Retro Day 4 …. Apple Pie


I thought I would try a little “Still Life” today. Perhaps the amount of apples is far too much, however, I have a little something in my mind for later.

I have been fortunate to keep up with the latest devises that technology now makes available and affordable on the open market. For years I bumbled along with many PC’s running the ever unstable Windows programme and with a constant fear that the blue screen of death was always loitering overhead and at the worst possible time would drop my work off a shear edge into the irretrievable chasm.

If ever watching a television programme or a film at the cinema, and then noticing an Apple Computer appearing into shot, instinctively I would engage the part of the brain known as Broca’s area, a thought from my silent vocabulary .. ‘Oh I wish I had one of those’ would then become public knowledge.

Why the brain reference? …. If you notice in the photograph, there is a Macintosh Classic computer, it was given to me recently by the widow of Christopher Upham Murray Smith, he was a prolific writer and penned so many books on the neurosciences and travelled the world addressing conference and seminars alike, most of his compositions were written in his study which over looks the sea, the same view I am fortunate to have, he was my upstairs neighbour, and most of his notes are stored on this same machine. It still fires up, with a noisy whirr but ever the old faithful.

This brings me onto another subject involving apples ….

Apple pie, served hot with cold pouring cream … Just like the Mac its a great American classic.  …..  Retro enough for you?

Retro Day 3 …. Go Bananas


Who remembers those awful furry characters on television consisting of a beagle, a gorilla, a lion and an elephant who rode around on six-wheel drive all-terrain buggies?

They used to drive me crazy, crazy as in, did my head in. How on earth anyone could relate to the insanity they portrayed and that ridiculous dirge “The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)” which, once got inside your head, you couldn’t remove. I bet you have already hummed or sang the tag-line since reading this …. haven’t you? …. come on now, dont lie.

How on earth Hannah & Barbera managed to write and produce thirty-one hour-long episodes I do not know, or to be honest care for that matter, the only thing I couldn’t understand was why on earth as a closing episode they didn’t drown the damn things.

The only Banana Split that interests me is one you would find on a Dessert Menu. Strangely I havent seen or tasted one in years, the smell and texture of the Clotted and Ice Creams along with the Chocolate sauce smothered over the already split banana on a long thin dish is a childhood memory and if you were really lucky a Glacé Cherry adorned the top, sometimes two.

Happy days.


Retro Day 2 …. SuperHeroes

IMG_3184.jpgWho wanted to be a SuperHero or an assistant when they were younger? …..                   STOP!     Actually thinking about it, why not now?

Of course we did, all of us at some point in our lives wanted to do something beyond anything natural, personally, I have always wanted to be able to fly  ….. !

Superman? No, couldn’t, as wearing your pants over your tights is like running a red light to the fashion police.

Batman neither, fancy wearing a shirt with a photograph of your tonsils on your chest, how daft is that!

Spider-Man? … Mmmm, I quite like his agility, although now a bit too old in the tooth for all that malarkey.

The Hulk? …. Couldnt afford all the clothes repairs.

Green lantern? … nah!

Robin? … pfft!

Wonder-Woman? ….. too much of a goodie two shoes.

And then there is poor old Thor, always in the wars and hurting himself … constantly crying out “I’m Thor, i’m Thor”

and finally … Captain America? … I dont think so !

But seriously, what would we call ourselves and just who would we be responsible to?

Me? … I’m just plain “Cooper-Man”   …. Responsible to? …. Myself of course.


Retro Day 1 …. A Constant in Life

Retro Union Jack .JPG

What better subject for the first days Lomo than the ‘Union Jack’

This shot was a hoper, blowing North Westerly onto the Southerly shores of Brixham. Torbay has a natural east facing harbour and is located on the South-West peninsula of England.

However not just at my home, it also flies high atop many a flagstaff across the United Kingdom. A notice to all that we are British and bloody proud of it too.

As the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics are soon to begin, you will see more of these displays of pride and delight as we [hopefully] reap as many Gold Medals as possible.

Go Team GB.

Mission I’m Possible

IMG_3102 (1).jpgHaving completed another seven-day challenge and enjoyed every moment of it, I have decided to continue with another weeks worth.

One of my biggest hobbies has always been photography, so in true retro fashion, I intend, starting from tomorrow to try to recreate the past by using the media of Lomography ….

What is Lomography you ask.


