Wednesday 31 October 2012

Bob the Apple

Bob the Apple.  Nikon D7000
31st October 2012

As it is Halloween this evening, I thought a festive image was in order.

I did not have a pumpkin, so I thought a twist on a traditional apple-bobbing theme was in order.

The torrential rain this evening was very welcome as it stopped most of the infernal trick-or-treaters calling :)

Muse-ical Evening

Muse on stage at the NEC.  Fuji F11
30th October 2012

Jo and I went to indulge our ears to the delights of Muse playing at the NEC in Birmingham tonight.  Ironically, it is the second time in a week that I have been within a few hundred yards of the band as they played in Glasgow next door to the hotel I was staying in.

It was much better being there in person, in the mosh-pit.

The music was loud, the singing was superb, but the crowd were really tall!

Muse were supported by The Joy Formidable, who were really not bad at all; it would have helped if I knew more than the one song of theirs though.

Overall the night was a real spectacle and well worth getting a sore throat and ringing ears for.

Monday 29 October 2012

Chalk Pot

Chalk Pot.   Nikon D7000
29th October 2012

I made this little pot many years ago.   The glaze on it is very matt and rough and is ideal for writing on in chalk.  It has lived in the kitchen, by the chalk board and now has many many small stubs of chalk sticks of assorted colours in it.

We often forget how useful the insignificant items are in our lives.

Candles arn't dead

Sparklers.  Nikon D7000
28th October 2012

Although it is not Bonfire Night yet, we did have some sparkers today.

They were on a birthday cake and although it looked great, they are not easy to blow out and also leave a thin layer of grey soot on the cake afterwards.

Candles are not dead technology yet!

Apple Splits

Russet split by the rain.  Nikon D7000
27th October 2012

In a similar manner to how the cherries all split open after swelling with the rain, some of the Russets have succumbed to a similar problem.

The split apples are in a bad way and starting to rot now unfortunately; it looks like the chickens may be in luck again.

Bloodshot Window

Bleary eye.  Fuji F11
26th October 2012

I thought I would try something different for a change.   On flicking back through my pictures of the week, I noticed that the only portrait is of a plaster version of Elvis.

I decided that a self portrait may be the best place to start, but as I look so rough from having a week away organising a conference, I thought I would takes pictures a bit at a time.  They say the eye is the window to the soul, even if it is a bit bloodshot.

It is quite tricky to compose an image of your own eye; I used a compact camera with the LCD reflected in a mirror to make sure the camera was focussed, however you have to look back into the lens just as you release the shutter.  If you keep looking in the mirror, the image is not so good!  

I accidentally cropped the image with the eye pupil just off centre 'the wrong way'.  I quite liked the effect as it is not quite the normal way we would expect to see an eye.

Early Mooning

Early morning Moon.  Fuji F11
25th October 2012

We found a pub that stayed open late after the conference dinner last night and I realised that it was now very early this morning when I walked back to the hotel, rather than yesterday (yes, still tired).

The Moon was over the top of the BBC Scotland building and it was reflecting in the river too.

They do not seem to have cottoned on to the idea of money saving at the BBC as there were stacks of lights on but 'nobody home'.

The Moon, the Sun and a bit of Elvis

Derelict Crane.  Fuji F11
24th October 2012

I could not decide today which picture to post, so I thought I would put them all up.

The first is of a *massive* old crane by the side of the Clyde that was used in the days when lots of shipbuilding still went on in Glasgow.

I had to walk around a bit and almost fell in the river trying to get a good angle where the Moon was in the same image.

The second picture is of the setting Sun shining through the Autumn leaves.

We had the conference dinner tonight at the Burrell collection gallery and there happened to be a life-size model of Elvis ...

Sun setting.  Fuji F11

Elvis in the Burrell collection.  Fuji F11

Marble, marble everywhere but not a piece to carve.

Staircase of Glasgow City Chambers.  Fuji F11
23rd October 2012

I was lucky today to be able to visit inside Glasgow City Chambers.   The architecture of the place is seriously impressive.

It took me quite some time to climb the staircase though as I had to stop and look at all the marble carvings that are their, and also lust after having a few of the 'plain' blocks to carve myself.  I was not feeling greedy; any one of the pillars would do nicely  :)

Kiss my ...

