Sunday, January 30, 2011

Curry, Texel and Maison du Vent

Gratuitous non-landscape landscape snap

We went to Maison du Vent last night. Oh what a fine evening we had. Company was excellent - the adult-letts entertaining and the curries magnificent. Positively superb. Only surpassed by a curry house in de Koog on the Dutch island of Texel - you know, where the sheeps come from.

We were there on our Lavender coloured tandem. Why not? It's a magnificent place for cycling as it has cycle paths all over the island. Having said that, there were so many cycling visitors, some of the paths were very busy necessitating a visit to a cycle shop to get a bell. Eh? Perhaps Lewis & Harris could learn something from that!

We'd cycled /tandemed from the north of the island down the lovely cycle path behind the dunes in the morning sunshine before the afternoon rain and we were in need of a bite to eat. De Koog loomed. I snapped up some beach huts and then into town we went soon spotting a curry house. No sooner had we parked the tandem than we were inside and waiting for food.

Now, I'm not sure if it was that we were famished, the sun was shining and we had had a lovely ride on car-free, smooth tracks but that particular curry could not have been better. I am, I might add here, easily swayed. After getting lost up above Edale, Derbyshire in a snow-storm for a few hours one day [another day since you ask. Please keep up!] I dragged myself into the Penny Pot cafe there by the train station and had hot-chocolate and chips. I don't think Hector Bluementhal could have made them any better that day - not even foamed chips. It all tasted superb that day!

Anyway, Mr Windy's curries were excellent, the something or other superb, the other one lovely and so on. And we thank them.

Note; I do have some curry-fuelled snaps but I edited them out since I don't want to be lamped by Beth!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Gratuitous Island snap from the series I don't do landscapes

[for the Coelyns]

The air was clear and I took to the bicycle. It must be a year a least since I last touched this beast of pleasurable torture and it felt like it. My rear-end sat uncomfortably on the narrow saddle, hands resting tentatively on the handlebars but the legs, oh the legs, they felt fantastic as did my head. Such a wonderful feeling turning the pedals, wind rushing coldly pass my face threatening it seems to tear off the flesh and send it into the chain. But the legs! Oh the legs how good they felt out on the track by the sea.

Yes, I fell off once …. Or was it twice. Twice probably, I mean, it is a year since I last rode and the track was narrow and winding. And I’m a year older. Just a year mind you although time seems to be compressing as the years go by. Does it always go that way? I mean, taking that exponential notion, if its true, in two years I’ll be ninety. Ninety! That can never be true can it? I’m only just over fifty as it is.

Now I’m home, the legs still feel good, the head enjoying the ride still. And the sun remains shining through the window.

Todays reading. Ben Swift was eight years old when I first coached him.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Not one reply.....

The North Tolsta Formation

What a day! Not one reply to my two posts. I must be boring you.

The sun shone again today and I did things - with the pooter in the morning which got progressively frustrating as it went on. The scanner I have for looking at film negs had been playing up. After a while I gave up, went to town and annoyed the local MP instead. He didn't seem to mind I must say. Then I annoyed this mortgage broker fella. He was very nice too. He works in town if you need one - I can recommend him too. For his niceness anyway since I don't know much about what he does.

Then I came home. There is no snow I might add. As I said the sun is shining and everything. Well, not now, its dark now but it was shining.

Eve came home and we meditated together, My head nodding from time to time in time to the waves of tiredness that came over me all of a sudden. Then I had a look at the scanner again. Took it into The Warming Room and everything you know. Then I cleaned it, took it back here into the Summer Parlour and plugged it back in. And it works. Brilliant. Must have been the meditation.

A reading for today

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Good day

What a lovely day it's been. Sunshine and almost some warmth too. The weather tempted me out for a stroll along this road above the beaches. It was so lovely I climbed the hill behind, sat down on the rock and meditated with the sun on my face. Below the sea crashed onto the long beach.
Later, my artist friend called in after a swim - in the sea here - with dolphins and everything. Once I'd plied him with builder's tea and sat him by the Rayburn, he came round a bit! Since he was captive I told him about the new neighbour whose uncle is pictured in Gus Wylie's book, The Hebrideans - a fine tome if ever there was one.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wells [not "next the sea"]

Mater and Me at Mater's

I was there, strolling around with Mater and later sister. Wells in Somerset that is, drinking in the vibes and whatever as you do in such a place. The market was finishing, twas getting dull and a cafe still had not been visited. I remember a time when I came to a Bath Music Festival concert in Wells Cathedral of music by Messiean and he was there. Must have been a few years ago since he passed away in 1992. The concert was excellent tho. I mean really excellent. It was a time when I had a classical musician as a friend and she introduced me to such things. Stravinsky's Soldiers tale springs to mind. Gosh I was so high-brow those days. I suppose that comes from being born in Bath you know. In the better end. The Bath Festival then used to have a Jazz arm as well so I got to see/hear Egberto Gismonti and the Kronos Quartet among others. How good was that?

