Thursday, July 31, 2008


Well the rugby season is over and I'll have to wait now to take anymore. It's not just he Isle of Man TT we have here sport wise. Rugby, football, kite flying, and of course don't forget Mark Cavendish. Some of you may of heard of him if you followed the Tour de France. He won a couple of Races, a Yellow Jersey Winner, and yes he's an island resident. In fact we used to work at the same place, at different times. In fact my old work station was previously occupied by him, then me. The hot seat.

I'm a bit pushed for time tonight, so this is a good time to dish out some more blog awards.

This time I received another Arte y pico from Jackie in GLASCOW

1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award, creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogger community, no matter of language.
2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award-winning, has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the ward itself.
4) Award-winning and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte y pico"blog , so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5) To show these rules.

My choices today are for blogs you need to visit.

CORSICANA for having 2 other terrific fun blogs too, dedication
JAMJARSUPERSTAR excellent music reviews
SAN FRANSICO BAY a mad talking cow and terrific research
PORT TOWNSEND beautiful images, fun posts
Terrell Daily Photo poignant, thoughtful and wonderful research

Now you Lucky people it's just for fun, but I enjoy coming to your blogs, and I know others will too they just need diresctions to get there. So folks follow the links. Recipients copy and paste the award from my blog and pick your 5.

As Friday is skywatch and theme day( metal) I shall be combining the two in a series of images.
Hopefully it will work.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


My other ABC is The Bay of Angels, Nice, France, which you can find on the new ABC WEDNESDAY

The blackbird above may look like it's singing, bit it's not. One simple reason for this, it's a young female, and female blackbirds don't sing. What she was actually doing was fluffing out her wings and for want of a better word sunbathing. Yes we do occasionally have sunny days here.

Another Manx Cat Myth

This little ditty it seems is authorless. Not exactly a haiku, but certainly sums up another fishy story of how the Manx cat became tailess.

Noah, sailing o’er the seas,
Ran high and dry on Ararat,
His dog then made a spring,
And took the tail from off a pussy cat,
Puss through the window quick did fly,
And bravely through the waters swam,
Nor ever stopped, till, high and dry,
She landed on the Isle of Man.
Thus tailless puss earned Mona’s thanks.
And ever after was called Manx.”

More myths and legends to follow. Not ust the cat variety either!

Mrs Nesbitt is the host for ABC Wednesday, where you can find details for joining, her own ABC shot to comment on and a list of fellow bloggers who are playing today, who would also appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Alongside Poyll Dooey Nature Reserve is a bridle path which I often take another detour down. Again it's another fantastic area to see wildlife on one side and this industrial park on the other.
Sometimes being vertically challenged(ok little) has it's advantages. Any taller and my eye level would have been above the hedge. I wanted to put the scene in context showing the view from the bridal path, onto Gladstone Park, with Skyhill behind to show the two can sometimes live in harmony.

Gladstone Park presently houses several business outlets as well as being the main Post Office depot in the North of the island. The future of the Industrial Park though is under speculation. For the past year Rumours have been rife that the post office depot is to close, be relocated, tescos buying the land to open a brand new supermarket, no change, demolished for housing etc.
So who knows? That's the point though! We who live in Ramsey would like to know. Town(none) planners tend not to live where they wreck a town, so just before you give us something we don't want or need, or take something away we do, can we have a say. A radical thought I know, but it just might catch on.

Now a request to all you kind inquisitive bloggers out there. I know more than one of you will be able to help out here. Not a neme or awards, far more important if you'd like to read on.

From Bubblewench and Daryl

Does anyone know anything at all about a disease called Pulmonary Haemosiderosis if so can they contact Jo Beaufoix for her friend Marie who is suffering from this disease. Thank you.

Leave you with that today.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Water street is just off from the main high street in Ramsey. A quiet little place that I only really walk down to get to the post office. I had forgotten all about this wonderful house until I got there. I new straight away it was an odd shot. It just hits you as you turn the corner, all the intense purple, blue and yellow on such a drab grey street. It's just totally unexpected to be confronted by this plethora of colour. Not only that but it has a bright yellow Triskelion, the three legs of man symbol over the front door. The back is different again with well something else I will have to show you sometime. Note too the Isle of Man flag, you can see is also flying proudly from the flagpole. With all the dull weather we've had lately this really is a cheery little blast of colour. One more thing, it even has a name on the plaque outside, the sweetly named Nicky's Nook. There's no place like home!

I promised you another Manx Cat myth. They are all actually quite short, but there seem to be so many of them. Here's another one. The Isle of Man was prone to invasions from the Irish and theVikings. Manx kittens were frequently snatched by invaders from their mother's by their long tails. One Mother cat bit off her own kitten's tail. The kitten, tailless was never caught by the invaders. Other mother cats followed suit, until there was not a kitten left in the island that had a tale, or born thereafter. Hence the new breed, the cat with no tail, the Manx Cat was born.

I think I will have to delve into Manx myth and legend a lot more! What do you think?

Want to join Odd Shots Monday?

Then see KATNEY


I am a confirmed dog lover, but sometimes even I crumble for the cat. This dear little pure white one with sparkling green eyes meowed his hello and proceeded to pose for several photos. He was rewarded with a tummy, under chin, and behind the ears tickle. I hope to see him again as he's so photogenic.

He's not a Manx cat, a stubbin. They as you may recall from another cat post are cats with no tails. Lots of myths and legends surround the origin of the Manx cat. Here is one for today. The rest will follow. Even with the tale, there are variants on the myth.

The Manx cat was invited onto Noah's ark to avoid the great flood. He refused the offer having found food and shelter on land and thought he would be safe from the flood. Only when the rising waters became so high the Manx cat fearing for his life ran to the Ark. Noah by this time had given up on the Manx cat and started to shut the door. The Manx cat jumped towards the closing door. Thrusting his way through the tiniest gap, he managed to squeeze almost all of himself through. Alas, his tail was not so fortunate. Poor Manx cat's tail was severed as Noah slammed the Ark's door shut leaving the cat now without a tail. Forever more no Manx cat was born with a tail on the Isle Of Man

Is that myth not just the cat's whiskers! So have you seen or owned a Manx cat?

