Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Oystercatchers are a common site at this time of year on the island. Getting close to photograph them isn't easy though. They tend to be on the move all the time on the ground, mainly along the beach, or the harbour in large groups. Occasionally, the odd one may break from the group and be so engrossed in the the pursuit of food you can snap them. I thought I would take my chance with the fliers above. Even got a patchy blue sky. That's the clearest it's been this year. I took this yesterday. Today the weather is atrocious, as in "great weather for ducks."

If you'd 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 odd shot to comment on and a list of fellow bloggers who are playing today,who you can also comment on.

Have fun.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I've taken this image several times and each time I show someone they always ask the same questions. What country is that in, and what are they? When I tell them it's actually here, the Isle of Man, in fact the road along Ramsey Harbour Inlet, they always look at me bemused. They always assume it's an image from countries as diverse as North America to India, not a city, but a small town you pass through on the local bus.

They are just telephone wires, along Ramsey Harbour Inlet. Something we pass daily, use daily, and don't give a second thought to. Maybe I notice these parts of my town beacuse I am a photographer, just mooching for an innocuous object to capture. Maybe I'm just plain curious. I wonder then what do you notice in your hometown that goes without a second glance each day?

Sunday, April 27, 2008


What is it with me and birds?

Here's what happened.

Two herring gulls were fighting in the back garden. I tried to separate them with a broom, the weaker one flew into the house and proceeded to have a mad half hour flying about. Managed to shoo the other one away. By this time the gull above had decided to sit where you see him now. At this point in the proceeding, I just had to take his pic, having texted my other half to tell him we had a gull in the kitchen. Now even for me this seemed in the realms of fantasy, as only so much can happen to one person, as far as birds are concerned, so pictorial evidence was required.

Now, getting him out was another challenge in itself. More shooing with brooms until he retreated to the garden , straight behind the oil burner. More problems! He sat there for about 2 hours, came out of his own accord, flew off and left me with a big pile of seagull mess as a parting gift for my trouble. You have no idea how much a scared seagull can pass. It must be me, beacuse I have moved house, even country and the birds still go crazy around me.

Want to join Odd Shots Monday?

Then see KATNEY

Katney's Kaboodle is also the place to join Odd Shots Monday and see other wierd and wonderful shots from fellow bloggers.


Back to the birds! Not a chaffinch on my hand this week, but a goldfinch.

This little male goldfinch I rescued from a very naughty cat. He had got a paw to him, swatted him bringing the bird to the ground. I just ran at he cat(as you do) to scare him off. Again I had to pick this little bird up as gently as I could and coax him round. Eventually he had a bite to it and posed for this photo, before flying off with no lasting damage. You can see why I had to stop working at the bank, to be a photographer. To keep a watch on my clumsy garden birds.

For more camera critters see MISTY DAWN Camera ctrittrers.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


INot quite Sydney Harbour bridge, The Forth Bridge or San Fransico's Golden Gate Bridge is Ramsey's very own Swing Bridge. It's also as close to a cityscape as I can find on the Island. Don't forget we have no skyscrappers, and a much smaller population that run away when I point the camera in their direction.

Built in 1892 by the Cleveland Enginneering Company at a cost of £2o,325(what would that be in todays terms?) primarily to transport people to the other side of the harbour, to the newly built housing that had emerged around this time.

The bridge is still the main access route across the harbour. At certain times of the day the bridge is closed to cars and pedestrians when it is swung out to allow tall mast boats through. It was also featured in another British Film called The Martins, Staring Lee Evans and Kathy Burke. It's also going to feature heavily in this blog as I never get bored of photographing it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Apologises for another sunset, but small islands don't have great cityscapes. You work with what you have, so it's another Ramsey setting sun shot. It's taken from a friends flat,(a very understanding friend of this obsessive photographer, one of the rugby players from an earlier photo post) hanging out the upstairs window. Probably not the safest way to capture a sunset, but I didn't want half a window frame obscuring the view. The harbour front buildings and scaffolding I kept in, and refrained from cropping, simply because they are integral to the overall image, a slice of Ramsey.

Anyone want to learn another language? Do you fancy speaking a little Manx this weekend? You do? Then I have just the link for you. If your're game, then try this link - LEARN MANX
It's a wonderful colourful site dedicated to all things Manx. From the beautiful language, lastest news, a diary of events, puzzles, historical content and more, you'll find it at LEARN MANX
A special mention must go to my good friend, and radio star,"Manx Language Officer for the Manx Heritage Foundation," Adrian Cain. The details for contacting Adrian, for all your Manx Language needs, can be found on the site. Contact him, he won't bite, well only in Manx.

