Friday, October 31, 2008


I'm posting pre posting so the date will be Halloween when this goes live. Yes we celebrate Halloween on the island, although it goes by a different name - "Hop Tu Naa. " So is Halloween or Hop Tu Naa we celebrate and what is the difference?

Hop Tu Naa is a corruption of "Shogh Ta'n Oie" meaning this is the night. What night though? That would be the Celtic New Year - "Oie Houney." The Celtic new year of course has since been moved to Jan. the Celtic year was separated in to 4 and Sauin- "New Year" was celebrated in "Mee Houney" the Manx for November. As Halloween is Oct 31th the new celebrations have become intergrated as one, although younger Manxies now assume "Hop Tu Naa" and Halloween is one in the same and is celebrated thus so.

Pumpkins are halloween, where as true Hop Ta Naa goer should be seen swinging a hollowed out turnip lantern and singing old manx folk songs, not trick or treating. Trick or treating is an American custom which has been adopted in the UK Halloween celebrations, and yes into Manx ones too.

So Hop Tu Naa like a lot of traditions has been swallowed up with a more commercial celebration and has less to to with celebrating the old New Year, and more to do with rotting kids teeth on sweets. Ramsey though and many parts of the island do try and uphold many of the Hop Tu Naa traditions and there is no finer sight than a group of Manxies, swinging those turnip lanterns and singing a manx song. It's also a little creepy to in a Wicker Man sense, but we won't go into that.

To join skywatch go to SKYWATCH
The concept was Dot's, the next host WIGGERS WORLD the guardians of skywatch now are Tom, Imac and Sandy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


The Isle of Man in a quirky place. We have our Manx Fairies who live under Fairy Bridge. We have words you can't say like, rats - we say longtails, because it's bad luck. We have a language called Manx, which derived from gutteral Irish/Celtic, with the odd Viking word thrown in. We have our own currency. We are part of the British Isles, a Crown Dependency, but not part of the UK. I could go on. One of the strangest sights of all though are the palm trees.

I mentioned to Laurie GLIMPSES OFSOUTH PASADENA that we have palm trees on this funny little island sat in the middle of the Irish Sea after viewing hers. Now in a warm climate you'd obviously expect them, but here? It's cold, damp, we even had snow this week. Hot sunny days are few, very few, yet these palms above thrive, mainly tree lined walkway though the park, but these above are adjacent to the harbour inlet. I snapped just the palm tops and kept the chimney pots and telephone wires in so you can place the palms in context of the island setting, which is certainly not South Pasadena. Obviously this was also on one of our brighter days.

Thanks for all the suggestions for online photo printing. Home printing as suggested by GABRIOLA, SNAPPER would be ideal, but logistically it's getting the right quality paper on the island as online ordering also has it's pitfalls on a small island. Delivery charges astronomical, or even getting companies to deliver in the first place. I'm sure I'll sort something it's just I was very happy with my last company withrange of products, price, turnaround and paper until they ahem, improved things. No you didn't Photobox, that's why you've losing your professional clients.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


ABC - O is for oystercatchers.

If you are inland you may never of heard of this bird, or sub specices of bird. A common sight around Ramsey Harbour, and the Promenade and a wonderful sight to see in flight, with the white underbelly, and black overwing.

The oystercatchers are a group of waders; they form the family Haematopodidae, which has a single genus, Haematopus. They are found on coasts worldwide apart from the polar regions and some tropical regions of Africa and South East Asia. The exception to this is the Eurasian Oystercatcher and the South Island Oystercatcher, both of which breed inland, far inland in some cases. In the past there has been a great deal of confusion as to the species limits, with discrete populations of all black oystercatchers being afforded specific status but pied oystercatchers being considered one single species.

So is this a bird you know or is it a bird you have only ever seen virtually? I was not at all familiar with this bird until I first moved to a coastal setting. Now I am so used to seeing these birds patrol the pebbled shores and sandy beaches of Ramsey, or passing overhead that they are as familiar to be as the garden sparrow.

I am currently offline a lot this week due to having find alternative printing arrangements for my photos. I am definitely going to try Red Bubble, but I'm still looking for somewhere on line that will do reliable prints at a reasonable price over a range of products as I was before. I want my images to still be affordable in varied forms, and don't want anyone being ripped off. So if you know of a reliable print sales site, good quality at prices you would consider paying let me know. It is impossible to get this done on the island. Thanks in advance.

