It’s Sunday morning and so once again I allow you into the labyrinth of neural pathways that is my brain and share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? I’m still doing social media stuff and trying to share pictures of the community I live in that show it in a positive light. I could do dark industrial pictures of the Black Country but we now have nature reserves and we even have the Black Country forest! Times change and there is no point getting stuck in the past. Industry belongs to a bygone age, we are now producing different things and it can be more fun and be more creative. Anyway, I’m now into blue sky thinking.
It’s Sunday morning and so, as usual, I grant you an exclusive ticket to take a peek into the inner workings of my mind. What’s on my mind this week? Spoilers! When I was a kid there was always that one kid in the park that took great pleasure in openly peeing in the paddling pool. The other kids would run in disgust back to their mommies. It only takes one doesn’t it? That’s life, there is always a spoiler, a shit stirrer, a moron who thinks it’s clever to piss-off everyone else. There is always one kid who will pee in the pool.
It’s Sunday morning again and so I allow you into the labyrinth that is my mind and share my thoughts with you again. What’s on my mind today? My new phone! Aren’t they expensive? It cost as much as my laptop. It is cool, though. Last night, I was lying on my bed, eating crisps and drinking beer, as you do and I got YouTube on it and actually cast the picture and music to my television! How cool is that? I even got Google maps up on my television. I admit the YouTube thing wasn’t that smart because I have a smart telly that can get YouTube anyway, but it is a smart phone. My thoughts are very smart today. Aren’t they?
There seems to be a distinct lack of enthusiasm now that Christmas and New Year is over. We seem to have the January blues. However, underneath this apparent dearth of vitality lies an undercurrent of plans for the future. What will be happening in Wednesbury in 2017, we ask ourselves. I see signs of activity at the library and we have still to hear if the BIDS scheme will go ahead. Will the car boot be back this month? Will brave souls brave the freezing weather to make some cash to pay for their Christmas extravagance? If we plan anything outside the weather could spoil it. There are events, in the town hall booked through this year and they have some good nights as well as afternoon shows. There is a Frankie Valli tribute this month. There are lots of little shows at the pubs around the town too.
I hope everyone in Wednesbury had a great Christmas but now we have to look to the future. What will 2017 bring? There will be some changes with a few companies opening up new premises in or around Wednesbury. Lidl will have a new warehouse and so too will DFS. There will be a new car showroom to replace Carcraft and there are interesting developments on the Gallagher retail park. We also hope to get better Christmas lights next year, too!
“If you have got something good going, don’t tell nobody,” that was a tweet I read this morning. I suppose it would help avoid a lot of competitive envy. I have to admit to having something good going. I photographed a group of excited kids this week that came to the town hall to bring gifts for children less fortunate like the ones who have been taken into care this Christmas and will be away from their families. I experienced the true Christmas spirit.
According to my SEO plug in I should always write 300 words in a blog post but I’m ignoring it today and relying on pictures to tell a story. These pictures were taken in the Black Country around my home town of Wednesbury.
I had a busy day yesterday with more Christmas events. I always write my blog post of course and did my photography post before lunch and then off to the town hall to photograph the Christmas lunch for the older and wiser members of the Wednesbury community.
There are the usual Christmas parties starting this month. There will be some for older people like me at the Town Hall and the Centre of Oneness. Various groups will have a Christmas get-together too.
We have the Christmas Lights switch-on on Friday with Dayton Grey and there will be fundraising for Sam’s Dream. Click the poster below to bring it up larger to see all the attractions.
I’m going shopping today and so I’ll add to my box of food for our ‘Breaking Bread’ food bank. While I think it is ridiculous that we need food banks in a country as rich as Britain we have to help because we can’t change government policy. My small contribution will help and it is the little things that count.
I was talking to a Chinese student a few years ago about her latest assignment. She had to do the assignment as part of a group. I commented that I was usually better working alone. In a group, you have to come to an agreement with other group members before you can do anything. Alone, you just get on with it. The student told me that Chinese people prefer to work in a group. I think a group can be more successful than an individual if they have a common goal and essentially, leadership. A suggestion has been made that a BID – Business Improvement District be set up for Wednesbury town centre. Can Wednesbury businesses work together?
It is nice and sunny this morning in Wednesbury. I mentioned the History Society last week and I went to the talk last night. Robert Broadbent gave us an interesting talk about the Romans building Hadrian’s wall. I know, I said it was going to be about canals last week. I think I read that on a leaflet. It was still interesting. I nearly nodded off, though, not because I was bored, just tired from lack of sleep. I was told about a Christmas event next month with a buffet, next door in Churchill’s Club, I’ll have to get details; I was too tired to take it all in.
I started off some years ago with a Fujifilm S5600 doing landscapes and it was only in 2013 did I upgrade to a Nikon D3200 and that isn’t a top of the range camera but I have managed to get some decent photos with it. Some of the many photos have been used by Express and Star and I now have a page on their website. I’ve been doing events and last week Libby Rose posed for me and although the photo-shoot didn’t go quite as I planned I got some good pictures with a prime lens.
I photographed a pageant princess, Libby Rose, the other day. It seems incredible to me that she was born in this century and has no memories of the 20th century. When I was helping students with their studies I would sometimes ask their date of birth and it would be 1990 and that would seem like yesterday to me. Time flies, doesn’t it?
I went to the launch of the poppy appeal in Wednesbury yesterday and took a few photos and photographed our increasingly popular bric-a-brac market while I was there. I learned a lot and it was a successful day when I learnt not only about enriching our town in the monetary sense but also in the cultural sense. An empty unit at the end of the market is now being used to sell poppies and a selection of related products.
Sandwell Valley Country Park is the nearest bit of countryside to Wednesbury and a popular place for a day out. I often go there to take photographs. Parking charges will be introduced at my favourite beauty spots starting on the 1st of November. They work out to around 40p an hour because the council are short of money. I doubt if it will raise much money after they have paid for the meters and the wardens. There could have been better ways of making money from the park. Forge Mill has a lot of potential.
Wide apertures are great for portraits and close-up shots of people. At events, wide apertures are preferable because they also allow us to shoot at faster shutter speeds. As the days get darker and we lose more and more light I shall be using aperture priority and shooting wide open much of the time. One of the main reasons people get blurred photos is poor light and then the camera sets the shutter speed too slow. I set my camera on aperture priority and the widest aperture and then check the shutter speed. For a scene where I want to freeze movement, I’m looking to get a shutter speed of 1/100 of a second. For this picture, I chose a wide aperture and had a soft focus filter on the lens.
It has been announced that the Midland Metro tram system will be extended from Wednesbury to Merry Hill via Toll End and Dudley. Work on the new ‘super hospital’ in Smethwick, also called the ‘Metro’ will be speeded up, too. The government will go ahead with HS2 as well which will sort of link with the Metro tram system in the Midlands. Who will benefit from all this infrastructure construction? The big construction companies will benefit, but I’m not too sure about anyone else.
I photographed the launch of the Safer 6 in Wednesbury yesterday morning. Wednesbury is the town I live in and named after the Saxon God, Woden; as is the day of the week, Wednesday. So I intend to write about the town on Wednesdays!
There were displays on the tables from many organisations. This one from Wednesbury library interested me. I go to the library one evening a month for an evening of poetry, spoken word and music.
Before West Bromwich existed there was Bromwich, which was a small settlement at the top of Sandwell Valley. The remains of very early agriculture have been found in Sandwell Valley and it is the site of a medieval Benedictine priory too. I went to take photos on the bridleway that runs along the river.