Archive for August, 2010

Decorating continues

I’ve not posted much in the past few days due to decorating a few rooms in our house. Today I’m on to the kitchen and was up early this morning giving the walls and ceiling a good wash, filling in any small dints and hairline cracks and then applying a bead of chauk around where the wall meets the ceiling – I wish i done this when we first had the new ceiling installed as over the years it’s shrunk and cracked the paint. Live and learn!

Plate racks, kitchen shelves and other items on the walls have been removed and the floors and work surfaces have been covered prior to begin painting the ceiling. The only problem area was around the recessed light fixtures as for love or money i couldn’t remove them. Very steady hand required but thankfully no major problems with any slips wiped away with a damp rag.

I’m just waiting for the last coat to dry, which should be any time now before starting on the walls. Depending on how this goes, might continue later into the evening and begin painting the woodwork…Bank Holiday weekends, don’t ‘cha just love them 🙂

Sunday, I’m off to Suffolk with RCM to pick up a boat load of vintage computer/console gear. Looking at the list, there’s some real gems in there and will post pictures when i get back.

…but for now….paint brush awaits!

p.s Will also post a veggie plot update soon. Things have quietened down a little but still bring in the tomatoes, peppers, beans, peas, potatoes, courgettes and salad crops. Best of all, the first of the aubergines is looking ready to pick.


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Sunset at the waters edge.

Here’s a few photo i’d taken whilst rounding off the weekend with a stroll around one of our local ponds at sunset.

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Tomato invasion.

It’s surprising  what a little bit more sunshine during the day can do to the greenhouse crops. After the grey & wet fortnight we’ve had,  summer appears to be with us again  (and hopefully for a bit longer).  The once all green tomatoes are all starting to turn red very quickly which at the moment is proving us with much more than we can actually eat, so I’ll be churning out pasta sauces this weekend.

Any of the little ones that fall of prematurely, I move to the kitchen window sill and after a day or two they soon ripen.

..and the biggest surprise I found this evening the greenhouse are that the Aubergines have finally emerged. I really did think that it was going to be a no show on my first attempt so I’m chuffed to bits!

There’s only a few on one plant, but the second has a few clusters of 3-4 each.

I’d given my parents a couple of  plants so I called them to see if they had any growing and likewise they said that they also had found their first this morning. The others, I’d given to a few friends at work so will check with them tomorrow.

It’s only an Aubergine, but it really made my day 🙂

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Raynox DSR 250 Macro Extension.

Although it arrived a few weeks ago, I’ve not actually had chance to try out my Raynox Macro extension until yesterday.

Here’s a box shot and as you can see from the cover illustration, it’s a simple clip on affair that supports lens threads from 52mm to 67mm via the universal mount – The actual macro extension has a 43mm thread.

Box contents are – Storage case, storage bag, instructions, universal clip, macro extension and two dust covers for both ends of the glass. You simply screw the macro extension into the universal clip, push the spring-loaded mounts together and affix to the lens.

Similar to other  macro extension rings I have, auto focus is not possible therefore manual focusing has to be used. However, unlike my previous macro extension rings where the glass has pretty much got to be touching the subject (and often causing lighting issues), the Raynox seems to work in the opposite way and the best results are obtaining at the top end of the telephoto range. On my Fuji HS-10, this is anything around the 500 – 720mm  or 250 – 300mm on my Tamron/Canon.

Unless you have a very steady hand, mounting the camera on a tripod is a must at these ranges. My HS-10 seems to cope much better at image stabilisation than my Canon but even so, still very tricking when hand held. Focusing is best done by moving the camera backwards and forwards until the subject is focused and using the manual focus to make small adjustments. With my Canon, the remote shutter release cable came in handy but without this function on my HS-10, I used the self timer mode.

Here’s a couple of test shots –

Ball point pen

2.5mm headphone jack

USB cable – at approx 300mm

Same shot, but at 500mm.

Moving outside, it was almost impossible to capture these fast moving Marmalade Hoverflies (especially as the flower head was moving in the wind too!). Shot at around 400mm

This Bee was quite happy to pose for a shot! – 720mm

So far, I’m pretty impressed and I’m sure that with a little bit more time to experiment with various camera settings, I should be able to get some interesting results.  The one I’d really like to try again is the ball point pen and see if I can get a better self portrait through the reflection.

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Veggie plot update – 2/8/10

Apart from continual lack of anything that looks like an Aubergine, everything else in the greenhouse and veggie plots are coming along nicely. In particular the potato grows sacks are producing some excellent results and so far I’ve dug up a fair few handfuls from the  first bag.

Although a little late to crop this year, we’re now picking the runner beans in larger volumes with plenty of new growth to keep us happy throughout late summer/autumn and to freeze for winter.

Likewise, the peas have also accelerated giving us a generous pan full instead of a small handful for salads.

Everyone I spoken to  says that there Tomatoes are late to ripen this  year, and mine are the same too. I’ve had the odd one or two but no great volume yet. However, these past few days I’ve noticed that the majority are just starting to show a hint of color change from green to orange so hopefully it shouldn’t be too long now.

A mis-timed sowing session has left us without much in the way of salad leaves for a week and I’ve also noticed that something is having a nibble on some of the leaves. I’d found the odd caterpillar, but I’m guessing he’s got friends lurking around nearby.

As I mentioned above, the Aubergines have failed to fruit and I’m guessing that there’s not going to be any to sample this year.  I won’t be put of trying again next year and at least the pink flowers have provided a little color to the otherwise uniform green of all the other crops in the greenhouse 😛

Courgettes and cucumbers are coming along nicely, especially the larger cucumbers which we’re picking each week.

All in all, so far so good.

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