‘Catching the Waves’

IMG_8078The upgrade in our weather warnings today from the 75mph winds associated from the remnant effects of the powerful ‘Hurricane Gonzalo’ were not going to put these dedicated few off their passion for wind and kite surfing; on some of the best beaches here on the South Coast.

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The winds were indeed strong enough to bring down several trees in our area; and three women in the next county to us were all sadly taken to hospital after a tree fell on to them.

It also claimed a life of a woman in the City of London when a wall collapsed. It caused a multitude of flight Rail and Ferry cancellations and thousands of passengers faced lengthy delays to their daily commute.

However, when your enjoyment revolves around choppy seas and strong winds coupled with the excitement of skimming across the surface of the sea then you can easily begin to understand why so many people were out today catching these waves.

‘Bracklesham Bay’ certainly is a great place for all water sports including kite surf, windsurfing, and surfing. The latest sport of paddle surfing is also done along with diving.

‘Salute’

IMG_4668Found myself out walking early today and having parked up near the ‘Hot Walls’ I decided to stroll over to the little cafe in Old Portsmouth to grab a hot drink.

I always enjoy walking here as the ships and the ferries entering the harbour are so close that you can clearly see all of the passengers on board and watch them getting themselves organised to disembark.

It was really bright down there today and despite feeling slightly nippy; it was nonetheless very pleasant and as always enjoyable to see so many people out and about. I carried on looking over the top of the walls when amusingly I saw an elderly couple gingerly making there way across the hard pebbles with arms outstretched shoulder high spinning and gesticulating to maintain their balance. Looking almost like they were rehearsing some complicated ‘Torville and Dean” ice skating routine?

In fairness to them though those pebbles do hurt your feet. Eventually they arrived at the waters edge they both plunged head long into the sea; then turning they both back-stroked confidently away from to a more suitable depth

(Brrrrr!) “Bloody brave to do that”…I thought to myself as I tucked my cold hands deeper inside my warm coat pockets.

There are a steep set of steps at the completion of this particular stroll and so I stood momentarily looking below. It was then when I noticed this group of individuals with a young child in it’s pushchair.

They were each enjoying a coffee so I thought that this might make for an interesting composition?

I set the camera up and pointed the lens in their general direction; and luckily both of the guys at exactly the same time; suddenly raised their extended fingers to shade their eyes from the sun… as if in a military salute.

The young woman however remained sitting in all together more reflective pose; obviously deeply in thought?

By the way; these archways which you can see in shot are soon to be developed as little individual shops and galleries where visitors will be able to shelter and browse at their leisure. Personally I think that this will prove to be really popular and will give local artists and small business enterprise’s the opportunity to set up in what has to be a premium location?

So to the people who dreamed up this forward thinking and most imaginative initiative…We salute you!

‘Chip Anyone?’

IMG_8020This was taken when we decided to go to the seafront for our lunch.

After I parked up the van; I immediately whacked the kettle on to make us all a hot drink. Meanwhile our Beau went with his nan and his mum to purchase some of Southsea’s finest chips (without exception)

Luckily for us the place was not too busy when we got there; and so we were soon all back in the van with the radio on enjoying the sea air with the sliding door open to the elements.

Very quickly though; we were visited by one solitary starling who initially came and perched on the side mirror and was obviously scouting out a possible food source for his mates. Sure enough over they all came swooping in and chattering away to one another excited at the prospect of joining us for lunch?

My daughter Jodie then sat with our Beau on the step of the van together. And after only a short space of time they had gained the starlings confidence sufficiently enough for them to take chips from their fingers before then flying off to consume them. (The birds that was who flew off you understand…not our Jodie and Beau)

So it only goes to prove once again that for the meagre price of a bag of chips a sausage and a pea fritter; we all ended up having a very enjoyable couple of hours out in the fresh air. Beau even got to know the local wildlife as well into the bargain.

“Chip Anyone?”

