Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Hallowe'en!!

Hi everyone, yes I'm still alive, though only barely after a week of full time (33 hours 45 minutes, not including the fact that I get paid for public holidays!) work.  I have decided I need to put in some effort to keep up my blog again, and so here's a non-scary little Hallowe'en story for you, written by me, and inspired by this picture from The Lady Lair.

Hidden behind some willows at a bend in the stream is an old wooden jetty leading up to an old stone cottage.  In Autumn, the leaves turn red and golden brown and yellow and the trees stand in a colourful blanket that covers the river-smoothed rocks and in places the drifts reach up and over the jetty.  The only way to read the cottage is by rowboat up to this jetty, then by carefully stepping log to log and plank to plank up the jetty that turns into a set of rickety stairs up to the courtyard in front of the big blue front door of the house.  The cobblestones here are weathered, but smooth, and free of leaves as if someone had only recently swept them all away.  But noone comes here anymore, and the door creaks as a breeze blows through; it is never locked.  On the other side of the door, the sunlight streams, not through the windows, which, though intact, have grown cloudy with dirt, but down from the gaps in the green-tiled roof.  The floor is dusty and in places covered in moss and lichen, and further into the house the light dims under the intact sections of roof.  The kitchen smells faintly of damp, but the stove is intact, and a small bundle of wood still sits next to it in an indestructible basket made of willow saplings.  In the corner of the kitchen is a door, and on the other side another courtyard with a stone well, and beyond, a glade of elm and birch trees, where a child's swing hangs, forlorn, from one rope.

But instead of this melancholy scene, a scene that only hints at happier times, you see the sparkling lights and hear the choral voices of the faerie who have taken this place as their own, and you gaze in childlike wonder.  You see fae children lined up across the swing, playing clapping games and laughing.  You see the hearth in full flame, and warm your hands, while a small stout woman stirs a pot of fragrant stew on top.  You see that the lichen and moss are gardens of flowers and vegetables, with fae of all sizes tending them and singing a working song.  To stay and watch too long is not advised, so with reluctance, you turn away, open the big blue door, and cross the neatly swept courtyard.  But before you step back into your little row boat, you kick up the red and golden brown and yellow leaves so that they fall about you in a flurry of colour, and grin, knowing that you'll never tell a soul about the old stone cottage at the end of the old wooden jetty hidden behind the willows in the bend in the stream.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Princess Bride Reunion

This made me tear up it's so beautiful.  Happy anniversary to my favourite movie.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I found this on tumblr ages ago, but I don't remember who's tumblr.  If you see this somewhere else, please let me know so I can credit the person who made this awesome quote look so pretty.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I'm Baaaaack, and Cameras

We have finally got decent broadband internet!  Yay!  I have been busy trying to judge how many podcasts I can download/videos I can watch/websites I can visit, without going over our 30GB limit.  I updated all of my podcasts in one day and only got to 1GB.  But those are the podcasts for almost a month.  So I'm not worried.

I've also been working 5 days a week, for 4-6 hours a day, and have managed to accumulate some funds.  So I when I was in JB Hi Fi yesterday, I had a look at their digital cameras.  There are so many in my intended price range to choose from, so I walked away without any.  My friend who is in Africa at the moment is a brilliant photographer in her spare time, so I think I will wait (less than a month to go now!!) until she comes home and ask for her advice.  Here are the models I was looking at though (in no particular order):

Samsung (ST-95/EC-PL120ZFPBAU)
5x optical zoom


Cannon (PSA2200)
4x optical zoom


Nikon (Coolpix S3100/S3100KITPP)
5x optical zoom


Samsung (ST-65/EC-ST65ZZBPSAU)
5x optical zoom


Sony (DSC-W530)
4x optical zoom


Fuji (Z-90?*)
5x optical zoom


See what I mean about difficult choices?  I have included the most basic features for these (though they can all record video and sound), because past that, a lot of it becomes jargon, or at least to me it does.  Digital image stabilistaion or optical image stabilisation?  Continuous shooting speed?  Retouch filter effects?  Sweep panorama?  I have only the slightest idea of what these terms could mean, but I have no idea what impact that would have on the quality of my pictures, or the ease of use of the camera.  This is why I'm going to wait.  Hopefully, although the sale prices are only applicable until the 19th of October, they will still be within my budget.

What kind of camera do you use?  How did you choose it; price, features, zoom/mp?  Have you found that one brand is more reliable than another?  Do you have any problems with your camera that you'll avoid if you buy another?  Discuss!

*The image on the JB website doesn't look exactly like the one detailed on the Fuji website, however, it is included in the group photo on the summary page


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