Tuesday, September 29, 2009



Abc K

Keeirid is another one of those Manx words. Twighlight to you or dusk. No prizes for guessing I was deep in the woods to get that shot. Where else. Has been a while since we had a Manx word but as I ran into Adrain Cain today, The Manx Language Development Officer, in the big city (now don't laugh Douglas is big compared to Ramsey) and thought why not have one or two tonight. So there you go. Cain by the way is a proper homegrown Manx surname.

Just for a change I will shut up and leave you with some new words to drop into conversation sometime. There you go it's not everyday you can speak a new language. Well you can if it is dusk to dawn. Don't tell the Vampire Hunter though. She might get the wrong idea.

keeiragh - dusky, darkish, twilight, gloaming, nightfall, evening twilight
keeiragh (ny hoie) - dusk
keeiragh yn laa - daylight
keeiraghey ny hoie - nightfall
keeiraght - blackishness, nightfall, twilight
keeiraght ny h-oie - evening just before dark
keeiraght yn laa - break of day
keeirid - twilight, dusk

For more K's in a variety of languages see here

Monday, September 28, 2009

Boys don't cry

Don't think, shoot.

My World - Ramsey Rugby

Sometimes you are just in the right place at the right time and better still you have your camera with you. Forget the light being too low for the speed of the game. Forget it's raining casting that misty glow. Forget the light breeze knocking you off balance. Forget you have no tripod. No excuses. If you take images of people, sport photography, your kids school games, listen up. You get one chance and like that rugby ball you had better grab it with both hands and just have faith in your manual setting, and most of all yourself and just shoot the scene in front of you. One second later you've lost the shot, so don't pussyfoot around just point the damned camera and get that classic pose. One second either side of this shot and you've lost it and they are not coming back around for you to create the right conditions. You get the shot. You're onto the next one.

Ramsey are the boys in blue. Unfortunately we lost(well I do actually support them being an honorary Ramsey girl) I still don't get this game in the way I get football(soccer to my American friends out there) but I have an instinct for what is going on. Enough anyway to follow the action and just know when to shoot. If you really want the best advice on how to get this shot other than getting you speed right to freeze the action(novices try sport mode), setting the right ISO for the conditions, choosing the right weather setting remember this. Footwear. You don't wear killer heels(leave those for the pub) you wear your trainers and you run your ass off and follow the action. OK, not for the whole game but, not that committed but you get the gist. So what if you get a ball in the face, you also get the shot. Black eyes lasts for a week, the image lasts a lifetime. Rugby, like photography is not for wimps! Only joking.

Ooh it's good to be back.

More my world images can be seen here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Black crow is not hard to handle - critters

What is it with me and birds?


Jealous again are you about the strange image. No you are not seeing things. That is a crow eating a tissue. Not sure that is the best remedy. No, not one iota of manipulation apart from the desaturation to monochrome in Raw. No photoshopped tissues into the already taken image. That's just how it is with me and the birds. Sister luck when it comes to critters and how cooperative they can be. They sit on my hand, they behave oddly around me. Seem to even dare I say it pose for me.Maybe it's Manx magic, little bit of Ginnie Witchcraft. I dunno, but whatever it is but I never find black crows hard to handle. Or should that be Black Crowes?

Yes, yes I'm sort of back. Well posting, rather than visiting. Not really into shooting around Ramsey at the moment, or blogging in general so an archive for you from a batch I shot of this beautiful bird, a carrion crow to be precise, over the local park. Sure the other images to compare will pop up on the links. For other critters around the globe click here. Honestly I don't make these birds do these things, they just do.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

J is for Juxtaposition

It's not the ducks.


Juxtaposition in a nutshell, well in terms of art a photography and Babooshka speak is basically placement of objects or elements side by side. Artistically it is with the intention of highlighting a specific quality or creating an effect, particularly when two contrasting or opposing elements are used within one image. The viewer's attention is drawn (hopefully) to the similarities or differences between the elements depicted within the given scene. That is just the blah,blah speak. Just a fancy pants way of saying this is such a beautiful landscape of the Sulby river spoiled by the ugly discarded tyre in the foreground left hand corner. I could delve deeper into all the juxtaposed reasoning, but you can do a little thought processing too. No I didn't plant it there just to get you thinking. I don't ever walk around with arty rubbish. I just chose to take the image and not crop out the garbage that people throw in the river to create an aesthetically pleasing landscape. What you see is what you get, naturally beautiful, man made ugly. Simple as that. If you prefer to think I am an artistic genius to create such an interesting juxtaposition for you to mull over, go right ahead. I really will not stop you.

