Header Photo

Header Photo

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Happy On The Water

It seems that the owner of this narrowboat is content with his or her lot, going on the name that they've called it; "All's Well". It's a great thing to be able to say to anyone, or if you were Australian, it would be "No Worries".

Everyone has some sort of stress to contend with in these worrying times. These past few days has been rather hectic for me, and a bit stressful too. This may help to explain why my blogging has been a little erratic this week.

The wedding at the weekend was one thing that I had to worry about. But the main concern for me this week was the fact that last night was the premiere of a play that I am in and I didn't feel 100% confident with my lines. This added to the burden of performing in front of 100 people. Also I didn't know beforehand, but the BBC had come to film it as part of a programme they are making about the history of Raleigh. The Nottingham based bicycle manufacturer that is, rather than the sailor and discoverer of tobacco, potatoes and America.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

A Musical Interlude

I was intrigued by this little sticker that I spotted on a lamppost. I like synthesiser music, but had never heard of Swingrowers. So a visit to their website was needed.

Apparently they are an Italian group that have updated the old dance music of the 1930's and 40s by adding a modern disco beat in the background.

It seems that it is the "in thing" at the moment to live in the past. A friend of mine likes dressing up like she lives in the 1950s. I have another friend who is a mod, even though she wasn't born when there was all that trouble on Brighton beach.

If I could choose an era, I would go for the 1930s. All that art deco architecture and the development of the Leica camera.

Should you be curious about the music of the Swingrowers, they of course have a website, with the link being here.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Nottingham Rocks

Well the big day has arrived. The first ever Get Nottingham Trending Day. It officially began at about 7am this morning with the release of the unique Twitter hashtag: #Nottinghamrocks.

I have been making comments and taking photos all day on my iPhone about what is good about the city. So too has many other people. This has led to Nottingham being the number one trending topic in the UK, and number three in the world at various times throughout the day.

Here's a shot of the giant banner that was put up on the Council House informing people of the project and how to get involved.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Photo Vogue

Here's a shot of another individualistic dresser. And what a combination; bowler hat, goggles, a tutu and army boots.

The last person that I saw wearing goggles like that was Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

What A Poser

The bride has a couple of grand-children through a previous marriage. The boy; Leighton loved having his photo taken. He asked me several times throughout the day to take his photo. Especially when were were back at the family home.

He also seemed quite relaxed with posing and somehow knew what to do. Almost as though he had done it before; even though he is only about seven. I would just say to him stand there and he would quite happily strike a pose for me. I think that I took more of him than I did of the bride and groom!

But as you can see, he is quite a photogenic little boy, and was more than happy to stand in various places for different poses. I'm sure his parents will be pleased with the shots I've done. Unfortunately his sister, who is a lot younger wasn't so forthcoming. Especially at the registry office, where she wouldn't smile, or sometimes turned her head away. She also seemed to like rubbing her eye with her finger.

It was also nice to shoot a youngster without the fear of an angry parent assuming that I was up to no good. I'm sure there are less photos taken of children these days than there used to be. Especially those of children playing outdoors, as seen through the lenses of photographers in more carefree days.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Champagne Reception

I've undertaken my first every wedding as the official photographer. Gail's brother was getting married, and as a wedding gift she suggested that we took the photos for them both.

I was a bit worried whether I would be able to do it, as I'm more used to taking photos of strangers on the street, than formal family occasions. Especially a wedding; one of the most important days in a woman's life, so I didn't want to muck it up.

Fortunately it was a lovely sunny day again and I don't think the photos turned out too bad. I took loads, so should be able to sort out some good ones. Ones that will look alright in an album. It was at a local registry office, so unfortunately it wasn't in a classically romantic location like a castle or a park. But I think I made the best of what was available.

At the reception I took some photos of the guests, the cake and the like. The small things that sometimes get forgotten; like this table display for example.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Shivver Me Timbers

There's a market on at the moment in the old Market Square with a ride range of products on sale. Food and drink are quite prevalent, so too are gifts of every description. From hats to carvings for a wall or garden.

As the sun has been shining proudly these past few days, the traders seem to be doing a roaring trade, with plenty of potential customers milling around and seeing what goodies are on offer.

