Header Photo

Header Photo

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Space Race

I have chosen this week's Headbanger Challenge, and I have gone for 'Space Race'. I'm not sure why I thought of this, after all The UK isn't renowned for visiting the stars, unless you count producing satellites. The nearest that we have got to is with jet fighters; and one of the fastest and best is the English Electric Lightening. A fantastic aircraft designed in the 1950s, but looks so futuristic, with its silver body. And fast too, with speeds approaching mach 2 (1500 mph). They could climb to high altitudes, almost to the top of the sky. Pilots said it was like sitting in a rocket. My header photo is of a Lightening. Sadly a museum piece now at RAF Cosford in Shropshire. But it is the nearest that anyone will get to one now since they went out of service during the 1980s. My film show from YouTube this week is of a Lightening in action in South Africa, where you could fly in one if you had the money. Today's photo is also silver in colour. It is a knight's helmet from Tutbury Castle, but for those people with any imagination, it might look like a helmet, belonging to some brave space traveller like Dan Dare, or Buck Rogers. Please make time to see how the other gang members have interpreted my theme this week, links on their names above and enjoy the film. Alas no popcorn.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Tower Hamlet

Following on from yesterday's photo, I just had to climb the tower and see what the little town of Tutbury looked like from all the way up. There must have been 100 steps in a spiral to get to the top. There were spaces where you could stop to catch your breath, or let someone go past. The view when I reached the top was good, if somewhat breezy.

Monday, 29 August 2011

No Sand In This Castle

For a Bank Holiday treat, Gail and I went to Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire for the day. I got a special deal for some tickets on Groupon and it seemed too good an offer to miss. There isn't much left of the castle itself. But there are a couple of towers that you can go up, which if the weather was fine, you would see for miles. But today was cloudy and overcast, so didn't see a great deal of the surrounding counties.

The highlight of the day was a re-enactment group that dressed up as 17th century soldiers and highwaymen. The costumes were very colourful and brightened up for what was a very dull day. Took loads of pictures, so a few may pop up during the course of the week. I have meanwhile put several on Flickr. Link below.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

This Never Happened On Trumpton

I'm sure you've all heard the old jokes about how many (add profession) does it take to change a (add description)? Well here's my version; how many firemen does it take to put out a wastebin fire? Well in this case, three. One to hold the hose, one to turn the water on, and another to make sure no one gets wet!

For those of you that don't know Trumpton was a children's puppet show from the 1960s and 70s. They had a fire station and in every episode they were called out to do something, but it was never to put out a fire. Besides Captain Flack the chief fire officer, there was Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb. Seven firemen to save cats from trees, rescue kites etc. Wouldn't happen today with all the cuts in public services.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Strange, But True

This morning, the shoppers in Beeston got to hear the last of the bands that have played in The Square during August. The final group to hit the beat were the Joe Strange Band. A three piece covers band that were actually very good and enjoyable for the audience. they played songs by Elvis, Van Morrison etc but refused to do any by Cliff Richard!

I have enjoyed this years series of concerts, and thanks should go to Broxtowe Borough Council for booking them. Lets hope they will organise something similar in 2012.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Smelly, But Funny

I won some theatre tickets the other day on Facebook to see the musical version of David Walliams' latest book Mr Stink. It's been on for the last couple of weeks at the Playhouse. Gail and I both enjoyed it, although it is squarely aimed at children. But we are both really only about 8 anyway!

The story revolves around this slightly lonely girl called Chloe who befriends a tramp and they get into adventures together including meeting the prime minister. The back story of how Mr Stink became a tramp is quite sad, but I won't divulge it here.

A couple of the cast members doubled up as different characters, notably Irvine Iqbal, who played at least four characters including Raj the newsagent. The songs were quite simple but catchy. Nothing too technical like Andrew Lloyd Webber's. But what made the show slightly unusual is that you are given a 'scratch n sniff' booklet, which reveal different odours at various times during the show.

