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Monday, 31 August 2009

The Future's Black

Things generally haven't really been going too well for me this year. First my friend's suicide, John's passing and now I've been told of someone else I know having a fatal accident at home. Also we've had to go through a major restructuring at work. This has resulted with friends leaving, others working on different floors and generally making everyone feel down. I've also been saddened by the closure earlier this year of my favourite record store; Selectadisc and my local Sommerfield. Gail has to give me some good cuddles when I'm feeling low.

So to try and cheer myself up, I decided to splash out on a new Fiat 500. I informed you last week that we were looking for a new car. So after much deliberation, I've gone for it. It will look like the one here. The trouble is that I am having to wait about three months before it's delivered. Then the idea is more weekends away and drives out into the country. Try to get more out of life. Gail is still attracted to the Suziki Swift though.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

The Jury's Out

I've put a couple of shots of this hotel by the railway station on before. But here's a more complete picture. The hotel isn't really on a hill. it's just that I was standing by the canal, and that's quite low down. I've never walked along that stretch before, so it was nice to get a different perspective on things.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

A Load Of Old Bull

One of the unsung attractions of Nottingham is the cattle market, near Notts County's football ground. Every Saturday lots of auctions and sales go on at this well known site, which sprung up over a hundred years ago. Alas no cows and sheep anymore, but antiques, flowers, vegetables and general car boot tat. I remember as a child, my dad taking me most Saturday's, and he would bid for the odd item of furniture or some tools. I have still got some of the things he bought.

My photo today shows part of the detail at the entrance gates, to prove that cattle were available there.

Friday, 28 August 2009

The End Of The Road

This is part of the attraction that was the Tales of Robin Hood. A lot of the fixtures and fittings have gone now & I was surprised to find that some of the souvenirs have recently been on sale at a local charity shop.
Although the scenery looks quite good, the figures are a bit naff. I think they are only made from papier mache, and to me, they look a bit too harsh and stylised. I don't know whether they will auction them off, or they'll turn up somewhere else. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Back To The Green

Continuing on from yesterday's theme, here's a photograph of what the Tales of Robin Hood looks like, nearly six months after it closed. As you can see some of the ceiling has fallen in, a window has been smashed and the frontage is generally looking quite shabby. So much so, that the city council has ordered the owners of the building to clean it up. This is quite ironic really, as it is the same council that refused to help the operators of the attraction who were struggling financially earlier this year.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Gizza Job

Nottingham's failing tourist industry took a turn for the worst today, as Robin Hood decided to retrain as a hairdresser. He said that with the closure of various tourist attractions around the city; most notably the one named after him on Maid Marian Way, had made him think deeply about his role of mascot for the city. He suggested the cancellation of his own TV series by the BBC had made him ponder whether it would be worth continuing as the famous outlaw. He had always liked platting Marian's hair when they were alone in Sherwood Forest, and thought he might like to do it on a full time basis. So he visited a stand in town today to see what college courses were available.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Lock And Roll

Quite an interesting scene of two narrowboats using the lock at the same time. The two boats will be able to pass through twice as quick, as both 'captains' are working together.

I quite like the family of Japanese tourists standing there and watching the action. Not sure if they have canals in the Orient, so it will be something special for them to see the action

Monday, 24 August 2009

Skywatch Monday

An early skywatch, as I saw this unusual cloud formation at the back of our house. It either looks like a thick forest, or the result of a big explosion. I don't know if it will bring any rain tonight. But our garden could certainly do with some, and it might help to get rid of the sticky and muggy atmosphere we are experiencing at the moment.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Mobile Union Jack

Gail and I went looking at new cars again today. We have just about whittled it down between a Fiat 500 and Suzuki Swift. It's going to be a case of head or heart with the decision, as the Swift would be more practical, but the little Fiat would be more fun to drive, and is just so damn sexy to look at.

While we were looking through the vehicles on offer at a garage, I came across this Nissan Micra, which had been specially painted to publicise the fact that they are built in the UK. In Sunderland I believe.

Here's another link to the 2009 Photoblogging voting page.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Lights Out

Here's the former factory in Beeston called Aerial Pressings that has been converted into luxury flats. They've done quite a good job, and almost all the flats are taken. The building itself looks a little like a prison or a castle with turrets and arched windows etc. Here's what it looks like at night.

I stumbled on the photo blog awards website today. I didn't know such a thing existed, but it would be great if all 486 of you could vote for my site. Here's the link Thanks in advance.

