Header Photo

Header Photo

Saturday, 31 October 2009

It's A Fair Trade

Beeston officially became a Fairtrade town this morning, as a banner was raised on one of the flagpoles in the square. There was some food tasting as well. The chocolate was especially good. It was pleasing to hear that more and more shoppers are choosing Fairtrade products. Even though they cost a bit more, you know the producers are being paid a fair price for their goods and not being cheated by the big supermarkets.

For more information about Fairtrade and it's history and objectives, here's a link.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Colours Of The Night

I've just been around the city centre with my camera and tripod. The city always looks different at night, drenched in neon lights of different colours. Here's the giant screen which has been used in the Gamecity event this week reflected in the Square's water feature. I may be putting some more night photos on my Flickr page, if you care to take a look.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Crysis, What Crysis?

This week Nottingham has been turned into GameCity; a heaven for computer game fans. I'm not one myself. Never have been. I might do the odd thing on facebook, but soon grow tired of it. I spotted a friend of mine today who was helping to organise it. He told me about this game where people shoot these real soldiers who can't see anything. Some staging had been created with sand, palm trees and the like. People could watch the action from peepholes around the enclosure. I popped my camera up to the little window and had a look through my flip screen. And here's what I saw...

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Hot Air And Blue Skies

There was a bit of excitement in the office this afternoon. This hot air balloon flew over our building and the city centre. This is the flight that Gail and I wanted to do, when we bought a seat on a Virgin balloon last year. Unfortunately we couldn't as it was too windy. But today was almost perfect flying weather.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Hedging My Bets

Here's another shot taken on Sunday with my blogbuddy i-mac on out meet near Grantham. Autumn has a certain special feel about it, as the leaves turn colour and eventually drop to the ground. These trees and bushes look like they are just starting the process, and I think the blue sky adds to the country scene.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Ready When You Are Mr DeMille?

Not the famous American film director, but the fairly famous Nottingham film director Shane Meadows. He was at one of our local HMV stores (we have 3) signing copies of his latest DVD film; Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee. I've not heard of the film before, let alone seen it, so I can't tell you anything about it.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Meet The Nikons..

Today Gail & I had lunch with imac and his good lady Julie, at a pub which goes by the intriguing name of the Dirty Duck, near their home town of Grantham. We had a good chat during the meal and then went for a walk along the towpath. The sun was shining, although a little windy. We snapped away with our cameras at the flora and fauna. Not forgetting a brilliant sunset. Imac will be showing a number of his photos over the coming days on his site. Please go and have a look, as he's nearly a good a photographer as what I am!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Don't Drink And Drive

This is what happens if you have a spot too much to drink and intend driving home. The landlord, or in this case hotel manager, confiscates your mode of transport and puts it on display to warn other would be boozed up drivers. A motorbike's fine. I'm not too sure how they would show off a Range Rover or white van though!

Friday, 23 October 2009

Being Thin Can Get You A Fat Wallet

There was some action today at the hotel. The slimming and fitness guru Rosemary Conley was holding a convention for all the franchisees of her company. There was over 200 women all signing in and filing into the room opposite, making a lot of noise with their chatter. They were mostly young and rather attractive. It's a good thing I'm happily married, otherwise I might have got into a bit of mischief!

whilst queuing up for lunch, I was behind Rosemary's official photographer. 3 Canon's round his neck. I asked him if she had left, he said no, as she was doing some more presenting in the afternoon. Although our conference was over, I hung around to see if I could take a shot of her.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Laser Lights

Yesterday, work sent me to help out at a conference at a hotel in Hinckley. Nothing really exciting happened during the day. So after dinner & chatting to Gail, I went for a walk down the road. Not much about as it is on a main road & close to the M69. So I went for the old slow shutter speed trick with the traffic. Here's one of the results.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Shepherd's Shadows

There was a great sunset tonight. I managed to catch the last rays as I passed by the university. The cloud formations were quite strange as you can see. At first I thought there was a fire, but they were just unusual shapes.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


One of my latest street photos. I like the symmetry between the wording on the girl's T shirt and her pointing something out to her boyfriend.

