Thursday, 6 September 2018

Birmingham in Infra Red

Back in June I travelled across to Smethwick in order to see the first opening of the London Salon of Photography exhibition.  First opening?  London Salon in Birmingham?  Both oxymorons, surely?  Certainly, a strategy designed to confuse the uninitiated.

I had a couple of hours to kill before the exhibition opened, so I took the train into the centre of Birmingham.  It was a dull, grey day, so I thought I'd give my Infra Red camera a bit of an outing.

I'd never been to Gas Street Basin, so was determined to visit it on this occasion.  All very gentrified nowadays, but still full of character.

I would have loved to wander around for longer, but needed to get back to Smethwick for the medal presentation (not to me, sadly).  A superb exhibition - the best for many years, in my not-quite-so-humble opinion - which was genuinely inspirational.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Family Reunion (Ernie comes to stay)

We had a special visitor yesterday afternoon: Ernie, Isla's brother.  When we last saw him at eight weeks old, Ernie was already a big boy compared to his sister.  Now he's positively huge compared to Isla - probably half as big again, although we didn't actually weigh him...

The two pups spent some time beating the living daylights out of each other, at which point we decided it would be a good idea to separate them for a while.  Far from wanting to be rescued from her bully-boy-brother, Isla was desperate to come back for more.  For a while they gazed at each other longingly through the dining room window.

It seemed a good idea to tire the two dogs out by taking them on a long walk.  In theory they would then settle down for the rest of the afternoon, thereby giving us a small amount of peace.  Fat chance.  By the way, if you find it difficult to tell which dog is which in the pictures, Ernie is wearing a red collar and Isla a black one.

Sometimes the pups would trot along quietly together, and then - for no obvious reason - they'd decide to launch into a vigorous play fight.

Needless to say, when we got them home the pups showed absolutely no sign of wanting to settle down.  Indeed, the situation was remeniscent of having two three-year-olds playing in the house, as they would always be arguing over the same toy.

By the end of the afternoon everyone was completely exhausted, and Isla flopped for the rest of the evening.  Indeed, she's been asleep for most of the following day too.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Fenland Country Fair 2018

On Bank Holiday Monday Issy, Isla and I went to the Fenland Country Fair, as is our habit.  This year we arrived just after it had opened, and were in time to watch the gundog display.  First up was a lone spaniel.

Next came a labrador (naturally).

The handler brought out a couple of guns, using them as decoys and distractions.  Having said that, there were occasions when they were pointed rather worryingly at the labrador.  I don't know what he had done to deserve it...

There were lots of stalls at the fair, some of which were selling dog food and paraphernalia.  This one (The Country Store in Pampisford, where we buy our pet food) had a bucket of Pigs' Ears outside, positioned rather conveniently at nose height - if one happens to be a seven-month-old puppy, that is.  Next thing we knew, Isla had helped herself to one.  I guess that will be £1, then...

The Ely Wildfowlers Association had a stall next to the lake, and were offering dogs the opportunity to  try their hands (paws?) at retrieving from water in exchange for a donation to charity.  Isla watched for a while, but it became clear that she was getting more and more impatient to have a go.  I was a little concerned that she may not be quite so keen when the time came to get her feet wet; and, indeed, she was reluctant to enter the water at first.  A small amount of encouragement had her swimming like a pro, however, and there was absolutely no hesitation when it came to jumping in on the second attempt.  Having got the hang of it she was desperate for a third go, but sadly only two were allowed.  Bummer.

I imagine we'll be going to the fair again next year, if only to pick up another pigs' ear.