Posted by: gurumel | August 26, 2010

New Phone and Hooch Season!

So, this post isn’t strictly about my photo or design work, but hey, it’s close enough πŸ˜‰

I got a new phone earlier this year, as my contract was up. I decided I needed a compact camera, as I get sick of carrying my camera bag around with me everywhere, but thought, why not just get a really good camera phone?

I read some reviews, checked what was available and had my plan all laid out. Spoke to the upgrade people and found out I couldn’t have the one I wanted 😦 booo. However, they convinced me on a Sony w995 walkman phone, as it has a 8.1 MP camera. That’s way better than the vga cam on my old phone, and also better than any compact digital camera I’ve had, so I thought that’d be fine.

I read some reviews afterwards and found out it’s not the highest quality camera out there in that range, and does have some issues, including no lens cover.Β  I was a bit apprehensive, but tbh it’s so much better than my previous phone cam, and it’s changed everything! Now I can take adequate pictures of stuff without having to plan ahead, or miss the moment getting my camera out of the bag. Plus, I can make cheesy videos of our days out, listen to music and watch old A Team on my phone πŸ˜‰ All in all, it’s awesome and I love my new phone! πŸ˜€

It hasn’t done exactly what I wanted though, if anything it’s just made me want a shiny new compact :). Made me even more aware of how much technology has come on, and how useful a compact camera is. Oh well, that can be next years plan πŸ˜‰

So far it’s been great for cute photos of our new kitten and holiday snaps πŸ™‚

Wow…take a look atthe full size images, it does amaze me that you can get pics like that off a phone! There are definate quality issues, but still – my first digicam was about 2mp I think πŸ˜‰

Last year we had some success with fruit picking and brewing, and it’s come round so quick this time!

I currently have a freezer full of blackberries, about 4kg waiting to be turned into wine in a month or so, a barrel of beer on the go, and we’ve just had a weekend of plum picking, to start the plum brandy for Christmas. We made a batch of this last year and it was lovely, so we’ve been wanting to get plenty more and do at least double the amount this year.

At first it looked as though there were no plums to be had, all the tree’s were covered in unripe green ones, and no nice carpet of squished plums on the floor, but then further along we found one tree covered in massive ripe red plums! Last year they were all yellow, so these must have had some good sun, or more ripening time or something.

Last year we were thinking they were Mirabelle plums, as they looked exactly like that, but now they are so red and tasy, they might be regular victoria plums, or something else – who knows πŸ˜‰

Either way, they are plentiful and really tasty! I ate that big one at the bottom just after I took this pic πŸ˜‰

We’ve already had a big plum crumble, and given some away, but still had plenty for hooch making πŸ˜‰

Looks like there’s a few recipes around the internet, but there were not many last year, so I cobbled together a system, which worked well, so I thought I’d share it πŸ™‚

Ingredients –

Lots of plums, lots of sugar, eventually some booze. We used cheap whiskey last year, but might go for some other stuff this time. My friend is planning on using rum – sounds nice!

Halve the plums and remove the stones. Fill just over half a sterilised milk bottle with plums. Fill the rest with sugar.

Stick a balloon on top, then next day pierce it with a needle. This is a clever way to make a pressure seal that I read about on some website.

Leave for as long as you can! At least till all the sugar is gone, and hopefully til your bottle is full of lovely juice.

Strain into a sterilised demijon, add your alcohol, cap and leave for as long as you can! We are aiming for Christmas, but the longer you can leave it the better!

So, I plan to use my funky new phone to document our booze making πŸ™‚ Here’s the first week of plum brandy! It’ll probably get quite boring after a week or two, but I will get a few more photo’s of the process πŸ˜‰

Day 1 – just done

Day 2 – already some liquid in the bottom

Day 3 – woo! big changes already πŸ˜€

Day 4 – looking good! πŸ™‚ Blue balloon is the one I’ve claimed as my own. You can just see the beer keg in the background there too πŸ˜€

Not that I’ve been completely occupied doing this, I have just finished a portrait shoot for the Hutchings family, and am really happy with the pics of their gorgeous girls.

Which means I’m now free to spend all my time finishing my latest wedding shoot – pics to come! πŸ˜‰

I’ve also been keeping up with my vector practice…sort of πŸ˜‰ And have a new shirt up for sale on Redbubble and Zazzle,

Wow, a lengthy post – this makes me seem really busy πŸ˜‰ If anyone makes plum brandy let me know how it goes! πŸ™‚


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