Asthma problems again

I like winter. I like the stark beauty of bare trees again the snow, the freshness of a world blanketed in white. However, this is the fourth year in a row that winter has caused me significant problems with simply trying to breathe. But in this case the weather had a helping hand in that the boiler broke down late Xmas eve meaning no heating and no hot water. Not good when the cold is a major asthma trigger for me and with everything closed for Xmas holidays nothing could be done until the new year. No matter how often it happens it’s still scary not being able to breathe properly and having to spend all your time focusing on each breath you take. It’s also exhausting.

At the moment I’m still on oral steroids alongside my Seretide 250 inhaler. The side effects are not too bad in the scheme of things. I’m mainly extremely tired, irritable and having real difficulties in concentrating on anything for very long, but at least I can now catch my breath, and I can actually have a conversion again. I’m not sure how other people feel about that but I’m happy at least.

The current plan is to reduce the oral steroid dosage slowly and then start on a low dose of Montelukast alongside the Seretide. I’m not particularly looking forward to that as last time I tried Montelukast I had some really terrible side effects, but at the moment with everything that’s going on in the world I’ll give it another go and hope the lower dosage is more manageable. If anyone has any advice, I’d be happy to hear it.

Now I’m starting to guilt trip myself about being behind in my studies. So, the next couple of weeks is going to be spent catching up on French for the OU. There’s nothing like the pressure you put on yourself. The creative side of my work is having to take a back seat for now which is annoying, but I’ll get back to it soon enough. I just hope the rest of the year improves.

Nikon 7500 post 1

I love the eye-level pentaprism SLR viewfinder on the Nikon 7500. The camera itself is going to take a bit of getting used to after the Lumix GX8, but it’s going to be well worth the effort, and it will all come right with a bit of time and practise.

The Nikon 7500 is a camera that I can use not only with the normal photochromic light adaptive lens (transitions) that I have to wear on a daily basis, but it can also be used with my darker prescription sunglasses. The Lumix had become a complete pain to use when wearing transitions and was simply impossible to use with sunglasses. So the Lumix has gone. I traded in the camera and all its kit for the Nikon and I don’t regret it.

Of course there is more to my move back to photography than simply learning to use a new camera system. I will also have to work harder to gauge the quality and play of light given that I hid from it behind glasses all the time. I do sometimes wonder why someone so light sensitive wants to spend their time taking photographs, but then I remember just how happy my dad was when he was out and about with his camera and I suspect that deep down this is the real reason why I still enjoy photography.

And this is one of the test shots taken to check how well I could see with the sunglasses on. It just had to be of a mini Shetland pony which was part of a fun point and shoot session.

black and white image of a pony to show the image quality of the Nikon 7500

Black and white semi-feral cat

There have been several semi-feral cats that have visited us over the time that we have lived in our current home. All of them have been either completely black or black and white, and all of them have had a very well-defined sense of personal space.

I usually see them at a distance while carrying water or feed to the ponies, or when I’m doing other work around the place. Showing any kind of interest in them, even just looking too long in their direction, results in a quick disappearance.

More recently there has only been one regular visitor and on his last visit I happened to get this lucky shot as was outside with the camera just as he decided to pop up in the long grass in the ‘front garden’.

Black and white cat seen through a fence

This was taken using the Lumix GX8 and the m.zuiko 75-300mm lens. It was only the fact that I was using a long lens that meant that I captured this particular image through the gap in the fence, without encroaching on his personal space. The result is one of my favourite cat images.