Monday, March 29, 2010

No apologies

I'm not going to apologise. Lets be clear on that. I got it wrong. Quite wrong but unless I had admitted it you would never have been any the wiser.
There I was all washed, scrubbed, sweet smelling and warm-snugged in bed not a little sleepy and just about to fall into the abyss of slumber when it struck me. My mind began to race, my pulse too. I'd counted the frames wrongly.
See, I'd been using the old Houghton-Butcher wooden box camera with its lovely meniscus lens which takes 8 frames on 120 film. Ok, it doesn't matter to you , its nothing, nada - whatever, but I know now it was frame 3 not 6. And that's a pertinent point; it wasn't Herself in the boat-shed after all but whatsername in An Lanntair earlier. Look, close you eyes a bit , squint making a wierd face - as I do - and you can see its Whatsername can't you? Anyway, I can. Mr Windy should be able to as well - since he does work with her !!!

weather; light snow

Saturday, March 27, 2010




Yerself? “

I turned around and glared. You wouldn’t believe the glariness of that glare. Went right though him out into his dark improbable past curled up behind him. I hurried on not waiting to pass the time of day – a time of day that had already passed somewhere over Barvas way. Or do I mean Bragar?

The Boat shed awaited. As it had done for some time. Time to people itself from around the world. The Maitre D’ was happily French, the chef from somewhere south of the Danube. South of Uig anyway.


Bonjour mhath” I hear. There, smiling welcomingly is a Maitre D. He exudes pleasantness, happiness even. Certainly confidence. I hope its confidence – I never been that good at ‘knowing’ confidence. Is it even possible to know confidence? It may be. If it is possible, this Maitre D’ exudes it.

I take my seat looking out over the harbour, the Jubilee laying on its side, Seamus lovingly bringing her back to full glory, sea-wet trousered and contented.

The menu is presented and I warily browse its offerings. The soup has parsnips – a root vegetable of dubious shape. The salad sounds lovely and proves to be sumptuous and enjoyable. Leaves and cheese caressed, drizzled – or whatever the menu said with nice stuff. What tempts me for main course? The meat does not. I imagine the end for the crofter’s cows, the sheep’s demise and I cannot. The ravioli brought my saliva buds dancing. Prancing all over my mouth, teeth zinging and hopefully awaiting.

I’ll have fish and chips please

Friday, March 26, 2010

Golden Hour

[Not even a chicken, certainly not a Stornoway Chicken. Although it thinks it is. But from Tolsta]


I’m rolling down the road like an old lady, back arched against the rain no idea where I’m going. The rain is coming down vertically – which is strange since the wind is howling. Howling like a deranged wolf in new jersey or somewhere half-baked like that. Who cares? A weird sense unnerves me and I shuffle down Francis Street past the repository of old things, an echoing edifice where a little walrus tooth man sits. Alone. All alone.

Here” a voice chirps. “Here, take this. It’s on at the library. I saw you at Moishes Bagel. You’ll like this. A lot”. The chirping voice tails off its owner proffering a flapping piece of printed paper. I take it. I’m like that. Offer me something to look at and it’s difficult to refuse. An inner greediness just overwhelms me. The paper may be the answer to life. This life that surrounds me, baffles me and confounds me.

2. A golden hour. At the library of all places. The library retro-fitted and shiny. With books and computers to read this dreary blogesphere. Only its not. My eyes had been torn by visions of silver gelatin within the leaves of a tome. And I’m drawn to the café – all wobbly glass now filled, brimming, steaming and chickened with personages, wine, song and verse. A Stornoway chicken ends the hour- the hour that is not an hour. Not even sixty minutes. Not even ninety but one hundred and twenty. One hundred and twenty and we end with a Stornoway Chicken stepping over the line. An imaginary line at that.



Look, this might have been a few weeks ago but I just got it back from the lab! I don't usually do colour. And I never process colour myself so I had to wait. I took the snap with a camera I paid 50p for.

Can't think of a good title so I await suggestions. Must be something funny out there.
I mean, look at the expression on the dog's face!!!!

Info; the chap;Paul is from NewcAstle. The Dog is called Glenn and the place is New Tolsta

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


So, there's a cow lurking here. And Dad is looking a her. Apparently there should be a little one coming soon but as yet nothing.... . Maybe its the bull he's looking at!!!
I shall keep you informed

Monday, March 22, 2010

More walking

Eve had the day off today so we took off to Harris for a change. The idea was to have a spot of luncheon in Rodel Hotel - a lovely place situated in a superb setting. Only it was closed. We should have checked before we set out. The Anchorage cafe in Leverburgh was closed too as was the cafe in the community shop. The butty coach was open - but we gave that a miss as we were not dressed for the occasion. So, sustained by a couple of vegi pasties from the community shop we took off for a little stroll over the hill to Borrisdale. It is one of the most pleasant paths I know on the island for a easy stroll. The path is well made, the grass surface is well kept by the sheep and the rabbits, the views are outstanding and the weather wonderful. Well, it was today anyway.
No snaps as yet but here's one from yesterday on Tolsta Head with Coelyn striding ahead - as he does.

