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Monday, 30 June 2014

It's A Square World

I got a rare trip out of the office today, when I went to Birmingham for a meeting, and of course my camera came with me.

This is the view from the 16th floor of the Jury's Inn Hotel on Broad Street. The unusual looking building in the distance is the new library that holds a surprise. It has a garden on the roof, as you can see in the photo below.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Secret Mission

It was Armed Forces Day yesterday, and Wollaton Park served as the place to see armoured cars, soldiers and obviously the work of the Armed Forces.

Sadly it wasn't as big as last year's, as Nottingham then played host to the national celebrations, which took place at the Embankment. This year Stirling hosted the national event.

I took a photo of this armoured Land Rover as it was being driven away, but didn't notice that the driver had hidden his face as he drove past. He was either camera shy, or a member of the SAS.

Saturday, 28 June 2014


The second Great Beeston Bake Off took place today at a local school to raise funds for Oxfam.

Nearly thirty people took part in the baking competition and produced all sorts of wonderful cakes and buns. I had a particularly delicious slice of banana loaf, and of course I just had to get Gail one too, as I know how much she likes it.

There were four winners altogether and they all received a framed certificate. There were plenty of visitors who donated money whilst munching the goodies on offer. In total £400 was raised for projects, both home and abroad.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Top O' The Morning

Well we are back to the usual British summer weather that we are more used to today, as it has rained on and off all day. So it was apt that I came across this name of a narrowboat whilst out at lunch, even though the sky was too grey for a real rainbow.

The boat's name also reminded me of one of Gail's favourite films when she was a child; Finian's Rainbow, which starred Fred Astaire and Petula Clark and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, who is more well known for the Godfather films.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

We're All Going On A Summer Holiday

Anyone fancy a trip to Barbados? Well a bus was parked in the Old Market Square today waiting for people to climb aboard. Although I think the bus would only take you to the airport, as I don't know of too many coaches that can travel across water, and the Atlantic Ocean is a very big sea.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Travelling Back In Time

For some reason or other, I've not taken any photos this week, and I'm having withdrawal symptoms. There are several things going on this weekend, so hopefully my OMD will see some action again.

So here's a shot from last weeks visit to Bingham. We spotted this guy dressed up in period costume walking down one of the main roads. Gail politely asked him if he would mind having his photo taken.

While he was posing, he explained that Bingham was having a week long festival to celebrate their market which is several hundred years old.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Mysterious Girl

Who is this very pretty girl hiding behind a decorative face mask?

Maybe, I'm not going to tell you yet!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Making Hay While The Sun Shines

For some reason; probably a bird dropped a seed, we have a big grass plant growing in the garden.

It's quite tall and has these ears of seeds sprouting everywhere.

Not a brilliant photograph by any stretch. I've not quite mastered this macro or close-up photography yet. But at least I keep trying.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Tatty Love

I picked this novel up from a charity shop yesterday, as a companion to my Saturday Night Sunday Morning which I got some years ago.

Local writer Alan Sillitoe created the story in 1959 and concerns a daughter of a rich scrap metal and textile merchant who falls for this thief and they run riot across Nottingham.

It was made into a film in 1972, and starred Victoria Tennant. Her first film. Sadly this film isn't currently available on DVD, as it features various locations across Nottingham, including Highfields. There are various bits of the film on YouTube, but it would be good to see the whole thing on the TV. One day perhaps...

Saturday, 21 June 2014

No Sale

There's been a series of photographs doing the rounds on Facebook that show abandoned places around the world that are slowly crumbling away and disappearing under vegetation. Old fairgrounds, hotels, even the stadium that the winter Olympic Games took place on.

Beeston has its own. Obviously not on the scale of deserted American shopping centres etc, but the area where up to about 18 months ago was still quite popular with shoppers and those looking for a second hand bargain.

But suddenly it closed. No one really knows why.

Friday, 20 June 2014


Just a quick shot of a rather nice glass candleholder in our sunny garden.

Maybe I should take another one at night, with a candle burning brightly in the darkness.

Thursday, 19 June 2014


Here's a shot from Bingham's churchyard.  Whenever I go to a  different place, I always like to have a look around their graveyard.

It's not morbid curiosity, but am interested in looking at gravestones; to see the names of the departed, when they died and to look for unusual designs and statues.

Being a former village, Bingham's churchyard is quite small, but there are lots of trees and greenery in it. And as yesterday was really sunny, there's plenty of dappled light coming through.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

All Shook Up

So everyone thought that Elvis died in 1977. How wrong they were, as I found out today that he is happily living in Bingham and working as a barber.

I hope he is a good one too, and that the men that go in aren't all shook up with the styles that they end up with, and that Elvis isn't too annoyed if he gets any hair on his blue shade shoes.

I wonder if he owns a hound dog?

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

High And Dry

It's not everyday that you come across a life saving ring in the middle of the countryside. But this one is  at the farmed at Beauvale Priory.

Maybe it is used for something different other than saving people from drowning. There is a lake on the farm which I think has fish in it. But it's quite a distance away, so hopefully it may never be needed.

Monday, 16 June 2014

The Signs Are Good

Although not described as a tourist attraction, something new has appeared in the grounds of Nottingham University.

In the style of the famous 'HOLLYWOOD' sign; students at the university have created 'NOTTINGHAM' and includes lots of photos in the letters that make up the name.

Each letter is about six foot high, and they have been placed on the top of a hill, so it can be well seen from different parts of the area.

Sunday, 15 June 2014


Another day, another wedding at the Council House.

I'm always interested to see what vehicles turn up as wedding cars. The other week it was an old London bus, this time it is a 1969 Daimler DS420.

These have been standard vehicles for weddings, funerals and ambassadors for years. My dad actually drove one for his job when we lived in London during the 1970s.

You can just about make out the driver of this one relaxing in the back, while his clients are getting spliced.

Saturday, 14 June 2014


This old gate isn't actually in the middle of the countryside, but in a school playing field just down the road from where I live in Beeston.

The roundhouse isn't actually a house, but it round. It's a large wooden shelter where the children can sit in the fresh air, but stay dry.

When I visited it, some musicians were playing, as the school had opened its doors for the day for a community event that takes place once a year. There are various health & education stalls, food tasting  games to play and workshops, like this Indian drum one.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Fashion Parade

I was meant to be heading to the Old Market Square at lunchtime to see what was going on at the Great Notts Show, but I got sidetracked in the Broad Marsh shopping centre.

Walking through the doors I heard some loud music and a big crowd looking at something.  It was a fashion show of some description. It turned out to be clothing designed by students at a local college who have been doing a foundation course in fashion.

Some of the designs were really strange, and something you certainly wouldn't want to wear when you pop off down the supermarket! Experimental I think they call it.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Phone Home

Besides a new incarnation of the Doctor, his Tardis has gone through a makeover too.
Gone is the old fashioned blue box, and has changed into the more modern red telephone box. Although with the popularity of mobile phones these days, hardly anyone uses the familiar red phone box anymore. Lots have actually been removed from service. Although there are still a few dotted across the city centre.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Making A Racquet

There's a week of tennis matches going on this week at the Nottingham Tennis Centre. As I pass it to and from work, I thought I would pop in and try my hand at a bit of sports photography. Especially as it was free entry and a sunny evening.

A women's doubles match was on when I arrived.  There weren't that many people in the audience, so I had a fair amour of seats to choose from. I tried to find a good seat where I would get some decent shots.

I don't generally really have that much interest in sport, and have not shot any tennis matches before, so I not sure whether they are any good or not. At least they are in focus and show a little bit of action.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Just The Ticket

I took this up at the Open Farm Sunday event at Beauvale Priory on of course Sunday.  He was one of three musicians that were playing some instrumental folk music in the small pub room, which I think was an old stone shed.

I actually took this through a window, as there wasn't enough space for me to take him head on.

I though the little sign on his hat was very apt for today, being the 10th of June. It of course is similar to the one that the Mad Hatter wears in Alice in Wonderland.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Boyhood Reminiscences

When I was younger, I used to collect model cars, just like any other boy. My favourite was Matchbox, as they came in a small yellow and blue card box, that actually looked like a matchbox.  Others brands were Corgi & Dinky.

There was generally 75 models in the series, which were updated every so often with different colours or new vehicles.

I never had this crane in my collection, as it was made before I was born. I picked it up from a stall at Wollaton Park's car show for 50p. If it was mint and boxed, then it would be worth about £50.  Still its nice to have, even though the jib is broken and the paint is a bit chipped. But it's not bad for something that is about 52 years old.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

You Can Call Me Al

It was Open Farm Sunday around the country today and so I popped up to Beauvale Priory Farm near Eastwood.

I've been there many times, both as a visitor and as an actor, where I dressed up as a monk and we told the story of the people that lived in the priory during the 14th century and how the monastery was closed by Henry the Eighth in about 1537.

Besides the usual chickens that really are free range, as they have the run of the farm, and are often seen hassling the visitors who sit outside the cafe, they have now taken delivery of a couple of alpacas.

Related to llamas, but a bit smaller and a lot more cuter. Just look at this fellow, isn't he adorable?

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Beeston Castle

Well, the weather certainly has been a bit topsy-turvy today. This morning it was coldish, wet and generally a bit miserable.

There were reports of possible hailstones and even tornadoes, but thankfully all we got was rain. But by three o'clock it had stopped and the sun came out and warmed & dried everything.

Walking along the High Road, I noticed how lovely the clouds looked. Mainly wispy, and certainly a lot different from the ones earlier. Or should that be one, as the whole sky was a solid grey colour.

So here's a shot of the tower from Beeston's main church, as sadly Beeston doesn't have a castle. But if it did, I'd like it to look a bit like this.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Lest We Forget

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France, which helped end the war in Europe. Although that didn't take place until May 1945.

There have been many events around the country, including the main one in France, which the Queen attended.

Here's my contribution. A single red poppy that I found growing in the front garden. We have many yellow ones, but this red one is the only one amongst them.

Sadly, just after I took this photo, there was a big gust of wind and all the petals dropped off.

Thursday, 5 June 2014


As most people know, besides eating, cats like to sleep. And Marmalade sure does love his naps.

He changes his favourite place to sleep every so often, whether it in his basket, on a chair or in this case, his new spot near the top of the stairs.

I took the first photo, as he looked so content, although he was aware that I was taking his photo. A little later I went back, and he had changed position and was well away, even though his feet and tail were hanging over the edge of the stair.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


This young lad looks very interested in this Subaru sports car that was on display during the car show at Wollaton Park on Sunday.

I bet he can't wait until his seventeenth birthday, so he can start driving lessons and pretend that he is behind the wheel of a car like this.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Fishing For Compliments

This giant angel fish sculpture has been made out of rubbish from an arts event that took place in Highfields over the past two weeks.

It was called Wheee14 and was designed to keep the children amused during their latest holiday from school. The Exxopilis has also been part of the event, and has been very popular.

Monday, 2 June 2014

A Pirate's Treasure

I think you'll agree that everyone loves ice cream. And I bet this little boy whom I saw at Attenborough Nature Reserve is enjoying his ice lolly, especially as it's been so warm and sunny today.

I hope he finished it quickly, as his T shirt is far too nice to get dirty.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Lavender's Blue Dilly Dilly

Went off to the motor show at Wollaton Park this afternoon in the sunshine, and of course the clouds made an appearance, but thankfully no rain.

There were lots of cars, buses and other vehicles there, but I was particularly taken with this lovely lavender E-type Jag.

One of the two pieces of paper in the window record the history of the vehicle, while the other is a sales receipt for the car and show how much it costs in total; £4000 in 1973.

Buying a secondhand one today may cost you anywhere between £39,000 and £1/2 million.