It is on a big national tour, so it should be coming to a theatre somewhere in England very soon. It is worth seeing, but if you are a bit shy about going on your own, you may have to borrow a child from someone as cover.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Small Soldiers

Many people probably know Games Workshop; the maker and supplier of model figures that are used in tabletop war games, with Warhammer being the most well know. What people might not know is that their HQ and factory is based in Nottingham. I'm not into the games at all, but I was passing their shop on Friar Lane the other day and happened to look in the window. I saw these little highly coloured figures and thought they would make for a good blog photo. I've tried to get rid of the reflections in the glass as best I could to show of the detail of the painted figures, which may only be a couple of inches tall.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Going Underground

This week's Headbanger theme is 'landfill' and comes from the devious mind of iMac. It's been a theme that has taking some thinking about. Some workmen are presently filling in a hole where the nurses flats used to be, but it wouldn't make for a very exciting photo. I could have created something using some toys I have got, but in the end I went for what you can see above.

This cinema and several other buildings have been built on an old landfill site. I remember when I was a teenager driving past and seeing the seagulls circling overhead and pieces of thin plastic blowing in the wind while they were stuck to the barbed wire fence that surrounded the tip. Besides the cinema, there's a bowling alley, a Frankie and Benny's pizza restaurant and a nightclub.
If you look carefully, you can see small posts dotted about. These are vents to let the methane out, otherwise the whole site could blow up.

Todays photo is an update of one iMac put on his site a few days ago. I knew it had been painted over, so I had a stroll up Mansfield Road to see what had replaced it. Another giant piece of urban art. I wonder how long it takes to produces one of these things?

Don't forget to see what the other four members of the gang have come up with for the theme, and enjoy this week's musical offering.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me A Bow Wow!

Whilst listening to the band at the weekend, I took this shot of these two ladies who were doing likewise. Obviously dog lovers. I'm not sure if they were music lovers though, as they didn't stay very long and their expressions are not really ones of delight or pleasure.

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Whole World In His Hands

There's a small competition going on at the moment on the one of the Nottingham pages of Flickr. It is to find shots taken on Clumber Street and give some background to it, and if the picture has been manipulated at all. I've walked up and down the street a few times now, but without any real success. Until today, when I came across this strange character. I've no idea what they were promoting, but lots of people (especially children) were queuing up to have their photo taken with him.

Sunday, 21 August 2011


I couldn't resist taking a photo of this little boy who was enjoying listening to Salmagundi whilst running around in front of them. His parents were in the audience. He's looking very inquisitive standing next to an electrical or telecommunications box near the bandstand and completely unaware that I was taking his picture.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Musica Fantastica

There was music again in Beeston Square this morning. This week it was the turn of Salmagundi, a local seven piece band with global musical references. And very good they were too. They were a bit jazzy in some places, ska-ish in another. The ska tunes were fab. At one point I was expecting Suggs (the leader of Madness) to start singing!
There were loads of people in the audience today. The most I have seen so far this month. I think everyones feet were tapping throughout the concert. I know mine were. There were plenty of photo opportunities, as they were quite a physical band. This is Stella Patella in full flow. She plays a mean fiddle too, albeit a designer one.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Friday Fun

I had to wait in town tonight as Gail was picking me up from work. She was a bit later than expected, so I had some time to kill. Of course I had my camera in my hand. Today it was the baby Panasonic GF1. I took some shots of people walking by. But nothing exciting. It had been a bit of a cloudy afternoon, but strong beam of sunlight appeared through the clouds. So I took a shot into the sun. It looked OK on the screen, but I was somewhat disappointed with it when I had downloaded it to iPhoto. So I decided to mess around with it see if I could give it a bit more interest. So it now looks like some post nuclear city, or what could happen to the planet if the ozone layer completely disappeared.

Thursday, 18 August 2011


Whilst strolling around the Lace Market, I came across this poster, for what of a better word, of a boy dressed up as Superman. I don't know how long it has been there, or what it was supposed to look like before it was vandalised. Still it is something different to look at.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Red Letter Day

Sandy has suggested this week's Headbanger Challenge. She has gone for 'falling'. Another word that has so many meanings and connotations. People fall in love, leaves fall off trees, rain falls to the ground. Gravity. Isaac Newton and his apple. Presumably not the same one that William Tell shot with his arrow!
My header picture this week is of a parachutist, falling to the ground after jumping out of an aeroplane. More him than me. The only time I want to emerge from an aeroplane is when it's landed at some exotic airport.

Today's photo has a falling connection. What may you be asking is the connection between a Victorian pillar box and this week's theme? Well go on, ask! The answer is that when the Royal Mail first began, pillar boxes were painted green. Now you would think that the citizens of the 1850s would realise that they were there. But no they didn't, and so kept falling into them. So they were all changed to red, and have been ever since.

This one is right in the heart of Nottingham, and in another good location for taking photos. To the left is the old Shire Hall where they used to try people for crimes, before either executing them or shipping them off to Australia. It is now used as the Galleries of Justice museum. I've been in and it is quite an eerie place, especially down in the cells.

Don't forget to visit all the gang's pages to see how they have visualised the theme. And also enjoy this great song by a great artist.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Madam I'm Adam

I've been walking around the Lace Market recently looking for suitable locations for taking some more photos of Amy. The good thing about the Lace Market is that it's not changed that much since lace was actually made there. Which hasn't been for about 30 years now. One of the biggest and grandest is the Adams Building. Built in the mid 1800s, it is a Grade II listed and is presently used by New College Nottingham, and looks a perfect backdrop for a photoshoot.

Monday, 15 August 2011


Is there such a thing as magic, or is today's photo an optical illusion, as this poor dog seems to have lost his head and front paws?

Sunday, 14 August 2011


This is Jeanie Barton, she is a jazz singer and did an open air concert last night at a local park. A brass band also appeared and both bands wowed the audience with their music. It was a free concert provided by our local council and people bought their own seats, blankets and food. Gail sent me off to get some fish and chips during the intermission.
I knew Jeanie when she was a child, as her parents ran the local drama club in Beeston which I was involved in, some 20 years ago now. Jeanie certainly looks like her mother Barbara. Alas her father Elson died a few years ago, but I'm sure they are both really proud of their little girl.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Beating The Rhythm

The shoppers of Beeston Square danced to an African beat this morning when the Bana Congo group came to play. Although the music was good, I was a little disappointed, as the photo in the council leaflet showed a group of five musicians all wearing colourful outfits, so I was hoping for a good photo shoot. But alas only three turned up, and all wearing jeans and T-shirts. Disappointment aside, I think I managed to take a reasonable shot of the percussionist in action.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Not Long Now

Another shot of Amy, this time waiting outside the Victoria Hotel.
But what for, a man, a taxi, the bar to open?
Is she running away from something or someone?

I've played about a bit with the photo in Picnik to give it a bit of individuality and drama to the scene.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Is It Here Yet?

A friend of mine called Amy recently asked me to take some photos of her. She enjoys dressing up in 1940s and 50s clothing and she wanted some shots in places that didn't look too modern. I said that I knew a few places in Beeston that had not been updated too much and have kept their character. So Tuesday evening she came over and I took her and Gail on a small tour of Beeston. This is one of the places where we stopped; the railway station, built in Victorian times and still virtually looks the same. It has recently been repainted, but still retains that LMS look. Photo tweaked in Picnik to give it an aged look too.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Riotous Assembly

It's Headbanger Wednesday again, and Dave has chosen this week's theme of "literature". I have lots of favourite books, such as War of the Worlds, Thunder and Lightnings and Kes. But coming from Nottingham, there can only be one legendary figure of literature that everyone knows, and that's Robin Hood. Whether he really existed or not is another matter, but the legend has gone on for hundreds of years. My header photo comes from Sunday's Pagan Pride and is of Robin Hood himself telling tales to a enchanted audience. What is especially good, is that the guy who is being Robin, was once employed by the city council as Robin Hood and he used to walk around the castle and city centre and attend events dressed in Lincoln Green with bow and arrow in hand. We now have a new Robin who has long blonde hair, and whose real name is Tim.

Today's photo is not as it seems. As probably everybody now knows, for some reason England has suddenly become a place of riots. London, Manchester, Birmingham have all seen violence, looting, arson and just plain moronic behaviour by what appears to be teenagers and people in their early 20s. Nottingham too has experienced some minor disturbances over the last couple of days; cars smashed, vandalism and some arson directed at police stations. So my photo of a boarded up Debenhams is a precaution that the shop has done, just in case it goes on for some time. Other shops have done the same, or closed earlier. If you're wondering, the title of today's blog comes from a Tom Sharpe novel.

To see how the other team members have interpreted the theme, just click on their names above, and enjoy this number one song from Bryan Adams.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

A Witches Promise

I noticed this puppet of a witch on one of the stalls at the Pagan Pride fair and couldn't resist taking a photo of it. Usually witches are portrayed as hags or crones, but she looks ok with her blue eyes and purple hat. I wonder what Gerry Anderson would have done with her?

