Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Market day

Whoa! A proper market in town. Big up the Amenities Truss or whooever got the thoughts directed this way and 'actioned it' as they say down south.
Lovely weather graced the stall holder doing their best to hold their French accents - which as it happens wasn't too hard as most of them were French.
was in town to meet dear eve for a coffee - only An Lanntair's coffee machine was on the blink. But had a great time doing loooong exposures - with the wrong camera for the job [Kowa Six] and the wrong film [Old old perutz film].

Monday, July 28, 2008


No doubt North Tolsta's pier will soon be gaining national prominence now Weston-Super-Mare's has now burnt down. Weston's pier was made of metal and wood and housed a dismal penny arcade at the end in the once grand building. Tolsta's pier has none of these problems - cannot burn down because it made of rather beautiful concrete and boasts ankle - turning broken slabs at the end. The fishing is OK I'm told with no passes required to be bought and the views are unsurpassed.
Once the ice-cream stall is opened, the place has it made.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Little things

I spent the morning among the cool white un-glazed pots of Coll Pottery, looking, wondering and making images. The stuff in there is lovely and I have to say when I took my early morning coffee in bed today it was in a Coll Pottery muggette. I had another coffee with the very pleasant people who make this fine china and now am bouncing off the walls with too much caffiene. But twas worth it as the I do have some negs that deserve printing in the darkroom. Talking of which, if one has a mind to, one can see a few of my images in Coll Pottery Cafe - where you always drink a fine cup of coffee!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not trying

I was wanting to finish a roll of film and went down to a local beach for 5 mins shooting at random almost. Lo and behold, I now have a lovely image from the Ilford Sporti.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A 'new' consumer outlet

As you might have heard, a new supermarket has opened in Stornoway today. Actually, its not new, merely changed hands and opened as Tescos. I'm not too keen. Yes they have up-graded the premises and yes the place was thronging today but I'm not sure its going to help small local shops on the island.
My take on things is that we all consume far too much, waste too much and generally help destroy the planet where we live. Selling things cheaply neither helps this or probably the producers of such goods either.
On a similar note, the price of road fuel having risen considerably is no bad thing either in my opinion as now most of us have to think twice before we jump in the car and drive.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Salesman of 2008

Trust me, we are going to hear a lot more of this young chap. Here we see him selling yet another raffle ticket at the Berneray Dog Trial to a soon to be satisfied customer. It wasn't just that he was selling them, it was that he was selling them so well with a very convincing and enjoyable patter that, as you can see in this image, had many a customer smiling while they parted with their money. I just hope the Isle realise what a great asset they have in him and set him to work selling the delights of this place - which really is beautiful as Prince Charles well knows.


Yep, sometimes the need takes me and I load up an old camera with some out-dated film and shoot. All with manual cameras and hand-held light meters. Anyway, last weekend we were swanning around the Uists, dodging the rain-storms and generally enjoying the usual camping weather.
One little excursion and walk took us along this road to the lochs end where it meets the sea. What a superb place. So peaceful. and I quite like the snaps too.


If you do only one thing today, make sure it's watching this.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lewis won!

The Cup and play
Isle of Lewis goalkeeper waits attentively.
A lot of shouting, a little bit of dodgyness and loads of running about summed up the Lewis-Uists annual Shinty match today. Eve and I have never seen Shinty before but this was exciting. Something like a ice hockey match on grass. The sun shone too which made the event, aided by an island win over the Uists, all the more enjoyable.
Its a great atmosphere in Stornoway at the momant with both the HebFest and the Maritime festival going on at the same time.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sailing Hebrides

Heave to starboard” came the order from our Cptn Finlay as we bobbed around in Stornoway harbour trying to find the way out into The Minch and on down to Crobeg and the barbeque. The order was swiftly followed by worried glances between myself at the steering thing and the other press-ganged land-lubbing crew. “Which way is Starboard?”. “Think its right” came the somewhat unconvincing reply as the sharp end of the boat seemed to run over a seal swimming thereabouts. Captn Finlay was still below sorting the coffee mugs we had inadvertently left un-washed in the kitchen [oops] while us three now rain-drenched crew followed the big white boat ahead. My sailing experience is somewhat limited I might add. A little wallowing in the water around an upturned dingy I used to have and listening to a few episodes of The Navy Lark as a kid is the sum total of my knowledge . Which made it all rather disappointing when I was not asked to put the “left hand down a bit” or some such nautical instruction.

The Cal-Mac ferry came in and one of our crew telephoned a chum on board and we all waved – madly. Except for Captn Finlay that is.

BBQ people at Charlie Barley's barn

We were part of the Sail Hebrides thingy where 24 boatees wif about 60 personages on board mainly motored down to Crobeg for a fine barbeque and impromptu musical shindig in one of Charlie Barleys well-appointed barns – sans sheep. Charlie was there too taking snaps - for next years calendar no doubt. I was merely a passenger – steerage [steering actually] on the way to act for the Red Cross as a First Aider at the BBQ.

