Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lewis Tweed

There's a chap from a cruise ship who wrote a letter .....

.. yet there is one

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Local Hero

Mr Windy listens in as super hero Paul Smith [right] tells Local Hero['s] Roddy Murray how it's done before the start of the cyclosportive in Ullapool.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ullapool cyclosportive

Three quarters of the Smit family
The intrepid three
The scenery - not that the cyclists had time to look at it!

Now, my life used to revolve around cyclists. I worked at the Velodrome in Manchester, I coached cyclists, I raced and my partner raced. Since moving to the island, Eve has cycled to keep fit and I have done nothing much - mainly due to my persistent CFS. Still, we have plenty of friends still in the sport - the wedding recently we attended was of a cyclist and other cyclists were there too. In the hospital where my partner works is another former racing cyclist - and photographer - Mr Windy and we hatched a plan to go over the water to the mainland and ride the Ullapool cyclosportive. We even coerced Stephan from the hospital and this village into riding despite him only taking up cycling recently.
The 65mile route of the event goes round Stac Polly along some of the most beautiful roads in Scotland. Only, they are a tad up and down and Stephan suffered but did absolutely brilliantly to finish - albeit on his knees!. The weather was lovely and so was the day. Eve, Stephan and Mr Windy completed the course a mere whisker [1.5 hrs!] behind Paul Smith - also from the Isle of Lewis who shot round in 3.5 hours!
I took some snaps, I had a wonderful time and look forward to another little bicycle related trip with the clan. Mr Windy wrote about it too here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pirate talk day. Eh?

Hello shipmates. Th' weather be jus' awful today. Eve got ou' fer a final longer ride on th' lass' bicycle in th' rain before next weekend`s epic from Ullappol - weather permittin'. Talkin' o' weather, despite th' fact that thar be a gentle breeze, I notice th' good ship Muirnag has ventured ou' t' sea an' be on 'tis way homeport t' Stornoway.

Not much in th' way o' snaps t' show but I be showin' this one all th' same.

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's me

Dug out some old glass plates I still have lurking round the place. Bodged up the 5x7 plate holder to take this slightly smaller plate, guessed sensitivity of the plate, exposure [3mins], development etc then contact printed it.
I like it. Now you know what i look like !

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kodak Fine Grain Positive film

In the freezer I have a small stash of film of which this is one. Tis a pain to use in-camera since it was designed for use to copy movie films! But rated at asa 3ish and developed in print developer, one gets a dense but very fine grained Neg. This is a crop from a 35mm neg.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Still more peats

There still quite few stackls around the village that I have yet to snap. I got this nicely built one the other day whilst walking to a pal's place. Our peats are still in bags outside the house but, rest asssured a stack will be built once the weather gets a tad dryer!

Monday, September 13, 2010

This was the wedding [2]

This chimney sweep arrived too late to sweep the chimney of the church stove but stayed for the wedding anyway!
The Great Elviski - all the way from Poland via Manc - wows the happy couple in the reception teepee. Ugh Huh!

Baron von Hoyster with my nephew, now actor and former track cyclist Joby [on the right. Sir Chris on the left. Yes, that's it] after a glass of champagne. Or two.
Mr Hunter has breakfast on the balcony of La Rosa. The church of the wedding in the background - next to the ruined Abbey
Lucrecia and Ellen prepare to look fab
The clan in La Rosa having high[ish] tea

Just back from the weekly Lewis Photographica coffee session and find myself still suffering from some ghastly bug that seems to be ravaging my bod at the moment. I have only enough energy to scan a neg or two before retiring to bed and then out to work later [life eh? ].

Well, since I took a couple of rolls of colour film while away I have started to have a look at what I can salvage from these. Not convinced with colour really. Seems far too complicated so I have converted some to monochrome - which is far from satisfactory but will have to suffice till I get this new fangled colour thing sorted. Any colour change of the image is purely due to my incompetence - or if you like it - due to my brilliance! Apologies for the slight blotchiness in some images but it appears that the lab technician who processed these colour negs for me must have washed her hair in the chemicals first!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


While on our little sojourn down south we called in at Staithes. I'd seen some nice snaps of the place by various photographers such as Frank Meadows Sutcliffe .We stopped at the top of the hill, paid the exorbitant parking fees [minimum 4 hours!] and tootled off down to the village. Well what a sad place it felt. I just couldn't get excited about the place at all. The sun was shining, the place was free from hordes of people but the place just felt desolate. Houses run down and empty, boarded up hotels and a smell that was- well, lets put it this way 'not very pleasant' in places. I was so disappointed. I really wanted to like the place. Still, on returning to near the hill-top car-park we espied a little cafe. Soon we were sat in the sunshine sipping fine coffee and munching lovely warm toast.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Bride

Carli Norfolk; in there somewhere :-
The Jam Man MBE giggles

Here I am wading knee deep in negs from the week away and I'm trying hard to find one of the bride at the wonderful wedding I attended. Young Jon married the delightful Carli in Whitby with a fantastic reception in a field in some big teepees . I know I have a snap of Carli somewhere. Ah well, this one will have to suffice for the time being. And a nice snap of The Jam Man giggling at my partners ramblings :-)

Do you now, I rather like Whitby - at 7 am that is. After that the people come out and its chaos and noise.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Wedding

Eve & I were down at Whitby for a wedding recently. Lovely church on a hill overlooking the harbour. The sun was shining, Jon, the handsome and ever-lovely bridegroom was grinning and all was well. Carli the bride looked wonderful and in no time - with a little cajoling from the vicar to us plebians - the two were wed. Out in the sunshine the cameras were shooting this way and that - and some of them at Jon & Carli too. Sir Chris Hoy was there to see it all happen resplendent in his Hebridean tartan kilt. [note to self; tell Chris that Kilts and bouncy castles a good match do not make].
Ellen [and no, I won't forget to mention the O.B.E] was there as well with her hubby Paul and two childs - Lucrecia and Fred - both now too old for their own good. I must say, despite staying in a B&B that was singularly uninspiring["Would you like the room with the four poster bed?" ; yes please we say only to find the thing was a few peices of 2x2 with some rag over the ends!] , and later sleeping in a teepee at the reception field - we had a wonderful time. I mean, even The Jam Man was there.

Back home and still sunshine!

After a trip down to Ingerland to attend a most wonderful wedding, we came back to lovely sunshine and a nice trip across The Minch to Tarbert where we bumped into Ian who is just near the end of a little cycle ride - round the world. Has a wealth of interesting stories and is maiking his way up to Ness before finishing his trip in three weeks time. So, if you see hm on the road, give him some room or stop for a chat!