It's usually traditional for me to add some music that ties in with the week's Headbanger Challenge. But I couldn't resist adding a version of the Jethro Tull song by All About Eve, a short lived, but fine 80's band.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Herne The Hunter

How many people do you know that have horns growing out of their head? Not that many methinks. So I was surprised to see this fellow sporting a small pair yesterday at the Pagan Pride festival. I guess they would look bigger if he got a haircut. But then I don't suppose you would want to draw too much attention to yourself, whilst walking through the city centre. His two lady friends, don't seem to mind. You may need to enlarge the photo to see them in their full glory.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Pagan Rites

An unusual event took place today in Nottingham. Hundreds of Pagans descended on the city for a march and festival celebrating their religion. They were certainly very colourful, but very peaceful as they walked through the city centre to the Arboretum, where the festival was being held. There were a number of stalls there, plenty of music, vegetarian food and story telling. I bought a mousemat with a fairy on it as a present for Gail, as she said that she needed a new one. I met up with a few of my Flickr friends and we listened to a couple of the bands; 3 Eyed Fox, a folk pop band and Cryptic Age, a goth prog rock group fronted by a very vivacious singer and keyboard player called Jenny Green. I took loads of photos, many of which will be appearing on my Flickr site. I can't resist showing you this photo of this lady with her pet dragon. He didn't say a lot, and must have given up smoking, as he never once breathed any fire!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Wild Thing

This is Trog, who was in Beeston this morning entertaining me and the shoppers with his excellent renditions of well known songs, together with one or two of his own compositions.
Trog is not his real name, that's David Thornton. Trog was a nickname from his schooldays. I'm not sure if it was a kind name or not, as the only Trog I have heard of is the horror film of the early 70's about this caveman that was captured by scientists! There is a musical connection of course in the form of the Troggs; hence my title.
David's performance is one of four in the Square that takes place every Saturday morning through August. Next week another band will take to the stage with their own brand of music.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Burning Bright

A group of us from work got together this evening for a bit of a party at a local hostelry. The main event was the decree absolute coming through for one the gang, while another had found a new job and finally it was someone's 40th Birthday. Three reasons to celebrate in one. Gail came too, as she knows a number of them through working with them previously, or through other meals that she's been on with me.
We ate inside before sitting outside with our beers. I have changed cameras today, as usually I have my Nikon D90 with me; but today I thought I would take my Panasonic GF1 for an outing. Not that it helped me find anymore subjects, so I took this candle that was on our table.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Greening The Land

Today we have had some rain for the first time in ages. Fortunately it had stopped by the time I was ready to cycle home. As the sun had come out I took another ride through Highfields. I wasn't expecting to find anything new to photograph, so instead tried to see if I could improve on a previous scene that I had captured. Not sure if this is any better than one that I had taken before, as I would have liked to have had a bit more sun shining through the leaves, but I like the reflection though.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


Today's Headbanger Challenge has been set by Lanny and she has gone for 'greetings'. Now this is another theme which is up for interpretation in quite a number of ways, which I am sure you'll see if you care to pay a visit to the group's pages. Entry by simply clicking on their name above.

My photo shows a number of characters all saying hello, and welcome to the blog in their own particular way. Which is really what I wanted to convey. This idea that everyone should be made welcome by everyone else, no matter who, or what they are, or where they have come from. Alas in this uneven, unequal world, that doesn't always happen. So make sure that you say hello to at least one person tomorrow, and see if we can all make a difference.

Today's photo is a greeting of a different kind. A complete opposite of what I have said previously. This is a poster for the latest exhibition at the Contemporary. A series of art works by Jean Genet about the infamous political group from the 1970s. It's a gigantic poster, that I stumbled across today, whilst looking for inspiration for my lead photo. Hope you like the music. One of my most favourite artists ever.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Watering Point

These makeshift watering cans are to be found at a churchyard in Greasley. People use them to water the flowers that they bring to put on their loved ones' grave. Both my parents were cremated, so I do not have a grave to visit, but their love and my love for them still lives in my heart.

Monday, 1 August 2011

The Cries Of A Not So Silent Hen

All the chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys were left to roam the farmyard yesterday, which added to the atmosphere of a working farm tendered by monks. This rooster was quite noisy in the afternoon. I thought he looked very colourful with his plumage, and so I wanted to take a photo or two. Luckily I snapped him whilst he was in full flow with his latest 'cock-a-doodle-do'!