Monday, 31 March 2008


They're back. Just when I thought it was safe to venture out to Laxey, the Killer Cones have re appeared. It seems planet Coneworld has been annexed to the island, so they are all now officailly Manx, no permits required. This would account for the fact that they had multiplied rapidly since last week and even have humans dressed in yellow coats assisting them in their island takeover. Obviously I am heading up the resistance as we speak. I know Resistance is futile.

I do have another theory about the cones. Late as usual with policies, the Isle of Man , today has officially banned smoking, in indooor work/public places. Now, as a former smoker(not a born again non smoker) I welcome the decision on health grounds, but dreading what the fag smog and aroma were masking. B. O. for one. Then there's beer vomit from the idiot who never knows when to stop. The perfumes and hairsparys all mingling in a couldron into a heady mix a skunk would be ashamed of. Time will tell.

So my Theory is they have been drafted in as community police, in case we have any incidents of fag rage. As they are immune to the addictions of fags, they are perfect for the job. Well they're not guarding the roads very well, I got past again.

Another yawn sunset, called yawn, hint of pink. I do these daily, so I am being lazy. No sunset tomorrow.


Having a crafty fag under a manhole cover, behind the train sheds.

Sunday, 30 March 2008


Yippe, it's officially British Summer Time. The clocks went forward an hour, which of course I forgot and wondering who had pinched my missing hour this morning. Now not exactly like being jet lagged now is it, but always takes me a day or two to climatise. It was lighter an hour later than usual, which meant the lovely birds who I feed to keep sane, were still around and ravenous.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my little array of feathered friends, the siskins, goldfinches, chaffinchs any so much more. Even though the little buggers, just turn up and sit on the fence outside the kitchen window, staring at me manically until i replenish the feeders and water, I love them all. However they frighten the bloody life out of me and here's why.

When the sun shines( rare but it happens) they fly into the kitchen window, and plop onto the ground. So first sunny day, a mad little male siskin, flew straight into the window. So bird nurse Babooshka of Ramsey, to the rescue. Have to pick the little buggers up as gently as you can, put then up the right way and basically sit with them, fending off sparrowhawks and pussy cats( and tail less manx cats) until some three hours later they fly off. Which he did. Had a chaffinch once that basically refused to fly away. Just hopped on my hand. I spent two hours wandering round the garden, like the bird woman of Alcatraz, talking to this bird and waving my arm around running in spurts to try and coax him to fly away. No idea what the neighbours thought. They think we're bananas anyway. Eventually he flew off without so much as a thank you tweet. Not exactly well mannered our graden birds, very manx.( I couldn't resist that one)

So today pic, is er todays pic of the siskin. What a grumpy little bugger he was too. Well I suppose I would be too if I'd been flinging myself headlong into windows. Again not a thank you tweet.


Slept in due to the clocks going forward, with a raging hangover.

Saturday, 29 March 2008


OK. It's saturday, the southern comfort is out( well out the bottle but wending it's merry little way into merry little me) and I'm about to publish a post that contains a less than flattering image of a Top Gear presenter, that Barker has just rattled off the pen.

Naughty, naughty, very naughty Jeremy Clarkson. Well it seems he's not so naughty afterall. Well as a celebrity( an Isle of Man resident too) he's deemed a good boy. The rest of us of course would be hung drawn and quartered for using a moblie/cell phone whilst driving, not a hands free one. I'm talking about an all singing all dancing hold me tightly buddy while I bark down the line at you phone with one hand only on the wheel one. Ooh the nerve!

After the Daily Mirror printed a photograph taken by fellow drivers, clearly showing him holding the phone whilst driving, he was questioned by the police. Guess what.?The police have said there is not enough evidence to prosecute. Translation of this means- "There is plenty of photographic evidence, but as Mr Clarkson is a celebrity, and not a member of the great unwashed general public, shall we just er forget about it, along with Kate Moss and Pete Doherty's litte cocaine habits."

So egged on by Babooshka, Barker duly knocked up this little satirical cartoon, which egged on by Barker I have uploaded. Oh dear.

Oh, the anti photoblog photo. It's a TT one, from 2006. Pierre mentioning sidecars made me think about theses pics. Back to the pic(going off at far too many tangents tonight). The rider is Adrian Archibald. Don't attempt to photograph whizzing motorbikes at well over a hundred unless you have a decent speed setting on your camera. Try and keep the ISO low 200 to 4OO. Blah Blah. Sorry drifting into photo tip nonsense, that's the other blog.


Has been arrested on grounds of being drunk and disorderly, but sure gis celebrity status here in this blog means he will not be prosecuted.

Friday, 28 March 2008


Firstly an apology to those of you that have strayed here from my other blog the sane "Isle Of Man Daily Photo." You have entered the dark side, the warped recesses of my killer cones, escaped wallabies demented mind we over here refer to as "Purple Haze", the darkroom of photography. Linger at your peril. I urge you not to read the missives, just concentrate on the "pretty pictures" before you make your escape and you should exit ok. You may be plagued with the odd nightmare for a few days about wild wallabies, wearing killer cones, being stranded taxi less or riding a one way railway to oblivion, but apart from that you should be ok. To the rest of you, you should know better by now!

