Sunday, November 13, 2011


I'm sick :( Starting to feel a bit better than I was yesterday, when I felt nauseous and weak all day, but still feeling pretty tired and all I've done today is lie in bed and watch the F1 all day long (yay, Hamilton won but Button will finish the season ahead of him on points, which pleases me). I think I'll have the sniffles for a couple more days, but hopefully the worst is over. SO TYPICAL that it's on a long weekend (Friday was a public holiday and I have tomorrow off too)! I was planning on a short trip somewhere on Friday, but I went out to the shops for an hour or so and that wiped me out, so no dice. The weather has been great too :(

It all started on Wednesday night, when I went out and had ONE glass of wine and got home just after midnight. Apparently this is now too much for old lady Gwan to handle. Not even sleeping till 9 on Thursday morning could save me - I couldn't concentrate on my morning lecture, felt mildly hungover all day, and by Friday it was evident I was officially sick.

Going back further in time though, I had a great week! Monday - Wednesday I had a Photoshop training course. At first I was like "geez, three days, I'm going to die of boredom" but it was SO COOL! I have zero talent/patience for fiddly and artistic stuff, but even I managed to complete most of the tasks okay. And there was a lot to learn! Turns out Photoshop's super complicated. I only have access to it at work, so don't expect all my photos to be turning up 'shopped all of a sudden, but you'll know what's happened if suddenly I post pics of me with Pippa Middleton's bum. (That's right, I will have finally gone on that Dahmeresque rampage I've been planning.)

We practised a bunch of techniques, like artfully blurring portions of photos, making photos that are a mix of black and white and colour, removing things from photos, retouching wrinkles etc., sticking people's faces on a cat's body (luckily enough, since that's roughly 40% of my daily workload and I've been really struggling thus far) and then bigger projects like making flyers and business cards.

Anyway, these are not great masterpieces of the Photoshop oeuvre (I did them both pretty quickly since we were meant to be working on other tasks than retouching our own photos), but here's a couple of photos I knocked up quickly.

Original photo of the Friendship Monument in Kiev vs photoshopped one (the magic wand - I almost said "magic baguette" - ate the top of the arch, but oh well, like I said, no patience for fiddly details)

Original pic of Sophia Square, Kiev, and photoshopped (I think I did a pretty good job between the horseman's legs! That wasn't meant to sound all "as the actress said to the bishop" by the way, ha ha. Whatever he's holding in his hand and the crosses on the church went a bit squiffy though, if you look closely.)

One of the official exercises we worked on, reproducing an example we were given. I didn't quite get to finish it off, it was the last thing we did, but I still think it's pretty good (it might not look much, but there are a LOT of steps you have to follow to get to that final result).

It was a serious trial sitting next to my 60ish colleague throughout the training, but I won't say anything more about that lest I sound very ungracious and possibly ageist. But geez, would it kill her not to have to ask me about every little thing (and I'm not talking about things she missed/didn't understand, I'm talking about things like "do you think I should turn the computer off or put it on standby before lunch?") Grrr. But other than that, fun times!

Going back even further in time, the Wednesday before last Ksam from Totally Frenched Out rode into town in I think what she described as a 'soccer mom car/van' and joined me and a friend for a drink. Unfortunately, before we started she made me sign an oath in my own blood (or possibly tomato sauce, details are a little hazy) not to reveal exactly what went on, so all I can tell you is we went to a bar where the owner promised us "the hottest guys in Tours" and leave it to your busy imaginations to come up with the rest. I can say, though, that responsible, mature working ladies such as we would most certainly never do tequila shots on a work night and get kicked out at closing time. Never ever, so please don't imagine we did!

It was actually my first time meeting a fellow blogger in the flesh, and it was pretty cool! I had thought it might be a bit strange meeting someone who knew things about my life (and vice versa) although we'd never met, but I don't think it was really. I think it helped that I haven't been following her blog for ages (and I think the same for her) so we had a lot to talk about without it always being like "oh yeah, I read that already on the blog". (That's one thing I hate about Facebook btw, I always forget that people might have seen my statuses even though they've not commented and you start a story about how you fell over in the street or bumped into an old friend, and they're just like "yeah, I know". Conversation over. My mum thinks she's being cruelly deprived of being my friend on fb, but honestly, between the blog and that I would have nothing left to tell her in emails if she were my friend. There's nothing interesting on my fb anyway...) So anyway, aside aside, it was great meeting Ksam & maybe some day I'll get to meet more of you lovely people!


  1. Wow, that's crazy that you can do all of that with Photoshop - but the after pics look really fab!!

  2. It's always strange but fun to meet up with a fellow blogger! And trying to explain those friends to people outside the blogging world... impossible! I hope we get to meet up as well someday soon!

    And awesome work with those photos!

  3. Ksam - thanks, it's actually one of the easier techniques (I'll have to practice some others when I get some more time, for totally work-related purposes of course!) Retouching is hard, now I totally understand why even the professionals end up sometimes with insane proportions or alien-looking faces!

    Shannon - totally, I've broken the ice now :) I kind of feel like 5 months of my life in the NPdC was enough though, so you'll probably have to let me know if you're ever in these parts ha ha


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