For more camera critters see MISTY DAWN Camera critters.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Whilst undertaking further research about Ramsey Harbour and it's past I happened upon many a quirky tale. One, I am really hoping to post sometime, but I want to separate the myth, legend and fact. History remember isn't always what actually happened but who committed it to paper.

Ramsey Harbour still is a working harbour, though not the grand shipbuilding harbour of yesteryear. I've mentioned previously of The Star Of India known as the Euterpe as the most famous ship built here but not of The Jane.

Mid 19th century Ramsey it seems led the way in shipbuilding. The first ship designed to carry bulk oil, commonly known as an oil tanker was built at this very harbour and name "The Jane." Apparently The Jane transported oil around various places of which the only one I have found named is Philadelphia in 1853. Again I find out a cute little story and find the trail ends abruptly.
No photos or even many write ups about this once famous oil tanker. I put a sepia tint on one of harbour images to again set the tone of the post.

So why the interest to me? The other Jane of Ramsey is the author of this blog. So it must be destiny to continue the blog after all.

Has the trail ever run cold on your town research?

Friday, July 25, 2008


Click to enlarge.

No fiery sunsets this week. It's been pretty dull grey and wet. Today( about 4pm in case you saw me) we had a slightly blue sky a little flash of sun through clouds a light breeze and and camera. I have been on the hunt for weeks for the Isle of Man flag to be flying in full to show you and today it was. Also a chance to play around with angles. Wanted the flag full on and the lamppost to cut from corner to corner, just to break up the sky. This was the second shot. The sun flash on the first was too garish. Why photoshop, when you can just take another shot.

A Manxman is a resident of the Isle of Man. It's also the name of an old black and white silent Alfred Hitchcock film he made prior to moving Hollywood.

The Manxman

The Manxman is a 1929 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Based on a romantic novel by Hall Caine, the director began work on the film just two weeks after the birth of his daughter, Patricia Hitchcock. This was the last silent film Hitchcock directed before he made the transition to sound.

The film tells the story of two childhood friends, a poor fisherman, Pete Quilliam (Carl Brisson), and a lawyer, Philip Christian (Malcolm Keen). Pete is in love with Kate (Anny Ondra), but when her father, Old Caesar (Randie Ayrton), refuses to consent to their marriage, Pete sets off for Africa to make his fortune, asking Philip to take care of Kate until he returns.

In his absence, Kate and Philip fall in love. When news reaches them that Pete was killed, they begin planning their lives together, as Philip prepares to assume the position of Deemster, the island's chief magistrate. The news is false however, and Pete returns to the island a wealthy man. Old Caesar agrees to let Kate marry him, and neither she nor Philip have it in them to break Pete's heart. As the wedding party proceeds in an old mill, Old Caesar sternly warns the newlyweds to remember how serious the vows of marriage are.

Kate is still in love with Philip. Shortly after a daughter is born, she decides to leave Pete, leaving him both the child and a note saying that she loves another man. However, Philip is about to become the Deemster and is unwilling to give up his career for her. Frustrated, she returns to Pete to take the baby, telling him that he is not the father, but he refuses to believe her or hand the child over. Distraught, Kate leaves and attempts to commit suicide by throwing herself off the quay, a crime on the Isle of Man.

Kate is brought to trial on the first day that Philip serves as Deemster. He is reluctant to sentence her, and when Pete appears in the courtroom to plead for his wife, he agrees to hand her over to him. Kate refuses to go, and Old Caesar, who is watching, gets up and condemns Philip for being the "other man". Philip admits this and leaves the court.

In the final scene, Philip and Kate prepare to leave the Isle of Man and come to Pete's house to pick up the baby. In a shot reminiscent of the theater, Kate picks up the child, while Philip and Pete stand at opposite ends of the room. She brings the child over to Pete to say one last goodbye, and he breaks down, having lost everything. Philip and Kate leave the cottage to the jeers of the villagers, who have been watching the scene.

I dedicate this post to all the unbalanced Manxman, and many more who think I should stop the blog. What good have you done for the island lately?

If you want to participate in skywatch see the new blog we have, SKYWATCH
Only genuine skywatchers need apply. None of your advertising for sales sites please. This is for enthusiasts only and hosted by Jane & Tom of the fabulous WIGGERS WORLD

Ps. Does anyone know anthing about a site called feedage as it it a good idea to have a rss feed for your blog? I am on feedage but I didn't add myself.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


After yesterdays naughty bit of graffiti(I just shoot the facts, like them or not) I thought a nice pretty little pic would redress the balance. To all those people who haven't read the blog header and what the blog is all about and left very negative comments, try reading it properly. I say I will show all sides of the town, as it is whether that be good bad or indifferent. Today we have the good, the pretty, through rose tinted leaves!

Poyll Dooey Nature Reserve, has a series of nature trails meandering through it. I decided to follow one of these and came across these very vivid rich red leaves on a recently planted sapling. The sky seemed to be one enormous dirty white blanket of cloud, so I knew that the reds would pop out against it. Just how white the backdrop would be I didn't realise as the camera had been on the wrong ISO. When I uploaded I could see the white was completely bleached out. Normally I don't favour this look, but I just went with it and now don't mind the image. Serendipity and photography really do go hand in hand sometimes.

So have you had a serendipitous moment with your camera?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


For those of you expecting one of my ABC posts we now have a brand new blog over at ABC WEDNESDAY. I will be displaying all manner of non related Ramsey pics there, mainly France if you want to stop by there and view the others. Mine is the Arc In the Park, Nice, France.

