What are the pros and cons of going on holiday in November – in the Northern Hemisphere? If you plan to trek to the North Pole there are no pros, you had better wait till summer which won’t be much better… but for elsewhere?
There are not too many people around, you don’t have to queue or worry you won’t find a parking spot.
You won’t have to book accommodation well in advance.
You can take advantage of last minute cheap deals.
You won’t have to book on line well in advance for places of interest.
Packing is easy, just your winter clothes.
You can work up a good appetite with the chilly weather.
You can enjoy sitting in front of a log fire.
There are plenty of hours to enjoy the night sky.
You will not get too hot when going walking or climbing.
It is invigorating walking by the sea or on a hill top.
It’s not the school holidays.
The autumn trees are a beautiful colour.
You can start Christmas shopping.
It’s too quiet, there aren’t many people around.
Your hotel is empty and depressing, the staff bored.
That last minute bargain deal is not a bargain, the hotel was cheap because it’s awful.
The places you were glad you didn’t have to queue up for are closed for the winter.
Lots of places are closed for the winter.
The places that aren’t closed, close early, usually just before you get there.
Packing is hard as you have to fit in gloves, scarves, thick socks, hats and lots of everything in case you get soaked in the rain.
You can’t have picnics.
It’s hard to find somewhere open to eat.
It’s even harder to find somewhere open in the evening to eat.
The days are too short.
If you go walking out in the country you will probably slip in the mud or fall into a fast flowing stream.
If you go to the seaside to photograph winter waves you may be swept away by a freak wave.
Children are at school, you’re surrounded by pensioners on holiday.
The trees are bare and depressing.
The shops have started Christmas too early.
Can you remember what any of these pictures from previous blogs are? No, nor can I…
Did you get ten out of ten? The answers might be, in no particular order…
London South Bank – street entertainers.
Angel of The North
Wonder sheep at the New Forest Show
Odeon cinema Bournemouth
World’s oldest clock
Font, Salisbury Cathedral
Antony Gormley – Another Time, Margate
Lego model of Durham Cathedral
Valentine Night Storm damage
Last century, in a previous incarnation, I went to mother and toddler groups; no doubt they have to be called something else now, Kids and Karers? We did have one granny, a few child minders and a couple of fathers. It was one of these fathers who brought his video camera along, no one else possessed such equipment. We thought he was showing off and hovering over his poor child. The ethos of the club was to ignore the little ones while indulging in a good gossip. These days he would probably have to have a background check before even being allowed into the church hall, let alone with a video camera. I wonder where that little boy is now, perhaps hot housed into a world leader, his whole life recorded for posterity.
How would we all have fared, how different would our lives have been if we had grown up in the digital world, our pathetic appearance in the school nativity recorded and watched by grandchildren. I never got to be Mary or even an angel; in top infants I was merely the innkeeper’s wife with the line ‘Come this way.’ Would anyone want to see themselves coming last on sports day or dancing round the maypole in junior school? We did not get the ribbons tangled during our school’s centenary celebrations, but whether we looked elegant is another matter.
Our lives did not go completely unrecorded, Dad got a reel to reel tape recorder and secretly recorded Mum and the aunties, nobody could believe how awful their own voice sounded. When we had our school holiday in top juniors, several mothers went along as helpers, not mine thank goodness. One of these ladies had a cine camera, we were all going to be film stars. When it came time for the showing of the film, I did not appear at all.
There are families who have wonderful silent records of every Christmas, cine cameras were around for a long time before being superseded by videos, but most people took only photographs. Now every moment of a life can be recorded instantly, film or photo and broadcast to the world. Granddad on the other side of the world can see the new grandson having his umbilical cord cut. Great grandparents can see pretty in pink little miss precocious doing her first ballet exam at the age of two.
But I feel more than a twinge of regret when I think of all the missed Instagrams I could have taken, pictures shared on Facebook and blogs written of my pre digital life. We have many photo albums, but camera film could not be wasted taking pictures of weird things; night scenes through rain splattered bus windows or the ubiquitous snaps of meals out or in.
Perhaps the more obsessed bloggers would have started much earlier if they had had the opportunity.
Day One; with a bit of help from Mummy and Daddy I am starting this blog to record my whole life. Today was a bit of a milestone as I said my first words… blog, post and WordPress. Of course I know lots more words than that, but my lips and tongue aren’t working properly yet, just one of the challenges of being a baby.
Day Two; I have my first two followers, Mummy and Daddy… Sam the cat isn’t on WordPress so he can’t Like me, but here is a picture of him.
Day Three; We went to Wriggle and Rhyme Story Time at the library, I gave it four out of five stars…
My novel Quarter Acre Block is inspired by my early years.
The Red Arrows flew over our road, but I missed the shot.
Some people alter their whole house to get a good viewing point.
Ice cream war?
You need the right lens if you want to get good shots of the aeroplanes.
Boats are easier to photograph.
So are buses.
Which ones are real?
This is as far as Spiderman got!
Which ride would you try?
I got some good pictures of smoke…
… and bikes.
Meet the pilots.
For actual pictures of planes see Wednesday’s and Friday’s blogs.
Reginald loved painting
Inspired by what he saw
Never stopped trying to create
Of all the colours in the
RED ladies dancing gracefully
ORANGE shades of autumn trees
YELLOW downy hair of his baby son
GREEN turbulent seascapes
BLUE skies with Constable clouds
INDIGO flowers in his garden
VIOLET vivacious surrealist shapes
Robert took photographs
Anytime, anywhere, anything
New digital camera
Of the real and unreal
Wonderful colours created by the computer
RED balloons in the sky
ORANGE flowers magnified
YELLOW striped bumblebees
GREEN rolling hills and fields
BLUE racing cars
INDIGO eyes of lovely ladies
VIOLET twilit skies
Reginald regularly exhibited
At shows and displays
In galleries and art rooms, but
No one bought a single scene
Browsing, gazing, frowning, smiling, leaving. If
Only, thought Reginald, I could see the
World and find more colours.
Paint the perfect picture, try a new
Try to find THE END OF THE RAINBOW
Photos are the way, said Robert
Acquire a computer, find a new
Interest, begged his wife,
Never leave us, but Reginald
Took his leave
RED desserts he crossed
ORANGE robed monks he met
YELLOW sunrises beckoned him
GREEN turbulent seas carried him towards the horizon
BLUE southern skies warmed him
INDIGO light on the mountain top dazzled him
VIOLET flower that bloomed once in a lifetime, pierced his heart, but still he
Roamed on and on
Around the world
Into the wilderness
Never giving up hope of finding
On the other side of the sky
Wondering if the end of the arc lay there
RED tinted clouds
Reginald asked for
Maker, who said
Avert your eyes, do not go
Into the colours, But
Nearer he went
Brighter and brighter
Gazing at the shimmering spot where the
Rainbow burned into the
Earth, darkness fell on his soul and he saw a
Yawning chasm where all was GREY
God spoke to
Reginald. I showed you all the colours of the
Earth, but still you asked for more. Go
Yonder and see no more.
A new exhibition opens here at the weekend, challenging how we perceive the world around us. The artist and photographer Scribaltide claims there is no up or down, on earth or anywhere in the universe, so therefore we should free ourselves from the notion that there is a right way up to hang paintings and photographs. The exhibition has been panned by critics and the Royal Photographic Society has distanced itself, saying Scribaltides’s pictures are not of a standard they would recognise, even the right way up.
Noah’s Ark, the wilderness years.
The public have been flocking to the exhibition, but there have been reports of some viewers being taken ill with dizzy spells and nausea. A disclaimer advises those with a heart condition or who are pregnant to seek the advice of their doctor first.
Answers at the end.
Time for the answers.
Windsor, Royal Berkshire
Ten Downing Street, London, SW1
Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire
Sheerness, Isle of Sheppey
HOW MANY DID YOU GUESS?
IF YOU LIKE PICTURE QUIZZES TRY THE TWENTY QUESTIONS AT MY WEBSITE.
The man next door has a notice on his gate,
ALL CATS WHO ENTER, BEWARE YOUR FATE.
For he prefers two legged creatures,
Those with wings and feathers as features.
Four legged creatures who climb, chase and bite
Beware of getting in my neighbour’s sight,
For the man next door is a very good shot,
His eyes are sharp and his fingers hot.
Blue Tits swing on the latest contraption,
Before grey squirrels get into action.
Wood Pigeons plummet, Sparrows flutter,
He presses a button and snaps the shutter.
Doves coo, Crows squawk, Magpies chatter.
Wren in the hedge hears him natter.
Blackbird sings, Robin hops and follows him around,
Worms and grubs aplenty when his fork goes in the ground.
The man next door tied a letter to my gate,
Welcome new neighbour, we surely will be mates,
If my views you share; dogs and cats detest
And make friends with all creatures who build a nest.
Robbie was my true love,
He stole my heart one day.
He came to fix the plumbing,
When I was in dismay.
He said ‘Where is your stop cock?
That’s where we must begin.’
As leaks sprung all around,
My feelings he did win.
It’s location I knew not,
As the kitchen he did roam.
‘May I search your cupboards?’
‘Please make yourself at home.’
His voice was melted chocolate,
I did not mind the flood,
As eyes of startling blue
Stirred something in my blood.
Shall I put the kettle on?
Was all that I could say,
When Robbie the hunky plumber
Stole my heart that day.
He soon was in my cupboard,
Found the valve to turn.
As he knelt upon the floor
My cheeks began to burn.
I caught a glimpse of waistband,
Calvin Klein was what it said.
An inch of sun tanned back
Made my face turn red.
He filed and sawed and screwed,
As he mended all the pipes.
The sweat began to pour
Down his manly big biceps.
We sat out on the patio,
At last his work was done.
Wine and chunky sandwiches
To eat out in the sun.
He called upon his mobile
To cancel his next call.
‘Shall I check your heating,
Then will that be all?’
Missed the Chelsea Flower Show? Never mind, there are plenty of show gardens for you to see here.
But mind you don’t get lost.
…and don’t forget your ticket.