I thought this warning to pirates was quite amusing, and something that the managers of many companies would love to have on the office or factory wall, just to remind the employees not to get too Bolshy or lazy, let alone demand a pay rise!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Here's Looking At You Kid

My daily photo today comes from yesterday evening's photography lighting course that Gail and I are both attending. Alan the photographer sadly announced that the model he had booked couldn't make it due to illness, so Gail and Pete; another student on the course stepped in as substitutes.

Here's Pete pretending to be Indiana Jones or Sam Spade. It's amazing what a difference a simple prop like a hat can make to a model and a photo.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Filling My Face

Kathy has dreamt up this week's Headbanger Challenge, and she's gone for everyone's favourite subject: food.

Now my first thought is to take a photo of some delicious food, and today's daily photo certainly shows that. But further details later. When thinking about food more deeply, the expression 'if music be the food of love, play on' sprang to mind. The famous quote from Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night, said by Orsino to try and overcome his infatuation with Countess Olivia. More music, less love.

So my header photo shows Rob Nicholls from local band Blue Yonder, who we went to see at the Contemporary back in March. We hope to see them again next month, when they play at a local pub. There's nothing better than listening to some good music whilst sipping an ice cold beer. Especially on a hot day like today.

Don't forget to look at the rest of the headbanger's pages and enjoy this piece of suitable dining music.

Now as I mentioned earlier, I attended one of the many 'ladies lunches' that I go on at work. Well why not? This one was very special, as one of my ladies received an invitation to sample the wares at a new cafe/restaurant that is going to be opened very soon. Possibly tomorrow. She asked if she could bring any friends. Yes, said the manager, as it will help us to see what things are like, and how we can cope during the lunchtime rush.

So eight of us descended on this new eatery. I don't think they knew what had hit them! There was only a small menu choice, so we all decided to go for the vintage high tea. Out came bone china cups, real tea leaves in real teapots. The pour your own variety, rather than the usual teabag. I went for a green tea, which was very pleasant. I could have drunk a pint of the stuff, it was that good.

The waitresses then came out with several cake stands. Three tiers. Bottom tier had smoked salmon, egg and mayo and ham sandwich fingers on it. Middle tier had scones and pots of jam and double cream for that authentic Devonshire taste, and the top tier held some inviting sticky cakes.

I took quite a few photos, as it was wonderfully decorated. There were two big skylights in the ceiling that let the sunlight flood through. I also Facebooked and Tweeted with a photo about it, and moments later 1900 fellow Tweeters had the details in the palm of their hand, as it had been re tweeted by one of my contacts. The power of social media.

The meal was free, but in return we had to fill in a feedback form. Which we gladly did. I made a couple of comments, which I hope they find useful and put into practice, as it might make that customer experience even better.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Cheeky Monkeys

Here's another shot from the window of the junk shop that opened recently in Beeston. A model of the Three Wise Monkeys:
"Speak no Evil, "See no Evil", "Hear no Evil".

Looking up the meaning on Wikipedia, the monkeys are Japanese and are called Kikazaru, who hears no evil, Mizaru, who sees no evil and Iwazaru, who speaks no evil. Sometimes there is a fourth monkey called Shizaru, who does no evil and is depicted crossing his arms.

Obviously someone who lives like that would be a very virtuous person; almost saintly in character. They of course may not even exist in the 21st century. Even the most honest of people (me included!) may break these cardinal rules in one way or another. Even unconsciously.

Monday, 21 May 2012


Coming home from drama rehearsal tonight I noticed that there was a wonderful salmon sky. Should be a sunny day tomorrow, which will probably be the first one this month!

The weather people seem to agree and have predicted temperatures of 25*c. I wonder if this is going to be the start of our summer at long last.

I took this photo at the university's Jubilee Campus. It's where we are doing our rehearsals. An ideal place really, as the play is about Raleigh bikes and the Jubilee Campus was built on the old Raleigh factory site.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

You Ought To See The Size Of The Chips!

On my way home from work, I cycle along part of the canal near Castle Boulevard and pass this mural every time. I've tried to take a photo of it before, but as it is so big, it didn't come out the way that I wanted.

