With thanks

Hoping that everyone has a wonderful Christmas and is looking forward to the new year!

The jolly fat fella had a few choice gifts for me this year and my favorite being my new Nintendo DS . This little gaming gem is perfect for a quick fix and thanks to the wonderful R4 cartridge allows me to replay many long time classic games via a multitude of emulators (more on this in a later post). I opted for the sexy black one like the one pictured below but boy does it love fingerprints!

At the moment, the excellent new Super Mario Bros is eating into my free time & so is the addictive (and at times immensely infuriating) Scribblenauts. I can’t seem to finish a  relatively early level where you have to pick up flowers & place them into a basket. Stopping you from getting at them is a bee, a bee’s nest and a river which contains a very angry fish that attacks you if you go into the water for more than a few seconds. The bee & nest are easily despatched by typing the word ‘gun’ which then draws a gun for you to shoot the pesky insects but I’ve tried everything to cross the river without being attacked. I’ve ‘scribbled’ a boat, a fishing rod, an axe (to cut down a tree to make a raft) but no matter what I try the fish always gets me! It’s the  endless possibilities to solve the puzzle that makes this game so much fun to play!

Whilst preparing Christmas day lunch, I was so engrossed, I completely forgot about the oven and although everything else was o.k, the ‘pigs-in-blankets’ suffered the worst 😦

Also, a couple of great books received this year. The first being Volume 3 of Scott Kelby’s excellent Digital Photography book.

I have volumes one & two of these great books and for a complete novice like myself, are a great point of reference without being heavy on theory and techie photo speak. I have many photography books & it’s this and many of Scott’s other books that I keep returning too.

Quote from the book –

If you and I were out on a shoot and you asked me, “Hey Scott, I want the light for this portrait to look really soft and flattering. How far back should I put this softbox?” I wouldn’t give you a lecture about lighting rations, or flash modifiers. In real life, I’d just turn to you and say, “Move it in close to your subject as you possibly can, without it actually showing up in the shot.’

The second is another feature packed gardening book called ‘Grow Your Own Kitchen Garden Year’ by the Royal Horticultural Society.

It starts with the basics & leads you through each month providing you with plenty of help and tips throughout the whole year. It looks to be the  perfect companion to what will be my second year at growing my own.

I can also recommend a similar book by the RHS  I recieved last Christmas which is written by BBC Gardeners World’s Carol Kline (http://shop.wisley.co.uk/product_info.php?product=FRUIT_AND_VEGETABLES_GENERAL&dpi=9781845332938) This really helped me a lot last year!

Another great present was a  new Radio Controlled Helicopter! It’s about 2ft long and therefore seems stable outside in the wind.

Great fun to fly..ahem…., well it was for the first three minutes. I had a bit of a ‘Frank Spencer’ moment resulting in it hitting the hedge & nose diving into the drive. The rear rota blade snapped off and is beyond repair I’m afraid. Thankfully, replacement parts where easily found on eBay so these have now been ordered. In anticipation of more accidents, I’ve actually ordered LOTS of spares  😛

Curstie has the hilarious moment caught on her phone camera which I’m sure will find its way on to YouTube or this blog one day!

I’ve also been looking at buying a very lightweight, cheap, almost disposal video camera which I’d love to affix to the underside of the helicopter. Would be great to get a bird’s eye view of the garden. Of course, I’d better learn to fly the thing first!

Speaking of cameras..well lenses anyway, I’ve received plenty of £££ from family so will be purchasing a new camera lens very soon. At the moment i just can’t decide between macro, mid range or telephoto.

These are just some of the many wonderful gifts I’ve received this year and would like to express my thanks to everyone.

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