Thursday, 31 May 2012


I appreciate architecture of a religious nature, I regularly feel awe and wonder at the magnificence of a church or cathedral, built by generations of stonemasons, maintained and repaired at huge expense, all to the glory of god. I can find plenty to photograph inside and out. I have no faith of my own, except faith in myself to navigate through what life throws at me with dignity and with care for others as well as for myself and those close to me.

These images were taken at Derby Cathedral on a photo walk with the theme of Faith.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Red Shoes at Carsington

After many weeks without serious time spent with camera, a visit to Carsington brought some very welcome creativity in late March.

I had made a conscious decision on New Year's Day not to blog daily. This was a way of taking the pressure off after a very busy autumn term and being rather ill over the Christmas break. I also decided not to continue entering every competition at my photographic club, having worked hard to do so during 2011 and placed high enough up to be pleased with my results by the end of the year.

One of the best ways to stretch and challenge yourself as a photographer is to have a project.

Shooting for competitions with a theme is also a way of taking yourself out of your comfort zone, making you try new techniques and such. Suddenly, I had no impetus to shoot, and spent most of January buried under accounts and taxes!

In early March I took part in a small informal photo walk in Derby with a theme, I took Jodie along too as she had a new camera for Christmas. Although we only spent about an hour and a half because it was unexpectedly cold, I thoroughly enjoyed being out with fellow enthusiasts putting my creativity to use again. Jodie got some great shots.

It is clear to me, even moreso now I have begun to post blog entries again after a long gap, that creating and sharing images is important in my life.

The following quote has been part of my email signature for some time.

"If a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it's as though I've neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up."

 ~ Richard Avedon

The blog is revived.
And so are my spirits.

Birthday Pony

 The badge said "Birthday Girl" but as my girl thinks she is a pony, we stuck a plain white label over "Girl" so she could write "PONY" and colour the letters in... whatever makes her happy ;0)

 A pony puppet was well received...

This was back in March - Jodie's birthday is 2 days before my own, so she was my best birthday best gift ever.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Old School

My daughter had asked me more than once what was it like when I was at school, so I asked her would she like to visit my old school with me? I arranged for us to go on one of her INSET days when my old school was open as usual. We were welcomed by the lovely head teacher and shown around both infants and junior schools, now a single primary. The staff from my days are all long gone, but memories came flooding back as we walked around the school. I recognised some of my former classrooms. The old part of the school is Victorian and these glazed tiles are protected against removal. 
It was surprising to me that I actually became more emotional about the visit when I edited images a few weeks later. So much has happened in my life since I played in that playground, I had no idea what was in store for me, I had no idea how much grief I would face, losing relatives to cancer, not least my father when I was only 19, but also losing a stillborn daughter when I was 36.
School days... the best days of your life?
"He's behind me...isn't he?"


Spring brings my favourite flowers which I love to photograph. Tulips and daffodils are on the list.
Window light, bright overcast, 105mm macro lens.

Friday, 25 May 2012


What will disappear as a result of the Internet age? There is a generation of people who have no experience of vinyl records, have no idea of the link between a pencil and a cassette tape, whose jaws drop when you point out that there were only 3 tv channels 30-odd years ago, and that children's tv was only an hour at lunchtime, and Blue Peter and Crackerjack after school.

My father loved to write with a fountain pen, he wrote copious notes in longhand, writing and re-writing drafts before they were recorded for audio-typists to type in the typing pool. He sometimes typed himself at work, on a golfball typewriter, or a daisy wheel typewriter. How would he have adapted to Word and Publisher? 

Dad wrote so much that he wore nibs down on his fountain pens and had a stash of replacement nibs. These days my handwritten words are few in number, limited to a birthday card, or a To Do list for the morning, even my weekly shopping list is a spreadsheet with boxes for a tick. 

I still have some of my Dad's pens and propelling pencils, and I have 3 fountain pens of my own, one was a gift from Dad when I was in senior school - I used it enough to wear the finish off the barrel in part, but the nib has plenty of miles left, if only it were still working. 

When did I last handwrite a letter? Can't remember, these days I email or facebook, or text, though I still send Christmas cards out by snail mail. I have one letter from my Dad, written when I was visiting the USA on a four week exchange visit. He wrote it with a fountain pen.

Thursday, 24 May 2012


I love anemones but don't see them very often in the florist's shop. I have a good friend whose favourite flower they are. It's not unusual for me to buy flowers and plants specifically for their photogenic qualities, and I often photograph them over several days, including when they are past what might be called their 'best'. They don't carry a "Photograph before:..." date ;0)

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


Our cat Biscuit had a mishap and broke a leg. For 6 weeks following surgery to pin the break she was confined at first to a borrowed dog crate, and then to the house, staying mainly curled up on a fluffy throw she has adopted as her bed in the crate with the door open.
Here she lies on the conservatory floor, warmed by the sun, wanting to go outside, but being a very patient patient, even moving away from the sliding door when it is opened just enough to let senior cat Rosie in or out.


On a chilly March Saturday afternoon, a few local photographers strolled through Derby on a Photo Walk, with the theme "Reflection". There was plenty of scope for a very literal interpretation, with shop windows aplenty. First off, the sunglasses! Later, a glossy black mannekin reflects blue sky and white fluffy clouds.

Sunglasses Guy was actually shooting a shop window reflection when I grabbed the shot of him apparently homing in on cleavage!

I include this shot even though it was not of the theme. In the Quad cafe, a customer of another generation is switched on to this technological age, perhaps checking on her family's activities via facebook.

Winter Mist

The view across to Markeaton village church on a winter day in February. 

Jodie and Blue

Jodie has been riding since she was 7, over half her life. Just. Ownership is costly, but she's learning life skills and life lessons...