If you want to particpate in skywatch see 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 Tom of the fabulous WIGGERS WORLD


The photo above represents the not so picturesque side of Ramsey. It's a majestic buliding that has been sadly empty for some years now. The lower half (not photographed) used to be one of our local shops, but it's the top half I wanted to highlight.

This is the kind of building on the high street that is crying out to be renovated and turned into suitable living accommodation. It would be cheaper than a new building, and a once repainted much easier on the eye. Left empty and neglected for years now, it's rapidly falling into further decline, soon to be beyond repair. So any business out there looking for a retail outlet in Ramsey, with rental accommodation, here it is. Prime location, loads of floor space, easy access need I say more.?As you can see ,this is particular pet hate of mine, but in this I know I am not a lone voice.

On a lighter note, the infestation of traffic cones seems to be dwindling, which must mean we are expecting tourists. So to all those mad bikers out there who are coming here, a warm welcome awaits. Visitors also include the host of yesterdays ABC WEDNESDAY MRS NESBITT and friends of SKYWATCH FRIDAY host Tom and Jane at WIGGERS WORLD

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Niarbyl bay is situated along the West Coast of the Island. You may think it looks slightly familiar, especially the little cottage mid left of the image. If you've seen a film called "Waking Ned Devine"you've indeed seen this pretty little bay and cottage previously. Both were featured in the film. A lot of the films success was attributed to it's beautiful location, The Isle of Man. Niarbyl though has to take the biggest bow for the part it played as the stunning backdrop for key scenes.

Now owned by Manx National Heritage ,Niarbyl is noted as an important geological area. Visitors can find out more about the geology and history at the NIARBYL CAFE AND VISITOR CENTRE
which is part of the STORY OF MANN

So N today is for Niarbyl. If you'd like to play along see MRS NESBITT'S PLACE

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Just like anyone else in world, Islanders need to go shopping. So here it is,the biggest supermarket in Ramsey, Shoprite. I think the name is rather ironic, "Wrongshop" would be a more suitable title. I won't tell you the local name for it, but if you substitute the r with a couple of other letters, you'll get there.

Shoprite, Isle of Man, is not to be confused with Shoprites in America or South Africa. They are not at all related. If they were, I'm sure the range of stock would be considerably wider. There are 10 presently dotted around the island, varying in size with the largest in Douglas carrying clothing franchises, Peacocks and Tchibo. All branches carry Iceland and Waitrose products foodwise. Confusing isn't it?

Shoprite Bingo is a game we locals play when buying supplies. Get in quick, if it's in buy in bulk, always go for the offers. If you don't it's gone the next day, and it can be a long wait 'til the shelves for a particular product are replenished. That includes local produce, not just the stuff we ship in from across, the UK. It's not a pretty sight when they don't have my favourite, strongest coffee in there!

I said this wouldn't always be a pretty "sunsets blog", but warts and all . More of carbuncle, Shoprite, needs an overhaul or Tescos in Douglas, which has a great online service, will clean up and continue their world domination.

Monday, April 21, 2008


This is a chafinch that flew straight at the window of my house. I went out, put him back on his feet and sat trying to coax him round for hours. Eventually, he jumped on my hand and wouldn't go away. I already had the tripod set up, so I used the remote to snap him. I had to run round the garden flapping my arms trying to get him to fly off. The neighbours really thought i'd lost it this time.

Finally he left, finding the courage to take flight. I feed the birds in the back garden, so I quite often spend hours warding off cats and sparrowhawks, but this is the only one who jumped onto my hand. I hope this one qualifies for an odd enough odd shot for today.

For more odd shots see KATNEY

Katney's Kaboodle is also the place to join odd shots monday.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


The readers of my other blog know I have been determined to photograph the family of elusive cormorants that have made Ramsey home. Well I'm getting there. This young one was the closest I had been. I still had to run the length of the harbour to keep up with him. Much to the locals amusement, it's the mad photographer woman again I hear them cry.Then they too run away before I can capture then. I think It would be easier to find an Isle of Man Mythical Fairy, at Fairy Bridge than it would a local. By the way, should you find yourself on the island, and passing Fairy Bridge, be sure to say hello to the fairies. It's considered bad luck not to, especailly if you are TT rider.

