I Have The Wanderlust – Do You?

I was born and raised in a big industrial city, near the shipyards on the River Clyde. Yet, by the time I reached 16 I had visited, thanks to a great educational program part funded by the City of Glasgow, some exotic an exciting places. The Azores.Canary Islands, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Corsica and Malta. This is where I developed my love of photography and travel, how I wish I still had those early photographs but anything I took then would have been left with my Mum for safekeeping. Anyway at 18 I got a job that allowed me to travel and live in different parts of the world. I met my future wife in Cyprus, now we live in North Wales and we’re still travelling.

OH God, take care of my loved ones.. provide me basic equipments, take me wherever i want to, make the season pleasant.. want to shoot more and more.. want to be a wanderlust always… can U? – Lakshman Iyer

So I was thinking this morning what photographs to show from my travels and I realised that my travel photography is totally different from what I do here in North Wales. Travel is about recording locations, more family orientated, you know, the touristy photographs that we all take when we are on holiday. No mountains, rivers, wildlife, sweeping landscapes, amazing sunsets, well very few of these……and look what I’ve got.

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Yep! That’s me, way back then…this has to be around 1967/68. I look so young. Elaine found these in a collection of stuff that we brought back when my father passed several years ago.

It’s me again…

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Look at that belt. Pure leather. I can remember where and when I bought that. Morocco. I bargained and bargained with this nice little guy for ages and we couldn’t agree a price. It was only when I got back on the bus to go back to the port that he finally cracked and I got the belt.

So that’s it for this week. I’m going to be on vacation for the next three weeks, doing a bit of travelling. Actually I’ve come full circle. I’m on a cruise visiting some of the places I did way back then.

Mike

I nearly forgot, here’s what others are saying about this weeks challenge

Eye For A Pic Weekly Photo Challenge – Wanderlust – Former Yugoslavia
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost – Nes Felicio Photography
A Certain Slant of Light Photography Wander Wonder
WY Pictures Photography Blog Paris 2017- Paris Winter Along The River Seine
Art-gasm – therealqueenofstuff
Yvette’s photography Wanderlust
Beyond the Brush Photography
Mind Over Camera Wandering
picturesimperfectblog Go, take a hike!
Books, Music, Photography, & Movies WPC- Wanderlust!

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The Earth Is Art, The Photographer Is Only A Witness…..

So said Yann Arthus-Bertrand  in his book: “Earth from Above, Third Edition” and I tend to agree. So this week come with me to Big Pool Wood and Talacre Beach to see what I have witnessed. Big Pool Wood is a small nature reserve managed by the North Wales Wildlife Trust. Despite its name the pool is quite small and only really fills up during the winter. But with the addition of a new bird hide and a dedicated team of photographers we are beginning to see all that the wood has to offer.

I’ve written about BPW before, mainly about the birds who visit, so let’s go for a walk around the woods, which you can do in about 15 minutes, or if you are like me, constantly stopping to take photographs, it could take an hour. Spring is here and the Mallard Ducklings have left the safety of the reed beds to paddle in the pool. There were seven little ducklings a week or so back but it looks like predators, or other Mallard Ducks, have whittled the population down by almost half.

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Of course with Spring, comes colour and the wood is now carpeted with purple and blue flowers.

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Bluebells form the biggest carpet and the path through the woods is lined either side by them.

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And flowers bring out insects like these Orange Tipped Butterflies. Common in the UK, so I haven’t really found anything rare.

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Likewise for this Comma, another common butterfly to be found in the UK.

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Not far from BPW is Talacre Beach and it with being such a fine day it seemed a shame not to pay a visit. Now if you go onto the beach it will be busy. But take a walk amongst the dunes and you will see plenty of wildlife. But you can also photograph the lighthouse with showing people and you get a different sort of photograph from what others might take if they were on the beach.

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Whilst I was walking through the dunes I came across this little Meadow Pipit, shot at the extreme length of my zoom lens and against a very bright background I struggled to get a decent photograph, especially as I had to crop in so much but the new Olympus camera with the improved sensor has done a reasonable job at the distance involved. Don’t get me wrong, It’s not perfect by any means, far from it, but at least I managed to get it good enough to post on my blog.

