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Monday, 29 August 2016

Talking Italian

Whilst shopping in Beeston this morning, I was surprised to see two friends of ours, Leone & Yarden. Especially Yarden, as he lives in Italy. Leone meanwhile lives in Derbyshire.

Gail & I first met them last year on our tour of Tuscany. Leone was one of the travelling party, whilst Yarden, a fashion designer, unveiled the 'Volcano Dress' during our stay in Italy. The Volcano Dress is based around a photo that the artist Roberto Alborghetti took of the now famous Barton's bus, nicknamed The Ghost Bus.

It was nice to see them, especially now that they have become a couple.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

All Steamed Up

I read something quite exciting on social media this morning, as someone had put that a steam train would be passing through the Attenborough Nature Reserve at around 1.25 today.

There has been a couple of steam trains passing this way recently, but annoyingly I have never been around to see them. So I was very keen to get down there and see if I could find a good spot to see it thunder by.

Even though I knew the time of its appearance, I thought I would go down a bit earlier, to a, get a parking space and b, find a good place to take some photos.

The nature reserve was really busy when I got there, but I managed to find a space and parked up. I was in two minds whether to stay near the nature reserve building and get a long shot of the train, or stand close to the line, so I could see the might of the 1933 Princess Elizabeth.

In the end I plumped for the latter. So I took the few minutes walk to where the railway line crosses the reserve and looked for a suitable spot. Several other photographers were already there, eagerly waiting to take that shot.

It wasn't as busy as I thought it might be, especially as it was sunny. I found a good spot and waited. Not long, as one old guy called out "the barrier's down", as part of the line crosses a road. I got ready and waited for the right moment to press the shutter.

It was coming by quite quickly, so I just kept on pressing. Fortunately I managed to capture a couple of what I think are decent shots. I was using my 40-150mm lens, and so I wonder if I might have done better with my 14-40mm lens instead. Both can shoot at f2.8.

Still, photography is a continual learning process, so I might try the smaller lens next time. But I'm still happy with this one. Especially as you can see some smoke coming to of the chimney.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Dreaming Of The Past

Sometimes I will see something in a shop window that will make me stop and take a photo.

Today is a good example, as I saw this display of vintage goods in a charity shop window, during my lunchtime amble around the city centre.

Quite a colourful arrangement of things, and looks influenced by the 1950s.

The only thing is that I'm sure they've put those cat styled glasses on upside down.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Would you believe it if I said that this lion was actually a coffin?

Well it's true. It was made in Ghana by a master carpenter called Paa Joe.

A film maker called Benjamin Wrigley has just finished making a documentary about him and his lion coffin, and it's going to be shown at the Broadway Cinema over the weekend.

I met Benjamin a couple of years ago at a film club that used to run in Beeston, when they screened a little snippet of the film, which he was raising money to get finished.

In fact I blogged about it at the time: https://beestonblog.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Paa%20Joe%20and%20the%20Lion

The coffin is currently on display in the entrance to the Broadway, and there's also a small exhibition of how the coffin was made in a former shop on Heathcote Street.

Monday, 22 August 2016

ET - Enormous Talent

A co-worker said that she was in the city centre on Saturday and heard a really wonderful busker called Sian Alex. Sian, as in the Welsh spelling she added

She wondered if it was a musician I knew, as I know a few nowadays. I said that I hadn't heard of her before, but was intrigued to know what she sounded like, as my co-worker was really enthusiastic about her.

Bizarrely enough, whilst out for my lunchtime stroll, who happened to be setting up on Bridalsmithgate, but none other than Sian. So I said hello, while she was sorting out her cables, and asked her if she was starting, or packing up. Alex replied that she would be starting shortly. So I said that I would come back shortly.

When I returned to Bridalsmithgate Alex was singing away. In fact I could hear her as I was walking up St Peter's Gate. So I stopped and listened to a couple of her songs. And indeed she was very good. Some nice folk songs. Original ones too I think. But sadly I had to return to work. But I dropped some money in her collection box before I left.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Sand And Showers

Today apparently is World Photography Day.

As according to the history books, the first photo was taken 177 years ago today. Of course this is one that I've taken today.

Not particularly exciting, as it has been raining all day, and so not a lot was happening. But it does show some abandoned deckchairs in the beach area of the Old Market Square.

In fact the whole beach area was deserted, except for a couple of guys propping up the bar of the Beach Bar and a brave child on one of the rides.

