Friday, 25 July 2014

Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt 2014: The Steep Hill edition

Hi again.

If I've been a bit off the radar lately it's because, like Jack Skellington, I've been trapped in Christmas Town.

But I'm taking a break from my festive crafting commissions this weekend and turning up the heat again to share more of my Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt photos [the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt is hosted by Rinda].

[Oh and ... thank you for the kind things you've been saying about enjoying my Scavenger Hunt posts over the 3 years I've been playing along. It's very good of you to say so!]

Right then ... get your walking shoes on ... we're heading up hill ...

Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt 2014: The 'Steep Hill' edition.

Earlier this month we spent a week at a beautiful hotel called The Rest which overlooks Steep Hill in Lincoln [UK].

As you might have guessed ... the name of the hotel and the name of the road are not entirely unconnected. Put it this way ... there's a reason it's called Steep Hill.
Hence The Rest.
Each day, after returning from our treks and trails we returned to the veranda outside our room where we could sit with a cuppa and watch all the weary legged wanderers make their way up the hill!
It's a great spot to people-watch as there's always something to see such as ...
  • The people who just can't take it any more and are being dragged by the hand uphill by a more energetic partner ...
  • Plus those who are being pushed uphill by a friendly pair of hands on their shoulders or in the small of the back!
  • And then there's those who run up it ... who are either: super-fit [we saw one jogger run up it twice in ten minutes] OR else they're children [who then stand and wait for their older-legged parents.]
  • We even heard a tired-looking man and woman - carrying a large framed painting uphill [as if in a scene from Laurel & Hardy] describe their purchase to a passer-by as: 'It seemed like a good idea at the time!'. Presumably that time was at the bottom of a hill!
And from our raised vantage point we were pretty much guaranteed to see ...
No.4: A group of tourists
 So that was another crossed off the hunt list!
And, as the age old rule states,  'What goes up ... must come down' ...
... and people have various - equally watchable - ways of doing that too!
Like on an evening when party going ladies cast their eyes down the road ... and swiftly remove their high heeled shoes before even attempting a descent! And then there are those who you're best off watching through the gaps between your fingers as you cover your eyes in terror ...  
We can only wonder whether either of them had any rubber left on their soles by the time they reached the bottom!

While we're here, that door they're about to whizz past? That's the next item I can cross of the list ...

 No.9: A bakery
It had a fun window display featuring some unusual cakes which we watched lots of people stop to look at. After all when your shop is situated near the top of the steepest, most tiring, part of a hill ... people don't need much of an excuse to stop and pause!!
So a good window display can only help draw those gaspers in ... which leads me to this ...
... that empty building next door to the bakery - right opposite our hotel - used to be a second-hand book shop called 'The Reader's Rest' where we've spent many an hour browsing [and catching our breath] over the years.

And now it's for sale.

And yes ... I spent a week gazing at it, dreaming of what I could turn it into! And yes, I've even looked it up on the estate agent's website.

And no ... I can't afford it!

But if I did buy the Grade II listed building and move into the flat above? Well then I'd [a] be busy planning up a fabulous window display that would draw in all those breathless browsers, and ...[b] I'd be a lot fitter than I am now!!


So, that's two more off the scavenger hunt list ... and a little more muscle on my legs. Win win!

I hope you enjoyed your brief visit to Steep Hill. At least you got to see it without the customary strained calves and gasping lungs ...
Have a great weekend.

Julie x

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt 2014: the Airshow edition

Following on from my Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt / Zoom in-Zoom Out post last week, in which I captured a bear at an air show ...

... here are a few more items I collected with the sounds of plane engines ringing in my ears:

No.16: A sign in a language other than English
 This emergency information, found stencilled on the side of an Italian plane, handily came with its own translation:
Back in 2012 one of the categories on the hunt was 'Someone playing a musical instrument' and I photographed the bagpipers from the Scottish marching band that often livens up the air show. So, when the 2014 list included 'A parade', I thought that, if all else failed I could rely on the pipers once again. But I didn't need to as I came across ...
No.14: A parade:
Air cadets 'on parade'!

Next I found there horned hats on sale in one of the many market tents at the show. And while I'm not entirely sure what they are for ... I do know they're not exactly flying helmets ...

No.11: A horn
For a start you wouldn't get the cockpit closed ...

And lastly ...

No.20: A bus (not a car, truck, lorry, camper or RV) with a picture painted on its sides
One side of the air show provides a - vintage - bus service to ferry people to and from the car parks and when I spotted this one ... I knew it was going straight on my list:
Right then ... I don't know if that heraldic crest will actually count as a 'picture' painted on the sides but ...

... I'll take a juvenile smirk at the wording on the sign over Scavenger Hunt list accuracy any day ...



For more details on the hunt visit Rinda's blog and I'll see you around soon.


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Zoom In ¦ Zoom Out: A bear of the air

Hello there.

