Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The BMW game

I invented a new game for use on my weekly walk to the pub. I think it's suitable for most urban environments. Who knows it might even keep the kids amused on a motorway journey.

Here is how it goes: 

Set off on your walk to the pub or the shops and keep a sharp lookout. You may continue your journey as long as you are in sight of a BMW or an Audi parked outside a house or driving by on the road. If you can no longer see either car in front or behind you then you may take another hundred paces in the hope that another BMW or Audi turns up. After that I guess you have to stop.

But you needn't worry. 

It turns out there are so many that you will reach your destination without a problem.

Don't try this with Ford, Nissan or Subaru for example. These are rare cars unlike Audi and BMW...

Monday, 30 December 2013

Blue is the new Red

Aah: The Festive Season: 

Folks decorate their Christmas trees. They decorate their living rooms, and these days they decorate their houses and front gardens with strings of lights.

The colour of choice these days is a strident blue, which glows and flickers through one's curtains at night and gives the impression that the Police have just arrived outside.

Not that we have anything to hide. Clearly...

Saturday, 21 December 2013


A man walks into a bar. 
The barmaid says to him "The usual, sir?" 
He says ".....

No. Actually we can't tell this joke, it sends all sorts of wrong messages. It can't be a man because that is gender specific, so it has to be a person.

OK. A person walks into a bar. 

No. Stop. First of all walking is not PC, as it excludes wheelchair users so we need to replace "walks" with the much more neutral "goes". 

Also the whole bar thing is wrong. It endorses the concept of alcohol consumption.
Let's make it some neutral public place. This is good, because I wasn't sure how we were going to deal with the female barmaid figure anyway.

Clearly the rude double entendre in the original has to be removed for fear that sensibilities are disturbed, so we can replace that with something less controversial, something non specific.

Here we go.

A person goes into a generic public place and has a conversation with an employee. 
A misunderstanding occurs with hilarious results.

I thank you.  See. It's the way that I tell 'em.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013


Buy tree. 
Put tree up.
Test lights. Decorate tree. Switch lights on.
Remove lights. Take decorations down again. Take tree to tip.

Is it really a whole year since we did this last time?

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Sore Afraid

Shepherds, down the pub, discussing all the celestial commotion last night...

Monday, 16 December 2013

Deck the Halls


Time to dress the church for the festive season. Our church has grown long lines of tiny little lamps that trace the pillars and hang across the nave.

I suppose I can cope with "festive" but I am always suspicious of something described as "fun".


Friday, 13 December 2013

Buy the product

"You have ten seconds to comply..."

O the joy of Christmas Shopping. Is this really the reason for the season?

Thursday, 12 December 2013


I've invented a new word. MicroVodaphobia

This is the fear of ridicule from having bought an inferior phone. This is a regrettable all pervading syndrome in modern affluent society where mere things are counted as more important than people and relationships. 

To ensure I am not affected my this doubt, I just bought the mighty Google Nexus 5, which is truly awesome. 

So: Go get over it, loser..... :-)

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


Life is full of surprises.

I came down to breakfast this morning and discovered an Alien in my teacup. 

You would think that a superior species that had mastered interplanetary travel would be smart enough to avoid getting trapped in a tea cup.

PS. Aliens are smaller than I expected. Perhaps we need not be so frightened.

Friday, 6 December 2013


Don't stop me now, don't say pardon
sorting me thoughts and getting a Bard-on
Siftin da words - every line is fillable
layin it down in every syllable
Feelin da heat, keepin da beat
working onda rhymes so it's nice and neat
So don't sit sight, don't be passive
Dis is da big one, dis is massive
I tellin' you straight, don't make no bones
please switch off all mobile phones...


Thursday, 5 December 2013


It's dark at breakfast, dark at tea,
And in between we only see
Clouds hurrying across the sky
And rain-wet roads the wind blows dry

From a poem by John Betjemen, a worthy pencil squeezer or I'm a Dutchman.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Revisited revisited

I revisited St Cross almshouses before, and I was so impressed I went back again yesterday.

What a nice place to see out your days, or so it appears from the outside, it's like something from a Trollope novel. 

This was a lovely haven of peace among the foolishness that was Winchester yesterday. We tried quite hard to go shopping there but gave up due to lack of parking. We returned to Newbury to inspect the tack that was on sale there instead.