Blogging is still not paramount in my life presently.I'm dipping in and out as and when I can. I'm around, but the real world and people in it need a little more attention than I first thought. Watch out though. You never know when I will just jump out at you with a Babooshka rant, rave or otherwise comment. The soapbox is still here. Better the devil you know after all as the rude little old woman in Douglas today would have you believe I am a close friend. Oh that. Another story for another day. If I can just get her picture...... For more J's in the virtual world click here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sunshine on a cloudy day - Skywatch

Even clouds have a lighter side

Today not my words of wisdom, just another oh so cloudy day taken in the nature reserve, looking over the hedge. Well more like through at my height. I know you love the thoughts of Queen B, my rants, raves and dark, dark humour, but I noticed this comment left yesterday by a fellow blogger.and as they have a closed blog gives me here the opportunity to answer the question. Yes I am out of breath after that sentence. Sure you are too.

Here's the comment.

I found your blog quite by accident while looking for the name of a fish and chip shop in the center of Ramsey. I'm from the US, and lived on the IOM from early 2005 until mid-2007 and back in the states now. I miss the island incredibly and loved reading your blog. It's brought back so many familiar memories and emotions. Thanks for that.


Don't blush Ellen being the star of the blog today. Not often I turn the precious blog over verbally to another. To answer the question the chippy is the Trawlerman. I will have to sneak a pic for you and next time I have a bag of chips I'll let you know. You can email me anytime if you have anything you want to know. Just wanted to reply to this lovely, genuine comment. Now stop blushing Ellen.

More fabulous skies can be seen here

Still a little non bloggy. My real life needs by attention too at the moment. I know it's a drag for you, but I do get to catch up with some very old friends.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I is for icon

Patrick Swayze was here

Patrick Swayze has sadly died. Very sorry to here that around these parts. He is yet another film star who graced our humble shores here filming the rom/com "Keeping Mom" on the island. He described my island as "a magical place with magical people". Now who am I to disagree with a Hollywood Icon? Also chuffed to say he was to be seen doing a spot of the old " dirty dancing" at the legendary nightspot Nightlife, the image you see above.

Some of you may know the alternative names of "Fightlife" or no can't say that one. Put it this way it begins with SH.. Nonetheless it remains as Ramsey's most premier, iconic nightclub. Perhaps premier is manipulating the truth somewhat, but iconic it certainly is. Ramsey only has one nightclub you see. That sort of makes it legendary and iconic. It's a real throwback to a bygone era of sticking to sodden beery carpet twirling lights and people behaving like a whirring dervish. It attracts absolutely all comers. Age, musical taste, locals, tourists, fairy folk, witches, wizards, Frank the rabbit and of course iconic film stars when in town. You will find the population of Ramsey, who haven't stayed in or still standing after the pubs close, doing there own version of dirty dancing into the small hours. Be warned no trainers, but otherwise, if you the entrance fee and a pulse you are most certainly welcome and no one will put you in the corner.

Sorry for the really horrid, poor quality image. Not my usual standard at all. Only one of nightlife I had to hand. For other abc's see here

Monday, September 14, 2009

Living on an island - My World

Dave, this is why

Yes I have been off the blog again. Sometimes it's called having a life, other times it's when the server is being erratic here and I have no time to sit and wait for it to behave. Sometimes that pile of ironing will not iron it's self, and however much I beg the fairy folk here to help with the housework they point blank refuse. A little of all of those things. Island life for you. Has it's upside and certainly it's down.

Good things about living on an island can be many, safety for one. We joke here we live in a time warp. Well who wouldn't want to live in the past a little when today's UK crime rate is at it's peak(despite how they massage the figures)and you still know names of local police, you can walk streets home at night, you do not fear sitting upstairs on public transport. You know your neighbour. Your house will be watched over when you are on holiday. It's quiet. Quieter than big bustling cities. People have time for each other. The scenery in places is stunning. Beaches, woodlands, parks. We have local shops, local produce. Smaller schools. Our news is not dominated with bad things, but community spirited events. Laid back. Time enough as they say here, but of course there is a flip side.

