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Friday, 31 July 2015

It's A Knock Out

When I was growing up in the 1970s, every Saturday afternoon I would sit with my dad and watch the wrestling on the TV.

Names like Pat Roach, Mick McManus, Kendo Nagasaki, and of course Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy. Besides the staged fights, which everyone knew about, I remember seeing old ladies hitting some of the 'bad' guys with their handbags and umbrellas.

I  went to the Victory Club, a local working men's club tonight to take some photos of some wresting matches that were taking place. I was taking them for a magazine called The Beestonian that I write and take photographs for.

After watching one match, I realised that things hadn't really changed much over the past forty years, and that the matches were still rigged. But tonight there didn't seem that many old ladies in the audience, it was mainly children for some reason. They seemed to enjoy the five scraps that took place over the course of the evening.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Who's A Pretty Boy Then?

The Nottingham Riviera is in full swing now that the schools have broken up for the summer.

Besides the now famous seaside sand, there are a number of rides and games for children to play on and enjoy. These two parrots are enjoying the action taking place in the Old Market Square. I don't know what they think of the many pigeons that fly around the area, from rooftop to rooftop. Jealousy perhaps, as they are stuck on this board of lights.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Red Devil

Just love this model racing car that I spotted in a shop the other day. Clearly based around the cars of the 1930s, long before Formula 1, computers and 200mph speeds.

I was sorely tempted to buy it, but me and my wallet resisted, as I we have too many nic nacs around the house these days.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Tide's In

The Nottingham Riviera is back in the Old Market Square. It actually opened last week, but as I was still recovering from my illness, I couldn't see it.

So I popped along at lunchtime to see if it was any different from last years. While I was out, it started to rain. Although it had been fairly dull and cold since first light. This of course had a disastrous effect on the rides and especially the beach, as all the deckchairs had been put away and the sand was left to the pigeons, rather than the kids with their buckets and spades.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Flags Of The World

Believe it or not, Nottingham is currently hosting the world croquet games.

They are playing at Highfields Park, as there are a couple of croquet pitches each side of this pathway.

As you can see, there are a number of flags from different parts of the world blowing in the breeze. I think this is the first time that I have ever seen flags flying in Highfields. The flagpoles are certainly a new addition, albeit only a temporary one.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Mellow Yellow

It's Sunday afternoon as I am writing this, and I can still hear rain rattling on the conservatory roof. It started late morning, and hasn't stopped since. I was planning to go out on a photoshoot, but the bad weather has put paid to that.

So here's a more sunnier shot from yesterday's exploration of some local allotments, in the form of a sunflower.  This particular allotment had two quite big ones that seemed to be growing randomly. Instead of taking a straightforward shot, I've gone for a more artistic view.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Boy And His Bird

Some of you may remember reading a book, or seeing a film called Kes. It was about a small boy that was bullied at home and in school, so his only friend was a young kestrel he captured and trained.

This photo that I took today at an open day at a local allotments. Besides showing off their allotments, they also had invited a group called Falconry Experience, with some of their birds including this rather splendid barn owl.

Quite a few people were keen to make friends with the owl, as it flew back and forth between different people, who were all wearing a gauntlet on their hand. The guys who brought the birds along kept giving them titbits as a reward for performing so well.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Still Life

Marmalade chilling out on the drive, enjoying a little bit of sunshine.

A minute or two later and he was asleep. Oh to be a cat.

Thursday, 23 July 2015


Here's another shot taken with the Chinon legacy lens.

A blackberry that hasn't finished changing colour yet.

I think it looks a bit like a painting, rather than a photograph.

I wonder what it would look like if it was printed?

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Blackberry Way

I've had a play with an old legacy lens today on my EM-1.

It is a Japanese Chinon, 50mm f1.7 lens. Completely manual. I had to use an adapter, so I could use it on my camera, as the thread is completely different.

It took a little bit of getting used to, as I am so completely used to using autofocus lenses. Some shots were a bit out of focus, but I don't think this one is too bad, of the first blackberry to appear in the garden.

There is quite a soft, dreamy quality to the photo. I must have a go with a model sometime, or the cats to see what sort of photo it can make on a bigger subject.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Musical Youth

My good friend Emma Baldon-Jones, together with Christine Palethorpe were guests on Notts TV tonight.

Besides being musicians in their own right, that also make up the folk duo Paper Doves. Besides playing keyboards, Christine plays the harp. Emma of course is a singer/songwriter, who I have featured many times on here, as I always like to go to her gigs, or see her busking along Beeston's high road.

Hopefully now that they have been on TV, they will get a few more gigs and hopefully a recording contract.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Are You Going To Strawberry Fair?

A wild strawberry growing in the garden.

I wonder who will get to eat this first, me or a bird?

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

What's better than having a doze on the sofa during Sunday afternoon? Well maybe snoozing whilst cuddled up to one of your favourite soft toys.

Oscar looks like he is really comfortable resting with Horace the teddy bear.

No cat was disturbed whilst this photo was taken.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Sailor's Rest

Dusk was quickly falling when we finished our walk along the canal near Beeston Marina, down in the Rylands area of Beeston.

This pirate in a crows nest stands near the marina's bar area.  At the base of the column is an anchor and a partly buried treasure chest.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Big Cats

Two Jaguar model cars that I bought the other day. Each one cost me £1.

The rather battered one is a Dinky Toys Type D that I got from a charity shop. If it was in mint condition and had its box, it would be worth about £120. But in its present state, it is only worth about a fiver. Still its nice to have, especially as it was made in the 1950s, the same time as the real one, and I never had one as a child.

The E Type is easily recognisable and has often been called the sexiest car ever made. 1960s cool at its best. The model made by a company called DeAgostini. and came from one of the many pound shops that have sprung up over the past few years. I think it originally cost a lot more, as its quite detailed, but may have not sold well, so it found itself on the shelf with a load of other toys, stationery and food.

Thursday, 16 July 2015


Here's another shot of our little Oscar. Well he's not that little actually, but he's still adorable.

You may remember me telling you about Marmalade and how he had found a quiet little haven in the garage. Well now Oscar has found it as well, so it's a race as to who gets there first.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Look What I've Dug Up

Here's a charity shop find that I got for 99p. A Matchbox Weatherill Hydraulic digger that was made by Lesney during the 1950s.

It's obviously seen better days, with some of the paint missing, but in quite good condition for a toy that's nearly 60 years old.

If it was mint and boxed, then it would be worth £40 or more, but in it's present condition, it may only be worth a fiver. Still it's a nice model to have in my collection, which incidentally isn't that big.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Art Of Decay

Back in March I met Italian artist Roberto Alborghetti at Barton's when he launched his Ghost Bus film, which used lots of close up photos of the decaying coach set to music.

He recently put up a new film that used photos he took of some cracked and decayed blue and white tiles on the Amalfi Coast, which looked like the sea and land on a map.

So I got thinking as to whether I could make one myself, with my limited talent and computer skills. I also wondered what I could use for a subject matter. An obvious choice was our wooden garage doors that have seen better days, with peeling paint and a bit of rot.

So I took some photos, fiddled with them in Lightroom and created a short, 40 second film in iMovie.  I also added some music from Kitaro and uploaded it to YouTube.

Here's the link to the video, so you can see for yourselves. Enjoy.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Whispering Grass

An ear of wild grass blowing in the breeze in our Beeston garden.

Sunday, 12 July 2015


Besides the many stalls and entertainment on offer at Beeston's carnival, there was some music too, in the form of the local pipe band, and this young lady called Lily.

She was entertaining everyone with songs from the Second World War, including the rather rude ditty "Hitler has only got one ball".

Saturday, 11 July 2015

There's No Sting In His Tale

This is my good pal Matt. Besides having a number of different journalistic strings to his bow, he runs a free magazine about Beeston called The Beestonian, which I also write for and submit photos to.

A few weeks ago, Matt put up a challenge on the Beestonian's Facebook page, that if the page got 2500 likes by the end of June, then he would cycle round Beeston, dressed as a bee; which is part of Beeston's coat of arms. Of course myself and many others plugged this mercilessly for days, until the magic figure was reached.

Matt was a bit shocked at first in that he would now have to do it. But I think he was secretly pleased, as he is a bit of an exhibitionist on the quiet. Of course the problem for him now was finding a suitable bee costume, and working out when to do it.

I suggested that he should do it as part of Beeston's carnival, as then he wouldn't look 'too stupid', and a local school came up with the desired outfit. So at lunchtime today, Matt joined the carnival parade and made his way from the Square to Broadgate Park, together with marching bands, sports groups and lots of children from different local playgroups.

He seemed to enjoy the experience, even though he said that he had no shred of dignity left, and lots of people stopped to have their photo taken with him. I was lucky to share the experience with him, as I have been taking some new medication for my health issues. Fortunately they appearing to be working, and so I was able to leave the confines of my house after two weeks.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Like A Fly On A Wire

Well sadly I've just begun week three of being ill, so it's meant being stuck at home all day. At least it's been sunny, so I've been able to sit in the sun and get some vitamin D.

I had my camera with me, just in case I saw something worth taking a photo of,  I noticed a fly on the washing line. Fortunately I managed to take a shot of it, without it flying off.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Not A Blue Berry

Another shot from the garden plants. This time its some ripening blueberries on the bush that we bought from the garden centre earlier in the year.

We are looking forward to tasting our own homegrown organic blueberries when they fully ripen in the autumn.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Cherry Picking

We have a few fruit trees in the garden; apple, plum and cherry. For some reason there is no fruit growing on the apple tree at the moment, while tiny plums are forming on the plum tree and the cherry tree is first past the post with it's small crop of cherries.

As you can see the birds have discovered them as well and have been eating a few. I'm not sure if they are ready yet, but I have picked them all anyway, and put them in a cloth bag with an apple, just to make sure they do ripen naturally.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

In The Pink

There was a light shower this morning, so I snapped this pink poppy while there was still some water droplets on the petals.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Roses Are Red

One of the few roses that we have growing in the garden.

It's quite high up and difficult to get to, so I don't know if it has a scent or not.

Anyway it looks nice.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Heads Up

A lot of the poppies have now lost their colourful petals and the heads are slowly drying off in the summer sun, ready for the seeds to burst forth, to produce new plants next year.

I of course will be gathering up a lot of the heads and storing them, so that I can scatter them in other parts of the garden next year.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Laid Out Like Lamb & Lettuce

Can a cat's life get any better? Oscar stretched on on Gail's sun lounger, enjoying the warm weather that we are currently getting.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Shaded Area

Here's Marmalade enjoying a bit of shade from the patio table.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

It's A Topsy Turvy World

I'm still not very well, so haven't managed to leave the house, but as it was such a lovely day yesterday, I took this photo of the garden through a crystal ball in readiness for this month's theme of 'upside down'.

We haven't got a very big garden, but you can see some trees, a conservatory and of course the lovely blue sky.