believe how loud they can all scream.  The noise quite easily filled the whole of Glasgow Concert Hall and I had my fingers in my ears to shut out them rather than the music!  It was most of our girls' first gig and we had wrist bands to get in and discovered the joys of glow sticks you can put round your neck or head or build long snakes to wave about and hit the Guider's heads in front of you (without noticing) who appear to be the only people not enjoying the gig!  Certainly it would not be my choice of music but why not enjoy the experience anyway?  Me and the other Guiders I was with would be more at home at a metal gig but we were all on our feet and dancing and cheering with the girls because it's more fun that way and we're leading by example - this is how to have fun!  I know that I wouldn't have done any of that at 10 if no one I was with was, and I still wouldn't even now.

The light up bunny ears of anticipation!
I had far more fun than I expected and my favourite artist was Alesha Dixon (top picture) who was the headliner.  She was good fun and she borrowed a set of the light up bunny ears that a huge amount of the girls were wearing from a Guide in the front row and wore them for a song.  I love it when celebrities seem human!  This probably isn't technically the best photo I have - it's a little dark and there's a lot of shadow but I think it's more dramatic than most of them and she's very definitely the focus while her dancers are present but very much playing second fiddle to her, and it's relatively flattering too - in a good number of them she's pulling a face or the microphone isn't well placed, etc.  I also had a go at taking photos of the girls which wasn't entirely successful.  I have one or two that aren't bad and one I definitely like a lot.  I think perhaps you would need a more diffuse flash for that sort of situation - too much flash and there was no indication it was dark and you couldn't see the glow sticks, too little and it was grey and grainy and it was very hard to get any sort of balance.  I quite enjoyed trying though and lets face it - this was a far better opportunity than the next gig I go to under my own steam - there is no way my camera is going anywhere near a bunch of moshers!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Day 221: Rainy Road

I find this photo very ironic - it was taken during a very brief shower in an otherwise lovely day.  It has proven to me that you can do a lot to evoke certain emotions or thoughts purely by looking in the right place and occasionally turning a photo greyscale!  I guess this is what journalistic photographers do when they have a subject they need to match with a photo.  This would always be an appropriate photo as well since no one ever ceases to complain about roadworks and the state of the roads!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Day 220: Golden Sunset

Beautiful sunset at the end of the street.  Not much more needs said!  Of course the houses are rather darker than they appeared through the naked eye but cameras just don't have the same capabilities as our eyes.  And lets face it, this does look better ;-)

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Day 219: Golden Flight

I went out with my dad to fly his radio controlled plane this evening.  This isn't his plane but while he was messing with his, this one was just sitting there perfectly positioned.  In the background is a disused airfield tower.  I guess a strange combination of location, planes and the golden light as the sun went down made me think of World War 2.  I was thinking recently about time travel - most people have a time they would love to go back to in order to see specific events or live in certain periods of time and soak up the atmosphere.  I have never really had a period I would like to go back to before but I was thinking that actually, maybe I would like to go back and meet the pilots in World War 2 and see the planes all new and shiny and going off to be heroes.  Without doubt it would be an exceptionally sad time to be there, knowing that it was entirely likely that any plane that took off wouldn't come back.  But there is also something golden about that era of flight and all the people associated with it.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Day 218: Flesh

Another of my strange ideas.  And it's even weirder because it turned out looking like something out of a horror film and I don't even like horror films!  I really like this though - lots of texture and depth.  I was trying to do nice neat writing and it ended up all ragged and crooked but I think that adds to the effect - especially when you go down the horror route.  And it's different which is always good.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Day 217: Lunar Moth

This moth disappeared into my room last night and only reappeared this evening on my floor - I have no idea where it has been!  I managed to scoop it up and get it outside, despite it seeming very sleepy and reluctant.  However, the reluctance to move gave me the chance to take a photo of it.  I had to use flash because it was too dusky to use natural light and the background is... interesting!  It was the first thing I could lay my hands on to scoop it up - last year's lunar phase calendar on a postcard.  It does give the impression the moth is studying it - which makes sense really.  Moths like light and a full moon is very bright!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Day 216: Comma Butterfly

