Northumberland in Mono

This set of images were all taken within a 1.5 mile radius of our home – I know this for certain because I haven’t ventured outside this geofence since 24th March.  Hexham is a mystery to me now – the Good Wife has taken over responsibility for all socially distant shopping, mostly because I cannot be trusted to buy organic.  Any consequential savings I would spend on chocolate or similar.  Nevertheless, I am not complaining, I seem to have slipped into this secluded life all too easily.  The only thing I miss desperately is getting out on the motorcycles which, as any rider knows, is just self-isolation at speed.

Lean on me …

Always keep a-hold of nurse

Beaufront Castle Lodge …

In a big county …

The entrance to Fern Hill Farm

Five-bar Gate …

Do not disturb …

Another gate above the old kennels, Beaufront Woodhead.

The impression created by these images is of a country life continuing as usual, uninterrupted by world events. Isolating has also meant not listening to ‘news’, keeping socially distant from statistics and mortality rates but, just occasionally the bubble is burst. Peter Turnley’s images portray an entirely different, distant, monochromatic reality:




1. Having or appearing to have only one colour.
2. Of or composed of radiation of only one wavelength: monochromatic light.
3. Done in monochrome: monochromatic paintings.
4. Exhibiting monochromatism.
5. Unvarying or dull: “the more prosaic and monochromatic aspects of communist life” (Amy Tan).

This is detail from the sea wall at Helmsdale, a town that sits on the edge of the North Sea and the river estuary from which it takes its name (or vice versa).  The major A9 trunk road through the town once took a circuitous route through its streets, crossing the river by an elegant stone bridge.  A concrete bridge that would suit any motorway, anywhere in the world, now swoops across the mouth of the estuary in a single bound, by-passing much of the town.  The peace that has descended on its streets is probably welcome by many of its residents but perhaps not so much by its traders.  The golf course has seen better days and the talk at other clubs was of financial collapse. Its destiny may have been determined by the arrival of the dull, monochromatic bridge.

The first of these images fits the bill but the second, less so. I must learn to stop dabbling with saturation:

Monochromatic ... Monochromatic ...