What can I say. Took a detour down a back alley. Now this is not your city "I'm going to get mugged for my Manolo Blahniks"alleyways, we have perfectly safe ones. We do however have the odd bit of graffiti. Who could resist little beauty!

The plants by the way are just weeds(oh dear I mean wild flowers officer) but I wanted to leave them in the pic just to well amuse me really and to get you to do a double take. Strangely the first part that caught my eye was the wording. Legalize spelt the American way with a z not a s.
Talk about not seeing the big picture! Then perhaps the artistic merit, the tag and the fact it was a statement rather than a question. Note the ! instead of a ?. Someone obviously has made their decision.

Now we don't have major issues with drugs of any sort on the island. There is the odd bust and raid. Boats do get caught at customs. Sure there are many a baby pot plant being green housed somewhere, but as I said it's really a low priority issue for us.

So do you agree with the author of the statement. Does the medical evidence that it eases the pain of certain types of ill health out way the steady decline to using harder drugs, psychosis, and resorting to crime for others. Anonymous answers are fine, if you don't want to name yourself. Understandable for this one.

Well this isn't my most aesthetically pleasing image, but it's going to be one of my most controversial. Hey, you know with this blog, it's always pot luck what you get.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


For a fellow blogger excellent you should visit, Jackie GLASCOW

Another Ramsey Landmark, and one of Babooshka's regular haunts is the aptly, if not imaginatively named White Bridge. The bridge is situated in The Poyll Dooey Nature Reserve and crosses over the Sulby river. The hill you can see on the left in the distance is Skyhill as in the battle which I have covered before in the viking posts. It's basically a single file pedestrian only bridge, although bikes and motorbikes can be walked but not ridden across. It really is quite a narrow, sturdy but perfectly formed walkway.

When looking for information about this bridge, again, I either came back to my own links or just found the vaguest reference, or uncorroborated info, which I need to confirm. Even images seemed limited. The Poyll Dooey Reserve is just the same. This is a specific area that has been set aside as a nature reserve/wetlands site for wildlife and yet it's almost as if it's some dirty little secret the island is ashamed of. To say I am exasperated by this is an understatement. I have a few ideas where to find text to post with my photos I regularly take of this place, so I will elaborate more soon. So Jackie, I will be showing so much more of my beautiful reserve, which has already featured in most of my skywatch shots, litter shots and river shots hopefully soon.

Oh yes one more thing. Can I suggest you trawl the internet for your own images. Let's just say
some people steal images for their own ends, pass them off as theirs, or unknown source and re use them, er sometimes in blogs would you believe! I am onto them, and it won't be pretty. Copyright means hands of, pay, or ask permission.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Whenever there are fetes or outdoor events of any kind on the island you will usually find something a little different. So nestled amongst the face painters, the temporary tattoos, and the burger vans I found this wonderful bike. On closer inspection I actually noticed what this stall, if you can refer to it as such, was well selling.

The Christian Motorcyclist Association UK were as it turned out, not selling but giving away books. Well just one book, the Biker Bible. Now I won't go into details, as it's not my thing, but here's the wiki link if you want to know more about the very friendly bunch of bikers for yourselves. One thing it does prove though, people are like books and you really shouldn't judge either by their cover.

As for the photo it's done exactly the same as the Tynwald shot. Desaturate almost all the colours apart from the blue, then pump up the saturate on the blue hues left in the pic.

Want to join Odd Shots Monday?

Then see KATNEY

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Perhaps my garden birds just want their Andy Warhol 15 mins. of fame. Is that why they fly into the patio windows. The familiar thud of the bird against the window, and the all to familiar sight of a bird prostrate in shock. We know this scenario so well now that it has become commonplace.
Place them on their feet, sit with them so they don't become prey to cats and sparrowhawks, feed, talk to, provide water and encourage to stay awake and fly off, allow to sit on hand when so inclined. This little fellow, a male identifiable by his so brightly coloured green/yellow wing bars was quite the sleepy one. Eventually he flew to the feeders. We now have the patio doors open when it's bright sunlight, and so far no birds have misjudged their flight path.

May I take opportunity to say thank you so much to everyone who has ever visited and took the trouble to comment. There are so many of us blogging now that I'm constantly amazed by the mostly positive feedback. There are so many others bloggers out there who I have happened upon who have fantastic blogs that perhaps don't receive the recognition they so richly deserve.
So if I can take a further opportunity and ask next time you leave a comment, take a peek at the other commentators and perhaps visit a blog today you haven't before. You may be pleasantly surprised, educated, have a laugh. Now that can't be a bad thing can it just for the sake of a click into the unknown.

For more camera critters see MISTY DAWN Camera critters.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Well I don't know about anyone else but the weather here has been nothing like summer. The camera hasn't seen much action this week, apart from the shots I need to take. Take yesterday. I went out loaded with 3 lenses, started upon my usual path through the nature reserve and the heavens opened. What to do? To far in to go home, not far enough to seek the shelter of one of the numerous cafes in town. Nothing for it but to try and shelter under the trees.

I never, ever let any water near the camera. They are completely allergic to rain so no, this photo wasn't yesterday, but it was the spot I was sheltering. I saw this image I had taken earlier in the week and remembered why I'd taken it. How many of us have library photos that were a good idea at the time, but can't recall what that was?

For tones and colours of the great outdoors, autumn(fall) is my favourite season. These withered dying leaves were autumn in hue so it was the obvious shot. That's when it struck me that the leaves that were dying were actually the most alive and vibrant in colour of all the living plants and foliage surrounding me. Now, is this slightly mad, have I got cabin fever living on a small island or does anyone else agree with me.?

What then is your favourite season to photograph, not necessarily your favourite season, but the one that your camera loves?

Friday, July 18, 2008


As I had so many of those weird sunset images we rarely get here I decided to make the most of them. This one is nothing but the sky, no trees or building for reference or perspective that I would normally shoot.The reason for this is by this time I shot this one the light was fading really fast so I had to find the brightest point of colour to bounce some light around the image.

