A Photo A Week: Action

It’s Not Just Cricket

I do enjoy action photography although I find it quite difficult. We used to go regularly to the Australian Grand Prix when it was held in Adelaide and I took many photos there, most of them still not on the computer as this was in the days of film.

Between 2010 and 2017 I practiced my skill at capturing moving objects at  cricket matches at Bellerive Oval in Hobart. I went to a lot of games in that time always striving for the perfect capture, when I wasn’t busy cheering for our team or groaning at some awful play that is. The photography part was always fun even if we lost. Here are a variety of shots from those years.

Australian fast bowler Mitchel Starc.
Looking up at the ball
One of the few occasions I’ve captured the ball leaving the bat.
practice before the game.
Spin bowler
The Hurricanes warm up before a game.
Tim Paine, Hurricanes and Australian wicket keeper.

A Photo A Week Challenge: Water

Water, Water Everywhere

When you live on an island it is not terribly hard to find water to photograph. Here are some waterside scenes in Tasmania.

Derwent River, Hobart Tasmania
The Derwent at Bellerive with Mt Wellington in the background.
Bellerive Beach, near the cricket ground, Hobart Tasmania.
The beach at Stanley in north-west Tasmania.
Table Cape, north-west Tasmania
Strahan
Early morning view of Strahan taken from our hotel in the Strahan Village.

 

 

 

RDP Saturday: Bird

Birds of a Feather

I was quite pleased to see that today’s prompt was about birds as I already had a draft on the subject. So here, as they say, is one I prepared earlier.

I’ve often mentioned how much I enjoy the birds that visit my garden. I think that I’m quite lucky that as I live in the country we get a wide variety of birds although not all of them visit me. Some prefer the tall gum trees of adjacent properties and some I spot just flying past. I am always trying to photograph them but rarely succeed. Here are a few of my attempts.

Of the garden visitors of course the most common are the sparrows, starlings, swallows and honeyeaters. I have a soft spot for sparrows although some consider them vermin.

Not sure what this is . A Welcome Swallow I think. They like to nest in my garage.
A common sparrow.
Yellow Throated Honeyeater Looking in my back door

Less common visitors are the blue wrens and robins who only seem to be around in winter time. I have seen Zebra Finches too but I haven’t managed to photograph any of these small birds successfully.   I have also had occasional visits from a pair of Green Rosella’s and once a flock of ducks but they had escaped from a neighbour’s garden so I can’t really count them I suppose.

Green or Tasmanian Rosella
These four ducks wandered into my garden.

The plover family dynasty has adopted the plot of land adjoining my driveway and I often see them looking for food there or flying around shrieking. They are quite vocal birds.

In the neighbourhood category the crows are the ones I hear most often. Their distinctive “Caw, caw” call is easy to pick. Surprisingly I don’t see or hear magpies nearby but we do have kookaburras. They prefer the taller gum trees or perhaps a power pole to perch on. I also hear seagulls as it is not far to Port Huon where there are plenty of fish and sometimes flocks of noisy Sulphur Crested Cockatoos. Sometimes I’ll even see an eagle flying overhead.  They are too far away for me to say what kind they are.

I really should have had a longer lens.

 

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. One of a flock I saw feeding on the Queen’s Domain, Hobart.

The ones that got away.

http://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/scarlet-robin

http://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/superb-fairy-wren

http://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/zebra-finch

http://birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/laughing-kookaburra

 

 

 

 

Friday RDP: Coffee

Coffee Time

I was a latecomer to coffee. I’m British. We drink tea. OK I know lots of Brits drink coffee but I came from a tea drinking family.

We used to use real tea leaves and brew a pot several times a day. We drank it at breakfast, lunch and dinner and various times outside meal times. If someone came over the first thing you did was to put the kettle on for a cup of tea. I actually still do this when Naomi comes over and so does she if I visit her.

Instant coffee was the only type I had ever tried and until I met David, it ran a poor second to tea . David didn’t drink coffee or tea when I met him. He never took to tea except for the short period we were on the Trans Siberian Express. Even David could not resist tea in a cup that looked like Sputnik. He would drink coffee though so that’s what we had, instant coffee.

I was the one that turned him into a coffee drinker. My bad.

Coffee tin.

Actually I remember the exact time and place where we first had percolated coffee. It was in 1990. Scotland, Fort William, there was a tourist information centre which had a cafe attached. We ordered coffee. The waitress brought us two cups and a plunger. It cost us a pound, or maybe a “poond”. We really liked it and when we returned home to Australia we bought a plunger ourselves.

A favourite coffee place of ours was in Adelaide’s Central Market. A cafe called “Charlies”.  We used to go to the market either on Saturday mornings or after work on a Friday to buy our meat,fresh fruit, vegetables and ground coffee and afterwards we stopped to have a Cappuccino. Sometimes on weekdays if I wasn’t working I went there with my mum too and if David was at the market alone because I was working he’d stop in. The guys that ran the place got to know us by sight and we never needed to tell them what we wanted. If they were busy David would just indicate whether he wanted one or two coffees by holding up a finger or two.

Occasionally during that time we’d go to the city to meet up with some people we knew before going to someone’s house to watch Formula One motor racing on TV. On those occasions we sometimes went bowling first and then went to a cafe which I think was in Goodwood or Unley or some inner suburb for supper where we’d order Vienna coffees and cake. Good times.

Coffee still plays a part in my social life as I meet with friends once a week for coffee at a local cafe.

A well deserved cup of coffee.

I do drink it at home too, sometimes tea, sometimes coffee depending on my mood. I still have a plunger, I have had several drip filter machines but they always seem to end up leaking all over the kitchen counter.

 

RDP Saturday: Robot

Asimov’s Children

When I was a child in the sixties people used to say that in the 21st Century we would all have robot servants and we would eat little pills instead of food.

Thankfully the second part has not come to pass and we still have access to fresh tasty food. I don’t like swallowing tablets so I’d probably be anorexic by now if I had to eat a dish of pills at every meal.

Robots  really have become part of our lives though  and in some ways it seems that the science fiction writers got it right.

When I think of robots I can’t help but think of Isaac Asimov and his robot stories. David introduced me to his favourite SF writer when we first met and particularly to Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics”

  • robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  • robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  • robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

In his later years Asimov played around with his laws a bit introducing a “Zeroth Law”. I also see there are many articles discussing whether these laws are possible or even ethical. I am not going there in this post. I am simply mentioning them.

The thrust of his idea was that humans were afraid of robots and the laws were there to make them feel safe. He actually wrote a lot about different ways that robots might develop because of this in his stories and some of it seems not far off the mark. U.S. Robots, the fictional robot manufacturer in the books turns to making small gadgets rather than humanoid robots because they are less intimidating.

As well as industrial robots which have been around for a long time we now have robots that help us around the home but don’t resemble us. Roomba for example. Nobody is scared of a little vacuum cleaner. You can put your cat on it and make a YouTube video.  Outside there are pool cleaners and lawnmowers saving us tiresome chores. On the Ovation of the Seas we saw a robot bar. These are an adaption of the industrial robots that are used in manufacturing but they are cute.

Robot Bartenders on Ovation of the Seas

Scientists are still working to create lifelike robots or androids but we are  a long way from having a robot butler to take care of our every need. My guess is that it won’t happen in my lifetime although we may well see them in jobs in hospitality perhaps information booths but even this would be a bit of a gimmick as we’ve become used to dealing with automated, voice only services now. Would an AI receptionist be more popular or would we all become Luddites  and want to destroy them as they took more jobs away or out of sheer frustration that they didn’t work properly?

Television and the movies have given us some positive role models for robots and androids. Robbie of course and the robot that was the best part of “Lost in Space”, terrible show, fun robot. R2D2 and C3Po are much loved if rather human in their behaviour and of course Star Trek Next Generation’s  Data is probably the ideal of how we would like to interact with artificial intelligence. At least I hope so.

My favourite Asimov robot story was The Bicentennial Man and in it I think he was saying that we wouldn’t accept robots that were better than us but perhaps we should be more worried that they might be programmed to be just like  the worst of us.

Replica of the “Lost in Space ” robot at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

 

 

 

A Photo A Week Challenge: Details

Details

I took this first photo specifically for this challenge but as it happened it fitted very well into Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge for this week as well.

Pearl beads on knitted fabric.
Detail on a vintage tablecloth.

A few examples from nature.

A leaf from the apple tree.
Tree bark, there are ants crawling on the tree.
spider web

RDP #82 : Yarn

A Yarn About Knitting

I do love the colours and textures of yarns. I don’t knit now as much as I used to but I still enjoy visiting the yarn department in craft stores.

I’ve been going through quite a lot of vintage magazines lately and of course knitting and crochet patterns were a big feature of women’s magazines. Many women found it more economical to knit warm jumpers for their family and there were stylish jumpers, jackets, dresses and even coats they could make for themselves.

My mum knitted of course and the English Woman’s Weekly was her favourite magazine.

The front page

Mum also liked to knit small items like dolls clothes and toys. She especially liked the patterns designed by Jean Greenhowe.

Sam Scarecrow
Photo from the official Jean Greenhowe website.https://www.jeangreenhowe.com/

Many of these little characters passed through our house.

Mum taught me to knit too but I was a slow learner. She didn’t lose patience and eventually I learned to knit but never to crochet which I regret because I would love to be able to make granny squares, Afghans or some of the wonderful patterns I’ve seen for dolls clothes.

I did knit a few jumpers and other items for Naomi and myself when I was young. I knitted David a jumper when we were first seeing each other. It didn’t come out that well but he liked it. I knitted Naomi a dress in a glittery yarn which she liked but mum ruined by washing it and hanging it out on the line instead of laying it flat so it stretched. Naomi had only worn it once too. I tried my hand at knitting dolls clothes and toys too. I remember making this golligwog back in the 1970s.

Mum had her knitting mishaps too, not dropping stitches or losing track of the pattern as I tended to do but the complete destruction of her project by one of the family cats. She sometimes had to spend a long time unravelling tangled balls of wool and picking up dropped stitches.

There are a lot of dolls and teddies wearing clothes made from this.
knitting needles
Just a few of my sets of knitting needles.

These days although it is probably cheaper to buy knitted clothing than make it yourself people do appreciate knitting and crochet as a form of art. Yarn Bombing has become a popular thing in many places.

I had never seen a Bollard warmer before.

 

Yarn Bombing
Yarn Bombing a bicycle. Makers on Church St.

I still do a bit of knitting but these days it is only for the dolls I collect and sometimes the ones that I clean up for the Op Shop.

One of my fashion dolls in a hand knitted outfit.