Nineteen years. Time fades memory. I nearly forgot. I didn’t. But the raw sense of profound loss has been tempered. Last year we were in Scotland to fulfill a long dream of Colleen’s. We passed this cow on the road looking over the hedge at us. I stopped. Cute! Not a Heilan coo. Maybe? He needed bangs. So, a cow, a cute one at that, and he let me take his picture while he curiously gazed. Yes, nineteen years, a couple generations have passed. Has memory faded so much? I remember. I was there. I know someone who was lost. For many it’s not so personal. Not me.
I hate it, when they change things. WordPress, the sponsor of this blog site has changed the format for creating and editing a post. Yay! By now everyone has had a chance to try it. I hate change. I just got used to editing and creating…. What if one had to change wives every…. Oh shit! I’m in deep shit….. Please forgive me honey, I don’t know what came over me. I’m so terribly sorry! 🙂
Butt soap – for Ginny, or Emma – there’s a side for your face and one for your ass. Don’t get mixed up? Please. (You know who you are.)
Puerto Rico, San Juan. Sunday? I was barely talking with Lisa. We’d been in a fight for quite a long time. We somehow were in San Juan to start the one and only cruise I have ever been on. Walking randomly in the streets, I glanced down the next. Perfect. A moment. The light! Someone walking. Color! Does it get better than when you know you shot something special the moment you pressed the shutter?
The best picture I ever took that I wish I had a do over: Random! Totally! This was on a road trip in Europe. Does it matter where? When? … a very long time ago. We had stopped (the car) many many times. The patience of my passenger/wife? was at an end. No stopping. I had a point and shoot (film!) camera in my lap. Auto anything? I just lifted the camera to the driver side window and fired one shot. One! Single! Shot! That’s it. The moment was gone, never to be seen (ever!) again. Am I clear? I missed out on a real moment. I couldn’t stop. Who knew? Well, I got something to show you all. Regrets? I have a few. But then life did turn out with a happy ending somewhere along the line. And I hope to be on the road again. And my beloved spouse will (though not intentionally) pressure me to keep on the move. Next…
…we could travel freely? Right about now we are more than half through our second trip to Scotland. Not! Bad timing! Ode to corona: who thought a trip to our mailbox would be a threat to our health. Confused? No. Alas, we are not in Scotland. We were told the sheep were dipped – yellow – for purposes of health. We never saw another flock like it. Reasons on the ‘net include: ID, ownership, ewes, theft discouragement and who knows? We frequently staged some gag photos for the kids. Yeah, shameless Photoshop. Why not? Poor Colleen. Why hug a post box? Hey! You would have to look in my brain. Me? Some days I’m locked out. Thistle: the national flower of Scotland. And right now I wish we were posting: “Wish you were here.”
Today’s Dave’s birthday. Happy Birthday! (I’ll remind his sister so she’ll look good. Hey! People remind me of dates all the time.) I write my posts in advance. So, the big question is whether we are on the plane today to Scotland or not. We were/are scheduled. …cancelled/postponed due to pandemic. Who knew? River Tweed panorama anyone? No, the sheep are not sick with yellow fever. And we/us? As long as we are safe and with/among loved ones, it’s okay by me. Colleen would like to be with the “sheepies” too.
I try to take pics every day. It’s not every day I get something to post. Today? Leaving. We go. The cats stay behind. They know it when the bags come out. I could be accused of reading too much into their expression. Poor me (cat). Don’t go. They lie about the house listlessly, or perch on the bag as though that would prevent us from leaving. Either way, there’s plenty of guilt and regret. We gotta go…wish it weren’t so.
Pronunciation is “close” as in “close to you” not “close the door.” It’s uniquely British/Scottish. We encountered one in Edinburgh that led to a charming little courtyard. And in Stirling it was a garbage filled back alley that led to the next street. You pick. The USA equivalent is a back alley. In Britain it is named (on a map) and designates a narrow alley/walk between two buildings to cross over or enter another space. In our first example it led to a courtyard of buildings. Charming. In the second it led to the adjacent street where we sought Nicky Tam pub – famous Cullen skink. No! It was a dive! We felt unsafe and unclean and quickly exited safe with our lives and our money. We lit upon Brea a few doors down where we slipped in just before dinner rush. They gave Colleen a lovely ½ order of Cullen skink and of risotto, two birds with one stone! And, now for the kicker, I dreamt this post up. Literally, I was sleeping and dreaming of two alternatives to pronouncing the word “close.” So, here we are.
