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2016 Cogitations

12th July

Two months since my last update, Doesn’t time fly.

I have uploaded a lot of photographs to the following albums this time.

Great Orme

Birds

Reptile & Insects

Music at the Kings Head

Macro Shots

Plants

Welsh Heritage

Family & Pets

Conwy

Friends

Miscellaneous

and finally photographs from the 28th Conwy Bluegrass Festival

12th May

A lot has happenedsince the last update. 

On Tuesday afternoon I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours listening to bluegrass music in the Kings Head. The Britannia Bluegrass Band from Liverpool were playing and they were really good. I took a series of photographs during the performance which can be viewed here. In the interval Des, a local musician entertained us and there are a few photos here.

Gill (in the middle), one half of "Highly Strung", organised the event and is also organising this years;

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 28th North Wales Bluegrass Festival - Conwy · 30th June - 3rd July 2016.

 I will be attending the festival and will have my camera with me throughout the weekend.

I have been to Chester with Keith on one of our monthly days out. 

I have also updated the Birds album with photographs from The Spinnies, Bangor and from walking around the Great Orme.

3rd May

Once again a lot of photographs have been uploaded to a variety of galleries.

Llandudno Extravaganza, Birds incl. Woodpecker, Family & Pets, Miscellaneous, Plants, Great Orme and Insects.

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Amongst my recent photographs is this one of a female mallard at the side of the lagoon in the Spinnies Nature Reserve, Bangor. This image is of particular note in that I uploaded it to the Spinnies Flickr site and it gathered in all 5100 views and 142 faves.

The Spinnies is a very good place to visit for anyone interested in birds and/or photography. I have been going a least once a week recently and practicing tryng to capture Bitds in Flight (BiF). BiF must be one of the most difficuly things in photography to get right. I am slowly improving, but there is a long way to go yet.

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Male Chaffinch in flight at the Spinnies, Bangor

31st March

A lot of photographs have been uploaded today as it has been so long since I last updated this website.

The following albums all have new content and the link will take you to the first of the latest images.

BirdsFamily & Pets, Goats, Sea Life, Haulfre Gardens, Conwy and of course not forgetting PnP’s.

Too much has happened in the intervening time since my last update to into detail, but suffice it to say that I am enjoying myself and that I seem to be improving in my photography.

26th January

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We had our first goat kid of the year on 11th January, which is the earliest that anyone can remember.

Ali was the first to spot the new arrival, so I nipped out a few hours later and managed to get this shot from the roadway. The nanny knew I was there and kept a close watch on what I was up to. But I stayed well clear and used my 500mm lens so as not to disturb them too much.

Since then we know of another two that have been born, and I have seen two nannies keeping to themselves and very pregnant looking (see here for one photo) on my walks around Marine Drive. I also, on one of my walks, got a photo of a Stone Chat which is here.

On the 6th January myself and Keith Campbell went on our usual, first wednesday of the month days out To Chester this time, (photos here). The big find on this trip was a little pub called the Union Vaults which still has a bagatelle table. This was being used when we got there and the pub itself was very traditional with no food sales; just a good local boozer! This I have discovered is a ‘Northern Bagatelle’ table and the rules can be seen here.

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One of my resolutions for this year is to get myself fitter, and to the point where I can accompany Ali on some longer walks. It used to be that after about six miles I was just done in! My left knee and hip were really hurting. Now though, I can do the six miles with no problems. With this in mind I have been taking myself off in the car occasionally for a walk in the woods above Betws-y-Coed. 

There is an area which has Lichen in abundance, it grows on the trees and even the fence posts. I had always been told that Lichen was very slow growing, but I doubt the fence post above has been there much more than ten years. 

There is also an abandoned woodland house in this same area and I feel it is a real shame that it is now unoccupied and not cared for. The location is superb.

Finally, on Sunday I found myself in Liverpool to have the cracked screen on my iPhone replaced. I had an hour to spare before my appointment at the Apple Store so had a wander over to the Albert Dock and took a few photographs.

3rd January

We had our first longer walk with Gina (& Wilma) yesterday; along the beach at Conwy with Simon, Elaine and Louie.

Plenty of photo’s and two very tired dogs at the end of it. Made for a quiet evening.


1st January - HAPPY NEW YEAR to all,

I find that I am enjoying my photography as I get more proficient and I hope that this is reflected in the images that I post here from time to time.

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This Kestrel is a very recent photograph, and it was taken from the footpath on Marine Drive looking over the wall towards the sea. For those that are interested it was taken using my 50 - 500mm Sigma lens at a speed of 1/500th sec, f6.3 and ISO 720.

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The bird above is female and earlier on my walk I had managed to capture  the male at rest on a rock further around the Marine Drive. Note the grey head!

Both photographs were taken with the camera supported on a monopod as I find that this is easier than struggling to set up the tripod only to find that the bird has moved on during the time taken.

I have a busy time coming up! In the early part of this month, I will be going to Warrington for an RPS talk on the 10th. Previous to that. Conwy Camera Club starts the second half of its season.

I have also just bought a new (2nd Hand) photographic printer which I have to get working properly with nice papers and the profiles to suit.

I plan to find somwewhere to display the prints, but have no great ideas at the moment.

I also have to prepare for March, when I will be attending an RPS advisory day. This is a day when anyone aspiring to get an RPS distinction can take along their proposed set of prints and get advise on whether they are likely to meet the required standard.

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On the home front, Gina and Poppy continue to give us lots of pleasure. Gina is growing up fast, although still a puppy. She is calming down now and can be taken on short walks. She still tries to take over in the evenings and gets very jealous and tries to dispose of Wilma when she can.

Poppy is, …. well, a cat,  and decides what she wants to do and does it.

I have been on numerous photographic walks on the odd days when the weather didn’t look too bad. I walked up to Aberllyn one day as I knew the stream would be in full flow and took this picture not far from the cottage.

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I have uploaded photos from my walks at Coed Felin Blwm and Aberllyn here in the Gwydyr gallery. Some of the images are a bit stylised as I have been experimenting, but I have uploaded the different versions for comparison.

There are a couple of new Poppy images here.

Finally on Wednesday next week, it being the first Wednesday in the month, myself and Keith will be having a day out somewhere (to be decided) for lunch.

So, all in all a busy time beckons, I do not miss work at all and am really enjoying my new found freedom. This Christmas was the first one I have spent at home in eight years and it was very nice. The weather could have been better of course, but I can’t complain as I managed to get out on many occasions and found that each time I made the effort then a photographic opportunity would present itself. I have returned to Coed Felin Blwm a few times now and will have to return again throughout the coming year to get the images I have in my mind of the location.

Happy New Year everyone.

2015 Ramblings


10th December

Christmas is nearly here and the weather has been atrocious, hence I haven’t been out much in the past few weeks. I have spent a lot of my time in front of the computer trying to gain some proficiency in Photoshop. 

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As a way of learning a bit more about photoshop I produced our Christmas Card for this year. The original image was taken in Coed Felin Blwym in the Gwydyr Forest near Llanwrst and included the Grey Mare’s waterfall in the top half of the picture.

I have also been on a creative photography evening with Conwy Camera Club which was very interesting and informative.

The image below right, was taken that evening, and is not difficult to master once one knows the technique and has all the required equipment such as remote triggered flash guns etc.

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The George V post box was spotted in a wall in Prestatyn yesterday. Myself and Keith Campbell have a Wednesday out once a month when we go somewhere different and have a few beers and a bite to eat for lunch. Yesterday it was Prestatyn and some photos of the various hosteleries we visited can be seen here.

13th November

I have added another photo to the PnP section of the web site here from the Kings Head.

Gina and Poppy are still keeping us amused. but Gina is growing up fast now she can be taken on short walks.

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She  was asleep in her bed the other day when I took this image. It shows off her one black pad perfectly.


8th November.

Well the 5th has been and gone and the animals wern’t too upset and parliment is still there, I think.

On the 4th, Wednesday I had a day out to Chester with some friends. A drink and lunch, before returning on the train. A couple of photos can be seen here.

The past year has really passed quickly, I was only reminded of this recently as our Mazda needs to go in for its first service next week. it will soon be time to start thinking of preparing the website for 2016.

No photos this time, I haven’t been out with the camera for a while, mainly due to looking after Gina and the weather.

2nd November 2015

I had a day out in Blaenau on Saturday. I was hoping that the clouds would clear and I would get some nice clear weather for some photographs. No such luck, but I still managed to find some interesting subjects which can be found in the Blaenau Ffestiniog gallery here.

Near the hospital in the town. there is a little hill with a memorial on top. From here one can get a full 360 degree view of the surroundings.

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I have never really tried panoramas before, but, I am very pleased with the result. The image above was taken with my lens set to its widest at 17mm, whilst the image below was with the lens set to 35mm and with a different mid point.

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The other exciting thing that happened over the weekend was that Poppy, our three legged kitten brought home a mouse. She was very pleased with herself.

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We have this afternoon taken Gina out for a walk at a location where we were able to let her run without having a lead.

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She really enjoyed herself and is now having a well earned rest in her basket after all the exertions.

I plan to return to Blaenau Ffestiniog next Saturday to continue my photographic exploration.

28th October 2015

Good News:

 I have just learnt that I have passed the recent Open University/Royal Photographic Society, joint photographic course with an 80% pass rating.

The comments made regarding the inadequacies in my presented work were correct and thoughtful. It is very interesting to hear what other people think of ones work. More comments will be forthcoming soon as I have just entered a competition with Conwy Camera Club which I have recently joined.

I now have to consider whether to proceed and to try for a RPS Distinction. Firstly though I am now eligible to attend a distinctions advisory day prior to the actual submittal itself. i expect that this will be in the new year sometime, so I have plenty of time to prepare.

In the Project Performance Profile it was heartening that one of my images was singled out for particular comment. Some of you will have seen the photograph of the woodpecker chick at its nest hole. For the course I modified it slightly to include a blue sky with fine clouds instead of the white sky that was on the original. if you would like to view the submitted version then it can be found here.

27th October 2015

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Yesterday I went to Bodnant Gardens in the Conwy Valley. I was there before they opened, hoping to take some photographs prior to the forecast clouds. In the event, the clouds came and went and it ended up as being a glorious few hours.

One of my favourite shots from the day, is this one of a young boy crossing the bridge in the Dell.

I was very lucky in that just as he stepped onto the bridge the sun shone and lit up the whole scene. I thought as I was composing the image that I might have to crop it later to remove the leaves and such. But, in the end, the image to the right is 'as taken' witn only minimal development in Lightroom.

