Thursday, August 28, 2014

Paper to paper

Mr Toots kindly donated a couple of sheets of Kentmere ArtDoc paper - for which I am most grateful. So much so, I loaded some in the back of an old Franka 6x9 and shot Mr Toots with it. Then when I had developed this neg, dried it and what have you, I shoved it in the enlarger to biggern it up onto Adox-MCC which I then developed and toned.
Nice eh?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

There again

I mean, we were there again, waving our arms about in a meaningful way. This is Walter who is the expert arm waver. We flail around in unison - or nearly in unison anyway and,  feel all the better for it too.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014


We live on an island, near Scotland - all part of the UK for now anyway. And we have a couple of lifeboat stations here - for which i am most grateful. It used to be just the Stornoway lifeboat then the Leverburgh one got going and 'shouts' for the Stornoway one halved apparently. So last weekend when we were in town having luncheon with William and Gemma, it was a surprise to catch the lifeboat boys rushing around to get out on a sunny but windy day.

One crew was a tad late - too busy eating Guga perhaps and missed the boat. Literally.

The crew of this French Round Britain Race yacht sorting their sails after the gales got more than they bargained for as the huge engines of the lifeboat started up!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Blow up

There she is; that one down there with the mechanical paddling device and all that. The one next to the one with an engine. See it? If you look very carefully you can see the name of the tub Freyja scrawled on her rubber bits. No, sorry, that's rubbed off as we have had some rain recently. Hard to believe but there you are. It has water in it too. Should be just on the outside I'm told, but it fills up with the rain. I hope it's the rain anyway.

Did a bit of soloing yesterday. On this little blow-up and on the good tub Freyja. Hoisted the sails and everything. Did a few gybes, drifted around a bit, sailed backwards, bobbed a bit, tangled and un-tangled the big string, wrestled with the recalcitrant mechanical paddling device, cursed politely at the furling thing when the string fell off the drum thing. Had a fine old time all is all and entertained the Stornoway massive in the process.

I even tooked some snaps.

Friday, August 22, 2014

I'm telling you,,


I now have a lovely new developing tank to use thanks to some special friends who wanted to mark the passing of another year with me still breathing. It's great that tank - doesn't leak or anything - like most of the ones I had before. This was from the first roll through it. 

Many thanks. Very much appreciated.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stornoway in the future

This was taken in the future. It's a new technique too long and complicated to bother you with here. I'm liking this though. To be able to 'see' into the future with a camera [not electric imaging device] is really cutting my biscuit at the moment.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

It must be the green tea

Maybe it was the green tea all brewed nicely at 81c and all that. Radio4 seemed to have taken a turn for the interesting - just like my dream last night when my [un-named] friend and Eve my partner rode a tandem along a narrow path on a cliff edge and.....

No, it wasn't nice.

You see, Radio4 seemed to have a taken an odd turn Monday morning and I wasn't sure whether I was hallucinating. Recycled radio and the Cold Swedish Winter had me both enthralled and wierded up as well. And everything.

Our darling furry-face of a cat HHHCB was there listening with me, hiding behind her pile of books and the flowers. I snapped her up with a handy Fuji Instax camera and here we have it.

Monday, August 18, 2014


He enjoys his job so much, even his troosers are smiling. The 'staff' holds the ladder and thinks of times to come.

Malcolm Macleod for that's who it is, takes THE snap of the day at the opening of the marina. Loves that ladder he does. Takes it everywhere. I must get him on the good- tub Freyja with it :-) 

I also snapped up this fellow-me-lad who was cycling in the sunshine from there to there. His tent pole was broken so Mr Flying Monk used his piston rods to help him fix it. Apparently.

No, I didn't mean what you are thinking.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


It's up again.
Did the deed of re-upping the mast in the corner of the harbour between some old fishing boats - which did indeed make our little tub Freyja look very tidy indeed. We had the mast down after a little incident at sea a few days ago. Today, despite the breeze, rain and what have you, and a lot of help from Eddy and Gerald, the thing is now pointing up the right way, the wire string is all attached in the right places and most of the piles of gull-poo has been washed off the deck.

I might even go out next week and attach the sails again, have a little bob around the outer harbour, sing laugh and shout. Hopefully, no-one shall hear me.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Oh well.

I'm still reeling from the carnival day - all that goings on and everything. Of course it's raining today, the wind is breezing so not sure I can do what we had planned. I might have to invade the darkroom - maybe print this magnificence.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"Harrrrrr" or something equally pantomime

Vikings eh?

