I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died

Pretty happy at the moment I follow a sky arts programme on the telly, 4th series coming up. Anyway one of the finalists, unprompted, actually liked a couple of my photographs. This means a hell of a lot to me, I means its massive, to me anyway.

A bloke soaking up the low winter Sun in London on a Sunday morning

I recently joined a camera club which I attend for the guest speakers. I have visited about five times now and as yet, have spoken to no one. I have come to the conclusion that the membership are not my sort of people, now I’m not being snobbish and I am sure they are kind to their mums. But I just don’t like them, I came to this conclusion last Thursday, trouble is I don’t know who my sort of people are anymore. Digging deeper I really am not all that sure who I am anymore. I’m certainly a completely different bloke to who I was 10-20-30 years ago and I do think I have lost myself a little over recent years.

I’m off to the Photography Show at the NEC on Monday, I have to leave my wallet behind, I bought a Canon 35mm F1.4 lens last month and I need to let the bank account get over the shock before I buy anything else. Very pleased with the lens though.

On Monday I went to the camera show at the NEC Birmingham, it was a shock to the system. I go to the NEC a couple of times a year for trade shows but I never really visit for personal interest. The car parking is extortionate at £16 for the day, proof that lack of competition causes profiteering. Lord help us as competition for our public services and utilities get swallowed up by foreign mega companies. The next shock was the £19 entrance fee! I never pay to go into trade shows and I thought the fee for this, which is ultimately a large number of stands flogging camera equipment was excessive. Any show discounts were quickly wiped away by the £35 already paid out just to attend. Any way I did enjoy the show and even shelled out for some new stuff:

  • Lee ND Filters
  • A Tether Lead
  • Paper
  • A magazine subscription which included a Loweprowe rucksack

There were a few demonstrations using models and what amazed me the way the minute a pretty girl sits on a stool all the cameras came out (mostly guys) just to get a shot, the aisles became clogged up and the photographers would just stand there waiting for the person doing the demonstration to come out. I can’t imagine the photographers shots were very good as they were mostly out of sync with the lighting set ups. It just struck me as odd.

Message ends———————————————————————————-va

Men with a wintry sneer

It’s been a while but I’m back.

I can’t believe we’re into spring already, for once I have been busy with my non-work life, don’t get me wrong work is still busy but I have been making time for myself so far this year. I seem to have got my mojo back for photography and have been making time for it and feel that my eye for it is coming back.

Tower Bridge on a wet and windy Monday evening

I have been spending a bit of time in London with my camera and thoroughly enjoying it, with or without the camera I have always enjoyed walking around the city, it sort of runs in the family. My brother is a blue badged guide for London and was recently awarded Freedom of the City of London. This give him certain rights such as being able to herd sheep across London Bridge and also freedom to walk around the city with an unsheathed sword, I can see no good will come of this 🙂

Blackfriars bridge

My football team are still going strong and after yesterdays game against Wrexham we are back at the top of the league. The team has completely turned around in the past two years since our lunatic Italian owner walked off. The atmosphere yesterday was brilliant and the best it has been for a few years, we are normally criticised for being quiet, with the South stand making the most noise and my stand (West) being silent. That wasn’t the case yesterday and it was good to hear. The margin for the top spot is very tight and no one can guarantee automatic promotion into the football league but I have my fingers crossed. I have managed a few away games this year and I have a couple more left to do before the season ends. Up the O’s!!

Rickshaw driver on his break

I have started planting stuff in the greenhouse for the allotment. We had a bit of a false start a couple of weeks ago when we had a week of warm temperatures and sunny skies and it did give you the feeling that it was time to get stuff in the ground. Spin forward to today and my plot is waterlogged in places so I won’t be turning it over too soon. It is good to see the trees coming into bud. No major changes planned for the plot this year. I want to grow more herbs, so I will create an area for this. I won’t be planting any potatoes this year, I have never done well with spuds. I will plant more onions and shallots. I am also thinking of planting another fruit tree or two, I’m still mulling it over though. I have planted some more rhubarb (taken from an abandoned plot) and aim to make more Rhubarb gin, this went down very well last year with all who drank it. I never touch the stuff, I have a sip when I am bottling in, but that’s about all. So I make it for others really but I get a lot joy from this.

Paul having a bath

I have had a load of old black and white negatives laying around the place. Many years ago my mother decided to throw out a couple of old suitcases, these had lots of old photos and negatives so I took the suitcases. I recently bought a photographic scanner to reproduce photo’s from the negatives. I have always been keen on the old photo’s and was surprised to see so many pictures I had never seen before. I have one of my father in his sleeping quarters when he was in the Merchant Navy, he looks about twelve years old (below) he was in the Merchant Navy from about 1957-62, I was born in 1960.

My Dad around 1959-60

He served on a number of ships and worked mostly in the engine room although he did serve one voyage as kitchen staff, I can only imagine how that worked out, the old man made a mean bubble and squeak but that is my only recollection of his culinary skills. He served on the: RMS Rangitata, MV Deseado, Dunotter Castle as well as some other. He sailed to New Zealand, the US and South Africa.

That’ll do for now————————————————————————-va