Friday, 21 August 2009

The Future Is... Green

As promised, here's a picture of probably Nottingham's ugliest building, the new contemporary art gallery in the Lace Market. For an historic area of the city, the building sticks out like a sore thumb. I think it has no appealing features whatsoever, some fans of modern architecture may disagree. I think more effort should have gone into the design, so it blended in more with the area.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Putting The World To Bed

Today is Skywatch Friday. For all you new followers, let me explain. Every Thursday/Friday (depending on where you are from), we post a photo that includes a piece of our sky. In my case, it's over Beeston where I live. A simple, but very popular idea. Click on the link above and see what photos other skywatchers have taken. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

In Memory Of

I received a letter yesterday that made me quite sad. It was an invitation to a memorial service for a friend of mine whom I had known for nearly 40 years. His name was John Ryan, and was a well known cartoonist and animator. His best known character was Captain Pugwash. He also created Mary, Mungo & Midge, Sir Prancealot and the Ark Stories. He also drew satirical cartoons for the Catholic Herald newspaper and Harris Tweed for the Eagle in the 1950's.

A real talented illustrator and wonderful person. His wife Priscilla is fantastic too and is also a talented still life painter. I hope she is coping without him after nearly 60 years of marriage. I saw him last in 2007, and wasn't too well with various health problems. But he could still draw. and signed his latest book for me. Then a few weeks later a parcel arrived. It was this picture he had created and dedicated to Gail and I. Although he lived in Rye, I shall miss him, as I always used to send them cards and letters.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Flying High

I decided to take another shot of the fairground ride in the square. Only because they have added some flags to the seats, as I don't usually show things twice. Looking through, to select the best one for your viewing, I saw that a pigeon had flown by in one of the photos. So I've chosen that one. Call it serendipity.

For some reason the shots were a little blurry, so I've gone for a monochrome look, to concentrate the action. But no disrespect to the countries whose flags are on show.

Monday, 17 August 2009

The Big Question

I couldn't resist taking a snap of this poster on the wall of a local church. It wasn't so much the question, but the answer which some comic had scribbled underneath that caught my eye. Personally I would have written "Oh yes they can", as it is better English. I wonder if the vicar had to get permission from Google to reproduce their logo?

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Light And Shade

Although I have been busy today and went out to a local garden centre, my camera didn't take any photos. Which is surprising, as I can normally find something worth capturing.
So here's something I took just after returning from Dubai. It's not a very exciting picture, but it shows perspective and what light and dark can do to a scene. A shame in a way that the top of the building breaks the clean line of the wall.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

All Done With Mirrors

They've nearly completed the new art gallery in the Lace Market. Unfortunately it does look as bad as the original computer mock-ups, even though it's behind schedule and over budget. Imagine one of those cargo containers painted green. Well that's what it looks like. It's definitely the ugliest building in Nottingham, if not the country. I will show it to you sometime next week, so you can see what I mean.

Anyway there is some glass amongst all the green concrete, and it makes reflections like this. That's me in the middle, suitably obscured.

Friday, 14 August 2009

In The Frame

How many of you can remember the old riddle about when is a door, not a door?
All together now - "When it's ajar"!
This door wasn't ajar, but it is in serious need of a lick of paint. I think it is going to get one shortly, as it looks like someone has been busy scraping away the old layers.

Who want's to take a guess at what colour it is going to be?

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Gnome Team

How's this for a mascot of your favourite football side. Your very own gnome in your team colours. I don't think they would make very good players though with their short stumpy legs. It would take ages for them to run from one end of the pitch to the other. And the goalie would have no chance!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Driving Back To Health

Here's another of the famous logoed Smart Cars that we like taking pictures of so much. Seems like the little vehicles are all over the world now, as I often see them pop up on the CDP page of thumbnails.

I've not yet been in one, either as a driver or passenger. I do like the new Fiat 500 though. And the cabriolet version would look great outside my house. Just need the £12k to buy one.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

There's Gold In That There Sand

Here's the price list for the rides and stalls at the Nottingham Riviera. As you can work out, it's not cheap, especially if you have a couple of rugrats who will want to go on everything.

The attraction was heaving today as it was a lovely sunny day, so the owners will be raking the money in. Especially as you can't bring your own food; you have to eat and drink what's on offer. And of course these concessions are run by the owners too.

Monday, 10 August 2009

We All Need To Be Green

This is a statue of Brian Clough, who was the manager of Nottingham Forest football team during the 1970s and 80s. I'm not a football fan, so I can't reel off the goals etc, but the club did have some success during the time he was their manager.
His statue was unveiled last November. Not sure why it's taken this long to show him. Maybe its the green jumper he's wearing that made me want to take a photo. The jumper isn't part of the statue. Perhaps someone thought he was feeling cold!

