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Sunday, 31 August 2014

In Formation

Following on from yesterdays head shot of a Canadian goose, here's a picture that I took of some flying off to warmer climbs.

As it has been a lovely afternoon, we decided to have a drive out to some villages to the east of Nottingham; namely Lambley, Hoveringham, Claythorpe and Gunthorpe.

We stopped at Gunthorpe for some food, and parked up at a pub near the river called The Unicorn.  when we had finished eating, we went of a little walk just as the sun was starting to set.

I got some nice shots of the golden shy, and then I saw this flock of birds in the sky. A shame that they weren't flying past the yellow part of sky, rather then the darkening blue. But I think it makes for a calming image.

Saturday, 30 August 2014


Well Autumn is just around the corner, and the Canadian geese are getting ready to fly away for the winter.

There must have been about twenty of them in Highfields today, all with heads down eating the grass, and like this fellow, getting it all over his beak. No wonder he doesn't look too happy.

Friday, 29 August 2014


This multi-storey car park close to the Broadmarsh shopping centre, used to be known as the Arndale car park, but it has recently been rebranded as the Maid Marian Car Park, with some new singe & a lick of paint at the entrance.

£3.50 is actually quite cheap for all day parking in the city centre, and actually 10p cheeper than getting the bus. Although of course you have to take into account petrol and running costs, and of course the amount of time wasted in traffic jams.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Ran Out Of Steam

Went to check on the Victorian railway arches that are sadly being knocked down after standing there for all these years.

It's been said that they have to come down as the area is being developed. Personally, if I was the architect, I would incorporate them into the new building as a feature, as I hate to see old buildings knocked down, as they have much more character then modern soulless buildings.

There's a prime example In my photo here, the green and gold building on the left is the Contemporary art gallery, which you must admit looks awful and stands out like a sore thumb, compared to the former church, now the Pitcher & Piano bar, and the other old buildings that make up part of the Lace Market.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014


A very simple shot from Highfields.

I bet the person sitting on the bench is enjoying the peace and quiet of the open green space.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Pick Up Truck

Oh dear, one unlucky motorist is going to be in for an expensive shock when they come back and see that their car has disappeared, as they will have to pay a release fee of £105, plus any penalty charges incurred.

Quite a few people had stopped to watch the event, and a small group of youths were sharing a joke between themselves; probable at the misfortune of the driver.

The car had been removed from the disabled parking bay, but I couldn't see if there was a Blue Badge on the dashboard. If there was, then I think it was a bit mean of the traffic wardens, but if there wasn't, then it's a fair cop, as non disabled drivers shouldn't park in such places.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Cat Day Afternoon

Well it's fortunate that we had our barbecue yesterday, as all its done today is rain. Rain, rain, rain. I'm not sure that it's even stopped.

Marmalade has been sleeping in one of the chairs that we have in our study room, whilst as you can see, Oscar has made himself very comfortable on our bed and surrounded by laundry.

It sure is a cat's life. If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I'm coming back as a cat. Eating & sleeping. The two best things in life.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Party Time

We invited come close friends and neighbours over today for our first ever barbecue.

I've never really been a fan of barbecues, as I've often found that sometimes the food hasn't been properly cooked, but since Gail cooked everything in the oven first and then I finished it off on the BBQ, it all worked out fine, and everyone that came seemed to have a good time.

It was nice to catch up with people and share a glass or two with them. A shame that some we'd invited couldn't come. But isn't that always the way?

I'm glad that we held it today, as tomorrow's weather forecast isn't very good. But then that's typical for a British Bank Holiday.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

A Cat's Tail

I recently read the story of Bob, the cat that helped a former drug user, busker and Big Issue seller called James to find a better life. So I was intrigued by a similar sounding book that I came across at my local library.

Although Bob's story was based on truth, Solomon's Tale is a work of fiction. And very good it was too.  I read it in just under a week, and enjoyed every page of it.

I have to admit that I shed a tear or two in a couple of places, as they were very sad. It's probably now being a cat owner, I can connect with the life of a cat. Although as everyone knows, cat's don't have owners, only servants.

It's a moving tale and well worth reading, so do see if your library has a copy, or if you can, buy yourself one.

Friday, 22 August 2014


As a fan of noir movies, I saw this staircase in one of our public buildings and I think it fits in very well with the theme. You can just imagine Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum standing there in trench coat and holding a gun. Or Barbara Stanwyck climbing the stairs slowly, as she heads for a rendezvous in an hotel room.

Obviously it's not as dark as I've made it. Slight tweaking in my digital darkroom. Although it is all concrete and looks quite depressing in a way. But it's not a staircase from one of the city centre's multi storey car parks, as you might expect, but one that was built for entertainment.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Playing By Numbers

The well known band The Magic Numbers visited Nottingham today and played in our local Fopp music store. It has recently moved from its original Queen Street shop to one in the Broad Marsh after being there for over thirteen years.

They were meant to start playing at 5pm, but were fashionably late by about twenty minutes. Nottingham's roads and traffic strike again!

Although there weren't that many people in the shop to listen, those that were there, were very appreciative of the songs that were being sung.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


Have been stuck for an idea, and didm't come across anything during today, so cycling through Highfields, I decided to take another photo of the rowing boats on the lake. This time I used one of the art filters that my camera has and made the boats and trees look like toys.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

If Music Be Food, Then Play On

Another shot from the weekend's Food & Drink Festival, held at Wollaton Park.

I can't remember what the name of this band is, but they played some jazz styled music, with the girl singing and playing the clarinet. But not at the same time, as I don't think any musician can do that, unless that are using a piano or guitar etc.

Monday, 18 August 2014

A Charity Record

You may remember last October, the 19th to be precise, I wrote about Oxjam; the day long music festival that took place in Beeston to raise funds for Oxfam.

Well on Saturday Beeston saw the official launch of the Oxjam Beeston Takeover CD.  Nineteen of the artists that played during the day have donated one of their songs for the CD, which is on sale for a bargain £5.

Of course I was there to capture the event. Here's one of the photos that I took and includes some of the artists and people that are involved in the Oxjam project, who are also friends of mine.

At the moment, I think the CD is only available at local Oxfam shops, but I believe there are plans to sell it on line.

If anyone's interested in buying one, then do leave a comment and I'll let you know where else you can buy it from.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Caribbean Queen

Nottingham city centre came alive with the sounds and colours of the Caribbean yesterday afternoon, as the annual Caribbean Carnival took place. The parade started on Castle Gate and made it's long slow way up to the Forest Recreation Ground, where they site the Goose Fair in October.

There were certainly some varied and very colourful costumes being worn by the participants.

Native American anyone? Or what about some wings that can help you fly.

Not your average outfit to go shopping in. But he'll certainly help you wave you on your way.

Hundreds of people lined the route, and despite a quick rainstorm in the middle of the procession, I think everyone had an enjoyable time. I know me and my camera did.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Party In The Park

Today I popped over to Wollaton Park, as it was hosing a food & drink festival.

It was quite interesting to see all the different food and drink that was on offer. All grown or made locally.Yes, I know Pimms isn't a local drink, but I like the red of the marquee against the colour of the hall and stormy sky.

Besides food related tastings, there was also some cookery demonstrations hosted by well known chefs. I missed the one by Levi Roots, but sat in the ones by the Fabulous Baker Brothers and my friend Raz, who owns the Curry Lounge restaurant in the city centre, which was famously criticised by Gordon Ramsey a couple of years ago.

The show also featured varied arts and crafts, including glassblowing, a blacksmith an painter and some woodworkers who were using chainsaws to create sculptures from tree trunks.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Sleeping Like A Baby

Just messing about today and decided to have a go at creating a newborn baby photo, as Gail had bought a cute little babylike doll dressed in a bee costume some time ago and it looks quite cute in its yellow and black outfit. Plus of course it doesn't start crying or filling its nappy.

Using the poses and props that I've seen professional newborn photographers use, I came up with this, using bits and pieces from around the house.

Yes, I realise that I've overblown the ribbon and blanket at the back a bit. But it's a learning curve for me, as I have never shot any babies in studio like conditions. Would be interesting to have a go sometime though.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Singing For His Supper

As I've had a day off work today, and it was warm and sunny, I had a potter about in the garden. Catching up on some weeding, planting and a general tidying up. While I was working away, I heard a bird singing in the nearby Leylandi trees.

Not a song that I recognised, so looking up, I tried to see what bird was making the sound, but it took me a while to find him hiding within the greenery.  I wondered if he would move, so I could get a clearer view of him. Anyway I went inside to get my camera and zoom lens. When I returned, the bird had moved to a better spot and so I was able to get a clearer view and shot of him.

I didn't recognise the species. It certainly wasn't a sparrow, robin or tit. So looking on the RSPB website, I think it might be a twite. Are there any ornithologists reading this that can confer or disagree with this?

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Airstream Abstract

It's not every day that you see jewellery being sold from a silver Airstream caravan. But that's what I came across today near the Old Market Square.

A man & a woman were selling their wares, but I was more interested in trying to get a shot of the reflections of the buildings in the aluminium.

It was difficult, as there was a blue security van parked opposite, so I was limited to where I could shoot. So I went for a corner angle, so you can see some of the Council House on the left, and a bit of a modern building on the right.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Finished For The Day

A photographer friend of ours called Stewart put a photo on Facebook the other day that he had taken of a stormy coastal scene at Canvey Island. It included some upturned boats in the foreground and a lighthouse in the distance. And very nice it was too.

So here's my version of the scene. The rowing boats on Highfields Lake with one of the university's buildings peaking through the trees. Sadly not the seaside. But the next best thing.

Monday, 11 August 2014


While I was sitting and listening to one of my favourite local singers Emma Bladon Jones, who was doing a gig at the Beeston Bay on Saturday afternoon, this mother and her young son sat down in front of me.

The little boy kept quite still, but kept peering over his mother's shoulder. As I had my camera handy; I had just taken some photos of Emma, I took a couple of shots, which this one I like the best.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Allo, Allo

I popped into out local junk shop yesterday. Well, when I popped in, I meant that I had a rummage through the boxes that the owner had placed outside his shop.

Looking through a box of old telephones, I came across this French Bakelite model, which is dated 14 May 1954. So presumably that would be the date of manufacture. It looked in quite good condition and has this extra earpiece, so that someone can listen in without being heard.

I decided to buy it, as I thought it would make a good prop for a possible photoshoot. I can imagine the scene of two men, obviously spies, sitting and listening to some coded message from their leader.

I wonder where the phone came from. Translating some of the words, it may have been a hotel, as there is 'information', 'fire', 'police' and possibly 'disturbances'.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Sun, Sand And Stripes

This week Beeston has had it's very own seaside called Beeston Bay, as the council has turned Broadgate Park into a costal resort.

It's been great for the kids, with sand, games, entertainment and stories to keep them amused during the present holiday season.

Today Beeston Bay has become Party in the Park, with live bands, fairground rides and water boats. There has also been a giant mermaid walking around and squirting people with bubbles. It's been lovely and sunny too.

It's a shame that the event has only been on for the week, as it has given the children and parents something to do, and without having to spend bus fare on going to the one in the Old Market Square.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Who Is Number One

Besides the boating lake, croquet pitch and child's play area, there is also a putting green at Highfields Park.

I saw that the park keepers hadn't removed the little signs to show where the holes were, so I thought I would take a shot of one of them.

So I laid down on my belly, as I wanted to take a good worm's eye view shot that was in line with the grass, f1.8, so I would get some nice bokeh in the background.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Black Panther

It's surprising what I come across when I'm out walking with my camera at lunchtime. Sometimes it's nothing and sometimes it's an unique photo opportunity. And that's what happened while I was walking through the Lace Market today.

Turning the corner near St Mary's Church, I was met by two ice hockey players from the Nottingham Panthers team having a photoshoot, whilst having a mess around with a puck.

I have no idea what it was for. I just stood, watched & took the occasional shot. The most bizarre part to the image is the fact that he's playing in flip flops, like he was on the beach or next to the pool.

Not being an ice hockey fan, I have absolutely no idea who this is, or if he is in fact a real hockey player.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014


Before anyone thinks otherwise, this is not a photoshopped image, or has been digitally manipulated. I'm really not that clever.

I took this one evening a couple of weeks ago. The bricks that make up the water feature in the Old Market Square are a greyish black colour, but the fading sun has turned them a golden colour.  The person with the hat and stick, just happened to be standing in the right place so that I managed to get a good silhouette of them. You can just make out the heads of some lads who are enjoying playing in the water.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

In The Frame

An art exhibition has just opened at my local library in Beeston. And of course I had to put in an entry.
As I very rarely print any of my photos,  I put in my rusting bike photo, that I took last year in Wales.

There was a bit of an opening party tonight, as the library had invited the artists to meet up and share their work. There was around 40 pieces of art, including, of course photography, some paintings, sketches and needlecraft.

I was talking to another photographer about my picture and where I took it. She saw the rusting bike as a metaphor for the destruction of the British cycle industry, especially that of Nottingham's very own Raleigh.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Never Forget

Today marks the100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1. A century ago the world was embroiled in a very bloody war that lasted four years, and cost countless thousands of lives.

New ways of killing were invented, machine guns, tanks and of course the deadly mustard gas.  Aircraft were also turned into warplanes, and the Royal Flying Corps; the forerunner to the Royal Air Force was founded.

There are lots of commemerative events going on all over Nottingham, but I am taken by this diorama that has been created by Lesley Cook from Sneinton. It is currently on display in the window of the tourism office in the Old Market Square.

As the model is quite big, I have had to split it into three sections, and it's always difficult trying to shoot through a window, especially on a sunny day. But it is very impressive work, and hardy surprising that it took him two months to complete.

Sunday, 3 August 2014


Pagan Pride today up at the Arboretum. The yearly gathering of Pagans and non Pagans enjoying the good weather, the music and the love of the worlds oldest religion.

Last year when we went, it chucked it down with rain, and we had to shelter under a tree for a while, until it stopped. This year there was no problem with the sun not shining.

I was watching and photographing a local band called Cadence Noir, when I saw this girl appear with a camera and started doing the same. What interested me wasn't the camera she was using, but the fact that she had different socks on her feet. And where were her shoes?

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Rusty Metal

I had the great pleasure of seeing Beeston band The Madeline Rust perform their new album Truth and Consequences in full tonight at a gig in the city centre.

Although I have heard of the band before, I have never seen them play live, even though the three main members of the band live only a stones throw away from my house. Please don't try to prove it either guys!

 Lucy has a really powerful voice, even though she's slim and only about five feet tall. She can scream out their lyrics the same way that a sergeant major might yell out orders to his men.

It was quite a small room they played in, but it was packed, and so it soon became like a sauna. But the beer was good, and the music loud, and I got some what I like to think were some good shots.

Of course I bought the album, which comes in red vinyl and is limited to 329 copies. It isn't going to be available on CD, but the album comes with a code, so you can download the songs, so you can listen to them digitally.

Here's a WEBLINK to a video of their latest single, and highlight of the album.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Letting The Light In

There's some more demolition work now taking place in the city centre.

This is down near the Broadmarsh shopping centre and involves some old buildings and the remains of some Victorian railway arches.

Some people, including myself think this is a great shame, as it's about the last remaining arches in town, and should be saved for prosterity.

You may be wondering why my photo looks a little strange. It's because I took it with one of the art filters which are on my OMD. Diorama, I think its called, and makes things look miniature. I don't often use them, as I prefer to mess around in Lightroom & Alien Skin, but I don't think it looks too bad.