I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Monday 29 October 2012

PUMP. (29/10/12)

The water pump on the van has packed up. Bless my soul I thought. It’s not the fuse so I've a major job on my hands stripping half the camper to get at the pump. Just as well it looks as if it’s about to rain. I could be upside down in the bowels of the truck for some time.

We were late out for our walk this morning as I got engrossed in a book I was less than enamoured with yesterday. The Lewis Man by Peter May……an excellent read. The only cloud on the horizon is that it’s part of a trilogy and as is usual with such things I’ve read the middle book first.

Just a couple of pictures from today.

octpan29   As always this will enlarge with a click. It’s far too clear to be dry for long.

PA294544_5_6_7_8_tonemapped_edited-1The start of the cloud.

Good luck to all you people on the east coast of America. It looks as if you are going to need it.

Saturday 27 October 2012

RE-PROGRAMME. (27/10/12)

Today is the first day of winter, snow…..a wee bit and cold. I was awake at three as a hail storm clattered on the truck roof. Keith was up earlier….or possibly hadn’t been to bed. I noticed he was replying to comments at 0240h. Check for yourselves. CALDECOTE LAKE. Of course the alternative is that he has a week prostate and decided to sort e-mails whilst having a tiddle…..apparently it is possible for I-Phone owners.

It was dark when I woke so I decided to pop the Arduino  temperature sensor Out of the window it just said zero. I pondered this for a while and thirty minutes and a coffee later I decided it needed reprogramming. A 500mv offset sorted it.

imageAll that work and it wasn’t that far away. I really must get a life.

I read a book for a bit…..had a bowl of porridge, another cup of coffee and started looking for winter clothes. I couldn’t find my gloves or my woolly hat. I am on the ball. The hat was in a cupboard with the spare printer cartridges………don’t ask. I don’t even know what inspired me to look there. I now need inspiration to find the gloves. I did find my big mittens…they were residing with the slow cooker! The big mittens were overkill for today.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Just a sprinkle of wet snow.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     I didn't take a tripod it was black and horrid and damp and raw on bare hands.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   We made it to the supermarket and I tied the dogs up. Alf has a jacket as he feels the cold. The tying has to be efficient or the little devils sneak in after me. Causes one hell of a commotion. 

The next bit is not for the faint of heart. GLO has been at it again………………….muddyadrian2copy     Quite where Glo found Keith or Grahams hat I’m not sure…I never wear daft hats………………

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      A self portrait from this morning and a proper hat.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday 25 October 2012


adriansprman1  This wonderful portrait of me is the work of Glo. I’m flattered by her kindness…..the dogs Molly on the left and Alf on the right are equally impressed.If you click Glo has sent an image at good resolution. The bulk of me is accurate if one interchanges chest and waist.  Molly did panic a bit at the sight of her dad. She said if you think we are going out with you dressed like that you can think again. She added, that she thought after six years looking after me she had persuaded me to wear my knickers under my trousers.

You can see more of Glo’s writings and pictures here at PORCELAIN ROSE . She is obviously very busy as not content with polishing me up she can also embed links into her comment replies……..I hope.

PA254483_4_5_6_7_tonemapped_edited-2    I have a view again………it seems ages since I could see across the field. The view this morning was short lived and we got caught in that norain sort of rain that soaks one in seconds.

I tried to hurry home but had my wellies on over thin socks so I kept bogging down and having to back up to extricate errant feet from the sludge without stepping out of my boots. Reversing isn’t easy. The act of de-weighting the stuck foot doubles the load on the unstuck one, the result is two stuck feet. The dogs found this hilarious and soon my progress was reduced to farce. I’m twisting this way and twisting that. Dogs trying to bite my feet and barking, I’m trying to get forward momentum without stamping on them. In the end the inevitable happened. I left a welly stranded and now have a cold, wet, muddy foot. At this time I lost my presence of mind and dragging the errant welly from the mud stuck my foot back in it. I now have a muddy foot and a wet muddy boot lining.  Not the smooth, swift progress one would expect from Superman.

I got back to the fence and found the farmers daughter leaning on the gate in hysterics. Funny breed are women.  I was really pissed and can only hope she was too. Serve her right for laughing at the afflicted.

