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


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.