Edale

One of my most favourite places.

After completing the Pennine Way with my Dad last year (visit his site for the full write up), it took a while for the urge to go walking to resurface. When it did, it was a fairly safe bet that I’d end up here sooner or later.

After a couple of weeks had passed since the worst of the snow had disappeared from the Midlands where I live, I dared venture further north and onto the smaller roads that would take me into the heart of the Peak District. It was still pretty cold up there – the ground was frozen which, on the plus side meant no sinking in bogs (yay!)

On the way up Icy! TreeThe rest of the pics can be found here… One of those rare, perfect walking days when even a short January day is beautiful

 

Weekend Away

A recent weekend trip to visit a friend was blessed by beautiful weather. I left my house early so that I could squeeze in a quick visit to Nine Ladies on the way and was treated with a stunning cloud inversion…

Cloud Inversion from Stanton MoorThe rest of the photos from that weekend can be seen here, the morning cloud inversion ones were taken at Nine Ladies, foggy ones taken at Chatsworth, moorland ones at Longshaw/Higger Tor and Carl Wark and watery ones taken at Damflask Reservoir!

Change is afoot!

I’ve been neglecting the site for a bit but… I need to do something with the photos from mine and my Dad’s Pennine Way walk last year, before we go for this year’s trip, and there are a few other adventures in the pipeline, which will no doubt result in loads of photos.

So…

I was planning on a re-vamp of the site to make it more photo-journal friendly, but I couldn’t find a theme that I liked and did what I wanted… so the site will stay looking like it does…

But there will be lots of new photos posted soon!

Things I have learned about the future from films…

Returning readers may have noticed by now that I’m a big fan of self-explanatory titles…

Anyway… I went to see the new Total Recall re-make last night, and despite the many reviews to the contrary, really enjoyed it. I haven’t seen the original so I wasn’t precious about it, and frankly, Colin Farrell wins hands-down acting wise (and looks-wise) over Arnie any day.

Some of the detractors have moaned about how the world seems to have been created using a “generic futuristic dystopia” template, and whilst I can see what they mean, it got me thinking as to what else I could maybe infer about the future as filtered through the oracle of film.

(Disclaimer: I’m sure there are many more futuristic films out there than I’ll reference here – if you think there are any I should see please get in touch!)

1. Machines/technology/science will rise up and take over – see Terminator, Battlestar Galactica (TV Series I know), I, Robot, Blade Runner, even Minority Report I suppose

2. Don’t be so naive as to hope for a utopia – the future is going to be grim – see Total Recall, Equilibrium, 1984, The Matrix, Minority Report, Dark City, Blade Runner, In Time, Dredd (this is just an assumption from first looks and impressions received from the trailer)

3. It will also rain a lot – see Total Recall, Minority Report, Equilibrium, Blade Runner

4. Concrete and neon will be the archetecture of choice – In Time, Equilibrium

5. Industrial/rave clothing/lifestyles will become the norm – The Matrix, Dredd (see earlier note), Equilibrium

6. All of the whizzy gadgets and cool, super-advanced technology in the world doesn’t change the problems that people face – see every single film set in the future

 

Deja vu

A lot of time seems to have slid past without my noticing it… I feel like this is a familiar thought…

Not too much has happened since I was here last… more storytelling, more work, more films and a festival thrown in there – Shropshire’s Festival at the Edge – which was brilliant and reminded me how great camping in the sunshine can be!

Not optimistic enough to expect any mercy from the wettest April – July on record, I packed only wellies, and so stomped around the baked dry grounds with sweltering feet for three days – but hey! Rather that than sink in flip flops!

Oh and lest I forget – it does seem like ages ago – it was the Summer Solsitice. My partner and I went up to Nine Ladies Stone Circle on Stanton Moor in Derbyshire for the night and were once again lucky with the weather. Click here for a few pictures. The skies might have held back on the rain but there was enough cloud about to mostly hide the sun setting and rising – but at least we could stand and soak up the atmosphere without getting literally soaked ourselves! The atmosphere was actually much better than at Stonehenge – the celebration was a much smaller affair and seemed like mostly local people rather than tourists from all over the country. Stonehenge – whilst it is brilliant that they remove the fences and let celebrants in amongst the stones for the Solstice – seemed a little stifled by all the rules – no tents, no sleeping bags, no naked flames and the huge gantries of floodlights which blazed all night so that it never truly got dark and what would, I imagine, have been an amazing display of stars on the clear night that we were blessed with, was hidden by the glare. At Nine Ladies, people camped in the woods around the stones, lit camp fires and sang and danced and generally had a much less structured, but much more natural good time. I’d definitely rather go there again than to Stonehenge.