Oh well.

Friday, 29 November 2013


Breaking the rules is what Art is all about. 

Here we have the camera pointed straight into the sun. It is a colour image with almost no colour. Does it have a message? Does it even have a subject? I'm not certain.

I do know that it was a "must snap" moment. I can't define what makes a must snap scene but I know one when I see one...

Thursday, 28 November 2013


Compact and practical town car.. Boarded seventeenth century farm barn.

Juxtaposition of photographic elements. 
Social comment.
Yellow and black.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Wood and trees

If you go down to the woods today, you're in for a big surprise.

Hidden in the woods commanding a fantastic view is a wonderful modernist haus. That's the sort of place I would like, but alas it isn't mine.

So I went off in  a huf.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Dog tired

I'm worn out. Leave me alone. I spent all day ticking boxes and filling in forms.

After all, that's what we do now, isn't it.

Monday, 25 November 2013


Rush rush hurry rush.

It's another Monday. What are you doing looking at this picture, get back to work. :-)

Sunday, 24 November 2013



When a lesser Sun reluctantly dispenses daylight in meager amounts on a need to know basis. The wind is stilled and the trees drip sullenly. This time of persistent low cloud and fog is known as Anticlyclonic Gloom.


Friday, 22 November 2013

Where were you?

I was at home doing my school homework fifty years ago. My parents were out doing the Friday night shopping at the brand new thing in town: A supermarket.

I remember them coming home rather shocked and announcing that Kennedy had been shot.

Thursday, 21 November 2013


Here lies old Primitive Me.

I hope I have left that far behind: Behold the new Sophisticated Me.

Yes, now I am a pretty nifty Chape.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Low Sun

Winter on the Berkshire downs. The low sun lights the chalk fields and the last of the leaves.

You need to take care when the sun is this low. I may have got part of my shadow in this shot, but I think we can ignore it.

Monday, 18 November 2013


Will it snow? That is the question. 

I had a nasty moment with my recently fitted cheap Winter tyres last week. As a result I took them off again and fitted fresh Summer rubber. In the same way that Summer tyres are no good on ice and snow, then Winter tyres are no good when the temperature is above 5 degrees.

So, the tyres wait in the garage. The daily question remains, will it snow?

Friday, 15 November 2013


This individual is warming itself next to a south facing window, protected from the frost outside by double glazing. I somehow suspect it won't see next year.

Butterflies and moths are very unlikely candidates for flying, they always seem to be far to fragile for the great outdoors. How they get through the winter is a mystery to me.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


Philip's friends stood around for years waiting for him to return.

It was all a bit of a mystery.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

New Rule

I've invented a new composition rule for photography. We've had the rule of thirds and various guides regarding symmetry. There are leading lines and foreground to background tension.

This is the new New: The L shaped composition. 

Keep up with the trending Trends, it's all here on on this blog.

Friday, 8 November 2013


Our company is now firmly in the grip of the Quality Management System, which is a joyous and wonderful creation that ensures our products are very well made indeed.

However, if you fail to fill in the correct form or use the proper Work Instruction, you will be hunted down by our crack team of Maasai Warriors and ritually humiliated in front of all the employees, like this:

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Phase changer

Here we have my localised phase change reactor, pictured during a maintenance period after a materials production experiment last night.

The reactor requires extensive cleaning as a result of the reaction by products, but it is ready for use immediately after the process is complete.

Narrow depth of field courtesy of extension tubes on my 45mm f1.8 Zuiko prime. No ideas were poached during this posting.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Last Light

Low angle lighting is the defining point of many a photograph. 

So much so that the time that the sun is low on the horizon, sunrise and sunset, is often called the Golden Hour.

In the winter the Golden Hour can last all day in these northern lattitudes. Here's a nice contrasty picture of Highworth Church lit with November sun on a crisp afternoon.

Monday, 4 November 2013


You know how it is, it happens all the time.

You are trying to get a nice picture of two blokes talking when a Maasai Warrior walks into shot and upsets your composition. 

Friday, 1 November 2013

The new Gardening

We have Gardeners on the trading estate.

