On Past Injuries II

Quite a while ago, I wrote about reacting to past injuries, and even though I know them so well, I was failing to name examples.

Ever since I wrote this blog, however, I started to pay attention, and I can now not only add examples but, much more importantly, discovered that I could heal from some.

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The first situation where I realised that I was reacting to past injuries was my fierce hatred of Country music. It was the kind of music my dad liked (apart from a few other, for me equally unacceptable, genres), and he plaid it particularly often and particularly loud because he knew it grated on me. Long car journeys in particular – anything I could not get away from. And when I complained, he laughed and turned the volume up. It was a power trip, and maybe a punishment to his teenager slagging his music, and it got me to hate it to this day (where it probably would have remained a simple dislike otherwise).

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Another example where I`m reacting to past injuries is my own birthday. I had 8 until I overheard my mum saying that she hated my birthdays with all the gifts, cakes, parties, children, grannies and merrymaking. I had 4 more (which I had ceased to enjoy) until my parents decided that I was too old, and that was fine with me.

Even when I was an adult and able to throw my own parties, I never did – there were half hearted gift exchanges with family, because it was the only way to for them to retain their own righ to receive, and that was it.

A couple of years ago, I turned 40, and I decided to celebrate it. At that point, I felt blessed with very many great people in my life, but only few of them had actually met. It was mainly meant to be an opportunity to bring the mall together – and I had such a ball!! And I celebrated the next, which was much smaller but an equally beautiful day, and when it came round again just recently, I got properly excited about it because people actually made a”deal” about it – mainly new ones, who didn`t know I disliked my birthday, and some others thought I had changed my mind. And I discovered that I probably did – after skipping 28 of them because of what my parents said and did when I was a child…

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Another really important thing is perfume, and how it can remind me of the particular good or sad times when I was wearing it. I`ve been known to give perfumes away just because I couldn`t stand the memories I kept associating with the smell. (But this works vice versa, too – I know which one to wear if I want to wear confident or sexy or fresh or happy.)

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And then there are two… really silly things – the ones which actually inspired me to pick up this blog again.

I`m still too embarrassed to mention either in a public blog, but someone had hurt me very much, twice, with things which for others are probably absolute trivia.

One instance involved a particular brand of cosmetics. I was not using the brand myself at the time, but I was given them as a gift later and had to pass this on, as I was unable to use it without flashbacks (yeah, that`s probably the right word – I`m not just thinking of the injury, I`m having proper flashbacks which bring me so down that others actually comment on my low mood). The fact that I recently bought myself not one, but two, lipsticks from this make, shows me that I`m really and truely over the person who injured me. It`s one of those products which tingle on my lips and remind me that I have it on, and it`s nothing but a great feeling.

The other one involves a food. It was used to neglect, be stubborn towards and commit an act of absolute cruelty against me, or at least so I saw it at the time. I could no longer enjoy this kind of food. It had no taste whatsoever, just injury, fat and calories. Adn a whole 2 1/2 years later, there comes someone else and turns the whole thing round. Whatever happened back then, that person did the polar opposite. I feel healed, and I will never ever eat this kind of food again without this particular happy memory, which totally erased the other one (although the memory is still there, it no longer hurts).

And maybe that`s the secret. Rather than avoiding the triggers, re-expose myself in a pleasant situation and simply replace those memories with something upbeat.

I`ve got a candidate for that on my shoe shelf. Horrible memory, which I cannot summarise adequately in a three liner (I just tried). I never wore them again after that night. They are of cream suede, and they still bear the black marks of a drunk man`s shoes where he kicked them about in a night club.

I should wear them next week. I should plan a whole outfit around them and make them feel and look absolutely amazing – and then remember them for that…

I just Sold my First Photograph!!

imageimageYes – indeed: about a year or so after I started to really get into my photography (and sporadically publish them in various places online), someone has now paid money to get a license for my … smartphone photo of jellybeans…

Right now, I`m feeling really proud and accomplished, and I don`t care that I`m only getting a tiny cut, but the sheer fact that someone just paid at least £50.oo for my photo, my creativity, my… artwork, feels just amazing!!

