Modern Romance

I rarely re-blog posts, but I could not resist this absolute gem.


Snapchat: how it works

She knew he didn’t love her
’cause his top three Snapchat rates
were all of other girls
and that web cam whore Kate.

And she wanted to hang out
but he said it was too late
then he posted on his Facebook page
all about his evening date

And after all the sexting and innumerable deletes
after all the texting and after all the tweets
after she had lain with him
their Facebook pic together
that evening she unfriended him
murmuring to herself





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Vaping v Smoking: My conclusions

I have been asked to write an update about using electronic smoking products, as opposed to smoking ‘real’ cigarettes. So, Madelyn, this is for you. (And anyone else who is remotely interested.)

In 2012, Julie and I both gave up smoking. That’s not strictly true, as we actually gave up smoking real cigarettes, and switched to the electronic alternatives instead. Less chemicals, no carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide. Few (if any) cancerous by-products, and absolutely no odour on our clothes, or in our house. Our main reason was financial, we make no secret of that. The cost of tobacco cigarettes was getting out of proportion, and exceeding our ability to justify spending such a large part of our income on them.

After a couple of years, we switched from the electronic cigarette ‘lookalikes’ to vaping machines that use separate fluid. The main reason for this was because the smaller batteries were unreliable, and there was a lack of choice in the range of flavours. However, this also brought an unexpected reduction in costs too, making it even cheaper to keep away from ‘real’ smoking.

So just how much do we save? Is it worth switching to vaping, purely in monetary terms? To show just how much you could save, (and without going on about the additional health benefits) I will give an example of one typical year. Of course, you have to allow for the setup costs of buying the vaping devices. But once they are out of the way, daily costs are minimal, compared to the equivalent for cigarettes. Here is one year, broken down purely in financial terms. I am allowing for two of us using vaping devices here. If you are one person, you can halve these figures.

Conventional cigarettes. (UK prices for Marlboro Red/ Lucky Strike.)

Approx £9 per packet. ($11.27 US) This is the lowest estimate, at current prices.

Me. Ten packets weekly.
Julie, Six packets weekly.
Weekly cost. £129 ($161.62 US)
Annual cost. £6,708 ($8,404 US)

Vaping. Prices based on buying online, from Amazon, and other online retailers.

Kangertech Evod Mega devices X 6 units (Three each, so we have spare batteries)

Cost £19-£26 each, depending on retailer. Say £22 ($27.50 US) each for the sake of this post.
Total. £132 ($165.37 US)
Fluid to fill devices at around £1.50 a bottle.
Me. Three bottles weekly.
Julie. two bottles weekly.
Weekly cost. £7.50 ($9.40 US)
Annual cost. £390 ($488.51 US)
Replacement heating coils for vaping devices.
We use around four each week, between us. They cost £1.20 ($1.50 US) each.
Weekly cost. £4.80 ($6 US)
Annual cost. £249.60 ($312.65 US)

Total cost for vaping in one year, for two people. £804.97 ($1009 US)
Divide by two for one user. £403 ($505 US)
Second and subsequent years. Remove the initial cost of vaping devices by deducting the £132, and annual costs come down to an average of £673 ($843 US) for two people. So, the saving is easy to work out.

First year saving. £5,903 ($7,394 US) For two people
Second and subsequent years savings. £6,035 ($7,560 US) for two people.

I think that the sums are right, but feel free to tell me if I have made an error. Even if I am out by a little, you can see that the cost differences are immense. If nothing else, you will have a great deal more money in your pocket. You may still have to face being addicted to nicotine, but you will not be inhaling hundreds of other poisonous cocktails present in the normal cigarette smoke. You will also have something to hold, something to put into your mouth, and a device that fulfills the secondary desires of most smokers, as well as the primary one. That of inhaling nicotine in vapour.

For my wife and I, it has been a success story. We have not had a cigarette since September, 2012, and see no reason why we would ever go back to them. It is not, ‘Not Smoking’, I make no claim for that. But it is without doubt safer smoking, and incredibly cheaper too.
There are hundreds of devices available, in many styles and sizes. I only mention the brand we chose for cost estimation purposes.

Guest post: “Gloria”

I received this as a guest post from Jennie. She is a committed blogger from America, and a real part of the community that is blogging too. I decided to re-blog the post instead, to keep the images in context, and get across the spirit behind the subject. So here she is, Gloria!
There is lots more to see on Jennie’s site, so I hope that you find much to enjoy.

A Teacher's Reflections

Gloria NecklaceGloria is perhaps the kindest and most beloved member of my class.  She has been around for quite some time, and she returned to school this week.  The children were… well, a bit unsure at first.  After all, Gloria is different.  She is terribly shy, and it took some coaxing to get her to look at the children and talk.  Once she did, children were wide-eyed.  They stared- they had never seen anyone quite like Gloria before.  Slowly, each one greeted Gloria by coming forward to shake her hand.  One child looked directly into her eyes to ask why she didn’t want to talk.  Multiple children had conversations and questions.  “Gloria, why is your hair like that?”  “Do you have teeth?”  “Gloria, are you okay?”  Some children gave her a hug and a kiss.  Savannah told her she liked her necklace.  And Gloria told the children all about herself.

Give Gloria…

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Eastbourne pier

My good friend Antony has now started a .com photo blog on the WordPress platform. His first couple of posts are up, and I recommend his photography to everyone. Unlike his previous website, we are now able to follow, like, and comment. So please do all three!
Regards to all, Pete.

Photography by Antony Kyriacou

Like my previous post. I struck gold with the weather in the first week of December.Great weather combines with a day off work = result. A couple of photos of Eastbourne pier as the late afternoon sun was getting low in the sky. Camera used Olympus Pen F and the 75mm f1.8 lens. The first one is mono profile 2,  yellow green filter, metering and exposure comp to create the desired effect.In the second image I used colour profile 2 (chrome film) but omitted the groynes and included more sky.One endearing pleasure of the seaside is the sky, meaning there is a lot of it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Eastbourne pier and beach groynes (stops erosion).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Eastbourne pier fading afternoon light.

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The Letter at Uncle Phil’s Funeral in 2016

Please take a short time to read this new short story from Ed, in America.
If you like the fiction that I post, then I have no doubt that you will enjoy this one too.


Good Morning Ted and Jody:

Happy Thanksgiving.  Also, give my best and Thanksgiving greeting to Bobby and anyone else you are harboring on your sojourn to Tennessee.  Jody, does the fact you are at Bobby’s mean you get out of cooking?

A friend of mine writes short fiction pieces that have an O. Henry quality to them.  He posts them on his blog from time to time.  The other day one of his followers called his fiction “flash fiction.”  I guess the genesis of that is the story is over in a flash?  Or, they are too long for “Nano-fiction.”  Regardless, he does a very good job of writing these short pieces.  He has suggested that I try my hand.  So I sat down yesterday afternoon when I was supposed to be cleaning an area of the kitchen to bottle wine and wrote one.  I enclose it (Actually in email…

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More camera chat

After my recent run of photo posts, I am very pleased with the response to them. The positive comments, and huge increase in views, all are of course very welcome. After many years of avoiding photos and images on my blog, I might finally be coming around to recognising the positive aspects of illustrating many of the posts.

I did write a post about my current camera, and in general, I have been very pleased with it. For the money, it is a great little all-round compact, capable of producing some very pleasing results. But my rekindled interest in taking photos has left me excited about equipment once again. So I am thinking of adding another camera to my collection. I have narrowed down the choice to a mirrorless micro four-thirds camera. These seem to offer the ideal combination of a good-sized sensor, with smaller bodies that are more portable, and lenses that are easier to afford, than on larger systems. They also offer many cutting-edge features, all crammed into attractive retro-styled bodies that are as much of a joy to look at, as they are to use.

I know that many of you are keen photographers. Most of you are very good too, and at least some of you already own and use cameras based around this system. Perhaps there are others out there who have never seen this blog, but might be attracted by the tags. They might also use MFT cameras, and have their own opinions. So my question is this. I have narrowed down my selection to three choices, all of which will be investigated with a view to a purchase after Christmas. What do you think of my choices? Do you have alternative choices, or personal experience of using any of these?

Before I commit to what will be an expensive and possibly final decision on something I will be owning for a considerable time, I would appreciate comments and input from anyone out there, especially from those in my existing community. Here are the three choices, in no particular order.

Panasonic G80.
Olympus Pen F.
Olympus OMD EM-5 Mark 2.

Let me know what you think. Any comments will be much appreciated.

A very personal ghost story

I don’t like Halloween. I don’t celebrate it, and find it tacky and commercialised. But I have decided to re-post this personal-and true-ghost story, in the spirit of the season. Many of you will have read it before, so this is for the new followers and readers only.


Now that Halloween has passed, I can publish this tale of a personal experience, something that happened to me in the late 1980s. If I had posted it on this blog yesterday, it would surely have been regarded as little more than a seasonal spoof. I can assure you that it is not.

I have never really believed in the supernatural. Ghosts, apparitions, reincarnation, life after death, and all things associated with these. Not that I wouldn’t have liked to, it just didn’t seem plausible. Psychics can often appear to be very accurate. They claim to know things about you, even to be communicating with a family member, long since dead. Unfortunately, their ‘gifts’ are very easily debunked, and like most of these things, it has to come down to simple belief. And I don’t believe it.

My paternal grandmother was a great character. She had a very dark complexion…

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