Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

101 goals in 1001 days and a photo a day

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

So its a new year and a significant year, 2010, so I’ve decided to start two projects which are somewhat related. My first project is “101 goals in 1001 days”. Basically I am setting myself 101 personal goals to achieve 1001 days i.e. by the end of 27 September 2012. This can be anything from cycling to work, knitting a jumper to carrying out a solo sky dive.

In order to record my achievements or otherwise I have created a new blog at And my (growing) list of goals with links to pages that describe each goal is here.

The first goal is “A photo a day for at least 365 days”. Basically I have set myself the task of taking, and posting to a blog, a photo each day for at least a year. So I’ve created a new blog for that too at Below is my photo for Jan 1, 2010.

BBC Micro keyboard

Away, Back, Away, Back (Part 1)

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Well the last few weeks have been busy and traveling lots. This has partly been work and partly been vacation. The work project has been reaching an important milestone so in April, just before the Easter weekend, I returned to San Jose, California.

I arrived on the Wednesday, dropped my cases off at the hotel, this time the Marriott Residences in Campbell, and then headed off to Planet Granite, the climbing centre in Sunnyvale, in order to surprised my friends who regularly climb there. It had the desired effect and my very long day was finished off with a curry at a restaurant in Sunnyvale.

The Birthday GirlI worked both the Friday before the weekend and the Monday afterwards, which although they are public holidays in the UK, they are not in the US. My friend Sonya came over to visit on the Friday evening and my American friends organised a great birthday meal and get together on the Saturday. One very very generously paid for the entire thing. This was followed by an evening of Rockband at one of their homes.

CampbellSunday was a ‘personal’ day. I just needed some space to my self. I decided to go for a tour of Campbell on foot. I needed a couple of electronics items to planned a nice walk from my hotel, up to the local Fry’s, from there to The Pruneyard and Wholefoods for lunch and supplies, then back to the hotel. It actually turned out to be almost a 6 mile walk but it cleaned the cobwebs out. I completely failed with respect to Frys though as it was Easter Sunday and they were closed.

Monday was back to work. Wednesday was climbing night again. This time I went prepared to climb. This may not have been sensible. The day before I flew to the US I had had the cast removed from the wrist I’d broken in February. Climbing so soon afterwards was not really sensible. I managed half way up on a couple of climbs before giving up. I didn’t completely waste the evening as I used the gym instead.

Thursday evening was ‘Miracle Fruit’ night. A whole bunch of us got together, took a Miraculin tablet, then tried different sour foods to see what the effect was like. The weirdest were liquid sour drops, a confectionery which was designed to taste very sour, tasted really quite sweet. Sweet pickles were another interesting taste. Friday Sonya came around again and I cooked for her.

Saturday Sonya and I headed up to San Francisco where we played laser tag. After that it was off to the Hotel Utah Saloon where we watched several live bands including Headshear which were very very good. Sunday I flew home but not before a nice lunch and cuddle in Baylands Park with Joyce.

Tuesday it was back in the office in the UK and some hard work meeting the milestone.

On The Shropshire Union Canal (Part #2)

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Better late than never, here’s the report of the rest of the canal trip. Select photos are now available on line at my gallery.

The morning of day two we awoke to a frozen canal. This branch of the Shropshire Union canal had little traffic as it was the route between the main part of the Shropshire Union and the Trent and Mersey canal. You only use it if you want to get from one to the other. But this cold morning we were not the first people moving and another boat kindly broke the ice for us. Called “The Original Fudge Boat” it also had “Sanity?” written on the back. I have to admit agreed with the question given the weather.


Eventually, after a hearty breakfast, we go going ourselves. Steering a boat through the ice isn’t easy. The ice wants to push the boat in all sorts of directions. This is especially true for the large sheets which hadn’t broken up as they would bounce back off of the river back and knock the boat. The cold winter scenery though was truly beautiful.


We continued on the branch of the Shropshire Union before passing through the final lock and small bridge that put us on to the Trent and Mersey at Middlewich. At Middlewich we stopped in to The Kings Locks pub and grabbed a great pub lunch and a couple of pints which set us up nicely for the rest of the day. From Middlewich we headed north towards Northwich stopping when it got dark.

The following day we continued up around Northwich to see the Anderton Boat Lift. This is a fantastic Victorian contrivance which was built to raise and lower canal boats between the Trent and Mersey canal and the Weaver Navigation, some 50 feet below. It has two huge troughs each of which can carry two boats. These troughs, complete with water, transfer the boats between the two water ways. Originally it used hydrolic pistons to raise and lower the troughs but it was converted to cable hoists a while after construction. We didn’t get to see it working unfortunately but it looked fantastic.


As I was leaving the boat the following lunch time we finished heading north at this point and turned around. We grabbed another pub lunch on route hitting Middlewich at dusk and as there was no where to stop we were a little naughty and got through the final locks and back on to the Shropshire Union in the dark.

The following morning, as I had done the day before, I got the boat going while the others stayed in bed. It was very relaxing to potter along the canals with no one else around. Over the few days my boat handling skills came back and I was quite happy, for example, to go reclaim the boat and collect the others from the canal side at by the pub. Finally around 2pm we got back to the boat yard where I left the others. They continued on and I drove home some what chilled out.

Integration rocks!

Friday, December 19th, 2008

I have been integrating my public blog with my public gallery and twitter thanks to the Coppermine SC plug-in and the Twitter Updater plug-in. This allows me to insert images from my Coppermine Gallery in to my posts, such as this photograph of the snowy moors I took earlier this week, and twitter the publishing of a new post complete with tinyurl.


The North Yorks Moors in December.

Next I will look at how to automatically post to my Blog when I upload images to a new album.