So it is true….

Tier 3 for me! It seems that we in the East Midlands are the bad boys and girls as we are the only region where the infection rate has not decreased over the current lockdown – so that’s nice?!? The result is that yes I’m stuck in tier 3 for the foreseeable future so I guess I’m going to have to get creative when it comes to my photographs as I can’t really travel too far.

So with that in mind I thought I’d revisit my images from this month of lockdown (technically the images by the sea where the day before lockdown started but who cares really?) and look at some of the other images I captured and use that oldest of old digital tricks – convert them to black and white. Actually, I’m pleased with the results.

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More Cold Toes….

The good news is that the lockdown will soon be over…the bad news is it looks like we may be in Tier 3 which means a bellyful of restrictions on what we can and can’t do. Hopefully, when the vaccination process starts we may be able to start to see people again but that is next year.

At least after next week I might be able to travel a bit further a field to try and capture something interesting – although I have to say I’m not sure I want to get up too early and walk too far – this old body is starting to show and feel its age!

So winter is almost upon us…it felt bit like winter this morning and many people are starting to put up their Christmas decorations already. I guess that might be a covid thing.

Pip Pip …not long to spring and hopefully freedom!

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Cold Toes….

So I think this is the first time this year that we’ve had anything approaching a real frost. So what did I do? I decided not to wear my really warm coat! By the end of the shoot I was starting to feel the cold. Still I think it was worth it and I have now nicely thawed out.

Sometime whilst out photographing the dawn I get barked at by somebody’s dog. It follows a familiar pattern: I’m in a public park and suddenly some dog is running flat out towards me. I try to make friends with the dog but instead it just circles me barking and barking. In the distance I hear a voice shouting out for the dog to come away from me and of course the dog does nothing of the sort. The owner of the dog then approaches me and claims the dog is very friendly and he was just trying to say hello. By showing his teeth and barking!

The assumption of all this is that I should know this and why am I making such a fuss? Now I love dogs and most of the time I get on well with them whilst I am walking in a public place. Every now and then though you get the odd owner, I don’t blame the dogs because they don’t know any better, who for whatever reason, is unable to make their dog come to them when they call them and it spoils things for me. I hate to think what it would be like for someone who is scared of dogs should this to happen to them.

One of the better things about this time of year is that you don’t have to get up at some ungodly hour to capture the sunrise – I really appreciate that as over the past few months I have found myself wanting to stay closer to home. That being said I do look forward to the nights drawing out and the warm summer sun!

Soon be Christmas…

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A Day in Politics

So it seems you can be as borish as you like in British politics and so long as you didn’t intend to be borish then that is fine. Such are the looking glass world standards of the Boris Johnson government that we no longer seem to care about such matters as treating people with a certain amount of respect. I’m sure he has got away with things for now but I am not at all sure how this will wash in an Employment Tribunal which we are now suppose to believe doesn’t really count. We’ll see.

Away from domestic politics it would seem that the great Brexit nonsense is coming to its inevitable conclusion – a huge fudge. Both sides are preparing to bounce their respective legislatures and recalcitrant countries into accepting an agreement that will basically allow each side to save face. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this whole thing is that whilst on the face of it it will put the Brexit saga to bed underneath it is clear that we will be squabbling about things such as the size of a Cod and where it can be caught for the rest of our lives.

If I am correct then all those dire warnings about getting everything sorted out by mid October are going to look a bit silly (not sure if I was one of those making such warnings if so then I will have a suitable portion of egg splattered across my face).

Isn’t life funny?

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You really can’t make these things up….

It is really hard to put into words just what a shambles the Boris Johnson government has been – you really can’t. So instead lets us all reflect for a moment that he has been required to self isolate because he has been incontact with another MP who has been diagnosed as having Covid. Now there are many mitigating circumstances that can be wheeled out in Johnson’s defence and no doubt as I sit here and write this they are being regurgitated on BBC and Sky News. Plausible or otherwise these excuses might be it doesn’t hide the fact that this whole operation is just falling apart in front of our eyes. Now it is not as if this wasn’t an important week with the Brexit trade deal in the balance as well as the millions things a Prime Minister is expected to do during the week.

On the subject of the Brexit I suspect some people within the EU will see this as a time to try and hold Britain to the fire and try and get a better deal for the EU. I feel that that would be a really big mistake. The one thing that Johnson has made his name over was Brexit and being nasty to the EU. Given his current weak position it would be only too tempting on his part to show he has balls and walk away from any deal on offer. It won’t, in my view, be in Britain’s short term let alone long term interests if he does that but neither will it be in the EU’s as they will have messed up big style. The only thing that makes me think that this won’t happen is that Angela Merkel is running things at the moment and so she is not likely to let this sort of thing happen. However, it will be a close run thing but let us all hope that a deal can be struck this week and perhaps Brexit can be finally put to bed and Britain and the Europe can then go back to squabbling over goddess knows what – just like we have done for a lot longer than the EU has existed.

