Having had this page as a 'guestbook' for eighteen months and not doing anything with it, the least I could do is promote this page to 'BLOG' status.

Saturday 31st May 14:00

I had a dilemma today. Tanya's brother was due to be married this afternoon in Godalming, yet I was very concerned about passing my tonsillitis on to any one else, particularly as I knew that there would be babies and children there. In the end, I opted to go, mainly because it's not every day that Tanya's brother gets married and apart from the illness, I felt well enough to go.

Her brother and wife-to-be had decided to have a Quaker wedding, a religion I'd heard of yet knew nothing about. What a fascinating experience! The 'service' which is more like a meeting lasts approximately an hour and the congregation sits in silence until the bride and groom decide when they marry each other. They vows are short and sweet: Friend, In the presence of these our Friends, I take thee to be my <wife/husband>, promising with Divine assistance to be unto thee a loving and faithful <wife/husband> as long as we both on Earth shall live". It's very relaxed, no preaching, no hymns to sing out of tune to!


The congregation then sits in silence and anyone on the floor is allowed to stand up and speak their thoughts, this could be a congratulatory message to the bride and groom or it could be about the subject of love and what it means to everyone.
The meeting closes when the two 'elders' shake hands. I'm not quite sure who the elders are and what that side of things means but whatever it meant, the silence was broken! Every single person in the congregation then signs the marriage certificate as a witness.

Afterwards, the reception was held at Nurscombe Farm. The estate lies hidden within the Thorncombe Valley, situated near Bramley, some 30 miles south of London. What an outstanding area, just idyllic! The house started life back in the 1500s as a hall house and is enclosed by old barns, walls and stables with varying ages. The surrounding 40 acres of land is either farmland or woodland, both of which are still managed.

Enough of me singing its praises, please click on the wedding photograph I took to look at their website.


Friday 30th May 14:50

Arrived at the Health Centre in Havant for my appointment with the doctor. Ironically enough, the doctor I was meant to see was ill (only I manage to do things like that!) It turns out that I have the viral strain of Tonsillitis (don't visit this link if you're squeamish).


So, having been given a prescription for Phenoxymethylpenicillin and being advised to also buy some Ibuprofen, I went and visited Lloyds Pharmacy in Emsworth to spend just short of £10 for my troubles. It's expensive being ill... not only do you lose out on pay, you spend money that you aren't earning!

lloyds pharmacy

Later on in the day, I watched 'The Eye' with Jessica Alba. Rather than give too much away, take a look at the website by clicking on the image below.

the eye

Thursday 29th May 17:24

Got in from work and fell asleep for quite some time due to feeling quite ill. I had quite a few things to sort out but just didn't feel well enough to do them and made myself an appointment at the doctors for tomorrow morning.

Ended up listening to a few tracks on iTunes, namely a band called Flogging Molly that Lee (my mate in the USA) introduced me to. Whilst listening, they very much reminded me of an Irish band that I used to go and see regularly in the north west, The Bogtrotters, led by frontman Tim Flaherty.

the bogtrotters

It's true about live music, particularly groups that play both traditional and Irish-stylised music, you can't beat the raw sound of live music. I have two CDs by The Bogtrotters and although they're good, they're just incomparable against hearing them live.

Having said all that, if you'd like to buy any of their CDs, please click either of the sleeve covers below to do so.

too hot to trot live in dusseldorf prison

Wednesday 28th May 17:17

Having banded about a few of my ideas for the limited edition 'Fouled Anchor' beer label, a more regal and traditional approach, steering away from 'jovial' had been decided.
Whilst drawing a few thumbnail sketches (using the semi-circle of the anchor to form the 'c' of the word 'Anchor', I realised that the whole design was looking imbalanced. I was just about the scrap the whole thing when something suddenly clicked...

fouled anchor

I shall keep you up-to-date with any advancements...

Tuesday 27th May 19:53

Since deciding what to include in the 'PP On The Road' exhibition, I had two prints processed from negatives (remember them?) Whilst doing so, I also had them scanned in, along with two other negatives where the prints of them have done exceedingly well in competition.

