Monday, 31 March 2008


Ooops. I've just witnessed something I find hard to believe actually happened. My neighbour has driven, nay - accelerated, his car through his garage door. Completely wrecked his garage door, minor damage to car, no damage to driver and passenger apart being from a little shocked and shaken up. Totally weird.


After tinkering with the blog HTML, it is now 70 pixels wider than before. No big deal, but I can now make the left hand column 200 pixels wide.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Easter weekend

Maundy Thursday: M's birthday but sadly not a particularly special day with both of us working hard.

Good Friday: Traditional annual meet with friends at the Barge Inn at Honeystreet, supposedly to watch the participants in the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race but most, if not all of them, paddled past this point hours ago. Excellent Butcombe Bitter. Joined by No. 1 son and partner down from London. Followed by excellent joint-effort meal at friends' house.

Easter Saturday: Fretted over state-of-play in Lancashire derby between PNE and Burnley, the Whites prevailing. After lunch No. 1 son and partner headed back to London via garden centres and Sainsbury's. The rest of the day spent chained to Mac to finish off the print-ready artwork for Wiltshire Wildlife Magazine and the What's On events guide, finally FTP-ing them to the printer. Deadlines, deadlines...

Easter Robin
Easter Sunday: Watched unseasonal snowfall (photographed the Easter Robin) before packing the Silver Baby (Toyota Yaris) for The North. After parking in Lancaster, I used taxis to get around* the city because of painful torn muscles in my leg. *L I M P, pronounced limp.

Oulton Park: VW racing
Easter Monday: Grand Day Out for nephews and sister-in-law to Oulton Park for a day's motor sport. I know nothing about motor racing apart from being able to name one or two famous English Grand Prix drivers (when did it change its name to F1?). Seven hours later I had a couple of hundred shots, most of them blurred or half a second too late, but was still not much wiser about motor sport.

Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve: Black-headed gull
Back-to-work-again-for-most-people-Tuesday: Took a short detour, across the lovely bridge over the River Lune at Crook o' Lune, up over the hilltops to Over Kellet and down to Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve at Silverdale. Complete bliss sitting in the hides watching crazy black-headed gulls, introspective teal and graceful great crested grebes. A pair of grebes were busy building a nest near the Public Hide on the Causeway, accompanied by the occasional pas de deux of head bobbing and weed presentation. Had to force myself away to point the Silver Baby back down the M6 again.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Mersey ferry on a foggy day

Ferry 'cross the Mersey | Foggy day 1969
Even more from the archives: A new scan from an old negative. A labour of love which took a lot of time 'spotting out' in Photoshop to lose the scratches, dust and other grot accumulated over almost 40 years. Anyway, thank goodness for the cloning and healing tools. Much easier than mixing up tints of lamp black and dabbing it on with a brush with two hairs.

The shot was taken in early 1969, the last year of my graphic design course at Liverpool College of Art, but I haven't any record of the exact date. It looks like early afternoon, judging by the low number of people on board: well before the evening rush. I'd been photographing on the Wirral that day: by train from Liverpool to West Kirby and back to Birkenhead. Just for the hell of it, instead of staying on the train I decided to take the ferry back to Liverpool and was rewarded with the best shot of the day.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Liverpool Pierhead in the 60s

Liverpool Pierhead: No. 2 Bridge, 1967
More from the archives: I took this photo from the top floor of the old bus terminus at Liverpool Pierhead in spring 1967. It's beginning to dawn on me that I'm old.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Playing with ArtRage 2

ArtRage doodle
Hornet Entity: created with ArtRage 2. I've had this application on my Mac for a while but haven't properly explored what it can do. There are four layers to this doodly painting: 1) sketch 2) colour 1 set to multiply 3) colour 2 set to multiply 4) highlights.

Playtime after a long day spent diligently working to pay the mortgage.
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