Want to join ABC got the lovely hostess with the mostest, MRS NESBITT'S PLACE

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Ramsey Isle of Man is my world. This image is Queens Pier 2/100 for those keeping count.

Thanks in advance for all those new people stopping by as I have been named "blog of note" today.

The Pier has since fallen on bad times, as I pointed out in my skywatch post. A group the "Friends of Queen's Pier" was set up to hightlight the plight of the pier, and to try and save it, from the neglect it has suffered over the years. It's future is still uncertain, but at least it has now been secured. We need to preserve this pier as many of those in the UK has been lost to the elements or even fire. Save our Pier. I know I'm home when I see it coming along the coast road.

For more my entries click MY WORLD and thank the skywatch gang once again for another inspired idea.

If you want to see loads of wonderful alternative images of the pier and excellent write up go to my world contributer Mannanan, British Isles

I am joining red bubble. Watch this space.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I swear I don't make these things up! I know you think I saw this bench chained up outside the tram station and thought that's odd, but not quite odd enough. I know I'll just go over tip it to a 45 degree angle against the conveniently placed tree, wait for the right light for the long shadows and then photograph my handiwork. Shame on you for thinking I set this Bresson scene up. Not even I think that fast on my feet. Besides that it's a busy main road. Now there is one thing being seen taking the image of an unbalanced bench chained up outside the tram station, but staging the scene, tipping over public benches, no way. The police station is just round the corner you know!

I suppose you want to see the tram station now I've mentioned that. Typical me, I snapped everything else around and only got one of the tram station building. Too busy knocking that bench over and dragging to the tree... I mean adjusting my camera setting accordingly, and finding my focal point and dispersing the fractured light... you just don't believe me do you?

In case you are wondering, this is a sober post, despite the tone. The irreverence purely due to the fact that this blog is of no importance whatsoever, and really does it get me work on the island, or just waste my free time. It seems, I'm told of no importance. Now you really think I man handled the bench don't you?

Want to join the weird world of Odd Shots Monday? Then see KATNEY

Want to join the beautiful and creative world of Mononchorome Monday? Then see Aileni at LOOSE ENDS

Sunday, October 26, 2008


A swan song is supposedly the the song sung by the mute swan as it's dying. Mute swans though aren't at all mute. They hiss, snort, grunt, and produce very shrill noises, especially when guarding their territory, fear of attack, or even when feeding. A swan song is also attributed to a last and most magnificent performance of an artist before they bow out of their chosen profession.

Wiki says
Swan song has become an idiom referring to a final theatrical or dramatic appearance, or any final work or accomplishment. For example, Franz Schubert's collection of songs, published in his year of death, 1828, is known as the Schwanengesang (German for "swan song"). It generally carries the connotation that the performer is aware that this is the last performance of his or her lifetime, and is expending everything in one magnificent final effort. Anton Chekhov's one-act play, The Swan Song (1887), describes an aging actor who, while sitting alone in a darkened theatre, ruminates on his past. Agatha Christie's famous mystery novel And Then There Were None includes, as a plot device, a gramophone record entitled "Swan Song." When played, it accuses the houseguests and servants of murders that, for various reasons, they were not punished for. The killer intends to punish the wicked as a final act.

Robert R. McCammon's book entitled Swan Song tells the haunting story of a young girl in a post apocalyptic world who will be the savior of the human race.

Swan Song is also a Led Zeppelin tribute band.

My hissing, flapping swan was taken in where else but Ramsey Harbour. Obviously this one is fighting fit, but the swan song could be sung for the Isle of Man as an offshore banking option. With the credit crunch and recession time for a re think. The Isle Of Man has been on the news a lot recently due to the Collapse of the Icelandic Bank Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander where some islanders have banking connections. Tough times ahead.

A change for me, quite a hefty topic. Normal service will be resumed next post.

For more wonderful camera critters see MISTY DAWN Camera critters and be sure to leave a nice comment for Misty' s own outstanding posts.

Uk readers. Don't forget to put your clock back.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


After a colourful skywatch image I always like to get back to the nitty gritty of Ramsey local life. Guess what folks? Look at what I have for you today, top of your requests...... people! This image has been hanging around on the laptop but as Saturdays are quiet I thought I'd sneak it on today.

