Monday, October 31, 2005


As a kid I remember the ‘99’ as an ice cream cone with a chocolate flake in it. A firm called Winstone’s from Rodborough supplied the best you could get in my home town but there was also the choice of Meadowcream, Walls, Mr Whippy and Mr Softee, all cruising around the housing estates, competing for the limited pocket money at our disposal.


None of the above has anything to do with today’s image of a stapler, other than the number. I think it’s a cleaning product called ‘Domestos’ which claims to kill 99% of all known germs. That remaining 1% has always concerned me. What if it contains the one germ that has the capability to mutate into an agent for the destruction of life on this planet (and in doing so, beat the human race at its own game). We cannot be complacent – start a campaign today to make disinfectants 100% effective. And ban cheap chocolate flakes.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


I usually try to correct perspective distortion but it doesn’t always enhance the image. I tried it with this picture of the centre of Uzes but it was not an improvement as it tended to draw the eye away from the flag in the centre. So I left the image alone, a decision that is often quite hard to make.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Searching for something to shoot this morning I benefited from another frisson of serendipity. The light wasn’t that interesting but some water droplets caught my eye and they seemed like a good way to waste a few minutes of the day. All but one of the dozen or so shots I took ended up in the recycle bin. The survivor only proved its worth once I opened it in Photoshop and could see the image of a distant group of three trees through the watery lens.

Friday, October 28, 2005


I’m very fond of chips and have the physique to prove it. A particularly good source is the Newlands chippy in Pershore. However not all chips are edible and these colourful examples would certainly take some digesting. I spend a lot of my working life these days watching people play poker. I now understand the game but have no desire to play it. I relish the outdoor life too much to want to spend countless hours in darkened rooms, full of booze, junk food and smoke. I also like to exchange whatever money I possess for something in return, a service, an object, a warm glow perhaps – giving it to another person who has done nothing to earn it does not constitute a worthwhile transaction; gambling is nothing but a non-violent (in general) and consensual form of mugging.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Reflecting on reflection shots, this one sprang out on me as I was walking through the streets of a French town earlier this year. Since the bus was on the move at the time, it was a serendipitous mix of luck, lighting and the speed of the Nikon D70.


Another reflection that caught me by surprise occurred this morning as I cosied up to a birch tree (as one does). It was only when I reviewed the picture later that I realised that I had a focused image of the camera lens emblazoned across the bark of the tree.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Photographer in Action

A photographer at work (or play) but what’s his subject? Is he a commercial spy, intent on cloning the latest in French haute couture? Or perhaps indulging a voyeuristic moment, a deeply held passion for mannequins. Or, as is more likely, given that it’s my mate, Peter, pursuing his eternal quest for the perfect reflection shot.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Loneliness of Dawn

The Loneliness of Dawn

Night, dragging its feet, fades to a dismal grey
As melancholy mists drift across the water,
Wispy, insubstantial, masterless,
Entwining the rigging of grimy vessels,
Swaying at anchor in the litter-strewn bay

Gulls, dull, off-white, like the light,
Making no sound, heads buried in feather,
Awaiting a day of squabble and raucousness
Swooping on entrails and ketchup soaked chips
Finding old men to spatter and fright

The air, lifeless, heavy, chill, damp,
Coating the quay in a sweat of dew.
Enshrouding trucks, steamed-up, snoring,
Waiting in line for the darkened ferry
To open its bowels, drop a rusting ramp.

And all is still,
Man and beast,
Flora and fauna,
Only the mist moves
And the lonely earth.


Shout in a pensive mood.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Read All About It!

Headline seen on a newspaper placard outside a shop in Lyme Regis.

'Lifeboat Chief's Car Fuel Bill Hell'

A classic example of the redundancy of the verb in the English language.


For some inexplicable reason, these floats adorning a fishing net on the Cobb at Lyme Regis remind me of the grapes I featured earlier in the week. I imagine that they are probably just as tasty if a bit tougher.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Sour Grapes

There may be several good reasons why my grapes don't ripen but the foremost, I think, is that I don't bother to thin them out.

Consequently by the middle of October I have this mixed bag of both colour and sweetness. The dark ones are almost palatable but they are few and far between; the rest I wouldn't waste a sockless foot on.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

More Autumn

I made a promise that I would not put up any more autumnal images. A day later, it's broken.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Autumn Leaves

My friend Peter does stunning leaves as can be seen in his 'Picture of the Day' today. Even though I don't find them quite as fascinating to photograph, having a leaning towards the man-made, if anything, I can't always resist the temptation for a bit of grovelling and wet knees.

This picture is another from a series I took last Sunday as I left my hotel to go to work at the Maidstone Studios. There are several more involving trees, mist and mushrooms but I'll try restrain the publishing impulse in the interests of autumnal image overload.

Monday, October 17, 2005


I think someone once described golf as a 'good walk ruined'. My inclination is to agree but as a mad cyclist who can fill a day wandering around the countryside photographing common-place objects, I can't condemn any idle past-time.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


There is nothing like a bit of early morning sun in the autumn. Add some dew, a few mushrooms and rustic leaves and it becomes the perfect start to a day at work in a dark room.





