Monday, November 27

Time for a clearout

WME1 serves me pretty well as a test site on the whole. I play around with my photos, tweak them a bit and then see what I think before housing the photos permanently on the appropriate local WME gallery.

The thing with testing is that some photos don't quite make the cut. Usually these photos end up sitting around on WME1 waiting until I have another go at making them presentable, a placeholder type system until I get the photo right. Problem is, some photos tend to just stay there forever not doing anything and with no chance of full inclusion - thats where today comes in...

From time to time I like to blitz WME1 and just remove anything that gets in my way. The latest blitz took place this evening, and resulted in considerable carnage as I decided there were quite a few photos I didn't actually like that much - 101 of them in fact.

At the end of the mayhem, things do look a little clearer. I'm left by and large with photos I'm generally happy to include, plus a handful of remaining placeholder shots that I think are worth experimenting with a bit more before total discard. 101 photos is quite a chunk to take out, and who knows, some of the photos may resurface at some stage - I always tend to follow a blitz with a guilt trip that leads to some shots being reinstated.

Amongst the blitz survivors I'm happy with is a selection of my more recent photos. My inclination over the last year or so has been to concentrate on the older stuff, meaning very few of my latest shots get edited up and tested. A select band of pioneers have bravely entered WME territory though, the question is what do I do with them? As a general rule, any such photos are held in WME1 until I get through the archive to the point at which they were taken. It has become clear of late that this process could take months, years even, leaving me with a dilemma. I want to include my latest shots more quickly, but I want to deal with the archive thoroughly at the same time, so whats the answer? I think I might just know...

With the blitz over, WME currently includes 1,108 photos with 335 of those on WME1. The archive focus had served its purpose well, but the site was starting to stagnate just a touch. Doctor Paul prescribes an injection of newer photo material, lets hope it does the trick!

Saturday, November 25

It's all gone quiet again

Yes, I must admit that work on WME has come to a bit of a standstill really. I go through these phases from time to time - one week I knuckle down and sort out some updates, the next week I just can't be bothered.

The enthusiasm for the site has dried up a little for the time being. I look at WME1 and I don't see many photos that I am happy enough with to shift them onto a local gallery. Its also been a bit of a struggle finding new photos for the site - I'm on another archive trawl and I'm reaching the point where I'm going over the same old photos over and over again. Ideally I want to get stuck in to some of my latest photos, but I want to make sure the old stuff is done properly as well. Turns out I do neither...

Thought I'd lighten the mood a little by keeping up with England's progress in the Ashes, what a bad idea that turned out to be. Three days in, we're over 600 behind with the worrying cocktail that our bowlers can't buy a wicket and the batsmen can't be bothered to stick it out at the crease. A long hard series in prospect, but at least Ian Bell showed some guts...

So with the cricket going so badly, my thoughts turn to football and Wolverhampton Wanderers, my team. Useful draw with Sunderland last night, should have won I guess. Overall, I think Mick McCarthy is doing a good job, he's certainly brought some pride back after Glenn Hoddle. He's also managing to unearth a few players rather than bringing in Premiership has-beens, I'm intrigued to see how this McIndoe does, hopefully he can get some goals. Goals are Wolves' problem really, they can't score enough to put the opposition away, Sunderland last night being a good example. After an excellent start to the season, things are levelling out a bit with a rash of away defeats and a slide back into mid-table. Obscurity beckons, which might not be a bad thing, give us time to consolidate and build a team for the long term.

Ok, I admit I had to write about something given the lack of WME stuff to waffle upon, hence the digression into the world of sport. As a solitary step forward though, and by way of apology, I have managed to squeak out the tiniest of updates, with another train photo joining the Wolverhampton Station collection on WME Wolverhampton. The photo itself is hardly exciting, but it does take WME Wolves to the 150 photos landmark(!!!) at long last, hurrah! And on that positive note, I shall draw this post to a close and get back to searching for a silver lining amongst the cricketing carnage. Wish me luck...

Wednesday, November 8

November Updates

After another couple of raids on the WME archive, I've found a few more photos to experiment with and some of these have now taken pride of place on the WME Wolverhampton and WME Dudley galleries.

Now showing on WME Wolverhampton, we have:
  • a couple more train photos on Wolverhampton Station showing the much maligned Wellington - Walsall service back in August 2003
  • a new collection, Exploring Oxley, currently featuring two photos of Oxley Library. Me and Oxley go back a long way so I'm glad the area finally has a WME presence
  • two new canal photos: Moathouse Bridge, scene of several lunchtime walks, arrives on the Wyrley & Essington collection, whilst on Birmingham Main Line I've added a bonus shot of a BCN sign near Horseley Fields Bridge - quite how I hadn't included this photo before now is a bit of a mystery but there you go

Turning WME Dudley where its bus related updates all the way...

  • A useful view of Halesowen Bus Station joins the Stops & Stations collection, adding another location into the mix
  • And on Dudley by Bus there are 5 new bus photos - the 002 at Merry Hill, the 236 and 257 at Gornal Wood, the 240 at Stourbridge and the 544 at Coseley. The collection now contains 46 photos, so it is well established, but I'm especially pleased with this latest batch of inclusions because they even up the location balance a little bit. The collection is still dominated by Stourbridge and Halesowen photos but at least there's a bit more Gornal and Merry Hill now, and a completely new location in the form of Coseley

Another solid update then, making further use of my older photos. The updates also mean that both WME Wolverhampton and WME Dudley are approaching little landmarks: WME Wolverhampton has 149 photos, one away from the big 150 (and catching WME Birmingham too) whilst WME Dudley is on 97, three photos away from becoming the third WME to break through the century barrier. The number crunching shows that the galleries are growing and becoming more substantial, so I am heading in the right direction.

Thursday, November 2

Reflections on Rog Week

Between October 9th and 15th Rog and I completed five hectic days of classic exploration. Here are some of my personal highlights:

The buses:

  • the 241 and a first glimpse of Rowley village.
  • the return of the 18 - one of my absolute favourite routes - and a ride from Bartley Green to Cotteridge.
  • Lynx haulage at Hawkesley and the 84 shuttle into Cotteridge (including Shannon Road photos)
  • the 598 and a friendly driver who tried to give the bus away to us free of charge, Rog was tempted
  • the 261, waiting at Wombourne Church and then the ride up through Swindon and Pensnett
  • the 312 back to Stourbridge on Tuesday listening to Rog's MP3 (although whether I enjoyed Chesney Hawkes' 'I am the one and only' is debatable)
  • the 32 - a new addition to the favourite routes, explored from Acocks Green to Bills Lane via Gospel Oak
  • Taking photos of the 197 at Solihull, then catching the route to Balsall Common - not to mention a first look at Knowle
  • Visiting Tamworth on the 765, providing a look at Whittington and celebrations when Mom informed me that Wolves had beaten Colchester, excellent!
  • Stourbridge in the dark and the 290 through Wollaston Farm and back to Rog's
  • A first look at Balsall Heath and Moseley as we caught the 50 down to Maypole in readiness for BaMMoT on Sunday. Gave Woody a chance to point out the exact scene of Rog's infamous dogmess incident!

Trains and Railway Stations:

  • Tyseley - another all too brief visit before catching the 36, it would be nice to stop for more than five minutes next time
  • A first visit to Berkswell, although I wasn't that impressed. Station house all boarded up, and a modern footbridge has replaced the much more charming level crossing

The walks:

  • A walk around Woodgate and Bartley Green for a few local photos and a look at the 23 terminus
  • Searching for Ben in Kings Norton Park
  • Exploring Rednal then heading into Cofton Hackett to track down the 47
  • Going local in Wolverhampton: Bushbury Hill And Northwood Park in the fog, followed by Warstones and Spring Hill and soggy shoes on the green
  • Exploring Kings Road in Tyseley, finding the 36 bus stop and then pitching up at Acocks Green for a quick look in the library
  • The Balsall Common Walk: Berkswell station was not as far as I thought, we discovered a nice pub and got drenched heading back up to the bus stop. Oh, and we found out where the Co-op was

The pubs:

  • The Bulls Head overlooking Kings Norton Green
  • The Oak Tree at Rednal after a ride on the 62, nice beer patio
  • Wombourne pubs - the Vine first, then the New Inn for my first proper pint of Banks's
  • The Village Hotel in Dudley - watching cricket and battling the quiz machine
  • The Rock Station at Stourbridge - an old favourite, nice weeknight atmosphere with Blade on the prowl
  • The Brickmakers Arms, near Berkswell Station - nice building, dodgy music
  • The Forest in Dorridge - a Rog outing favourite, and its in the Good Food Guide
  • The pub in Burton where I sampled Pedigree. Beer was nice but I can't remember what the pub was called. Stood at the bar on a busy Saturday afternoon, a proper pub experience at the town that is renowned as the home of brewing.

The food:

  • My first taste of a donner burger in the bus shelter at Pool Farm
  • Scollop and pie at Wombourne, sitting on a bench outside Barclays
  • Visiting Woolworths at Wednesbury for extra supplies of chocolate and crisps
  • Chips at Knowle, waiting for to photograph the 40A & 40C
  • Beer and a burger at Lichfield, the cider went to my head
  • A quick takeaway at Sedgley after the Monty's Bar incident

A week full of great memories there, and hopefully we'll add a few more with any trips we might do in the future. I think its safe to say the week was a success!