Header Photo

Header Photo

Friday, 31 July 2009

Only Five Letters In The Alphabet

Whilst in the Mercato shopping centre the other night. I caught a fleeting glimpse of this blue shape disappearing into one of the alleyways. As the Summer Surprises is underway, I knew it would be part of that, so waited to see what it was all about.
Sure enough a little while later, blue appeared, together with the rest of his mates. And as you can see they are some skating letters that make up the name of this Emirate.

Imagine if they did the same for Nottingham. The spelling might go to pot and it would take longer to go around the Victoria Centre!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

The Lion In Water

Here is one of the many statues in the Ibn Battuta shopping mall. It's an interestingly themed place as it follows the travels of the 12th century explorer. We have the Egyptian, Indian and Chinese areas, amongst others. And at various stages are some information stands about his life and adventures.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Harbour Heights

Here's a daytime photo of the hotel we are staying in. We are on the 30th floor, which is a little over half way up, as there are 52 floors altogether. The top story is one of the restaurants and where Gail & I had breakfast this morning. Great views with our toast and orange juice.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Hi From Dubai

It's a big hello from Dubai. Gail and I have arrived safely after our delayed flight from Birmingham. Some problem caused by Gatwick made our flight nearly two hours late. Most unusual for Emirates. But we are here, and this time we are staying at the Marina, rather than near the Creek. Here's a photo of some of the new hotels around the waterfront. Ours is the first on the left.

We've also been upgraded from the 2nd floor to the 30th! So expect some aerial views of the immediate area over the next few days, together with some of the new places that we will visit over the course of our 10 day holiday.

Friday, 24 July 2009

View From The Air

Here's an extra Skywatch Friday photo. A real one, as it was actually taken on Friday, from the seat of our Emirates flight to Dubai. This is somewhere over the Birmingham area, taken at about 12,000 feet.
I don't mind taking off in a plane, it's the landings I don't like as they make my ears really hurt. Sucking sweets don't seem to help that much. I always feel like I've got a very bad headcold when I've landed and can't hear properly. One of the minor drawbacks of holidaying abroad I suppose!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Sand And Sky

Well it's up and running. The 'seaside' has made several of the national dailies too. I passed through the 'Riviera' today and it was packed. So many people about, it was difficult to take a decent picture. Especially with so many little kids running around. So I went for this shot instead. One of the rides. It ties in nicely with our Skywatch Friday theme.

For more active and still sky photos from around the world; click here.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Birmingham Beach

I was quite surprised to find that Birmingham too had created a beach for the summer. As you can see it is on a lot smaller scale than Nottingham's. Maybe Birmingham City Council didn't have the money to spend and maybe their sponsor didn't want to donate as much as ours have. Mind you, they will make a tidy profit from all the drinks, ice creams and food they sell, plus the charge for going on the rides over the six weeks that it is there. In fact if the weather stays dry, it should be a nice little earner for them.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The Tide's Almost In

The Nottingham 'Riviera' is nearly finished. They were doing the last minute touches today, ready for the official opening tomorrow. Alas I won't be there to see it, as I have to go to Birmingham for the day. So you'll have to wait until Thursday to see the finished article. But you can see the sand has been leveled. A pool has been filled, and various rides are nearly complete. I don't know when the donkeys are arriving.

Should be a good photo location for the next six weeks, and hopefully I'll be able to snap some characters.

Monday, 20 July 2009

For Anna

Tomorrow will be quite a sad one for Gail and myself, as we are having to go to a funeral. Not an elderly relative, which is sad in itself, but for a person we both knew called Anna. She was only 28 and recently decided to take her own life. We don't know why yet, but whatever it was, surely it can't be big enough to decide that it's not worth living anymore? She was a manager at the organisation where I work. Gail worked with her for a while. She was a kind and lovely person and the whole building was shocked when we heard the news.

This photo shows the chapel at Corpus Christie College. It was closed when I visited, so I had to take the photo through a glass door. At the entrance was a small table with a little book on it. It was there for people to leave messages or prayers which would be read out during a service. Naturally I just had to leave one for Anna.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Dreaming Spires

This is Corpus Christi College. Even though it was raining, I was determined to take a photo of at least one of the colleges. I think CC is about the most famous one in Cambridge, and is over 650 years old.

