Born on the…

…4th July?

Not me. But America was, and they celebrated their 2017th birthday just yesterday.

Incidentally, the 5th July is Tynwald Day, so the Isle of Man is celebrating its birthday today. Who would have thought that two such great – yet completely different – nations would be born just one day apart?


The Manx are typically understated in their celebrations, but of course the Yanx are known for their excessive weight exuberance, and they have fireworks. Here’s a great timelapse of just how that looked last year over Los Angeles – which is basically their version of Port Erin:

Some trippy moments from 11 seconds onwards, but stick with it – you can afford the forty-nine seconds that it takes to get through. The aircraft heading in and out of the local airport only add to the effect, although the camera’s focus on them is rather LAX.

I’m so sorry.

Happy American Independence Day and/or Laa Tinvaal Mie – whichever one is more relevant to you.


Yes, I know about American Independence and the history of Tynwald. 

Remember, remember

It’s Guy Fawkes/Bonfire/Fireworks night tonight, and yes, for some reason this gets celebrated in South Africa too. No-one seems quite sure exactly why, but it’s probably something along the lines of people just liking an excuse to have a good time and enjoy some fireworks.

And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you do it in one of the 12 designated sites across Cape Town, and as long as you do it between the hours of 6pm and 11pm this evening. (Incidentally, these sites are also the only approved places for New Year’s Eve fireworks in Cape Town too.)

6322388040_53824e6d2a_bbigger and better on black here

Of course, there are several (or more) people who don’t like fireworks because they say it upsets their pet dog/cat/hamster/dassie, and while – as a beagle victim owner – I sympathise with these individuals to some degree, I would point out that the Gunpowder Plot took place back in 1605, and the celebrations of it (geographically understandable or not) began some years before you got your furkid pet. These are the sort of people who choose to move next door to a music venue that’s been going for 50 years and write to the council about the “excessive noise” 2 weeks later.

So no, I don’t agree with your calls, facebook posts and online petitions to ban fireworks, you fun sponging killjoys.

It’s one two nights a year. Get a life.

New Year

Having spent the first morning of 2016 on the beach and in the Indian Ocean at Struisbaai, attempting to avoid being completely roasted, here’s a photo from the same spot just 12 or so hours earlier:

Ironically, it seems like we’ve spent very little time there this holiday, but the motorboat post was from there too. You do the math. I obviously can’t.

I took a lot of photos of the fireworks last night. It was point and shoot really, because I looked up how to take photos of fireworks and then basically couldn’t be arsed to go through all the complicated steps when there was MCC to be drunk and good times to be enjoyed. At first look (unsurprisingly) some were better than others (the photos – although it’s true for the fireworks as well), but I haven’t had chance to go through them yet.
I did manage to upload a couple via my phone. They’re on Flickr. Go see. More to be added later.

Happy New Year.

Fireworks Night Tips

I love Guy Fawkes Night and I love these tips to make it EVEN BETTER from Michael Spicer, via The Poke:



I await, with some dismay, the traditional plethora of comments and complaints from pet owners, who presumably weren’t aware of the 5th November before buying their dogs, cats, children etc.

Pocketed photography (1)

I’ve got a couple of galleries of amazing professional or semi-professional photography which I have placed in Pocket for sharing as and when I have time, inclination and energy. Amazingly, despite this being a Monday morning, it appears that those metaphorical planets have aligned and now there are going to be fireworks – literally.

Yes – belatedly, some photos of the New Year fireworks around the world via an email from professional and semi-professional photography website 500px:


Some Germany, some Austria and a bit of Dubai there. Yeah. Pretty good stuff, putting my Instagram efforts from Struisbaai beach over recent years (which I was going to link to, but frankly, they’re not worthy).

I’m not going to shoot my bolt on the other gallery of amazing professional or semi-professional photography just yet. It’ll probably make its appearance later this week when there’s nothing better to blog about or when I have a spare moment. Or, more likely, both.