So question is does anyone recognise the locals gathered in Mooragh Park? This was another walking very quickly so not to be noticed shot. I actually like doing these shots with people, not having all of them in shot, body parts missing(Knoxville girl have you got them down on the body farm?) feet missing from the frame. It's your typical journalistic local newspaper image. It also implies this a part of larger scene rather than a self contained, contrived perfectly framed shot. Ok. I'll shut up with the pretentious photo speak. Back to who is it.

Now there is a clue. You can see the word coastguard on the vehicle, and yes those are definitely uniforms you can see. So I'm guessing overnight when this magic post appears, when I've gone to bed a message will appear in my comments box telling me who's who and what was going on.MANNANAN'S CLOAK it's over to you. What I can tell you is this was taken one Sunday, the last day of Ramsey Week activities. A very lively day up the park, stalls, bands, face painting even a bouncy castle. Unfortunately that was for the kids which I totally object to but have been over ruled on the subject. I'd like to bounce too, wouldn't you?

As it's Friday, you guessed by my absence one was down the local drinking emporium known as the Swan. Fortunately this time I remembered a post was required for Saturday and prepared this one in advance. After re reading last Saturday's rather drunken ramblings I thought this would be a wise move. Am I the only one who has posted drunk? Are you all good boys and girls and always post with a clear head? Thought for the weekend.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Queens Pier

Friday already? Must be skywatch.

This is Queens Pier Ramsey, Queens Promenade.

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.

Like the Swing Bridge, Queens Pier is a Ramsey icon that I never tire of photographing. So I will be doing 100 of the pier as well from different angles and times of day. Therefore this is image 1/100. Mad idea, probably. Been into Ikea lately? Same image, different angle.

To join skywatch go to SKYWATCH
The concept was Dot's, the next host WIGGERS WORLD the guardians of skywatch now are Tom, Imac and Sandy

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Ramsey Bus Station Silhouette Babooshka

Not that you can see it but the bus station is the building on the left under the sliver of the mountain. On the right hand side you can see the outline of the tree you have seen before. The one with the huge hand sign on it. To the right of the tree you can trace out the outline of chimney pots. Some days you will actually see smoke rising from those pots, especially with the price of fuel this ensuing winter.

Why Silhouette? The weather and lighting conditions were fairly poor so again work with them, not against them. I took several, trying to obscure as much as the sun as I could, but with light enough to serve as a backlight, to bleach/whitewash the sky, but keep a little cloud definition. Again just fiddle around with the manual setting until you get the desired effect. A simple desaturation to strip the image of any colour, like the road lines or cars to finish the job. No need to alter contrast or brightness, as I wanted to keep the sliver of ground light.

I'll show you Ramsey Bus Station in a more visible straightforward image next week.Only if you're good boys and girls, I'll even throw in a bus, hell I'll even show the bus queue of locals. The image today was purely for me. Not meant to be a work of art or indeed show you much of Ramsey. Just an image I shot this week that I personally like, of an outline from an angle I favour.

I'm Blog hopping light again. Apologises for my lack of response to emails, I'll get there. Not just the blog plagiarist to contend with, but my usual printing site and I may be parting the ways which means I'm also sorting out that end of the photography business end.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
It's theft, get your own blog or pay for my words and images.
To the theif.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008



ABC - Letter N.

What is it though? It's a rare sight in Ramsey Harbour although these never used to be. So what is it. Well It's not the new Swimming pool you can see over on the right with the curving roof. No, It's actually the red and white Tall Ship you moored, called the "New Wave." I snapped this shot very quickly as I was literally running onto somehwere else, so a quick not thought out snap for a change.

This is actually a grand sight to see in the harbour, a real blast from the past because this is the very harbour that the STAR OF INDIA or the Euterpe as you may know it was built. Yes the one that has been loving restored and is berthed in San Diego. If you click on the words Star of India above it will take you to my post about it with an image of the commemorative plaque here in Ramsey. The Isle of Man has strong links with the sea, as do most islands. From the Bounty, The Jane, The Island Yacht Race to The Book the " English Passengers" we have had a wonderful variety of sailors and ships.

Speaking of books, how would you like to swap a book you no longer want for one you have always wanted to read, re read, or to try out out something new? Try this great new blog BOOK SWAPPERS . I know I'll be in on this.

I'm late tonight, and a little light on the visiting. I'm on a mission to curb someone's enthusiasm (to put it kindly) on mimicking my writing style and suggesting( now that is being polite) that this very blog, content and images be their very own. You poor deluded fool. I am onto you, thanks to copyscape and Google alerts. It's a small island I will find you. Game On!

