Last Sunday afternoon’s wheel in Douglas, because I can’t sleep

Well, it looks like the new drugs might have kicked in a little earlier than I could have dreamed for – I had a visit off Frank last night, but they were nowhere near as violent as they have been, and I came round a lot easier. Downside is, I can’t sleep and seem to have got a little confidence to post some more of my pictures up, so, for your perusal, a selection of pictures I took last Sunday. They were taken up Marine Drive and Douglas Head in the Isle of Man.

Taken on a Fujifilm FinePix S4400, run through Aviary and TitleFx, as per usual.

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This is as far South as you can go by car on Marine Drive now, looking towards Keristal and Port Soderick.

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You can see the remnants of a landslide we had recently – given how wet February was I was surprised it wasn’t worse.

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Proper view of the landslide.

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Quick peek North towards the Marine Drive archway at Douglas Head

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This is the rock formation it its original rotation. Up Douglas Head and Marine Drive there is mainly slate, granite and limestone. It gives the most stunning natural patterns and formations is quite breathtaking.

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Not particularly interesting, but it was to me.

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Steps up to a long gone farm house.

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Again, the rocks in their original orientation – no messing round from me on this front at all – nature did it all for me.

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And that is 3 strikes for nature…

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The top of the original Victorian archway to Marine Drive – I have cropped out all the road works and speed signs as I thought they spoiled it.

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Sir William Hillary – founder of the RNLI.

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I have enjoyed putting these up, it is Wednesday now isn’t it? 2 more sleeps to getting Cathy!! I am ridiculously excited about her arrival! I keep looking at her home, all ready for her and not with her in it. She had better chow down today or I will be having words with her when she gets home!

Lizzie had her ears pierced for the 3rd time yesterday, and now Myles wants his done, so guess were we are going when he goes on study leave – oh yeah, to get his left ear lobe done.

Joshua has got a new job – he starts today and I am thrilled. I think it is exactly what he needs. Even with everything that has been going on, it wasn’t his fault he was made redundant – cutbacks have that nasty side effect. So, he has got a job in a garage and I am over the moon for him.

Ok, not going to lie – I bought a Mac magazine yesterday and I am dying to read it so I shall bid thee adieu for now,

Sarah

 

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In the absence of a Catherine…..

Bert treated me to an afternoon out with the camera. Now, please remember that these are taken from a wheelchair, so aren’t going to be the best. Something a gentleman said on his blog (he is a professional photographer) gave me the kick up the bum that I needed to want to share some of my pictures with you. To paraphrase something he replied to one of his comments – if you are taking pictures for someone else, you shouldn’t be.

It was that that gave me the gumption to share my favourites with you all, so here goes – my little efforts from today, but there are a couple I am particularly happy with them.

Ok, first up, I use a Fujifilm FinePix S4400 bridge camera, and all my photos have been run through Aviary for cropping, filters and saturation, and have had the text added by TitleFx. So – here goes. Constructive criticism always welcome, I am not the kind of person to spit my dummy out of the pram – I genuinely want to learn as much as I can.

(Pic heavy, 9 incoming)

Clypse reservoir car park

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Bert very kindly posed for the next photograph for me – not sure why, but I like photographing shadows…

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Now the next one was a bit of a one off, I just turned round and it caught my eye……

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But I have saved my personal favourite until last – yet again, no planning, just me looking round and being mesmerized by what was in front of me….

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I am genuinely quite proud of this last shot. I know they aren’t much, but I feel as though I have accomplished something as I am a wheelchair user and can’t get to all the pretty places I would love to, buy hey ho, I like to think I am making the best of what I have!

Until the next one (which will hopefully be a Cathy spam)

Sarah

Just a little photography post..

Having recently acquired a new Fujifilm FinePix S4400 Bridge camera, and having a new found love of some of the cheaper apple apps out there for manipulating digital photographs, I thought I would post a few I have taken up.

I use Aviary and Snapseed for filters, cropping, brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness fiddling with the raw file, and then run them through a lovely little app called TitleFx to add text. I am not in the realms of being arrogant enough to watermark my work as it really isn’t good enough, but I like to pop a little tag on it more for my own reference.

So, without further ado, 3 offerings:-

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I honestly adore this pic as the rock looks (at a glance) like there is someone sat on it. I must have caught it just at the right point of the tide.

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A lovely little pic of where the tide seemed to produce the most gorgeous patterns in the sea. Must admit, wouldn’t fancy being in the swell!

