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11 Nov 2018

Cat in a box


What is it about some cats and boxes? Zoe is 18 years old yet she still cannot resist a cardboard box. She has been going into this winebox for over a week since it arrived. Usually the novelty has worn off after a few days but not this time. Her soulmate, Phoebe, also 18  is not at all interested in cardboard boxes.
Poor little Zoe has diabetes and is sickening slowly . She is too old to intervene medically so we are enjoying her company whilst we can. She has been a wonderful cat and has done so well to live to her ripe old age.

1 Nov 2018

Blue sea, blue sky morning.



Early morning on Blueys Beach, Mid Coast, NSW, Australia. Taken on my early morning walk last Wednesday morning. It was a stunning morning. It was already quite warm .There were just a couple people exercising their dogs and this solitary beach fisherman and me.
I wanted a photo which conveyed the wonderful scene with the big sky and turquiose sea breaking on the rocks. At the time I was wishing that I had a wider angle lens as I had just my Leica X1 with its 35mm( equiv) lens but now I feel that it has worked out fine.


26 Oct 2018

Last flight


It's 15 years to the day since the last Concorde flight-BA2- from New York to London. The photo was taken at the superb Boeing Field Museum of Flight in Seattle where one of the 20 Concordes built is on permanent display.
Concorde was an amazing technical achievement but it was a commercial failure. Only British Airways and Air France operated the aircraft and they both lost a lot of money flying it although there was a joint Singapore Airlines/British Airways Concorde service from London to Singapore via Bahrain from 1977 to 1980. The aircraft used on this service were owned by BA and had BA livery on one side and Singapore Airlines livery on the other. This service ended due to low loads a factor of the high ticket price and the fact that Concorde was very noisy,cramped and really unsuitable for such a long route.
 The crash of an Air France Concorde in France in 2000-hastened its demise but the final blow was the slump in air travel following the Sept 11 2001 terrorist attacks. At the end the Concorde's technology was old and it was proving very costly to maintain.
I never flew on Concorde to my eternal regret but I did see and hear them flying over southern England and the Qantas check-in at Heathrow was next to the special Concorde lounge and many times I enviously watched passengers checking in for their Concorde flight whilst I checked in for my "slow" Qantas 747 flight back to Sydney.

20 Oct 2018

Silvertails


Had a morning run up the backroad to Enzos cafe at Polkolbin last Monday in company with Colin and Craig in their early 911Es. The weather was mixed. Heavy showers, light rain and then short bursts of sunshine.The roads were greasy and on the way up the Yarramalong Valley on the way to Kulnura Craig and I were stopped by the police for 20 mins whilst they were clearing away the aftermath of a very nasty single vehicle accident which was sobering. Nonetheless we pushed on up the newly resurfaced and now billiard table smooth Bumble Hill - what a superb hillclimb it would make -at a brisk pace. On the round trip I managed to avoid running over two turtles which were crossing the road at two different places. Obviously it's great weather for turtles.
I just love these small group long drives particularly on such empty roads. My 2.2 -middle car above- ran beautifully . Pure driving pleasure.

19 Oct 2018

Foggy morning


Over the past 12 months since I came out of hospital I have not been taking a camera with me on my regular early morning walk. Two reasons for this. Firstly I have been seriously working on improving my fitness by walking further and faster and secondly I had decided that after 10 years of early morning shots I had run out of subjects in Terrigal anyway.
Yesterday afternoon we had a big storm and when I say big I mean it. Torrential rain. Lightning and heavy hail-many of the hailstones big enough to break windows although fortunately none of ours. This morning I woke to a foggy and very humid scene. There was a big bank of fog out to sea. I took the photo above at Terrigal Haven just after the sun had risen and the fog bank was lifting.
Leica X1 photo.


