Friday, 28 May 2010

Tribute to Flann O'Brien

I went with my friends to see The Third Policeman at the Tron Theatre. Some thirty odd years ago, all four of us pictured here read the novel by Flann O'Brien. It is very funny and very surreal. He discussed atomic theory where everything is made up of atoms which move about. When things come into contact with each other the atoms get all mixed up. Cyclists become more bike than human and bikes become more human than bike. How can you tell that someone is more bike than human - they stand at the bar with their elbow sticking out... You gotta read it as I don't do it justice but I had to explain what we're all doing. We also all cycled to the theatre tonight. It was a fun night. 

I really liked this one. I love how people express themselves with their hands.

It was harder to catch who I was sitting beside!

Here's a macro thrown in for good measure. See if you can guess what it is.

It was good to be going out tonight as I had had yet another job rejection today. I'm told repeatedly that I interview well and am a good candidate but there was just someone who had a little bit of something I hadn't. Back to the drawing board...

It's past my bedtime and I'm off to Edinburgh tomorrow to see the lovely man. 

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

More life drawing

Tuesday night has become a regular life drawing slot for my friend D and I. This was my first drawing of the evening and probably one of the best. I have been trying other mediums and this was drawn using a graphite stick. It was the size of a large crayon and I enjoyed drawing with it. I've not used them before.

This was another with the graphite stick - pity my composition slid off the page!

I use to love drawing on black paper and found a nice sketch pad online so I had a go at drawing with chalk. Here are some of the results. 

What a shame I've neglected doing something that I derive so much pleasure from - it's a decade since I've done any drawing. I particularly enjoy life drawing and the opportunity has not always been available but it's still possible to keep up with drawing other stuff. 

I hope you've enjoyed a little glimpse of tonight's efforts. I certainly enjoyed drawing them. 

Day trip to meet the family

I'm lucky enough to live so close to Arran that a day trip is possible. Since my cousins were on holiday there and live in England, I took the opportunity to visit. Here is a shot of Lochranza Castle. I liked the dramatic effect of the shadows of the clouds. This one is worth looking at bigger. Though some showers were forecast none materialised. It was, for me, a more beautiful day than the one before as it was one for no coat but it was a bit cooler. 

This oyster catcher was in some distress and came close to us. It took some time to realise we were close to its nest and even more time to know which direction to walk in to get away from the nest as we couldn't see it. What brave little creatures to take on three giants to protect an egg. There are some more photos on Flickr including one of it sitting down on what I presume to be its nest.

Here are my lovely cousins.

I hadn't seen them for many years and our contact with each other began recently. One of them I had not seen since childhood. In spite of that there are many similarities in our pasts and our interests. We have had Facebook contact for a while and found ourselves sharing the same daft sense of humour. There would appear to be a particular strand of this among the women in our familiy and those of you who have been following my blog will know that this is a very silly sense of humour! It was a wonderful day and passed all too quickly. 

I'll return later to pictures of places I've not been before. I think rather than consecutive days, I shall just keep that series going till I have ten of them and then I'll come up with something else to keep me posting. I'd better get myself organised as I have an interview today. Hope you're all getting some chance to enjoy the nice weather.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Somewhere I'd never been before #4

Mr Duck and I went to the South Side Festival today in Queen's Park in Glasgow. It was held in a bit of the park I'd never been in before. We met up with our friend P and wandered around taking photos. What we saw of the events were not terribly exciting though it would have been a great event to take children too. The above image is of the a woman doing henna painting - with more time I think I would have enjoyed having this done. 

Some events seemed a bit lame - like this tyre flipping race. I'm of the age that I couldn't help thinking that they were going to hurt their backs!

It was a gloriously sunny day, as you can see here. 

This image is of a part of the facade of the new Victoria Infirmary building that I'd never seen before. I like the colours. 

Last but not least, you can see all three of us here if you look closely!

It's been a lovely day - warm and sunny but it's looking like a very hot and humid night. My window has been open since yesterday and it's 24 degrees C in here at almost 11pm!

Hope you've been having a good weekend. My jobhunt goes on and I learned today that I have an interview on Tuesday. Time for bed soon methinks. Night night all.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Somewhere I'd never been before #3

I've never been up this lane. Actually, I've still never walked through it but this image caught my eye as I passed. I snapped it quickly with all the wrong settings in place and kind of liked the slightly over-exposed look. 

I have a few photos from places I'd never been before today. The one below is of bags hanging up in a shop that sells a lot of retro clothes and accessories. It's called Tatty Bon and you can find out more about it at if you're in Glasgow and might fancy a visit. It was a really nice shop with some amazing stuff. The two women were really nice and if you're looking in, thanks for letting me take photos.

Another place I went to in my wanders with my friend was another retro shop/bookshop on the High Street in Glasgow. There are two near each other and we went into both. Sadly I didn't get the name of the shop. The man in there took his bakelite Viewmaster out of the window so that I could photograph it. 

