Going Booze-Free

It seems all the rage now, giving up alcohol for January. This is my second year of doing it. Only one of my friends tried doing it, but failed due to peer pressure and a couple of birthdays.

There are a number of reasons I put myself through this:

  • Save money (I’m usually pretty overspent after Xmas, every little helps, etc)
  • Health (I usually feed like crap after Xmas, after eating all that fat instead of my usual chickpea-rich diet)
  • A challenge (It’s a habit , dropping a beer or 3 in my shopping basket)
  • Sleep (I wanted to eliminate booze as a cause for my insomnia)

Results? I saved some money, I lost some of the weight I’d put on in the past couple of months, I’m getting better at not making impulse purchases (except for vintage film cameras, obviously!) and I can’t decide whether booze affects my sleep or not (yeah, crap conclusion I know).

No Booze

No Booze!


Cute Baby Photos

No, I haven’t had a baby – it’s a camera.  A Voigtländer Baby Bessa 66*. You might be thinking it’s looking a bit corroded, that’s because it was made in 1938, and has been stored badly. The insides look pristine, though.

Voigtlander Baby Bessa, top view

Top view

It is otherwise in fairly good nick – the bellows are still light-tight, the shutter still works (although all speeds work at 1/150 second), and the lens is in fairly good condition with no scratches. The aperture looks really good.  The viewfinder has no glass or lens in it, just holes in two pieces of metal – it is meant to be like that. That’s how they did things before the war.

It had a roll of film in it when I got it, only 7 of the shots had been taken, but I’m not paying to get that developed (B&W medium format film is about £10 to get developed, that’s without printing!). I’m keeping it carefully until the day I finally get around to developing my own negatives, then this can be a test roll!

Voigtlander Baby Bessa, front view

Front View

I’ve already shot a roll of film with it – B&W – which I hope will be back by the end of the week. If it comes out ok, I’ll post some pictures. Or I might post them anyway.

*The 66 refers to the size of the negative – 6cm square. They also made a 46 which was 4.5cm x 6cm.

The Joy of Socks


I don’t love the cold (although it’s much preferable to the wet) but I do like the opportunity to swear thick thick socks.

The rest of the year your feet would get far too hot, but now those socks that are almost thick enough to stand up on their own can be dragged out of the back of the drawer and worn inside your winter boots. Or just worn around the house instead of slippers.

My fleece dressing gown doesn’t get worn much, either, except on freezing winter mornings, but I think that’s another blog…

Today’s run: Possibly a bit damp


I love living in Shrewsbury, but it does have its downside. Every time it rains in wales, we flood. This buggers up my running route, as it mostly goes along the river.

This week I have mostly been running circles around the park. It’s not quite as much fun.

Song #24 ‘Insomnia’

I started this song yesterday – the music, at least – and was so tired I had to go to bed at 8PM.  It originally sounded a bit like Calexico, but I’ve lost most of that vibe now, sadly.

The string thing at the end was a right pain, something in the mix is out of tune – I suspect the guitar – which means that everything sounds slightly wrong. I almost had English horn on it, but I was getting tired and a bit bad tempered and thought it was probably a bad idea. I did piano, though.


You haven’t missed #23, I have just been unable to finish it.  I suppose it is now disqualified from the Song-a-day club. *sad face*.

I have weakened


I didn’t want to, not yet, but I feel I have no choice. The central heating has been turned on. I tried to put off this moment by wearing a thick jumper and drinking lots of hot tea, but the flat was just horrible this morning so I turned the heating on.

I’ve got the thermostat turned down low for now. We had a new combi boiler fitted recently, so I’m hoping to see some lovely low bills this year.

Cardigan Bay Coastal Path

I went camping at the end of July with my friends – yes I know there has been a large gap in blog frequency, no idea why – and it was great. As the booked camping date approached, weather went from dismal and extremely wet to scorching sunshine on the day we got there. Luck, I guess.

We were based in Llangrannog, 9 miles south of New Quay. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Wales now has a footpath all the way around it, most of it along the coast. (The bit where is borders England, mostly following Offa’s Dyke is obviously not on the coast either. That would be silly)

From the coast at Llangrannog, you can turn either left or right along the coastal path. I’d investigated using google/bing maps, and it looked really interesting. The maps didn’t really give an accurate idea of just how hilly the walk was, for every mile you probably walk up or down about half a mile. It’s all good exercise. That’s what the photo above is, Llangrannog from about a mile and half north (you can’t see Llangrannog, it’s in a valley about halfway up the photo).

Llangrannog Beach

Llangrannog is just out of shot, to the right.

You can (just about) see the path in the photo above, following the edges of the cliffs. The previous photo was taken at the distant point at the top left of this shot.

I have this crazy idea to try to walk the whole coast of Wales sometime soon if it is all this good.