For more camera critters see MISTY DAWN Camera ctrittrers.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


The Isle of Man really isn't full of men, despite the photo. We actually have a higher percentage of woman here, as do most parts of the world(not Alaska I hear though.) Perhaps this is why our sport events are often frequented by hordes of single woman. Purely to show support for whichever team they support you understand!

The 2 Teams above are Ramsey( the darker shirts) and Douglas Vagabonds. This was a home game for Ramsey, so the support was tremendous, but alas we lost( yes I support them) as we have all too often this season. Sorry lads, but you know I'm right. All that beer in the Rugby Club perhaps hampering your skills and speed. Ther'e 's always next season.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Last night's evening sundown, Ramsey along the quay. Thats what you can see in between the lamposts, sail masts.

The weather has improved, it must know we're weeks from the TT Road Races. This year the good news is there will be no pratise laps. When you live as near to the course as I do, the last thing you need is the not so dulcet sounds of hundreds of motorbikes whizzing past at ferocious speeds that early.

I sympathise with anyone submitting tax declerations this month, so do we here. The Isle of Man, isn't part of the UK, or the Britsh Isles it's a Crown Dependancy. Unlike the UK ,where only self employed people sumbit tax declerations, here, we are responsible for submitting our own. That's explains why the island is full of accountants.

If you want to particpate in skywatch see WIGGERS WORLD.
Only genuine skywaychers need apply. None of your advertising please. This is for enthusiasts only and hosted by Tom WIGGERS WORLD.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Yesterday kept me quite busy with the photography uploads, emails and pc crashing. Island life for you. When things go wrong they do so in tremendous style. Why crash one pc when you can take out an island! The crash was a server issue. Those of you out there who reside on a island will understand my predicament. You really don't want to be around me when I can't get my decent coffee. Cabin Fever!

As everyone knows who reads my other blog, the island has a make- over every April in readines for those TT visitors. The island, much to my consternation, has an infestation of cones. Not tree dwelling cones, but those horrid orange and white pointy plastic ones that guard manhole covers. Single line traffic is the norm through Laxey, Governers Hill closed off completely and Douglas Marina tantalizingly out of reach. Not really what an island photogrpaher needs, no go areas.

So a quick flora photo frm Mooragh Park. It is wait for it, a red "Australian Bottle Brush Plant" (latin - callistemon citrinus splendens). Many thanks Joanne, my gardening expert friend for the correct name.

I will be uploading links to my photo sites as soon as I am assured everything is up and running smoothly(or as smoothly as it can be) again.

My sales sites are



Wednesday, April 16, 2008


The Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophey) is the oldest road races for motorbikes and sidecars in the world. In 2007 the event celebrated it's first 100 years. For 2 weeks the island hosts the competition, the first week for practise, the second for a series of races featuring different classes of motorbikes and sidecars. It is still the single biggest event on the island and the biggest tourist attraction, with particpants and spectators arriving from as far as Australia to the Isle of Man itself. Here are a few I captured from a much larger collection I sell online.

From top to bottom:

John McGuinness( record breaking lap)
Adrian Archibald
Barry Wood, Derran Slous and John Crellin
Tourist bikers waiting for a local to cross. We don't hurry on the island for anyone.

All photos subject to copyright.

If you would like to join ABC Wednesday please see MRS NESBITT'S PLACE
Mrs Nesbitt will also be a most welcome visitor to the TT this year.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Queens Pier, above, is an impressive sight when you are driving into Ramsey along the coast or mountain road.

In subsequent years the Pier has fallen into a state of decline, no longer used as landing port, closed to visitors and declared unsafe. The future of Ramsey Queens Pier remains uncertain, although when I passed today at least work to make it make it safe from collapsing in to the sea was being undertaken. Rumours, suggestions and options are being considered as to renovate or demolish. I hope it's the former. The approach to Ramsey just wouldn't be the same without it.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Laxey is a small, picturesque village located on the east side of the Island. It takes it's name from the Norse word for Salmon river 'laxa', due to the tales of great catches. Today Laxey is mainly a residential and tourist area, though in the past it was a thriving mining and fishing village. It's also where the Lady Isabella, Laxey Wheel, the Laxey Blues Festival and photographers wandering aimlessly looking for a suitable subject to snap can be found.

Above is Laxey Head, part of Laxey Bay. It may be a small bay, but it's perfectly formed.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


What to do in the lsle Of Man on a sunny spring day? As little as possible.

