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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Chaos Theory

I have come up with this weeks Headbanger theme, and for some reason decided on 'chaos'. I have no idea why. Possibly because Gail and I are having a bit of a spring clean, and as I was typing the email to let everyone know what the theme is going to be, my eyes fell on a pile of boxes that need to be gone through, and the idea sort of stuck.

So what has the theme got to do with a crumbling ruin? Well the answer is political chaos and the building is the remains of Beauvale Priory.

Imagine England in the early part of the sixteenth century. Henry the Eighth is on the throne and there is turmoil across the land. He wants to many Anne Boleyn, but because of the Catholic faith that runs through the country he is not allowed to.

So what does he do? Well he states that the Pope is no longer the leader of the church in England, he is, and anyone disagreeing with this new order is basically murdered.

This is where Beauvale Priory comes in. The Priors of this Carthusian monastery John Houghton and Robert Lawrence, together Augustine Webster  travelled to London to ask if their order can be excused this new rule. The king says no, they must recant. They say that they cannot, so they are killed in the most barbaric way.

So begins the disillusion of the monasteries and the Carthusian order is disbanded. The king marries Anne Boleyn until she is executed in 1536 and then marries Jane Seymour until she is succeeded by the other three wives.

Do pop over to see how the others have fared with this possibly tricky theme.

Todays blog post is a somewhat happier affair, with a shot of the lovely and talented Georgia Rose, who entertained us last night whilst the judges were deciding on the winner of the music competition.

She was very good, and probably would have won if she had entered. Here's a demo recording of one of her songs

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The 'N' Factor

                                                                                                                                                 1Girl 1Boy
    Band Of Jackals                                                                                                                   

Music was definitely in the air tonight as Alice Cooper was playing a concert at the Royal Centre. I thought about going, but the tickets were £36, and besides a couple of songs, I don't really know any of his back catalogue.

So instead I went to see the final of 'Notts Factor', a talent contest for local musicians. It was free entry, but contributions of £3 for Framework were encouraged. I happily paid that, as the charity helps homeless people.

There were ten acts all vying for the winners position. The prizes included £500 cash, an interview on local radio, a photoshoot and help with recording their songs.

There was a good selection of artists; several acoustic guitarists, folk band that included a cello, and a couple of rock bands. The acts had the opportunity of playing two songs each, and were then judged by a panel of four people, which included one of the bosses of the Playhouse and another local musician.

In the end the judges found it impossible to pick one artist, so they decided to award a second place prize. This went to Band of Jackals; a high energy rock band, and my favourite of the night, as they worked well together and the guitarist on the left was amazing.

1Girl 1Boy won after much deliberation. They sounded a bit like Portished. Quite melodic, but dark songs. it will be interesting to see how all the acts fair in the near future.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Just Buggin'

Nottinghamshire has created a number of well known music acts down the years, such as Alvin Lee, Paper Lace and Alvin Stardust, but none has made such big impact and so quickly as Jake Bugg.

He has now become a household name in the Nottinghamshire area, and probably the rest of the country, as his debut album reached number one in the charts last week. And for a seventeen year old, that is quite an achievement. Even the wonderful Kate Bush was nineteen when The Kick Inside and the single Wuthering Heights topped the charts back in 1978.

Jake comes from Clifton, a large working class suburb of Nottingham, and while he talks with a local accent, his singing voice is attune to that of either a young Bob Dylan or Donovan. He plays the guitar too and writes his own songs.

His rise to fame has been quite meteoric, as this time last year he was hardly known. Now he has a number one album and has supported Noel Gallagher on tour. He will be playing in Nottingham in November, then embarks on a European tour early next year.

Here's the video of his latest song, which was filmed locally a couple of months ago.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Fields Of Gold

Well the clocks went back in the early hours, so that means dark mornings and early dark nights for the next few months.

I detest it, even though we get an extra hour to spend in bed and you know that Christmas isn't too far away. But it always makes me depressed, as you know that winter's here and that means bad weather and feels like perpetual darkness.

I do think it is time the idea was scrapped, or at least curtailed for the shortest time possible; say from mid November to early February.

I always look forward to March and the return of the lighter nights, and I can see and be seen as I'm cycling home.

Here is a shot of some farmland up at Eastwood that I shot at the end of September, when I visited Beauvale Priory, as I didn't take any photos today.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Keep On Running

We raced to the Playhouse on Tuesday night to see the premiere of a new production of the Alan Sillitoe story written in the late 1950s.

It is about a young lad who gets into trouble and ends up in a youth offenders centre, or Borstal as it used to be known, but he is a good runner and so is encouraged to compete for the prison in a race against a public school.

It was a good production with a clever use of a predominately empty stage and back projection. There was no interval and the actor who played the antihero was on stage all the time and without a break. This came to about 90 minutes. A bravado performance, which included a lot of running, done on a hidden treadmill.

There was a film version made in 1962 which starred Tom Courtney. It also featured a very young John Thaw as another Borstal boy, before changing sides and playing coppers on TV in The Sweeney and Inspector Morse.

Here's a short to a promotional film made for the production which might be coming to a theatre near you in the next few weeks -

Friday, 26 October 2012

Telling The Time

Much has now been removed from the old Odeon building, and you can get a really clear view of the Nottingham city skyline from the vantage point that I visit to take my photos of the site.

You can seen the dome and clock of the Council House and the various rooftops of the surrounding shops and offices.

It shouldn't be too long before they demolish the front and the rear of the former cinema. So that should bring some more rare opportunities for photographs.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Seven Years Bad Luck

A bit of art today for some quiet contemplation.

A supposedly broken mirror reflecting the roof of the gallery where it is on show. In this case Barton's in Chilwell.

I'm not sure what the significance of the feather is. It might not even be part of the image. but dropped by a visitor as a joke or to add to the piece.

Whatever the truth is, do study it and make your own mind up.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Lost In Transit

This weeks Headbanger theme is 'lost' and comes courtesy of Kathy.

Well I am certainly feeling lost at the moment without my Mac. Still struggling on with my Netbook, whilst waiting for the Apple technician to call. Pressing on regardless, although it makes uploading a photo a long process.

Talking of which this weeks entry is from the archive. February 2009 to be precise. Fortunately I have been slowly exporting my photos to an external hard drive, so I was able to find something, as Kathy's email had somehow got lost in Cyberspace and didn't know what the theme was until Monday evening, so not giving me much time to find something new.

This was taken on Queen Street. I saw the guy on the phone standing next to this poster and thought it would make a great pic. Is he ringing for directions?

To see what the others are up to, I'm directing you to their pages.

Today's photo is another one from the archives and is also on the theme of lost. In this case petrol from this tanker. I had heard that the police had blocked the road and that the fire service were on hand, so I just had to pop over in my lunch hour to see the action. Fortunately most of the fuel had been soaked up by using sand, so there wasn't that much to see. But I think it is a good visual record of the event.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Misty Moments

Well it's taken me ten minutes to upload this picture of the university lake, as my iMac is still poorly. Apple are meant to be ringing me tomorrow night, so hopefully they will be able to sort things out and I'll be up and running again.

I am finding using the small laptop hard work at times & it's a little slow. I've hardly been on Facebook, as it's a bit tricky to use. Sorry friends, I'm not ignoring you on purpose.

I'm going to try and upload my header picture. So that should be fun!

It's quite hard work using my little Netbook

Monday, 22 October 2012

The Last Picture Show

Well back to work today, after having a week off. My first port of call at lunchtime was to visit the site of the old Odeon cinema and see how the demolition is going.

Well I was surprised in two ways. Firstly that the both ends of the building were still up, and secondly, that they had cleared nearly all the middle away and that you can now see the garden of the Bromly House private library.

I don't know how long the demolition is goin g to take, but I shall be visiting it at regular intervals and reporting back with photos.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

It's All Over Now

Well our last few hours of freedom are slowly slipping away, as we have to go back to work tomorrow, after having the week off and spending it at home together.

We both have fairly enjoyable, if not very well paid jobs, rather than having to do something that we both dread, but have to do it to live.

I am rather disappointed to find out that my Mac has developed a fault, after switching it on tonight and just getting a grey screen; so I am having to write this entry on my little Netbook. I am also not able to put on the photo that I was planning to. Instead, here's a shot from Glasgow, which I took earlier this year, on our last holiday away; albeit for only a few days.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Jammin For Oxfam

Beeston was taken over by music and musicians of all kinds today, all in the name of charity.

The town hosted the second Oxjam event; a countrywide celebration of music, with the aim of raising lots of money for Oxfam.

Things kicked off at lunchtime with a gig by The Jar Family in the Square. A band clearly influenced by groups like Oasis and the Stone Roses. And very good they were too. Melodic, and all original tunes as far as I can tell.

The crowd loved them, and people kept popping coins into the collecting buckets. I put some in too, as they were worth it.

Music fans have been invited to buy a wristband for £5. For this they could visit all the locations and see all the bands that were appearing during the day and evening. The locations include cafes, pubs and Barton's, which presently are showing an art exhibition.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Friday Fun

Well, it's the end of the week, and as we have been off, the time has gone very quickly.  the last couple of days of freedom before going back to work next week.

No new photos taken, so this one was taken a couple of weeks ago at a market in the city centre. Although it looks like a illustration, it is actually a photograph. Taken with my OM-D, and using one of the special 18 art filters it has on offer.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Seen Better Days

Gail and I have been off work this week. We haven't gone away at all. We're having what they call a 'staycation'. Staying at home and trying to have a bit of a spring clean. Or is that an Autumn clean, as it's October?

Besides going to the alternative fashion and burlesque show on Monday, I haven't really taken any photos while being away from the office.

This photo of a decaying and rusting door, is one from the archive. Not very old; Saturday actually. I saw it wen I went to the art exhibition in Chilwell. It wasn't part of the exhibition, but part of the Barton's building that houses it.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Symbols And Meanings

Richard has chosen this week's Headbanger Challenge theme of Symbols. And it's certainly one to get the little grey cells working overtime, as Hercule Poirot would say, as he's trying to solve the latest murder mystery.

My little grey cells certainly worked overtime in trying to think up something interesting and unusual for my photo entry. I found the image that I was looking for at an art exhibition that Gail & I went to on Saturday.

The exhibition had the unusual title of The Carnival of Monsters and the image I thought 'bingo' to was one by artist Emma Dex Dexter. It is a sculpture actually Called Vortex2. You look at the artwork through a small perspex window and it symbolises the TARDIS and creates the illusion of infinite space.

I spoke to Emma, and she was happy for me to take a photograph of her graphic artwork. I used one of the art filters on my OM-D to boost the energy of the piece. I showed Emma the photo and she asked if I could send her a copy, which I happily did.

Don't forget to pop over and see the rest of the team's images, and enjoy this musical interlude.

At the invitation of a photographer friend of ours, we joined him on his small boat called 'Sarah', this evening, which is berthed at a marina not too far away from us. We were joined by another friend, and we spent a very pleasent couple of hours taking some night shots like this one and chatting about our favourite hobby over some tea and biscuits.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

And Something For The Ladies

The show last night that Gail & I went to mainly featured women. Either as models, make up artists or clothes designers. And all very pleasing on the male eye.

There were a lot of men in the audience. But they had either just come to watch, or were taking photographs, or filming it for publicity purposes.

I did bump into this eccentric looking guy when we first arrived. He happily posed for a snap, and certainly stood out with his handlebar moustache and purple Willy Wonka top hat.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Fashion, Turn To The Left, Fashion, Turn To The Right

We both spent an enjoyable evening tonight shooting burlesque dancers and alternative clothing models at an event called Eclectic.

