Archive for 2012

Blogmanay!

Friday, December 28th, 2012
Pic: Lloyd Smith, Edinburgh's Hogmanay

The Loony Dook in 2011 (Pic: Lloyd Smith, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay)

I’VE been lucky enough to have had a few Scottish friends in my time – and aside from being splendid company, they have always been full of stories.

Happily, I’m now about to head to Edinburgh to see in the new  year, as one of a group of bloggers invited for the Hogmanay celebrations there. This fine gathering of some of the best travel bloggers around is named Blogmanay – geddit? I’ll be there from 29 December until I return to London on 2 January – the rest of the group move on that latter date for a tour of Scotland until 9 January.

Apart from taking SOTMs of the rest of the Blogmanay group, I’ll be getting general shots of all the shenanigans going on too. Do give me a nudge if you’d like to pose for SOTM while I’m in Edinburgh, particularly if you’re a local.

Here’s some of the events that I’ll be photographing over the next few days:

Torchlight Procession through Edinburgh’s city centre.

Concert in the Gardens headlined by Simple Minds, also with Bwani Junction and The View.

Hogmanay Street Party and Street Carnival which is legendary the world over! A Scottish chap I know has already advised me to get to Princes Street on New Year’s Eve “if you like kissing”. 

The Keilidh which is a traditional Scottish dance party. Might try and slip a few Gangnam Style moves in.

Midnight Fireworks and World’s Biggest Auld Lang Syne which sounds like a nightmare for the adjudicators. Imagine trying to do the headcount on that one.

Edinburgh’s Dogmanay which is sled racing by dogs. Boom.

Loony Dook where people dress up, walk through the city and then jump into the sea. I’d love to take part, but I, er, don’t want to get my camera wet…

And this isn’t even all that’s taking place at Hogmanay this year.  See more of what’s going on here.

To keep up with all the updates from me and the other bloggers, follow the #Blogmanay tag on Twitter and Instagram. Do feel free to join in with using the tag if you’ll be in Edinburgh for Hogmanay. You can also follow the official Blogmanay tumblr.

Some of the finest travel bloggers on the webs will be in Edinburgh – here’s a who’s who of the attendees.

Kash from The Budget Traveller, Melvin from Traveldudes, Kirsten from Aviators and a Camera, Mike from Fevered Mutterings, Chris from The Aussie Nomad, Isabelle from Isabelle’s Travel Guide, JD from earthXplorer, Audrey and Dan from Uncornered Market, Peter from Travel Unmasked, Jools from Trains on the Brain, Amanda from A Dangerous Business, Emma from Emma’s Travel Tales, Flora fromFlora the Explorer, Kate from Adventurous Kate, Abhishek from Wild Navigator, Nadine from The Nadwork, Jane from Runaway Jane, Julie from A Lady in London, and Mei and Jo from CC Food Travel.

Many thanks to the organisers for putting on such a splendid  feast of activities: Edinburgh’s HogmanayEventScotlandVisitScotlandEdinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG), Festivals EdinburghHaggis Adventures and Skyscanner.

Oh, and one final word of caution – there’s rumours of kilts being provided for the male members of this esteemed group. You have been warned…

What A Carry On!

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

You've Got Daddy IssuesI WAS invited to the Erotic Meet Christmas party for erotic bloggers in Soho. This was actually the second time I’d been to one of their shindigs, and both times I’ve had a very warm welcome from some lovely people.

My invitations were extended by the charming Annie Player, who is kindly a fan of SOTM.

These events have been great fun – the whole thing reminds me, in the nicest possible way, of the Carry On movies (of which I’m a big fan) with a few dirty jokes and lots of innuendo, sparking many laughs. It also involves a handful (not literally) of briefly-exposed willies and boobs.

I’ve been told some very interesting SOTM stories during my time among these rather fascinating people. One beautiful example from my first visit came from a woman who had been written a letter by her uncle, when she was only six months old. Her SOTM quote was the end of the letter, and has proved memorable for her whole life.

Also, one subject wrote to the broadcaster and author Danny Wallace for advice, and his personal reply formed her choice of SOTM quote.  As for my favourite shot of the night, this was a combination of an intriguing quote, a photogenic subject and a good setting – it’s the lady you can see in the photo on this post.

Returning to the Carry On theme – most surprising SOTM was from this chap, who runs an adult online shop and wrote something which looked like it was going to have a saucy explanation, when actually it was about something else.

I’ll be posting the images I took from the Christmas bash very soon on SOTM. My encounters there included photographing a burlesque dancer in their underwear who was pulling a face with remarkably rubber lips, a shaven-headed man in a kilt who turned out to be a teacher currently working in pest control, and a drag queen who wanted to be photographed in a toilet “because I’m trash”.

The Erotic bloggers meet regularly in Soho if you also write erotica and fancy popping along.

 

Time To Rethink And Refresh

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

This is what SOTM’s home page looks like now – but what should it look like in future?

AFTER more than five years and more than 1,900 photos posted on Someone Once Told Me I’m wondering what to do next with the site, which has changed my life in so many ways.

I mean, I can’t just stop, can I? There are so many stories out there to collect, and I still love hearing the poignant, crazy and remarkable things people have been told. I’ve still never missed a single day of putting up a new photograph, something I’m incredibly proud of.

Again, I thank all those people who have shared their memorable moments in life with the rest of us, through SOTM.

I have a couple of Big Ideas about what to do next with the site. One is REALLY big, and I’ll share that with you within the next few weeks, once a few things are in place.

But right now, what I can talk about is how I’ve realised that the site needs a refresh. It’s great as it is, in my opinion, but the internet, social media and the way people use both have moved on considerably since 8 September 2007, when the site’s first ever picture went up.

I met up with Max, SOTM’s curly-haired genius site programmer, and as he said, social media wasn’t anywhere as important or influential as it is now. I wasn’t even on Twitter, for example, when the site launched. These days you can find me on there at @SOTMario and the site has a Facebook page.

So it’s time to rethink how SOTM is presented, and to refresh the site. Max and I are going to start kicking around a few ideas, with the plan that he makes the changes in February, as that’s when his schedule will allow work to be done. I’ve got a few suggestions, mainly along the lines of making it immediately obvious how to interact with SOTM via social media, while maintaining a focus on the image and story of the day.

But I’d love to hear from you guys, the people who have kept SOTM alive for so long, about what you would like to see happen. How should the site be presented in future? What should it look like? Is there anything missing that should be included? How should the site tie in more with social media?

Please do get in touch with any suggestions, either by leaving a comment here or through one of these methods. I’d love to hear from you.