Spirng flowers are budding and blooming. The baby birds are exploring a world beyond the nest. Luckily for me that tends to be my back garden. This baby blackbird sat perched on this branch for quite some time. Obviously having no human contact before, he has no sense of fear. Soon, unfortunately, he will learn that not all humans can be trusted, and I won't have an opportunity like this again for quite some time. Not with this one anyway.

No Manx history lesson today. It's sunday, will shall take a break. We like to take our sundays at a leisurely pace here. The Manx for good evening is "Fastyr Mie," and that's what I wish you tonight.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


The Point of Ayre is the northernmost point of the Island, roughly 10k north of Ramsey. It's the closest point on the Isle of Man to the British Mainland, which is Burrow Head Scotland 26k away.

The name Ayre comes from the Norse word Eyrr meaning gravel bank. The oldest lighthouse on the island can be found here along with the disused foghorn in the photo above.

A carpet of gorse and heather surrounds the lightouse mingling with the sand dunes. This is why locals and tourists are attracted to this area for it's fauna, flora (some rare flowers even) and groups of grey seals.

Unfortunately today I didn't see any seals, which is why you got the foghorn.

Friday, April 11, 2008


I took this yesterday afternoon as I knew today it would be too wet for the camera today. It's only good weather for ducks outside this friday, and even they have gone into hiding.. So a quick trip over to the nature reserve, at the back of my house, to snap this.

The Isle Of Man has (arguably, but it's claim is generally considered to be accurate) the oldest Parliament in the world, called Tynwald. The word again is Norse( as are so many relating to the island), and means meeting place or assembly. Founded in AD 979 it is definately the oldest continuous Parliament, with the 5th July, Tynwald day itself, not only a day of ceremonies at Tynwald Hill, but also a Bank Holiday for Manx residents.

Like the TT we suspiciously usually have good weather. Must be the Manx Fairy Folk working their magic.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Mooragh Park, contains Mooragh Lake.

This standing form the park road looking onto the inner harbour inlet

The park and lake have proved to be a great success for Ramsey, bringing visitors and tourists alike for canoeing, , birdwatching, skateboarding or just to relax for lunch in one of the 2 cafes. Events are still held here such as varied music festivals, youth cycling tours and of course Ramsey Sprint(motorbikes along the promenade) during the TT Road Races.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Laxey, lifeboats, Lonan. Have to admit I was spoilt for choice today with the letter L, but it was so misty this morning I just had to shoot this, the Lighthouse on the Jetty in Ramsey before the mist disappeared from the hills. We actually have 2 lighthouses just to be greedy.

In the background you can see Albert Mount leaving Ramsey. It's just off the mountain road and a trek though a wooded glen, but the view up there of the whole town is fantastic. On top of the Mount is a tower called Albert Tower, named and After Prince Albert and Queen Victoria who paid a visit to the town in 1847.This is why Ramsey is often known as "Royal Ramsey.".

The island is full of lighhouses, very individual to each part of the area. This one even has a little weather vane on top, dates back to 1854.Like i said they are all slightly quirky, like the island.

Want to play along see mrs nesbitt's bits for full details

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


At last some someshine! While the rest of Britain has a snowy April we have had a wonderful day of mild sun. Not hot, still with a gentle breeze, but the best day we have had so far this year. At least the sunbathers thought so.

Ramsey isn't known for having the lovely beaches, that Port Erin, and Peel have( there are more, but just namechecked two), but this side of the pier, when the tides out does have a lovely stretch of beach. In the distance is Maughold(pronounced Mak old) a small village named after St Machaoi. Maughold Point, is the most easterly on the island, and the closest point to England.

A lovely place to visit, steeped in history, the Manx crosses, the IOOOAD church, the waterfall, and beacuse a certain actor called Johnny Depp stayed the when he filmed the Libertine.

Monday, April 07, 2008


The land to the top left is known as the Calf of Man. A tiny island seperated from the Isle Of Man by the stretch of water known as "The Sound Of Man." Calf derives from the Scandinavian word "Kalif", literally meaning, smaller island lying near a larger one.

Prior to 1939 it had several owners, icluding, norman, danes, and celts.It 1939 it came under the ownership of The National Trust. Subsequently it is now owned By Manx National Trust and now a bird sanctury which, weather permiting can be visited by boat excursion, at certain times of the year.The Manx Museum in Peel is now home to of one of the islands great historical finds a stone panel, possibly from an alter. It dates back to the 1st half of the 9th century, celtic but with a byzantium style, of which similar are to be found in Ireland.

