2022 November

November 2022 calendar
November 2022 calendar

November begins almost without my noticing it!

I am more focussed on the after-effects of October’s latest bi-valent vaccination. Put together with the latest winter ‘flu jab it makes a powerful challenge to my body. Already weakened by decades of Post-Viral syndrome (which is in reality a pre-covid Long Covid state) my body has been asked to cope with so many Covid vaccines, topped up with annual ‘flu jabs too. Prior to the pandemic I refused the annual ‘flu jab, as it wiped out too much vital energy. I relied on Mike’s vaccination to protect me through the ‘flu season.

But Covid has been a real game-changer. It meant a year ‘shielding’ before the medical wonder of the first vaccines began to appear. It was 2020 when I started this online version of my Journal, learning WordPress so as to revive my long dormant website. I thought the highlight of the achievement would be the luxury of putting my photography together with my written journal. Little did I know that it would become my personal Journal of the 21st century Covid pandemic!

So here we are with “the pandemic is over” chorus from the UK government and Covid cases are rising, as are ‘flu cases, along with a few other winter visiting viruses floating around too. Statistics on Covid are very sketchy now, as the UK government is dismantling ALL the infrastructure and research labs etc. that could form the front line defences against the next pandemic that is forming somewhere out there. If there is one overwhelming lesson that Covid has taught the world it is that global travel is the sure-fire way to create and spread a viral infection! On the next level down, travel within your country is the quickest way to spread infections, and on the local level it is meetings in public spaces with little or no air circulation. So masks and hand sanitisers, open windows and minimal gatherings are our individual defences.

After the Spring and summer of drought we are now in a phase of torrential rain alternating with deep freezes! We used one freezing morning to tackle the large freezer. Stacking the baskets of frozen items on the patio, we used the steam cleaner to break up the ice that has accumulated over the past year. We ended up with both us and the carpet soaked, but about 25% more storage space in the freezer itself!

And another milestone. I decided to try out the “Scan and Shop” app for M&S at our local Food Hall. I needed help for the initial foray, but feel that I have got the basics sorted. Might as well use my smartphone whenever I can! Inverurie is our main shopping town (as we have no shops at all in the village). So Tesco and M&S provide the choices for groceries. Aberdeen is an 80 mile round trip – Inverurie just 30 miles.

But the big news for me came in the middle of the month. My brother, David has died.
He is the first of us three children to die, and memories of my childhood, and my brother then, came flooding back.
He was my big brother, and quite protective of me, being 8 years older. He helped me when I struggled (being undiagnosed dyslexic) and encouraged my love of music (we shared a love of opera).
When your parents die there is an irrational feeling of being somehow an orphan. Odd, but so true! Those who knew you from the day you were born, and knew so much about you and your siblings that you had forgotten, are suddenly not there. All the unanswered questions, or sudden revelations that put a deeper meaning on a remembered event – those moments are lost forever.
This is another feeling …. for me it brought home the years – decades – that have been lost due to the Post Viral effects that wiped out my life as it was in the mid 1980s. Finally with the advent of Long Covid there was the chance of an understanding of what had happened to me then. I always felt David hadn’t really believed in the extent of the total wipe-out of life as I had known it. And that made communications somewhat awkward and strained. Now that opportunity is forever lost too, along with all the memories of when we were young!

And so on to December, where winter takes hold

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© 2022 Elisa Liddell

At the car wash

at the car wash
washing the car can be a wonderful visual experience

“A quick wash and brush up, Madam – to refresh the exterior?”

Last week we took my old car to the car wash. I admit it is probably more than 5 years since I’d been through the strange experience of sitting in a car while the automated ‘wash and brush up’ whirred, rattled and rolled all about me. As I had my iPhone with me I decided to shoot the experience from the inside. After all it might be another 6 years before I get the chance again ;o)
So here is the journey into the surreal world of car wash.
We were quite relieved to find a car in front of us, as we couldn’t remember how it all worked – so we learned as it went through ahead of us.

waiting for the car wash
The car in front showed us what to do!

Once in the machine daylight vanishes. For an alarming moment you feel you might be in a crusher, as it feels the car body to estimate its size.

starting the car wash
The world darkens and the journey begins

And then, goodbye world – hello soap! An amazing array of soapy abstracts began to unfold across the windscreen……

soaping the car windscreen
The washing begins. Lots of soap bubble abstracts

Then it really got interesting, and just a little scary (it was so long since I’d been there) The ‘brush up’ was beginning……

car wash brushing the windscreen
The ‘brush up’ begins, with a jolt!

But I was absorbed in the drama that was playing out on the screen before my eyes. Soap suds and that giant brush…..

soap and brush in the car wash
soap gets in your eyes!

Then a quick rinse, and the world beyond the car wash was suddenly there again – but at the bottom of a watery pool…..

watery distortions through the glass
Seeing the world through the glass

Meanwhile the brushes were tackling the sides of the car. The inside was getting hot and the windows were steaming up…..

the side windows all steamed up
all steamed up! the side window view

And I found myself shooting myself in the side window …..

reflections in the side window
Mirrored in the side window as the brushes move past.

Then on to more wonderful watery distortions as the rinsing off began…..

watery world in the car wash
A watery abstract as the outside world re-emerges

And some great abstracts of the brushes. almost an oil painting…..

the car wash brushes at work
almost an oil painting it the textures

And the final stage – bring on the hair-dryer! Another crazy sequence of ripples…….

drying the windscreen
the ‘hair dryer’ at work offering another kind of watery abstract

Finally the world outside starts taking shape again…….

watery abstract
the world emerges as we near the end of the wash

Yes – the sun is still shining out there, though it looks like a heavy downpour from here…….

distortions through the windscreen
As we are almost free to drive away, the world is taking shape again.

The whole process only lasted about 10 minutes, but I took over 60 shots. It was an ever changing kaleidoscope of almost abstract visuals – and enormous fun! I think I’ll be back before another 5 years slip by!
There’s more to see on my Blog section
and more articles: Talking Digital Photography

Flickr holds Elisa’s online Photo Gallery
© 2019 Elisa Liddell

Just an “old-fashioned girl”

I live with notebooks even now
I live with notebooks even now – memory is not what it was, so any and all means to keep me on track!

I do try! Try to live the paperless life! I’ve got an excellent list-making app on my smartphone and on my laptop too. And they sync for added convenience. I’ve got Notes apps too. But I keep returning to my first love – actual paper notebooks! Oh … and Post-It notes as well
I just love having real paper, and yes! a fountain pen too. I so enjoy discovering a new notebook – my latest find is Conceptum. A6 size and a pen loop for my favourite fountain pen. Purple ink this year. I stick in cut-out images, ideas, poetry and quotes I’ve picked up and enjoyed. I try to make it attractive, so I can enjoy it visually as well.
Maybe I am just being old-fashioned and out-of-date? But this seems to be one battle that technology just can’t win – at least not with me ;o)

There’s a Flick of images Paperless or Real?
Flickr holds Elisa’s online Photo Gallery
© 2019 Elisa Liddell