The rain has been about the first for about three weeks, and is welcome, as the plants in the garden are starting to look a bit sorry for themselves. I have got the hosepipe out a few times, but probably not as much as I should have.

The forecast is for similar over the weekend, so I certainly won't have to do any more watering for a few days, which means more time for photography.

Monday, 15 August 2016

The Red Side Of The Moon

I was quite surprised to see the Moon surrounded by a red sky tonight, as usually any red sky sunsets that do appear are in the opposite direction to the Earth's nearest planet.

But tonight, both the red sky and the Moon were both in the right position for me to get this photo.

I of course used my 40-150mm zoom lens, to get this shot, otherwise it would just be a small dot in the sky.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Broken Free

This building in Beeston is called The Grange and was built in 1820 for a local businessman. In May 1976 it became Grade II listed, and was used as a refuge for homeless people.

Up until recently, it was Beeston's police station, but they moved out last year, and transferred to the local council offices. It has stood empty ever since.

A planning application was made to the council to turn the building into luxury apartments and to construct some flats where the main part of the station was, and which was demolished only this week. Wednesday in fact.

The section that was knocked down was built in the 1950s and some of it looked similar in style to the Grange, while some of it didn't.

The site will be one that I will be following, to see how things progress.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Talk To Me

A shot of Kayes Walk in the Lace Market today, which runs parallel to St Mary's Church.

All the old buildings have been turned into offices, and makes for a good backdrop to any scene.

I spotted these two people coming up the gentle slope towards me, and thought I would take a shot or two. It looks like the woman is doing all the talking, whilst the man, possibly pretends to listen, but thinking of the tasks that he has to do back in the office.

I've given the photo a slight sepia tinge, just to make it a little different.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Not A Plain Plane

I passed the shop near the castle that sells lots of Tintin stuff.

I noticed that there had been a change of window display and my eye was instantly drawn to the model plane in Tintin livery.

The model is based on the real Airbus A320, which belongs to Brussels Airlines and has been named Rackham.

The design comes from the Tintin adventure 'Red Rackham's Treasure, the twelfth in the series and written in 1944.

It's a fantastic model, but comes at a fantastic price too; £255. It's 1/100th scale and measures 38cm x 34cm.

Unfortunately I won't get to see the real thing anytime soon, as it won't be flying to East Midlands Airport, as it just tends to fly between Brussels and Tel Aviv

If anyone who reads my blog would like to buy me one in appreciation for my blog, then here's a big THANK YOU.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Art For Arts Sake

Just a bit of an artistic experiment today, as I haven't taken that many photos, as things have been a bit quiet in town and through Highfields.

A simple shot of some daisy like flowers that are growing in Highfields. Probably classed as a weed in most people's garden.

So to give the photo a little more interest, I've added a textured layer, so it looks like an old photograph, rather than one that is brand new. Maybe the top of a box of chocolates or a cigarette card. Something like that.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Paint Pots

There's a new exhibition on at the Contemporary by artist Michael Beutler.

A strange one too, as he has rebuilt his exhibition that he had at Spike Island in Bristol, and it's called Pump House.

The exhibition basically consists of rooms that have been made out of recycled materials and rubbish.

It's certainly different, and colourful in places, where he has made walls out of card, or plastic bags stuffed into small wire cages.

But my photographic eye spotted this little still life scene of some jars of paint randomly placed in a group, contrasted by a blue rubber glove.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Death Warmed Up

This handsome chap is called Egore and he works at The Navigation pub in town.

The people who run 'The Nav' often put photos on Twitter of him doing various things around the pub. I think that people have got used to seeing him around now, as he doesn't scare off the customers like he once did.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Bubble It

A Beeston based estate agents called CP Walker, is currently celebrating its 120th anniversary. So to commemorate this, the owners decided to partly sponsor an event at Broadgate Park yesterday called 'Party in the Park'.

It was similar to the carnival event a couple of months ago, with various stalls and music. And lasted all afternoon, and was well attended. The weather was lovely and sunny too. Perfect for any outdoor event.

One entertainer that caught my eye was 'The Big Bubble Man'. As his name infers, he creates bubbles with soapy water. But not just any bubbles. Giant ones, or hundreds of little ones at a time, through a giant piece of special string on two very long poles, which he dipped in a large bowl of soapy liquid and then life the poles into the air, and all these bubbles then appeared.

