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Saturday, 24 September 2016

A Helping Hand

I've mentioned the Canalside Heritage Centre on here a few times, as it's an exciting and worthwhile project. The plan is to turn some derelict lock cottages into a heritage, arts and educational centre.

The work is progressing well, with the renovations are really making a difference to how the buildings look. Interestingly, most of the building materials have been delivered by boat, as the location is difficult for wheeled vehicles.

The projet team have recently entered a competition that is being run by Marks and Spencer's, to win a biomass boiler, which is worth £12.500.

A member of the project team was out in Beeston today to promote the competition and to get shoppers to vote for them.

They are presently running second, so to help them win, I am asking everyone who reads this post, if they would kindly pop over to the M&S website and vote. The project is listed under the Central East area.

The website address is accessed through this Weblink

Thanks. And I'll let you all know if you have made a difference.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

It's A Great Life On The Buses

A couple of weeks ago, the Old Market Square resembled a seaside, complete with sand, slot machines and donkey rides.

Now it has taken on the role of global market, especially with food, as there is all sorts available, French crepes, Thai street food and various curries. Local superstar butcher Johnny Pusztai was there too, offering his famous sausages and burgers to hungry passers by.

Drink wasn't neglected, with a Pimms tent, and this novel use for an old London bus. Quite a good idea, and nice to see this example of the world famous Routemaster get a new lease of life after spending years running up and down the streets of the capital.

I see this musician is wondering whether he could get a gig on board, as maybe the upstairs is a cosy seating area, where you can sit, chat, drink and watch the world go by.

Considering today is the first day of autumn, it was lovely and sunny at lunchtime when I visited the market. Plenty of people were milling around and looking at the things to buy. There was even a stall where you could obtain a mortgage, and another that was selling a special peeler for making vegetables look decorative.

Music didn't go amiss, as when I was there a singer was entertaining everyone with some reggae tunes.

Friday, 16 September 2016

What A Difference A Day Makes

Well, what did I say yesterday about what a great summer it's been. Well it was certainly over today, as it rained for most of the day. I got soaked cycling to work this morning. Not so much from the rain itself, but from vehicles splashing me, as they drove through puddles.

It's not been a particularly good day overall. Quite a disappointing one in fact. The musician Seth Lakeman was meant to be visiting the Fopp music shop in town to give a little show and sign his CDs, but he had to cancel, due to getting stuck in traffic, and he was playing a gig in Derby tonight. So he had to miss Nottingham out.

So I had a walk round the city centre, to see what the stormy sky looked like in the Old Market Square and over the castle.

Fortunately no more rain appeared, so I was able to cycle home dry.

Thursday, 15 September 2016


Well I'm back after a few weeks' absence. Has anyone missed me at all?

Due to various things, I've taken a break from blogging. I haven't really missed doing it either, as sometimes it has got to be a bit of a chore.

But anyway, I'm back, and today's photo is of the sun setting behind a dandelion, taken in Highfields.

I had to take quite a few photos to try and get the dandelion in the right place, so that it covers the sun.

It certainly has been lovely and sunny recently. Almost like a proper summer. Although I must admit that I have found it a little too hot sometimes, especially at night, when I've tried to sleep.

If there are any photography geeks reading this, the shutter speed was 1/5000, f2.8 and ISO 100.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

All Steamed Up

I read something quite exciting on social media this morning, as someone had put that a steam train would be passing through the Attenborough Nature Reserve at around 1.25 today.

There has been a couple of steam trains passing this way recently, but annoyingly I have never been around to see them. So I was very keen to get down there and see if I could find a good spot to see it thunder by.

Even though I knew the time of its appearance, I thought I would go down a bit earlier, to a, get a parking space and b, find a good place to take some photos.

The nature reserve was really busy when I got there, but I managed to find a space and parked up. I was in two minds whether to stay near the nature reserve building and get a long shot of the train, or stand close to the line, so I could see the might of the 1933 Princess Elizabeth.

In the end I plumped for the latter. So I took the few minutes walk to where the railway line crosses the reserve and looked for a suitable spot. Several other photographers were already there, eagerly waiting to take that shot.

It wasn't as busy as I thought it might be, especially as it was sunny. I found a good spot and waited. Not long, as one old guy called out "the barrier's down", as part of the line crosses a road. I got ready and waited for the right moment to press the shutter.

It was coming by quite quickly, so I just kept on pressing. Fortunately I managed to capture a couple of what I think are decent shots. I was using my 40-150mm lens, and so I wonder if I might have done better with my 14-40mm lens instead. Both can shoot at f2.8.

Still, photography is a continual learning process, so I might try the smaller lens next time. But I'm still happy with this one. Especially as you can see some smoke coming to of the chimney.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Dreaming Of The Past

Sometimes I will see something in a shop window that will make me stop and take a photo.

Today is a good example, as I saw this display of vintage goods in a charity shop window, during my lunchtime amble around the city centre.

Quite a colourful arrangement of things, and looks influenced by the 1950s.

