Thursday, June 30, 2011

Working it all out

This is not Robert James Stuart 

I once met a really nice chappie from America. He contacted me through the island Crofter blog and came over to the island to do some anti-cinema movie filming - sorta like Andy Warhol without the fame. The idea was to set up his all singing and dancing didgi still/movie camera along with sound recording systems, point the camera at a Crofter and just wait. The images captured were superb. Crofters just stood there wanting perhaps to say something, thinking of all the better things they could be doing while, in the background, a dog barked, a door creaked and so on. Wonderful stuff. If I could find it online I would show you.

Now, my idea is anti-photography. I don't set up anything, I shoot on the fly, long-exposures and no noise. The more I shoot these, the more I like them. In the darkroom, they are a pig to print. However, masterpieces should never be easy to make Eh?

I'm still working on the new Modus Operandi for the world by the wya. It took Mr Engels a while so I'll need a few more days at least. Sorry, hang in there.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm doing OK

Stuff happens. It does, really, and it has been happening of late. Life goes on with a little help from the wonderful mindfulness meditation, the introduction of pilates into my daily regime, a visit or two to my Reiki teacher, a few crystals in the pocket and hung round the neck and seeing friends helps bring one back to 'normality' - whatever that is.
I also took a late-night visit to some stones out west on the island with Eve and my Reiki teacher for summer Solstice. I must admit though that the addition of loud music rather dampened the occasion but I got a snap or two.
 Waiting for something to happen -Solstice
 Something might be happening - Solstice
 Mr Windy - working.
Just William and Colin - Leica Man
I met William in An Lanntair under Calum Angus Mackay's  wonderful silver gelatin print 'hair clam'. William has retired from the employ we used to work together in but he is such a nice chappie I like to stay in touch. Colin, the Leica Man looks in a state of shock and I suggest it's because he had been traumatised after being separated from his beloved Lieca II[d] for a week. You can follow the extent of Colin's trauma and subsequent therapy here. Colin is one of the select Lewis Photographica [con't] who meet in An Lanntair every week to whinge at each other. What else would one do?

Meanwhile, while the world is continuing to become less habitable for humans as a result of our [note; not 'your'] greed and self-importance, I'm trying to get my head around an alternative and sustainable modus operandi with which we can live without ruining the bed we lie in. Give me another week please.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Eve, nearly awake.

No, I have no idea how I did this!!! It's a Harman Direct Positive paper print [given to me by a very kind Coelyne of the Colin type] as it happens. I shot it this morning after a couple of dry-runs when I loaded the wrong [and unloaded] darkslide :-( . Still, I think this paper was pre-flashed quite a lot, then exposed for about 30secs in the low light of the kitchen in the FKD beast 13x18 'camera'. I then sloshed it in weak Bromophen - but nothing much happened so I strengthened the developer a bit. Then it came up, then went all over sort of grey. In a case like this there's nothing to lose by chucking it some beach then sepia - and I glad i did because I really like the effect. 
Can I do it again?? Ask me in a week.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A wall

 A wall of the kind I'm rather partial to.

Two bird things flying somewhere near the wall. but not too close, just in the general direction of really. Well, that side of the island anyway.

I am, I must admit rather partial to walls. Old walls you know, the sort that snake wondrously across the landscape in a most unbelievable manner. I find it makes me think of the poor souls who laboured to make the things. Here's one I found the other day while out for a stroll with Eve at the bottom end of Lewis on the west side. Here [ish]

Thursday, June 23, 2011

No, not done

Eve, walking to the end of Lewis.

I didn't get my hand operated on. It was my fault really. I should have listened to the quack's advice but I didn't and it didn't get done. I have a sore throat now too.

Meanwhile I'm trying to catch up with things. Walking the doggies from o'er t'road, seeing chums including The Crofter, doing a bit more darkroom printing, getting some Pilates started along with meditation for sake of my health. And still time to go out to work - part-time mind you!

Like the snap?? It's done in-camera with the Baby Crown Graphic so kindly given to me by a special friend in Richmond, London.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Solstice; too many sacrifices

Dog, in plastic soup - probably

I felt the vibrations, I could hear the ringing although I wasn't sure if it was the power of the Callanish Stones or the power of the stoned - the Chemical Brothers blasting out the sound system and the ringing of the tinnitus in my ears. Still, there was a lovely Gandalf-like character with his Tibetan bells in among the camera flashes and bottles of sacrificial anaesthetic trying to raise a sense of the spiritual to the place. I watched quietly planning a few sacrifices of my own right there that night. The light was low but lovely, the midges stayed away and I came home to my bed and my sleeping meditation.

Whatever our beliefs I do think our human existence on earth is going need us to stop the madness that is the unsustainable mass over-consumption type of oil-fuelled capitalism that is ruining our fragile biosphere.
There, I've said it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Coffee. For six?

The butcher was late, the papers heavy, there didn't seem to be enough diesel vapours left in the tank to get me back and  I was in a bad place in my head. Such was the start of my day today. I have not even done my morning meditation yet.

Essence of Stornoway distilled.

The sun is shining again yet I shall steal myself away in the darkroom for an hour to lith-up some more prints. I need a masterpiece to show to the five, perhaps soon to be six in the morning.