This is the new Gardening. A bloke turns up with a weedkiller spray strapped to his back and he squirts bits of the greenery for an hour or so.

Then he straps a leaf blower on and moves all the loose leaves around. Job done.

That's how it works these days. 

Forget those intricate gardening shows. They are well out of touch.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Cold front 2

After the gloomy grey rain filled skies of your typical warm front, the weather clears, the temperature drops and we see clear skies for a few hours.

Then the clouds start to boil up and on come the showers.

Green and pleasant land: It's all due to rain.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Big Storm

Well, the big storm, long predicted, swept over perfidious Albion this week leaving leaves and twisted trunks in its wake.

At work a small tree fell prey to the forces of nature, but the rest of the wood seems OK.

This shot was taken with a camera that dates from the five megapixel era with a modest autofocus lens I bought on ebay for £12. You don't need the latest and greatest if the lighting is right.

Sunday, 27 October 2013


This is mine, isn't it?

You did say I could play with it.

What have I done? Why are you looking at me like that?

Wrigs looking shifty during a photo session at the weekend. 

Four flashes: 

Key, Fill and two Backgrounds all triggered with poverty wizard wireless gear.

Saturday, 26 October 2013


Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day,
you fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
And then one day you find, ten years have got behind you.

In my case, looking at some old pictures, fifty years have got behind me. No-one told me when to run, I guess I missed the starting gun.

Here's an unrelated image.

PS. Nice Bokeh from that 45mm Zuiko lens. Mental note. You don't need another lens Pete.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Contre Jour

Are you against the day? You think you don't like Mondays?

Maybe you are suffering from Jambes Lourdes mon ami.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Bright idea

I'm still waiting for my next bright idea.

I'm starting to get worried. Does one eventually run out of bright ideas?

If you have a spare bright idea that you don't want, send it on a postcard. Contributions will be plagiarised mercilessly...

Monday, 21 October 2013



What's the point in them? They faff about with their funny arty ideas and their strange lifestyles. What have they ever done for us?

No: Don't marry an artist. 

In fact you are 70% * better off with an Engineer.

*Actually, you are 70.7106% better off

Friday, 18 October 2013

Thursday, 17 October 2013


You have to admire the Cypriots and their attitude to exterior decor, house maintenance and paint in general...

I guess if it is hot and dry most of the time, then paint is a luxury that blisters and falls off quickly. 

Here in the wet and cool UK, unpainted wood doesn't last long.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Good idea

There is a traditional rivalry between the neighbouring towns of Lynton and Lynmouth. 

Lynton has gravity on its side.

Once a year they get one of these...

and roll it down this towards Lynmouth.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Secret Goat

I will tell you a secret. Something only known to crossword addicts and compilers.

The answer to every clue in your average crossword is "Goat"

You can always use this word for every clue in any crossword no matter how cryptic. However, you may need to re-arrange, substitute, repeat or omit some or all of the letters

Another well kept secret: You can complete the most fiendish Sudoku puzzle using only the number seven.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Last light

Here's a favourite picture taken in the Lake District last year.  As the sun sinks over Causey Pike light strikes the top of a nearby tree...

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Post whole

Why do people spend so much time hammering wood posts into the sea? You can see them all round the coast. What do they hope to achieve, are they trying to kill the ocean with a stake? 

They must realise the wood will rot away eventually. Perhaps the only purpose for these enigmatic structures is to provide suitable subjects for gritty monochrome photographers.

... and if anyone deserves to be called a gritty monochrome photographer, then it is I.

Friday, 11 October 2013

The French

Sometimes I see something I just have to photograph, to document, to record.

Here we are in a town in southern France. This is the view from a street. This is a toilet. You remember toilets in France .. smelly places where the doors are left open so you can see the men inside.

Well this example goes several stages further. The huge opening has no door at all. It is a unisex toilet as far as I can tell. Therefore ladies must walk past the men at the urinals to those inviting stalls at the back.

And the French claim to be a modern civilised nation. 

The arrangement on the right is a kind of trough where you could was your hands if there were any water available.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Forty Years On

Here's a picture from forty years ago. It is one of my earliest colour slides. Even then I was fascinated by patterns and contrasts.

Look through my pictures. How often do you find people in them?

(That's a rhetorical question. The answer is very rarely)