Thursday, April 14, 2011

So long... and thanks for all the fish.

It’s the end of an era, but not unexpected by those brave souls who have stuck with me through my increasingly sporadic posting. I didn’t want to leave without saying goodbye though, or without ending things properly. Bobkat’s house was started by me in 2006 as a way of connecting with people. My blog was named after my dear departed but still much loved cat called Bob, whose house I was allowed to share with him as his companion.

It was somewhere where the rest of my life wasn’t, unless I wanted to bring it here and air it. It was a way for me to start showing my early efforts at photography and to share things I’d been doing, my thoughts, frustrations and some bits of my life.
On the whole I have found it to be a hugely enriching experience and deeply rewarding. I have met some awesome people from around the world through my blog and have been privileged enough to visit them at their blogs and share their thoughts and experiences too. It has been an extremely positive place to be mostly, marred only by a malicious stalker who was mislead by my ex (you shouldn't beleive everything you hear) and obviously has issues that have nothing to do with me. I am glad to leave her behind. Annoying buzzing things are never missed.

Lately though I have not had time to dedicate to blogging and this has genuinely saddened me. I have managed to connect with some blog friends on FB and have kept up to date with their lives on there. I have missed visiting you all and reading what is going on with you. I also feel like I have let you down by not being at home here more often and this has made me feel bad.
So what have I been doing instead? Well work has been very busy with long hours. I’ve never shared what I do here but it has to do with current events in the world. That is all I can say. I have also been really pushing ahead with my photography and have learned so much and am building it into something that could take me somewhere new. This is exciting but on top of full time work, exhausting too. Then there is my real home. I am finally trying to sort things out here. I’m getting things together, reclaiming my garden and redoing it, sprucing up my home and throwing out an awful lot of crap. It feels good, but it takes time and I really have to prioritise.

But, this is not the end but a new beginning. I will be starting a photography blog. I will continue to visit all my blog friends so I can share their lives, just a little. I will leave this blog up and visit for awhile to see who has been by and when the new blog is ready I will drop by and invite you over to my new place. Look on it as moving and not leaving, and thank you for being such great blog friends. It’s been an honour. Ther have been few fish. The reference is to a book by my favourite author, Douglas Adams, but the sentiment is true. So, so long… and hold the fish.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A little bit of drama

Well, so far this year I have basically been two things: ill or busy. I had a stomach bug that lasted over a week and this year so far I have had two migraines making another twelve days out of action. Not great. Other than that I have mostly been at work or catching up on chores and stuff which have piled up while I was ill. As Cathy would say, 'Ack!' As a consequence I have very little to tell and nothing interesting to share that is for sure. However, everyone likes a little excitement and drama in their lives and as this kitty demonstrates, if you need more then you can make your own. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Photographic Musings

Thank you to everyone who visited and left get well wishes for me after my last post. My migraine finally left after eight days. It was very unpleasant but I’m back to my normal self now. Whatever that is. The real annoyance is that it occurred just as I was getting into my stride with my new ‘cycle-to-fitness-in-front-of-the-TV’ regime. Now I pretty much am back at square one. Never mind, I will force myself back into the saddle tonight.

Other news is that my photography website crashed. I was using Concrete5 and they ran an automatic update that killed my website and everyone else’s that used them. Getting the site back would have required over a days work and as I was due to update my site anyway I decided to start from scratch and use iWeb. If you are a Mac user I can thoroughly recommend it. It’s based on a drag and drop system, is very user friendly (as one has come to expect from Apple), and integrates seamlessly with iPhoto. The site is looking good, even though I do say so myself!

I also went to a photographic convention in London recently which had loads of traders there and I found some great suppliers and chatted to some nice people. I attended a couple of interesting seminars and came away inspired and very tired. I have observed that there are two camps of photographers and both were at the convention: those who are kit obsessed and those that focus on the creative side of things. I find the people who are focused on the photography itself, and creating beautiful images are great to talk to. They tend to see photography as an art form and not a system of rules to be rigidly followed (the rule of thirds and no part of the subject should cut the edge of the frame for example (I break both)). They like to experiment and you can get a good idea of techniques that work from them and that you might be able to apply and adapt. I tend to avoid the camera kit obsessed. They focus on what model you have (they often look down on mine as it is not top of the range) and can reel off specifications like they would the alphabet. They always have the best kit and swan around adorned with branded kit and opinions. I am rarely inspired by their photography.

