A parrot called Me-Tu has caused chaos at a football match in the UK, imitating the sound of the referee’s whistle before being ordered to move. The referee said: "I've never sent off a parrot before." The parrot also shouted "pretty boy" at the players.
Maybe I paid more attention to geometry during my school days than I realised at the time. I guess that’s why the simplest of sights, such as this, stop me in my tracks.
I shot this during a day in Fremantle, the West Australian port city known simply, in the endearingly abbreviated style beloved by all and sundry in this sunburnt country, as "Freo".
The horizontal blinds had seen better days. So had the vertical segment of the painted window sill. But if I composed a really tight frame, a mundane sight might produce competing colours and contrasting aspects if shot correctly.
That’s the thing with geometry. You can always find the right angle.
Me, I'm fine when there's frost on the ground. So while those of you who live in the northern hemisphere are complaining about having to shovel snow, spare a thought for us Melburnians as we swelter through the worst heatwave in a century.
I took these shots a few hours ago, and the sun looked like a flying saucer as it sank quickly towards the horizon. It's been 45 Celsius for the past three days - and that's 113 Fahrenheit, in case you're wondering.
How hot is that? Well let me put it this way. The weather has been so scorching that even railway lines are starting to buckle. Even those famous cool evenings and nights have become a thing of the past.
We're a tough breed here. We can cope with pretty much anything. But the real worry, as January comes to a close, is that the drought continues. We've had no rain this month. As you can see from this pictorial essay, we saw a buildup of dark clouds at dusk, but they brought false promise. We're still waiting for rain.
School music teachers are being warned to wear earmuffs or stand behind noise screens - because beginners tend to blast away much louder than professionals. The most potentially deafening instrument is the cornet, while the flute, oboe and saxophone can become risky after just 15 minutes.
I couldn't resist posting this rare shot in my Thursday series on doors from around the world.
I owe this shot to Grant, whose surname I won’t mention for obvious reasons. He’s a great bloke, with a wonderful eye for anything that is out of the ordinary. And yes, he is related to me.
We flew to Western Australia recently and while we were at a wedding reception at the Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery in Fremantle, I was in the minority as I sipped iced water while Grant was, er, in the majority, sipping drinks that were a bit more potent.
Halfway through the reception, he insisted that I grab my camera and follow him to shoot this sign on a door beside the men’s and ladies’ toilets. So I took Mrs Authorblog's leave and followed Grant. He showed me this sign with a theatrical flourish that a ringmaster would have been proud of.
But neither he (on his way along the path to merry inebriation and some great dance moves) nor I (stone cold sober) could figure out exactly what it means.
A Sussex octogenarian has an unusual hobby - knitting woollen breasts. Audrey Horncastle gives her woolly creations to daughter Rhona Emery, a community nurse, to help teach new mums to breastfeed. The 84-year-old has churned out more than 100 knitted breasts about three years.
Sorry, mate, I’m busy today. I only have a day and a half in Singapore and I intend to get around the city on foot and shoot as many photographs as I possibly can. It’s mid-December and the city looks beautiful and the sun is shining and yes, it’s too warm for me, but I’ll turn my collar up, sip iced water and continue walking because each step brings me another image for my camera.
Yes, I’m sure it’s great to do a bungee jump. But I’ve got another international flight to catch tomorrow afternoon, followed by a road trip of several hours on northern Indian highways, then a family reunion and a wedding to attend. Then I’ve got to get into reverse gear and do it all again and get home in just five days. That’s a lot of travel and not a lot of time.
Yes, I do have the spirit of adventure flowing in my veins. Honest, I have. I never blink when I’m faced with a challenge. But next time I’m in Singapore I promise to come straight here, pay my money and do the Xtreme Swing slingshot. No, I won’t go shopping first. No, I won’t even go sightseeing. I’ll get into a cab at Changi airport and tell him to bring me straight here.
No, of course I’m not scared. Mate, did I ever tell you about the time I faced a charging grizzly? I did not flinch. I did not take a backward step. I just stood there, switched on my camera and took a shot of him as he accelerated soundlessly across the dry ground.
Yes, I know the bungee slingshot is safe. But what happens if my wallet falls out of my pocket while I’m doing this caper? Whaddya mean, you’ll take care of my false teeth. I don’t have false teeth. No, I don’t have an artificial leg. Yes, I have normal heartbeat. And yes, of course I have a healthy spine. No, I don’t have a pacemaker.
Let me make a deal with you. Have you ever had a customer who’s done this gig and held onto a camera to shoot photos while he’s strapped in and flailing wildly? No? You haven’t? Okay, I want to be the first. Here’s my down payment. See you next time I’m in Singapore. Don’t forget a special harness to tie my camera to me.