So I decided to cycle along the other side of the water and see if it would work any better. And yes, I do believe it does.

I don't know who originally painted it, but it has been there for quite a while now. I can't remember when it first appeared though, or when I first noticed it.The paint is starting to fade a little now, so it could do with a touch-up or two.

Quite a few people, including youngsters like sitting along there with their fishing rods, in the hope that they'll catch something. Especially now with the light nights. They are a little annoying sometimes, when they spread all their stuff out on the pathway, and I have to try and dodge it, like I was some kind of stunt rider.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Meals On Wheels

There was an unusual vehicle parked in our local Lidl supermarket today, Lidl's own double decker bus. It's not been built for passengers, but to promote the supermarkets own brand foods.

As I had been rehearsing this morning, I was quite hungry at lunchtime, so I climbed aboard to see what was on offer. The buffet was upstairs, and I had some hand cooked crisps, some Greek yoghurt and muesli, a piece of delicious chocolate cake, and some wonderful caramel wafers. So tasty, that I had to go in an buy a packet. Gail tried one and also thought they were yummy. So much so that she had another one, only this time she covered it in Philadelphia chocolate cheese spread.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Getting Trendy

You may have noticed that a new logo has appeared on my blog. I only put it on yesterday. Almost immediately that it became available to download. No, I haven't started taking advertising, but it is promoting a new group aimed at making Nottingham even more famous, attractive and welcoming than it is already.

The brains behind the idea is a guy called Tony Bates. The concept was dreamt up by accident about a month ago, and has now gone huge, and has the backing of the City Council, local companies; both big and small, the local media and many people across the county; if not the world.

Most of the communications or comments that are passed around is through Twitter as it's instant. The group also has a Facebook page. The Trending day is a week on Tuesday (29th) . If you click on the logo, it will take you to their web page, where there's a countdown clock and further information about the idea.

I was at a meeting at lunchtime of organisations etc that have an interest in the project. As I have been promoting Nottingham through this blog for the past six years, I thought I would go along to see what I could do to help.

It was good to finally meet Tony in the flesh, as we have only been communicating through Cyberspace. I made a couple of suggestions of companies and individuals that may be interested in the plan, and Tony typed them in his iPad for further investigation.

I thought I would take a photo of Tony with the Get Nottingham Trending placard. And if you are interested in connecting with the group or Tony, here's the Twitter links that you will need: @NottinghamTrend, @babblingbates.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

3 Men In A Boat

What could be better than having a row in a boat on a river or lake with friends and having a good time and fighting as to who takes charge of the oars?

Well this is exactly what this small group of pals are doing in Highfields Park. I'm not sure whether they are students or not, as the university is only a stones throw away from the lake.

There used to be a small pleasure craft called the Maid Marian which did trips around the lake, but I think it was taken out of service a few years ago.

There are numerous swans, ducks and coots that live by the water, and people visit every day with bags of bread. Joggers are often running around the pathways with their earphones and water bottles.

This photo reminds me of an old joke I know about the manager of a boating lake who shouts out to one of the rowers who he thinks has been out a little too long; "Come in number nine, your time is up". His assistant sidles up and says "But Fred, we only have eight boats". Shocked at this revelation, Fred calls out "Oh, are you in trouble number six"?.....

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Lady With The Red Hair

Gail and I started a new studio lighting course with a local professional photographer called Alan Thompson tonight. So local, that he just lives round the corner from where we live!

He has a smallish studio in his garden, which could have been his garage at one time. But it was just the right size and full of bits and pieces for props; a few costumes and small pieces of furniture. He had also built a 'set' of some panelling and bookshelves which look quite realistic in his photos.

There are only four of us on the course, and we were all allocated 'jobs' such as props person or gofer. There was also Tomas who helped Alan set the lights and also operated the laptop at the end when Alan showed us the photos that he had taken of Carla; our model for the evening during the lesson as a slideshow.

It was very interesting to see how little changes to the direction of the lights or colour of the gels could make such a significant difference to the pictures.

