Uncategorized

Just Because

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Mexico

#TBT Nevado de Toluca

It strikes me that not too many foreign visitors ever think of exploring Mexico’s many mountains. Other than the handful who come here specifically to do so. I must confess, it didn’t really occur to me to try and climb one for the first few years. Probably due to the assumption that this is very much a specialist endeavor. I can pinpoint the moment I thought to look into it. We were driving to Oaxaca, and out of the window was Iztaccihuatl, looking large above the horizon. I stared at Izta a long while and wondered, ‘How hard can it be?’

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Life

Mental Fog

Today, I am the quiz master. There is only one question. If we take a walk down through the fog to the end of the pier, what will we find? Give it some thought. There are so many possibilities. We can brainstorm a few of those possibilities. Perhaps we’ll find the sea. Or the sand. Maybe there’s a dead body there. Or a fisherman, trying his luck. There could be a boat, moored up. Or a flock of gulls. What do you reckon? I think it is reasonable to suggest the question will provoke different responses from different people, depending on their life experiences.

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wildlife

The Sign of Summer

The robin is a welcome sight at any time of year. But the sight of his red breast is no signal that summer is about to arrive. That will be signalled by the appearance of a different type of breast. The robin is simply not one of the tits we’re all waiting to see. Nonetheless, Arne Nature Reserve turned out to be a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon. We will go back when the weather has warmed up a little.

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Photography, Uncategorized

Great British Myths

The court of King Arthur, the Loch Ness monster, the ‘Good Old Days’ and the British spring of 2018 – all frequently talked about, but never actually seen. Despite the occasional, unsubstantiated rumour of a sighting from persons of dubious integrity, there is no hard evidence that any of them exist. Or have ever existed. They are simply part of British folklore.

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Uncategorized

The Art Of The Vulture

Mrs P and I love a bargain. Who doesn’t? But I think we love a bargain more than most. Neither of us will pay full price for anything of substance before we’ve scoured the internet for discount vouchers. I’ll watch prices for months to get the cheapest flights. She’ll get an extra few pounds off for the slightest of perceived flaws in a new blouse. And the hours we’ll put into the January sales. But don’t start thinking that we’re tight. Or miserly. Thrifty is perhaps a better word. But really, we just like the thrill of the sport.

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Travel

The Travel Map

I always feel a bit short changed by the interactive travel maps you can fill out on the internet. I’ve spent weeks travelling through exotic locations such as Sri Lanka and Malaysia, with just the faintest of splashes of colour to show for my efforts. My mate goes to St Petersburg for the weekend, and he’s half way done to completing the entire thing. At least the US, Mexico and India added a decent amount of green to my globe.

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brexit

Benefits of Brexit

We Brits are now less than one year from exiting the European Union. Sort of. And probably. Should I begin to accept the inevitable and embrace Brexit? Nah. Only when the inevitable is truly and unstoppably inevitable. I’m still holding out for a Breversal. But, just for a change, I thought I’d write a post to highlight the true benefits that Brexit will definitely bring us. Ready?

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Photography

Happy Birthday RAF

Today is the 100th birthday of the Royal Air Force, the world’s oldest independent air force. Once upon a long ago, I served in the RAF. Why did I choose the RAF? Well, I got a bit too seasick for the Navy. And bullet dodging with the British Army wasn’t something that appealed to me. The application process was quite the balava. In between posting my application form and turning up for basic training at RAF Halton, eighteen months passed. Numerous tests, interviews and a pair of medicals filled the time. Two medicals, rather than the usual one, because I failed the first for being a couple of pounds underweight, courtesy of a ten day bout of flu.

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#TBT, Travel

#TBT Mirissa Bay

Today, my photo takes us back exactly 15 years, to March 2003. I had not long turned 30, still worked at Texaco, and was enjoying the wonders of travelling as a single guy. There’s an awful lot to be said of travelling solo, all positive. I loved the ability to roam, dine and generally spend my time without compromise. Did I ever get lonely? Not once. You always meet people on the trail. On the odd occasion that it is just you, then there is always a good book waiting to be read.

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#TBT, Photography

#TBT La Raza Monument

When I left Mexico in 2011, the city was making some effort to spruce up a few of its landmarks, historic streets and monuments, The Revolution monument perhaps being the best example. I rather hope they got around, or will get around, to fixing up the La Raza monument. It was looking very much the worse for  wear the last time I ventured past. It had certainly seen better days, as shown in the photo below…

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Religion

Winter Mystery

Over the last week, Putin’s given us Brits a twoferone deal. Another Russian exile has turned up murdered – this time strangulation rather than a nerve agent was the preferred method*. Then he sent in his secret weapon. Another blast of snow from Siberia. He’s proving to be a tough customer, is ole Vlad. But he does create quite the scenic conditions for a photographer. I haven’t really taken advantage of them, wandering only as far as the local duck pond, armed only with my iPhone. But still.

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Travel

The Complaint

I’m ever so British when it comes to complaining. I could sit through the most dreadful meal in a restaurant, with the most appalling service, and yet when asked if everything is alright, I will likely smile and nod. I’ll pay my bill. I’ll leave quietly. But I most certainly will ‘express my dissatisfaction’.  My expression of dissatisfaction typically takes one of three forms. In its most mild form, I simply take my business elsewhere. If I am seriously irked, then I move on to stage two and leave a review on social media. This is a pretty effective tool, especially when the type of business has plenty of competition Continue reading

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Technology

The Selfie King

Ranthambore Park, October 2017. Two canters full of safari passengers have found the park’s Holy Grail – a tiger sunbathing by the lake. Most people photographed the tiger. I photographed the people. And one chap perched himself precariously on the vehicle’s side railing to take a selfie stick aided photo of himself. Why? Lord only knows. Or Shiva. One of the other. I have a selfie stick. I resisted this new fangled technology for a while. But once I’d buckled and parted with a few farthings, I found they are actually quite fun.

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#TBT

#TBT Kent, Probably

How long ago was this taken? Well, I guess I’m 5ish in this shot. Minus my current age, 45. So about 40 years ago. Give or take a year or two. My grandparents used to take my younger brother and I on caravaning holidays in Kent during the summer. This photo pushes my memory to its limit. I have only the most vague recollection of that white Renault, but I know that I liked it. Not long after this holiday, my grandad bought a green Vauxhall Cavalier. That was the first car he ever bought from new, and would see him through to the end, which came in the summer of 1994.

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