Thursday, August 31, 2006

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I have been back to this house to take a few more pictures. I managed to squeeze Ely Cathedral into some of the shots. Posted by Picasa


There is a park in Ely, by the river, in which the council have placed a water-feature consisting of a rock with water cascading over it. Under it he Muscovy duck chicks have learned to gather, and aren't they sweeeet? Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Today I went to Ely to take a look at an exhibition of 1930's photographs by the american Walker Evans. I had not heard of him before, though he's probably really famous.

I stopped on the way to take a digital photo of this house. It belonged to an old man who sold fire wood from the shed at the side. I bought a sack once, only to find that it contained large chunks of a solid mahogany door. I wondered whether he was actually dismantling his house bit by bit and selling it. I never had the heart to burn the wood.

Now the house is empty and has just been sold. Iwanted to get a picture of it before it is demolished to make way for an all-too-neat annoyance (as it undoubtably will be).

The exhibition was marvellous. The photographs portrayed the gritty reality of The Great Depression in glorious black and white. They have a stark impact which has not softened in the 70 years since they were taken.

I couldn't help doctoring my picture in an attempt to add some of the brooding mood of the Walker Evans photographs, hence the monotone version. Of course, it is a pale imitation, but today has made me think of taking more pictures to document the times. Many of the items and places in those 1930's photos have more interest to us because of their age, but would have been familiar and commonplace in their day. What would you think would fascinate people in 70 years time about us? Posted by Picasa

The Derwent

Rivers don't get much better than this. This is the river Derwent as it passes by Hathersage.
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Monday, August 28, 2006

Rowan Berries

The campsite in Edale had dozens of Mountain Ash, or Rowan, trees. All of them were covered with berries. I have never seen them as productive before. Does this bode well or ill for the coming winter? Posted by Picasa

Inside Treak Cliff Cavern

We visited Treak Cliff Cavern, a mine in the only hill in which Blue John stone is mined. Blue John is a semi-precious mineral with blue and yellow striations. it is reputedly named after the French translation 'bleu jaune', though it has been mined since Roman times. Two vases made of it were found in Pompeii. These pictures don't feature any of the sought-after mineral, just some mineral formations deep inside the caves. Posted by Picasa

Rock at Entrance to Peak Cavern

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Peak Cavern Entrance

The terraces inside Peak Cavern used to be used by rope makers, producing rope for local tin mining. Demonstrations of their techniques form the first part of the tour into the cavern. Posted by Picasa

Peveril Castle

The Norman ruin of Peveril Castle is worth climbing the steep, zig-zagging path for. It never had the scale or imposing solidity of many castles, but it's location made sure that people for many miles around had a constant reminder of who was in power. It did not, however, offer any defence against marauding giant children. Posted by Picasa

Approach to Peak Cavern

Castleton, in the High Peaks of Derbyshire, is a small town sitting against a hill. Cutting into the hill, like a slice taken out of a dutch cheese, is a gorge which leads to a huge cavern. Out of the cavern flows a stream which is populated by brown trout. At the top of the gorge, right on the edge, (top left of the middle photo) sits the keep of Peveril Castle, though it isn't visible because of the trees.
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Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Peakes in The Peaks vol.I

I must admit that I always feel a bit queasy when people produce their holiday snaps for me to peruse. We have just spent a week in the Peak District (in the northwest of the UK, just to the southeast of Manchester) and I took far too many photographs, as usual. How many can I put on this blog without it becoming tedious? We shall see.

This is the view from the tent in Edale. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 24, 2006

My Cake

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Today is my 40th birthday.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wandering Off

We're off camping tomorrow in the Peak District (in a place called Edale) for a few days . The weather forecast is terrible, so I am taking my tax return with me to keep me occupied. I only wish I was joking. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 06, 2006


You tend to forget about these little sweeties. There they are under the ground, plotting their moment of glory. You are completely oblivious of their plans until they decide, on a muggy day like this, that the time is right to fly. Last year they were unfortunate enough to meet a party of migrant hawker dragon flies, who devoured most of them. This year they didn't have that problem, though I expect they have kept a few hopeful queens in reserve.

We spend our lives fretting about the things that concern us. All the while nature carries on regardless. I know which species I would put my money on in the survival stakes. Posted by Picasa

James Taylor Quartet Gig

Last night we went to see the phenomenal James Taylor Quartet. play at a very small festival at a nearby pub. It's called the 'Five Miles Inn'. The old pub there was called 'The Five Miles from Anywhere, No hurry Inn' as it could only be reached by horse or boat. It's a great setting by the River Ouse, and I can't remember having a beter night out. JTQ are a very funky, jazzy powerful band. The pictures do not do them justice. Hopefully they will come back next year, n which case I invite everybody I know here to come to see them.

Lacewings in my primrose, gave the game away..

I noticed yesterday morning that lacewings had taken up residence in our evening primrose. Does anyone have any idea why?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I also got quite excited about the patterns on this leaf, which I found lurking in the wheelbarrow. Perhaps I should try to get out more.

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