 

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As you wander around the dunes you see the odd sign of man made structures. During WWII Talacre was used as a bombing range and in later years there were buildings in amongst the dunes. Nowadays all that’s left are bits of fence like this.

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I’d just got back to the car-park when I spotted a little Robin perched in a tree. It was very quiet, normally they’re singing their little hearts out but this one wasn’t. He/She (both have that distinctive red breast) hung around long enough for me to get a few photographs and then took off.

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Right that’s it for this week, I hope you enjoyed the photographs and as usual here’s what other bloggers have got to say about this weeks challenge.

Exploring the world Wild flowers
Shape Shifters – Wind Rush
Weekly Photo Challenge- Earth – Or, The Earth At My Feet – Petchary’s Blog
The Photo Junkie Earth II- Belogradchik Rock Formations
Pictures without film. Solstice Sunrise revisited – Weekly Photo Challenge- Earth
Simply Photos Here Today – Gone Tomorrow
Our Beautiful Earth – Geriatri’x’ Fotogallery
The Blog of Maggie Weekly Photo Challenge- EARTH
picturesimperfectblog Synecdoche
Photography Journal Blog Weekly Photo Challenge- Earth

Wednesday to Wednesday – Who Thought That One Up?

I really do not like this new schedule for the Weekly Challenge. Does anyone else? So once again I have to go with a little post because I’ve not got enough photographs.

Brown Rat

This is a Brown Rat. It showed no fear and as bold as brass it kept coming out in front of me as I sat in the bird hide at Big Pool Wood. Straight up the branch of a tree and out to the bird feeders. At it’s closest point it was no more than 5 feet from me.

That’s it for this week – Mike

Here’s what others are saying about this weeks challenge

The Day After Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge- Surprised and Delighted
Coffee fuels my photography! Sunset Surprise (WPC- Surprise)
A Certain Slant of Light Photography A Tiny Visitor
The Eye of a Thieving Magpie Do Birds Play with their Food-
Snow in April – MiaPhotolio
Half a photograph Robot Hugs
Mindfulness through a lens WPC- Surprise
Jude’s Photography Weekly Photo Challenge- Surprise
Eiwawar Prince of the woods
Hansel and Gretel taken by Surprise – Reinhold Staden Photography

A Mixed Bag This Week

A bit of a mixed bag this week for the challenge. It’s strange how we all interpret a theme differently but this is how I see security. Weston-super-Mare has some fantastically wide and long beaches but it has one major failing. The tide goes out such a long distance and after the sand ends horrible thick cloying mud is exposed, the low tide mark in Weston Bay is about 1 mile (1.6 km) from the seafront. Trust me you don’t want to walk into it. you sink quickly and can immediately be up to your knees. Now here’s the worrying part. The tide that went out so far comes back in at a really fast speed and it’s unforgiving. If you’re stuck in the mud, and each year people do, you’d better hope the Rescue Team get to you in time, because Weston-super-Mare has one of the highest tidal rises in the world as much as 48ft (14.5m).

So for people’s own security and safety there are signs all along the beach warning of the dangers of sinking mud, and yet they are often ignored.

Danger Sinking Mud

Still in Weston-super-Mare. Because of those fast, incoming tides it is all too easy to get caught out. Take a look at the photograph below. On the causeway between Knightstone Island and WSM the tide often surges over the top. Now Knightstone really isn’t an island anymore. There is a perfectly good road which loops round the sea-front and is not much longer than the causeway. So there’s no need to put yourself in danger by walking across when the tide is coming in. Remember, it’s a fast tide that rises a considerable height. Look at the little dog on the lead. it’s been turned around by the waves. At this point she was halfway across and fortunately she made it safely……..

Washed Away

……and here’s the same causeway on a wild and stormy night.

Stormy Night

Further along the coast is Uphill Beach. You can walk from WSM to Uphill and it’s a really nice walk with sand dunes and of course long sandy beaches. Here they have a similar problem with mud, but there’s also an additional problem on the beach – boy racers. You can drive on Uphill beach and often the idiots will come on and start tearing up and down at a fair old speed. Supposedly there is a speed limit of 15mph but they don’t pay attention to that. So there are signs warning beach goers about the mud and speeding cars.. The local farmer makes a small amount of money each year towing cars out of the mud before the tide comes in. I’ve even towed a family car out that got stuck in soft sand.

Uphill Beach

I took this photograph a long time ago and it’s an old lighthouse at Burnham-on-Sea. further along the coast from WSM. Since I took this the steps have been repaired but it’s a long time since I’ve been to Burnham- so I can’t really say if the lighthouse is still in good repair.

The Tower

Although they have weapons, I think these guards are more for show than anything else. This is a popular tourist spot – Prague Castle.

On Guard

Anyway that’s it for this week and like I said a bit of a mixed bag which hopefully convey some meaning around security.

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

Margaretakirken – artishorseshit
By Tram, Escalator and Ferry- Hong Konging it – psychologistmimi
phoetryartwrasana Catalyst
This is Another Story A Special Necklace
Hot Dogs and Marmalade New Use for an iPod
This, that and the other thing Weekly Photo Challenge- Security…the One
Half a photograph Security
Weekly Photo Challenge- Security – nancy merrill photography
Weekly Photo Challenge. Security. – The Digital Teacup
Photography Journal Blog Weekly Photo Challenge- Security

It’s Saturday–Time For Black And White

The last three weeks have been pretty hectic with not much time for photography. A quick trip to Big Pool Wood and Talacre lighthouse to test the new camera and last Saturday I managed to arrange a day In Chester to take some photographs….and as usual the best laid plans etc. It was raining, dark grey skies, really overcast, but “plans is plans” and off I went. A good few weeks back I did a post about Chester Cathedral and Saturday was supposed to have been the architecture, Chester has some amazing Black and White buildings and covered walkways, called The Rows. The E-M1 Mk2 is weather-proof, so rain doesn’t really matter too much, apart from getting spots of water on the lens front, guaranteed to happen if you are shooting architecture, so Plan B, I always have a plan, was dusted off and brought into action. Street Photography.

The lovely thing about street photography is the best of is absolutely no way you can stage or even think of – it just like – it happened and isn’t it weird and it is gone.. I think the crazies stuff is the stuff that is generally real and the stuff you can make up is less impressive. – Matt Stuart

If you understand what Matt was saying, let me know.

Wet Chester

See what I mean about those lovely Black and White buildings, another day, maybe. I found a good spot to stand, it’s directly opposite me just to the left of the steps and two windows in. One it was out of the rain, you can see the dry spot on the street, and two it was ideal for catching my victims unwilling subjects as they came round the corner.

No matter what city you are in, at least here in the UK, Saturday is always good for Hen and Stag parties as the next two photographs show.

Strange People

Here comes the bride, can’t understand why she has shut her eyes, maybe it’s a surprise

Bride To Be

Chester is one of those town, they see so many tourists and photographers that they really don’t pay that much attention to another fool with a camera…..

I'm On The Phone

…..and those Black and White buildings are really fantastic to photograph. Just a shame people get in the way.

Friends

I’ve heard of The Leaning Tower Of Pisa, even been and visited it, but this is some serious lean. Ooops! It’s me. I haven’t got the horizon straight.

The Tower

Coffee time, at this point in the day I could do with one myself. This is another nice spot to take a photograph. People seem totally unaware that I’m standing there.

Coffee Time

On the same street, just a little bit further up and another convenient spot to take photographs.

Street photography is a renewable resource. If you don’t like what you see wait 5 minutes or walk a hundred feet. – Craig Coverdale

The Two Of Us

Watch out! They’re coming. On a wet day like Saturday he was doing a roaring trade in selling umbrella’s.

Smoke Time

….and there were lots of them about. Big ones, small one, all designed to poke your eye out. I’m tall and when I walk about in areas where there are lots of umbrellas I have to keep a constant eye, excuse the pun, for someone with their head down, scurrying along, underneath an umbrella.

Tourists

In Chester, there is a great area called The Rows. It’s a series of covered walkways with shops on one side that allow you to get about without getting wet. Well that’s how I look at it….