Monday, 19 October 2009

The Deer Hunter

There are warning signs all over Wollaton Park at the moment, announcing that it is the rutting season & so to keep away from the deer that roam in parts of the grounds.
Here's a shot of a stag who is selecting his next 'girlfriend'. I wonder how he feels to live in such a wonderful harem?

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Manga Management

I went for a bike ride around Wollaton Park today. I'd read that there was some sort of WW2 show on in the park, as it had been used by the Americans in the early 1940s. But I was a bit disappointed, as it was only 2 guys dressed up like soldiers. Still I had a look around the hall. Took quite a few photos of the grounds & then by accident I stumbled on some university students who were dressed as Manga (Japanese comics) characters. I was asked if I would pose for a photo with one of them, so of course I did the same.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

There Were These Two Girls..

Whilst watching the boxing weigh in, I was looking for suitable subjects for my interest in street photography. I saw these two friends chatting animatedly away. They are probably students at one of Nottingham's two universities and either discussing the days lectures, or the lad they both fancy.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Weight A Minute

The Old Market Square was the scene of great excitement this evening. A big boxing match is taking place here tomorrow night, and the two boxers involved; local champ Carl Froch and American champ Andre Dirrel were being weighed in live on tv. I left work early to try and catch it, but just missed it by a few minutes. Apparently Dirrel was a bit overweight, so had to be re-weighed a little while later. I don't know how he managed to lose it, but he did. Much to his delight, as my photo shows.

Thursday, 15 October 2009


This rather cleverly designed cobbled area is straight outside the castle. Usually an ice cream van is parked there, selling cornets and 99's to visitors. But today was different. It was raining. So not many people about. The rain had cleaned the cobbles and made them glisten.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Pussy Galore

I showed you Marmalade way back in July, while he was visiting our garden. But things have since developed, and now he's moved in. Whilst I'm writing this, he's asleep on the chair beside me. I never knew cats slept so much. Last night, he fell asleep about 10pm, and didn't wake up until 7.45 this morning, as I was getting up. He mews, so we know when to let him out, but soon comes back. He also waits for us to come back from work. Gail bought him a little bed the other day,which he has been sleeping in. But last night he somehow managed to drag it off the chair. I keep saying he. But we have no real idea how to tell girl cats from boy cats.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Golden Glow

There has been a number of great sunsets lately. Last nights was a corker. Unfortunately where I live is quite built up, so getting good shots is quite difficult. So instead of fighting it, I used it to get the picture here. I stuck my camera out of the attic window. The good thing with the G1 is the tilting screen. I think all cameras should have them. And so managed to get this.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Spider Man

Unlocking the front gate a couple of mornings ago, I noticed this large web spun between some plants in the front garden. Had to take a snap or two, as I know they tend to get broken quite easily. Webs that is, and not my plants.
Looks like the spider had to do a quick patch job, by the odd weaving its done. Either that, or it knocked off early.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Deer Me

Another stall, this time from Finland, who were selling, strange looking hats, wool rugs and these cuddly toys. An assortment of dogs, bears and reindeer. They were also advertising a scheme similar to the Cabbage Patch Kids of the 1980s, where you 'adopt' a reindeer. Only this time it's a real one, and you get a toy one as a reminder. I'm not sure why you would want to adopt a reindeer, as they are hardly an endangered species. Looking at their website, it costs £30 to do this, and the animals are living in Kent, rather than in Scandinavia.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Hello Dolly

Besides the beer festival, an international food and craft market was taking place in the Market Square. I was particularly drawn to this collection of Russian dolls for sale.
Besides the usual female ones, there's one featuring a rather kitsch looking President Obama, Elvis, the Beatles and a rather dapper looking penguin. Something for everyone in fact. But I resisted parting with my money.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Roll Out The Barrell

I popped along to the famous Nottingham Beer Festival today, which was being staged at the castle for the second time. The festival has been going for over 30 years now and previously it has been held at the Victoria Leisure Centre. I'm not really a beer drinker, so have never been before. The entry fee is meant to be £10, which includes a commemorative glass, but I got in for nothing, as I said that I wanted to see the castle and had a Nottingham City library card, which allows you free entry.

