Christmas is over The decorations are down For another year
My haiku’s have made it to day two! I’m not sure exactly what topics I’ll cover with each – maybe an alignment with the rest of the day’s post but, more likely I suspect, as a kind of poetic journal refelecting something that has happened in my life or the world each day.
As you may guess from today’s, we took down our Christmas decorations this morning. This used to be a pretty depressing activity for me in the past as I would feel pretty down about the holiday period being officially over. In recent years though it seems to be affecting me less. I wonder if it’s because, as my children grow older, Christmas has changed. The magic of Father Christmas delivering presents is a thing of the past (at least until such a point as we become grandparents I suppose), and it doesn’t feel the same as when the boys were little. Plus, the way that time seems to fly by as a get older, it will be Christmas again in about five minutes …
Today’s photo is another made on the moors above Lady Canning’s Plantation next to a small cluster of rock outcrops known as The Ox Stones. I’m not sure where the name comes from, but there used to be an Inn known as Oxdale Lodge nearby, so perhaps livestock were grazed, or moved through the land by drovers?
From this angle, the stone has a face. A rock-face. 🙂
Looking further down the line I’m hoping for at least a partial return to normaility later in the year. As more of the population are vaccinated against Covid-19, so I hope that restrictions will be lifted and more freedom restored. Just the though of being able to hop in the car and drive somewhere without first having to check which tier it is in will be nice. Hell, just going to a restaurant even!
But at this immediate point in time that all still feels like some ways off. The restrictions remain, vaccinations have not really touched the majority of the population yet, and there’s likely to be an increase in cases and fatalities as we move into January. Brexit has happened, but the less said about that sorry state of affairs the better, I think . I’m also back at work next week and have a busy month ahead of me. This is a good thing, but despite a fortnight’s leave over Christmas, the strange circumstances in which we still reside mean that I don’t feel particularly rested.
Apart from some confectionery, the gifts I received for Christmas sit as yet untouched in a small pile on my office desk and, if previous years are anything to go by, it may be months before I actually find the time to enjoy them – mostly because ,when I do have some free time, I feel overwhelmed by all the things I’d like to do and then end up procrastinating about which to choose until I end up doing not much of anything! I feel I need another week of post-holiday leave or something to just do stuff.
As for photography, I still have pictures made in 2020 to develop and scan, but I’m not sure what will be the first thing I do photographically in 2021 as yet. I’m feeling a little uninspired if I’m honest. I’m sure the inspiration will return, and it’s not a winter thing – I know may photographers despair of the dull and, some might say, miserable conditions brought by a British winter, but I really don’t mind them. The conditions suit different types of photos is all. I will be making a second zine in the coming months though, so I need to put on my thinking cap to decide on the contents.
I don’t tend to make New Year’s resolutions as such, as they tend to fail more often than not, but this year I am going to attempt to not only lose some weight (something I know I can do), but also get fitter by doing C25K with one of my sons. Both should be positive activities I think (if not the easiest for me!).
Well, that’s a slightly gloomy post isn’t it? Please don’t let me bring anyone down. In order to lift things a little, I’ve decided that I will try to add a haiku to each day’s post this year. So here’s the first Please don’t judge my verse too harshly. 🙂
A new year is here I hope it’s better than last I’ll cross my fingers
And here’s another (slightly underexposed, but still quite nice) photo of the trees on the edge of Lady Canning’s Plantation. It is a photo blog after all.
As I type this Flickr is still undergoing its site maintenance involving the moving of everyone’s accounts, pictures etc. (billions of photos and videos, and over 100 million accounts!) across to a new hosting platform. I think it was scheduled to take 12 hours, but like many IT projects, is taking a little while longer than originally planned. As such I can’t get at my photos to add them in the normal way so, instead, here’s one I’ve uploaded directly.
Note: This isn’t meant to be a metaphor for Flickr’s account migration project. 🙂
Nikon F80, Nikkor 28-80mm f.3.5-5.6 AF & Fomapan 400.
“Bracing”, that’s the word we use to describe those seaside walks in bitterly cold wind.
This day however was far from bracing – it was taken back in February during an unseasonably warm period. Good old climate change, eh? At least we’ll get some nice warm days at the seaside in the middle of the winter before the sea swamps the place altogether so we can never visit it again.
Nikon F80, Nikkor 28-80mm f.3.5-5.6 AF & Fomapan 400.
On the edge of the village* where I live there is a farm. It’s located on a tight bend in the road, but the narrow verge is always well-tended, and through the gate and gaps in the hedge, you can often see ducks, geese and chickens milling around. The farm also sells a range of produce, and signs such as the one in my photograph are affixed to this tree and at other places. Once upon a time the farm probably backed out onto an undisturbed river floodplain, but this was taken over by a railway marshalling yard when the local coal mine was still in production (it’s been closed nearly 35 years now), and in more recent times now carries the A57 bypass via a viaduct across the valley, which is what can be seen in the middle part of the picture, just behind and above the hedge. Despite all this, there’s still a peaceful air around the farm, especially when the rush-hour traffic has subsided.
*I use the term “village” in its loosest sense – it’s actually just a suburb of Sheffield, but like many satellite settlements that have been absorbed into the wider metropolitan mass, it’s still known as “the village” be local people.
The Crooked Spire is the dominant landmark in the town of Chesterfield, not too far from where I live. It sits atop the Church of St Mary and All Saints and there are a number of legends as to how it became this way, but the actual reason given is that it is due to uneven heating on the lead coating of the spire from the southerly sun, which results in uneven contraction and expansion, and that the original structure was both made from unseasoned wood and not designed to bear the weight of the lead.
Taken on a morning wandering around the flea market. I used my Olympus Trip 35, which hasn’t had an outing in quite some time, but it’s a lovely little camera. Unfortunately the weather was windy with frequent showers so the market was underpopulated both with visitors, and also with stalls themselves. I still managed to get a few nice shots on the day though.
That said, the Fomapan 400 negatives are quite thin – this is the third time I’ve had this (with three different cameras), so I’m not sure what’s amiss. I’ve not had any issues with the film under-exposing before that I can recall. Oh, well, back to HP5+ for my next 400 speed shoots anyway.
The clock tower of Manchester town hall. At first glance I thought there was a scratch on the negative to the right of the lamppost, but it’s actually a passing aircraft. The same with the two lesser marks at top left. I thought about removing them in Photoshop, but decided against it.