Want to join ABC got the lovely hostess with the mostest, MRS NESBITT'S PLACE

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Sky Hill
Isle Of Man

The hill on the right is the most important in Ramsey and Isle of Man history. 

I chose this image to show as part of the my world theme to illustrate that although the photo is present day, we are always living amongst the past. For more my entries click MY WORLD and thank the skywatch gang once again for another inspired idea.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Half life

I think this will be my most divisive image to date. You will either love this or hate it. Unlike the flower, there are no half measures. Make of it what you will, but this to me is a pure monochrome, a study in light, shade, contrast and textures and equally an odd shot the half blown away flower not being the usual subject for a portrait.

The image was taken the day I took last Wednesday's railing and lake shot, over at Mooragh Park. It was one of those down on the ground shots I like. When I am not going for an unscheduled swim in the lake,( falling out of a canoe for those who didn't know) you will find me mooching about looking for an interesting shot. Actually you will often find me after the plain old very mundane stock photography shot too.

I was asked last week if Mooragh was Welsh. I can see why the question was asked as in the girl's name "Morag," but no. It's not a viking word either. It's Gaelic and it means" wasteland by the sea." Mooragh Park remember was swamp land before it was transformed, hence the name. Another interesting fact for you going off at a complete tangent, there are 95 men to every one woman on the Isle Of Man, according to the The CIA World Factbook . Now I'm not arguing with the CIA. Not even I'm that mad. I would like to ask them however how they worked this out though. I mean, did they ask for my input, no?

Want to join the weird world of Odd Shots Monday? Then see KATNEY

Want to join the beautiful and creative world of Mononchorome Monday? Then see Aileni at LOOSE ENDS

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Sleeping Siskin

Shh! Sleeping siskin. You know what happens they fly into our windows and I sit with them until they come round. This little male, was a little dazed and confused, but flew away eventually. Sometimes they come round in minutes, sometimes hours. This one had a little nap before he flapped off. Me being me, I just had to take his little snap when I knew he was hunky dory. Any references to me being a Manx fairy, a bird whisperer, or a white witch are just not true, and George the siskin can verify that fact. What siskins don't talk to you?

Ramsey is actually full of sikins now. They are becoming very common garden birds all year round, rather than the visiting migrating birds to here they used to be. We often have about 30 of these in the garden. Have you any idea how much a tiny bird can eat? Want to attract siskins to your place. Try niger seeds to attract them, and then white sunflower heatrs to keep them. Works a treat, but be warned, they won't leave. By the way this a Europoen siskin, which is quite different to the American. Put siskin as a seacrh word on my blog and you will find posts all about the differences.

Now a message for all CDP users. Voting for the 2009 Jan 01 is taking place. It's your chance to pitch in with your choice. Don't forget to use the forum. It's a great place to exchange ideas, have your say, ask questions, get help and see what's generally going on in the community.

For more wonderful camera critters see MISTY DAWN Camera critters and be sure to leave a nice comment for Misty' s own outstanding posts.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


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.

This is a last minute post. I have been out and totally forgot about the blog, had a drinkies with island visitors, put the world to rights ect. I do feel stromgly about these neglected buildings though, as you know.

Why I would like to know is the the island spruced up for Prince Andrew visiting? Surely the place should be spruced up for us residents, who actually live here.

Babooshka is off to bed. She has had a lot to drink. See you sometime tomorrow. What are your plans this weekend? Mine are sleep.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Skywatch - Ramsey Harbour Sunset

Ever heard of Fletcher Christian? As a special request to laxeylass a recap of the old tale, and a promise of a Laxey pic next week. Please someone remind if one doesn' t appear.

Fletcher Christian. Now there's name synonymous with all things mutinous and apparently Manx, that is the Isle of Man. Ooh er. How exciting!

Fletcher Christian was born In Cumberland in England, however he was related to The Christians of Miltown Ramsey. So explodes the first myth he was a Manxman. Afraid not! His family though did at one time, including the man himself, seek refuge in Ramsey to escape bad debts in England.

As we all know Fletcher Christian( Marlon Brando to me) instigated the Mutiny on the Bounty (more Isle of Man/Bounty links for another time) settled with a load of mutineers on the Isle of Pitcairn(many Manxmen amongst them) and then it all gets a bit hazy. In other words here starts the myth and fact nightmare. Always the way with the Island.

