Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Be Inclined...

To watch the way of the rain,
When it falls slow and free...

I can't take credit for writing those words, except for here, as they are someone else's. I do however, have a fondness for them.

And so it rains here!

Has been for a whole day or so. While other parts of the country are being bombarded with high winds and cyclonic conditions, we're just getting steady rain. Which is how this country needs to take it. Slow and soaking.

Of course, you can't please everyone. Those who are yet to harvest a winter cereal crop are probably watching their income go down the tail drain. Its sad, as many of these farmers are yet to get a good go. On the upside, if this rain continues, then they won't have to worry too much about the future. As there will finally be one!

Personally, I think that the rain is great. The garden will just continue to look great for the next few months now, even if we don't get a whole lot of follow up rain. And of course, it means grass and feed for the horses. It also means weeds but I've got something I can do about them!

If it continues to rain like this then maybe, just maybe, we'll get a flood.

I wouldn't mind a flood...a flood means a lot of things to me. One of them is...water views!

Bring on the flood...I think I'm ready.

Rainbow Sky

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Self Portrait...or Two...

Gesh...probably the hardest thing that any woman and maybe even any male for that matter, has to do is take their own picture. I found it difficult to get my mind around and then to figure out how to do it without showing any of my "ugly" bits...and I'm not talking about the private parts here!

So, another challenge and seeing as this time, I have not got a willing subject of the human variety, I have bit the bullet, or in this case, put the camera on a tripod and taken some photos of myself...

After an initial kind of "what the heck am I doing?" reaction, I came up with the rather, (well I thought so) brilliant idea of dressing up for the camera. I've got plenty of costumes! So, I had ideas for Cowgirl Tam, Pilot Tam, Biker Tam...you get the picture...

Cowgirl Tam was NOT all that good...didn't quite get what I wanted there...so you may not see any of those shots. There were two versions of Pilot Tam...One with a pilot helmet and a green military style jacket, the other with the classic sheepskin jacket, a Pratt & Whitney cap and a pair of aviator sunglasses. Now, where on earth would I get such props you wonder! Not...Pilot Tam v1 was not really very good because of the focus issue and a big white helmet, I'll probably give that one another go at a later date. Pilot Tam v2 was far better.

Anyway...after lots of hits and miss, the hardest part was actually setting up the camera. Time and again I had to go back and try to get the focus right. In the end, I figured out to leave it focused on a spot and move myself closer or further away.

The point of all this?

Well, the challenge is for lighting. So, in effect, I had to set up my own little photography studio and use some reflected lighting. Lighting is something I get. I love using any props or lights for more lighting. Lighting is what I did as a teenager for theatre. And if it hadn't been for Teen Ranch, I'd probably still be sitting in the dark somewhere, doing the lighting! So, lighting this was easy for me.

Although an overcast day outside, there was still a very nice bit of light coming in through the window...actually, a window that I'd like to block the light out of! Maybe not now I've been playing around with self portraits! And with a big piece of white card, I managed to get some good light onto the side of me that would have been in shadow.

Without further ado...here are the results...the one's I'm happy with.

EB Lesson 7 - Light and Reflectors

If you look closely, you'll see the reflection off the white card in the sunglasses and in the next one, its quite clear in the helmet visor.

EB Lesson 7 - Light and Reflectors

So, as much as I'm serious in these photos, there were one or two where I tried laughing but its pretty hard to laugh at yourself when the camera is loudly counting down the seconds! I had put on a funny dvd on the tv and turned it up loud but I couldn't really hear it over the beeping camera and the airconditioning!

Anyway, don't be surprised to see me revisit the self portrait. I have to admit, after I managed to get over myself, I had a bit of fun and am enjoying the results. I hope you do too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

When all is quiet...

Roses at Rose Street Garden

Coffee in the Garden1

Whew...what a couple of weeks...

I've been very busy making coffee...

The ABC Open Garden scheme came to our town and several gardens in the district were invited to open. One of the gardens is just two doors down from the bakery cafe where I work. My employers were approached to do coffee and light refreshments for visitors over the two days. Reluctantly they agreed.

So, a commitment was made to purchase a smaller coffee machine that would do the job. I was enlisted to research the right machine for us and I only had a week and a half to get it! A big call and by Friday, the day before we were meant to be at the open garden, my boss and I were wondering if we were even going to be making coffee! Well, at the last hour, it seemed, the delivery truck backed into the driveway at the rear of the shop and we unloaded a rather large box.

We were the new owners of a brand new machine. It was kind of exciting and when we took it out and put it on the bench, were in awe of all the shiny bits that greeted us!

The weekend went well, it wasn't too hard sitting around a garden for two days. We made a few more coffees than we'd expected and sold quite a few of the Portugese Custard Tarts and Lemon Poppyseed Muffins that we'd made as well.

The following Friday, the community was holding a Relay for Life, a huge charity event for the Cancer Council that involves teams of people walking a large circular track for eighteen hours straight. Of course, we were there to keep them all awake with coffee!

Over the period of fifteen hours we sold over 240 coffees and hot chocolates. We left tea for someone else to take care of. I was busy enough with the coffee! I had a laugh when I had at least two people ask for the "chocolate biscuits" I had. They weren't chocolate and would have tasted more like sour coffee! People thought that my coffee pucks were biscuits. Actually, a bit of a compliment really as it was nice to see that when I did knock the puck out of the portafilter, they stayed a whole "biscuit". That is what could be seen in the knockbox, so I could forgive the uninitiated for thinking they were edible.

Anyway, its been nearly three weeks of mostly work and finished with a weekend of three days off. Which made for a pleasant change...