Do we really want another golf course on the Wirral

Do we really want another golf course on the Wirral? We already have over a dozen courses, there is even a women’s course, does it differ to men’s? Hoylake, Wallasey, Caldy, Leasowe, Bidston, Heswall, Eastham etc etc….. they rang in difficulty, Hoylake home of the Open golf championship to Adventure Golf in New Brighton. Dotted around the edges of our beautiful peninsular making the most of our parklands, there are short courses (9 holes), windy, sandy courses, a women’s course, flat courses, historic courses,  i suppose if you were a serious golfer you could play any way you fancied, as long as your a member.

If you look at the Wirral as a whole it is made up of 60 square miles of fabulous seaside, parkland, woodland,  rural walks farm, horse, west kirby, and cycling routes, historic villages, industry, great restaurants and many wonderful artists in an active artist community. There are over 320.000 people situates in towns and villages over the Wirral but there is also a lot of rural land, we have farms, pigs, cattle, sheep, turkeys, award winning farm shops, Tam O’shanter urban farm and GreenBelt land which should be left untouched.

Because of where we are situated Wirral is lucky enough to be visited by many unusutoadal birds through out the year with Parkgate being one natural hotspot. Both the Mersey and Dee estuaries are internationally important wildlife sites for waders and wildfowl in winter. We also have marsh land and reed beds home to Natterjack Toads. Do we want all of this spoiled by yet another Golf course/resort?

Jack Nicklaus is going to design our new course, he has been involved in the design of 290 courses. At least 70 Nicklaus Design courses have been ranked by major industry publications but how many have failed? Polaris World in Spain crashed and burned, Mount Holly Club Utah didn’t work so why should it work here? We dont need our environment disturbed, our animals moved from their homes, our flood plain interfered with so a minority can wack a small ball around our countryside. This will lead to new roads, new homes we wont be able to afford and more traffic!hoylake, golf,open,

This is not one of those ‘Not in my back yard’ type of cries, we really dont need this golf resort, change one of the established courses, give it a new designation but seriously dont let Jack Nicklaus ruin what is such beautiful countryside. There is a meeting on March 29th 2016 at West Kirby United Reform Church starting at 7.30pm for anyone who would like to air their views or just find out more details. Please dont leave it to others to raise their concerns, every voice needs to be heard.

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Wanderings with Chris…… a mad dash down to the beach

Driving back from Birkenhead on Tuesday evening i turned to my husband, my partner in crime and coo’d over another beautiful sunset. With a weary sigh i wished i had the energy to get my camera and go down to West Kirby and take photos of the beautiful sunset that was in front of us.
I haven’t taken any sunset photographs in over 12 months, we live in a delightful coastal town and the sunsets are glorious so you can get a bit sunset’ed out and i had made the decision not to take anymore pictures for at least a year.
We have had some lovely weather over Easter and i had watched some glorious colours in the evening sky’s and this evening i finally gave in and made my mind up to drag my camera down to the beach.
We got home, i grabbed my bag and we dashed off to West Kirby beach, a mere 3 minutes away and as i had an idea for my photographs we set off at a trot or as much of a trot that you can manage with a leg that doesn’t work properly, to where i wanted to be. Have you noticed how quickly the sun sets when you have a sore leg, are walking on sand and have to walk far enough to get your shot? I didn’t think i was going to be in time but i was! I collapsed onto the sand, luckily in the correct direction to make the shot and as happens sometimes my first shot was the best.

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I wanted something different from the usual ball of colour and scarlet sky so i concentrated on the spartina grass and kept the colour well in the background, i think it works really well and out of the five photos i thought the best i just love the very first i took. What do you think?

Wanderings with Chris ……Hoylake is enjoying the Open Golf, again!

Eight years ago the Open Golf came to The Wirral, we had money thrown at us to improve Hoylake, which they did really well but it didn’t go all the way through it just kind of stopped up by the Anchor, still Hoylake was left looking pretty. We had thousands of bodies and their cars visiting and they were neatly parked in massive carparks and shuttled in and out. They (quite a few but not all) visited our pubs and wine bars leaving behind their money and going home with great impressions and wonderful memories and we are doing it all over again this month. We have Tigers, McIlroys, Scotts, players from all over the world and they have brought their caddies, managers, families and goodness knows how many other people all geared up to make their week go without a hitch. http://www.royal-liverpool-golf.com/ Our hotels and guest houses are full and if you wander down Market St after 8pm you can hear people commenting on how it feels like you are in a foreign country as there is such a great holiday atmosphere.
During July we have also held Hoylake’s festival of firsts, a fortnight of entertainment and art, the shops, pubs and bars have local poetry and art in their windows and on their walls, which add’s to the great feel of excitement in Hoylake. Thursday was the first day of the Open and i went to Hoylake with Chris to say Hi to our artist friends manning their art stalls hoping to sell their art to the milling hordes. There were plenty of hordes and some selling of art but i was more interested in the movement of Hoylake, the people and the change of pace. People pored from the golf club, jumped on buses and trains or headed for the pubs and bars, they spilled out over the pavements onto the grass and laughed and joked and drank. Prime opportunity for some great street photography.

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We wandered along Market St slowly, chatting to people we know, stopping and sitting drinking in the atmosphere and taking photos of the people doing the same as us. Along the way we walked past Jill’s Cookshop where i have several photographs entered into the Festival of Firsts art competition, in the window is the Lighthouse at Fort Perch and underneath it is….. a Silver award!!! 🙂 Way to go me! and congratulations to all of the others awarded.
fort perch lighthouse
Of course we were really excited and whenever anyone went to look in the shop window Chris would dash over and tell them that i took the photo, i think he is rather proud of me. After we hung out and chatted and took loads of photos we drove down to the promenade and drove along to the RNLI station just in time for a beautiful sunset, a great time to take some photos of the Grace Darling sculpture.

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The sister to the Black Pearl in New Brighton. We watched the sun go down together then headed home to replace the hustle and bustle of Market St with the hustle and bustle of family life. (Read BEDTIME) We have two more days of the golf and then weeks of getting everywhere back to normal again. I hope they bring the Open back to Hoylake eventually it is an amazing event and an amazing opportunity for Hoylake and the Wirral.

Wanderings with Chris……. down the road to the nature reserve

I think this is the first wanderings with Chris post of the year, we haven’t been out very much because of ill health and commitments but it was a beautiful spring day, the sun was shining and we just had to get out of the house and go for a walk. For the past few years i have been battling with Fibromyalgia and arthritis in my hip and knee so walking is very painful and slow and Chris has had problems with his legs too so our walk down to the nature reserve was slow! Just before we went in through the gate we stopped for a look out over the fields towards Greasby and there posing majestically in the pond was a Grey Heron. Major excitement! I managed to get 20 or so shots before it flew off to the other side of the pond, i’m not convinced that they are totally in focus as i didn’t have time to use my tripod but what a beautiful bird!
The nature reserve is actually reclaimed land, back in the distant past when i was a child it was actually the local refuse tip and over time a dip developed which filled with water. I can remember during one winter taking our dog down and walking out onto the ice that had formed on the pond, looking back we are really lucky the ice didn’t break under us. When the council decided that the refuse tip was ‘full’ they landscaped and a group of local families asked the council if they could turn it into a Nature reserve. After a great deal of time and hard work they dug out the pond, planted trees and rushes, added an island in the middle and soon after the wildlife flocked to it. It’s even stocked with fish.
We had a slow walk around the pond and i managed to take quite a few photos, there was lots of blossom and spring flowers and ducks, geese etc, i can’t wait for the babies to appear, cute little chicks to photograph and be chased away from 🙂 We have a couple of buzzards which i would love to photograph but i don’t know where they roost and they fly way to high for me to successfully photograph. We had a lovely walk and on the way home bumped into a lovely lady called Diane and her horse Aztec, Diane let me take some photos of her with Aztec, i hope she likes them. Hopefully with the nice weather over the coming weeks we will get out more, with or without children, i cant wait to see where our adventures take us next.

My 3 words for 2014

For the past 2 years i have been taking photographs, experimenting with techniques, learning to edit, plopping them on social networking sites for all to see (very technical term ‘plopping’) upgrading my equipment, entering competitions (i have won one!) and finally getting around to selling them. My success rate isn’t good (truth be told its abysmal) BUT I have looked at other peoples work and think in some cases mine is better, i have read lots of books, articles, blog posts, emails, well anything that’s been thrown my way and i think i have improved 100% to those first DSLR photographs back in 2012.

I have a terrible memory, i’m not ashamed to say, and i can read an article think ‘i’ll go and do that this afternoon’ and get there and realise i cant remember what i’m supposed to do. Point in fact i totally forgot about the +/- bar at the bottom of the screen even though i look through it to frame a shot! And was getting my panties in a bunch because i couldn’t get the exposure right, sigh. (shake of her head, I want to do this for a living?)
I don’t know about you but i sometimes find that i take the shot, load it onto my computer, back it up onto my hard drive, open up in PS Bridge CC, read the photos, (you don’t look at a picture, you read it) choose which i think are the best and ‘tweek’ if it needs it and find that i have looked at those images so many times i am sick of the sight of them. Then i get bored and don’t look at them for a while then look at them and think they are rubbish. I then feel bad and that i’m not going anywhere with my photography. SO, this year i have decided is going to be ‘THE YEAR I GET MY ACT TOGETHER AND FORGE AHEAD WITH MY PHOTOGRAPHY’

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I read an article called ‘3 words for 2014’ and decided to do this for myself. The words i have chosen are; give up, run away, defeat, NO, actually they are; PERSEVERE, do not give up on anything, keep trying to be my best even when the going is tough, i know i have limits and i will try to work right up to them and a little beyond to do what i love. MARKET, i will work harder at marketing my work, using social media, local fairs, competitions, you name it i’m going to have a go at it. Last week using twitter and google+ i shared half a dozen photos and found that on one site alone i got over 25 hits, on each one! So it does work. And most of all BELIEVE in myself, my work, my talent and what i want from it. I will make this work no buts or maybe’s. I have an idea for a coffee table book and have started to work on it, i intend to get myself in magazines online and in print, have an exhibition and hopefully sell something! Going to be busy aren’t i! I just hope that my children and husband are self sufficient enough for me to do it all. Here’s looking forward to the rest of 2014, Happy New Year.

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Adding a little something extra to your photos….

I have found a really cool website quite by accident when i was looking for ways to add depth to the colour in my photos. I had gone out to Eastham with Chris to photograph autumn colours and i didnt use a polarizing filter. The website below had a tutorial which worked really well and i also had a go at the cross processing too.
http://www.bernskiold.com/2011/07/22/mimicking-polarizing-filter-effect-photoshop/#more-3172
http://www.bernskiold.com/2011/07/06/faking-cross-processing-photoshop/#more-3144
Here are a few samples of the cross processing, it was fun!

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Can’t sleep………………………………………………..

I can’t sleep.  Not quite an unusual occurrence as it may seem. My daughter brought it on tonight, she is 11 years old and has hit puberty with a wallop, i don’t like her at the moment sad to say, she is nasty, foul mouthed, contrary, if i say it’s black she say’s it’s white, parents every where will understand. She also has problems sleeping, it all stems from her having to sleep in our room until she was 6, our house is on the small side, 3 adults and 3 kids and only 3 bedrooms, until we went up into the loft. The boys are up there and she now has the box room, read ‘cant swing a cat room’ and she has tried! I think she misses the company, tonight she went to bed at 9pm and was still not settled at 11.30 so now i can’t sleep because of worrying about her, it’s school next week, big school, that doesn’t help. I worry she is going to be sleep deprived in senior school like she was all through year 6, it affects her work and now she is going into serious study she needs her whits about her, it’s not time to be messing up, so i worry and i cant sleep. I have fibromyalgia and one of the awful components to it, for me, is not having the greatest sleep patterns, so i have to be careful of stress at bedtime, so tonight i cant sleep. I am stressed because my mum has cancer, my aunt has just passed away, my husband is not well, my kids are, well kids, so i cant sleep. Grrrrrrr it’s 3.40am and i cant sleep! So, i write. ………….. I went for a ‘wander with Chris’ on Tuesday evening, we went down to the beach and had a walk around the marine lake, well a bit of it as i got cold. We went so i could take some photo’s of the sunset, we have great sunset’s here, legendary, and Tuesday’s was golden!

Funny how a good sunset bring’s out the photographer’s, i want to consider myself a promising and talented photographer, i think i am right in saying it, I’ve sold stuff, been in magazines etc and i have put together quite a good kit and know how to use it 🙂 and when i go out, camera slung around my neck, i laugh like a loon inside as i walk around, past other camera slung people and we are all trying hard not to scope each others kit out, is their’s better than mine, look mine is more sophisticated, wish my lens was that big and you can see them out of the corner of your eye doing the same to you as they walk nonchalantly past you. I’d love to see what their photo’s look like, are they better or worse? Who know’s because no one ever stop’s to chat, they just scuttle on past with a quick glance to make sure their camera is better than your’s. sigh………………… Wednesday Chris and i wandered over to Hilbre Island, i haven’t been there in year’s, it was a killer walk it really hurt but it was worth the pain,

i am processing the photo’s and i think i have some good one’s, one’s that please me, finger’s crossed. So really i should be able to sleep, now i can guarantee i will loose half the day catching up, vicious is this circle.

A common mistake made by blond photographers with new cameras………. i think.

I had a blond moment last night. Well there is some blond left amongst the white my children have added. I traded my Nikon D3100 in for a Nikon D7000, BIG jump! The book is thick enough to prop a coffee table on and long enough to send you to sleep and will be helpful in the long run but i thought i would go out down to West Kirby marine lake and have a play. We had a glorious day yeserday and there were sailing boats on the lake zipping backwards and forwards as the sunset. Picture this, a beautiful golden sun slipping down behind Hilbre island shining a golden path across the lake where the little sailing boats zipped backwards and forwards through its golden path playfully racing each other to the finishing line and as the sun dips behind the island the boats head for shore and i stop taking really great photos and have a look at the images on the memory card………only to find, well actually there was no memory card. Oh the shame, i had forgotten in my excitment to look and it was still in my card reader from last time. I DID take a couple of shots but nothing as good as what could have been, i am going back tonight if i have a chance and i hope the sail boats will be there again. Note to self, check EVERYHING first!
DSC_0084
Here’s one from my back catalogue!

A walk in the mist with Chris

Opening the curtains to a lovely misty day i decided that i would drag my poor husband out for a walk and a photographic expedition but where to go? I don’t know why but i usually head down to the nearest body of water, must be my fishing family roots, though this day i didn’t want water, i wanted landscape, trees, anything as long as it was land based. So i decided to drag Chris and his sore leg to Thurstaston Hill. It is  a dog walkers heaven so you have to be careful where you walk and there are always people there and we were not disappointed. We only realised later that the children we encountered legitimately had the day off for the voting and not because they were skipping school. Chris is a great writer, very talented and he also likes to take the odd photo, so he wandered around snapping away with the camera on his phone and spouting soppy nonsense as usual. I wandered around looking and i must admit, moaning about the lack of inspiration.  It took a while but eventually i started to ‘see’ and i think i managed to get some nice images. The mist hung around nearly all morning and being so high up when we looked out over the Wirral it was wreathed in mist.

Thurstaston has its own ‘Rock’ in Thors Rock. We had a wander around there, through the trees and heather and wondered at the beautiful vista of ‘The Wirral’. I think i am pleased with my photographs, i like the views over the trees. Its actually looking over to Wales but you cant see past the mist. I hope you like looking at where i live, it really is a beautiful place.

Autumn appeared in some unexpected places but nowhere nice to photograph

So we have had the longest day and it is getting darker earlier as we head into winter. Did i get my ultimate autumnal photograph? Well in a word NO! I have looked and looked, there have been some beautiful trees here on the Wirral but they were in totally the wrong places. I would drive along the road and see lovely colour, yellow, gold, brown, red but at the side of a boring road or in someones front garden where it made an uninspiring image. So i will have to be content with the images i have managed to get and wait 12 months for next autumn. I gave it a good shot and tried different places and these are what i think are my best.

 

 

 

 

There are others i could choose but i like these, especially the leaves. I am now going to turn my camera lens towards Winter images, so bring on the cold, frosty mornings, oh yes and the snow!