I have uploaded some other images from yesterday to here. Bodnant is a great place to go for taking photographs, especially if the sun is shining like yesterday.

From November 1st we will be able to take our two dogs as well on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays which is good news.

24th October 2015

What a wet and miserable day today has turned out to be. I was thinking of going to Bodnant to take some photos, but now instead I will update the web site and do some general office related work.

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Still,  a few days ago I managed to get a photo of Wilma teaching Gina the rules of play fighting.

It was a real rough and tumble with lots of snarling and barring of teeth. I would not like to get my hand anywhere near either of their mouths.

I also managed to catch a shot of a bee collecting from out hebe bush. 

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On the entry for 11th October, below, I posted an image of a 'Ghost Sign’. Since then I have captured another image of a plaque in a wall, this time in Conwy

As you can see, on this carving the date has had some additional numbers added for some strange reason.

Ali came up with the current thoughts on this after doing a search on Google.

We are not too sure if this is the correct explanation, but it’s the only one we have at the moment.

20th October 2015

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 I have been given copies of some photographs from about 1989; not long after I moved to Llandudno. I think they were taken in and outside the Cae Coch Sulphur Mine above the Conwy Valley.

There is a very young looking me, an even younger looking Mike Ennis, his dad Frank and on the external image (left) Erik Sellors, Ian Norman, Billy Davies (sadly no longer with us)  and possibly Steve Lea in the background. All the images can be found here.


19th October 2015

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I have been very busy uploading photographs to the stock agencies recently and have to date, had five images licenced for use. Considering it’s only been a couple of weeks and I have a limited number uploaded I am very pleased to have licencesed the five.

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Anyway, on to other things, the other evening Poppy our three legged cat decided that she needed a new drinking bowl and though the loo would be a good place to investigate. This was fine initially until she tried to have a drink, or at least thats what I think she was trying, when she nearly fell in. I was laughing too much to have a look and of course I had to take the pictures.

I also visited Conwy Camera Club last week and will be joining (if they will have me) at this Tuesdays evening meeting. My friend Dennis will also be joining which will be good as we can then take it in turns to drive. I had been meaning to join for a long time, but with working away, I hadn’t found the time on my home comings. 

I did though join the RPS (Royal Photographic Society) a few years ago and am considering trying to gain a distinction at some time.


11th October 2015

I have re-organised the Shopping section, as in the future, I intend to add a Prints and a Maps section.

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On Wednesday, it being the first Wednesday in the month, I went for a walk about with Keith Campbell. This month we visited Abergele, and then the Valentine in Llanddulas on the way home. It has been about 27 years since I last spent sone time in Abergele, and very pleasant ir was too. The Castle was particularly nice, being a non foody public house and recently taken over by a new landlady.

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An interesting building feature that I spotted was this 'Ghost Sign’ which was high on a building wall. I had to search for the correct name of these signs and the link takes you to a reference article. It seems they are very prevalant in the UK and certainly worth looking out for in future as a photographic opportunity.

The PnP section has been updated to include photo’s from this trip. Check out the before food and after food Keith pictures!

And finally, for this update, an image that gives an idea as to how fast Gina (the Puppy)  is growing. She is only thirteen weeks old here in this photo and now weighs 11.3 Kg.

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9th October 2015

I now have 134 images for licence in Picfair; and the really good news is that I have today sold my first image. My shot of an Ostrich, the image with just its neck and head is my first sale.

2nd October 2015

I have been working on uploading images to the picfair account and have just uploaded the 100th picture.

Beautiful weather we are having at the moment in north Wales and Llandudno in particular. I was sat outside only 30 minutes ago watching over Gina and in the sky coming from Pen Dinas was a solitary soap bubble. It was a long way up, but luckilly I had the big lens on the camera which was with me. Anyway the image below is a cropped version of the photograph. It is interesting to try and locate the building and trees in the reflections shown in the bubble.

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Also this afternoon I have been to the butcher we use down the Conwy Valley, Marilyn’s at Tal y Bont. Anyways, instrad of going directly there I took a detour around Marine Drive with the camera. Part way around I saw these three goats having a conflab.

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Bye for now.

30th September 2015

News. Picfair; the stock agency I have uploaded images to; 

(https://www.picfair.com/tonymapping)

has published its weekly pick of all the thousands of images that have been uploaded in the past week

My shot of a Greater Spotted Woodpecker chick waiting for its next meal has been picked as one of only 23 to be included in the Picfair Pick for this week.

https://www.picfair.com/blog/picfair-picks/bloom

1 of 23 out of thousands uploaded can’t be bad!

30th September 2015

Gina: Our little puppy is not so little anymore! The Saturday after we brought her home she weighed 5.9Kg. On Monday this week she was just short of 10Kg. So very roughly, in the four weeks we have had her she will have doubled in weight. She has also had her first injection, so last week we were able to take her down to West shore beach and give her her first outing.

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Wilma is being very good and taking a lot of the strain off me and Ali by playing rough games with Gina for quite long periods until even she has had enough. She then barks so that we can let her up stairs and retires to her own bedroom; lucky dog.

Last saturday I went for a walk around the Orme, it was a beautiful sunny day. I think September is the best month of the year. Anyway, during this walk I took the below photograph which gives an unusual view of the cable cars. 

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The Orme was very busy with walkers, bird watchers and climber on Pen Trwyn.

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It was the busiest I have seen it in a long time; granted I havent been getting out much recently as Ali has been really busy, leaving me to look after Gina.

If you have read my blog this far, please have a read of the one below which I have uploaded today.

29th September 2015

For some time now I have been considering how I might sell some of the images I have taken since I re-kindled my enthusiasm in photograpgy back in 2011.

 As my friends will attest and can be seen on this web site, I have an extensive library of photographs taken over the past few years. Whilst not all of these will be of a good enough quality to sell, a good few might be acceptable and hence saleable..

With this in mind I have been investigating the various options for selling images online. After much research, I have decided to use a stock image site called Picfair.

https://www.picfair.com/tonymapping

The above link will direct you to my pages on the site in a new browser window.

Picfair is a British company that was set up in 2014. The following link will explain its principles for those that want to investigate further.

https://www.picfair.com/about

From this site you will be able to purchase a licence to use any of the uploaded images, as per the licence agreement. The cost to licence an image is fully visable (I am still not sure at what level to set my images) and Picfair will then add a mark-up. to cover their costs/profit etc. All this is explained in the about section that the above link directs you to.

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I investigated numerous stock agencies once I had decided to try and sell some of my photographic efforts. The vast majority are US based where the rules on what can and cannot be sold are quite complex. For instance this photo of Conwy Quay was rejected by one agency due to a trade mark being visible. On another site they would not accept a photo of Llyn Crafnat because the name was in a "foreign language"!

The commission charged by these agencies was also quite high, being on average around 66%. Eventually I heard of ‘Picfair' through a fellow student on the OU photographic course that I was engaged in.

In the menu bar at the top of this page you will note a new item; ‘Shopping’. In this folder there is a section for Photographs, where I will in the coming week place a 72 ppi copy of the high resolution images I have uploaded to Picfair. This will enable one to view before purchasing as it were. A click on any image in this album will open a new window directly in Picfair, where you may purchase a licence and download the image.

So, why not design your own Christmas and/or Birthday cards using stock photos. Download one to use as a screen saver or for a multitude of other possible uses. There are thousands of photos to choose from on Picfair, not just mine! So if you need images for any reason please check out what is on offer.


10th September

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We have now had Gina our new dalmation puppy for a week and she is still causing havoc. But it is great to have her and she is starting to settle in a bit.

I am sure she has grown and the photos to the left were taken four days ago, she seems larger! We will weigh her again on Saturday. Last week she was 5.9Kg. It will be intesting to see how much weight she has put on in the space of seven days.

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Poppy. the kitten has found that the best way to fend off Gina is to lie down and then she can use her only front paw to swipe Gina’s nose when it gets too close.

Yesterday afternoon a large ‘Southern Hawker’ dragon fly landed on the hedge just beside our house. Luckily it stayed there long enough for me to get some photos which I have placed here.

I have also uploaded some photographs of the moving parts within the Waverley engine room which can be seen here.







4th September

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A lot has happened in the last few days! I have been to Bangor with a friend for a look around and lunch, I have been on the Waverley Paddle Steamer for a cruise from Llandudno towards Red Warf Bay and back, then finally, yesterday we went to Preston to pick up our new Dalmation puppy; Gina.

Gina, as you can see is very cute and has now been introduced to Wilma our black Lab and Poppy the three legged kitten.

Although not all playing together at the moment they seem to have reached a standoff position very quickly.

This is not as we thought it would be with the kitten in charge! Poppy is not sure at all what to make of Gina and is steering well clear, with a lot of hissing and growling.

I have uploaded a couple more photo’s of Gina, Poppy & Wilma here.

My trip to Bangor with Keith: Previously and while I was working abroad we went out for lunch to Chester everytime I came home. Now though, we have decided to vary the destination every month. Hence last month’s visit to Caernarfon and this month to Bangor. We wont be rushing back to Bangor though as it was a bit run down and most of the licenced premises did not have draught beer to sample. I have put a couple of photo’s at the end of the PnP gallery from our outing.

Finally our Waverley trip. It was amazing. The Waverley is the only sea-going paddle steamer left in the world! Yes, the WORLD.

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 There is not another one like it. 

I spent a lot of time looking into the engine room. Lots of moving parts and interest. Although I took a lot of photographs it was difficult to convey the power and movement of all the slides, shafts and connectors that make this 56rpm, 2100 HP steam engine work. I will work on a few of the images later and see if I can get a couple worth posting to this web site. In the meantime a few ‘normal' photographs can be found here from the trip.

29th August

A good time was had by all at the get together to celebrate Irene’s birthday on Thursday night. I had to be careful though, as early the next morning I was taking Tom to the eye hospital in Abergele for surgery. That all seemed to go well and he took the bandage off this morning. It will be a few days before the eye recovers, hopefully with better vision than he had before.

Anyway, back to the celebration.

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As you can see from the above photo there was a lot of hillarity at one point. To see the cause of this follow this link.

Today I have been on a stroll around Marine Drive and managed to get a few semi decent photographs which can be viewed here. The images with the ‘Moire' like effect are quite interesting from a photographic standpoint. The final black and white one of the bay and pier I am not too sure about, but it certainly stands out.

27th August

Today is a special day as it is Irene’s 60th birthday. There will be a get together later on in the Snowdon to celebrate. HAPPY BIRTHDAY IRENE.

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In the meantime I am going up to the piece of land we own and use as a store to get the strimmer out and cut back on the grass and brambles which have started to get a bit overgrown.

13th August

We have picked Gina? She has three spots on top of her head and is very sweet. I think she liked me! She certainly liked Ali, but it was difficult to choose as there were so many of them.

It will be early September before she can come and join our family.

After carefull consideration I have also amended one of my photographs submitted to the OU. Both the old and new versions can be found here next to each other, just click the arrows,  and I wellcome feedback on which you prefer.

12th August

In my rush yesterday I forgot to include the new friends gallery in the list of new and updated galleries. Today we are of to Preston to view a set of Dalmation puppies and hopefully pick one to come and join Wilma and Poppy when it is old enough. I will be taking the camera, so expect some photos in due course.

11th August

Another month and today a large update to the website.

I have finally submitted my end-of-module Assessment (EMA) to the OU and can now catch up on things I have let slip, like this website.

I have created a new folder within the galleries section, in which I have placed the 10 images that I finally decided upon for my EMA together with a simple image showing how they would be hung for assessment if they were printed copies.

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During this period I have also been busy converting what was our junk room into an office cum studio for myself. The photos to the left and right show how the room looked just after I had had it plastered. Now that it is finished and we have had an official studio opening ceremony I will have to get cracking on the next project.

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I think you will agree that the finished room makes for a very pleasant working space. And, I have always wanted a hat wall, so now I am satisfied.

I have uploaded a lot of photos this month in addition to my EMA ones. The galleries that have been updated or added are listed here below:

Llandudno

Great Orme

Hen Blas

N W Lakes

Plas Newydd

Eglwsbach Show

Family

and not forgettimng PnP’s

I haven’t counted, but there must have been more than 50 photographs! One strange thing that you will notice in this update is that the titles of the images are in a different style, in that they no not now start with TMD_date_ etc. I have no idea why this should be but can only surmise it is something to do with the recent update to Adobe Lightroom, the program I use to convert my photographs to JPG versions for the web.


18th July

Where does the time go? It seemed only yesterday that I last updated this web site and I was suprised to see that it was way back in May.

What have I been up to in all this time? Those who I see regularly will know that I have been building myself an office come studio in what was our old junk room. The build is coming to the end now though, after more than three months of labour. Hopefully I should get it finished before the end of this month.

The other thing that has been taking up my time is an open university photographic course which the are running in collaboration with the Royal Photographic Society. I am now on week seven of the ten week course and will, during the final weks, have to pick a selection of ten images from my catalogue to submit for the final assessment.

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The photo above was taken during the Llandudno airshow and was entered in the Cambrian Photography Aviation competition.It did not win, but thats OK, I like it. There were a lot of photographers out and about during the airshow and the day was a great success.

I had a trip on the Balmoral recently on a cruise around Anglesey. It was an excellent day out and I managed to take a few photographs! One of my favourites being this unusual shot of Llandudno pier.

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I will endevour to update the web site on a more timely basis from here on.


27th May

Good News:

It was announced yesterday that the National Trust have purchased Parc Farm on the Great Orme together with the grazing rights for a further 720 acres of the headland. We could not have wished for a better outcome after the farm was put on the market a month ago.

It is surprising what one sees on the Great Orme. On Sunday in the early evening I was sat outside the The Snowdon public house on Tudno Street when we noticed that there were two people up on Pen Dinas.

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You will have a job to spot them from the photo taken at the time. Anyway, this couple seemed to be moving about strangely.

We debated what they were up to and in the end decided that it was a photoshoot of some kind.

I only had my Sony RX1 with me,

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 which has a fixed 35mm lens, but I took the photo shown here, later I imported it into lightroom and zoomed in as much as possible. From the lower heavilly cropped version you can see the male person to the left of the photo leaning back against the rock wall and the female standing on the edge of the cliff; naked!

In twenty seven years of living on the slopes of the Great Orme and looking up at Pen Dinas most days, this was a first.

What it does do though, is show how good a camera the Sony RX1 is. To be able to discern the couple at that distance is quiet amazing.


25th May

On Saturday, Llandudno had its annual airshow. This year the weather smiled on us and apart from starting off cloudy the weather was perfect by the time the Red Arrows appeared.

I have uploaded a new gallery with a selection of my photographs from the event here.

Cambrian Photography are running a competition for aviation photographs taken during the air show. I have kept one photo back from those shown on this web as I am thinking of entering. But, judging by the numbers of people with cameras around during the show it will prove to be a very popular event and I don’t hold out much hope. Anyway, once the winner has been announced I will upload my effort to the web site, along with a discussion as to why I picked that particular photo to submit.

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Whilst walking along the prom in between the aerial acrobatics. I took the above picture when the guy who had the owl on his shoulder very kindly stopped when I pointed my lens at him. Thank you, who ever you are.

Then on Sunday, very early, I attended a long exposure workshop run by Paul Sanders in the area around the pier at Llandudno. I have long wanted to start using filters in my photography, and in fact Ali bought me a set out to South Africa for our holiday. Being totally inexperienced in their use though, the results left a lot to be desired. We all got very wet to start with, but then the weather cleared and the final couple of hours was really useful in filling in my knowledge gaps.

Although Paul will disagree, he doesn’t like clutter in the foreground, I think the two photographs are fine and I quite like the look.


16th May

Well folks. Almost 200 photographs from our recent holiday in South Africa have now been uploaded to this site.

Birds here onwards.

Mammals here onwards.

Plants here onwards.

Reptiles & Insects from here onwards.

Then there is a gallery showing general views and photos of myself and Ali at different locations here.

And finally, any update would not be complete without an addition to the PnP’s gallery. This update includes two photos taken since we have returned. The linked photo shows me at a bar near the most southerly point of the Africal coast ‘Cape Lagulhas’. The beer was brewed locally and was excellent.

At this time I have not added any captions to the bottom of the photographs, but will over time caption each photograph. In particular the views need captioning to let you knpw the location at which they were taken.

Since returning home I have been very busy in building myself a new office! We had an extra room in the extension at the rear or our home which like all these spare rooms got filled with the surpluses of everyday life. It is now well on the way to becoming my office, which will free up the spare bedroom I have been using and allow me to bring together all my camera gear and other things.


8th April

Yesterday, the sun was shining and being Ali’s birthday we decided to make the most of the nice weather and visit Bodnant Gardens. At the end of March they had opened ‘The Far End’ (details here).

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It was stunning. Well worth a visit (or more). I certainly intend to visit on a regular basis. I have uploaded a few photographs here from yesterdays visit.

I know I still have to upload photographs from our South Africa trip, they are coming; promise! There are so many, and picking the best to showcase here on this site is proving a lot more difficult than I expected.


7th April

We are now back in the UK after our South African holiday and today is Ali’s birthday.

I have just about finished sorting out the photographs taken during the trip and will be uploading a selection over the coming days.

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One of our objectives was to visit Llandudno, the South African version of where we live. Llandudno, South Africa is quiet close to Cape Town and only has residential properties. It was spotlessly clean and the beach was pristine on the day we visited. A lovely location.


8th March

A lot has happened since my last update! I have been to Dar es Salaam to inspect two electrical panels, on the way back from there, intending to continue onwards to the Uk I was told that the contract was being cancelled until a later date when it might restart.

I am currently sat in a Guest House in Jo-Berg. Having no contract has meant I had no ticket to fly back to JO-Berg and then onwards to Cape Town, has had been planned, for a four week holiday instead of spending my rotation at home.

The Sunrock Guest House in Kempton Park is very good and I can recommend it to anyone planning on staying in Jo-Burg for whatever reason. It is close to the airport and the staff are very friendly and obliging.

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While resting, I have managed to photograph a good selection of the bird life which can be found within the birds gallery, but the star of the show, to my mind anyway, was this Grey Go-away Bird.. I only managed to get this one shot, as when I tried to relocate to a better position I could not find it again.

Prior to leaving work to travel to Tanzania I was invited out for a Sunday drive, I did not manage to take many shots and the drive was curtailed anyway due to a wet slippery washed out road, but some photos can be found here of the road and Palma  on the way back to camp.

A few shots from Dar Es Salaam can be found here which are followed by a couple of shots from Sunrock Guest House.

Tomorrow I leave Johannesberg to fly to Cape Town and the proper start to the holiday. I hope I will have the time to update the site at least once or twice during the trip, but if not then when I return to the UK on  2nd April I will get it done as soon as I can.


11th February

I’ve been back here nearly a week now! It looks as if I will have to go to Dar es Salaam again prior to returning home, but I am not sure of the dates yet. I might have to go immediatley before my homewards flight.

Sunday morning myself and a colleague; Daniel, were out of the camp at 5am on our way to visit the Depot. As we were out and about we were in bird spotting frame of mind and irt turned out to be one of our better excursions. The photographs of the birds can be found here at the end of the birds gallery.

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While we were out we also spotted a Jackal who hung around long enough for me to get this photo.

In this area on the way back towards camp we also ran into some local men off on a hunt. One of them wanted his photo taken, and the resultant pictures (only two) can be seen from here onwards.

All in all we had a productive time and got back to camp in time to start work. Yes, we do work on a Sunday, although generally speaking things are that little bit quieter.


2nd February 

A final update before I leave.

I have had a really good break and although the weather hasn’t been the best, there have still been nice days to get out taking some photos, like yesterday.

I spent about two hours meandering through Happy Valley and stopping often to allow the birds to come to me. Ali does not like going out walking with me and my camera as it takes so long to just do a short distance.

The bird photographs can be viewed from here onwards.

And finally after my walk yesterday, refreshment was called for! Whilst partaking in a pint I was explaining to a friend in the Snowdon how the 'Quiet Continious' mode on the camera was so much better for taking bird photos. To demonstratwe this I took a series of shots of the barmaid, Inga, in the Snowdon.

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30th January 

Another cold, but nice day in Llandudno! I had to go out earlier to get some South African Rand as I am due to  leave for Mozambique again on Tuesday. On the way back I had a stroll along the prom, the light was just right with a nice yellow sheen and it really made the trees look special.

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I have uploaded some photographs to a new Llandudno gallery here which includes three of the Mad Hatter sculpture, and of course this will be etended as and when I have suitable pictures to include.

These are the first uploaded photographs taken with my new Nikon D810 and I am very impressed. The camera is much faster and the new 'Quiet Continious' mode should really be handy when I am back at work and trying to photograph skittish birds and things.