I have never seen one of these before!  Or not that I can recall anyway.  It is a Comma and it was hanging around the Buddleia outside the Brownie House.  It was a very popular bush and was covered in Peacock butterflies, Small Tortoiseshell butterflies and lots of bees.  This appeared to be the only Comma though so I am glad I saw it.  I am also glad the weekend is over!  I had a good time at Pack Holiday and it seemed to be far less stressful than usual but it is tiring and hard work and somehow I ended up with a sore ankle and knee over the weekend so I'm looking forward to giving it a rest :-)

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Day 215: Pirate Treasure

Our theme for the weekend was Pirates so a treasure trail was very appropriate!  This chest lives in the Brownie House and we used it to hide our treasure in as a more authentic end to the trail.  It really does look the part and I wish I had one to hide treasure in.  I can't imagine real pirates hide pink mugs, plastic telescopes, bracelets, Centenary celebration pencils and chocolate coins in their treasure chests but then their treasure isn't meant to be found by 7-9 year old girls ;-)

Friday, 13 August 2010

Day 214: Building Fire!

This is the fire that me and Hannah built!  We had a camp fire with the Brownies and made smores - first time I've ever had one and it was good!  I'm not sure who trusted us to start the fire though - the kindling ended up pretty much being made up of matches - I lost count of how many we struck that went out almost immediately and ended up chucked in with the wood.  Then when we did get it lit it only lasted a wee while enough to burn up our kindling and went out despite trying to feed it more kindling.  Hannah went back to the house to find firelighters and laughed at me because I had thought they were washing machine/dishwasher tablets and left them in the box the matches came out of *blush*  Well I've never used them before!!!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Day 213: Playing With Fire

I didn't have a particularly good day today - it seemed like most things that could go wrong did go wrong.  I did have one spectacular piece of timing though which was happening upon this street performer just as he went for it and juggled the torches at the end of his show.  The photo isn't spectacular but I was only carrying my compact camera so it's not too bad considering!  I cropped this and no matter what I did I liked it really long and narrow best.  It ends up looking like there are 3 elements to the photo - the crowd at the bottom, the performer on his unicycle, and then the Scott Monument at the top in the background.  Anyway, I like the fire.  As we were leaving there were some other guys coming in to get set up and I turned to my mum and said "They have paraffin!" in a squeaky excited voice.... No, I'm not taking after my mum in her pyromania!  *clears throat and wanders off rattling a match box*

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Day 212: Tibor

It was kinda dark and rainy today so this shot is rather darker than I would have liked.  I probably could have taken it down another notch or two but I thought it looked ok on the camera screen - it can be so hard to tell though!  Tibor seemed to be very much enjoying his bone today and we all enjoyed watching him sit with it so close to the perspex.  Poor boy has had his eye removed now, but apparently his vision had decreased to the point of being blind in that eye and he had Glaucoma in it which can be very painful, so hopefully he is a lot more comfortable now.  My parents had a one eyed fish called Horace a long time ago and if you went up to the tank when he was swimming blind side to you, when he turned round and saw you he got a fright - poor Horace!  We'll need to be careful not to sneak up on Tibor like that and give him a fright! 

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Day 211: Royal Scottish Academy

The afternoon sun almost silhouetted the building, making it all the more dramatic.  It's a rather impressive piece of architecture and I love the big white fluffy clouds behind it in complete contrast to the dark straight, heavy lines of the stone.  I really like the flowers they have up on the columns at the moment too - rather prettier than some of the other things they've had up there in the past.  Apparently, the statue on top is Queen Victoria.  I wonder if she did the decorating...

Monday, 9 August 2010

Day 210: Sheltering Butterfly

This butterfly (I think it's a Peacock butterfly although I didn't see it's wings open) decided to hide inside our shed today, away from the torrential rain.  I think it was quite sensible really.  What was also sensible was my dad suggesting I use a mirror to reflect light onto it so I could expose it properly without using flash - and look!  It worked :-)

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Day 209: Off To Hoverfly Heaven

Very cropped but with that level of detail and colours it is still very cool.  This poor hoverfly was lying on the front path.  Ironically, I did a first aid course today, but I wasn't taught CPR for hoverflies.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Day 208: Water Of Leith

We went into town to eat tonight and ended up in Leith, and not only did we have a very nice meal, but I got the chance to do some night time photography.  I pretty much hate sodium street lights but sometimes, in moderation, with other things they can paint a pretty picture as they did here.  In one of the other exposures of this I had a ghost like bus going past the boat - I think I might like to try a ghostly photo :-)

Friday, 6 August 2010

Day 207: Sweetie Wrappers

I probably don't have to tell you what this is!  I am struggling a little at the moment.  I haven't been feeling particularly well which makes me all grumpy and disinclined to go hunting for photos and of course inspiration is at an all time low.  I can't decide if I am just sick of being too hot every day - if so then roll on the end of summer.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Day 206: Eavesdropping

Cooper, would you like a glass to listen through?  I'm sure Granny talking to the bank is exceptionally interesting really...