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The Crown….

The first episode of the new season of The Crown has rekindled the mixed feelings about The Crown I first felt with the Aberfan episode from last season’s run. This year it deals with parts of modern history that I, in the smallest of small ways, had direct experience of. The first two seasons covered parts of post war British history that happened mostly before I was born and so felt like another world. This season is my world and discussing things which have affected me directly. It will be interesting to see how the season develops.

BTW I think the jury is still out on Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher – one iconic woman playing another – still not convinced.

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Lockdown or Tier 4?….

Do you know? I don’t. It certainly isn’t anything like as intrusive as the spring lockdown. Then hardly anything moved and very few shops were open. Now people seem to have found their own level of compliance and that is what they are doing – nothing more nothing less. In truth they are probably keeping to the rules but are just more relaxed about things.

This became apparent today when I took my morning ‘covid‘ walk around the local park. There was an awful lot of people around walking but noticeably in pairs. Yes some people did appear to meet up but seemed to keep just about 2m apart but the local coffee shop was still doing a roaring trade – this time just serving takeaways. The outside seats they had provided were all taped up and so people improvised – they brought their own camping seats and sat out enjoying the fresh air whilst drinking their coffee. I doubt they were very busy yesterday as the weather was dull but today with just a dash of sun it was different.

So is this what Tier 4 will look like after the lockdown ends on the 2nd December? Probably. But who cares so long as it helps reduce the infection rates which at the moment are not looking too good.

On the positive side of things it was a really nice walk out in the fresh air if a little muddy. The Canal Trust is fixing a lock gate and they have churned up the local pathways with their vehicles which, given the rain we had last night, has increased the mud levels significantly.

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What Mitch Does Next….

So I was going to write a long piece about what Donald Trump does next and then I thought what is the point? He isn’t the most important player in this political game of high stakes poker – Mitch McConnell is. I am assuming that McConnell does not believe that there was huge voter fraud. Instead all he is concerned about are the runoff elections for the Senate in Georgia in January as the winner of those will ensure that either the Democrats or Republicans control the Senate. So McConnell requires the Republican vote to come out and vote and what better way to motivate them than to stop the threat of an ‘evil‘ Democrat stealing their vote?

This may well work but it is playing a very dangerous game as it risks unleashing forces that no one, least of all Mitch McConnell, can control.

I have no idea whether the claim that the Presidential vote was rigged is true or not. All I can say is that every case that has gone to court has failed to achieve anything of substance as they all appear to lack one vital ingredient – evidence of voter fraud. Apparently, some Trump supporters are now offering money to witnesses of voter fraud to come forward and give evidence which really points towards desperation on their part. Perhaps the most surprising thing is that many people appear to be shocked that Donald Trump would try to do such a thing. Have they not been watching for the last four years or are unaware of his whole body of business practices? I firmly believe that he won’t go to the inauguration of Joe Biden but instead will hold one of this rallies in Florida, where he appears to have won by a reasonable margin and apparently no voter fraud. Strange that.

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Into the MIsty Morning….

I don’t know about anyone else but I have been trying not to get too worked up about what is currently going on in that once great country of the United States of America. Anyone who has visited will know that it is huge and impossible yet compelling but you have to say things are worrying at the moment.

It was misty this morning when I got out with my camera gear – I could have got out much earlier but, to be quite honest, I couldn’t find the energy to do so. Anyway amongst the mist, mud and trees I think I managed to capture something of the flavour of a late autumn morning in England.

Lets just hope that some semblance of order starts to descend across the Atlantic because if the President continues his attacks on the democratic process things could get far worse very quickly. I do hope I am wrong.

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They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day

Paul Simon

This morning I went out for my first Lockdown walk and it was a glorious experience, well at least it was around the new park. Walking along the main road at rush hours was less enjoyable especially as it was noticeable that the volume of traffic was almost the same as the start of the week.

I only had my iPhone with me and I sorry to say I’m not entirely sure why the images turned out so kodachromey as I wasn’t really paying that much attention to what I was doing photographically. These were just snap shots.

I rarely use my iPhone as a camera of record anymore and whilst these were captured as DNG they still don’t have anything like the heft (a technical photographic term – no?) of my Sony and modern lenses. Still they made a pleasant surprise when I uploaded them.

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