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I remember the story of that picture well.

I took it during my first face-to-face tutorial with the Open University, which took place in a hotel near Haymarket Train Station in Edinburgh last February. On our tables were, besides pen, paper and water, jelly beans. The young latecomer who sat beside me laughed as, before even eating a single one of them, I grabbed my smartphone (a Samsung Galaxy S 6 Edge) and photographed them from all angles. That`s when she decided she needed to get to know me, because she likes wacky people. We ended up going to the bus together, and on the journey home, I applied various filters to the best pic and uploaded it to both Instagram and EyeEm.

It was in May when I got an automated email from EyeEm saying that the photo had been selected for their Premium Collection, to be put up for sale on Getty Images. At the time, me and another friend were researching opportunities for selling photos online, and I found that most of those rather “big” sites have rather strict guidelines regarding quality. I never found mine on their site, and then forgot about it, although looked again a few months later, and it was there, beside two photos of my Siamese cat. (In fact, I had 8 pictures altogether selected for Premium Collection, but only those three published).

Anyway, on Tuesday, I got an email saying I sold it!!

The same night, I went to the birthday party of my wonderful Greek friend Mary, who sat beside me when I took the photograph! And she remembers it well, as it was the day we met and the reason she wanted to get to know me.

Aw, I`m happy, and dying to know who bought it and what for…

Iphone 7 Plus vs Android (Galaxy 6 Edge)

I wrote the review I did below after only a few days with my new phone, and I think three months (and a bit more) is a good time to review what I first wrote about it – particularl with the arrival of the Galaxy S 8 next week. New comments in red 🙂

After my Blackberry (2011-2013), I always had Galaxies, and now, I finally treated myself to an Iphone.

I cannot say that it is better or worse than Android, but I can say it`s different. I got some nice new things but also lost some.

My personal verdict is as follows:

Lock Screen

Galaxy blinks with notifications, until I open it. Only text messages and WhatsApps show on my lock screen, so I always wanted to look at my notifications (and if I didn`t, the flashing drained my battery). Iphone shows all incoming messages on lock screen, but flashing lights are available for those who want them as well as.

Iphone wakes up as soon as I lift it up, and because my home screen can recognise my fingerprint, I don`t need to bother with annoying pass codes.

Iphone 1  : 0  Android (this should actually be double points as so great!!!) 

yes! It`s so easy to check (either by having my phone beside me or by just briefly waking it up by simply lifting it), the battery lasts such a great deal more than the one of my Galaxy (which would blink for ages in my handbag and then had to be completely wakened for me to see the message), too.

Home Screen

Fully customisable on Android. On Apple, you can set a background picture and reorder the apps.

Iphone 1 : 1 Android

Yes. Mind you – I still haven`t customised my home screan.

Notifications

see also “Lock screen” and “Homescreen”. I like the Iphone`s Notification Panel on the side. Although its customisation could be improved (but hey, it`s new, so maybe it will) it wins over the Galaxy Edge. The Notification Centre which you drag down from the top is similar, but slightly better on Apple. It seems a silly thing, but Apple gives me a separate notification for each person who liked my Instagram photos, while Samsung will only say “Marvin + 3 other people”.

Iphone 2 : 1 Android

yes again 🙂

Battery Life

Because of the things raised above, I don`t need to switch on my Iphone that often, and neither have I got lights flashing in my handbag if I don`t check it. Can`t say whether the Iphone battery is really better, but I can easily see why it lasts me longer (charge every second day rather than daily). Lost Fast Charge.

Iphone 3 : 1 Android

as said – this one still valid, too 🙂

Alarm Clock

Can be put off with one tap on Iphone. Samsung requires me to get into the Clock App, which is annoying when you`re still half asleep

Iphone 4 : 1 Android

Yes, great improvement on the Samsung, for said reason – so easy to simply switch off.