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Finally I went out for lunch with a group of friends on Wednesday as we try to do whenever we are available. The photograph below was taken with the Fujifilm X100T which has now replaced my Sony RX1.

I like the feel of the Fuji and the results speak for themselves. Being so small and silent it is more discrete than the Nikon D810.


22nd January 

Bright sunny day here at the moment so I might go for a walk prior to continuing with the blog from yesterday. 

Haulfre Gardens was really nice in the sun, although it was very cold and there wasn’t much to take photos of apart from some Blue Tits at a nesting box. Is it that time already, or are they earlier than usual?

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The camp in Mozambique is improving all the time with a lot more greenery now than in the past. This seems to be attracting a greater number of birds every trip, which is very good from a photography standpoint. On the last trip I went out one evening with a couple of photography friends, initially to try and get some star scapes, but there was too much cloud. I did try my hand at long exposure and light painting though and this example was the best for the night.

This technique is certainly something that I would like to try more of. Until I get more experience though it is very hit and miss.

I also need somebody willing to come with me as it is not advisable to be out on ones own at night .

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The best place to be after dark is at the bar or in bed asleep. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, our bar, which is technically outside the fence, opens from 5 to 6  every night.

Christmas day though, it opened a bit earlier and having the new Fujifilm camera with me I managed to get this shot of David Waters with his christmas hat on.

Daniel, who will be buying my D800, apart from being the barman, is also one of the camp snake catchers, a photo of an eastern egg eating snake can be seen here. The snakes that venture onto the camp are released unharmed out in the wilderness a little way past the fence.

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The only birdie photograph of note from my last trip is one of a pair of Crowned Hornbills which can be seen here.

Anadarko, who I work for, have an annual HSE Calendar photography competition. This year there were over 600 photos submitted and I am chuffed to say that my woodpecker photo was one of the 24 chosen for inclusion. 

I mentioned yesterday that I have now added a family album to this website. I had resisted the temptation to do this in the past, but on my last trip to Switzerland I could see that my grandchildren were growing up fast and I decided that a couple of photos should be included here.

The picture of Sarae wearing her grandads hat is brilliant, she looks so proud! I could not of course leave out Shaye who is a totally different character to his sister and was concentrating very hard on building a wind up clock when this photo was taken. I do not intend to upload hundreds of photos of my grandchildren, but as and when a particular photograph catches my eye then I will upload it.


21st January

Christmas and the New Year celebrtations have been and gone, I’ve done a full rotation in Mozambique and yet it’s only now that I have got around to updating the web site. Thank you to all those who have visited the site and noticed I have been slacking, it is nice to know that I have a small following here.

I have created some new photograph albums with this update:-  Mozambique 2015, Africa  and a family album which will just have a few photographs of myself, Ali, my daugher and grandchildren in Switzerland.

I have also added photographs to the Great Orme, North Wales Lakes and the Birds albums.

This past trip to Mozambique was memorable as I was also sent to Tanzania to inspect an electrical panel we require for the camp. A few photographs can be found here in the new Africa album. I did not have too much free time while in Dar es Salaam, as of course, I was working. But I did manage to get out for a short walk on the Monday I was leaving. It was very hot and humid and after an hour I was glad to get back to the hotel and have a shower before going to the airport for my return flight.

There has been a change in the days we leave Mozambique due to logistic reasons and I now leave the camp on a Wednesday instead of Friday as previously. For this return trip, it meant I had a couple of nights stay-over in Jo-Burg as my ticket was already purchased and it was cheaper for me to stay there rather than change it for me to come home early.

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Anyway, I was not alone, so myself and John Hughes met up with another collegue in Jo-Burg by the Nelson Mandela statue. We were taken to Carnivores, thank you to Brad for the lift in his Jeep and general discussion on Jo-Burg. Carnivores is, as its name suggests, a meat eaters restaurant, it is located just outside Jo-Burg. The picture below is of me on a seat in the entrance to the restaurant.

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The table is laid out with a rotating salad and dressings/pickles platter in the middle and the staff bring a continious supply of barbequed meats which the carve off long swords with what appear to be very sharp knives. I certainly enjoyed my lunch, and the conversation that afternoon.

Thank you again Bradley.

Prior to leaving site I was in discussion with another collegue, Daniel who is also into photography and is very knowlefgable on the birds and animals of southern Africa.

I mentioned that I was thinking of upgrading my Nikon D800 to the recently released D810. Anyway to cut a long story short, Daniel is going to buy my D800 from me, this will upgrade him from a DX camera format to full frame FX. I have now purchased the D810 and am very pleased. The D800 is still relativley new, having only had shutter operations 20,600 times. it is rated at in excess of 300,000 operations by Nikon, so there is plenty of life left in it yet.

To be continued tomorrow. Hopefully.

2013 Blogs

24th December 2013

From Mozambique; MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone I know.

Things are really quiet here at the moment as there is only a skeleton staff left to ensure that everything ticks over during the holiday period.

There were plans to go down to the beach tomorrow for Xmas lunch, but its now been decided that we will have a buffet here at the camp, with everyone invited. So a Phillipino from a contractor and others nationaals will help to prepare the food to represent as many of the nationalities here as possible.

We have had a lot of rain in the past few days which seems to have triggered a big increase in the number of flying insects that plague us as soon as the sun starts to sink. Last night was particulary bad with swarms of them entering through the door of the dining room everytime someone came in or went out.

I have been out this morning taking some photos of any I could find and have uploaded a set to a new photograph gallery; "Mozambique Bugs”. I will keep a lookout for other interesting insects and hopefully build up quite a collection of the critters.

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I have also managed to take a few shots of  a pair of Bronze Mannikins (thank you Eve for the ID) that have set up nest in a tree near where we have our evening pint.

The camp cat has also noticed the birds, but fortunatley for them it keeps falling out of the tree when the branches bend under it weight.

The cat was brought to the camp from our previous one to help control any snakes that might stray through the perimiter fence. 

I’m not sure how effective they would be, but, every little helps I suppose.

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I also took a few photos of the cat last night when it decided it wanted to explore the beer table.

I particularly liked this one as even though James is out of focus in the background you can still recognise him.



16th December 2013

I’m back in the swing of things now here Mozambique. On the way here I had a great time in Manchester with Phil and then saw my daughter and grandchildren in Zurich.

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For those of you who have asked, the picture to the left is the ‘bar' (which is outside the fence line) at Pioneer camp where I am working.

The bar is only open from 5 to 6 in the evening and on the night these photographs were taken a thundercloud started getting nearer and nearer.

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The light you can see in the photo here is internal lightning within the thundercloud itself. It was very impressive! I only had the Sony RX1 with me as there was no sign of anything interesting when we walked to the bar. It just goes to show that you must have a camera with you at all times. No camera: No picture.

I do try to ensure that at the very least the Sony is always on my belt.

I have some pictures from Zurich. which I will upload in the coming days, so keep checking.

Tony, Mozambique.

8th December 2013

Where has the time gone. I am due to leave for my travels back to work tomorrow.  First to Manchester where I will meet up with Phil for a visit to the Brewdog Bar; I bought some shares and they sent me a 10 Beer Bucks voucher, which expire in January.

After Manchester I fly to Zurich, where hopefully I will meet up with my daughter and the grandchildren. I say hopefully, as her phone is not working and she hasnt replied to my email. But if nothing else, I will leave the Christmas presents with a neighbour.

Then on Wednesday evening I take an overnight flight to Jo-Burg where I am booked into an airport hotel till 3 AM the next morning before catching the charter flight into Mozambique and back to work.

I will be there over Christmas and all being well will return to the UK on 11th January.

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Photo wise; I have been very lacking in effort whilst I have been home. On Thursday, when there were plenty of opportunities withthe storm, I was at the dentist in Chester! I think I must have been on the last train along the coastal line, as the waves were coming over the wall beside the track.

I did get this shot of a Robin in Haulfre Gardens on one of my gentle strolls though.


For a pre christmas get-to-gether with Keith & Carole this afternoon I went to the Kings Head seconds after Ali had left.

(In reality 1.5 hours later), anyway, about 3 o’clock a guitarist turned up to play classical music, and very good he was too. A couple of photos can be found here.

I have also tonight updated the PnP section of the website with some recent shots.

And finally! Carole Campbell; dont forget to say thankyou to me when I return,  for not publishing the brilliant, glamorous, eyecatching photo of you I have from the Kings Head today.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to everybody I know and I look forward to seeing you all in the new year.

Tony.

24th November 2013

61

Again!

What a rush things have been over the past week. I arrived in the UK a week ago today, one day at home and then down to south Wales to meet my sister for a birthday dinner at the 'Inn at Penallt', near Monmouth. We had to stay the first night in Clearwell as the Inn does not open on a Monday, but there you go, can't have everything you would like. Even more importantly, the Boat public house on the banks of the Wye at Penallt does not open on a Tuesday and has winter hours. We will have to be more dilligent in the preparation next year.

Been to Cambrian Photography today and bought a new tripod. I needed one that I could carry on flights with me. The plan is to take some star scapes whilst in Mozambique. Where I work there is next to no light pollution and the nights are really dark so hopefully I will be able to post some good shots.

I have been to Haulfre Gardens and taken some pics of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. See the lower section of the left hand banner on the home page. I am not totally happy yet, and will try to improve on each during the next two weeks.

13th November 2013

So much for forward planning. The day before I was due to fly home I was asked if I would go to Maputo to Pre-Qualfy a potential supplier of electrical equipment for the project.

Well, Ali would be looking after her mum who was due to have a replacement hip, which meant I would have had time on my hands, so Yes was the answer.

I am writing this from the Polano Hotel in Maputo, 5 star old world and very nice, and I will now be flying to Jo-Burg on Friday and home on Saturday.

Cheers!

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8th November 2013

Friday, and I leave here on Tuesday next week. A four week trip doesn't half go fast; especially when you are really busy.

Its been more than a week since my last post and I had only taken a couple of photos until yesterday when we took a short trip to inspect the site of future works. I have added a selection of the photos to the Mozambique gallery and the first in the series one can be found here.

I have started now to prepare for my departure; compiling my hand-over notes for my back-to-back and completing all the outstanding items.

I will travel from here to MdP and thence onwards to Jo-Burg, Zurich and Manchester on Wednesday.

26th October 2013

Since yesterday when I put up the link to YouTube from the 1995 Vivians to Owens dig with the Great Orme Exploration Society. Dave Flowers has uploaded a second video, this time of the society within the Pen Morfa.