That’s all I have to say today. You all have fun.


Wednesday 24 October 2012

SUPERMAN. (24/10/12)

I am still enveloped in dank, damp mist. It is truly awful. The pictures today are from years ago and show pleasant mist filling the Hope Valley in Derbyshire.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Good mist as long as one is above it and not in it.

I don’t want to appear boastful. I have been trying to achieve a level of fitness commensurate with my age and this week all the training and abstinence have born fruit.

I have cut out the Marlboro and am now down to six roll ups an hour. Alcohol consumption is down to a bottle of Scotch a week…..sometimes less, very occasionally more. I have increased my physical training regime. I power walk at least a hundred yards on our wanders. When I remember or the dogs bugger off after prey I deem undesirable. I have forgone all carnal pleasure, not completely voluntarily, such is life.

All this ascetism has born dividends far beyond my expectations. Fit! I’m a superman!

I have equalled Lance Armstrong's record in cycling and I don’t even have a bike……!

Buoyed up with this amazing transformation I have decided to start Pilates. Pilates is practised by attractive ladies…………the same ones that used to be forever washing their hair on the odd occasion I was free to escort them out for a pie and a pint.

So get yourselves a fitness plan, stick to it and you too can equal the achievements of a legend.

Have fun.


Tuesday 23 October 2012

FORCE NINE. (23/10/12)


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  A storm at Porthcathon in December 2009. The second picture is taken from the headland above the breaking wave in the first image. Yes I did get wet.

Some good news and bad news today. The Badgers are safe for another year but the cows will all be dead from TB. I wonder what Wheetbix and muesli taste like with water on?

I suspect Dithery will now announce yet another policy. Persecution of Pandas, whacking of Wildebeest, hanging of Hares, annihilation of Anacondas, poleaxing of Polar Bears………….Just a few  suggestions to help him with yet another costly and ineffective plan. Forget the action…….Dithery is an ideas man…A daft ideas man!

It’s very foggy here today so though we’ve been out for a good wander I never saw anything. Certainly no Badgers coughing with relief and spreading pestilence in all directions.

It looks as if we may have snow towards the end of the week, I hope it is snow and not slush.

That’s all for today. Enjoy the mild weather whilst it lasts.

Sunday 21 October 2012

BAGMAN. (21/10/12)



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                                             I’ve had a root in the bag for these images…….Derwentwater, a very cool morning three years ago.

Yesterday I went out for lunch after giving myself a good wash and brush up. On the way we called at the supermarket. I have a suspicion that prices are higher at weekends. Has anyone else noticed this? I ended up with two packets of chicken breasts and a whole chicken for ten pounds. These special offers are fine if one is feeding a family or has a freezer as I have neither they are a damn nuisance. Fortunately I was shopping in company so we were able to split the purchase. I kept the chicken and it is sitting in the slow cooker sweating away. The laundry is done and drying in the sun so all is well with my world.

I have found yet another camera to consider. This is a Hasselblad medium format  Flexbody. A posh bit of kit but as rare as hens teeth so I suspect I can forget this one.

Enjoy the coming week and have fun.

Friday 19 October 2012

AGES AGO. (19/10/12)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    This was the view this morning……the murk lasted till lunchtime.

Now I could have a good rant but really I can’t rake up any enthusiasm. Dithery is not so  dithery now but has wandered into a fantasy world of cheap energy, even his ministers were confused. MPs appear to have their noses in the trough again.

I have been sorting thousands of images and came across these from four years ago.

A brighter slant on the world.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA            Anybody fancy a swim?

1667_edited-2Captain Cook at Whitby. Happy times, and great sibling company in days which seem like yesterday and so long ago. Thanks Richard.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         House of Knowledge by Jaume Plensa. This was taken in Chatsworth Park. The sculpture is now residing in Antibes. It looks better there. It can be seen in all it’s glory here at EAGLETON NOTES and here at SYNFLAME. It looks magical at night.

inversion derwent dam Howden Dam……….I can still feel frozen fingers….By Gum it was cool.

Howden reflections Reflections in Howden reservoir. Taken the same morning.

That’s all for today, Have a great weekend.

