View from Pilsdon Pen

I happened to be driving past the parking spot at the base of Pilsdon Pen this morning. And while I didn’t have time – nor the right footwear to tackle the mud – to climb Dorset’s second highest hill, I did have time to take a few snapshots.


I like this shot though I’m partly posting it to remind myself to go back again on another day and try the same view without the messy hedge in front.

Bishop David Walker on Poverty

I’ve read an excellent piece in today’s Guardian by Anglican bishop David Walker on the subject of the church’s recent head on collision with the Tories over poverty.

“Most of us would see service provision not just as an end in itself. It is equally the ground on which we stand to challenge and stimulate public sector provision, and our basis for offering a critique of dominant political narratives. Archbishop Desmond Tutu puts this latter in a typically telling phrase: “When you’ve fished enough people out of the river, it’s time to take a walk upstream and see who’s pushing them in.” And what seems to be casting people in ever increasing numbers into the waters is less a matter of specific policies and more about Britain’s scapegoat culture.”

You can read the article on the Guardian website. Obviously don’t read the comments underneath the article. Never read comments on newspaper websites.

Two Weeks With The Fujifilm X-E2 Camera


Two weeks ago I sold my Sony NEX-6 and various lenses and purchased a Fujifilm X-E2. I won’t go over the reasons why again as you can read them in this post. The camera came with the 18-55mm f2.8-4 zoom lens. I also picked up the 35mm f1.4 and 27mm f2.8 thanks to Fujifilm’s current very generous cashback offer that made the 27mm almost free.

Having shot with the new camera for a couple of weeks I’ve some insight to share about the shift over to Fujifilm from the Sony NEX system. Much of my experience is positive, though there are some negative points too. Overall my experience with the X-E2 is very positive so far and my issues with the system are relatively minor. Given Fujifilm’s commitment to offer regular firmware updates for its cameras these issues are also less important than they would be on a Sony system.

The area I’ve struggled most with isn’t software related but one of handling. The NEX-6 felt great in the hand, even more so than the three different Canon DSLRs I’ve owned. The X-E2 is less comfortable due to its rangefinder layout. There’s less to get hold of in the right hand than a DSLR or NEX camera. There is an official grip available but the price is rather obscene. There are some inexpensive unofficial grips available from China on ebay and I may pick one of those up.

My other issue with the handling is the eyecup. It’s just not deep enough to block strong sunlight coming from the right hand side. Switching to using my left eye with the viewfinder solves this but that is my weaker eye so isn’t preferable. I may have to bite the bullet and wear a peaked cap when I go shooting.

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Farewell from the Grumpyrocker Website

Many years ago I started a blog. It was mostly nonsense about getting drunk with friends. But it grew into something else over time – a tale of a man growing up and some dramatic changes in my life. During that time I decided to shift my ramblings about guitars and heavy metal to a separate blog. And thus was Grumpyrocker born.

Eventually I was joined there by Jimbo, the finest bloke one could hope for in a friend and drinking buddy, who turned my site about guitar gear into something much greater with his music reviews and news. He was joined by his friend David and between them the Grumpyrocker website came to be.

Due to the way Grumpyrocker was created it’s always been an odd site. My waffling about amplifiers and black metal never really sat well with the much more prolific and higher quality content from James and David. The division was made all the more obvious by the types of bands they chose to cover. It made me look like some mad drunk old uncle who was still allowed a seat on the company board, but was something of an embarrassment. I owned the company, so my bollocks about heavy metal went on the site anyway. I have patient friends.

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All Change Please

Hello and welcome to my new blog. Or, if you’ve never visited this website before, welcome to my blog. I’ve had my site for over ten years now and there have been many changes along the way – both for me and the site itself.

I recently took the decision to move over to the WordPress platform having used B2evolution for many years. This presented me with a problem and an opportunity. None of the importers were good enough to transfer my 1300 posts over from my old website to this one. I sought several solutions but none were satisfactory.

In the end I realised my new site was an opportunity to look forwards and not back. So the new site you see before you may feature lots of silliness, humour, reviews and similar nonsense from years ago – but what it doesn’t feature much of is the myriad personal posts published over the years. Regular readers will know the ups and downs life offered me – especially upon becoming a father – but I took the chance to leave those posts behind.

Instead there’s an edited selection of my waffling about photography, television, movies, books and videos. I hope you enjoy your stay.