Monday, 29 September 2014


Another summer has passed with me carrying a list of photo challenges set by Rinda over at Gallo Organico.  The list is looking worn and well used but my mission has been accomplished and great fun had along the way! 

I thought some of the photos on the list would be easy but often they were the ones that
turned out to be a real challenge!  Other photos have stories and happy memories attached so without wasting any more time, here is the complete set of photos for this years challenge taken between 21st June and 21st September. 
1.  A sign welcoming people to your home town (or a nearby town)
The photo I wanted to take said welcome to Essex but every time I passed I have been a lone driver.  So instead here is one welcoming us into Wales....

2. A garden gnome
These cheeky chappies were seen at a local garden centre

3. Birds on a wire
Now this was one I thought would be easy. We have a wire outside our home where birds sometimes congregate - but not when I was looking for a photo!  But luckily, on a local walk I discovered this notice:
4. A group of tourists
The Tour de France came through Essex and I decided to join the carnival atmosphere.  I managed to take several photos for the challenge and wrote about my day here.
5. A rack of postcards
Another photo that proved more difficult to find than expected!  There were signs saying no photography in the hall that we were visiting and the attendant took her job seriously but allowed me a quick shot while she turned her back!  
6. An urban street
Bradford Upon Avon..... somewhere I have wanted to visit for a long time.  It met every expectation and more.  A return visit will be planned. 


7. A rural landscape
I am lucky enough to be surrounded by rural landscape but I liked this barn when I went to see the Tour de France, so decided to include this.
8. A tattoo on a person
Some of you will know that we frequently attend VW events.  These bring quite a diverse crowd (see here) and on a previous occasion I approached someone for a photo of his tattoo.  But then I saw this guy and I decided my other photo paled in comparison.  I was hesitant to approach him at first as he looked intimidating but my want-of-a-photo helped me to ask if I could take a photo. He obliged with few words and by turning his back to me.  Then, when I was appreciative, he offered to show me more… and more!  Apparently 85% of his body is covered in tattoos and I got to see most of them (there were some I said I didn’t need to see!) but as I thanked him again and went to walk away he said there was another I should see….  and to my relief he lowered the inside of his lip to reveal the word TATTOO.  He seemed pleased that I was interested in his body art and I am glad that I didn’t let appearance stop me asking him. 

9. A bakery
Out for lunch with a friend I saw a wonderful bakery but the bin outside the door spoilt the picture. My friend, supportive of my endeavour for a nice photo, explained the challenge and asked if we could move  the bin for a moment.  I then went inside to thank the shop owner and I was invited to go back earlier in the day when the shelves are full, as their bread was photo-worthy.  I loved that they joined in the spirit and I did not plan to make a purposeful journey but next morning I just happened to be passing by so I stopped off and more photos were taken.  

However, another VW event followed and I spotted a beautiful split screen van that had been converted into a bakery..... I now had a dilemma.  Which to include?  After all the effort involved in the first photo I decided to add both!

10. A photo bomb
I wanted to take a photo of this gate when my grand daughter walked into the shot.

I laughed and thanked her, realising that it would count as my photo-bomb. She was amused at this and asked me to explain the meaning, so when I took this next picture she decided to give me an extra shot by suddenly pulling a funny pose! 

11. A horn
Who ever thought there could be so many kinds? 
I especially loved the hats and I mentioned that VW events are diverse.  Well that's where all these photos were taken.

 12. A mascot
I needed a lucky mascot for this off road ride.  But it was great fun even if I did get a bit wet and muddy....  and guess what?  It was at another VW event!

13. A sunrise
In the days that I commuted to work I used to see the sunrise regularly, now I have to get up specially to see it.  After setting my alarm on two mornings it was too cloudy for the sun to break through.  Third time lucky!

14. A parade
preceding the Tour de France.

15. A juggler
Guess where?  At a VW event!!
I was struggling to find a juggler but low and behold there was a small area set aside for people to have a go at circus skills.  I went in and explained my quest, and asked if someone could possibly do some juggling for my photo.  Karl jumped to the challenge and onto a ball...  juggling skittles and knives and giving me a personal show for which I was highly grateful and thoroughly entertained.  Meanwhile his assistant Becky added her own side show!

16. A sign in a language other than English

17. A lamp post
I love these assorted lamp posts found at an antique centre... you can guess what took us there!
18. A water fall 
Easy this one... we have one in our garden.   

But I also liked this novel idea seen at a local tea room....

19. A public garden

20. A bus (not a car, truck, lorry, camper or RV) with a picture painted on its sides.

21. A photograph of you with something representing the season.

Alternative - A bird house
Since my photo of a welcome sign was not my home town or area I am adding an addition.

And that's me done for another year! 

Looking back I see that each one has a different feel, such as the year it became a family affair and we all looked out for photos during our travels.  This is still the case, but this year people I do not know have gone out of their way to pose, participate and play along too.  I have met some really interesting characters, learnt lots, and had huge fun.  So thank you to Rinda for organising this annual challenge and to everyone else who has taken part and shared photos.  I am going to miss it but hopefully next summer will bring another list and another photo challenge.  Already I can't wait to get started! 

And if you have stayed this far to look at my photos and read this post a BIG thank you to you too....  your patience and company is appreciated!!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

5 in 5 - Melanie -September 2014

Melanie is my friend who lives in Australia and she loves photography. Every month Melanie has taken part in this monthly neme and we managed to find a way round her not having a blog by posting here. I love that we have found a way for her to take part so once again Melanie, a big thank you, and over to you:
On September 5th  I arrived at Sydney airport with my daughter and grandson.  We hired a car and drove to Katoomba in the area known as the Blue Mountains. The cockatoos in my photo where gathered in a reserve next to where we parked the car about 20 of them and of course my camera came out and clicked away.  In less than five minutes I had taken a dozen photos of them and had to tell myself to stop.  The sun was shining and we headed to Echo Point where we had an excellent view of  the rock formation known as the Three Sisters.  We then set off on a walk which was where I expected to take some excellent photos for the 5 in 5.  This didn’t happen as first rain then hail.  We were cold and very wet and now as I look at the photos I attempted to take they are very dark and the cockatoos far outshine them.  Just to give you an idea of the change in weather here is a before and after of the Three Sisters.

The Three Sisters
Now here are those Cockatoos who need no other introduction and guess what they were still there chewing away when we returned to the car and the rain was tipping down.
As always, Thank you Melanie.  I love this monthly look at life on the other side of the world. 
If this has inspired you to take part in this challenge you have until 25th before the link closes. It's great fun and this post should answer any questions or give other information that you need.

Thank you to everyone else who has joined in or left comments. Links for this months posts are here and hopefully I'll be back with more photos from Melanie and myself next month. I hope you will join me!
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