Monday, 11 October 2010

Real statues in Ronda

As a comparison to the photos in the last post I have included here some photos of statues that we saw in Ronda, a town in the mountains above the Costa del Sol. Two of them were outside the bull ring and the third was in a nearby park, I will leave it to your imagination to decide which one was in the park. I did not make a note of the names of the people concerned but will be trying to find them via the web - I will add them here if I am successful.
matador with cape
 matador addressing bull

Are these photos art? The subject is art? I was intrigued seeing a question on the web recently aboout this very subject and am currently writing an answer to the question in a Squidoo Lens. I will give the link as soon as it is complete and published.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Living Statues in Fengirola

Just back from a holiday on the Costa Del Sol, Spain. The street entertainment over there includes people drssing up as statues and collecting small change for performing  ( or not as the case may be). these are three we saw at a market in Fengirola, not far from Malaga.

the invisble man
 space pirate
 mother Teresa (as a young nun?)

they will stand ( or sit) still to give the impression that it is a statue But will move every once in a while to delight ( frighten) the kids. Especially if someone makes a donation. For instance we dropped a couple of euros in the pirates box and he proceeded very mechanically and stiffly to produce a bent coin ( piece of eight?) from his belt in exchange.

Have seen them in the UK but they seem to be very prelavent in Europe.

More piccies of the hol to come

Monday, 23 August 2010

The summer is passing so fast...........

and the weather forecast is so dreadful here in the UK. Looks like we had our few days of sun back in June! Anyway, it has been so long since posting on here that I just gotta get something down.

I have been away for a weekend with my wife, we have been busy booking holidays ( now that I have a date for my knee replacement operation ), our 41st wedding anniversary has come and gone and of course there is so much time spent looking after MIL. It seems that since she went into a residential home, we have even less time to spare as her own home has not been sold yet and we are still looking after that as well.

But here are a couple of photos for your perusal:-

Another sunset from outside my back door

I can never remember ( must look it up) what the name of this butterfly is; is it red admiral or painted lady. (Edit: Well it looks like a painted lady then.) Seen on lavender in a garden we visited on the NGS scheme

Here's me complaining about the weather ( such a british thing!) and we had a lovely couple of days at Cleeve Hill near Winchcombe in the Cotswolds. This shows St Peter's church at Winchcombe from near Sudely Castle. Note the sky!

St Peter's is known for the gargoyles which it has on the roof, I didn't count them but took several photos, this is quite heavilly cropped in Photoplus, my software of choice ( free) for editing my images.

 Here I am failing to take a decent timed shot of the both of us in the garden referred to above. My excuse was that it was so sunny and bright that I could not see the flashing led on the front of the camera. I must have counted the seconds too fast!
OK laugh if you want but it all adds to the fun of taking photographs, and we did atake it again quite successfully but that is another story, as they say.

Monday, 19 July 2010

more garden photos

As I was saying in my last post I do tend to take a lot of photos of my garden, here are a few more. This time some of the "little areas that make my garden my own. I also include some of the flowers brightening up the place at the moment. Largely I love greenery, lots of shrubs and bushes and high hedges. I like to feel enclosed, is this a freudian thing? I don't even think of it.

A small bridge I built with timber left over from building the deck. There is a "dry river bed" under the bridge which I filled with slate chips, but the bamboo seems to have taken over one side and the lilac on the left.

There is that ramblin' rose again; it seems to have had a really good year with a number of flowering shoots. It's best year ever.

Another flower from my parents old garden. I do love these daisies ( Marguerette, I think). they are something else that just takes over if left to their own devices.

A collection of the flowers in my upper garden, wouldn't be complete without a photo of the day lilies. I only have the one colour but they have been spread around forming the better part of one whole border. Such a pity they last for such a short time.

This is the other route to the middle part of my garden, I call it the forest route, the first route being the bridge shown above. The slabbed path is lines with the trunk of a eucalyptus tree I had to cut down as it was beginning to get just a tad too high for my plot. The broken slab is the result of dropping one of the sections of the trunk whilst moving it into place. Forget the plastic sacks, I am remodelling a nearby border and they contain samll pebbles which had been laid over the earth and which need another home. No, I don't throw even stones away!