Had to go to the bank again today, you know the one i used to work at, the one I got locked in during the powercut. Horrible. So the gossip is, my old Line Manager has be seconded to Gilbrater(lucky boy), my ex playmate colleagues has been kicked up to the dreaded "4th" floor and the whole department I worked in, now defunct. It's been assimilated(very Borg) into another department, a departement Babooshka would not have been a happy bunny in. But hey, there's a job there if Iwant it, towing the corporate line, nodding donkey, work set you free job if this photography lark doesn't work out. Er, think that's a NO and the offence is intended.

Todays pic was taken at Niarbyl and entitled "Pink Moon." Yes, I know it's not moonlight glistening, but the sun shining I'm not that barking, but I am a huge Nick Drake fan. I know, if you don't know who he is that particular piece of info is, useless at best, confusing at worst. Pink Moon is one of his songs, I am rather partial too( it's the album title also) the hues in the pic have a subtle pink tone and it was playing on my ipod at the time. Besides that, it's my image so I can title it "blueberries in arsenic" if I so choose. And you can take that to the bank.


Has taken my old job at the bank, subject to him securing a work permit.

Thursday, 27 March 2008


The killer cones have somewhat disappeared. Obviously they have all been rounded up, those without permits sent back to the mainland, or in fact from Planet Coneworld their natural home, either way we are cone free.

Been quite a blue sky day, after the initial drizzly start. Spent some quality time with the camera. Had to spoil it somehow, shopping.

Shoprite is the local supermarket, but as of today I shall refer to it as Shopshite. Since christmas they seemed not have bothered to keep a rolling stock. By monday basics like coffee, bread and milk have gone by lunchtime, not to be replenished until thursday. Hello, Shopshite, these are staple products! You buy bread and milk locally, in fact Ramsey Bakery is directly opposite, so no excuses about transportation. No ferries cancelled due to a raindrop, or no flights delayed due to a butterfly flapping his wings twice. While i'm on the subject, why the hike in prices on these items( and locally produced meat)? No excuses about , The Budget, global wheat shortage, or the farmers are getting a bigger cut. Just not true, not here anyway.

Stock up, shape up, stop massaging the prices several times a week. We have this marvellous new invention now called the internet and guess what we have a hotline to Tesco's online home delivery.

Another pic of Mooragh lake, Mooragh Park. Taken this shot several times before, but always best when the water is breeze free, gives the lake a glassy sheen with perfect reflectons. I refer to these houses as the Dolls houses, if you look closely they are all pastel shades, and superbly twee. Please don't be offended if you live there, it's called a compliment, albiet in an ironic way.


Still searching the shelves at shopshite for a pint of milk.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


There are basically 3 roads to Douglas, the capitol of the island. The mountain road, the coastal road and the all the bloody way round Peel and every Hillbilly, Hammer Horror, One Horse town in between road. Obviously the last is to be avoided like the plague, unless of course you are a tourist, then it's called the scenic route.

So today i need to go to Douglas, and of course the bus has the monumental decision, mountain or coast. Two drops of rain, means the mountains out and the coast is in. So far so good, until we get to Laxey, then it's attack of the Killer Cones. I swear there are more cones on the island than people. Where do they live when not in use. Are they imported from across, and if so do they have a work permit. Cones that haven't lived here for 5 years, or not Manx born cones would need a work permit, so i suspect they are here illegally as work permits aren't issued willy nilly.

I digress( me never). It's that time of year again, just before the Laxey blues festival, and The TT Road Races shortly after, the powers that be who control the finances, re surface the roads and cause utter chaos. Why? Each year at this time, just before the tax year ends, they need to spend the excess money left, otherwise they won't receive the same budget again, but receive a lesser budget instead. So good financial planning isn't rewarded, the roads have money wasted on them that should go to say, ooh lets be radical HOUSING, EDUCATION, HEALTH and a whole island transport system comes to a standstill. Uk mainland is just as guilty.

Today the photo is the "Seal In Peel." It's so fresh, I've not even uploaded it to my serious, sales sites. Peel is great place for seals as they come right up to the shoreline where the fishermen are to compete with them for the fish. Yes the sea really is that green there, and even I am swoon over it.


Found my other blog quite sedate, and is returning if he can fight off those killer cones hampering his route.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008


Today I have gone over to the lightside. I have created a sensible, straight down the line, whinge less, irony free zone, "Isle Of Man Daily Photo" blog. It's the blog i originally set out to do, but got sidetracked with venting my spleen on this one. It is even on a humourless, dispassionate white background. It will have trite titles, real photo info, you know the technical stuff, like what ISO was used and shutter speed. All the boring bits i can't be bothered with here.

It also means i can do any old arty farty, social photography( ooh look at the locals aren't they quaint) black and white, just stepped out the house and thought this pile of dog poo looked really interesting in a conceptual art kind of a way photo i like. Hey, so long as it's a daily photo( who i wonder will check the date, will someone be secretly spying on me form the manx mafia) of the little ole town that I live in, then that will suffice. Apparently though i have already broken the the ethos of the daily pic, (fight club, first rule of fight club, there are no rules in fight club) by setting it in the whole island, rather than the town of Ramsey. Not very good with rules.

So the 2 blogs will run simultaneoulsy in a schizoid kind of way. God help the veiwer who strays from the path of the good blog, worthy, pure photo of photos, to the mad, bad and dangerous blog on the darkside of purple haze.

Queens Pier Photo today. It's seen better days neglected, and needs restoring to it's former glory, but of course the money will go elsewhere. Will have to have a rant on this one.


Well that's loyalty for you? He has defected to my other blog.