'Zoom In ¦ Zoom Out' [or ZIZO for short] is a photo-sharing meme hosted at Helena's Creative Maven  and I tend to join in whenever I'm staring down a lens [or more like huddling over an LCD screen trying to reduce the glare from the sun to work out what on earth is and isn't in shot] ... and suddenly I spot there's a story to be told simply by zooming out.

Which is what happened at the RAF Waddington Air Show I visited with James earlier this month.

Zooming In ...
Sorry if that made you jump ... he's pretty impressive isn't he? But where is he and why was I photographing him? Well ...

Zooming Out ...
He was put there by the crew of this [and here I consult my in-house aviation buff] Chinook helicopter from the Netherlands. [Hey, before I asked I knew it was at least a helicopter ... I've been dragged around the air show for enough years to have at least learned that they're the ones with the spinny things on top ...]

And the reason I pounced upon this unexpected bear of the air?

Well, it was because he was a perfectly handsome embodiment of one of the items I needed to capture to cross off Rinda's Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt list.

Meet ...  No.12: A mascot

Here he is from another angle:
And if we zoom back out ...
... I think he's pretty convincing from a distance, don't you think? You've got to wonder where they found him!


For more visual tales told in close-up and wide-angle visit Helena's blog where she hosts a link-up for other ZIZO moments.

Julie :-)

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Cleanliness is next to artyness OR the things you come across in a bathroom when you've got a camera with you.

You know what it's like ... you're out and about when you find yourself needing to use 'the facilities' so you take yourself off to the said facilities where, upon entering, you're suddenly whipping out your camera to photograph something surprising you've found there.

What do you mean you've never done such a thing?

Then I guess you haven't been to the National Centre for Craft & Design [NCCD in Sleaford] lately. Last week I opened up the door to their public loos to find this gazing back at me:
And naturally I reached into my bag for my camera!

Here's a better look at the description of The Toilet Project by Meekyoung Shin:
And, before you ask ... yes, I did wash my hands.

And yes, I did do so by using the soap sculpture.

I wet my hands first  ... then gave the top of its head a rub before lathering up!
It reminded me of ancient weather-worn Greek and Roman statues battered by the elements.

By the way, this isn't the only Toilet Project Meekyoung Shin has created, there apparently are/have been several more dotted around the UK and I'd love to hear from you if you've also been startled by a soap sculpture while doing your ablutions ...

For the record ... there's also one in the men's toilets at the NCCD [I sent James in as a roving reporter] and he duly reported back that the version in there was rather less eroded, less worn, less used, than the one I'd photographed in the ladies.

I'd rather not think too hard about the implications of this fact.

Let's all just hope that the men have been feeling more reserved about using a work of art to clean their hands and have been using the regular soap dispenser instead ...

Julie :-)

Monday, 14 July 2014

Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt 2014: Birds on a wire

Hi again.

After a week away from anything resembling work [well, apart from visiting a few craft shops and adding to my vintage map hoard which I'll package up to sell ... but I'm not sure they count as 'work'] I've now returned to my desk, to the online world and to my own cutlery drawer.

[I knew I was home and that life was now back to normal when I had to fetch my own knife and fork from the drawer; for the previous week they've been magically appearing on a table in front of me alongside a napkin!]

And now I'm back I thought I'd share another of the items I've managed to cross off my Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt list [the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt is hosted by Rinda].

Sometimes, with the categories on the hunt checklist, they might look perfectly easy enough, unquestionably 'snappable' ... and yet when you're out there, eagerly scanning the scene with your lens, they remain strangely elusive. Such was the case with ...

No.3: Birds on a wire
I knew exactly the photo I had in mind. The classic set up of birds on high overhead cables with a bright summery blue sky behind ... but could I heck find it! So ... while I was on the hunt I thought I'd better capture some 'also ran's just in case I couldn't land on the shot I wanted. And here they are ...

Back in the first week following the release of the hunt list I spotted these 3 birds on a wire feeder in my parents' garden:
They're definitely birds, and they were on wire ... but I wasn't quite satisfied; so I kept looking.

Then there was this which was not so much a 'bird on a wire' but a 'bird of wire':
A wire pheasant in the outside space of Saltbox gallery in Helmsley a few weeks ago.

And then I spotted these kite type 'things' [not at all sure what they're called/meant to be!!] flapping about on wires above a stand at the air show while I was away; at least two of which were bird-shaped ...
But yet ... I continued my search.

Then, in desperation, I resorted to the Hook-a-Duck stall at the air show's fair ...
But - and this may be a bit deeply philosophical but still - do their hooks count as wires? I just didn't know ...
Then, finally ... on our way out of the grounds of the air show James declared 'There's your birds' ... and, following a mad scramble for my camera, I grabbed this shot as we drove by:
And while it may be imperfect and blurry ... it is the shot I'd been looking for.

So I think I can safely cross 'Birds on a wire' off the list now!

Julie :-)

p.s: I've reopened my Etsy shop now that I'm back home to package-up and post out orders. See if there's anything that grabs your fancy.