Two of the prints in the exhibition are 'Hitchcock Presents...' (top left) and 'Sky Harvest' (top right) and the other negatives I had scanned were, 'Dead or Alive' (bottom left) and 'Becalmed' (bottom right).
Click any of the images to view that images' main page.

hitchcock presents... sky harvest
dead or alive becalmed

Monday 26th May 22:54

This is the last Bank Holiday until August, so what did it decide to do? Yes, it rained. It didn't rain just a little bit, it rained a lot. And it's been incredibly windy as well - it's still blowing a gale out there as we speak.
Actually, we've been incredibly fortunate with the weather this past week, particularly as we've both had a week off. I shouldn't grumble at all although I'm sure the statistics of it raining on a Bank Holiday Monday must be very high.

During the course of the afternoon I managed to catch the best part of the second half of the play-off final for the third team to be given promotion from the Coca-Cola League 2 up to League 1. It was an all north-west final between two clubs with very little distance between them, Rochdale versus Stockport County.


What an absolutely thrilling final it was, particularly as the other two finals were won 1-0. Even when it was within the dying seconds of the game, you couldn't predict who would be victorious. Rochdale had gone ahead in the first half with a Rory McArdle header in the 24th minute, only for Nathan Stanton to deflect a teasing cross into his own net in the 34th minute.

Shortly after the break, Anthony Pilkington headed an amazing goal in from a cross which bounced awkwardly in front of him. The game remained 2-1 until the 67th minute when Liam Dickinson somehow managed to drive a fierce shot between the goalkeeper and his near post. Rochdale looked down-and-out at 3-1 until winger Adam Rundle scored a superb volley from a poor clearance in the 77th minute. Suddenly there was everything to play for and right up until the final whistle you thought that extra-time was on the cards.

A pulsating match which finally ended an 11 year absence of promotion for Stockport County. Having said that, the result would have probably been even harder on the Dale fans for they will now start their 35th consecutive season in the lowest League division.

Sunday 25th May 13:58

Tanya and I had decided that we needed some exercise, so we decided to go to the Queen Elizabeth Country Park and go on a walk, roughly five miles long. It is Hampshire's biggest country park with around 20 miles of trails for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Within the park is Butser Hill National Nature Reserve, the hill being the highest point on the south downs. Click on the logo to find out more about the park and its surrounding area.

Queen Elizabeth Country Park

Today, we walked along a small section of Hangers Way, a 21 mile-long route which begins at Alton Railway Station, out into the lush Hampshire countryside, along a series of steep-sided wooded hills, known as “The Hangers”, through the pretty market town of Petersfield and finishes at Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Click here to download a PDF all about the walk.

Saturday 24th May 19:00

The first of the three Football League play-off finals (this one was to determine the third team that would be promoted to the Premiership) kicked off this afternoon. The tie was between Bristol City and Hull City and I was backing Hull to win. Some years ago, a friend of mine was president at Hull University and a whole gang of us went over a few times and stopped over at his place and went on the famous Beverley Road pub crawl - this was as good a reason as any to back them.

university of hull

It was a cracking game with the only goal coming from Dean Windass in the 38th minute. It was an absolute scorching volley from the 39 year old and meant that it took Hull City into the top flight for the first ever time in the club's 104 year history. The fact that Windass is Hull born and bred made the victory even more fitting.

coca-cola championship play-off final

Later on, we went for an evening meal at Nicolino's Italian Restaurant in Emsworth to celebrate Tanya's daughter's birthday. It was our second visit to the restaurant and I have to say that I found the food exceptional once again.


Friday 23rd May 04:13

Possibly my earliest blog entry ever... the reason? I was up all night working. I had an awful lot of work to catch up on and, rather than it eat into the majority of the day, it was easier to stay up for most of the night in order to complete it all.
Anyway, I managed to get my head down for a fair while and catch up on some much-needed sleep. We both did very little really, apart from look through photos from our visit to the north west.

