Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Twisting trunk, the end of Christmas, and Covid

Another Padley Gorge photo today, again of a tree right up near the top of the wooded area where it opens out into heather and bracken covered moorland. There was another photographer making pictures of this same tree when I was there, so we were being careful not to get into one another’s shots.

Today was the day the Christmas decorations came down. I think the intent had been to dismatle them tomorrow but we ended up with a gap in the schedule this afternoon, so got it over and done with. I always used to find taking the decorations down a horribly depressing task, like it was making real the fact that the festive period and all the buid-up was done, and it was just back to work / school / wet and cold January days with not much to look forward to in the immediate future. It would really get me down and the house would look bare and empty with all the trees, lights, garlands and other trimmings packed away.

I don’t seem to feel it nearly so much now (and, if I’m honest, the excitement in the run up to Christmas either). I’m not sure exactly why this might be. Perhaps a sign of getting older? Maybe the fact that our kids are not so young and some of the magic has disappeared? Whatever the case, I don’t feel down like I used to. While I don’t want to lose my fondness for Christmas, losing the post-Christmas blues is not something I will complain about too much.

Both of my kids who still live with us have now tested positive for Covid-19. One late last week, the other today. Neither of them seem particularly ill – they have cold-like symptoms but not much else – and they’re still playing video games and watching the stuff they find entertaining. My wife and I are (so far) still testing negative. It’s actually something of a mystery how the first one managed to be infected – he hasn’t left the house since mid-December and the only visitor we had prior to him starting to feel ill was his big brother who came over on Christmas day (but he’s not been positive either). I’m assuming that either my older son, or my wife and I were infected but asymptomatic at some point and passed it on, or we’ve brought something contaminated into the house. It’s a bit of a puzzle to be honest.


Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 50mm f/2.8 MC & Ilford Delta 3200. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9.5mins @ 20°

Taken on 23 December 2021

4 thoughts on “Twisting trunk, the end of Christmas, and Covid

  1. Fantastic frame. Did some side reading about Padley Gorge just now, a temperate rainforest is not really something I’ve ever imagined in the UK.

    I hope the kids will continue to be fine, it sounds like they will/should be. You and the missus will have to keep an eye on yourselves, make sure you stay well rested as possible, keep the immune system running on high.

    I think I’ve always had the opposite of the post Christmas blues. Because I tend to relish the sensation of sudden extra space and more light when the decorations and tree come down……since usually the tree is right in the picture window for all to see and blocks what little December daylight we enjoy. Ironically, this year I didn’t mind keeping the tree for longer since it’s a petite number on a side table. I even suggested we just leave it be for the rest of the week. But my better half is experiencing a delighted cleaning frenzy and insisted it should be shown the door. Yesterday was bright and sunny, we were in the mountains whereas today is gloomy and rainy, the perfect day for new year housekeeping, I suppose. She is on a mission.


    1. Your better half sounds like mine. Once she has it in her head that the cleaning needs to be done it’s like fighting a rising tide. I can maybe delay it a little, but not much more. Sometimes it’s easier to just go with the flow. 🙂 The house does look brighter today (if less cosy), especially as we have some sunshine. Our tree blocks the light from the rear window which is south facing so most of the brightness gets lost.

      The kids seem fine despite being positive. A bit of coughing and sneezing but that’s about it. My wife and I are still not showing any symptoms and no positive tests have been recorded.

      I agree that it sounds odd to call Padley Gorge a temperate rainforest, but I guess that’s my brain just trying to overlay an image of a jungle or something onto the place. I think I always associate rainforests with tropical climes rather than temperate ones. Also the fact that Padley Gorge and the surrounding areas are more “woodland” than “forest”, means the description sounds somewhat grand.


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