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.