The marquee contained quite a number of the cliched idea of a beer drinker; a man in his 50's, beard, slightly scruffy and a tad overweight. There were some women there too, and they looked exactly the same. No, only joking!
Over 600 beers were on offer at £1.25 for half a pint. There were plenty of portaloos available too.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Not Quite A Blue Moon

It was bread and jam for me tonight as Gail had gone out with some workmates for a drink and a bite to eat. When she came home, she said that the Moon looked odd, as it was very low in the sky, and not in its usual position for that particular time of night. So of course I had to go out with my camera & tripod. It was difficult trying to take a picture, as there too many street lights about, and it confused my G1. But after various goes, I managed to get this shot with my 45-200mm lens.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Weeding Things Out

For the last few months aerial gardeners have been clearing weeds and scrub from the sandstone rocks that the castle is built upon. Hopefully you can see what a difference they have made with more of the craggy rocks uncovered.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Show And Tell

As hopefully you all know I have a Flickr page, and often post photos on there that are different to what you see on here. A few weeks ago, someone asked for photographs for a new website that was starting. It's main aim would be to promote events, musicians and artists in Nottingham.
Some Flickr members were a bit negative towards the idea, but I am always happy to see my pictures elsewhere. Through consent though, and not theft!
So submitted a few. I looked this morning, and found that one had been used. The website is called Creative Nottingham. Here's the link, so you can see the site yourself. My picture, like all the others pop up randomly. And here's the full photo. Which you may have seen before.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Making A Pig's Ear Of Things

A Flickr friend of mine has recently introduced me to a nifty bit of free software called Poladroid. As the name suggests, it produces fake Polaroids. It's very easy to use, and once you've produced a picture, you can open it in other software and 'improve' the photo even further.

Go on, give it a go. You know you want to!

Here's another of my amusing signs. A local butcher that has been in Beeston years and years. Although I don't eat red meat, I'm glad he's still around and not been killed off by a supermarket.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Singin The Blues

Here's a young talented lady by the name of Natalie Duncan. She was also on the bill at yesterday's concert, which was part of something called a Global Weekender; a concert to celebrate cultural diversity.

Natalie writes a lot of her own material besides covering jazz and blues standards. She has her own page on Myspace, so have a listen and see what you think.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Musical Roots

This is Iryna Muha, a Ukrainian musician who now lives in Lincolnshire. She and her band were playing at a local free venue tonight. A few weeks ago, Iryna left a message on one on the Flickr groups that I belong to, asking if anyone would be willing to take photos of them for their website. So I went along and took quite a lot. Some of the better ones I have posted on Flickr for them to have a look at. Another Flickr man called Alan was there too, so why not pop across and compare our pictures.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Shepherd Moon

Tonight Gail and I went to see a band call The Bad Shepherds. It was formed by Ade Edmundson, whom many of you of a certain age will remember from The Young Ones. No, not the Cliff Richard film, but the BBC comedy show of the early 1980s. He was also one of the Comic Strip gang and worked on Bottom with Rik Mayall.

The Bad Shepherds play punk and new wave hits in a Celtic folk style. A bizarre combination, but somehow it works. A packed Playhouse audience enjoyed versions of songs by The Jam, Kraftwerk, Squeeze and even the Sex Pistols!

This isn't the best photo I've ever taken. But it's the best I could manage to get. At least it shows what he looks like these days. For something better, try this YouTube video

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Night Riders

I attended my second evening photography class earlier this week. Tuesday's topic was slow and fast shutter speeds. Although I already knew about these techniques, I haven't used them in years. In fact I don't think I've ever taken a blogging picture using either of them. So here's a example of what a slow shutter speed can do. Car headlights. Not very original I know. The other cliched shot is one of a steam, with the water bubbling over the rocks. Making it look all dreamy and mystic.