Bob and Frankie await though. They slaver in their hutches and I know Frankie will play mind games with me while Robert looks on disdainfully . Life Eh?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The real thing

I love lith prints. And blur. I took these shooting from the hip with a 1 sec exposure on polypanf. Once developed i exposed them onto some old Paterson Warmtone RC paper - which was by all accounts made by the now gone Forte. I shall work this series up I think. They seem to distil the essence of Stornoway.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Ahhh. No.
Yep, I do go into The Town sometimes. I know I don't show many snaps from there so I took the ole Petri7s camera, that's the camera with some film in, and shot to give you an idea of what the place is like, like.

Only, it's not like this I think.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Sister's place

During my recent sojourn in Somerset to Mum off to another place, I stayed with Lynne, my elder and wiser sister. She lives here on the Somerset Levels in among the trees between the rhynes and next to her orchard where some of her bee-hives are. The honey is excellent I might add. As was the weather at time.

I had a camera with me and snapped this up. Developed the film then printed it onto Adox mcc110 as you do..

Monday, June 13, 2011


Something. In the corner under a bush
It's been chucking it down all day so far. I've done my bit in town with Lewis Photographica, drunk my hot-chocolate and now prepare myself for a spot of dog-walking.  I bet Frank and Bob the doggies wish it was as nice weather as last week in England too

Sunday, June 12, 2011


The days after Mum's passing were busy and we were, as you might imagine, just a little shell-shocked. Our good friend Mondo came down to stay with us. A long time friend of the family who hails from Manchester, Mondo came by bus and immediately took Lynne and Jill, my sisters out for a welcome curry.

Mondo arrives in nearby Bridgy!

 Mondo catches up with news of another Man City defeat in the conservatory.
 'Jenson' Mondo
 In action in the orchard
 Kitted up to mow near the hives
 "Is he still mowing out there?"
 Hand mowing
"MONDO, tea's up"

With the weather very warm, for the next few days in between visits to the church, the funeral directors and what have you, Mondo kept us entertained while mowing the grass to within an inch of its life. I had actually spent some time mowing the orchard but after Mondo asked me if I'd cut with a knife and fork, I let him do the job properly. And mow it he did - even next to the bee hives. Up and down all day long, re-doing this bit,  trimming that bit till the orchard looked like Lords. Nearly anyway.

It was great to hear his laugh again, to have a hug from him and to hear the lovely things he said about Mum.

Friday, June 10, 2011

May 19th

In the early morning of May 19th my dear mother passed away peacefully in Weston-s-mare hospital after a long and well-lived life. My sisters and I walked out into the bright morning very sadly that day. But after days of wind and rain the sun was shining and taking Mum's philosophy of living by horns - grasping the day - we took off at 5am along the deserted seafront. The street cleaners were out and we exchanged greetings through tearful eyes. The colours that morning seemed to be particularly vivid, the edges sharper and light just wonderful and it made the sand look as if it were sand and not sandy-mud. A lone fisherman sat with three rods and he asked if we were up early to go out on the little ferry to flat-holm.Then three swans flew by in the early soft sunshine, a beautiful sight to see and, as the fisherman said "worth getting up early to see". He was right of course although we wish we weren't up early for the reason we had been.

It was a fine stroll. It cleared our heads a little, gave us a chance to talk about Mum and how much she loved this stroll along the seafront. It was just lovely.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

'Pain au chocolat'? S'il tu plait!

Whilst away in England I really missed my Saturday morning bicycle ride to His Lordship Toots Wilson of The Wilsonian Institute, Gress. Eve and I will tootle across the moor - weather permitting and descend pleasurable towards Gress Beach and the hospitality of His Lordship at the Institute.
 The 'flags' go out signalling his Lordship is in residence.

His Lordship, Toots Wilson of the Wilsonian Institute .

You know His Lordship is is residence when his flags are flying on the washing line and his fine collection of Taraxacum are glowing in the gardens.
There's always a fine welcome in the South Wing where coffee is served with love, attention and a little morsel of something to tempt the taste buds too.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


"Come on me beauties"
Wesley Cottage Apiary in the orchard [or my sister's bee houses]

There's this monk who used to live at Buckfast Abbey. Famed for his wonderfully bred bees his name was Brother Adam . It seems the bees he bred were placid, of good temperament, hardy and make lots of honey. My sister Lynne, seen here holding a thing from the hive with bees hanging on and with my other sister Jill looking on, has a Brother Adam queen bee or two. She tells me her bees are nice. I'll take her word for it.
Having said that I did take this snap with a 50mm lens.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Time in Somerset

I read today that it's been the wettest May on record up here on the Isles. Back in Somerset where I have been for nearly three weeks, it's virtually the opposite. In fact, some days it was too hot to stay out in the sunshine so I let my sisters play with the bee-hives while I watched from a respectful distance.

The area where Lynne my eldest sister lives is called The Levels - on account of the area being level no doubt. Lots of old farms in the area and this wonderful van that has been in the spot gradually re-uniting with nature.


It's raining; but the water coming through the kitchen ceiling is from the water tank me-thinks! Plumber on his way so may not be able to post something today. Sorry.

Monday, June 06, 2011

You are not forgotten

Apologies for the lack of posts of late but my dear Mother passed away peacefully on May 19th in Somerset with myself and my sisters by her bedside. She is in a better place. Is shall write more later.