You have arrived at Dio Bach's Web Fun - mainly being a random compilation of digital photography, writings, art, web design, personal moments and opinion by Welsh webmaster and artist David Lloyd - aka Dio Bach.
6 years ago, back in 2004, I set up a number of Flickr Groups which are still running strong to this day. I created them as at the time there weren't groups on the subjects, and I had lots of photos relevant to add to them. I don't really use Flickr a lot, so I've decided to move on and let someone else take these groups.
Frustratingly, of all my web projects, in terms of members and discussion these are some of my most successful creations (frustrating as I don't own the pages and can't monetise them).
I've decided that it's time to move on, and just wanted to mark their passing and record what I managed at the groups in the time I run them. So, here we go, 3 of my biggest and most successful Flickr groups, the number of users and photos.
Graves, Tombs And Cemeteries - 26,509 members - 176,686 photos posted - Page Rank 5.
Gargoyles, Grotesques And Angels - 4,675 members - 25,143 photos posted - Page Rank 4.
Cardiff - 1,342 members - 25,330 photos posted - Page Rank 4.
For a long time they proved worth keeping hold of for their strong link juice. But then Google brought all their nofollow nonsense in, and Flickr added it to the site making that a moot point. Then I hung on because I was to busy to do anything with them, but now I've thought about the time I could save daily not checking RSS feeds so what the heck. I'm feeling the need to declutter my web presence (I'm in the process of selling my old band domain) so it's time to go.
Well, my favourite time of the year is here. Autumn is rearing its head, the garden's ripe and full of spiders and the light gets a bit more characterful. Elis is back in school, a new school in fact, so no more daily trips to Tenby. More importantly, I'm starting to get back into the work, so that means I've had time to quickly sort some of the best images from our recent holiday in St Davids.
Mrs Dio and I have been making the odd trip down to the area over the years, but this year with Emi being young and us not wanting to spend ages travelling with her, we decided to take our Summer holiday there. It's less than an hour drive from here (and the first time I've taken my holiday in the same county I live in) but it feels a world away. It was a lovely break, really refreshing and enjoyable.
We stayed in a holiday cottage that has a double life. The rest of the year it's Wales' most westerly Bed and Breakfast. However, for the Summer months the owner takes it easy and moves to the little house at the end of the garden, and lets the whole building out for a holiday cottage.
Amber Cottage made for a lovely place to stay, full of character and interest, just a quick 5 minute walk from the centre of St Davids. Initially it was a bit strange taking over a whole B'n'B for the week, but once you got used to it you can relax and enjoy the lovely views and garden with thinking you have to be up for breakfast at 7 and not feel weird about being in the proprietor's private sitting room and kitchen.
I'm giving the place a big plug as it really was special. The owner Kila was on hand for any problems, and was kind enough to let us have tomatoes from her garden, and on one occasion gave us a fresh loaf she'd baked herself. I can't recommend staying there highly enough, it really is delightful.
The first lot of photos I have from there are shot from Amber Cottage. The sunsets were lovely and here's a couple I shot, as well as the glow of the magic hour from the front of the house. Monet would approve of the field and the light on it, and Edward Hopper wouldn't be far behind in admiring the lone farmhouse either.
With Elis in tow, we visited Whitesands. I remember going there years ago, but had forgotten how beautiful a beach it is. It's massive and has amazing views of the islands around that end of the peninsula and overlooked by the craggy Carn Llidi mountain.
Elis gave body boarding a go, and believe it or not, the next day I ended up buying myself a cheap wetsuit (and Elis) and going back to give it a try. It was superb, but we were let down by the cheap boards we had. We will give it another go down here soon, but I will get us both proper body boards that don't bend when you jump on them. The waves were pretty big to. Here's some shots from the beach and surrounding area.
Of course, you can't visit St Davids the smallest city in the UK without visiting its famed wonky cathedral. Elis has been learning about St David in school, so he was keen to visit. I always enjoy going for a wander there as well, there's lots of great photo opportunities, as well as a number of interesting wooden misericords, grotesques, gargoyles and well worn tomb statues to enjoy. Here's some of my favourites from St Davids Cathedral. At the end, something I missed last time I was at the cathedral, a casket hidden away in a niche that supposedly holds some of the saint's bones.
Keeping things St David focused, we also took a trip out to see the remains of the old St Non's chapel, as well as take a quick look inside the new one. St Non was the mother of St David, who bore him on the cliff tops in a thunderstorm at the site of the chapel. There's also a miraculous well there that can 'cure' ailments. There's a little catholic shrine there now. Keep an eye out for the spider at home in the Virgin Mary's little alcove.
Back to the slog now though, lots to get through, lots to do and gasp, Christmas is just around the corner. Does it ever end? Not at the moment...
I'm normally a grumpy sod when it comes to these sort of things, but I really loved this event - there was loads to see and do, and when there wasn't you could just sit and admire the scenery. There was great food and loads of stages, things happening. Elis could have moved into the kids field permanently, he loved it and took part in loads of stuff - crafts, inflatables, Morris dancing and watching the various live entertainments around the field.
Seriously, if you fancy a great festival this summer, and can't get tickets for the big faceless ones, then don't worry - grab a Green Man ticket whilst they're going. We're toying with going again, but it may be a bit much with little Emi it tow to, this year at least.
I'm not as fussed on the lineup for this event either. Me and the Flaming Lips parted company back in the late 90s, but Mrs Dio would like to see them and I wouldn't say no. Tindersticks are about the only other band I'd be bothered about seeing too. That said, there were bands I saw last year that I hadn't heard before and really enjoyed, some I'm sure there's other things to be had in this lineup.
That said, I still wouldn't mind going even if the lineup wasn't that enticing. It was a really nice atmosphere, and a nice break and change from the norm. I would thoroughly recommend it to any one. Last year I didn't take a big camera with me, but here's a few snaps from my iPhone.
Yeah, been a while, enough said. I haven't really had the chance to stop between finishing shooting the film, running the businesses and becoming a dad again since February 20th 2010 when Emi came into our lives. Things aren't much quieter now, but what they hey, got to have a couple of posts up for 2010 if nothing else! I'm sorting out some photos been hanging around my hard drive from last summer I wanted to share.
Also, the more technically minded amongst you may notice the new URL for the blog. Unfortunately blogger.com decided to stop support for externally hosted blogs by killing FTP access. Rather than kill the blog I've had to use a custom domain to host the site, and redirect the old blog homepage. Bit of a faff, but it keeps the site live. It will have killed a load of includes in older posts, but hay ho - that's life.
Me and Mrs. Dio took a trip to St David's last summer. Was a nice little break, stayed in Wolfscastle, then went to Aber Mawr for a walk, and of course a trip to the Cathedral at St David's. Hadn't been there for over a decade, still a charming place to visit, loads of great photo opportunities, and a chance for me to try out my Canon DSLR, some more.