The pedalling photographer

Pictures on the move

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I should have done this years ago!

Quite close to where I live is a well known avenue of beech trees that have been photographed by many, many people over the past years… except me that is! You may wonder why I have never photographed these trees, being so close to home. I think that  probably was the reason why – too close to home – but it has always been at the back of my mind as a shot I wanted to get. However, this week, I suddenly had the urge to get out and do it! One day  was lovely and sunny, and I knew that the time the trees needed to be photographed was just before the sun set. Rain and strong winds were forecast for the next couple of days, and I knew that if I didn’t get the shot now, the leaves would be down and yet again another year would have to pass before I could photograph the trees in their autumn colours.

This impressive avenue of beech trees was planted in 1835 and is approximately 2 miles long. It lines the  B3082 Wimborne to Blandford Forum road in Dorset. There are 365 trees – one planted for each day of the year.

When I got there, the sun disappeared behind a cloud, as usually happens to me when I get my camera out! No doubt this happens to every photographer! But, with patience, it came good at the right time, 15 minutes before the sun set. I also had to coincide the shot with a gap in the busy traffic – no mean feat! I was quite pleased with the final result.

Avenue of beech trees, Wimborne, Dorset, UK

Avenue of beech trees, near Badbury Rings, Wimborne, Dorset.

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Up close and personal with illness

Over the past few weeks, Chris and I have only been able to get in a couple of short bike rides and to snatch a few brief walks because my Mum has been quite poorly. Being up close and personal to illness has made me realize what a fine balance there is in a healthy body – there only needs one thing to go out of kilter for it to throw everything else out of sync. We take our good health so much for granted and get pulled up short when illness strikes either a loved one or ourselves. Being ill can take over your life, with not feeling well enough to carry on with your day-to-day living and having to make constant visits to the doctor and the hospital. Over the past couple of years, my dear sister has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and one close friend with leukaemia and another with prostate cancer. However, I have been inspired by these people and the brave and positive way in which they have dealt with their illnesses. Obviously, they will have had bad days with fears and tears, but to the outside world they have shown a strong, upbeat attitude that has been awesome and I am certain that this mindset has helped in their recovery.

Determined to try to grab a little ‘us’ time, exercise and fresh air, a couple of weekends ago we decided to walk into our local town, Wimborne, to visit the Food Festival that was taking place. The centre of the town was full with stalls of independent food producers, brewers and winemakers showing off the very best in local food and drink. The aromas wafting around were mouth-watering, from fish and chips, Indian food, Thai food, paella, pancakes, BBQ, wine tasting… you name it, it was there! However, we resisted the temptation to indulge and wandered into the local supermarket to buy a couple of bananas and apples – how boring was that! While munching on our healthy fruit, we kept ourselves warm watching a very entertaining fire performer – with much oo-ing and aah-ing from the crowd – saw children hurtle down the helter skelter, swing high and low on the old-fashioned swingboats and go round and round on the merry-go-round.

Yesterday evening, after visiting my Mum in hospital, we decided to have a quick stomp around beautiful Sandbanks – a walk we do quite regularly as we love to be by the sea. We were lucky enough to miss the torrential downpours and found the beach almost deserted. The sky was black, with dark, forbidding, rain-bearing clouds. But, the light was quite unique and I took the opportunity to take a couple of photos on my iphone before we had to make a dash back to the car to beat the rain.