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And my very favourite from my trip out that day – the remnants of a Victorian archway onto a place called Marine Drive. Quite proud of this one considering I haven’t had the camera long and am only just learning how to use it properly!

Hope you have enjoyed my paltry offerings – any photography nuts out there willing to give an enthusiastic amateur some constructive criticism, I would be very grateful.

Sarah

One small wheel for woman..

One giant slither for snake kind! It has been driving me literally insane as to how to post pictures and links into my posts, but by jove, I do believe that I have cracked it! I do now believe that I will be able to quite literally bore you to death with pictures and information on Cathy from now until eternity (well, not just now, but tomorrow lunchtime when I can get her!).

The terrarium is up and running, and looks like this

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The temperature is perfect awaiting her arrival…

temp perfect

And although I have had to snaffle the picture off the internet, this is what she looks like

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Having worked out the elusive hyperlink problem, you can be assured that Cathy’s every need it going to be met. I am not looking at this as a ‘flash in the pan’ – I know it is going to be a long term, possibly 20 year, commitment and I am more than ready for her tomorrow.

So, as I am starting to feel as though Frank might put an appearance in quite soon, I think this is accomplishment enough for one day. Until my picspam tomorrow of Cathy, I shall go and put my head down!

Sarah

Had a bit of a surprise today..

As anyone who ready my blog will know, I am a wheelchair user and have uncontrolled epilepsy. Just a quick aside from today’s post, I outdid myself completely yesterday as seizures go. I had one at the top of the stairs, cartwheeled over and landed in a heap at the bottom! I genuinely wish I could have caught it on camera as I am pretty sure it would have been hillarious to see! Slight problem though, I am now the proud owner of a delightful selection of new bruises, including a skinned shin and yep, dislocated my shoulder again. Thankfully Bert has got popping it back in off to a fine art.

Anyway, on to the lovely surprise I had today. As my activities are limited to say the least, I treated myself to a new camera last month, a Fujifilm Finepix S4400 Bridge camera. I had only had a ‘point and click’ up until then (Fujifilm again, I like the functionality on them) and am in no way ready for a full on DSLR yet.

So, I have been taking pictures of things that interest me – mainly the sea, rock formations, generally nothing man made. I have been posting them on Facebook just for my own amusement but was absolutely stunned a couple of days ago. On my friends list I have a gent who is a professional photographer. Not the kind that does studio pics, but someone that companies hire to do proper photo shoots and fly him out to work for them. He sent me a PM and actually gave me some rather surprising feedback on the pictures that I had been posting.

Although they are very rough and ready compared to what he is capable of, he told me that he thought I had a bit of a natural talent for it! Now, I have to be honest and was a little skeptical so I asked his brother in law if he was just being kind, knowing that I hadn’t been well, but apparently not, he had mentioned to him that he thought with practice and time, it is something that I could be proud to put my name to. He gave me some very good advice too – to watermark anything I put on the internet, so I have been since he mentioned it.

I didn’t really think much more of it other than feeling rather chuffed and in truth, a bit smug until today when I posted up a bunch of pictures I had taken yesterday when I was out. I chose yesterday to do something as it is the 5 year anniversary of when my back decided to pack up on me and I wanted to do something nice to mark the occasion, not wallow in self pity even though that was the overriding emotion until I got out of the house!

I got an invite to a closed Facebook group for photographers and recognised more than 10 of the members whose work I have admired for some time. A lot of these gents and ladies work with 35mm film exclusively but I can’t afford to do that, so even knowing that I am only able to offer digital photography they have been very welcoming, and surprisingly supportive of my meagre offerings so far. And yet I STILL can’t work out how to put a picture into my blog!!! Definite end user issues there. If anyone can help me with that one please could you message me about how to do it, I really would be grateful.

So yes, a surprising couple of days that have distracted me from the drama that has been flowing through the house.

On a more positive note, Joshua has applied for 3 jobs after being made redundant the other day, Lizzie is feeling much better and is at work, Myles had an absolute blast at a friend’s house last night – apparently it was ‘film night’ and they all had a great time. Haven’t heard from Leigh, so we take it he is fine and to keep Bert sane, I am confined to bed today to try and heal a bit. Think it is going to take longer than a day though!

Sarah

Fangirling

It is official, I am an Apple fangirl. I blame my son completely. Last summer, Joshua bought me an iPhone 4. I had been quite happy with my little Samsung BlackBerry wannabe, but he treated me to an iPhone 4 (got himself the iPhone 4S mind!)

I was a bit dubious at first, but within ohh, about 4 minutes of getting it up and running (bearing in mind, I had been running Safari and using iTunes on a Windows 7 laptop for some time) I was seduced, completely. It really is a thing of beauty!

So, fast forwards about 2 weeks and I accidentally find myself looking at iPads. What? I couldn’t help it! Now, they vary in price SO much I really did have some research to do so after much deliberation, decided on the iPad 2 (16GB if anyone is interested).

The main reason for getting it was because if I am sat in bed after a seizure I can’t stand the weight of a laptop on my knee and can’t use the right hand side of my body for quite some time, so for browsing, YouTube and the likes of SongPop, Words With Friends and email it was perfect. So yep, got that too.

Had a little browse on Amazon a few weeks ago and found a bluetooth keyboard for it that came in at £10 which surprised me as it had an average 4* out of 5 rating so I must admit, I did read all 100 odd reviews and thought for a tenner I had nothing to lose and ordered it – WOW. Absolutely fantastic.

Once charged, it was set up within minutes and I was exceptionally surprised at the speed at which the data transfer via bluetooth happened.

This is the one that I actually bought

So, obviously this got me thinking. My old and faithful Samsung RV510 has hit the floor so many times whilst I have been having a fit, it is starting to play up a bit. Nothing that isn’t fixable, but I do have a greater plan in my life which involves pursuing my love of education and writing and the poor old Samsung just isn’t up to it anymore.

I had a look in my savings, and had my heart set on a MacBook Pro Retina that was well and truly out of my price range – the one with the new flash drive instead of the solid state drive. I am not in need of a TB of storage but it was well and truly out of my price range so went up to the local store with every intention of coming home with this MacBook Pro

And, genuinely would have been ecstatic with that one. BUT – the shop had a sale on and I came away with the MacBook Pro of my dreams…..

Oh yeah – I was over the moon! I paid £1,000 for it and can’t believe that I am now the proud owner of a MacBook Pro Retina.

Now I didn’t get it from Amazon (it was just the best place to show the spec I got). I have wanted a mid to high spec computer for some time with flash rather than solid state drive so have taken the plunge.

I was chatting on Skype to my friends in the US yesterday and telling them what I had just purchased and apparently I have bought good! The only problem I could find (ahem!) was that all our USB flash drives are USB2. Well, that just won’t do so have a rather nice Sandisk 16GB USB3 flash memory stick on its way to me as we speak. Apparently I should be able to watch films without any lag off them (as the MacBook Pro Retina doesn’t come with built in DVD R/W which isn’t a problem for me as that isn’t what I have bought it for, considering I have a brand new PS3 for that purpose).

This is the little flash drive that I have gone for – I know there is a whole lot of arguments for and against Sandisk vs Kingston, but I prefer Sandisk

Just need to save up for goodies for the Thunderports!

All this is is coming full circle to where I am actually hoping that I am going to do something for the family.

I have had some really bad bouts of seizures recently and they are taking their toll on Bert. I am battered and bruised and have fallen up and down the stairs so many times in the past few weeks since the medication drop that I am exhausted, never mind the rest of the family. I spoke to my GP a few weeks ago about perhaps getting some day respite to give Bert and the family a break. Well, my GP looked into it for me and it turns out nobody will touch me with a bargepole, my needs are that complex.

I am going into respite, but the only place that will take me is our local hospital. I hate hospital, but I can see what is happening to those that I love around me so am going to go in. Bert and I spoke at great length about it and I am going to go in for a week, to see how it goes, full time. Overnight, the whole shebang.

It has genuinely got to the point that if I shut a drawer everyone comes running to check if I am ok, and this is NOT what I want for my family. They are on DefCon 5 at all times and it has got to stop, and stop it will for a week for them.

I think it is going to take about 3 weeks to sort, but I am actually quite surprised that it is something that I want. I want my husband and children to get a break from it all. Myles and Elizabeth have been fantastic and are always on hand should we need some help – Myles to help get me onto the bed, Elizabeth to administer my medication whilst Bert counts, films (my lovely Neurologist wants video footage of my seizures) and generally gets burned out from it all.

So, on a seizure count averaging out at 60 a week at the moment, I shall say bye for now!

Sarah