7 Books in May

In May I finished 7 books. But two of them were started the month before.

01 7 books in May

This month, I’ve started reading the Tudor series by Philippa Gregory. Sadly, even now, historians don’t give enough credit to the amazing women from the history. Recently I was watching a TV show about Edinburgh castle and the historian said that Henry VIII’s victory over James IV of Scotland at Flodden, Northumberland, in 1513 was his greatest military achievement. WOW! In fact… Henry wasn’t even in England at the time of the battle and Katherine led the army while being pregnant to keep the Scots from invading England.
This is why I love Phillipa’s books, she brings the women into the spotlight and, hopefully, with public interest, more historians will take into consideration the important roles the women played in  history.

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3 Funny things people have asked me

I am asked funny things sometimes and I wanted to share 3 of those questions. When I hear a question like this I’m lost for words. How can I reply?

1. You put your food & snacks on the plates only for taking pictures?

Hmmm… the obvious answer is no, I eat from plates like, hopefully, most of the civilized world. I don’t like eating out of a bag, so, if I can avoid it, I would toss the crisps/popcorn/puffs in a bowl and eat it from that.

I use props for taking food pictures, but those are obvious. I don’t think anybody eats their cookies with jars of flour on the table, sprinkled raisins and whatever props appear in the photo.

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2. If you are vegetarian, you can’t have turkey, what do you eat at Christmas?

I was amazed to be asked something like this. I have an accent and it’s obvious for a Brit I’m not born in the UK. Besides UK and the English-speaking countries (US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) which started as colonies, the rest of the world has different customs for Christmas. I never had turkey for Christmas, not even when I wasn’t vegetarian, it’s not something people eat in Romania.

Funnily enough, there are more vegetarian or easy to make vegetarian options in the British Christmas dinner comparing to the Romanian one. Brussels sprouts can be vegan or vegetarian, the same can do done with roasted root vegetables. Onion gravy is delicious too, that too can be vegetarian.

3. Can you read in English? After a 5 minutes chat, the second question: When was the English Civil War?

The first question wouldn’t exactly be funny unless paired with the second one. I really can’t imagine how you get from: “can you read?” to a question about a 9 years time frame in the British history from the 17th century. This happened at a house transformed in a museum, in a small village up north.

I said 1648 and I got it wrong, but not by much. The Civil War started in 1642 and the second one started in 1648, as I said, when Charles I was captured and was executed the following year. That was what I knew, the year when Charles I’s was in captivity. I also knew the Civil War finished in 1651.

The lady who asked the question said she is not sure and this is why she asked me. First of all, I can’t understand why somebody who works in a historical museum has no idea when the English Civil War was, it’s not like knowing all the kings and queens from 1066 and up to date. Britain has only one civil war and it was the only time when there weren’t any kings on the throne. Although, considering that Oliver Cromwell was buried as a king and his son followed him, it’s not exactly a huge difference.
I had a look online to learn a bit more about that time and on 29th May 1660 the English monarchy was restored with King Charles II.

Goslings

As the title says, this post is about goslings. Yesterday my husband and I went to Sefton Park and we spotted two cute goslings. I had some bird food and I fed them, after that we’ve sat near them and had a lovely relaxing time watching them. The goslings were so sweet, had some nibbles, then a nap, again nibbled on a couple of seeds, then another nap.
People were stopping and taking pictures, give them food. Dogs passing by were stealing small pieces of bread and being shooed away by the very protective geese.

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Enjoy the pictures.

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BlogOn MSI May

A few days ago I’ve attended BlogOn MSI May Conference, the 3rd conference I’ve been to. It was held at the Science Museum in Manchester. If you want to have a look at the other two I’ve been to: BlogOn Conference and BlogOn Conference, September. I had a wonderful time and I already bought my ticket for September. Before BlogOn MSI, I went to Paladone Party, it was fab.

 BlogOn MSI May 2017

BlogON MSI started with the Introduction and Keynotes – Getting organised.

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Paladone Party

I was invited to the Paladone Party in Manchester before the BlogOn MSI last weekend. I was so excited to get to the Village Hotel Ashton Moss, where the party was held. Paladone is a company I worked with before, they send me this cute chalkboard bundle a couple of months ago. I like their products a lot, they are really fun.

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When I arrived we had all sort of drinks to choose from and I had a glass of prosecco with one of those funny straws.

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LightNight Liverpool 2017

LightNight Liverpool 2017, the 6th LightNight I go to. We had a wonderful time. You can check their website next year, if you fancy spending the Friday night in a different way.

 LightNight Liverpool 2017

Our first stop was at the Liverpool Medical Institution, one of the oldest medical societies in the UK. It’s where we’ve extracted strawberry DNA last year on LightNight.

We went there to see Every Second of Every Day. It’s a trio of glass hearts made by artist Stephanie Kuebler-Preston. The human hearts are filled with electrified glowing noble gases, blue or red.

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Why I use Photoshop

With Blog On approaching, which is this weekend, I’ve been thinking of the technical side of blogging. So, I’ve decided to talk about Photoshop and why I’m using it.
I’ve been using Photoshop for many years, after I learned the basics from my husband. I can’t say I know a lot, but what I know is enough to help me edit my pictures. I will give you a couple of examples of what I’m doing in Photoshop and why.

All the pictures that are taken with the DSLR are shot in raw format, so that means all of them have to be edited using Photoshop to make them jpg, to resize them and make them suitable for web. This is what I do to all the pictures on the blog. Besides this, I might crop a picture or edit to take out something I don’t want to see in it, like a plastic bottle from the grass in the park. I don’t want to look back at that picture and remember that someone didn’t trouble themselves to throw away the bottle properly.

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This is how I’ve edited a picture from Burnley. The shadow under the building didn’t allow enough light to show the mechanisms underneath. To edit the picture, I opened it again using a different setting with a high exposure, I added to another layer. After that I made a mask and, with a tool from Photoshop, I’ve uncovered the lighter layer of the shadows under the building. The layers and the mask are visible in the printscreen of the Photoshop.

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After modifying the picture, I resized it and saved it.

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