Category Archives: Photos

Walking on water

Spotted on today’s afternoon dog-walk.

I really should have taken a video clip, because others were arriving and it was great fun watching them come into land.

My brother Simon’s comment was, “I hope they watch out for quacks in the ice.”

WFH

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The view from my study window this morning.  I literally don’t have to get up from my chair to see this.  As you can imagine, working from home has been a real trial over the last few years.

I’m very lucky.

Misalignment

A photo of two almost perfectly aligned goalposts with one seagull sitting not quite in the middle.

Taken in Lichfield in 2013.

On the slopes of Mount Doom

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We’ve just been re-watching Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, and it was just as splendid as ever.

It reminded me of my second visit to New Zealand, in 2007, and the day I spent walking the Tongariro Crossing; a dramatic volcanic landscape where many of the scenes in The Return of the King were filmed.

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It’s fun showing it in gritty monochrome, but in fact some of its drama comes from the occasional bright colours amidst a landscape of Martian barreness.

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There are vast structures through which you can imagine rivers of heat must have poured.

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And some of the rocks look almost like man-made art installations.

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This other-worldly landscape emerges from placid surrounding plains, so you can look out and see what life is like back on Earth.

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It’s a fascinating place, and makes for a most unusual one-day hike.  Recommended, if you get the chance to visit.

 

On our mantlepiece, we have a small golf-ball-sized piece of volcanic lava that I brought home to Rose after my trip.  “Here you are, darling; I’ve brought you a bit of Mount Doom!”  

I always had a talent for romantic gestures.

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Catching up

We’re just back from a few splendid days staying in a cottage on the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales, followed by a weekend of sailing on the River Crouch in East Anglia, with stops in the Wye Valley and the Cotswolds in between. Fitting these into the same week-and-a-half involves rather large changes in longitude combined with almost zero change in latitude!

Wales is a country whose great beauty is occasionally visible through the downpours. I always love visiting, but when it rains, it really rains… and this is from someone whose childhood holidays were often spent in the Lake District: somewhere that is seldom described as arid! But we alternated the suncream and the umbrellas, and only occasionally got drenched.

We saw lovely harbours, both man-made and natural:

Fishguard

We visited seals and lighthouses; castles, cliffs, and cottages; superchargers and woollen mills, and we had some very good food. We saw ancient woods:

We saw the cathedral in St Davids, hidden so deeply in a valley that you can be in the same small town and hardly know it’s there. but it’s a wonderful and unusual place.

And then we rushed back across the country to go sailing in our little dinghy with friends from the Tideway Owners’ Association.

Now, exhausted but happy, we’ve come back to normal working life to recover…

Seal of Approval

Don’t assume, just because you’re behind a telephoto lens, that we can’t see you!

I’ve often seen seals swimming just offshore as we walk along Norfolk beaches. But a couple of weeks ago I spotted this group relaxing on the beach; they seemed to be having a good time.

Bird’s Eye View

We’re on holiday in the Norfolk Broads, spending most of our time messing about in boats, but also enjoying the wonderful wildlife.

Who, us?

The birds are omnipresent, even in the garden of our riverside cottage, where this rather splendid goose has been sitting on her nest since we arrived. She and Tilly have decided to ignore each other.

Here’s what the village of Horning looks like, for anyone thinking of flying over:

(Link here if you can’t see the embedded video. If your computer and your network connection will allow it, I recommend viewing it full screen and setting the YouTube resolution to 4K.)

Our rental cottage comes with a convenient parking space, just outside the back door:

But there is another one too, if you prefer to arrive by car. It’s at the end of the little bridge, just past the heron.

AH 2.0

Couldn’t resist a bit of Photoshopping this morning.

Collecting The Milk

For as long as I can remember, since my earliest childhood, we’ve had milk delivered to the front door. Many visitors seem surprised that we can still do this (and that it still comes in nice recycled glass bottles), so perhaps we’re just lucky — but everywhere we’ve ever lived has had a convenient milkman doing regular deliveries at sensible prices.

Actually buying milk in a shop is an activity I therefore associate with going on holiday or having unexpected quantities of guests! For the rest of the time, we’re just occasionally aware of a quiet clinking on the doorstep in the middle of the night, and getting the milk just involves pottering to the front door in my dressing gown. But it’s often the first real chance I get to view the day, breathe the air, feel the temperature.

And sometimes, like this morning, that’s a wonderful thing.

Happy Winter Solstice, everybody!

The Wet Wood

On a misty walk in one of our favourite local woods this morning, we spotted an unusual white tree stump. On closer inspection, it appeared to have been partly sawn through, and so was covered in its own sawdust.

These were pretty quick snaps with my Fuji, but were also a reminder that, impressive as my iPhone 12 Pro is these days, there are times when it pays to take a proper camera with you.

You can click the images for larger versions.

Wind Power 2

Sailing By

A few more peaceful images for your Sunday morning… (click for larger versions)

Boats on the swinging moorings at the Royal Harwich Yacht Club wait for the day to begin, and the tide to come in.

A cormorant dries his wings as the sun makes its appearance. But the fields are still shrouded in mist.

We head out in our little boat to see what the day will hold.

At Harwich, a row of lightships is moored in a line across the estuary. I wonder why they’re there; they aren’t even lit at night. It turns out they are brought here, from all over the country, for servicing. This is the MOT bay. Men go across from the white ship and change the lightbulbs.

Radio Caroline. No longer rocking. But still gently rolling.

That evening, the sun goes down over Harwich church.

A view from the gents’ loo at Shotley Marina.

All night, a gentle whirring and clunking reaches across the water, as the port of Felixstowe does its best to keep supplies coming into the country. (And exports going out.)

At dawn the following morning, the work is still going on.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser