Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town

In the search for subjects it is all too easy to overlook what is nearby, and I am guilty of sometimes believing I am going to have to drive into the Peak District to get an image.  Fortunately my wife does the thinking for me, and told me there was a nice tree over at Strelley Hall that I should photograph, due to its perfect shape and autumn colours. So, being the obedient person-that-just- presses- the-button that I am, off I trotted – a whole mile away.

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The image seemed to suit a 16×9 crop, and is indeed a really nice tree. Ideally a bit more foliage on the trees behind to help it stand out, but I am happy with it. If you look closely you can see the root bole (is that the right phrase?) sticking out on the left, where the tree has fallen over. The right hand side is crushed and gone, but the left hand side has developed into a very attractive shape.  Since I had traveled all that way, in the car, it seemed a waste to just turn round and come home, so I wandered a little.

Next to Strelley Hall is the parish church, locked up to prevent vandalism.  There is a small graveyard in the church grounds, and a larger one across the road. As you can tell from the sky, the weather was not improving.

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The church, and its enclosing wall, are made of sandstone which weathers beautifully over the years as the rain and the wind erode the stone blocks.

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However, whilst sandstone may be acceptable for building walls and churches, just, is is fairly useless for gravestones.  Hopefully there is a record of who this poor soul was.

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Until next time, and maybe waterfalls?  Definitely not those deer!

You’ll get the chance to put the knife in

Well Floyd survived another post. Based on previous posts I would guess the expectation, if anyone had an expectation, was either excitable and excited stags or autumnal waterfalls for this post.  It is hardly a surprise to you, because I know you already looked, that it is neither.

There are some statues or sculptures that have the power to move you, well me. I love the Angel of the North, and the sight of those 100 men from Another Place staring out longingly to the west. Now there is another that has joined them in provoking an emotional response. The Knife Angel, created by Alfie Bradley, is made up of 100,000 knives that have been used in knife crime up and down the UK.  It is stunning in the day, and the night adds another dimension.

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In the evening, as darkness closes in, the monument is illuminated with a series of colours, cycling through to give varying effects.  Having driven out to Derby to see it, I found out that it will be in Nottingham next August, so could have saved a trip.  If you get a chance to see it as it tours around the UK it is definitely worth it.  Will it help reduce knife crime? I don’t know. Maybe it will help raise awareness – we can only hope.

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It’s not easy banging your head against some mad bugger’s wall

A bit tenuous I agree, but the Hall has walls. Otherwise the roof would fall in wouldn’t it?  I really feel I am beginning to reach the end of the road with Pink Floyd lyrics, so may be changing the format soon.

To say I am getting frustrated with these red deer is an understatement. There is a small herd camped out on the golf course, and maybe one or two wanderers, but that is it. They are hiding somewhere but I cannot find them. Luckily the hall itself is quite an attraction, having been Wayne Manor in the Batman films, so a few views of the hall is what you are getting. Fingers crossed for the deer rut, but I am feeling waterfalls might be more likely…

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And if I go insane, and they lock me away, will you still let me join in the game?

Well…. I really wanted to use the lyric about if I was a swan I’d be gone, but I have used that one before, and I have photographed swans again. Anyway, I like the sentiment so there it is, and there it will remain.

We – well not me specifically, more the deer – are nearly in the rutting season, days or weeks away, so I have been going to the local deer park and even getting up early. This backfired a little when I turned up at 6:50 am to a gate into the park that is “normally” open around 7 but which did not actually open till 8:30! Apparently they had some problems with trees falling down overnight.  This did not affect me as I was not planning to climb any trees.  However, by this time people were queuing to get in and the deer were probably hiding from the dog walkers.  All but one that is, who followed me around the lake for a while before overtaking and sticking his tongue out at me on the way past.

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You may be able to tell from the shooting position that I am not a total idiot and I had moved over to the side to let him (and more importantly his antlers) pass.

Other than that the deer were a washout, so I took advantage of a swan that happened to be preening itself on the shore.  When I say took advantage I mean I took photographs, obviously…

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Fingers crossed the deer will get more excitable next week, and no more trees will fall down, so I can get on the park nice and early.  Until then – remember to click on an image to see it bigger in Flickr.

