Sunday, 28 August 2011

Day 255

I woke up this morning to find these 'escapees' from our neighbours' paddock, who must have slipped through the fence during the night. It's okay; their Mum's with them. (The hole in the fence is pretty big!) I think I'll wait a few days before telling my neighbours about them, as I'm enjoying having them around. Pookie's not so sure about it, though. 


Thursday, 25 August 2011

A tough day

It's been a really, really tough day today emotionally, because I met Iain for the first time since he left me. We went to the solicitor's and the courthouse, we had a long, heart-wrenching talk afterwards, and then we took the first steps in the process of putting the house that we built together on the market. This evening we both need a whole heap of hugs. Thing is, of course, that Iain's going to get them and I'm not. Yep, you've guessed it, self pity has well and truly kicked in! 

I recognise that Iain is grieving the end of our relationship as well, and he's also got a big pile of guilt to deal with over the way it ended, which I don't have, of course, but he has a new best friend to lean on, and I've lost mine. And when you're going through a break up you need a best friend more than anything else in the world. 

I do have a substitute best friend, though. The day after the bombshell dropped I bought myself a journal. Whenever I've felt like talking to someone about things, I write in that. I know that a lined exercise book is no substitute for a loving human being, but the journal does have a few advantages going for it. It doesn't care if I talk to it for hours at a time, I can reveal absolutely anything to it, even my most unsavoury thoughts, and intimate facts about our relationship which I'd never burden a real person with, and it's available for me instantly, at any time of the day or night. Writing these blog posts is therapeutic, too. 

I think the financial side of things is going to be tricky (isn't it always?) When Iain left he said I could have the house, and he'd just take any goods and chattels he wanted. At the time I thought 'that sounds more than fair', but after some thought, (huh- who am I kidding? - I can't think straight right now) and after talking to some friends, I decided that having to sell the house and all its contents would be too much of a burden, particularly as I'm very keen to move back to the UK as soon as possible. I need to start my new life as soon as I can, because the long-term contract I was working on was curtailed two days before Iain left me, which means that instead of having enough work to last me until the end of the year I now have none at all. 

Anyway, I then told Iain I wanted him to buy me out my half of the house so that I've got enough money to bugger off. I explained he could then sell the house at his leisure or rent it out to cover the mortgage. Unfortunately, he's not prepared to do this (or maybe the OW isn't prepared to do this; I'm guessing this is the more likely explanation). So we've come up with a Plan C, which is that we keep the house deeds as they are, in both our names, and put the wheels in motion in order to sell it as quickly as we can, at a knock-down price. I really, really hope Plan C works.

Anyway, on the subject of the house, I've been taking estate-agent style photos of it today, so I thought I'd post a few on here. It is supposed to be a photo blog, right?!

Monday, 22 August 2011

A revelation and a decision

I had what I can only describe as a 'revelation' yesterday. It was a sudden and very deep insight into our relationship and everything that has happened (not just recently, but over the entire course of our marriage). Coming to this realisation was incredibly painful, but the pain went away again as quickly as it had come, and I was left with a feeling of overwhelming peace and wellbeing. I now feel able to move on with my life. That healing ritual really did work!

One more immediate and practical effect of this revelation is that the thought of seeing Iain again no longer fills me with dread, and I know that together we can do what we need to do in order to disentangle two lives with the minimum of fuss and stress. Later this week we're going to the solicitor's and the bank together and we're going to sort through the stuff we've still got in storage together, and decide who wants what. 

I've made the decision to move back to the UK. I did briefly consider moving to Australia, but the pull of friends and family back home made my decision for me. I've got a lot to sort out here before I can leave, including getting more work done on the house so that it can get signed off, and then selling it, but I'm hoping to be back in the UK before the end of the year.

I'm going to take a break from this blog for a week or two. For one thing, I'm going to be incredibly busy, and for another, I don't want this to turn into a 'divorce drama' blog. You visit here because you're into photography. I'll be back in a couple of weeks and get the 365 project back on track.

Love from Helen

Saturday, 20 August 2011

A healing ritual

I know some people will disagree with me about this, but I think abandoned spouses have an even rougher time than widowed spouses. For a start, the widowed spouse has happy memories to look back on, whereas the abandoned spouse's memories, which, until a short time ago they always thought of as happy, now feel like a lie and an illusion. And secondly, widows and widowers have a public ritual to acknowledge their importance in the life of the deceased, and to act as a springboard for starting along the long road of the grieving process. Well, I can't do anything about the troublesome memories, but I decided I *could* create a ritual to mark the end to the relationship and to help me start to grieve.

My friend Margot, who I stayed with last night, suggest I buy myself some new bed linen today to help make a fresh start, and re-invent the bed as 'mine' now rather than 'ours'. I thought that was an excellent idea, so I did it. And serendipity stepped in with a clearance sale, which allowed me to buy my new bedlinen at roughly one quarter of the normal price.

Originally I thought of taking the old bedclothes to the second-hand shop, but realistically, who's going to want to buy second-hand bed linen, some of it over fifteen years old, and most of it in a pretty tatty state? Exactly - no-one! So I burned it, and recited a few words that seemed appropriate at the time. I stood and watched it burn until the fire went out. And it felt good.




Friday, 19 August 2011


Dear friends,

Today Iain, who's been my husband for 20 years, told me he's leaving me for another woman. As you can imagine, I'm feeling a bit shellshocked right now. I'm off to stay at a friend's place tonight (thank you so much, Margot! x)

As far as my 365 project is concerned, (and the rest of my life too, for that matter), my plan is to take a week or so off to clear my head, and then start taking baby steps towards a new life. I fully intend to continue the project after my 'holiday'.

Until then, I'll love you and leave you, but I'll still be checking in on other people's blogs.

