5 September 2012

Now You See Me ... Now You Don't

Danbo, playing hide and seek.

I'm sorry for going AWOL again. I have a significant issue with which to deal. I promise I'll be back regularly once I've got it sorted out. x

22 August 2012


One of the categories in my 112 in 2012 project at Flickr is 'Headwear', so I've been looking out for shots of people in hats.

This guy was performing on stage at the Jubilee celebrations in June.

This is the Deputy Head of my son's school, rallying her team at their Sport's Evening, 

 ... and this is one of the parents of the one of the lads in my son's football team.

21 August 2012

Tom Monkey

The latest monkey to be born Chez Nous.  Made as a gift for my daughter's friend.

His new owner has named him Tom.

20 August 2012


Shot taken in my mum's garden a few weeks ago. Now the plant is in full bloom, and covered with bright yellow daisy-type flowers.

18 August 2012


Hello folks,

I haven't been around for a month, as I have been going through a small but perfectly formed crisis in confidence in my photography. It suddenly felt like a bit of a waste of time as I found myself disliking almost everything I shot. I didn't feel happy uploading stuff that seemed so very underwhelming, so I took a step back for a while.

These shots of lavender were taken in a garden in the very pretty village of Westcot in Oxfordshire. Three beautiful gardens were open to raise funds for the Air Ambulance. They were all very pretty, and horticulturally inspiring. 

It's a shame you can't all smell it through your screen(s) - it gave off the most wonderful scent.

17 July 2012

Wild Poppies

At the weekend I met up with one of my Flickr contacts - Mr Woolyboy (he has some amazing landscapes on his photo stream) to show him some Oxfordshire countryside from The Ridgeway.  Whilst he, very professionally, used two cameras and a tripod, I wandered around, knelt on the ground, tramped amongst stinging nettles and leaned over barbed wire fences taking shots here, there and everywhere.  It was really interesting to see how a landscape photographer 'works', and gave me some insight into why my landscapes aren't too impressive!

I would love to find and photograph a 'real' poppy field. No luck so far, but I liked the way these few poppies had managed to seed themselves and grow amongst the ripening wheat (or is it corn?) on the farmland adjacent to where we were.  One of my 'leaning over a barbed wire fence' shots!

16 July 2012

Plant Life

I still have a lot of shots to upload from my day out at The Botanic Gardens in Oxford.

So from time to time I will post a few.

We were lucky with the weather the day we went, in this horrendously wet and grey summer in the UK.

15 July 2012



 I have never liked oranges, even as a child. I can tolerate the smell of them, but the taste of them in whatever form - juice, fruit, sweets, anything ... is really horrible. It makes me feel sick. :( 


 I like lemons, limes, grapefruit - it's just oranges which I don't like. Even photographing this wasn't very pleasant!


 These shots were taken for my entry for No.94 - Something You Don't Like, in my 112 in 2012 project at Flickr.

11 July 2012

Ball Skills

A recent competition at Camera Club had the theme of 'Movement'. This was one of my entries (we were allowed up to three entries each).  It didn't come anywhere, but I enjoyed making it.

10 July 2012

9 July 2012


This lad and his team won the cup at a football tournament I was photographing recently.  I thought the expression on his face summed up just how pleased and proud he was to have won.

My entry for No.71 - Emotion, in my 112 in 2012 project at Flickr.

6 July 2012

Pale Tulip

If you are familiar with my photography, you will know that I love to photograph tulips. 

It's been a while since I posted a tulip shot, so I needed to remedy that.

5 July 2012

Ball Games

Danbo looked a bit puzzled ...

We weren't sure whether he'd ever seen a ball before.

3 July 2012


It's been a bumper year for buttercups - they must enjoy rain!  

Another very wet, miserable so-called 'Summer's Day' today here in the UK.

1 July 2012

Shooting The Shooter

There were lots of people out and about with their cameras over the Jubilee weekend, so it was a great opportunity to get my 'Shoot The Shooter' shot for my 112 in 2012 project at Flickr (No.81).

Thank you to those who left a kind and caring comment on my last upload - it is very much appreciated. x

29 June 2012

Never Forget

Hello.  I'm sorry I haven't been around for a week, but Life did one of those unexpected things it does sometimes.

The week before last, some friends and I were worried for our mutual friend Ian. He had gone quiet, and that wasn't like him.  A bright, witty, intelligent, funny, irascible, kind and loyal man who would normally tell someone if he was going away.  We tried emailing, Facebook messaging,  contacting a cousin; and I was calling his house half a dozen times a day.  Last Friday we found out why he'd gone quiet: He'd died. Suddenly. In his bed. 

He was 48.  

I can't begin to tell you how shocked I was, and it has made me want to be quiet and withdrawn - hence my not posting.

I am gradually coming to terms with his death, but it is one of those timely lessons in life. It has been a time to reassess priorities and to see things from the perspective of a life which is probably a lot more tenuous than most of us realise. 