I have therefore moved the link from yesterday to the Contact and Links page where the links can be grouped together.

On Tuesday I will have been back working in Mozambique for two weeks and will be half way through this trip.

Still no great picture opportunities though. Every time I leave the office I have one or the other of the cameras with me, but nothing. No birds, no reptiles just nothing.

Hopefully that will change as the summer approaches and the animals come to realise that we are here and there are food opportunities.

25th October 2013

Not much has happend on the photographic front over the past few days, The below photo shows the beginnings of phase 2 of Pioneer camp when it will grow to 288 persons.

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The only other picture I've taken recently was of this bug hanging from a shaving on a fence post.

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Recently Dave Flowers, a friend from the Great Orme Exploration Society ( see links page ) posted a video on YouTube.

Link to video moved to here.

This was taken in 1995 when I was active in the exploration of the abandoned underground workings of the copper mines of the Great Orme.

We went underground at least once a week and very often twice, during this period. Quite often there were ten or so of us on the underground trips. Everybody worked as a team, which is essential when you are in what can only be described as very dangerous locations.

The Vivians to Owens dig continued for quite some time and I am sure that we were through to the Owens workings, although we could never find a way to areas previously surveyed from the Owens side of the complex.

20th October 2013

I'm back in Mozambique now and have settled in to the new 'Pioneer' camp. It is much better than the old camp as we now have our own rooms with a shower, whereas before we were sharing two to a room.

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My room is the last one on the right in the above photo which was taken two nights ago on the way back from a little refreshment. As you can see, the camp is not complete yet, but it is getting better all the time.

I have added a couple of bird photos to the gallery, here. I havent seen any other wild life since getting back, but saying that, I havent been away from the camp either.

14th October 2013

This blog is being written in the bar of the Southern Sun hotel at Jo-Burg airport. I arrived at about 9:30 this morning after the flight from Zurich.

I went to Zurich on my way back to work to see my daughter and grandchildren. The weather was stunning with bright blue skies and it seemed a lot warmer than the Uk when I left. I have uploaded some photos in a new Zurich gallery here.

The hotel where I stayed in Zurich was picked partially due to a review which said it had a special bar; it has! 

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I counted the top shelf and there were 97 different bottles!

In all there were 27 different varieties of Gin on the second shelf, and NO, I did not try them all.

Sarae the youngest grandchild is really shooting up  and my daughter; Claire, reckons she has my genes in her as her legs and arms seem really long. 

It is really special to me being able to visit them, as up until recently I had had no contact for 25 years. Claire 'found me' when I was working in Afghanistan. Thank you Claire.

I will have to have an early night tonight as I have to be at the airport at 03:30 in the morning for my flight to MdP and then onwards to Palma and finally Afungi.

11th October 2013

Tomorrow morning, early, I start my journey back to Mozambique.

The first flight is to Zurich where I will stop-over in order to see my daughter and grandchildren. I then fly to Johannesburg overnight on Sunday and arrive early Monday morning. The following morning at 03:30, I get the company chartered jet to MdP in Mozambique, and from there it is a short hop in a cessna to Palma where the original camp is. 

Pioneer camp where I work is one and a half hours away over dirt tracks.

I will be back in the UK on 14th November.

Hopefully, this trip I will be able to update the web site with some decent pictures. I am taking back the Nikon D800 with two lenses; a 28 to 300mm telezoom and an 105mm micro.

I have finished my buying spree that precedes every trip I make, be it hand gel sanitiser or Malorone for myself . Additionally, there is always something needed for work, this time a key cabinet for out LOTO procedure.

To all my friends that have made my short holiday a pleasure; Thank you. I look forward to seeing you all in November.

Salutations

Tony

10th October 2013

On Saturday 5th October, myself and Ali went for what we were expecting to be a very short walk in a wood near Llanrwst in the Snowdonia National Park. 

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Coed Felin Blwm proved to be much more than we had anticipated, It was very enjoyable and well worth a visit.

We walked up through the wood, following the well used track and there in front of us was a double waterfall. Photos here.

Continuing upwards we eventually reached a small lane which we walked along until we reached a second woodland walk descending back to the main Trefriw  to Llanwrst road which we follows back to the Coed Felin Blwm carpark.

2nd October 2013

Having some spare time yesterday I went for a walk in the Gwydyr Forest. I had previously noticed the sign for the Forest Lakes walk and decided to give it a look.

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The walk was very pleasant and took less than the 2 hours stated on the sign, but I was on my own, and not delayed with any other people.

The weather stayed dry, although it was very humid and I was soaked by the time I got back to the car.

The walk starts and ends at the Llyn Sarnau car park (SH 778 592) and is suitable for most people without any harsh climbs, although a walking stick is usefull on a couple of the descents as they were quite slippery yesterday.

A highlight of the walk was a little garden of fungi growing around the base of a tree near an old lead mine. I assume that the fungi were lovers of this type of soil. Photos of these and others from the walk can be found here.

1st October 2013

Saturday saw me and Ali up early to embark on an epic adventure, we had decided to circumnavigate Snowdonia using the bus and train services.

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We set out from Llandudno at 07:30 in the morning (and I got up without Ali having to call me) 

Our next port of call was Caernarfon, where we borded the Welsh Highland Railway stema train to Porth Maddock.

I had splashed out and we had a seat in the first-class Pullamd Carrieage.

26th September 2013

It has taken me much longer than I expected to get back to normal after the eleven weeks in Mozambique.

This blog is being published using my new Macbook Air which will be going back to Mozambique with me. The laptop I took with me previously was a windows machine and I use a  Mac program called Sandvox to build and maintain this web site.

Yesterday I went on a wak about in Chester with my friend Keith. We had lunch in the Albion preceded and followed by a few pints. The landlord of the Albion shown in the below photo has been there for the past 41 years. is that a UK record I wonder?


The landlord of the Albion in Chester. 40 plus years in one pub!

19th September 2013

Well. I am home again. Instead of 28 days in Mozambique I ended up doing eleven weeks.

In the coming week I will update the web site with my thoughts and photos since July.

1st July 2013

It looks very much as if I will now be leaving for Mozambique on Wednesday of this week. We are just waiting for the official order to come through.

30th June 2013

What a week!

I have been to Stockport for a job interview; Electrical engineer for a sugar refinery in Lagos, Nigeria. Terms and conditions not very good; six months work and then two weeks holiday. I was thinking of turning down the job if offered, which might happen tomorrow.

The very next day I had a phone call from an agency who have had my CV since I started working overseas again. Would I be available for a position in Mozambique? Yes! 12 months contract, 28 days on and 28 days off. Friday morning I had another phone call saying I have got the job and could I leave within the next week. 

So it looks like I am off to Mozambique some time soon. I have never been to the southern hemisphere before, but I am hoping that there will be plenty of photographic possibilities. I have had my Sony RX1 returned, so that is the camera I will take for the first time. Will take the Nikon D800 on later trips, once I have settled in a bit.

Yesterday I went to Chester as I needed to get an international driving permit for Mozambique. Whilst there we called in the Albion for lunch.

The back rooms in the Albion, Chester.

The back rooms of the Albion in Chester.

21st June 2013

I was sat in the garden this afternoon after returning from taking some photographs of the Bee Orchids when I looked over the wall to our small garden and saw these two doing what they should do at this time of year I suppose.

Anyway I just had time to get the camera which was in the house. luckily it still had the 105mm macro lens fitted and took this shot before they flew away.

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Summer mating.

19th June 2013

                                                                                                                         

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Sunday saw us off to visit Erddig, the National Trust property near Wrexham. We had a very enjoyable walk around the gardens before the house opened at 12:30. It was interesting to see all the photographs that the Yorke family who owned Erddig for 240 years had taken of their servants and staff.

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Since we were in the Wrexham area, and it was a Sunday, it seemed a shame not to have a Sunday lunch. So we went to the Pant-yr-Ochain nr. Wrexham. It was very busy, being Fathers Day, but the lunch was the best Roast Beef and Yorkshire I can ever remember having.

On returning home I noticed that some of the photographs I had taken using my 17-35mm Nikon lens were not focused exactly as I had composed the picture. I spent Monday and Tuesday fine tuning the AF on my D800, with all my lenses each having a different setting. 

I have found though, the camera cannot be adjusted enough for the 17-35mm F2.8 wide angle lens. Cambrian Photography in Colwyn Bay are checking with Nikon UK as to what to do next. The lens was only purchased in August 2012 and the camera in March 2012 with extended warranty on the camera, so both are covered under guarantee.

While I was calibrating the AF for my 105mm Nikon macro lens though, I noticed that the bees in our garden were busily collecting the pollen from a blue Geranium and I managed to get the photo below.


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10th June 2013

The weather was glorious again yesterday so I went for a little stroll in the afternoon to Conwy. I hadn't gone far though when I saw my friends Keith and Carole on the beach at West Shore.

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It only took ninety five minutes to walk along the cycle track to Conwy, where I was able to have some refreshments in the Albion. 

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On a previous visit to the Albion myself and friends tried the strongest beer ever at 37% ABV. 

This has now been superseded by this tipple. I did not sample it this time as I think it would be best enjoyed in the company of others. But the Albion is certainly my favorite pub in Conwy. They always have a good selection of draught ales, ciders and perry's on the bar.

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Conwy castle the quay and town taken from the cycle track.

8th June 2013

Yesterday I went to photograph the Woodpeckers and they had gone. They can still be heard and seen occasionally within Haulfre Gardens, so between 3 pm on Thursday and 11am yesterday morning the young had fledged.

The week I have just spent photographing the woodpeckers was very enjoyable and has taught me a lot more about photography.

3rd June 2013

I have finally managed to get some good pictures of our local Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

It took a full morning, searching for a good spot to take the photographs, but finally I found the perfect place. I had found their nest, and they had at least one chick.

Yesterday and today I have been back and will continue until the chicks are fully fledged, which judging by the size of them in the photographs wont be long.

And then, as my friend Eve says, I should be able to get some good pictures of the chicks on twigs begging for more food from their ever attentive parents.

28th April 2013

Three Brammock Rods now erected with temporary supports.Ali and I spent a very enjoyable afternoon yesterday up on the Great Orme, helping fellow members of the Great Orme Exploration Society (GOES) erect three replica "Brammock Rods".

Brammock Rods were part of the old Tom & Jerry pumping system that de-watered the victorian copper mines on the Great Orme. For further information visit the GOES website.