We've had more than our share of Viking types here recently. There was one lot straight out of panto who shouted Harrrr a lot and waved faux axes and shields around, wore leather and slept on blow-up mattress! Blow-up mattresses? Are you sure? Why didn't they sleep on straw or something. Can't be proper Vikings can they?

Then there were the Nordic Vikings who sailed into port in their 120 ft long longboat. Now these are proper Vikings surely! Lovely wooden boat, sleeping on the bottom of the boat under canvas and not a 'Harrrr' among them. I mean, even the huge mast broke on one voyage and they still kept going - found another tree and now they are off again!

I mean,,,,,,

Proper mast that

And a proper boat.

Harrrrr !
See, didn't even flinch


Another snap from my occasional series - "Can't think of what to post".

They were CaNadien or something - making a lovely squawk as they performed at the opening of the marina on the pontoon we clouted somewhat ungracefully with the good tub Freyja the other day.

I snapped them up with the Zorki-4 armed with a Jupiter12 lens. The darkroom revealed this. Eh?

On the nice Kentmere Fineprint finegrain fb paper. No longer made sadly.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

There 'it' is

Told you I was going in the darkroom and I did, helped by the lashing wind and rain outside. Mostly outside anyway. Must sort the darkish room roof.

This I might add is from a 35mm neg onto Kentmere Fineprint paper. I can't just come up with a title for this so I'm hoping someone else will.

I like it all the same, name or no-name.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Words speak louder than snaps

Perhaps I should institute a podcast just so you can hear my dulcet tones as I thrash about on the pooter trying to say something sensible here. Or perhaps not.

You might even get the chance to hear this lot squawking their way up the road. Simon Fraser Uni band from Canada by all accounts - and to be honest I rather liked the racket they made.

And they stood on our new pontoons as they were officially opened and what have you. Actually, now I come to think of it they were the old pontoons rocking about under them as they marched and everything, squeezing, blowing and banging the drum things.  Brave eh? And when I say 'our' pontoons, I really mean the island's not mine and Eve's - even if our little water-filled dingy is sitting adjacent to it. At least, I hope is sitting adjacent to it and not floating off round the harbour again on a little trippette of its own. Again.

See how marchy they were. Typical CanAdiens I'd say. Apart from the bagpipe bit. Obviously.

This little set of snaps says it all really. There is no need for a podcast you'll be pleased to read.

Darkishroom here I came .

Monday, August 11, 2014

Carni Val

Yes, the Isle of Lewis has a CarniVal. Not quite the Somerset Guy Fawkes carnivals but good fun all the same. [I mean, don't listen to me but have a look at this little vid  ]. It rained today of course. It has to rain as it's carnival. They opened the Marina too - officially that is. There's been boats all over the place all year. And a right old racket going on on south beach harbour - a musical interlude I'm led to believe. Not a patch on the Canadien pipe band playing as they walked and everything. I think I even saw someone enjoying themselves - albeit briefly.

I made sure I didn't smile. It's not the done thing don't you know.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The mariner is open!

Or was it the marina? Never mind. It is open. On account the minuscule numbers of fisherperson boats that float and go out to sea and what have you and the flocks of yotties bobbing round about this area in their petite palaces of gin. Makes sense to put in a few pontoons, have loos and showers that are open seven days a week and charge an arm and a leg.

It is helped rather by the lack of available places for cars on the ferries so visitors can't get here so easily. Good thing too - far too many people here already.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Rare snaps of Toots

Toots with his bargain bike now shod with non-rotten tyres and waiting to be ridden. Taken at the back end of the darkish room.

The darkish room is to print the film pouring out of the many cameras lurking around the gaff there. See, this 'ere is Toots snapping the grass or something on the machair opposite the gaff. In sunshine. So it wasn't that recent then.

That's there the flowers and everything. Tooked by me with the cheapest camera I have [Viv UW&S] with the cheapest film [Polypan-f], almost in focus and everything.

We might have to wait a while before we see Mr Toots' snaps - possibly even in colour. Oh no, I forgot, there was no film in his camera at the time :-)

Friday, August 08, 2014

Wake me when it stops raining please

Tiger wakes enough to see it's still raining and his human pets - Freda and Pat - are still around to wait on him paw and paw.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Porpi off the blunt end

It's not all bad news that sailing lark. One can take a camera - even if it's a point and shoot, pop a roll of cheap polypan-f in and enjoy the sunshine.

One of the many porpi we saw [is that the plural? It is for me]

Luckily Eve doesn't look here so I can post this snap of her operating the steering stick.

You know, that hat really is stylish. Somewhere, probably.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

A comedy of errors. How to have a memorable birthday trip!