Thanks for looking, next time I will add a few shots of our culinary plants, Love that fresh picked taste.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

around the garden

I love taking photos of the garden. The flowers, the sunsets, the plants and the spaces between them.

I also take photos of the constructions that I build with "scrap wood". This is a seat in a quiet corner almost walled-off by trees and shrubs

Note the flattened plants at the left-hand front corner. I had just trimmed the hedge when I took this shot and those clippings have to go somewhere.

The next is a place for sitting in the sun , quite near the house so handy for a quick bite / drink when too much housework is getting me down.

This next photo is a rose which was a christmas present. It is still waiting to be found a permanent home but seems to be OK despite still being in a pot. My garden is so full of shrubs that it is in dire need of an overall to find some space for a few flowers.
On the other hand this rambler has been growing in a sheltered spot for a long time. Originally a cutting from a plant I remember my father planting when I was a small boy, almost 55 years ago. Ithe cutting must be 25 years old but has never grown. Dying back every year to almost ground level. This year after a cold winter and a sunny spring it has given the best display ever. Dad would have liked it.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

what I've been doing

My internet friends will have read that I have been installing new kitchen cupboards. It has taken me a little time ( a fw weeks) and my other half has had to put up with boxes of kitchen equipment all over the house, but I have at last finished it - well apart from a few minor touches. Here are a couple of shots to show how it has come out.

I thought it would feel good to have a little free time at last .................... but my wife's only comment was, " and the next job is ...................!" Oh to be young and single and carefree. No I don't really mean that, do I?

Friday, 18 June 2010

A flower and a church

I am just getting back to something like normal after being severely restricted by a painful arthritic knee, made worse by a trip which twisted said sad joint.

As a starter, thought I would post a couple of very recent photos; the first is of an amaryllis. This plant was bought for us as a christmas present some four years ago. It usually throws up a flower spike each each year with four flowers. It is a gorgeous red colour but sadly only lasts a short time. It does flower again each year but this time it was very early. Possibly due to the central heating as it has been a very cold winter. I don't know wether this was the cause but the two flower spikes came one after the other this year, each with two flowers. This shows the flowers in a window at the top of our stairs.

amaryllis at the top of our stairs

You can just see the second flower spike growing at the bottom of the photo.

A previous year's display showing four flowers.


The second shot is from Ludlow, a delightful little market town in the Welsh Marshes. We stopped there earlier this year, the weather wasn't great but bucked up in the afternoon. This shot did not depend on the sun as it is such a narrow alley running parallel to the High Street.

ludlow, pub sign

The pub, The Church Inn, is named after St Laurence's Church, the entrance to which is just to my right as I am taking the shot. You can see Castle Square thru the arch. The building on the left used to be the old market hall, nowadays markets are held regularly in Castle Square.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

A small shrine in the garden

despite being a committed catholic, my OH has started doing a Tai Chi course for relaxation. She has to say the least gone a little overboard, even to the extent of constructing a small shrine in the back garden. Last evening after a wonderfully sunny day, we sat and drank a small glass of a slightly chilled rose wine in ront of the shrine with candles lit as the darkness enveloped us.. Of course I couldn't resist getting the camera out. Not quite in focus but it was a very long exposure and I guess I didn't keep it as still as I imagined, despite using a support.

She has been buying all the gear; a silk suit, a wooden practice sword, videos and CD's. It isn't giving me very much to relax about. Here's a piccie, afraid you will have to supply your own wine, LOL

a small shrine

The good weather seems to have deserted us today, still warm but quite cloudy. Rain forecast for tomorrow, but that's our lot in the UK. The weather never stays the same for long.

Monday, 24 May 2010

In the garden

Right, one of my favourite things to do in the garden ........... is taking photos. I have records of projects / flowering species and just oddities ( like the frogs!) over the past few years. I won't bore you with all of them just now but may sprinkle them in when things are quiet on the photography front.