Ali with Wilma looking for food.The head of a Brammock Rod

Wilma our labrador is forever attentive whenever there is food about.

The photo below shows the Great Orme Tram on the upper section of the journey to the summit of the Great Orme through the flat rod bearing on the top of a brammock rod.











25th April 2013

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Well! I'm back home in Llandudno after a good flight in business class on the Emirates A380 from Dubai to Manchester.

It must be the best aircraft flying at the moment, it is so quiet on takeoff and generally is a joy to fly on.

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I managed to join up with Mansour in Dubai and we had a couple of glasses of wine and a meal. 

The camera that took these photographs, my new Sony RX1 has developed an error message; E:61:00. So it has been taken back to Cambrian Photography this morning for return to Sony for repair. Looking on the web, it seeems that this is a common problem for all Cybershot cameras, one solution to the error message I saw, was to drop the camera from about three feet onto the floor carpet. Not sure  I want to even try that solution, much easier just to send it back to Sony.

Typically though it is raining, so I think I will stay indoors for the day.

21st April 2013

I have now added a gallery of photographs of reptiles, insects and spiders etc. 

Hopefully when I leave here I will be able to spend a few hours in Dubai and meet up with a friend and collegue; Mansour. Mansour is on his way back to work after having a very short one week holiday back in Heidelberg. I have known Mansour for about six years now, We both worked for the same company while I was in Afghanistan.

Hanging around with nothing to do, although boring, has at least given me the time to develop this website. This is something I have been meaning to do for a long time. I bought the domain greatorme.com about ten years ago with the thought that it would eventually be my personal web presence.

20th April 2013

Well, I'm still in Iraq. No idea yet when I might be leaving.

I have today added a "Birds in Iraq" collection to the galleries. I have not yet managed to name all the birds , so help would be much appreciated.

27th May 2013

Today i was sorting out some photographs from the Llandudno airshow and I noticed that on all my pictures of the RAF helicopter there was a distubance in the air behind it.

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The photoabve above is the full picture and shows the disturbance as a circle of air around the rear of the helicopter that gives the impression that it is out of focus. Below is a crop of just the helicopter and the "vortex".

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I am assuming that it is the resolving power of my D800 which allows this to be seen?

17th May 2013

Electrical Problem

Many years ago, when I was working in Algeria, I was given an electrical problem by a workmate who's name I can't now remember. But, the problem has not been forgotten. In all the time since, 34 years or thereabouts, I have regulary given this problem to electricians and engineers whom I have been working with.

Only one person has managed to give me a solution; Roger Tange, was the high voltage engineer when I worked for Sybetra in Iraq in the early 1980's and he drew the solution in the dust on the floor of a sub-station after only thinking about it for a minute or two.

I was told when I was given the problem that there were two solutions, but I only managed to find one. I have since seen a second solution so there are definitely two ways to complete the wiring.

Enjoy!

16th may 2013

Yesterday myself and some friends went for lunch at the Kinmel Arms, St George. This outing is a semi regular occurance and over the years we have been to most eateries of note in our area of north Wales. Our numbers vary from three upwards depending on who is in the country and available at any one time. Yesterday was a larger than normal do with nine of us in total.

To my mind the Kinmel Arms ranks as the best place to eat and I would certainly go more often if it was just a little nearer Llandudno.

12th May 2013

We have just returned from a short holiday in south Wales to visit my family.

We stayed at the Inn at Penalt, which is above the Wye Valley on the Welsh side near to Monmouth. It was excellent and highly recommended. The rooms were a bit on the small side, but in fairness this was explained on their web site.

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The Inn at Penallt

The service and food were first class and we will be returning before the year is out.

A short walk down towards the river (1.5 miles) is the Boat Inn. This superb pub is on the riverside where an old railway bridge, with footpath, crosses over to Redbrook on the English side of the Wye.

I was last at the boat in 1970 (or thereabouts) when I was a member of Newport Phoenix Cycling Club and it used to be a favorite stop for lunch when cycling down or up the Wye Valley.

The pub was just as I remembered it, although we were told that the present landlady has been making much needed renovations. All very sympathetically done I must say.

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The Boat Inn at Penallt

We also had lunch while we were away at the Carpenters Arms on the B4235 near Shirenewton; another old cycling haunt.

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The Carpenters Arms, Shirenewton.

All in all we have had a very enjoyable couple of days away. And a final photo with a question mark. Is the reddy pink flower a “Cranesbill?

8th May 2013

I have todaay taken my first ever "proper" macro photographs. I will upload any that are OK for viewing within the next couple of days. But here is a taster.

A Mason Bee in our garden.

7th May 2013

Been to the Dentist this morning so my mouth is still a bit numb after the injection.

I have now added a description to each of the People n Pubs section photographs.

I have also started on creating a page for friends to showcase some of their photographs. This was requested by Dennis Oliver of the Abbey Lodge Hotel.

6th May 2013

I have now added content to the PnP's page. This stands for People and Pubs and is a bit of fun with photos taken over the years by myself and some friends while we have been enjoying a spot of refreshment.

4th May 2013

Yesterday was the first day of the Llandudno Victorian Extravangaza. The weather started off dull and them we had a shower before settling down to a very nice afternoon.

Due to working overseas I normally miss the extravangaza, so this year I spent a few hours walking the streets and taking some pictures.

In 2012 during the combined services open day, I took some photos of the Llandudno Lifeboat which can be found here. Llandudno Lifeboat.

3rd may 2013

I have today added a new gallery to the Photographs section which I took whilst walking on the Orme on May 1st. The Great Orme Trams are very popular within the town and the majority of tourists who visit the resort take a ride on the two sections of the cable-hauled tramway to the summit of the Great Orme.

For this set of pictures I have modified how I save them out of Adobe Lighroom and I hope thatr they will now be clearer in the enlarged form.

1st may 2013

Yesterday, the weather forecast was good, so I went to Blaenau Ffestiniog. For those of you who do not know, the local myth is that "it always rains" in Blaenau Ffestiniog. Well to prove the sceptics wrong have a look at the pictures I have put on the photographs section. Here. My return train to Llandudno is to the right with the Ffestiniog steam railway train Merddin Emrys at the station.

Blaenau Ffestiniog railway station with Merddin Emrys at the platform.

I must also give a big thank you to my friend Eve Parry for her help in naming the Birds in Iraq. There are still a couple that either do not have a name or we are not certain if the given name is correct, so any help appreciated.

19th April - First Post

This is new for me. I have never blogged previously and it will be interesting to see how this develops.

I have just learned that I am being made redundant from my job in Iraq. Realistically I have known this was coming for some time, as the project was coming to an end and the company I work for did not seem that interested in bidding for more work at this location.

I have built up a good electrical team during my time here, with two excellent British electrical supervisors, and I am sure that they are fully capable of completing the small amount of outstanding work. My best wishes to James and Wesley, carry on the good work.

Hopefully I will be leaving here on Tuesday and flying into Manchester on Wednesday.

2014 Thoughts & Information

19th November

Big day today: Another one of them birthday things!

Off out to the Kinmel Arms for lunch. This is still my favourite restaurant in north Wales.

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On my last trip home my Sony RX1 came up with an error message again; exactly the same message as previously, but this time the big difference being, it is out of its warranty period, so I have to pay for the repair. Not really good enough when one considers the cost of this camera. I think I will have to part-ex it for a different model or make when it finally comes back. Maybe one of the new mirrorless 4/3rd cameras with interchangeable lenses?

This picture of my friend Simon was, as a result of the above, taken with the iPhone 6 in the carpark of the Kings Head. I cant remember why Simon was drinking a soft drink, but it is not normal.

On the way back to work, as usual I spent a day in Zurich with my daughter and grand children. 

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In the evening I finally found a restaurant I had heard about and had been searching for for a while. Restaurant Oepfelchammer is famous in Zurich due to the graffiti on the walls of one of the rooms. There are names carved everywhere, the walls, the beams and even the tables. This is not a recent thing as the menu says there is one name dated 1850 somewhere on the walls. The food was good too!

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I always stay at the same hotel if I can, the Hotel Adler on Rosengasse in the old part of Zurich. Normally I end up in a piano bar just around the corner to the hotel for a couple of bottles of Swiss Dark Beer before retiring, but this trip I ventured into a bar just opposite the hotel called Tina’s Bar. I was a bit wary at first and peaked around the door to make sure it was not a pole dancing club or anything. But no, it was a ‘normal’ cocktail sort of place. Interestingly it had a gin I had never tried before ‘Blackwoods Vintage Dry Gin’ at 60% ABV, I only had one (double) honestly. It also had one of my favourite gins  'Monkey 47’; which also had to  be sampled.

If you look closely at the photo to the left, you will also note that they have a lengthy Absynthe drinks menu. I’m not sure if Absynthe is for me, but I might try just one of the choice on another visit.

And finally the big news for this post. We have bought a new car. A Mazda 6 estate. The Jimny took just three days to sell on Auto trader so that was very good.

16th November

I am concious of the fact that I am not keeping this web site as up to date as I would like.  My recent trips in Mozambique have been very busy with little of no time for photography and it always takes me a week to return ‘to normal. when I return to the UK; this trip being no exception.

Finally though I am sorting some recent photographs from the single foray I managed on my last rotation.

13th October

Where does the time go? again! Even though I have had more than four weeks at home there is much that I have not managed to get done.

We went on a short holiday to north Yorkshire early on during the holiday, but apart from downloading the pictures taken I haven’t even managed to give them keywords in Lightroom yet. This is something I will have to knuckle down to and do in the evenings when I am back at work.

One major project that I have started, is to get all my music collection digitised and organised with cover art embedded in each file. The death of CD’s? To this end, I have purchased a little program called ‘ Bliss' for the MAC’s that will automate a good deal of the job; I hope.

This is going to be ongoing project that will last a fair while I think, but sometime next yeaar I intend to sell/part-ex my Nakamichi PA5 and CA7 power and control amplifiers that I have had for many years together with the Celestion DL6 speakers. They are all still giving excellent service and have not been abused and look as new (I even have the original receipts and manuals somewhere). I intend to convert to full NAS streaming for my musical listening requirements. If anyone reading this would like to make me an offer then they are available from January onwards at a reasonable price to a good home.

I leave tomorrow on my way back to Mozambique and will, as normal, call in at Zurich to see my daughter and grand children. Must remember to get some pictures to post here on this web site.

Adieu till November 8th.

20th September 2014

It’s been over a month since I last updated the web site; where does the time go. This past trip to Mozambique, although only three weeks long has been extremely busy. I only managed to leave the camp on one occasion, and even then I had a phone call asking for me to return as their was a minor crisis.

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On my way back this time, I had to spend a day in JoBerg; no seats on the Friday plane. So lunch at the Butchers Shop in Nelson Mandela Square was called for.

The Butchers Shop is "WORLD FAMOUS” or so I was told by my South African friends. I must say though that I was underwhelmed. It was OK, but nothing more.

The square itself is also a lot smaller than I was expecting.

Since being home we have been out for lunch on three occasions, three days on the trot.

First we went to The Castle in Conway - Excellent as always, then the next day the Bull in Beaumaris, as good as the Castle and finally, on Wednesday, The Grovenor Hotel bistro in Chester, no better then the other two even though being about twice the price. I enjoyed it though: I always enjoy Chester.

18th August 2014

Yesterday I was asked by the Llandudno Lifeboat crew to support the planning application for a new boathouse. This I am very pleased to do and as an additional effort I have put the details below.

So, please to anyone reading this blog can you show your support for the volunteers who risk their lives to provide this essential service.

17th August 2014

A quick update to show the photos I took recently on a short walk at Llangelynin Old Chuch up on the Conwy Mountain. 

I have set up a new gallery entitled Welsh Heritage in which I can put anything  that shows the rich history of north Wales. Llangelynin Church is the first entry.

Yesterday evening whilst having refreshments in the Kings Head I got to chatting about words with Simon Hall. I was wondering if these ramblings could be called Synopsis of my Sinapses? I have read that Synapses are connections between neurons through which ‘information’ flows. Therefore with my thoughts being information passing between the neurons in my head, these words could be called a Synopsis of that information.

15th August 2014

Since my last ramblings on this page there has been another “music” event over the road at the Kings Head. We escaped again by going away for a couple of days.

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Our venue this time was the Cholmondeley Arms which is near Malpas on the crossroads of Bickerton Road and Wrenbury Road on the A49 in Cheshire. At the time of booking, I had read that they had 115 different gins behind the bar, in what is an old school house. By the time we arrived this had grown to the impressive number of 224 and was still growing. This is an excellent place to visit, and like us, to stay in the old Headmasters House just next door. The food was excellent, in fact I will go so far as to say, I had the best Rib Eye steak in a long time on our first evening. Or was it the Gins talking!

We visited a few hosteleries over the course of three days and I have uploaded some photos starting here.

Prior to leaving home, on the Saturday, we took some friends, Tom & Eve, to the Eglwysbach Show. We were at the show after we got married in 2000, it seemed fitting to go again as I was home and we both enjoy country shows. The Eglwysbach one is particularly good as it has not grown out of proportion and retains the 'country show' feel. I managed to get a few good shots of both Ali, Tom & Eve on the day as well as of some Alpacas that were at the show.

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During our days away we also had some good walks, and on the Monday went a few miles along the “Sandstone Trail”  on a loop around the perimiter of the Peckforton Estate. 

We had been on the Bickerton Hill section of the trail on a previous get-away weekend and the views from this section were just as outstanding.

 Beeston Castle shown here is very impressive.

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We parked just above the Pheasant Inn and  had to sit outside at the end of our walk with a pint of local Cheshire brew for me and a cup of tea for my driver. This serves the advantage of getting Wilma to have a drink, (nothing to do with me at all).

 We have discovered that Wilma, who is normally very fussy with what water she will drink, is much better if I pour a bit of my pint into the water first.

The views from the terrace were outstanding and we were told that it was possible, on a clear day, to tell the time from the Clock on the Liver Building in Liverpool. On the day we were there I could see the Liver building through the 500mm lens on my camera, but it was not quite clear enough to tell the time.

Maybe we should go back one day when it is clear to get a better photograph.

I have uploaded these and some other interesting photographs to a new Cheshire photographs gallery here.

Since being home I have been pleased to find out that one of my favourite short walks is again open to the public. This walk is above the village of Tal-y-Bont in the Conwy Valley and skirts the side of a reservoir that takes the outflow from Llyn Eigiau, before returning alongside a leat cut into the side of a hill. I have uploaded some photos from this walk to the ‘North Wales Lakes’ gallery here.

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I particularly like the mix of old and new technology that can be found in the hills of Wales. My appreciation of our industrial heritage could have been nurtured during my years exploring the mines of the Great Orme with the Great Orme Exploration Society.


On our way back we called in at The Three Pigeons at Graigfechan for lunch. We have camped here in the past and they often have a musical festival and are on the local bus pub trail.

I have also had a walk to 

This has been a large update to the web site before I leave on my way back to work. But again I will only be gone for three weeks and then have five weeks off, as I am approaching my maximum allowed time in Mozambique and have to restrict the time spent in the country.

1st August 2014

Another month dawns and I have to start planning for my return to Mozambique. Things have been very quiet on the photography front this trip home.

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Due to the  ‘music’ event at the Kings Head last weekend myself and Ali took ourselves off to the Pen-y-Dyffryn country house near Oswestry which was excellent. The staff were very friendly and made us very welcome. The food was excellent and I can recommend this lovely hotel to everyone with no reservations.

The weather was very nice and we could sit outside to enjoy the sights and sounds of country life without the racket that would have been emanating from the KH.

On the Sunday we took a trip to the Pistyl Rhaedr waterfalls and I have added a few of the photos to the North Wales Lakes gallery, but I will have to do a bit of re-organisation I think and find a different home for them.

Then on Wednesday I had a boys day out in Chester with my friend Keith,  I have added to the PnP section here for both the weekend and Wednesday here.

22nd July 2014

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I’m back home, suitably rested and have uploaded the photos I took on the last Sunday before leaving work. For a change we went off early in the morning and there was still dew around as can be seen from this Lilac Breasted Roller which hadn’t dried off fully in the morning sun.

The others photos can be found in the birds gallery after the Roller by following this link.

I have also uploaded a few photographs to the Mozambique pictures gallery.

11th July 2014

Three days ago I nipped out of the office to see if I could get a photo of a beautiful butterfly that was fluttering around a tree just outside.

Failure! I did not manage to photograph the butterfly. But, I did manage to get some shots of a Scarlet Breasted Sunbird that was in the same tree.

As some of you will remember,  I was originally due to start on my way home today but agreed to stay on an extra week due to James my B2B having an exam yesterday. It’s not to bad and there is plenty of electrical work to inspect at the moment so I am keeping fairly busy.

4th July 2014

A large photograph up-load this time, with twenty bird photographs starting here. These pictures were taken over the past two Sundays. I have stopped carrying my camera around with me everywhere as there do not seem to be any birds, or other wildlife, around the camp at the moment.

I have also uploaded a photo of a local woman walking along the beach and some shots of the local views.

As I have agreed to do a 5 week rotation, it will be the 18th July before I leave here and make my way home.  Only two weeks now though so the time will soon pass and as a bonus, I will have 5 weeks off before my next hitch.

17th June 2014

On my way back to work I have to stay in an hotel overnight and took this shot of an Habeda Ibis patrolling the grounds looking for grubs in the grass.

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Back at work I went for a short drive on Sunday afternoon with a colleague and took some photographs of local scenery.

As always the beach was spectacular and the photo of the young girl srrolling along it just says it all.


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The crabs were along the edge of the mangrove swamp in the wetlands close to the beach and there were thousands and thousands, very interesting.

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On the same drive we spotted a couple of Brown Headed Parrots and three African Green Pigeons.

All in all a very pleasant return to work. This trip I will have to stay a little bit longer ( 5 weeks) as my B2B James is on a course in the UK which doesn’t finish until after he should have left to return here. But, every cloud has a silver lining, as I will have 5 weeks off on my next leave.

9th June 2014

Today is packing day and saying goodbye to my friends for another month.

I went for a short drive on Saturday, hoping to avoid the rain. No such luck, so I snapped this Hare and then came back home via the butchers in Tal y Bont.

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A lunchtime tipple at the Snowdon calls, Kings Head at 5:30 and then home for Duck and red wine with Ali.

My flight is at 13:40 tomorrow afternoon, so there will be no rush in the morning, which is much better than trying to catch the earlier flight.

I will be staying in Zurich overnight and will be meeting my daughter and grandchildren on Wednesday. 

14:50 

Just got back from saying goodbye to Keith Campbell over a pint in the Snowdon.

And will be in the Kings Head a bit later for the same reason.

See you all from 11th July onwards.

Good Luck, Prosperous Times and best wishes to everybody.

Tony

5th June 2014

I am going to start this blog with a picture taken on Monday this week.

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This was taken on the Great Orme in Llandudno, not too far from our house.

Last year I was lucky enough to see and photograph a Greater Woodpeckers nest with the adults feeding their young.

This year myself and Ali both found different Greater Spotted Woodpecker nests, but I have only managed so far to get pictures of one of them.

The photo here was taken with my new Sigma 50-500mm lens at full stretch on a tripod with a remote trigger.

I am returning to Mozambique next Tuesday, via Zurich, and am really pleased and proud to have again captured these photographs for you to enjoy.

Last weekend I went on a wildlike photography course on Anglesey organised by Naturebites and CastleVision Photographic Services. It was a very enjoyable weekend, so thanks to Kathy, Ken & Laurence for the expert tuition and guided nature walks.

I have uploaded two plant photographs to a new gallery ‘Plants’ imaginative or what, and also a couple of photographs of a Red Squirrel to the new ‘Mammals’ gallery.

I will try to update the website at least twice whilst I am back at work, but being so busy it is never easy. I certainly plan to go for a drive every Sunday afternoon if possible and should all things being equal have suitable material for the site.

I also have a mini project on the go! Whilst home I have met a guy names Peter Rhind who publishes several sites on the web dealing with BioProvinces and I have said I will try  to get him some relevant photographs from the 'Zanzibar-Inhambane BioProvince’ which is the relevant name for where I work.

Finally. Congratulations to the Kinmel Arms for being included in the ‘Lonely Planet’s Hidden Gems - Europes 50 Best Secret Spot' destinations book and to Tim for for setting a new UK record in the Mount Everest Marathon and being the 3rd fastest foreigner and 18th overall.

30th May 2014

Lots of wining and dining this week, so a restfull day today is called for, which is giving me a chance to update the website with what’s been happening since the the 21st.

I’ve been to Chester twice, once on my own and once with Keith Campbell. There is a rare photo of the both of us in The Boot on the Rows in the PnP Gallery section, an excellent stopping off point as the pint of Larger and a pint of Bitter was only £3.80! I can’t figure out how Sam Smiths manage to keep the prices so low.

Also of note is the photo of Louie on his first outing to the Kings Head. He will grow into a large dog, but Simon doubts he will get as big as Archie was.

On Sunday we met up with Members of the Great Orme Exploration Society to investigate a hole that had appeared close to Treweeks Shaft on the Orme. Whilst out and about I managed to get some shots of a pair of Choughs on the cliff edge above the tram tracks.

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I had a successful day photographing various scenes. This photograph of the Great Orme Goats on the cliff with the wind farm out to sea in the mist, is one of my favourites.

Another is the shot of Ali with the billy goat in the background.

I have also added some photographs to the Great Orme gallery which can be found here and of Ali paddling on Llyn Padarn here.

Finally, this weekend I am going on a photography course organised by Castle Vision Photographic and Nature Bites. The course is at Glan Morfa on Anglesey and I am hoping to learn some new skills and take some photographs which I will upload here during the course of next week.

21st May 2014

Here I am back home, enjoying the sun today while waiting for a delivery driver to pick up my MacBook Air which is being returned to Apple with a problemn connecting to wireless.

I have updated the birds gallery with three additional photographs and added a couple of pictures to the bugs gallery here.

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Every Sunday I try to get off the camp and go for a drive. The week before I left we were lucky to spot this Reid Buck in the undergrowth. It didnt stay around for long, but soon ran off when it spotted us. I have added this picture to the Mozambique gallery along with that of an Egg Eating Snake.

11th May 2014

Well, time is passing very quickly and I will be leaving here in a few days (Friday 16th) to start my return journey. I arrive in the UK on Saturday and as usual Ali will be at the airport to drive me home.

I have updated the birds gallery to show the photographs I took last Sunday and also the Mozambique Bugs gallery, which I am excited about as I managed to get a photo of a moth laying its eggs with the male underneath her wing fertilising them; at least thats what I think is happening. 

We recently had the Mozambique labour day celebrations here at the camp. I have uploaded two photos to the Mosambique gallery of the women here celebrating. following on from these photos I have uploaded a photo of a mother and her child near the beach.

I also recently visited Pemba to arrange for a six month visa and of course now have to update the PnP section with the refreshment locations.

After lunch today we are again going for a short drive to see what we can find to photograph. I will hopefully manage to upload this update whilst I am out and then wilth any luck add an update tomorrow with todays photographs.

1st May 2014

Last Sunday, myself and a colleague; Rod Lupton went for a short drive around the local area and  managed to get five different bird pictures and even a Baboon!

I have not had much chnce to take photographs this trip as I have been too busy, but this Sunday coming we intend to go for a drive again and see what we can find.

14th April 2014

Last Sunday, myself and a colleague; Rod Lupton went for a short drive around the local area and  managed to get five different bird pictures and even a Baboon!

I have not had much chnce to take photographs this trip as I have been too busy, but this Sunday coming we intend to go for a drive again and see what we can find.


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13th April 2014

The weather has been very nice these past few days and early in the week myself and Ali had a few nights away at the Nunsmere Hall Hotel in Little Budworth, Cheshire. It was Ali’s birthday on the Monday, so we celebrated with a meal at the hotel.

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The following day, after a walk around Delemere Forest, which I must say was not all that special, we had a late lunch/early dinner at an Italian restaurant just down the road called 'Pesto at The Cabbage Hall'. It was very similat to the Spanish Tapas style of eating but with Italian food. And was excellent!

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On our return I took myself off to Bangor the next day to collect my new business cards from Zip Print.

I had got fed up of writing down the address of this web site and so decided that cards was the easiest way out.

Ali says I am just addicted to business cards as she never uses them for her business.

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Whilst in Bangor I had a stroll down the pier. it was the first time in the 26 years of living in north Wales that I have been down Bangor Pier. The photo above shows the view along the pier looking towards Anglesey.

Finally on the way home I called in at Port Penrhyn and had a walk down the Cegin Valley, again I had never been there before, but have since been back with Ali as it is a very nice walk and there are plenty of birds along the way.

6th April 2014

Friday I had a trip to Gwydir Castle near Llanwrst.

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I had never been before; in spite of passing the gates numerous times in the past. What caught my eye was a Peacock sitting on a branch of a tree just prior to the entrance. I spent a very pleasant couple of hours looking over the castle rooms and wandering the gardens. The Peacocks were splendid and almost seemed to pose for the camera on times. There were plenty of other birds in the gardens as well and a selection of pictures can be founf here.

On the way home I called in the Bull for a sandwich and as proof that spring is here caught this shot of a farmer tending his lambs with mummy following close behind.

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Then yesterday before meeting James; my B2B from Mozembique, who has been demobilised due to the problems with cyclone “Hellen”. I spent some time on the Great Orme and managed to get a photo of a Kestral. The weather had started to improve from the misty conditions of the previous days and I took a couple of photos of the views that can be admired from the Great Orme.

3rd April 2014

It looks like I might be delayed on my return to Mozambique! Most of the people have been demobilised back to their home country.

Cyclone Hellen which hit the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and the coast caused damage to the infrastructure with roads and bridges washed away. Consequently there is a disruption to the supplies reaching the camp and until this is sorted, then things are reduced to a skeleton crew.

I have added a photo  to the Photographs - Great Orme gallery of the pier on a rather hazy day. I was killing time before a call at the doctors to replenish my Malarone supply.

The PnP section has also been updated with a couple of shots from a trip to Chester yesterday,

And finally some GOOD NEWS. Phil is recovering from his operation and has come back home to Llandudno for the first time since the scare.

28th March 2014

I have been back in the UK for nearly a week now and thought it about time that I updated the web site with the photos from the latter half of my Feb/Mar rotation.

One of the highlights of the last trip was being shown (and trying to photograph) mosquito larvae. This proved very difficult as the larvae and pupae live in water and the reflections meant that out of 50 odd photographs taken, only two were worth showing here. I have now purchased a polarising filter for my 105mm macro lens and hopefully next trip I will be able to improve on this.

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We had some rain and then some more and finally some more rain during this last trip.

There were big problems with flooding with some of the accommodation units awash.

The drainage has been improved since this photo was taken, but still, with the amount of rain that falls in this area I would expect more flooding next year if not this!

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The plants and flowers like the wet conditions though with new shoots spring up everywhere. But there are bright spots in all the rain. This local lady, who works for us, was leaving for the day after all the rain and she brought a good spash of colour to what otherwise would have been a drab photograph.



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I have added some bird photos to the bird gallery here.

Finally from Mozambique I have added a photo of a colleague to the PnP section.

I had to go to Chester on the Monday of my return and took Ali. We visited the Architech for lunch and then went to The Church for a final pint before catching the train home.

The weather has been kind this first week here in n Wales, so on Wednesday we went to Bodnant Gardens. I have added a gallery, to the photohrphs section, just for the gardens, as I am sure myself and Ali will return on a regulat basis. It make a very pleasant stroll for a few hours and is of course right on our doorstep so to speak.

9th March 2014

Its been a while since I last updated the web site and even as I write this I am not sure if I will be able to get a good enough connection to allow the update to upload.

Anyway, over the past few days I have managed to take some photographs of a variety of subjects.

An update to the Mozambique Bugs gallery can be seen here. There are 7 new photographs of the critters that gather around the camp.

I have added some birds to the bird gallery.

Some additional photos added to the Mozambique gallery.

A few photos from our recent trip to Zurich can be found here.

An update would not be an update without a few additions to the PnP section which can be viewed from here onwards.

And finally, we have had some rain here at Pioneer camp recently, so the locals have found that they can use the vent from the clothes dryers in the laundry for other purposes.

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Shoe drying in Pioneer Camp.

12th February 2014

After visiting Cambrian Photography yesterday to get an UV filter for the 105mm Macro lens I spent a very pleasant few hours in the Kings Head. John Les and friends were in attendance as usual on a Tuesday afternoon and the resultant photographs can be found in the Music at Kings Head gallery of the Photographs section.

Today is really dismal with rain, rain and more rain, so I wont be venturing far.

I start mny travels back to Mozambique on Sunday, but first, myself and Ali are going to see Phil Barratt who is sadly a little poorly in hospital in Manchester. Get well soon Phil! 

 After this I will go to Zurich for a few days to see my daughter and then onwards overnight on Wednesday to Jo-Burg,  arriving back at work on Fridaty at about lunchtime.

This trip back I am taking the 2X convertor together with the 105mm macro lens so I hope to get a few more pictures of the bugs to be found in Mozambique.

11th February 2014

I went for the walk yesterday in Haulfre Gardens and took these two picturres from the same location. One was taken with my 105mm Macro and a 2X convertor making it 210mm focal length. The second one was taken with the Sony RS1 at 35mm which is its fixed length.

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There has been minor cropping to both photos but nothing too severe.

The difference in the results shows how distances can be deceiving when viewing photos taken from the same location but with different focal length lenses.

Thank you to Dennis for the correct name and description of the Jack Up.









The PACIFIC OSPREY at 24,566 gross tonnage an Offshore Construction Jack Up in the distance taken with a 210mm lens equivalent.

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The PACIFIC OSPREY at 24,566 gross tonnage an Offshore Construction Jack Up in the distance taken with a 35mm lens.

10th February 2014

I’m home in the UK at the moment and the time has really flown, even though the weather has been mostly foul.

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We went for a drive through Snowdonia on a really wet and windy day stopping off in Beddgelert and finally having lunch at the Ty Gwyn in Betws-y-Coed.

On another day I drove around in the Trefriw area and revisited Coed Felin Blwm whilst the waterfall was in full flow. I particularly like this short walk as in emcompasses so much in such a very small area.

Today Ali has gone to get the car serviced at Pentraeth, so I am off out for a walk in Haulfre Gardens with the macro lens on the camera. Hopefully I will find something interesting to photograph.

1st January 2014

The start of a New Year; and may it be a hapy one for all my family and friends.

I now have a new date for returning to the UK. I leave here on the 24th January and will arrive at Manchester the following morning. This is two weeks later than originally planned as I have been asked to stay on for a short while.

On the 30th December the Training Shelter buildings were sprayed to kill off the mosquito’s, unfortunately that also saw off all the bugs I had been photographing. Hopefully in a few days time a new lot will arrive and pose for me again.

I have  found a tree at the end of the site which is full of 'Brimstone Canaries’ or at least that is the provisional naming from Eve, and she is my oracle on this subject.








© Tony Davies 2016