Tuesday, 29 December 2009
We have just had the coldest Christmas for twenty years here in Scotland.
I was thinking of all the various benefits that snow brings. Looks great, you can build snowmen, go sledging but most important of all, keeps the beers at the right temperature.
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Well it's here again and this year we've got snow, lots of it.
For you bloggers who are in sunnier climes this is how cold it is here right now. Spiders must have built in anti freeze at least I hope they do the forecast is for -10C over the next few days. The coldest it's been here for twenty years.
I hope you all have a great time over the festive season.
A few months ago, I got a familiar phone call from a doting mother telling me that her daughter was the best looking young lady in the world. I know what she meant as my two sons are the most handsome young men on the planet.
When young Robyn arrived at the studio, I immediately knew she would be great to photograph. In her case it was a bit more serious though. She was here to get a portfolio of photos that she would be submitting to become the "Face of Sophie Teenwear"
a UK wide competition run by high street fashion chain Internacionale.
They were looking for young, attractive, cool hip girls to promote their brand image.
It was difficult to believe that she had never been in a studio before and to cut a long story short, she won. Another interesting fact that came out of the competition was the other two winners were from Inverness. A hat trick for Scotland.
Robyn has now been signed up by top agency Superior Model Management and is looking to pursue a career in beauty therapy or hairdressing.
Not a bad wee start I'd say.
Friday, 11 December 2009
I left a foggy Glasgow en route for a job in Ayr earlier today. On arrival, the sun was splitting the sky and the town centre was buzzing.
It got me thinking about the last time I had been in the town centre and I worked out that it must have been over twenty years ago at least.
The high street is now one way and there is the obligatory shopping centre with multi - story car parking.
I was glad to see that the Tam O'Shanter pub was still the same. It must be the only pub in Scotland with a thatched roof.
I'm always saying that nothing is forever but it is nice to see some things are determined to buck the trend.
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Last month, I had a couple of friends staying for a while with their old dog Jack.
Jack has a bit of arthritis as he's getting on a bit and to my astonishment his owner Irene, has been getting him some acupuncture.
Veterinary Rosemary Fitzgerald will visit your house and do her stuff with your ailing animal.
Old Jack didn't seem to mind one bit and he was certainly in a much better mood
after his treatment.
You learn something new every day right enough.
A few weeks ago on the way back from a gig by my son Andrew's band The Fix, there was a really spooky moon lurking behind the clouds over Loch Lomond.
Not only that, but I spotted about fourteen lights in the sky in what looked like close formation. At first I thought they must be helicopters as they were moving quite slowly. I stopped at the side of the road to take some photographs and there was no noise whatsoever.
Alien invasion came to mind, maybe not.
Mind you, there were several other car loads of people who had stopped to take it all in as well.
Here's a shot of Andrew "giving it welly"!
A phrase made famous by one Billy Connolly.
I've not posted a blog for ages, this one will explain why not.
At the beginning of November, work started on my roof here in Clydebank. One hundred and fourteen years later, it was time for a new one. Not the best time of the year I hear you ask to be doing this. Well that's the way of it.
To say it was stressful would be an understatement as not only do all the slates have to come off, so does all the lead and there was lots of it. This leaves you open to the elements and of course we had the wettest November in the history of the weather forecast. I'll just not go into it.
Now, 10,000 slates later, I have a new roof, new lead and piece of mind.
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
One of my clients, Kit-Out held their annual technology showcase at Glasgow Caledonian University. It was a great day with lots of innovation and great food being showcased.
One entrepreneur, Mark Shaw who runs Haggis'n'Neeps has come up with a very novel idea.
The "Haggis Dog", is now born.
It works in the same way as a Hot Dog but Mark tells me that is should be accompanied by a tasty turnip chutney which is being specially prepared.
Haggis on the go, sounds good to me. I wonder what Robbie Burns would have thought.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
I saw on the BBC News this morning that the Proclaimers were doing a guest slot chatting and promoting their latest album.
It reminded me of the first time I met and photographed them at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow in 1986. My old pal Tom was doing a review on their gig for Melody Maker and they were literally unknown. If my memory serves me well, there were only a handful of people at that gig. They now sell out worldwide.
I remember their unique style, this was something new and fresh. Nearly 25 years on and
nine albums later they don't seem to losing their popularity, quite the opposite.
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
I was asked by the Cruin Restaurant to exhibit at a wedding fayre they held recently on the banks of Loch Lomond.
I did a bit off research on the burgeoning popularity of weddings around the loch and some of the statistics were staggering. An average wedding brings in a minimum of £20,000 to the local economy and Luss Church alone can easily do four in one day.
The minister at Luss, The Reverend Dr Dane Sherrard told me that he has on line streaming facilities that enable friends and relatives from all around the world to tune in live to the event. He also told me that around 10,000 - 12,000 people a week listen to his Sunday service. Surely this has to be the largest congregation of any church in Scotland ?
In total, the wedding industry is worth £500,000,000 to the Scottish economy on an annual basis.
With views like this a common sight from the Cruin, you can see why couples from all corners of the globe are beating a path to the "bonnie banks".
You know how things come and go in life ?
Well I remember the Mini being the must have car in the sixties. My mother had a blue one
and at that stage in my physical development I never perceived it as being small. I spotted this poor old sad one sitting on bricks in Edinburgh recently and it hit me how tiny the original one's were.
Well, have a look at the new style Mini, what a difference. I am told they are now built by BMW and I have to say they look "fab".
I wonder what the original designer Alec Issigonis would have thought of it all ?
Monday, 28 September 2009
North Berwick is a very nice and very affluent little sea side town, 25 miles along the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh. Robert Louis Stevenson spent his summers there as a young lad and it is said to be the inspiration for many of his books.
A mile out to sea, is the famous Bass Rock which boasts the largest colony of gannets anywhere in the world. I noticed a sign next to a garden wall on the sea front and went to investigate. Just over the wall were around a dozen young gannets which were being looked after by the owner of the property until they were strong enough to be released.
For the budding photographers out there, it was an interesting study in "depth of field".
I was always told to focus wherever possible on the eyes. When you are in low light and you have a long beak the results vary enormously over a few inches.
In among the rock pools, I was disappointed to see the usual mess left behind by the idiots amongst us. Broken glass is the last thing to leave anywhere near a beach!
On Saturday afternoon, The Fix got their first experience in a proper rehearsal and recording studio.
Under the watchful eye of George, owner of Sonic Boom Studios the lads rehearsed for an hour or so and were then shown how tracks were laid down.
George reckons they are ready and their first recording session starts next Saturday. It will take up to eight hours and they will have a least three tracks to take away.
After the recording studio, we tried the photo studio.
"Let's do the classic Queen album cover shot" they said.
I don't think it quite worked somehow !
And finally, a question I've often asked. Why do drummers wear woolly hats?
Saturday, 26 September 2009
I forgot to post this up after my last trip to Cumbrae.
In the fantastic museum, I spotted this in one of the glass cabinets which had archival material from the height of Millport's popularity .
Cunningham's Picture Postcard Saloon.
There were lots of old photographs of bygone days but I suppose in the future, people will be looking at all of today's photos with the same nostalgia.
My old line..... "Today's photographs are tomorrows history".
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Every year the Yummy Mummy's have a get together for lunch at the Thistle Hotel and raise money for Clic Sargent childrens cancer.
This year had a guest appearance by the Kennedy Cupcakes. Between them and Real Radio, a lot of money was raised and a lot of fun was had.