As some of you know last week I had some very negative comments about my images basically being to good to be true and last weeks skywatch in particular being the one that seemed to warrant the most abuse. You may also have noticed that my partner Gary of, BARKER BITES BACK! actually left his own comment on my skywatch image to confirm he was with me when the image was taken and not enhanced in any way. Normally we don't interfere with each other's blogs, but I really was annoyed last week, and almost stopped the blog. So again I hope you like this natural image we get rarely over the island. Don't get to used to them though it'll be back to my dramatic clouds soon and we get a awful lot of those hanging around.

Gary is taking a break from the BARKER GALLERY BBC while the Politics Show is off air for the summer season, and the British Politicians take a holiday. Just who is running the country when they all swan off for a few months then? This means my house won't be full of Political Cartoons, but well all sorts of other artwork instead. Tour de France for German magazines, Artwork for the Berlin Underground and at the moment he is showing me his Paul Newman (tremendous it is too!) which will go onto his blog tonight, if you want to take a peek at BARKER BITES BACK!

If you want to participate in skywatch see the new blog we have, SKYWATCH
Only genuine skywatchers need apply. None of your advertising for sales sites please. This is for enthusiasts only and hosted by Jane & Tom of the fabulous WIGGERS WORLD

Thursday, July 17, 2008


In complete contrast to yesterday's living legend photo of Lou Reed taking a walk on the wild side, we have Tynwald taking a walk on the mild side.

Sunday was the last day of Ramsey Week activities. Gary and I had a walk around Mooragh Park and happened upon, stalls and kiddies activities and just outside the cafe at the far end this band Tynwald. Obviously the name is from the Isle of Man Parliament called The Tynwald. What a great name for a home grown Manx band. They definitely seemed to be a fun bunch of fellows, belting out an array of older classics for the eager crowd that had gathered. What's really annoying is I've tried to find out more about the band to no joy. The Isle of Man news link and Manx Radio links are down, so again, if anyone can fill me in I'd love to to do an update on the guys.

A quick tip on the photo. I wanted to highlight the triangle of reds especially the Legs of Man on the drum. Honestly it's not hard just using a little photoshop. Take the saturation down to almost all the colour has gone on the master, all colours. Then push the saturate up again, but switch the master to reds. This way it took the green out and left the red, and the beige on the skin tones, guitar and brickwork. Wanted it to have an older feel without sepia, or monochrome, as I wanted the red triangle of colour to pop out. Try it it's so simple, honest. Hint it works a treat on red roses. My photos are generally as I take them, but if and when I manipulate an image for a specific effect I will always let you know how.

So I am eagerly awaiting for your photo results and any Tynwald feedback.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


  • Zen is more of an attitude than a belief.
  • Zen is the peace that comes from being one with an entity other than yourself.
  • Zen means being aware of your oneness with the world and everything in it.
  • Zen means living in the present and experience this reality fully.
  • Zen means being free of the distractions and illusory conflicts of the material world.
  • Zen means being in the flow of the universe.
  • Zen means experiencing fully the present, and delighting in the basic miracle of life itself.
Now, the interpretation of Zen is subjective. As it's the last one this round, I thought a little lateral thinking was required. For me I just wanted to illustrate what it meant to me incorporating all of the above, from my spiritual, religious, human standpoint etc and a time when I felt all or most of the above and usually for me it's through music. So please accept this offering in the spirit of the post, and in no way is it meant to belittle or denigrate any one's beliefs.

The Lou Reed concert At the Douglas Marina, Isle of man, was one of my all time Zen moments. A Perfect Day. For me this the perfect example of a group of very diverse people, putting, politics, race, religion aside and being caught up in the moment of pure musical euphoria. You can call it escapism, and maybe it is but for me live music, especially by one of the all time greats is a slice of heaven, or being at one with the world, point of fact my own slice of Zen.

If you want to see the rest of the concert images, about 30 click these links BABOOSHKA'S PHOTOS


By the way if you enjoyed my odd shots chair in the nature reserve you have see Jackie's who has an even better chair in a weird place pic. You won't believe this one. click this link GLASCOW

Like to join ABC Wednesday? Please got to this link, MRS NESBITT'S PLACE
Mrs Nesbitt is the host for ABC Wednesday, where you can find details for joining, her own ABC shot to comment on and a list of fellow bloggers who are playing today, who would also appreciate your comments.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008


It happened one night! What I'm not quite sure but , one minute I was fine the next I felt like I 'd been kicked in the stomach by a mule and then being held in a vice grip. Now it was it was either, the curry, a bug, or what I suspect the booze. Not to much, I hasten to add, but the pipes not being cleaned properly. Put it this way next time I'm in a certain pub, I 'll play it safe and have spirits. Anyway, we had to cut short the night out but not before I simply had to take some photos.

I just couldn't resist the light. I know not very sensible but maybe it was because I was feeling a little delirious that I started to see the most wonderful shadows, shapes and lines. The colours seemed particularly golden too. So after about50 photos later we finally went home. As for Ramsey Rocks well I do have some, but the night was shorter than planned and so was the photography.

So the moral of the tale is well I'm not sure really. I 'll let you be the judge. Would I have noticed the golden tones? Would I have decided I simply had to photograph on bended knee through the boat masts. Not sensible in a skirt and killer heel boots may I add. Would I have even noticed those lines if I hadn't been bent double in pain and so low to the ground? Who knows? So was it worth it?

So, what lengths have you gone to get a shot, and were the results worth it?

Monday, July 14, 2008


We've had far to many pretty pictures on this blog recently that I thought we'd get back to reality and have the uglier side of life again. The photographer in me knew straight away that this was going to be snapped as an example of the odd shot concept. The other side of me though,
well got really angry about this.