Love from Helen

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Day 254

This was the view that greeted me when I opened the kitchen blinds this morning. I just had to take some photos!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Days 252 & 253

Those of you who've been following this blog for a while might think this shot looks familiar. I caught another cow in exactly the same pose about six months ago. Either I got lucky twice, or else it's something that cows do a lot! :-)

I was really thrilled today to get this next shot. I've been trying for ages to get a shot of one of the martins in flight, but they move so quickly that following them, especially with a zoom lens, is really tricky, let alone getting the focusing right. I think this shot is pretty much stretching the limits of what my camera is capable of. To get a flight shot better than this, I'm going to need a faster sensor and a longer, better quality lens. One day perhaps...

Blogger problems

After failing to make a blog post yesterday, I was keen to post today's and yesterday's photos, but the photo uploader on Blogger isn't working at the moment. Has anyone else had problems uploading their photos today? I'll try again later this evening and keep my fingers crossed.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Day 251

Our lovely neighbour Marg just brought us a pumpkin from her kitchen garden. It looks like I'll be making pumpkin soup tonight!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Day 250

I've felt very anxious and agitated today, and when I finished work with daylight to spare, I decided to have a go at creating a self portrait that would evoke the mood of peace and calm that I wanted to experience.

I played around with layers and blend modes in Photoshop, and came up with this. (You may recognise the flower shot I posted yesterday.)

And do you know what? Creating this *has* helped me to calm down and feel more peaceful. I shall have to try more some 'phototherapy' the next time I'm feeling out of sorts!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Day 249

I have to admit that I'm going through a bit of a dry spell at the moment, desperate for inspiration, but failing to find any. No doubt it will pass, like these things always do. All I need to do is ride it out until the next wave of inspiration arrives! I'm currently working long hours towards a work deadline, so that could have something to do with it. Being tired saps your creative energy as well as other types of energy. Still, I've got a day off scheduled for next Friday, so I'm hoping the weather is dry so I can go on a photo walk.

Today's photo is a candid shot of one of our neighbours exercising Nemo.

Here's another photo from spinning and weaving the other week, which I only got around to processing today.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Day 248

Fred and Ginger are always sneaking under the electric fence and getting into the area around the house. This morning Fred discovered the rotary clothes drier, and started rubbing up against it. Ginger came along to investigate, and as soon as she got close, Fred gave the pole an extra hard push and Ginger got a shower from all the drops of water on the clothes line! I'm so pleased that I managed to catch it. :-)

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Day 247

Today's offerings are 100% Hipstamatic. Here's a dead thistle, taken on my way to the mailbox.

Pookie rolls over for her tummy to be tickled on the way back up the drive. I can't help thinking of Charlene Butterbean's catchphrase over at The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee: 'I'm not fat, Im floofy.'

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Days 245 to 246

An afternoon in town yesterday turned into an unplanned evening in town, and I missed a blog post. While I was in town yesterday I took some snaps with my iPhone, and this is my favourite. We have some really characterful heritage buildings in our town - something there's not much of in New Zealand.

When I was in town I also bought some joss sticks, so I had another go at shooting smoke today, and this is my latest effort, which is only a slight improvement on the shot I took the other day. I'm finding it really tricky to get the smoke in focus without having to go for such a slow shutter speed that the smoke's just a blur anyway. I think what I really need is more light, but more light makes it tricky to get a nice black background. I'll look online to see if I can find some tips, and have another go. I'm not giving up just yet!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Day 244

It's been another dark, wet day today, and at photo break time I spent ages looking desperately around the house for something interesting to photograph, and all I could find was an empty sparkling water bottle. Talk about scraping the barrel!

The background is the screensaver on the telly. I originally chose this shot to develop because of the contrast of colours (the bottle's green and the leaves are gorgeous autumnal reds and oranges), but for some reason it looks better in black and white.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Days 242 and 243

I was so busy yesterday I didn't get time to make a post - that doesn't happen very often!

The calves are doing well, and developing distinct personalities. I've unofficially named them Fred and Ginger (yes, I know Fred's a female, but the name just seemed to fit, especially given the fact that she's dressed all in black!) Ginger is the more timid of the two, and usually runs to hide behind her mum whenever I get close.

Today has been wet and grey, so I had to shoot indoors. Inspired by one of my contacts on Flickr, I had a go at some smoke shots (with my 50mm lens of course!) The only things I had to make smoke with were some matches, and they don't make much smoke, so I'm going to buy some incense sticks next time I'm in town and have another go. I'd also like to try some more dramatic lighting next time. I took today's shots in natural light near a window, but with it being such a dull day, the effect was too wishy-washy.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Day 240

I reckon this must be the first dandelion seed head of the season. This is as close as I can get with any of my lenses. I'd love to be able to get a macro shot one day.

There was a large flock of birds on these wires, but by the time I managed to get my camera ready to take the shot, only one was left!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Day 239

It was spinning and weaving today. As well as having a great natter and doing a bit of relaxing spinning, I also got to take some photos in a gorgeous garden. I still can't get over the fact that flowers here bloom all year round. It's the northern hemisphere equivalent of early February, and the lavender is out! I do miss having a garden, although I don't miss doing the gardening. I'm more of an 'armchair gardener'. ;-)

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Day 238

On my trip to the mailbox today I managed to snap a pair of ducks in flight.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Day 237

A helicopter was spraying our neighbours' land this morning, and I was able to get some action shots.

Top pic(k)s for July

Here are my five favourite photos from last month, in reverse chronological order. Please help me decide on the 'top pic(k)' by casting your vote in the poll in the sidebar. Thanks!

1. Pink and purple planet

2. Stepping out

3. Hipsta roses

4. Rose deblushed

5. In the morning