Thursday, May 28, 2009

Giant sheep attack!

It’s not often that you get this close to a sheep, but this one was intent on trying to lick my lens and that was the least annoying thing that it had on its mind. We had stopped for a bite to eat just above Kinder downfall in the Peak District and no sooner had we opened the lids on our butty boxes when the sheep appear. They, as they always hunt in packs, seem to have an uncanny knack of appearing when you sit down for lunch and they then try their hardest to get at your food. They use a variety of tactics, the decoy being their favoured approach. In this one they send out one sheep (or lamb if there is one to hand) to distract you from the front, while behind you a second is going through the pockets of your rucksack. In the case of this sheep it was using the tactic favoured by armies through out time of taking the high ground, in this case the rocks we were leaning on, then using the high advantage to dominate the area in the hope that we would surrender our butties just to get rid of it. It failed in this attack, but all around us its comrades were getting good results off less seasoned walkers.

I’ve just posted an add-on to lesson 8 on my photography blog http://btraffordphotography.blogspot.com this covers the first part of my must have kit list, which I will add to over the coming week. Also on this blog I have been testing out a new set of adverts from Kontera, these are basically highlighted word within the text of the post that relate to links to information on the highlighted item. From what I can make out I get around 5p every time someone follows one of these links, I have also extended it on to this blog, so look out for those highlighted words!



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Now playing: The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army (remix by ill nino)
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy days

Just finished a long bank holiday weekend and am now trying to catch up with all the blogs and photos, and with my bad back I can see it is going to take a couple of day at least.

The weekend was great, good company, lots of food and wonderful weather, all added up to the perfect weekend, with Sunday being one of the best days I’ve had in years.

Sunday consisted of a new walk that took in places I have always wanted to see, then a light lunch in the garden followed by the Monaco GP, with Jenson doing his stuff yet again! To finish off the day we had a barbeque, in weather that was more like July.

Photo was taken on Sunday in the hills above Buxton.



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Now playing: The Cranberries - Zombie
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Feeling sorry for my self.

Have you noticed how things have an annoying habit of always changing? Just when you think you have got it sorted life comes along and shakes you up. I had joked at work after my last period of long term sick that the next one would be in the summer so I could enjoy the weather, queue my bad back and some of the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen. I know that in terms of a life threatening illness or long term disability it does not rate at all high, but it is starting to get me down, just being unable to do what I want when I want to is very depressing.

One of the things I want to work on at the moment is the business side of my photography, with all the uncertainties at work another income stream would be very nice, but as most of the work involves sitting at the computer promoting the work, I find that it is just beyond my capability at the moment. One bright spot is that I’ve just done a test shoot for a local company that makes Retro arcade machines, once the shots are done I will post one, the machines look great and if you are of a certain age (like me) would make a fantastic addition to a games room, just like being back in the pub in the 80’s.

Other changes beyond my control (well they are addictive) are the number of blogs that I read, even thought a number of my favourite blogs have stopped posting or have just vanished (very disconcerting), the number I keep coming back to seems to go up and up. Here are 2 that I found just a few weeks ago, great photo idea but a lot of hard work, Hae Jungs Blog and Lost in Japan.

Photo today was taken on slide film some years ago at Grassmere, it shows Helm Crag (the dark mound just left of centre) and Seat Sandal (just right of centre, with the cloud just hitting the top).

The album reference above got me to this, Tom's Diner (i known it on a different album, but that's how my mind works) Oh and its the proper version.



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Now playing: Suzanne Vega - Cracking
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Monday, May 18, 2009

Eurovision, what a result!

Eurovision, how good was that! We spent the night at my brothers watching it and cheering every time we got a point. I known the competition is dated and riddled with political voting, but its also light hearted and fun to watch, unlike so much on TV at the moment. Our girl, Jade Ewen, did us proud and I hope that we keep the same format for choosing the contestant next year, but maybe using a more pop music orientated composure. Well done to Norway, a classic Eurovision tune with just the right amount of cheese.

Picture for today was due to go on the Leek blog but I liked the image so much I decided to use it here first, it was taken last year in Rushton Spencer church yard and the processing of it was inspired by this blog, Glimpses through the Mashrabeya, although she does it much better.




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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Still here

Sorry, it’s been a week since I last posted here but with my back playing up I am just not able to spend too much time on the computer.

First thing is to announce that I have finally done part 8 of the photography course, but it’s not about taking photo! This lesson covers tips on buying a camera, as in a past life I was a camera salesman, but I’m better now.

Second announcement is that the last post made post of the day on the Authorblog, a big thank you for that as it helped to spread the word on a worth while cause. Only yesterday they brought back the body of Cpl Kumar Pun, Cpl Kumar was among four soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province on Thursday, the day I posted my last post, and still the government has yet to sort out the issue (sorting out their expenses claims no doubt)

Picture today is of a sight that is all around here at the moment, Bluebells every where!



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Thursday, May 7, 2009

What price honour

As a young (and very foolish boy) I read a book, Legionnaire by Simon Murray, about an English volunteer in the French foreign legion and then had dreams of following in his foot steps. I didn’t luckily, but it did leave me with an interest in the unit and those like it. One of the most redeeming features of the French foreign legion is that after your term of service, around 3 years, or if you have spilled blood for France “Français par le sang versé” you have the option of becoming a French citizen, with all the right of a born Frenchman. This is a clear acknowledgement of Frances debt of honour to those who are prepared to die for her.
How sad that this country, which prides it’s self on its sense of honour and fair play does not treat our foreign volunteers with the same amount of respect and it is left to an actress to stand up and fight for their rights.
The treatment of the Gurkha’s by not just the current government but by all the previous ones is a stain on our countries honour darker than most, and we as a country have some very dark stains. For example: historically, they received a much smaller pension - at least six times less - than British soldiers, although this has now been changed for newer recruits, but not back dated! They don’t get citizenship and the fight at the moment lead by actress Joanna Lumley is aimed at getting them the right to stay in the country they have fought for.
In a time when it seems that any foreign out of work sponger can illegally get into this country and then happily live off our welfare state, when anti British radicals can preach about the downfall of our way of life, while living at its expense and foreign criminals avoid deportation using our own money through legal aid. Our government, in our name, is trying its hardest to alienate one of the few peoples to stand by us for nearly 200 years.
As a young lad I had the honour of seeing the troops come back from the Falklands war, amongst them were members of the Gurkha’s, even surrounded by members of the Royal Marines and other British units they still stood out as examples of the best fighting men you could ever see (to be honest they were quite frightening).
What price honour, even the French (no offense intended) treat the foreign volunteers we a great respect than we do. It’s about time the government showed a fraction of the courage we have come to expect from the Gurkha’s and say they are wrong, make amends and restore some of this countries honour.

This link takes you to the campaign for full Gurkha Justice, it just takes a moment to add your support.



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Monday, May 4, 2009

Star wars

Another weekend of changed plan as my back is still playing up and stopping us going camping, what makes it even worst two of our good friends are sunning themselves on a remote Scottish island, the luck of some people! Still the doctor recommended walking so we have managed to do some of that, I may even have the start of a tan and its only the 4th of May.
The picture is from last weeks visit to our friend’s house, I’ve taken this trees photo before, but it has never made it to the blog, but this time I’m happy with the shot.

May the 4th be with you!


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Now playing: Metallica - Star Wars Imperial Marc
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