me and my camera

The Final Countdown!

Panic Stations!

Only about 48hours until the competition closes! Where did the time go? (Oh, yeh:that'd be the whole Egypt/snow-closed runways/work-backlog domino effect thing)

Egypt was fabulous - longer than planned, but so very much what I needed (photos to follow, I promise). However...manic-overdrive-mode now engaged. I have the final countdown circa 1986(?) as a brain-worm - yes it is that bad!  The busy bit for me is, well, now until the exhibition. Ah, I usually pull it off without a hitch :)

So anyway, here's a final reminder for anyone planning on entering:   Closes 10pm GMT, Weds 20th Jan. Check out all our entries!
me and my camera

(no subject)

Sorry I've not been very prolific past few days - I'm in Egypt! Just a week's package hol, escaping all the snow :) 

Will update when I get back!
me and my camera

Whats with all the shoes?

Just so everyone knows: all the adverts for designer shoes (that seem to be plaguing my LJ comments this week - since spotlight perhaps?) are nothing to do with me! I have zero interest in shoes!  The time it is taking me to remove all the spam comments is really starting to be beyond annoying.

Does anybody know how to report this/stop it, other than delete/ban/report spam for each individual advert-masquerading-as-comment?

on a much nicer note:


me and my camera

blushing in the spotlight

Yikes, I'm in the spotlight!

This is all my sister's doing: she nominated me. It is great to spread the word about the photo competition, but I am now feeling under pressure to be witty &, suddenly coming over all hugh grant & awkward!  I also don't really feel worthy of 'valiant' label - all I did was get through a pretty pants year as best I could - afterall, what else was there to do?

The fact I'm on LJ at all is due to my sister, essentialsonly. She kept an LJ years ago when she was doing voluntary service overseas (as a doctor in Africa). She doesn't write much now she's back in the UK, but I keep pestering her to finish EO by writing up her paper diary to fill in the blanks. Now there's an interesting read & a valiant choice...*deflects spotlight back at ya sis!*
me and my camera

Dog chariots of fire

Its been great being back in Scotland for the holidays. The snow has started to thaw today, so my sister & I walked her two dogs on St Andrews beach in glorious crisp sunshine.  The beach is where the running sequence of chariots of fire was filmed - a long sweep of sand - now crunchy with a snow crust - that's lapped by dark grey atlantic rollers.  The ancient towers & turrets of the University caught the sunlight in the distance & the light was almost orange from the low winter sun. Magic. 

The pups loved it, happily panting big clouds of breath in the cold air. Toby (the short barrel of a boarder terrier, with overshot jaw and mutley-teeth) got a ball-lobber for christmas... you wouldn't imagine such a round dog could move so fast or get so excited, tiny legs flying out from under him in pursuit of precious ball. Lottie (the lyth, bouncy fluffy-faced one - half long-haired jack russel, half boarder terrier) leapt  great salmon-leaps of sheer joy, and ran huge rings round Toby, ears flapping, then turning on a sixpence, stole his ball to make him chase her!

I just wish I hadn't forgotten my camera!

I'm afraid I've been a bit slack on the competition front - it's really hard to keep up momentum all the time; and being back at my parents home - so out of my own adult reality - makes me just want to be seven years old again. Fortunately the technical side runs itself, and despite my neglect of promoting it, there has been a flurry of entries recently (if anyone is interested in seeing the photos entered so far, they are all up in the gallery at ) There are some really interesting ones. I'm thinking of adding a few lines of organiser's comments when we exhibit them - for example one of the entries in the Reflections category is a photo of a boat succumbing to rising waters in Venice - I'd like to add the comment that the image contained both literal and metaphorical reflections, as the sinking boat itself could be seen as a reflection of climate change. But maybe art shouldn't be spoonfed to its audience? Maybe half the fun of an exhibition is discussing it? 

Heading back down south to England tomorrow, so will be able to do a bit more for Renaissance when I'm home.
me and my camera

Festive Cheer

Thankfully, I've just discovered I'm not the murderer. Phew! After 4 hours (!) of family murder mystery game, we found out it was my sister-in-law, in cahoots with Jacques Frost, ski instructor to the stars, played by family friend Verity. Believe it or not all this came in a in a cracker set (crackers being a UK christmas tradition, that more typically contains a weak joke, a paper crown, & some cheep plastic trinkets - but in this case was Poirot-style clues) so intrigue and alcohol abound all afternoon.