John Adams the last surviving mutineer gave several accounts of Fletcher's whereabouts, changing his story several times. Fletcher had committed suicide, he was killed by Pitcairn natives, or he escaped back to England, an onto the the Isle of Man.

The poet Wordsworth was distantly related to Fletcher Christian by marriage. It is rumoured that Wordsworth and Christian met in Bristol and Fletcher recounted details of the mutiny to him. Subsequently the Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner was written by fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and rumour has it, the Ancient Mariner was Christian himself. The reason was the poem bore uncanny details to certain events of the mutiny and time there after that were never for public consumption.

The date or place of Christian's death is still unknown. No remains have ever been found. Could he in fact of died on the island, with his Miltown Ramsey relatives? Who knows, but it's a great tale either way.

The Bounty has many Isle of Man links, which will keep for another post. Just think, on Pitcairn though, there are lots of little Manx descendants. Get around don't we! To go with the tale a Pitcairn sky, well a Pitcairn coloured sky over Ramsey, Isle of Man. Sometimes taking an image underexposed and failing light intensifies the colours much better.

Gary has designed his new website. Take a peek, if you can, at GARY BARKER ILLUSTRATION as I will be designing the same template for my new photography site and wondered how easy on the eye, and to navigate you find it.

To join skywatch go to SKYWATCH
The concept was Dot's, the next host WIGGERS WORLD the guardians of skywatch now are Tom, Imac and Sandy

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Ramsey swing bridge 10/100

Here we go again! You know the story by now, but for the unitiniated(shame on you where have you been?) I posted saying how I must have hundreds of images of this bridge and was told it wasn't possible to photograph one subject in a hundred different ways. Ta da! Number 10 is today's offering.

This is the middle section, apex, right hand side, harbour side. The gull of course is an optional extra. Please note he doesn't come with the bridge and isn't caged behind the metal rods poking up and was free to depart at any time. I am not sure whether he was responsible for the inordinate amount of bird poo on this side of the bridge compared to the other, so we won't chastise him unjustly. Innocent until proven guilty still applies. Even the Isle of Man abides by this ruling. I know I could have spent half the day cloning out the offensive poop, but what you see is what you get around this blog and it does add a certain "je ne sais quoi" don't you think? No, Ok just me then.

I should also point out, as promised to do so when applicable, that this image was my trusty little point and shoot no frills Olympus and not my all singing dancing Nikon. I should also have posted on the Mooragh Park image yesterday that was also shot on my Olympus. Sometimes it's good just to leave the Nikon and see what I can get from the little Olympus. After all, the one thing the camera still can't do without you is frame the shot, so now and again it's just good to get back to basics. It also gives you an idea what can be achieved with the point and shoot, for those who don't have the big camera and loads of lenses. It's also a much better way to practise photography, makes you work harder by using your grey matter and eye to produce the shot.

So, would you have preferred a clean no poo poop de poop, or do you prefer the real deal image.
As always can't wait to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


ABC- M is for Mooragh Park.

Mooragh Park, contains Mooragh Lake was like Albert Tower, built by the Victorians. In 1881, the Ramsey Town Commissioners bought a 200 acre tidal swamp. Ramsy Rugby Clubhouse. Ramsey home games are still played here. You know that though as I've shown you the images.

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. Of course you will also find this photographer up there. By the way this is the lake that I went for an unintentional swim in when my canoe capsized. It was so black I thought it was still a swamp. How I got back in the canoe fully clothed and sopping wet is still beyond me. Happy to report no sharks in the lake, but the financial sharks are lurking on dry land.

Want to join ABC got the lovely hostess with the mostest, MRS NESBITT'S PLACE

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Ooh look people! Today I pulled back from going for the artsy photography just to show you what you all asked for, people. OK they aren't exactly close up and in yer face, but here's the deal. I have to live here. You want to see the locals, so the best I can do is these kind of glancing long shots, walking briskly with the camera and snapping quickly.

Notice the lady at the cashpoint? That's actually the Isle Of Man Bank. I know our own bank. We even have our own toytown money. Prepare to be confused! We have our own Manx money to use on the island. We also have Euros introduced in some shops, but not all. UK sterling is spendable here along with any other currency that has the word "sterling" on such as Scots or Channel Islands. Manx money though can only be used on the island. Don't forget we are a Crown Dependency of the "British Islands" and not part of the UK, which is why our cash is trash there. No way can you pay if Manx it say. You can imagine what it's like when we go on holiday, the conversions.

