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M y husband and I are geeks. We really are. We both get entirely too excited by things that other people would just think 'oh whatever'. So, when he was given his dad's old camera from 1912 1962 before we moved, we both were just a wee bit excited. He researched it and found forums of other  trainspotters  people who are 'into' old cameras and we found out it is actually a really good camera.

As we were looking it up online and seeing just what an industry standard it was back when the Beatles were what everyone wanted to take a photo of... I was seeing £££ just how much we could make if we SELL all of these old things to help us move, The Mr., of course, was seeing all the great photos we can take and, of course, all the other things we can BUY to go with it.

So, two years later and finally unpacking that particular box, the Mr. thought maybe we should try it out. Now, whilst I would likely save up to buy some nice film, he rushed off to Poundland to see if they had any. They DID, not only did they have colour film, they had black and white too! Each roll cost us £1. So, a free camera from the Harold Macmillan era, two cheap rolls of film, a gorgeous subject and one lovely day last weekend. Sounds like the backdrop to one brilliant day out to me!

Once upon a time I had a brilliant camera in an 'unbroken by removals men' state. The Mr. bought it for my birthday years ago and I never had time to really use it so it was an amazing camera sitting in a photographer bag in my wardrobe. I also had a collapsible reflector screen, though, that we'd bought back then, it was HUGE so it was never kept with the camera so honestly, we just forgot about it. Until...

Well, the Mr. decided what a great thing to bring with us to use with his dad's old camera! It wasn't raining, as it had been predicted by the Met Office, but it did keep getting cloudy off and on so why not bring it? We had no idea how to use it might find a need for it!

Well, I should probably explain all the camera gear. It is seriously the sort of camera a photo-journalist in the war would have used...  circa 1960's... very old, very heavy, solid metal, could survive a nuclear blast (my husband is pretty certain of this but I am not willing to test his theory so we’ll leave it at that).

The case is one of those massive (BIG) hard cases for travelling by plane. I'm not entirely certain if we know all there is to know about his dad after seeing this.

It has a telephoto lens (big lens for capturing image of distant subject), a wide angle lens and a macro lens (takes close up picture of small object). He also had an analogue light meter (manual instrument for telling you what settings to use for your camera), a range finder for people whose sight is not so great (a manual instrument for finding the distance of the subject), a steel tripod which has seen better days. It is heavy, old, and rusty. And also a dust blower (for removing dust from delicate lenses) so old the rubber is perishing... all of these things are from the 60s and if I'm honest, they are cool and far better made than anything you can buy nowadays.

So, we decided to walk to some beautiful flower gardens not far from us to get some amazing pictures 
of my most beautiful, Little Poppet. I was so excited! I packed food for her; extra clothing just in case she needed a change of clothing for the photo shoot, and really, that already translates to a pushchair (stroller to people in the USA) packed full so the Mr. had to carry the massive case and his rucksack that had all the other kit for the camera. We looked very professional. Of that, I am certain. I can't recall if I'd brushed my hair, but I do know that I always, without fail, brush my teeth every day. So, off we went.

When we got to the flowers we saw the first problem. A family with a dog. Pet dander. Little Poppet's arch nemesis. We'd have no choice but to find a different location. Well, being the novices professionals that we are, we quickly thought of another place, a bench up the hill (heaven knows we don't get enough of walking up hills where we live now-including the 90 degree incline on which we live...at the top) where there might be some flowers and nice trees. Of course, there would be a lot of shading so it was very good that we had the collapsible reflector.

We went up the hill and decided that it was still pretty, though the clothing Little Poppet was in, was greens and browns to stand out with all the colour of the flowers behind her, whereas now she would be blending in a bit more. No worries, she's beautiful and well, we could always sell them in 'Where's Little Poppet' books if nothing else.

So, out comes our fleece blanket, we thought this would work well to sit on the grass as we don't have a picnic style blanket anymore. It is beige so it sort of blended in fairly well. I took Little Poppet out of her pushchair and had her sit on the blanket. She didn't want to sit on the blanket. That means, she didn't sit on the blanket. No matter how much I begged, pleaded, wrestled her to the ground, she simply would not sit down on the blanket. By now the fleece blanket had shown how much like velcro it is when placed on grass and twigs and whatever else there was there and so the option of her sitting down was all but lost.

No worries, we're desperate flexible, we'll just have her stand up. Still. In one place. Not running around. Since we hadn't decided to test out the camera before setting off on our photo shoot, neither of us really were certain of what each thing was, how to attach the lens, which button was the shutter release. In truth, we are both fairly good with photography, but this was not modern day photography we had embarked upon. It was a flash from the past. I think it is fair to say we kind of understand how Marty Mckfly felt when he went back in time.

It was obvious to any passers-by that we were from another era, with our old fashioned camera in its enormous bullet proof case. We surely stood out. I tried to use the thing that blows dust off the lens to ... well, blow dust off the lens while the Mr. was trying to determine what the various meters and other things were. Time Lords we are not. We did not look like we knew what we were doing at all. We also did a fair amount of disagreeing on what things were and their purpose. I'm sure that wouldn't have any effect on the photo session, though. Everyone knows to get a great photo of a child you need a really tense environment. Fact.

Right, so we did need the reflector since Little Poppet was more interested in the ground than anything else when she was being still for the photos running around. So, being the helpful photog assistant that I am, I got the zipped, collapsed reflector out from under the pushchair, all the while running back and forth to catch my daughter before she got into anything. I unzipped the bag and took the collapsed disc thing out of the case. As soon as I tried to open it, it just burst open and being the size of a window, it hit me in the face, the bridge of my nose in fact, and knocked me to the ground. Ok, that hurt. At this point, I think we saw some people watching us and snickering to themselves. Oh well, no big deal, I just needed to get Little Poppet to hold this thing so the light would reflect up on her face. Did I mention how big it is? It could be a flying saucer she could ride on so getting her to hold it was perhaps a bit ambitious.

