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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Head And Shoulders Above The Rest

Besides the Daleks, the biggest foe of the Doctor is the Cybermen.  Those seven foot unemotional androids who shout "delete" as they shoot anything that stands in their way to domination of the universe.

They first made their appearance in 1966, and have been appearing on and off since then. A little curious fact is that they battled every doctor except Jon Pertwee. Which sadly makes only the Daleks to face each of the eleven variations of the Timelord.

I went to the Contemporary today, as their latest exhibition has just opened.It's called "The Universal Addressibility of Dumb Things".  A rather pompous title for a exhibition if I've ever heard one.

Still what was on show, is a bit better than some that's been on lately. I was therefore surprised to see the head of a Cyberman as an exhibit.  After I took the photo, I was told off, as apparently this time you couldn't take pictures, due to some complex copyright problem between the exhibitors. This is a great shame, as I wanted to take a shot of a giant 30ft Felix, that was also on show. I feel a sneaky pic adventure coming on.

Monday, 29 April 2013


Frank Meadow Sutcliffe was a Whitby based photographer, who in the late 19th and early 20th century recorded many images of fisherfolk, street scenes, buildings and ships in his adopted town.

The images he took are quite striking and make for excellent historical records of how the people lived and worked there over a hundred years ago.

Sadly we didn't get to see any of his original images at a local art gallery, but in recognition of his art, I have tried to emulate his style by using Lightroom on one of my photos that I took in Scarborough yesterday.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

A Costumed Love Affair

Well there were certainly a lot of people walking around Whitby in some fantastic, strange and outlandish costumes.

Here's just a few of the many characters that we came across on our travels along the cobbled streets of the town. So many variations on a theme, that I could post different images all week.

The feathered ensemble that this woman is wearing is quite incredible. And I love the face she pulled whilst I was taking their photograph.

Whilst looking at the Victorian railway station, we came across that couple in period costume. As luck would have it, a train had appeared that was pulling some original carriages, as part of the North York Moors line. So we asked them to pose by it, and I think it makes for quite a good shot.

We came across 'Gandalf' as he was walking around a corner. He was with his wife and carrying a local newspaper. His was was dressed normally, so he handed her the paper, whilst he looked mystically into the distance.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Hello Whitby

Here are three shots from this good old English seaside resort, that fortunately hasn't changed that much since the Victorian times.

The first shows the famous abbey which was founded by Benedictine monks in 657AD, and like Beauvale Priory here in Nottingham was closed by Henry VIII during the Reformation of the 1530s. It is a Grade I listed building and now owned by English Heritage.

The second shows the harbour area and the inlet of the River Eske. Whitby was, and still is famous as a fishing port, and we've eaten some very tasty fish and chips using local ingredients.

Also on a fishing theme is this pile of cages that are used for catching crabs and lobsters. There were loads of them all piled up, ready for the next trip out into the North Sea.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Forty Eight Hours Too Late

We are off to Whitby today to see the Goth festival that goes on every year at this small Yorkshire seaside town.

The Goths choose Whitby because it is where Bram Stoker wrote Dracula and where his ship landed after sailing from Transylvania. And so every year, many dress up and head off for a weekend of fun.

Besides the Goths, there's Steampunks, Emos and people who just like dressing up as Victorians.  So sadly that means that we will miss a fashion show of the more usual type in the form of the "48 Hours of Fashion". Which is like a scaled down version of London Fashion Week.

Here's the marquee that's been set up in the Old Market Square, ready for the shows over the two days. This is an improvement on last year, as they just used the two shopping centres and the streets.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Playing Dividends

It's not everyday that an up and coming local artist posts out free CDs to anyone who wants one. Well that's exactly what Jack Peachy, AKA Gallery 47 did the other day. He had put a message on Facebook and so I messaged him my address, and lo and behold this three track album arrived through the letterbox; together with a little hand drawn cartoon of a dog.

We first saw Gallery 47 nearly two years ago at a fashion show. He was there to provide some music in between costume changes. And he wasn't bad. Just him and his guitar.  Jack's come on leaps and bounds, and has already released an album called 'Fate is the Law'.

I read on his Facebook page earlier this week that he has given up his full time job so that he can write and record his next album. A brave move, especially in these difficult times. But sometimes I think you have to follow your dream. And anyway he's young enough not to be too concerned about having to pay a mortgage etc. I wish him luck with his project and hopes he becomes as well known as Nottingham's other indie folk musician Jake Bugg.

Here's a video of him singing one of his songs on YouTube. Hope you like it.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

One Man And His Camera

This is a photographer friend of mine called Robert. Like me, he was covering the St George's Day celebrations in the Old Market Square.  Unlike me, I think he was being paid for it, as he and his girlfriend Julie cover such events for the city council.

Robert also likes taking photos of bands. And can often be seen snapping musicians in a local pub most Fridays & Saturdays.

To see some of Robert's work, here's a LINK to his Facebook page. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

All That Dragon Slaying Does Make A Saint Thirsty

St George's Day today, and across England celebrations of all kinds have taken place.

Here in Nottingham, they had a bit of action in the Old Market Square in the form of people dressed up as knights and riding on horses. Very similar in fact to last year. There was also some musicians entertaining the crowd with their take on old English tunes.

I pumped into several photography friends, and Tim, who plays Robin Hood at many local events.

From the Square, the small procession their way up to the castle and then down to the Trip to Jerusalem pub, where they stopped so people could take photos and enjoy a pint or two of real ale. Here's Tim on the left holding his bow, whilst St George is relishing his beer.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Red Sky At Night

There was an amazing pink sky this evening. The first one that I'd seen in a while. So I thought I had better try and take a photo of it, as it might be quite a while before we get another one.

Sunday, 21 April 2013


Besides adopting Marmalade & Oscar, we seem to have attracted the attention of another cat, that we have called Smudge.

We have no idea of where he came from, or goes to; as he is a regular visitor, rather than a squatter, like Marmalade was before we officially adopted him.

Smudge is quite a playful and affectionate cat, but O & M are weary of him. Probably because he hasn't  been to the vets yet for that all important snip.

I have suggested to Gail that we put a collar on him, and attach a note to his owners, if he has one, saying that he is a visitor to our house, and always seems hungry.

When he does visit, he always likes to hide under a garden chair. We usually give him some food that neither Marmalade or Oscar want, as they are getting quite fussy now, and only certain flavours will do.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

No Exit

This is local guitar legend Jimmy Wiggins, who I shot playing at a local pub; The Hop Pole.

Besides being a mean guitar player, he also owns a music shop in Chilwell called The Guitar Spot.

As a non musician. I think that I'd have trouble playing the triangle, I have never been in, although I have past it lots of times.

Maybe I might pop in tomorrow and say hello.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Shadow On My Wall

Not a lot to say about this photo. A wall, a tree and a great shadow. What more do you want?

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Tower Of London

I had to attend a meeting in London today, as part of my job. The building I went to is on the Euston Road, not far from St Pancras Station.

The meeting room we were in was on the 14th floor, and you got some great views of the London skyline.

I really wanted to get a shot of the Post Office Tower, or the BT Tower as it is now known, as I have never taken a photo of it before, despite visiting London many times. And what a super view I got from the 14th floor.

The tower was opened in 1965, and used to have a revolving restaurant at the top, which oddly was run by Butlins; the holiday camp company. A bomb exploded there in October 1971, and the restaurant was closed. In fact no members of the general public are allowed inside the building at all now. In fact strangely  enough the tower was classed as an official secret until recently, even though its 189 metres tall.