It took place at the Pitcher & Piano; a converted church, that is now a pub. A little bit ironic really, considering how the many of the worlds religions view alcohol as the work of the Devil.

There were quite a lot of people there, and the front of the runway was clogged up with photographers and video people. So much so that it was difficult to get a good shot. Gail had sneaked herself near back of the stage at the point where the artistes enter. I followed her, and we pretty much had this area to ourselves.

Obviously the lighting wasn't as good here, but we managed by cranking up the ISO etc, or waiting until the models were in a good spot. Like with this one, who is wearing an outfit inspired by nature.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Why, Why, Why Delilah?

Some of you may have heard of Scott Kelby. He is an American photographer and author of many books about photography and Photoshop. He also devised the photowalk five years ago. This is where a number of photographers get together and stroll around taking pictures.

Gail & I did exactly that late yesterday afternoon in Nottingham city centre. Ours was one of many groups across the world doing the same. I think there was around 28 on ours. Some faces I knew well and some were new to me. So it was good to meet some more local camera buffs.

We caught up with the group near the Playhouse, then ambled our way down to the Old Market Square. We then went to the Lace Market area, then down by the canal and ending up at the 'Trip' for a beverage.

Gail, myself and a friend called Lamar had somehow broken off from the main group. Although I think many went off in little groups, as they had spotted something. We stopped outside the well known  delicatessen's called delilah on Middle Pavement and took a few photos of the window displays etc. One of the assistants asked if we were from the press, as she explained that as they were an award winning deli, they often got media types popping in for a shot or two. She also said that this was their last day in that location, as they were moving to bigger premises around the corner.

We explained who were were and she said that she would find out whether it would be OK for us to shoot inside. She came back and said that the manager had said yes. So we trooped in and started taking some shots. Just then another guy, presumably the owner said that we were making his (few) customers uncomfortable and asked us to leave.

I only managed to take two shots inside; with this one being the better of the pair. Gail said that she didn't manage any, and I'm not sure if Lamar took any as he likes to take his time in lining up a shot.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Ghost Bus

This photography lark does make you get out and about in search of a picture or two. Today has been no exception.Firstly I popped in the former Barton's bus depot in Chilwell to check out this years art exhibition, which goes under the name of the Carnival of Monsters. Then Gail and I went on a walk with a load of photographers, which was part of Scott Kelby's fifth worldwide annual photo walk. Then we went back to Barton's for their open evening and a chance to meet the artists.

I went last year, and they had some good stuff on show. This year has been the same. The highlight for me, and perhaps many others has been the siting of this old Barton's bus from the 1950s. I just love the way the paint has peeled away, the rust and its overall state of decay.

There is an interesting story behind this bus. It was one of 10 that Barton's bought in 1956. This particular one has been standing in a farmers field in Norfolk for the past 20 years. Hence it's unique appearance. The exhibit is also acting as a mini cinema, as a film has surfaced showing one of these buses taking tourists around different cities in Italy during 1959.

An unusual holiday too, as you are flown out to an Italian airport, where you are then picked up by coach, and then spend two weeks trundling to Venice, Florence, Rome etc. All for the grand price of £79, Which in today's money would probably be around £600.

The movie itself is going to be uploaded to Bartons' website, so everyone can enjoy it. Here's a LINK to their website, so you can see the film for yourself.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Studio 54 Reborn

West Bridgford tonight wasn't exactly downtown New York, but it was the nearest thing you could get to take you back to the heady disco beat of the 1970s.

Gail and I went to shoot a 70s night at a local pub. We were invited to by Rupert, the leader and guitarist of the band that were playing. They are called The Disco Prophets. In fact Rupert and I used to play together as children in London, back in the real 1970s. Alas not musically. Just kids stuff.

Strangely enough, he and is wife moved to Nottingham earlier this year for his job. I didn't know until his aunt told me, when we went to visit her in Rye, where she lives earlier this year.

It was a good night too. With plenty of tunes from that era going down nicely with the audience. Many of whom had dressed up for the occasion.

There was a dancing competition too. Gail had paid to enter. Not that she had any intention to do any dancing, unless it was with her OM-D. But she wanted go pay, as the money was going to charity. Oddly she won, as no one else in the audience had entered, even though they were all happily dancing away all night to the tunes. The band gave her a cup as a prize. Not a silver one, but a drinking one, with instructions of how to moonwalk on the side. Someone also won a cup for the best 70s outfit.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Home From Home

Does anyone fancy living in this Tudor building that has some history to it? It's in a prime location too; directly opposite the castle.

Unfortunately there's a couple of drawbacks. Namely its size, there's no car parking or garden and it's next door to a busy college.

It used to house the lace museum, but the city council closed it a few years ago, and now they have put it, and a few other buildings up for sale.

The house has had quite an interesting history. It dates from the mid 1400s and was located in another part of the city. In 1735 it was used by a wine merchants. It has also been a cafe. Then when the building of the Broad Marsh shopping centre began in 1969, it was broken up and transported half a mile away to its present location.

Whoever buys it will need to have some imagination to make the best use of this unusual and unique building.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Sight Unseen

Yes, it's Wednesday again, and that can only mean one thing - the headbanger Challenge.

Tom's choice this week, and he's gone for yellow. Now how to interpret this theme? I mused long and hard. Do I go for something easy, or something a bit more esoteric.                                                                      
Whilst I was venturing up the multi-storey car park yesterday, I saw just the thing. A number of yellow men painted on the ground.  They looked freshly painted too. In fact the whole of the top storey appeared brand new. Maybe as the car park is so big, no vehicle has had to go up on the roof.

For those that may not realise what it symbolises, it is the sign for the area in which pedestrians can walk safely, without having the fear of being knocked down. But as everybody should know, you should always be alert when around moving vehicles.

Don't forget to pop over and see the rest of the entries.

Talking of vehicles, the musical interlude this week comes courtesy of the Banana Splits. A strange children's show from the late 1960s, where odd looking creatures drove around in six wheel buggies.

Today's post is one of the photos that I took whilst on the roof of the car park. You can see the clock tower belonging to the railway station; the British Waterways building, that is now home to a mixture of bars, a comedy club and a gym. Finally at the back is the castle.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Digging For Victory

I went up to the top floor of a new multi-storey car park today for the first time. It's been open about six months now, but this is the first time that I have ventured inside.

It's a tall one, and is located close to the railway station. I enjoy seeing the city from up high, but I don't like being so exposed. I have a fear of heights, and don't like going to the edge, as I think the wall is going to break and I will plunge to my fate.

So I took this photo with my arm outstretched over the side, camera gripped strongly in my hand, and the strap wrapped around my wrist, so I didn't drop it.

The building site was the original car park for the station, but as you can see they've dug a great big hole and going to fill it with concrete, ready for the new tram stop, or transport hub as the planners are calling it.

So I have two building sites to visit now. Work is commencing slowly on the old Odeon. I had a look today and a lot of the rubble has been taken away. Maybe I'll show an updated picture at the weekend.

Monday, 8 October 2012

He's Making A Monkey Out Of Me

Another shot from the Goose Fair which finished on Sunday for another year. It's hard to believe, but the fair has been going almost every year for over 700 years. Always during the first week of October. This year is the 718th.

The first fair began in somewhere around 1284, and was ostensibly a market for selling geese. hence it's name. Later it included cheese and other things. The idea of a fair didn't begin until Victorian times where it stood in the Old Market Square. It was moved to it's present location of the Forest recreation ground during the 1920s.

Locals always look forward to 'gooseh', although I don't really share in the excitement. Far too noisy for my liking. This guy carrying this giant chimp doesn't look too happy either.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Here Is The News

Here's our little Marmalade trying to read a newspaper. I don't think he was doing very well. Not because he can't actually read, but he's trying to read it upside-down.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Posing In The Park

This is Stevi,  a goth model who may look rather formidable, but is actually a bit of a sweetheart. She isn't a full time model. Stevi is actually a student nurse who is specialising in becoming a midwife, and has so far successfully delivered a dozen babies. This only goes to show that looks can be deceptive.

I took this photo while she was posing for another photographer. She is sitting on the steps that lead up to the rear garden of Wollaton Hall.

Catching Up

I've been going through Blogger tonight and deleting all the spam message that I get. It's nearly as bad as my Hotmail account for rubbish messages. I also realised that I've missed publishing a number of posts, for one reason or another.

So here's the first of these posts. This is Emma, one of the many models that I have been shooting this year. Very pretty girl, and love her 'toxic' jumper.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Fairground Attraction

As I explained last night, I primarily went to Goose Fair to seek out some interesting people to photograph, but didn't really find any.  I did however come across this rather attractive young lady.

It looks like she has just won a cuddly duck.  There were lots of cuddly toys on offer for testing one's skills. Hoop-la, shooting, lucky cards etc. I wonder how she won hers?

She was right to wear a scarf, as it was quite cold last night. Still it is the time of year now for cold nights. It's raining while I am writing this. I quite enjoy listening to the sound of the raindrops falling on the windows. Just glad not to be out in it though.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Special Constable

Although Stewart gave us the theme a couple of weeks ago, as he was off on yet another holiday, I still pondered over how to interpret the word. Early ideas included a couple of dice, showing the two sixes, or two boxes of eggs. But dismissed them as amateurish. So I was on the lookout for something more unusual.

Then inspiration hit me last Friday when I went into a local cafe to buy a cake, as it was the McMillan Tea Party day, to raise funds for their nursing service. After buying my rocky road, I turned and saw this giant clock on the wall. It hit me. Not literally of course, but the twelve hours on the dial did. Perfect.

Do have a look at how the others have viewed the theme, and enjoy this little musical interlude.

Gail received a call this afternoon from a photography friend of ours saying that he was off to Goose Fair tonight, and wondered if we fancy tagging along.  Of course, any chance of taking some photos is a good idea to me.

So we met up him and spent a couple of hours walking around and looking for something to shoot. He agreed with me that it was a bit uninspiring. There's only so many flashing lights and loud music one can take. Gail seemed to be having more fun, taking some shots on her Olympus, and using the special art filters

I was on the lookout for interesting looking people, but didn't really find any until we came across this policeman with an obvious sense of humour. Not sure if bunny ears are standard issue these days amongst our boys in blue, but he did look amusing. Gail said hello and asked if she could take his picture. He was happy to pose for her, and I took one or two as well. He asked if could get a copy. Of course we said yes and I gave him my business card. So hopefully he'll have a look at this blog and recommend it to his friends and colleagues.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Castle View

I was in the city centre a bit longer tonight as I was doing some paid market research. Beer tasting actually. Nice work when I can get it!

So it was beginning to get dark when I left the bar where the market research was taking place. It had been raining too, so the sky was cloudy and the ground wet.

I thought the castle gatehouse looked quite inviting to take a photo of. Especially with the light glowing from the little window. Instead of the standard touristy shot, I went for a very low artistic view, with the camera resting on the ground.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Living History

I went up to Eastwood yesterday afternoon to see the Medieval encampment that had been set up in the farmland surrounding Beauvale Priory.

The weather wasn't particularly brilliant. Windy, cold and spitting of rain. But that didn't put off the visitors walking around and looking at the tents, the people dressed up as knights etc and the demonstrations that the people were doing.

The battle between the knights was quite exciting to watch, and the commentary was amusing. The insults and banter between the men was funny and they managed to keep their language to within the period.

I saw a friend of mine who has been in some of the community plays with me. She was playing one of the monks who lived at the priory and giving tours of the ruins. Very much like I did a few months ago.