Saturday, 31 March 2007

Ireland Beach

Ireland Beach, originally uploaded by Red Snapper9.

I've been feeling very wistfull lately; thinking about how different my life might have been if I had made different choices at different times in my life. I can never understand those people who say they have no regrets and wouldn't change anything in their lives. This seems bizarre to me. There's never enough time to do everything one would want so how can anyone say they would do everything the same again? As for regrets, well, my life is full of those, but perhaps that's more to do with having the type of character that has a tendency to beat oneself up. Interesting to reflect on what would be my biggest regret, and if I could change one thing what would it be? I'll need to think about this, but on second thoughts it's probably best not to! This shot from Ireland is one that often comes to mind when I think about the happy times I had in this lovely country. I half dream of one day moving to Ireland to hide away in a small cottage with lots of dogs somewhere very remote - perhaps it's the pull of my Irish roots - but I know this will never happen.

Monday, 26 March 2007

Sally Clark 1965-2007

I was away for the weekend in Somerset when the news of Sally Clark's death was announced. She was found dead at her home in the morning having passed away during the night. The terrible experiences this woman had to go through with the loss of her two children was so awful, and then to be accused of their murder and have to spend 3 years in prison. It's impossible to imagine what it must have been like for her and from all reports she never fully recovered from the awful miscarriage of justice she suffered. The news of her death really affected me and reading again her statement when her conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal is one of the saddest things.

Monday, 19 March 2007


Swans, originally uploaded by Red Snapper9.

I spent so long thinking about this shot and trying to decide if it was any good, how I might change it, whether it was better in colour, was the light too bright, would it have been better if both swans had been completely symmetrical. In the end I decided it wasn't very good and got really down about how useless I was at photography. The professionals say never to compromise on your photos; aim for perfection, but I never seem to get anywhere near this. There's always something not right about my photos and always so many on Flickr that are so much better. I wasn't going to post it and don't know why I changed my mind but having uploaded it I've had lots of really nice comments. It's great to get this positive feedback but it also makes me feel even worse inasmuch as I clearly can't even tell what's a good photo any more. I'm getting close to giving up. What's the point of having an expensive camera if you can't take quality photos.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

My desk at home

My desk, originally uploaded by Red Snapper9.

I got my new work laptop today. Great to get a new toy but nightmare getting all those files and emails transferred over. Still not sure about this CD/DVD stuff. The new Dell only refers to a DVD drive but it's not clear if I can use this for CDs as well or if these are one more thing in the list of techie stuff that is on the path to obsolescence. It's going to take me forever to transfer the files and this made me think about how long I must spend sitting in front of either my personal or work computers. It's easy to say "too long" but I think this is rather a glib response. I certainly don't think all those people who want my help to solve a computer-related problem would agree. I have, in other words, picked up a considerable amount of knowledge and experience of one sort or another from sitting here at my laptop and perhaps, most important of all, I have met some really nice people who have become real friends.

Sunday, 11 March 2007


Blackthorn, originally uploaded by Red Snapper9.

I love the little flowers of Blackthorn blossom. Such a tiny flower but with such intricate features.

Friday, 9 March 2007

Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury Tor, originally uploaded by Red Snapper9.

I was reminded today about my trip to Glastonbury. Although I go to Somerset a lot I rarely go inland and it's a number of years since I was last in Glastonbury. It's an interesting town, lots of shops with crystals and other hippy-type trinkets. The Tor is just outside the town, located in the middle of the Somerset Levels and can be seen from miles around. The view from the top is spectacular and worth the walk up the hill to the top. I most often see it from The Quantock Hills some miles to the west of Glastonbury, where on a clear day the Tor has a mystical quality as it stands out on the horizon.

I never got to go to the Festival but I imagine it would be a similar atmosphere to that at WOMAD. I am lucky to have been part of the group of people that brought back the Rock Festival to Reading and also brought WOMAD (what we used to call the World of Meals and Drinks) to the town. I can remember it as being an exciting time. We had just taken majority control of the Council and as Chair of Leisure Martin was determined to get the Rock Festival back. Our contacts through Ron Bartholomew, the Festival Site Director, who was also our boss at the Housing Co-op made it easy to negotiate with Harold Pendleton for the return of the Festival. It was always great fun, lots of eating and drinking and loud music. But it was always WOMAD that was my first love. Back stage was a constant parade of all those people and artists that you loved to listen to and the food and workshop events were amazing especially the parades around the site. Happy days which, like most things in life, only really come into focus many years after the event!

Thursday, 8 March 2007

In celebration of International Women's Day

International Women's Day, originally uploaded by Red Snapper9.

One of the roses I made in my cake decorating course. Not perfect but I thought it would be a nice image for this special day.

A friend recently sent me a link to a web site he thought I might enjoy - It's one of those sites that you can get completely immersed in and not surface for hours. It's great. I love the eccentricity combined with such useful and interesting information. It's one of the wittiest and most enjoyable sites I have come across on the web. I lead a pretty run-of-the-mill kind of life nowadays but I like to think there is a little eccentric and bohemian seed inside me that never really got the opportunity to grow and that one day I'll set it free to grow in the way that Zyra has done. In the meantime I'll have to settle for periodic visits to sites like this. Check it out for yourself. It's great fun and not possible to see it all in a day!!!

ZYRA - Interesting eccentric site with thousands of pages of useful information on a wealth of subjects, oodles of fascinating and amusing items, and an encyclopaedic set of things connected together conceptually, plus a gateway to thousands of places around the world.

Monday, 5 March 2007


Camelia, originally uploaded by Red Snapper9.

Walk on Saturday was around Douai Abbey. The church there is so lovely and in such a pretty setting. The weather was great so lots of photos, then I saw this huge camelia shrub covered in flowers with this one bloom in shade with a flash of sunlight across it. Very windy but somehow managed to get a reasonable shot - not as sharp as I would like but worth keeping for the colours and feel of spring.

Friday, 2 March 2007

Hanging on the telephone

This is what happens when you are stuck on hold while instant messaging with Syamntic support. It's midnight and you realise you've lost it when you start taking photos of little furry fellas sitting on your laptop keyboard


This is my special little man, Spike. I can't believe how much I adore this little fellow. He's getting on a bit now and I can't bear the thought that he wont always be by my side. There's always one dog in your life that is the special one, and he's the one; the gentlest, sweetest natured and most loving dog I have every had.