Poverty is a state of mind

Poverty is a state of mind

who’s mind

no jobs

weary

hopeless

depressed

anger at the struggle for daily living

made to feel worthless and lazy

second class citizens by the very people who should help

tired

ashamed

who do you think you are to say my struggle is all in my head

with your silver spoons and Eton education

do you really think you know how we suffer to live on seven quid a day

you say we need to cut the GDP

what about our debt

the fat cats sit on their cushy jobs and with no mind to the results

cut here cut there

slicing into our lives

but never their own

never their own

the old boy network help themselves and look down on the degraded suicidal

sanctioned

how can we pull ourselves out of this mess when there are no resources for us to use

we are not all lazy

worthless

work shy

scroungers

tell us enough and maybe we start to believe it

is poverty the state of my mind

the struggle is not in my head

we suffer the abuse

the prejudice

the shame of joblessness

oh they say

there are schemes for you to try

but where are the jobs

get yourself back into work

but where are the schemes to help start your business

stress

fear

despair

we will beat it and we will better it

poverty is not a mindful thing

it is that family pushed and shoved and squeezed into debt just because that 1% help themselves and the country goes to pot

but we will do it and we will do it well

and f*uck the government

we will do it without your help

no longer sanctioned

no more shame

not ostracised

stigmatised

demonised

but once again a member of the working class

poverty may still be there

but not in my mind

 

 

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.

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.

Wanderings with Chris 2014….. Eastham Country Park

The New Year is now six weeks old and those weeks have zipped past so quickly, its true what they say about how quickly time goes as you get older and i’m now one off fifty, gulp. Chris and I, well we haven’t done much wandering this year, poor Chris has to have more surgery on his leg, (bad veins) so he has found it more difficult than usual to wander with me.
We have kept our wanderings local as i have had an urge to photograph squirrels. We only have Grey’s locally but they have been fun to photograph. We have to adventure out to Formby to get Red’s which is a bit too far at present.
We went down to Eastham Country Park and had a great time watching the wildlife and birds, it was a lovely day and i found loads of things to photograph. There were lots of different Fungi too and i got up close and personal with an inquisitive squirrel, its just a shame i had a long lens on as i couldn’t focus close enough and it was one of those really great ‘shots that got away’ moments.

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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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2013 Not over yet, my annus horribilis

Referring back to an earlier post (http://wp.me/p2r95A-7b) i cant help but think what a great year 2012 was, in hind sight! Comparing this year to last is maybe a mistake, as these things can be, but it is also a great way of looking back and realising the year is not as bad as you think. Admittedly 2012 was a nasty year and this year has also been challenging in so many ways, it has also been a good year. My mums cancer is under control, she will never be cured because of the type of cancer it is but the maintenance drugs are doing their job and she is in a stable phase. Chris seems to have his neurological pain under control but his leg has been poorly, thrombo phlebitis is not nice, neither is having a venous bleed either. It is also very scary! It has on the other hand been great to have him at home, being together and he has been able to write. (velvetmedia@wordpress.com) The girlfriend from hell hung on for over 2 years but has finally gone and my son seems ok with it, i just wish he knew what he wanted from life. The other 2 kids are doing ok, not giving too much trouble.
So what is the annus horribilis bit about? Well apart from cancer, death, lack of money, all of the usual suspects in so many peoples life at the moment, i have also had health issues. I have had fibromyalgia (http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Fibromyalgia/Pages/Introduction.aspx ) for so many years, and because i am looking after everyone else it has flared painfully. I take the tablets, exercise how i can but i am putting weight on which affects my arthritic knees and hip which causes pain and depression. Photography has been my Savior, getting away from caring and loosing myself in our beautiful countryside with Chris has been such a boon.

I feel my photography has come on in leaps and bounds, i love using photoshop and photomatix not to hide the bad photos but to create art, i have beautiful images where i have used these programs and beautiful images where i felt they were great on their own. I have met some lovely people either on my outings or fellow photographers, i have also met some people who think far too much of themselves, the cliquey who wont let you play with their groups because your not one of THEM, but SO WHAT there are so many lovely people out there who WILL help you and to them, well thanks! Chris and i went to a photography networking day yesterday in Manchester with REDEYE and met a lovely group of people, of course there were a lot who already knew each other but for those who knew no one we were made most welcome. the talks given by the photographers were interesting and informative and the work we took was warmly received and there were many favorable remarks made. I cant wait for them to hold another day, in Liverpool this time. There really isn’t much longer before New Year and i hope for me, my family and friends and you too, that it will be good, creative wise, health wise, financially and that the troubles of 2013 can be put behind us.

So notable things so far this year, hmmm thinking, i received the book one of my photos was printed in, I had a photograph in the Williamson Art Gallery, several of my photos have been in the local papers, I have a photograph in the MAP Black Pearl exhibition in New Brighton and i have been asked to donate two photographs to help raise money for an upgraded path to our local War Memorial.
On another note i have taken on different duties with my scout group, i am now assistant group scout leader and am mentoring the new scout leader which means i am going in the right (upward) direction, i also want to start district work and hope the ADC for Beavers will allow me to help her so i can gain experience in that area.
My hopes for the next twelve months, i want to make a book with Chris. I think we could collaborate on a beautiful poetry and photography book, i feel they are becoming a popular genre and am sure we can pull something together fairly easy, where we will find a publisher im not sure but if i ask enough people surely someone will know. So keep an eye open for news on the book as i am sure we will give it 100% to see it through to the end and sat on coffee tables world wide.

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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