… in Beaufront Woodhead. The weather has alternated between dire and freezing, neither any good for getting out and about, especially on two wheels. A couple of storms have passed through and trees have been lost. We have had a couple of regular visitors to our garden and then, yesterday, they took the liberty of inviting all their friends. The image from our rear bedroom window shows a handful but, just around the corner, there were twenty or so more – they have kindly, liberally, fertilised the lawn.
One bright spot, I have replaced the levers on my Triumph Scrambler – I get a disproportionate amount of pleasure out of such fettling – verb (used with object), fet·tled, fet·tling – Ceramics to remove mold marks from (a cast piece). That may be the official definition but, in Manchester and probably elsewhere, it means to fiddle about with machinery – ideally in a relaxed and time-wasting fashion. An alternative would be ‘ferkle’.
“Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you” – Dave Allen 1936-2005
The green truck hummed low Oh, we took only back roads We drove miles of country We saw an old barn burning Skies were a light blue All the billboards read untrue I read them, each one We passed by the thousands Was a full sun and I knew That up rose a bright moon Casting shadows like dancing sparrows
It is my Blip birthday today 🙂 – 1460 entries and four years on Blip. In some respects it has got in the way of blogging on WordPress, the constant daily quest for a new image. The upside is the incentive to use a camera everyday while the quality of images across the site provide a constant source of inspiration. In some respects it has enhanced my enthusiasm for photography while feeding my sometimes obsessive-compulsive tendencies. In celebration, these are a few images taken recently – at this time of year and in this weather, I probably would not have bothered but for Blip:
On Windermere, from Waterhead
The view from Stock Ghyll Lane, Ambleside
More from Stock Ghyll Lane – inspired by John Martin 😉
The longhorn dreaming of sunlit prairies.
Fawcett Hill on a snowy day
A bend in the North Tyne between Barrasford and Chollerton.
The loneliness of the long distance golfer – Tyne Green, Hexham
climate (n.) late 14c., “horizontal zone of the earth,” Scottish, from Old French climat “region, part of the earth,” from Latin clima (genitive climatis) “region; slope of the Earth,” from Greek klima “region, zone,” literally “an inclination, slope,” thus “slope of the Earth from equator to pole,” from root of klinein “to slope, to lean,” from PIE root *klei- “to lean” (see lean (v.)).
Whatever the climate might or might not be doing, in these parts, it has certainly been changeable. From bright, cold March sun through heavy snow, to biblical rain and out the other side to hints of summer, we have had it all these last seven days:
Sunrises and sunsets are a photographic cliché but this doesn’t stop me rushing for the camera every time I see one. If they occurred with the infrequency of the northern lights it would stop us in our tracks.
We are fortunately placed, with a near uninterrupted view of the sun rising across the high ground above the Tyne Valley. These images were taken a short time apart – above the valley the mist has burned off to a gin clear day while down in Hexham, there is fog on the Tyne. If you look closely to the right of the video, you can see the fog bank shifting along the valley – these time-lapse videos have a certain sameness but I admit to compulsive habits and this is just one of them:
Northumberland has been clinging to the wreckage of autumn these last few weeks but its all over now. Despite Black Friday, despite the ever sooner onset of Christmas and the tyranny of things, it has been a quiet few weeks in Beaufront Woodhead. It is also a time of inner conflicts. The desire to play golf set against too damp courses and uninviting weather – the solution – head for the coast. The impatient need to be out on two wheels set against slippery surfaces, biting winds and too much salt on the roads – the solution – sit tight and polish the hardware.
For now, the priority is the much delayed task of writing the follow-up to Golf in the Wild. My modest ambitions for the first version have been met – the production costs have been recovered and 800+ copies shipped. The sequel is progressing at a glacial pace – I am currently researching Loch Eriboll, just a few miles down the road from the return journey’s place of departure, Durness. Eriboll has some fascinating history, not least that in May 1945, this was the location for the surrender of thirty three U-boats, the pride of Germany’s Wolfpack. I could be stuck in these waters for weeks, but no matter, the days are short and the nights long.
In the meantime, this is Northumberland as autumn falls into winter:
After the previous frantic post, this is a calmer time-lapse video to soothe the frayed nerves. The view is across the fields from our front door – as far as I am prepared to travel before breakfast (in my dressing gown 😨) . The morning started well enough but even over the hour this was shot, the day started to dull down. Passengers flying into Amsterdam from Minneapolis on a Delta AIrbus A330 and those on a Lufthansa A380 from San Francisco into Frankfurt were treated to the best of Northumberland – they streak across the sky near the beginning of the video.
There is still some snow but the sun is doing its work at least until the next batch arrives:
And finally – this looks perishing but it wasn’t – the camera always lies 😉
This is a collection of images from a week of change. Down the Birkey Burn there are signs of leaf fall and the woodman has been wielding his axe. In expectation of some autumnal rides, the Scrambler has been fitted with a new FEK (fender eliminator kit) and front indicators to replace the ugly chrome originals. The sun has emerged but the temperature has dropped so the Elise has got its hat on and walks down the Tyne and Derwent have been illuminated by a bright low sun. The competitive golf season is near an end for another year – change is in the air.