I will never forget Ian, and am so lucky to have known him. 

It seemed fitting to post an image of forget me nots - shot taken at the Botanic Gardens in Oxford, last month.

21 June 2012


During the Jubilee Festivities, there was an event in our town called the 'Four Legged Beer Race'.  It consisted of three people being tied at the ankles (so the middle person had both feet tied to other people on each side of them) with beer stops at various points on the route.  Each of the three people had to down one of these cups of beer at each stopping point.  This had the effect of making it much less easy for them to coordinate towards the end of the race!  

One team who set off never did make it to the end, so goodness only knows what happened to them.

17 June 2012


I found these pretty cowslips growing in the woods up on The Ridgeway when I went for a wander last month.

16 June 2012


Over the Jubilee Weekend, I was near the local BMX and Skateboard Park; so wandered along to get some shots of the youngsters doing their thing(s).

As you can see from the shot below, they checked me out ... but none of them said a word to me.  
I really liked the slightly 'grunge-y' feel of the place, and would like to go back and get more pictures at some point.

15 June 2012

Tree Blossom

I don't know what type of tree this was, but I'm not sure I've ever seen blossom exactly like this before. My editing has desaturated it a bit - it was a bright, deep pink. 

 I have recently been introduced to the world of pre-made Photoshop Actions - what a wonderful discovery! There are a lot of free actions out there on the internet (and even more that you have to pay for). The action I used for this image is 'Seventies' by Ree Drummond at the Pioneer Woman Blog (one of the Actions Set II). She has some wonderful freebies there - actions and storyboards, as well as photography tutorials and tips.  I'd like to say a heartfelt 'thank you' to her for all the photography help and information she freely gives.

14 June 2012


During the Jubilee celebrations, the local Bowls Club opened its doors to offer free tuition to anyone who fancied learning the game. The guy in the jeans was receiving a 'lesson' from the guy in the shorts.

Shot taken for No.43 - Game, in my 112 in 2012 project at Flickr.

12 June 2012


Miss Georgie-cat enjoying an afternoon snooze in the warm sunshine we had in late May.  There's no way she'd want to be out there in the weather of this last week - rain, gales, storms ... meh. 

11 June 2012

Yellow Poppy

The Welsh Poppies are out in abundance in my mum's garden at the moment - or they were, before the storms and rain of the last week. Now, there are a lot of stalks and not too many flowers. We have had two short spells of beautiful weather this year - one in March, one in May - let's hope we get a more prolonged spell of lovely warm sunshine sometime soon.

The texture used here is by Kim Klassen - thanks Kim :)

10 June 2012

New Trophy

My son moved football club a year ago, when the team for which he'd played for 5 years, folded. His new team were flying high in their league until a mid season slump put paid to their hopes of promotion. They rallied in spring, and ended the season with a win against the previously unbeaten top of the table team.

This is his team trophy for last season. It is currently tournament time - I think he is playing in four or five over the next few weeks - so there may be more trophies or medals to add to his already crowded shelf in his bedroom.

I distorted the badge on the trophy to hide the name of his club.

This shot was taken for my '112 in 2012' project at Flickr:- No.13 Achievement.

8 June 2012

Dandy Fly

My new macro lens is letting me see more details in the world of nature than I could before.

7 June 2012


One of my favourite things about spring is seeing the plants and trees springing to life.

All these pictures of blossom were taken in different places on different days, but they all (I hope) convey the beauty of spring blossom.

5 June 2012

Monday's Mayhem

Thank goodness the sun shone on the third day of local celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

It really was a family fun day - with people of all ages out and about, and enjoying the activities, displays, music and stalls at the local Rugby Club.

After three days of photographing the events, I am shattered.

Many congratulations to HM the Queen on 60 years of 24/7 duty to the United Kingdom.    
That is quite some achievement.
Thank you.

4 June 2012

Jubilee Sunday

The weather was not kind for the second day of local celebrations in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. There were some very heavy downpours.

I felt very sorry for the organisers who had been planning and putting in hard work for months.  But us Brits are a hardy lot, and people were determined to have fun, despite the rain.

3 June 2012

Party in the Park

Along with 7 others from Camera Club, I am on official duty for the three days of local events to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (I have a badge!). The Town Council are putting together a souvenir newspaper, the proceeds from which will benefit local charities. They want to fill the newspaper with pictures of what our town 'did' to mark the occasion.

Yesterday was Party in the Park, and I have so many photos to edit. The sun put in a brief appearance and the day was at least dry for everyone involved. It looked to me like everyone was having a great time. Today's event is The Big Lunch, but with heavy rain forecast to be a main feature of the day, I'm not quite sure how it's going to go. Nevertheless, I will go along and see if I can get some decent shots for the souvenir newspaper.

2 June 2012

Head in the Sand

Do you think it all got too much for this gardener?!

A creative 'sculpture' by someone working at The Botanic Gardens in Oxford.

It made me chuckle, I must admit.