What a trip back in time that was! These are from the 1950s and we had one identical to this one in our house. My dad was at sea and we also had some relatives in the US. I think ours came from there either via my father or a relative. I loved it. If you don't know what they are, you get these discs for them with a circle of slide type images around them. When you look through the eye-pieces you can see the images in 3D. I hadn't looked through one of these for years - many thanks to the man who brought it out for me.

What a great day it's been. I cycled into town to meet my friend and visited cafes and shops. I'm pleased with myself for getting out on the bike again. According to my cyclethingy on my iPhone, I cycled 5 miles today and climbed 500 feet. Only a week of cycling three or four times a week has really improved my stamina and how far I'm managing to get up the hills without getting off and pushing it. Now for a quiet evening in and a rest. 

Oh, and I thought I'd post a pic of a flower that was on the table in a cafe we visited - just for good measure - especially since it was yet another place I'd never been before.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Somewhere I'd never been before #2

Ok, this is pushing the theme (of a place I've never been) a little but it was a bit of footpath I hadn't walked on - at least I didn't think I had. I think the local kids going by thought I was nuts. I had my bike and hi vis vest along with hi vis cycle clips (really cool look here) and I was pointing a camera at the ground. Then I put my camera down and carefully picked up the little snail and moved it off the path out of the way of the young people heading my way. This does not give you street cred in the East end of Glasgow. In fact, I don't think it gives you street cred anywhere.... 

I've had a nice evening watching a film with a friend and having some food. I cycled to her house and back so I'm quite pleased with myself. I've cycled somewhere every day this week. Will I keep it up if it's raining tomorrow? I wonder. I'm off into town to take some photos and I hope to be on my trusty wheels then...

Life drawing

I'm afraid I never went anywhere I hadn't been before today but I did go to life drawing with my friend. The sketch above was one done during a series of two minute poses and was one of my favourites. I'll give you a few more samples below.

The one below was a very quick study of a pose that I'd done another drawing of which you can see on Flickr if you're so inclined.

I had charcoal with me today which is my medium of choice. I find it far easier to be less fussy than with a pencil.

Until discovering this place where I go for life drawing, it had been a decade since I had done any and I'm loving it. I felt a bit stressed and down earlier but life drawing takes me out of that. It totally absorbs me. 

Bedtime for me now... 

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Somewhere I'd never been before

I was sitting in a cafe yesterday (Monday) with my regular cafe-pal K and I told him of my plan to take a series of photos in places I'd never been before. I also told him that I couldn't really be bothered going anywhere. He then started to tell me of this church building which is local to us but in a street I'd never been along. Large brick buildings are really quite unusual in Glasgow and this one is particularly unusual. I love the brickwork around the arched windows.

The cross on the top was also really quite unusual and I wondered if the seagull was nesting up there as it seemed so settled.

I was out on my bike yesterday. I cycled to a hospital visit. I'll be taking the bike out again today. I'm hoping to cycle most days as I really need to get exercising. The hospital visit was difficult as the person I saw was very stressed and became ridiculously defensive when I was describing pain she didn't want me to have. I've not been at my best so I wasn't as assertive as I might have been. I'll need to prepare carefully for my next visit. The person I saw had been working in that clinic since 10am without a break. I left her at 3.30. She was telling me that there will be redundancies coming to the clinic too. I'm desperate to get work just now but the cuts within jobs are making people's working conditions really difficult.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Dancing in the street

This chap was dancing as he passed these buskers. The lovely man has been here for an extra day this weekend and that's been lovely. We had a wander in the centre of Glasgow and these excellent buskers were playing in town. It was the first time in weeks that I'd used the SLR. I've enjoyed a break from it but it was great to be out with it again. 

Here's another of them. They did covers of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" and Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street" as well as less well know jazz. 

Here is a woman standing outside what used to be Borders bookshop. It's a large premises with very large windows and the entire window is fill with old sewing machines. I liked the display. I haven't been in yet to see the clothes. 

I loved this balloon chap...

Last but not least. Here's a little clip of video of today in Buchanan Street so you can catch a little of the atmosphere and hear a little bit of the buskers.

Thursday, 13 May 2010


This will be the last blog in my series of mobile blogs from the
iPhone. I'm kind of glad of that. These photos were taken this
afternoon in Kirkintilloch. I had a trip there with my friend D who
can be seen in the second picture. We went to the local museum which
was once a church and is the next photo. They were exhibiting and
selling craftwork including ceramics which looked smoke fired. I
particularly liked the piece above which was ceramic and woven
material. I studied pottery some time ago and always love looking at

I will take photos this weekend, with one of my cameras, of anything
that grabs my interest. I've decided that next week my theme for
weekdays will be to take photos of any kind but in a place I've never
been before. Hopefully I will then be able to combine the quest with

I'm very happy that the weekend is coming and that a certain duck will
be making his way here.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

So what did I get up to today?

