Port Logan Plastic Trap

The coastline of Dumfries & Galloway around the Port Logan area is beautiful. One day in March 2017, we’d travelled all the way from Carlisle to explore the area because we’d never been before. We took the path north from the carpark which led alongside & behind the Logan Fish Pond.

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The thing about this part of the UK coastline is that it protrudes into the Irish Sea, on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and it gets all the weather and waves thrown right at it. It’s also very close to a major shipping route. So we shouldn’t have been surprised when we saw a few bits of plastic; we just weren’t prepared for the absolute mountains of it.

P1110287.JPGThe deep natural clefts created by the local geology has trapped literally tons of plastic detritus. The apparent edge of the tide of plastic is not actually the edge – underneath that grass there’s more plastic bottles etc, you can hear them crunch & crack when you walk across the area.



There were obviously lots of large pieces of industrial waste plastic containers etc

But there were numerous smaller domestic items : (deep breath…)

A baby shoe, balloon knot, balloon ribbon, beads (toy jewellery or fishing?) a black comb, a toilet brush, some bubblewrap, the handle of a Bullworker, a bunny-shaped jelly mould, a dog’s chew toy, a child’s pink brush, another dog chew toy, a baby’s dummy, a brush, a green lid, a red disposable lighter, a margarine tub, a Nerd disc, a Heinz mayonnaise bottle (with trapped flies), a squashed football, a pill bottle and piece of sponge, a pink horse (!) a plastic duck numbered 68284 in pen (a duck race winner perhaps?), a shoe, a bit of toy with a sword emblem, tampon applicators, and a Tictacs cap, awkwardly trapped between some bits of granite.

(draws another breath…)

Another shoe, a coke bottle, a chipped container and a button caught in a crevice shared with a sea slater.

Take hope, as alongside these horrors, nature was doing its best to fight back.



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Carlisle Photo Festival 2013

(update to the post below, the former Carlisle Post Office is now the Halston Aparthotel)


From the website for Carlisle Photo Festival:

“Carlisle Photo Festival was founded in 2012 with the wish to focus on bringing emerging photographers’ work out to the public by displaying their work in urban and accessible spaces.The aim for Carlisle Photo Festival is to create an international and national platform for contemporary photography.A platform that explores all aspects in photography and where emerging talents, professionals, amateurs and photography enthusiasts can meet”

As soon as I heard about this event I knew I wanted to visit it – however we could only visit the festival on Sunday (the last day) so only two of the venues were still open: the Old Post Office and The Galley.

The last time I was inside the Post Office building on Warwick Road it was probably to buy stamps or send a parcel or something and was in slightly better nick than what you can see now. It closed in 2008 and they are about to convert it into a smart new hotel (not sure if there are any original features left to be preserved though). I took a sneaky pic through a hole in the partition into the old sorting area beyond.

There were some interesting ideas shown in the photos, although we thought that some of them were a bit pretentious (e.g. a bland photo of a few heather plants on a hillside, which honestly could have been anywhere). I liked the central images taken with old cameras of various places within Cumbria, the Kansas pics, microscope images taken using a phone, and the face-swap photoshop portraits.

Next we headed to the Galley, located in the Atlas Works , originally a Victorian textile mill. I honestly didn’t know this gallery was here so that alone was worth the visit. I found these photos a bit more interesting although the only ones I can remember as I write are the Lithuanian ones. I think I would have preferred to see more photos from each photographer; in some cases there were only 2 images per artist.

Overall, I personally would have liked to have seen more colourful images – perhaps the selection were chosen to match the more industrial settings, not sure. I seem to remember the brightest ones!

The Old Post Office, Warwick Road, Carlisle

Inside Carlisle old Post Office

Inside Carlisle old Post Office

Inside Carlisle old Post Office

Inside Carlisle old Post Office

Inside Carlisle old Post Office

Inside Carlisle old Post Office

Inside Carlisle old Post Office

Inside Carlisle old Post Office

The Galley, Atlas Works, Nelson Street, Denton Holme, Carlisle

Inside Galley, Nelson Street, Carlisle

Inside Galley, Nelson Street, Carlisle

Gmail namesakes fail ?

I’ve had a gmail account since the first days of the service – so I’m lucky to have an address that’s based on my real name. I discovered fairly early on in my internet timeline that I share my name with a romantic novelist. I know – it’s hilarious. I bought one of her books on eBay once, out of curiosity.  On its arrival, one look at it told me it wasn’t my cup of tea, but it always makes me “heh” seeing a paperback with my name on the spine, on my own shelf – so there it stays.