To go off at a complete tangent now, but what do you notice about the pavement and road? No chewing gum, no fag ends, no litter. I'm not saying it's like this everywhere, but how many town high streets do you come across that are like this? We may have empty shops, but we have clean streets. Please also note the christmas lights are always there, just not switched on 'til December.

Off to have words with my laptop which seems incapable of closing down pages I am not using, Why? Who knows.

Monday, October 13, 2008


At a distance this image always looks like like a shipwreck at low tide, along Sulby River. This image had been under water for a month or two now due to the heavy rainfall, but when the riverbanks relented, the rain ceased, this strange scene was still there. This is as close as I can physically get to it without actually going down onto the river bed, which you shouldn't do anyway. There is a path along the river for a reason. To walk on! The river is to look at.

A far as I can tell it's actually tree branches embedded into the riverbed with what appears to be seaweed of some kind draped across it. When it's icy this area always takes on an otherworldly charm, like Narnia. It's not icy just yet so I went for a mono shot( just a straightforward desaturate colour) to see if it would appear ethereal and for me it has in a odd eerie way. Something ghostly about the whole innocuous scene. It could be perhaps those Manx fairies have draped there shimmering attire over the deadwood. Who knows? They are a little cheeky.

Blogger was off for sometime today, so was my server too hence little activity this end. Gary has just built his new website, my turn next. Why is it when you plan to undertake certain work on your laptop it all goes awry. Naughty Manx fairies again possibly? Perhaps they don't want me to show you the fairy magic they weave throughout the island or is Manannan out with his cloaking devise( Star Trek baddies merely borrow it) to thwart prying eyes.

Want to join the weird world of Odd Shots Monday? Then see KATNEY

Want to join the beautiful and creative world of Mononchorome Monday? Then see Aileni at LOOSE ENDS

Sunday, October 12, 2008


This is the same friendly cat I photographed for Critters Sunday in a previous post. What is it about cats and gutters? Is it the best place to have a good scratch. It must be because this one always seems to be lounging around the gutters of Ramsey along with the black cat I had last week. So we all know about black cat mtyhs, but are there any white cat myths and superstions? Apparently yes there are, but very few.

In cat lore white cats are a symbol of light and good.
In the UK a white cat crossing your path is considered unlucky.
It America it is considered lucky if a white cat crosses your path.
Also too though in America it is considered unlucky to see a white cat at night
To dream of a white cat is considered a fortuitous omen, a portent of glad tidings, creativity and a contented spritual life.
To kill a white cat leaves your soul to the devil.
A white cat is often considered an angel, say hell0 and they will watch over you.

Unlike the black cat myths, the white cat has little attached to it in mythology. In some versions of the tale of Rapunzel she had 3 white cats to help her spin her hair into a golden ladder for her lover. Unlike the Manx cat and the black cat, the white cat seems to be relatively myth free. Perhaps you know of a white cat myth of superstition in your part of the world?

For more wonderful camera critters see MISTY DAWN Camera critters and be sure to leave a nice comment for Misty' s own outstanding posts.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


For those of you who were expecting a pretty skywatch image, it's the post underneath. This is back to reality Saturday. Want a virtual walk round the notice board? Read on!

As you can see this is a straight forward image of a Ramsey Community Notice Board. Just on the right you can see the blue hoarding from a previous shot of the children's murals along Parliament Street. We have several of these dotted about town. One at Shoprite, the library and various local shops. To me these are an excellent way to find out what's going on. A newcomer to the town wishing to integrate into the community would be advised to take a peek at one of these boards. A little something for everyone.

Fancy keeping fit, try Pilates, a Hoe Down, or is Kick Boxing more your idea of working up a sweat? Want a more peaceful activity? What about a Whist Drive and raffle? A gentle Rotary Club sponsored walk pique your interest or perhaps making your own Christmas cards? Reiki to relax? Are you a beader or an auction buyer. Room for Rottweilers? Church or theatre? It's all there and more. One time only, click to enlarge and take a virtual tour of the Notice Board to see what this small town has to offer over Autumn. Surprising isn't it?

I'm a big fan of this type of free advertising in a community. The board is open to all, so no activity is overlooked. Do you have anything like this in your part of the world, and do you use it?

