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Things To Do Before I Turn 50

  (also known as my "TA-DA" list as opposed to a "to do" list) It was my 49th birthday a few days ago and this got me thinking. Any birthday that ends with a zero always feels a bit like milestone or a landmark and, when I hit the big "five-o" in 2022, I don't want huge parties or celebrations but I would like to have ticked a few things off my low-effort bucket list.   I see these things as a way to improve my mental and physical health, plus a few slightly off-the-wall experiences that would make for great memories.  Start running again and include the following: Lead a C25K group again  Participate in parkrun EVERY week where possible  < ongoing (now parkrun Run Director too) Visit local landmarks whilst running  Train for a long race - building up from 5k > 10k > 10 miles > half marathon, with a couple of longer trail races mixed in  Lose a lot bit of weight Post more on Instagram or give the blog a bit of a reboot < ongoing Look at

Learning to use my camera

I'm not a great photographer by any means, but I am interested in the concept of scenic and unusual photography so when I received a Nikon L120 Coolpix camera as part of my Christmas present I was determined to get out and about with it.  Today was the first expedition.

Park Cemetery (in St Annes-on-sea) is a regular haunt of mine.  It's not all weird - mum's grave is there.  It's a peaceful place, created on marshland and has a fabulous remembrance garden that stretches as far as the eye can see.  But I always remember a story that Mum told me about her own visits to graveyards when she was a child.  She used to seek out the monumental graves with angels atop and pray for the departed soul of the person buried there.  She thought they were special in some way.

After Nana died, my own fascination with gravestones began, mainly because a headstone near to her grave showed that someone died on the day that I was born.  From hereon in, every time we visited the cemetery, I would wander up and down the perfectly lined rows, reading each headstone, starting from where I had left off the last time.

One of the pictures below shows a headstone with two hearts.  For years, this headstone fascinated me as there was only one heart with an inscription; the one on the left.  Then one day, we visited the cemetery and I glanced over to the headstone on our drive out of the cemetery and noticed there was a new inscription.  But the words chosen were just perfect.

Anyway, a bizarre choice of subject for my first day out with my new camera.  It was miserable, raining and bitterly cold out there today.  I have tried a few shots with colour, black and white and angles.  I've published them exactly as I have taken them apart from some cropping in Picasa.  I would rather find out how the images look before I start altering them.  I'd love some honest opinions about the composition and if you like any of the images you can go over to the album on G+ and give your favourite a +1 push.