Sunday, 26 February 2012

Old News But Good News

On the football front anyway!
Belper Town beat Quorn FC 2-1 at the Meadow on February 18th to make it 3 wins out of 4 games since the turn of the year. I took the camera but by the time I'd got the pictures edited, it was a bit too late to put an album on the fans forum. Anyway, here's a couple of the better ones from my shoot.

Love the expression on the keeper's face!

 Chris Adam's late winner devastates the Quorn players who really thought they'd earned at least a point. (which to be fair - I thought they deserved.)

As ever - Tim Harrison was there and got it all.... have a look -

(It's a different type of link - taking you to the forum thread in question - then click on the link Tim has set up to view them. For some reason I can't fathom, copying Tim's shortcut and pasting it here results in a great long 6 or 7 line shortcut! Yes - even longer than this note!)

Anyway - we haven't been up to a lot else this week. Last Sunday afternoon, we wandered across to watch an Under-11 cup fixture on one of the local playing fields. Not allowed to take pictures of the kids of course but it was a beautiful afternoon and the crocus and snowdrops were in full bloom on the edge of a small wooded area near home.

The work week pretty much flew by and I've spent a fair bit of time on "Junior League paperwork." Cancelled fixtures, rearranged games because of cup ties and so on. As I've said before - there's a fair bit of work involved!

Thursday evening, we went to The Bowshaw Carvery to celebrate our son's 38th birthday. His birthday was on Friday and he couldn't join us because he was at home in Holland but it was a great excuse to eat out and we toasted his health in his absence!

Apart from taking some pictures at work, for an exhibition coming up in Paris in April, I've hardly used the cameras this week. However, if you want to see some incredible sunset pictures, click the link on the right marked "Cycling Photographer." Tim Harrison has posted some fantastic images on his blog. (Rest of it's worth a read an all!) Here's one to whet your appetite.....

Belper Town also played at Leek Town yesterday and scored an excellent 3-0 win. We didn't go because its a bit of a trek. Snapper did of course and here's an album (again - using the forum thread link rather than the direct link.)

With no footy to watch, we took advantage of the fine weather and went for a walk in the local "Bluebell Wood". No bluebells yet of course but it was a pleasant enough stride. (2.38 miles according to Google Earth. Might not seem much to some of you but for a couple of OAP's it ain't bad!)  Nothing much worth photographing although I took a couple of shots of Beauchief Abbey, more for record than any artistic reasons!

I have been messing around with the macro lens though. The subject is my pocket watch and chain.

The hallmarks on the watch case and chain show 1907 and 1898.

The reverse of the medallion. S&DDA is "Sheffield & District Draughts Association." Sadly, "Button Lane" has long gone

The front of the medallion - the inlaid shield is solid gold

 An "exploded" view

My in-laws (both long gone now of course God rest them) gave me the watch and medallion when The Duchess and I got married (40 years ago!) and The Duchess bought me the chain. It looked really fine slung across my waistcoat at our wedding! (Need a longer chain now tho - put on a lot of weight since then!)

Right that'll do for now. It's a glorious day so we plan a short trip to Catcliffe Flash this afternoon to see if we can spot any wildfowl. A drive on past Ulley reservoir will complete the afternoon. (Must admit, I thought about getting out into the garden cos it's fine but don't worry, I came to my senses quickly enough!)

And this afternoon, there's the little matter of the "Steel City Derby" - Sheffield Wednesday v Sheffield United. I am tempted to avoid the whole thing until it's over. As a Wednesdayite, and given current form, I think I'll be taking some stick at work tomorrow! We'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Amateur Photographers - Be Ashamed!

Letter in the latest edition of Photo Plus magazine - Canon Edition obviously.....

"I happened to glance at your magazine and wondered just how you reached certain conclusions. You advocate the7D is the Best Sports/Wildlife D-SLR of the Year 2011. I am confused. I have been a professional motorsport photographer most of my life. The bane of my existence has been amateurs - people with full time jobs selling photographs at ridiculous prices. A few years ago I turned over £54,000, this year it was £6,000.

I was forced to buy a 7D rather than a 1D Mark IV because of the price. The 7D is not a bad camera but it does have limitations. I have been using the 1D (and 1Ds) since they came out and they are worth the extra money if you can afford them."

He then goes on to moan how the 7D doesn't give him the options and accuracy of the 1D (which he can't afford.)

Must admit I got a bit angry. ( I know - I know - I get angry most days!) I understand that lots more people now have access to serious amateur or semi-pro cameras but I seriously doubt they are the sole reason for his decline!

If the guy's turnover has dropped so much over "a few years" does it not suggest his prices are too high or his photography skills are not as good as he thinks. I have to admit I've heard some less than complimentary reports about the 7D but even so - he made the choice and if he is a professional - surely he could have researched the camera or run a trial before buying it? Now, what was that old saying about a bad workman blaming his tools....

Anyway - here's promised album of the photos I took of birds in our local park last Saturday. (And - don't tell our correspondent above but they are all available at a reasonable price!)

Just two more pics to show you......

The sky as I stepped out of our back door to go to work at 7 a.m. this morning

The moon - as I was about to get in the car.

The colours lasted barely a minute or two and were gone by the time I had driven to the end of the street.

OK - that's all for now folks. Might have some football to go to this weekend - I'll update you Sunday.


Saturday, 11 February 2012

The Frozen North

And South and East and West!

Another very cold week meant another week with no football to watch, photograph or register. Doesn't stop the flood of Junior league paperwork though!

Sorry I didn't post pictures from last Saturdays walk in the local park. To be honest, I forgot. So - here's a couple.....

"Whoever told you this coat keeps out the cold is full of bull!!

St James Church, Norton

Long tailed tit in our garden (and the flecks are snow - not "noise!" )

I won't bore you with more robin pictures although as I told you, I got a couple of good ones. What? You wanna see? OK! Go on then!

Sunday afternoon was spent shovelling snow from our drive so I could get the car out on Monday morning. A good quantity of snow had fallen through Saturday afternoon and evening. On Sunday morning , this was the view from our front window...

Not much else photographically to report this week. The street where our plant is located is under repair and has been since October. New kerbs, new footpath and now resurfacing the road. I've done some pictures of the roadworks but they are boring, basically!

 See what I mean?

Belper Town's game on Tuesday was postponed - pitch still frozen (and in fact, today's game at Hucknall also fell foul of the weather) but the highlight of the week came on Thursday when I belatedly celebrated my birthday (again!) with dinner at a local Italian restaurant. I treated a couple of my work colleagues, combining my birthday "do" with a sort of "Sales Team Christmas Party!" It's good food, cooked to order, served hot and its not expensive. Result! Mamma Mia Pepe on Langsett Road, Sheffield if you wanna try it. It was flippin' cold though with another light dusting of snow as we left the restaurant.

It was still very cold on Friday morning. Here's a quick pic of the canal at the back of our plant - been frozen solid for a week or more.....

As I said - no footy again today so we've been for another walk in the park. It was cold but we called into the Rose Garden Cafe in the park for a cuppa and a sausage roll (it was VERY busy btw) before wandering down to the lakes to get some shots of birds in flight - my current obsession. I managed some good 'uns! Here's a taster....

I might make an album of these actually. I'm really pleased with them!

Right - it's getting on for 10 o'clock on Saturday evening - there's nowt on telly, but for now, that's yer lot. Might do some more tomorrow morning when The Archers is on.... If I don't forget! 

Saturday, 4 February 2012

There's More To This League Registrar Lark Than I Realised!

Doesn't help that my first weekend "in charge" brought frozen pitches and the postponement of all games in the Under-10 age group. There followed floods of e-mails with rearranged dates which kept me busy updating the fixtures grid on the FA Full Time website. Then the Cup draws were announced so just about all league games scheduled for the 12th Feb have to be rearranged...... Now I realise just how much work the Duchess has been doing over the last 20 years or so!

We've been busy at work too. Orders have been coming in  steadily and the training for the new software system continues as "switch on day" (1st March) approaches.

No football since my last post. (22nd January - almost a fortnight ago - I know, I know, I've already been chastised for the "posting gap!"). Belper had no fixture on January 28th and were due to play Loughborough today at home. Two nights of deep frosts and the threat of snow (which, incidentally, arrived here at about 2 o'clock.) put paid to that!

I've hardly taken any pictures over the last couple of weeks. Saturday 28th Jan, we went back to Ford, near Eckington with the intention of taking a walk down the riverside track beyond the small dam. That was aborted because after about 250 yards, the path steadily turned into a quaqmire so we turned around and went back to the car. Not before we saw another robin though. Not the same bird I'd managed to shoot on our last visit (we saw him later, by the car park and I got some even better pics than the previous ones - read on!).

Anyway - back to Robin No. 1 - he was flitting from one side of the path to the other and on one occasion, made a brief landing less than a yard from where we were standing. Not sure if he was trying to encourage us to feed him or if he wasn't happy we were there and was trying to drive us away. Whatever the reason for his behaviour, I got some good shots of him in the sunshine.

Then - back to the car park and I put the big 500mm telephoto on because a buzzard was circling high above. Sneaked a shot or two of that but then saw Robin No. 2 on the posts by the pond. I think this shot is perhaps better than that of Robin No.1. What do you reckon?

Not wanting to go back home on such a lovely day, we decided to see if anything was happening at Carburton Lakes near Clumber Park. Apart from some half decent shots of a buzzard, there wasn't a lot but we spent a pleasant hour or so wandering up and down the road by the lake side.

Our son's visit went to plan and it was great to see him. I attended my first "Rosehill Press Sheffield & District Junior Sunday League" (you wanna see the size of the badge!!) meeting last Wednesday. Interesting. The league runs competitions for Under-7s to Under-16s and currently has over 11,000 registered players! Now I know why the registrars have so much to do!!

This morning - well, given the postponed game at Belper and the promise of heavy snow by 6pm tonight we decided to wrap up warm and go for a walk in the winter sunshine. The Garden Centre at the end of Dyche Lane was the original target (a walk of about 2 miles in total) but we were around 300 yards from home and decided that since the wind was directly in our faces and it felt like it was removing the skin from our faces, we diverted and went on a more sheltered route "around the block" and up to the local park where we walked through the "Rare Breeds" farm and and back to the house. Took the cameras and guess what - got some pictures of a Robin!

This afternoon has been spent sorting out Junior League paperwork (expecting another  flood of "postponed game" e-mails) and having a haircut before listening to commentary on Watford v Barnsley on Radio Sheffield (with updates from Hillsborough where Sheffield Wednesday were playing Yeovil (isn't undersoil heating brilliant?)

Right - that'll do for today I think. I'll post some of todays photos tomorrow morning after an editing session and my weekly listen to the Archers Omnibus on Radio 4 but for now - thats yer lot! (And it's still snowing here!)