Monday, 30 May 2016

Cancer, Macro Photos, Life Study Models ....

Just gave a huge sigh of relief - so loud it's a wonder it wasn't heard around the  After weeks of tests, prodding and poking, giving enough blood to satisfy even the hungriest vampire, my doctor told me this morning that there is no cancer. He had been worried by a lump he found hence my weeks of tests.

This morning I had the final round of tests and I get the results from them next Monday but my doc is 99.9% confident that they will come back normal.

It's amazing what feelings that dreaded 'C' word brings up - been such a stressful few weeks. Tried to ignore it and remain positive but it hangs over you. Now I am dancing around the house laughing - Fozzie thinks I've gone nuts (or even nuttier than usual).

Of course I never told anyone - hate causing anxiety to others - so I just kept my scary feelings, my nightmares, to myself. I am a private person despite writing a blog, guess the blog is a kind of pressure release valve ... lol

So now I can get back to what is considered normal for me.

Been going through my photo from the Kiama trip and think some are very good. One of the lenses I bought was a Macro lens and I want to do some more work with it. Think a day outing is in order soon.

The cold weather is finally poking its nose in the door - it's hovering around 14c today after dropping to 2c overnight. Still it's a lot warmer than usual with 22c predicted for the end of the week.

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My life studies group has been dwindling of late - maybe because of the cooler weather - but I am really enjoying it. I've found I'm now painting directly with the shorter poses, still doing pencil sketches for the ones up to 5 mins but using watercolour for the rest.

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Had a new female model who was delightful. She was a full figure woman probably in her 40s but was an excellent model. She gave some amazing poses and I've been told I can get her again.

My favourite male model was doing his usual tricks - giving me a lot of challenging fore-shortened poses. He knows how much I hate them but in a strange way I really love doing them.

Rather contradictory I know but the challenge of trying to get the pose onto paper is something I love.

Funny how some models are so good and others ... well - mediocre.

Haven't done any writing for a while. Have one story written - 95k words - and to the 'tidy up' stage but just haven't got my mojo.

Decided to not worry about it and take a break. No use forcing something when it just isn't necessary at all. My books are still selling - not a huge amount but enough to make me smile when I get my qaurterly royalties ... lol.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Macadamians, Magical Minnamurra, Macquarie Pass ... oh and Cheese

So did I have a nice time away? Yep.

The park was perfect. The view from my cabin too. Very clean and very quiet. Lots of ducks - some would knock on my door begging for food ... lol.

Drove down to Berry one day and went to the Treat Factory - oh my is that a big temptation place. I came out laden down with all sorts of goodies.

My one regret which I didn't discover until I got back to Kiama was a jar of Orange Blossum Honey wasn't in my bag (the saleswoman must have missed it. I didn't pay for it so it wasn't much use driving back down.)

Anyway I bought stuff for the kids and the kid in me. The pic is of some Honey Chocolate Macadamias and some delicious Wildberry and Macadamia nougat.

The nougat is divine - if I had of realised how good it is I would have bought more. The place does have an online store so if I succumb I know I can buy more. Sadly it doesn't sell the honey online.

If anyone knows where I can buy Orange Blossum pure organic honey let me know please.

I'm being very restrained and only eating a little at a time - I've lost over 8kgs so don't want to put them back on .... lol.

Anyway another day I drove to Minnamurra Rainforest. I did the Loop walk - would have liked to do the Falls Walk but was advised against it. There is a lot of uphill walking and it isn't easy. The day was magical seeing 4 Lyrebirds I mentioned in the previous post.

That same day I drove to Robertson to go to the Cheese Factory.  That is a drive from hell ... full of hairpin turns on  a very narrow windy mountain road. For most of the drive I was in second gear and even had to drop down to first a couple of times. Decided to come back the long way - big mistake. I'd forgotten that way was the dreaded Macquarie Pass.

Macquarie Pass is even worse, the only benefit was in a few places it is a wider road. Eight kilometres of sheer nail-biting Read about how dangerous it is on the link. Its actually one of the world's most dangerous roads with so many terrible accidents.

In some places the trucks had to back up to get around the hairpin corners.

Overall I have to admit I was disappointed with the Cheese Factory. I bought some Pecorino, a few different vintage Cheddars and some Pickled Onion Cheddar but there just wasn't the selection I'd hoped for. There was about 6 different Cheddars, some Bries, Camembert and the Pecorino plus two blue cheeses.

I grated up the Pecorino and put it in the freezer - I find it keeps best that way and you can use it direct from the freezer with no problem.

The remainder of my time was spent painting. I did a number of watercolour sketches that I can use as the basis for larger paintings.

Naturally I took hundreds of photographs - some to use with the sketches when I paint and others just for the fun of it.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Photo Fun....

So had my week away. Didn't get the rough surf that I've been looking around for a few years. The weather was perfect - sunshine the whole time, temps around 25c.

Looks like I'll have to take a trip to the central coast or to Wollongong when I read the coastal wave warning probably during the Spring or Summer when the weather is changeable.

One one of the days I took myself to the Minnamurra Rainforest  and was lucky to photograph 3 Superb Lyre birds in the wild, something that takes patience and real luck.

They were in the midst of the ground cover and hard to see but I did manage to get some photos.

But then I came upon a 4th... so close to me. I stood very still but was able to get a number of photos. He was wandering through a small stream turning over rocks and feeding before finally taking a bath.

I was amazed to see him turning over large stones in the middle of the stream in his search for food. Not only was he in water but the stones were really large compared to him.

Had a good play with my new camera and lenses - think I'll have to buy a different camera bag. It's very heavy carrying the four lenses and the camera.

I'm thinking I need to look at a backpack to distribute the weight better than having the satchel I'm using now.

Was fun using them all and seeing the results. I liked the macro lens, got some nice pics of a duck that came visiting.

One day I just happened to pass a bookshop ... honest I was only going to look, really that's all.

I couldn't help it - these couple of books leapt into my arms and I just had to rescue them. 

I mean I only took two books with me so I needed something to read in case.wink emoticon
Oh - I also found a new author - Lars Kepler.... now I love his books!

I read Stalker. It was a real page turner, full of suspense and very well written.

Once I got home I bought the rest of his books