Lockdown Blues | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, colour, people, photography, portraits

It’s Can’t be Easy, Being Seven!


Two weeks of lockdown before the school Easter holidays commenced and guess who’s had his fill of it all, already? Homeschool is tougher than he’d bargained for, he’s not allowed to visit the new local play-park, the shops have all run out of his favourite sweeties and through it all, I keep sticking my new GR III in his face! It’s tough, being a little ‘un, I can see that. To make matters worse, my Windows 10 laptop has all but died on me after a recent Windows Update (thanks for nothing, Mr. Gates – or whoever is running the show at Microsoft, now) and I have had to find a complete new way of processing, editing and saving my shots. To top it all, I have to use the WP app my iPad – which is not as simple as it should be and I can see a few corrections to formatting in Safari, coming right after I publish this. Anyhooz, all is not lost – it’s all about adapting, I guess.

Speaking of adapting, I know I said I wouldn’t do it, but yes, I did – and I am loving the latest iteration of Ricoh’s GR. All of these frames were captured on it at my favoured 35mm internal crop mode and to round off on a good note – young Flynn was only feigning in shot one. He’s coping just fine and can even tell the time now! Onwards!

Though I am certain that nobody has ever pegged the GR series as a serious portrait tool, I reckon it’ll pass. Keep smiling, keep well and, I hope you’ll appreciate the annoyance I have had to endure this afternoon to bring you these! One has to laugh, eh?!

R.

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The Water Cure, Perhaps? | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, nature, photography, skies, waterscape

It Has Been Said…


… that to aid in the finding of true inner peace, one must be able to enjoy the calm of a sizeable area of water for at least thirty minutes, each day; I can’t possibly know how true this really is, but hey, it works for me. Therefore, here – I wish to share four separate frames with a watery theme, caught with three different cameras, all at my favoured 35mm FoV.

I do hope that you and those you love are all well and, that you’ll enjoy these few captures. 

R.

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I.

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II.

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III.

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IV.

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Seven Tonics [One Slightly Used] | 35Chronicle

black & white, close-up, photography, still life

Whatever Gets You Through.


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Hermitage Castle | PT.II – 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, ruins, skies, structures

Monumental | II.


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[All frames: Fujifilm X100 – Internal 720nm Infrared Conversion / f8.0 – ISO:320]


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Hermitage Castle | PT.I – 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures

Monumental.


You may recall that I posted a few frames from the Chapel ruins here at the site of Hermitage Castle, back on the 9th of the month and, as we all know , a lot has changed since then. All I can say now is that without the benefit of foresight, I am so glad that we made the trip to Hermitage when we did. Not weeks before, around eighty homes were evacuated due to the severe floods in the area, the Hermitage water was some 12-15 feet higher than usual and, even most of the roads leading here had collapsed. As a result, it was touch and go as to whether we might have made it at all, however, fortunately for us, the road was passable right up to the point of the small bridge at the monument’s road-end, thus – a dead end. But we got here. 

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I.

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The monuments origins date back to around 1240 and was believed to have started out its life as a hunting lodge not far away from the castle itself. The castle we see today, however, wasn’t believed to have been built until the early to mid-fourteenth century and as you would imagine, is steeped in history and – horror stories. For me, though, its foreboding presence amidst wide expanses of moorland, the now peaceful Hermitage Water below it and, its views to the hills, make Hermitage Castle not only a beautiful place to be but, a very pleasing frame-filler, too. More information, if you wish, can be found here: https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/hawick/hermitagecastle/index.html – I do hope you’ll enjoy these few frames.

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II.

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Needless to say, these are recently archived shots – no trips disobeying government guidelines regarding COVID-19 have been made and, as one working on the front-line of healthcare myself, may I please urge everyone to maintain our  conscientious attitudes in fighting this outbreak. We can only do this together. I sincerely hope that all of you and yours are keeping well! 

Remember – Please, Stay at Home.

