Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Suprise, but only just.

Another long gap between posts, what a bad Blogger I am! But there is a good reason this time, I’ve been on holiday yet again, this time to sunny Devon, well I say sunny, I’m sure it must see the sun at some point during the year, but most of the time we got cloud and a little rain. Still the changing light gave me the opportunity to get some great shots and a week away is still a week away.

The other reason why I have been a bit scares on the blogging front can now be revealed, over the last few months as well as planning and putting on my first exhibition, I was also planning a surprise birthday party for Carolyn. Now being a typical man, according to Carolyn, I cannot;

1. Keep a secret, especially from her
2. Organises anything more complex than opening a bottle of wine
3. Contact our friends and arrange time together.

Surprise! I managed all 3, but the stress nearly killed me.

My greatest achievement was putting her off the sent by skilfully hiding a menu from a local Mexican at the bottom of a bag of stuff meant for our guests, knowing she would check it out while she inspected the guest room before they arrived (I have to add I made up the room and the bed and she always checks to see I’ve done it right).

The party was a great success and I would like to thank everyone who came, It really was a great night, although I only have a vague memory of the latter ½ of the party thanks to Mr Guinness.

As some of you will know I have 2 jobs, the photography, mostly a labour of love at the moment, but on the up and working for a local company. While away I was phone by my boss who informed me that my job, currently just 5 mins down the road is being relocated to Stockport, a town somewhere north of here and an hour drive away. To be honest this really was not much of a shock, the company was recently taken over and since then a lot of things have changed, but while this major change is underway I may have to use this blog the vent my frustration at the faceless bureaucrats that feel they have a god given right to upset peoples lives at the drop of a hat (or maybe to extolling their virtues for getting the whole process right, who knows).

Photo today is from the holiday, it is of Ilfracombe harbour. Click on the picture for a bigger image.



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Friday, March 19, 2010

And now, the end is near.

Tomorrow is the last day of my first ever solo exhibition and I thought I would share my feeling on having taken such a big step, both before and almost after the event.

I have to say that first and foremost the comments received on this and my other blogs have had a very great influence on me and boosted my confidence in the images, to the extent that I felt able to put them on public display. Having said that I was still terrified that they would not be well received, even hated.

Like any artist I love and hate my work, with the same eye I see both the wonder and the faults and am unable to see them as an outsider. So from a purely artistic side I was very worried; from the position of a business man, I had no clue of what was involved and that scared me. If I had thought it through properly I probably would not have done it, ignorance really is bliss.

The moment I was faced with 35 framed images and yards of blank wall was the point I nearly became unstuck, it was only Carolyn’s intervention and skill at design that saved the day.

Once up it looked, to me at least, fantastic and the first sale came before the show had opened! The following days have seen a steady number of visitors and some very kind comments.

Now it’s nearly over I feel empowered by the whole process, less daunted by the future and ready to expand my goals. The first step is the announcement that I have a second exhibition coming up, the show is titled Bricks and Water and shortly I’ll update you on the when and where.

The picture today is from the opening day and for me summed up the day wonderfully, as anyone there could not have failed to see the excellent Red Shoes perform, or realised just how cold Leek can be in February.





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Sunday, March 14, 2010

El Serpiente

I’m a little drunk, I’ve been on the go since 2:45am yesterday, now it’s 4:00am and I’m ½ asleep trying to swallow an annoying bit of skin that seems to be stuck in my throat. The act of trying to swallow makes me start to choke and I wake up just a bit more, to the point I start to use my fingers to pull the offending article out, but it seems to be stuck fast.

At this point I’m fully awake and head to the bathroom to have a look at what is going on. This is not the simple act it first seems because I’m not at home, I’m in Spain, at a friend’s house, its pitch dark and as I may have mentioned before I’m a little drunk. On reaching the bathroom I look in the mirror to see just what it is that has been trying to choke me.

I see curled up on the back of my tongue like an evil serpent the largest Uvula I have ever seen and it is firmly attached to me! For those of you who, like me, have never heard of a Uvula, rush to the nearest mirror and check your mouth. That sweet little pink thing dangling at the back of your throat, that is your Uvula, mine was nearly 2” long (5cm) and in the process of try to choke me.

Panic set in, I’m miles from home, in a foreign country, still a little drunk, but no where near as drunk as I was and with a as yet un-named (at that time) piece of my body trying to kill me! At this point I woke Caz.

4 o’clock in the morning, just the time to wake up your wife who has had only 3 hours of sleep in the last 24, with drunken stories of giant snakes attacking you from the inside, but true to form she was marvellous, she calmed me down and advised that as I was not yet dead there was a good chance I would survive until morning. Taking comfort in her words I settled down and tried to sleep, not knowing that she kept watch over me for the rest of the night.

Next morning found me still alive and mulling over a visit to the local doctor, not something I had planed for, but with the still unidentified body part (hear after referred to as the snake) still trying to choke me, the doctor seemed the only option, then our friends advised us that the local pharmacist, who was English, could look at it and give us some advice. So off we all trooped and after a brief attempt at describing the symptom I opened my mouth and introduced her to the snake, at which point she went pale and suggested a trip to the doctors.

Still not happy at going to see a Spanish doctor we then headed to the local internet café and called up NHS direct, to get an online diagnosis, very hard to do when you have no idea what the offending part is called, no surprise that we had no luck. Then it was onto Wikipedia, who at last gave us a name for my new found nemesis, Uvula.
Now we had a name we entered it into Google and at the top of the searches came this.

Swollen Uvula
Help! My uvula is swollen what can I do?

By the time I had read this blog post I was a happy and very relived man, the snake was still there but now I knew I was not going to die I could get on with enjoying my holiday. Reading all the comments on this single blog post makes me think that it must rate as one of the most important posts ever. Thanks Mo.

The picture was taken later that day and shows some Spanish roof tops.



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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ridge walk

My life feels very much like the people in the picture must feel, patchy visibility, a fine balancing act and sharp drops all round. I’ve got lots going on at the moment and it seems like a constant balancing act keeping it all going. I did have a photo shoot booked in today but it got cancelled at the last moment, the first time I’ve been glad of that happening as I would have run out of time other wise.

The weather is getting better by the day, so I’m getting out taking more photos, giving me loads to edit and a glut of good images to post on here and the Leek blog, the first time that has happened in months. The exhibition is going great, with 2 weeks still to run I’m already thinking of it as a success, should have done it years ago.

The picture is an old one again from our holiday in Scotland; it shows 2 walkers tackling a ridge high in the Cullens, we had already walk for a couple of hours to get to this point, but did not venture any higher.



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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Eilean donan

I can not believe it has been so long since I posted on here, so much for me having loads of spare time! So this is just a quick catch up as I’ve loads to do.

The exhibition is going great, so great that I’m trying to organise another one for May.

I’ve got a couple of new projects in the pipeline, that part of the reason I’ve no spare time at the moment, but you will hear more about them when there done.

With the weather looking up I’ve had chance to get out and take some new images, but not had time to work on them yet, the same can be said of my web site as I have the design worked out, but no time to get it done.

So today’s image comes from a batch I took in Scotland a few months ago, its of Eilean Donan Castle.




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