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Welcome to A Zillion Ideas


Is the Bitcoin cryptocurrency the road to riches? #financefriday

I’ve been asked about investing in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin several times. I see lots of advertising for it and they claim that personalities such as Jim Davidson endorse it. One advert even had Matt Hancock, the Health Minister promoting it. Bitcoin has gone to new highs recently as investors look for alternative investments and a safe asset for their cash. Bitcoin, however, is still a Ponzi scheme and not at all safe. The Cryptocurrency is interesting and even the Bank of England is looking at using blockchain. So I did a little research and even bought crypto!


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Looking for unusual subjects #photography

On Sunday, I went out for a while and photographed the streets and buildings in Darlaston. In the area around the town near the town hall, there are mostly Victorian buildings and so I’m making a record of those views that future generations might enjoy. It was quite sunny but that can bring its own problems with a full-frame DSLR. The shadows look really dark and at times I wanted to photograph a building but I was shooting partly into the sun.  One subject I spotted was a display of plastic flowers on the fence around the park. I think they make them out of soft drink bottles. I looked for unusual subjects, shots and tried to use unusual angles too.

unusual subjects

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Avoiding the truth #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so as always, I’ll share my thoughts with you. Sometimes we have to face the truth. A loved one dies and we can’t bring them back and so we have to face the awful truth. The trauma does affect our mental health. We are now in a pandemic and it is traumatic for those directly affected by it and for the rest of us it is causing anxiety. We must face the awful truth because avoiding the truth puts us all at risk. We have to act collectively to try to eradicate this virus that affects us all. Yes, it affects people like me more because of my age and health problems but it also affects young people. Young people are less likely to die from Covid-19 but if they catch it, it is likely to be a traumatic event from which they might not fully recover. We all need to take the pandemic seriously, young and old.

avoiding the truth

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Adjust to a new normal? #life

I don’t think life will ever be the same again. The pandemic is forcing us to adjust to a new normal. We have to take responsibility for our own health more and our own wellbeing. We have to think before we meet people or have any contact with people. We have to think about all the risks and consider if we need to improve our diets and perhaps lose some weight. Holidays might have to be in a country that is low-risk or even a British holiday. Maybe the ‘new normal’ can revive our struggling seaside towns?

adjust to a new normal

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Capturing the moment #photography

I went out for a while on Sunday afternoon to take some photos. Sometimes, you can capture the moment and get a good shot. You can also be more mindful of your surroundings and get shots that you might otherwise ignore. People have frequently said that I’m a prolific photographer who takes lots of pictures. I do take pictures and then I get back in the car and think where else can I go around here? I did that on Sunday. I took pictures of the canal scene and the new housing. I then remembered some sculptures not far away and so went and took a few shots of those. This shot was my ‘capturing the moment’ shot:


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Some people are unbelievable! #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so as ever, I’ll share my thoughts with you. Yes, some people are unbelievable. Ask them to wear masks in shops and you’re infringing their rights while some don’t even believe there is a virus while others believe it was made in a lab. These same people are against 5G, immunisation and just about anything else that might inconvenience them. As they look to the skies and complain about chem-trails and wonder about alien life, a pandemic is killing off our most vulnerable. These Sun readers are a danger to themselves and others.

some people are unbelievable

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Virtual stock market trading #finance

If you don’t have the experience to trade on the stock market you can get some practice by reading virtually. I trade virtually on London South East and find it’s a great website that gives me lots of information on the stocks including RNS statements and charts. I’ve recently started using eToro but that seems more difficult to me. You can trade virtually or for real. I’m not trading for real until I have a lot more experience. You can lose far more than you expect on eToro because trades can employ leverage. Although trades are commission-free. They make money from you in other ways. The spreads are larger and you trade in US dollars so they make money on the conversion to dollars. They also charge a few when you withdraw money.

virtual stock market trading

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The things people did in lockdown #life

What did you do while you were in lockdown? Sales of cakes went up and many people were taking the time to make tea in the afternoon. Traditional afternoon tea became quite a trend. I tried to document my lockdown in pictures. I took pictures around the house and garden and even documented my meals which became healthier. I shared my photos in an art group on Facebook. Lockdown is over now but we still have to minimise our outings and employ social distancing and wear masks. Will our behaviour be permanently changed?


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Gain experience and take better shots #photography

I’ve been using a DSLR for a few years now but I’m still learning. The best way to learn is to actually use the camera and gain experience. Photography with a DSLR isn’t an exact science. On aperture priority, the camera will get the exposure just about right but at times you need the experience to get that combination of aperture, shutter speed and ISO just right and achieve the exposure you want. During the lockdown, I found I could shoot at 1/200 of a second and use my flash on manual (it’s restricted to 1/60 on aperture priority). That gives me much sharper pictures. There are a lot of settings and combination of settings and you need to gain experience to make the best use of them.

gain experience

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The need to invest in the future. #ramble

The weeks seem to pass quickly and Sunday comes around so quickly once again. So, as always, I’ll share my thoughts with you. It was an interesting week on the stock market that saw the share price of Verona Pharma more than double. They are testing a respiratory drug but not one that will be useful in the fight against Covid-19 but it is an important drug. It’s good to see investors supporting the development of new drugs. We need to invest in the future, not just our money but our time and expertise. That is the only way the world will recover from this pandemic.

invest in the future

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Diversify to spread the risk. #finance

I’m not wealthy, in fact, my income is low. So my discretionary income, that money that I have leftover when I’ve paid for all the essentials, is low too. So, I try to boost my discretionary income with money from investments. I also try to diversify to spread the risk.

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The important things in life. #life

The pandemic has made many people ask questions about the important things in life. Elderly people are most at risk and many have been missing their grandchildren. Many things, such as going to social events, have been suspended. Those social events seem less important now.

important things

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