Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Diary of a Desperate Housewife Part 2. Jak, Reflections and Fly Spots!

Jak has a lot to answer for. He has over twenty people dementedly wandering around praying for a calm day to take photographs of reflections in water,  taking photographs of windows, sunglasses, anything with a reflective surface. Click on the link to see what Annie was up to on Hydra

The pressure is on. At our last photography workshop, Jak went from singing our praises and telling us how wonderful we were to telling us we had disappointed him with our  " Shadow" homework. It wasn't creative enough.

This one passed the test. I "borrowed" the idea from  Darek Grabus, I found it on Pinterest. The original I tried to recreate is here

Shadow or reflection? This is the shadow thrown by a wine glass. I was holding the glass in my hand. I never thought of shadows in terms of  colour so maybe this is a reflection?

I got approached by a member of staff  outside of Carrefour moving these trolleys around to take their photograph. I told him I was doing a photography project so avoided being arrested for being crazy!

It is not our fault if we set the bar so high in the beginning. We were bound to hit a wall somewhere. So we had three weeks to redeem ourselves with our "Reflections" homework.  We were warned to submit good work. He knows what we are capable of. He has seen some of our pictures in mirrors. We were warned not to submit any more. These were not what he is looking for. 

Jak wants reflections in water. It would be good if it would rain, I could do with a puddle or two. I am five minutes from the sea but anytime I have gone there it has been breezy or the sun has been too high. 

I have all the excuses in the world. For two weeks I have been building a garden....not finished by the way. And now I have finally started to spring clean the house. Again doing photography homework for "Portraits" I was horrified to see how the camera exaggerated - not -  the dirt and sand blown onto my windows. My story is, "I am a pensioner and I cannot afford net curtains." After all, there are 10 windows and 5 sets of double patio doors in this house. It is much more cost effective to let the dust build up and stop the neighbours peeping in. That is until visitors come.

So with a visit to Ireland looming, cat sitters coming and Reflections homework to do I decided it was time for the spring clean. In spite of what Jak said about reflections in water - I have a few of those in the archive - I thought I would capture a few reflections in all the glass.

Unfortunately I submitted this one when the topic was trees.

So there is this one, though I have not got the sky right.

My evil grin.
After all windows are not mirrors and I can be creative by how much I angle the window. And it just might mess a little with Jak's head.

Not my door but they are my cats, reflected, if you look carefully. 

Decided to go the whole hog and do a reflected selfie!

Which led me to my present plight. I have successfully cleaned the middle floor of my house, my main living space. Today, the plan was to clean the cat sitter's room, the one which originally called attention to the grimed windows - think in terms of Dickens - and the dust elephants and hippos that gamboled under the bed.

 I am pleased to announce that the hippos have been reduced to bunnies. I know all their secret hangouts and now deal with them on a slightly more regular basis. Which led me to the shutters and the windows. 

Shutters no problem. Water, sponge and Cif had them shining in minutes. The windows should have been no problem. With my trusty Karcher window Vac I should have them dealt with in half an hour. That is about as long as the battery lasts which is good news for me. It gives me time for a leisurely coffee break while waiting for it to recharge.

I would be lost without my Karcher, It cleans windows in a jiffy and insists on being recharged at regular intervals, perfect for those who need a coffee break! Please ignore the colour of the water......and you thought I might be exaggerating!

I started well.  The first window, the offending one from the portrait shoot, was dealt with in minutes. So on to the next one. This is where disaster befell. FLY SPOTS!!

Half way through cleaning I was writing this blog post in my head. I grabbed my phone and snapped a couple of pictures for the post. Those black dots to the side, by the way, are on an electricity pole, they are not the offending spots.

The window is a double window. Amazingly there is not a single fly spot on the left hand pane, whereas the outside of the right hand pane was dotted with them. I tried everything. I soaked them in hot water, I used window cleaner, I used Cif cleaner. I tried gently scraping with a knife, knowing I was likely to scratch the glass. But fly spots? How would I ever capture a clear reflection in the window? Oh dear, Jak will not be pleased.

I swear the window was not this bad. This is just the way the light fell trying to take the photograph with my phone.

  In the end I sat down and googled easy ways to remove baked on fly spots. Believe me they are baked in this heat. It was 29C yesterday, and who knows maybe they are there since last summer...oops did I actually write that. Not true, not true at all.

Consulting Google, I learned that  apart from lots of water and elbow grease there is no easy solution. I also learned the fly specks could be a) fly poo b) fly spit.....after it regurgitates its food or c) be nothing at all to do with flies but shooting spores from the cannon fungus projected on to my windows. To be honest I don't care what causes them. I want to know how to remove them!

I have managed to bleach them from all the household products I sprayed on them, I removed some, I have also slightly scratched the glass in places. At one stage I considered getting a marker and joining the dots. I think it might have made a pretty picture. If there are glow in the dark markers I definitely would have done it. It would have resembled several new constellations. I could drive my visitors mad by telling them I had drawn a map of them for them to locate these constellations in the night sky.

What the window could have looked like, only I didn't fancy cleaning it when the novelty wore off.

This story does not end well. The "fly spots" remain though they are now bleached. I spent over an hour wrestling with one window pane. I have checked my room, it's next on the list and yep, they are on the lower left hand pane of one of the windows there too. So if anyone, anyone, knows of a way to remove them easily please let me know as soon as possible.  There most be a home brew, a natural concoction that can cope with pooing, spitting flies or fungi. The sun is shining, I want to go out and play.

View through the cleaned window. I can't see the fly spots. All occupants of this room will have to look at the view through the camera lens.

The reflection of the opposite hill. Hard to find those bleached fly spots. I might even go back and play with this reflection with my "real" camera, if time allows.

....and the reflection through the other window.

Seriously Jak, instead of saying you have a lot to answer for, I should tell you I am very grateful for all your hard work putting the workshops together.. You are challenging me creatively and also inspiring me to finally clean my house! I hope you are learning to deal with the Irish sense of humour.


  1. Now back from Hydra and still trying to perfect the water reelection.

  2. Great post Mary! Love the photos...especially the trees :-) k

  3. I like it this blog information, thanks for sharing

  4. thanks for sharing nice blog and article


Thank you for stopping by. Please leave a comment and tell me what you think.