The Rows - Chester

Of course there are those who don’t mind getting wet, I other the other hand do like to keep dry, so this was taken from that nice little sheltered spot I mentioned earlier.

Happy Clappy

My final photograph for this week . I hope you enjoyed viewing them as much as I did taking them – Mike

The Two Of Us Again

Push The Boat Out

I’m still struggling with the new schedule for the Weekly Photo Challenge. It just does not fit with my weekly schedule and so this week I’ve got a bit of a mixed bag for you.

I don’t know which is the more predominant colour here, that bright orange or the even brighter green of the benches in the shelter. What do you think? Green or Orange?

Beach Shelter

Now this is definitely green. If you are ever fortunate enough to visit Tai O stilted village on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. you will see these little tourist boats running around. Personally I preferred to walk around the village, mainly because there are far better photo opportunities.

Tourists

Still in Hong Kong, if you get the chance visit the bird market, it’s right next to the flower market so you can kill two birds (excuse the pun) with one stone. Anyway, these are green birds with a little bit of red.. I’m very good at identifying birds as regular readers well know.

The Birds

Looks like I’m on a Hong Kong roll this week. This you definitely have to do. Catch the Star Ferry across the harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central. It’s a quick trip across Victoria Harbour, lasting about 15 minutes. Push the boat out (not another pun?) and pay extra for the Upper Deck. HK$ 2.50 or about UK£ 0.25p, US$ 0.30c.

Celestial Star

My last one today. I’ve been playing around with compositing photos. The model is a stock photograph courtesy of Marcus Ranum

The Sword

Well that’s it for this week. As usual, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge

Ellen Grace Olinger – Haiku Art Site Photo Challenge- Green
New Shoots – Beyond the Window Box
A Texan’s View of Upstate New York Oh So Green
嘗試 Try – Lived in UK, Living in Taiwan
Welcome! It IS easy being Green! Photo gallery
It IS easy being green- Weekly Photo Challenge – Sunni Buchanan Photography
DAVID OAKES -IMAGES. Daily Post – Weekly Photo Challenge…..GREEN
simply.cindy Gallery of Green
“Snotgreen Sea” – Beach Books Blog
through the luminary lens Spring has Sprung

Upstairs, Downstairs Part 2

Better late than never as they, although due to circumstances beyond my control I had to delay writing this post. Now that I’ve finished the unexpected re-decoration of our bedroom at home I can finally get around to writing this post. Sage green, nice colour, once you get used to it.

Continuing the story of Attingham Hall, In later years Attingham Hall was used as a hospital between 1914 and 1918 for wounded soldiers from World War 1. After the Second World War, Attingham was used as an Adult Education College for 23 years so not a lot remains of the downstairs furnishings. Room that you see are typical of the time but I’m not sure how accurately they reflect actual life below stairs. So let’s get started.

This is the kitchen and of all the rooms below stairs this is probably the most truest representation. The lady was actually putting together the ingredients for a carrot soup when we visited.

The Kitchen

The smell of fresh lemons permeated this room. Attingham has an education program for school children and it looked like they had just finished a lesson in cooking. Pancakes I think….

Training

This room could have been the scullery it’s very close to the kitchen and would be where the pots and pans would have been washed and cleaned. No modern aids in here. Hard work and elbow grease was the only way to get anything clean.

Scullery

This room was laid out as the staff dining room. The plates you see on the table explain who would sit where. For instance on the nearest plate is the inscription

Head Coachman Frederick Nash, the highest ranking servant wearing livery. Employed for his skill driving and caring for horses. 35 gns per year.

A guinea was worth 1 pound and 1 shilling in old UK currency before we became decimalised. Nowadays that would be 1 pound and 5 pence. So in todays currency GBP £36.75 (USD $46).as an annual salary.

Staff Dining Room

Just behind and to my left from where I was standing, there is a set of stairs that lead straight up to the front door of Attingham . The dining room windows also face the driveway and the front of the hall so staff would be able to see any callers to the great house.

Right that just leaves the Silver Room which has a large vault like door to secure the house silver which you can see in the cabinets

Silver Room

That’s it. The rooms are not as ornate or decorative. Plain and functional as you would expect for an downstairs in a great house.