Those of you who saw my last post will know I had bad news today. I
was very disappointed and didn't want to be around the house on my
own. I went to meet my lovely niece and great-niece pictured here.
After a few hours with them I went to see a lovely friend who fed me
and let me photograph her beautifully drawn tattoo.
I have been overwhelmed by the kind comments here and on Facebook
today. I have also had texts from friends and family. It doesn't make
bad news go away but it does make me feel better about life. Thanks to

PS My planned time of blogging soley from my iPhone will be finished on Friday. Though I've enjoyed learning about blogging and photographing with the phone on the move, I will be glad to take pics with a camera again. Need to think of another theme.

First casualty

Second, if you include Gordon Brown. I've just had a letter which was
posted yesterday, withdrawing the job offer due to spending cuts.
Feeling pretty gutted today.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Depressing day

Once more we have a Tory government. Given the dearth of Tory and Lib
Dem votes in Scotland, I wonder where the Public Sector cuts are going
to be made? A depressing day.

EDIT: Comment seen on Facebook

I knew David Cameron was bad news.
He has only been PM for five minutes and already he's evicted a Scottish family and put them on the dole!

Thanks Audrey

Afternoon out

Here are two faces that will be familiar to those of you who have been
looking at my pictures for any length of time. I met up with them
after being out on my bike yesterday. It was the first lengthy cycle
for some time and I was pleased with my stamina. The plan is to cycle
a lot more and hopefully get to being able to zip up my cycling jacket

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Walk in the park

After staying up on Thursday night to watch the election results coming
in, the lovely man and I have been having a quiet weekend. This photo
was taken when we went for a walk in my local park. It was a
gloriously sunny day. Why do weekends pass so quickly?

Thursday, 6 May 2010

For What It's Worth

I've been and done it... There won't be any surprises in this area but
it still felt important to do it.
Now I'm off to prepare some food as the Duck and I are having a long
weekend. We shall eat and then watch the circus unfold tonight. Wish I
could feel excited at the prospect of election night but alas, it's so
hard to like politicians. I think of the qualities which make for a
good leader who will work for the good of the country and then I think
of the qualities which would make someone want the job and survive in
it. Alas, in my head, it's a different set of qualities so I'm not
optimistic that I'll like politicians and political leaders any better
in the future. Like many voters today, I can be much clearer about
what I don't want.
Happy election day people.

EDIT Due to nasty spam. I have turned on comment moderation. I thought I'd done it yesterday but forgot to save changes - Doh!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


I wasn't out today or photographically inspired so you have a self-
portrait. Thanks to Sandy, I have been playing with a new colour
manipulating app, Mill Colour. Hope I haven't scared you too much!

EDIT: Due to someone who posts comments with nasty links, I have had to turn on comment moderation.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Life drawing

Tonight was a little adventure. In the centre of Glasgow, there is a
pub/club called the Flying Duck and on a Tuesday night they have a
life drawing session. It costs £4 which is very reasonable. I went
with friend and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I haven't had the opportunity
to do life drawing for years and I love it. The time flew by.

Pictured here is the model's chair at the break and below, you can see
one of my efforts.

I am still sticking to taking photos and processing them with my
iPhone. I'll do this for 14 days for no other reason than I said I
would. It's quite fun learning what I can do with it.

Time for bed now so night night.

Domestic catchup

Today has been a day of domestic chores. The image here is of a
domestic item. It's probably not that difficult to see what it is. I
just liked the shape and the shadows.
I will be feeding a friend this evening and then we're off to explore
a life drawing class held in a pub with a DJ and a bar. I love life
drawing and doing it with bar and DJ will be a novelty! I'll let you
know how I get on.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Bank holiday stroll

The lovely man and I went for a wander today as the sun was out and it
was rather a lovely afternoon. My first stop was the Shelter shop.
Stockbridge in Edinburgh has rather a good collection of second-hand
shops. I returned laden with bargains including a winter coat and a
warm jacket. I love second-hand shops.

Now it's coming to the sad time when I'll have to pack up and head
home again. Hope you've had as nice a weekend as I have.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Trip to the exhibition

It's been a lovely afternoon. We met our friend Penny and went to the
Diane Arbus exhibition at the Dean Gallery. Sleepyduck and I have seen
her work before, exhibited in Barcelona. If you live anywhere near
Edinburgh then I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

Afterwards we were treated to a lovely lunch. Thanks Penny. We also
met a lovely little wrinkled green chap who can be seen below.

These pictures form part of my series of blogs from my iPhone. I have
discovered a limit that I can only put the images after the text. This
was not an issue when I blogged from a Nokia. If anyone knows a way
round it other than editing the HTML after submitting the images then
I would be interested to hear from you.

I plan to blog from the phone for fourteen days and then think of
another theme.