Thursday 18 October 2012

SHOCKING. (18/10/12)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Bamborough Castle………This was taken two years ago.

I wasn’t going to post today but I had to share the following story. A blind man has been Tasered  by the Manchester Constabulary. Now I know I shouldn’t laugh but I can’t help myself. What was he doing? Attacking them, calling them f…..g plebs, tampering with little girls and boys, mugging pensioners………Don’t be silly! He was wandering along tapping the pavement with his wee white stick…..acting like any other normal blind man. Why was he stunned by the boys in blue………….They mistook his stick for a samurai sword…….A mistake any Bobby could make! Poor devil, I bet he applies for a guide dog now.

That’s all for today.

Wednesday 17 October 2012

TRENCH FOOT. (17/10/12)

This weather is getting me down. It could be worse, it could be raining constantly. It could be grey and dismal between the downpours. It doesn’t seem two minutes since we were being threatened with dehydration and death. The farmer here is considering sowing rice or turning all is land over to a fish farm.

I have decided to spend the winter in Scotland and take pictures to the very best of my ability on film. I’ve been busy this last few days ploughing through thousands of images and binning all but the best. Almost without exception these have been taken with prime lenses. I suspect that using these and spot metering makes me more considerate.

I will keep blogging because I enjoy it and it is a record of my ups and downs. I will also enter competitions so that I can better appreciate the rights and wrongs of what I am doing.

There is only one photograph for today.

beechpan     Same view…different light. I could be stuck in a much worse place.

The other day the outside temperature thingy stopped working on the camper. I knew I had a diode to measure temperature…..I suspect they all do.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  The transistor is the wee thing next to the pen. I have got myself a pair of tweezers as all these bits are a little small for my fingers. They have also improved my eyebrows a treat so two pounds fifty pence well spent.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   Here it is working away.

image    Brilliant……all I have to do now is plug the Arduino into my laptop and I can tell if I’m too hot or too cold to two decimal places. The 20.31 reading is where I grabbed it with my fingers to see if it was working.

I’m going back to the crossword, have a good day.

Monday 15 October 2012

SHOWERS AND SUN. (15/10/12)

It’s funny weather. A mixture of heavy showers and sunny spells. Why do the showers occur when I’m a mile from shelter? The light is wonderful though so I’ll put up with things as they stand. I have a raft of photographs today I can’t vouch for the quality, I’ll leave that to you.

PA144352_3_4_5_6_tonemapped_edited-1   Last night in Black and White………

pondpan  and in colour.

cloudpan1012   It was much the same first thing this morning. It’s a different patch of flood water but one flood is much like another.

I had a run into town this morning and a quick wander round.

market square1-copy_edited-1     The Market Square Darlington. I was hoping for a full three hundred and sixty degree panorama but it was impossible. This has had a detrimental effect on the following little planet.

market square1_edited-1     I do enjoy doing these……I am aware it’s a bit silly but can’t help myself.

PA154427_28_29_30_31_tonemapped_edited-1St Cuthbert’s Darlington. I’ll have to have a look inside…it was locked this morning.

PA154437_38_39_40_41_tonemapped_edited-1The Market Cross…….It ought to be the Market Ball……I presume they decided that market ball sounded too much like a dance. The building in the background is the old Town Hall. Built in an era when bureaucracy was of sensible size.

I have found a lens which is a work of art……Whether it can produce a work of art I’m undecided.PC_TS_50_Angulon-001     It is built by Schneider and has several advantages over Canon or Nikon tilt shift lenses. It has a disadvantages  in that it is a manual lens and won’t take screw in filter mounts. It takes Schneider filters which are likely to cost a Kings Ransom. It is fast and also doubles as a 90mm macro lens. The big advantage is that the tripod mount is on the lens so for shift work it effectively keeps perspective as set and moves the camera sensor. Should make for perfect panoramas. I have my doubts that a DSLR sensor is really big enough to do it justice. If you want to see one have a look HERE.

I really want a view camera but there is no chance of my affording a digital back…..£40k they are. I would go for 4x5 film but as far as I can ascertain Quickload film either by Kodak or Fuji is no longer available. The thought of loading sheet film in the dark is more hassle than I can face.

