It's harder than you think writing personal blog entries. I can imagine that there are thousands of blogs all over the internet that start with the fine intention of posting nearly daily or at least twice a week, but after introducing the dog... and then the cat... nothing. Until three months later the next entry turns up about pranging the car or moaning about bloody Christmas coming around again. Pictures help though. A picture can inspire a good blog entry. Only I don't own a camera. I used to be a big camera-holic twenty years ago. My first camera was one of those instamatic Polaroid things with the cartridges and flash bars that cost a fortune for just ten shots. When I went to college it got broken so I bought a Chinon compact for candid shots. I love candid photography - catching people unawares. My family used to tell me off for it either because they were camera shy or because they preferred posed photographs. Line 'em up and smile. That's what they liked. The Chinon eventually developed a problem where it sometimes took double negatives. Then I really got into it and I bought a manual Praktica. Great camera. I bought several lenses and I got quite good at setting up pictures. Manually focusing and judging the light is a photographic skill which has pretty much disappeared with today's automatic digital cameras. The Praktica took great portraits and wide angle shots depending on the lens. The main problem was that it was a little too heavy for me so there was little opportunity for getting candid shots or spare of the moment stuff. Eventually bits started falling off it. One time it famously clattered to the ground on the way back from watching the England football team triumph. We watched it in a bar in Ibiza, got quite drunk, and then I got tipped out of my wheelchair on the way back to the hotel (who put that stupid kerb there?).
So why are all these sheep here? The answer is because although I don't now own a camera, some of my friend's and family do. So I'm always asking for pictures. Because I do get stuck for stuff to write about and as I said earlier they do give me a spark to trip the old mental engine into action.
"Give me some pictures of animals," I told my friend. "Nature pics. You know. Bees, birds and ducks. Please give me ducks. Get out there mate. Or some stuff from your archive, y'know, when we went to...."
The next day he rings me and says, "I got you some sheep."
I was a bit underwhelmed at the time but as you can see, they are very nice pictures of sheep.
Year of the Toad - *Common toad near Blackford Pond, Edinburgh * Last weekend we visited Blackford Pond hoping to see lots of toads spawning but we were too early for the ...
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