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Friday, 31 January 2014

Good Knight

Whilst we were eating our lunches in The Trip to Jerusalem, I got the feeling that we were being watched. And not by the ghosts that are meant to roam about the place.

Looking around I saw a suit of armour looming over us. Not sure how old it is. But I hope the knight isn't still inside!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Heat Is On

Despite there being the first snowfall of the year, a seaside beach hut, complete with sand and palm tree appeared in the Old Market Square today.

Don't worry, the Nottingham Riviera hasn't appeared six months early, it was a publicity stunt for the Jet2 Holidays company. They were handing out leaflets entitling people to £60 off the cost of one of their holidays.

They were also running a photo competition to win one of their holidays. I took part, so I'll just have wait and see if I'm a winner.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Ghost Ship

I had lunch today with some old colleagues from where I used to work. We tend to meet up most Wednesdays at different eateries across the city centre, where we have a good catch up and have a bite to eat.

This week we went to the Trip to Jerusalem; Nottingham's oldest pub, and which dates back to 1189AD. I've been in a couple of times, but have never ordered any food before.

Besides being very old and supposedly haunted, there is also this old model ship that is meant to be cursed, in that whoever touches it, dies! So of course no one has dared go near it. A few people have tried to clean it in the past and all have apparently died within the year in strange circumstances.

You can see from the dust clinging to the rigging and sails that it has not been touch for years and years, and everyone is safely protected by a case over it.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Kelli 2

Another shot of model Kelli Smith, taken last week at a studio in Long Eaton.

I don't think anymore words are needed.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Jones The Hops

I picked up a couple of new beers at the weekend from one of the local stores that I visit.

The labels intrigued me at first; especially the Organ Morgan one, as I remember how pronounced Richard Burton spoke the name, in the play for voices; Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas of course. And yes they are Welsh beers, brewed in Cardiff no less.

The Organ beer was very tasty, and I am looking forward to savouring 'Jack Black', as I am quite partial to the darker beers.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Camera Man

I was given an old camera today. An Olympus OM 10. It's a film camera, one which my OMD is based.

Some time ago I signed up with a site called Freegle, as I had some stuff to give away that wouldn't be of any interest to a charity shop, and so every day I get emails about things that people want to off load. It can be anything; old pallets, furniture, material, even computers. So I was quite pleased to read about the Olympus.

I've put some new batteries in and found out that it seems to work OK. I will have to try it with a film to see if it takes any pictures.

It comes with a 50mm f1.8 lens, which although slightly battered, looks in good condition and with no fungus growing inside.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Writer's Block

I happened to be in the right place at the right time this morning, when I visited my local library, as a small awards ceremony took place for local novelists.

The Great Beeston Book Read has been a six month competition where people have read and voted on eight books from local writers, ranging from a children's book, a thriller and the winning novel; an historical mystery.

Ripples And Shadows tells the story of a history professor who finds some 200 year old journals, written by someone who lived at a country house, where they were discovered.

I've got a copy of the book from the library today, so I'll see what it's like.

Here's a photo of the winning author Stephen Taylor receiving his trophy from BBC Radio Nottingham's John Holmes (right of picture).

Friday, 24 January 2014

And The Band Played On

Another shot from Monday's parade. This time some of the musicians from the regiment.

It was really sunny in the Old Market Square, and it really makes the trombones shine.

And if you make the photo larger, you can see the reflections of some of the crowd watching the action and the building in the sceptre that the bandleader is holding.

Thursday, 23 January 2014


When I was taking photos of the parade on Monday, I bumped into a fellow photographer that I know and who is a regular visitor to these shores. We had a chat while I was taking some pictures. I had not seen her or her husband for a while now.

I noticed that she had this rather interesting bag round her shoulder, so of course I just had to take a photo of it.

I will have to ask the next time I see her whether she is rather partial to reading.

If you didn't know (I didn't) the quote comes from one of Alcott's novels called Work, which was published in 1873.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

A Model Pooch

This is Pinot, and is Kelli's special pet dog. A chihuahua of course, and a tiny one at that.

So cute and so full of life. Everyone was making a fuss of her. And no wonder. She is a little sweetie.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014


It's been a quite a while since Gail and I have been to a model shoot.  So tonight we made amends and drove over to Long Eaton, where we met up with model Kelli Smith and a few other photographers for three hours of taking pictures and having fun.

We've shot Kelli before, nearly two years ago at another studio, so it was nice to meet up again. She is getting married in July, and retiring from modelling, so it was a opportunity not to be missed.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Privates On Parade

Around 200 soldiers who have been fighting in Afghanistan were given the freedom of the city today, during a parade in the Old Market Square.

They were from the Royal Horse Artillery E Battery, and many of them were there to also receive a medal for 6 months active service in Afghanistan.

Lots of people were there, and fortunately the sun came out so it was a lovely day for everyone who was there.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Passing Strangers

One of the so-called rules of photography is that you're not meant to shoot into the sun, but rules are meant to be broken, especially those that are to do with photography.

The sun was very bright when I shot this at lunchtime, and I like the way that it has made the road shimmer, like it was wet with rain.

Yes, I've tweaked it a bit in Lightroom, but only to enhance the silhouettes and to turn it to monochrome.

I'm intrigued as to why the person is walking in the road, especially with some cars that are heading towards them.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Red And White & Not Going Anywhere

A new development today in the long running saga of the tram works in Beeston.  The contractors turned a roundabout into a T junction. This has meant chaos, as two or three lanes on each of the three roads that meet the roundabout have been turned into one, and is now controlled by traffic lights.

Traffic has been slow for most of the day, and local people have been putting messages on Facebook and Twitter about how long it has been taking them to get from A to B, or even how long they have sat stationary in traffic. When we drove out of the university, the Royal Mail truck was about where the bus is. So it took the truck driver about five minutes to where he is there.

I don't know how long these restrictions are going to be in place, but from what I've seen this afternoon,   I wouldn't like to be a motorist during the rush hour on Monday, as it's bad enough already, so who knows what it's going to be like next week.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Friday Night Folk

Last week was Dave Mitchell's first gig of the year, tonight it was Emma Bladon-Jones'.

She put a message on Facebook saying that she was doing a gig at a pub in Beeston called the White Lion.

I've seen a few musicians there before, and was expecting to see her downstairs near the bar, but I was told that she was playing upstairs. So up I went, and I was in for a surprise and something that I hadn't come across before. I had walked into a folk club meeting, and Emma was down as a guest performer.

The club is called the Second Time Around and meets at the pub every fortnight. I didn't know what would be happening, but the old guy that appeared to be in charge explained who would be the first few people to perform. So I listened to various musicians and singers do turns. It was all acoustic too, so microphones or backing tracks.

There were quite a few people in the audience, more than normal and it was observed that it was probably because of Emma; who is quite well known now in Beeston and Nottingham.

She wasn't very well at Christmas, and actually ended up in hospital for a few days, so it was great to see her performing again.  The audience certainly appreciated her style of folk music and received a good round of applause after she had finished her set.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Corner Decoration

If you approach the Contemporary from the Broad Marsh area, you see this big window with this recumbent female figure, with her big floppy hat and logo of the gallery on her, probably naked body.

I don't know if they got a real model to pose for this, or they got an artist to draw the figure.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Art Imitating Life

Passing through the Old Market Square at lunchtime, I saw these two ladies; one of which was sketching out with chalks a picture of the Council House.

So I stopped and said hello, and asked if I could take a photo of the picture. The artist looked a little bemused, so I explained that I did this photo blog, and that I wanted to take the picture with the real Council House in the background.

She said yes, but be quick as she was very cold and was actually in the process of packing up for the day. I think her friend had already done that, as there was no easel to be seen, just a large bag on the ground.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014


A different view of the Nottingham Contemporary art gallery. A flawless blue sky for the middle of January must be quite something. I'm sure we must be in for some really bad weather sooner or later.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Mine's A Pint

You don't very often see these types of beer glasses in pubs now. The classic handled tankard. I'm not sure why they've gone out of fashion. Possibly because they can't promote ale and lager brands on them in the same way that they do with the more modern pint glass.

I took this at the Lincolnshire Poacher pub in-between Dave's two sets.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Six Strings And A Pint Of Beer

My first gig shoot of the year, and also for the musician in question; Dave Mitchell. It was also my first visit to the Lincolnshire Poacher where Dave was playing.

Dave is a good friend, so not only did I go to take photos, but also to support him. There was also a number of neighbours there as well, as he used to live on the same street as us, before sadly having to leave.

Dave had obviously practiced quite hard as he was very good and the whole audience enjoyed his two sets. On some songs he was accompanied by a guitarist called Phil. He was very good too.

One of the songs that Dave covered was Stan Rogers' Lock Keeper's song. So I thought I would share the original song with you.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

One Step Beyond

Many of you may remember the ska influenced pop band Madness who had many hits in the 1980s like House of Fun, Baggy Trousers and Night Boat to Cairo.

