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2015 in review

Hello All…and a Happy New Year,

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for my blog. Clever monkey!

Have a butcher’s hook if you like…

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 720 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 12 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Hope to keep seeing you all in 2016, I have many more pictures to post and intend to keep going!

 

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Prolonged silence……

Hello everyone,

Oooh, well, things are quiet on here aren’t they?

Sorry, I just can’t seem to find a whole heap of time to sit down and put together decent entries and edit photos of late, what with a full time job (long story about what’s happening there though I shan’t go into detail…), cycling, a new girlfriend and lovely summer jaunts in the car seem to be taking up my time!

Hopefully, you all miss me?! I have my archive still and plenty to post if you wish me to but I feel patience is the name of the game here. I hope to sit down sometime soon to do this, feel free to join me if you can.

Thanks for bearing with me and once the days get shorter, I’m sure I will be back on with my usual gobble-de-gook. However, in the meantime, the Weathernet photo competition has been on my list of things to do and I have popped in a few pictures to see if I can get on the 2016 calendar. I will let you know if I hear good news!

See you soon…

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What is this, some kinda holiday?!

Hello y’all

Yes, I’m not dead. Cancel the search parties and like. I am here!

Usual thing, apologies for not being on here of late but of recently, I have been a little busy and, I must be honest, this has slipped to the bottom of the pile on a few occasions! With the warmer weather, I have been on my bike and spending time out and about in Wales and recently I took a trip to Manchester. If anyone is thinking of going, I recommend it…maybe not the hotel I stayed in (but that’s another story) but overall, it was a nice weekend. also, I am seeing a lady locally so spending time with her sits above time on the PC!

I have taken a few pictures on my travels, they are from my phone, so you will excuse the quality but bear with me…firstly is a charming little bay that I found with Sarah, near St Davids. A stones throw from the road but I never even knew it was there!

A hidden bay near St Davids, Pembs

A hidden bay near St Davids, Pembs

Secondly, a couple of pictures I took in Manchester. I can’t say enough in the way of good things about the Metro they have there, apart from the fact they are expanding it and the place looks like a building site at the minute, this was the view from the Deansgate-Castlefield stop bridge, down on the canals. Really worth wandering around there for the pubs and the Comedy Club. Excellent value for money…

Across the Deansgate Castlefield metro stop towards the Hilton

Across the Deansgate Castlefield metro stop towards the Hilton

Talking of value for money, a meal from an Ethiopian restaurant on Sackville Street in the city centre. Filling, spicy and delicious all at the same time! If you are ever in the area, go. That’s an order! Just ask for a taster, they know what to do. The plate is actually fermented bread and there are no pieces of cutlery 🙂

Mmmm.....curry. Er, waiter. A fork?!

Mmmm…..curry. Er, waiter. A fork?!

Well, I have a barbecue to clean, looks although the weather will hold decent for the weekend, so I have decided I will give the grill an outing. Wish me luck!

If anyone wants me to explain the mechanics of a storm cell (which is the next set of pictures I seem to have looking in my archive), please let me know in the comments, I shall pop back on when my rides are rained off to do it.

In the meantime, thanks to those whose minds I’ve crossed, hope to see you again shortly;y!

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Has it been a month or more?!

Good Lord.

I didn’t realise that I had left the blog alone for so long, I hope none of you set you calendars or anything by me 🙂 Anyway, hello there, welcome to British Summer Time and the longer days (the main reason I haven’t posted any pictures on here to be honest). I have now passed the 400 mile mark on my new super dooper Boardman hybrid bicycle and with 1000 on my last before I sold it, the total is racking up quite nicely. I recently got it serviced and fettled with at a local business, Enterprise Cycles in Neyland. Should anyone be local and looking for a good bike shop, your quest is at an end. Best place around. Just Google it, I’d pop a link in but the site is under construction….

On to the pictures for this entry anyhow. Last month I promised some pretty awesome cirrus clouds that I was going to post that I saw over my house recently, well, here you are. What’s that? Groaning because of more clouds? How very dare you! Clouds are important and, as you can see below, they sometimes look pretty awesome….

The threads of this cirrus caught the light juuuuust riiiiiight.....

The threads of this cirrus caught the light juuuuust riiiiiight…..

One estimate of the volume of water in the atmosphere at any one time is about 3,100 cubic miles/14.2 billion tons of water…that’s quite a lot. Just think if all that was on the ground and not in the sky? I think a fair few of us would paddling as it’s enough to deposit 30 mm of water everywhere on the planet at once and some places are already pretty wet!

As well as holding water, they provide shelter, little places for bacteria or insects to shelter and travel as well as this important role in the water cycle. Obviously, the ones pictured here are slightly less heavy than your normal storm cloud or anything, but I feel they are no less spectacular.

Same view but with a guest appearance from nearby vegetation

Same view but with a guest appearance from nearby vegetation

One clue that those in the know can take from these cirrus clouds or “mares tails” is that there is a change in the weather coming. Usually it means it’s going to get wet. I took these images at sunset, so it was due overnight I thought. I particularly liked this last picture as there was an imprint of a shadow from a passing contrail that made a nice shadow as the sun set….

