Thursday, 26 March 2009

Not so pretty anymore!

Inviting don't you think? This is what will greet the throngs of tourists that visit the city this Summer. What once used to be a pretty street is now covered with so many railings it is difficult to see even the biggest landmarks!

 If you start walking from the West End you can not actually cross to the other side of the street or enter the gardens until The Mound, and if you wish to continue along Princes Street to the East End you have to endure being funneled half way up Hanover Street and back down again. In these credit crunching days I feel these road works may have dire consequences for the retail industry along this historic street. It was relatively quiet today, a Thursday morning, but add a weekend and a Festival of tourists during the Summer months, the now reduced single pavement is going to feel quite claustrophobic.

Single file please!

Castle Security

Two castles for the price of one.

Unless you are incredibly tall or happen to carry a step ladder around with you, this is now a typical view of the castle.

Scraping off the tarmac

How do I get in?

Scott Monument

Bloody trams!

This is what all the fuss is about! Oooh you mean I can go on and have a look and see what a tram looks like? Well funnily enough it is kind of similar to a bus, but smaller. As I was taking this photo an elderly couple walked past me and I over heard part of their conversation. 

Man: "Shall we go and have a look?"

Woman: "Only if you want me to get cross if anyone involved speaks to me!"

Man: "Maybe not then"

National gallery playing hide and seek

All photographs by Caroline Harvey.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Peace and quiet in the County


The weather forecast was looking good for Saturday, so plans were made to head to Northumberland for the second weekend in a row. Last weekend it was Bowden, this weekend we headed to it's less popular next door neighbour Ravens Crag. Emma, Andrea and I did not have any inclination for any super hard projects and it was Stuarts' first time bouldering on real rock, so it seemed the ideal choice.

On the drive down we enjoyed an 80's fest of music. Well I say we, I really mean just me and Emma, our passengers just had to put up with our choice of tunes and listen to our dodgy singing, but at least they were old enough to remember the tunes!

I was an eager beaver to get started, so decided to climb a very short problem that was basically about 3 moves with a mantle finish. Easy! I had climbed it on a previous trip the year before, so reckoned it would make the perfect warm up, and for once my hands were not blocks of ice. 

I did a little jump to get on the boulder and caught a very sharp edged pocket and pulled a huge flapper on my pinky! Bollocks, what a fool, I had not even started and was injured. Aargh! Never mind, we took the obligatory photo, I sooked away the blood, taped it up, job done. Let the climbing commence.

I am not sure of the names and grades of the problems we did, but we pulled hard and lost some skin with the sun on our backs and had a great wee day out. It is what life is all about. To top off a perfect day I visited my fabulous girlfriends for delicious home made Thai curry, red wine, a gossip and a laugh. Happy days.

Ooh lovely blood.

So as not to feel left out Emma scraped her ankle.

Ringo had a nice day too.

Andrea. Strong as ever.

Emma. Slab fear.


All photographs by Caroline Harvey (except for the ones with me in which were taken by Emma)

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Tis the season to be Springy!

It is so nice to feel that Summer is nearly here. I love this time of year when all the daffodils and crocuses come out, everything seems much more colourful and cheery. Since I had a little free time I took my usual route along the canal and through the Meadows, because the flowers there are always good. Although the Meadows probably needs an extra week or so to be in full bloom, hopefully if the frost stays away! They never last long so go gaze at the purple and yellow carpet before they get either trampled or die.

All photographs by Caroline Harvey

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Grit Virgins

Burbage South and blue skies

Well what a weekend! I was invited down to the Peak District this weekend with Emma, Diff and Kev. We were all hoping for some decent weather since for Kev and I it was our first visit to the Peak District and first taste of the famous Grit stone. I was very excited about not only bouldering outside for the first time since New Year, but checking out Grit too, groovy.

