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Looking for something different #photography

I was looking for something different on Sunday and decided to use my 55 – 300mm lens to give me more reach. I have an art project in mind but haven’t quite decided on what kind of shots I need. I’m getting closer to what I need, though. I need something quite different from my usual images and I want to zoom in with a 300mm lens.

looking for something different

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Lost in the labyrinth of life #ramble

It is Sunday morning and so once again I allow you into the dark and mysterious labyrinth that is my mind and share my thoughts with you.  What’s on my mind this week? I’ve been getting embroiled in local politics a bit. Being a pragmatic sort of person who believes in going with the flow and the superiority of the natural laws, especially the one that says we should allow things to evolve naturally. I am ignoring a lot of the political posturing and looking for ideas that are just one step towards a goal that we all want. The problem is, identifying the goal. We can get lost in the labyrinth of life and find it hard to find our way. Time for a picture, I think…

labyrinth

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Uncertainty, anxiety and investment #finance

Investment not only comes from the rich it comes from pension funds who invest on behalf of the middle classes of the wealthier countries of the world. Our national lottery is run by a private company Camelot, which in turn is owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. That pension fund invests in lotteries which are basically a licence to print money and property which is always in short supply. MPs also invest in property especially in London so there is little chance of property going down in value. Keeping a large section of society poor also promotes desperation and it is the desperate and greedy who play the lottery which raises 30 million a week for good causes like the Olympics. We rarely see lottery money going to food banks or to help the sick and disabled (except Paralympics) whose anxiety seems to be of no concern.

financial anxiety

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Habitual savings #thrifty #frugal #habits

If you make being thrifty and frugal habitual, you can save money without too much effort. Don’t treat yourself because you’ve just been paid. Make some things a challenge. Can you cook a delicious but frugal meal on pay day instead of splashing out? Some people ‘treat’ themselves to a takeaway on Fridays. I tend to cook egg, chips and peas. Besides being an old favourite, it is also a cheap meal! Acquire some habitual savings to save money without even noticing it.

habitual savings

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Shooting wide open with a long lens #art #photography

I’ve had an art project in mind for a while and I want to shoot wide open with a long lens. I would like to shoot with an 18 – 300mm lens but I make do with what I have. At the weekend I took some pictures at our 40s event in the park. I wasn’t too well and carrying lots of equipment was out of the question. On Saturday I used my 18 – 105mm lens which is very versatile for events. Then on Sunday, I had an idea that I could practice for my art project and shoot wide open with my 55 – 300mm lens. It also saved me walking around so much! Wide open with a long lens worked out well.

BLITZ B (3)

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From arthralgia to nostalgia #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and the rain has stopped and once again I will allow you into the deepest recesses of my mind and share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? Nostalgia and arthralgia seem to be the topics that spring to mind this morning. The latter is perhaps because of all the damp weather. I just managed to avoid getting soaked in a sudden downpour yesterday.

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Supply and demand #finance

It is important to understand supply and demand; it is a key economic indicator. If demand for something goes up then that is an upward pressure on the price of that commodity. I have known bread shortages and prices increase. Is it profiteering? In a way, yes, but it also has a tendency to ration the available supply. Demand can be boosted by factors that aren’t immediately obvious. If Mr Kipling cakes are promoted on social media then people are likely to buy more. Social media can influence demand. Rumour can also influence supply and demand. Just a rumour of a shortage of bread can have people queuing at the shops and bakeries might increase supply to cope with the increased demand.

supply and demand
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Splash the cash? #Thrifty #Frugal

Splash the cash? Yes, even though I watch the pennies and watch the pounds I do sometimes splash the cash on something expensive. This involves parting with large amounts of money without an anaesthetic. Believe me, I have needed a bit of pain relief just lately. I changed my car and that was more expensive than I had expected and this week I had the awful experience of changing my insurance. I was insured with the AA who were very nice about losing my custom. I switched to Saga via a price comparison site. I decided to have the breakdown cover but would have preferred to stay with the AA. I had the home-start before but now I have a car a couple of years old instead of 20 years old. I didn’t bother with that. When I rang the AA they said they would have cut the price for me and done a cheaper deal. It was too bloody late by then!

splash the cash?

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Experiments in art and photography #photography

When I’m writing sometimes I imagine a particular person or group of people and write for them. It can mean I am writing with local people in mind or writing for an international audience. I have a great-nephew, Jamie, who I have never met, but he has recently taken up photography. I have him in mind today. So how do I go about my experiments in art?

BLUEBELLS IN THE HEDGEROW - experiments in art.

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Modern life and the era of social media

It’s Sunday morning and so, as usual, I’ll share my thoughts with you. I’m feeling my age a bit. I was brought up in a different era. It was, where I live, an industrial era. One filled with black smoke and the sounds of heavy industry. I remember the steam trains of the Great Western Railway and the Midland Red buses that went to Dudley and beyond. I remember the enormous cooling towers of Ocker Hill Power Station and the giant industrial complexes that employed thousands of people. That all changed when bands like the Beatles taught us that music could earn more money than metal bashing and the world changed forever. It heralded a new era of electronic domination, an era of computers and eventually, an era of social media.

art in an era of social media

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Time for a financial review #finance

Last week I described my investment portfolio as a ‘train wreck’ and it hasn’t improved since then. Things haven’t got much worse though. I have decided it is time for a personal financial review. I have looked back over the past year at the larger bills that I have had to pay and that has given me some idea of the bills I’ll have to pay in the next year. Of course, prices go up and I have noted that insurance premiums have gone up on average of 10%. My car insurance premium is due next month and has increased 25% and so it is time to change my provider.

financial review

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Bulk buying and other strategies

Some warehouses allow the public in and bulk buying can save you money. Asian supermarkets will often give you a discount on bulk buying as well. You can also do a bit of bulk buying when there is a promotion such as buying half a dozen T shirts for the summer when there is a promotion. The 2 for £6 and 3 for £10 offers in Asda can save you money and although it isn’t exactly bulk buying it is the same principle.

thrifty bulk buying

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