To Wells; I was inspired enough to find a post of sorts, place my camera and shoot some Titatrenko inspired shots. Mater would hate that picture so I have included a snap of myself and Mum in her lounge with lots of her art around the place. I look like I have been airbrushed into a grotesque - but I always look like that :-)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ok, were back in business

Been in the darkroom, circumventing the film-scanner and producing a real print. Twas lovely being back in there breathing in the fumes, stumbling around in the dimly lit room [especially since the fluorescent tube of the white light fell out and was too damaged to use again].
Seems like this snap on the film was taken a few weeks ago - all that snow and everything. I shouldn't look at it too much as you won't sleep tonight. I will, I'm immune to such images plus I've been meditating for almost an hour on the floor of the summer parlour. I'm so chilled I've already rested my eyelids for half an hour until my right side got a tad over-warm from laying too close to the recently lit stove.

The print is on some lovely old kodak polyprint paper. Tones wonderfully in sepia too. And before you ask, that's a cable running across the top left corner. And yes, the horizon is tilting to the left. Must have been windy that day :-)

Monday, January 24, 2011


A Man called John

Apologies for the lack of many new images in mf. I have some nice images taken with the KOWA6 but the scanner I have seems to have seen it's last MF scan. Well, it scans but leaves lines along the length of the neg - and no its not on the neg since it happened on Mr Windy's B&W negs too - and they were from his HOLGA - and you know how good they are!

I will just have to get into the darkroom and print some images and then scan those :-)

In the meantime, here's a 35mm neg scan from the Petri7s.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


There's boats everywhere it seems. Can't get away from them. Took a light stroll out along the River Parrott near Burnham-on-Sea recently and came across these. The river is muddy to say the least. My boots were not much better. This stretch of the river is tidal too so when the sea goes out the boats in the water settle on the mud.

Friday, January 21, 2011

No, No!!!!


I can't believe it. We live on an island - albeit a coldish one, ravaged at times by wind and rain and, here's the important point, surrounded by sea. The harbour still has fishing boats in it - although most of them fish for shrimps I'm told by good authority. The island, for those who you who don't live out this way is located off the Scottish mainland, somewhere out west. Scotland is still noted for its fish. Ok, stocks are low and yes the seas have been over-fished. But is there any reason to import fish - supposedly fresh fish - all the way from Indonesia????????

I was looking in a shop that sells such marine foodstuffs and noticed it today. I reeled back stunned. Next to the fish from Indonesia was Scottish fish - no doubt much fresher. Now, the Indonesians are fine people, the country is lovely but all those food miles!!!! It's like bringing coals to Newcastle [or perhaps these days, coals to Poland]. I don't begrudge the Indonesians income or exports but not all this way! It is globalisation gone mad! I bought the Scottish fish.

Now, Mater wouldn't countenance buying fish from Indonesia, even if she knew where it was. Mater does have standards you know and flying fish all that way would not be one of them. How right she is.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Man called John

The man called John

Walking onto Highbridge railway station at midday I espied the seat. It seemed to be the only seat on this little un-manned place and it was occupied.

'Good day' I ventured to the man on sitting down, resting the backpack I was carrying.
The man leapt up and stood facing me eyeing me suspiciously. We spoke a little more and he revealed to me he thought I might be a lunatic or something equally worrying ! After a while John - for that was his name - told me he came from the same village nearby where my elder sister lives. He knew her house and where did the name of the house come from? I didn't know but promised I would ask her to call him to let him know. A train passed through. "Gosh, that's really interesting" the man called John exclaimed. "Why is it interesting" I asked. "It's the nuclear flask train going to Sellafield from Hinkly Point power station and usually there's only one flask and today there was two". "Ah" I thought, this man is interested in just about everything.

We talked some more, the train I was catching arrived and I left him sitting on the seat his bicycle awaiting his attention by his side and I felt revived by his demeanour.

Three for tea

The voice of reason
No, this one!!!!

Petri7s Fomapan400@800 Rodinal

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Boat 2.

I'm back home :-)
Ok, it's another boat. And it's in Briftol - again. I can't come up with something new every day can?
Anyway, tis The Waverley paddle boat [or maybe its the Balmoral - thanks Ed !!!], the last something or other and now paddles here and there around the UK - except for now it's in Briftol. Looks lovely I must say. you can read more about it here and here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Boat 1.

I've been away, visiting Mater in Somerset and having my thoughts re-programmed by a rather nice man in, of all places, Newport - that's Newport in Welsh Wales. It rained there. To be quite honest, I think it has always rained when I have been in Newport - which, in my previous English life was quite a few times teaching people how to teach people how to ride bicycles round and round on a wooden track. I'd been sent from Manchester you know. Cheltenham was in my varied itinerary too, staying with my little sister [and her husband and two grown-up kids]. The sun was shining off the lovely honey-coloured stone built houses as I met a pal I used to work with 35 years ago. 35 years??? Yes, that is right, sadly. He hasn't changed - they never do.

I took the train back to Mater's - a rare treat apart from the fare. And the train. It seems that I could get a much lower fare if I was to break the journey up into two sections - to Briftol and then on to Highbridge. So I did. Mad isn't it?

Bristol was my home for a few years a hundred years ago so I took the opportunity to stroll from the Brunel designed railway station across to the docks and eventually to the Arnolfini [as one must do ] before returning to the trains. Passing by the dockside my eye caught sight of the Thekla - a venue where I have enjoyed many happy evenings - some years ago. Viv Stanshall - previously of the Bonzo's used to own the thing before he set fire to his flat somehow and passed on to another way of being. I had a camera with me. I had two actually. I chose one, raised the Petri7s to my eye, composed and shot. Here is the shot.

As an aside, a pal of mine is involved in trying to re-stage Viv's Stinkfoot sometime soon.

Petri7s. Fomapan400@800 Rodinal 1:100

Monday, January 17, 2011

Don't panic!

...Or perhaps celebrate. I have not gone away but been away in England visiting Mater in Somerset via our little planes off the island and easyFlot. It is so nice to be back on the island and as soon as I get in the darkroom, you'll be the first to see what I have.

Friday, January 07, 2011


It wasn’t me. I didn’t even see it there” said the accused. Stefan blocked the door with a menacing smile firmly entrenched on his face. Mr Windy was going nowhere. “I wasn’t even in the room. Ask Cailean, he saw me in the parlour” a flabbergasted Mr Windy pleaded.

Beth smiled secretly under her hat, the very hat worn by Deanne when the discovery was made. “Cailean is hardly going to be able to help you Dad, he’s not old enough to talk yet.”

Mr Windy spun round “Well, you’ll just have to wait until he can then he’ll tell you. For goodness sakes Stefan, let me out”. There was a slight scuffle in the gloom but Stefan did not move a muscle, his smile not even twitching.

Give me the hat Beth” Deanne said as she came into the room. “It’ll help me concentrate while I sort out this mess”. Deanne placed the pink hat on her head, brushed away stay strands of hair and set to work. “Now, who was in the room immediately before I found it? Jake?”

No, not present” Jake quickly replied looking a tad shifty without his dressing gown. “What happened anyway? Ah, the cake. I see.” Jake looked over the scene with growing interest. “Look, this has been cut and the chocolate spilt. There’s a trail of it and, oh look there’s some on Stefan’s shirt, and mouth.” Jake Poirot raised his eyebrows, ran his hand through his hair and took off into the other room. “ For goodness sakes, grow up you lot!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

In Homage to;

My homage to Michael Ackerman.

The other day I was having a discussion as to what makes a good snap - at least I think we were. I never really can tell if there is another agenda behind the verbals. And someone there at the time was mesmerised by my new green hat , so much so that they hardly said a word. I've taken it off now so you can relax.

My philosophy for image making is that sometimes you do something and produce an image that just shouts at you. It may not conform to rules so beloved of photography clubs and the like, it may not conform to any 'norms' but somehow it works. For me that is. Occasionally, this image works for someone else too and that's nice.

This does not define the image good, bad or indifferent it just means that I like it or perhaps that I react to it. I want to look again not just pass over it onto the next image. I might even want it on the wall - for a little while at least. Ask me to tell you what I look for in an image and I can't really tell you. I don't actually know. But when I see it I know that the one.

This snap here is one of those; taken in Stornoway on the fly with some old Soviet brick of a camera with re-confectioned aerial surveillance film and printed on Ilford resin paper this morning. It's not straight, sharp or interesting but I DO like it. This years masterpeice.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Red light district

Royston and Ziggy watch as a couple of joggers stagger past.

Mr Windy paid a visit today and stayed while his wife Deanne took the barking dog out for a run on the beach. So, I switched the red light light on and disappeared into the darkroom with Mr Windy for a while. In no time Mr Windy had learnt the art of wasting paper and produced some fine little prints for the first time. Nice.

No doubt, once Mr Windy has got the wardrobe made at la Maison du Vent he will be sloshing light sensitive paper around in chemicals and making fine prints.

I didn't make any snaps today so here's a few from a few days ago from a couple of local strolls.

Monday, January 03, 2011


My dance teacher; Karmiena on Christmas Day. This is the 'swing' move.

I was discussing life, work and snapology today. We took a short trip to our small capitol where my good pal William met us to swap over the work equipment. Boxes exchanged, we looked at each other while William talked about 2011 over a mocha in the cafe. Twas very revealing I must say; William has made a 2011 resolution that he will provide a service for meditation, crystal therapy and colonic irrigation - just as soon as he can get the hosepipe extended out to the shed! Not sure if this is a service for the sheeps but either way I think I may avoid Cromor for a week or two till Williams little scheme has receded from his mind.

Then we caught up with Lewis Photographica over a coffee. Mr Coelyn was effervescent with excitetude for some reason. I suspect it's cabin fever after being somewhat house-bound after ballet step taught by Toots went wrong on the stairs. Mrs Coelyn tried the same move with a similar result. I suspect it was that since Toots was keeping very quiet today.
All the same Mr Coelyn suggested I try this and that in 2011 - and I might just do that or something like that. Possibly.
I am going to try a little more paper-neg photgraphising, continue some more documentary stuff around my home village and generally cause more imaging havoc. As I do.