I once talked to a well established and respected pro photographer who told me: If you have (say) £1000 to spend on gear then spend one third on the camera and two thirds on the lens. A camera is simply a tool (albeit an extremely intelligent one) to capture what you tell it to, it’s the lens that creates the image quality and the photographer that creates a great piece of art. Which reminds me of one of my biggest niggles: I am often told “That’s a great photo – you must have a really good camera”. It always feels like being given a compliment and then having the rug pulled out from under you as if they are saying, it’s the camera that takes the picture and you just operate it. I have a good camera, this is true, but it is not top of the line. If I gave my camera to my mother she would still cut people off at the knees and there would still be times when the photo was over or under exposed, even if used in the fully automatic mode. I often wonder if such people, on seeing a wonderfully intricately carved wooden table, would comment to the carpenter ‘That’s a really beautiful table, you must have a really good chisel’?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Under attack

Last Friday I was sitting in front of the computer editing some photographs when all of a sudden someone ran up behind me and smacked me on the forehead with a big hammer. Blam! At least that was what it felt like. On the right, just above the eye. Bugger. Sudden onset migraine with none of the usual warning signs.

I've been a migraine sufferer since I was a teenager and over that time I have learned what triggers them for me, how to cope and what helps me best. In short I know what to do. I usually suffer with common migraines with just the head pain, nausea and photo and aural sensitivity. They usually last around 24-48 hours and then I am left with a post migraine fog for a couple of days where I find it difficult to function properly - I can't think straight, I find it harder than usual to find words and get words mixed up easily. Most of all it leaves me tired and washed out. I could sleep for a week.

However, sometimes I have a persistent migraine that lasts from three to seven days or so, known as status migraines. This one has turned out to be such a one. Six days and counting. The pain is not so bad right now but is getting worse (again). My eyes ache and I have the brightness on the screen turned right down. It's getting me down as I cannot keep on with my exercise while I feel so awful and washed out. And thank goodness for spell check. Migraines are not just 'bad headaches' they are a painful condition which means you cannot function properly. I cannot wait for this one to leave so I can resume my life again.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

I resolve...

There comes a point when enough is enough. I have been at that point for some time. Somewhat like a saucepan of milk approaching the boil and it is time to take action before the stove top needs a damn good scrub. No-one likes burnt on milk and you wouldn't want me to reach boiling point. Think Godzilla on the rampage in a large city. Not pretty.

So, time for action. It's not going to be easy but I want my body back. I want to feel good again. Hell, right now I would settle for alert and energetic. I want to fit back into some of my own clothes which are taking up cupboard space but I can't bring to throw away as what I am now,
is not me. I am sick of wearing whatever I can find that fits and want to wear clothes that I like again.

Most of all, I want to reclaim my self confidence. It's hard to feel good about yourself when you get messages all the time about how worthless you are judged to be by your peers.
It's sad but true, when you are overweight people assume that it's because you have no self discipline. After all, if you didn't just sit on your huge behind and eat chips, doughnuts and chocolate all the time you'd be thin right? If only it was that simple. For a start if is hard to fit in exercise when you do a demanding desk job and are grappling with a fledgling proto-business on the side. And that is before you factor in chores. The real problem for me though is hormones. Hypothyroidism means weigh gain no matter what I eat and a lack of energy which goes so much deeper than normal tiredness.

It's also hard to find sporting clothing to fit. I am having so much trouble finding suitable togs that I would feel comfortable wearing to a gym, let alone a sports bra, which believe me is paramount unless a want two black eyes!
However, despite all this, I am going to reclaim my health, my body and my life. It's been on hold now far too long. It's time I made me a priority again. As I said, enough is enough. This isn't a new years resolution. This is a promise to myself. It is not going to be easy so I'm going to need a lot of support. It's either that or Godzilla!

And finally, A Happy New Year to all my blog friends. Your tenacity at bearing with my variable blog habits remains deeply appreciated by me.