Beyond your tunnel vision reality fades

After a sunny week in Menorca, the wind and rain that greeted us when we arrived home was decidedly unwelcome. Looking on the bright side, a couple of days stuck indoors means I could get the photos developed. This was not a photo holiday, and most of the images were family holiday shots which you obviously don’t want to see, though I will share a couple that I rather like. First I need to add relevance to the title though; not exactly a tunnel, but a narrow lane in the centre of Ciutadella old town housing what looked like a three table restaurant, leading to a building in need of a little TLC and finally, reality fading into some rather nice street art.

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Ciutadella, Menorca

Ciutadella, Menorca

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Most of the time was spent by the pool. Apart from the day we went into Ciutadella the weather was cloudless and hot and the pool was very refreshing, so the urge to wander beyond our villa was very low. But I still wanted to experiment a little. I have always liked those head-on photographs you see of a breast stroke swimmer breaking the surface with a virtual mask of water, so the grandchildren were instructed to bob up and down in the pool until I got the images I wanted.  They did enjoy it… honest. I think. Well they survived it, and that is nearly the same surely?

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And if I were with you I’d be home and dry.

I seem to recall I said there would be a swift follow-up to my last post, as it jumped the queue in terms of temporal integrity. However, as usual, life gets in the way and I failed in my responsibilities. But I am grateful that you did not give up on me and that your patience, tempered by mild exasperation perhaps, led you here again.

In the Beverley weekend we had taken a run out to a tea shop (as usual. I swear I had said that when I retired I would spend every lunchtime in the pub sampling different ales, so I cannot understand why I spend so much time in tea shops. I don’t even like to overload on hot drinks, and end up drinking ginger beer, where the name is at least hearkening back to my original ambition for retirement. But I digress – and maybe should not have put this in brackets? Who knows…) which was at a hidden picturesque spot known as Falling Foss, which is a waterfall. First it should be said that falling foss is a bit like river avon, linguistically speaking.  Foss means waterfall, in the same way as avon means river, so what else would a waterfall do but fall? The waterfall itself is a bit tricky to get to, and we did not learn the route till we were leaving. So that is a job for next time. However the walks around the waterfall are really quite nice.  There is a hermitage carved out of the cliff face, a fairy glen, and the river itself. So I present you, as a reward for suffering the essay above, a few images from said walk..  Of course, the river is the logic behind the lyric as you probably guessed.

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Since hermits, by nature, tend to be solitary it is not a surprise to see the shelter is quite small, though it must have taken a long time to excavate. Methinks it is a folly.

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Obviously there are fairies in the fairy glen, though when I knocked they must have been out.

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that is not the falling foss waterfall. This is the Falling Foss waterfall as seen from the tea shop

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And finally, behind the tea place is a shallow stream in which to paddle

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Until next time.  Ooh, going on holiday next week so maybe there will be photos from Menorca. We will see…

The tolling of the iron bell calls the faithful to their knees, to hear the softly spoken magic spells

The lyric leads to me bringing out my thoughts in reverse order, but I can cope with that and you would never know. So all is good with the world. After one previously failed attempt to find anywhere to park, and with some help of a resident with inside knowledge, we finally made it to Beverley at the weekend. The main reason was to see an exhibition of the winning entries in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. As usual, a mix of really extraordinary images and others that made me think “how did you have the nerve to enter that, and which drugs were the judges on when they made it Commended?” After that we went to the Minster. Now the title makes sense?

They charge £3 for a photography permit in the minster. I don’t mind paying it at all, and I got a sticker that made me feel like a pro photographer, which was a bonus. I love the little quiet spaces, briefly illuminated by a shaft of light, almost like night photography in the way it draws the eye to the subject.

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For some reason the Minster had a well polished piano, in addition to the massive organ. Maybe for those small intimate services, for which you need a massive cathedral structure?  Anyhow, the reflections were nice

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And finally this little guy

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The visit to Beverley was made on the way home from a weekend at the caravan on the coast, which is why I mentioned my thoughts being in reverse order. I did get a few images earlier in the weekend, but to be totally honest I had been waiting to use that lyric title for a while, so the Minster pushed in.  I will look for Floyd lyrics referring to gentle rivers and streams and post again soon with some from earlier in the weekend.