More fog. The effect can be ethereal. Once upon a time I could not conceive that a photo in fog could be good. How do you focus in the mist? You don’t. And, the effect though unpredictable can be quite unexpected and surprising. It works for me.
They work! Ornamental, yes! But, they were actually functional – gargoyles. Yes, I photographed in the rain and I was wet and my camera was wet. We both dried to go on to another day.
It’s hard to make a highland cow photogenic in the rain and mud. Some places arrange to have cows available for a photo-op. It’s a sure way to get tourists to stop. Then again, the photo-op is about what you expect. And the cows are not particularly cute in the mud. I guess it was enough to have a pic. If this was all, I would be disappointed. Under the circumstances none of these images were worthy. It’s all good. I had many others and got images elsewhere.
Light is everything. It creates the mood and tension in an image. Clouds are the intermediate palette upon which to base your background. Clouds can bring tension. Or they can direct light toward your subject. It is often fleeting to have the right light. Blink and it’s gone. I try to pay attention and take advantage whenever I can.
We use a fitness device to track steps and levels climbed. I’m not naming names. The pictures do not begin to give you the feeling of climbing lots of stairs. There were at least 500 to the top. And, there was no way but to walk. It was a lot of steps. Are you with me? Dumbarton Castle, who knew? I also found out that you can game the fitness device so I consistently did more levels and steps than Colleen. It drove her crazy when we essentially climbed the same levels day after day and my device recorded I had more levels than she.
Hardly. It’s not easy in the rain. Most enthusiasts leave their camera in their case in the rain. Water and electronics do not mix. There is unmistakable joy in feeding the pigeons. The idea and concepts translate though the focus and blur are present. We were wet. We were happy. I wish our timing had been better to catch a concert.
I limit myself to a post a day. Jules, long ago admonished me. Too many posts were too many and too confusing. So, I cheat. She never complained about more than one pic per post. Still… I pick by browsing Lightroom. And an image strikes me. Sometimes they are not perfect – most times. But there is this” je ne sais quois” look. Done. This one made me smile. You’re just going along minding your own business and then you are “struck.” It wasn’t even an image I flagged in my first pass. But, in retrospect, it’s different, out of my norm. … too many images, too little time… I know I have not gone deep into my library. It’s a regret, no time to dwell.
Who knew? Cranston – Stuart and Catherine. They invented it. He thought of it; she ran with it as his biggest competitor. A famous architect of the time designed her Willow Tea shop. It’s all retold in the Kelvin Grove museum. And! We had a reservation that very afternoon. How neatly serendipitous is that! Really! The décor was as it was shown in the museum right down to the distinct high-backed chairs. My research assistant (wife) outdid herself this time, for sure! Chuckle, I was tickled pink!
There, but for the grace of God… Thomas Cook, venerable travel agent to the wealthy – you book and they coddle you from start to finish – up and went, belly up – fini – closed, shut, bankrupt. They even ran their own airline. Thousands upon many more travelers were stranded in the midst of holiday. It was shock in Scotland where we traveled. And the effect was still evident in Glasgow where planes were parked forlornly on the tarmac the day we departed. We were on our way, tipping our hat to the stranded and counting our blessings.
It follows after I mentioned Brig o doon (yesterday)… the movie and the musical. Colleen adored the movie. I was indifferent having heard of both and having avoided them in my life until now. Here we were. Memory. New and fulfilled. Priceless. We had dinner (unplanned) in the nearby restaurant/inn – where the wedding reception was being held. Cullen skink, but of course! And, we both still smile at how it was a perfect day brought to us by the British Airway pilot action that never happened (cancelled). Just like the rain, if it does, go with it. Happiness is working without a plan.
On the road in America, you see stuff – industrial and rural. The rural landscape gave me crosses. And the early morning light made the industrial blight seem almost blissful. Crossing a bridge – adventure! There is a time and place for all things.
The folks in Scotland are a hardy lot. They walk around in the cool weather without proper dress. I would submit that you must be cold. You look cold. But as a kid I walked out of the house without an umbrella into the rain.
Here’s something more artistic. We were returning to the car after dinner. There! Monotone. Powerful.
… not Halloween. I took this pic of the kids. It spooked them. I take pics of kids and groups all the time, no harm done and none intended. But it was the moment and the glance that says it all. The girls quickly moved along immediately thereafter. Sorry kids, I did not mean to spook you guys.
During our ferry crossing the boat stopped for a “man overboard” drill. Stopped, just stopped dead in the water. They launched a rescue boat. An imaginary man overboard was successfully rescued and the rescue boat was recovered. We then went on our merry way. Let’s hope this drill is never for “real.”