R. 

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III.

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[All frames: Fujifilm X100 – Internal 720nm Infrared Conversion / f8.0 – ISO:320]


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The Curse of Morton Castle | PT.I | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, trees, waterscape

When Light Plays Games | 720nm IR.


As a serious, enthusiastic photographer, I ask myself again and again – just how many times am I prepared to return to the same place in order to get the photograph that I long to capture? The image that I know I can bag, if the conditions play the game nicely? The answer, every time, has to be – “until I get the shot”. So it is the case here, at Morton Castle. It seems not to matter what time of year I visit, nor, what the weather forecasters says it’s going to be doing the evening before; for, whenever I arrive here, the clouds always close in. Every, bleedin’, time. Anyone who has set out to capture a scene only to be thwarted by the conditions, knows exactly what I’m talking about. It’s frustrating to say the least. Don’t you think?

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On the other hand, I am a firm believer that with a little patience, I am (usually always) rewarded with images that I did not envisage capturing at all, making most if not all a very pleasant surprise and yet something else in life to be completely happy about. Friday past was the fourth time I have made the trip to Morton to capture the ruin and its surroundings in infrared, after assurances by the Met. Office of clear skies and sunshine overhead until around lunchtime. Turning up during mid-morning however, afforded no preferential treatment and, as usual – the clouds were waiting. Though I had hoped we’d drive right past them, ’twas not to be. 

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Every now and then, pockets of blue around the sun would appear and, shafts of undiffused light would reign in short bursts, occasionally wide enough to light up the ground sufficiently enough to facilitate my pulse racing a little in my eagerness to trip another frame before the light disappeared again. For around two hours, the light would continue to cheekily lead me up and down the proverbial garden path, and, back up again in its mockery of my efforts. But patience is everything and, despite still not getting anything close to the frames I had hoped to preserve yesterday – I decided that even when the light plays games, I will play my own.

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III.

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The curse of Morton? A blessing in disguise, perhaps.

R.

[All images: Fujifilm X100 720nm IR Conversion | 35mm Equiv. | f8.0 | ISO:400]


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Hermitage’s Chapel Ruin | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, ruins, rural, structures

A Place in Time.


Friday’s are a fabulous day for scouting. We call it – the Long Friday. The littlest ‘un will finish school at 3 and will be collected by his after-school club, there to remain until around 5.30pm. It makes for one day in the week when we don’t have to get back too quickly during the afternoon and wherever we might end up, well, it gives us a little more time to explore. Such was the case last week when we made the journey to Hermitage Castle. 

Just five miles from the English border, in Liddesdale, the castle ruins stand as a forbidding, high-walled monument amidst wide and oppressive moorland – it’s huge arch facing to the hills to the west. Just a couple of hundred yards behind it, lay the ruins of the chapel, alongside the peacefully babbling Hermitage Water. Having spent over an hour around the castle (naturally, I will be sharing a few frames from there, too) and, with the sun gracing the early afternoon for longer periods than we’ve enjoyed lately, I was very excited to capture the chapel ruins. A more peaceful spot than this have I yet had the sheer pleasure to enjoy (aside perhaps from the beautifully secluded Morton Castle). 

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I | Windows to the East. Fujifilm X100 720nm IR – 35mm – 1/140th – f8 – ISO:320

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II | Out to Hermitage Castle – Three Little Windows. Fujifilm X100 720nm IR – 35mm – 1/170th – f8 – ISO:320

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There really isn’t much left here by way of a building as such. A burial enclosure languishes in the far east corner, grave stones and markers dot the ground on the far side too, and, three little windows look out to Hermitage Castle and to the hills beyond. We stayed a while, trying our best to decipher carvings on old stones, making a few IR frames and generally enjoying the peace and the sound of the water, while the sun warmed our backs on an otherwise chilly day. If there was a day where I could wish time to slow down, this one would have been the day. The chapel itself is thought to have pre-dated the castle itself by up to two hundred years (there is little information to either argue or corroborate this) and was believed to have been built during the mid 12th century. I’m surprised that there’s any part of it left at all. But, I’m extremely glad of it. 