Well they have turned their talents to brewing beer, with this little real ale called Gladness.

I haven't tried it yet, as I am saving it for when I am in a particularly nutty mood!

Friday, 10 January 2014

So That's What They Call A Jumbo Jet

I went on a safari today, hunting for elephants, armed of course with my trusty OMD.

I came across this one in the Victoria Centre, trying to disguise himself as an RAF plane. Somehow painting yourself a bright red didn't work. Maybe he should have used the more traditional camouflage colours.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Cool Reflection

We had another torrential rainfall last night. It seemed to last for hours, so I was expecting a fair bit of water around this morning on my way to work.

I was surprised that it was sunny though, and so did my first cycle ride through Highfields of 2014, to see what things were like, as I had not been round for a couple of months.

Of course there was plenty of big puddles about, but I decided to take a photo of this one. Of course the reflection of the bench helped, but I also like it that you can see the blue sky mirrored in the water, and the trees acting as a natural frame.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Carry On Don't Lose Your Head

For a late Christmas present we were given a large chocolate snowman, which has been made by Thornton's.

You may remember that I had blogged about one that Gail had bought for us to eat at Christmas, but ended up eating his head.

Well with this one, the opposite happened. Gail had eaten most of his body, but had left me the head this time!

If I was any good with Photoshop, I would have created a puddle of melted chocolate and dripping over the side of the table.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

He Packed His Trunk And Said Goodbye To The Circus

A lot of very large and highly decorated elephants have appeared across the city centre this week.

This distinctly British one stands proudly at the entrance of the Broad Marsh shopping centre.

There is also a stall where you can buy smaller versions of these colourful pachyderms.

Will see if I can track some more down while they are in town and shoot them the only way that all animals shoot be shot. With a camera and not a gun.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Out Of Work For Another Year

Being 12th night, they started dismantling the Christmas market in the Old Market Square.

There was a good river of water running down to the drain, as the ice from the rink was melted. The food stalls were being taken to bits and the wood loaded onto trucks.

The two snowmen will be put into cold storage!

I guess the whole thing will take about three days to be cleared, and the square will be empty; ready for the next event to take place.

Christmas is now officially over for 2013.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Love Is Sweet

Another shot from yesterday's wedding.

I really liked this idea of a 'pick n mix' sweetie corner. There were quite a few different sweets on offer. I had a couple of marshmallows, some liquorice allsorts and the very moreish Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Yum yum.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

With Rings On Their Fingers, They Shall Have Love Wherever They Go

We've just come back from shooting a lovely wedding today in a great setting. Our first one of the year. A very relaxed, and fun affair, and during which we met some very nice people.

A shame that the weather wasn't too kind to the happy couple. Overcast with showers on and off all day, so we didn't manage to take as many shots outside as we would have liked.

Here's a shot of the new Mr & Mrs, holding hands just after they had signed the marriage register.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Faster Than The Speed Of Night

I haven't done any car light trails for quite a while now, and as there's little to photograph at the moment, I thought I would have another go.

So I stopped along University Boulevard on my way home and shot a few frames. Sadly, still being the holidays, there wasn't that many cars on the road, even at 6pm. Still I don't think this one of a 4x4 is too bad.

The boulevard is currently in a mess as it's where the new tramline is going. So there are traffic cones everywhere. They have realigned the road slightly and put a long strip of concrete blocks like a wall, so I was able to perch my camera on there, at just about the right height for the headlights.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Religious Views

This is the view of St Peter's Church taken from Houndsgate; a rather narrow road which leads to Maid Marian Way.

The church is over 700 years old, and is situated right in the heart of the city centre. In fact there's a big Marks & Spencer's next door.  There used to be some stairs that you could use as a sort of short cut to the top of St Peter's Gate, but the church did a deal several years ago with M&S, and so now they are part of the store. In fact I think they are used as the employees' entrance.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year - New Friends

After watching the firework display at the castle, Gail and I had a wander down to the Old Market Square to see if there was anything going on.

The ice skating rink was still open, and a few people had decided to have a late night go. A stall that was selling mulled wine and beer was also open, and they seemed to be doing some good trade. Although obviously not as busy as the pubs and clubs, who were heaving with people.

There were quite a lot of people milling around. I caught these two guys swapping phone numbers on their mobiles. Maybe they had just met, or they were old friends that had just got back in touch since leaving college. However they met, It's good to know that they'll now be able to keep in touch during 2014.