eLearning as an Adult

eLearning as an Adult


I am now enrolled at CodeSchool and learning HTML and CSS through a combination of video lectures and online exercises. This is such an excellent way of learning without leaving home!

Digital Notes

I am writing notes as I go along so that I can go back and look at the things I have learnt. As it is 2016, I am writing it into a website – with each topic on a separate page.

Previous Paper Revision System

When swotting for exams back in my school and university days (1970s and 80s), I would write notes on paper. Once I understood something, I would write it down as a point. My first set of revision note would be a long version containing everything I needed to know for the exam. After this first pass, I would do a second pass which resulted in another shorter set of notes. Each revision pass would result in a more condensed set of notes. I would do at least 2 passes. On the morning of the exam, I would bring the last version of notes with me for a final review before going inside.

Revision Notes System

It will be interesting to see how I learn now as an adult. This time I am not swotting for exams but assimilating the knowledge for the long term. Currently I am writing text and taking screenshots of the diagrams in the first set of long notes. I wonder how I will evolve my learning system in the digital age?


The New Beginning

I've got my Eee on You
I’ve got my eye on a new future! My model Annabel echoes my delight at the adventure in front of me.

I finished up at my job on Friday, and today is Monday – the first day of the rest of my life! I will keep you posted on my journey through this blog. Cheerio!

The home straight

The home straight

My departure from the company was announced last week, to the shock of a good few people, as I have been there 15 years.

After the first week, I have felt more at peace with my decision than ever, and am looking forward to next weekend. I sent out my last ever company newsletter, wrote some reports, and have begun handing over various tasks. I’ve been lunching out with colleagues. I have already had my first goodbye-hug from a colleague who will be away all next week.

Hello future, I’m coming to you soon!

Jumping into an unknown future

Jumping into an unknown future

Yesterday I did something terrifying and fantastic. I resigned from my steady job at a steady company where I have been working for 15 years, without another job to go to. I am going to take a leap into the great unknown! I trained in Computer Science, fell into Technical Writing and tripped into Marketing.

Cool exit date

I have given 30 days notice and my exit date is Friday is the 13th of May. Did you notice that? FRIDAY in conjunction with the NUMBER 13! I am not superstitious but I have to admit that the date gave me a thrill.

The past

My husband Marty is a programmer who has been showing our 17 yo son Michael the world of computers and programming. Marty quit work 6 years ago to start writing apps, but as it coincided with Michael being diagnosed with Aspergers, he kinda became a teacher instead.

The future

I always felt that given our collected skills our little family should be able to make stuff to sell on the Internet, and have a little earner in the background to keep us going in our old age. I want to make that happen, and I can’t do that while working full-time for someone else.

I am going to update myself with new skills. I have a a fuzzy idea of what – iOS, Swift, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Internet, Twitter, blogging – but expect more will become apparent as I go along. Right now I am learning about blogging now with this blog.

A scary jump

Last year, I visited the Great Barrier Reef with my friend Aaron. We got there by boat with an upper deck, and people were jumping into the water from there, screaming and having fun. Aaron and I thought it would be fun to try.

I stood outside the railing and told my body to jump. I wanted to. It looked fun. And cool. And exciting. And also a long way down. Much higher than the edge of the local pool. “Jump!”, said my brain. My fingers clung on for dear life. “Just jump, dammit!” My fingers did not obey my brain. They had developed a mind of their own.

Aaron decided to show me how it was done, and jumped down easily. I watched him and a thrilling sensation of fear and exhilaration passed through me, but mostly FEAR. I don’t know how my body obeys when I tell it to get up and go to the kitchen, it just does. So when my body did nothing, I didn’t know how to make it obey. I was dithered so much, Aaron had to climbed back on the boat and to the top deck and explain again how easy it was. He demonstrated by jumping again. I dithered some more. A lot more.

Then. I. Jumped. I screamed all the way down, which felt like infinity and also just an instant. Then I splashed into the warm water. I spluttered and spat and gasped. OMG. I was alive, and fine. It was a huge thrill – but I didn’t go again.