Mr Maciver

Out on Tolsta Head today
Coming down from Ness - yesterday

Mr Maciver coming back to Tolsta after a long walk looking for his sheep yesterday. Looks like it was hard work.
On our stroll with friends today we saw two sheep atop a rock stack stuck out in the Minch off north of Tolsta head. The ground was so steep its hard to imagine how they got there let alone how they might get back.

Both snaps taken with an old basic Kodak Retinette 1a camera and HP5 film. Keeping it simple.

Friday, March 19, 2010



There's a few horses on this ere island. One of them is of course Ms Pharmacy Lady's horse - whose name escapes me on a Friday evening. The horses name that is. Mrs P-L name is Carolyne. . And there's Tilly, a lovely piebald belonging to Muriel whom I snapped up previously. And there's this one I pass most days while I troll to work and back - or into Stornoway. Its a nice horse but it does look rather lonely and I'd love to stop and say hello one day. In the meantime I snapped it up and printed it real nice. I think it's real nicely done anyway.
On Forte coldtone paper and sepia toned. What d'you think? Eh?

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Its a wee bit Gale-y today - wind and rain that feels like the winter has come back. Spent some time in the darkroom today but as yet nothing I really like - except for a small print or two.
In the meantime, here's a snap from the City.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Local Hero

That foul-mouthed political being played by Peter Capaldi on some TV show is coming to An Lanntair soonish for a screening of Local Hero - the fandabulous film by Bill Forsyth. No sure when but I do know why; If you look at the cast list you'll see a name you may recognise played Ace Tone in Local Hero - An Lanntair's own El Supremo Roddy Murray. How good is that??? Must watch the thing again - although he must have been about 4 at the time :-)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More Polypan

I'm quite liking this film - which is good because I have a big roll of it, it was cheap and most other film is getting expensive now.
Just finished an hour or so turning out some prints from this stuff - and they look quite nice but not good enough, yet. It might have to do with the bits in the tap water round here which makes film developing rather tedious not to mention hit and miss.
I might add this is not a print but a neg scan. Prints will be coming along soon. Its a local walk to one of the beaches since you ask.
Off to see "Sex and drugs & rock & roll" tonight - the film that is. Its the Crofter's birthday soon so we are taking him to see this film about a former 'opera' singer. :-)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Was out on the road to nowhere and saw this little froggette making a home in one of the puddles - making loads of spawn in the process. Its a pity the puddle will be gone soon! At least the frog gets to enjoy the warm weather we are having at the moment.

Monday, March 08, 2010


Two ex-chickens waiting to be 'sorted' on the croft down t'road. A print version on old Kodak Polyprint Rc and sepia toned. Eh? Snapped wif the Spotmatic and Polypan-f soaked in Rodinal 1:100 for two hours.
Now that's the sort of technical things I like :-)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Wooling or something

Doing something with the wool twirling thing. 1940? No 2010.

Eve, messing with Rambo's wool
Eve and I have been to a couple of classes at Brue Community Centre recently - messing around with sheeps wool and arranging into lines and then making into stuff. Great fun. Lovely people and all.
We did a bit of dry felting this time . Oh, and some tweezing, carding and spinning too. Choci biscuits with the tea ; What more can you want? Interesting though, most of the women there were off-comers; English, Mainland Scottish, American and Canadian [apologies are here as I suggested she was American too :-( ]

Used the oportunity to shoot some film - here old Agfa 400s @ 1600 soaked in Rodinal 1:100 for 2 hours.

Friday, March 05, 2010


Been playing with some cheap 35mm film acquired a few weeks back. Apparently its rated at 50 but exposed at 100asa and soaked in rodinal 1:100 for 2 hours seems to bring this fine grained film up nicely. What do you think?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Vandyke on Bienfang

It's March already!!!!!

Before I have to give this interesting block of Bienfang paper back, I snook out one sheet - half a sheet actually - and coated it with some really dodgy Vandyke emulsion that seems to have separated out but works [nearly] when you shake it up a bit. Seems like this thin paper is quite nice and might have to lose the block or something. If you hung in front of some gold foil , it might look nice :-) On the other hand, gold foil in front of the print might look better.
I shot some well average Shanghai 5x7 in the gaffer/firewood FKD plate camera with the darkcloth-shutter, a standard-lamp pointing ceiling wards and a blanket for a backdrop - slowly being moved from side to side by my able assistant for the shoot - Eve.
Cooked in the winter sun as well since my home-concocted UV box is out on loan.

This is what you call a still-life. Not quite like the expired sheep you see on the beaches at the moment but proper still-life like the painter people do and all that. Only, I didn't quite manage to lose the ladder from the shoot. Ah well, in 50 years that'll be a talking point - if this print survives and anyone can be bothered looking at it.
Grinneas nan Eilean?

Lard update; The merging of The Featherstonehaughs and Egon Schiele caught on film .
He is the one, the one..... He's in there somewhere :-)

New blog to check out by Mr Windy. Isle of Rust. A Homage to Jonathan Meades