Sunday 7 May 2023

Freezingly cold and not a lot of gardening

 Amazingly, despite the Easter washout, the weather picked up, and we had a decent week or so before the bad weather came back, putting a temporary halt to my taming of the couch grass clearing out the large flower bed that was wrecked by the rain in October.

Today, like most of the last few days, has been wet and cold, seriously so, with the threat of snow and hail.

In between the rain, I did get a little bit done but I'm getting twitchy as I need to get a garden bed ready to plant my broad beans and perhaps some Asian greens. The weather forecast suggests next week's going to be mostly cold and dry, so maybe, just maybe I'll get my beans planted.

Otherwise, it's been fairly quiet.

I'm finally on the homeward stretch of the Dow's Pharmacy documentation project with basically two large floor to ceiling display cabinets to work through and that's it. I'd hoped to be finished by now, but Covid and other things have slowed things down, which means, given this week's weather, I'll be lagged up in thermals once more while I finish the project.

I've also taken a few more shots on my film cameras. One problem I've come across is that the light meter on my Vivitar V335 has died - I did replace the batteries, but to no avail. The short term work around is to press an old light meter I have into service.

Longer term I've bought a second hand Praktica MTL3 from ebay. The guy selling it did warn me that the lens would need servicing so I've also sourced a reconditioned lens for it.

As with all old cameras, the light seals might need replacing, but MTL3 replacement seal kits are available online - the camera's popular with retro photography enthusiasts - for around $20.

Elsewise it's back to a truly retro 1960's experience with my old totally mechanical Praktica Nova.

When I lived in Europe, I found that in analogue days, I could estimate camera settings reasonably well through skill and judgement, but here in Australia, I find I tend to underestimate quite how bright it is. 

That, and the fact that most film readily available is a minimum of 100ASA, as opposed to the older, slower, more forgiving, 50 and 32ASA films I used to use, means that something like the MTL3 with a working light meter might be useful as a training tool to get used to working with film again.

However, I do feel that I'm getting ready to get more serious about this.

Otherwise, not a lot, last weekend I spent more time than perhaps I should have on postcards and encryption, which was intellectually satisfying, if a bit of a buggering about.

This weekend, J was helping run a local art exhibition so I was on cooking and domestic duties which last night meant a rich tomatoey Greek style lamb stew that possibly owed more to Jamie Oliver than Greece proper, chunky pasta, and a bottle of pinot noir. 

It was of course the day of the coronation, but we passed, preferring to watch a Portuguese crime drama on demand ...

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