Project 365: November

Project 365

How is it December already? November’s steam-rolled past ad I’m looking at the end of the year already. This is a little bit unnerving.

Monthly Mosaic - November

This hasn’t been a terribly inspiring month. Looking back at the flickr set for November I’m not too happy with overall with the photos I got. There’s none in there that really stand out to me and I think, ‘Yep, I like that one’. Winter really doesn’t inspire me.

I’m down to only 5 photos taken on my phone in November though – so that’s got to be a good thing. Using my camera more!

Here’s a few of my favourite shots of November:

Happy Diwali! Sitting in the dark Garden wildlife Still Westley

See all of November’s photos on my flickr.

I’m spending half of December in another country, so that should brighten things up a little bit!

Project 365: October

Project 365

Another month has strolled on by in the blink of an eye. Only a couple more months to go in 2010. That fact alone scares me just a little bit. It feels like just yesterday when I started doing this year’s 365.

October

It’s been another fairly busy month with plenty of films thrown in. Nine photos taken on my phone. That’s a number I feel ok about. I bought my Nikon to actually take photos with!

Here are some of my favourites from the month:

Going Square Hello October Splodge! Let the sun go down over me Don't crunch me!

Head on over to my flickr to see all the photos from October.

I think my prediction from last month was correct, a lot more photos were taken in the dark in October. Hello winter, how I hate you.

Project 365: September

Project 365

September has flown past. I think that’s how the rest of the year’s going to go – in the blink of an eye.

September's Photo Mosaic

Had plenty to do each of the weekends, but struggled for photos during the week. There was 1 theatre trip, a concert, outdoor comedy event and a trip to Alton Towers. The past couple of months have been busier than I’m used to!

Here’s a few of my favourites of the month:

Just get to the top... Autumn in the park Hello night It could be summer

See all of September’s photos here.

I’m predicting that in October more photos will be taken in the dark and you might even see the return of a few light effect/trail photos. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of those.

Trials and Tribulations of Growing At Home

Gardening

Going greenYes, I like to potter around in the garden. Gardening means I’m not staring at a screen, I’m outside in the relatively fresh English air and I’m getting a little bit of exercise.

It’s probably something that I’ve got from my mum – she’s very much into gardening and growing stuff at home. I grew up eating a lot of homegrown fruits and vegetables. Well at least in the summer and early autumn months.

Last year I dabbled with a grow bag and some tomato plants. It was a success. Of sorts. The plants began to die towards the end of the summer because there wasn’t enough space for them in the tiny grow bags! But before the death, I did manage to get plenty of fruit off of them.

This year I stepped up my game with tomatoes, onions, strawberries, chillies and Italian beans all planted in a little plot at the back of the garden. Some were grown from seed in the greenhouse and others were either plants from my mum or just grown straight in the ground.

I’ve loved watching everything grow! It sounds a bit, pathetic? I just feel all too young to be excited about these kinds of things.

Things have been going great, except the onions. They just all died. Too much rain! I got some strawberries. The chillies have been good. Tomato plants just kept getting bigger and bigger.

Until I ventured into the garden earlier this week to pick some tomatoes for a salad. This is what I found:

Devastation - Dead Tomato Plants

All my tomato plants are dead/dying! It’s got cold here recently and that was enough for them to have enough. Damn.

I’ve tried to rescue as many tomatoes as I could and am going to attempt to ripen them indoors. They’re in a small box, wrapped in newspaper with a banana (to help ripen) away from the light.

Hasn’t put me off. Just the perils of growing at home. Better luck next year?

Alton Towers – it’s a love/hate relationship

Going Out

It’s been years since I’ve been to Alton Towers. The last time I went to Alton Towers Oblivion was the newest ride and I got soaked after going on Ripsaw. But then quickly dried off after a spin on Nemesis.

Well that was the last time I went to Alton Towers until last weekend. Last Saturday the entire day was spent in Alton Towers. I don’t think I’ve ever done a theme park from opening to closing time. That’s usually because I go to Thorpe Park and I’ve done all the rides at least twice by 2pm. That’s not exactly the case with Alton Towers.

