Identical?

I’ve never been much good at twiddling with the controls on my camera.  I even joined a photography course recently, in an effort to get to grips with apertures, shutter speeds and ISO controls.  But it just made my head hurt, and I reverted to ‘Automatic’ as my default modus operandi.  I decided I’m a snaphot-ist, not a photographer.

Yesterday, however, just for a bit of fun and having an hour to spare, I turned to the ‘palette’ settings, and took an identical shot using every single one.  Here’s the result.  Though I forgot to take one on ‘Automatic’,  so the tale is not quite complete.  Can’t do it now.  This little twig of blossom (cherry?), a chance discovery found lying in the road, wilted in the night.

Which do you like best?  As ever, click on any image to see it full size.  They’re in strict alphabetical order – no favouritism here.

Bleach bypass.

This is my entry in today’s Ragtag Challenge: identical

Les demoiselles de Caraybat, daffodils and gentians: revisited

This hasn’t been a week for writing for fun, as while I was having a good day in London on Monday, Malcolm ended up dialling 999, and is now in Harrogate Hospital after a heart attack. I wasn’t told until well on the way home, which may have been as well, as there was nothing I could have done. He’s awaiting transfer to the much bigger James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough. But there’s every reason to assume that all will be well.

So I’ve picked out this post from six years ago, from our days in the French Pyrenees to re-blog. Who doesn’t love a good yarn, spring flowers and spectacular views? It cheered me up, anyway.

April 2013

Les demoiselles de Caraybat, daffodils and gentians

Once upon a time long ago in Caraybat, when times were hard, the men of this small village had to look far afield for work.  And they went to Spain, for the hay-making season.  Hawkers came to the village, and pedlars.  They found a village with no men.  They took advantage.  So did the women.

When the hay-making season was over, the men returned, and the women spied them returning over the distant mountains.  Suddenly ashamed and frightened, they fled to the hills.  God, in vengeful and Old Testament mood, was displeased.  As the women reached the summit, he turned each one of them to stone.  And there they are to this day, les demoiselles de Caraybat, a petrified reminder of a summer of sin.

A few of those demoiselles hide themselves behind the woodland trees
A few of those demoiselles hide themselves behind the woodland trees

We remembered this legend yesterday when I took our Laroquais walking friends to Caraybat and the dolomies to discover those daffodils I’d been shown on Thursday.  I was quite chuffed that not a single one of them had previously known this special spot, and we had a pleasant hour up on the rocks, picnicking and enjoying the last days of the daffodil season.

We followed the walk I’d learnt about on Thursday, and then we finished our day by going to the plateau above Roquefixade to see the gentians there.

Gentians above Roquefixade
Gentians above Roquefixade

Sadly, it was by then rather cold and windy, and most of the gentians had sensibly folded their indigo skirts about their faces and tucked themselves away to wait for a sunny day.  We’ll wait too.  And when the sun comes out properly, we’ll be back.

Ragtag Saturday: The Cleveland Coast

Older people like coach trips.  Allegedly.  They sit in a coach, gossip, have a nice cup of tea when they reach their destination, then they go home again.

On Thursday, fifteen people from Ripon U3A (Walkers’ Division) did exactly that.  Except that in between the gossip in the coach and the nice cup of tea, they fitted in an eight and a half mile walk along a section of the Cleveland Way.

Staithes seen from the cliffs.

We started at Staithes, once a busy fishing port, now a picture-postcard-pretty holiday destination.  It nestles at the foot of imposing cliffs, and our walk began with a good hard yomp to get from sea-level to cliff top.  This was the first of several yomps up steep paths cut into the hillside at an unforgivingly steep gradient.

The first of several climbs – and not the hardest.

And what goes up must come down, as we discovered towards lunchtime at Runswick Bay, and later still at journey’s end in Sandsend.

Runswick Bay at low tide.

All this would have been arduous enough.  But there was a stiff breeze.  This developed, as the day wore on, into a searching wind: the sort that blows any attempt at conversation far out to sea, turns pockets inside out, and rips scarves from shoulders.  A few forays past farms offered slight shelter.

By the time we arrived in Sandsend, the wind was arguing with the sea too, which rose up, roaring and seething and hurling itself against the breakwaters.

Stormy seas at Sandsend.
The view across to Sandsend and Whitby.

Did we complain?  We did not.  This was scenic walking at its best.  Violets and primroses scattered our path, and striking barriers of yellow gorse imposed themselves between us and the cliff edge.

Eight and a half miles of this kind of treatment was just about enough though.  We were good and ready for tea and home-made cake at Wits End Cafe, and continued our gossip in the coach on the way home.

The sea: our constant companion for the day.

Here is my entry for today’s Ragtag prompt: Coast, and for Jo’s Monday Walk.  As ever, click on any image to see it full size.

Ragtag Saturday: Where did I put that glove (x 11)?

I’m incapable of hanging onto winter accessories.

My drawers are stuffed with odd gloves, almost exclusively left-handed.  I only buy cheap pairs, because they rarely last longer than a month. One famous winter I lost one or both gloves from eleven pairs. I managed to hang onto the twelfth….

This year, I made a stand.  I spent four whole pounds on a  pair of leather ones from a charity shop and vowed I would not lose them.  Shhhh.  So far so good.

So this year, I’m losing hats instead.  Three down, one to go…..

 

This is my entry for today’s Ragtag Challenge: Lost

Ragtag Saturday: Gone fishing

This fisherman is trying for his daily catch on Valencia’s River Túria. I found him on the staircase of the Horchateria Santa Catalina.

Horchateria? Yes: it’s a café where you go to drink horchata, a traditional Valencian drink made with dried and sweetened tiger nuts. It’s rather good, if a little sweet.

Anyway, we were just leaving after our break when we spotted this bucolic scene. And it reminded me that we haven’t yet gone for a walk along the Túria, Valencia’s river-that-is-not-a-river. More of that tomorrow.

Today’s Ragtag Challenge is ‘River’.

 

Ragtag Saturday: Abstract moon, abstract bubbles

We travelled to London for Christmas quite late in the day on the 22nd.  The moon was all-but full as it rose, at first barely peeking over the tree tops before eventually soaring high above us, in a clear black sky. I tracked its progress.   Only my phone was to hand, but rather than lamenting the poor quality of these images, I liked the somewhat abstract quality they had.  Here they are.

Then the next day, off we went, with Tom, Sarah, William and Zöe, to the Natural History Museum.  More fool us for assuming it would be nearly empty so near to Christmas time. Outside though, was a man with a bucket of soapy water, and a couple of sticks linked with string, intent on play.  He made bubbles.  Lots of bubbles.  I loved the abstract play of soft pinks and blues and sinuous curves set against the clean lines of the museum buildings beyond.

Here then is my contribution to today’s Ragtag Challenge: Abstract.

Click on any image to view it full size.