Thursday 28 November 2013

This Sporting Life - Sepia Saturday

Until quite recently I've always played one sport or another so this week's prompt struck a chord with me.

I have never grown a moustache and no longer have a singlet like the one he's wearing. However there are still some golfing trophies on the top of my filing cabinet.

Golfing trophies and souvenir golf balls.
The first trophy I won was for the shot put in the U14 age group at Stamford School's sports day in 1950 (I think). I don't remember what it was like or the Fielding Cup for cricket that was to come later when I was in the 1st XI.

I played cricket for many years and was always proud to wear my School Cricket Colour Blazer, long after I left school. Black and white photos don't do it justice at all.

Cricket blazer - Lincoln Lindum Ground, 1950s
Same ground, same blazer accompanied by a girl.

The girl who was to become my wife.
So cricket has a lot to answer for. What you can't see here is that her dress has thin red strips that went with the red in my blazer.

My first job in industry was at Richard Thomas & Baldwins, Redbourn Works in Scunthorpe where I collected the Interdepartmental  Cricket Cup for 1963 on behalf of the Laboratory team.

Who should have combed his hair?
Our children played sport as well and I have managed to find some photos including trophies.

Rachel with her teddy; Andrew with his trophy (1970s)
And later an older Rachel with a tennis trophy of her own.

I played my last games of cricket during the 1980s in Norway. It was there that now aged 50 and too old and slow for hockey that I discovered golf. I never played golf while at St Andrews University at the end of the 1950s - something I'll always regret.

I suppose that brings me back to the trophies in my first picture - the ones I have been allowed to keep. At one time I could have shown off a lot more.

Golfing success in 1989
I guess time has caught up with me so I have only small replicas to admire. However especially for you I have had my photo taken again today.

Bob in that School Cricket Blazer from the 1950s.
I can still wear it as you can see - but it's tight across the shoulders and ...

I can't do the damned thing up!
To see what others have on show this week run across to Sepia-Saturday-205. And you Aussies - no sledging!

Tuesday 26 November 2013

In the foreground - Thematic Photography

Frequently things in the foreground get in the way of what you want to shoot. There are times however when they may enhance a photo accidentally, or deliberately if you choose.

In this series of shots I had not intended to include the flag.

View from first green. Mountain Flowers golf course
The course is located at the Homestead, the freshwater resort on Lake Michigan.

Mountain Flowers - view towards the Manitou islands.
Those of you who have read the story of Mishe-Mokwa, the bear who tried to save her cubs from a fire by swimming with them across Lake Michigan, will know that the great spirit Manitou raised the two drowned cubs out of the deep blue waters of the lake - and made them into the islands which he named after himself.

There are times however when what is in the foreground is worth including, like this next shot also from Michigan.

Traverse City harbour, Michigan
When observing the developments in a wood during a year, the item in the foreground is sometimes an important element to study.

Horse chestnut buds in March
And a month later on a branch.

Sycamore leaves - April
For more views in the foreground cross over to Carmi's Thematic-photographic-270,

Sunday 24 November 2013

Singers on Sunday Stamps

As I have used all  my stamps showing individual singers before I have had to think laterally this week to come up with something relevant.

So I will start with a stamp from the USA Celebrating the Century - for the 1940s.

1940s - The Big Band Sound
Unfortunately I am unable to name the band or the singer at the mike.

Another group features on my second stamp.

Great Britain - Carol Singers - 1978
This stamp is from a set of four Christmas stamps - I'll post them all in two weeks time.

As I have gone out on a bit of a limb this week I'll go a bit further out on a branch.

Republic of Togo - European Goldfinch
Hopefully you will agree that a songbird like this is eligible as a singer. It's one of my favourite birds.

For other more conventional singers please fly over to Viridian's Sunday-Stamps-147.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Et tu ...? - Sepia Saturday

The prompt this week shows Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife leaving the town hall in Sarajevo eight minutes before he was assassinated on 26 June 1914.

This week people are commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy of the USA. Unfortunately I cannot recall where I was or what I was doing on that day. My wife says she was feeding our month-old son.

