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Posts tagged ‘pictures’

The dog’s blog

I should probably consider renaming Deadlyjelly to Dog’s Blog or even Deadlyjed.

You’d think our dog was the most exciting thing going on in our lives – and I suppose you wouldn’t be far off. Sometimes we sit picking at loose threads on the arm of our sofa and pray for an escaped convict to stumble in the door, or a corpse to turn up at the bottom of the garden. And then Jed turns up with a dead possum and, well, there’s your corpse and the afternoon’s entertainment.

The lesser-spotted fat-headed colossus and his bow wow wave.

 Anyway, this post is a response to Jeep’s complaint about the dearth of photos of aquatic adventures. So the next time I went swimming, I brought my Canon EOS 350D SLR camera.

How is it that just typing the previous sentence brings on an overwhelming sense of ominous foreboding and dread; yet actually DOING IT seemed like a terrific idea?

Hindsight has a lot to answer for.

But I sensed Husband wince as I waded into the sea with the Canon slung around my neck.

I did take the precaution of looping the strap around my neck – just in case. Also, I remembered to remove the lens cap before launching.

At waist-depth I readied the camera and called Jed. Unfortunately, I’d overlooked how to fend off a furiously paddling 40kg curly coat retriever coming hard at me at the rate of approximately 30 knots with only a moisture-sensitive electronic device and a strand of seaweed. 

I decided escape and evasion was the optimal manoeuvre. So I’m wading backwards, giving artistic direction to the dog and snapping away, when I stumbled over a rock.

At considerable danger to myself – or at least considerable discomfort – I managed to hold the camera aloft as I sank into the briny depths. You have to admit I’m courageous.

Also stupid, but let’s not dwell on that.

To get the full effect, you really have to imagine being on an eye-level with this coming at you. I don't know whether I'll ever be stupid enough to try and capture THAT on camera, but on current form there's a fair chance.


Jed discovers barking and swimming is not a great idea. We all learned something.


Some obscure title totally unrelated to subject matter

When I was last in Oamaru, Her Goatiness asked me to take some pictures of beech trees.

Agreeing with one’s mother-in-law is generally accepted to be a wise, self-preserving course of action. Naturally, I agreed. I’m not sure why she asked me to photograph beech trees as opposed to, say, oak trees, or pine trees, or dolphins. It may be related to her recently painting a portion of her kitchen purple. Otherwise, it’s anyone’s guess.

Today it was just me and Jed out walking and – crucially – I had my camera with me and – even more crucially – no Husband, who tends to hover when I have my camera out, going: “Are you finished yet? How about now? How about now?”

In a perfect confluence of circumstance, the logging operation impeding the access track up to the beech forest was abandoned. Ever since I returned from my travels, the pine forest has been a wasteland: great scars scored in the earth, splintered trees tossed aside, diggers and generators discarded like giant toys in a quagmire of mud. Today, the ground steamed in the mid-day sun as I squelched up the track, following the ruts left by caterpillar wheels.

When Her Goatiness first asked, I personally envisioned maybe four or five artfully spaced trunks in perfect vertical formation. Unfortunately, it appears the local variety of beech tree don’t grow straight, but kind of sideways and/or curly. There were also a high proportion of dead trees. While I’m on a roll with the excuses, the light was a bit watery.

Actually, that could have been rain.

Really, the most concrete thing that came out of the exercise was the realisation that I had absolutely no idea what Her Goatiness wanted.

I took some snaps anyway, experimenting with composition and camera settings. Back home on the ‘puter, I marginally increased saturation, and cranked up the saturation to 70% and these are the results:-

Beech tree


Beech tree


Beech tree

How to boil an egg: it’s all in the timing

Last week, my parents set off on a road trip.

Even to minor excursions – going to the shops, picking up mail – Dad brings the same measure of care and precision as he might to, say, invading a small country. There are maps to be consulted, schedules to be drawn, checklists to be ticked, bags to be packed, socks to be pulled up.

Undoubtedly, Dad is thorough and organised – but he likes to keep his options open. When Dad is ready to go, he’ll stand around roaring, “I THOUGHT WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE LEAVING AT <INSERT CURRENT TIME MINUS X MINUTES TO THE NEAREST HOUR>!” even though nobody can remember seeing that particular bulletpoint in the circulated itinerary.

Now, while Dad sits in the car beeping and occasionally bawling, “VERA!” up the stairs, Mum pootles around achieving very little in comparison to the impressive acreage she covers. She’ll tootle downstairs with a bag of apricots, a whisk and a bottle of suntan lotion, wedge them into a non-existent gap in Dad’s painstakingly packed car, then womble off again to hunt down picnic blankets or savour a cup of tea while she envisions Dad going mad with the impatience.

I seriously thought her life might be in jeopardy when, after Dad had been downstairs fine-tuning the luggage for twenty minutes, she decided to boil an egg. (You think I’m making this up, don’t you? Bear this in mind: I did not spring from a vacuum.)

“Why didn’t you boil it yesterday?” asked Dad reasonably and admirably mildly.

“You know how to boil an egg as well as I do,” responded Mum defensively and undeniably perversely.

I don’t know whether Dad has mellowed, or merely appreciates that attempting to increase the tempo of Mum’s internal beat would be an exercise on the same scale as bailing out a boat with a fork. He might feasibly have dissuaded her from boiling her egg, whereupon she would have undertaken some emergency darning or decided to make an omelette.

Husband and I follow a similar pattern when leaving the house. I have never been innovative enough to boil an egg, but I find that sitting on the loo is an extremely defensible position. Andrew has been known to rev the car in the garage, but thankfully these days he does a spot of motorbike maintenance instead.

Leaving for Onemana last Friday, the roles were reversed when Andrew first spent half an hour wrapping up a PABX, and then decided to check the oil differential on the Toyota Surf. Evidence suggests Andrew didn’t spring from a vacuum either.

We finally arrived in Onemana at four o’clock.

06:13 hrs in Onemana

Me and Jed, still asleep

Dad in his pyjamas at sunrise. If I DID spring from a vacuum, you can assume this is photographic evidence of it

Husband, action shot. What are you asking me for? No idea.

(L-R) Mum and Dad. Not sure what's going on here but it's undoubtedly smutty.

That's my mum.

This is me dad.

Dad shows off the famous Shaw toes.

Andrew, Jed and tennis ball.

Out for a walk at Wentworth Falls, Whangamata.

07:00hrs: the road home, just outside Onemana.

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