A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

London’s Cable Car

Posted by Alan on June 28, 2012

Today saw a brand new piece of infrastructure open across London’s sky line: branded Air Line by it’s sponsors, a new cable car from North Greenwich to Royal Victoria Dock.

Cable Car

Cable Car

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Horniman Aquarium

Posted by Alan on June 22, 2012

Fish

Here little fishy…

A few weeks ago, when my parents came to stay we decided to venture across the river to a museum I had read a little about: The Horniman.

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Vast tracks of sea

Posted by Alan on May 6, 2012

Vast tracks of sea

Looking back to land along the railway on Southend Pier

One of the big problems I have with film is that quite often I don’t get though a roll very quickly – which means photographs lay in the camera undeveloped or seen for literally years. Last year I cycled to Southend as part of the coast to coast training – around 35 miles which I did enjoy and it’s nice now having the photos to think back to that day!

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No umbrella required

Posted by Alan on June 12, 2011

A squirrel using it's tail as an umbrella

Because I don't like rain either

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Lovely Cornwall

Posted by Alan on May 10, 2011

For the Easter bank holiday weekend I upped sticks with the masses and headed west, to Cornwall. I knew the train would be busy on Friday but I wasn’t quite expecting how busy!

Busy train!

Inside the 10.06 to Penzance

Having bagged the last unreserved bike space on the train (5 of 6 were pre-reserved – by the time I got off there were far more than 6 bikes in the compartment…) there was no way I was getting off until Bodmin. So standing it was for the 275 or so miles to Bodmin Parkway. I actually didn’t mind standing too much –  with my earphones on, some fizzy drink, fresh air from the opening windows and something to read it was bearable. Changing to a steam train here meant I could grab a cup of tea and a break for a few minutes rather than going straight into tackling the Cornish hills. From Bodmin town I could pickup the Camel Trail, one of the major Sustrans routes stretching the 20 miles down the Camel valley to Wadebridge and Padstow – a former railway, so well engineered with nice easy gradients. For the final section of journey from Wadebridge to Polzeath on the north coast I took to the road. This was harder than I imagined, with 4 fairly major climbs (for a city dweller anyway) as well as a very steep decent into Polzeath itself with the road covered in sand from the beach. (Shortly after I learned the art of configuring v-brakes). Here I spotted an unusual use of an underground roundel.

On Saturday there was more cycling, as with my extended family who I was visiting we took to the Camel Trail – this time a section I hadn’t used the day before from Wadebridge to Padstow, from where I saw the crazy idea that is paddle surfing…

Paddle surfer!

Paddle surfer! - there were loads of them!

At the end of the trail is Rick Stein’s fish & chip shop, which was pretty fabulous.

Haddock & Chips

Haddock & Chips at Rick Stein's

Following a walk round the harbour and amble around the lovely surroundings of Padstow (well worth a look), it was time to hit the trail and head home. Later that night I wandered round the coast – Cornwall is so lovely, I am very gutted I couldn’t fit my D-SLR in the panniers! The Kodak tried it’s best to capture it’s loveliness…

A lovely day for speed boating!

A lovely day for speed boating! - Daymler bay

Padstow / Daymler bay is the Camel estuary and used by many speedboats. Too soon, Sunday came and it was time to head home. With a train reserved at half 2 from Bodmin (no way I was standing all the way home too!) I set of reasonably early so as not to rush too much. Instead of taking the mental road route back to Wadebridge, I opted for the gentle road down to Rock (home of Sharp’s brewery and many many posh people) to take the ferry to Padstow.

It's a lovely day for boating

It's a lovely day for bike-boating

This is great facility available for cyclists to use as the Camel Trail starts just on the other side of Padstow. Just £3 for a single trip across the river. It’s a tidal estuary, but on a lovely day it isn’t at all choppy.

A lovely day for boating

A lovely day for boating (yes enough boating already)

With plenty of other traffic to avoid, the ferry nips across the water as quickly as possible.  All too soon, I was back on dry land on the quay at Padstow and almost ready to pick up the trail again. This meant easy cycling for the 12 or so miles back to Bodmin town which was really appreciated. Particularly with full panniers weighing me down somewhat… From Bodmin town to the Parkway station was more challenging. A proper new Sustrans route, this meant sudden turns, hairpin bends and a general feeling of “am I going the right way?” The early (ish) start meant I had missed the trail traffic and landed myself in the Parkway café for a pasty and brew. The UK must be the only country in the world to use a teacup/saucer to indicate a buffet!

Cornish Pasty!

Cornish Pasty!

Sadly I did not get a cream tea before I left Cornwall. Woe is me. An excellent adventure for me and particularly one where I felt I had to use the bike – I was visiting relatives who were also on holiday. North Cornwall isn’t famous for it’s public transport and whilst I did see a few dinky buses plying the slopes of the coastal towns and villages, I can’t imagine they would be much quicker or convenient. After all, my bike is powered by pasties…

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Ghost cycling

Posted by Alan on May 8, 2011

Ghost cycling, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

Paris gave me many opportunities to practice panning shots and surely a nation with a reputation for fashion should produce plenty of ‘cycle chic’?

This guy is ‘ghosting’ through the roundabout at République.

I think there’s still more work on the composition required, probably to fill more of the frame with the cyclist and put their head on the third line to the right. Anything thoughts from either the photography nerds or cyclists?

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Sunset

Posted by Alan on April 25, 2011

Sunset, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

My Nokia N96 may have the most awful user experience and a pretty poor user interface but it can take a good photo.

This is Padstow bay in the setting sun. (Cornwall is lovely isn’t it?)

Maybe it’s worth keeping when the contract runs out, as an ‘internet enabled camera’!

It’s been a hectic bank holiday weekend – with visiting family and riding the Camel Trail at the heart of it, more on the cycling to come soon! Very glad I went home on Easter Sunday, I bet the trains and motorways today were mental…

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To the top

Posted by Alan on April 5, 2011

This weekend I took to the roads and cycle lanes of London again for two adventures, clocking up around 35 miles in total.  The second trip took me from home to Hampstead Heath and the opportunity to tick of another London must: the view from Parliament Hill.

The view from Parliament Hill

Looking south: the view from Parliament Hill

It wasn’t a spectacularly clear day – so I am quite impressed that some detail has come out in the cloud. The City is typically hazy (this is Sunday’s air pollution!), something that maybe one day will get fixed. It’s a real mixed use space – picnics, kite flying, many runners, sadly no cycling but due to the number of people walking I can understand that. (This doesn’t negate the fact I still need to find a hill to practice on).

Looking away

Just the three of us. Looking away.

Further down the hill you can start to pick out other detail – the London eye, just how utterly massive the Shard is and the motley crew of tower blocks apparently dumped at random across the London skyline.

Another view - spot the London Eye

Another view - spot the London Eye

Apparently the heath isn’t off limits to all wheeled vehicles as this mobility scooter proved – I bet that was an uncomfortable ride!

Off road

Off road mobility

With the photographic opportunities finished (i.e. we got bored) next stop was the Southampton Arms, just round the corner from the bottom of the heath.

Ale and cider house

Southampton Arms: an ale and cider house

There’s more about the pub over at my other blog but in summary it most excellent. 10 ales, 8 ciders and a selection of pies. What more can you ask for?

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Manchester Cycle Chic

Posted by Alan on March 29, 2011

Mr Orange

Manchester, cycle chic?

Last week Manchester joined the growing number of cities with a website dedicated to cycle chic – people riding bikes, dressed for their destination, not clad in Lycra as per the cyclist stereotype.  The original idea started in Copenhagen and there are now worldwide sites, including a Gambia cycle chic! Having spend a few minutes as resident paparazzi in Piccadilly Gardens at the weekend, I felt it was only appropriate to share…!

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No swimming

Posted by Alan on January 7, 2011

No swimming

No swimming

Even if you can break the ice…

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