Around here in April

Just a few photos from my life recently.

First look at the new neon coral Lamy.

The new neon coral Lamy! I will be reviewing it soon. There was a fault with the one I got so I’m just waiting for the replacement.

Lincolnshire in spring

I love this county of mine.

Mars, God of War

A small photo, but here is my first ever image of Mars! I was so excited when I took this photo!

Bean shoot!

I spotted the bean plants the day they germinated! They’re a bit taller now as I took this photo a week ago!

Moon 11 April 2014

I’ve been doing a lot of stargazing recently. It’s been good weather for it. Moooooooooon!

Harlaxton Manor

More yellow fields. It’s all rape seed, for those unfamiliar with the plant. The manor in the background is Harlaxton Manor.

Belvoir castle

Belvoir castle. We used to be able to see the castle from the house where I grew up. It always makes me smile when I see it.

(For those wondering, Harlaxton Manor is owned by an American university who use it as a private college, and Belvoir Castle is the seat of the Duke of Rutland.)

Archie watches the birds.

My little kitkat watching the birds.

ISS pass 12th April 2014

My first useable ISS photo!! So exciting! This is from the ISS pass on the 12th, and the image shows it fading to the east as it disappears into the Earth’s shadow (so it is travelling down the photo).

So that’s my life recently. Lots of space!

April goals

window decoration

April!  Summer is just around the corner.  Don’t we all want a bit of sunshine?

I’m intending to be very productive this month, to make up for my lack of productivity in March.  I’ve already started on most of my goals, and I will remain committed!

My goals for this month are:

  • Read six books
  • Knit four hours a week
  • Walk 15km
  • Lose 1kg
  • Don’t go over spend limit

I need to get back on track with my reading, but I decided not to set an exceptionally large goal this month.  Just doing my target six will be enough; I’ll have to catch up on my reading challenge later in the year (I’m currently 9 books behind schedule).

I haven’t forgotten about my crochet blanket, but I want to finish one of my knitted tops this year, and this means concentrating on knitting.  I doubt I will finish a top this month as I’m a slow knitter, but I want to make a good bit of progress.  I will be concentrating on my glittery top.

The rest of my goals are regular goals this year.  Walk, lose weight and don’t spend too much!

What are your plans for April?

Lego Moleskine week 11 & 12

2014 Moleskine week 11

Week 11

McDonalds for tea!  Doesn’t happen very often, but I do love their chips!  This is also the week that I broke my website by tinkering.  Bad bad Millie.  Never change code on a live website!  We also got Krispy Kremes at work on the Friday and I had a chocolate one.  No-one makes donuts like the Americans.  YUM!

2014 Moleskine week 12

Week 12

CATCHING FIRE.

May the odds be ever in your favour.

That is all.

Music libraries in the digital age

iTunes library

I’ve blogged several times on here about the never-ending quest for the perfect size iTunes library.  My bid to be minimalist and streamlined includes my computer, and as my iTunes library takes up most of my hard drive, it’s natural that it gets a lot of focus.

I no longer have a Spotify account (I still haven’t decided if this was a good idea), and am back to listening to music solely through iTunes.  Since I got my new laptop in December, I’ve been making a concerted effort to sort out my library.

Whenever I’m on my computer, I open iTunes and put it on shuffle.  Then, when I come across a track that I don’t like or don’t want to listen to any more, I stop what I’m doing and delete the track.  I’ve made substantial headway on sorting my library through this method.  Every few weeks, I sync my phone and get everything up to date.  Convincing myself to treat digital files as CDs worked for me, as I wouldn’t keep a CD if I didn’t listen to it any more.

As you can see from the screengrab above, my iTunes music collection is now down to almost 12GB.  I feel very positive about this!  Ideally, I think I’d like to get it down to 10GB.

I remember the days when I had a 1GB iPod and was happy with that…  How times change!

Spring flowers

I’m trying to make an effort this summer to practice different photographic techniques.  When I was in the garden recently, I decided to photograph flower heads with a backing behind them, so that all you can see is the flower.  I like the effect, but it does make me want a proper macro lens so that I can do super zoomed in photos!

Daffodil

Tulips

Red cowslip

Daycraft whale notebook

Exciting news, animal lovers!  Daycraft have released two limited edition animals to add to their animal pals notebook collection.  One of them is a chameleon, which I don’t really care about, and the other is a whale.  A WHALE!  It’s the cutest thing ever!

animal-pals-notebook-whale

Isn’t it awesome!