I have chosen therefore to look at other assassinations and assassination attempts from history starting with:

Death of Caesar, 15 March 44 BC
(Oil on canvas - Jean-Léon Gér
ôme - Walters Art Museum, Baltimore)
The painting depicts the aftermath of the incident where Caesar is stabbed to death, with Brutus striking the final blow - immortalised by Shakespeare's "Et tu, Brute." 

Shortly after Shakespeare has Cassius encouraging people to proclaim, "Liberty, freedom and enfranchisement."

That seems to me to be a natural link to the cry arising during the French Revolution - "Liberté, egalité, fraternité" - and the republican assassinated in his bath by a 24 year-old gentlewoman.

Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat by Charlotte Corday,
13 July, 1793
(Painting by Jean=Joseph Weerts)
Charlotte did not attempt to escape and lost her head to the guillotine. [You may read about her here ]

On 18 May 1912 John Bellingham lost his life at the end of a rope. Convicted by a jury who took only ten minutes to find him guilty just 4 days after the bankrupt and embittered business man had become an assassin.

Assassination of Spencer Perceval the British Prime Minister by John Bellingham at the Palace of Westminster in 1812
Edward Oxford was more fortunate; his assassination attempt failed.

Edward Oxford shoots at Queen Victoria - June 18, 1840
This water colour painting by G H Miles, now in the British Museum, shows the Queen and the Prince Consort driving in a phaeton towards Constitution Hill; a policeman runs towards Oxford as he fires.

Oxford, a discharged barman, was treated as a madman and confined in Bedlam, before eventually being sent to Broadmoor. Released on his promise to go to Australia,  he was reported to be working there as a house painter as late as 1882.

By that time two American Presidents had been killed by bullets from assassins. Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth in 1865 and James A Garfield by Charles J Guiteau in 1881

Engraving of Garfield's assassination (July 2, 1881)
The caption to the picture of the engraving, published in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, reads:

Scene in the ladies room of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Depot - the arrest of the assassin. - ... - The assassin Charles Guiteau is being restrained by members of the crowd.

Guiteau, a preacher, writer and lawyer, was convicted and hanged.

I looked for videos to back up this post and came across the Stephen Sondheim musical "Assassins" which included actors representing Booth, Guiteau, Leon Czolgosz (killer of President McKinley) and Lee Harvey Oswald.

That brings us back to Kennedy again and enough exposure of assassins in an age when states can kill by remotely controlled drones.

For hopefully less morbid memories cross over to Sepia-Saturday-204.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Drink - Thematic Photography

I have no problem with Carmi's theme this week. However I do have a drink problem as every day when I walk to fetch my paper I am faced with this sight at the Shell Service Station.

Drinks for Sale
Now I'm not allowed to choose an alcoholic drink, but I'm spoilt for choice if I decide on something soft.

Soft Drinks
Most of these contain too much sugar or things that rot other things besides your teeth.

Back home I'm not helped when I open the drinks cabinet as its contents are forbidden to me too.

A few bottles of stronger stuff
There is no chance of me seeing pink elephants out in the garden, but I'm not sure where the dog came from.

White wine (and a hand ready to smack if I dare to touch)
Just watching is thirsty work and some earn their chance to drink.

Police horses take a break on the Rochester Paint Creek Trail
Others drink where they can find it in order to survive.

Wood Pigeon at the birdbath
However it's now reached the time of year when although there is so much rain they do not have to wait for me to fill it up, they may have to break the ice to get their drink.

If you like ice in your drinks then perhaps you will be offered something on the rocks when you visit imbibers at Thematic-photographic-269.

Sunday 17 November 2013

B-o-o-o-ring - Sunday Stamps.

What constitutes a boring stamp? 

What is boring to one person may not be to another. They say that familiarity breeds contempt so it may be those that you see regularly that are boring to you.

That's something that doesn't apply to the ones I've chosen. Perhaps however you will recognise a trend in those I've decided to show.

If they are a bit colourless then the next ones aren't.

And what's more the design is a bit more elaborate in the next also.