Later on though, we decided to get ourselves out to Emsworth and pay Mother Kelly's Fish and Chip Shop a visit and then ate our chippy tea at the Mill Pond.
Once we got back, it was Friday night viewing on BBC1... namely Question of Sport followed by Have I Got News For You and then later it was a very entertaining Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (watch the latest in the series by clicking the logo below and accessing BBC iPlayer).

Question of Sport - Have I Got News For You Question of Sport Have I Got News For You
Friday Night with Jonathan Ross

Thursday 22nd May 12:57

Having spent the majority of the day indoors yesterday, we both decided that it was time to go out somewhere. We first went for a brisk walk around Emsworth Mill Pond and then decided to go and have lunch at The Pavilion Tearooms at Stansted Park.

Stansted Park sits on the Hampshire-Sussex border and is one of the South's most elegant stately homes. It is set in 1750 acres of enchanting park and woodland and began as a hunting lodge in the 11th century. The estate has seen a succession of owners with many royal and distinguished guests over the centuries. More information can be found by clicking on the logo below.

stansted park

Wednesday 21st May 23:00

Tonight was the much-awaited European Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester United. It was Chelsea's first encounter of this particular final and it was also the first ever time that two English clubs had met in the final. A recipe for some serious entertainment...

chelsea v united

I think everyone knew that it was going to be a fast-paced game with either team's defence remaining solid and yet it took United only 26 minutes to break the deadlock with a Cristiano Ronaldo header. From then on, I just wondered if Chelsea would show enough character to come back into it.
Sure enough, they did, even though Frank Lampard's goal was fortuitous in the making by taking a couple of deflections, with the ball landing at his feet.

The second half was even more entertaining, even though the scoreline remained the same. Both Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard hit the woodwork - it seemed that the end result may well go United's way, for luck seemed to have evaded Chelsea.

Even extra time couldn't settle the overall outcome. After 120 minutes of end-to-end stuff, it had to be concluded with a dreaded penalty shoot-out. I think it's a crying shame for any team to have to go through such an ordeal and I'm sure there could be fairer ways of deciding the champions.

Bizarrely enough, Ronaldo's penalty was saved by Petr Cech. It was down to John Terry to finally settle the game and he slipped whilst taking his penalty and the ball veered off to the right, clipping the post as it did so. It was down to sudden death and I was so glad that my feelings towards either team was impartial. In the end, the match was won by Manchester United, for Edwin van der Sar saved Nicolas Anelka's shot.

The result meant that Manchester United triumphed for the second time in ten years and was a poignant win for the memory of the United players who lost their lives 50 years ago in the Munich air crash.

Tuesday 20th May 10:05

After saying goodbye to my Mum and Dad, we set off on our homeward journey with lots of time to spare.

Apart from some fairly heavy traffic on the M6, we made good ground and stopped off at Norton Canes (just off the M6 Toll road) service station for lunch. As far as service stations go, I think Norton Canes stands up above the majority of others; whether this is due to the fact that it attracts different clientele or it's relatively new compared with most, I don't know. More details can be found by clicking on the RoadChef logo below.


Even though the M6 Toll road may have its critics, I think it's a marvellous idea. Okay, some may argue the fact that £4.50 is a bit steep, perhaps it is, one thing I do know though is that to me, it's worth every penny of getting stuck in heavy traffic through Birmingham. For more details about the M6 Toll and its pricing (amongst other things), please click on the logo.

M6 toll

Once we were well on our way down the A34, we decided to take a scenic route home through some of the idyllic small villages that are dotted around North Hampshire - St Mary Bourne being one of them.

Monday 19th May 10:58

We had all decided to go out for the day, without any specific plan of action.
We first visited Anglezarke, a civil parish of the Borough of Chorley, and took several photographs of Waterman's Cottage and surrounding bluebell woods.

waterman's cottage

After that, we visited The Lower Barn at Rivington and had some lunch before heading off to the Borough of Pendle which is part of the Ribble Valley.

borough of pendle

Most of the exploration was done by car although we did stop at Downham to have a look around and then had a pit-stop at Bashall Barn on our return journey for afternoon teas and cakes.

bashall barn

Sunday 18th May 13:00

With two very hectic days behind us, we all went down to the Thatch and Thistle for lunch.
The pub/restaurant is on the A6, on the outskirts of Blackrod and has been home to many buildings/owners.

When I was very little, I remember it being The Happy Pig - it then changed hands and was Rivington View Lodge for some time. After a good number of months, possibly years, the place was pulled down which made way for a new building and a new start. The new pub/restaurant then became The Pavilion which was a success for a short while but quickly went downhill. The pub that took its place was The Drunken Duck and that seemed to really take off, yet once again, it failed.

Since becoming the Thatch and Thistle, it has kept good beer, serves very good food (and reasonably priced with it) and has become a long-awaited success.

thatch and thistle

I asked my Mum to take a photograph of the pub sign and I have since redrawn it as a vector-based artwork - this may come in handy for the pub/restaurant doesn't have a website so it might be worth contacting them and designing one for them.

Saturday 17th May 16:56

Today was FA Cup Final day, Cardiff City versus Portsmouth, Wales versus England.
Not sure of the FA Cup Final statistics... Premier League meeting Championship, English club meeting Welsh club but I suspect that the unusual odds may have outweighed any other Cup Final in history.

FA Cup Final

After a rather entertaining first half with a considerable amount of chances for both sides, the two teams went into the break with Portsmouth being 1-0 the better of Cardiff City, thanks to a smash and grab goal by Kanu. Not the prettiest of goals, I have to say, yet they all count. Cardiff City managed to equalise right on the stroke of half time, yet the goal was disallowed due to David James running out too far to take a cross and Glenn Loovens somehow handling the ball before beautifully chipping it in over James.

The second half was rather boring, with very few chances for either side, the final score was 1-0 to Portsmouth. A absolutely brilliant result for manager Harry Redknapp, the Pompey team and the city as a whole.

Friday 16th May 19:30

Having driven up to the north west last night, it was finally time to open the first 'PP on the road' exhibition.

As you will well know, I'm a member of a great online photographic forum called 'The Photo Portal'.
Tanya, my partner and a friend of ours, Ian Aldcroft, set up the forum around six years ago and it has gone from strength to strength, to the point where Tanya had the idea of hosting exhibitions to showcase the members' work around the country. As far as we are aware, this is the first of its kind in the UK.
With a good two years in-the-making, eight of us finally agreed to go ahead with the exhibition and the launch of the exhibition was tonight at Rivington Park Galleries.

To find out more about the exhibitors and the location of the event, please click the image below.

PP on the road

Back Row: Myself, David J White, Paul Tilley, Ian Aldcroft
Front Row: Mike Crowe, Tanya Lowe, Joe Kelly

Photograph courtesy of my Mum.

Thursday 15th May 07:22

Woke up this morning and it's raining - the first time for a good while. We've had some brilliant weather recently and the rain prompted me to find a picture of an old BBC magnetic cloud symbol (of which I have redrawn).


Whilst finding a picture, it reminded me of an absolutely superb short sketch by one of my favourite comedians, Billy Connolly. Back in 1985 (I cannot believe it's that long ago now), he did 'An Audience with Billy Connolly' for ITV and the whole show became a legend in its own right.

The dialogue goes something like: "They stick pictures of wee clouds and lightning on the board. You don't need to do that! I know what a bloody cloud looks like! Just tell me, I'll understand!". Classic.
Please click on the sleeve cover if you're interested in buying it from Amazon.

billy connolly

Our 'PP on the road' exhibition was featured in the Bolton News tonight. Fame at last! More about the whole event will be featured in the news section of my website.

Wednesday 14th May 23:36

With the 'up and downs' almost finalised within the English football leagues, there are the matters of the competition cup finals to be fought out - the first of which was the UEFA cup tonight between Russia's Zenit St. Petersburg and Scotland's Glasgow Rangers, played at the City of Manchester Stadium.

I'll always back a British club in any competition and was hoping for a Rangers' win, however they'd just ran out of steam. The first half was a bit of a nothing affair whereas Rangers came out in the second half looking to want to win, it's just that all their build up work seemed to fizzle away.

In the end it finished 2-0 to Zenit, the first goal coming in the 72nd minute with Igor Denisov cutting through the Rangers' defence with a great one-two and the second was scored in injury time by Konstantin Zyryanov, who tapped in a well-worked move with Fatih Tekke being the provider.


Tuesday 13th May 07:51

Thought I'd give one of our local radio stations a plug today... I very rarely listen to the radio at home (or in the car for that matter) but this station is on whilst at work and it plays a good variety of music ranging from 60s to present day.
Once again, I've had to redraw the logo for I couldn't locate a vector graphic on the internet.

delta fm

Monday 12th May 23:01

Today, I thought I'd provide a link to a page which is quite sad in some respects.
I was first employed as a graphic designer back in June 1986 and this was well before computers were the standard when it came to designing. Back then, the majority of artwork was made using Letraset and Rotring pens. Drawing boards, set squares, pencils and compasses were also essential back then. How times have changed... who'd have thought that 22 years from then, I'd be writing about it for all the world to see?!

forgotten art supplies

Sunday 11th May 17:03

Well, after all my speculation (and football pundits), Bolton stayed in the Premiership. To say I'm delighted is an understatement! We were as good as safe due to our 2-0 win over Sunderland last week but the fact that we managed to grab a point at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea was the icing on the cake!


final table

Saturday 10th May 13:01

Went for a couple of walks today, both in Emsworth, the second accompanied with a trip to Mother Kelly's Fish and Chip Shop and eating it by the side of the Mill Pond as the sun was going down - can't get much better than that!

Earlier on in the day, whilst in the middle of my quest to find out more information about the landmarks we visited in London, I decided that I'd either download or redraw any of the landmark's particular logos and provide a link to that particular website. Please click on any of the logos below if you're planning a visit to the capital and would like to know more about the ones I have featured.

london 30 st mary axe st pancras station leadenhall market london eye

Friday 9th May 15:53

Having visited London recently, I wanted accompanying information with the images that I have added to my London gallery. The great thing is, is when you're surfing the net to find out history and interesting facts, you stumble upon some fantastic websites.

Finding out information about 30 St Mary Axe was easy, it has its own website, whereas finding information out about the Post Office Tower (sorry, I just cannot get used to calling it the BT Tower) was a different matter. Whilst searching, I found this a fantastic website, ICONS - A portrait of England. You can nominate your own English icons, you'll find everything from red telephone boxes to fish and chips! Obviously once a nomination has been put in place, it's up to the other visitors to the site to vote for that particular icon. You're also able to add interesting facts about the particular icon or just type in your experiences of visiting somewhere when you were a child. It really is a fascinating website - please click on the graphic below to visit it.


Thursday 8th May 06:58

Breaking news, just in... my Dad is 70 years old, yes, my Dad is 70 years old!
Have a wonderful day, Dad. All our love - Tanya and I will see you soon.

Wednesday 7th May 21:00

Whilst working tonight, I managed to catch a good deal of 'The Apprentice', BBC1 9pm, followed by 'You're Fired' over on BBC2 at 10pm. I'd watched bits of previous series and found it very entertaining (unlike the majority of other reality shows). Sir Alan Sugar is a likeable chap, although I'm sure there are many out there who would beg to differ!

Anyway, for anyone who missed the show tonight, you're able to catch up via BBC's iPlayer, just click The Apprentice's website banner below.

the apprentice

Don't know if anyone agrees with me but I really do wish that the person below is fired as soon as possible - I just cannot stand her in any way, shape or form.

claire young

Tuesday 6th May 09:33

My love of fonts quite often spreads to hatred. For every great font there is, there's an equally bad one. These dreadful fonts are usually used by people who have no idea about design - the classic one being people in education who abuse the use of Comic Sans... why? I'm not saying I'm right, although the fact that there's a website out there asking for it to be banned might suggest I am...

ban comic sans

Anyway, apart from Comic Sans, the font below is my Top Ten of ridiculously hideous fonts.
The font is called Magnificat and was designed in 1975 by an architect, Friedrich Peter. He also designed Vivaldi in 1993, which is a much simpler and flowing font.


Monday 5th May 20:30

Woke up this morning and the soles of my feet, my hips and pretty much everything leg-related, ached!
I wish I'd taken my pedometer with me yesterday so that I'd have a better idea of just how far we walked. Never mind, I'm sure it was some distance.

Both Tanya and I spent the majority of the day looking through the images we'd taken in London and had a well-earned rest in between to watch a film called, 'This is England', set in and around the Falklands War and delves deeply into racism and the National Front. Click on the image below to visit the film's website.

this is england

Later on, we watched the second part of 'Flood', a two-part drama on ITV1. The effects in it were absolutely fantastic, however, the acting was cringeworthy in places and luckily the lead role from Robert Carlyle helped it immensely.
By clicking on the image below, you are able to access the ITV website and catch up on both episodes.


Sunday 4th May 21:28

Had an absolutely brilliant day today, Tanya and I went up to London to meet Fen, a friend of ours who we've both known for a good number of years via photography forums, yet never met!

Rather than drive, we opted to go on the train from Havant to Waterloo - this meant that we could both have a drink and not have to worry about driving. We boarded the 07:50 train and arrived in London at 09:19, Fen was waiting for us and after our introductions we started a major yomp around London. Luckily, we all prefer a good walk than spend half the day on the Underground - as photographers, there's really no point in using the Tube unless it's absolutely necessary.

london eye

The itinerary for the day was as follows: London Eye (pictured above), crossed Hungerford Bridge and walked to Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and then on to Piccadilly Circus (pictured below). Our next stop (although it wasn't originally planned) was the Post Office Tower, now owned by BT. We then spent quite a bit of time in The British Museum although with the day being so muggy, it was acting as a huge greenhouse and it wasn't long before we were all suffering from dehydration! Time for a pit stop in a pub where we all enjoyed a refreshing pint. We then walked to Saint Pancras station because a good deal of it has been refurbished since it has now become an international station. From there we caught the tube to Liverpool Street Station and then walked to 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin). Leadenhall Market was our next port of call and from there we walked across London Bridge on to the South Bank and had an early evening meal and a couple of pints of Timothy Taylor Landlord at Wetherspoon's.

piccadilly circus

After we'd let our meal (and pints) settle, we walked down to Tower Bridge and then caught the tube from there to Southwark station to take some shots. It was then a short tube ride back to Waterloo where we said our goodbyes and Tanya and I caught the 19:00 train back to Havant.

I have an awful lot of shots to sort through, which will appear in my UK:London gallery very soon.

Saturday 3rd May 19:07

Well, I'm 99% ecstatic, for Bolton Wanderers have pretty much secured their Premiership status for another season. Bar a mathematical travesty, we're staying up. We managed to beat Sunderland at the Reebok by 2-0, the first of the goals coming from El-Hadji Diouf which was an absolute pearler. The second goes with many thanks to Sunderland's substitute, Daryl Murphy.

bolton v sunderland

Friday 2nd May 23:33

Had a chippy tea from Mother Kelly's in Emsworth tonight and later on, I paid the town another visit so that I could take this abstract shot. Some may immediately recognise what it is, others won't have a clue, so I shall leave it that way!


Thursday 1st May 10:10

During this week, I've been working on a design for an HTML email for Montague Bikes. It's a promotion they're running specifically for the up-and-coming Bank Holiday weekend.

Tool-Up for the Bank Holiday!


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