Rather expensive ring.  Fuji F11
22nd October 2012

While nosing around the shopping arcades in Glasgow today I spotted a ring in a shop window.

After picking myself up off the floor and thinking what else I could do with more than a years wages, I thought I would take a picture of it.

I did not stay long by the window as I think the security guard thought I may be casing the joint!

Above the Rain

Sea of Clouds.  Fuji F11
21st October 2012

I noticed today while flying up to Glasgow how regular the patterns in the clouds can be; rather like waves on the sea.

It was nice to be out of the rain for once too!

Saturday 20 October 2012

Smells Like ...

More Welsh Cakes.  Nikon D7000
20th October 2012

There have been a number of interesting smells in the house today.

There has been lots of cooking (which has hit the egg mountain nicely), but it has resulted in yet more Welsh Cakes however.  Alex and Katie have had great fun; Xena has also enjoyed cleaning the floor after them.

Liz also has been joining in with the interesting smells too; just a shame it is her feet.

Not a Welsh Cake.

Flour, eggs, butter, sugar ... sticky hands

Welsh Cakes made by Alex.  Nikon D7000
19th October 2012

After his adventures at Cubs in working towards his chef's badge, Alex has decided he likes cookery.  He has produced a fine batch of Welsh Cakes this evening.

I am not sure if it is being allowed to make a mess, or the attraction of eating the results, but I wish he was as enthusiastic when it comes to washing up!


Sliced veg slowly becoming bolognaise.  Nikon D7000
18th October 2012

While cooking tea tonight, I noticed the riot of colour in the frying pan that was planning on becoming bolognaise sauce.

I could not resist capturing the colours of the peppers and mushrooms before they all became a more uniform 'bolognaise brown' colour.

Autumn Fungi

Magpie Inkcaps.  Fuji F10
17th October 2012

I noticed that there has been a bit of flush of Inkcap mushrooms this year.   I have seen various types, but these Magpie Inkcaps (Coprinopsis picacea) were some of the best looking.  

I did wonder if I let them decompose to fluid, could I print with them?   It was raining though so I thought I would ponder the idea for another day.

More Autumn Colour

Autumn Leaf.  Nikon D7000
16th October 2012

With the frost a few days ago, many of the trees have started to change colour rapidly.  The reds, browns and greens are quite spectacular on some of the trees.  

I brought this leaf in as I did not want the camera to get wet in the rain ...

Sweet Little Lion

Katie's biscuit.  Nikon D7000
15th October 2012

Katie made biscuits this evening.  I am not sure if the theme is still based on the olympics, but this lion mascot would certainly provide calories to replace spent energy!

Sunday 14 October 2012

Jack Is Back

Frost patterns on car windscreen.  Nikon D7000
14th October 2012

This morning was misty and cold and Jack Frost had left his mark after paying his first visit of this Autumn.

With the heavy rain shower we had yesterday, there must have been lots of moisture around as the frost patterns were fantastic.

Once the fog had cleared, we headed out to The Vyne and a great day was had by all.

The Vyne seen through the trees.  Nikon D7000

Saturday 13 October 2012

Coarse Paper

Shirt drying on the line, with added hail.  Nikon D7000
13th October 2012

This morning was lovely and sunny and Jo hung out a load of washing on the line to dry.   When my shirt had changed to a nice uniform pale blue of dryness, the heavens opened.

The rain came down like stair rods and soaked the shirt, then hail was added to create nice patterns on the cloth.

I think the piece of sandpaper I used for cleaning up some wood today said it all.

Back of sheet of torn sandpaper.  Nikon D80

Friday 12 October 2012

Folded Darkness

Inside of folded bellows of 8"x10" camera.  Nikon D7000
12th October 2012

I thought I would try something a little more abstract today.

I have had the 8"x10" camera apart this evening and thought that the folded up black interior of the bellows looked both interesting and rather challenging.

The bellows were certainly challenging to make as there is a significant amount of material in them!

Thursday 11 October 2012

Half Cut

Part-Shuffled Deck of Cards.  Nikon D7000
11th October 2012

In another look at everyday objects, I realised that it is not often that some 'collective' objects such as 'a pack of cards' are left in a disorganised state.

Well, I like them as an organised pack, but I should have taken a picture of how Alex had organised them.  I think the game is commonly called '52 card pickup'; now Alex has been left with the pack for a while, it was actually only '38 card pickup'.  

