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A sober Christmas #ramble

Only 5 days to Christmas and the virus has mutated and we have a new variant that is even more contagious. Is it though? The data suggests that it is spreading faster but London and the South East were left in Tier 2 when the rest of the country was moving to Tier 3. Maybe it is spreading faster because people didn’t take the restrictions seriously enough. I know here in the Black Country people are still visiting one another and refusing to wear masks, not to mention spreading anti-vaxxer messages on social media. They need to have a sober Christmas and take some responsibility.

have a sober Christmas

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Stocks, gold or cryptocurrencies? #FinanceFriday

With traditional currencies being diluted by Quantitative Easing where should we invest? The choice is stocks, gold or cryptocurrencies, so which should we choose? Gold has appreciated throughout the pandemic but should we sell now the price has fallen? In fact, this week it has appreciated a little so maybe we should hold some gold. Stocks are still increasing in value especially banking and oil so they are good investments. Cryptocurrencies I see as riskier. They have been appreciating this week driven by central bank stimulus but will they hold the gains in the long term?

Stocks, gold or cryptocurrencies?

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Preparing for Christmas in 2020 #life

Preparing for Christmas in 2020 is fraught with danger. We want to enjoy it but we want to be around in 2021 too. I’m vulnerable because of my age and health problems so I’ll be very cautious and isolate myself. My family is being cautious too. I’ve seen neighbours being less cautious and not following the tier three restrictions. Will they be even more blasé over Christmas? That could be disastrous and mean covid will surge in January.

Preparing for Christmas in 2020

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Telling a story #photography

Every photograph I take has a story attached to it and the collection of photographs that I’ve taken are part of my life’s story. During the lockdown, it was quieter because there were no planes and fewer cars on the road. I photographed the birds, the apple blossom and the bluebells in the hedgerow. I also photographed my meals and shared the pictures in an art group on Facebook. People were interested, I was sharing my life story! Telling a story with a photograph or series of photographs is easy but you have to try to get good pictures.

telling a story

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Chrismassy thoughts #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so as usual I’ll share my thoughts with you. It was sunny yesterday and that made me feel a little better. We’re back to a grey day today. It makes it much harder to do photography. One of my Facebook friends lives in the US and always seems to have great weather and great scenes to shoot too. Photography is a a challenge when we have constant rain but I try to make the most of the spring and summer. I think I’ll press Eddy the Elf into service and take some Christmassy photos this week!

Food glorious food

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Relax, it is only money #FinanceFriday

Some investors will be watching the stock market this morning and hoping Boris gets a deal with the EU. Billions are being wiped off the value of British banks. I’m not too worried, it is only money! Yes, relax, it is only money! We should have learned in this year of the pandemic that our health is far more important than money. We should invest in our health and eat healthily and look after ourselves.

it is only money

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What makes an artist? #photography

A few years ago I went to Walsall Art gallery to see Damien Hirst’s exhibition which included a sheep pickled in formaldehyde. His unusual pieces provoke debates about the nature of art and what makes an artist. Some would argue that we are all artists from the moment we are given paper and crayons as children. I tend to agree with that viewpoint. Are photographers artists? I tend to think art should have a certain amount of skill attached to it and a blurred picture isn’t really an art that merits an exhibition. A collection of pin-sharp images might warrant an exhibition regardless of what the subjects were or who the photographer might be. So what makes an artist?

What makes an artist

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A new normal #ramble #covid

It’s Sunday morning and so as usual I’ll share my thoughts with you. December seems to be passing us by quite quickly. Here in the Black Country, we have the most stringent Covid restrictions in tier three. I can see us staying in tier three through January and beyond. Comments on Facebook give me the impression that people aren’t taking the restriction seriously enough. I also see visitors’ cars parked outside and know my neighbours aren’t abiding by the restrictions either. It’s going to be a long winter. I suppose this is the “new normal” and I have to get used to it.

new normal

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Investing in Britain #FinanceFriday

We need people to be investing in Britain more than ever now and that does seem to be happening. The safe harbours of the United States and of gold now seem less attractive. There has been some increased activity in cryptocurrencies as some investors jump on the bandwagon as cryptos seemed to offer quick gains. However, the volatility is such that you can lose money if you invest at the wrong time. I’m steering clear of cryptos but if you must invest in them then chart the price of the one you’re interested in. My choice would be Ripple (XRP) and obviously you buy low and sell high. Don’t get too greedy, sell when you have a reasonable return and don’t panic if the price drops. Again invest quantitatively, cryptos are high risk so invest less than you would on stocks.

Investing in Britain

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Living in a virtual world #life

I’m thinking of posting a few Christmas cards. It seems a rather old fashioned way of sending a greeting now. I usually put cash in Christmas cards for younger members of the family so hence the continuing need for cards. I’ve adapted well to this virtual world. I’ve talked to students in China and exchanged documents and photographs, I’ve managed Facebook pages and groups and now I’m doing Zoom meetings! What next, I ask myself. I think my Playstation might take me to some interesting virtual places. I’ve already driven over 100 miles an hour down an American freeway into the Grand Senora desert! That was a virtual world experience!

virtual world

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Autumn-winter pictures #photography

The dark days of Autumn aren’t the best for photography but the sun does come out sometimes! We can always do some indoor photography and practice flash photography too. I have to shoot on manual and watch the exposure meter when I use my Speedlight or the camera restricts the shutter speed to 1/60 of a second which can be a bit slow for me. The autumn-winter seasons don’t mean you have to stop taking pictures.

Artists lunch

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There may be trouble ahead… #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and as always on Sunday, I’ll share my thoughts with you. I thought I wouldn’t be able to write anything this week because I couldn’t connect to many sites on the net including this one, yesterday. It turned out to be a problem with my router and everything was OK once I’d unplugged and reconnected it again! Yes, there may be trouble ahead as the old song went. We go into tier three this week. It won’t make too much difference. People will be able to get their hair done, however. It’s still effectively a lockdown. Then we will have Christmas which many people are dreading.

trouble ahead

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