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Day 205: Abstract Lily

Yeah, it kinda sucks but it's far more interesting than any of the "good" photos I had.  And I do like the colours and graduated blur.  The black speck is a beetle - there were quite a few tiny beetles hiding in the lily which seemed odd but I guess it's an attractive home at least!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Day 204: Toad In A Hole

Mum found this toad hiding under some old roofing felt in some rough ground we walked through with the dog.  He had this fantastic little cave made of grass and he looked very sleepy.  The bit of out of focus grass in front of his nose sucks but I only took 2 very quick shots before putting the felt back in the hope we didn't upset him.  Maybe sometime I'll have another quick go and see if I can get a better shot!

Monday, 2 August 2010

Day 203: Hot Air Balloon

My mum spotted this balloon over the houses, very close to us and pretty low, and me and my dad decided to chase it!  It was very obviously coming down so we decided we would see if we could see it land.  We did a good job catching it up going along the right roads and managed to see it very low and pretty close before it finally went down into a dip where we couldn't see anymore.  And best of all - it somehow managed to land in what seemed like the only cut field of corn for a good distance around!  I am gutted I didn't get a shot of it lower and really, really glowing from the flame but we'd just hopped back in the car to move on a bit further!  Maybe next time :-)

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Day 202: Rock Climbing

Let's have a big round of applause for my dad - clinging onto a boulder, on an overhang with no ropes!  I didn't try this one as I found climbing a wall, with a harness and a rope and people hanging onto the rope a little too much to handle.  I have no idea how high up I got in the end but it seemed like a very, very long way down.  I climbed 5 times.  We went up the first wall half way-ish to have a go and make sure we could get back down again, then up the whole way.  We tried a much more difficult section of that wall and I didn't get far before getting stuck and coming back down again.

Then we transferred over to a really high wall and I actually denied my instinct of saying no and went for it, and I think I got a good way up for someone who looked at it and went "Oh hell no!"  However, it was here, on my 4th climb, that I got stuck and had a nervous breakdown on the wall ;-p (the photo above was taken by my mum at about the point I freaked out I think, and I am the person in the blue t-shirt above the second boulder and below the overhang)  It was touch and go getting me down as I was clinging to the wall shaking all over and refusing to lean back and be lowered down!  I managed to come down a foothold or so and there was enough tension in the rope then to lower me the rest of the way without significant leaning.

So, you would think that I would have stopped there.  No.  At the 5th climb I was mental enough to think to myself "Hey!  This is a shorter wall again and if I get stuck no distance up then it'll be fine - I can come down no bother after the incident on the other side!"  Maybe I shouldn't have talked myself into this one though as I got up not too far, got stuck and then in the process of panicking because I was too tired to hold on for any great length of time whilst stationary, and trying to come back down I slipped, spun round and hit my head off the wall, got lowered the last few feet and then stood and had to reign in another breakdown :-p  I managed to laugh and move on though so I'm proud of that and well, I wussed out at the abseiling but can you really blame me?

It was a rather eventful day and I am absolutely drained - mostly from the nervous shaking thing (I have the kind of shake that looks extremely exaggerated :-p) but my arms and fingers know they've been working too.  I mean, have you ever realised how heavy laptops are?  I might be sleeping with this thing on the bed tonight...  So thank you to my little brother and his fiance who decided this would be an interesting stag/hen do instead of going clubbing and getting wasted.  I have always fancied climbing but I doubt I would have tried it if I had had the opportunity before now.  I am very glad I got the chance and that I did it - I am proud of myself!  And I wouldn't do it again but that doesn't matter - it was the experience that mattered - and it certainly was an experience! :-)