12 Oct 2018

Stormy weather



After months of warm, sunny weather without rain the last two weeks have seen heavy rainfalls along the east coast of NSW and fortunately some of this rain has extended inland into the drought affected farming areas.
On the Central Coast of NSW we now over the rain but it is not giving up yet and we have had heavy showers all day today. This morning I had had enough. Cabin fever was setting in so I went for a walk along the beautiful Coastal Track in Bouddi National Park. I started out from Putty Beach -about 20 mins drive from home - and walked to Maitland Bay and back.
The top photo shows the boardwalk up from Putty Bay walking towards Bouddi Beach-just visible. The mauve clouds are storm clouds. They, or near,relatives unloaded on me on the way back.
The bottom of the two photo shows the tip of Lion Island in Brisbane Water taken from the track in a sunny break .
Both photos were taken with my Leica X1 which was having its first use since returning from having the broken battery clip repaired and a clean and adjustment. It seems to be working better than ever.
For a graphic demonstration of how good this 8 year old simple camera is take a look at the top photo at the end point of the boardwalk in the distance. Two figures are just visible.
Below is a very big enlargement of that section. The figures are clearly visible and you can actually see the backpack on the rear figure. A superb lens.




8 Oct 2018

More Romania

More photos from the Romanian road trip.
Romania is still a very rural and poor country and although many young people have migrated to Bucharest and other cities-or are working in the UK- rural depopulation is not as obvious as it is say France and Portugal. Everywhere we drove there were people cutting hay -it was harvest time-or tending their animals. With the horse and carts in many ways it was like travelling back in time.










1 Oct 2018

On the road in Romania

Just enjoyed two weeks on the road in Romania. Covered 1335kms in a very economical petrol Peugeot 208 rental car and saw a lot of rural Romania and three days in Bucharest. I survived the appalling and dangerous driving conditions. I loved the hospitality, the prices and the helpful, friendly people-I exclude the aggressive, impatient Bucharest drivers from this comment. Above all else I liked the old towns,the mellow rural landscapes and the quiet pace of life-outside Bucharest.
There were great photo opportunities everywhere. Here are the first of the photos with more to follow.










26 Sep 2018

At the Staedtische Museum-Munich


Munich has more than its fair share of great museums,art galleries and palaces not to mention wonderful shops, restaurants, beer halls and breweries. One of my favourite museums is the Staedtische Gallery in the Lensbachhaus. The main attraction of the museum is the collection of impressionist paintings by the German Blue Rider Group and in particular the works of Wassily Kandinsky. There are also works by Andy Warhol including those damn soup cans and of particular interest to me photographs by Stephen Shore and Walker Evans.

The last time I visited the gallery it was in the rather cramped and dingy Lensbachaus just 20 mins walk from the Marienplatz -the centre of Munich. On my latest visit last week I found it still in the same location in at first glance the same building with its almost Tuscan facade and wonderful garden but the old house has been totally transformed by British architects Foster and Partners by the addition of a beautiful gallery building added to the old house. Now it is airy and thoroughly modern although some of the old rooms have been retained and preserved. It is an amazing change.

I could only spare 90 mins in the gallery but whilst there I spotted this extremely colourful patron looking at the impressionist works in the Blue Rider Group room.
The photo was taken with my Leica Q. The image is so sharp that I can almost but not quite read the name of the artist on the label below the painting on the original file.



24 Sep 2018

Surfing -in Munich


Surfing in the centre of Munich? Sounds improbable as the nearest surf beach is on the French Atlantic coast some 1500kms distant but it's for real. I saw it for myself last week. They surf the Eisbach, a very fast flowing tributary of the River Isar, at a point just beyond a road bridge at an entrance to the Englischer Garten, the main park in Munich.
It's not a wave as in the ocean - it's a water "bank" produced by an underwater step in the channel. Apparently surfers have been surfing the "break" since the 1970s although it was not legal until 2010. Now they surf it all the year round and also at night.
Last wednesday morning they were lining up to surf it and being good Germans they were  forming orderly lines on both banks and as it is strictly one surfer at a time.
The surfers have to jump straight onto the wave and when they fall off or jump off they have to swim strongly for the bank downstream as the current is both strong and very fast flowing.