Now that the sun was disappearing, a passing contrail became apparent, creating a nice diagonal line across my view

Now that the sun was disappearing, a passing contrail became apparent, creating a nice diagonal line across my view

I got my timing well out for the arrival of the bad weather but, arrive it did. See, these old wives tales do work. Along trundled a nice little storm cloud with an anvil like lip containing a few mammatus clouds on the leading edge…not the best mammatus I have seen or posted here but still, they were there…

This is the weather the next morning, I didn't edit things to fit, honestly!

This is the weather the next morning, I didn’t edit things to fit, honestly!

Seeing it had got wet, I decided I would go for a quick walk down toward Port Lion and follow the stream there to get some nice moving water shots, seeing I hadn’t tried that for a while. Surprisingly little water in the stream this time, which is why the blurring looks a little blocky as there were quite a few bubbles to contend with, but the colours from dead leaves and the ferns offset things nicely I thought…although more liberal use of a polariser would have been better here.

A smooth stream on the way down to Port Lion and the Cleddau

A smooth stream on the way down to Port Lion and the Cleddau

As I went down the lane, I noticed that the rain earlier had knocked loads of seeds off the larch tree lining the sides, made an interesting colour effect so I had to take a quick snap away from the water..

Port Lion Woods minus a fair amount of Larch seeds.....

Port Lion Woods minus a fair amount of Larch seeds…..

But, back to the water, the air was very still so I was able to take a long exposure of this little tumble with a fern around it which didn’t move an inch whilst I was doing it, good fern. Usually I cheat a little and move things aside to suit what I want. Oooh, did I say that out loud?!

I like the way the bubbles made a pattern in this image, can't get enough of stuff like this

I like the way the bubbles made a pattern in this image, can’t get enough of stuff like this

Well, short and sweet this time however, there are more stormy skies and moving water pictures to come, plus Mischief the cat will be making a cameo appearance at some point I see as he had posed for the odd snap, or rather, he was asleep in a cute position…

As ever, appreciate you dropping in. Remember, feel free to suggest anything you want pictures of on here, don’t be afraid to ask! Until next time, enjoy the longer days!

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A final wander around the canals in Bruges

Hello!

Firstly, I’d like to apologise to everyone if this post looks in any way different. WordPress has sprung and update on me and it took me a few minutes to get my bearings! All the buttons are here, there and everywhere when I thought that the previous version was perfectly acceptable. Onward and upwards I guess…I do a get this for free I suppose. However, I’d love the option of UK spell-check, I don’t like automatic corrections to the wrong spelling. Apologise does not have a Z in.

Enough grizzling. This is yuletide! In advance, just in case I forget, I shall just wish you all a Happy Christmas and peaceful New Year. Has everyone bought way too much stuff that they or the recipient doesn’t strictly need? Good. That’s how it should be. I plan to buy a new bike in the new Year as my cheap “let’s see if I can still ride” bike has travelled nigh on 1000 miles now and is beginning to creak a little….literally. It’s off to be fettled over the Christmas period then Mr Gumtree will assist me in selling it. Unless anyone’s in the market? I will give you “mates rates” if you mention the blog!

On to the pictures. as the title above alludes to, this was one of the final few trips I took around Bruges indulging in people watching, the odd museum, the occasional beer, a waffle or two and such. I don’t think that I have ever had a holiday where I don’t wander…I must have itchy feet. I remember a holiday once to Tenerife, a hulking great volcano in the Atlantic disguised as an island. Surrounded by such natural wonder and all that goes with it, what did my mother opt to do? Sit on the beach. Because, of course, she had been in the proximity of a live volcano that may one day wipe out the eastern sea-board of the US. I forgot.

Firstly, a bit of a random picture. I like stuff like this. I glanced over along the canal and what did I see? Why, a relaxing dog lying in the window of a 18th century house of course…bless.

Guard dog. Belgian style

Guard dog. Belgian style

Talking of dogs, I was in a shop this morning where I made a fan. A springer spaniel who would not leave me be. Mind you, she was a fantastically obedient and well-trained gun dog but she was so affectionate…kept staring at me whilst pretty much climbing up my leg. It must be my aura. I did actually say to the owner that she probably wouldn’t fuss if I put her in the boot of my car! This may well have been the case but apparently as soon as the “work” switch was thrown she was a very focussed gun dog. Amazing. My kind of dog…not like the lazy one above!

Moving on, I was taking advantage of the beautiful sunny weather to take a few wide building shots with lovely natural light as I walked around. In case you don’t recognise this area, it’s the lagoon where I took some of my night shots…..

One of the most picturesque lagoons I have seen

One of the most picturesque lagoons I have seen

I continued up the side of the canal past all the chocolate shops and sweet smell of roasting coffee to get to the gates of the city and the main canal that is used by the larger traffic nowadays. My first stop was the gate, I believe that this is Gentepoort (the gate from the direction of Ghent)….