We probably need to choose which card games we play from now on very carefully; playing Rummy may be tricky as if you ever want a set of four 5's and three 2's,  you will be waiting a long, long time.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Corny Joke

Poor attempt at sweetcorn.  Nikon D80
10th October 2012

Out of interest today I peeled back some of the outer leaves on one of the cobs of sweetcorn.

There are some kernels there, but really the sweetcorn this year has been a bit of a joke.

Ho hum , better luck next year.   At least the chickens will get something to peck at.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Fruit Cocktail

Fruit.  Nikon D7000
9th October 2012

I noticed this evening that the fruit and veg shop has a good display of pomegranates;  Christmas must be near now!

I was going to take a picture of the pomegranate on its own, but added the banana to make the rather lovely red reflection off the pomegranate show up a bit better.

Monday 8 October 2012

Losing My Marbles

Marbles.  Nikon D80
8th October 2012

Some may contend that I lost them years ago, however I thought at least I could preserve an image of a couple of them as proof to show I once had a few.

This picture is a bit of a cheat though really; they are actually Alex's marbles, not mine; I used all mine in my ball-mill for grinding soot :)

Sunday 7 October 2012


Fishermen in the mist on the canal.  Nikon D7000
7th October 2012

We had a walk along the canal this morning in an attempt to find any blackberries that were ripe yet (they need a few more weeks as it turns out).

We did come across a few chaps fishing.

They sat very still in the mist, and I guess they had been that way for a few hours.  I saw no signs that they had caught anything, but Pneumonia may have been on the cards for later in the day.

Real dedication.

Pens and Paper

Designing Bellows.  Nikon D7000
6th October 2012

The paper bellows on my little 6x9 view camera are starting to wear out.   I need to make a new set, so thought I would take the time to document the process of designing bellows.

It has taken a fair few hours, but was well worth it as now I do not have to remember exactly what to do, or where it is in my log books that I worked out the method.

As the ruler and set square are pretty colours, I thought they would also make a nice 'geometrical' picture.

For those who are interested in designing bellows, the PDF file is here.

Friday 5 October 2012

Birds Head? Shearwater?

Old Shears Ready for 'Sculpting'.  Nikon D80
5th October 2012

I am starting to revisit old ideas for sculptures to keep me occupied next year now that my work patterns will be changing :)

I bought these shears at a flea market in France many years ago.

I have been planning to do a bit of welding and then mount them on a stone in a similar manner to my flamingo and fork-n-spoonbills.

I think they may make a Shearwater.

Thursday 4 October 2012

Little Treats

My weeks ration of Chocolate.  Nikon D7000
4th October 2012

As eating a whole bar of chocolate in a day would make me very ill, I have come to appreciate the one (or sometimes two) squares I can have a day even more.

I usually buy the cheapest I can find that is at least 85% cocoa solids so that the sugar content is low enough; even the cheapest is not cheap.

Today was a good day as the supermarket had buy one, get one free on some very decent chocolate.  Just a shame I cannot eat it any faster and I now have a 2-week supply in the fridge.

But it is very reassuring that I will not run out of my little daily treat before I next go shopping :)

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Richard Of York ...

Rainbow over the houses.  Nikon D7000
3rd October 2012

I could never remember the colours until I learned the old phrase "Richard Of York Gained Battle In Vain"; I sometimes wonder whether 'indigo' was made up just to get an 'I' in the rhyme.

I am not sure if there was a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow today, but I do know I got wet taking the picture!

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Feeling Used

Used Tea Bag.  Nikon D7000
2nd October 2012

In continuing the theme of everyday objects, I thought a humble tea-bag was worth capturing.

Tea-bags have a hard life; they sit crammed in a box for ages, get dunked in boiling water for a few minutes, before being squeezed hard and  discarded into the dustbin.

Luckily, I don't get that 'tea-bag' feeling very often, although if I drink enough tea, my bladder seems to develop very similar water-holding properties.

Monday 1 October 2012

Butterflies and Ivy

Male Red Admiral Butterfly.  Fuji F11
1st October 2012

The Ivy is well in bloom now however it was not just bees visiting the flowers today; we saw four male Red Admiral butterflies visiting too.

Hopefully any females will lay eggs on all the nettles nearby; we could do with something eating them!