Friday, 29 August 2014

Taking it slowly (Days 221 - 231)

Day 221 - Traffic jam, Arran style.
With a busy few weeks ahead, everything is in the diary and if it's not in the diary it's not happening! The 365 project photo's will definitely be on the 'hoof' and I'll have to take opportunities as they arise, a mini traffic jam on the Machrie Moor Road was snapped through my window.
Day 222 - Another small sculpture
This is another small sculpture that I have brought back from my travels.  She has such a sad face but is a beautiful object to photograph.  I think this could be a wet day challenge for some of my students??
Day 223 - Beach at Machrie
My diary may be full but its not all work and today its a 'girls' lunch out with a fellow teacher. We vary our venues and today it was the Machrie Bay Tearoom for soup and a sandwich.
Day 224 - Blustery morning
The view across to Kintyre had all but vanished this morning as the squally weather blew in.  It was really cold and felt more like October than August. But it significantly brightened up in the afternoon.
Day 225 - Lochranza Castle
All change for a sunny day again, with full day workshops for a mixed ability group. We incorporated a full island tour including the totally un-photogenic Lochranza Castle.
Day 226 - Second traffic jam of the week
Yesterday I fell over (well actually was tripped by the dogs - see later note), and broke my mobile.  So I thought I would do a quick trip into Irvine (I was on the mainland) and get a new one.  On pulling up at the traffic lights to turn right the police stopped me and I ended up with a front seat to the Irvine parade.  This must be one of the biggest in the country - it took ages.  There were so many horses and people but with such a good seat I really couldn't complain.
Day 227 - Blackpool from a distance
A walk on the beach at Cleveleys to exercise the dogs was a very different experience to the same thing on Arran.  The beach actually had a lot of fishermen along the shore and there were lots of people!
Day 228 - Back on the beach
Same beach the following day, but the sea is a little choppier and the promenade has markers for the Fleetwood marathon.  And coincidentally one of the Run Arran girls is taking part in the half marathon!
Day 229 - Homeward bound
There is nothing quite like getting on the ferry to come home after a mainland trip, car bulging with the 'big' food shop and petrol tank full of fuel!
Day 230 - Chilly mornings
Sorely tempted to put the heating on this morning after an early start.  My bathroom was positively baltic, not helped by the fact I had left the window open.
Day 231 - In training
Running a single dog in Cani-cross is hard enough, but two is total madness!  I'm a novice and my dogs are too which doesn't help.  I get many comments, such as, 'it must be good for them to pull you up hills', 'do they go fast', 'that's cheating', most revolve around the strange belief that the dogs pull me up and make the running easier.  The truth is they sometimes run behind me (and I pull them), stop to sniff (more pulling from me), go in the wrong directions (a bit more encouraging pulling from me), go either side of trees, and a few days ago they went behind me and came either side, scooping me off my feet into a crumpled heap, then jumping on me as it was clearly a new game. So we walk a bit, run a bit, untangle a bit and come October we will be racing a bit!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Birds, boats and brides (Days 211 - 220)

Day 211 - Oyster Catchers at Lamlash
It's been a busy 10 days with lots of workshops, private tuition and commercial work to fit into my schedule and I have to admit that it's not been easy to grab a photo for this project some days, despite having a camera in my hand most of the time!
Day 212 - Highland games
Saturday morning of the Highland games and a family portrait shoot had to be finished ready for delivery, so no rest for me and then it was off to the games where the sun shone and the wasps swarmed!  
Day 213 - Using the hide
I'd put the hide up on Friday for a private lesson and it was still up on Sunday, albeit a little worse for wear as one of the poles had snapped :0(  Last year I had built a new feeding station that is more natural and I wanted to see if the birds were using it and how it worked out photographically, so I grabbed half an hour with my camera. It needs a few modifications but the birds like it and hopefully it will attract more than chaffinches next time.
Day 214 - Whiting bay in the wind
Monday night class and it was very windy so we went to Whiting Bay in the hope of capturing some cresting waves.  No such luck, the sea was calm even if the flags were dancing in the wind.

