This is just an update - bloggers who know me are aware that I tend not to use my blog as a diary, and the simple reason for this is because my life isn't interesting enough to tell you what I'm doing day by day. If I tell of myself I prefer to do so through stories or in those posts where we list things about ourselves...
The delay is because I'm researching a story I'm going to really enjoy telling you when it's finished, about two women of the O'Gorman family in the Argentina of two hundred years ago. The stories are well known to people who read Spanish, but I don't think English speaking people will know them, and I think you'll like them. I think I'll make each section (or post) longer than I did with The Dressmaker, whose chapters may have been too short. Do feel free to comment on anything about the stories - if writing is so important to me (which it is) then it's equally important to accept criticism gracefully and gratefully when it's offered. By all means tell me if they're awful - but please be constructive and take the trouble to tell me why, because I'd like to improve. Writing-wise I'm feeling my way at the moment, and for now love the story-telling style.
Nothing much to report on my lapband - I'm certainly not losing weight at the moment, just treading water. It'll come. I enjoy what bandits have to say about it though, and leave comments here and there.
Last weekend I did have a real-live drama. My ginger cat Rusty was clearly ill when I returned from work last Friday, and I was told there had been nothing in and nothing out, and that he had been trying to climb the cage we use to take him to the vet, which he normally hates. He was lying beside it, barely able to mew.
We took him straight to the vet, who diagnosed a blocked urethra due to crystal deposits in the bladder - common with male middle-aged cats (he's 10). We were told that if we had waited till the following morning he would not have survived the night. The vet kept him in for three days, and they have vet nurses who stay all night with sick animals, so after washing him out they kept an eye on him. Once he was comfortable he was very friendly apparently; he purred loudly and head-butted everybody who came near him, which they liked.
He's now on a special urinary diet for the rest of his life, and my other cat Banjo will have to be too. It was lovely to have him home, running round all his old haunts, as if he needed to re-discover them all. Banjo ignored him at first - I'm told because Rusty would have smelled funny for the first few hours, but all is fine now.
The Photo Finish this week consists of digital and non-digital pictures of two old favourites, Patagonia and Fuerteventura, but I hope none you've seen before. I'm teaching myself Photoshop, and love how I can lighten and darken sections of the image. By some miracle I had backed up my several thousand images on an external drive the week before my computer "went down" - and it's in inverted commas because when my IT man arrived to listen to my tearful supplications he was able to point out that the reason for the on-off crashing several times a day was because the plug had got partly dislodged at the back due to -er- feline intervention. I felt like the stereotypical female driver who says her car doesn't work and then gets told it's because she hasn't put petrol in it...
from Lonicera's archives
Fruit plantations in the autumn, Río Negro.
This original was very different because the triangle in shade was completely black, as were the tree leaves in the top left corner. All I did was lighten, and feel it adds so much space to the picture.
Same story, taken nearby. The foreground and all of those two trees was black. My inexperience shows half way up where I was trying to get rid of a big black electric cable (not the telephone wire and pole, look further up). I've made a right pig's ear of it, but when I learn more I'll go back and improve it.
What I did here was give a very slight green tint to the grass in the foreground, which was completely brown.
Yup - love waves, and actually anything watery. Lots more in my archives...
Apart from cropping, all I did here was lighten the centre of the palm tree, and that hanging balcony, which was black. I think it improves the picture to see it.
The apartment-hotel where we stayed on our first holiday in Fuerteventura, with a salt-water pool that took me 10 minutes to swim across.
And here it is again at night, when sand from the Sahara turned the sky blood-red. All I've done is crop out a rather bright light on the right. When I learn a bit more I'd quite like to clone one of the lit-up windows and stick it in the middle where it's dark.
Watch this space...
Don't look too closely at this one, because it's not pin sharp. In my enthusiasm to get such colourful scenes I forgot that I needed fast shutter speeds (and I also forgot that the back of my legs were going to turn lobster red if I stood there like a lemon for an hour at noon, snapping pictures one after the other). Now that I have a digital camera, I've learned that in these situations the best thing to do is to under-expose by two stops so that there's no camera shake, then lighten up the picture once I have it on the computer.
Didn't know that then...