Monday, September 12, 2011


It's my turn at Vision and Verb again today and because of a series of incredible adventures in England recently, I've decided to start off with Meet-Ups!

Forget the fact that YOU don't have a clue who they are!
They're all fellow Shutterchancers and 4 of them are new from when we were in England a year ago.
The man in the center with Astrd and me is Chris, our host for the six days there.

Chris was the one who finagled with everyone to meet up at Dudley's Black Country Living Museum a week ago Sunday, 4 September. Many have become like family to both Astrid and me. We have The Three Stooges. We have The Three Muskateers, of which we are two, plus Tracy, top level, third from the left.

The extra-special treat was having CherryPie show up, from Vision and Verb.
She visits me at SC and makes the second V&V blogger I've now met.
This is what I mean by Collaboration!

So, on Sunday a week ago we went to Dudley...

...but stopped first at Bill's to meet his family and swap cars and drivers.
Bill and Chris are two of The Three Stooges. See how fun it is to collaborate?
And how lucky for us to meet Ange (Bill's wife) and two daughters, plus cat.

The meet-up at the Black Country Living Museum (BCLM) reminded me of Oslo's outdoor Folk Museum last April, remember? Except that this one is all about what the Black means: think industrial SOOT. Anything that made a city black back in its day is what this living museum is all about.

Not that everything was black, mind you...

...but there were certain dead give-aways if you paid attention.

Like the blacksmith's shop, for instance. Hot and "black." Poor guy.

The glass-etcher's corner of the world was brighter and cheerier.

They even had a delightful little chapel right in the center of things.
In an age of Black, that seemed appropriate.

There came a point at which we all had to eat and everyone knew exactly where....

Chris had been telling us this place offered the most authentic Fish-n-Chips he's ever eaten.
It's the beef drippings, you see. Enough cholesteral for the rest of the year, right?!

While waiting in line, we watched fellow SCer, Richard, start a conversation with these two gentlemen, who became excited about becoming famous. So many photographers wanting to take their picture!
We're still not sure about the story behind them....

Once we all found a place to sit and eat, Penny whipped out a cake she baked that morning for Chis,
whose 63rd birthday was the day before.
One ingredient at a time, she soon had the toppings ready for our dessert.
The birthday boy was delighted to no end...and couldn't stop talking about it.

By then it was definitely time for another walk!
I'm used to canal boats here in the Netherlands...but these are so narrow.

I especially loved watching Astrid and Bill getting the lay of the land.
What a great venue for seeing industrial Britain's past!

By then, almost everyone went on their way for the day.
A few of us remained behind to view some last-minute displays....

...and then said Good-Bye to a fabulous outing together.

I guess you had to be there but this is what Collaboration is all about when it comes to the WWW. It still amazes me that we can actually meet each other...if we're lucky!

That's how I feel about CherryPie, too, over at my Vision and Verb today....

ADDENDUM (Wed. 9/14): I just made my first YouTube! HA!
It's all people shots from the day for posterity (and to see if I could do it!).


  1. Fabulous post, so many happy moments during the meeting at Dudley.
    Pennie with her cake for Chris, I loved that for him, he is such a great dear friend and he deserved that extra atttention.
    The location was very well picked, a photographer's, heaven I would say.
    Too bad I was not able to see it all, maybe a next time...
    It was great to meet friends again.
    Amazing if we think of it, we all met via Internet.... so I keep saying 'Blame it on the Internet'.
    The fish and chips were absolute fabulous and who thinks of cholestorol.... it was just great :)
    Thank you, MLS for this wonderful memory.
    The moment we landed on English soil, it was a roller coaster of fabulous experiences.
    I can hardly wait for the next posts.
    Thank you so much.

  2. Astrid: All I keep saying is how lucky we were/are! We had so much fun meeting up with everyone again, and even meeting the new ones. At the rate we're going, the years will keep flying by with all these great milestones on which to hang our memories. Thank you for being there with me all along the way!

  3. It was so lovely to meet you both. To be honest I can't wait until the next time it is possible :-)

    I love your collages of the day it reminds me of the fun we had and also the people I didn't quite get chance to meet ;-)

    Thank you both for a wonderful day.

  4. CP: Thank you, Cherry! We are still talking about our time with you and Mark. You were such brave souls to meet up with a group of people you didn't know. Good for you. Our plan is to fly over to England every year, so you never know when we'll see you next. It's a small world after all!

  5. What a fabulous pictorial & commentary of your SC meet up, Ginnie. You actually made me feel as if I were there with you all.

  6. Beverly: That is so sweet of you to leave a comment here. THANK YOU. Maybe next time you WILL be with us. :)

  7. Just fabulous, Boots! This shows the incredible joy and beauty of blog friendships. Glorious.

  8. Finally getting a chance to stop by... am in Red Lodge, MT as I type this... vacation home bought 5 years ago. Strange to be here by myself but I'm managing... anyway... I have internet at the house so here I am! (V&V later and maybe later still, a new post on my own blog(s))

    I love the collage you led off with in this post... all those smiling faces and the one with her back turned... great close-up images!!!

    The collage of the blacksmith's shop is marvelous... as are the two above it with the scenes of the town. My arteries clogged at the thought of the fish and chips (great collage) but I'm sure I'd have wanted to try them... it would be a reward for watching my diet almost all the time! The photos of the men on the street, and your crew taking their pictures, make for another great collage.

    So many colorful images and happy people. Makes me really wish I could have been there too! A marvelous post... and I'm off now to run a few errands around town and drive out to one of my favorite river spots near town to practice with my new GND filter! A visit to V&V will be my treat for after dark. :-)

  9. Ruth: You know the feeling, so I'm smiling at your comment. We have been so enriched by the WWW. Thank you for your own part!

    Victoria: You always know exactly how to make my day, Lady. Thank you. MT is a state I've never been to, believe it or not. I'd love to go there one day and see it with my own eyes. Till then, I hope you'll have your own pics to share!

    We had so much fun in England. We'd really like to go every year since we have so many friends there. Chris says he'll take us to Wales next year, since it's so nearby. That will be a first. Another blogger friend lives there, so we hope to meet her then.

    The lady that's turned away in that one collage is for privacy, in case I didn't mention it. I was glad I had a pic of her that didn't show her face. :)

    Anyway, you really do know how to make my day, especially if you also stop by V&V. You make me feel so...special. Thank you.

  10. Looks like many wonderful people and many wonderful moments. It's a great way to enjoy life.

  11. Tim: You're so right! It was such a great experience and one to remember a long time.

  12. This looks like great fun. I looked at your video and saw many picturesque things that were worthy of many pictures. Your pictures were lovely as usual, but there is one thing – and you may know the answer since you are more of a “techy” person than me. I used to be able to click on your pictures twice and they would fill my whole screen, or click on one picture in your collage and that picture would enlarge – now when I click I get a black background and they enlarge just a little, if I click again I get a slide show. I don’t know what I did to get this instead of your large pictures. It could be my computer because I received a comment saying that my blog does the same thing. But I don’t know how to change back. Any ideas?

  13. Vagabonde: Thank you for your kind words, of course, but as regards the techy part of things, I'm afraid I don't have a clue. What you have described totally befuddles me. I wish I could help you out!!!

  14. It's not just Vagabonde. I suspect Blogger has changed something. I'm having exactly the same experience she is - no longer able to enlarge photos, and a "mandatory" slide show at the bottom.

    Also, if any one asks: once you click on a photo and get the black screen with the slightly larger photo, there are no instructions and no obvious way to go back. Clicking on the black screen takes me back to the original post.

    Perhaps this is something only those of us not a part of Blogger are seeing.

    Anyhow - I love those boats. Do you know which of the canal boats I would gladly live it? I'll bet you can spot it - not the brightly colored one!

    I'm just so envious of you all - not snarky-jealous-envious, just little-girl-I-wanna-do-that-TOO envious. I want to move faster than life allows - not a bad impulse, but sometimes frustrating!

    I'll tell you this. I would have had two servings of those fish and chips!

  15. SA: First of all, I just clicked on a collage and I see now exactly what you mean. And once you click on the collage to enlarge it, it takes you to the next picture/collage in the post until the very end...if you keep clicking. Up in the top right-hand corner of the black background is a white "x" to close that screen and return you to the original post. WOW! That is clearly something new! Hmmm.

    Secondly, you would have totally loved the canal boats...and so different from what we have here in Holland. Actually, Astrid has told me that the canal boats here are now being made with concrete but that's because they're stationary here. Canal boats here are made to stay put, with their own sewer and electrical systems. The ones you see in this post are clearly moving canal boats and would be like our barges here, just smaller...maybe pulled by horses in their day. Probably not houseboats.

    I could live on a houseboat in a NY second. To be lulled to sleep every night by the water would be a treat, though I'm guessing you'd hardly notice you were on the water. Yes, I could see you living on one. :)

    When I told Astrid you said you would have had TWO servings of the fish-n-chips, she laughed and said she could have, too. As it was, I gobbled up all the fish but could only eat half of the chips. Once a year would be fun!

  16. Dear you,
    this post I need to read over and over again.

  17. Tor: Thank you. We sure had fun. And as you know, this wasn't the first time with wonderful bloggers!!!

  18. So much fun! And I agree with tor, for me it's more looking at the shots over and over and over again. :)

  19. ET: Thank you, Jen. You're very sweet! Welcome back.