Gentepoort...thankfully minus traffic and bikes on this occasion!

Gentepoort…thankfully minus traffic and bikes on this occasion!

As you might be able to see by looking down to the left corner, it’s not used for traffic as the others I posted images of were. In fact, the road passes to the left of the main gateway and the gate itself is used for a cycle path. Watch out for those bikes, they have right of way in most places and they don’t often slow down!

Up through the long narrow park running alongside the canal now and I was just in time to catch a picture of this big old bruiser of a river cruiser. On a recent holiday to Germany (this Summer) I saw more and larger versions of these moored and moving on the Rhine and Mosel. The prices for these are pretty steep and it seemed a shame for the passengers as they never even got out, the cruiser just chugs on through.

An invading cruiser on the main canal. It was so big all the other traffic had to move out of the way!

An invading cruiser on the main canal. It was so big all the other traffic had to move out of the way!

Anyway, I was fortunate enough to be able to review things at a slower pace. Much like this fisherman on the canal just along from the city centre. Not being able to speak Flemish (the most popular language in Bruges) I didn’t dare approach him to ask if he had caught anything, but the hunched shoulder and look of boredom gave me a good guess. I can’t say I would have eaten his catch myself but I suspect he was just there for the sport. Maybe.

Chances he caught anything apart from a boot and a shopping trolley, anyone?

Chances he caught anything apart from a boot and a shopping trolley, anyone?

Back to the main square in town now and look, blue sky! Time for a dizzying upward sky shot including the steeples of the old churches. Hurrah. That and the fact that there are clouds included; you all know my love of clouds by now (more coming on that soon).

Some lovely scenery....oh, yes, the buildings are nice too, I guess :)

Some lovely scenery….oh, yes, the buildings are nice too, I guess 🙂

I had a good wander around the grounds this time too and found that there was a small open museum in the bowels of the building. Alas, the signs were in French and Flemish so i could only glean a bit of information but it appeared that the area and the garden was a reconstruction of the area put aside as a medieval pharmacy that was used by the church for hundreds of years.

The garden outside the old pharmacy (the one that didn't have a security guard in it)

The garden outside the old pharmacy (the one that didn’t have a security guard in it)

Inside there was a sign saying that I wasn’t able to take pictures but, hey, rules are made to be broken aren’t they so I snapped one for you all. What an awesome place. Just imagine all the smells of the herbs and such when they were being measured and mixed by the monks. Even if they didn’t cure your illness, at least you smelt good whilst you lay in bed! There was a security guard sat in front of a small herb garden so I couldn’t push that one; you need to just close your eyes and picture that.

A stolen internal view of the old pharmacy. A bit different nowadays isn't it?

A stolen internal view of the old pharmacy. A bit different nowadays isn’t it?

Well, there we have it. Last post before Christmas. As I said before, have a good Christmas. I hope everyone gets what they wanted and if you don’t….well, you should have been more specific! Not too many mince pies and booze now but, having said that, I will have a bike for sale in the New year for you to lose the weight with, so, feel free 🙂

Happy Christmas. See you in 2015

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I need a third party opinion

Hello,

It’s been a few weeks since I have popped on so my apologies for that; this has been through a mix of holidays, family and the need to get out of the house into the garden as the weather is good! I shall be fishing some pictures out of my archive tonight, so tune back soon.

However, in the meantime, I have a question to ask. My father seems to believe that my pictures are good enough for a competition, the Landscape Photographer of the Year, which you can find at this address…http://www.take-a-view.co.uk/

What I want to know is, what do you think? Have a look through the sections (I think I am a Classic View kinda person) and to get an opinion, I have attempted to construct a poll, which I hope works properly, and would be very grateful if you could give me an idea if I should spend the £10 to £25 to send images to the judges. Your votes would be very much appreciated.

I shall leave you to it and get back to finding the next pictures! Thanks in advance.

 

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Sorry for the silence!

Hello,

Apologies for the silence of late. I have meant to come on here to post some pictures for a little while but this has been delayed due to a number of reasons, mainly….

1) I was on holiday out of the country and

2) it was my birthday when I was

3) whisked away for a weekend in Somerset.

Due to this I have been away from the PC a fair amount. I also had prioritised the sending of images to a competition in the last couple of days, as there was a deadline attached.

I am, this evening, going to figure out what I am posting on the next entry but thanks for sticking with it, I shall be posting in the next few days.

Thanks again!

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Drought….

It’s been a while since I posted on here I’m afraid. What with work and the longer evenings I’ve wanted to be out either walking or riding more than I’ve wanted to be stuck in front of a PC again!

However, now things will hopefully bit a bit less hectic I should be able to get around to a few posts now and again. Keep this frequency clear!

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Hello World!

Well, here it is, I hope it looks okay. Thanks to those lovely people at WordPress I now have my first blog. Don’t expect anything too flashy as it’s a learning process but any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Once I’m more sure, I’ll post a few pictures from near where I live. Maybe some chit chat too. Possibly less of that though.

Thanks for dropping in!

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