Monday, 24 March 2008


No, not in Kansas or Oz for that matter. No, no tornado's sweeping the house away and dropping atop the Wicked Witch( of the West Midlands in my case) West. No despite the stormy clouds you see above , still in the Isle Of Man.

This brings me to a pet hate of mine(what another one i hear you cry) that Pierre inadvertantly mentioning the Steam Packet in the comments box has irked me today. The price of leaving the Island. Not forever , just a vacation/holiday.

I'll get round to the steam packet next time they bug me, but for now it's flights. A flight across, 20 mins in the air to Blackpool, England last flight cost £150 plus. Ridiculous. We are being held to ransome here, when we want to get off the island, and what about tourists. Do we want them? The answer is yes,yes, yes, then do something to encourage more visitors. Stop relying on events like the TT Road Races that have a loyal following and bikers will come whatever the cost. Stop ripping visitors off, and us Island folk that occasionally, when cabin fever strikes need to escape to Shopping Malls or Sun drenched beaches that don't have a creepy flag with 3 legs waving at them.

Ooh i do like a rant. Today's pic( called"Cloudbusting") was literally at the back of my house on the nature reserve. Barker and i were dodging the rain. Back and forth into the house, so in the end we had a hike round the nature reserve looking for birds and rabbits(bugger all)to photograph. Instead you got the view towards the mountains, with the glistening sun, and the rolling clouds. 2 minutes later, it was pissing it down and i was back in the house whinging about it always bloody raining. Need a holiday, but can't afford a second mortgage for the flight.


Having flying lessons as it's cheaper to charter a plane , than book a flight.

Sunday, 23 March 2008


Happy Easter everyone. Have we had lots of chocky eggs? Not much of a chocolate fan myself, i know, a woman who doesn't go ga ga over the sweet stuff, but crisps ooh that's another story. When it comes to pringles I don't understand the word share! I can eat a full pack in one sittiing and then roll around in agony complaining i have bad guts and swear i have no idea why. Back to the chocs, had a baileys easter egg, with minature baileys truffles. Yummy, but not as yummy as a bag of crsips.

Somehow managed to negelct my blog yesterday. Think i may have been kidnapped by aliens (or the manx mafia) and had the memory of the event erased. Time just slipped by in front of the tv and re organising photos. Can't even blame it on alcohol, now that is worrying. So saturday came and went and sunday has visisted and to be honest the photo reorganization has monopolised my time yet again. Fotunately this means i haven't been traumatised, by powercuts, bank false imprisonments, Thomas the Tank Engine(as i now refer to manx railway) being derailed or taxis failing to arrive leaving me stranded with eight bags of shopping in the middle of Ramsey. (see earlier blogs if this has confused you) No, my blood pressure is down, I am at one with The isle of Man, and even a the cormorant posed for a pic. Somewhere in the world, someone has had a shit day on my behalf. Sure the equilibrium will be restored tomorrow and the mad world of Babooska will resume.

Today's pic is entiled "cormorant in flight." Yes it's unimaginately titled what you see is what youb get with this one. I have been chasing this bloody bird, my nemesis for months now, and today, my perfect world day, there he was, and so was I.


He too has had a lost weekend in Blackpool

Friday, 21 March 2008


It all started so well. Barker and I both off, no photography today, no cartoon for the BBC for Barker to summit this week, so we headed for the pub, The Plough, with the Flying Flynn in toe.
Hundreds of packets of crisps and several lagers( no spirits, having a spirit free day) later I discovered my beloved West Bromwich Albion, a football team I have been following since I was in the womb were playing, and it was on the pub big screen. Then it went downhill.

We drew 1-1. Bugger. Ok not a disaster,but it was a game in hand wasted. As it's Good Friday, a chippy dinner, so Barker can have his fish, and I can escape negotiating the cooker when inebriated. Then it happened. The taxi never turned up. This has happened on several occasions and today i wasn't accepting this without a fight.

So we headed on foot for home, with me on redial to the taxi firm( Island taxis to name and shame) until they answered.20 mins later some smug git answered, and he got it with both, drunken barrels. Don't upset a drunken Babooshka, it is not a pretty site. One humiliated radio controller later and I passed the phone to Barker. Having turned the controller into a gibbering wreck, Barker calmly negotiated our next move, the very next taxi we book will be a free ride. God help him if he fails to turn up, because i will be straight in the office.

Bad customer service is annoying, no service at all is intolerable. Being British. I am supposed to bite my stiff upper lip and grumble, but not complain.Well balls to that. Wake up Isle of Man services, and get with the programme. Even here we have alternatives and message to Island Taxis, I can always use Crennalls.

On a lighter note here's the pic. It's called "Still Blue", taken early evening at Mooragh Park. Photographing over water is always good because the light bounces which intensifies colours, hence the blue hue, so no need for filters. Ooh, real photography advise for a change.


He nicked my taxi.

Thursday, 20 March 2008


After months of unsucessfully trying to get my foot in the door on the island, it looks like it has finally opened and i have jammed my little high heeled boot in there before they slam it back shut again. Try as they might it's there. I've had a broken toe before, and quite prepared to get another. It's called suffering for your art or some such crap.

A bit like buses, this photography lark, nothing for ages,then they all turn up at once. Finally got a pic in the Isle of Man newspapers, who have also kindly(just in case the manx mafia are here) added my blog link. Yippee. They are also hoping to put together a Isle of Man blog directory, so all you I.O.M BLOGGERS out there contact me and i will pass your links on.