You see, I’m a sucker. You can rope me in to anything. Well, almost anything.
A British motorist accused of speeding at 98mph beat the rap after spending £1,200 to prove his 14-year-old car could only reach 85mph. The man convinced magistrates with his scientific approach and said his vehicle was "a glorified Japanese shopping trolley".
These shots were taken about six or seven months ago, during a celebration in Federation Square. I was actually concentrating on several other things that were happening all around me when I saw a woman walk past in this striking waistcoat.
I quickly shot two frames, unposed, while she went about her chores. As soon as she took a breather, I told her that I had photographed her patriotic garb and then showed her each frame on the LCD screen of my camera, much to her delight.
That evening, I was about to upload the shots onto my blog and then I thought I’d put them aside for Australia Day. It’s now two o’clock in the morning on Tuesday 27th January, but it’s still Australia Day (Monday 26th January) in most of the world – and will be for several hours.
The design of the national flag was chosen from more than 32,000 entries submitted by members of the public and based on almost identical sketches sent in by five people, including a teenage schoolboy named Ivor Evans.
It first flew above the Exhibition Building in Melbourne in 1901, the year of Federation. If you want to know why the flag was flown here in my home city and not in the capital, Canberra, there is a very simple answer. The Australian Capital Territory was only founded in 1911, so Canberra did not even exist in the year of Federation.
On the flag, the Commonwealth star is the large white star, while the Southern Cross, so important in Aboriginal tales and the history of this young colony, is represented by five smaller white stars.
And here’s an interesting piece of trivia. Because the Southern Cross is not visible in northern skies, there are no Greek or Roman myths or legends associated with it.
A German man survived being run over by an express train when drunk - after he passed out between the tracks. He collapsed on the sleepers and was so drunk the train passed over him. He only sustained minor cuts and bruises.
Many flowers remind me of my father. This year makes it a quarter-century since he died, but I suspect that he and his brothers must have grown up in a home with beautiful garden beds.
When my brother and I were children, our Dumayne Avenue home was bordered by a huge L-shaped garden that always had splashes of colour, with cannas, dahlias, sweetpeas and bougainvillea among the many varieties that bloomed in the Calcutta sun.
Every time I see dahlias and bougainvillea, I think of my Dad. I remember, too, how he used to be enchanted by his favourite variety of bougainvillea – the pink-and-white Mary Palmer.
During a long road trip from New Delhi to Dehra Dun in northern India in December 2007, we saw many bungalows with mature bougainvillea providing vivid colour against their walls.
While we were in Western Australia this month, I was (understandably) drawn to this beautiful variety in the back yard of a friend’s beachside Sorrento home.
The blooms were a perfect foil for the muted colours of the exterior walls and even though this wasn’t a Mary Palmer, it would have got my father’s seal of approval.
A balding 49-year-old Englishman was asked for proof of his age when he bought a bag of party poppers at Tesco. Staff told postman Maurice Harris he had to prove he was over 18 as the £1.99 bag of 50 poppers were classed as explosives.
In late 2006 we found ourselves in India unexpectedly, on a completely unplanned trip. I was only in Calcutta for little over a week, but managed to devote some carefully chosen hours to photographing the city where I was born.
It was the third week of October and while the humidity was still high, the early-morning mists were just rolling in, heralding the onset of cooler weather.
I was shooting a series of dawn shots along the Strand, by the banks of the Hooghly River, when I decided to make my way to the racecourse nearby.
The Royal Calcutta Turf Club was one of my father’s favourite weekend haunts and to honour his memory, I was compelled to walk across the road to shoot some scenes from a venue he knew so well. I shot the grandstand, the straight, the wooden rails, the final bend – and then I noticed that a couple of racehorses had completed trackwork and were being walked by their handlers towards the Hastings stables.
In the distance was the Victoria Memorial, one of the greatest symbols of this 300-year-old city. (You can view some of my other photographs of the wonderful building here.)
Would I be able to shoot the VM (as the splendid marble edifice is popularly known) over the saddle of one of the racehorses? One short sprint later, I was able to convince the horse’s handler that I was not daft (Mrs Authorblog might not agree) and that all I wanted was an unusual photograph.
All of sixty seconds later, I was done. But the handler was in no hurry. I thanked him a second time and put the lens cap back on my camera. Then I realised he wanted a tip. I rapidly computed the value of the rupees in my wallet and realised he would get an infinitely good deal because I had no small-denomination notes.
Money changed hands. Honour was restored. Handler and racehorse departed towards the stables.
Dad, if you were alive, you would smile at this closing line – but let’s just say I was the second generation of our clan to lose money on the thoroughbreds here at the Calcutta racecourse.
The first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?
I started noticing blogs because, among my six very techie grown children, I have two blogging sons-- neither of whom I read much any more. (Well, to be truthful, the one rarely blogs any more--life and parenthood has caught up with him. The other writes about stuff that does not interest me much, but I check every once in a while to make sure he is still breathing.) Their blogs got me to reading others that were linked, and eventually, when our ISP started offering blogging, I signed on. I blogged about ten times in eighteen months, and that blog has disappeared (I just went to check to see if it was still there.)
I just went to read what I said about why I started again. You know, reasons change. This is what I said in my first post: "I've been visiting a couple of interesting blogs and have decided to start a new one myself. I started a blog a couple of years ago - it has a grand total of about ten entries.
Rather than resurrect that one, I decided to start anew. I think that the difference will be that I can actually find this one, and maybe anyone who might actually be interested in my musings will, too. My plan is to actually post to this one."
Well, I have continued to be able to find this one and found it fun, and some others have, too, so I go on.
What's the story behind your blog name?
This one is easy, but it will take a while. To start with, I have to explain the Katney part. Back in the dark ages we had finally gone beyond the "There is no way we will ever have a computer in this house!" through "No way no how will we ever have the Internet in this house!" We were arranging our first Internet account. Knowing nothing about how to put together an e-mail address, we assumed it was as the local representative of brigadoon dot com explained: You take the first three letters of your name and the last three letters of his name.
So we became katney at brigadoon dot com. (I spell it out this way because, while brigadoon dot com the ISP faded into the mists about six months later, right after we had paid our next quarter's connection bill BTW, the domain name has since been picked up by promoters of the musical and all that surrounds its story.) We have moved to different providers, but I have remained Katney through them all.
Now for the Kaboodle part. The spring before I started the blog I had been teaching middle school language arts. We read a book in the seventh grade class that was rich with vocabulary -- sometimes used in unique ways. One of the expressions used was that the girl had "a whole caboodle of" something. I'd never seen or heard the word used that way, but it worked for me in regards to alliteration and meaning. My blog is a whole caboodle of things.
BTW, I also have the "---Yakima Valley Daily Photo" which I started in July. The name of that one is pretty obvious except for the "---" part. That's the only way I could get the title to show over the dark corner of the picture in the header.
What is the best thing about being a blogger?
I am shy. Honest! I get paranoid in crowds. Ha, you say, but honest, I do. The things that have enabled me to do some of the things that I do are Boy Scouts, quilting, and blogging. Grin -- you figure that out!
I know that I can go to almost any city and find a friend. For example, Kim from Seattle Daily Photo met me in support during the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk in Seattle when other friends had not managed to make it as they had assured me they would. I was feeling pretty alone in a huge crowd at that point, and seeing Kim was a big boost. I had never met her before, except through the blogs. We immediately shared a huge hug.
The Internet has lots of ways to connect with people, and I think blogging is one of the best. Use it wisely. Photoblogging has also given me a fresh eye for an image. It has brought out the artist in me and take me places I might not have been inclined to go. What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?
Well, for starters, it helps if you can find your blog -- LOL. No, actually, it really helps if you can find the blogs of others who are models of good blogging. Bookmark those you like or do the feed thing or "following" in Blogger. Read other blogs and see what works for folks. Then do your own thing.
Comment on blogs. Most folks follow up on comments most of the time, so you will get visits. But blog for yourself. Keep your layout clean and easy to read, too. That makes a difference to me on whether I come back. Getting involved in a weekly meme gives you an impetus, too. (Is this where I get to hawk Odd Shots Monday?)
What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?
I knew this question was coming and I knew it would be the hardest of all. I don't think it possible to identify the ONE most significant blog post I have ever read. If I went around to each blogger and asked them your next question -- the most significant that they have written -- I would say that for each of the blogs I read, that that might well be the most significant post I have read.
When a blogger puts their heart and soul into a post, then that post is truly significant. When a blogger shares something that is truly precious to them, then that post is truly significant. When a blogger takes a risk in a post, then that is truly significant. When a blogger explores an experience that helped to form them into the person they are, then that is a truly significant post.
You've had a number of these kinds of posts, especially when you write about your mother. So have most bloggers, so I don't want to single them out.
What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?
It could very well be the first time I did Sunday's Psalm -- (though that means changing the "written" to "posted".) It came of a realization I had had during a prayer time that I was boxing up various facets of my life and keeping them separate. Up to that time the only other of my interests that I had incorporated regularly into my blogging were hiking and travel. Except for a couple of random posts, you wouldn't have known that I was a person of faith.
That first Sunday's Psalm was a turning point in that way, and it has become something I make sure I have prepared no matter what else is going on.
Today's Sunday Roast with Katney is the 52nd in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.
A Christian bus driver in Southampton has refused to use a vehicle with the atheist slogan: "There's probably no God". Ron Heather walked off his shift in protest. He has since agreed to return with the promise he would only have to drive the buses if there were no others available.
Imperfections generally attract my attention more often than perfect sights. My camera is magnetically drawn to rusty objects, odd sights, quirky objects that are way off the beaten track. You know the feeling, right?
Not surprisingly, this week’s theme was just the perfect challenge. This is one of a set of Vision kitchen utensils that are a few years older than the eldest Authorbloglet.
I’m not owning up to chipping the rim (not unless you twist my arm) but I will own up to putting it aside so I could photograph it before throwing it out with great regret.
While I was checking these shots at full reslution on my computer, the middle Authorbloglet walked past and pointed out something I hadn't even noticed - that the chip is as close to a perfect "love heart" as you'll ever get.
A crook in Warsaw, Poland tried to dodge a police search by disguising himself as a carpet. He rolled himself up in a giant rug and propped himself up against a balcony wall. After a two-hour search, a detective went out onto the balcony for a smoke and noticed the carpet was trembling.
I shot this a few days ago, about head-height on the Exxon Mobil building here at Southbank, Melbourne. It’s just a simple depiction of two side-by-side fire hose connections mounted on an exterior wall.
But you wouldn’t believe how many people chuckle and say these images remind them of something else.
I’m standing here in awe of your drawing of a donkey But I cannot understand why the foreleg is wonky And my fellow art critics seem to think it’s rather crass To be checking artwork titled "Mrs Wotherspoon’s ass".
This photo sequence was shot at Ocean Grove, on Victoria’s surf coast. It was about 8.30pm and I’d noticed cloud starting to build up, low on the horizon. That’s always a good sign, if you’re hoping for a decent series of sunset shots.
So I went outside with my camera, while trying to pretend that I really had no idea that dinner with the extended family was imminent. There was an interesting range of colours in the summer sky - yes, it is summer here in Australia.
There was a striking blue high in the sky, a range of medium pastels lower down and finally the promise of gold low down on the wide horizon. I shot these frames with my favourite 18-125mm lens, which gives a huge range of options.
I shot these from a street, hoping that the dog-walker coming towards me wouldn’t think I was photographing him. I just didn’t have time for explanations. I shot high, I shot wide, I shot horizontal, I shot vertical. I composed Big Sky shots to encompass the entire range of striking hues.
And then, as the gold and the dark clouds raked the lowest segment of the sky, I composed Flat Sky frames for best effect. No matter how striking a sunset is, you always need a bit of luck, an extra dimension that is sometimes accidental. Luckily, there was a street sign, a Give Way in the shape of an inverted triangle, slap-bang in the middle of my field of vision.
As the colours began to concentrate in one long band in the dying seconds of the day, that simple street sign became a silhouette on which to anchor the last streaks of light. For this last shot (below) I opted for nearby branches to anchor the scene, using the street sign in soft focus and slightly off-centre.
A US man had his gun confiscated after he accidentally shot a lavatory bowl in a restaurant toilet. The handgun went off while he was hitching up his pants. Police say the bullet shattered the toilet and sent sharp shards into the man's arm. No one was hurt in the unusual incident.
Wherever I travel, I seem to take photographs of unusual objects. But doors, for some reason, seem to be a constant theme for me. Is there a Freudian reason for this fascination? Maybe because we, the human race, use doors to control access to ourselves, our lives, our thoughts and indeed our very existence.
Doors, I guess, are like the human mind. We open them readily to those we recognise and love, while (generally) we close them to those we do not know or trust or those whose proximity brings more questions than answers.
Doors are the most ancient method of protecting our personal space. I've also found that doors are like snowflakes, for you seldom find two that are identical. Perhaps that explains why the opening sequence of Monsters Inc sticks in our collective consciousness, as the myriad doors traverse a never-ending roller-coaster production line.
Recently I posted Traffic Jamb, then a couple of weeks ago, I posted a shot of this burgundy doorway in Calcutta, India and last week I followed it up with this random shot of a weathered blue door in Fremantle, Western Australia. I received a lot of comments and emails suggesting that I start a regular series.
Yes, I like the idea. So here is the next instalment in the series. This was shot in September, in Whitehorse, capital city of the Yukon. I was there at the invitation of Yukon Tourism and this was one of about 200 shots I took in the last couple of hours on Canadian soil before I caught my flight back to Australia.
Those who have read my travel writing and my blog would know that the Yukon has occupied a special place in my consciousness since my first trip there in 1999. So I guess it's fitting that this was taken in Paradise Alley. This part of Canada has always been my idea of paradise.