Diff had some filming to do, so we were at Burbage early on Saturday morning and although there was quite a breeze the sun was out and it was dry. Excellent! Emma and I found some fun looking boulders and got started on some easy problems. Wow, that grit ain't half sharp on the fingers, but good and sticky under the feet. We had a great play on about six problems before our skin started to sting, so thought best to keep some for the next day.

Emma on a nice wee 6a.

I woke at eight on Sunday morning and peaked out through the curtains to find that the wind and rain that hammered on the window for most of the night had cleared to leave beautiful blue skies. Yippee!

We set off to see what the Roaches held in store for us. Kev was psyched to find some routes that might suit him better than Burbage, and Emma and I were wanting some more bouldering fun. However, about three miles from our destination the weather changed. We had checked the forecast and some snow was due, but not till at least midday, it was only 9.30am. By the time we reached the Roaches it was blizzard conditions. Aaargh!

That was the end of the climbing for the weekend. All we had to look forward to now was the long drive home, but even though it was slightly disappointing on the weather front it was a great first outing on grit stone. Hopefully I can go back soon.

Snow at the Roaches

A near whiteout.

A disappointed Kev. Pesky weather!

All photographs by Caroline Harvey

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Where did the time go?

Hazel and I looking stunning in 1985!

Over the last few days Hazel and I have spent quite a bit of time together, taking new head shots on Thursday and today, more pictures, but this time for my reportage project. We have been friends for as long as I can remember, and today whilst looking for something else, we came across pictures that had us both in hysterics. The photo above is from 1985 at the back door of Hazels' Mum and Dads house. Hazel was laughing at the clothes she was wearing and how people could have let her go out in her Dads shirt, and pearls! I was laughing at my clothes because I still wear jeans and tee-shirts. I must also apologise for the hole I must have caused in the ozone layer by the over use of hairspray to keep my highly fashionable 80's haircut in place.

 We can not believe where the time has gone, we were looking at the photos and trying to remember what it was like to be the people staring back at us. The funny thing is we don't actually feel much older than the young girls in the picture, we just look older when we look in the mirror. 

Below is a photo of me and an old boyfriend, who shall remain anonymous, at I think my 16th birthday party. I had forgotten all about this party as I don't have photos of this event. I used to love that pink and black shirt, I thought it was extremely trendy!

Oh so young.

I love looking back at old photographs they bring back so many happy memories. I think in this day of digital photography we have to remember to print out our images and not just store them inside our computers. There is something about flicking through a dusty old album that is so magical it is a must for everyone to do from time to time. 


Climber Mike

As part of my college course we have to do a portraiture project. The last couple of weeks I have managed to persuade some very patient friends into the studio.

My first victim was the uber strong climber and very lovely Mike. We had a couple of hours and a lot to do, as I wanted to do digital and medium format photographs. It was my first outing with the Mamiya medium format camera and Mike was extremely patient while Joanne (assistant for the day) and I played around trying to get it to work. I was  trying to capture the chalk dust particles in the light and I think the results of the film and digital photographs were quite good. Thanks again to Mike for choking on chalk for two hours.

Glamorous Jo

Next victim was my good friend Jo. I have to do white and black background shots for the project, so thought Jo's pretty and petite physique would work well with the white and often harsh background. I find it quite a challenge to direct models, as it is something I have never had to do before and considering it was Jo's first time in the studio, I think we did alright!

Writer Hazel

Victim three, Hazel, this time in Almondell country park. My very good friend told me recently that after two years of hard work, she is getting her first book published in August. So never to miss an opportunity I suggested that we take some head shots, as the picture on her publishers website is quite an old one. We had an amazingly fun day out in Almondell, then moved to her favourite coffee shop in Colinton where we giggled our heads off trying to get some moody writer type shots. You can check out Hazels' blog in my good reads column.

All in all it has been quite a successful couple of weeks, but more practice is necessary. If anyone else fancies being a model for the day let me know.

All photographs by Caroline Harvey