The only thing is that I'm sure they've put those cat styled glasses on upside down.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Would you believe it if I said that this lion was actually a coffin?

Well it's true. It was made in Ghana by a master carpenter called Paa Joe.

A film maker called Benjamin Wrigley has just finished making a documentary about him and his lion coffin, and it's going to be shown at the Broadway Cinema over the weekend.

I met Benjamin a couple of years ago at a film club that used to run in Beeston, when they screened a little snippet of the film, which he was raising money to get finished.

In fact I blogged about it at the time: https://beestonblog.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Paa%20Joe%20and%20the%20Lion

The coffin is currently on display in the entrance to the Broadway, and there's also a small exhibition of how the coffin was made in a former shop on Heathcote Street.

Monday, 22 August 2016

ET - Enormous Talent

A co-worker said that she was in the city centre on Saturday and heard a really wonderful busker called Sian Alex. Sian, as in the Welsh spelling she added

She wondered if it was a musician I knew, as I know a few nowadays. I said that I hadn't heard of her before, but was intrigued to know what she sounded like, as my co-worker was really enthusiastic about her.

Bizarrely enough, whilst out for my lunchtime stroll, who happened to be setting up on Bridalsmithgate, but none other than Sian. So I said hello, while she was sorting out her cables, and asked her if she was starting, or packing up. Alex replied that she would be starting shortly. So I said that I would come back shortly.

When I returned to Bridalsmithgate Alex was singing away. In fact I could hear her as I was walking up St Peter's Gate. So I stopped and listened to a couple of her songs. And indeed she was very good. Some nice folk songs. Original ones too I think. But sadly I had to return to work. But I dropped some money in her collection box before I left.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Sand And Showers

Today apparently is World Photography Day.

As according to the history books, the first photo was taken 177 years ago today. Of course this is one that I've taken today.

Not particularly exciting, as it has been raining all day, and so not a lot was happening. But it does show some abandoned deckchairs in the beach area of the Old Market Square.

In fact the whole beach area was deserted, except for a couple of guys propping up the bar of the Beach Bar and a brave child on one of the rides.

The rain has been about the first for about three weeks, and is welcome, as the plants in the garden are starting to look a bit sorry for themselves. I have got the hosepipe out a few times, but probably not as much as I should have.

The forecast is for similar over the weekend, so I certainly won't have to do any more watering for a few days, which means more time for photography.

Monday, 15 August 2016

The Red Side Of The Moon

I was quite surprised to see the Moon surrounded by a red sky tonight, as usually any red sky sunsets that do appear are in the opposite direction to the Earth's nearest planet.

But tonight, both the red sky and the Moon were both in the right position for me to get this photo.

I of course used my 40-150mm zoom lens, to get this shot, otherwise it would just be a small dot in the sky.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Broken Free

This building in Beeston is called The Grange and was built in 1820 for a local businessman. In May 1976 it became Grade II listed, and was used as a refuge for homeless people.

Up until recently, it was Beeston's police station, but they moved out last year, and transferred to the local council offices. It has stood empty ever since.

A planning application was made to the council to turn the building into luxury apartments and to construct some flats where the main part of the station was, and which was demolished only this week. Wednesday in fact.

The section that was knocked down was built in the 1950s and some of it looked similar in style to the Grange, while some of it didn't.

The site will be one that I will be following, to see how things progress.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Talk To Me

A shot of Kayes Walk in the Lace Market today, which runs parallel to St Mary's Church.

All the old buildings have been turned into offices, and makes for a good backdrop to any scene.

I spotted these two people coming up the gentle slope towards me, and thought I would take a shot or two. It looks like the woman is doing all the talking, whilst the man, possibly pretends to listen, but thinking of the tasks that he has to do back in the office.

I've given the photo a slight sepia tinge, just to make it a little different.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Not A Plain Plane

I passed the shop near the castle that sells lots of Tintin stuff.

I noticed that there had been a change of window display and my eye was instantly drawn to the model plane in Tintin livery.

The model is based on the real Airbus A320, which belongs to Brussels Airlines and has been named Rackham.

The design comes from the Tintin adventure 'Red Rackham's Treasure, the twelfth in the series and written in 1944.

It's a fantastic model, but comes at a fantastic price too; £255. It's 1/100th scale and measures 38cm x 34cm.

Unfortunately I won't get to see the real thing anytime soon, as it won't be flying to East Midlands Airport, as it just tends to fly between Brussels and Tel Aviv

If anyone who reads my blog would like to buy me one in appreciation for my blog, then here's a big THANK YOU.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Art For Arts Sake

Just a bit of an artistic experiment today, as I haven't taken that many photos, as things have been a bit quiet in town and through Highfields.

A simple shot of some daisy like flowers that are growing in Highfields. Probably classed as a weed in most people's garden.

So to give the photo a little more interest, I've added a textured layer, so it looks like an old photograph, rather than one that is brand new. Maybe the top of a box of chocolates or a cigarette card. Something like that.