I’ve reviewed the Animal Pals range before, and I recommend them for anyone with a love of animals.  The paper is good quality, which is unusual for a novelty notebook, and they’re a pleasure to use.  Plus, who doesn’t want a notebook with an animal face on it!

animal-pals-notebook-whale-2

You can order these notebooks from the Daycraft website.  The company is based in Hong Kong, but they ship worldwide.  I’ve ordered from them several times – the prices are reasonable and I didn’t have any problems.

Images from Daycraft.co.  I was not paid to write this post, I just love Daycraft products.

Wildlife!

I couldn’t think of a good title for this post. However, I got some brilliant photos when I went birdwatching on Saturday. I didn’t see many birds, but I saw a mink for the first time! It was swimming in the canal, and eventually it posed for a photo for me!

Mink in water pipe

Squirrel eating buds 3

Squirrel eating buds

Squirrel eating buds 2

Robin on a fallen branch

Chaffinch on the pathHappy Monday!

FOR SALE: Yellow Lamy Safari Fountain Pen

Lamy Rainbow 1

Hi all,

I’m selling my yellow Lamy Safari fountain pen.  It’s going for the bargain price of £10!  I can sell it with a medium nib or a fine nib, so let me know what nib size you’re interested in if you’d like the pen.  (Please note, I’m not selling the 1.1 nib in the photo below.)

I will ship worldwide, and postage will be calculated individually, so get in touch if you’re interested.  It’s in perfect working order.

EMAIL ME OR SEND ME A TWEET.

Lamy 1.1 nib yellow safari

March in review

Hahaha, this will be a short post!  My goals for March were:

  • Lose 1kg
  • Walk 10km
  • Read seven books
  • No spend (starts 7th March)

I did none of them.  Go me!

I almost reached the walking goal (I did 9.1km, which is really annoying – had I known in advance how close I was I would have gone out again!).  The problem with the walking goal is that I often take my camera, and then instead of walking I ended up standing around photographing things.

My diet is pretty much non-existent at the moment.  On the upside, I haven’t put any weight on, so I won’t give up just yet!

I didn’t finish any books this month, not one, so there won’t be a book review post this month.  It’s the first time in over a year I haven’t got any books to review.  Terrible!  Due to my poor reading in February as well, I’m now very behind on my challenge to read 70 books this year.

I have been doing a reducing spending month, but I found a pair of jeans in a sale for £20, and they were so nice that I bought two pairs.  They are the only jeans I own!  I hate jean shopping as I can never find jeans that fit nicely, so I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to get a decent pair (twice!).  I am keeping an eye on my spending in April, so I will report back on this at the end of April.

I hope you had a good month, whatever your goals were!

Lots and lots of drugs

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’ve been having a particularly crappy week (I have complained about it constantly).  In your jaw hinges (you have one either side of your mouth, as I’m sure you’ve realised!), you have a disc that sits between the two bones to cushion against blows (it’s basically a disc of cartilage).  In my jaw, the discs have been bent into the wrong shape through injury, and this results in pain in the jaw joint itself and means that the joints don’t move properly.  Alongside this, because the muscles are working overtime, I get muscle pain in my jaw.  Usually the muscle pain is a minor annoyance and easy to treat with painkillers, and the joint itself just causes slight twangs that can be ignored.  I wear a brace and it is great at managing pain and mobility (seriously – if you suffer from jaw problems and haven’t yet been given a brace, demand it!).

On Sunday I woke up in terrible pain for no reason at all, and my prescribed painkillers did very little.  After being up all Sunday night with my jaw on fire, I hit the pharmacist for stronger painkillers on Monday morning and took the day off work to recover.  Sadly, the drugs only worked for a few hours and then stopped doing anything, so I had to go to the doctor on Monday evening to get the real party drugs (!).  Those worked great and I was at work yesterday, but today the drugs are not getting rid of all the pain again, and I’m really sore.

The pain doesn’t worry me as I assume there’s nothing seriously wrong (if it was in a different part of my body I would be in A&E by now thinking I’m dying), but pain is so debilitating.  It really takes it out of you and makes you feel crappy.  Jaw pain is basically like the worst toothache ever – it often includes multiple teeth and radiates down the jaw bone.

If I can hang on until Friday afternoon, I managed to get an appointment with my consultant so he can check my jaw.  If I can’t hang on until then, I will have to go to A&E and demand an anaesthetic.  Or a beheading.

I haven’t got any posts written, so I might be a little more absent than usual, but I hope you don’t mind.

Isn’t life fun!