It can be cloying. Everyone knows everyone. It can be hard for new people to integrate into such tight knit communities. Sometimes you want to splurge the cash, or you really need something for the home that is not provided on the island. You need the Internet for these, but the net is not always reliable. Transportation costs to get off the island are astronomical. Cost of living, housing too. To be an artist, a photographer is hard. The market is small, and if you come over like us then the help, the buyers, the clients back away. We need the worldwide market, but as I said the Internet can be erratic. It can be hard to survive, financially. It can be hard to survive emotionally isolated. I am lucky, I did not come over alone, I have the artist. Sometimes you just get cabin fever and crave the anonymity of the suburbs, the big neon garish city Then you see the beach, the woods, breathe the fresh air or take a walk chasing rabbits to photograph by the river and it passes.

Dedicated to my long lost friend Dave. That's why and not why.

For more of others My world's clickety click here

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Almost heavenly rays

Almost a sunny day


This is going to be the last image for a while from the point and shoot Olympus stylus 300. I was aksed what camera it was so there you go. The sun is shines and while we still have a few weeks left of what is supposed to be the back of summer, the Nikon will be back out. It's been fun and I will keep the point and shoot handy in the handbag for a sneaky shot, but there is nothing like holding a bigger camera for shots like this. Saying that, the little camera does the job well enough. It's not so good with low light and rain like this, but then again you can get a sweeping glassy reflection of those clouds across the lake, a softening of the buildings in the distance and a moody blue colour naturally. That'll do for this week. Not as flash an image as usual, but a Skywatch image nonetheless. As you can see I'm still on the quiet side of blogging, but I did get a great quote from a visitor to these shores, and no it wasn't nice, but she did have a point. Put it this way. It always happens at the cinema.

For more of those wonderful skies around the globe click below


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Hillside flowers - H

A flower!


This is not what I had planned at all. I did want herbaceous border, but no it's not happening this week. Try finding anything in this weather. Those borders out there are not being very herbaceous, perennial yes, but that's not for today being we are not having a p, so to speak. I was not having harbour, high, or any Manx H word again. Just not doing it. So I found a little Hillside spot I am keeping to myself for now, and found this sweet little carpet of flowers just waiting to be snapped. Now me being me of course no I haven't a clue what any of them are called. Sure you can name them, or some of them you gardeners out there. They are not wild, this was a purpose planted plot.

Again it's the little point and shoot, the Olympus stylus 300. Oldish. 7 years but handles the reds and greens well. Actually is a really sharp macro mode, should you have one or the 400 give it ago, looking for the little flower symbol, naturally.

For more H words click Mrs N's little bag of tricks below


Monday, September 07, 2009

Artist captures artist - My world

Murial it's a mural

My World

It has finally stopped raining, but I did say I would be treating you to some point and shoot camera work rather than the fancy footwork of the big almighty bow down to the power of the Nikon images. So I had better stick to my guns (camera ones, obvioulsy) hadn't I. So my world this week is photographing the artist at work.

You may recall this place from way back last year. on Parliament Street. At the time it was an empty space made way by the demolition of a building with hoarding around which the the school kids had painted on see here for that shot. Rumours abounded as to what this plot was to be, a hotel to replace the grand, a restaurant, a picnic garden. Well it has been turfed over(grass to you) and there are benches. Always full at lunchtime and seems to be a regular meeting place now. One thing having the little point and shoot is you can whip the thing out slyly, take a pic, and pop back in the handbag before anyone is aware. Here is the artist at work on whatever that mural will turn 0ut to be. Luck would have it I was this way, and got to snap the ongoing job at work. Of course I will bring you the finished article, well I will if I can sneak another incognito pic.

More works of my world art can be found here

Taking some time out to concentrate on a couple of little projects and catch up with friends. Let's just say one involves a camera and self portraits and the other the past and hunting for photos. Both involve my time, and my alcohol.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Why does it always rain on me - Critters

Poor doggie

This week we are starting a little experiment on the blog. As it has constantly rained here the big all dancing Nikon and it's numerous lenses and paraphernalia has not been allowed out to play. Instead I have had to use a few archive images. What to do? Get out the old faithful point and shoot Olympus. So here is the first image this poor bedraggled little Yorkshire Terrier that was waiting faithfully outside Shoprite(our local supermarket) for his or her owner to finish their shopping and collect them. Poor little thing. Don't you just want to scoop the wee one up and dry him off. I am a sucker for a dog, any dog. Just adorable.