Settings

Extremely easily accessible on Android from homescreen via customiseable dash board. Iphone requires me to go into Settings, where I don`t find it particularly intuitive to find certain things. Some settings are available from the lock or homescreen (drag up from bottom). I like to use flight mode during the night (where on my Galaxy, I would have switched off WiFi and Data) Still…

Iphone 4 : 2 Android

Yes. Apple settings are really annoying. It was, for example, so easy on the Samsung to switch off and on WiFi or log into new networks. This is annoying now, plus, I seem to be really having a hard time with WiFi (other than at home) in particular. 

Camera

This is really important for me, and I love the Portrait Mode of the Iphone which blurs the background. However, I lost the Beauty Setting in Selfie Mode, which blurred my skin and made me look at least 10 years younger. I know there`s apps for that, but… I prefer Apple`s inbuilt filters to Samsung`s, but there are several third party apps which I prefer to both.

Generally, with both phones, I`m happy with all photos in good light but less so in low light. Apple`s Live Photos are quite cute, but really just a toy.

Draw.

Iphone 5 : 3 Android

Still yes, plus I would give Apple an extra point now that I found their own photo editing mode and also discovered that, if you keep your thumb on a Live Photo, it plays the whole video rather than just recording one movement before (which it shows when you are flicking). It`s really cute 🙂

Gallery

You know what really bugs me about the Apple Gallery? You can share a pic to third party Apps (take Instagram), but you cannot then edit them there. To do that, you first have to go into Instagram and fetch the picture from there. With Android, you pick your photo, share it to Instagram and arrive at your usual editing screen. And that`s how it should be.

Iphone 5 : 4 Android (this one should get double points, too!!)

I found a function where you can move photos to Instagram and then edit it, but this is not there all the time??

Music

You can get GooglePlay on Apple (but you don`t get Itunes on Android), so don`t need to transfer my Google music to Itunes and can now chose where to buy from, as prices can differ. Android has its own music player, too, which I hardly used. I however downloaded two MP3s onto my Iphone via mail, and still haven`t found them. Nevertheless…

Iphone 6 : 4 Android

yes 🙂

Third Party Apps

Most third party apps are available on both Operating Systems, and with most, I prefer the ones for Apple (although not hugely).

Iphone 7 : 4 Android 

Apple apps cost, though, and they`re not cheap. What I really dislike is that I can`t always see how much I am being charged – it just asks me confirm that I want to buy the app and then asks for my password re payment. Surprised this is allowed.

Health App

I`m grieving for the Samsung Health App, which had everything (step counter, exercise, food diary and several other things including weight and sleep) in one place. The step counter was on my home screen, which I adored. Apple has a health app, but the only thing which seems automatic is the step and exercise counter. Although I was told you can put those on the side panel, I`m yet to find out how. A real loss.

Iphone 7 : 5 Android

yes. Now RunTastic as well, but Samsung had this all in one. 

Phone Design

Okay, it`s a bit too big, but I wanted the camera which the small one does not have. Galaxy 6 Edge was the perfect size, with the edge providing a larger screen and additional functions.

Iphone 7 : 6 Android

Cracked the screen about 3 weeks ago. Thankfull, it was only the protector 🙂

… and it`s almost a draw! Some may want to consider things like price, image, processor and accessories, but I focused on which one is the better phone to use. I was craving a change, but I really wouldn`t be able to recommend one phone over the other.

At the moment, I’m definitely enjoying the novelty factor, though 🙂

Lisbon Part IV: Random Impressions

Another old door and some interesting graffiti. I need to finally write about Porto and the graffiti we found over there…

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More Tram no 28 – its so iconic, I just can`t stop photographing it. I`m forever waiting for my best shot ever…

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Got photobombed when I tried a selfie with it. Seeing that they celebrated Carnival (although nothing as big as at home!) totally put me in the mood, and I felt silly enough to just walk into a shop and walk this huge pink bow to walk about with (insert: what became of it now…)

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Chestnuts in the street and sardinhas in shops (NB: The ones which were confiscated have arrived yesterday!! Exactly two weeks after the airport post box was supposed to have been emptied, I was getting really concerned that it got lost!!)