Indonesia (I Think)
My final two have both colour and a more intricate design; some might find they are not boring at all.

Now it's up to you to spot the trend in the stamps I've chosen before you cross over to Viridian's  Sunday-stamps-146. to check on what other stamps we are bored by.

Friday 15 November 2013

The Doors - Sepia Saturday

This week's prompt shows an old lady in a doorway and a window full of blinds. 

I may not be able to match that with old photos but the doors I am going to show date back hundreds of years.

Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey was the second Cistercian outpost founded in the North of England. From rather difficult beginnings it became the largest and richest Cistercian abbey in the country.

The foundation of Fountains was not planned. It was the consequence of an unforeseen chain of events in the early 1130s that forced a group of reform-minded monks of the Benedictine abbey of St Mary’s, York, to flee their house in search of a purer form of monastic life.

Doors among the ruins
Today Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England. It is located approximately three miles south-west of Ripon in North Yorkshire. 

Tucked away among the grounds there are doors of a different sort, you find them in many places.

Earlier this week we spent a day in York where I took this shot of York Minster.

York Minster
What you can't see is that notice in front of the door - it says, "Exit only."

Walking round the city I was studying doorways closely when I came across one just right for this week as you can see from what is standing next to it.

Stonegate's Original Teddy Bear Shop
Finally in my archives a photo I showed you almost three years ago.

Doris in front of John Walker's shop door at Preston Park Museum
It's not polite for me to reveal how old Doris is but she matches the theme.

I thought about ending with a piece of music and had a choice to make - church music or the Teddy Bears' Picnic? But neither could quite match 

To knock on other doors and be invited in, cross over to Sepia-Saturday-203.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Thematicless - Thematic Photography

Carmi has given us thematic photographers a rest this week and suggested that we just go out and take some shots.

Those of you who have followed me here know that dogs have often figured in my posts. So here is one I caught doing what dogs do naturally,  in York earlier this week.

A Yorkshire dog
At least he has been well groomed, even if not trained where not to cock his leg.

Thanks to Carmi for letting us off the leash this week at Thematicless.

Sunday 10 November 2013

Ships and Boats - Sunday Stamps

I was quite surprised to see how many stamps I had to match Viridian's 'Ships and Boats' theme. I settled on four from different countries.

From the ill-fated Munich Olympics of 1972 there was this:

Yemen Arab Republic
The Olympic City of Kiel was where the Munich sailing events where held. The stamp shows a racing yacht from the 55m class.

There are more yachts on an oil painting from Kalnins on this 1974 Russian stamp.

It appears to commemorate an event in 1962.

I couldn't let this week go by without showing an old Swedish sailing ship - the Flag Ocean.

In South Africa I found this ship commemorating the centenary of the ocean mail service contract in 1976.

South Africa
Hope you like my selection. To see what ships/boats others have chosen be sure to visit Viridian's Sunday-stamps-145.

Friday 8 November 2013

Beached - Sepia Saturday

I nave lost count on how many beaches I have admired, even the empty ones which stretch from the:

Shoreline of Lake Michigan
To the sands of Cornwall.

Empty sands at Crantock, Cornwall
And nearer home in North Yorkshire.

Whitby looking towards Sandsend
However beaches are meant to be played on like this one more that 50 years ago (that's the nearest I'm allowed to date it)

Amy (on the left) and her daughter (future mother-in-law and wife)
Some years later in the 1970s, I get in on the act. Note the flared trousers.

The Scotneys and Andrew, their younger son
A few years earlier it was a case of someone taking charge.

Sandsend again. (Bob, Adrian, Andrew, Rachel laying down the law)
Same beach on a different day, some years later.

Andrew and his children
Apart from empty beaches we can even find an unusually empty sea.

Cornish Surf
This brings me to the UK Pro Surf Tour's Rookie of the Year 2013, grandson Angus Scotney and - .

UK Pro Surf Tour's Beach Bum U16 Boys Champion 2013

If you wish to get more sand between your toes and other unmentionable places then catch a wave and surf over to Sepia-Saturday-202.