On so many levels this image is wrong! The image was taken yet again in the nature reserve. The reserve as I have often stated is a haven for wildlife. It is not a landfill site, dumping ground, or recycling bin. Obviously some idiot out there blatantly disagrees. Now, I know I spend a lot of time over here, but that does not give me the right to pull up a abandoned chair to study the wildlife. This really angers me! For a start, if you want to get rid of it hire a skip and dispose of it.
Why would you go to the trouble of dragging the chair through the brambles onto a designated wildlife area. The other thing is, the chair itself seemed in not to bad condition. What was wrong with donating it to a local charity to get it cleaned and refurbished. I'm sure a poor soul in need of
such an item would gladly give this poor chair a home. As for the child's toy buggy, the same applies. How do we know that wouldn't have made some kids day to receive that, which another had so easily discarded.

We live in a very selfish age. There really is no need for this kind of unsociable behaviour. These abandoned items are a danger to wildlife and a missed opportunity on the recycling front. Charity is supposed to begin at home. So maybe next time you have a item you no longer need try your neighbour, charity shop, homeless centre, or recycling plant. Whoever you are that did this, I hope you and your new shiny sofa are siting very uncomfortably right now!

Want to join Odd Shots Monday?

Then see KATNEY

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Due to there being lack of pictorial evidence of the escaped Wild Wallaby, Big Manx Wild Cat, and no new sighting of George the escaped pelican, I give you a very cute Red Panda all the way from Curraghs Wildlife Park here in the Isle Of Man.

Obviously the Red Panda, or Lesser Panda (shining cat) is not a native creature of the island. Well if we don't have foxes we are hardly going to have these cuties running around. Curraghs Wildlife Park has been paramount with the breeding of the cute little animals which are sadly on the decline, for many reasons ie. habitat fragmentation in their native dwellings of China, Nepal and Myanmar to name a few. So much so that they are classed as "threatened" on the Conservation List. Thanks to not only the wildlife park, but others around the world, these other wordly cuties are currently breeding and hopefully can be saved.

Pichu and his mother Isla, the escaped Red Pandas from Scotland were of course originally from the Island. We breed adventurous spirits here.

Gary and I are both a little unwell this weekend and mostly been confined to the house. Gary by the way added his comment on my skywatch pic out of his own volition, about him being my witness, being there when the image was taken. I am still annoyed at the idiots who dropped some lousy comments on about the image not being real, and if it continues I may have to rethink the blog. This also goes for the emailing idiots. So apologises for not visiting, just hadn't got the inclination too.

For more camera critters see MISTY DAWN Camera ctritters.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


As yesterday's skywatch post was so colourful I thought a little monochrome was needed to redress the balance a little. It was beginning to be a bit too dazzling on the eyes so I went for this one from Ramsey Lifeboat Day, last Saturday. It even has some elusive locals. Of course it rained so I had alternative plans and arrived when everyone had gone, but the lifeboat was still there.

What is it?

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity that saves lives at sea around the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland, as well as inshore. It was founded on 4 March 1824 as the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, adopting the present name in 1854.

The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations around the coasts of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. Since 1980, lifeboat rescues have doubled; the RNLI rescues an average of 22 people each day.

The charity also employs lifeguards on beaches in the southwest, south Wales and Norfolk. In 2008, this service will be expanded to cover over 100 beaches. [1]

The RNLI is funded entirely by voluntary donations and legacies (together with tax reclaims), and has an annual budget of £130 million.

Who founded it?

Sir William Hillary came to live on the Isle of Man in 1808. Being aware of the treacherous nature of the Irish Sea, with many ships being wrecked around the Manx coast, he drew up plans for a national lifeboat service manned by trained crews. Initially he received little response from the Admiralty but on appealing to the more philanthropic members of London society, the plans were adopted and the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck was founded in 1824. Thirty years later the title changed to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the first of the new lifeboats to be built was stationed at Douglas in recognition of the work of Sir William.

At the age of 60 Sir William took part in the rescue, in 1830, of the packet St George, which had foundered on Conister Rock at the entrance to Douglas harbour. He commanded the lifeboat and was washed overboard with others of the lifeboat crew, yet finally everyone aboard the St George was rescued with no loss of life.

It was this incident which prompted Sir William to set up a scheme to build The Tower of Refuge on Conister Rock - a project completed in 1832 which stands to this day at the entrance to Douglas harbour[2

As you can appreciate The RNLI is godsend to those in peril upon the sea. Manned by volunteers around the Isle Of Man and Great Britain the brave men and woman who give up there free time to train and save lives lives, and sometimes sacrifice their own are a wonderful testament to the better side of the human race. This island of sea lovers alone owes a lot to this institution. In fact one of our bloggers is a volunteer and you can have a better insight into the RNLI through words and images at their website MANNANANS CLOAK

Friday, July 11, 2008


Last week I mentioned dragging Gary out at 10pm at night in my scruffs looking more Wuthering Heights than Babooshka, over the nature reserve behind the house to catch this sky before all the light faded. This was what all the fuss was about. No tripod, no time to get the best position, just brutal gut instinct, and snap away until the battery or the light went completely. We don't get these kind of Scandinavian skies often so I wasn't missing this beauty. Poor old Gary though, bless, his hay fever really kicked in as the pollen was intense. One thing suffering for your art, but getting other people to is well taking liberties. He has got his own back though with making me look at his hideous G8 BBC cartoon all week. All I will say is bring me the heads of the endangered species.

My deranged laptop is back to normal. Firewall situation. I have to say I haven't used the best images I took. They are already spoken for. I may be able to show you them later, one day, but at the moment they're in a state of flux and being used for a little project I'm working on. Can't say too much at the moment. As for the weekend It's Ramsey Rocks and Party in the Park, and hopefully dry weather for those party, party, shots. I still can't believe we are supposed to be having bellydancers. Not with this weather!

If you want to participate in skywatch see Jane & Tom at WIGGERS WORLD.
Only genuine skywatchers need apply. None of your advertising for sales sites please. This is for enthusiasts only and hosted by Jane & Tom of the fabulous WIGGERS WORLD

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I have lost internet connection on my laptop. Had to wait to borrow Gary's. His BBC Political cartoons come first apparently. Who do the BBC think the are. Total disaster tonight. Above is a plaque along the harbour dedicated to the loss of the SS Ellan Vannin and 35 lives. Gone for sepia again, just to set the tone.

In the terrific hurricane that prevailed on Friday morning, Dec. 3rd, 1909, the s.s. Ellen Vannin of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's fleet, went down with all hands, in some thirty feet of water (at low water), about a mile or more on the Liverpool side of the Mersey Bar.

At about twelve minutes past one o'clock on Friday morning, the steamer left Ramsey Harbour bound for Liverpool, carrying passengers, mails, and cargo. At the time of departure there was blowing a strong breeze, from north-west, but there was nothing in the weather to delay the sailing of the steamer. But about an hour and a half after the Ellan Vannin had proceeded on Lee voyage, the wind very suddenly increased to almost tornado force, the gusts being the most severe that have been experienced for several years past. With the rising of the wind the sea ran in fearful fashion, but as it was aft of the Ellan Vannin no anxiety was felt at the headquarters of the company, the vessel having on many occasions come safely through ordeals quite as bad, if not worse. When, however, telegrams arrived late on in the day announcing that the Ellen Vannin had not reached her port of destination, considerable anxiety was expressed, though the officials at Douglas hoped that nothing worse had happened the steamer than a compulsory run for shelter. There was a constant inter-change of wires between Douglas and Liverpool, and by five o'clock in the after-noon it was recognised that a serious situation had arisen. Mr W. M. Corkill, the manager of the company, summoned the directors to a meeting, and further efforts were made to elucidate the mystery attendant upon the non-arrival of the vessel in Liverpool. At about seven o'clock a telegram was received at the office which caused a feeling of consternation. It was to the effect that during the day the crew of the Formby Lightship had seen floating in the Mersey channel lifebuoys inscribed " Ellan Vannin," several dead sheep, and a quantity of turnips. A portion of the cargo of the steamer consisted of live sheep and turnips, and the flotsam in question gave rise to the fear that the steamer had foundered. More disquieting still was the picking up by the lightship crew of a mail basket, which was sent to the Birkenhead Post Office, and, on being opened; was found to contain letters despatched from Ramsey. The news quickly leaked out, and was spread by word of mouth and telephone all over the Island, the result being general consternation and mourning. Among those whose friends and relatives were on board the fated vessel, hope, died hard. Wreckage of all kinds was being washed ashore during Friday evening and Saturday morning, but they still clung to the possibility of the vessel being afloat somewhere in a derelict condition. The steamer carried no deck cargo, so that the wreckage that was seen floating in the Mersey was dislodged from the holds and saloon of the vessel; but there were those who still refused to believe that the worst had happened, and it was not until Saturday afternoon that all hope was abandoned. Then the Mersey Docks Board's boats brought tidings of having located the wrecked vessel in the position above-mentioned.

The Ellan Vannin, it would seem, rode into the Mersey Channel before an 80-mile gale, She probably passed the Bar Lightship in safety at about 7 o'clock, and entered the "gut," as this part of the channel is called. Here an outgoing tide of five-mile-an-hour was met with. It would come harder through the narrow gut than anywhere; it would here meet the seas that the gale was driving along— a five-mile-an-hour tide fighting against an eighty-mile-an-hour wind. The waters would seethe and bubble, and the poor Ellan Vannin would drive right into the thick of it. It is quite useless to speculate as to the cause of the foundering of the vessel ; but the fact remains that it is one of the worst disasters our annals bear record of.


Wanted to to more on this but unable to at the moment. Ramsey Week is also proving to be a washout for most outdoor events. We better have Ramsey Rocks or I won't be a happy bunny. I am not a happyish bunny as it is. By the way, Ellan Vannin is the Manx name for the Isle of Man. I'll tell you all about the poem, anthem and the Bee Gees when there is no G8 summit meeting on that Gary simply has to draw for the BBC. This is going to be a very hard hitting image, you read it here first. Now can I have my internet conncetion back on my laptop so I can do the posts I want to when i want to. Argggggggggh!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


I was going to do the obvious one for an island, yachts, but I've so many I was unable to view them with fresh eyes and instead plumped for a flora shot. Here's a narcissus. Not to be confused
apparently with a daffodil as there are subtle differences. A good rule oF thumb being narcissus petals lean back. Not a flower expert, but a friend of mine is and that's her main rule on the subject.

I often get emails asking to critique work or share tips. Flowers seem to feature quite often. Not at all my favourite to photograph, but I can share a secret or two about this one. Firstly it's not as it appears shot indoors. You DO NOT pick flowers to take home and photograph. I did however want the bold yellow and green to stand out, with out resorting to digital trickery. Photoshop is a cropping or desaturation tool for me. If you want to take good photos natural photos, ditch photoshop and learn how to use your camera.

So how to get the background without computer tools? Try putting a matt black card or sugar paper behind the image you want to photograph. Has to be matt so not to relflect any of the colours in the image. Do not use the flash, whatever the conditions. Play around with your ISO setting instead. A bright image against a black background will emit enough light, boost the natural colours and not blur the edges, so the projected image stays sharp. If you can use a tripod and remote. I never do anymore, but that's practise and shooting on breeze free days.

So if you don't mind looking a little eccentric wandering around with a black card up the local park(Mooragh Park in my case) and placing it behind the brightest most garish flowers and snapping away, it's worth it. This is one of my most requested flower shots to buy. Greetings cards, mainly Mother's Day obviously. Wedding cards too. Not bad for the price of A4 black card.

