May 182010

I am not a professional photographer, just a hobbyist. I don’t mind ‘exposing’ my hobby (photos I’ve taken) on any of my blogs (I have 3) eventhough some have been taken without my permission. Exposing my photos is the only way that I can get feedback from photographers, both pros and amateurs. Feedbacks serve as pointers.From them I learn, that’s a fact.

But I can honestly say that I learn the most from experimenting. I can claim that I’m  self taught. That is true not only in how I take photos but also when I’m preparing dishes in my kitchen. Fortunately in the kitchen I have been successful 90% of the time, how I can say that? Because my husband whom I do most cooking for is such an honest critique. He isn’t shy to tell me if the food presented to him was good or not. So far, so good :)

When it comes to my photos, I am my biggest critique, so far. Although Mr. Critique, friends, people, who see my photos attest that they’re good, I still throw away 50% of them…because I am hard to please.

I guess I just want to be better eventhough this is just a hobby. That isn’t so wrong, right?

selective focusing…fighting off the wind and lack of natural light…click the images for a larger view

flower found in the backyard.

May 032010

Last Friday evening I was really pissed at the owner of the small hotel where we were billeted in Belgium. Actually it wasn’t only me who was pissed, my husband too as well as our friends (a couple) who were with us for that weekend get-away.
You see we were invited by our friends for this get-away and since they have already stayed 3 times in that place, we were assured that it was a good address. Also our dog was welcome since they always had their dog in all those 3 times. So they made the reservation for us 4 humans plus 2 dogs which the owners (a dutch guy married to a belgian woman) accepted. But when we arrived there we were told that no dogs are allowed in the restaurant because they’re full. And it was said in a strange manner by the belgian owner. Like she did not care for her clients’ feelings at all. We were surprised but accepted it so we decided to eat in turns so that at least someone will stay with the 2 dogs that are quite highly strung due to the strange new place. Normally our pug can be left on his own, but that night he chose to make it a bit difficult for us and became very nervous being left alone as the other dog too.
We had a bottle of wine outside the small restaurant before dinner, which was usual. We told the lady owner who also was serving the guests to simply bring out the plates for 4 for each course, it really didn’t matter to us if the food gets cold, we were complying. So I and J left our husbands with the dogs and we begun with our appetizers. We get to talking, I pitying the situation because it wasn’t really nice to have a dinner w/o our husbands while we’re so looking forward enjoying  it with us four. Thus after our first course we called out the men to have theirs. While they were eating, the belgian owner came up to them and said that ‘she doesn’t like what we’re doing! ‘she’s working double shifts” she said in such an unfriendly tone, very against the client tone. We were all surprised at this! Double shift? How? Our plates were brought out at the same time.

To make a long story short, I told our friends and my husband that I no longer want to stay in that friggin’ place. Otherwise we will have the same problem the following morning during breakfast and the next evening during dinner too. Oh you should see my face that Friday night when I heard what she’s said and accused us, no amount of  wrinkle creams would smooth my badly-rimpled-from-anger-forehead and my eyebrow that raised to the roof! That friggin’ belgian woman did not care anymore about the clients since it was their last weekend of operation! They have sold the place and running it only until last Sunday. So probably, because of all the years of kissing their clients asses she felt she was free to be her arrogant self. I wanted to do the check out the following morning but my friends beat me to it, they paid our bills while I was in the shower (they probably know that I will try to avenge us? lol)
It was the best decision we made because after checking out we drove to nearby Luxumbourg, returned to Belgium to visit Balogne. And on our way back to our respective cities in Holland, we stopped by a small town in the South and had the best Italian food!

Thank goodness for the heads above our shoulders and we cut short our stay in that place. Never again!

Apr 082010

One Saturday while walking on the busy streets of Rotterdam, I saw this man and his colorful parrots, entertaining people passing by. He wasn’t asking for money or anything…I guess he was just happy to put his feathered friends on display and also let them enjoy the lovely temperature that is slowly rising on this part of the planet.

aren’t those birds gorgeous?! look at the colors….magnificent creatures!

And they are trained too! The man told me: ‘ready your camera because they are going to kiss’ and they did! The man then asked me if I wanted my pictures taken with  his parrots, he’ll take the shots..I said ‘sure’.

But why ruin these images by adding mine? :P