Yesterday's crackers had us producing a rousing chorus of hark the herald angels on a set of  hand bells, (my father somewhat over playing his number 5 bell - blame the Port - and my brother being a semi-tone out through no fault of his own). Ah family festive fun.
me and my camera

changing plans

Oh No! My Mother's Victorian Christmas dream is under threat! The combination of snow threat & BA strike may scupper our plans to converge on my parents - they live in Scotland, whist all the 'children' live in the south. Hopefully, it will all come to nothing & we will all find a way up safely.

Its been insanely busy this last week. The big thing is that we have pushed the Renaissance deadlines back a couple of weeks. This was necessary to fit the sponsor's needs on the Event date, but having a bit more time will also make life much easier for me, (that is, after all this initial work to rebook with the venue & judges etc ). We're now accepting entries until the 20th Jan - an added bonus is that will gives the last-minute-ers more chance to surface & get it together after New Year! There is always an 11th hour rush, and it really sucks to have to turn down entries because they don't make the deadline (but we have to stick to the rules) so having two "11th hours" may be the perfect solution! Or people may just leave it until the new last min...

I've also been thwarted by limited internet access this week - work continues to be manic, and I've had electricians in (power off) at home. So. Much. To. Do!

Still, at least all the Christmas shopping is done.
me and my camera

Carols from St Pauls

Starting to feel very festive! Not only have I nearly finished my christmas prezzie list with a stellar online shopping spree, but I've also been to the Breast Cancer Care carol service this week: . Nothing says christmas like belting out a chorus of hark the herald! (miming the high notes).

It was really really lovely. St Pauls Cathedral is absolutely stunning. Despite being a londoner for years, I'm not sure I've ever been inside it before (I guess its the usual story - travel the globe & ignore our own doorstep). I also can't get over what an amazing voice soloist Faryl Smith has - she is only 14!

* wanders off humming descant to O Come All Ye faithful...*
me and my camera

(no subject)

Feeling much more chipper, after a nice weekend. Got the bathroom sorted in my flat in Paris (I used to live there, now rent it out) so that is one less stress to worry about. Lovely new bathroom - just need to find new tenant - anybody looking to live in paris by any chance?

Feeling positive on the photo front too. We've had a flurry of new entries with some absolutely cracking images (check them out in the gallery I always get excited when good photos come in & look forward to the exhibition. Of course, the finalists are totally up to the judges (& they don't always like the same ones as me - occasionally I'm a bit perplexed, but bow to their superior eye), but I do get to pick a couple of my favs for the exhibition as the 'organisers choice'.

The event (the celeb private view) is my next big hurdle. There is just SO much to do still. In the past we have had a bit more help with the press & celeb side of things, but unfortunately this year I'm on my own. I have a few contacts - David Mitchell is a Uni friend, & has been fantastic, supporting us from the beginning; Lisa Snowdon, KT Tunstall, Helena Christianson & Mary McCartney have all helped in the past. Hopefully I can call on them again? Otherwise its a case of making a list of dream-celeb invitees (which we've started), and trying to reach them through their agents (WAY easier said than done). It seems to be a bit of a snowball effect - you need a few names to get started - celebs are like everyone else, they want to know who else is going to the party.

So if anyone wants to help: suggest a celeb! Connection to breast cancer or photography is a bonus, but not essential. If anyone knows the contact details of any agents, that would be even better!
me and my camera

peaks & troughs

feeling inexplicably low, after the high of yesterdays sponsorship news.

Work (proper job, not Renaissance) is really busy right now - at the very time I need to be pedaling as hard as I can on the Competition front. Still, I can't grumble - my bosses have been incredibly supportive: not only the year-long sick leave '07/08, but also the ongoing indulgence of turning a blind eye to all the emailing/phoning/blogging etc, in work time, on which the comp organisation depends. But when the squeeze is on everyone, as it is now, I have to meet deadlines & deliver the tasks they actually pay me for(!), which means Renaissance things being done at midnight & 4am. I'm just knackered.

Googleanalytics is a double edged sword too - the website hits being directly proportional to the effort I put in every day. It rocks when that little graph goes up up up , but my spirits follow it in the down-time too. I have to keep reminding myself it is entries & event sales that count (not website hits) in terms of fund-raising. And we are doing fine - on track to raise as much as last year (£35K) i think. I just want to beat last years total - personal goal to keep me pedaling full speed. I'd also like to get the comp big enough to split the proceeds between Breast Cancer Care & Research next year - without the research bit, care can't really move forward in the future, so I'd really like to be able to contribute there as well.

Anyway, I'm going to give myself an evening off tonight - hot bath then an episode CSI & an early night to recharge the batteries.