Category Archives: Themed photos

Zephyr

Generally acknowledged as the worst of the national lockdowns, ‘Lockdown 3.0’ – which started officially on 5th January 2021 and drifted interminably through winter and into a grey, drizzly spring – has been, to put not too fine a point on it, resoundingly s**t.

Dark and cold for most of the last 4 months, the Covid-19 pandemic has once again robbed us of seeing family and friends, deprived us of entertainment (cinemas, theatres, gigs…all legally banned) and forced us to convert living into office space. Any sense of fascination for these unchartered waters, or gallows humour (such that it was), has long since departed. And the novelty of regular Zoom calls has dwindled. We’ve hunkered under blankets, stuck out our bottom lips, and refused to show any more of that bl**dy British stoicism our Prime Minister is so keen to eulogize.

And yet… As we enter May, there are signs to be hopeful. “We’ve been here before!” the more hard-core pessimists declare. And it’s becoming easy to slip into that mindset. Especially when, for the third time in as many weeks, a social engagement has been postponed due to dreary weather. WOE IS ME! WILL THIS ORDEAL NEVER END?!

Yes. Yes, it will. On 21st June. And – actually – things will be pretty much back to normal from 17th May. They will. We will be able to hug again, and drink together in the warm, and stay over at each others’ houses….and finally watch ‘Nomadland’ on the big screen. Basic human rights restored!

So I will not embrace the mantra du jour: “It’s the hope that kills you”. I’ve watched far too many Disney films in my day for that. Hope is a wonderful thing. Today I get my second dose of the vaccination. And I look forward. To a warm, long, sunny summer. To trips around the UK. To meeting friends’ new babies for the first time. To sharing picnic food. To seeing my mum and dad. To parties. And weddings. And meals out that don’t involve sitting in scarves under makeshift awnings.

I am hopeful.

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NHS art

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‘Courage’ photo credit: Simon Bibby

Ingresses / Egresses

It’s been a fair while since I updated my collection of doorways. So given how cold and cloudy it is today, I decided to rectify that. I love rummaging through photos, reminding myself of holidays past, digging out options and putting together a series. I discovered some beauties, so it was hard to whittle down. But here’s where I landed…

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Paciano, 2019

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Delhi, 2014

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Valencia, 2019

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New Orleans, 2016

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Dulwich Village, 2021

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Nice, 2014

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Orvieto, 2019

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Barrio del Carmen, 2019

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Algiers, 2019

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Sienna, 2019 (Credit: Chris Adnitt)

Norfolk: Boats

Playing with different light and camera settings on the North Norfolk Coast… It’s hard to take a bad photo when you have this to work with! Looking back at these pictures from autumn 2019 has inevitably made me wistful. 17 days to go before Lockdown 3.0 starts to ease…fingers crossed for nice spring weather and plenty of options for day trips.

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il colore

Back in the heady days of summer 2020, when for a brief few weeks we could visit the city centre again… God, I miss London. So near, and yet so far. Would it be wrong to steal a couple of vials of the vaccine? Worth more than gold.

We all had such high hopes for 2021. Right now, I could forego a holiday; I don’t need exotic climes. I’d take the opportunity to meet with those I love…in a noisy pub…to hug and laugh and breathe each other’s air. Without fear.

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Boreas

It sifts from leaden sieves,

It powders all the wood,

It fills with alabaster wool

The wrinkles of the road.

It makes an even face,

Of mountain and of plain, —

Unbroken forehead from the east

Unto the east again.

It reaches to the fence,

It wraps it, rail by rail,

Till it is lost in fleeces;

It flings a crystal veil

On stump and stack and stem, —

The summer’s empty room,

Acres of seams where harvests were,

Recordless, but for them.

It ruffles wrists of posts,

As ankles of a queen, —

Then stills its artisans like ghosts,

Denying they have been.

– Emily Dickenson

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Bramhope Paddocks (Credit: Robert Wood)

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Swineside Knott and Sheffield Pike (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

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Gloomy Norwood Shed

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Misty Waterfowl (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

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Holly Bush

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Wombling in Wimbledon

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Incessant Grey

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Crystals in the Palace

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Blencathra (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

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Delicate Frost (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

Chōkoku

Reminiscing on far-flung places again today, as I sit shivering in my slipper socks. Hakone was the last stop on our tour of Honshu and, to be honest, a little disappointing on the whole. A tourist trap, with the distinct air of faded-glory. People flock there to tour the National Park in an effort to catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji. But it’s often shrouded in cloud. We didn’t see it. And I wouldn’t bother with the boat trip across Lake Ashi or the sulphur springs at Owakudani Valley (a hole in the ground with a giant gift shop). The kuro-tamago (“black eggs”) you’re encouraged to taste at the springs are…well, they’re like eggs…with black shells. And they smell of sulphur.

So I wouldn’t recommend a visit to Hakone then? Well…that’s tricky. Because there were nuggets of real interest. The Pola Museum of Art, for example, where we took in a fantastic exhibition by Emile Galle. And the Gora Grill by chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa (of ‘Nobu’ fame). But it was the absolutely stunning Open-Air Museum in Ninotaira that truly saved our stay there…in spectacular fashion!

Opened in 1969 , the OAM was the first alfresco art museum in Japan and the park now houses around 120 works spread over 70,000 square metres. You can spend most of the day there and it made me quite giddy with excitement. Here are a few snaps, which really don’t do justice to the place but hopefully give a sense of its magnificence…

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Ryoji Goto, Intersecting Space Construction (1978)

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Takashi Mine, Primavera (1972)

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Peter Jon Pearce, Curved Space (1979-1994)

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Arnaldo Pomodoro, Sfera con Sfera (1978-80)

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Yuki Shintani, Alba (1972)

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Marta Pan, Floating Sculpture 3 (1969)

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Masamichi Yamamoto, Dream of Ancient Times (1980)

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Tarō Okamoto, L’Homme Végétal (1971)

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Antony Gormley, Close (1993)

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Rainer Kriester, Big Hand (1973)

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Hakone OAM

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Yves Klein, Blue Venus – S41 (1962)

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Shin Yamamoto, [Hey!] (1992)

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Giuliano Vangi, Grande Racconto (2004)

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Carl Miles, Man and Pegasus (1949)

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Barbara Hepworth, Two Figures (1968)

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Santiago de Santiago Hernández, Unidos (1986)

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Tarao Yazaki, Religious Mendicant (1971)

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Joan Miró, Personnage (1972)

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Henry Moore, Large Spindle Piece (1968)

Foliorum

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;

Lengthen night and shorten day;

Every leaf speaks bliss to me

Fluttering from the autumn tree.

I shall smile when wreaths of snow

Blossom where the rose should grow;

I shall sing when night’s decay

Ushers in a drearier day.

                                               –  Emily Brontë

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Eurus

London – along with many other areas of the country – is currently subject to ‘Tier 2’ restrictions, essentially another lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This time we’re allowed out in our “household bubble”, but not permitted to mix with others. What an interminable year 2020 has been. One of the only things that helps make it bearable is getting out with my camera. So here’s my first post on autumn; the pictures taken on rare days when the rain hasn’t fallen incessantly. Time to hunker down with board games, red wine, fire-pits and cheese.

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[7th photo = Credit: Dave Adnitt]