Talking of winners, this seems a good opportunity to welcome the 200 new members who have signed up to follow my humble blog over the past few days. Becoming a 'blog of note' seems to have made a big difference in the number of people reading about my hometown. Thanks for the interest and trust you are enjoying the ride so far.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Music To Do Your Shopping By

Every Saturday morning in August, our local council hires professional musicians to entertain the passers by in the Square. Chairs are put out, so people can sit and listen to the different concerts. I missed the first one, as we were still in Dubai. But yesterday's was a real treat. A folk rock band by the name of Carmina kept everyone entertained for nearly three hours. And in glorious weather too.
They were very good, and Pippa Marland the singer sounded like a mixture of Dido, Enya and Julia Fordham. Everyone who stayed to listen seemed to enjoy the songs. They are returning to Beeston in October, when they are appearing in a concert at a local church. I'll shall be buying tickets very shortly.
If you are interested in hearing what they sound like, here's a link to their website.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Daisy, Daisy

Some of you of a certain age may remember the old ditty about a chap who proposes to his beloved. But he is poor and can only afford to get to the church on a tandem.
This bride and groom seem to have spent a bit of money on their wedding today in Beeston, as they drove away from the church in this natty little sports car. It's four years old, and I believe it is a Morgan Roadster. They are quite expensive, so they may have hired it for the day. Beats the cliched Rolls Royce anyway.

Friday, 7 August 2009

All's Fair On A Summer's Day

A little bit of irony in the title, as it's practically rained everyday since we got back from Dubai.
Here's another shot of the Nottingham Riviera. I can't really take any photos of children enjoying themselves in the sand or on the rides for obvious reasons. So here's a reflective shot of one of the rides and the council house. Which maybe is a metaphor for the sad indictment on today's view of photography.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Bombs Away

Today there was a small demonstration in the Market Square. Not against the council this time, but against nuclear weapons. Today, 64 years ago, the first atomic bomb was dropped over the Japanese town of Hiroshima, killing thousands. Another one was released a few days later over Nagasaki. It might not have been the best move to make, but at least it bought world war 2 to an end after six years.
Lets hope they never have to drop another.

Nearly 30 years ago OMD had a hit called Enola Gay, which was about the B29 that dropped the bomb. You can see it here

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Worth It's Weight In Gold

There was a bit of good news on the TV news last night. The former Woolworth's in the Victoria Centre is going to be turned into a pound shop. So I paid a visit today to see what was happening. Apparently it's going to be the biggest one in the country. I'm not sure if that's something for the city to be proud of or not. This means that there will be 12,500 sq feet of tat for sale. Although to be honest, they do have some good things in occasionally, like books, dvds and model cars. But a lot of it is rubbish and a waste of the worlds declining resources. Badly painted figures, plastic things that no one quite knows what they are for and tacky party decorations are amongst the delights on offer. At least some new jobs will be created.

I have to thank some fellow bloggers who left congratulatory messages on yesterday's entry. It seems that my page has become a 'blog of note'. I didn't know anything about it. So thanks to those that selected it for inclusion into the hall of fame.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

A Hazy Shade Of Summer

This photo hasn't been given the Lomo treatment. It's just the condensation on the lens from coming out into the heat or the day from the chill of the Madinat Jumeirah souk. It took a minute of two for my trusty FZ18 to get accustomed to the heat again. Although on a few occasions it stopped working altogether. Which isn't surprising with temperatures hitting 40*c.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Running For The Bus

One of the drawbacks of the development of Dubai is the continual sight of cranes, noise and hundreds of workers from the Indian sub-continent. Of course there was a building site next to our hotel. It wasn't too annoying at night, as the drone of the air conditioning drowned out nearly all the noises from the construction.
When we were walking back to our hotel the other day, we saw all these workers running after their bus which would take them back to their labour camp. Either they were late knocking off or the driver hadn't seen them. Either way, I think it's quite a comical scene.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Blowin In The Wind

As promised, here's a photo of the after effects in Dubai of the giant Iranian sandstorm that started a few days ago. You can see how hazy and dusty the sky is. I understand the sky would look the same after a nuclear explosion. At least this dust isn't radio-active.

Gail and I are back home now and gearing up to start the process of trying to get back into work mode. I will still be putting a few more Dubai pics on, while I collect some new images from Nottingham. Only missed 3 postings, which isn't too bad I suppose. Luckily I could blog at all, as Flickr is banned in the emirate, so couldn't keep up with the Nottingham gangs' offerings.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

One Hump Or Two?

Gail and I have visited Dubai many times, but not once have we seen a camel. The other day our luck was in. We decided to spend the day on the beach, and while we were soaking up the rays, Laurence of Arabia rode by on one and towing another. Perhaps it was his caravan!
Took a number of shots, but think this one came out the best.

Dubai is still overcast with the fallout from the sandstorm in Iraq which is affecting the whole of the UAE. It's about 40*c at the moment, but no sun is getting through the cloud of dust. It's not as drastic as the old pea soupers that the UK used to get in the 1950s. I'll see if I take a good image to illustrate it.