Second bit of good news is blagged my way into putting together a gallery for the BBC I.O.M website page. Putting the stuff together now. Will let you know when it goes live.

Thirdly, Barker accepted as a member of the Sayle art Gallery and we have been invited to an exhibition. So after several wines i will no doubt be be blagging my way to getting Barker artwork on the island. His BBC Barker Gallery is all well and good, but believe me it doesn't pay enough to cover the Jack Daniels Bar bill, and you all know how i love my jack and coke. Even the ice cubes cost a fortune on the island. Check out his blog too, it's under my links, "BARKER BITES BACK."Bloody good it is too!

It's pissing down here. Typical bloody British Bank Holiday weather. Ferries cancelled, no doubt flights will be delayed and the island will be on lockdown. Happy Easter eh! Pass me my easter egg and a bottle of soutern comfort someone.

Todays pic is called "morning glory." Do get some gorgeous colours when the sun is out. Ten mins later the angels are taking a leak over the island.

Stranded at ronaldway airport, but hoping to catch the next available flight to just about anywhere that's sunny.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008


No, Google Eath hasn't moved for me either? It seems I though have moved for Google Earth. Confused?Not half as much as I was to find out that I now live in Scotland. It will all make sense if you read on. As usual it's one of those you couldn't make it up things. Just happens to be me again it's happened to.

Uploaded one of those clever little maps that flags who's been visiting your blog yesterday. Today I thought i'll have a nosey and that when it happened. It came up with Doulgas. Douglas is the Capital of the Isle of Man, so ok it's not Ramsey, but close. Started to zoom in as you do, and that's when it happened, it zoomed in on Douglas, South Lanarkshire, Scotland. Now after the bank false imprisonment, power cut, and Thomas the Tank Engine running, but only one way, what i needed this week was some stability. Oh know, Google bloody Earth, have moved me(must have been when i slept. damn!) back to the UK mainland. How can it not recognise the Island. How traumatised do you think i am today so far this week, and it's only wednesday!

Obviously Google Earth have had a strongly worded email about this... check it out for yourselves. Hover and zoom in On the Isle of Man, and it's big fat blank nothing. Do you think the Manx Mafia have conspired with Google Earth and the real Photoblogs societies to obliterate me from Blogger land. Perhaps in fact i don't actually exsist and if you are reading this, it is you in fact that are mad. Ponder that.

Today's anitphotoblog pic is another of Ramsey Rugby. Very touchy feely this one, and they tell me it's a man's game. Getting to grips with thier manhood are they then,no just each others.


Google Web and Google Earth have no record of anything called a wallaby. Should they exist they will no doubt be found in Douglas, Scotland.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008


"The seagull has landed" should actually have been applied to yesterdays pic but after the bank false impriosonment( liberty taking with the truth i know) my puns weren't up ( or down depending on your viewpoint) to scratch. So today i will enlighten you as to how and when this pic was taken. Again it's a genuine pic, not a particuarly good shot, in fact it's crap technically and too dark, but it's an opportunist shot.

So, at my old house, there were these two herring gulls went into a pub. No i mean fighting in the back garden. Why they chose my garden i do not know. Tried to seperate them with a broom, and the weaker one flew into the house and proceeded to have a mad half hour flying about. Managed to shoo the other one away. By this time the gull above had decided to sit where you see him now. At this point in the proceeding i just had to take his pic, having texted Barker to tell him we had a gull in the kitchen. Now even for me this seemed in the realms of fantasy, as only so much can happen to one person, so pictorial evidence was required.

Now getting him out was another challenge in itself. More shooing with brooms until he retreated to the garden , straight behind the oil burner. More problems. He sat there for about 2 hours, came out of his own accord, flew off and left me with big pile of seagull shit as a parting gift for my trouble, and you have no idea how much a scared seagull can poo. Thus ends another one of my "it really happened, no i'm not lying, drunk or on drugs, this is just my life" tales.

Well, we are still none the wiser as to which way the train will run. No logical explanation given for the powercut. I think it might be somekind of X Files secret tagging thing they were doing. Probabaly whole island kidnapped and tagged, and we have been implanted with this false scenario of a powercut and lock in. Ok just me then?


It's not a wallaby, it's an alien with a cloaking devise, thus explaining why he is so elusive.

Monday, 17 March 2008


Happy St Patrick's Day. That's especially for my friend Micheal, or should i say "Mehall." There are so many Micheal's, that he is Mehall pronouced as if " i was standing in me hall" with a very broad generic "oirish" accent. Message to his mom. He was a very good boy and went to church. Then he was a very bad boy and went to the pub. On the plus side this means he will have to have an extra visit to confess he was at the pub on a monday night. Barker(my other half) and I only accompanied him you understand to be polite. Honest.

Very traumatising eXperience today, I got locked in a bank. No, really. An island power cut which meant lockdown. Now, having left the banking fraternity recentlty on this mad whim of "I'm going be a photographer, so long farewell you boring little jobsworths"the last thing I needed was to be imprisoned in a confined space, with the people i had been satirising on facebook, and my blog, in the very buliding i had been kicking and screaming to get out of for a year. Never keep your bank account at the bank you have just left!

Finally escaped but will now be booking my session with Dr Melfi( I believe she has a vacancy now Tony Soprano no longer requires her services) to analyse my ordeal. No doubt the power cut will all be my mother's fault and i was trying to climb back into the comfort of the womb by getting myself locked in the bank, the safety net of my old sensible job. No it was just bad luck. Or was it? You never know on this island.

