Jude’s Photo Challenge this week invites us to consider texture: Smooth.
It immediately made me think of that English folk song, Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron – I’ve included a YouTube clip at the end just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about. But I’m so un-keen on ironing there’s no chance at all I could submit a photo of a pile of neatly ironed, beautifully smooth clean and dry washing.
Back to the archives then.
I’ve ended up choosing these: click on the images to see them full size and to read the captions.
These stones at Alnmouth aren’t yet particularly smooth, though they are weathered. But their reflection, and that of the blue sky emphasise what smoothness they do have.
My goodness, that was a gnarled tree that we spotted in Vic, Catalunya. But look what the shadow has done to it- flattened and smoothed it completely.
This is at the Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre. I like those strong smooth steel claws contrasting with the decomposing and disintegrating grot that it spends its life seizing and masticating.
A smoothly polished metal spherical sculpture near St. Paul’s Cathedral London provides perfect reflections, even on a rainy day.
Smooth flowing architectural lines, smoothly polished concrete, smooth mirrored reflections on smooth water: La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, Valencia.
The obvious one: a rose, but using a pinhole lens to direct attention to the only subject here: the smooth petals.
Grotty old tyres in a rather grotty farmyard. But years of use has made their surfaces smooth, as moving close in demonstrates.
This is my second response to a photo challenge this week: that’s what happens when you get a bee in your bonnet. I’ll settle down soon, don’t worry.
This time, Patti invites us to change our perspective when taking a photo. Don’t just stand, point, shoot, she suggests. Crouch, squat, get above the action, take a tour round it.
The weather being what it is, I can’t get out much with my camera, so these are all from the archives.
This first one is perhaps my favourite, taken in Gloucestershire. I had to lie at the edge of a flower bed to get this shot of a house barely glimpsed through the ox-eye daisies. Photography as exercise class.
Here are some more shots, taken in much the same way, in gardens and fields.
I wish those alien leaves poking above the dead sunflower in Leran, France weren’t in the shot. This is a photo that’s not quite successful, technically, but It’s a shot I’d like to try again, because for me it’s very evocative of the place where it was taken.
Drystone wall, North Yorkshire.
Nosterfield Nature Reserve, North Yorkshire.
A meadow in Grewelthorpe, North Yorkshire.
Gasholder development at King’s Cross, London.
And here are two more. The back end of a festive lunch, and flags at the EU Parliament in Strasbourg.
This really wasn’t a drunken orgy…
The EU Parliament, Strasbourg.
Click on any image to view the caption, and to see it full size.
As promised earlier, I’ve kept a photo diary of a month in the life of the walled garden. Too bad that my recently-repaired camera turned out not to have been repaired satisfactorily, and I’ve had to rely on my not-very-smart-smartphone.
My life has come full circle. Many of my earliest memories come from Sandhutton, current population 260, where my mother was head teacher of a two-teacher school which educated all the village children between five and fifteen years old. These days I visit the village weekly – it’s less than ten miles away. The school no longer exists, but my Spanish teacher lives there.
When I was five, my life changed a bit. We went to live in London (current population 8.13 million).
I was a student in Manchester (538,000). Then I went on to live in Portsmouth, in Wakefield, in Sheffield, in Leeds: all cities numbering their citizens in the tens,or even hundreds of thousands. I loved city life. I relished the opportunities only a city could usually offer, and the diverse populations living in them.
Thornton’s Arcade in Leeds.
No, just …don’t. A shoe shop in Leeds.
When we moved to Harrogate, some twenty years ago, I announced we were moving to a small town. A mere 75,000 people lived there.
But that was before we went to France. Laroque d’Olmes has a population of some 2,000 people, and its county town, Foix, has only 10,000. We came to appreciate small town life: its neighbourliness and our sense of belonging – the space to appreciate the countryside and mountains beyond.
When we came back to England, that small town of Harrogate suddenly seemed horribly large, traffic-infested and in every way untenable, despite its green spaces and lively community life. So here we are in North Stainley, population 730.
In fact we’re not even in the village, but in a little enclave just outside, with that walled garden I showed you last week. Population 8. It’s perfect.