Thursday, October 13, 2005


At first view these signs seem to offer a strange pair of choices. However they are inextricably linked. For many people the need to be in the one brings on the urge to be in the other. Supposedly our best performances are produced when we're nervous - hence the juxtaposition.

The Effects of Drink

I may have drunk too much tea today. Can you say that, if you're British? Is excessive consumption possible? I'm sure it's given me wind.

Non-alcoholic drinks are a tricky call. Water bores me and it's only a remedy for extreme thirst, not a recipe for pleasure; (try telling an earthquake victim that). Coke and juices are far too sweet. That leaves coffee or tea. I love coffee, it's probably an addiction, and I've spent years trying to achieve the liquid perfection at home that I've experienced in Australia, Canada and, if I'm forced to admit it, France. Thanks to some investment in equipment and a good source of beans, I'm now close to that goal. What is my reward? The buzz! An afternoon of hyper activity and disconnection from the real world. Hence the tea. Well, thank you, world.

I suppose my disenchantment is a side effect of the increased life expectancy enjoyed by our pampered Western civilisation. We can now live long enough to get tired of the basic pleasures of life, pleasure that many can only dream of. It is a very sorry, very over-privileged state of affairs.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Worcester Canal

Canal paths often gives a different perspective on a town or city. If you ignore the winos and druggies whose domain they are, they can be a pleasant diversion and offer excellent photographic opportunities.

Worcester has no claim to have more canals than Venice, unlike its big neighbour, Birmingham, but its centre is dissected by one, named after the aforementioned places. Its presence in the heart of the city created a hive of industry in the nineteenth century including an iron foundry and a vinegar works. The arrival of the railway at nearby Shrub Hill hastened the demise of the canal as a commercial entity but in itself spurred on that industrial growth. However, as with all manufacturing in this country, it is now declining. Even so the sound of hammers and presses can still be heard from within the decrepit buildings.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Brass Reflection

The church at Little Comberton in Worcestershire has a number of brass memorial plaques on its walls and I have played with them in the past.

Today was warm, vibrant and autumnal and the sun was streaming through the windows on the south side of the nave. On the north wall there's a brass plaque in just the right place for reflection shots of the aisle. I'm not totally convinced by the result so no doubt I shall return for another bite of the cherry next time I cycle past on a sunny day.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Fiscal Orphans

To the global traveller, they're little reminders of a journey that appear in your pocket for several months, constantly rejected by parking meters and checkout operators. If you remember, are awake and can be bothered, you can deposit them in boxes at airports, banks and charity shops where, hopefully, they'll be put to some good. If you have moved around Europe in the last decade or so, you will have piles and piles of defunct ones, rejected and shunned by the brash new Euro.

Please find a use for them. Prop up tables, adjust the tappets on Hillman Imps (an old British car of the 1960s), possibly play tiddlywinks or put them in a jar and make a door-stop. Just give them a life, they deserve it, they worked for you.

South Molton

We've just spent a couple of days in Devon. While out and about on a rather dull day, we ventured into South Molton in search of a cream tea. This small, pleasant town was once choked with traffic as the A361 ferried its hoards of pleasure seekers to the west coast of the county and beyond. There is now a bypass and no doubt, some relief.

A few images presented themselves. The phone box was hidden away behind a large iron gate covered in a particularly unappealing shade of peeling yellow paint.

Monica spotted the green door with its surreal accompaniment of a red watering can and an apple - perhaps the inhabitant is a green-fingered teacher with a sycophantic pupil.

Eventually we came across the 'Corn Dolly' teashop and it was a real find. Much commended, it serves delicious tea, some of the best scones we have ever had and huge portions of cake. The coffee and walnut sponge is an example and it posed for me while partly eaten.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Little Washbourne

There is a tiny church in the hamlet of Little Washbourne which I visit about once a year. It is no longer in regular use but remains consecrated. On at least one occasion, I have found the door open and evidence of sheep using it as a shelter. This does not offend me on religious grounds - I have no religion - but it does on aesthetic ones. This building is a relic of a past age of devotion with its box pews, pulpit with sounding board, simple table altar and remnants of wall painting. To be within its walls is to experience spiritual uplift, an elevation of the innner spirit we all possess, untainted by external ideologies. The building does not have to be a church for this to happen but they are often the only enclosed places which still have the inate peace and solitude.

It is also significant for me that my ancestors, the Bullingham family, were baptised here, married and buried here in the late 18th, early 19th centuries. They were poor and left no mark as they spread across Gloucestershire and the world, one to fight for the Confederate Army in the American Civil War. But I can imagine them in this place.



Monday, October 03, 2005


We are told that money cannot buy happiness. No doubt this is true. However money can buy comfort

Be grumpy, on a soft sofa.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A New Beginning

I think I've stolen this title from a Star Wars film. Whatever, it will do. My friend Peter has nagged me into this by complaining (in his gentle fashion) about the frames I use on my website. Perhaps this will be an improvement.

Anyway, this first entry is a pointer to the despised website where this month's theme is Ways