Been getting ready this week, though I’ve still not managed to do everything I’m supposed to have yet. The joys of procrastination getting in the way i suppose. I’ve been buying those last things I need for my time away, shopping for Christmas presents for my family back home and seeing people for the last time before the off. Had a great meal with my family last night – I cooked and nobody complained or got ill and had a really nice night. It’s weird to think how much different my niece and two nephews will be next time I see them, still, I’ll have some good stories to tell them. It’s Poker night with friends on Friday and then a quiet night in on the Saturday before I depart for somewhere less warm and sunny – It’s blowing a gale outside as I type this in “sunny” Yorkshire with the rain blasting against the windows and the sky looking moody. Wonder whether I’ll miss the sounds of creaking, banging and other assorted odd noises an old building makes in a storm when I’m settled in my new house? Though I’d imagine Halley IV will have it’s own particular sound sat in an ice laden howling wind. Speaking of sounds, I’m not gonna hear the sounds of traffic or birds singing or trees rustling as well as the sound of a Victorian house. It’s the little things like that that every now and again make me think “Man, I’m going to a strange place”
Regardless of who it is and what we are talking about I find I can cram in something along the lines of “I’m off to Antarctica” within a few sentences. This is especially easy when the weather has been like it has for the past week.
Delivery man: Bloody hell, bit wild out today eh?
Me: Not as bad as where I’m going…….
Plus plenty variations on that theme. Sometimes I don’t even wait for the right chance to pry it into the conversation, I’ve been that happy about the whole thing I have to stop myself from actually introducing myself with the words “I’m going to Antarctica”. I think in 2015 I’ll be back into the swing of it with “I’ve just got back from Antarctica” though it may well be that the wild look in my eyes as I find myself surrounded by green and living things might tip folk off that I’ve been somewhere a bit different anyway.
I’ve been out with my camera figuring out how to use it, still not there yet but it is amazing what a difference getting over to the manual set up as opposed to using the auto makes when using an SLR camera, you can take completely different shots and even some that you just can’t get on automatic. I’ve still got a way to go but I’m beginning to understand the basics of aperture, ISO and shutter speed and I’ve got a basic grasp of what the buttons do. I still haven’t been out to get the shots of the bleak and hilly Yorkshire countryside yet (I was gonna go today but I think I’ll wait till it’s a bit less crazy outside) But I did go have a wander round the abandoned brick works just up the road to have a crack at taking pictures in different light levels. I took loads of snaps and learned a bit, my friend Andy helped explaining things and it all became a lot clearer than just watching videos and reading. That’s not to say I managed to get any great pictures though! Most of them look like exactly the sort of shots someone learning how to use a camera would take but it was interesting nonetheless. Click on em for a better look.
You can see the difference a bit of tinkering with the settings makes on the camera!
Below are a few more pictures of urban decay, including an obligatory black and white “arty” shot. I think they are all a bit cheesy, and none too good but I learned loads in a fairly short time. Maybe that’s why there are so many pictures of broken buildings with graffiti on? Then again it is quite nice shuffling around ruins with a camera.
Tried taking pictures of my family last night but none turned out too well, I’ve not quite managed action shots in low light yet. Hopefully I’ll learn that before my many months of darkness begins.
Edited to add: Now it’s snowing outside, I can say “I’m going to Antarctica” in even more conversations now!