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The next priority #life

I’m still taking a break from writing about finance and investments, it is no longer my top priority. I don’t see any great investment opportunities. I’m fairly sure there will be small interest rate rises on the other side of the Atlantic but for now, I can’t see much competition between nations for investment money so interest rates here will probably stagnate. That means we are unlikely to see a rise in the value of the pound against the dollar. Opportunities could lie in watching for takeovers of British companies especially FTSE 250 companies but I don’t see an obvious target yet. In dollar terms, most FTSE 100 companies seem over-valued. Anyway, it is time for a cute picture:

setting your top priority

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Macro shots #photography

I’ve been in the garden and because it is a little wild there are lots of wildflowers to photograph. Photographing small things like flowers with a zoom is called macro photography. There are special macro lenses that tend to ‘flatten the image’ but you can do macro photography with just about any zoom lens. I used my 55 – 300 mm lens.

macro photography

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Allusions and illusions #ramble #life

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? Allusions and illusions. Yesterday, it was that royal wedding. That was an illusion of grandeur but there were complex allusions in play too.

Wednesbury allusions

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Survival; what else is there #life

I usually write about finance and investments on Fridays but what is the use of having money if you’re dead? Primarily life is about survival and money is way down the list of priorities. It is important because it can help us survive and survive comfortably but it is not our primary goal.

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Action shots and wide apertures #photography

It was the Black Country Horse Drive on Sunday and I was there at the start to capture the action. Action shots need a fast shutter speed and to get close to the action you need a longer lens. I was using a 55 – 300 mm lens and zooming in a lot so camera movement was a potential problem as well as the speed of the horses.


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Artistic mood #ramble #photography #art

It’s Sunday morning and once again I share my thoughts with you, such as they are. I’m in an artistic mood, this week. I had an interesting week and took photos with the Caravan Gallery who are also taking photos as part of the Sandwell Pride of Place Project. We need to take more pride in our community, so anything I can do to make things better, I will try. I have photography on my mind today because it is the Black Country Horse Drive.


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10 things you didn’t know about Sandwell

OK, I’m not a great fan of Sandwell, the name now symbolizes centralisation because it was chosen for the name of the Metropolitan borough that absorbed the 6 towns. It appears that ‘Sandwell’ took its name from ‘Sancta Fons’ or The Holy Well about a mile S.E. of the church, and situated in a beautiful and secluded valley, well suited to the religious purposes of a hermitage or priory. “William, sone of Guy de Ophene, in the latter end of the reign of King Henry the Second, founded a Benedictine priory in the hermitage of West Bromwich near the well called ‘Sandwell,’ and endowed it with several lands lying about the same.”

This is Sandwell College, it sort of symbolizes the modern era to me.

Sandwell College by Phil Grayston

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Outside the box #finance

If you’re a regular reader you’ll know my finances have been going through a rough time this year. My investments aren’t making me money. One of the disasters that stuck was the collapse of Carillion and things have been going downhill ever since. I do try to invest in a diverse way so I still have enough money for everything I need. I can’t yet afford the new camera that I want but my photos still look good. We sometimes have to think outside the box when we are thinking about finance and identify our goals.

thinking outside the box
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The Caravan Gallery

The Caravan Gallery is a mobile exhibition featuring photographs taken around Sandwell and around the country. It is visiting Sandwell towns this week as part of The Sandwell Pride of Place project. Yesterday, they were at Princes End in Tipton where they joined the Fun Day at Laybourne Park. I was there to record the visit in pictures. Today, the Caravan Gallery is at Oldbury Market and will return to Tipton tomorrow, setting up at Tipton Library.


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Eclecticism as a philosophy #ramble

It is Sunday morning and so I let you into the labyrinth of neurons that is my mind and share my thoughts with you. It was the local elections this week. Which way did I vote? Well the local UKIP party disintegrated and their members stood for some other obscure party. The Greens didn’t do very well, perhaps because they aren’t all that realistic. Their public image is one of pet-owning vegans wanting to turn us all into animal-loving Greenpeace disciples. So the real race was between the Conservatives and Labour. My philosophy is one of eclecticism

eclecticism in all things

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Taking stock #finance #investments

If you’re following my blog you’ll know my investments haven’t done well this year. While money is very helpful it is not the most important thing in life so now I can pause and think about my priorities. I’m taking stock and while I do so, I’ll still monitor the stock market and my investments. Zopa is a fairly safe investment and that is still bringing me in over 3% so things aren’t so bad!

taking stock
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Surprising art #photography #art

It is surprising art when you find a shot that is quite ugly but the resulting photograph has some artistic merit. I went in search of graffiti and the uglier side of life on Sunday as well as taking some more scenic shots.


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