So for a while I will be using the Olympus for the blog, and the Nikon for work like the motorbikes and such like. Good thing about the tiny point and shoot is well many things. It fits snugly in a handbag. No extra lens, hoods, etc. It can be surreptitiously be dragged out to sneakily get a quick image, like this. As you can see they don't come more natural than this, just point shoot, ans slip back in the bag. No one any the wiser. Bad points are, the setting are not brilliant and the lighter can be a little harsh and obviously not quite the finesse of the Nikon. As I always advocate it's the photographer not the camera that creates the photo, I will put my money were my mouth is and upload some pics. C0uld be interesting.

I'd like to thank the blokes who very kindly saved me a spot to take the Grand Prix pics yesterday. I was late getting there and when I arrived, my usual spot was taken. All four graciously moved aside and made more than enough space for me. Cheers for that. Not everyone would do that.

Misty is the place to click for more cute critters.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Manannan is skywatching

Celtic magic, not manipulation

I cannot take this torrential rain much longer so you get another of those spectacular sunsets from last year. Before those that don't know and ask, yes that is natural, no filters, and no manipulation. It is what it is a bewitching multi coloured sunset over the island. We get some stunners here, but only ones like this rarely.Could it be Manannan and a little Celtic magic or those Manx fairies on the loose with the paintbox. Don't know, don't care, but it's far more appealing than the hellish grey water sodden skies we have had through out the week, and I know which one I'd rather have.

I mention the Celts as along with the Vikings remember the island has those very deep Pagan roots. Don't forget the vampire hunter I met here too (place is apparently crawling with them) the Fenodyree, and how you have to say hello to the fairies when crossing Fairy bridge. Also my own bit of witchcraft with encouraging wild injured birds to sit on my hand. Well when I look at that sky I can believe that Mannanan has lifted his cloak here and weaving a little Manx magic. On the other hand, I just got lucky one night. Now if I can just get to photograph those vampires, fairies and ghosts that haunt the island I'd make a bloody fortune.

Other bewitching skies can be seen here . Hopefully the rain will stop and I can photograph tomorrow, those modern day Vikings, the bikers.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Manx Grand Prix - Abc G

The boys are back in town

The G letter shot

You thought you were safe here didn't you, I mean you thought those noisy motorbikes had left the island after the TT. Well you are right they had. So what's with choosing more bikes again for the lettter. Well what we have this week is the Manx Grand Prix. Well what we should have. You know that rain that just won't stop here, well it's still going on an on an on, unlike the motorbikes which are crashing and coming to standstills. So apologies but this is an archive of the race a few years ago. Does give me the chance to show you something about the image. The red number plates.

So what's special about those then you ask. They indicate that this is a practise race. So there. I may not be able to show you any racing from the Grand Prix just yet(or at all working elsewhere) from this year but you got to learn something. Riveting eh! Oh yes the rider with number 2, Shane Connor. Now more stuff you don't know. See this image. Well the high res version large frame of this image hangs on the very wall of the very room of the very hotel he stayed in, and I , yes I have held his winning garland. Now that would have been a great G shot.

For more G shots try here.

September Theme Day - Big - Queens Pier - My World

Peer at the Pier

September Theme Day Big, My world

Has it been a month already since our last theme day. It appears so. As I reside in a teenie tiny town beside the seaside, which I do like to be by I had little option but to choose, the bridge, the beach or the pier for the image of big. Not my usual lateral thinking involved today for the theme, play it straight down the line with a simple long shot towards the horizon with the illusion of the pier going on forever and cutting through the sky. I have already used the pun from"from pier to eternity before" so I won't say it again. Oops just have. Went for a black and white today too which suits the aging old queen, the pier that is.

You may have noticed I have been awol again from the blog, well net in general. It has rained everyday since my return from hols and no way does my camera go out and play in a down pour. More than two raindrops and the merest hint off a breeze seems to affect the server too. I kid you not it's been hellish here and I will be using archives for a while as I realky have no places of interest to show you inside. Not unless I do a pub tour of course. Well if you really want me too....
Align Left

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants for the Theme Day. Go on you know you want to.

For more My World see here

Is it me or has this been the most dreadful UK Summer?


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