Random Photos of My World the Last Couple of Weeks

The full moon was soo bright!  And this was taken in the morning!  I am having difficulty taking pictures of bright moons even though I can see the markings with my eye.  My PowerShot has a retractable lens, so I am limited to the features as I am not au fait with F stops, etc., yet!

Here it is a few minutes later.

Sunset at Birling Gap taken with my Canon EOS 450D with a polarising filter.  First time I’ve used a polariser.  I can feel a painting coming on.

Sunset on the way home from work.  The starlings were doing their magic on The Pier.  The sun doesn’t set over the water in Eastbourne, but when it goes down, there is a lovely light to the sky.  Its more dramatic when there are clouds.

Sunrise on the way to work.

I must say that I really do enjoy the drive to and from work.   I drive along the seafront, against traffic.  Then I drive through some open countryside.  If there is a downside to the drive, I drive with the sun in my eyes!  It’s a small price to pay for a quick and beautiful journey to work.

The last lilly in the garden, still going strong in spite of being nibbled by a bug.

And last but not least…

This is a study for a new flower painting.  I have done white arum lillies, now I am going to paint pink lillies.  I also have new bookcases, which reminds me that I need to do a house update soon as there have been a few home improvements.

My temp contract has been extended, so I don’t have a lot of time for painting these days, or photography, or dancing!  However, I did join a gym! 🙂  And I will be getting out the knitting needles again.  I might even read some books now that I have new specs!

If anyone can give me some tips on taking great pictures of the moon, I would be really grateful.  Take care people!

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Beautiful Sunset at Birling Gap

Last Saturday, my sweetheart and I went to Birling Gap for a BBQ and to watch the sunset.  It was an unseasonably warm day for October in the UK.  I love days like that!  Unlike the last time I went to Birling Gap, and that was only a few weeks ago, there weren’t many people left on the beach! 🙂 People came and went to watch the sun go down, but we practically had the place to ourselves.

See, practically empty beach.  The sun was still very hot.

I love the way the sun reflected off of the cliffs and made different colours.

What a stunning sunset!

The tide was going out as the sun was going down.  We had the most amazing orange glow in the sky for nearly an hour after the sun went down.  It was really beautiful and romantic.

This is a view looking towards Cookmere Haven and the start of The Seven Sisters.

We also had fire!  I had collected bits of driftwood and twigs and other things that would burn so that we could have a fire after the BBQ as it started to cool down somewhat once the sun had set.  My man is a regular Ray Mears, or Bear Grills.

You can still see that lovely orange glow in the sky.  Once the fire got going, we watched the stars come out.  We even saw the death of a star.  One moment we were looking up at the stars and one became very, very bright, then it was gone. Just like that!  It was very cool and very sad at the same time.  And to think that it happened so long ago.  Nature is so amazing.

By this time there was only us and another couple further down the beach, only two fires blazing whereby a few weeks ago there were many along the beach.  We eventually packed up to go home.

This is what we saw on the ride home…

These photos do not do justice to what we saw.  I just for the life of me couldn’t get a good photograph.  We had what was left of a Harvest Moon.  It was the cherry on top of an amazing evening.  Picture a huge orange moon with the town of Eastbourne all lit up, including The Pier.  It was a visual feast.  The perfect end to a perfect evening.  Well, almost! 😉

all photographs were taken with a Canon PowerShot SX200 IS on Sunset Mode, except for the moon shots that were shot on fast speed

Working for Money

I had asked The Universe and the Job Angels for some work.  I specifically asked for a job that was well paid, with nice people, interesting work, and some travel.  I think someone out there is having fun with me.

I have been temping this last month and the job finishes on Friday.  The pay is good.  The people I am working with are nice.  I have to drive to work.  That is not what I meant about travel.  However, my drive to work is very scenic as I drive along the seafront every morning and evening and there is relatively no traffic as I am going against the main flow of it.  As for the work itself, well, it is mind-numbingly dull.  I am basically extracting information from one place, putting it into another place, and then putting all of that somewhere else.  I am a data collector.