The children loved it, aid I watched them running around and trying to catch them. But of course they couldn't. And if they did, they would just pop, and a small shower of soapy water would fall to the ground.  There was also the opportunity of people having a go themselves. But on a much smaller scale.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

It's A Disco Inferno

Here's a shot of the Disco Prophets, that I took last night at the Riverside Festival.

A slightly different line up since the last time that I saw them at a gig.

They were still great to listen too, which their interpretations of 70s classic tunes like Chic's Le Freak, to more modern songs, such as Get Lucky by Daft Punk.

The audience that was watching them, were soon on their feet and jiving away to the songs. I meanwhile was trying to stay as still as I could, as besides taking some photos, I was also videoing some of the concert.

The stage lighting was great, and really added to the effect of being in Studio 54. Although the mirrored ball was really just there for effect.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Run For Home

I don't normally take photos of sport, as I have no interest in it at all, but a friend of mine is currently training to be a sports therapist, as as part of that he is learning how to do massage.

He and the others on the course were given the opportunity of putting into practice what they have learnt so far, as they were invited to a sponsored running event that took place tonight.

What was good was that the university grounds and Highfields Park were being used for the route. 10 kilometres I believe. So I went along to give him some support before he was needed and to show him where to go.

I got there first, as I came straight from work, and managed to witness the start of the race. There were over 400 competitors involved in the action. But had long gone by the time my buddy arrived.

He then met up with some other people from his course, so I know that he was going to be alright. So I left him with his fellow students, and went home to get ready to go to the Riverside Festival and meet up with a couple of other friends called Rupert and Kay, who lead a band that I've mentioned before called The Disco Prophets.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Digging Up The Past

There's some archeology going on in the castle grounds at the moment.

It's not on the scale of television's Time Team series, but they do seem to have dug a fair old bit of earth out from the area that they've chosen for the dig.

I have no idea of what they hope to find. Be good if they do dig up something really exciting like one of Robin Hood's arrows, or some of the Sheriff's gold coins.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016


Today is the last day of trading in the city centre for the high street store British Home Stores, or BHS, as it's known.

The Broad Marsh based department store will finally close its doors at 5pm this afternoon, after having a closing down sale for the past few weeks, since the company went into administration earlier this year.

Other stores across the country belonging to the company have already shut. In total, around 11,000 people will have been made redundant from the 163 shops. British Home Stores have been a familiar name on the high street since 1928. Similar in a way to Woolworth's, that disappeared a few years ago.

It's not because the company isn't popular anymore. It's actually down to legal theft. Around £570 million has been syphoned out of the company, including the companies' pension fund, by the previous owner called Sir Philip Green, and the new owners, who actually bought the company off Green for a pound, sometime last year.

It is a prime example of capitalism gone bad. While the former employees with be signing on at the Job Centre, Green will be enjoying life on his new £100 million super yacht, docked in the tax haven of Monaco.

There have been calls for Green to have his knighthood taken off him, and that he should be made to pay some money to the employees' pension fund. No action has been taken yet. But hopefully it is only a matter of time.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

You've Been Framed

Nottingham Castle has just opened a very special exhibition that goes on until October.

The castle has been loaned from the Royal Collection ten original drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci, which are over 500 years ago.

So I paid a visit today, just to see what's on offer. Apparently its been estimated that in the region of 80,000 people will see the pictures over the next three months. Fortunately it wasn't too busy at lunchtime, despite being the school holidays, so I had a good look at the   line drawings, which consisted of life studies, animals and diagrams. Sadly his design for a helicopter, or a pencil drawing of the Mona Lisa wasn't included.

Photography is allowed, but no flash. Which is fine by me, as I'm sure it would ruin the photo anyway with the reflection in the glass frames. I took a few shots, but weren't really happy with them. As I think I might have had the wrong lens on. But at least with my new season ticket, I'll be able to keep going back until I get the photos I want.

I took the photo above when I first walked in. They are not the Da Vinci ones, just a collection of work by different artists. I just think that the photo works well, showing the five people intently studying the framed pictures.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Sofa, So Good

Walking up towards the Lace Market today, I saw something that was really unusual; a gigantic purple settee. It must be unique, as I've never seen one before, even on the television.

I've not heard about the 'Summer Sofa' promotion at all, despite keeping my ear to the ground and eyes open for events happening in the city centre.

I don't know whether the sofa will be staying there, or being moved across the city. I do hope that they put it undercover, as it won't be very nice to sit on if it is soaking wet.