Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quads; Eh?

 Murdo [no, the other one! ]

Hector; worried about his lambs

Hector already has three lambs. Three little things bouncing around the croft enjoying the cool weather that has followed our early and brief summer. Autumn is on it's way already no doubt. There's lots more lambs on the way and Hector needs his quad to get around the crofts to make sure the  little beasts are ok.

I found Hector hunched over his quad - a Foreman quad I'm told only it won't start, on account of the damp weather, the state of the wind and sod's law no doubt. Murdo [no, the other one! ] happened along on his working quad to lend a hand, pass the time of day or something. I took their picture with my Kiev II loaded with Fuji 1600 and promptly over-cooked it in Rodinal.


Apologies for this but I just love this ad for a fav bike race of mine. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Secret is out

 I've been trying to snap up the soon to be married lady of that parish but for some reason the image rarely appears. I was beginning to think she was un-photograph-able - appearing merely as a space in the room or something. But, I was in An Lanntair with Anne - for that is her name - and managed to arrange a sort of image with this 'ere Soviet camera. Anne is the one on the left as it happens.

And then one develops a new film to me - Orwo N74 in Rodinal after coming out the now dried out Zorki6 after a dip in the local river/stream with me, when out pops another Anne snap complete with stookie!

I have taken one or two snaps of Eve over the years. One or two on  this bench next to the beach. And why not, it's a lovely place.


He just sat and looked.

Monday, March 26, 2012

On a day like today

 A Coelyn

 The Artist formerly known as Jon

The single man soon not to be who is called Toots.

I probably had too much caffeine. Maybe I did. Maybe I just got carried away. I like clicking the shutter -especially when I'm using a camera that I can click and click without having to wind on. Saves energy and all that. Probably. It was an Ilford Sporti. Cost me at least £3.

I did that today. Met Toots [see the Bands] and a Coelyn then The Artist [fkaJ] came along and we all sang a song in celebration - or should have done. The sun was shining again you see. That's several days in a row - unprecedented these days.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The beach and other things

Yes, we went to the beach again.

"Please stop pulling that face Eve. If the wind changes,,,, oh it has!"

Anyway, we tootled down the old track between the bottom and top of the Crofts nearby. Over the gates a crofter had put across the path to let his sheeps through, past the rubbish blown from the new house whislt it was being built, through the quagmire and down the machair to the beach.

We sat and enjoyed the sunshine. Then walked home again. That's what we do.

And no, we didn't go in the car. This snap was from Thursday last!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

To Reef for a stroll in the sunshine

 Bhaltos ring road

On a day like this anywhere on the island is wonderful. Eve and I once spent a night in a tent here - flippin heck it was cold I seem to recall. It's on a peninsula called Bhaltos/Valtos just the other side of the island and this day it was warm and wonderful and hardly a soul in sight all day. How good is that? Very good, trust me 

From the rock to the beach

I mean, just look at the place. White sand, clear blue sea, islands and rock. What more does one want?

 Gratuitous Sheeps on Reef machair snap

There were sheeps, but then there usually is. And they make nice little tracks around the place.

Eve enjoying the day

Eve liked the place and the day. So did I. Despite my aches.

 Inland from the top

 Seawards from the bottom

Down there

Just before I hit the rocks with my now heavily bruised body, I took this with the Kiev 60 which banged down on top of me as I hit the water. It saved that camera from getting wet but not me!

Friday, March 23, 2012



Summer has arrived. We have to take it when it comes even if it's a few months early. So I took a couple of cameras out for a stroll. Up onto the hills over-looking Garry Beach in greater Tolsta. Snook this snap with a dodgy Kiev 6c and then descended to the beach.

That was a big mistake.

No, not going to the beach but trying to cross the river across the beach - the bit where it's all stones was where I made the mistake. I mean, I could have gone a few hundred meters up-stream and crossed on the bridge but I didn't. Instead I found myself lying full length in the cold water having slipped ion the rocks. My Zorki rangefinder camera in my bag was under the water, it's metal lens shade bent all over the shop. The Kiev camera was weighing me down and not helping in my attempts to get up out the water - even though the strap had broken.

I did get up and out, bruised, battered and very wet. Strolled nonchalantly as I could back to the car left up the road, thankfully noting no-one was around [apart from Murdo-Red who was out on his quad chasing sheep nearby but behind a hill] and my little fall went un-noticed.

I called into the vilage shop on the way back where I was called something in Gaelic [which I was informed was not all complimentary] by 'Up Yours' McIver for dripping on her floor. 'Her' floor? I thought it was a community shop and being one of the community I have a right to drip there - so I did!

I'm bruised and battered this morning. Black and blue with some red bits. The Zorki has dried out nicely and the Kiev strap mended so no harm done. I shall take the bridge in future!

Pot Noodle Peter takes in the fun at the PO/Shop

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sometimes you have to take a photo

 I saw this surfer coming out of the water on Traigh Mhor. 

 He was happy to pose

Then he went off with his pal

Birthday stroll

Rodel church tower

Yep, we went that way. Down to Obbe and then to Strond before a stroll over a lovely path to Rodel.
And yes we stopped on the way to eat our snacks. Near here to be exact.

Just above here we stopped, sat down and enjoyed the sunshine. Nice innit?

And no, I don't like Tri-x. At box speed pushed or pulled. I must be only one!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


The Essence of Stornoway Town

I was surprised that Stornoway was not made a city this year. I mean, what has Perth to offer that Stornoway hasn't? Does Perth have the aroma of dead fish and diesel?


I rest my case.

My recent masterpieces seemed not to elicit the response I'd rather hoped for. Anyone can make sharp and obvious snaps. Eh? So, I present to you The Essence of Stornoway Town for you to coo over. Please.

I hate to inform you that Monster Pushkin disgraced himself last night after refusing to go out into the wild weather for 'relief'. I can't really blame him for not wanting to got out but he could have chosen a better place to use. Like the cat-litter! Maybe he doesn't know what it's for.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monster Pushkin has taken up residence

It seems we have a new tenant with Monster Pushkin moving in. At least while the weather is a bit rough - as it is at the moment. Not sure where he comes from or whether he will stay but he is welcome while he is here.

Sunday saw much better weather than today - so much so that birthday girl Eve and I took ourselves off to Harris for the day. What a  wonderful day for a stroll from Strond to Rodel and round about. Even if the cafes and pubs were either shut or not serving food. Good job the sandwiches had been packed.

Master Leica
I'm not sure Master Leica would have been overly impressed if there had been nothing to eat - just like he was less than impressed with my Olympus OM1n - and just like he was less then impressed with my Minolta before.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Stookie and all that

Coffee with a Stookie

I never even knew what  stookie was. I had to ask. Being born in Bath Spa and brought up in the south west of England doesn't prepare one for such utterances. Now Anne is sporting one on her ankle but it didn't stop her taking coffee.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Masterpieces one after another!

 Lee Friedlander wasn't here 

Sometimes, just sometimes I take snaps. Most of the time to be honest. And I'm liking the snaps like these more and more. OK, I can just see your hearts sinking at the thought of it. I think I've been spending too much time talking to The Artist formerly known as Jon. Jon is always enthusiastic and thinking of new ideas of how to use materials to interpret the landscape of histories. I just look at something and try to capture the, the .... well, the emotion I suppose. And look above. see, if that doesn't emote something in you then, ............ well, I don't know.

And this. This image - or snap - has a whole story. Is a whole story. Only I don't know what it is yet. It hasn't realised itself to me.

Did I mention that I was training on my bicycle this morning? No, well, I was with a group of riders riding at speed though a tunnel. I was wearing wellingtons which did not fit on the toe-clips of my bike [yes, I am that old]. As a result I got left behind. I then received a nudge in my back -from Eve and I woke up ! What was that all about then?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sometimes you wish you had smiled

 Over there

Back to front - that's why I look weird. Really!

I was looking down a very small hole into the box. A box-file as it happens now converted to a Hasselbox pinhole 'camera'. I found it under a heap of negs so loaded it again with expired and fogged paper and shot the other side of the road. Then I re-loaded then shot myself. So to speak!

I wish I had smiled now!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


D A and friends.

No, no I am not posting on the wrong blog. This is not The Crofter over there but D A over here.

I was passing a croft up t'road the other day on the way to somewhere important. Probably quite important anyway. Even though I can't remember where I was going. It must have been important. Anyway, I see this blimin great Chelsea tractor-ish vehicle lurking with a trailer attached. I stopped and said hello or something, passed the time of day, asked what was 'fresh' and made myself a general nuisance. That way when I suggested photographising D A and Gary they were happy to oblige - just to shut me up - probably. Their sheeps were lurking in Glen Tolsta just over there outside of the village here and they wanted them back on the croft so they can oversee the lambing and what have you. 

So of we went with me following behind, nicely be-booted up and all. We walked down into the glen towards the old derelict house, the ground underfoot somewhat wet and slippy. D A had told me once he shook his bucket of sheeps nuts [the island 'sheepdog'] they'd soon happen along. They didn't. They didn't want to come when D A shouted 'come' [ in Gaelic obviously ]. But when Gary walked around the back of them they came - well, most of them. I watched and snapped.

