Friday, June 23, 2017

Dar Ghax-Xemx - Still a very special place

Sarah Dittmore - Adventurer and Blogger

The sitting room in Dar ghax-Xemx

It was with great interest that I read Sarah Dittmore's Travel Blog the other day. I came across it through a facebook link of our former rental property in Victoria. I was very pleasantly surprised to see my name, together with my husband's, mentioned in the article, but the best thing about it is the true description of the property and its location tucked away in (what I consider to be) the prettiest alley in Victoria.

The two years converting Dar ghax-Xemx was hard work but probably one of the greatest joys of our life. Besides the actual work on the house we came to love a part of  Gozo we didn't even know existed before we bought the house. We met the alley neighbours who have become friends for life and a big part of our own personal life during the time it was in our hands. After 9 seasons of  successful holiday rental we had to make the very difficult decision to sell, this  was made easier in the knowledge that it was going to end up in the hands of the very neighbours who welcomed us in to the ''Triq il-Karmnu alley family''. Now reading this Travel Blog rekindles all the great memories, not only of  the renovation but also of those many guests we hosted in the house, some of which have become more than just guests and remain in touch until today.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Random Slide Show - Wind Kite Surf

I can't believe how I have abandoned my blog over the past months. My posts have been quite far between. Hopefully this slideshow will be the start of some regular blog posts.

Wind Kite Surf First Half of 2017 from Bunty Cachia on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Gozo's Iconic Azure Window - A Thing of the Past

Yesterday the news of the collapse of the Azure Window in Dwejra, Gozo, seemed to be spread like wildfire, not just here in the Maltese Islands but literally all over the world, 
The last two days of severe gale force winds and very rough seas proved what a fragile condition the arch was actually in. Something we took so much for granted and never thought it would actually disappear in our lifetime. Now all that is left is a reef where the pillar once stood. No doubt we will know more in the coming days when the sea calms down and the first divers get a glimpse of what is under the water and how in tact the slabs and boulders are.
Driving down to Dwejra this evening for the first time minus arch left me with quite a horrid empty feeling but, like everything else, time will pass and before we know it we will have to remind ourselves what it actually looked like when it was still standing. There's certainly enough photographic evidence of that!

The Azure Window as it was until yesterday morning.
Below is what it looks today.

You can see where the arch was attached to the cliff right where that small bit of rock is jutting out

Views are still lovely just a few metres away from where the arch once stood

The Fungus Rock was, apparently, part of an arch many, many, many years ago

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Gale Force Winds Today

The next three shots are a miserable failure at panning. I'll eventually get it one day.

The next few were taken at Ghallis. Some pretty big waves breaking there today.

The two below were taken by Anchor Bay (Popeye Village)

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Rockpooling on a Sunday Afternoon

A lovely afternoon stroll along the seashore looking in to rock pools. Not much sea life to look at as such but beautifully clear water with some lovely colours. Fun to fool around a bit with the camera.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Getting that Sharp Shot

I, presently, have that feeling that I really need to get back to some basics with my limited photography abilities I don't seem to be able to get that sharpness I used to get in my photos a while back, so I decided to do a bit of practice on some random things at home. Weirdly enough it was the very first photo I took that came out the best and the sharpest without any editing at all. I left that one as it was taken, just cropped it a bit. I know it can be improved with some editing but this is just an ''exercise'' so I left it to use as one of my photographs shown below. After that I used different settings and none of the photos I took could I say I was really satisfied with. My conclusion at the end of the entire thing was do not trust what you see on the camera after taking the photo cos it looks totally different on the computer screen. The other thing, which I think is far more important, is the results from editing an underexposed picture are much better than an overexposed picture.
Nearly all photos you see nowadays, especially the crystal clear amazing ones, look like that because some pretty advanced editing techniques have been used. Do I want my photos to look like that.....of course! BUT I don't think the satisfaction can be the same as taking a picture of something, someone, anything, then looking at it up on the screen and seeing the natural clarity without having to edit (or am I wrong?). This tends to be quite a controversial subject I know - the same as HDR is - since editing is so much part of modern day photography, but....................
Below are my practice shots - pretty pathetic and subject is random, whatever I had to hand at the time.

Sharpening and small adjustments

A lot of editing
A little editing
Totally unedited

Friday, February 24, 2017

Latest Project - A Key Clock

After spending around eight months with a totally blank white wall in the sitting room, and not really sure what to do with it, I finally made a decision. The problem was having so much light in the room. Putting up anything like a painting, water colour, photos etc would only have lasted weeks before being totally ruined by the bright sunlight that blazes in to our room. Love the light but don't particularly like a bare wall. 

After discovering an old canvas bag full of antique keys in the my father's desk I knew I wanted to do something with them. Various ideas went through my head, and after numerous searches for inspiration on HOUZZ and PINTEREST I finally made up my mind. We had no wall clock hanging up anywhere and it would be a useful object to have and could be decorative too. So a wall clock it had to be.

Some weeks before actually getting down to starting the project, I purchased a clock mechanism online. Unfortunately the black was out of stock so I ordered the silver one and once it arrived I bought a can of black acrylic paint and sprayed it. Next I purchased the wood I needed and got to work. All it took was cutting the wood to the correct lengths with my mitre saw, a few blobs of wood glue, some screws and an acrylic coloured semi matt varnish and the background was ready. 
The keys were in quite a rusty dirty state, so I soaked them in vinegar for a few hours. Rinsed them off properly and sprayed them with black acrylic paint. Once everything had dried (left them a couple of days so the paint could harden properly) it was just a matter of sorting the keys in the correct positions and gluing them down using Araldyte (epoxy glue). I would have liked to have started off with very small keys at 1 O'Clock ending up with the largest at 12 O'Clock but that did not work out with the keys I had, so I was a bit random with them.

Basically that's it. It is up on the wall and fits the place perfectly.

As is the norm, after I have made something, I always come up with other ideas, like it would be fun to actually paint each slat of wood a different very bright colour - maybe the next one I will make.

Below shows the project on progress

Friday, January 13, 2017

Kiters in Golden Bay Today

This afternoon at Golden Bay. Just three kiters down. Conditions gusty apparently.

Click on pics to enlarge

John looks like he is doing a ''raily'' on the top of the rock
 I still have not mastered ''Panning''! Not even close.


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