To begin with though and as an ice breaker, Alan allowed us to spend some time taking photos of Carla in his garden, while the light was still good. Carla was a delight and although not a professional model (she works as a nurse at a local vets) she seemed to know what to do and casually struck a few poses for us. My photo shows her relaxing by Alan's pond.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Whether The Weather

I'm posting this week's Headbanger Challenge early as Gail and I are off out tomorrow night, and may be back late. Tom has come up with the theme this week and he has chosen 'trees and one that means a lot to you'.

My photo is of a tree that means a great deal to me personally. Yes it is a Christmas tree and it is in our front garden. I planted it in early 1997 after it had been decorated for the celebrations that year.

My mum and I had moved house in June 1996 after my died from an illness. We both felt that it was time for a move, and as my mum had heart problems too, we decided to look for a bungalow. These sorts of houses are quite rare in Beeston and so it was quite lucky that I just happen to spot one in an estate agent's window. We managed to secure it and moved in.

I bought the tree from a local greengrocers. It was fairly small and came with roots. So after the festive season I thought I would plant it out. 50/50 it would grow. Well after 16 years you can see that it has indeed grown, and is now almost as high as the house itself!

Do pop over to see what trees are special to them. And it you fancy being a Headbanger yourself, to do get in touch.

What strange weather we have had today. A bit of sun, some hail, some rain and lots of wind. I said to a co-worker after coming back from lunch, it's quite a nice September day out; sunny, but with a slight autumnal nip in the air. Alas it's still May, and the decent weather has yet to start.

Of course both plants and wildlife are struggling too, as they don't know what to do. Apparently this rapidly changing weather is playing havoc with the mating rituals of animals and birds, as they are not sure whether to have a bit of nookie, or hibernate.

Joking apart, this could have serious consequences, no babies will mean a drop in numbers; the food chain will be affected both for them and us, as plants aren't pollenated, so that may mean a shortage of some foods like fruit.

I just hope that the weather sorts itself out very soon and the flora and fauna can return to how things should be at this time of year. I took this photo tonight out of the upstairs window, as I thought the sky was a bit of an unusual colour.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Calling Dr Bones

They say that beauty is only skin deep, and here's proof. I snapped this skeleton yesterday at the show, and he's not that attractive; even with his moustache and fetching sombrero.

I didn't catch the name of the company on the stand, or what they did. Might have been a slimming product for all I know, and they are just highlighting the dangers of overdoing it!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Only Way Is Birmingham

Another trip to the NEC in Birmingham today, our third this year. Firstly the photography trade show in March, April saw us going to the Gadget Show and now we went to see the Beauty Show; a trade show about beauty and make-up.

There wasn't really anything of interest to me there, so I kept my eyes open for any interesting photo opportunities. Whilst I was walking up and down the aisles, I noticed a load of women queueing up for something. So I had to go and have a look, as I didn't think it was for the toilets!

They appeared to be waiting to meet and have their photo taken with this woman who I didn't recognise at all. I thought I would take her photo anyway, as she is obviously well known to some people and so I would just have to find out who she was.

I met up with Gail who was talking to one of the sellers and I showed her the photo, as I thought she might say that she is a well known make-up artist or something. She didn't know either. The guy who Gail was talking to had a look and thought that she might be off a TV series called The Only Way Is Essex. A drama serial about this group of friends who live in the south east.

I've never watched it myself, other than small clips and it didn't look very exciting; just these people sitting and chatting about their friends, love lives and how much money they are earning. It seemed a bit inane to me. Just a schedule filler I think. Just like Big Brother, ... Get Me Out of Here and the other shows that are cheap to make.

Apparently she is called Lauren Goodger and has just started selling her own range of fake tan products called Lauren's Way. It seems that every person off the TV has to have some money making sideline, whether it's writing novels, designing clothing or cooking food.

Seems like stars of the past had missed out, as we could have had John Noakes & Shep's dog food, Jimmy Hill designer footballs and Tom Baker scarves.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Fashion Victim

I planned to meet a Flickr friend in the Old Market Square at six pm. Whilst I was waiting for her to turn up with some photos of mine, I sat on the steps of the Council House and watched the people walking by to get home.

Lots of people went past, but they weren't very interesting photographically, until I spotted this girl approaching. It was the day-glo yellow and black 'gloves' that first attracted my attention, then I noticed the red tights and finally the zebra mini. What a combination of clashing colours and styles.

I'm not sure whether she's making a fashion statement or has no sense of style whatsoever. Either way, she's a colourful character.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Rooster Mouthburn

A new fast food restaurant opened today in the city centre. It is called Rooster Peri Peri, and as the name suggests they serve chicken pieces dipped in a spicy sauce.

The restaurant seemed to have taken ages to be fitted out. The building housed an Italian restaurant, but closed ages ago, so it's nice to see the building brought back to life. I've no idea how well they'll do, as there are a lot of eating houses of all kinds in the area, so there's strong competition for empty bellies.

I arrived just as the manager opened the door and some of the waitresses came out onto the street handing out free samples of chicken and little glasses of apple juice. Naturally I tried one. It was very nice, but quite spicy. Not a problem, as I can eat hot curries, but it did make my fingers a bit yellow and sticky. So I had to lick my fingers quite a few times to get them cleanish.

I had noticed a man haranguing the manager because the restaurant opened, ten minutes later than advertised. After eating his piece of chicken, he said very nice and disappeared. Moments later he came back with a fistful of serviettes which he thrusted into the managers' hands. "Here" he said, "You should have handed these out. It's good customer service".

The opening was being filmed by someone with a Nikon D7000; the same camera that Gail has. It looked a bit odd with the furry microphone attached to the hotshoe. Of course I had to take a photo of it with what the guy was seeing, and also a photo of the waitresses with the goodies.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Strike, Strike Strike

Another day, another strike. Once again the country has faced strikes from civil servants, council staff and other public service workers.

They are protesting as usual about government cuts, pensions and the the general state of the nation. Although I agree with what they are striking about, I don't think it does any good, as people are now resigned to the fact that the country is in a mess and it's going to take a long time to solve it.

How the present government is tackling it, is open for debate and whether it is the right way of doing it. I'm not sure whether the opposition have the best plans either, as possibly a lot of it is their fault to start with, and they could have done some of the things that people are calling for now, such as closing tax loopholes for companies and high earners when they were in power. So why didn't they?

Anyway here's a shot of the demo in the Old Market Square. It was very windy today, so their flags and banners were waving madly in the breeze.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Maybe Tonight Josephine!

Hey, it's Headbanger Wednesday, and I've chosen the theme this week. After much thought I've come up with the topic of Doctors and Nurses.

Nottingham has a very large teaching hospital called the Queens Medical Centre. Gail works there. Not as a doctor or nurse, but as a receptionist on one of the wards. She enjoys her job, organising the patients files, liaising with doctors, porters and ambulance staff and all the other tasks that admin staff undertake besides answering the telephone. There is a bit of patient contact too, which Gail loves to do, as she is such a caring and thoughtful person.

But the doctor that I've used isn't a real doctor (well he might be in real life) but a performer in a Morris dancing group that entertained the audience on St George's Day. Besides doing some actual Morris dancing, they performed a little story about how St George killed the dragon. The tall tale involved the Devil, a policeman and this quack doctor.

I like his costume, especially the waistcoat, although I don't think I would be brave enough to wear it in public, unless it was at a fancy dress party. The top hat and tinsel is quite amusing too. The doctor told some really bad jokes. So bad that I have fortunately forgotten them!

Don't forget to 'do the rounds' and see how the other members have interpreted my theme, and enjoy this tenuously inspired piece of music. And if you fancy joining in the madness every Wednesday, as we are short of members at the moment, then please do get in touch.

Today's photo is a return to Sunday's adventure at Wollaton Park. This time here's a shot of Napoleon himself having a walk out in the gardens with, who I take to be Josephine. Although she does look a little plain to be the wife of the French emperor. Maybe she is in plain clothes, so she won't get noticed by the paparazzi of the time!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Tuesday Night Live

Another trip to the Playhouse tonight with my dear wifey. We've just been to see the world premiere of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning - The Musical.

Yes that classic tale of Nottingham bred Raleigh worker, Jack the Lad and hard drinker Arthur Seaton has been turned into an all singing, all dancing theatre production. Well not singing and dancing all the time, but a fair bit of it from the opening scenes at the White 'Oss, to the closing scene of Arthur getting ready to settle down with his now girlfriend Doreen.

The songs were well sung and for a first night there were no forgotten words or obvious mishaps. There was a small sound problem with the casts' microphones; a bit of buzzing, but nothing too distracting.

The stage set was well conceived and thought out, with one side being a bedroom, and the other a kitchen/living room which also doubled up as Arthur's local boozer. In the middle was an area for the rest of the action to take place, and behind were the gates to the old bike factory, which were hidden by a screen. Joining the two halves was a sort of bridge which the actors used for different reasons throughout the show.

All in all it was a very professional production. Maybe not one of the polished Andrew Lloyd Webber spectacles that everybody has seen these days. But then Nottingham isn't the West End. I'm not sure if it has the panache to transfer to the London stage. But it will be good to see what the future brings for Arthur, Brenda, Jack and Doreen.

Alas I have no photos of the evening to share with you, instead here's a shot of a window display of a local gift shop, which includes the famous Alan Sillitoe novel waiting to be picked up and read by someone who can relax on this chair, with its sausage dog cushion.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Cannon Fodder

The battle re-enactment that I watched yesterday at Wollaton Park was quite exciting, and very loud. Especially that of the cannons they were using. Of course they used blanks and special gunpowder, as there wouldn't be much left of the audience if they had used real ammo! But the effect was still very realistic.

Here's a shot at the precise moment that the cannon's lit fuse met the 'gunpowder' and you can see the resulting explosion. I had to take quite a few shots to get it. Even with rapid shooting, it took a while. But I am quite pleased with the end result. You can also see the scraps of whatever holds the gunpowder together, possibly paper, flying up into the air.

I guess the punchline for this shot would be "Nikon shoots cannon"!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

They Don't Like It Up Em!

I went to Wollaton Park this morning, but something really strange happened to me while I was there. I came over all dizzy and had a bit of blurred vision. I closed my eyes for a few seconds so I wouldn't faint. Opening them again, I was shocked to see that somehow things in the park looked different. I couldn't put my finger on what though. Puzzled as to how this could have happened, I suddenly heard some rifle shots and yelling in the distance.

I dived for cover, as I didn't know what the devil was going on. I couldn't see any of the visitors in the park, cars; dogs or anything. I was still dressed in my modern clothes and my Nikon was still in my hand, with a fully charged battery.

I heard some more shots and thought I had better go and see what was happening. I didn't think that the park was being used as a film location again, as I would have heard about it by now through various means on the Internet. I then heard some people behind me. Turning I saw some men dressed as soldiers from Napoleon's time. Somehow I had managed to go back in time some 300 years!

I hid behind a convenient tree and watched what was happening. A battle was raging between some British and French soldiers. In the distance I could see an encampment of tents and smoke from a fire. I was stunned as to how this could have happened to me of all people, and on a Sunday morning too. Fortunately I had my Tamron zoom lens attached to my D90, so could rattle off some shots without being seen.

Here's one of the photos I took undercover. British infantrymen charging after the French soldiers, yelling and having fixed bayonets on their rifles. After a while of watching the skirmish, I then went dizzy again. I blinked and checking my mobile, I found myself back in 2012. The soldiers, tents, the battle. All gone.

When I arrived home I downloaded the photos I had taken. Something must have happened to the SD card, as all the pictures had come out in a strange sepia colour as you can see in this one. The time travelling must have upset the electrodes in either the camera or memory card. Or possibly both. I hope it wears off, as I don't want to end up taking dated shots like I've got one of those old plate glass cameras from the Victorian age.

I wonder if it will happen to me again? I'd love to be able to choose where and when I went. Would love to be in London during the 1960s for instance. Or the 1930s, to capture all that art deco architecture.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Flaming Stars And Summer Kisses

I saw these record sleeves propped up in a second hand record shop in town, and thought it would make a good still life, although Bob Dylan looks like he is in jail with the reflection of some railings opposite.