Like to join ABC Wednesday? Please got to this link, MRS NESBITT'S PLACE
Mrs Nesbitt is the host for ABC Wednesday, where you can find details for joining, her own ABC shot to comment on and a list of fellow bloggers who are playing today, who would also appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


This is the world famous Nightlife. Ok, it's not at all world famous (or even infamous), more island famous. It's Ramsey's one and only nightclub, imaginatively entitled Nightlife. It also has alternative names locally of "fightlife" and er another name, not for a family blog. Just substitute a letter with a "sh" and I believe you will arrive at it's other not so pretty alternative name. This is where when the pubs close, you will find the local wildlife after hours dancing round their handbags , spilling beer, falling over and having a fab time in this building right along the harbour. It's also where the world famous Patrick Swayze was found to be dirty dancing, not putting anyone's baby in the corner when he was filming "Keeping Mom" a couple of years back. Patrick by the way described the island and the people as magical. What he thought of Nightlife has never been recorded, or if it has disclosed. I'm sure he thought it was magical too. Ahem!

Of course it has done nothing but rain here, with the odd dry spell. Typical! Ramsey Week and the camera isn't witnessing much action of it. Putting a few bits and pieces together and will plod on and get the locals somehow.

Awards time. I have been given 3 lots of awards recently so it's a bout time I dished them out. I recieved this one twice. First one was from Quin at LENSES AND VISIONS called Arte Y Pico award.

1. You have to pick five blogs that you consider ‘deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and which contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language they are in’.
2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.
3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given him/her the award itself.
4. The award winner and the one who has given the prize has to show the Arte y Pico blog so that everyone will know the origin of the award.
5. To show these rules.

So first five today are,

Just copy and paste the rules above, copy and paste the pic award above quin on the right, go pick your five.

Monday, July 07, 2008


Well we've had Canada Day and American Independence Day, well make way for the big one(heavy dose of irony) put your hands together for July 7th, Tynwald Day, the Isle of Man's very own National day. It's actually July 5th, but we are celebrating on the 7th as the 5th fell on a saturday. It's still Ramsey week, but no activities today in Ramsey and the shops closed. The Triskelion, the odd shot above, I'll get to later.

Tynwald Fair Day, held annually on old midsummer's day in July is the Isle of Man's national day and is the occasion of the Tynwald Midsummer Court. The Members of Tynwald - the Manx parliament - meet at St John's village in the west of the Island for the ceremony, a legal requirement established by the Island's ninth century rulers.

The name comes from Thing-Vollr, the Norse for parliament field. Tynwald Court, together with the Island's senior public officer-holders, assembles on Tynwald Hill - a four tiered hill in the centre of St John's, reputed to be constructed from sods of earth from every parish. The open air sitting at Tynwald Hill dates back more than 1,000 years. During the ceremony, the Deemsters (the Isle of Man's High Court judges) promulgate Acts of Tynwald by proclaiming to the people in English and Manx Gaelic the titles of new laws which have been passed during the year. It is also an opportunity for Island residents to exercise their ancient right to present a petition for redress of grievance at the foot of Tynwald Hill, and for the swearing-in of the Island's four Coroners.

The Triskelion, the 3 Legs of Man symbol displayed in the photo is the national image of the island and is actually the wrong way round on the Laxey Wheel. They forgot to reverse the image when it was transfered and so remains the opposite to it should be. Incidently you may have seen the 3 legs symbol on another islands flag, that of Sicily. There are many theories about how and why the Triskelion is on the National flag, but again it seems a lot of people believe it was introduced by our friends the Vikings. Wil have to have a dedicated post to Triskelion theories.

I have recently received a few blog awards. As they are pay it forward kind of rewards, I will this week be displaying them and passing on to some deserving blogs who I'd like to highlight that may slip under the radar, but I am an ardent fan of.
Want to join Odd Shots Monday?

Then see KATNEY

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Ramsey Week started today. It rained of course. I had my schedule ready, my planned set of places and events to photograph, but it just didn't happen. So had to resort to plan B. Just wait and hope it stops, even for a little while. In the meantime I caught up with the emails and sifting through the latest images, like this adorable little fellow above.

I don't know what is was he was trying to tell me, but he didn't stop quacking. Maybe I wasn't getting his best side, or he just wanted to let me know how delicious that mouthful of mud and blade of grass were. As I snapped away he kept quacking, until he made his excuses and and waddled away, still with the muddy mouth and blade of grass he seemed so fond of.

I did manage to snap a few photos, very late in the day. Not the successful camera day it should have been, but it need give me the opportunity to take a closer look at a set of photos that may not have seen the light of day, well not for a while. As for tomorrow and the other outdoor events in Ramsey, guess what it's forecast rain again, a lot of rain.

For more camera critters see MISTY DAWN Camera ctrittrers.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


As Ramsey Week officially starts later today, I thought I'd kick things off with an archive Ramsey Rocks Pic. When I upload this post it will still be July 4th across the pond so I thought this one would go nicely with something Manx/American I have recently discovered. Not a phrase I ever thought I'd be writing on this blog!

NAMA, I mentioned in a previous post, is the North American Manx Association. Here's a little about them.

The North American Manx Association (NAMA) is a non-profit, ethnic and cultural heritage institution founded in 1928, as a successor organization to Mona's Relief Society of Cleveland, Ohio. NAMA is a group of Americans and Canadians dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of the Manx culture. Most of NAMA's 850 active members are second and third-generation North American. In the U.S., there are chapters in Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Rocky Mountain; Galva, Illinois; the Greater Washington, D.C. area; Minnesota; Nebraska; Northern California; Utah, San Diego, California; and Wisconsin.

In Canada, you will find Manx groups in Ontario; and in Vancouver, British Columbia. NAMA is interested in helping Manx in all areas get in touch with local chapters or assisting those who want to start new chapters.

NAMA publishes the quarterly NAMA Bulletin, sent to each of its enrolled members.

For those interested in their Manx forebears, NAMA has Calvin Quayle as a resident genealogist. He serves as an archivist and information-dispenser. Please contact him to find out how to submit your research findings so we can build a greater Manx family tree. Please do not contact him to do genealogical research for there are just too many of us. But he will point you in the right direction.