I'm hoping to build a new website over the weekend, my new photography sales site. No doubt I will be tearing my hair out by tomorrow night when things aren't behaving as they should.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Jane Hards

Manannan is the mythical god of the sea, lord and protector of our land, Isle of Man. Manannan appears in many other Pagan and Celtic myths and legends but for us he is the guy who put the "Man" in the Isle of Man, and why you sometimes see the spelling of Mann aswell. What is Manannan's cloak though?

Manannan's cloak is a mythical shroud of mist that Manannan would throw over the island to shroud us from our enemies in times of trouble. The cloak would roll in from the sea over the land, covering all from prying eyes, keeping us safe from unwanted visitors. The cloak takes the form of a tinged grey and purple fog slowly enveloping the land, until Manannan is safe to lift the shroud when the unwanted visitors have passed by. Mannanan was also known to be a shapeshifter, so next time to you ask a local the way, be polite. It could just be Manannan and if decides you aren't a worthy visitor he will shroud and protect us from you.

We still get the mist descend upon us. The image shows a rolling mist on the mountains, sometimes it rolls in from the sea. It is an awesome sight, especially when caught my sunlight. Sometimes a white blanket, a gold sheet, or a lilac candyfloss gently engulfing the island.

The island has had crisis talks today due to the financial situation. Remember we are not part of the UK, but geographically part of the "British Islands." We have our own government, and we are an off shore banking solution. Due to the collapse of Iceland finacially, many Manx residents are worried about their finances, business, jobs and the survival of the island as a major player in the financial world. As you know Gary works for the BBC,(BARKER GALLERY BBC POLITICS SHOW) and his weekly political cartoon which is usually submitted by tonight is still ongoing due to the ever changing situtation. No wonder Manannan thought so wisely to shroud us in his protective cloak this week, we need it. Just to be even more confusing MANNANAN'S CLOAK spelt differently yes is the website from yesterday's post.

To join skywatch go to SKYWATCH
The concept was Dot's, the next host WIGGERS WORLD the guardians of skywatch now are Tom, Imac and Sandy

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Ramsey Swing Bridge No 9 of 100

This was actually taken last week on a fairly blue sky day. It's no 9 in the series of same subject different view. It's been a while since we had the bridge so today it's bridge day. I wanted a fresh one taken today as it was so glorious, but there were funny little men with cones working very diligently and attentively so I thought best to leave them to it. Instead I took some of those pubs you asked for,a gorgeous ship called The New Wave and the odd person sneaking into the shot. OK, should say who I've sneaked into shot.

Ramsey Swing Bridge was built in 1892 by the Cleveland Engineering Company at a cost of £2o,325(what would that be in today's 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.

The two paragraphs above were from one of my own earlier narratives. It's perfectly fine to plagiarize oneself, it's just others I take an exception to text images or ideas. To add a little coincidence to the post and the weird world of blogging take Mrs N. of MRS NESBITT'S PLACE .Her husband did his apprenticeship with the very same Cleveland Engineering Company, and yes Mrs N. is coming again next year for the TT. Spooky.

It's busy Wednesday here, always is. Gary is working on the cartoon for the BBC tonight, so my main job is supplying cups of sugary coffee. Obviously with the economic climate as it is this cartoon is a very important one. Lots of huffing and head shaking from him and a floor full of sketches. It's going to be a long night. Artists!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I'll give you the words in red of MANNANAN'S CLOAK who is the expert in this area and was able to fill in the blanks for me last time I posted about the lifeboat and R.N.LI. He just happens to be a dedicated member

"The old tub looks great . For the record she is a Mersey class named Ann & James Ritchie after the very kind people who funded her. She has recently arrived back in Ramsey after having a major refit during which time we had a relief boat on"

Another chance for me to post about the importantance of the R.N.L.I. What is it read on.

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 Ramsey website MANNANAN'S CLOAK

A straightforward image today in keeping with the text. Thanks for all the lovely thoughts for 200 posts yesterday.

Want to join ABC got the lovely hostess with the mostest, MRS NESBITT'S PLACE

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


My 200th post. Not quite what you was expecting was it? In fact I had no planned image, nothing specific, but I found this fun lively image and just couldn't resist it. A contrast to yesterday's arty shot, a colourful image of the fun and games that happen when we have Ramsey Day during the TT. It's also one of the limited images I have of just people, and a lot of you have requested to see some locals, so here they are letting their hair down. I'll try and include more people but it's dfficult in a small private community.