Started off by heading straight for the new ride – Thirteen. The queue wasn’t too bad. It was moving along and it didn’t feel as though my whole life passed by when I finally got on the ride. Now this rollercoaster has been very hyped. It’s been named the most exciting, amazing, unique rollercoaster EVER. Erm, sorry, not my experience!

It’s your standard runaway mine train type rollercoaster. It was definitely smoother than other ‘coasters I’ve been on. You could hold a decent conversation with the person sitting next to you while on the ride. Which was one of my main issues.

The other? The ‘big drop’. What an utter let down. I was expecting more than falling just a few feet! Though the going backwards was fun, but it’s not something new!

Overall, Thirteen was a big let down. I don’t see what all the fuss was about. There wasn’t even much effort in the setting around the ride and queue to invoke any fear!

Then it was off to find a ‘real’ ride. Rita had an enormous queue, due to it not being open yet, so we headed to Air. The ride where it’s almost as if you’re flying. Well flying while being firmly strapped into a seat.

Are we there yet?Queueing for Air was the downfall of the day. The timer on the front of the queue said 90 minutes, but I didn’t really think it’d be that long. The ride was whizzing along, the queue looked fairly tame in size. It would be fine!

90 minutes later and things weren’t fine. Still in the queue and getting colder by the minute. Getting on the ride was just a relief – to have a sit down! Air is a fantastic rollercoaster. Really smooth, very unique and a lot of fun to ride. The corkscrews were probably my favourite bits and the upside down/backward flying was awesome. The 2 hour something wait for it? Not so awesome.

Time for a sit downAfter some food and a much needed sit down it was back out to join the back of a queue for a slightly smaller ride this time. That ride being Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Hey – don’t mock it til you’ve tried it. Apart from nearly capsizing the boat, which actually added a bit of excitement, it was a good ride! The Glass Elevator was probably the better part of the ride. I wasn’t paying attention to the various screens and puppets!

In need of a little bit of excitement, Oblivion was next on the list. It looked a lot smaller than when I first went on it. Which disappointed me. What also disappointed me was the increasing amount of rain that was getting chucked down. Not good! Still, despite the rain and sitting on a wet seat and getting more wet, Oblivion is still a fun, if a little short, rollercoaster. The climb up is a good build up. I forgot the amazing view you get when you’re up there. When you’re held for a few moments over the edge, it’s a lot shorter time than I remembered. My memory’s failing me! The pure speed of Oblivion is just the thrill.

After a few moments of umming and ahhing it was off to go on Enterprise. A little ride which looks tame and uses the magic of physics to keep you in your seat. Barring a little bit of movement. I love rides like these. Short queue times, plenty of ride time and when you come off the ride you’re left with a good feeling. That ‘good feeling’ is probably the lack of blood in your brain, but it works!

You spin me right roundDespite it still raining, getting colder by the second, the buzz from Enterprise was keeping me going. So it was off to the Sonic Spinball ride. What looks like a fairly fun and slightly tame ride. Wrong on both counts. It’s a very fun and not at all tame ride. Each cart rotates as you blitz along the track. I’m guessing that each rotation and the choice of which way you’re facing is chosen by the track. Doesn’t matter – it still feels like every time you’re turned around it’s a random attack on your directional senses!

One minute you’re facing downward and going downward and then you’re looking up at the sky and then going backwards down a track. I wish I had bought the photo from this ride – there were two taken and in both the full force of my hair was covering my face. It’s a good visual of how I felt on the ride. I’m sure I’m grinning like a maniac underneath all the hair.

There were plans to try one of the bigger rides after coming off the Spinball, but it was getting to closing time and didn’t really fancy a 20 minute walk back to the car park after missing the last monorail train!

Alton Towers is a lot of fun. It’s a nice looking theme park. I like how things are spaced out. However that’s its downfall too. There’s, what feels like, miles to walk between rides at times. You need a real plan of attack to get around all the things you want to do. Or alternatively, skip the big rides and do all the little ones which will probably give you just as much joy with smaller queues.

I think I’m done with Alton Towers. Least for another … five years this time?