It’s an Airedale

Alert and ever ready to spring into action at a moments notice.
Questions people ask me. 

What kind of dog is that – it’s an Airedale

Is that a labradoodle – it’s an Airedale

Is that a giant poodle – it’s an Airedale

Is that a schnauzer- it’s an Airedale

Are they easy to train – it’s an Airedale, so no. Only if HE wants to be trained. 

Can I pet your giant teddy bear – it’s an Airedale. And no. 

Are they good guard dogs – it’s an Airedale, so yes. Unless of course you’re a burglar and he’s sleeping, in which case you’d probably trip over him. 

Is he smart – it’s an Airedale, so yes.  

Is he pure bred – no, he’s half crocodile

The Airedale. Fierce, ferocious , furry friend.

Summer Festivals

Having just been to our last festival of the summer I thought I’d share some photographs and what I’ve learned from people watching at these events. Before you start thinking “She’s SO cool, going to summer festivals!” I have to admit these haven’t been cool festivals I’ve been going to… None of your Lollapalooza or Glastonbury for me (wrong country). I think the last time I was cool was when I rocked a curly perm, pencil skirt and leather tie in the 1980s!

Anyway festivals. Saturday evening was Blues at the Crossroads in Terre Haute, Indiana. I learned that I really must check BOTH batteries, not only the one IN the camera, but also the one in the pouch, before I leave the house and not just assume they’re fully charged. I had to resort to my phone camera so really don’t have any good shots at all from that day. And there were SO many great photo opp… from the dancing chicken to the cute kids selling brownies, not to mention the bands and all the great characters in the audience. Also I have never seen so many Willie Nelson lookalikes with long grey hair in plaits down their back. I would have had a field day with my camera (I tend to use my compact at these things as I can get away with a lot more if people think I’m just taking snapshots rather than pointing a huge zoom lens in their faces.) Definitely going back next year with two fully loaded batteries.

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Ken Tucker at Blues at the Crossroads

There are quite a few vineyards around here and most of them put on a few shows during the year, but the last 3 years we’ve gone to the Willow Ridge Blues Festival in Illinois. This winery is out in the middle of nowhere. No, seriously it is OUT. IN. THE. MIDDLE. OF. NOWHERE. But as you drive up there are literally thousands of cars parked along the side of cornfields! Where do all these people come from??? What a great day out though. Sunshine, wine, blues, people watching. It doesn’t get much better than that. I have managed each year to get some good shots at this event, but in 2014 I obviously had more spare time on my hands than I do now and I threw together a collage of the day. I learned at this festival that bikers, grannies, babies, pensioners and college kids could all dance and enjoy the day together. Also that wasps like white wine!

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Fun in the Sun!

I didn’t manage to go this year but last year I went to a Sweetcorn Festival in Urbana. This is actually a lot of fun, and yes, they do have sweetcorn, but they also have beer tents, BBQ and great music. Last year the headline band was The Psychedelic Furs and they sound every bit as good as they did in the 1980s (when I was rocking the curly perm) I think the band this year was Smashmouth but I haven’t heard how good they were. Again, people watching was wonderful. From the dancers jiving with the swing-band, to the country fans with their cowboy hats and boots listening to the twangy country music, there was something for everyone. I learned that if you’re going to eat sweetcorn outside then you’re going to get it dripping right down your chin. Also I learned that you should follow your nose – we smelled something delicious and found a great Indian restaurant.

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Richard Butler, lead singer of The Psychedelic Furs

What else. Well there’s Bagel Fest, where I would have demanded my money back if I’d actually paid any, because I didn’t see ONE SINGLE BAGEL at Bagel Fest. Plenty of other food trucks and carnival type foods, but WHERE’S THE BAGELS??? I didn’t stay for the bands at that one because they were too country for me, plus of course, NO BAGELS. I learned that the bagels were actually only given out in the morning at this festival. Next year I guess. There’s also a festival near me called the Broomcorn Festival which I haven’t been to and there’s an Amish Cheese Festival which I’m most definitely going to next year. FREE CHEESE! Who wouldn’t? Oh and I went, because my mum loves going, to the local Air Show. I hate to admit it but I actually kinda enjoyed it. The people watching again makes up for standing around in 90+ degree heat worrying that maybe the planes WON’T pull out of the dive in time and I’ll be watching a tradgedy in a few minutes time. Yes, I’m a worrier.

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A plane.

One festival I really want to go to next year is the Covered Bridge Festival. I don’t know anything about it apart from covered bridges are very cool and make great photographs. But if there’s thousands of people roaming round then they’re all going to get in the way of my shots, so maybe I should just go AFTER the festival is over.

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A covered bridge

Oh yeah and I nearly forgot. ON PURPOSE! The local Irish Music Festival. We were really excited about that one and it was the worst festival we’ve been to since we moved here. The ‘headline’ band’s rendition of 500 Miles by the Proclaimers was absolutely awful! For a start the Proclaimers aren’t Irish and secondly HOW CAN YOU PLAY 500 MILES SO BADLY! I’ve seen the Proclaimers live and yeah, they’re not the best singers, but they sound exactly like their records. Even the traditional Irish songs were really bad. Anyway I think we stayed about 45 minutes at that one and it’s one we won’t be hurrying back to.

The main thing I’ve learned from these festivals and summer events is that I’m a people watcher. I love people…. as long as I don’t have to talk to them!

 

 

 

Friends

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Ladies wot lunch

The importance of friends can not be overlooked. Whether it’s old friends, new friends, online friends, friends that might have been, friends you have lost or mans best friends, they have all played a part in who we are at this moment in time. This is just a shout-out to everyone I’ve ever called a friend, and for those I’ve yet to meet. Thank you for being there for me.

“I’ll get by with a little help from my friends”

Mosquitoes 39 : Alba 0

That was on my last counting of bites last night. It’s probably more than that now. I know I should be grateful that my lovely Scottish blood is so appealing to American bitey-bugs, but to be honest I was equally attractive to Scottish Midgies and I just want them to stop! The itching is driving me daft. Although I might have a solution quite soon – I was at a friends house on Saturday night and I’d only been out on her deck for less than 2 minutes and I was getting eaten alive. I asked her if she had any bug-spray and she handed me a bottle of Avon Skin-so-soft. Wow! That was me bug-free for the rest of the night! Now not that I’m endorsing any product, but YOU GOTTA TRY THIS STUFF. I’ve ordered hunners of bottles off the internet (2 actually) and am patiently waiting for them so I can enjoy the lovely warm evenings outside again.

I don’t have a photograph of a mosquito to post but I did get a few good shots of a Praying Mantis the other day there.

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Not a mosquito

Now up till last week I though Praying Mantises were just another innocent bug, going about their daily lifes doing bug-related things like eating plants and maybe even smaller bugs. Little did I know they are really horrific serial killers who actually STAB and KILL hummingbirds!!! I would post a link to the pictures and video but it was horrific and I really don’t want to watch it again 😦 If you’re at all into horror films then by all means go Google it. I’m not. I still haven’t gotten over Nightmare on Elm Street 30 years later.

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Eat a hummingbird? Never!

I love summer and wish it could last longer, but on MY conditions. The weather has to stay in the high 70s, low 80s and all the bitey-bugs and humidity have to be gone. My dog loves it getting cooler again though. We can once again walk him and he isn’t collapsing in a heap by the time he gets home. Last Sunday was a beautiful morning at the lake and he got off the lead for a short time. This next photograph is the picture of happiness.

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Chasing dragonflies at the lake. Happy dog.

Oh to be as happy as a puppy that’s allowed to chase dragonflies and swim in the lake. We could all take lessons on living in the moment from dogs.

Happy last days of summer everyone.