Header Photo

Header Photo

Monday, 30 November 2015

A Winter Wonderland

I've never really been a great fan of Christmas. Especially these days, when shops start filling their shelves with cards etc from about the end of August. Far too early.The summer isn't even over yet.

One of the things I do like however, is seeing how the smaller shops decorate their windows. Using their initiative, as they haven't the budgets like the big stores have.

A local charity shop called Treetops has done a lovely job when I saw it on Saturday morning, as part of my weekly shopping trip to Beeston.

They have taken the Victorian theme and dressed some mannequins in old fashioned clothes. Which looks nice, but I was more taken by some tiny Dickensian figures and a snowy townscape.

So cycling home tonight, I thought I would have a look at whether the window display was lit up in any way, so I could take a photo or two, without the glare of the glass. And here's the result. I think the golden balls of bokeh are reflection from the Sainsbury's sign opposite.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Sweet Dreams

It's been a fairly horrible damp day, made worse by several showers this afternoon.

So sadly this had an effect on the audience that attended the switching on of the Christmas lights in Beeston.

I popped down earlier, as there was a couple of bands on, including the dynamic duo of Emma Bladon-Jones and Christine Palethope appearing as Paper Doves.

The lights themselves were the same as last year, so I was looking for something new to shoot. Whilst walking around Broadgate Park after the lights had been switched on, I noticed that the stall that was selling sweets had some packets hanging like decorations, and behind are some of the bokehed lights on the Christmas tree.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Black Friday

I've been rather busy at work today. So when I got home, Gail suggested that we have fish and chips for dinner. Our end of the working week treat, even though we have only done three days this week.

The big story today is of course "Black Friday". The day when there are meant to be so many special offers on as a way to tempt people into parting with their money. I had a cursory look, but nothing caught my eye. I think it is just an excuse for shops to get rid of their old stock, or stuff that isn't selling very well.
But the only real black Friday that I have any interest in, is having a pint of beer with my dinner. Tonight's was very nice, from a brewer that I'd not come across before, but will certainly be buying some more.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Having Words

I went to a book launch tonight at I think Nottingham's only independent bookshop called Five Leaves.

The tome called "More Raw Material" has been compiled and published by local poet Neil Fulwood and David Sillitoe, son of late Nottingham author Alan Sillitoe. It is an anthology of poetry and writing by some fifty authors including TV writer and producer Henry Normal, who helped to write The Royale Family, Gavin & Stacey and Alan Partridge.

Five Leaves is quite a small shop, but it was packed with people who had come to hear some of the writers read some of their work. David himself read a couple of his dad's poems.

I bought a copy of the book, which also includes some of David's photos and got it signed. Something to thumb through on these cold winter nights. It might also inspire me to take up the pen and do a bit myself.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Night Vision

Gail and I visited the cinema last night to see Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. The story followed his life from the early 80s up to the launch of the first iMac in 1998.

It was quite an interesting film, seeing what Jobs was supposed to be really like; egocentric, rude and never admitting he was wrong.

Michael Fassbender played the part well. Kate Winslet was completely unrecognisable as his PA Joanna. Complete with East European accent.

It was the first time we had been to the Showcase since it's had a refit. Now everyone has their own individual leather recliner, rather than the old group seating, which had been around since the cinema opened during the 1980s. They've also added the words "de Lux" to their name.

When we came out, I danced driving down the road to the Nissan garage. Not to look at getting a new car, but to see their showroom. As you can see from my photo, they have a four storey building and I've wanted to see it since it was built.

I'm not sure how they get the cars up there; whether they use a lift or ramps. Although there doesn't seem to be enough room to have ramps, like you have in a multi storey car park. Maybe one day I'll take a look inside.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Snow Joke

Although it has been cold and grey, a trip to the local garden centre called Bardills was called for, as Gail wanted to buy a Christmas tree with roots for the garden.

The first thing that we did whilst there was to have some lunch in their cafe. It was busy, but we found somewhere to sit and ate our meal.

We then had a walk around and looked at the various rooted trees that they had for sale. After examining a number of trees, we elected and paid for one. We then took it to the car and loaded it in. The tree fitted ok, as it is only about three feet tall. While we were paying for it, one of the assistants had popped it a black bin liner, so that it would get damaged or damage anything.

We then had a look inside. And yes, Christmas had arrived, with Santa's dotted everywhere, an animated reindeer and a display of polar bears and eskimos. I've never seen eskimo figures before, and I thought that this little fellow whose just about to throw a snowball cute and amusing.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Secret Squirrel

Who could resist this cute little fellow that I spotted in the window of a local shop.

He's been well crafted, right down to his little knitted acorn.

With that little smile on his face, it looks like he is going to look forward to eating it.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Name In Lights

The Lakeside Arts Theatre in Highfields has a new logo on it's building. Up to now it has just been a blank roof, which can look like an upturned boat at some angles.

The logo only appeared a day or so ago, so I thought I would take a photo of it on my way home, with the arts centre lit up in the darkness.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Candles In The Wind

There was a vigil in the city centre tonight for the people that lost their lives in Paris last week.

When I arrived at around 6pm, around 200 people had gathered around the Brian Clough statue. I think that they would have used the Old Market Square, but it is out of use at the moment, as workmen are putting together the kiosks, stands and decorations for the Christmas festivities, which begins later this week.

There were many tea lights and candles lit in their memory. Two girls, possibly art students had designed a candle holder in the shape of the Eiffel Tower, which I thought was rather clever and very effective.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Harp Odyssey

Besides organising the day long music festival that took place last month in Beeston, the Oxjam team put on a classical music evening last night at our local parish church.

There was a varied programme of artists including a flute player, a couple of guitarists and the University of Nottingham's String orchestra.

One of the performers I know quite well is harpist Christine Palethorpe, as she plays with another of my musical friends; Emma Bladon-Jones. They perform as a double act called Paper Doves and play folk and popular tunes.

The church was full and everyone seemed to enjoy the music that was on offer. Although being classical music, there was no dancing or cheering, just some polite clapping at the end of each piece of music.

I was there taking photos, but felt quite conspicuous of walking around the church with my camera in my hand. It feels OK at gigs, but for some reason it feels out of place with classical music. Fortunately I had my super zoom lens with me, so could get close, without being close.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Thunderbirds Are Go

I came across the bargain of the year today in Sainsbury's. A brand new DVD release of all 32 episodes of the classic puppet adventure series from the 1960s, complete with postcards for the amazing price of £12.

It only came out last month to coincide with the programmes' 50th anniversary and seems to retail at around £40. So a very good saving, especially as it only really cost me £2, as I had a £10 gift voucher that I used.

Thunderbirds has always been one of my favourite shows growing up, and I think Parker the Cockney chauffeur to Lady Penelope was always my favourite character, with his "Yus me lady". This is possibly because my dad was also a chauffeur and a Londoner to boot.

I'm not sure whether Gail is looking forward to watching the five Tracy brothers rescuing people from dangerous situations from their secret island in the sea, even though all the special effects etc were hand made, rather than computer generated.


Sunday, 8 November 2015


Today is of course Remembrance Sunday. The day when everyone thinks about all the soldiers, sailors and airmen that have died for our freedom. The poppy being the emblem for this event.

I'd like to think about the people left at home. Those that have lost a husband, a wife, a family member or a best friend. People who will have to live without their loved one.

So this single rose which I came across in Radicofani, Italy is for them.  The rose, the symbol of love.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Nothing Left

As it's the first of the month, I thought I would participate in the theme day, which this month is 'ephemeral'.

According to the dictionary, ephemeral means something that doesn't last for a very long time.

Well this meal that I devoured at Restaurant Anna in Piancastagnaio, a small hilltop village in Tuscany didn't last very long. It was delicious. It was actually part of a five course lunch that we sat down to.

The restaurant was packed. There was hardly a seat to be had. Mainly families; mums, dad, children and associated relations. One old lady there was celebrating her birthday, and one of the waitresses bought out a cake, to a chorus of 'happy birthday'.