Latest news on the Manx Electric Railway Society cancelling the one and only rail link between Ramsey and Laxey that i was banging on about in one of my older posts. My threats to them, well they have relented. That is to say they will be running the service, but one way. Which way i don't know, but perleeease can the see that this is just not bloody practical. Half the battle won, but the war rages on. So then do I.

My anti photoblog pic today is an obliging herring gull who I asked kindly if he would try a landing shot for me. He used his stunt double instead and i gave him a fish head as a reward. I always promised to give him a mention. I don't know, everyone's a bloody wannabe star this days.


Unfortunately still locked in the bank. He was able to run fast enough, being a wallaby he just bounced a lot. A rescue plan is underway, if my therapy is sucessful.

Sunday, 16 March 2008


Sloshed saturday so old news, sober sunday all the rage. Remebered what i was actually going to blog about yesterday, what is a photoblog? Discuss. Firstly, a big thank you to my friend Joanne who has duly supplied me with the correct name to yesterdays pic i lazily christened "Pink Blush". It is wait for it, a red "Australian Bottle Brush Plant" (latin - callistemon citrinus splendens). Many thanks Joanne, our guest expert today.

A photoblog is defined as a daily photo uploaded to a blog with a blurb or two about the pic. It can be animals, flora, travel, knitting, basically whatever you are into, tips ,camera info etc. What it can't be however is funny, ironic, irreverent, nonsensical. No po faced is the accepted format, wittisims are unacceptable. There's no room for escaped wallabies roaming round the isle of man, which inspired wallaby watch. Only sober sensible photoblogs please apply.

I have been turned down from a photoblogging index on the grounds that, "it is not seriously commited to the ethics of promoting photography." Hello are THEY serious. I couldn't be anymore serious myself. I gave up a good job in the very boring, dullard financial industry to persue photography as a living, which just about sustains me in jack daniels and pringles( ok lying again, it's jack daniels and coke with pringles) in the short term until i am master photographer of the world( well at least the isle of man) with matching income.

So this now is an anti photoblog. It is the antithsis to a phototoblog. It will contain a daily image but will now be devoid of any useful, relevent, technical "here's the science bit info." The image will bear no relation to the post( when does it anyway), in fact i may not even refer to it at all only perhaps in a subversive anarchic way. Who needs to be indexed anyway. I am a free anti photoblog, not a number.

So to todays pic. I would like to go into intricate details of night shoots, but my anti photoblog ethics will not permit this. What i am at liberty to tell you is that it is today, Ramsey Harbour, evening sunset and tritely titled "Golden Wonder."


Has gone over to the darkside and swithced to a serious photoblog. He will be back when he realises he will no longer have his own spot, but be shunted to one side as an extra. Afterall he has a staring role here and i did discover him.

Saturday, 15 March 2008



Today i have been chasing birds. Should i clarify, chasing feathered friends to photograph. As you can see by the pic above not very not very succesfully. The pic is actually quite misleading as for most of the day it was wet, wet, wet, grey, and dull. Took the image above in the one minute of sunshine we had. It's called Pink Blush. Well to be honest, i am clueless as to what the flower is actually named, so have duly entitled it Pink Blush. Quite often you will see my photographs of flora have exotic or imaginative names. Nothing to do with my surreal slant on the world, just that i am ignorant of such things. My friend Joanne the gardener will be tut tutting round about now reading this part of the blog.

I have just been reminded though that i can rattle off a latin plant names at will. This is not a party trick but goes back to our quiz days. The world of Pub Quizzing in the UK is cut throat. Ramsey has it's own quiz league, and we used to play for the Swan. Really it's just a way to fill the pubs/bars on a quiet night especially in winter. I am left with mental scars that run deep of too many nights out arguing with an opposing team who are so analally retentive that they mark you wrong on the account you didn't dot the i's in the right place or used a green pen. Feeding and chasing birds to photograph is relatively sedate, but unlike the pub quiz, it's a safe hobby. Well mostly safe, almost fell into the harbour chasing a cormorant, but apart from that it's danger free.

Well i managed to blag my way through this post after several southern comforts. Unfortunately though, completely forgotten what my original post was due to be about. No doubt i will read tomorrow and wonder why the incoherrent wafflings of quizzes and pub leagues instead of, well whatever it was i should have been posting.


Last seen geting his quiz scored verified, afterall he has a pint riding on it.

Friday, 14 March 2008


Confessions of a photographer otherwise known as "one i made earlier" would be a more accurate title. When I started this supposedly serious one a day photography blog, the intention was to highlight my photographs fo sale, tips and impart you , dear readers with a little knowledge of my adopted home, The Isle Of Man. As you can see it has descended into ramblings of a insomniac photographer who is often tilting at windmills figthing lost causes( the manx railway),who can't always due to the unforgiving weather here take her daily pic. Hence falling on the old standbys in my archive, ie a butterfly. Even with global warming it is a wee bit early for yesterdays red admiral. Today i will redress the balance to purge my guily soul, though very tongue in cheek.

Todays pic is actually wednesdays pic, which i hadn't uploaded until today. Rambling again. Originally entitled sunset glow, now it is to be known as Flaming Orange. Taken again from my friends flat( previously taken red fire sunset from here) as the night fast drawing to a close in Ramsey these wondeful orange and gold tones lit the evening sky. Peel is actually the place for the best sunsets, but occasionally we are fortunate on the east side of the island and the odd spectacular night sky can be snapped.

Tomorrow the forcast is rather gloomy, so if you see an obvious autumn/fall shot appear you will know why. The most perculiar shot I have ever taken is a seagull in my kitchen. Now that has to be seen to be believed. Not superimposed, it was sheltering from another seagull. Another story for another day.

No mad Isle of Man celebrity news today. All seem to be behaving, that is apart from my partner. Not really misbehaving just falling asleep in front of the tv snoring loudly when he is supposed to be working which i find annoying to say the least. He by the way is The BBC Political Cartoonist of The BBC Politics Show. His Cartoons can be seen each week on on the website in the Barker Gallery. You can check them out for yourself under my links, along with the link to his own blog "Barker Bites Back" which he should be updating but is spark out. Please go and comment on his blog and tell him to wake up. This would amuse me tremendoulsy and frighthen the life out of him. Obviously you can tell him how wonderful the cartoons are too, which they are.

This is my first sober friday for ages. Don't panic i haven't taken the oath, we are having "sloshed saturday" instead.


Having a quiet night in with friends, the flying pig and the pink elephant.

Thursday, 13 March 2008


As you can see from the title of my post today Babooshka( why am I refering to myself in the third person is beyond me) is not a happy bunny. In fact polite blogging society tempers the language i'd like to use. Why so irate? Read on.

Manx Electric Railway, in their wisdom( blatant irony here) have decided not to run the train from Laxey to Ramsey in the summer for the tourists anymore. This effeftively cuts off the north of the island for alternative transport. It is also mindboggling stupid not to run this when the TT is on. Doh! This is how people get to work during those 2 weeks from Ramsey to Douglas. This is also a blow to the shopkeepers of Ramsey who are reliant on a steady stream of tourists to boost summer sales. Arrrrrrrrrrgh!

Us islanders have not been consulted over this decision. Be warned, you tried to close Ramsey's cottage hospital and failed. You are going to have a fight on your hands over this one aswell, and it starts on my blog. Anyone want to join in feel free.

Ooh that was good. Sorry folks had to get that out of my system.

To redress the angry balance my daily photo is of a very placid butterfly. It's a red admiral taken again with the telescopic lens. I like telelscopic lenses, because you can focus on the subject, whislt the background fades and blurs. This then emphasises the chosen subject in the case the butterfly.


Wallaby last spotted stranded at Laxey trying to get back to Ramsey, but there are no bloody trains. Have i made my point yet?

Wednesday, 12 March 2008


What is happening to the Isle Of Man Celebrities at the moment.?Is there something in the water? Too many Manx kippers? Or have they just not said hello to the fairy folk when they go over The Fairy Bridge. Whatever it is they do seem to be getting themselves into trouble. Re my post yesterday "Berk In The Merc" aka Jeremy Clarkson being a naughty boy and using his mobile whilst driving. It now transpires that he may actually be prosecuted!

Castletown is situated at the lower end of the island, a beautiful little town that often features in TV and film. One of these of note was the short lived "Island At War." A drama that concentrated on the occupation of the Channel Islands by the German Army during World War 11. The Isle Of Man doubled for the Channel Islands mainly as Castletown, unchanged over the years bore a close resemblance to The Channels Islands during WW11 and of course the tax breaks films and TV get here. Locals were used as extras and locals old cars were also used. Some shop windows even have old money price lists still displayed which were used in the series.

The series proved more popular in America than here and never reached it's conclusion for varying reasons, the death of the writer, actor commitments, and it's popularity waning in the UK. Philip Glenister was one of the actors playing a German Officer, better known now of course as the wonderful character "Gene Hunt"of "Ashes to Ashes" and "Life On Mars."

Todays Pic is Castletown Quay, which i'm sure you had worked out by now. Always better to capture on a sunny day as it really brings out the blue hues of the water.Gene Hunt has long gone though. Jeremy Clarkson you might see though, possibly on foot if he gets a driving ban.


He has joined the Resistance and stowing away on one of those boats pictured.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


Jeremy Clarkson, you know one of the 3 presenters of the fabulous, best car programme ever, "Top Gear" has done it again. No, not for shooting his mouth off again about what he's like to do to the ramblers on his land, motorbikers, or environmentalists, although it does involve his vocals.

Jeremy was pictured talking on his mobile phone whilst driving his merc at 70 per hour. Now we are not talking hands free,we are talking one hand on the wheel, the other gripping his moblie. No doubt he was looking for ramblers to run over and getting the info as to their whereabouts from the other person at the end of the mobile.

Jeremy is another Isle Of Man resident. One of the reasons he loves the place is that it isn't governed entirely by UK rules. An example of this is the speed limit. We don't exactly have one. Well yes we do, say when you are approaching the few towns we have, but basically it's carte blanche. So you can drive like a maniac on the mountain road and believe me drivers do. If you like rollercoasters, take a Isle of Man bus ride. It's cheaper than a rollercoaster ride, lasts longer and is far less predictable. I mean at least on a funfair ride you are strapped in, know the highs and lows and that it will at some point reach it's destination. None of the above can be said of taking the bus. For all those that watch Top Gear, it wouldn't surprise me if The Stig was an Isle of Man bus driver.

Top Gear latest news under links.

Todays pic is " Storm Clouds Of Ramsey." No we didn't have the storm, gales and floods that were predicted last night, so here's one from last summer.Took this one with a wide angled lens and chose black and white to emphasise the contrast of the white clouds and severe greys of the sky. Iso was 4oo. ooh getting technical, will stop it.


Wallaby found to be the person Jeremy Clarkson was talking to on the mobile when he was driving. The Wallaby, however, did not commit an illegal act as his set was hands free.

Monday, 10 March 2008


Firstly let me say best wishes to Patrick Swayze and good luck with his latest health battle.

Patrick Swayze is another fim star who graced our shores. He filmed the rom/com "Keeping Mom" on the island not so long ago. Apparently he was quite taken with the island and described the place as and i quote, " a magical place with magical people". Now who am I to disagree with a Hollywood legend. He even managed to get up here as far as Ramsey, in fact he was to be seen doing a spot of the old " dirty dancing" at the legendary Nightspot some of you have mentioned in your comments, Nightlife.

Ok, some of you have given it it's alternative names of er, the very uncomplimentary Fightlife or Shitelife. Nonetheless it remains as Ramsey's premier nightclub. Ok, premier is manipulating the figures somewhat as it's Ramsey's only Nightclub. Really you have to go there iF you are up this way. It's a real throwback to a bygone era. It attracts all comers, whatever age, musical taste, aliens and wallabies. You will find the population of Ramsey who haven't stayed in or still standing after the pubs close(not me remeber i fell off my heels and into a taxi) doing there own version of dirty dancing into the small hours. Be warned no trainers, but otherwise, if you have a pulse and the entrance fee your'e in.

Pic today is a "Moonlit Blackbird."Sure you can work out why that's it's title. Even he could get into Nightlife. Honestly it's non exclusivity is it's er charm.


Got turned away from Nightlife for wearing trainers.

Sunday, 9 March 2008


BBC'S Saturday Kitchen chef James Martin went head-to-head with Thomas Miller's very own version of The Stig, the mysterious test driver from Top Gear. Pity it wasn't the Stig though. Would love to take a peek under his helmet.

His Island visit was to help raise funds for "Hospice Isle of Man", which is celebrating its 25th birthday this year.

He put an Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster through its paces on Thursday on a closed section of Marine Drive before giving a cookery masterclass.

Later, he was guest speaker at Thomas Miller's black tie reception and fundraising dinner at the Mount Murray Hotel and Country Club. He also got to dance with a lucky girl who won the chance to do so in a competition.

This though for me was not the most important news of the week. No that honour goes to my beloved WEST BROM. going though to the semi finals of the F. A. Cup. My friend Joanne, the Wolves fan will not be amused. My cover is blown now. No i'm not shock horror from the Isle of Man, but from the The Black Country, many moons ago. I am as they say on the island a "come over."

Pic today is Ramsey Harbour on a crisp clear morning.

Well i'm off to annoy as many Wolves, Villa and Birmingham fans as i know with the good news. Not often us Baggies fans can be this smug. Feel free to join in if you are an Albion fan.


No sighting, but vicious rumour started (by me of course) that James Martin cooked it in his masterclass.

Saturday, 8 March 2008


No, the Manx Mafia didn't didn't kidnap me and cut off my pinkies re my Tony Soprano banking in the Isle of Man post, that was not the reason for my absence. No, it was all self inflicted. Fridays are our night out around Ramsey. It all started quite innocently as always with a few drinks in the Swan, but of course it never stays that way. A few became a pub crawl if i remeber or as much as i can recall, taking in the Plough, and Bar Logo, finishing off with the obligatory bad food( by that i mean junk) before falling into a taxi, into the house and straight to bed. Blogging was the last thing i was capable of doing. Suffice to say a relatively good night was had by all and i have the lovely bruise on my knee where i fell off my high heels as a momento.

For anyone coming to the island to visit, looking for an alternative to Douglas can I recommend the Ramsey pub scene. The good thing about Ramsey is all the pubs are very close together, so you can have a pub crawl literally my walking along the high street and harbour. For karaoke try the Stanley. You won't need directions you will hear the songs being murdered long before you see the pub. The other good thing is we have real pubs, not chains or wine bars, which makes for an interesting night for strangers as each pub has a unique atmosphere. Also we have a good age range out, so not just full of kids. Mind you as the Police Staion is a few yards from the main pubs this could be why.

Pic today is Dierdrie the lizard. Ain't she pretty? Ok, pretty perhaps to strong, but she is certainly photographic and posed nicely. Dierdre can be found at the Wildlife Park and is a big hit with kids. In fact this was a pic i took when i accompanied one of the local schools on a outing there as the photographer.

A link for some very odd, fuuny, serious, stange new stories is Somtirtha. Try it it's a good blog i happened upon.

So, is anyone coming here for the TT? If so and you see a little mad woman with a camera, who might use the name Babooshka, looking slightly hungover, clinging a black coffee and securing her spot to take pics er that would be me.


Must be hungover!

Thursday, 6 March 2008


Bet that got your attention didn't it!

Actually, it's true.Ok, not strickly true as he was a fictional character, but you get my drift. The fictional character, Tony Sporano of The Sopranos(doh!) did have money stashed away here in the Isle of Man in a Off Shore bank account, set up by his Russian contacts. Go back and check it out. Mid series i think. Really not my imagination, they name the Isle of Man in two episodes, honest. So refering to yesterday's blog and the 3 legs that appear on both the Isle Of Man and the Sicily flag now you know why. Not quite sure if we have a Manx Mafia but if we have should i be worrying now I have drawn your attention to the flags and dodgy cash connection. If my blog doen't appear tomorrow you will know why. I might be sleeping with the fishes!

The Isle of Man has long since had a reputaion for a place to salt your off shore funny money away, alas not true. Things have tightened up here. So while we do have a low tax treashold, we try not to be financial heaven for erm, funny money attained through, how shall we say not on the level means.

Photo today Marsh Orchid. No mystery with this one, what you see is what you get, although it was tucked away almost out of view amongst the long grass.Try and use a macro lens when you can for close up flower work. Watch out for breeze.A tripod is and remote also useful to cut out movement. Saying that this was a hand held, telescopic, windy day shot.Sometime your natural instincts are best.

For daily pics of Paris, check out new link added "Eric Tenin". Brilliant.


Obviously in hiding, not a peep.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008


Laxey Wheel, or The Lady Isabella(named after the Lieutenant's Governer's wife ot the time) was designed by John Casement in 1854 and used to pump water away from the mines. It still remains the largest working watermill in the world and is now one of the main tourist attractions on the island. If your'e brave enough for a small fee you can go to the top and survey the land around.

The Triskelion, the 3 legs of man symbol displayed is the national image of the island and is actually the wrong way round.They forgot to reverse the image when it was transfered and so remains the opposite to it should be. Incidently you may have seen the 3 legs symbol on another islands flag, that of sicily. As Micheal Caine would say, not a lot of people know that. The Wheel even has a piece of music dedicated to it by Stuart Slack.

So Andy Kershaw has left the island, one less celebrity. For all you Top Gear fans remeber, we still have Jeremy Clarkson fighting those ramblers. Top Gear Link added today For all those suffering withdrawal sypmtons whilst it's off air. Yes that would be me too.


The elusive wild wallaby remains just that.Maybe he was asked to leave with Andy Kersahw.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008


Below is the full story of the release from prison of one of our celebrity residents, the bcc radio dj,
Andy Kershaw. Report from The Times

Andy Kershaw was released from jail and told to go home to his mother yesterday after being arrested only days after his initial release from prison.

The former BBC Radio 1 DJ and Radio 3 presenter was arrested on Sunday afternoon for breaching a restraining order to stay away from Juliette Banner, 42, his ex-partner who lives on the Isle of Man with their children.

Two days earlier Kershaw, 48, had been released from prison after serving 44 days of a three-month sentence for the same offence. “Don’t come back,” an officer told him as he left. Kershaw appeared in court where the judge heard he had suffered “emotional meltdown” after Catherine Turner, his new partner, told him that their relationship was over.

Michael Moyle, a High Bailiff, told Kershaw that he “cut a miserable and pathetic figure” but agreed to suspend for two years a six-month jail term for pleading guilty to breach of the restraining order if Kershaw agreed to sort out his personal problems.

Eileen Kershaw, 73, the mother of the presenter, told the court that she would look after him. Outside of court Kershaw hugged his mother and told her: “I won’t squander this chance.”

The Times.

Oh dear, naughty boy. Andy Kershaw has been a big influence on the modern day music scene here, and it has to be said without him the Peel Bay music festival may not have taken place. Bye Bye, and good luck.

The pic today is entitled "Gothic Tulip"and i thought it was very apt with the leaving of a celeb resident, as the tulip looks very crestfallen, like Andy Kershaw around town these days.

Full of a shitty little cold, so feeling very sorry for myself, and very lazy with my blog post, ripping the story straight out of the newspaper.


Outside the Trawlerman with a bag of fish and chips. Ok , no that was a lie. It was The kebab Shop.

Sunday, 2 March 2008


Don't know what the Carrion Crow found fascinating with the tissue, but it reminded me of the film character, Gollum from Lord Of The Rings with his "precious." He wouldn't part with it, even for a juicy worm. Anyway, on a photographic note, thought the subject would be enhanced as a straight down the line classic black and white shot, emphasizing the contrasting black of the crow with the stark white of the tissue.

Speaking of Lord Of The Rings,( well i was not you) did you know one of it's stars is an Isle Of Man resident, John Rhys-Davies , or Gimli the dwarf. Wonder if he has ever met any of the Manx Fairy folk? Should you find youself on the island and you drive/walk over the Fairy Bridge, be sure to say hello. It is considered bad luck not too. It's also rude, they can be easily offended you know.


No sighting of wallabies, fairy folk or hobbits. Obvioulsy all away on some sort of quest to triumph over evil. Must be across then, the UK.

Saturday, 1 March 2008


Following on from Uma Thurman, Duck With Quiff, here is a Robert De Niro. Ok, so strickly speaking it isn't De Niro. You have to admit though the baby blackbird bears a strking resemblance to "Travis Bickle", De Niros' character in Taxi Driver. You know the famous scene where he is seen repeating "You looking at me?" Perhaps this is just me then? Anyone with me on this?

The blackbird above was one of 4 that was actually nesting in our garden, under the kitchen window tucked away in a conifer. For days i had that eerie feeling of someone was watching me, only to discover a mother blackbird popping her head out to look into the kitchen. All 4 chicks hatched and the one above is 2 days old in this pic. This was his first outing away from the nest. After a week all birds flew safely away to explore the island.

Latest Isle Of Man news is congtatulations to Zoe Gilling being voted 2007 Olympic Athlete of the Year for Ski and Snowboard by the BOA. Quite an achievement when you consider the island isn't exactly on the hotspot list of places than spring to mind as being a mecca for snowboarders. Lucky if we get 3 snowflakes a year.


No. Far too clever to be seen. Think they are now masquerading as manx residents!