Please, we are back safe and well-ish. The front bit holding the big pole thing up on the wee boatee sort of fell off as we were in a huge ish swell after The Isle of Lewis ferry had just passed by us out beyond Arnish. That's the sea for those who don't know. And boats like our little boatee have sailed the Atlantic don't you know!


The pole thing wobbled dangerously and threatening to kill us had it fallen - only there were some nice wire string things on the side of the wee boatee just about holding the thing up. We pulled the big blanket thing down so quick you wouldn't have realised it had been up. The genoa blanket thing on the front I noticed was back leaning on the side of the wobbling pole thing flapping around madly in the wind and not able to furl it on the whatsit, we just looked astounded at the chaos. It wasn't good at all. Luckily the mechanical paddling device [MPD]started first time, we swung round in the big water keeping a wary eye on that big pole banging about over us. Then Eve had the presence of mind to stand in the door of the little house bit and push forward on the pole to help steady it. It was I might add here, a hairy moment or two. To be honest, had the pole 'let go' Eve might not have been able to hold it but I tried not to think about that. And I wasn't about to ask Eve to dance along the heaving decks to sort the little mess out on the pointy end.

We motored into the outer harbour as fast a I dared with the wind blowing us over to the right and the shallows - but at least there we would have a little less bumping around I hoped. I really didn't care at this point if we went up on the shingle beach there or not such was the dodgyness of our plight. But then the seas flattened a tad, Eve took the steering stick and I 'leapt' up onto the front bit grabbing the furling thing that had fallen off and tied it roughly to the fore-rail bit, the anchor whatsit with whatever rope came to hand all the time the sail whacking me round the mush with a ferocity Leonard Lewis would have been proud off. The boat pirouetted a few times as Eve tried to bring the thing under control with the propeller-bit wildly paddling the air with my great lump sat on the front of the boat. Now all was tied in a right tangle at the front I 'leapt' back to the steering stick, gunned the MPD and set off with Eve now cuddling the mess at the front of the boat  getting a right battering from the blanket thing and a good soaking too. We were going right against the wind, the front of the wee boatee was swinging here and there because of the flappy thing at the front but twas impossible to contain it and I didn't was Eve falling off and polluting the harbour anyway.

Then I noticed I could see the bottom of the flippin harbour - not a good thing trust me - and I swung quickly round with Eve hanging on for dear life at the front. Luckily I think the coastguard must have been having a cup of tea at this point as we motored past their windows with everything askew and Eve draped over the front bit.

Still, to cut a short story long, we got over to where the offending Isle of Lewis ferry was parked, the seas flattened and we went straight round to the marina to park - eschewing our swinging mooring. Crashing into the pontoon was a delight. I didn't care about the gin-palace stares as this battered tub came blundering into 'their' patch [even though it's not officially opened yet ]. Murti - the lifeboat coxswain came out to help us lower the wobbling pole [many thanks Sir] then we stayed and sorted it all out. The mast is now off as we need to replace the clevis pins [no idea - I read it somewhere] and the bent mast bolt and I might just add a secondary bit of string at the front of the boat to add security should the thing ever happen again.

Mr Harbour man was very nice too [Thanks Sir]. Let us mess wif the tub on the nice new pontoon, helped us carry the big pole onto the land and everything. We took the boat, sans big pole back out to the swinging mooring to leave room for another gin-palace that came in soon after. In doing that we managed to glance a light blow off something hanging off the back of a petite palais [sorry and all that], me get on foot on the pontoon and the other on a wandering boat deck resulting in an incongruous grovelling on a pontoon tangled in big string. [I laughed - what else could I do?]. We got out to the mooring  relived nothing else had fallen off. Missed the mooring pickup first time, then once the tub was tied up we noticed the dingy had floated off across the harbour. Un-moored the tub and collected the dingy. We got in at the end. The green tea celebration was grand.

Still, I might remember this birthday trip!


Se how different Toots looks while on the Uists. Berneray actually, but you get the idea. Total surprise at the lack of rain at this point. And more surprise was on it's way when a gull sh*t on his hat!

And these lovely cycleristas came whizzing past on South Uist. They were stopped just round the corner sorting a puncture. Must have been something they picked up on the mainland because we never puncture cycle tyres over here!

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Of course there are animules

See, that's what they look like at the Lochs show and everything. With added men.

Having their horns polished

Judging the coows

Friday, August 01, 2014

Another little place I know where the flies are like stuka bombers!

Look, I had to drive nearly 300 miles yesterday, half of it on single track road take two ferries and 'work'. I need time to recover Eh?