So ffw a couple of years, and I’m using my gmail account for job applications, personal contacts etc – the sort of thing where having your name as your email address is handy. I rarely get spam, because it’s mostly from very trusted sources.


I have a few different email addresses, including a yahoo one I pretty much double dare to be spam rammed – used for internet competitions, prize draws, etc. And actually, yahoo is pretty good at deciding what’s spam (I look in the folder occasionally to remind myself to be grateful for this service).

Meanwhile my gmail account has stayed pretty trash-free – however I did start getting emails that weren’t for me. I thought at first they were spam, but they were properly addressed, starting “dear-“, and when I looked into it the sender actually existed and had a publishing company, the one which happened to publish the aforesaid novelist’s books. He obviously just got the address wrong, by guessing, which is daft because her real address at that time was easily found on her email address, based on her book title Blush.

There were a few emails from this publisher, so I forwarded a few on to the Blush address, with an explanatory note, and got no response. I also contacted the sender – same. Perhaps my emails were ironically being captured into their spam folders.

The emails from the publisher continued for a while, the tone getting increasingly impatient as he wasn’t getting a response from her – apparently there were some of her books left in his possession that he 1. wanted rid of and 2. wanted paid for.  He would therefore arrange for them to be delivered to her address in Malaga, Spain (please confirm). Then, he’d sent the books complete with invoice for the remaining balance. So I now had this amazing mental image of a shelved author (pun intended) sitting in her peaceful sunny garden, taking delivery of hundreds of paperbacks, cash on delivery. I wonder if this ever happened.

By now, I’d ‘LinkedIn’ to her profile, so surely she was aware there was a namesake, but actually there are loads of us and I am facebook friends with one in Australia who I friended in a moment of madness but actually I have quite a lot in common with. Our 2-way conversations can be confusing for observers.

Now for the last few months I’ve been the recipient of another rake of emails, this time with a nature reserve in California as the subject. Were they trying to contact the novelist? Based on the list of Directors, yes. Look! That website even has her blush email address on it.

Ridiculously, I received an email forwarded to me, which had originally come from the Blush address, which contained not only the novelist’s phone number, but her postal address! Look how close she lives to the nature reserve:

Newport Beach pic

So all this made me curious – what if she really DOES have a gmail address, and she is perhaps receiving some of MY mail? So I tried experimenting logging into gmail in different ways.

For example: My “real” address includes punctuation. I tried logging into my mail by omitting the punctuation, and I still got in. I also tried just using the name, without the gmail bit, and I got in. Why should this be possible?

Apparently – it’s SUPPOSED to do this!

This page on google support says:

Sometimes you may receive a message sent to an address that looks like yours but has a different number or arrangement of periods. While we know it might be unnerving if you think someone else’s mail is being routed to your account, don’t worry: both of these addresses are yours.

Gmail doesn’t recognize dots as characters within usernames, you can add or remove the dots from a Gmail address without changing the actual destination address; they’ll all go to your inbox, and only yours. In short:

  • homerjsimpson@gmail.com = hom.er.j.sim.ps.on@gmail.com
  • homerjsimpson@gmail.com = HOMERJSIMPSON@gmail.com
  • homerjsimpson@gmail.com = Homer.J.Simpson@gmail.com

All these addresses belong to the same person. You can see this if you try to sign in with your username, but adding or removing a dot from it. You’ll still go to your account.

If you get mail that seems to be intended for someone else, it’s likely that the sender entered the wrong address, just like if you’ve ever dialed a wrong phone number for someone. In these cases, we suggest contacting the original sender or website when possible to alert them to the mistake.

Who knew? I didn’t!

So this poor woman should tell her friends to stop using the guessed address – perhaps a longer warning email to her is required (although I think I’ll miss getting these interesting snippets of her life)… watch this space…

Notes from Lindisfarne trip 18-11-12

I love Holy Island [near Berwick-upon-Tweed, AKA Lindisfarne].

I used to live in the area and was a regular visitor then, but I fell in love with it during a visit many years earlier with friends. Over the years, over repeated visits, I keep discovering new places – something still surprising considering the place only covers about 2 square miles.

Last Sunday, we travelled early to catch sunrise at the tidal causeway.  The weather was expected to be calm, clear and cold, so we were both wrapped up in several layers. Parking at the causeway carpark, we walked as far as we could across the causeway (photo).  Brian set up his tripod & took photos.

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Southerness Lighthouse

We’d heard about plans to light up the lighthouse… an opportunity not to be missed …

Brian got a great photo and it has been used in the December 2012 issue of the “Dumfries & Galloway Life” magazine.

Mine will be on flickr soon, but for now: