Dark Times

Perhaps I was suffering from a degree of geographic confusion arising from the sea being to my west rather than my beloved east coast, though more likely it was the mental clouding arising from having been made redundant from my training job less than an hour previously, but in either event my usual sense of…

Island Life… and Death (Farne Islands)

The existence of the Farne Islands is due to a geological feature called the Whin Sill, the term deriving from what regional quarrymen called flat sections of dark rock.  This is hard, volcanic material that erodes much more slowly than other rocks in the region and so gives rise to the high ground where Dunstanborough,…

The Seventh Seal (Farne Islands)

One of the problems about shooting wildlife, especially photogenic, entertaining, or threatening wildlife, is that you just don't know when to stop.  You shoot dozens of images in case this expression is better than the last, or that the beast in question is more in focus, looks more powerful, and so on.  I learnt this…

Frutti di Bosco (Allen Banks II)

It's impossible to say which is my favourite gelato flavour; the artisan producers of Italy can create delights from a vast range of ingredients (it is the only country where sales of the hand-made product exceed the mass-produced).  Elsewhere however (are you listening Croatia?) they rarely achieve the same intensity of flavour and so my…

Falls & Bridges (Allen Banks I)

After last week's post about Wallington, I'm in another National Trust location, but one that underlines the points I made about conservation and land management above and beyond the "Big House".  At Allen Banks there is no architectural treat; simply miles of walks through a hundred-acre wood. Actually there is a hall but Ridley Hall…