This is what makes lomography so fun–and so frustrating. Lomo cameras are highly unpredictable–like it has a life of its own. That’s why most of the beautiful lomo photos are ‘happy accidents’. So if both a professional and a beginner in photography takes up lomography for the first time, both are likely equal in the field of lomography. Coming up with beautiful photos taken by toy cameras require you to understand your camera, develop a friendship with them and this understanding will take some time and practice.

I shall be using a 1980”s Polaroid SE 635 Instant Camera, cheekily bid from eBay for £25, worth every punt dont you think.

Lets see what developes!

Day 7even …. Gerbera


Pretty little thing isn’t she !
Travelled all the way from South America, Africa and Asia., and often referred to as the African Daisy and is the fifth most common used cut flower in the world. There is something rather enchanting about the contrast of the black centre right to the pearlescent orange tips of the individual petals, each one actually another flower. You can understand why the birds and the bees and the butterflies are attracted to her.

I never fail to smile when I see her, sometimes tucked in tightly within other blooms often in a petrol station or supermarket flower display or like a child in a schoolroom that knows the answer to the question and desperately wishes to be noticed by her teacher.

I adore flowers as you probably know, but, just the one single Gerbera in a vase brightens a whole room up, or on a dining table. One of my favourite Italian restaurants is ‘ASK’ in the Cathederal square in Exeter and although it is one of a chain outlet, each establishment has its own style interior and architectural merit which to me always makes dining special. Even better when a companion adores good food too. And each time I visit, there she is sitting, her beauty radiating and ready to continue where we last left our silent conversation in the language of love and food.

The tall olive-skinned Italian waiter with slicked back hair and eyes you could fall into approaches and asks ‘Are you ready to order Sir?’

‘So, that s, One Insalata Caprese, Followed by Linguine Con Fruitti Di Mare, and to drink Sir?’

…. “Puglian, Bianco Salento, Si, Bottiglia …. due bicchieri ….. “

Pouring just the one glass ….. To the Gerbera …. Salute !

The  Gerbera also happens to be my daughter favourite flower.






Day 6ix …. Wild in the Aisle.

I have been making quite a few odd mistakes recently, the extreme heat and humidity I believe has been a big player in this term of events.

Once again, my extremely scrambled cerebellum certainly let me down big time earlier today. I thought I noticed a character from my past pushing a shopping trolley around our local branch of Saino’s, some of you may remember from a previous blog, [the big rotund lady with carrot red hair and green finger nails]?. Thinking to myself … after ten years, perhaps I should go and say my thank-you to her, after all she helped me cross all my remaining tee’s and dotted the few i’s i had left in my life at that particular time. I wanted to show her just how well I was and how far that I had come.

Todays society dictates, or it should, in general show a manner of professionalism, honesty and being polite. As I approached *her* I started to falter, was this to be a good idea?  After all, she was a Magistrate, and this was her private time, would she be offended if I broached the subject as I was once, a pile of correspondence in a folder tied with a silk ribbon, as were many of her other cases.  So, In true style and with great aplomb I sidled up to her like a panther, and just as the handsome inquisitive Professor Sycamore would have, I politely asked “Excuse me Madam, I am so sorry to bother you, but is your surname (smith), I think i recognise you?

Bearing in mind, my Mother used to have ‘a certain look’ that she gave me, especially if I had done something wrong, or shut me up before I was about to open my mouth at the wrong moment in time. She did an extremely good impression of Kaa the snake with those spinning hypnotic eyes.

So, here I am, metaphorically speaking, picking myself up off the floor after being power shunted into the shelves, almost as if an evil force had been protecting the invisible cape on the Aerodactyl from a sacred level in a PokémonGo game.

From the look on her face and how the word “NO” was expelled from her mouth, and the venom attached, I can only believe that she was incognito and had realised her identity had now been blown. She knew I was aware it was her.  As I watched her depart, the mist gently cleared from around her feet, she seemed to float over the terrazzo flooring as if on a cloaked hover-board. Holding onto the shopping cart with one hand and whilst certain items on the shelves were jumping into the cart as if committing suicide, my suspicions were confirmed when I saw the wand in her other as the silver tip glistened under the fluorescent light and the shadow of the invisible bats, as they flew about her head.

Q, What has this to do with a picture of my wild flower garden?

A, Anything that looks wild, leave well alone.


Day 5ive …. Rock Pool

Looks all quiet doesn’t it? 

Just because the Sun has not been out of bed for long doesn’t mean that the contents of this rock pool are still dozing, far from it.

The small stones on the bottom of the pool layer like potato slices in a dauphinoise dish, they have been there or near abouts for tens & hundreds of millions of years, nearby rock eruptions display fractures from heat by metamorphic forces and tectonic eruption. 

Black and Red anemone cling to the pool facets, tiny barnacles scar the rock surface and the on-guard limpits gingerly move about, hardy little buggers that they are, any attempts at trying to move them instigate superglue like tendencies. However, Mr Wrasse and his relative with their parrot like mouths have other ideas and are partial to these dromedary like sea humps. 

Nature abounds no rules, it’s eat or be eaten, and somewhere tucked deep down in a corner nearer the base of the pool seeking refuge is a tiny Crab, he is of belief that he will grow up to be the biggest predator in this environment. Nevertheless in a few years time he will be ready for mating. I know he saw me staring at him and he quickly backed away, but I am already drawing up plans …. 

I am going to arrange a date for him with my saucepan, after all, have you seen the price of fresh Crab these days? 

Mind you, I doubt in five years time that il be able to clamber over these rocks like I once used to as a nimble child with my bucket and trusty net.

Day 4our … Animal, Vegetable & Mineral


(Dry day today, so I nicked something, be back tomorrow)

I am the very model of a modern Major-General,

I’ve information vegetable, animal, and mineral,

I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical

From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical;

I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical,

I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical,

About binomial theorem I’m teeming with a lot o’ news, 

With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

I’m very good at integral and differential calculus;

I know the scientific names of beings animalculous:

In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,

I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

Taken from The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert & Sullivan 1879.

Halfway Between Barking Mad & Total Genius


August 25th 2016

Some of history’s most prolific writers and composers of our time have either been genius, plain barking mad or somewhere in-between and that includes either being addicted to alcohol or some other form of drug or chemical.

Many of the great Musical Classicists were profoundly deaf, many were so high as a kite or out of their own tree that it still amazes me that they were even able to hold their own instrument or quills, let alone strike an ivory or able to even sit at their own piano or desk.

I always was, and still to this day consider myself more of a Beatles Babe than a Californian Beach Boy, I considered the latters music totally monotonous, (Good Vibrations did my head in) and to that comment I must add, music is of a personal agenda, no two people ever share the same playlist, or even come to that, ever dance at the same frequency in time or in tune.

We all knew the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and the such big progressive grpous were into drugs. To add an insult to an injury and icing to top it off, only yesterday did I learn that the Beach Boys in their heyday were constantly tripping whilst writing all of their famous Summer hits, guess that figures as they were the tail end of the Woodstock era which psychedelically traversed itself through the flower power and hippy movement. LSD and its associated trips were still readily available about ten years or so ago and as far as I am aware have no doubt they are still being torn into micro strips to this day.

Perhaps I shouldnt admit to this, but of the twice time, that I popped a tiny cardboard square, I’m sure I met the devil, or his advocate on both occasions and after what seemed like an eternity fighting with him I eventually returned back to square one again, believe me, that is not a pun.

A friend suggested I get out and have some fun clubbing at one of our regular haunts, I was quite into the scene then, but, that’s another story available only for my adult viewers and then only on request. “Go on, you will be fine” he said. So, eventually, I reluctantly swallowed one of these happy perforated items, I should have guessed that the many repeated instruction of  “if I started to feel ill I was to sit down and try to relax and think of nice things’ was definitely a bad omen ….

If you have ever seen the Mrs Browns Boys episode where Agnes takes some *headache* pills, then you may see the funny side of things …. there were hundreds and hundreds of flying orbs and sparkling lines jetting about in front of me, I was coping quite well and enjoying the environment around  …. until another friend spotted me across the sweaty dance club floor. Suddenly I knew it was all going to end up a disaster, I can hear his words still to this day …. “sorry to hear your Mum died” (two weeks previous) as he hugged me tight and cried into my ear ……. It was all down hill from there on ….. and when I say downhill I mean DOWNHILL.

I will never forget that horrid experience, ever.

Making a point, although you may think some of my ‘passages of time’ may seem a little strange, believe me, its got nothing to do with any form of drug, its only myself trying to put lost times into an order, hopefully It will finally fall into a particular one.

Now that I have had some time to think about it. In what location would I consider placing my own self in the spectrum of between barking mad or genius I ask?

To be honest, lt all depends on what position the moon was in last night and what time I woke up this morning!

Hope that has clarified a few things for you.