Day 215 - West Side Coast line
I had snapped this in the morning, not intending it to be used but it turned out to be the only shot of the day that I could use for this project - not my finest work!
Day 216 - Turnstones
Another day and more workshops.  This is one of the shots I got from lying on the beach as they were behind a rock (photo of me in action taken by a student is my facebook page banner). Beautiful birds.
Day 217 - Ormidale
 The Ormidale in Brodick, the venue for a wedding this weekend and the weather forecast is bad, so another reccie to work out what lighting I'll need for inside photo's.
Day 218 - Moving the bed 
I decided to move my bed to try my room a different way round - not easy as it's really heavy and there isn't much room. I now have a hole in the plaster - oops!  But I have a plan on how I want my room.  Now I just need to sell the bed base!
Day 219 - Not a dry eye in the marquee
Big wedding day and it was wet and windy.  As the marquee flapped at Blackwaterfoot the rain stopped long enough for the Bride, Claire to be piped in without getting soaked.  The ceremony was beautiful, music, tears and laughter (and the odd bark, as the dog came too).
Day 220- Sorry boys!
Disgruntled dogs as they wait outside in the rain for me to get my boots on and take them for a walk.  I had given up trying to tie my laces with them bouncing around.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Weddings, wasps and wabbits! (Day 201 - 210)

Day 201 - Cold water
The hardest thing about this blog is deciding on a title each time and I did consider calling it 'hint of a tint' this time as the cold water of the River Iorsa, ended up with a hint of a blue tint. But the air temperature was significantly higher and the wasps seem to be having a good summer.
Day 202 - When grey doesn't work
Coastguard training night and all the ropes were laid out in front of the station as the team went through some mock drills for cliff rescue.  The midges were fearsome and added a sense of urgency and intense irritation to add to the tension.  It was also the night for letting off the bright orange smoke flares that were at the end of their expiry term, so the grey smoke is really bright orange and was enough to bring the RNLI boat charging across the bay in the hope of a rescue requirement.
Day 203 - Carrie
Carrie is one of the Estate dogs and has a formidable bark when anyone arrives at the door, but she's really quite a sweetie and has been coming out for walks with my two mad spaniels this week while her master is away. But don't be totally fooled, she has been known to raid my handbag for dog treats when I've not bee looking.
Day 204 - Secret wedding
Today I had the pleasure of photographing a lovely couple at their secret wedding.  They had decided to avoid all the pressures of a big wedding and sneak away to get wed.  After a shocking start to the day, the sun came out for a lovely afternoon before the heavens opened again after we'd finished the photographs.
Day 205 - Wasp windowsill
I'm trying really hard to be environmentally friendly and apparently wasps are good.  But its hard when I have a nest in the roof space and these are some of the 100 dead bodies under my window as they have become trapped in the bedroom and baked in the sunshine.  Is it me or are there a lot of wasps this year?
Day 206 - Rabbit pie
 When the dogs go ballistic looking out of the window I expect to see a pheasant partaking of the bird food but instead got a surprise as this rabbit hopped around without a care in the world.  Poor Bowser was apoplectic with excitement.
Day 207 - Arran does Urban
Evening class night and another challenge for my students.  This time it was 'Arran does Urban' and we looked at buildings, plant and other industrial structures around Brodick - while I took in a view across the bay.
Day 208 - Ratty
 Apoplectic dog take two!  This time it was ratty come to feed alongside the birds.  But I have to say I'm not quite so tolerant of this rodent and the dogs were allowed to chase it away.
Day 209 - Marvin with one of his sculptures 'in progress'
 Marvin Elliott is a regular at the Arran Farmers Show demonstrating his skills at carving. I did go on one of his great 2 day courses, which was held at Brodick Castle last year and I know is a regular feature of the Rangers annual programme.
Day 210 - Landrover Safari
And today was another of the Arran Rangers service events, a photography land rover safari.  Yet again the weather stayed fine (actually quite sunny) and we managed to see an adder as well as the tremendous views up Glen Rosa.