The sheeps are now ensconced just over the road from our wee house now.

The day t'internet came back after a weeks hiatus. And I celebrated by uploading some snaps. As I do.

 It was The Crofter's birthday this week. Yesterday in fact. Almost 40 don't you know although he doesn't look a day under 50. Must be the sea air. Eve decided to revitalise her cake decorating skills and did a "Flying pig on a bed of Marzipan sh*t". Eh? What was that all about then. I shall be posting a snap of aforesaid cake on The Island Crofter blog soon.

Meanwhile, previously, that is, Deanne was getting ready for a working trip to Iceland. So I pointed her in the direction of Rax and his wonderful photographising of same - just in case Deanne was inclined to snap up an Icelander or two - with the camera that is. Although, it's more likely to be with an electronic imaging device me thinks.

"Up Yours MacIver" was spotted in The Smoke the other day. I had a camera with me and pressed the shutter. It's blurred. And I like it like that. It's also quiet. Unlike the real MacIver:-)

The cake-icer was in the car-park post purchasing 'stuff'. It happens that was sometimes. My MacIver'ed camera was pressed into use again and I caught two Eve's [well, one and two-thirds to be honest]. Life can be like that.

Then, later I went for a walk with The Barking Dog. We saw some sheep. They live round these parts. For a few months anyway. I snapped then up too.

Back to normality.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Oy yoy yoy!

We managed a quick sprint along the beach, Ghriet and I. Ghriet in her woolly coat and I in my waterproofs. Our Hazel sheltered from the wind in the bay, the seagulls played on the wind and Ghriet struggled to stay on her feet. I took some snaps and didn't like most of them. Including this one!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Self analysis

You know when things aren't going my way when you see a self-portrait here. It usually means I have run out of inspiration or, as in this case had too much time on my hands. The weather has been terrible of late. Snow and wind interspersed with a moment of bright sunshine. Normal I suppose. Normal in as much the ferries stopped running - aided by yet another engine breakdown.

Not sure what happened here. Brilliance I suppose :-) 

So, out came the matchbox pinhole - made previously at great expense, pointed it here and there, guessed the exposure [as I do] and ended up with what are obviously, masterpieces.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Bin out on bike - again

How did that happen then? Twice on the bike in one week. Two days of sunshine too. Only 25 miles in total but it's a start isn't it? And on the mountain bike too - that's always harder work. My road bikes are in the loft and in another's garage so I have little choice at the moment. But I may just have to get them.........
We could have cycled here - but didn't. We went to Bac and back instead. Into the wind on the way out, back with the sun and the wind on our backs. You see, I still remember that!

And the day before we were Waltzing for a few hours too - well, what passes for waltzing anyway. Had a lot of fun I might add though. Mr Windy took a snap and sent it over. I reproduce it, with permission, below.

Obviously, Mr Windy managed to snap us up during the bit when we were not looking our best.

Friday, March 02, 2012



I was out on the bike yesterday. [The Mountain bike as it happens, my road and tack bikes are in the loft along with the tandem while my other road byke resides in a garage elsewhere in the village] The first time out on the bike for a year. The warmish sun and surprising lack of wind tempted me out.

 [part of ]My route

It wasn't long before I took to the old road along the coast, dodging sheep and potholes on what could be a wonderful cycle trail for locals and visitors alike. My legs felt ok, my bottom less so. I think the long sojourn off the bike had softened those bits! Still, I had the descent into Gress to enjoy before I turned off to joyride round the village itself. Back to the coast [we are only talking 1 mile in total for this detour] I passed by the football stadium then sat and enjoyed the vista while having a snackette to sustain me.

 Football stadium

And here's evidence of sorts; my bike at Gress.
Bike at rest

I am a bit cranky this morning. The legs ache - but that's normal I seem to remember. Hoping to be able to keep this progress up - once I have managed to get past the waltzing practice on Saturday.

Hoping my cycling friends will be reading this - especially M&M in Aus!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Well, got through that day!

 Portrait of a Yorkshire horse


This was dear Mater in her younger days. She certainly had a style about her. And I love the photo too, the pose, the tones and everything. I'm not usually that keen on posed portraits but this one and the one of my father are winning me round.

The reason why I blog - the thought process behind it [ as if ] and the actuality of it has been worrying away at me for the last few days. Ever since Mr Radford posited the idea of a post about it. The more I think about it, the less I can sort it out in my head! 

At least I can show the snaps I take without real reason - like this one from a recent trip to Yorkshire. I can waffle on about nothing for any reason at all. I can even write unfathomable headlines too.  I fact, having no editor is just brilliant - except that there is no-one to point out that I have left the odd letter stuck to my finger rather than on the page!