The tower has been featured in many TV shows and films since the 1960s. The most famous being by the Goodies, where a giant white Persian cat climbed up the side of it and pushed it over.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

In The Pink

The sun this week has certainly made a difference to the cherry trees in Highfields, as their blossom has now fully developed and looks very pretty as you enter Highfields from University Boulevard.

In the background you can make out the shape of the Lakeside Arts Centre. The lake is to the left of the building. It's a nice park to go round at any time of the year.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Monday, 15 April 2013


Here's Jade, a model that Gail and I shot tonight at a local studio.

A lovely girl. Petite, happy and very photogenic, as you can see.

She is actually naked here, but I like the idea of Jade cuddling this furry cushion. I wanted to use a big teddy bear, but alas the studio didn't have one.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Fade Away And Radiate

Here's one of those arty shots that I take every now and then.

As you might have worked out, it is the peeling paint on one of the park benches in Highfields.

It looks like it is high time it was cleaned up and repainted.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

And The Walls Came Tumbling Down

Due to the very extensive tram works that are taking place at the moment, Beeston has become like a war zone. Buildings demolished, trees cut down, holes in the ground and thousands of cones and fencing everywhere. Nowhere is left unaffected. Even where I live; which incidentally is nowhere near the route is having to put up with a lot more traffic, as it has been diverted from the main road in Chilwell.

This row of shops in the Square is the next in the bulldozer's sights. Or should that be sites! I used to go in Diane's Cabin a lot, as they used to sell reasonably priced greetings cards. Then there was Hunts, who sold all sorts of goodies at reasonable prices. But that will all be gone very shortly. I'll probably post a photo when it does.

Friday, 12 April 2013


"Here's looking at you kid" is perhaps what this Canada goose is saying to me, as he poses in Highfields today.

The sun was shining in town, so I thought great, I might get some better shots of the blossom, but by the time I had arrived in the park, the skies had gone dark, and not only that, but it had started to rain.

Summer's arrived!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

At A Snail's Pace

Nottingham Playhouse was turned into a small zoo today, as the White Post Farm visited with a few of their animals.

They included a couple of guinea pigs, a rabbit, some bantam chickens and a mouse. On the less cuddly side, there was a tarantula spider, a snake, an iguana and a fish tank containing several large snails from Africa.

It took me about fifteen minutes to get to the Playhouse, rather than the three it used to, now that I have changed jobs and moved to another part of town. But I think it was worth it. Although I was a bit disappointed that there were no sheep or goats to see, but the children (who it was meant for) who were playing with the animals, were enjoying themselves, so that was good.

I was handed a leaflet about White Post Farm, and it sounds quite an interesting day out. One Gail and I might do, now that the warmer days are hopefully on their way.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Blossom Rock

Well it has finally happened. The sun has started to show itself and temperatures have risen above freezing for the first time in ages.

This means that spring has at last begun. A few weeks late. But it is here. And here's proof.

The blossom on the cherry trees in Highfields is coming out and making the park look even more inviting.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Going Round In Circles

I've shown you this piece of great piece of art deco stonework before, but not shot with a fisheye lens, or the dramatic tone filter on the OMD.

A good combination don't you think?

Monday, 8 April 2013

Expresso Or Latte

I met a friend in town at one of the many coffee shops that have sprung up all over the city centre in the last few years.

Not actually liking coffee at all, I plumped for a hot chocolate, complete with squirty cream and marshmallows.

While we were drinking & chatting, I showed my friend my new fisheye lens and what sort of photos it can take. And here is a prime example.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Fair's Please

This afternoon, I popped along to a vintage and book fair at the former Barton's bus depot in Chilwell. Alas none of their vintage vehicles were on show, so here's a shot I took last week, whilst the street party was going on. And yes, that is snow you can see, rather than dust on my camera lens.

I didn't buy any books at the fair, as I have far too many as it is, but I did get some locally made sausages for Gail, which I cooked for her dinner, and I bought myself a real ale called Pica Boo from a local company;  Magpie Brewery, which I will probably have tomorrow night with my meal.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Saturday Spin

A lovely sunny day today, but alas I didn't get to enjoy it, as Gail and I had to go to a funeral.