‘Crossing’

IMG_7994Took a trip down into Milton to pick up our daughter and our grandson Beau who had just returned from his pre-school and was keen to be picked up and taken for a drive along the seafront.

Although the weather was blowy their was some sun evident through the clouds. Realistically the weather is irrelevant; provided that is our Beau get’s to sit up front in the van in his safety chair. He loves to be high up in the passengers seat where he will then offer me up a running commentary about any diggers or coaches or lorries or tractors or ships or boats or camper vans or motor-homes or hovercrafts, or in particular traffic lights and crossings; we might chance upon during our drive.

Also when you make a promise to our Beau that you are not going to be long picking him up; then in his 2 year old mind that is taken literally! So you can imagine my dismay when up ahead of us I noticed that the traffic was slowing down and there on the pavement to my right were a class of children on a walk about from school; all waiting patiently to use the crossing. Our Beau won’t be happy I thought…this could take some time?

Then my heart sank when I then saw the cars in front draw to a stop.

I watched as one teacher then began to make her way over both crossings and over to the other side. Then another teacher quickly took up her position at the centre of the crossings; and finally the last one remained with the large class of pupils as they all waited instruction standing there in their pairs. Most were holding hands and all were listening intently for the the command to commence their crossing together.

What impressed me most of all was that each child as they walked across the road; took the time to thank the drivers of the cars that were waiting! Every one of them either waved or to smiled. And as the last pair of kids alighted the pavement on the other side so then did each of the teachers follow behind; again both acknowledged and thanked the drivers for their consideration.

It actually made the waiting almost pleasurable. In fairness their actions had the desired effect because each driver returned a smile some even waving back at the children.

In the everyday rush of this little life all of us including myself rushing to get where we are going; can so easily forget that politeness patience and consideration are indeed truly worthy virtues.

So well done those kids and well done to the teachers involved.

That was one smooth operation!

‘Black Swan’

IMG_8032This gorgeous creature and it’s mate have recently taken up residence in ‘Canoe Lake’ and are creating quite a stir locally. We popped over today with our grandson Beau and our daughter Jodie. luckily I managed to grab a shot or two as they were gathered hoping for bread.

All swans are indeed beautiful and these were no exception.

Stunning to see them up close and in contrast with the pure white breed we are so used to seeing on our frequent visits here.

These two however are like local celebrities. I have never seen so many photographers out with their cameras and extra long lenses. We even saw one from our local newspaper clicking away at a variety of angles.

It’s surprising to see that they were all sufficiently motivated to make their way down there today; and then to spend some quality time with other visitors simply admiring the grace and sheer elegance of this captivating pair.

‘Apparition’

IMG_7992I drove over to Fareham shopping precinct yesterday and after meeting up with a friend for coffee; I decided to take a look through the town for any photo opportunities.

Luckily I managed to shoot a couple of interesting images of a young guy who was playing his violin in a somewhat cavalier style supporting the instrument below his shoulder. He was noticeably talented and his soothing music brightened up the dullness of the day. I dropped a few coins of my spare change into his open violin case on the ground by his feet and he smiled whilst nodding his approval.
(Nice guy… and a good fiddle player too!)

I carried on walking around the centre although in truth I didn’t really see much more that day which was of any great interest to me. In fact it was all quite uneventful.

The weather by then was also beginning to change and the rain had started to fall; and so I decided to return to my van which I had parked up at the top of the town and make another cup of coffee for myself.

I did however stop to take a shot of a rather officious looking guy who was tidying away some of the remaining protesters boards which had strategically been hammered into the lawns outside the City Council Offices after a recent large public meeting was held; and where tempers had frayed at a proposed plan to build 6,000 new homes very near to their town.

Anyway I then noticed that some development work was being carried out at the local library and so as past I literally did a point and shoot through the mesh fencing which had been placed around the structure itself for safety.

When I returned home I downloaded the images and was taken in particular with this one; which I have titled ‘Apparition’ I thought it made for an interesting and somewhat curious looking image.

I didn’t even see this person when I took the shot!

Or was he indeed there at all?