All about ME!

I’ve just finished Jeffrey Deaver’s latest book (Steel Kiss) and I was going to blog about The Internet of Things and Spamming Fridges and all the other ways you can be spied upon online, then WordPress tells me this is my 100th post! Woohoo…. go me!!! So I’ve decided to tell you a little bit about me as I have picked up some new followers after doing the Photo 101 course. Welcome, come on in, grab a wine/beer, some snacks and lets mingle…. said the worst mingler in the world! Small talk and me just don’t go together I’m afraid.

So Hi, how are you doing? Glad to have met you here in Blogland. Who am I, how did I get here and why have I ended up blogging I hear you ask? (humour me!)

Loch Lomond lowres
Home – Loch Lomond, Scotland

Well I’m a British ex-pat living in the Mid-West USA. I moved here in 2010 with my family from Ayrshire in Scotland and have loved every minute of our adventure here. When they closed my husband’s factory down in Scotland he got offered a transfer with his company and basically they offered him anywhere in the world they had a factory, but I don’t speak French tres bien, nor Belgian and I refused to go to India, China or Poland so the USA was the sensible choice for us. Plus my family had all lived in the USA for over 20 years so I knew what I was moving to. Funny story – a week after I got married my mum, dad and sister all moved from Scotland to the USA Mid-West, then 20 years later when we moved to the Mid-West they all moved from the Mid-West to Florida! Do you think they’re trying to tell me something? I dragged a 15 year old girl and a 13 year old boy away from all their family and friends in Scotland and my daughter declared her life was over! Son didn’t really care, as long as they have electricity to plug in his x-box he was happy…. It took about 2 days for them to settle in at school and they haven’t looked back once! Daughter is now set to graduate college in December and son is a Freshman and has the whole world in front of him! I couldn’t be prouder of both of them.

Home now – somewhere in Illinois

Anyway, back to me! I work freelance from home as a Graphic Designer, but I’m actually a wannabe photographer. That’s not true, I’m actually a wannabe spy, but it’s hard to get spying gigs in the prairies. Sometimes I manage to sell a photograph and that keeps me happy for a while. I did try my hand at portraits for a while, but so much work for very little money and so much stress was taking away the enjoyment of photography, so it’s back to a hobby for me now and I’m loving it again. Working from home leaves LOTS of time for messing around on t’internet and that’s where blogging comes in. I decided last year to try and blog about my photographs… so here I am!

Well that’s me. Pretty boring, middle-aged, music-loving, read-a-holic blogger. With a dog. What else would you like to know? If you would like to know more you can ask me questions in the comments and I’ll answer truthfully. Obviously I’m not going to tell you my bank account number or anything silly like that (BTW my bank account is VERY silly – remember I have 2 kids in college!) So go on. Ask me any question.



The Resolving is going well (not!)

So the 365 (photo a day) is more like a 360 now. I AM trying to take more photographs, but life has the interfering habit of getting in the way. I guess it’s better than the alternative though.

Anyway here are this weeks photos

Airtight bridge

Airtight Bridge, Illinois.

I had seen this bridge on another photographers website and though to myself “self, you gotta go there” so I Google-mapped it last week and set out to find it… in the middle of nowhere! Over rough dirt roads and cornfields (not actually driving OVER the cornfields I hasten to add, I stayed on the roads) and I finally come into this wooded area and down a steep hill and there the bridge was. I parked the car, got out and started shooting, but I have to say I felt a bit uneasy and spooked while I was there. 10minutes later and I’d had enough, resolving to come back with my DSLR (I only had my compact for these pics) and maybe with another person. Getting home I showed my daughter the photographs and she informed me it’s a well-known haunt for local college students and there had actually been a murder committed there a couple of years ago!!! Spooky is the word!

Embarras river lowres

Embarras River, Illinois

Same place as the Airtight Bridge shot, but winter in Illinois is dreich (to borrow a Scottish word) so I messed around a bit in Photoshop to make it look more interesting.

Birds lunching

A Chickadee and Titmouse having a quiet lunch together

It’s blooming freezing here in Illinois so I’ve been making sure my bird feeders are filled up. It’s party time at my house now! I really need to get a longer lens though – this is a huge crop as I’m hiding behind the curtain at the patio doors so not only am I trying to shoot birds with a 90mm lens, I’m also shooting through the glass door. I should treat myself… now to work on hubby so he doesn’t have a heart attack when I tell him how much the lens I want to buy costs…

And that’s about it then for this week photographically-wise. Other resolutions are going OKish. Still haven’t eaten any chocolate, went swimming and walking every other day and haven’t given in to the temptation to hibernate. I’m counting this week as a win.

A footnote – RIP David Bowie, the soundtrack to my youth.

Moonshine and burgers

Want to go out for lunch asks my mother?

Sure, I reply. Where do you want to go?

How about Moonshine? That’s where Marge & Jeannie took me last summer. It’s a biker hangout and I’ve always wanted to go back. They do great burgers.

I look at my mother for a full 30 seconds. Does she want to go BUY Moonshine (the drink)? Does she want to go hang out with the bikers? (Marge & Jeannie are Lady Harley-Riders) Does she want her OWN bike? (cool she can be the only Scottish Ninja Granny hanging out with the cool dudes – they’ll love her) Or does she just want a burger?

I wonder if my mum is having a mid-life crisis. Mind you she’s 68 so she’s kinda on the other-side of midlife crisis time.

Anyway I agree and off we went to Moonshine, Illinois today. It’s a tiny place with the one General Store (Moonshine General Store) and they’re famous for their burgers. You tell them what you want, give them your name, then wait till they call you. The shop is a step back in time with all sorts of antiques alongside the Coke machine. I wonder if I should buy my daughter a washing-board and ban her from using the washing machine any more as she NEVER empties it and leaves her wet clothes there till some other sucker (me!) takes her clothes out before they smell. Here daughter, use this to wash your clothes from now on. Anyway I didn’t take any photograhs inside the store as it was really busy (I think it’s always busy) but I did snap some shots outside.

So if you’re ever in rural Illinois, in the middle of nowhere and you come across a town called Moonshine (population 2) then do yourself a favour and go buy a burger and sit outside at the picnic benches along with the bikers, farm workers and tourists.

Moonshine General Store
Moonshine General Store

The store/burger bar

Moonshine, population 2
Moonshine, population 2

See, I wasn’t exaggerating when I said the population was 2!

Been muddin'....
Been muddin’….

Daughter tells me this is called a ‘gator’…. I want one 😀

The road to nowhere. Actually it's the road to Moonshine. No I was right the first time. It's the road to nowhere.
The road to nowhere. Actually it’s the road to Moonshine. No I was right the first time. It’s the road to nowhere.

What? A hill in Illinois?

The burger
The burger

And finally the burger. Complete with plastic cheese (what I call Kraft singles) and it was sooooooo good!

Anyway, you’re probably all wondering if I bought any Moonshine.

Nope, I didn’t. I like my insides they way they are.