Posts Tagged ‘Health’

it’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to talk about anything but photography on these pages but with father’s day around the corner I thought I’d take a little time to talk about my thoughts on fatherhood and what I’ve learned as both a father a son and grandson.

My Grandfather was an engineer of sorts although I only knew him as a retired tinkerer and carpenter who would spend hours in his workshop mending anything for everyone who asked, I recall that he was particularly talented at mending clocks.

GGF BC Lathe

I don’t especially recall much grandfatherly wisdom that he passed to me directly other than him very generously giving me a small bone handled sheath knife when I was probably 6 or 7. I of course promptly cut open my thumb and he did a great job of covering up my injury and whilst I don’t recall the exact story that was given to my mother and grandmother as to how I came by the injury I know for certain that it didn’t involve him giving a small boy a knife.

GGF BC Shopsmith

My own father still has that knife and as I learned much later in life that it was his all along and my grandfather had no right to have given it to me.

A selection of the tools hanging on the wall and my fathers humour.

Sadly Great Grandfather Bunny Chow passed away in my early teens and I never had the pleasure of being able to share a beer with him but I remember his acerbic wit with great fondness.

GGF BC looking out over the workshop he founded but never saw.

His workshop was in the process of being moved to my parents property at the time of his passing as Great Grandmother and he were downsizing into a smaller home.

a wider look at one wall of the workshop

The workshop has lived on as he would have wanted it to with his workbenches, lathe and other shop tools now incorporated as the core of one of my fathers two retirement jobs. Yep you read that correctly he has two jobs in his retirement. Without delving too deeply into politics the mismanagement of the Zimbabwean government essentially means that no one in Zimbabwe has a pension any more and there is no such thing as state assistance so if you don’t work then without the help of friends and family who are likely in similar positions and not able to help out anyway.

not exactly the chosen transport of many retired IT professionals

Still my father managed to nominally retire from corporate IT a few years ago and set himself up as a fixer/mender in the style of Handy Manny. Like Great Grandfather Bunny Chow before him my father is a skilled if formally untrained engineer and a talented electrician and a lifetime in Africa has taught him when best to make use of Zimbabwe’s cheap and plentiful workforce only actually undertaking more technical or quicker jobs himself leaving him plenty of free time to partake in his other business or passion.

my father trying to make a bird watcher out of the young me.

This other business is one of the things that my father passed on to me through osmosis, I’m not by any means a twitcher or birder but with so many of my childhood holidays revolving around travelling to far-flung reaches of Africa to locate endemic birds you cannot help but learn from his infectious excitement. I’m not here to promote his business but those trips into the bush to hunt, fish and bird watch are the things I miss most about life in Africa and the times when I was closest to my father.

I don’t profess to have become a talented engineer or master bushmen through my association with either of these wonderful men, but their wit and passion for what they love have influenced me greatly through my own journey to fatherhood. I can only hope that I will be able to stand up to the standards set by both of these wonderful men in the raising of my own two boys.

at ease the last time we were in the bush together

My father and I live on opposite sides of the world now and sadly won’t be able to spend any time together on father’s day but I know that he will read these words and we’ll share a beer or three with thoughts of each other and our many adventures in the African bush.

The photo’s littered through this post are of their workshop as it is now and my father, my two-minute search failed to dig up one of Great Grandfather Bunny Chow and I together the best I could come up with was the portrait of him in his mayoral robes hanging in his workshop.

Sorry if this has been a bit of a ramble but I have written it as I thought it.

Cheers Pa I love you xxx

Until next time

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

I’m late, I’m late for a very important date.

Week 22 proved to be incredibly challenging for me as the theme was self-portrait and try as I might I didn’t like any of the clichéd shots I kept taking of myself either arms extended or gurning into a mirror and with time limited and self-conscious double chin hatred precluding all of the shot’s I kept trialling from being shared I decided to think a little more about who I am as an artist.

I’m a father, I’m a dog walker, I’m a husband, I have a job managing a small office, nothing there spoke to me either, not because I’m not proud of all of the above but because I wanted to capture something deeply personal and there are plenty of other talented people out there who do all of these things successfully.

Then I began thinking about what has helped shape my style and personality most since I began this project and kept coming back to my thumb injury for which I am still awaiting an operation date from the NHS.

Self Portrait

I’ve winged and whined in these pages before about my sore thumb and how I have battled to ignore its constant aching over the last 6 months and I’ve gotten better at keeping quiet about it and not boring my friends and family but the long drive to the Vale of Glamorgan and back over the long weekend brought the stark reality back home to me. It is still bloody sore and I can’t shrug off something like a long drive as easily as I once could.

So there you have it my excuse reason for not showing you a picture of my ugly mug but instead a shot of my poor sore left hand.

In my last post I promised you some exciting news and I may have gotten over excited as the news is hugely exciting to me but perhaps a little droll for all of you. None the less I no longer need to borrow The Falklandislander’s Canon EOS10D (although I still have it in my possession) as I managed to find a battered example for myself for the bargain price of £50 from the lovely people of www.cameraworld.co.uk they were open and honest about the condition of the camera but I couldn’t be happier, it’s alloy magnesium body bares it’s scrapes and scratches with pride and so far appear to be purely cosmetic. I mean come on this camera was over £1000 when new and it’s now mine.

