Changing Seasons – November 2019

I decided I would try to regain my enthusiasm for blogging by taking part in the challenge The Changing Seasons, hosted by our friend Su from Zimmerbitch

So, summing up my November with things I have not covered in WP or , with one exception, Instagram.

3rd November. We lost power for an evening. If you are expecting me to get all nostalgic for the good old days of playing board games by candle light you will have a long wait. Life without the ‘lectric is rubbish.

I actually picked up my guitar for the first time in months. The tuner needed new batteries. I know how it feels.

I am still going to the gym at least twice a week. Largely to play with their dog. It is small, or ‘smol’ according to the language of the dog memes on Instagram to which I am getting worryingly addicted.

Speaking of dogs. My normally stress-related eczema flared up badly on my lower legs this month and it coincided with Molly staying for ten days at the end of October. Beginning to suspect I might be developing a dog allergy, which is really sad 😦

I bought a new (well nearly-new) camera to replace my ten year old Canon. The old camera gave great results for an entry-level DSLR but I have never had a professional-level camera. Having read a review of the Fuji X-T2 in a photography magazine I managed to pick up a heavily discounted nearly new one.

Sadly my favourite model (and one of my creative conspirators), Dominique, is 3000 miles away so I will just have to try it out on plants over the winter.

We went to a Christmas craft fair near where my wife works and spotted these very cute felted pumpkins left over from Halloween. They were more appealing than the Christmas ones so we bought them and posed them with some real baby pumpkins that were on the table at my Susan’s workplace.

There was art too. I finished the Robin who will grace our very predictable Christmas cards this year.

And the last day of the month marked my last day as a public-sector employee after 28 years. I am not leaving or changing jobs but my employers are becoming an independent research company on December 1st. It ended pretty much as it started. My first day in January 1992 was spent preparing whole fish for analysis. This time it was earthworms!

See you next month and have a great Christmas πŸ™‚ xxx

If you would like to join in, here are the challenge guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Su’s original post, she can update hers with links to all of yours.


  1. Glad you have taking part in Su’s challenge this month. I happen to know that you were pretty busy in November, so that was a nice surprise. Good to have a guitar on hand when the power goes out! And a bottle of Whiskey… I heard. You should keep practicing β€”the guitar, I mean of course. Oh no, hope you are not developing a dog allergy. I’m no doctor but it might also be related to stress. As you are well aware when we’re all stressed out, our body releases hormones and other chemicals that can make an allergic reaction worse. That new camera looks so cool, and I can’t wait to do a photo shoot with you again. As mentioned on Instagram, there is always a little Je ne sais quoi happening when we work together. I love it! Bravo, your Robin is sooo adorable. Perfect for Christmas cards indeed. It’s Britain’s national bird, right?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you Dominique πŸ™‚
      I was busy and I guess this is why I had some material I had not already posted about.
      I agree with you about the allergy/stress thing. My leg is healing nicely now so we will see what happens on New Years eve when we get Molly again.
      Truly my only regret about the camera is that I can’t do a shoot with you! We work together so well and it is fun too.
      Thank you and yes, the Robin is Britain’s national bird (you know better than me – I had to google it to check). Personally I think it should be the sparrow as they are always a bit scruffy and fight a lot πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Yay. So glad you’ve joined us Darren.
    Love the new camera; I’m looking forward to seeing your photos.
    I’m sorry to hear about your eczema; my son suffered terribly with it when he was younger, and we tried all sorts of treatments — pharmaceutical and alternative. Hope it’s improving.
    Will your employers’ change of status make a difference to work conditions? I have a few friends who experienced similar situations here and it actually made their working lives better.
    I suspect it might take more than a power cut for me to pick up a guitar again, much as I enjoy it when I do (until the next morning when the fingertips hurt like crazy).
    I want to say that I hope December will be a good month for you … and I do. But I’m guessing that the combination of election and Christmas crazy will probably not help.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Su, nice to be here!.
      The eczema is a fairly new thing and is the remnant of an incident where I had a number of insect bites on my lower legs whilst drawing in the field for my botanicak art diploma. Several of them got infected with something that took 6 months and 5 different antibiotics to stop. Stress definitely causes a reaction in the areas that were worse affected.
      By law my employers have to guarantee my work conditions for a time at least – in my case I will be pretty much retired before they can change anything. But new staff are starting on new terms which may be better – in which case I will be given the option to switch.
      I am annoyed with myself for letting my fingers get soft and my nails grow a bit for the same reasons – playing the guitar hurts now!
      I am managing to ignore the election but have a bad feeling about it….
      Christmas crazy is right. If I lived alone I would ignore that too!πŸ˜„

      Have a great December Su. Xx

      Liked by 2 people

  3. English robins are different in color than the ones on this side. A friend gave me a ceramic English robin and I thought the name on the box was wrong!!!
    I love worms, I cannot imagine what you were doing with them! lol
    As for electricity. I am partial to it. I don’t like candles much, they are dangerous!! We did play games by battery lantern when the boys were small and we had outages. We did a great many things not using electricity when the power happened fairly often! The thing I’m most fond of is working water. Batteries can fill a flash or lantern, but water is not as easy to obtain. By the by, we usually played Yahtzee, Monopoly was too grumpy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Kris. Yep the European Robin is a Christmas card cliche here. Funny really because they are not jolly at all but grumpy little buggers!
      I love worms too😍
      Power outages are rare here. Last big one was December 2015 when Lancaster was flooded and it shorted out the substation for the whole city and surrounding areas. Some genius had built it on the river bank. We lost power for about 3 days. We played…..Yahtzee! I hate Monopoly with a passion actually. Scrabble is good but my dyslexic wife beats me every time on strategy alone.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. On a riverbank??? Water can create power, but water is also not something to mix with electricity!
        I am a fan of water, not just cuz of being an Aquarius! It is an incredible source of change.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am with you on the life without power, no fun at all. I am sorry to hear about the possible allergy to our fury friends perhaps stress played a part. I was happy to see you pick up your guitar again. I so love the bird that you have created. The little face makes me smile. I hope you have a blessed December and a wonderful Christmas. This is a wonderful post πŸ’•

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m totally in love with your little robin!! 😍 It’s so beautiful and just perfect for Christmas cards (which by the way I finally managed to get prints of today! Took two hours because apparently I did everything wrong what you can do wrong and when that was sorted the printer went on strike – lol! πŸ˜‚).
    And welcome to the Changing Seasons family!! So glad you’re joining it!
    I really, really hope you don’t develop an allergy to dogs. Maybe it was something else, the dog shampoo perhaps??
    And yay for picking up the guitar again! πŸ˜„πŸ’•

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Sarah!❀
      Getting good prints of cards is a pain. The one I use gives a green cast to everything and I have to remember to tweak the image in an image editor to reduce the green to compensate. It does not happen with giclee prints from the same place and it is my belief that colours get corrupted by the automatic upload on their web card designer.
      Dog shampoo??? This is Molly of the annual hose-down! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜„

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m a bit unhappy with how the colours turned out in my prints too – they’re much too strong and don’t look like watercolours anymore but as if I’d used acrylics instead. The guy who helped me said I would have to calibrate the scanner, the screen and the printer all the same to achieve a better result – ugh! Ah well, there are worse problems. 😊
        Hehe! Molly could have fit into medieval households. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yep – it is a complicated business and I can see why many folks pay an expert to do the scan/capture. Molly would LOVE a medieval household – all that throwing chicken leg bones on the floor etc. She would think she had gone to doggy heaven!

          Liked by 2 people

            1. Good plan! While she is eating we can go to Ye Olde Betting Shoppe and put an accumulator on the outcome of Henry the 8ths marriages. Then when back in the present day we can claim our winnings plus 500 years compound interestπŸ˜‰πŸ˜.

              Liked by 2 people

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