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Community ideas

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Welcome to A Zillion Ideas


For better or worse #ramble

Yes, it’s Sunday morning and so I’ll share my thoughts with you once again. I’ve been trying to stimulate discussion on the local history page I run and in the group. There was a movie about the effect of a single butterfly landing on a flower. I haven’t seen it but I’m told that small incident had a far-reaching effect. We can all have an influence on our environment and on the community we live in; it can be for better or worse.

better or worse

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The rich get richer #finance #economy

There was a big sell-off on stock markets around the world yesterday. Investors are very nervous. Here in the UK, we have continued uncertainty because of Brexit which was madness when we were only just beginning to recover from the 2008 crash. The top FTSE 100 companies appear to be riding high with share prices soaring since the Brexit referendum but the reality is they have only become more profitable in terms of our own currency. The value of the pound crashed against the US dollar which we should remember is the reserve currency. While British importers are paying more in dollars for imports, exporters appear to be making bigger profits, at least on paper.

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Experiments in photography #art #Wednesburyonline

From the first time I edited my photos, I have experimented with pictures and my experiments in photography continue. I have changed colours, tried sepia and added a border to my photos. I’ve had pictures printed on canvas and on foam board and my latest project was to have 2000 art cards printed that I have to try to sell. I’m now looking at combining images for my next art card.

experiments in photography

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Art cards and recognition #art #photography

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll let you into the labyrinth of neurons that is my mind and share my thoughts with you.  Yes, I’m still trying to sell my art cards, the initial enthusiasm from people seems to have waned now I have actually gone to the expense of having them printed. They are a limited edition print and so could be quite collectable in the future and they won’t self-destruct like Banksy’s picture.


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Chipping away at life #life #photography

Do you remember that film the Shawshank Redemption? The prisoner keeps chipping away at the wall in his cell with a rock hammer, covering the hole with a movie poster. I thought there was a lesson to be learnt in that story that you can chip away and get what you want or where you’re going, eventually. Just keep chipping away…

chipping away

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Getting your content out there #photography #writing

Whether you’re into blogging, social media or printed media. You have to create content for the general public. I use Windows Live Writer to write my posts for my blog, I use Outlook for emails and I use MS Word to write everything else. That is just the words but I also produce pictures. My Nikon D3200 produces quite good photos and I use Windows Live gallery to edit them and often use PhotoScape too. Resizing and adding the copyright notice to photographs is done with Fotosizer. The way I create content is fast and simple.

Getting your content out there

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Social media publicity #ramble #photography

It is Sunday morning and so, as usual, I’ll share my thoughts with you, such as they are. This week I had my hedge trimmed ready for the winter and next week I might run the lawnmower over the lawn. Autumn is here and the weather is changing quite quickly. On the 28th of October, the clocks will go back an hour so the nights will get dark earlier. I’m not looking forward to winter, last winter was a cruel one. I hope this winter will be milder. A historic local pub, Ye Olde Leathern Bottel reopened this week and I hope the new licensee does well. I designed a web banner to publicise it and posted it up on Facebook on our history page. I hope that helped. The effect of social media publicity isn’t always immediate.

leathern bottel social media banner

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Out to destroy me #life

Money seems to dominate life these days but there are more important things. A local politician used the words, “out to destroy me” recently regarding a political opponent. It was, of course, their reputation that they fear will be destroyed. One’s reputation and good name is a thing of great value and more important than money and it can so easily be destroyed by gossip and rumours, especially these days, with the internet and social media providing mass communication.

out to destroy me

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Reflections on the water #photography

At the weekend it was the Tipton Canal and Community Festival. Saturday was cold and wet and I wasn’t feeling too good so I waited until Sunday and went to photograph the narrowboats and visitors. I met up with Chris and Jan from the Caravan Gallery. They were taking photos for their Sandwell Pride of Place Project which will be an integral part of the Blast photo Festival in 2019. You tend to get a lot of reflections on the water when you photograph canals and that can make the water look like a white sheet. This year I decided to use a polarizing filter. It is a bit like taking photos through Polaroid sunglasses so it makes the image darker but cuts down on glare and the reflections on the water.

reflections on the water

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Such is life #ramble

It is Sunday morning once again and so I’ll let you into the deepest recesses of my mind and share my thoughts with you. It is dark, wet and dismal this morning. I did plan to photograph the Tipton canal and community festival yesterday. I got ready to go despite feeling really unwell and it started to rain. So I had second thoughts and checked on the traffic. The festival had caused a traffic jam which was made worse by a road accident. Then I checked the weather forecast which suggested today might be a better day for it anyway. I was quite busy but felt I had let my friends down who did make it. Anyway, c’est la vie, such is life!

such is life

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Light at the end of the tunnel? #life

This year hasn’t gone well for me and this week has been pretty awful but there is always light at the end of the tunnel if we squint our eyes and look for it! At least my investments haven’t lost more value this week and there are signs of recovery. The new board at Solo Oil seem to be much more business-like and so I’m hopeful I might make money there. I now own another 20% so I need that company to work a small miracle.

light at the end of the tunnel?

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Can civil society save our communities?

I’ve always thought that civil society is a good thing. Those associations, trade unions and non-governmental organisations raise money for charity, fight for workers rights and plug the gaps in the social care system. In recent years, we have seen charities become more like businesses and more community interest companies trying to tackle community problems but also trying to make a profit. I suspect some of these new organisations are more driven by a desire to create jobs or maintain jobs for the people who run them than provide a worthwhile service.

 civil society

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