Ho Hum!………I’ll keep reading and pondering and try and find a friendly large format camerarist. I need to have a chat with someone who knows and a play with their tackle. Excuse the expression.

Have a good week.

Friday 12 October 2012

DICTATING. (12/10/12)

After heavy rain last night to day has dawned bright, windy, cool and very wet underfoot.

Being a little bored I decided to investigate speech recognition.  I used it years ago in Windows XP and found it pretty useless, its only real use was as a source of amusement.  As you can see in  Windows 7 it has come on by leaps and bounds and is actually of some practical use.

It still takes much longer than typing but I am sure that are more I'll use it better it will get.  I suspect that it struggles a little with my northern accent.  I dread think how the queen would get on as she has a very peculiar way of expressing herself.  I have been correcting the copy so far but will dictate the following paragraph without correction.

Mary had a little lamb at least as white as snow and everywhere but Mary went glam shall to go.

Mary had a little lamb boots police was white as snow and everywhere but Mary went by lamb bars issue of to go.

As you can see far from perfect but speaking at normal speed and it isn't doing a bad job. I have had as remember is not curse the dogs.  Four price sake dogs give up !  Alf now shut up.

There are a couple pictures from this morning……………………………….


PA124315_6_7_8_9_tonemapped_edited-1 Buys you can see a grand start to the day.

Hope you enjoy interrupting this and have a great weekend.


Wednesday 10 October 2012

………….. AS A NEWT. (10/10/12)

I enjoyed another sunny day. We had a good wander round but the best was left till last.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA       See………. not a cloud in the sky on my little planet.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA             I wish the dogs were more particular about the quality of the water they swim in. I am going to have to invest in one of those squirty perfumed things. The van reeks of stagnant pond and horse muck.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA             The rat has learnt to climb the bird feeder. I have given the pole a spray with teflon but it makes no difference at all.

As I was trying to persuade the dogs out of the pond I looked down and saw this little beauty. I thought it was dead but it was just cold.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA              I popped it on a fence post to warm up and stood guard to make sure nothing swooped down and gobbled it up.

It’s not an Salamanda it’s a Smooth Newt, I think it’s a he as it still has a bit of crest left. It soon warmed up so I carried it back to the pond. I hope that’s where it was going as it will be bloody annoyed if it was heading somewhere else.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA               It had become quite quick and agile and spent the fifty yard walk back to the pond trying to run up my sleeve. Little devil. They are difficult to handle so small and delicate. If you inadvertently pull off a leg or it’s tail it can grow a new one. Wish I could!

Have fun.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

CONSTIPATION. (09/10/12)

Yesterday I had a run into town, I had trouble finding Darlington as it was foggy. Cold and foggy.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Folk were ambling into each other, walking into walls, bumping into buses, so thick was the mist that I had trouble finding the change in my pocket. All things considered it was an entertaining trip.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The sun is doing it’s best and so are the spiders………………………………….



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The fog and damp does have it’s upside……I hope this plant is Sow Thistle.

When I got to town I scoured the shops for a mental laxative. We are three days into the Conservative Party conference and three weeks into the conference season. My eyes are brown and I have a headache, I’m full. I failed to find an antidote.

I did purchase a couple of lengths of four by six inch timber and two dozen big nails. I’m going to build a crucifix. Burglars beware! Come round here and you’ll be nailed up. Dithery has dithered again. He’s going to allow one to kill robbers. Doesn’t seem two minutes since he was an advocate of ‘Hug a Hoody’ now it’s ‘Murder a Malefactor’ day. I suspect that burglars have little to worry about, he’ll have another policy next week. They probably won’t need to wait that long. 

I don’t like the idea of getting shares in small companies in exchange for forfeiting employment rights. I can’t see this being a good deal. The government will not tax any capital gains on these shares but there won’t be any. Should the company increase it’s value then where can one sell shares in a company that is unlisted? This is another tax avoidance scheme for small partnerships. They will reform as limited companies and get a tax free bonus every year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe fog cleared whilst I was in town and I snapped the tower again.

It’s another sunny day so we’ll get a shuffle on with the cross building then get out for a walk.

Enjoy the rest of your week.