Right now we are enjoying some fantastic weather in the UK and coming after a couple of years iof bad sunmmers it is very welcome. As usual I have been using my camera and thouoght that I could amuse you with a couple of shots. The first is from a rhododendron bush which hold a special place in my psyche; we originally dug up a shoot on a river bank in wales whilst on holiday. The plants had naturalised, although it is not a native, and the banks were covered in multitudes of rhododendron plants. We managed to wrap the roots to avoid it drying out and got it home alive. We have since moved twice and the plant itself has been dug in and out several times. More than once I thought it had been lost over the past 35 years or so. But it is still with us and this year the display has been the best ever.

my rhododendron

bloomin' marvels

As you can see from the first shot, I am fond of lots of green growth. I love the isolation of not being overlooked by neighbours and the feeling of being in the country. Although, we practically are; being just minutes walk from a rural paradise right on the edge of the Birmingham connurbation. The tall tree in the distance is at the bottom of my garden. I include a close up of the flowers because I do like them although they do not form a major part of the garden. There is always a little colour, just to break up the greenery. But do notice the cloudless sky - the sun was so fierce that we couldn't sit out in it, just opened the doors and windows and enjoyed the breeze indoors. MIL ( 99 years young) was with us and we thought the sun would be too much for her.

lilac and sky

Just another shot, this time of the lilac tree, to show off the wonderful sky.

at the bottom of my garden...

this is a new feature. I have used bricks from an old path (dug up at considerable cost to by poor aching back) to raise the level of this bed which takes the place of a large clump of pampas grass which was growing thru the apple tree. I emptied my compost bin into the space and have planted courgette / cucumber and tomatoes. Although under a tree it is still one of the sunniest spots in the garden because of surrounding buildings and hgh hedges. Last year, in a very damp summer, our tomatoes suffered very badly from blight so these (spindly) plants have been planted as far as possible from the affected area. because of holidays and cold spells they have been growing too long on our windowsill, still I will see how they go and may yet purchase replacements. The basket at the top of the photo holds tumbler tomatoe plants.

time to go and get some more gardening done, thanks for getting this far.......

Saturday, 15 May 2010

My first post

Readers of my art blog will know that I have been considering a new blog to keep my various art-related activities separate. I am not a very prolific photographer and I do not have anything more than an inexpensive digital camera, but I do enjoy taking photos of more than just myself and my wife and the scenery when we are out and about in the countryside. My wife loves visiting places, so I end up taking loads of photos - some crap and some with possible uses as reference material for paintings and drawings but often I take them just because I find the subject interesting.

So.... I intend to keep a journal/blog of the latter. Maybe you will find them interesting also.

So where to start? Well this last week we spent a few days in Cornwall, where we had gone to visit the Eden Project. A bit of a mixed bag as far as I am concerned but the tropical rainforest biome is a true wonder. It is HUGE, and provides a marvellous way of presenting the worlds rainforest plants and history to the visitor. More than just a large greenhouse, it has rivers and waterfalls, a mangrove swamp and examples of the living conditions of the native inhabitants of the world's rain forest dwellers. I have included here a few shots of  subjects that I noticed. If you wish to see a larger version then visit my Flickr photostream where I will be backing up the shots on-line.

sculpture by West African artist El Anatsui,
fire damaged timbers from Falmouth Docks - originallly from West Africa


just a pink flower, I loved the colour and structure of this bloom


A shot of a palm tree taken to compare the height of the biome with the crowds entering at ground level. The dome does rise higher towards the centre but I wanted to make the comparison. Further away the people were lost in the jungle.


Couldn't resist this shot of the dandelion seedhead, what a marvellous stucture


A waterfall at the top of the pathway around the biome. I guess it was about 20 - 25 feet high and provides running water for the streams anad swamps in the biome. It cascades from the top of the wall of the old china clay pit into which the structure has been constructed.


Ok that's enough for my first post, I will try to keep them fairly regular and mostly short. I cannot promise to keep away from art ( see the sculpture above) but I hope they will be more than just a collection of holiday snaps and provide interest for a varied readership.They will of course reflect my own interests and may well end up in my art work either literally in collaged art or as references for my painting. Thanks for sticking with me to the end.