So here's a shot that I took yesterday on my way home from work. It's of the Lakeside Arts Centre and the lake in Highfields park.

Of course I took the photograph with the brilliant fisheye lens and the great OMD. A bit of tweaking in Lightroom, and here's a post apocalyptic view of the area, should the world come to an end.

Friday, 5 April 2013

The Sun Has Finally Woken Up (Maybe)

Well it seems that the sun may slowly beginning to come out of it's very long hibernation, as its shown its face for the past couple of days; although it is still very cold.

Here's a shot from Highfields, which I cycled through on my way home from work.

There's no blossom sprouting on the trees yet, and as I posted on Tuesday, daffodils and tulips are only just coming into bloom, which I think is about a month behind their usual appearance. They are usually out for Mothers Day, as I usually seem kids picking them for their mums, rather than going to a shop to buy some. Can you go daffodil scrumping?

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Mob Rule

I went down to the court again today, as the judge was going to dish out the sentences on the three accused.

I got there, just as the police van was leaving with the convicts. The air was full of obscenities and anger from the various people that were waiting for them to head off to prison.

Due to the nature of the crime, I was surprised that there weren't more people there to display their emotion, as when such events are shown on the television news, there's often loads of people outside courts shaking their fists and shouting.

And so ends the final chapter in this most terrible of crimes. Six children dead, due to the stupidity of one man. Sadly I don't think it will be too long, before a similar case comes to the attention of the authorities and the media.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Broadcast News

A big trial was coming to a end at the crown court today. The sentencing of three people who purposely or accidentally killed six children in a house fire in Derby last year. What makes it worse, is that two of the accused are the parents of the said children.

It's quite a complicated case, but basically it seems that the father set fire to his house, so he could implicate his ex girlfriend, as she had left the family home some months earlier. As you would expect, the worlds press was there waiting to know if a prison sentence was in the offering.

For some reason, the judge had decided to defer her decision until tomorrow.  So all the reporters, film crews and journalists stood around wondering what to do with the rest of their day.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Yellow Fever

Well what a strange day it has been weatherwise.  I woke up this morning to the ground being white again, as it had snowed a bit during the night, but it was lovely and sunny when I cycled home tonight. And in daylight too.

So I thought I would have a trundle through Highfields, to see if there were any blossom appearing on the trees, or any flowers coming out.

Although the trees were still bare, I saw this little 'golden host' of daffodils near to the lake. So I stopped and tried to take a photo or two.  So I wonder if spring is really, at long last on its way?

Monday, 1 April 2013

A Chip Off The Old Block

I did a spot of DIY today. I've been meaning to shave a bit of the bottom of the kitchen door for a while now, as it's started scraping a bit on the floor. Oh, I've rhymed without knowing it!

I've been put off doing it recently by the bad weather. But the sun had come out a bit today, and it was chilly, rather than freezing. So I removed the screws from the hinges and carried the door outside. I then got my tools out and set to work, shaving off some wood from the bottom of the door.

Whilst I was working, I realised that the plane I was using must be nearly as old, if not older than me. It was my late father's. Dear old dad, he did enjoy doing his DIY, gardening and messing around with engines. He was good at it as well. He practically rebuilt one house we used to live in.

Alas, I'm not as handy as he was. But I can do the basics, like re-wiring a plug and unblocking a sink. My gardening skills aren't too bad either. At least I can tell the difference between a flower and a weed. Although some people say that weeds are flowers, but they are just growing in the wrong place.

I couldn't tell you how many times this old tool has been used down the years. Or what sorts of wood that it has worked on.  Like most things these days, I doubt that they make them as good as this anymore. A lot of planes nowadays are electric, and mass produced in the far east. This one was proudly made in Birmingham.