I'm not bright enough to study there. But I'm pretty good at riding a bike and Cambridge is full of them. It's not a car friendly town, so it seems the humble bicycle is the best way of getting about.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

The Sharp End Of The Stick

Besides being an amateur photographer, I am also an amateur actor. Very amateur some say!
Tonight was the last night of a community play that I have been involved in called "The Last Inspector". Created by two Nottingham guys called Julian Hanby & Andy Barrett. I've been in many of their previous productions. This one was about a failing local school that is closing down and becoming one of these new academies. I played an old fashioned teacher, who enjoyed using his cane at any given opportunity.

Gail took this snap, as you can see, I was on stage waving my cane about.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Not Worth A Punt

I spent the day in Cambridge today. I was looking forward to going, as it is one town that I haven't visited yet. Very disappointed as it rained all day, so I didn't take that many photos. Walking by the Camb, I saw these people trying to empty all the rainwater out of the punts. Not that anyone was queuing up for a ride.

Sepia to match the mood of the day.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Sand In The Hand

well it's arrived. Several tons of sand has been tipped in the Old Market Square. I'm not sure how much or how deep it's going to be. Hopefully it's quite high grade quality, or a lot of people are going to get it in their eyes should the wind get up. Reminds me of a trip to Blackpool I once did to see the lights. We were walking along the front and the wind was blowing the sand off the beach at such a speed that my face felt like it had been sandblasted. It got so bad that we all dived into Woolworth's to get our breath back.

I decided to use the 16:9 ratio for a change on this photo and added a 1960s feel to it courtesy of Picnik.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Where's Waldo?

This is Clumber Street. It basically links the Victoria Centre to Broad Marsh via Bridalsmithgate, and is said to be the busiest pedestrianised street in the city centre. I took this at lunchtime the other day, and I think the photo proves this fact.

I often walk along there trying to find some interesting street photography shots for my Flickr page.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Marmalade for Breakfast

This cat has been visiting us everyday for the past few weeks. I'm not that fond of cats for various reasons, so I've done nothing to encourage these visits.
Mostly he likes to sit on our front mat in the sun. Yesterday morning he was stretched out under the bush getting a bit of a tan. By the time I had gone in for my camera he had got up and wanted to see what I was doing.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Seaside Shuffle

The Old Market Square has just begun to be turned into a coastal resort for the summer. The pier is being erected, a load of sand is arriving any day soon, followed by the donkeys and gulls. I'm hoping to take a photo of a middle aged man sitting in a deckchair, with a knotted spotted hankie on his head eating a choc ice!

Gail and I could have saved our money, as who needs Dubai, when you've got Nottingham on Sea!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Danger In A Red Nose

The dreaded clowns infiltrated Beeston's carnival yesterday. I think they slipped in unobserved, hidden under the smell of greasepaint. This one tried to look incognito by wearing some normal glasses, rather than those so called comedy ones that squirt water or have wipers on the lenses. But we all know about the malevolence that hides behind behind those Vision Express bins.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Pipers At The Gates Of Noon

Today, the annual Beeston Carnival took place in a mixture of sunshine and showers. A wide mix of events was on offer throughout the day, ranging from bands and dancing, to lucky dips and a barbecue.

My photo shows the local pipe band leading the marching from Beeston Square to Broadgate Park. It was a bit of a squeeze, as the local council are creating some new seating areas, and a lot of the High Road is blocked off with fencing.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Going Up The Wall

Today I had lunch with my workmate and great friend Jill. It's her birthday tomorrow & she's already had 38 cards and loads of presents. She is an incredibly popular person, and has hundreds of friends and is always being invited to parties etc. She's having a 'ladies lunch' tomorrow. Gail is going, but as I'm the wrong gender, I can't go, so we went to this little teashop/cafe that hasn't been open long. As it was a sunny day, we sat outside. To hide a dull brick wall, the owners have had this mural painted, which looks vaguely Arabic.

Thursday, 9 July 2009


I took my first photo of the day at about 07:50 this morning. It is about the earliest I have taken a photo so far. The attraction? The opening of a new Lidl store in Beeston. I had the vague idea that I would be about the first in the queue for the grand opening at 8am. But I was wrong. As you can see there must have been about a hundred people waiting for the opening. As they are a low cost supermarket, there was no razamatazz or guest star, just our local mayor to cut the ribbon. I saw a camera buddy of mine who was hoping to get a laptop for £190. Alas they soon sold out. I bought a few groceries, then went back home for my breakfast.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Boxer Beat

Here, just for Babooshka, is the delayed photo of Carl Froch, our local celebrity champion boxer. He was publicising a new campaign to find champion neighbours. Those that do good works for charity, or are just brilliant neighbours.

