A different lens

My original intention, with Fiona’s Favourites, was as a way of sharing recipes and ideas about food and entertaining – at home – and not in the social media.  So, as I approached my fiftieth post, a number of things struck me:  food and entertainment are only part of what I post about.  Fiona’s Favourites has become a place where I reflect and muse.  I’m amazed at two things:  that I’ve managed to post something virtually once a week, sometimes more often, with most of these being my own writing, and more recently, photographs.  And I’m astounded that so many people read what I write, and from so many parts of the world, and that they comment.  I have wonderful conversations with readers and fellow bloggers: an unexpected gift.


Up to now, most photographs had been taken with a really old, Kodak point-and-click camera or my low end Samsung Galaxy phone.  In addition to discovering that I really enjoy writing the vignettes that I share, I have also discovered that I enjoy what’s involved in “seeing” and capturing a picture.  Quite a challenge with my limited equipment and pre-novice ability.  Tom has been on at me for some time to get a better camera, and a few weeks ago, I had a bit of a windfall.

Well sort of:  a client asked a virtually unheard of question:  “When we’ve paid this invoice, have we paid you everything we owe you?”


Obviously, I checked.  Lo and behold:  there was something owed!  Regardless of other priorities, I had an “if-not-now-when-will-I-do-this” moment, and in a flash, have gone from a point-and-click Kodak with a 3x zoom, to a Samsung with a 35x wide optical zoom.


Needless to say, I have spent quite a bit of the spare time I’ve had in the two and a bit weeks since I got the new camera, taking pictures of some of my favourite subjects.

Here is Ginger Melon MP, ginger by name and ginger by nature;  she has taken about two years to forgive me for bringing kitten interlopers into her home (not ours, you understand…).  I have snapped her doing some of her favourite things:  “wheels-up” on the sofa, sharpening her claws on vines, and in the bottom right picture, not planning to be left at home for dinner, determinedly following us to Green Gables.


Then there’s Tiger Pearl who knows she is as beautiful as she is photogenic.  In the bottom right picture, she is with Melon in the vineyard approaching Green Gables – also not liking being left at home when the rest of the family is out for dinner.


This is the view over the old vineyard and the village, into the mountains, from the foot of the steps up to Green Gables.

View from Green Gables Nov 2014

And a soupcon of what you find in the Green Gables’ dining room and pub.  Yes, bottom left, is an African Swallows‘ nest.  They return to the pub and teach babies to fly from there, every year….


Last, but not least, as a former cattle rancher, bovines are among Tom’s favourite things.  This little herd wandered past our house on their way to new pasture, about ten days’ ago.


Fifty-odd blog posts, on January 22nd, would have been inconceivable had I given it any real thought.  I have discovered that the different thinking and reflecting is something that I enjoy – the looking and the writing – and which I had the privilege of sharing about as a guest blogger, in August.

I started thinking about this milestone a little while ago (it didn’t bite me in the same way as my 20th), and knowing it was approaching, I began jotting down some thoughts on it while on a business trip last week.  Did I have a precise plan for the piece?  No.  And with a new camera, it took a different direction from what I had envisaged.  So, a bit like my own life, Fiona’s Favourites is a combination of what I hope and plan for, and what life sends me.

So, as Timethief said at the end of my guest post on her blog, the welcome mat is down – thank you for visiting, and do come again!


11 thoughts on “A different lens

  1. I’ve been nagged to get a DSLR for years now. I got as far as pricing up, deciding on the model and lens(es) I wanted, finding the cheapest deal, and then backed out of spending the money …
    Lovely selection of photos, looks like you live in a beautiful area.


    1. This not quite a DSLR. They call it a “bridge” camera. Like you, I couldn’t justify the cost and, realistically, probably couldn’t do it justice, anyway. We do live in a very beautiful part of the world, and I’m looking forward to being able learn how to take pictures that do it justice.


      1. Yup, I’ve heard of the bridges. One thing that deterred me was that I didn’t think I’d even used my tiny canon power shot to it’s max advantage so I thought better to learn how to use that than spend money on a ‘proper’ camera. And then I got an iPhone 5 which has a good enough camera so …

        I showed my partner your photos (he’s always lusted after SA) and he agreed with my view. Your village reminded us both of Australian towns in the bush, or Spanish campo towns. Lovely countryside, nice (but not pretentious) houses, and a generally good ambience.


      2. Our village is mostly unpretentious. We all fear that will change as it becomes more popular. I hope that you and Partner visit sometime. Good wine, interesting places….


  2. I was very interested in getting a Bridge camera. The perfect name between what you can do with a point-and-shoot and a DSLR. Much more lightweight though and easy to travel with. The DSLR is so heavy that I never carry it every day when I travel and use my phone much more. Great post with some lovely images. Always nice to upgrade isn’t it 🙂


    1. Yes, upgrading is a bit like Christmas 😛 I do take my camera almost everywhere with me, except when I think that it will be out of place. Then, if I must take a pic, I revert to my phone. And thanks for the complements. I’ve been thinking of doing a post – one year on, looking at how I’ve improved (or not)!


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