Sure I’d love the have the cash to throw at a slightly more modern system but I love the feel and weight of this camera and it’s relatively low value gives me the confidence to take it everywhere with me.

You’ll be seeing plenty of pictures from it in the coming, months week and years I can assure you.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

P.S. this weeks pic was actually taken with my HTC One X phone but pictures from the Canon are coming soon.

Another lazy/busy week from me means that I’ve once again neglected you my loyal readers and have little to share aside from my Project 52 shot and a couple of others that I liked from the week. Thankfully I can’t even use illness as an excuse anymore as touch wood I seem to be through my illnesses with just a minor sniffle remaining.

As a bonus I’ve even managed to lose 15kg’s over the last couple of months.

Anyway moving on the theme this week was flowers and I decided that I’d play around with some macro shots and see how I got along.

summer colours

This is the picture I ultimately chose, more for its aesthetic qualities and bright summery colours than any sort of technical brilliance as ultimately I’ve not had time to break out my tripod or even wait for the wind to stop blowing so it’s not perfectly focused and the 7mm spacer I was using also creates incredibly shallow depth of field which also push perhaps more of the photo out of focus than I would have liked. Still I really like the picture so I used it anyway.

I’ve also been thinking about my long exposure collaboration project with Nick over at Nick Exposed and Shannon at Seeing Spots Photo and for pretty much the same reasons I’ve not broken out my tripod but have been thinking and playing a little and thought you might like this shot.

ooh look shiny spinning lights

Sadly the sky is massively overexposed and I was unable to pull it back using my I’m lazy 30 seconds max rule for post production but I think the shot ultimately still works well.

the next group of photo’s are just a few more that I liked from the last week and hope that you will enjoy gawping at. Please let me know what you thing about posting them as a gallery as opposed to inline as I have in the past. (clicking on them should make them bigger)

Next week’s challenge is self-portrait so I may have to subject you to seeing my ugly mug unless I can come up with some sort of thinly disguised artistic excuse to avoid taking my own picture.

Hope you’re all keeping well

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

This week I’m going to keep things very short and sweet as once again I seem to have come down with lurgy and feel much like death only warmed through a little bit and a temperature approaching 40°C (104°F) it’s not been a good couple of weeks for me or the long-suffering, bored of my whining, Mrs Bunny Chow, she’s very good to me on the whole but I’m fed up so you can just imagine how she’s feeling.

In other news tomorrow is my birthday and to celebrate we’ve hired a babysitter and are going out for a meal with friends tonight, what a luxury it will be to eat a meal out without one or the other of us ending up with cold food whilst wrestling with either The Bug or the Monkey Boy. While we’re on the topic of the kids The Bug has learned to crawl pretty much over night and is now getting seriously quick, there’s no going back from here. The Monkey Boy has also reached his stride as a two-year old and is now asserting his wants and desires vociferously and often in the middle of the night.

So anyway I was supposed to be keeping this one quick, my theme this week was Sky and Clouds which actually proved rather challenging as we’ve had weeks of grey miserable overcast sky’s with little or no interest within them. Bleurgh, see I’m even whining at you lot can you imagine how Mrs BC feels.

 

Sky and Clouds

 Anyway I managed to get some interesting shots in the end but chose this one because I liked my blessed Bunny Chow poking her nose into the bottom edge of the shot.

Next weeks theme is contrasting colours

Hope you’re all well

 TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

 

 

Howdy to all you wordpressers,

I hope that you’ll be pleased to know that I am now on the mend and my manflu seems to be mostly in recession, although I’m still very tired I’m back at work and back to carrying a camera around most of the time. Thank you for all your kind messages and thoughts, they really did help.

This week’s theme was symmetry and I like to think that my rather surreal shot portrays this. The question I’m going to ask you though is can you tell what the big picture is, do you know what the shot is actually of? I can’t wait to hear your guesses.

There will be a couple of other posts from me coming up today and tomorrow discussing the quotography project I’ve been participating in for Nick Exposed and Seeing Spots.

Hope you’re all well and happy.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

 

harumph, I’m grumpy and moody and feeling very sorry for myself, once again I have been struck down with that most deadly of diseases Man Flu.

It all began on Friday night after spending two days at home from work looking after my poor sick elder child often referred to in these pages as The Monkey Boy who been kept home with a slightly high temperature and general malaise, he is two so malaise is a concern, I began getting a sore throat and feeling rather sorry for myself, and unlike the last time I had a sore throat I didn’t reach for the whiskey, partly because I’ve not actually got any in the house but more because that ended in tragedy the last time and anyway as the evening wore on I began feeling really really rough.

10pm rolled around and I decided that I was freezing and feeling really crap so was going to bed, checking my temperature on the way to find it was sitting just shy of 40C or 104F I demanded a hot water bottle and withdrew to some very odd dreams.

Saturday and Sunday passed by in a blur of wailing children, no interest in food an aborted dog walk and no noticeable change in my core temperature. Monday morning came and I despatched Mrs BC to do the school run and deal with a puncture whilst I visited my much maligned NHS GP he took one look at my temperature and began testing everything, discovering my hear rate would not drop below 160, my blood pressure was way too low and in general I was in pretty poor order.

Of course I am still awaiting my thumb operation so not wanting to put that at jeopardy he immediately prescribed me industrial strength doses of antibiotics and sent me home to bed.

The antibiotics alongside my ravenous appetite for cold and flu drugs seem to be winning at last with my temperature not back down to normal human levels and my chest and throat still sore but not to the point of having a desire to rip them out of myself.

Today (Thursday) I’ve even managed to stay awake all morning, although I’m fading fast and feel the need for a nap coming on as soon as I’ve finished grumbling at you lot.

so without further ado I’m not going to try to justify the best I could come up with for a Kitchen shot, i.e. nothing to do with the kitchen other than that the dog is chewing and looking mean.

Bunny Chew

My next post to share here on this project is on symmetry which could be fun if I can drag myself away from my sick-bed.

I’m also taking part in a project with Nick Mayo of the excellent NickExposed Blog

I’ll let you read more about the idea from his own post but the general idea is everyone submits three quotes and these are then divided up and you receive someone elses quotes which you need to interpret photographically.

The quotes I submitted were:

  • Quote one: by my father  “Son, if you have to drink gin then for gods sake use a tot measure” (his actual words have been edited for the sake for public decency)
  • Quote two: by Monkey Boy “No Scooby Doo? Take me home Daddy want Scooby Doo”
  • Quote three: by Cecil John Rhodes “So little done, so much to do”

and the quotes I have received back are:

  • 1.”It’s never just an ordinary day.”~ slogan for the Calgary Science School
  • 2.”Every artist was first an amateur.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • 3.“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison

Anyway that’s me for now I’m gonna hit the hay.

hope you’re all well

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

 

As some of you may know I am also running a small blog for my local community and it has come to light that Murder has occurred in our road.

We’d like as many people as possible to publicise this fact as we have long been complaining of antisocial behaviour and something needs to be done.

More details available on the community blog page.

Many thanks and TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

For those of you out of the loop Grandma Bunny Chow normally resides in my home country of Zimbabwe and had travelled to the UK as the Zimbabwean representative of Alzheimer’s Disease International at their annual conference. I don’t profess to be an expert on the disease or it’s challenges but I do know that ADI do excellent work in overcoming prejudices and providing support to those suffering from dementia so please do show them support if you ever come into contact with them.

On Saturday afternoon I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to spend an afternoon following my mother and a group of representatives from Alzheimer’s Disease International as they embarked on a walking tour around The City of London.

it was the vibrant colour of these tights that made me decide that I couldn't stick to just black and white

Strictly speaking I wasn’t supposed to be there as I wasn’t part of the party so to speak but they allowed me to follow them around without complaint whist I took pictures of the group, as well as passers-by and The City.

this guy had such knowledge etched into his face

Street photography is a style I greatly admire and one day hope to become proficient in but for this walk it was really just me playing with my camera settings and seeing what worked best. The pictures I have chosen to share in this post are some of the ones I thought worked out best although they vary hugely in style.

just look at that hair

I definitely appreciate any creative input or idea’s from my readers as to what you like and also what you think of when you think street photography, are you all about the gritty black and white or do you prefer to capture the vibrancy and colours of springtime in the metropolis? I know it’s something I’m torn about which is why many of these photo’s work individually but I’m not so sure how well they work as a collective.

I have no idea what she was up to either, she just stopped did this funny move and then carried on without a by your leave or care in the world

anyway I’ve only been waffling on this long so that I can break up the pictures a bit and keep you reading, but I’ll just let the captions do the talking from here on in.

I don't know if this guy had Tourette's syndrome or was just a nutter but he kept marching up and down swearing to himself and muttering threats of intended violence.

Self importance is always an interesting subject

am I casting the next Doctor Who or just being a RayBan fanboy?

no story here I just like this picture

why so serious?

Looking back I'm beginning to think that my walk might have taken place further back in the past than Saturday.

Bob Geldof doing the funky chicken?

Happy Birthday Conita wherever you may be

completely out of context and definitely not street photography but I like the shot and couldn't think of anywhere else to use it.

She's listening intently

I told you Granny Bunny Chow was here, she's also listening intently unlike the bloke in the background who just looks bored.

deep in thought

and back to colour, this guy was just too cool for school

so cool that he deserved two shots

another completely out of context random architecture shot but I liked it so it's here.

so the kids do still skate, last time I got on a skateboard I ended up in a cast (15+ years ago) so have stayed away ever since despite thinking that they always looked cool.

somehow this lady transmagorfed herself from a Parisian cafe in order for me to take her picture.

an attempt at artistic blur

something to smile about

I wonder if they'd noticed that they were sitting in bright sunshine on a beautiful spring day or were just on their way back from Siberia.

 such attitude, makes you wonder if he/she was actually throwing a hissy fit or I was just lucky

well that’s it from me for now, as always I love to hear from you and know what your thoughts are, should I stick to one style or keep flitting between or just give up on the street thing altogether?

Many thanks for looking and TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow