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Friday, 30 October 2015

Feeling Like Death Warmed Up

Since getting back from Italy, my sniffles seem to have developed into a fully blown cough, which not surprisingly is annoying Gail.

I'm beginning to feel like the creature in the photo, that I came across whilst walking across the city centre. I think it was to the entrance to a bar or night club, as there was a padlocked gate between me and 'it'.

I don't know what the party goers will think of it, as they queue up for a Halloween drink and a dance.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Dancing In The Moonlight

Well we've safely arrived Tuscany. The eight of us touched down at Pisa, after flying Ryanair from East Midlands Airport.

Our first stop on our eight day tour is Florence, or Firenze as they say in Italian. We are here for two days and there's lots to see, such as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore.

Work began on the cathedral  in 1294, and it took 142 years to build. Everything by hand of course. No cranes, bulldozers or trucks back then. Just men and horses.

It's a very big building and has recently been cleaned. It certainly glowed in the moonlight as we walked by it on the way to dinner.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Can I Come Too?

Sorry for the low quality and blurred image. Definitely not up to my usual standard, but I quickly had to grab my camera, as Gail called me into the living room.

You see we are currently in the middle of packing for our week long trip to Tuscany in Italy which starts tomorrow, and Oscar had this idea of wanting to come with us. He thought by trying to climb into one of our suitcases we wouldn't notice.  But he is quite a big fellow, and would certainly have made the suitcase overweight.

Better luck next time Oscar!

Monday, 19 October 2015


The Broadmarsh Shopping Centre was built around 40 years ago and so is getting a little run down, especially with all the boarded up shops dotted around the two floors.

But plans are afoot for it to be dragged into the 21st century. There have actually been plans for it for years, but nothing has happened up to now.

While the frontage of the centre may look enticing, the rear part of the building less so.  It has been completely neglected. I can't even remember when it was last used. If it ever was. It certainly doesn't help that it's in an area that people don't really walk near. Only perhaps photographers, people up to no good and the homeless.

Still it makes a good urban decay subject, with lines, lines everywhere.

Sunday, 18 October 2015


As part of the redevelopment of Beeston Square, they've recently put up some scaffolding on the roof of a single storey block of shops in the Square, so they can do some work up there, without the fear of falling off.

Whilst taking photos in Beeston Square at lunchtime yesterday, I noticed a couple of workmen had paused from what they were doing to listen to the band playing below.

One of the workmen was smoking one of these e-cigarettes that so many people are using these days, and suddenly, like a dragon or steam train, a big white cloud of smoke appeared from his mouth. I had my big lens on, so I was able to get a decent shot of him and his puff of white smoke.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Family Of Man

Today has been Oxjam Day. Over twelve hours of music across Beeston, at different places including cafes, pubs and the former Barton's bus depot.

There has been in the regions of seventy bands, singers and musicians playing to raise money for Oxfam.

I managed to see quite a few through the day. One of the highlights was watching The Jar Family at Barton's. Unfortunately I couldn't watch the whole of the gig, as I had to pop over to another venue to catch The Madeline Rust.

This has been the third time that the Jar Family have done Oxjam in Beeston, and the audience enjoyed themselves, with dancing and cheering along to the band's infectious style of music. Industrial folk they call it. So I thought this sepia tinged photo would complement it.

Friday, 16 October 2015

The Burning Sky

Here's a Triptych of shots that I took of the amazing sky the other day., as I cycled through Highfields.

My EM-1 has the ability to create triptyches in camera and without any messing about. It's just a case of pointing and shooting, an the camera does the rest. The only thing that you can't change is the white border.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Night Life

The Pitcher & Piano in the Lace Market is a fab bar, set in an old converted church, complete with stained glass windows.

It has been open a while now and is very popular with young and old alike. So when they recently announced that they were building a new outside area bar, I was quite excited.

I follow P&P on Twitter, and they ran a competition the other day to win tickets to their special opening night party. I entered, and fortunately I won. Gail was busy doing something, so couldn't make it.

So after work I popped along to see what was going on. I met up with a few of my Twitter pals, who I didn't know were going to be there. There were waitresses walking around with plates of free nibbles, which were very tasty, especially the stylish fish fingers.

As you can see the building is very modern with a good stocked bar. Obviously not as well stocked as the one in the main building, as that's huge, and situated in the middle of the ground floor. There is a garden too, complete with a flower covered piano.

I should think the new endeavour will do well, as it's like being outside, but inside. I wonder how it will look when it's decorated with Christmas decorations.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

On Golden Pond

Despite the very black clouds this afternoon, there was still a golden sunset for us to enjoy.

Of course I just had to cycle through Highfields and see if I could find a different sunset photo, which I think I have with this one. The fading sun reflected in the water of the lake.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

An Artistic Streak

Passing by the Contemporary the other day, I noticed that they were getting things ready for their next exhibition entitled 'Alien Encounters'.

The highlight of the exhibition is some artwork from Sun Ra, the American jazz musician who claimed that he was from another planet, but actually born in Birmingham, Alabama during 1914 and died in 1993.

It looks quite a chaotic scene with things scattered all over the place, but lets not forget that important cup of tea on the table. It seems that there were no seats available, as the artist was sat on the floor. She seemed to be so busy in what she she was doing, that she wasn't aware that I was standing at the giant window, but just looked up as I was taking the shot.

Monday, 12 October 2015

The Big Sky

Another fantastic sunset tonight, so of course I just had to take a photo.

I posed low to get this shot, just to try something different. The clock tower of the Trent Building pointing to the heavens.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

It's Me In The Spotlight

Another squirrel shot. This time he's being highlighted by the late afternoon sunlight, falling low and peeking through the trees in Highfields.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Orange Is The New Black

Sorry, but here's another sunset of Highfields and the university. This one is from Wednesday.

I don't think there will be too many more before the clocks go back at the end of the month and it will dark when I travel back home. I must admit I'm dreading it. I do every year. The five months that it lasts is such a long stretch. I really think it is time for a rethink over this clock changing rigmarole.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Don't Mess With The Ladies

I have just been reading on the Internet that there had been a demonstration at the premiere in London of the new film about the Suffragettes.  Apparently over 100 women ran onto the red carpet while smoke bombs were going off. They were highlighting against the cuts in services for domestic violence. This ties in well with the theme of the film, as the Suffragettes demonstrated over the fact that women were't being allowed to vote.

I was at the Broadway Cinema on Wednesday, at a short photography workshop. After the lesson was over, I was walking down the stairs to leave, when I saw someone carrying a large stand that was advertising the film of the same name.

I stopped to talk to her, as I had noticed her clothing, which reminded me of a sailors uniform. She said that her name was Jess. I asked if I could take her photo, and kindly posed for me next to the big piece of card that she had just moved.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

It's Behind You!

Someone at work mentioned the other day that there were only two more paydays until Christmas. That's quite worrying in a way, as it's proved just how quickly this year has gone.

Another feature of the Christmas season is the traditional panto, and the Nottingham Playhouse often puts on the best. No guest celebrity from the world of film, music or TV grace their stage, just good quality actors, slapping their thighs and and shouting "It's behind you". They are always written and directed by the one and only Kenneth Allan Taylor, who has been involved in the Playhouse's pantos for decades.

This year's panto was officially launched today. Not at the theatre as you might think, but in the window of a department store. John Lewis in the Victoria Centre became the stage for a publicity photoshoot for both the Playhouse itself and the local newspaper. I of course popped along to see what was happening and try and take a shot or two for the blog.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Keeping Track

Some of you may remember Formula One racing driver Nigel Mansell from the 1980s & 1990s, although his moustache may be more famous than his driving skills.

He was in Nottingham tonight to sign copies of his autobiography 'Staying on Track'. There were quite a crowd waiting, both inside and outside the shop. In fact the queue stretched halfway up the side of the bookshop.

Slightly earlier than planned, Nigel made his entrance. Then he did something that I've not seen before at a celebrity signing, he went outside and said hello to the waiting fans. He also signed autographs, so some people didn't have to wait in the queue.

I was standing with a couple of other photographers, including one from the Evening Post. The manager of Waterstones then gave the OK for us to take some photos for our various publications.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Colourful Collection

The widow display at the Tolkenhouse gift shop on Bridalsmithgate is looking quite colourful at the moment with a display of various designs of wrapping paper, cards and gifts.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Shelling Out

Walking through the Old Market Square today I noticed that they had started to dismantle the Spiegel Tent, now that the shows are finished.

The workers had done a fair amount of work in taking down all the mirrors, staging, and seating, and just leaving the bare shell and the entrance.

No doubt it has all been removed now and packed away in a truck ready to be taken to the next town for a few days. From  all accounts people have enjoyed themselves at the various shows that have been put on over the last few days that it has been in Nottingham. I wonder what next will pop up in the open space?

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Factor Five

Tonight I paid my first ever visit to the Rescue Rooms, a music club in the city centre that is adjoined to Rock City.

I was there tonight to see the final of Notts Factor, a music competition that was last arranged two years ago.

There were seven singers & bands performing to win £500, a photoshoot and the change to play at a couple of big gigs next year.

Some of them weren't that good in my opinion, but some showed a lot of potential, and I'll certainly be looking out for any gigs that they do.

The winners were a band called 94 Gunships, who reminded me a bit like the Kinks. Clearly guitar based, but not in the AC/DC, Iron Maiden mould. They were certainly popular with the audience, and clearly the judges, of whom three of them I personally know.

Last year's winners One Girl, One Boy were meant to be doing a set whilst the judges added up their scores, but sadly they couldn't make it, so instead a friend that the compare knew was enticed on stage and sung a song in a Capella style. And very good she was too, but sadly I didn't catch her name.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Jamming On The High Street

There was some live music in the air this morning in Beeston, as there was some promotion of the next Oxfam day, which happens in two weeks time.

Some of my Oxfam friends were standing outside the shop, handing out flyers and trying to sell some tickets. Their endeavours were being helped by my musical friend Emma Bladon Jones, and this young lady, Lucia, who had a fine voice. I was talking to her father, who was proudly taking photos of her as well.

She, Emma and plenty more artists will be performing at different venues across Beeston and Chilwell, for what is turning out to be the best one yet.  I for one can't wait.

Friday, 2 October 2015


As I failed to take a photo of a squirrel yesterday, I thought I would have another go today, even though I have taken shots of squirrels before.

So I got into the same position, with the same camera and same lens and waited until a grey one started to head towards me.

This time I got my camera ready before the animal got too close and I frightened them off again.

Bingo, he got close, but not too close, and suddenly he decided to pose for me. The way that he held his right paw I think just makes the shot.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

A Bum Shot

Cycling through Highfields, I saw lots of squirrels wandering around, looking for food to keep them going through the winter.

Crouching on the ground, I stayed quiet, as the squirrels  became used to me being there. The park was fairly quiet too, with just the odd jogger or walker passing by.

Slowly their curiosity became too much and one gently crept towards me. I raised my camera and tried to get a shot. He obviously was scared by this and made a run for it, just as I pressed the shutter!