Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Sarajevo Portrait

It is always a bad sign when someone suggests you travel in a canvas topped truck along the infamous Sniper Alley in Sarajevo. It is even worse when the accompanying soldiers piled into an armoured vehicle behind, shouting "You'll be sorry!". It was reassuring for me but not for them when the armoured vehicle broke down and they had to join me!

Let me tell you, it is even worse when the truck you are travelling in breaks down on Sniper Alley. Having nothing else to do, I reached for my camera and took this portrait of a somewhat strained looking young soldier. You will note that this UN soldier has a white helmet not blue. Reason? When the British Army first deployed to Sarajevo, it was ill-prepared for United Nations service. A large number of white Arctic Warfare helmet covers were dyed blue for use on the deployment. Sadly, as soon as it rained, the blue dye ran, leaving the helmet covers white and the resulting blue-faced soldiers looking like Smurfs. Hey ho!

Giant Robot

The all-seeing eyes of the giant robot are watching you. Be warned. Do NOT do anything you shouldn't be doing!

Warning Shots!

Crikey! Someone doesn't like horse riders!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Morris Dancers hit the Streets!

A last minute decision to visit Chorley in Lancashire led to a chance encounter with Morris dancers in the main shopping area. I shot about a dozen brief videos of the dancing but most were ruined by shoppers walking in front of the camera - it must be a local pastime!

Friday, 27 May 2011


I am enjoying walking past nearby farmland and seeing the animals in the fields.

But I came across some United Nations statistics that I find so staggering and feel I should share them here. I will make no comment. I will leave that to you.

The number of farm animals slaughtered worldwide for food in 2009 is as follows:

Camels 1.7 million
Water Buffalo 24 million
Cows 293 million
Goats 398 million
Sheep 518 million
Turkeys 633 million
Rabbits 1.1 billion
Pigs 1.3 billion
Ducks 2.6 billion
Chickens 52 billion

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Just a View up the Garden

It's that time of year, again, when the garden starts to regain its colour - and the first of the salad crops are being enjoyed. Thank heavens! Oh, and a fine layer of volcanic ash from Iceland on the car this morning.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Saving Turtles

When I visited Ascension Island, I was lucky enough to be invited to see a Turtle coming ashore and laying its eggs. It was a latecomer as some eggs from others had already hatched. It was a wonderful experience.

Two days later, as I was photographing the Georgetown (Dead Men's) Cemetery, I saw a number of baby turtles between the graves. They were all dead except one. I rescued it and carried it across the beach to the sea. Remarkably, it was strong enough to swim away. I was very upset when I realised why the baby turtles were in the cemetery. When they hatch, they dig themselves out of the sand and crawl towards the light of the moon which is beyond the water's edge. A company had built a small industrial unit behind the cemetery and floodlit it as a security measure. The floodlights were brighter than the moon so many newly hatched turtles, at that end of the beach, crawled away from the sea by mistake . . . and died a lingering death as they dried out in the sun. What a shame.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Seen on Facebook!


Sunday, 15 May 2011

What's in a Tree?

Who can see  the magnificent stag's head as it fixes its gimlet eye on me? What impressive antlers he has!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

There is always One!

Ah! The majesty of the Lake District. Spectacular views like here on Honister Pass. Wonderful!

And here too!

But wait! What's this? Something is not as it seems . . .

Why, it must be Idiot Jim who thinks it's acceptable to spray his name on a rock

My, my. Here's another one - Marty's Party. 

So, do you think it is acceptable to do this, Jim and Marty? I don't think so!

What word do you think best describes them?

I'll start with: Saddos!

[Saddo - British slang - a socially inadequate or pathetic person]

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Time Travelling in Virginia

The one thing I remember about walking up the main street of Fredericksburg, West Virginia was the large amount of antique and bric-a-brac shops - wonderful! I came across two Civil War re-enactors who were engaged to attract visitors to a local shop. They were very happy to pose for the English photographer!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Flower Creature

My first walk through the churchyard in Longridge ended with an encounter with two creatures. The first was a stone flower, one of many that adorned the edges of a particular headstone. Feisty is the word that comes to mind! The second was a creature that I did not recognise. I found it rather sinister, especially as it was hiding behind the stone flower. What do you think?

Saturday, 7 May 2011

French Military Weddings 2

A further selection of photographs of French military weddings from the First World War. This time, they should wedding groups. The first 'happy couple' - at least - appeared in my earlier post. Possibly, image five as well. I am intrigued by the figure on the right of group 3 (as you look at it). Is that a butcher's apron or is he a craftsmen, perhaps a cooper? When you think about the artful, and often posey, wedding snaps of today, it seems that people were not at all bother about what was is the background back then! Remember to click once, then click again on an image to get a really closeup view.

For those who thought the bride looked masculine, look at her sister - behind to her right - a twin maybe?
What on earth has the boy on the right got round his neck!

Is the man with an apron, on the right, wearing clogs?

The chap on the left is striking an unusual pose. Not the bicycle with acetylene lamp on the right.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Leyland Clock

I visited the Lake District yesterday. It was my second visit. The first was forty-five years ago, but more of that in a later post. My first port of call was Kendal but I am told it is actually outside of the official National Park. That said, I did spot an impressive green clock up one of the many side streets

It was a 'Leyland Clock' - one of seven erected in the 1930s at prominent locations on major roads by the Leyland Motor Company. They were intended as an advertising gimmick and became well-known landmarks in their own right. This one I photographed was originally sited on the A6 at Shap, but was relocated to the Kendal Brewery Arts Centre in 1973.

Monday, 2 May 2011

French Military Weddings

Here is a selection of French military wedding photographs that I scanned from glass plate negatives. They date from the First World War. A number of things surprise me. How plain the happy couples are, how mature they look and the uniforms and dresses being worn. They remind me of characters taken from silent film comedies - Laurel and Hardy or the Keystone Cops, to mention just two. Extraordinary!

Some of these are taken in the street. Spot the fragments of broken plate to the left of the couple in the first photograph. On the second, a spectator's arm is visible to the left, while a ventilation grill can be seen low down on the building behind couple three - their shoes have just picked up a little mud so perhaps it had rained earlier in the day?.

Cemetery of Dogs

Over the years, I have acquired a small number of postcards of Le Cimetière des Chiens - the Paris Dog Cemetery. Recently, I acquired a significant archive of material on this fascinating cemetery. I have decided to publish them on a separate blog. Click HERE to visit it. I hope you enjoy seeing them.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Cave Entrance

Just a cave at the back of a Pembrokeshire beach. You enter and it wends to the right. I wonder where it leads? Does it allow access to another world and if I reach it will I be able to get back? Is there another dimension? So many questions to ponder . . . so few answers!