She did hold it, for a millisecond. Then she threw it on the ground. I went to grab it but she beat me to it and started sort of dancing/jumping on it. This was really great, the grass and twigs are really great for it. I could just put it with the fleece blanket and have a prop that basically looked like a tree. At this point, the Mr. was just taking photos of she and I and our state of chaos. Oh, and he was alternating between laughing at us and being stressed because nothing was resembling anything like what he'd hoped when we left home. That and the number of people watching seemed to have increased.

At this point I snapped at him asked if he'd help me with her so I could get the blanket and reflector put away. I was going to just shove the blanket into the nylon, zip case with the reflector to keep the rest of our stuff free from 'nature'. The Mr. was walking around with Little Poppet who was now rather enjoying her 'walk' in her once nice clean picture clothing. Daddy didn't know to tell her to stop putting the bottoms of her shoes on her trousers so her trouser legs now had soil and muck all over them.

I picked up the reflector and was going to fold it back up to put it into the case. I don't know why I thought I'd be able to do that when I can't put Little Poppet's collapsible tent back. I tried everything I could to get it back down to fit the case with no luck. At this point, I was nearly crying and the Mr. was so embarrassed he just wanted to get out of there. So, he took the flying saucer and I took my now muddied daughter and put her back into her pushchair. We walked back home, the entire way, with a blanket covered in grass and twigs and a massive reflector, the size of a window, along with a bullet proof metal case the size of a suit case.

Only one thing could have made our day more perfect and upon arriving home we were so very blessed that the Mr. had indeed made sure of it. He’d forgotten his keys so we were locked out. No worries, he can just climb in one of our bathroom windows and come let us in. Of course I was thrilled to get to hold all of our gear at the front door for 15 minutes while I waited for him. 

Oh and I’ll get back to you on what pictures we got. Just need to finish out the roll of film and you know… save up £60 get them developed.


It was nice to have David Tenant on my blog yesterday. The new Doctor Who is back to an 'older' doctor as he was in earlier years. So, that is interesting.

 Did you see the new title sequence to the new series of Doctor Who? Believe it or not, that was done by a graphic designer here in the UK (where Doctor Who is, as well).

[Read the article on BBC News]
When a Doctor Who fan created his own unofficial title sequence for the show and put it on YouTube, the producers saw it and liked it so much that they decided to use it for the new series, which begins on BBC One on Saturday.
It is probably the most hotly anticipated moment of the year on British television - the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who and the first proper appearance of Peter Capaldi as the Time Lord.
A few minutes into the show, the iconic music will start up and the new opening titles will kick in.
Those titles have been created by 46-year-old Billy Hanshaw from Leeds, who originally made the sequence simply to show off his graphics skills.
What happened next was the ultimate dream for any Doctor Who fan.
The article continues with,
Mr Hanshaw is a professional motion graphic designer who normally creates TV adverts and corporate presentations in his small home studio.
He made the Doctor Who sequence, he says, to show clients what else he could do and because, eventually, he hoped to move into TV and film.
In the past, the opening titles have taken viewers on a high-speed flight through space. In recent years, we have followed the Tardis as it hurtled down a wormhole through a terrifying maelstrom of psychedelic cloud, fire and debris.
Mr Hanshaw's big idea was to hurtle through time instead of space. In his YouTube video, the viewer is taken through the cogs of the Doctor's pocket watch before the Tardis is spat out of the centre of an MC Escher-inspired spiralling infinite clock face.
"The doctor is a Time Lord, he's not a Space Lord," Mr Hanshaw reasons.
"A lot of people have said that cogs and clocks are an obvious metaphor to use. But if it's so obvious, why hasn't it be done before?"
You can view the opening on Mr. Hanshaw's website.

In other less interesting news, the majority of the changes to Poppies Blooming have been finished. I will possibly keep tweaking here and there but overall, it is finished.

I still need to set up the .com again since I removed it from this site prior to moving the .co.uk here but for the most part the .com is not used other than for people who don't know to put .co.uk on it. I am proud of being English so having that on my domain name means something. Not that much, but it does... a little.

Some of the changes besides the general look and logo design, I added a drop menu at the top with some of the things that one wants on their site but not necessarily showing lol! So, a 'More' menu lets you follow on Facebook or networked blogs if you use that. The QR code and grab button are also there, though they are both on the multi tabbed side menu, as well. The blog is still using thepoppiesblog.co.uk even though it is now integrated with the main site so if you already were following that on networked blogs, you still will be. I will be bringing people's favourite posts over from the old blog eventually. Believe it or not, it has actually been requested. I thought I had bored most of those followers by lack of posting and then making it private. It is nice to know that I still may have one or two readers ;) . 

Yesterday I put together a post for the Reece's Rainbow blog and it prompted emails regarding the 'typo'. It was a post about the children 'Aging Out' only I spelt it 'Ageing' because well... I'm British. And as far as that goes, 'spelt' is also a correct form of 'spelled' here in Old Blighty.

So, in light of this, I decided to post (or re-post if you ever followed the former Poppies' Blog that still is but is no more) this post for your viewing enjoyment.

British Humour. We spell it differently and we do it differently... but still, have a laugh...

And finally, for any David Tennant fans...
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