Saturday, August 27, 2011

Did the punishment fit the crime?

I’ve been thinking for a while about the recent wave of rioting
across the UK - the mindless violence towards people, and looting
& damage to property, that looked grim and which must have been
terrifying to those who were targeted, or whose home or business
was set on fire. It looked as if WW3 had started or as if we
were watching scenes from a sci-fi movie … an uprising of the
Underworld. It looked really horrifying.

You will have seen the response of the Law and Order services,
in quickly rounding up a lot of those responsible (their faces
having been caught on CCTV), and in giving out harsh sentences
(even for nicking a bottle of water). One local council is
evicting the entire family of one of the offenders from the
council property. “Bring back the birch”, said one of my
neighbours, “they should all be given a short sharp shock”.

More harsh, I thought were the 4-year prison sentences given to
two young men for “incitement to riot” on their Facebook sites
… they didn’t take part in the riots themselves, but presumably
the police thought that they needed to be silenced.

Did the punishment fit the crime? Yes, I think it did, and it
certainly worked in restoring law and order.


On a more cheerful note, here are a couple of photos I took earlier
this week …

… our grandchildren playing in an adventure park.


and a rather good photo I took of my wife, while we were out having
a picnic …


All our visitors went home two days ago, so our house feels rather
empty again, with just us and two cats poddling around in it. “Poddling”
is a North Nottingham word for when you see people pottering around the
streets in a rather lazy but cheerful way … as if they had all the time
in the world … to do very little.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Wedding

Here are a few photos for you ... lots more up on my Flickr site.

The happy couple being sprinkled with confetti ...


Mrs C drew the outline for this picture & our granddaughter A coloured it in.


Mrs C had the great idea of creating this photo-montage for the party we
held a week later at our house. I used some posh wall-lining paper to cover
one of our large paintings, and then Mrs C chose and sellotaped on a selection
of my pics.


Here's the confetti scene re-enacted at our house ... which we thought would
be a fun thing to do for the kids. You can now get bio-degradable confetti
i.e. it's paper ... so we haven't been bothered to sweep it all up.


Both the wedding and the party afterwards went very well, and I was very
impressed with how my photography went .... hats off to my new camera flash
unit (the Canon Speedlite 580EX II) which worked like a dream. It would have
been better in some ways to have used a reflector and no flash for a lot of
the outdoor shots, but unfortunately my assistant couldn't attend either the
wedding or the party. As I may have said before, I think having the photos
done professionally is worth every penny ... when you think of their
expertise & training costs, the cost of their equipment, their time, the
costs of premises and running cars, photo-editing & printing costs and making
a living out of it.

We've got 2 of our grandchildren and their mum L staying with us for another
week (plus two more grandchildren all today as well), so it's a busy time
for both Mrs C and me. We love having them all here, but it can be hard work
at times. On the plus side ... yet more opportunities to photograph them. :)

I've got a few more projects in mind to do in the next few months ....
... painting Mrs C's counselling room & the perimeter wooden fence
... sorting out Mrs C's tax return (an annual chore that you'll be familiar
... getting a webmasters group going for our county-wide network of U3As
... making a start on my mother-in-law's family history ... she's now 91
years of age, and I would like to jot down all her recollections of her
family, before she pops her clogs. She is however reluctant to do this
as she tends to get tearful when she talks about immediate family, as
she is the only one that's alive in her generation. She was born in
New Zealand, and came over the UK with her parents when she was 3 years
of age. One of her sisters emigrated back to NZ in later life, so Mrs C
has a number of cousins living out there, as has her mum.

When we visited NZ in December 2006 with her, the immigration official
looked at her passport and then said very cheerfully to her: "Welcome back!"

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Our holiday in Whitby

Hi everyone,

Sorry that it’s been a long time since my last post. Since that post,
Mrs C and I have been away on holiday … we’ve had a week in Whitby,
which was really great despite the showery weather. We were joined by
two of our girls and their partners, as you’ll see on my Flickr site
(there’s a link to this on the Rt hand side). I’ll post a few photos
below to give you an idea of what Whitby looks like (for those of you
who’ve never been there).

In the past few months, I’ve been struggling to finish off some
probate work on my late mother’s estate (she died back in 2003!) … more
on how to present all the material and to balance the Balance Sheet.
Well, to cut a long story short, an accountant friend of ours gave me
a few tips on what to do, and this very day, I’ve almost completed it
… though I’ve still got a few cheques to hand out (as soon as everyone
has agreed to my figures). I won’t bore you with any more detail about
all this, except to say that I’m feeling enormously relieved that it’s
nearly finished.
It will be a load off my mind, when it’s all done … for example, there
won’t be any more begging letters /emails from one of my relatives, as
there won’t be any more money left in the kitty to give her.

On a more cheerful topic, one of our daughters is getting married in
London this Friday … she’s the one with the two little daughters you
might have seen my photos of.

She and her partner are getting married mainly for financial reasons,
one of which is to make their children’s future more financially secure.
Only the parents and the children have been invited to the ceremony
(and to have coffee and cakes straight afterwards), but they’ve
organised large social dos for each half of their family. We are
hosting the party for our side of the family the following weekend.
L and J are paying for our local vegetarian chef to provide most of
the food, and they’ll bring some bubbly with them. We’ll provide the

I can see why a lot of couples love to splash out with expensive
weddings … the brides dressed up like meringues, the blokes looking
like penguins, and then the obligatory posh cars, marquees, and a
honeymoon in The Seychelles, etc., etc., but it’s a lot of expense
for just a few days of fun … and for a marriage that might not last
very long.

As I mentioned in a recent email, I've been asked if I'd be the
main photographer at the wedding and at the party also. I’ll aim
to take dozens of snaps, with view to getting a few good’uns ....
which is what I usually do anyway. So in a week or two’s time,
I’ll be posting some wedding and party photos onto Flickr (and
possibly onto Blogger as well). Talk to you all soon.

A view of Whitby Harbour (with the Church and the Abbey at the top of the hill in the distance).

Whitby Harbour at dusk.

Church Street in Whitby … lovely old shops and pubs lining this narrow