New lens

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Bit of an early birthday present to myself…

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Allen Banks and Staward Gorge

Allen Banks is a National Trust-owned property not far from where we were staying.  One day after digging we went there for a walk, and did the Woods Walk.  This was through woodland planted in Victorian times by the local lady of the manor to provide some pleasant forest walks.  She built several summerhouses in the woods.  Unfortunately none of these survive, but one has been completely recreated from photographs:

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Another day I got up at 6am to go for a sunrise walk. The north end of the Allen Banks property was a short walk across farmland from our holiday cottage. There was lovely light for taking photos.

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The last photo is looking out from a very narrow promontory, with steep drops either side, and the sound of the river roaring deep below. This led to the ruins of a medieval fort, brilliantly situated for defence. The fort was never attacked and the only reason it is ruined is because the stone was used to build a manor house.

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A couple of days later I went back in the evening with Tania. The evening light was very different:

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Rare Tea

A couple of months ago Henrietta, aka the Rare Tea Lady, announced a competition to win some of her teas. All I had to do was send her a photo of me drinking her tea. So I got my flatmate to take some pictures. Unfortunately I had the camera on manual focus, and what with her being as blind as a bat she didn’t realise and the pictures were very blurry! So I ended up doing a self portrait:

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Technically I could have done better with the photo by using my UV filter or my polarising filter – the sky is completely washed out and in the colour version of the photo looks white instead of blue. However in the sepia version you can’t really tell. And I look quite pretty. So there.

Anyway, Henrietta liked it and I ended up coming third, and getting to choose three tins of her lovely teas. So now I have jasmine, oolong and some darjeeling. I have been mainlining darjeeling ever since. It dealt pretty well to this morning’s hangover (more on that later).

I do feel slightly guilty about the fact that I didn’t even pay for the tea I am drinking in the photo – Henrietta gave it to me at the Real Food Festival. But that is life for your humble foodblagger correspondent.

Speedy

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This picture gives a better clue as to where I was this weekend – I was at the Prescott Hill Climb. It’s a time trial up a hill for all kinds of cars, both vintage and new, and as you can see, motorbikes too!

It was rather loud but a lot of fun, especially since my young cousins were there too.

Here’s another more abstract one:

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Shiny

I’ve taken over 400 photos in the past week. Actually that’s a lie – there were over 400 photos on my camera, but my five year-old cousin Archie took some of them! Although my camera was quite big for his little fingers he learned how to handle it carefully, shoot pictures (on continuous mode too), and zoom.

While I sort all of those pictures out, here’s a little teaser shot:

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I took that one, but I fully intend to take credit for Archie’s shots later!

Spooky scary

Jen, Meg and I took advantage of some lovely weather to take a walk through Brompton Cemetery the other day. We had to share the place with a great many Chelsea fans returning from a game but despite that it was still peaceful. I had had the foresight to pack my camera and had some fun experimenting. Cemeteries, being rather monochromatic, spooky places, lend themselves quite well to black and white:

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(this is an example of “breaking the rules”, but I for one happen to like taking photos into the sun)

Despite the grey there were also wonderful flashes of colour, bathed in the spring afternoon light.

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Fun fact about Brompton Cemetery that you will already know if you read the Wikipedia article linked above: Beatrix Potter got many of her character names from headstones in the cemetery. I didn’t learn this from Wikipedia but from watching an episode of Antiques Roadshow the other day!