To feel good about what I am doing, I have had to look for some positives aspects of the job.  Apart from helping the company with the data I am collecting, I am able to listen to my music collection on my MP3 player while I am doing it.  This helps relieve some of the boredom and can help me set a pace to my work and keep me focused on the task at hand.  I am also listening to stuff I don’t normally listen to as I have my whole collection on shuffle.  I could start with a Tango, then have a bit of Rock, some Classical, etc.  With the headphones on, I am able to hear things in the music I might not ever have noticed before.  Listening to the music also blocks out the voices of the other people in the room I am in, which is part of a call centre.

A downside to this work is that the only time I have any human interaction is during breaks, with my colleagues.  We tend to take our breaks and lunch together.  If we didn’t, we probably wouldn’t really talk to anyone else, or each other, as we tend to speak to each other only if we have specific queries about what we are doing.  We have found that talking is a distraction while working.  We have certain targets to meet.

Speaking about targets, we have surpassed ourselves and surprised our employers as to how quickly we were able to learn how to use their system and increase the target base.  We are left to our own devices as they know we just get on with things.

A big downside to this work is that it is very tiring.  Even with breaks.  I am so tired when I get home that I haven’t been dancing.  I haven’t been having an evening walk.  I haven’t been painting.  I’m not really up for cooking.  This is so unlike me.  It is as if the computer has sucked the life out of me.  I know I haven’t worked for a while, but I have never felt like this before.  I’m joining a gym around the corner just to get some exercise and the blood circulating through me.  If the gym wasn’t around the corner, I don’t think I would have the inclination or energy to contemplate even joining one.   Now that the days are getting shorter, if I am working all day, I won’t be able to walk along the seafront.  It isn’t a good idea to go alone at night.

After three weeks of this work, I realised that I would never be able to do this full-time – three times a week, tops.  I am grateful for the work and the money, but I miss having the time to go outside for a walk.  I miss painting.  Although the time can pass quickly, it is not a fun or interesting job.  Doing this work has made me realise what is important to me.  I just need to find a way of getting it and having it all.  It reminds me of the expression ‘cash rich, but time poor’.   Somehow that just doesn’t seem right.  I am not really cash rich although I have more cash than I did before, however, I am certainly time poor and I am really feeling it.

Now, I just want you to know that I am not complaining.  Really, not one bit.  I am just stating some facts about what I am doing and what I have discovered about what I want from work, apart from the money.  I have learned what I am capable of and what I can tolerate.  In this era of unemployment, and trust me I know about being unemployed, I am very grateful to have gotten this job, albeit a temporary one.  By earning some money this month, it means that I don’t have to tap into whatever savings I have.  I have met some nice people.  If it weren’t for my colleagues on this project, I wouldn’t have had any people to talk to.  We have been going into the same office for the last month and only one person has bothered to say hello to us.  I find that really odd.

I have never really worked in a large company before and it has made me realise what I like about working in a small to medium-sized company.  The repetitiveness of the work has reinforced in me that I would like to have interaction with others and do something that would stimulate my intellect, and that offers some variety to my working day.  I am not being challenged in ways where I can utilize my skills effectively.  I know it’s a job and somebody has to do it, but I can’t do it for too long without being damaged by it and that really isn’t worth the money to me.  I don’t think that is a fair exchange and doesn’t offer much satisfaction.  It seems like being in survival mode, which is not a place I want to be in, and yet I am aware that many people are.

Today, I came across this quote by the Dalai Lama: “When asked “What thing about humanity surprises you the most?”, the Dalai Lama answered:

“Man…. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
Dalai Lama XIV

I always find it amazing that I come across this type of thing when it is most pertinent.  Yes, I need to work, but not at the expense of my health or certain things I want to do.  I am still trying to find out what it is I would enjoy doing to earn money and to still be able to do what I want to – like paint and being out in nature, and dancing.  I have a few ideas.

Sometimes we have to try things in order to work out what we really want, or don’t want, in our lives.  Sometimes we are given an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life or vice versa without realising it.  Apart from earning money, I believe I have benefitted in other ways from this temporary position.  I don’t think I could have survived it without the humour and kindness of the people who I am working with.  It will be odd not seeing them when this whole thing is over.  I have discovered things about myself and others I never knew before.

So, when opportunity knocks, open the door. You never know what might happen. 🙂