Oh how I wish…


I was American… they have all the best TV shows… sorry Political Candidates hitting their TV screens.  Why should us Brits miss out?  We have DishFace Cameron and Georgie Porgy Pudding and Pie telling us we have to have more austerity measures thrust upon us…  We have to watch Cameron tell us he is on top of immigration… yet you lovely American people have all the fun.

What with Donald Trump telling the world his hair is real

And now Kanye West seeking Presidential Election in 2020… who would’ve thought it.

Can you imagine it Kim Kardashian being First Lady and ‘I Am Cait – 5 years on’ being beamed from the White House?

This is the best comedy show to hit our screens… and to think we will have at least 5 seasons of ‘Kayne for President’ to endure.

I’m loving it…. :D :D :D :D :D :D It is better than Boris on a good day :D :D :D :D

Panoramic – Yosemite National Park

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Originally posted on Monochrome Magic:

Taken by Ashley Ryan Taken by Ashley Ryan

Back in early May 2015, we visited the USA West Coast on a rail holiday… one of the places we visited was Yosemite National Park.  The above photograph was taken during the guided tour of the park, at the viewing point that overlooked the valley.

I loved Yosemite National Park and I would have loved to stay there for a lot longer than we did… there was so much to explore and so much beauty..  The above photograph was taken by my hubby and was a series of shots panning the wonderful views that were stitched in Photoshop.

Picture Details

Photographer: Ashley Ryan
Location: Yosemite National Park, USA
Date: 4th May 2015
Camera: Canon EOS 70D
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Aperture: f/16
Shutter Speed: 1/20 sec
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 18 mm

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Originally posted on Ryan Photography:

Well you have all guessed by now, my forte in Photography is fine-art… I love adding texture and I love playing around in Photoshop.  But one of the things that I find hard is masking, especially when you get a landscape photograph with lots of trees and lots bushes, and how to refine that mask.

Well Serge Ramelli (whose work I love and who has taught me so much about Lightroom and Photoshop) posted up a video on Youtube about blending multiple exposures and getting the best from each exposure.

So after watching that video, it got me thinking…if he can use the ‘Apply Image’ command for multiple exposures, can I use the ‘Apply Image’ command in Photoshop on a layer mask and whether it would work for doing textured photography?

Well there is only one way to try so last night I created an image called the Bird Table and…

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Originally posted on Ryan Photography:

Unintentionally that is… as I strolled around Wakehurst Place on Saturday, I came across this beautiful little bit of garden.  I loved how the flowers stood tall and I loved how you could sit and admire such beauty.  It wasn’t until I got back home and imported my photos via Lightroom that I noticed that this perfect piece of garden was framed between these two huge tree trunks…

Taken by Bren Ryan Taken by Bren Ryan

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How long…

Today this world has suffered 3 terrorists attacks, one in France, one in Kuwait and now 27 people, including holiday makers from 6 different nationalists, killed whilst being on holiday in Tunisia.

Or as being reported in France, for just  being  the boss of the terrorist.

But do you know what is the most scariest thing going?

How long before non-Muslims, start looking at the local Muslim lad serving them in their local shop and start to question whether one day he will become a terrorist and start to distrust them?

How long before we start looking at the Muslim travelling on the train and sitting by us, and start to wonder if he is carrying a bomb in his backpack?

How long before we start to look differently at our Muslim neighbours?

How long before we start to alienate Muslims and refuse to be friends with them?

How long before the majority of people start to tarnish all Muslims with the same brush?

And the most scariest part is how long is it before that alienated Muslim, who we have turned against and shown distrust to, turns to the likes of ISIS?

The solution to this problem lies within the Muslim community… through education, understanding and encouraging that young Muslim to teach others that Islam is a gentle faith and for every Muslim to encourage unite his fellow Muslims and to publicly condemn ISIS and their barbaric ways. And for that young Muslim by teaching other young Muslims that look up to him… that ISIS and its kind is nothing but a disease.

A disease that needs to be eradicated.

We have to encourage and praise the young Muslim that stands up to the radical preacher on the street.  We have to encourage that young Muslim when he stops radicalisation from being carried out in his name and when he stops another person from running off to ISIS.

Guns, bombs and boots on the ground won’t do it… education will… but not education conducted by Governments, but education conducted by the young Muslim men that ISIS so wants to recruit.  We have to help the disgruntled Muslim to understand that slaughtering people is not the way to improve things… and that is not how democracy works.

And it has to be done, not tomorrow or next year, it has to be done today… before there is a big divide between non-Muslims and Muslims, Before there is them and us.  And above all, it has to be done  for humanity’s sake.

My thoughts and prayers today are with all those who have lost someone dear to them and to those that have loved ones injured, in these cold blooded killings today.

Know your car warning lights..

Love one of the comments on this….

I just put stickers over the lights when they come on…then I have glow stickers

Sorry Foxy…


jjBut fighting ISIS is not like taking on the Nazis… I give you war is war… but war is not like the films make it out to be… all guts and glory.  In war innocent people die… and in order to fight a war you have to have men to do it… We already have a depleted Army, Navy and Air Force… what then, should these men die on the front line… call-ups… young boys sent to the front line to fight a war that will only cause more hatred to the West.

You say in your column yesterday the following:

But to go to war against IS, Boko Haram, Al Shebaab and Al Qaeda would give them exactly what they want – a crusade that would recruit more to their cause, and form the caliphate they crave.

You then go on to say, we can’t ignore it and we can’t build a wall… but what is the alternative?  Because you say

The simple truth is that doing nothing is not much of an option. We will have to fight them one day, and the sooner we start the sooner it’s done.

So how do we fight them… we can only fight them through education… teaching young Muslims that taking up arms is not the way to solve your problems…

You can’t even liken fighting the Nazis to fighting ISIS, simply because we were fighting a nation back in those wars.  We were fighting the Germans… we weren’t fighting a religion that had been taken to radicalised extremest extent.

When we fought the war in World War II we were fighting the German people and Hitler… In 1939 German nationals living in Britain were given classes and some were segregated into interment camps…  Those that were categorised as class A were put in internment camps and not allowed out… class B internees were also put in camps but had restrictions against them but they could leave the camps… class C German nationals were free to go and not deemed a risk.

In 1940 the authorities rounded up all Class B German nationals and placed them into internment camps and took away their rights to freedom.

The Daily Mail orchestrated a campaign for people to sack German nationals… German people, people who didn’t agree with Hitler, lost their jobs and their freedoms, in the end many were exported to Canada and Australia.  The same happened to Italian internees when they sided with Hitler.

The poll at the end of your article reads as of today the 80% of people think we should go to war with ISIS.


Only in the news recently, we have had teenage girls runaway to Syria to marry ISIS fighters, we have seen married men crying because their wives have gone to Syria to join ISIS and taken these men’s children with them.

How many more will turn to ISIS should we decide to go to war?  How many people will try to get to Syria because they are seeing innocent Muslim women and children being killed?  How many will turn to a extremist radicalised view and make their way to Syria to fight with ISIS?

And the most frightening part is not from those that go to Syria or Iraq to fight with ISIS but those that stay behind and bring carnage to our streets.  We have seen a soldier slaughtered on our streets, should be go to war how long will it be before Sylvia is slaughtered on our streets?

Or do we do what the British Government did back in 1939, intern all Muslim people, because we don’t know which ones now will become radicalised do we? So will we have to intern them all, just to be on the safe side?

Back in the second world war, some local authorities took away council houses that were rented to German nationals… is that what we do should we go to war with ISIS?  Take away council houses from Muslim people?  What about those that have businesses and own their own home?  Do we intern these people and sell off their assets to pay for a war?

Going to war is not an option… and those 80% of people who think going to war is … really do need to think outside the box and how our lifestyle will change drastically.  What about the British Muslim that wants to fight with us and fight against ISIS, do we say ‘No’ just in case?  What about the Muslims already in our forces?  Do we intern them and remove them from our forces?

Because this war isn’t about nation against nation… is it is about an extremist group who have taken the Islamic faith and turned it into a barbaric way of life. And people who don’t abide by that way of life will die.  This war is about religion and how one religion should rule the earth. This time we are fighting a religion albeit one that has been taken totally out of context by nutters.

ISIS are tapping into the mindset of young people and ISIS know damn well that if we go to war with them… they can cause more damage here by getting the message to young Muslims who feel they don’t have a chance, that they are not needed to fight in Syria but they are needed to cause carnage in Britain. And Sylvia from Bracknell will lose her head.

This war will only be won by education… teaching young Muslims that there is an alternative to ISIS and I think this comment from one of your commentators on your Facebook page… sums it up perfectly:

I’m not very well informed on these matters, but what i think we are witnessing is not IS at war with the west but with Islam itself. Could this be the beginning of a reformation of this relatively young religion ? Islam needs to die and be reborn so it can survive in the modern age. Those that can facilitate this is the young forward thinking “moderate” muslims who can lead and educate the rest. Boots on the ground, guns, bombs etc are just a symptom of cataclysmic change. It’s now those seeds need to be planted if we are going to see the results in many generations time.

We can’t deal with ISIS overnight… it is going to take ‘moderate’ Muslims to get this message across and to teach other people that backing ISIS is turning their religion into something it is not…

Young moderate Muslims and proper border control, security services – even if it means giving up a little bit of our own privacy – is the only way to fight ISIS.

This time around troops, bullets and bombs won’t work.

And we need to face up to the fact that we created this bloody mess in the first place.  When we invaded Iraq.  Let’s be honest since we took out Saddam, the whole region has destabilised.  Yes he was brutal to his people, yes he was barbaric and no better than ISIS, but we took him and his government out and left the power vacuum there for every nutter to fight for.

So tonight then..

The Real Victim

If I decide to down a few bottles of booze, smoke skunk cannabis and get high on cocaine and continue on this lifestyle for a few months then decide to chop the heads off of my dogs and the old man… I will be classed as insane and not a murderer?  Because that is what has happened today Nicholas Salvador has been found NOT GUILTY of murder due to insanity.

Psychiatrists for the prosecution and defence told the jurors at the Old Bailey that Salvador had paranoid schizophrenia.  So if I too decided to do the same carnage after months of self-inflicted drug and alcohol abuse, I too should be classed as insane and suffer from paranoid schizophrenia.

One of the possible causes of schizophrenia can be Drug Abuse… The NHS Website states:

Drug abuse

Drugs do not directly cause schizophrenia, but studies have shown drug misuse increases the risk of developing schizophrenia or a similar illness.

Certain drugs, particularly cannabis, cocaine, LSD or amphetamines, may trigger symptoms of schizophrenia in people who are susceptible. Using amphetamines or cocaine can lead to psychosis and can cause a relapse in people recovering from an earlier episode.

Three major studies have shown teenagers under 15 who use cannabis regularly, especially “skunk” and other more potent forms of the drug, are up to four times more likely to develop schizophrenia by the age of 26.

Yes Salvador may be in Broadmoor hospital at the moment but in a few years maybe months when he can’t get the drugs, the skunk and the booze he will be well on the road to what experts call, recovery.   He won’t be insane, he will have proven that he is now well and no longer a danger to society.  Even though the Judge said he would be there for many years in Broadmoor, the reality is he might not be.  Then a few bloody bureaucrats sitting there will see a sane man, remorseful for what he did and decide it is time to integrate him back into society. ‘Here you go mate, take the meds, stay off of the drugs and booze and you will be OK’.  Is that the logical way of thinking about this case?

Most definitely not.

“Mental disorders are neither necessary, nor sufficient causes of violence”Source

No matter how you look at it… there is a high probability that his cause of schizophrenia was caused by his lifestyle and if that is the case then he should be held accountable for his actions and should never be put into the path of temptation again.  And that is what being free will give him.. the easy access to booze and drugs.  It was his decision to smoke ‘Skunk’, it was his decision to take cannabis and it was his decision to ply himself with booze.

Once a drug addict always a drug addict… you might become clean and not touch drugs but the urge when times get rough to head straight to the nearest drug dealer are at times uncontrollable and before  some drug users know it they are back on the drugs.  Back down that slippery road where they will do whatever they have to in order to get their next fix.

The same goes for alcoholics, once an alcoholic always an alcoholic.  One drink will lead to another and before you know it you are off of the wagon… and back to being a full-blown alcoholic.

Nobody is denying that Salvador needs treatment… and he should be sent to a psychiatric hospital like Broadmoor, but he should also have to face the consequences of his actions.

So in a few years, should Salvador ever be released and once integrate back into society and things don’t go as planned or he decides to hit the bottle, smoke skunk and do a bit of cocaine, who could his next victim be… me, you, your mother, your partner, your child?  Who?

Haven’t we learnt from the tragic death of Jonathon Zito. His killer, Clunis was a paranoid schizophrenic with a violent background, who ended up murdering in cold blood Jon Zito.

The inquiry found:

…..that hospitals and social services failed to contact his family or GP, repeatedly treated admissions as separate incidents, failed to check his false claims that he abused drugs, and discharged him from hospital when he was not ready because of pressure on beds, or to save money.

The report catalogues ‘a whole series of violent attacks’ by Clunis over four years, often involving knives or cutlery. Just eight days before he killed Mr Zito, he attacked and injured a man with a screwdriver in north London and later the same day terrified a group of adults and children by chasing them round a street brandishing a screwdriver.

Salvador, should never be set free…. but he will be, eventually.  The true victims of this horrendous crimes have been forgotten.  Our justice system stinks… and I honestly think if I was sitting on that jury I could not have found this man not guilty due to insanity.  He was bloody sane when he bought the drugs, the skunk and booze which are probably the causes of his schizophrenia.  Rest in Peace Mrs Palmira Silva.. you didn’t get the justice you deserved today.  My thoughts are with your family and friends at this sad time.

The Real Victim
The Real Victim

And before all the do-gooders start shouting about how I don’t understand mental illness, let me tell you, there are many people who struggle on a daily basis with being schizophrenic but they don’t go around harming other people.

Today’s verdict was a cop-out… and just remember, he might admit causing her death, but you can never call him a murderer or killer, because technically in the eyes of the law to do so, could be classed as libelling this gentleman… simply because he hasn’t been convicted.  Ironic isn’t it… who is the law protecting in this case… it definitely isn’t the innocent victim is it?

The Path to Nowhere

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Originally posted on Ryan Photography:

Taken by Bren Ryan Taken by Bren Ryan

One of the many places I love to visit is Sheffield Park Gardens in Kent… It has everything there you could imagine, lakes, woodland walks, beautiful scenery and wildlife.  The above picture was taken of one of the many winding paths that are within the grounds.  Again this photograph was processed using, textures added in Photoshop and final edits carried out in Lightroom.

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When ‘Taking Out’ is the only real option

Watching the news yesterday afternoon reporting on the case being heard at the Old Bailey about the grandmother Palmira Silva who was tragically beheaded by Nicholas Salvador, I can’t help but wonder why this guy wasn’t just shot dead by Police.

Earlier he had been seen attacking a woman in her car and he was armed with a machete and a pole and the Police were running from house to house dragging children to safety and telling people to run for their lives.

The Daily Mail says

Armed police officers raced to the scene in Nightingale Road, Edmonton, and ran through the street shouting at people to run for their lives.

Children screamed as police used battering rams and metal batons to smash windows and doors before dragging them to safety.

Sky News Report, that in a video the jury was shown you could hear on Police Officer shout..

“He’s agitated and lethal … he needs taking out.”

It wasn’t long before he was seen by a Police Helicopter holding the severed head of Mrs Silva up towards them… surely on that helicopter should have been a police marksman who could have taken him out there and then.

The honest is truth is the Police are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Someone would have shouted Police brutality if this maniac had been killed there and then.

Forever and a day, Mrs Silva’s family will have to live with the knowledge of how someone they loved died.  How they died at the hands of this crazed man. Children will forever remember those frantic moments where they were in fear.

If this was a dog running the streets attacking people, there would be no hesitation in shooting the dog… I am sorry to say, but in my opinion this person was no better than a crazed dog at the time.

I am of the firm belief if you are armed and running amok then you should face the consequence of losing your life.  Going armed and equipped with weapons to me gives a clear indication that could do something dreadful or you are breaking the law.

In this country we do not have an arms policy.  We are NOT entitled to bear arms… we are NOT allowed to walk around the streets armed.  We know that is the law so should you ever decide to be armed then I honestly believe that you should be taken out… should you pose a threat to the public or the police.

It isn’t about being black or white, or whether you are Christian or Muslim or whether you are an immigrant… it is about abiding by the laws of our land. The police have a terrible job at times… their prime directive is to protect the public.. yet if they do protect the public by killing people who pose a threat… then they are hauled before inquiry upon inquiry having to defend why they took the action they did.  Or they are put in front of a jury charged with a crime of unlawful killing.

Of course we don’t want a Police Force that is trigger happy and there has to be safeguards.. but in a clear case where someone is on the rampage like Salvador was then they only way to minimise risk to the public is, as the Police officer said, ‘Take them out’.

Mrs Silva did NOT deserve to die…. perhaps if the Police had taken this guy out at the very beginning when he was running amok then perhaps we might have seen a different outcome.. Perhaps two children and six grandchildren might not be mourning the loss of a loved one.

It is all well and good the government forcing health trust to have cut back after cut back enforced upon them… but services like mental health are the first ones to suffer the cutbacks… And it isn’t long before the system is broken due to lack of funds.

There are not enough places for the mentally ill people to be… and the only solution is for health trusts to allow mentally ill people, people who should in their opinion be somewhere secure, free to on our streets.

Back in April 2015 the Daily Mirror reported that they had received a letter from 100  mental health workers and in that letter it notes

….that in the last five years mental health budgets have been cut by 8.25% in real terms and mental health nursing numbers cut by 6% – despite pledges by ministers for it have “parity of esteem” with physical health.

The letter also states

Cuts to the police force and local authority social care departments have further weakened the safety net that should be available to the public that we serve.

Cutbacks don’t hurt ‘Dishface’ Cameron, they don’t hurt the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, cutbacks hurt the people like Palmira Silva, the children of Edmonton.. it affects these people

Hackberry Rust Bucket

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Originally posted on Ryan Photography:

Taken by Ashley Ryan Taken by Ashley Ryan

After we left Las Vegas we visited the Hoover Dam and then we headed towards Williams travelling on the notorious Route 66. Unfortunately that day…  I was suffering from a blister, so it was left to him to do most of the photography.  Luckily we were travelling by coach and I just stayed on the bus at Hackberry.  The above picture was taken of an abandoned old car… sitting outside Hackberry Petrol Station.

We were told of how thriving towns turned overnight into ghost towns when they opened the Interstate 40, which bypassed many towns.  Luckily today, these places can be seen in their raw element… and Hackberry is just one of those places that should be on everyone’s list of places to visit.

Various service stations in town served U.S. Route 66 travellers after the highway came to town in 1926; all were shut down…

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