The Past

Sorting through some boxes in my loft, I found a box of letters I had written to my mother, I didn’t know she had kept them – including this tiny photo of a boyfriend from way back. (1968?) Its so interesting to see this young man – I barely recognised him at first sight, the double exposure, showing his profile made me sure.

I spent a day reading the letters, many dating from when I was 16 and gradually dwindling in numbers as telephoning became cheaper and easier. I was astonished by the fact that I seem to be the same person, the hand-writing, the phraseology, the subject matter – just as I might write today. I seem to have had a surprisingly close and frank relationship with my parents – I have always felt that it was so but its been interesting to see the proof.

Boyfriend

Colour – Green

Green is everywhere but its good to find something other than just the green of grass or leaves, the “green” of the golf course apart.

I visited the Jardin des Plantes botanical gardens in Paris in November, the leaves turning to a luminous yellow set against the dark green pines and vivid green moss on the tree trunk all caught my eye but what centres the image the pensive young man, his feet flexed in concentration. And the green plastic hose running along the edge of the lawn.Jardin des Plantes, Paris

Green-painted window on Holy IslandThe golf course at Alnmouth in DecemberMoss on a very old wall in Ffestiniog, Wales

The train to Bristol

Today I went by train to Bristol and couldn’t resist covertly photographing this beautiful Japanese woman as she slept, seen through the reflection of passing smoke, trees and fields seemingly to be gently enveloping her.

Sleeping on a Train

A dark shape appears to be rolling her head and making her gasp – seen through a fine white gauze-like stream.

Sleeping on a Train 2

Geo tagging with my phone tells me exactly where I took this photo – on the traintrack just after it crosses the A338 north of Wantage – simultaneously both fascinating and useless information.

Below is a photo of Reading station – repeating patterns in such close proximity. The cut out shapes are the same but seen in silhouette, then blue and above, apparently reversed – the same shapes made from corrugated roofing – confused by reflections in the train window.

patterns in victorian stations

I tried photographing the concrete-paved platform as the train was slowly pulling out of the station, the yellow warning strip of the edge of the platform makes a pleasing border.

concrete platform

Decorative plasterwork on the ceiling of a public house dating back to 1746, the Llandoger Trow in Bristol centre.

plasterwork ceiling

Greenwich Park

Magonlia buds have opened further in the warm sunny weather over the last few days.

Magnolia buds almost open in Greenwich Park

Magnolia buds just beginning to burst open

I am lucky to live within walking distance of this great old park, wide views over London, historic bulidings, some of the oldest trees for miles around and plenty of green space. We are all distressed to know that our access will be restricted for so long this summer to make way for the Equestrian Olympics.

Each week we see changes, the building of new banks for jumps, trimming of some trees, removal of others, widening of gateways, re-laying of lawns and paths – the list goes on and on. Progress and development are good but the chain-saw sounds of tree-felling are worrying. Even the heath is being transformed with temporary buildings – provision of stabling for all the horses.

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Repetition

Cobbled Bridge
Cobbled Bridge in Warkworth

My booted friend saw this grating in Portmerion and knew I’d like it.

Crossing over thew railway line in Blaenau Ffestiniog, I presume the wooden rails are to stop people wandering off from the official route.

Railway Lines at Blaenau Ffestiniog

The watermill at Blaenau Ffestiniog, water drips running down in the gaps between the railings and below, the hods of thre wheel juxtaposed against the perspective lines of the slates on the roof beyond.

Watermill at Blaenau Ffestiniog

Watermill at Blaenau Ffestiniog

Blaenau Ffestiniog

Snowdonia – a week of grey skies and mists and just two days of lovely sunshine – watching the dawn from the skylight window looking over the hills to the north east. The ‘mist’ in the valley in the foreground is really just the vapour from the condensing boiler but I thought it added something good to that dark space.

Sunrise at Ffestiniog

Looking away to the north west, just visible – a flock of white birds chasing away the black birds.

Angry Birds at Dawn

Back again to the north east the sun finally lighting up all the details of the valleys and trees through the mist.

Misty sunrise at Ffestiniog

Colour – Red

A week in North Wales – grey and misty weather but red seems to appear in almost all of my photographs.

Melin Pant-yr-Ynn, Blaenau Ffestiniog

Red window at Melin Pant-yr-Ynn, Blaenau Ffestiniog

The water wheel in motion

Waterwheel turning at Melin Pant-yr-Ynn, Blaenau Ffestiniog

Sunrise over Manod Mawr near Ffestiniog, Gwynedd

Sunrise at Ffestiniog

The Japanese Pagoda in Portmerion

Red painted Japanese Pagoda at Portmerion

Slate gate posts and red-painted iron gate in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Red iron gate at Blaenau Ffestiniog

Reminded me of a similarly grey day in December in Northumberland on the quayside at Amble Harbour

Red buoys at Amble Harbour

And this lovely old door – maybe it was really red long ago

Red painted door in Warkworth