You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone

As Joni Mitchell so aptly sang. I almost lost Beautiful Railway Bridge due to forgetting the renewal date for the domain. Then, when I thought the payment had gone through, those bastards at Barclays blocked the card payment because it was international. Welcome to the global economy, chaps!

So today, after being notified by email, followed immediately by a phone call from their fraud prevention unit, I was off on a roller coaster of rage, anxiety, and much profanity. It involved a long phone call to exotic India, and back again, before the card was unblocked and I could make the payment. Don’t even want to think about what that call cost.

My blood pressure is settling down a bit now. Having suffered so much, it would be stupid not to start posting again.

Whither Beautiful Railway Bridge?

In the spirit of the first ever Monty Python (see the whole wonderful episode below) I have been pondering shallowly on where I can take Beautiful Railway Bridge.

After such long absence it’s hard to get traction again, particularly since I’ve always relied on arbitrariness, serendipity, and the kindness of strangers. So the idea is to make Beautiful Railway Bridge a bit more structured, with regular features as well as improvisation. Not sure where I’m going yet, but photography has to be one of the main girders. I’m resurrecting the Daily Photo Challenge as a way of getting started, even though it can be a rod for my own back. Finding new subjects, or new ways of looking at old ones, in a one horse town is definitely a challenge.

Next up are this morning’s photos.

Beautiful Railway Bridge: 2012 In Review

Winged MonkeysMany thanks to the WordPress Flying Helper Monkeys for putting our yearly statistics together. (Dubya, is that you?) All year round they bang away on their typewriters, just to keep the code flowing so we can enjoy a seamless blogging experience. We don’t ask for the complete works of Shakespeare, and they don’t supply it, but they and the Orwellian Happiness Engineers keep the WordPress ship afloat.

I’m probably a customer service representative’s worst nightmare – impatient, ungrateful, quick to assume it must be the fault of WordPress, and profoundly ignorant of the cause of a problem.

Well, I’m often wrong.

One of my resolutions was to show a bit of humility in 2013. That was it. Normal service will now be resumed.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 45,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 10 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Beautiful Railway Bridge’s Top 12 Blogs of 2012

2012 Blog Award Flag 1600

It’s that time of year again when everyone makes lists. Unfair to stop at 10, and even 12 leaves out blogs I visit regularly. But I had to stop somewhere, and 12 fits in with 2012, opening up the possibility of 13 in 2013, and so on. Until I run out of room on the flag. I left out some excellent blogs that only publish sporadically, some that are no longer active, and some for which there is no room this year. As you might expect, my list has a lot of photography and art blogs. In alphabetical order.

biblioklept: As the title suggests, a compendious collection of art, writing, music and film clips, all of it surprising and unexpected. A reflection of the written word in different genres.

Chicquero: An art, design, fashion, and photography blog, with stunning photos.

ciapannaphoto: An Italian photography blog, mostly street photography, which catches scenes and moments to perfection.

Expressions of my life – An evolution of art: An American painter’s personal blog, detailing the work in progress, the painter’s thoughts and poetry, even the music he plays while painting.

Fear No Weebles: Madame Weebles is funny, fearless, and thoroughly opinionated. Splendid rants.

GingerFightBack: Inspired and hilarious comic characters from a founder member of the Ginger Resistance. He’ll photoshop a ginger wig on you at the drop of a hat.

Leanne Cole Photography: Tutorials in digital manipulation. If that sounds dry, it’s not, because she illustrates them with her own superb photos of the Melbourne area and gives you the background story to each shot. I visit to gawp, since I don’t have any of this new-fangled software, but you’ll learn something if you do.

northierthanthou: Thoughtful essays from a native of Alaska, complete with photos of a land most of us can only imagine.

Ooggetuige: Brilliant portrait photography in this Dutch blog. He brings out the character of his subjects to such an extent that they look right back and say, “Who are you looking at?”

The Accidental Cootchie Mama: Warm, sly, engaging stories from the American South, some made up, some real. Always worth reading.

The Bookhound: Prolific, thoughtful book reviews from a dog-loving librarian.

WISIWIS (What I See Is What I Shoot): Photography blog from Moscow. Daily life in the street as lived by ordinary Russians.

Thanks for all the good stuff!