Jumping into a new life

This time I am jumping off my safe job-boat into the unknown-waters, and it is the scariest jump of my life.

I am hoping that it will be like my jump down to the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef from the upper deck of a boat. High enough but not too high. Scary but doable.

My heart tells me to have faith. My head tell me I’m an idiot. My heart won and I let go of the railing yesterday. Today I am full of hope and joy. It feels right even though I know it is so illogical and just utter rubbish. But I am going with my heart.

Follow me

This blog will document my journey into the Great Unknown. I don’t know what will happen. Will I sink or swim? Will there be friendly dolphins below or deadly sharks? Will I run out of money? Will I cry or laugh? Am I too old to reinvent myself? Who knows?

Follow me and find out.

Photography for Everyone

Photography for Everyone

Anyone can do it

Photography is now universal, with cameras standard in smartphones, tablets and even watches. Anyone can do it and they do, and it is on the internet seconds later, where the world can see it. Come on, grab your nearest camera and make some photography art!

Making art

I used to paint pictures using watercolours and acrylics. The process took a lot of effort, space and tools. I still would enjoy doing it but by golly it is a lot easier doing it digitally through photography – and you don’t waste paper.

Photography as a quick-and-easy art form. I try to capture parts of the world that interest me, even in ordinary and ugly things. Everything is fair game.

A lot of photos are for documentation purposes. An artistic photo connects emotionally to you.

I compose images purely by “feeling” and not thinking. Post processing allows me an opportunity to recompose (by cropping) or further develop the image using slider controls based on what “feels” right.

Phone cameras

The best camera to use is the one you have with you.

Phone cameras are great because they are always with you. You can shoot, process and post directly onto the Internet using the same device. The result may be a little cruder than high end DLSR cameras but unless you are a professional the quality is fine.

Practise, practise, practise.

To become good at something you have put in the time – 10,000 hours according to some. To make good art, you have start off somewhere even if it isn’t fantastic. You’ll have fun and you’ll improve.  Trust me, you won’t notice that it isn’t that good until you get better. And when you start being good, well, it will be totally worth it.


Joining a community of like-minded people is a great way to start, because you can look at other people’s stuff and they can see yours. It is a great place to learn and everyone is encouraging and positive, AND it’s free. What’s not to like?

Camera History 2011-2016

  • iPhone 3GS
    I started with an iPhone 3GS for about a year which had a pretty low quality camera. It didn’t really matter as I wasn’t yet good enough to notice the subtleties. I was concentrating on composition and colour. I also experimented with macros by attaching a tiny micro lens magnetically to the phone. I had a really good flow – shooting, editing using Camera+, and uploading all from the phone.
  • iPhone 4S
    Then I upgraded to the iPhone 4S, which had an improved camera. The quality was noticeably better. The only downside was that there was no zoom, so I had to walk right up to the subject to shoot it. I experimented with other iPhone apps like Snapseed and Diptic.
  • Samsung EK-GC 100 
    This was a camera with 21x zoom, running Android and was wifi capable. It just fitted into my handbag. The zoom lens opened up new worlds for me. I could make such different compositions from further away. I could also achieve a shallow depth-of-field if I zoom in my subject from the right distance. I left it on the auto setting as I couldn’t be technical and creative at the same time. I shot, edited and uploaded from the same device.
  • Lumix TZ60
    The Samsung broke after I dropped it one too many times. My current camera is a lightweight that fits easily into my handbag. It has a whopping 30X zoom. Photo quality became more important to me and I started noticing that my previous processing on the iPhone and Samsung was sometimes heavy handed. So I started processing using LightRoom on my Mac. It is a little more cumbersome transferring photos from the camera to the computer (using a USB SD card reader), but the tradeoff has been worth it with significantly improved quality. I now post directly from Lightroom to Flickr.



If you are interested in looking at my photos, goto: