Category Archives: Photo

Same dress again

She was right, the blog reader who thought I might know about Pam Dawber’s dress. She was also wrong, because I had to look things up, but it wasn’t exactly hard research.

Pam was photographed wearing a rather fetching dress at an event for Stuntmen’s Association last year.

And my eagle-eyed reader then found Pam wearing the same dress back in 1967, but while she wondered about the rich and famous recycling their wardrobe, she also felt it did seem far too long ago. It was. Pam would have been 16 at the time, twenty years before she married Mark Harmon, who was also in the photograph. I can’t afford Getty prices to use photos, so can’t show you, but the link takes you there, and it does say 1967.

That’s when Dr Dolittle the film premiered. I would guess that the Dr Dolittle premiere Pam and Mark were seen at might have been the stage production in 1998. They look about right for it to have been then. And the dress would have been a mere 15 years old when it came back out for the Stuntmen.

I reckon even Hollywood stars recycle. Pam strikes me as the kind of woman who  would. And unlike my reader and me, the dress still fit her.

That was Edinburgh 2012, that was

Edinburgh Castle

People kept asking us if we were going to take in a few fringe events, as though we had both time and energy left over to do anything quite so frivolous. It would have been nice, but the books took everything we had, plus a little more still.

Edinburgh Fringe

But, you can take pictures of the odd thing as you run past.

Edinburgh Fringe venue

And Simon Callow won’t mind a second outing on CultureWitch.

Simon Callow and photographers in Charlotte Square

Next time I’ll sit down on a park bench for a while and just listen to some music. Or something.

Edinburgh Fringe

Maybe even sit out late one night if it doesn’t rain. It didn’t rain much this time, and it was warm. Perfect for those beer gardens and other tents that have sprung in the middle of George Street. All I had time for was a brief rest on a bench while ‘running’ for a train one evening.

Spitting images

We’re pretty much twins, actually.

I allowed the Resident IT Consultant to play around with my iPhoto over the holiday. One thing he did was start up face recognition. Which, I suppose, can prove useful.

When I checked out my own face, I found some unconfirmed photos of ‘me.’ I have to admit I was a little taken aback at first. But when you stop and think, it’s obvious. DiNozzo and I are one and the same.

DiNozzo and Ziva

(Reminds me of the photo Daughter had of John Barrowman. ‘Is this IW?’ asked her iPhoto hopefully. No, it wasn’t. Not by a long shot. But her friend IW was happy to be mistaken for JB.)

(Photo © CBS)


When we arrived at the start of the holiday I found that my great grandparents had had a fall. Not as bad as it sounds. The only thing broken was the glass covering the photo. And perhaps a little at the corners of the frame.

Great grandparents' picture frame

But then, that frame must be in the region of 125 years old. Give or take. It has my permission to fall, and to break the glass and for the wood to look a bit iffy.

Great grandparents' picture frame, tape

Great grandparents' picture frame

It was only as Daughter set about giving it some first aid that she realised the tape she was pulling off the back was 19th century tape. As for me I was intrigued to note that the photographer’s studio was situated on the same street corner in Gothenburg where I used to work. (Not that I worked on the street corner..!)

Odd that they fell down just now. I’d mentioned them while discussing the family tree with Eldest Cousin. Maybe they heard me and were scandalised that I shared certain information with her. She, in turn, was more than surprised to find I knew which year our grandmother – their daughter – was born. I just know these things. (1880, since you didn’t ask.)

I got the staple gun out and while Daughter held tight, I shot modern staples through the ancient wood. We decided to make do without new glass, so Daughter assembled the the layers and put new string on (since it was the old string that broke and made them fall in the first place) and hung them back on the wall, above their son-in-law’s bureau.

Great grandparents' picture

They look as good as new, for such old people. (Their age is one fact I don’t know, but I’m guessing around 1850.)

Oh my, some more wedding photos!

Victoria and Daniel

I went photo hunting on the Dagens Nyheter site, after hearing they at least had a picture of Crown Princess Victoria and the Duke of Västergötland.

Royal Wedding

Royal Wedding

And there is a beautiful one of the happy Cambridges with nutcrackers and all.

Royal Wedding

Nice car…

Royal Wedding(All photos borrowed via Dagens Nyheter.)

PS And as you all know what an old grump I am – well hidden, but anyway – I have to complain just a little. I was reading, very belatedly, but better late than never, the Guardian’s wedding supplement. There is a photo of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, labelled ‘the groom’s parents.

That in turn made me remember that the BBC’s Huw said the groom is the Queen’s eldest grandson. What happened to Peter Phillips?

The Guardian used a lipreader to work out what everyone said. Good idea, as we were sitting there wishing we could. There was one moment, however, when we definitely could. Kate, sorry, the Duchess of Cambridge, stepped on to the balcony and exclaimed ‘oh wow!’. She did not say ‘oh my’, as the paper’s lipreader reports. 29-year-olds probably don’t know the phrase, let alone would dream of using it. I’m glad she said ‘wow’. It’s an appropriate thing to say when stepping out in front of a bursting Mall soon after marrying a prince.

It’s what I’d say in her place, and I’m an old fogey.

The birth of British rock

This was right up Daughter’s street, and I don’t mean that in the geological sense. We managed to find just enough spare time before the show at the Lowry the other day, to take in the exhibition of Harry Hammond’s photos of early rock stars.

Sometimes exhibitions like these sound good and turn out to be somewhat disappointing, mainly due to far fewer exhibits to look at than you’d expected. This one was almost the opposite, with far more photos than we could have hoped for. All of them good and interesting to see.

I’m obviously too young (yes, really) to remember most of these stars from back when. The Beatles, yeah, yeah. My Cliff Richard is a little older than the one in the many photos. It almost seemed like a ‘Cliff with a touch of Beatle’ exhibition, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

The others were many of the obvious ones, but I especially remember Adam Faith. You know how you often think when you hear that someone has died, that you didn’t realise they were still alive? It wasn’t until I saw the dates given for Adam that I remembered that he died in 2003.

As for Shirley Bassey she looks younger now than then. Almost. There’s something about the hairstyles and dresses from the 1950s.

Well worth going to see, especially if you’re ‘old’. Some of the theatre-goers for Goodnight Mister Tom who were taken round the photos by granny looked less than enthusiastic. Perhaps they’ve not been brought up on old songs on the iPod?

Picturing Murdo

I could really have done without Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in the nude. But other than that I quite enjoyed the exhibition of Murdo Macleod’s photos at the Guardian.

I wouldn’t ordinarily go out of my way to look at this type of exhibition, but after a couple of Augusts at Charlotte Square in Edinburgh ‘in the company of’ Murdo and his colleagues, I almost feel I know him. He doesn’t know me, of course, and probably doesn’t want to. I’m the Fat Controller of the Bookwitch photographer, and no matter how good her (photographic) equipment is, theirs is always bigger and better. And they are all boys together.

After seeing the article in the Guardian a few weeks ago, I thought I’d pop along to their offices if I happened to be in London at the right time. Luckily the Philippine ambassador saw fit to invite me round, so I did end up in London after all.

But, I would have welcomed more than the foyer of the Guardian. OK, so it has walls. Walls with exhibits on them. It has stairs to the offices. It has a security guard. After my trek all the way there I would have loved somewhere to sit. Many galleries have seats. You can rest, and you can think about what you’re looking at. Here I was in and out in minutes, or so it felt. I had also hoped there would be many more photos not already known to me from the paper.

The photos are good. No question about it. But then if you have access to famous people, especially in unusual settings, then half the battle has been won. Experience in how to get the famous people to pose will help, and I’m sure the superior long lenses do their job. But an amateur could take pictures like these, too. Murdo has a lot of interesting umbrellas, and I’m certain they assist him with the job in hand.

So, just get a politician to stand in front of a derelict cottage, or someone rich to sit down in an untidy room and you’re halfway there.

Or am I being unfair?

Murdo Macleod and press photographers with Philip Pullman at Charlotte Square

Murdo is the one in red. Philip Pullman asked what gave him the right to ‘give the orders’, and I believe the answer was his red fleece. This photo was taken by someone who is not aspiring to professional photography, using an ordinary small camera, which incidentally was bought after our first encounter with Philip, when we were so camera-less that we had to borrow one. But that’s another story.

Famous faces?

CultureWitch’s alter ego, the Bookwitch, is busy doing the Edinburgh International Book Festival. You don’t just see authors there, however, but the odd actor also passes through. Even some completely normal actors…

So you photograph them. You might as well, when you’re near the great and the famous.

Yesterday I was -ismed when doing so. Haven’t yet decided which -ism. But as I was trying to take a photo of Simon Callow, who I can barely tell apart from that Cowell chap on television, I was -ismed. It’s bad enough standing behind all those ‘real’ photographers with their overlong whatsits, brandishing my tiny pocket camera. I don’t need to be told that I can’t video the famous man.

But I was. Can only assume that being a witch, fat, old, blogger, amateur, or something else equally offputting which I haven’t yet thought of, was behind the not altogether friendly warning. Because those men with the long lenses wouldn’t be told not to video anyone. Anyway, why would they? And if so, why would I?

Joked a little on facebook yesterday that I don’t even know who Simon Callow is. I do. Once I’ve worked out he is not the Cowell fellow (I have to do it every time), I know. He was in the Four Weddings thing. And he was Pliny in The Roman Mysteries. That’s the sum total of my Callow knowledge.

Simon Callow

If there is ever a guest at the EIBF who’d make my heart flutter so much that I’d know I wouldn’t be able not to sneak a little video with my little camera, I’ll tell them, and then they can lock me away for the ten minutes.

I mean, I can’t even put the video from church on YouTube. What could a technically challenged witch do with a clandestine Callow?

From Cutline to Coraline – no thanks

You know the Other Mother, the one with button eyes? Scary. You wouldn’t want to wake up and find your mother had changed like that. And you don’t really want to sit at your computer, blogging merrily away, totally awake, to find that you now have an Other Blog Theme. Nightmare stuff.

So were they thinking of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, those lovely people at WordPress, when they named the ‘other’ Cutline ‘lookalike’ theme? Sounds similar enough to Cutline, doesn’t it? And there is the clone idea from Coraline.

Without warning, too, or as near without warning as they could. One admin post on the homepage on Thursday to say that on Monday it would be all change. And one admin post on the day, when the switch had already been made. In other words, one weekend to make changes and to prepare. In prime holiday time. The very same weekend all the WordPress support staff went away, to make life a little more exciting for us bloggers.

I feel like Arthur Dent. How was I supposed to know it was going to happen? And like that? Even the bulldozers were gone when I went to look for something to lie down in front of.

Should really have seen this coming. There had been several witchy premonition types of comments made and chats with innocent bystanders, and I should have known that the world as I knew it was about to end.

It seems – as I have gleaned from other aghast bloggers – that Chris Pearson’s Cutline design (the best I’ve seen!) was pulled because of business politics. It’s not as if it was outdated, or anything. ‘Just’ hurt feelings in the design world. I especially loved the font and the numbers. Those numbers..!

At this point you are all peering like mad at the blog and wondering what’s got into me, because you, who are not this blog’s mother, can’t tell the difference. But it’s a cuckoo in the nest. It’s not my baby. Really it’s not. Just like the Other Mother wasn’t Coraline’s mother.

I didn’t sleep much on Monday night. There was too much haemorrhaging to go to bed. OK, if they’d ‘only’ changed themes, however inadvisedly. But they changed what you see, and hid things and published private facts from my dashboard. Reorganised some things alphabetically, except they didn’t even get that totally right.

I have four blogs. Luckily they didn’t all change simultaneously, so I could salvage some stuff from the other blogs. They also didn’t change the same things on the four blogs, so clearly it was not a planned thing at all. The church blog lost most of its sidebar information and then had an added feature of flickr photos. Except they weren’t mine. And they weren’t suitable for a church blog.

Photowitch – bless her – picked this very day to have a photo of Neil Gaiman. And simply writing my blog post here appears to have triggered some WordPress instinct to self destruct.

So, to get back to my earlier posts on Bookwitch about change. No, I don’t want change. If I do, I’ll change properly, by myself. None of this cloned cuckoo stuff.

Canvassing, Cubism and cola bottles

Too much information? Did we really need to be told what canvas is? The photographer whose exhibition we’d gone to see had mounted his photos on canvas. We could see that. We also know what it is, and had we not, and had we wanted to be informed, we would have asked. We didn’t need a canvas speech.

But we got it all the same.

The photos were really nice and we enjoyed looking at them. But as I said, we know about canvas. Then we moved on to the lady with the handmade bags, who was very sweet, but also too pushy. Whether or not we go to exhibitions to buy, we don’t like pushy.

The photo exhibition at the library, on the other hand, had no one there at all, to push or to talk about anything whatsoever. The photos weren’t as good as canvas man’s, and for an exhibition on pictures from one particular area, you’d sort of expect them not to be from elsewhere. Some where, though. Decided we’d have a go at exhibiting next year.

Went back to the first gallery for another exhibition. This time it was paintings and the artist is dead, so less pushy. Some of Wilgot Lind’s pictures were just to my taste, and my taste being what it is, I liked the most expensive one the best. Naturally. It was a green cubistic sort of thing, supposedly of a garden. I quite like green triangles if done well.

It rained. A lot. On the way to the exhibition I recycled my cardboard and my cola bottles. I felt I needed several reasons to go out, even though a walk was essential, despite the water from above.

I’m still drying…