I’m not sure about this …


When I say “not sure…” I mean I’m not about why I’m posting this, but here goes.

I’ll give a bit of background first. One of the aspects of the work I’m currently on, is the need to do testing of certain pieces of computer software. The testing involves working in a ‘clean computer environment’.  This basically means that the PC’s used to test have been stripped back to the standard they were when first installed. It’s a bit of a tedious process that usually involves sitting a room with eight or nine computers and the system manager. Nobody else. That’s the background.

On Friday I was to do the usual testing and arrived at the test room as expected. I was then told that there would be someone else testing. I got on with my work and paid little attention to what was going on. Someone came into the room and they were welcomed by system manager with “Hi there Helen. Can you sit at your usual seat?” Helen is not her real name.

Helen answered, and the voice she had sounded a little strange. Not a woman’s voice I felt. I was then introduced and I turned to say hello. It then became obvious, that Helen was actually a transgender person.

Now this is where I worry about this post. I sat there trying to understand how I felt about this person. The conclusion I came to, was that there was no feeling apart from the fact that they were testing like me. I didn’t feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, intrigued, worried, disgusted or anything like that. It was the first transgender person I had met (at least I think it was) and it felt strangely normal, whatever ‘normal’ means. Should I have had one or more of the feelings I mentioned? At the end of the day, Helen was simply a human being that had decided what they wish to look like, what they wanted to be called and how they wanted to live their life.

On reflection, I think I must have made the mental decision that on this occasion, I’m not entitled to have any opinions. It is what it is and they are what they choose to be. I have no right to approve or disapprove.

=========

Talking of decisions, I think I’m going to stick with Open Live Writer for my blog editor, well at least for the time being. It doesn’t seem to work too well with images as my entry into the Weekly Photo Challenge shows. I could not get the images to show how I wanted them too, and it looks a little like a rushed job. The blog template in Word seems to be better and so does the WordPress editor. Both appear to have better options for working with images.

A recent idea (as recent as five minutes ago) flashed across my mind. That was, I wonder if I could create an Infographic image of the pictures I wanted to post. I have seen a lot of Infographics floating around on the internet, and have been wondering for a while on using the idea. Not sure if it will work for a collection of images, but I think it will make positioning of the pictures a little easier.

I have that “must test this out” feeling coming over me again, so expect some more ‘quick’ posting over the next week or so.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Time


There are three films that I can watch over and over again. There’s ‘Gone With The Wind’, ‘La Vie En Rose’ and my favourite of all ‘Brief Encounter’.

In 2014, me and my wife went away for a few days for our wedding anniversary. On one of the days we visited the village of Carnforth. More especially Carnforth railway station. This was the location for a number of scenes in Brief Encounter and it was a place I had always wanted to visit. The old station has been restored to it’s former glory and was a great trip back in time. These are few of the pictures from that visit.

DSCF0229

DSCF0226

DSCF0221

DSCF0222

An interesting twist to this is that the male lead in Brief Encounter was Trevor Howard, who was the brother of Leslie Howard who played Ashley Wilkes in Gone With The Wind!

Weekly Photo Challenge # Treats


I’m on holiday this week, so ‘Mrs Me’ and me took a walk into Boston Spa, which was a bit of a treat as we only get a chance to go out during the week when I’m on leave.

We visited a new restaurant/café called the Stew & Oyster, which as it sounds serves Stews and Oysters. Really good value and a great time. I’m not really into eating oysters, unless I can see that they are alive, so I picked a lamb hot-pot. It came with a huge chunk of artisan bread. Very filling indeed!

Oh and for my view on “Trick or Treat” see my previous post.

Weekly Photo Challenge – #Happy Place


I was thinking of the ‘Happy Places‘ I like to go to in my head, but that didn’t seem practical at all, so here some physical places that make me happy :

Whitby – a place I simply love to be.

P1010478

Then there is Durham, the land of the Prince Bishops:

P1010638

 

 

 

 

And last but not least, Carnforth station. Location for one of the finest British classic films Brief Encounter :

DSCF0228

Weekly Photo Challenge : Creepy


Well I thought I had many photos that I would call creepy, but on looking through my collection, I did not have that many.

haunted lookThis one I took in our local churchyard at Bramham. I had only just bought the camera, and was trying out some the features. It was only when I uploaded it to the lap-top that I thought it looked a little ghostly.

= = = = =

Sometime ago, we went to Crook Hall at Durham, in the North East. It was a beautiful place, and great for garden photgraphs. HoweveP1010648r, I did find this stone effigy, more than a little disturbing. I have no idea who it is supposed to represent, but think, given the area, it could be St Cuthbert ?

P1010062The last one, I took whilst out walking locally. What I remember most about it was that just as I pressed the shutter, there was a rustling noise right in front of me. What happened next scared the life out of me. I had just put the camera away, when a deer suddenly shot out out the trees and stopped in front of me. By the time I had calmed down it had gone, and a great photo opportunity had been missed. It still gives me the shivers though!

Difficult …..


This weeks ‘Weekly Photo Challenge‘ seemed at first to be quite difficult. The challenge is a photo that inspires me. Now the issue is, that photographs do not inspire me. The scene that I photograph may inspire me, but I find it hard to put into words the reason behind that inspiration.

Anyway, this is the best I can do, and I suppose that the beauty of nature is the inspiration, although it was just a nice view out of the bedroom window, to be honest.

An odd couple of weeks


My sister has been in hospital for just over two with a very serious condition, which I won’t go into on here. Suffice to say, she was in a critical state and after the first night, we were told to ‘hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst’. Having special needs and learning difficulties has not helped the matter. However, she has fought and pulled through and has been waiting to go home since Thursday. The thing that has been really useful, has been Facebook. Or more accurately, Facebook Messenger. One of the family set up a group message, which we all subscribed to, and we have been using this as communication medium. It was far easier to message the whole group through this system, than to telephone or text each individual. It goes to show, that for all its faults, social media does have some powerful and useful tools.

========================

This blog has recently had a huge upturn. My efforts usually rewarded with the occasionally, random visitor who more often than not has a quick glance and moves on. However, I was reading a post from one of my followers and I read about a weekly photo challenge on The Daily Post blog. Basically, they provide a theme, and you post a photo on your own blog and ‘ping-back’ to the particular blog page on The Daily Post.

I thought that I had nothing to lose, so I gave it a try last week. I was amazed at how many visitors and like I received for a single picture and a few comments. So amazed in fact, that I posted again this week increasing my like and visitor count yet again. By the end of yesterday, I was getting quite giddy at the number of hits I had been getting. I may sound a little sad, but going from the occasional visitor to the numbers I have been getting makes this post a little pointless.

I wonder now, how many visitors this post will attract ……

========================

I am still toying with the idea of changing the theme of this blog, but am struggling to select a suitable (my opinion) theme, from the many free themes on offer.

Now I have mentioned this before, but am still interested in what application people use to write their blogs with. I use Word 2013, which comes with a ‘blog post’ template. I type up, proof read and format, including images, before publishing to WordPress as a draft post. I then go into the WordPress editor, add tags (does not seem to work properly if I embed them) and preview, before making any final adjustments and publishing. It works well for me, as I am a seasoned user of Microsoft Word.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half


This is the second attempt at this ‘Weekly Photo Challenge’ and if it is half as successful as last weeks, then I will be very pleased.

It was taken some months ago, and although not a direct half and half split, I think it just about fits the brief..

However, the whole concept goes against what I have always been told about photograph composition ie photographs should be divided into an odd number of areas. This is to create ‘further interest’ as a seasoned landscape photographer once told me..