Plane crazy ..

wings
Heading home on Ryanair and yes, believe it or not, both these shots were taken on the same small 90 minute flight back from France to Manchester. No prizes for guessing which shot is Manchester. In fact, one little girl behind me asked her Mum “Why is it not sunny at England?”..

I’ve always loved aircraft, and taking photographs of aircraft, and just plain old standing and gawping at aircraft. As a lad I used to catch the number 500 bus to Ringway Airport, as Manchester was then called, just to stand on the roofs of the termini for a couple of hours watching and snapping the jets. And yes, you were allowed to stand on them in ‘the old days’ – right above the gates and mere feet from the jet-fuel smell and the screeching engines. It was great ..

Thing is, I never got to go on a jet until I was 18. My parents simply couldn’t afford to take us anywhere. And I know that plane-spotting isn’t everybody’s cup of tea but when I left for France last week I saw the saddest sight I’ve seen in a long time. Ok, keep it in context but ..

.. as I was at the gate, waiting to board, I was back to being 15 and excitedly watching all the aircraft taxiing past me. A plane I didn’t immediately recognise was identified for me by an app on my phone, and I was delighted to realise I was looking at my first Airbus A350. I strained my neck to watch it disappear around the corner then looked down to see .. a boy of about ten, with his back to the jets, playing games on a tablet. I almost threw up on him ..

Anyway, gotta go dust off my 500mm mirror lens. I’m off to the International Air Tattoo this Sunday..

Car Insurance .. a crash-course!

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It’s been an interesting start to my day ..

I needed to renew my car insurance, so rang for a chat with the company who currently insure me. A new policy, they said, would be £205 more than it was last year.  “What?” .. I said, er .. politely “How come?” ..

“Well ..” said the lovely chap in the call centre “It seems that, last year, your insurance was underwritten by the Co-op, and they don’t seem to want you any more!” When I asked why not he said it could be because of my job.
“My job?” .. I said, protectively.
“Well, yes ..” he said “They’ve probably seen ‘Freelance Photographer‘ and lumped you in with all the “Lady Di paparazzi” types! Your occupation is right up there with the most risky types like .. journalists!”
What?” I gasped “Not that crazy bastard loony driver bunch. No way ..”

He chuckled and I heard his keyboard tapping again “There’s something else ..” he said, and I gulped.”You have the highest risk car on the entire list!”

(At this point he must have felt a bit sorry for me, as he added “You’re not having much luck here, are you?”)

“What do you mean, the highest risk car?” I asked.
“Well ..” he said “You have your Ford Ka kind of thing .. that’s down at level one for risk. A BMW 5 Series is at level 50. Your car ..” he said, building up the tension ” .. is level 61 !!!”

I thanked him for his time and went to an online comparison site, putting in exactly the same details as he had on the old policy. I’ve got a great new policy now, for £10 less than I paid last year.

It’s with .. the Co-op!

Back at ya ..

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I pulled a muscle in my back last week, causing pain sufficient for me to go to the doctor. Nothing, though, has been able to wipe the smile from my face these past few days. Firstly because I’ve had another great weekend .. with two fun family portrait shoots, and a ‘Shoot ‘n Tutor’ photography workshop on Saturday afternoon. Thing is, all the sessions had an extra glow about them as I’d had some great news beforehand ..

The first piece of news was that I’ve had a Wedding enquiry .. for St Tropez!! .. and the second was that another of my clients has said that – once I’ve moved to France – they’d be happy for me to return to the UK to shoot their bigger events. It’s so reassuring to know that my PR work won’t cease once I move abroad ..

I’ve had some fantastic feedback from Weddings and portrait shoots, too. “Gorgeous” was the verdict from one young Mum on her daughter’s photographs and “He was lovely and everyone commented on how great he was, and how funny he was” was from another of “my brides ..

Sorry if this blog sounds a bit “braggy’ ..

My back still hurts, if that’s any consolation! ..