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I can't begin to tell you how shocked I was, and it has made me want to be quiet and withdrawn - hence my not posting.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