St Abb’s Head, Scottish Borders

12 March 2017

It was Mike’s birthday and we joined him up in the Scottish borders for a great weekend of walking, merriment and gold medals (you had to be there!). I make it sound like we were small in number, but the group was maybe 30 people strong! A good turn out for the big 5-oh.

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We met at St Abb’s Head for a walk around the headland with wonderful views of the coastline.

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One town, One mile, One camera – Lincoln

Driving through the county of Lincolnshire it is tempting to think of it as one of the flatest counties in the UK. There are flatter counties and those in the East Anglia region are the flattest of all, according to Wikipedia. But you are easily misled into thinking this when driving into Lincoln. And then you park (if you can find a spot!) and decide to walk to the Cathedral quarter. The gentle ache you feel in your thighs and calfs as you do so tell you a different story.

I took my trusty Fujifilm X100S on this walk, from the University campus, on the banks of the River Witham, up to the Cathedral.

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To get to the Cathedral, you walk along an aptly named street – Steep Hill.

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After taking images of the Jewish House I was later surprised to learn of the Jewish Heritage that is present in the city, especially in relation with the Cathedral. When reviewing my images, I was struck by the triptich that I put together. Nothing to do with Jewish heritage, but more to do with the symbolic ascent of young man through life who then returns back down from the summit, well…. changed, and with a new perspective on life.

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We walked past The Pot Shop. As we were not in Amsterdam, all we found inside was a man making and selling pots.Lincoln-4

You are thankful when you reach the top. We will return to Lincoln soon. I shall have to bring my wider lens.

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Oxton Loop, Scottish Borders

28 January 2017

Back in January I had the opportunity to combine a work trip to Edinburgh with a weekend visit with our good friends who live in the Borders. M & K had confidently organised a nice coastal walk, a confidence that came from the fact that, as seasoned walkers and hikers, they had checked the weather forecast. And we checked again on our devices after dinner that Friday evening. OK, it was going to be a bit windy and maybe it would rain for a bit, and we’d be lucky to see the sun through the think grey cloud. But nothing to sidetrack our plans.

Woke up the next morning and the landscape had turned white.

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Give the weather forecasters a break – two out of three isn’t bad. It was (kind of) wet, and we certainly couldn’t see the Sun through the grey cloud (and fog). Wear an extra layer, a thermos for tea and, of course, cake. Ready and prepared – off we went.

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Monsal Trail, Peak District

24 September 2016

Boy, I have been falling behind on my blogging! There are a few reasons but I won’t go into them here. Needless to say, and not just on my walks, I have to pick up the pace.

This was a walk in the Autumn when Adeline and Jason came to visit. We decided to follow the Monsal Trail and the track of our 10.6 mile walk can be seen on my ViewRanger page.

FIshing on the River Wye, Peak District

Not sure whether this fisherman was having a good time with the fish, but I managed to catch him just about right!

The Monsal Trail was once part of a railway that connected Manchester to London, finally closed in 1968 and restored with a public path in 2011. The tunnels along the trail are a testament to its railway past.

The Litton Cotton Mill (above to the right) was barely profitable during its time and perhaps due to its struggles became “notorious during the Industrial Revolution due to its unsavoury employment practices“, for which we read child labour.


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born a hero

Born a Hero

They say everyone is born a hero.

From;
The little boy
with crimson cheeks,

To;
The little girl
with her tiny button nose.

Everyone starts the same.

A blank slate
filled with chivalrous intentions.
A clean page
meant for courageous acts of bravery.

But take heed
my darling little angel.

For the world is a cruel place.

The trials of youth are endless,
The challenge of life all encompassing.

They will try to break you,
to tame you,
to change you.

But you must hold on.

The darkness of the world
will engulf each little boy,
turn each little girl to shadow.

For everyone is born a hero

But,
Life will force you to survive;
it will strive to make you a villain.

Poetry: © Mira Sophia Chrysostomou
Photography: © Antonio Chrysostomou

Mam Tor to Castleton, Peak District

17 September 2016

(click on images in grids for larger versions)

We had seen Mam Tor from some our previous walks in the Peak District, most noticeably from the summit and slopes of Win Hill.

The GPS route of our walk can be seen on our ViewRanger page.

Looking at Winnats Pass from Mam Tor, Peak District
Winnats Pass from summit of Mam Tor.

We’ve yet to summit a hill or peak in the Peak District and be disappointed by the views. The anticipation of those views is always palpable as you start the climb. I didn’t expect Mam Tor to be as busy with people as it was on this day. There were dog walkers, strollers, hikers, paragliders and hangliders. Yes, I got those last two right. This peak is especially popular with hang- and paragliders, mostly launching themselves into the air from Lords Seat, a hill just along the east from Mam Tor.

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Visit to the Jansky Very Large Array

(click on images within grids for a bigger image)

When you’re building the world’s largest radio telescope, then you need to go and see how other observatories have done the same and learn what lessons you can – which are the good operational practices and what are the mistakes you should try to avoid.

Early in September, we went to visit the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, in New Mexico, USA. The JVLA is an iconic radio telescope with its distinctive ‘Y’ shaped configuration and featuring in various film and TV shows, most notably perhaps in the movie Contact.

At the time of our visit, the 25-metre dishes were being moved out to their very widest configuration where the furthest distance between two individual dishes reaches over 22.6 miles. They are moved, individually, by a transporter along the train tracks you can see in many of the images here.

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