It's good that he's publicising the scheme, but what I don't agree with is the fact that he's being paid £36,000 a year by the council to do it. If I was a local celebrity like him, I'd be only too pleased to lend my name to worthwhile events like this for nothing. Putting something back into the community. It's not like flogging some after shave on TV, or wearing some branded trainer.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

A Is For Anarchy

I was going to show you a photo of local boxing champion Carl Froch today, but there was another demonstration in the square today. This time it was local shopkeepers who where up in arms against the council, and their rather draconian plan to rid all the streets of 'A' boards. I bet you all think that the population of Nottingham is always demonstrating against something. It's just that there tends to be more these days, and obviously I try to report them all. I don't think we'll ever beat the French farmers though!

As you can see from my photo, these 'A' boards are a form of advertising for small shops who may not otherwise be noticed by the public. But the council want to get rid of them as they say they are a hindrance to both blind people and roadsweepers, and they help to make the streets look untidy. I don't know if there has been any studies done, but I doubt that there has been very few accidents.

Do you have such things where you live?

Monday, 6 July 2009

Lights, Camera, Action (2)

Another day, another film crew. This time it was our very own Dominic Heale from the BBC's Midlands Today with the microphone. He was doing a vox pop about Nottingham City Council's rather unusual idea of splitting up the city into zones. Dominic had cards of these illustrated zones and you had to guess where they were. I didn't do that well, even I know the city centre like an old friend. The card you can see represents the Broad Marsh. I thought it meant the canal area.

Alas my interview ended up on the cutting room floor, but I gave him one of my Nottingham Daily Photo cards. Hopefully he will have a look at this and past entries. So if you're reading this, hello Dominic!

Sunday, 5 July 2009


According to the weather centre, there was meant to be rain today. Of course they were wrong yet again. I'm sure they just pull pieces of paper out of a hat with types of weather written on it! Admittedly it's been a little overcast today, and not as hot as last week, but as far as I know Nottingham didn't suffer from any precipitation.

So for those that like to see the rain, here's one of my stylised photos of the Old Market Square during a downpour.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Beware, Light Plant Crossing

As it's American Independence Day, I thought I would show you something typically British; the allotment. I don't know if Americans have allotments, or grow their own food, but they probably would have if their country still belonged to Britain and they followed our customs, like driving on the left, calling chips, crisps and saying goodbye instead of "have a nice day". Still they have given us Mickey Mouse, Star Wars and for the ladies; George Clooney. Not forgetting our very own favourite blogger Abe Lincoln.

One of our local allotments had an open day today. There were demonstrations and a plant sale. I'd like an allotment, but I don't have enough time to do my own garden, never mind another one. Probably spend too much time on the computer!

Friday, 3 July 2009

Lights, Camera, Action

A strange thing happened today around the Market Square. This mad Asian woman was chasing after people with a film crew in tow. I don't know what it was about, and I had never seen her before. She did say hello to me, but she wasn't interested in me for some reason. Probably too old & too ugly for television. So I got a photo of her instead.

If anyone knows who she is and what's doing, please let me know.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Do Drop In

One of the highlights of Sunday's Forces Day was seeing a group of parachutists fall to Earth and land where they intended to. Unfortunately I was standing in the wrong place when they started landing, but I managed to get this shot of one falling through a very blue sky.

For more action packed or genteel Skywatch Friday photos from around the world, click on this link.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Cry God For Harry, England And St George

Today I had to go to Market Bosworth for the day. It's in Leicestershire and the area is famous for the Battle of Bosworth Field; the final 'Wars of the Roses' where Henry V beat Richard III in August 1485.

I just hope it wasn't as hot then as it was today, otherwise they would all have died of heatstroke and dehydration, never mind by bow and arrow or sword. The temperature gauge in my car showed 30.3*C. Hot enough to fry an egg on the bonnet. We're off to Dubai at the end of the month, so I expect it will be even hotter there.