Saturday, 26 December 2009

New wave

"We wish you a Merry Christmas".

From left to right: Sparkly, Peter, Pixie & Dave.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Christmas Morning Stroll with Arty Bits

This morning we indulged, for the first time, in a FFCMS (Fab Four Christmas Morning Stroll). The sky was blue, the air crisp and the sun scudded invitingly across the frosted fields. We had scarves, and gloves, and suitable footwear (as found in all good walking shops). We also had Pixie Wimpy, a timid creature, much afrighted by the workings of old Jack Frost underfoot. She tiptoed along, ably supported by two lusty fellows.

Anyway, enough of this nonsense. Sparkly found some splendid ice in the ruts of the cabbage patch (cabbage patch? Where's Mrs Tiggywinkle?). Held up to the light it made a splendid subject for Peter's artful eye and here we see exactly how it was done. What colour, what poise, what gloves

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Harmonious Harmonium

Well, if you haven't got a lighting stand with you, just improvise. A couple of chairs and ten hassocks gave me the height I needed for the shot of the keyboard below, as Dave's record of my setup shows.

What attracted my attention today in All Saints Church, Clehonger, Herefordshire, was the legend "Brattleboro, VT". It's the name of a town in New England. Various of my American friends have taken me there on more than one occasion. I don't yet know how the Esley Organ Company of that place exported their Harmoniums to Victorian England. Perhaps some of you can answer that for me?

Monday, 16 February 2009

Welsh Wales

It seems a long time since we last wrote up one of our BDOs. In fact today was more than a mere ordinary BDO as we ventured further afield than usual, crossing the lightly defended border into Welsh Wales. So it was an EBDO where E can mean anything that takes your fancy although Extended seems a safe bet.

After a pleasant stooge around the valleys looking for industrial relics and rows of exquisitely lit, miner's cottages, we headed north over the mountains and down to Talybont-on-Usk. There, sheltering under a small lattice-work bridge, I found some reflections which I found compellingly attractive. I toyed with them for a few minutes, a process which Peter has captured for posterity.

(A note for students of photographer fashion. I am wearing my winter photography apparel which, in essence, consists of an Austrian deer poachers coat. It is extremely warm, exudes a strange woolly smell and weighs as much as a small moose. It includes, along with the obvious deep pockets in which lenses, etc, can be disported*, a large, through aperture at the back in which could be secreted a pheasant or some other denizen of the woods - a hare, rabbit, large vole, who knows. Never know when that might prove useful).

*(PS. Since composing this post I have had the chance to look up the word 'disport'. It means: 'To amuse (oneself) in a light, frolicsome manner'. Now while I have no evidence that my lenses are not amusing themselves at the bottom of my dark, lint-infested pockets, it seems unlikely. Therefore I must conclude that 'disport' was not the word I intended.

I apologise unreservedly if anyone has been led astray. I am substituting the word 'disported' with the word 'lodged' which I feel is more in line with my original intention).

Thursday, 7 August 2008

At Full Stretch

Evidence, if it were needed, of Peter's endeavour as he leads Chris to the summit of the long, slightly uphill, against-the-wind, climb from Toddington to Shetcombe cross-roads.

It's not all tea-and-cakes on a BDOOB (or, for that matter, fun-and-frolics).

Boys' Day Out on Bikes

Yesterday’s BDOOB had been planned for some time. Guest day-tripper Chris joined us. He’s a man with a very demanding work schedule, so we booked him in with all the necessary advance warning.

Our cycle route was planned by master orienteer Dave, with a virtually infallible eye for wind resistance, rainfall, minimum gradients and road safety. They don’t call him “four eyes” for nothing.

My lowly ambitions were twofold: to complete a twenty mile round trip (that’s long distance for me), without being late for my guitar lesson, or dismounting for any inclines. I achieved them both, with a little help from my friends. Big Dave made an excellent windbreak at times, while Chris spotted that my saddle was too low, then adjusted it for me.

Naturally, the outing included the BDO staples: nerdy conversations about pedal bikes and their accessories, playing with digital cameras, and reminiscences of steam engines. At one point along the way, we suddenly all felt the need to sample some real ale, so a slight detour up and down a hill was considered a worthwhile exchange for a rest, one which involved quality control procedures on some very fine amber liquids in the beer garden of a village pub in Alderton.

Here you see us at the climax of the journey: three middle-aged blokes, happily inhaling the steamy trackside atmosphere at Toddington station, one end of the line of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, a preservation society run by volunteers in the Cotswolds. Can you identify the really serious cyclist? Clue: look for the hi-tech footwear. Yes, those bare-naked calves of Chris’ have pumped up and down for many thousands of miles. So have Dave’s, but in a more modestly attired manner. Me? I just cycle in my old jeans and shoes. I’m most often seen operating in my spontaneous nip-to-the-local-shops-and-back mode.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Group of Three (Ignored)

Peter is not one to miss a group of three except, it would appear, when he's stood right next to one. It's not surprising, though. I'm amazed my camera found anything in the murky audience at the gig we attended on Friday.

The wonders of twenty-first-century technology.

And all jolly good fun.