Sunday, 30 March 2008

Boat Race 29 March 2008

This year's Boat Race - The best of Oxford University matched against the best of Cambridge University. Me and my camera. And lots and lots and lots of rain. I can't in embarassment show you the many botched snaps of the rowers that I took.. each a feeble waste of memory on this already overcrowded computer... so I won't even try. Picture number two is admissable only because by this point they were too far away to have ever been in focus! the first photograph totally sums up the futility of my afternoon!

Oxford immediately off to an early lead, and although Cambridge pulled back by Hammersmith Bridge, it was all in vain and Oxford romped home by ten lengths

The crowds on the Embankment seemed happy enough to get wet

Especially those with a beer in one hand, brolly in the other

Sunday Lunch 30.3.08

Something I said? The birthday girl

An angel and her auntie

The happy couple

Wigan at Night

Wigan at night is about as diffent to London at night as my photographs are to Mario Testinos.... i.e Quite a lot! We went out to the Orwellian famous Wigan Pier, which is supposed to be a hotbed of nighttime activity. And found 4 blokes in a pub..... and errrrrrr, well not much more. I think this may have once been a mill in Wigan, and I am ashamed that I don not know what it is now... however there really wasn't anybody to ask.

WWT- Martin Mere 28.3.08

Martin Mere was terribly sorry without all the swans who were visiting at my last visit. There must be about 50 left, and they have the rather forlorn look of having been left behind. And it was STILL raining!

However I am not one to lie down (unless it improves the photograph!) and weep, so carried on regardless... The black swan was feeding and looked lovely with the water droplets.
This little teal was washing herself so vigorously it looks like she is having a wild time in a jacuzzi!

Another flamingo bath, except this time the amount of water shifted was only a drop in the ocean compared to the fairly large amount of water that dropped on me from the sky during the time I spent at Martin Mere.

I was very taken with capturing the flamingos and their reflections. I probably stood there for half an hour attracting considerable and hurtful abuse from my hungry companion, and didn't really get the shot that I wanted, but these are fairly OK for second best

Same idea, different bird, and this one is quite attractive, but typical man, he doesn't half know it. I am afraid there was a lot of this malarkey going on at Martin Mere, it is obviously that time of year. All I can say is good luck missus, it'll be nappies and teething before you can say Quack.

OK Now I am a big swan fan, but this one took agin me and well 'attack' is the only way I can describe this photo. I am quite impressed with the shot, given that I was running backwards up a slippery bank at the time....

and finally I got the perfect shot... and then a ******** goose waddled into the frame.... Hmm I'm guessing I know what I might be cooking this Christmas ???

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!!

A day in the sun at Blackpool, whicjh started off somewhat disappointingly. Blackpool was closed to visitors. Most of the promenade had been dug up, and could we find a workman in sight. Occasionally the odd abandoned digger showed that maybe Blackpool would be open by the summer season.. but I won't hold my breath. . . . .
The amusements will always be open, and will always cheat me out of all my 2ps

Even the Pleasure beach was closed to paupers like me, you have to pay to go in these days, and can't just wander round and get seduced by the camel racing!!

Finally we found some beach and my old friends the donkeys were still giving rides. They smelt exactly the same as they did when I was 5years old, in fact I think they probably were the same donkeys as when I was five years old!

I think this rock was on sale then too!!

Couldn't resist the Wigs, Chiffoniers of Mayfair, quake in your boots, there is a new kid on the block!

The seagulls obviously had not read the 'Blackpool is Closed' signs. . .

and the illuminations are poised ready for the Summer Switch On

but despite all the closed bit's I do like to be beside the seaside, and yes I was.....

The trams are great as ever, I like to think this might be the one wot did for Alan Bradley.

and the view from the back of the Tram, My first view of the tower that did not include diggers, rubble and Keep Out tape!

Just in case you thought I forgot the kids.... Jamie demonstrating that he gets taller by the day....

and Thomas that he gets Younger by the day!

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Pennington Flash

Today it was raining, but did that put us off??? Noooo, Off to Pennington Flash in a flash.. A wonderful nature reserve in Leigh. The Bunting Hide has plenty of feeders and plenty of hungry guests... and a few birds!! I have been trying for a while to get a photo of the perfect robin, and how the perfect shot eluded me today I really don't know.. the robins were out in force, and posing too. Perhaps I should give up and start collecting stamps insead??

The bluetits nearly made me cry, they were NOT keen on being photographed and would not stop still for a second, let alone the minute my poor cold fingers needed to frame the shot.

You don't get many bullfinches in London, the look quite scary, I wouldn't like to meet him in a dark wood or anything. I suggest you throw him your fat balls and make a run for it! This one was easy, both to take and to name... cutie little blackbird. Who could ever put these in a pie??

There was a fir bit of arfument over this one, Edward swears it is a sparrow, Jen claims she doesn't know and Sarah thinks it may be either a coal tit or a willow tit. But I've got a book (you didn't think I actually knew all of these did you??) and my money is on a willow tit.. but I am happy to be corrected, by someone who knows obviously... not just someone who has a vague idea, or the same book as me (Hamlyn Guide to Birds of Britain and Europe just for clarification!)
This one is worth noting for the rain.... the chaffinch didn't seem to mind through

Here he is about to be hit by a rather large raindrop... Tell you what mate I know how that felt!! .....
but his missus didn't seem keen on her nuts??

I think I like the long tailed tit nearly the best...

and here's my chaffinch back!

I held my breath when the greater Spotted Woodpecker came for a feed, but he wouldn't stay long, nor would he move away from the dreadful duct tape holding up the feeder... boo hiss. He was majestic though, even if he did look at bit scruffy.. Mind you with all the rain still coming down I looked even more bedraggled than him!

However the song thrush looked perfectly lovely

As we were walking (in a shivering damp kind of way) back to the car a pair of Lapwing flew past, which were only identifiable when one kindly landed a few yards in front of us....

Well that was a chance for me to 'Name that Bird' Answers on a postcard for any I get wrong!!

Monday, 24 March 2008

Wandsworth at Night

Easter Sunday and having spent most of the day recovering from the Welsh Visitors by lazing around in bed watching the West Wing, I found the energy to stumble out as far as Wandsworth Embankment and the views of Wandsworth and Putney Bridges! This first one is Putney, far more varied colours that Wandsworth... seems to sum up the two neighbours! and by twirling my tripod around 180 degrees this was the view of Wandsworth Bridge...

I did have to move a little for this shot... taken from the PC World Car Park!