Sunday, April 30, 2006

Protect Darfur Now!

Took this at G8 march last summer. The musician's T shirt said it all.

And yet nothing has changed, the rape and killing goes on.

Protect Darfur now!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mixed Bag

Yesterday I was speaking before a committee of Edinburgh City Council on behalf of a charity I do some work with. We'd applied for funding but were refused a grant, despite the fact that the council has used our services for a number of years.

I was quite nervous before hand, but once I got up with my notes I was fluent and felt relaxed. Our project has excellent credentials and I think they were actually quite embarrassed at having turned us down, but we were reminded that it was a tight council tax year etc etc. They reserved their position, so we'll have to wait to see if they are going to offer us a compromise deal.

I really wouldn't want to go back to the corporate world, but it was good to use old skills in aid of a good cause.

However it annoys me that charities have to spend so much time and effort chasing wee pots of money instead of being able to get on with their core business.
I had this idea that we should try and set up a central charity in Edinburgh where ex administators like me could do volunarty work writing business plans and grant proposals for small charities freeing them up to get on with job. If I had the energy I'd pursue the idea, but I've too many irons in the fire at the moment.

Today my friend who is in chemo at present arrived asking if I could dress her feet. The chemo's caused blisters on the soles of her feet, which her doctor has treated with synthetic skin, but she still can't walk very well as it's just too painful. She lives alone and had gone out to the chemist and bought lint and bandages, thinking some more padding would help her walk a bit more comfortably. I wish she called me as I'd have picked it up and taken it over. But she's so independent and so determined to fight this bloody disease. So I patched her up and she padded off home with a DVD of mine to watch.

Today's picture is based on a shot I saw in the Observer by Howard Sooley (splg?), he shot Monty Don's hands with primroses. His point of focus was on one finger, but I put mine on the cowslips and the thumb. I got my husband to model for me, laugh is he never gardens, he just rubbed his wet hands in a bag of compost.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Red in tooth and claw

A friend and I were walking with our dogs in the woods when one of them started to chase something, then there was an almighty squeal from the dog. She'd caught and picked up a grey squirrel, which had promptly bitten her nose. She quickly dropped the poor thing and came running back to us, blood streaming out of her nose, which is pretty vascular part of any mammal's body. Her muzzle was covered in blood, which she was trying to lick off, and her legs were all spattered with it. My friend then threatened to faint, so I had to sit her down with her head between her legs while I got a hanky and pressed it on the two puncture holes in B's nose. After a bit the bleeding stemmed and then stopped, but it wasn't easy holding a hanky to the nose of a 3 stone mut who didn't want the attention.

Then I checked on the squirrel, it was still there and a pretty bad way, but I couldn't get close enough to it to get a proper look. I thought of putting it out of its misery, but couldn't bring myself to do it. It kept looking me in the eye, and edging away. I wish I had had more bottle, but clobbering such a tiny thing felt like such a violent act I just couldn't do it. I just hope it didn't for suffer too long.

I hate hitting things when driving, and round here pheasants walking out in front of your car are an occupational hazard, but this was so much worse than that. I really don't think the dog expected to catch it. Squirrels usually just dash up the nearest tree, but this one made a fatal mistake by not going up the first one it came to.

The dog seems fine, I cleaned the wound when we got back to my friend's and it's healed over, although she has a bit of tissue missing from one of the entry points.

My own dog just stood and watched, he's much too chicken to chase anything, even cats, he just barks while backing away.

I just hope B will give wildlife a wide berth from now on.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


I'm enjoying working on some duotone shots, they are black and white/grayscale shots that are then tinted with specific tones, like old sepia and lith prints.
I did this one today of cherry blossom over a pond in two tones of blue inks to give it the feel of Japanese pottery.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Beautiful Day

Contrary to the weather forecast the sun has been splitting the sky all day. I worked in my garden, sanding down the garden table, planting strawberries in pots to get an early greenhouse crop and shearing things with the sheep shears I bought yesterday. I have a Lonicera Baggens Gold which I've topiaried into a ball, so I gave it a good shaving with these shears, which were so much easier to use than lawn shears or secatuers.

My tomatoes have taken and are growing well. No sign of slugs or snails in the greenhouse. Last year I found a toad in there, so maybe he's back and taking care of business by eating the buggers. I don't use slug pellets as I have lots of birds in the garden and would hate to posion them. I've counted 4 nests this year, thrushes and blackbirds.

Then I took the dogs for a long walk in the woods, where I shot some bracken fronds unfurling, and some wild primroses. Dogs had a great tear about. I saw a deer, which they missed fortunately or they'd have chased it. Last time they did that they both ran through nettles and they spent the evening licking their paws.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Spent Good Friday shooting interiors for a holiday let business in the Borders, they also wanted local outdoor shots too, so had a lovely time photographing Melrose Abbey,the R.Tweed and a bunch of lambs.

On Saturday my son celebrated his 17th birthday in good style with his mates, sign of things to come I'm sure!

I've also managed to do some gardening, for myself and my friend. I planted a butterfly bush in my friend's garden, then weeded a big iris patch and edged the lawn. Nothing makes a garden look better than edging the lawn, it's like sharpening the focus on a photograph.

In my garden I put the tomatoes into the greenhouse border. They are good sized plants already thanks to a January sowing. And even if they are a wee bit stringy that's easily solved but planting them deep, as they root readily from the stem.
Also potted up fuschias to go outside once all risk of night frost has gone, and I sowed a bucket of salad potatoes, I love waxy wee tatties in a summer salad.

Also watering my piano teacher's greenhouse, she has tomatoes,peppers and basil. Which reminds I must sow some basil in pots, although sometimes I cheat and just pot on the supermaket's pot grown basil, although they don't do the purple frilly variety, and some rocket out in the veg patch - where the resident blackbird keeps digging up my onion sets - grr!

Shot is one of Friday's interiors

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Charles Rennie MacIntosh

I love snakeshead fritillaries. Layered this shot with cloth textures over the fritillary. Wonder if Charles would have liked it?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Monday, Monday

Funny how I no longer dread Mondays, I used to when I was a 9 to 5, or rather an 8 'til late, Monday to Friday person.

I've been good and just done a long piano practise session, even though my teacher's away for two weeks. I took her to the train station very early on Saturday morning, she's off to Venice. Lucky thing!

Today my friend is buying me a belated birthday lunch, she missed my party as she was in so much pain, but she's got the cancer "mets" pain under control and is feeling a lot better as she able to get a little sleep. She just started an 18 week course of oral chemotherapy, which she's tolerating well so far. Saturday we got our hair cut, she's shortened her's as the chemo will make it thin, though hopefully not fall out. She also got new glasses, Armani ones, and they are really fabulous. So she's looking good and that's helping her to deal with yet more breast cancer shite. I'm glad I can tell her what to expect on the chemo front, for once my cancer experience is ahead of hers.

And our new neighbours are coming round for a drink tonight, they seem a nice young couple, with a four year old son, bit like us 12 years ago!

And finally the sun is shining, although it's still very cold.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Karine Polwart

Read an article on her in Sunday mag. She has a new album coming out on Monday. I'll add her website link to this blog, check out her songs they're beautiful, and she has a sweet voice.

She likes Dick Gaughin, which is alright by me, he's one of my favourite Scottish singers. I saw him live for the first time a wee while ago, and he sang Westlin Winds, a Burn's song that I've loved forever. I really felt liked I'd died and gone to heaven that day.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Czech handpainted eggs

Bought a couple of boxes of these, most made it home in one piece.Photographed today, with forsythia from the garden