For more Manx genealogy, there is the Isle of Man Family History Society (IOMFHS)

Will have to check this one out in depth. Could prove to be very interesting for this parochial little blog. Any members out there, your're more than welcome to stop by and educate me.

Gary and I were due to go for a drinkies tonight, but never got there. Good job as I noticed the sky was awesome, so I dragged him (not litereally caveman style, but figurativley you understand) over the nature reserve at 10pm. Quite what the neighbours thought when I was breaking world sprint records before the light went altogether in my scruffs I don't know. I snapped until the battery went, but got loads for next weeks skywatch. We don't get skies like this often so hey , a photographer's gotta do what photographer's gotta do and a cartoonist has to accompany her, even though it set his hayfever off. Thank you Gary for indulging me, yet again.

Friday, July 04, 2008


This is Mooragh Lake within Mooragh Park, Ramsey. Almost a sunny day. Well it was a least trying to break through. Mooragh Park is another of my favourites Ramsey haunts. I've even had a go canoeing on that lake, and swam in it. That is to say, I capsized and had to swim fully clothed, and hoist myself back into the canoe. Now I know I'm little, but I couldn't stand up in that lake so getting back in the canoe was fun. It's not very elegant I can assure you! As for swimming underwater in a park lake, I wouldn't recommend it. Couldn't see a thing. Half expecting a Jaws moment to happen, a decapitated head to fall out of a long lost boat down there. Believe me I would rather swim The English Channel than swim in that lake again.

Well the flags are out, which means Ramsey Week is definitely on it's way. The belly dancers are concerning me. Lots of male volunteers, but no females found. It is the Isle of Man Afterall.

By the way, those cartoons of Barker's that were all over my floor, stopping me hoovering. Guess what, two of them will be featured on the Berlin Undergound afterall.

If you want to particpate in skywatch see Jane & Tom at WIGGERS WORLD.
Only genuine skywatchers need apply. None of your advertising for sales sites please. This is for enthusiasts only and hosted by Jane & Tom of the fabulous WIGGERS WORLD

A final world. Let' show our support for Tom and Jane and make this an excellent skywatch. It's not a competition. It's a simple premise. It's the one thing we can all share in, the sky. Look up, point, shoot, upload, post, er that's it. You don't have to visit everyone, it's not about who has the most comments, links, ratings. It's just fun. So to the phanton emailer, to Wiggers World BLOG OFF!

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Ramsey week occurs round about this time each year and is as it says, a week of events and activities dedicated to the town that bears the name of this blog. This year the dates fall from 5th July to 13th July. After the TT this will be my busiest camera time as there will be something different to photograph daily. Obviously I can't attend all events, but I'll certainly snap were cameras are welcome, not overlapping or when I can attend.

The list is subject to change but basically there are events as diverse as Lifeboat Day, vintage photographic exhibitions, coffee mornings, motorbike displays, plays, fetes, Farmer's Markets, Manx Singing competitions, Classic Car rally and much more. Ramsey Rocks is my favourite, a one nightly event of live music along the harbour, a street party. This year we are supposed to be having not only the bands, but belly dancers. Now that in Ramsey is a sight I'd like to see and most definitely photograph!

This week always tends to be a success. I think it's one of those times when the town lets it hair down and the locals show the fun side of themselves. Good news for me is I won't be the only one with a camera so I can mingle inconspicuosly amongst the revellers, looking out for some lively locals to immortalise, virtually in blogland. So ladies, gents and kiddiwinks, be on your best behaviour, smiles at the ready, I want to show the world Ramsey Rocks!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


My 100th post just happened to coincide with ABC Wednseday and one of the hardest letters to work with. I was tempted to have xenophobia aimed squarely at those idiots who email me to tell me stop the blog on the grounds I'm not from Ramsey, but I didn't want to tar perfectly good people with an image, just to illustrate the point. Instead I found this happier pic, from the archives which suited my needs for today.

Xenodochial then? What a funny word! It is according to varied sources an obsolete word, rarely used word, Greek, and/or Southern Hopitality. Xenon of course is Greek for stranger. Xenophobia is the fear of strangers, naturally. But was of this curious little word? Xenodochial literally means friendly and hospitable to strangers. What a fabulous word to sum up The Isle of Man TT Races, Blogging and the CDP community.

The kindness of strangers who have consistantly supported this tiny island blog, encouraged me to continue, emailed me, blog awarded me, linked me, and even put me on the Community favourites list. Fleetingly of course. Again I wouldn't have known this unless one of you hadn't emailed me.

So, in a way X turned out to be a fortuitous letter. Xenodochial is alive and kicking in the blog world, if not in my own home town. Cheers.

Like to join ABC Wednesday? Please got to this link, MRS NESBITT'S PLACE
Mrs Nesbitt is the host for ABC Wednesday, where you can find details for joining, her own ABC shot to comment on and a list of fellow bloggers who are playing today, who would also appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


July Theme day is the word no featured in signs around the world. I chose this sign as anyone who drops by my blog knows I am a huge wildlife fan. To me "do not disturb" as in no noise, no interefering, no littering, spoke volumes about the nature reserve I frequent daily as it's behind my house, and how it should be treated well and respected. You would think you wouldn't need to have a sign asking people not to drop litter, disturb wildlife and no to any high noise levels but you would be wrong. "Do not disturb" to me, means "no" to the above, but perhaps it isn't a strong enough message. Therefore I would advise a revised sign which clearly uses the word no as it's obviously still the most potent word to make people stop, think and react accordingly.

A high proportion of daily city bloggers around the world are taking part today and would welcome your visit to their particular sign. By the way this is my 99th post, the following day will be my 1ooth. Time flies in the world of blogging. Hope you can stop by for the 1ooth.

Here's the link

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

For me this sign was the most personal and the one I take more notice of than any other sign in my town, which is why I chose it.


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