On the nature of time…

In the sense of “where on Earth does it go?” How can a whole half a year have slid past already – I still feel as though I’m just settling in and getting set up for 2012. Surprise! It’s already half-gone.

Since my last post I have… walked the Pennine Way (more on that soon), worked a lot, been to the cinema a lot, told stories at Derby’s Flying Donkeys club, experienced Center Parcs for the first time, and generally let life carry on without managing to report on it here (for shame).

Normal life seems to be reasserting itself once more, so I shall endeavour to put more regular content up here for anyone who cares to read it… and as for posting photos – I took 1400+ over the three weeks of Pennine Way walking so I expect a few will find their way up here. Keep checking back!

In Training

So the Pennine Way is looming larger every day now, since we passed into March, and I realised that it’s high time I took some longer walks with my pack – just to get into the spirit of things.

A not-rainy Thursday off saw me head over to Bradgate Park in Leics for a 10 mile loop taking in Beacon Hill and passing the ruins of Ulverscroft Priory along the way. For once, weather, mood and scenery merged to compliment one another perfectly, and the walk was brilliant – varied and beautiful – very much through English countryside.

For anyone who’s interested – my pack on this excursion weighed about 12kgs, and I completed the 10 miles  just under 4hrs. This was faster than I would have liked, but the Bradgate Park carpark at Newton Linford closed at dusk and, as I didn’t get there until 12.30 – I was worried that their interpretation of dusk would be different to mine and my car would get locked in – so I hurried rather! But I survived, and surprisingly wasn’t too dead and broken at the end, or even the next day, which filled me with hope for the actual Event.

Here are some pics from the walk – just a few – I was hurrying so only took about 80 photos instead of the more usual 100+ ;-) This is just a select few…

Nottingham at Night

February 10th was Nottingham Light Night. I’d seen adverts for it every year that we’ve lived in Nottingham, but always after the event, or when it was too late to get the time off to go. This year I was already off, so when the 10th came around I charged up my camera, cleared out the memory card and set off into town.

I love wandering round cities at night, and Nottingham is no exception. The Light Night seemed to bring everyone out – the streets were crowded with families and groups of people. All the buildings were lit up and there were fire-breathers, projections and puppets everywhere. Art installations, “dream walks” and special events on at places like the Broadway cinema meant that I had too many things that I wanted to see and do, but eventually I just sort of wandered, taking in the sights and seeing what I came across.

The city looked beautiful, magical and exciting – so far from the grey streets and buildings that winter so often presents and it was great to see so many people out enjoying the event. I was speaking to one of the storytellers at the “Cloudwatching in the Lava Lamp Forest of Stories” (brilliant by the way!) and she mentioned that this year the Light Night had hardly any funding. I really hope the event continues, and maybe a DIY spirit can help it grow.

I took loads of photos on the night – but here’s a selection of the least blurry! (Must get a tripod one day!)

Dreams

I had a brilliant dream last night. I always enjoy dreaming, they’re rarely about me or any aspect of my life, it’s more like getting to watch a film in my head while asleep. I’m often aware that i’m dreaming, and sometimes can steer it in the way i want it to go, particularly if i’ve had the dream before.

Just recently there’s been a lot of uncertainty about my job, which has lead to lots of horrible work-related dreams where everything goes wrong and it’s generally a relief to wake up.

Last night, i dreamed i was walking home from work – nothing like in real life but i knew it was my usual route home. On this particular trip i saw loads of new things that i’d never noticed before, new places to explore, new people to meet, new opportunities. My route took me across a beach into the sunset, and everything was so beautiful and full of possibility that i felt as though i was about to burst with happiness, to float away on the sheer joy that was filling me. That feeling remained, even as i woke up.

I don’t know anything about dream interpretation, but this one left me with such hope. It seemed to say that even though things are normal and mundane, there’s always something more, something special to be found, if you just look in the right way.

I tend towards the opinion that dreams can sometimes be more than nightly entertainment. Whilst not wishing to commit to the thought that they’re messages from something higher, perhaps sometimes they’re messages from ourselves, helping us to see what gets lost amidst the noise and bustle of waking life.