Back to the word for the 100th post Xenodochial

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. Again I wouldn't have known this unless one of you hadn't emailed me.

I have lots of projects ongoing due to the blog, latest being to write an article for a museum to do with a Manx item. This is what I meant about taking a new turn. It's the writing now and the photography combined. Thanks to the North American Manx Association who actually wrote a post about the blog after finding me and introducing me to a whole new audience. Thanks To Dave McMahon for the honours shared for post of the day. Motoaction, Andree for the negotiations with the magazine, and thanks to Karl for the heads up on all the places that I'm being linked too and want to use me, in a nice way obviously

Gary, Marley, Virginia, Knoxville Girl, Scarlet, Laurie, Kelly, Bibi, Brett, Chuck, Louis La Vache, Mrs Nesbitt, Blue, Aileni, Dragonstar, Laxeylass, Mannanan's Cloak, Old Man Lincoln, Lake lady, Jim, Hyde dp, Mr Wigger, Olivier, Angela, Jackie, Eki,Stephen, Crazy Cath, Brad... I could go on. Thank you so much for just the conituned support, shared ideas and for endorsing my reputation on the net as the place to go for images,opinions, advice, wit and perhaps sometimes more than you bargained for. You have made me the blogger I am today. Aha! Now I can blame you lot.

What of the next 200 who knows. Maybe the escaped wallaby, the Manx fairies the odd celebrity. As you have discovered, Ramsey is a weird and wonderful place and I'll capture the Manx spirit for the blog.



Monday, October 06, 2008


This image will not be to everyone's taste, but I know some of you out there will get a kick out of it, the arty sport shot. A combined theme shot again. Obviously it's black and white, so that covers the monochrome and hopefully the odd part of the shot speaks for itself. Needless to say this is personally one of my favourite images to date I've posted.

I'm working on a a couple of Ramsey related projects at the moment that are going to be a little time consuming so my blog visits time may be limited. I am on the verge of a turning point professionally and need to concentrate on a few Ramsey related projects that will need my fullest attention. I may also have to curb my advice, ideas and help for a while too and it's time to follow up on some suggestions and offers I have had recently concerning my work. You may also notice the images have reverted back to a smaller size. This is simply to protect them from being used by others without my permission. I know this all sounds a little cloak and dagger but the blog is a work in progress, my words, my ideas, my images about Ramsey are to be used at my discretion, not for others to take the credit. Ramsey is my town, this is my blog.

On a lighter note tomorrow Tue. 7th Oct. will be my 200th post. Join me for an ideas session of things you'd like to know about Ramsey or links you'd like. There is so much more to show you but sometimes when you walk past something everyday you may not think to photograph it. The beach, the park, the shops, the pubs, the Manx signs, the churches, I could go on. So today, just comments on this image. Tomorrow your ideas and comments on the next 200 posts would be welcome and appreciated.

One for Ramsey residents, a message. Dig out those electric blankets for testing soon. It's free remember to have them tested but priceless for peace of mind.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Is this the Moddey Doo, the strange mythical dog that legend has it scared a soldier to death and haunts Peel Castle? No it can't be! I don't think the Moddey Doo ever visits Ramsey. I know someone magical who is though!

The Moddey Doo was covered in a post earlier in the week. In a nutshell it's a mythical black dog that scared a soldier to death and haunts Peel Castle. If you put the words " Moddey Doo in the search box at the top of the page it will take you to the post for the full story. I just couldn't resist posting this image as the poor low light intensified the black coat, and merged his featured making him look a little haunting. Don't know who's it is but it's gorgeous.

So who or what is in or about to be in Ramsey? The escaped wallaby possibly and Manx fairies always in hiding, so no not them. Apparently we do have a film crew and a wizard though. Well an actor who played a Wizard. Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter film series will be in the up coming film WILD TARGET . The Isle of Man I have mentioned before is often used as a film location. For a full list of films see the ISLE OF MAN FILM INDUSTRY . See how many films you've seen that you never knew had an Isle Of Man Connection.

If anyone decides to make a film about the Moddey Doo can they contact me first. I know the perfect dog to cast! I've already taken his portfolio photo.

For more wonderful camera critters see MISTY DAWN Camera critters and be sure to leave a nice comment for Misty' s own outstanding posts.


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