Rob's Records on Hurts Yard is a Nottingham institution for hunting out those obscure, or long forgotten albums. The shop had a re-fit last year, as before the shop was full of boxes and racks of records, singles, CDs videos and books that appeared to be in no particular order and seemed to be a bit of a fire hazard to me.

Anyway Rob has had a spring clean, and everything seems to be more in an order than it was before. Although naturally a lot of the character has been lost with the removal of all the cardboard boxes, plastic bags and the like. Still if you're after any record then Rob is bound to have it on his racks.

Friday, 4 May 2012


I had lunch with one of my co-workers today. We went to what is now becoming the place to do lunch, as most of my fellow employees go there as well. In fact I think today has marked about my sixth visit since it opened earlier this year.

Of course I usually see it in the daylight, but as I went to the Playhouse on Wednesday evening, Gail and I got to see it in the dark, as the restaurant is directly opposite the theatre. So it was just a simple case of crossing the road and finding a good shot or two, without too many cars, street signs and other distractions that can ruin a photograph.

I decided to turn the photo black and white; as besides having a liking for monochrome images, I think it adds to the picture, as bizarre as it sounds. But it does give a bit of mystery to the scene, not seeing everything in the image.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Choose Life

Passing through the Old Market Square I was somewhat surprised to see this guy dressed as a 1980s disco diva dancing through the water feature.

He was being filmed too, so of course I had to ask what was going on. Apparently the Driving Standards Agency are making a new video highlighting road safety which will be available on YouTube by the end of the month.

I watched for a while while he went through his moves. When they had done I explained about my blog and gave one of the film crew my business card. I said that I would be blogging tonight and putting one of the photos I took on.

Maybe if they don't lose my card, I'll get sent a link to the video, so I'll be able to see what the finished film looks like, and how the dancing man fits into it all.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

A Monster Hit

Well it's back after a small break! Yes the Headbanger Challenge has returned after a couple of weeks away, due to holidays. Stewart has suggested this weeks theme of public transport. A very easy theme, and one with no shortage of ideas, buses, trains, taxis, even aeroplanes.

Now if you are a regular visitor on Wednesday, you'll know that I like to put up headbanger photos that are a bit off the wall. And this weeks is no exception. Yes it's a bus, but it's actually a child's ride in the shape of a good old London Routemaster.

I actually took it at Morecambe. Gail and I were walking along the main road along the seafront when I spotted several of this kind of ride. You pop in a coin or two and the ride wobbles about for about five minutes, and you little child screams with glee. There was a space rocket, a helicopter and my heart leapt when I saw this bus. Just the sort of thing I was looking for.

Please pop over to the rest of the teams' pages and see how they have interpreted the theme. Also we are on the lookout for some more ace photographers to join the gang and make those Wednesday's special. Do contact any one of us with your details and we well welcome you in with warm smiles. You know you want to!

And for your musical treat this week, here's the into to the film version of that long running, and very popular TV comedy from the early 1970s 'On the Buses'. Bizarrely produced by Hammer Films, who were more at home with stories about Dracula, the occult and monsters, than the adventures of a sex mad driver, his conductor pal and the bossy inspector, whose catch phrase was "I'll get you for that Butler"!

As a special treat, I took Gail to the Playhouse tonight to see a play about Mary Shelley; the wife of Percy Shelley and author of Frankenstein.

It was a terrific production, excellent acting, great lighting effects and clever use of the one stage set. It was a long play as well, at nearly three hours including interval.

I wasn't sure whether Gail would enjoy it, although I have read rave reviews about it. But I didn't have to fear, as Gail said that she thought it was brilliant. Here is one of the posters advertising the play, which I took after we left. It runs until Saturday, so if you want something special to see, do pop along if you can and have a great time.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Cafe Culture

Our great friend Stewart (iMac) was a bit naughty yesterday, as he posted a couple of photos of me on his blog from our trip together to Morecambe. So just to be fair, I thought I would show a photo of him. He he.

Here we are inside the bar area of the Midland Hotel. Stewart had just ordered some hot drinks for us all; to sip whilst we watched what was going on along the promenade and sea front. The sunlight was streaming through the big windows. Stewart has put a photo on today showing the rear of the hotel and the part that we sat in. If you want to see it, here's a link to his blog.