A fantastic event despite the rain with sailor types from all over and the island too. There was wall to wall Helly-Hanson and a tug of war under some obscure Cromor rules that involved both the referee and a photographer having a hand on the rope in a not totally un-partisan way!

Anyway, thanks to all – especially Captn Finlay and the press-ganged crew – had such fun we did.

I took the road home and missed the Sea batttle. I was wet enough anyway!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A box wif a hole

Point it at yer unsuspectin neighbour for a min or two and Roberts yer mum's brother. Take for a trip to the beach an all - even get a self-portrait. Fun eh?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

West side fishing

With the weather closing in, these two fishermen launched their metal boat on the beach on the west-side of South Uist to go and collect their lobsters which they had stored in boxes in the sea-water - somewhere just off the coast.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Buckingham Palace shambles

As one might imagine, when 7000 loyal, many elderly Red Cross volunteers turn up for a party in your garden and its pouring rain, you usher them out into the garden where they have to stay wallowing around in the mud while you stay inside in front of the fire nibbling crumpets and drinking hot chocolate. Such was the case yesterday at Buckingham Palace when horrendous weather visiting the Red Cross centenary garden party- and the hosts had made no provision at all for the people there. None were allowed to stay in the house or in the tea-tents but had to huddle in the rain.
Some were even stretchered off after being overcome by the conditions - just as well it was a Red Cross party!
I am rather amazed since a risk-assessment should have been made [bad weather in the English summer? - never!] and not what seems to be a total disregard for health & safety.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Red Cross

Now here's a thing; my dear mother, who lives - with the keys of the town don't you know - in the once thriving Highbridge in Somerset. I'm not too keen on the place as it happens but Mum loves it since she has many chums and can go to the sea front in Burnham on Sea at a whim - or on the bus. To keep herself busy - and keeping busy is something that Mother has always done - hence the keys to the town thing - Mum has been working as a volunteer for the Red Cross. My late Father volunteered for them too and I remember the crowded church at his funeral and wall-to-wall red cross badges therein.
Anyway, Mum is off to Londinium today - with the Red Cross to take part in a garden party at Buck Pal, you know, the tied cottage where the Royal people live - sometimes. Its the centenary of the Red Cross. Mum has been to the Pal before for a garden party - with me as it happens [I think it was with Duke of Ed Award thing if I can recall ]. That time it rained - a lot - and Mum's expertly home-made and rather gorgeous hat gradually collapsed leaving a interesting stain around her forehead. Always gives us something to laugh about does that. This time Mum has taken into consideration the vagaries of the English summer and made her new hat impervious to rain - she hopes. Just as well since here is the Londinium forecast for today

Local areas affected

Warning type

Valid from

Valid to

London & South East England:


Isle of Wight


Heavy Rain 0600 Wed 9 2000 Wed 9

Rain will become heavy and prolonged this morning and will persist for much of the day. Falls of 25 to 35 mm are expected on already saturated ground, with perhaps in excess of 40 mm. The rain will ease later this evening.

The public are advised to take extra care and refer to the latest Environment Agency Floodline and Flood Warnings in force, and also to refer to the Highways Agency for further advice on traffic disruption on motorways and trunk roads.

Issued at: 0334 Wed 9 Jul

Oh dear. Seems like they all will be huddled in the marques jostling for little sandwiches and fairy cakes washed down with weak tea while trying to ignore the dribble of rain-water down ones back! As it was last time!

Meanwhile, back in sunny Stornoway, I'm also with the Red Cross doing a little tutoring for them. How's that for coincidences?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Its open!

Curl's new Gaudi inspired building has been opened. The dancing girls would not leave Aberdeen and the jugglers could not operate in the winds we had so the opening was rather low key in the end. Still, no doubt the new building, which is yet to be named [suggestions please] will soon be on the tourists route whilst they are on the way to Garry Beach. Stornoway-Callanish-?????

On the image making front, I spent an hour in the darkroom yesterday printing this snap from the Castle grounds taken with the Voigtlander Perkeo. Do you like it?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Just back from quick bobbing up and down in The Minch aboard the good ship An Sulaire. A short sail around under the tutorship of Iain. Nice trip but gosh such hard work putting up the sail and then changing the flipping thing again to come back in!

There's a fine new building going up in the village at the moment supported by a generous grant from the EU - or so I am told - under Objective 6. The construction, under the eagle eye of Curls is progressing well and once completed will be opened with dancing girls and juggles in attendance. See here for further details.

Took out an hour of my day to try out some old ORWO East German B&W printing paper I got hold of. Good stuff too. Snap taken with 1936 Super Ikonta A with GP3 film souped in APH09 and printed on ORWO 'normal' grade paper.