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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Sweet Shot Tuesday 1801 - Clevedon Pier

Firstly I'd just like to thank everybody for the phenomenal response to my SST image last week and all the kind comments I received. I have been wondering how I would ever match the feedback I received and I have decided not to even try to. I will just show the work I have created and hope it captures the imagination.

Most of my SST posts recently seem to have been based around the North Somerset seaside town of Clevedon and this week is no exception. The weather was blowing true to form and it the day was grey and overcast with bouts of heavy rain. Visitors to the sea front were few and far between and I wanted to capture an image that somehow reflected the weather and the lack of souls out by the sea.

This image of Clevedon Pier shows the flags at full stretch and maybe half a dozen people braving the wind to take a stroll out along its length.

I liked the idea of having a little colour in an otherwise grey picture which would help to portray the greyness of the day. To achieve this I used GIMP to select the chap in the red jacket and performed an inverse selection enabling me to de-saturate the remainder of the image. To bring out the features I added a little sharpen to help high-light the detail. Finally, in order to make the Pier closer to the foreground, and to get rid of the bins and the scaffold on the right I cropped the image with the result as below.

I played with various textures and graininess but I decided that there was so much to see in the Victoria superstructure I would have been a shame to hide the detail.

Camera: Panasonic
Model: DMC-FZ8
ISO: 200
Exposure: 1/50 sec
Aperture: 7.1
Focal Length: 

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Sweet Shot Tuesday 1101

When I went to Clevedon in North Somerset I was fully expecting to take some shots of a wild and windy afternoon. By the time I was in position the skies had cleared and the sun was peeking through. This is one of the shots I took that afternoon.

Camera: Panasonic
Model: DMC-FZ8
ISO: 100
Exposure: 1/250 sec
Aperture: 7.1
Focal Length: 6mm

Sunday, 9 January 2011

My Good Food Review - update

If you read my previous review which included one of the Tiffin Teahouse And Eatery in Clevedon you may recall that I had not had the opportunity to eat there at the time of the review.

I was lucky enough to make a return visit for lunch, and what a pleasure that was. As before, the welcome was as warm and inviting as the restaurant itself.

On reading the menu nothing jumped out as being the one thing you just had to try, instead, almost everything fell into that category. Even applying the backup rule of choosing something you wouldn't normally have at home failed because so many items were embraced by the rule.

On asking our waitress for her recommendations she proved knowledgeable about the menu and composition of the dishes and despite making everything sound equally delicious we eventually made a decision on the Goats Cheese Croustade and the Warm Camembert with bread and spicy pickle.

Both were excellently cooked, the salad that came with the Goats Cheese Croustade a real pleasure with a light salad dressing. The chunky bread that came with the warm melting Camembert was delicious and every piece was eaten smothered with the warm cheese. The spicy pickle on the side made an excellent accompaniment.

Our only recommendation to the waitress afterwards was that the plate that came with the Camembert could be bigger in order to stop the crumbs from the crusty bread cascading over the table and it would do well to be accompanied by a portion of the same green salad that made up the salad with the Croustade.

The coffee (White Americano) was  excellent although we thought that charging extra for the milk on top of an already top priced coffee was stretching it a bit far.

Overall though we had an excellent lunch and would thoroughly recommend you to check out Tiffin Teahouse And Eatery.

Goats Cheese Croustade
Sunset Over Clevedon

On a final note, I missed from my previous piece the lovely Lovely Drinks people who supply home made drinks to Tiffin and also Strawberry Line Cafe who I mentioned in my previous piece as well as many other establishments. If you see their drinks on sale I can't recommend them highly enough - delicious.

Follow Lovely Drinks on Twitter

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Cats, Ketchup and Christmas

In order to understand the following you first of all need to read the blog "The Missy M Missives" at this link  .

If you don't want to understand it then just skip the link at read on.

Firstly the writer suggests that cats (perhaps hers) don't celebrate Christmas. I think it is terribly important for cats to celebrate Christmas and ours is encouraged to do so at every opportunity. Not only does she receive a visit from Santa she also has Turkey for lunch, just like everybody else.

Secondly the author infers that ketchup is rude. I cant believe it. I have never known ketchup to be more than welcoming and friendly as the following image proves. If anything I would have said that Brown sauce could be considered rude, although its bark may be worse than its bite.

The first image below is Tuzy Cat proudly lounging in her Christmas present which she gratefully received on the 25th. The second image is of our ketchup very politely posing for his picture, also while celebrating Christmas and just prior to setting off some party poppers.

Tuzy Cat
Ketchup at Christmas
With thanks to MisssyM for her inspiration for this piece - please support her blog at .

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Sweet Shot Tuesday 0401

For my first SST of the year I am actually posting an image from May 2010. Partly because I've just been so busy I haven't had the time to get the camera out of the last few days and partly because I was going through some of my images and I saw it.

One thing worse than the British summer is the British winter and we've been in the thick of it since the end of November. This image was taken last spring and it reminds me of the time of year when the weather is finally warming up and colour is returning to the fields and gardens. Hope you enjoy it!

Camera: Panasonic
Model: DMC-FZ8
ISO: 100
Exposure: 1/125 sec
Aperture: 3.6
Focal Length: 6mm
Flash Used: No

Sunday, 2 January 2011

My Good Food Review (or some good places to eat)

Anybody who knows me will know my pet hate is pubs, cafes and restaurants that provide poor service, value for money or just serve up cold food.

I had the pleasure of visiting three excellent local cafe / restaurants over the Christmas period and I thought I'd give them a mention here.

Britannia Spice is an Indian restaurant housed in what used to be an estate agents office in Backwell. It seems somewhat strange to be eating in a restaurant at almost the exact same spot in the building where I signed for my first house when I moved to the village.

Despite the fact that the staff thought I wasn't buying enough food to keep us going we were served with politeness, the food was very hot and tasty and I just loved the Lamb Nagashori. Well worth a visit.

Tiffin Teahouse and Eatery in Clevedon is a small teahouse right on the seafront. Despite it being cold outside it was warm and cosy inside and again we were well served. We only had tea but the English Breakfast Tea, Earl Grey and Oolong Shui Xian we sampled were all superb. The food we saw looked well presented and very tasty.

The Strawberry Line Cafe is a community project setup at Yatton Railway Station, a junction for the southwest mainline trains and a now defunct branch line turned into a cycle path called "The Strawberry Line".

Set in a totally refurbished railway waiting room we were really very surprised at just how good the food was. We'll be visiting again as soon as we can.

(Visit Strawberry Line Cafe on  Twitter and Facebook)

I totally enjoyed my visits to all of these and if you live locally or are passing through then I thoroughly recommend you try them out.