September 4, 2016
I’ve been kicking through the long grass, ferns and ant battalions of Burnham Beeches recently. Working in Bourne End has it’s positives but the same spaces every day begin to lose their interest and the hard walk up Hedsor Hill which on a good day is bracing becomes a chore when anxiety is tactlessly scratching at my nerves. Work became hectic and I needed an escape so I’ve started driving out to the beeches. It’s not such a trek, and I probably get more use of my time as traveling on foot I lose the first 15 minutes of any journey just getting off the industrial estate and into the countryside.
I had forgotten what a varied and beautiful environment it was and there’s so much of it I’ve never explored. In an hour’s walk I can find meadows, deep woods, beautiful swathes of foxgloves and inquisitive deer, although only the latter on days I forget my camera. My ankles have seen more insect bites over the last couple of months than in a long time but I’ve renewed my love of this tranquil seclusion which I live so near to but rarely visit. If I can keep my focus now that autumn is here I’ll try and spend a couple of hours with the camera and field recorder putting something a bit more involved together.
Here’s a selection of recent shots of the wildlife of Burnham Beeches. Full set is here.
April 30, 2016
Helping British tourism where I can.
Just keep calm and don’t look behind you.
October 17, 2015
Due to a whole bunch of unnecessary nonsense I’m no longer working in Maidenhead but have relocated to Bourne End, which is not so bad. One of the great positives is it’s much closer to assorted agreeable outdoors places including Burnham Beeches. I escaped work a little early the other day to have a wander round and take some photos. I really struggle with photographing forests and am utterly in awe of Scott’s photos of the forest around Stonor so it was good to get in some practice. I was happy with a couple of the landscape shots but overall more satisfied with the forest floor/fungi shots.
I wanted to try some self portraits in the forest, but struggled a little to get the settings right. I’ve not uploaded the results yet, will see how I feel once I’ve gone through them again. The attempts did make me realise I need a decent tripod or some way to easily carry around my ancient and horribly bulky existing tripod.
Complete set is on Flickr here (although mixed in with a bunch of photos from a couple of years ago, new ones are nearer the bottom).
August 5, 2015
I’ve been out practicing with the camera at Braywick Nature Centre on my lunch breaks (also I need to get some exercise before I can no longer fit in any of my clothes and I need some peace and quiet before I explode and take out most of Berkshire). It’s only a ten minute walk from my office in the centre of Maidenhead and it’s usually devoid of anyone other than the occasional dog walker.
There’s a beautiful array of wildflowers at this time of year and if you’re quiet you can see a whole host of wildlife, I’ve spotted herons, kingfishers, several armies of ducks, deer, rabbits, foxes, squirrels, weasels (I think) Green Woodpeckers and all the assorted wild birds and insects you would expect.
I’ve made a video slideshow of some of the pictures I’ve taken there recently along with an audio track recorded on the moorland there.
Here’s a few of the photos, you can see the rest on flickr.
You can read more about Braywick Nature Centre.
You can read about the Save Braywick Park campaign on Facebook.
Incidentally, I’m making more use of my Facebook page now, please pop over and give it a like for semi-regular updates and links to artists I like – Anxious Silence on Facebook.
April 19, 2015
I really need to get my photos in order. I’ve been photographing some nice silhouettes of winter trees but have not bothered to tag anything so can’t find half of them. There’s a lesson here: tag stuff if you want to find it later.
Here’s some from the last few days.
January 1, 2010
“Brown Signing” sounds like a euphemism for something horrific. It isn’t, it’s an irritatingly twee name of the sort I would usually detest and feel the need to slap the originator, since I am the originator, it’s great. I’m sure other people have come up with the same concept before and maybe even the same name for it so I am making no major claim to this rather twee activity.
Brown Signing: Traveling in one direction until you see a brown traffic tourist sign, then following it to that specific tourist attraction regardless of if you’ve heard of it or it sounds interesting. It doesn’t have to be an official brown sign, just some indication of a touristy type thing.
There’s an excruciatingly dull story behind this, I expect you want to hear it. Being cretinously self-employed I don’t really have such things as holidays or weekends. My darling Lady K who is somewhat challenged when it comes to transport will on occasion ask me to drive her to work related events round the country, not usually that far from home that I couldn’t come back in the interim, but as an attempt to stave off the ever impending work related mental breakdown I’ll take the entire day off rather than come back and work. She get’s transport, I get a day off, everyone wins.
I suck balls at taking days off. I have no idea what to do with myself, I know I should write, draw, photograph and similar but usually end up dragging my arse around the nearest town centre slowing turning into some sort of consumer-zombie. I started trying to research the areas before we set out, but I either can’t find anything that sounds FUN or I leave my list of places to go at home (I am nothing if not a fucking idiot).
After spending an HOUR AND A HALF in Newbury town centre trying to find the public toilets (thanks Newbury council you fucknuts, considered a signpost or two?) I left. I had planned to spend a while at Donnington Castle, but it was rainy, and pretty dull (comparative to other castle ruins). Bored shitless with no desire to haunt shopping centres or go home I drove in one direction looking for something to do, with the decision to stop at the first tourist attraction regardless of what it was. It was a disused 12th Century Church – St Margaret’s Catmore which is a pretty awesome find.
I have a minor (non-religious) obsession with churches, it was disused and mildly difficult to get to so completely devoid of people (I have minor dislike of people). There is no way I would have found this intentionally, the only tourist attractions I found on the web were the usual family friendly over-priced nonsense, this my friends if the power of the BROWN SIGN. Couple of hours poking round a disused (but still fully furnished church) in complete isolation for free was worth the journey. Afterwards a drive back towards Newbury stopping at the first signposted country pub for a very nice lunch in an otherwise empty pub (no idea what it was called or where it was) and set out again.
Next brown-sign find was Snelsmore Common. What’s better than empty churches with no people? Nature reserves with no people! Well very few people. Mostly wild ponies, which was nice. I did have a disturbing moment in the car park. There was a bus of disabled kids alongside me whose teacher was holding up items from the forest for them to name. As I stepped out of the car the teacher presumably held up a leaf as all the kids turned to look at me and chanted ‘Leave, leave, leave’. Good for them, I wouldn’t want some hairy angry web developer stumbling round my common either.
Then we went home and nearly had three horrific accidents on the way, I am a shit driver. I took many photos, let me bore you with them:
Mostly close-ups of fungus. Mmm… fungus.
Pleasant day all considered, I’m happy I’ve found a way round my usual mental lethargy, hopefully I’ll have another crack soon.
I am Bob. This is my blog. It is an outlet and a substitute for real life. It contains my art, photography, illustration and thoughts on mental health (I deal with anxiety on a pretty much constant basis).
Help fund my existence. Buy my stuff (t-shirts, art prints, stock images & graphics)