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Arcades at the main promenades and a beautiful display in front of an Italian restaurant. Sardinha Road.

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Brazilian band playing at the beach.

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Funnily, they were already playing there when we last visited in November.  The weather was particularly lovely then, and the band so good we bought the CD. I`ve got it in my car and should get it out again tomorrow…

… for summer is just around the corner… lol…

 

 

12 von 12 in March or: an Ordinary Day in Pictures

8am: waking up with hubby`s alarm clock: Speedway session has begun for him, and another assignment (statistics) due for me, so no lazy Sunday for either of us.

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Cuddles with Amber in the bathroom. Here, she feels safe because Leo doesn`t come in. She rubs herself against me, purring breathlessly until my nose and eyes are itching (for I do actually have a cat allergy!) while Leo is crying outside the door…

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Proper picture not possible – cat in constant motion…

As usual, Leo is there while I study…

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I always vow to do better, but a simple fried egg sandwich is just too convenient when you`re working…

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2pm

Enough! Being picked up by my friend for a walk in the park. We went to their shop, and I didn`t see the dress that was pointed out to me as having my name all over it, and neither did I find a selfie with my new hair colour that I like enough to post, but we did take a few beautiful picture of the scenery – not the brightest of days, but spring is definitely in the air…

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What? What about the tree? It`s got an eye, right, and another one underneath…

Home via supermarket, bought some stuff, cooked it, ate it and then proceeded to entertained the cats before she went and I put on the computer to write this post…

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Hope you enjoyed, more in April 🙂

 

Lisbon Part III

And now, I have a confession to make. Part of me feels guilty for complaining about anything regarding something like a holiday, but I have to be honest about one thing: first negative experience with Air B&B.

It first turned out that we were sharing the small flat with our hosts (watch out for the term “private room”!), and while our room was clean, the kitchen and bathroom were not. (We didn`t get a review, as we didn`t want her to retaliate, which is probably wrong – advice appreciated…)

Anyway, while I love my coffee soon after I get up, and even on holiday breakfast is usually something we have at home,  we didn`t want to on this occasion, so this meant two more visits to one of Lisbon`s beautiful cafes:

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Oh, the hardship of it…

After that, we went on to explore the city – which, for us, basically entails walking our favourites of the roads we know already and happily be distracted when something else looks more interesting.

On the top of Bairro Alto, where Carreira 28 turns, there was a fleamarket, where we tried some delicious olives and where I bought this cute little bum bag which is just large enough to hold my phone, keys, lippy and some lose cash – ideal, if you don`t want to carry a large handbag:

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The following is a photographic technique which I probably got from Instagram, and which I still need to improve, but this was the first time I tried it, and I think it`s got a potential which is definitely worth working on: photographing myself in a mirror, camera forward, so my own selfie becomes part of a picture of the foreground:

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Lisbon – Part II

I still haven`t quite sussed out why it is only the tram (carreira) 28 that everybody is so obsessed about, but I guess that`s because it has the most beautiful route, between Alfama and Bairro Alto. It would have taken us home, but everything is close, and if it is not too hot and if you are able bodied, I recomment walking. Lisbon is a steep walk for sure, but you always see something beautiful, plus, the trams are usually packed like a can of their famous sardines…

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Somewhere, I also have a video which I took from inside one, from our first visit in summer 2014. I have to dig this out…

More Carnival, and all rather civilised in comparison to Germany, where there is just too much drink involved…

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Canned sardines – Portugal is famous for its salt cod (which I wouldn`t try for money!!) and canned sardines, all (apart from the first one, which is from the best souvenir shop in town!!) photographed in the gorgeous and very athmospheric Conserveira de Lisboa, which sells nothing but canned fish – mainly sardines in different sauces and package designs, but also some tuna, mackerel, anchovies…

The sardines are available in souvenir and gift shops all over the city, but some are actually more expensive, and Conserveira de Lisboa boxes theirs beautifully and add a little card with a rather nice pictures of their shop – the perfect gift!

I would however not be a very considerate blogger if I didn`t issue a word of warning: Sadly, they were confiscated at the airport.

They are over 100g, and even though they are sealed, we were sternly told “Nao pasa!”, and she didn`t mellow at the sight of my beetroot face. The choice was between leaving them, checking them in (at £40.00 with Easyjet) or mailing them to ourselves for “5 Euro or so”, which it was not. They seem to encounter this issue a lot, for there is a vending machine where you can pick a pre-franked envelope by size and destination, and then address to yourself and put it in the postbox next to the vending machine. Instructions are in Portuguese, pens are not provided, EUR 20.oo notes not accepted, and once you have inserted money, you will not get any change unless you purchased something (but after that, your full change will be provided).

A small selection of canned sardines is available from the duty free – at a somewhat inflated price, but they are the cheaper option, if you are flying hand luggage only.

Just saying. The selection and boxes from this shop (who did not pay me for this blog!!) are exquisit, but I`d feel negligent if I didn`t.

Lisbon 26-28 February 2017 – Part I

Yes, it`s totally worth going for only two days. With the inbound flight landing at 10.35am and the outbound flight leaving at 3pm, you`ll get a full 48 hours of fun. There`s a metro station right next to the airport, and we arrived in Chiado/Bairro Alto just about mid day, where we easily found our Air B&B accommodation within less than 10 minutes walk.

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Ascensor da Bica – one of the most featured items in town, but I find it easy to see why…

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Half way down, where you see the black and white cars, there is a little square and Bar Bica, where we enjoyed those drinks and the risotto featured on my twitter page.

I was surprised to see signs of carnival, which is really important at home (Rhineland in Germany) but so non existent where I live now (Scotland) that I almost forget about it.

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First walk, rather refreshed with a glass of Sangria inside. The sky isn`t quite as blue as it was the last few times (November was like a Scottish summer!!), but we still discover charming little things which we don`t remember seeing before:

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Other things are rather comfortingly familiar and didn`t have my lense on them for the first time, but those are the sights for which I love this city so much…

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To me, the whole place is a piece of art which never ceases to inspire me!

Just walking through this beautiful place and observing its people and their homes, I could even formulate the answer to one of the most annoying comments I received in a while (which left me speechless at the time), but needless to say, the topic was never revisited, which left me ever so slightly frustrated :-/

The quiet little square in the Alfama where we stayed for our first three visits. I always feel a bit sad when I go there, thinking I should still be looking out to that from my window, but prices for accommodation vary, and those places were just too expensive.  There always seem to be more cats than people on this square, and the maire has built them little hutches to encourage them to stay and keep the rats away. I`m sure I photographed this guy before:

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My latest thing is videoing, but please bear with the beginner…

A Study of my Drink (A Blog about Photography)

I have a confession to make: I`m a serial offender for ordering my food and drinks for their looks, so I can photograph and, if I find them particularly appealing, post them on social media.

The prices in certain places used to annoy me, but ever since I started photographing, I have become more lenient, considering all the added value I`m getting.

Worst thing (apart from dealing with the impatience of fellow diners) is usually to determine which ones of all those many shots of the same thing are actually any good. The following are 10 out of 29 shots of the same white sangria I enjoyed in our favourite wine bar in Lisbon at the weekend – Bar Bica half way through, and with a stunning view onto, the very famous and much photographed Ascensor da Bica (and with free WiFi seducing you to post the first picture right away, which, of course, I did :-))

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All photos were made on an Iphone 7 Plus (with the background blurring portrait mode, which was a major selling point) and, apart from Chrome and said Portrait Mode, not edited.

Feedback would be much appreciated – while I do think I progressed in both technicque and composition, I often seem to have no idea of what a good photo is. (It always amazes me on Instagram how people like the pics I was not sure about and almost ignore thoe ones I`m particularly pleased with).