Worthy of more than one visit, this tranquil and rugged area is home to passing seals, basking sharks, the odd minke whale, dolphins a and a variety of shorebirds. In recent years a great place for experienced sucba divers to explore, tourists and obviously photographers.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


As you can see, we have escped the snow flurries today. We had about 15 mins when we had hailstones, but that was it. Snow is a rarity here. So our day in Laxey went ahead and I was able to take this photo looking onto the Wheel from the hillside

Laxey Wheel, The Lady Isabella(named after the Lieutenant's Governer's wife ot the time) was designed by John Casement in 1854 and used to pump water away from the mines. It still remains the largest working watermill in the world. Now one of the main tourist attractions on the island. The brave, for a small fee can go to the top and survey the land around.

The Triskelion, the 3 legs of man symbol displayed is the national image of the island and is actually the wrong way round.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. The Wheel even has a piece of music dedicated to it by Stuart Slack.

Laxey, is again Norse and means "Salmon River." A normally sedate town, although the quiet is disrupted once a year for the Laxey Blues festival, where virtually the whole town is turned into a mini Glastonbury, without the mud, and good time is had into the early hours by all.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Early morning photo, but a late post. That's what happens when you live on an island, when something goes wrong it's the whole island that suffers, like inernet severs. The Ramsey Swing Bridge, although small is great for photographers as it filters sunlight, casting long shadows,sun flares and is a great silhouette, especially against the red tinged sun today.

Ramsey is the third largest town on the Isle of Man and the largest in the North. It's Manx name is Rhumsaa, an old Norse word Meaning" garlic river." English is the main language spoken by the residents of the island, but the Manx written and spoken word is making a comeback. Adrian Cain is the Manx Language Development Officer responsible for promoting the language from a dying one to one that is very much alive, so much so that you can even take a qualification in it.Very useful for visitors reading those road signs!

Friday, April 04, 2008


Ramsey has a nature reserve literally at the back of my house. It's a great place for sky photographs, especailly when the clouds are gathering, and a storm is soon to follow.

On the right you will something called the countdown to the Isle Of Man TT Road Races.
TT, stands for Tourist Trophey. The TT is a week long series of Motorbike road races, the week before is practise week. I did say road races. It's the oldest motorbike road race in the world, and last year it celebrated 1oo years and is still as strong as ever.

Word of warning if you do come over for the event. Watch out for Mad Sunday. The public are allowed to ride part of the TT course the bikers take, including Ramsey and the Mountain at whatever speed than can. So don't cross the roads that day unless you really have to.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Later with the post tonight, because I heard it was going to be dry all day. This meant I got the chance to do some early evening shooting. It's Ramsey Harbour Swing Bridge in the distance, under one of the best sunsets we've had for a while. Definately feels like summer's on it's way.

If anyone has seen the film the Martins with Kathy Burke and Lee evans you may have noticed the bridge in the background of a key scene in the film. Just behind me out of shot is Ramsey's one only nightclub called Nightlife( and other things). This is where Patrick Swayze did his "dirty dancing" when he was filming "Keeping Mom"over here. Zac Efron was recenty over here filimg aswell, and yes he was mobbed by lots of young girls when he went into a coffee shop. He even had to have a police escort out the backdoor of a local coffee shop.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


This little archway is situated on the stretch of beach between the towns of Ramsey and Maughold.

It can only be accessed when the tide is out, so visitors to the town could miss this, a lot of locals too, but it's worth the short walk out of Ramsey. If you follow the stream inland it leads back to the main road leading down into Ramsey. Along the way you'll pass an array of wild birds, frogs, toads and if your'e lucky the odd rabbit. It's perfect for photographers, just wait and wildlife will come to you and hang around long enough for you to start snapping.

Just after I shot this image the tide ebbed it's way in and I had to walk briskly to get to Ramsey Pier. I think it was worth crossing the stream and getting wet boots to shoot though.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Out and about again early. Not a soul around to photograph so one of Ramsey Harbour and quay looking out to sea. Ramsey,the East side of the island is the place for sunrises over the sea, and Peel on the west is best for sunsets over the sea. We have very mediterranean sunset in the Summer, that's when it's not raining.

Yesterday was the lsle Of Man's first smoke free in public/work places day. A year later than the UK, but the ban is now in place. No verdict on how the islands smokers will take this, but the cafes seemed just as busy at lunchtimes, minus the ashtrays of course.


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