My previous post began with a short lament about the difficulties of finding time to write on a regular basis. That was back in October so it seemed high time I made some form of update.
It's not as if I haven't been doing anything, quite the opposite in fact. Since returning from Australia I have made a conscious effort to keep myself as occupied as possible in an attempt to stop myself reverting to my old Netflix/YouTube habits. This seems to be working for the most part, I have still not renewed my Netflix subscription, I've lost a stone and a half, and my bouldering skills have improved to a point that even I recognise it. Oh, and I still have a few more activities to get started with, I just need to get over my fear of contacting strangers.
Weekends are my main source of adventure, and since last posting I have used them to embark upon numerous photographic expeditions that I would like to share with you. As there are a number of individual activities I figure it would be best to create small galleries for each with a little bit of writing about what I did, this should spare you the tedium of reading through all the gory details of my exploits.
First up, at the tail end of October (the 31st kind of tail end) I took a trip to visit a friend in London, via a wander round the British Museum to look at the Manga Now exhibition. As the Manga Now exhibition was so tiny (good things come in small packages) I took the opportunity to peruse some of the other exhibits, most notably the Days Of The Dead Festival that happened to be taking place. Those of you unfortunate enough to have witnessed the latest James Bond motion picture will recognise the gigantic skeletons. And of course, I couldn't wander round the capital without shooting some of my immediate surroundings, including an appropriately spooky, Hallowe'en landscape captured drunkenly with my iPhone in the middle of the night on London Fields.
The following weekend was consumed by the act of shopping. I bought a car. A nice shiny blue Ford Fiesta. As humorous as the Vectra Tank was, it just wasn't going to cut it long term, and having done some very detailed research I found four Fiestas at the same place, that all matched my desired spec list; I couldn't resist the trip to at least look at them. The trip took me to King's Lynne which turns out to be a very photogenic little town.
A fortnight later I made the spontaneous decision to drive to Preston to see my friend's band, Jacob's Story. Although I didn't take many photos, I did have a very entertaining evening drinking Icelandic beer at unbelievably reasonable prices (Cambridge, take note; £2.50 is how much a 330ml bottle should cost, not £5). I also acquired two pots of the holy grail of food seasoning: Chip Spice (or Red Salt if you're in the know).
Following another week at work I set about organising myself for another trip to The Big Smoke. This time with environmental intentions; I took part in the 2015 Climate March alongside many other Greenpeace supporters. It was one hell of an event, marching through the streets of London with an estimated 70,000 people. I only managed to fire off a few shots, including one very bad one of Radiohead's Thom York DJing on a giant boat (head to Flickr to see that one!).
December was fairly calm in terms of photographic excursions, up until the 28th when my home town hosts an annual Classic Car Sprint. I hadn't actually realised it was happening until the day of the event and I hadn't brought my camera with me whilst visiting my parents. Still, as Chase Jarvis once said, "The best camera is the one that's with you" so out came the iPhone. A quick peruse of the app store concluded with the purchase of the Camera+ app (I won't go into specifics but the pictures are better than the standard camera app) and I was set.
And that brings us to January. I spent some time early in the month trying to find the photogenic side of Cambridge with a degree of success.
Apart from a brief day out with the camera though, January was a month mostly filled with trips to climbing walls. I have developed a strange desire to sign up to as many different walls as possible. Currently I am at 12; Peterborough, Northampton, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Harlow, London (The Castle), Portsmouth, Norwich (Highball), Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane (Urban Climb, and Crank).
I signed up to the one in Portsmouth after a night out to celebrate a friend's birthday. On that trip I took one photo that I deem worth sharing here.
And then in February, I have so far made one outing with the camera. Last weekend I visited Anglesey Abbey with some friends. Those who have dug around the more ancient parts of my Flickr page will note that I have visited Anglesey Abbey once, at night, for their Winter Lights show (which is rather good by the way). It was really good to see the gardens during the day, and as the sun was doing some really pleasant things that day I enjoyed shooting my way around the grounds.
There is one more image from Anglesey Abbey that I'm sharing in this post, it's the one right at the top so you might have to scroll back up. I wanted to highlight it because I think it's one of my best landscape images. I've never considered myself a particularly proficient landscape photographer but I learnt a lot whilst taking, and processing this image and that makes me want to try some more similar stuff.
This brings us to today, when I've got some downtime before heading off to play some boardgames and socialise. Hopefully I haven't melted your eyeballs with such an onslaught of photographic activity, perhaps I'll keep to some better regularity in the future?!
Until next time...