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III | Burial Enclosure. Fujifilm X100 720nm IR – 35mm – 1/160th – f8 – ISO:320

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Not exactly landscape photography, nor structural either; just a few views from one beautiful place in time. I hope you’ll enjoy them. 

-R-

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Lowther Castle – PT.III | VIS Collection | 35Chronicle

black & white, photography, ruins, rural, structures

To Be Continued… One Day.


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IV | 1/60th – f8.0 – ISO:200

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V | 1/60th – f8.0 – ISO:200

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VI | 1/60th – f8.0 – ISO:200

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VII | 1/125th – f8.0 – ISO:100

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXVIII | Tulips [Mono.]

35mm, black & white, close-up, macro, nature, night / low-light, photography

Moving Out, Moving In.


Keeping to recent changes in ideas that I’ve been having about how I photograph, process and publish (basically, I am feeling the need to shake things up a little after a winter ‘lull’) – I decided that, whilst I continue to shoot in RAW and JPG, I would for a while concentrate solely on working with OOC JPGS with as little processing as I could let myself get away with, no matter what my subject matter.

A couple of days ago I took some time out with my X100S to shoot these beautiful yellow tulips in my newly put-together macro-studio (aka: the Black Room, aka: the cupboard under the stairs!) and after an hour or so playing with various exposures, I emerged back into the light of the middle landing with some pleasing frames. After uploading to Lr – checking my spot-metered exposures, I set to work in editing my chosen keepers. Here, are the three finalists, processed from the resultant JPGS, with minor tweaks to contrast, clarity and shadow depth, with just a hint of split-toning for a tiny smidgen of warmth. 

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I | 1/10th” – f8.0 – ISO:200

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II | 1/8th” – f8.0 – ISO:200

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III | 1/4th” – f8.0 – ISO:200

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Of course, at the sizes I’ve chosen to upload (I never upload full-resolution frames) – for web-viewing, the difference may be a little more difficult to appreciate when it comes to RAW versus JPG IQ however, when considering that all frames were exposed at ISO:200, I really don’t think that (aside from the obvious processing latitude advantages of trickier RAW exposures) there really would not have been all that much to shout about. I still don’t know the answer to that one either – I haven’t even looked at the RAWs yet. These frames please me that much. 

Thank you so much for reading my pages and, I hope you too will enjoy these captures.

– R –

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Lowther Castle – PT.II | VIS Collection | 35Chronicle

28mm, 35mm, black & white, photography, ruins, rural, structures

An Impromptu Stop-Off.


After an unpredictable weekend away (during the most recent storms, here in the UK) the day of our return seemed much brighter and, a lot easier on the outdoor gear. Rather than to return straight home, we decided instead to make the most of the atmospheric reprieve and make a mid-morning stop-off here, at Lowther Castle, near Penrith. In PT.I, I published a few infrared frames that I was able to bag during a couple of short-lived bursts of less diffused sunshine but sadly, as my preamble would suggest, they just didn’t last. The tail-end of ‘Dennis’ was still licking in the air.

Though I would have loved to have shot a good many more IR pictures here at the beautiful Lowther Castle, I was nonetheless extremely happy to take in the atmosphere here and, with my standard GR in hand – make a generous number of black & whites. Shots I & III were captured at 35mm using the GR’s internal crop mode, while shot II was snagged at its native 28mm. 

Thank you so much for stopping by my pages and, I hope you’ll enjoy these few captures.

– R –

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I | 1/60th – f5.6 – ISO:125

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II | 1/60th – f8.0 – ISO:160

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III | 1/60th – f8.0 – ISO:125

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Lowther Castle – PT.I | 720nm Infrared | Ricoh GR | 35Chronicle

black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures

A Westmorland Gem | Penrith, Cumbria.


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I | GR 720nm IR Conversion – 1/250th – f8.0 – ISO:100

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II | GR 720nm IR Conversion – 1/250th – f8.0 – ISO:100

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III | GR 720nm IR Conversion – 1/200th – f8.0 – ISO:100

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXVII | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, colour, fine art, macro, nature, photography

Purple Heart [Tiger] Lily | PT.II


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IV | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv] – 1/4th – f11 – ISO:400.

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V | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv] – 1/8th – f5.6 – ISO:400 [w/Hoya +10].

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[From a Little Further Back:]
VI | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv] – 1/20th – f2.8 – ISO:800.

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VII | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv] – 1/60th – f5.6 – ISO:3200.

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXVI | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, colour, fine art, macro, nature, photography

Purple Heart [Tiger] Lily | PT.I


Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll all tell you just how easily pleased I am. I’ve never been one to want much, not in the grand scheme of things at least and I have always gone by the adage that “enough, is as good as a feast”; and I absolutely believe this. It is relevant because when it comes to photography, I have always been happy with and, tried to make the most of the tools at my disposal (most usually – my camera and my legs) but some things require a little more planning.

Macro and close-up photography has been a passion of mine since I first picked up a camera, almost twenty-five years ago. That passion has not only stayed with me ever since but it has continued to grow. The longer I go between these more intimate shooting sessions, the more it grows and, the more I seem to enjoy it when I finally make it back. For the past few years, I had been making do with an old lamp table for my close-up set-ups; I had fashioned a matt black card base on the table with two joined 12″ high-sides of the same material, clamped lights, mirrors, clamps, desk tripod and, a couple of torches for ad-hoc light-painting during those longer exposures. This week though, something changed.

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I | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv] – 1/12th – f5.6 – ISO:400.

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A few weeks before new year, Ang had decided to have a clear-out of the under-stairs cupboard on the first floor. Great idea I though – we could decorate it and make her a lovely, secluded and private office space in there (whilst secretly wanting to snatch the space for myself, you understand). I was thinking maybe some cosy lighting, a decent bluetooth speaker, a new desk and chair, even some pictures on the wall – you know? A space I’d be utterly jealous of, for sure. Still, this was all a while ago and sometimes, as I said, things change. 

At Christmas, I received a very nice portable light-tent. Lights, stands, backdrops, colour gels – yup, all there. The trouble was that we had nowhere to properly set it up and though it’s indeed designed to be portable, once I set something like this up, I’d prefer it to stay there and I can quickly set back up again any time I have a new or interesting subject. That’s when the suggestion came back to me: “What about the under-stair cupboard?” My eyes must have lit up as soon as those words left her lips!

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II | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv]- 1/4th – f11 – ISO:200 [w/Hoya =10].

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At the beginning of this week, we measured up; on Tuesday we bought the wood and the paint and I constructed the worktop to be fitted, as well as starting the paint-job.  On Wednesday, the last coat of matte-black went on all the surfaces and by that evening, it was dry enough to set it all up. Could I wait to get in there and shut the door? Could I, buggery! Now, I know that light-tents aren’t a new thing, but I’ve always indulged myself on a shoestring – not for any other reason than the fact that I was simply able to. But to have a dedicated little space where it can all happen, is a real treat. I don’t care if Harry Potter didn’t care much for his – I’m loving my cupboard! Yes, I’m sure that I must sound like an idiot to most of you but this is big stuff to me. A useful man-cave at last! (And yes, I also realise that I’m rambling a tad!) Anyway, I’ll shut up now and let you (I sincerely hope) enjoy a few of the very first frames from the newly crowned (tongues firmly in cheek, you understand?) Studio 35C. 

As always, thank you for visiting my pages and, I wish you all a great weekend ahead.

-R-

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III | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv]- 1/8th – f5.6 – ISO:400 [w/Hoya =10].

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New Lanark | PT.IV – The Ties That Bind | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, Indoor, photography

Only Our Methods Have Changed.


This is to be the final part in my New Lanark photo-series – from this beautifully preserved cotton mill, once alive with workers and currently, one of the six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Scotland. As I alluded to in PT.II – I decided to shoot around the entire site with my Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS conversion which, on gloomy days such as these lets in a lot more light and conserves detail in appreciably more dynamic range than a standard set-up. The only true trade-off (far moreso outdoors) is a little contrast (mostly due to available infrared light pollution) but in post, this is never actually a problem.

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As I wandered around New Lanark, taking in the old, cobbled walkways, living-quarter museums, restored façades and the breathtaking, surrounding scenery, it occurred to me that even though so many years have passed since the days of industry here at the mill, we really don’t do anything all that differently to the ways in which they were always done. Everything is linked in just the same ways – only the tools or the methods have changed. From wall-ties, to marriage ties, the daily bread we break together, the comforts and necessities of home and, even the bell that calls us from slumber and to our workplaces. No, not much has changed, at all.

I am reminded here of a line which Douglas Adams once wrote (in reference to L.P Hartley’s opening of ‘The Go-Between’): “The past, they say, is now truly like a foreign country. They do things exactly the same, there”. 

-R-

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XI | Comforts of Home | GXR A16 LTFS 1/75th – f4.2 – ISO:1600 – 35mm.

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XII | Ties – Two Different Kinds | GXR A16 LTFS 1/290th – f5.5 – ISO:200 – 85mm.

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XIII | Necessities of Home | GXR A16 LTFS 1/125th – f4.0 – ISO:1600 – 24mm.

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XIV | Alarm Bells | GXR A16 LTFS 1/200th – f8.0 – ISO:200 – 85mm.

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Behind the Scenes: An Introduction | 35Chronicle

black & white, people, personal, photography, portraits

Meet the Family.


Breaking with tradition here somewhat (as in – I’m not posting any IR, ruins, waterscapes or close-ups, for a change) it’s time to have a little break from my usual outings and big-up some very important people. Well, almost all people anyway. This is the crowd that put up with me and my photo-shenanigans, as well as everything else too and, without whom – my life could be so, so different. It is said that behind every good man, there’s a good woman and it’s very true. But also, there are a couple of great boys and, two long-suffering beagles, as well. Usually, I’d post this many shots over a couple of posts but this is different – we don’t spread out over two pages in life, so, here we all are.

I have always been so grateful to all of my readers and contributors throughout the evolution of my pages – yes, that means you too, and (aside from the pooches, obviously) each and every one posted here knows just how important photography has always been and still is to me and, how I strive to do something with it that satisfies my inner need. With that said, this isn’t just about you meeting us all, but it’s also about the lot of us meeting you too. As a whole.

I often miss the genre of portraiture after having enjoyed it for so many years, and it’s always fun to find an excuse to grab a camera and snag little moments – especially when they mean so much. Life can change in the blink of an eye and I know just how lucky I am to have them all in mine. This is what it’s all for.

From us to you… hi!

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I | Corby-J. – Looking Like a Backgammon Master but actually asking “What Cunning Kind of Devilry is This?! Hmmm!”

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II | Flynn – Starbucks (Either Overly Focused or, Potentially Hypnotised by Hot Chocolate & Cake!) 

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III | Angela & Paisley (4 Hours Old) – Delivery Suite.

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IV | Lucy – An Ageing, Slightly Limping but Surprisingly Resourceful Jack Russell.

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V | Noodle – A Disloyal, Yet Ridiculously Easily Bought-Off Siberian Huskey. 

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VI | Rob – by Ang. “Help! Some Woman Just Nabbed my Camera!” (First Day Off the Crutches – Outside a Bar in Falkirk!)

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[Normal service will undoubtedly be resumed by the next post! As always, thank you for visiting!]

-R-

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