It’s hard to believe that I took this photo nearly a year ago – a late December day on the shore of Menai Strait on Anglesey. There’s a view of the Great Orme across the water. Everywhere so still. Not a cloud in the sky. And sunshine warm enough to sit in.
I don’t know who the man on the bench is. He was reading a book quite surrounded by this view. There’s something of an optical illusion about it – the dark cap above the seat back (echoing the nearby black rocks in the water), his foot below the seat, yet the corporeal lack of him in between head and toe, where the sunlight seems to pass unimpeded through the bench slats. Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice…
copyright 2017 Tish Farrell
Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Weather
Doubtless there are poor souls, objects of London landlord avarice, who are currently forced to live in smaller premises, but for many a year Quay House in the Welsh castle town of Conwy has claimed the title of Great Britain’s smallest house.
Local tales say it was built in the 16th century, but the official heritage listing says it was built as a fisherman’s cottage around the late 18th century or early 1800s. It nestles in a crevice beside Conwy’s Castle’s outer walls (they were built 1283-89 by Edward I). One room up, one room down, the vital statistics are 3 metres ( 10 feet) high, 2.5 metres (8 feet) deep, and 1.8 metres (5 feet 9 inches) wide. The last occupant was one Robert Jones – a fisherman, and since he was 6 feet 3” tall (190 cm), he was unable to stand upright in either of his two rooms. He lived there until 1900 when the council condemned the place as unfit for habitation.
The little house, though, is still owned by Robert Jones’ descendants, the property inherited down the female line, and the present owner continuing to run it as a tourist attraction. Inside, on the ground floor there is only room for an open range and a bench with storage space along one wall. A ladder provides access to the upstairs single bed and tiny fireplace. The guide wears what passes for the traditional dress of Welsh womenfolk sans styrofoam accessory.
Six Word Saturday
You can read more about the sights of Conwy and surrounding area here.
I promised more views of Bodnant Gardens, and here is one that took our breath away. So many daffodils. They sparked instant euphoria, impelling us to rush as one towards them. Who had thought to create this daffodil extravaganza? Was it real?
As we drew closer we saw that the lovely plants people had provided random pathways between the bulb crowds so allowing for natural childhood exuberance, and the desire of small persons to race hither and thither amongst them. Their excitement was electric. I almost joined in. Instead I took a photo of my sister, Jo.
And then two much smaller sisters came running in:
Who needs Wordsworth?
Daily Post Photo Challenge: DENSE
Nowhere does brooding gloom like Wales on a wet winter’s day. This happenstance shot was taken on New Year’s Eve as we were motoring home from Anglesey. I’d propped my camera briefly on the car dashboard as we’d headed through the mountain pass to Capel Curig. Then randomly pressed the shutter and so caught the cyclist.
This week at Lost in Translation Paula asks us to show her ‘unfocused’. She kindly says she doesn’t mind ‘happy accidents’, so here is mine.
Happy New Year Everyone
There may be dark days ahead, so I’m sending out some magic light in advance.
Keep it somewhere safe.
I’ve written about the Iron Man of Llanbedrog in other posts. (Personally I think it could be a woman – Boudica perhaps, the last of Britain’s Celtic warrior women). I’ve also posted variously edited versions of this shot before, but not this one exactly. This week at Black & White Sunday, Paula is reprising the popular Traces of the Past challenge, and I thought that although this iron figure is not especially old, everything about it speaks of the ancient Celtic spirit. And of course there are the ‘rocks of ages’ just visible in the distant mountain range of Snowdonia. In many senses, then, Wales is an old, old land, and the traces of the past are everywhere across the landscape.
You can read more of the Iron Man’s story at Warrior Wind-Singer Of Llyn
Here’s another portrait from our Victorian day out on the Talyllyn Railway in June. Looking at their website this morning I see they’ve got a very special trip coming up next month – The Halloween Steam and Scream. Oh what a hoot. I think I want to go. It’s my birthday too. There will be a choice of two Steam and Scream trains departing from Tywyn station at 5.15 and 7.15 on several October nights including the 31st. Everyone can dress up as ghouls, goblins and witches; there are prizes for the best carved pumpkin lantern, and you can book a feast at the railway cafe.
Join us for a fun spooky evening train ride along the Talyllyn Railway to the haunted woods at Dolgoch, says the blurb. Those woods are pretty spooky in broad daylight, but on a dark autumn night in the Welsh hills…Watch out for the Hessian Horseman and his Celtic brother. Yikes! And double yikes!
Now please visit Paula at Lost in Translation for more B & W Sunday portraits.
The Talyllyn Railway in mid Wales is the oldest preserved steam railway in Britain. Over the past half century it has inspired many other such ventures and there are now some 500 miles of restored lines across the country.
That they are there at all and can offer us steamingly enjoyable train rides is mostly down to armies of enthusiastic volunteers like these chaps in the photo. It’s an enterprise fraught with responsibilities too; the health and safety implications are momentous: track, rolling stock and passengers all to be kept in good order.
And in case you missed it back in June, you can read more about Tish and Graham’s big train day out at:
Partners in steam on the Talyllyn Railway – Woo-hooooo
This week at Black & White Sunday Paula’s challenge is COMPOSITION. Please visit to see her own very fine composition, and the other entries it inspired.
My own photo was composed in Dynamic Monochrome.
The most unexpected thing about this shot is that it came out at all in such low light conditions. I do love the Dynamic Monochrome setting on my Lumix. It creates all kinds of unforeseen magic, even with much added zoom.
I suppose the other piece of unexpectedness here is the perversity of shooting a limpidly pastel sunset in monochrome. But I like the way it silhouettes the old railway viaduct across the estuary mouth. In Welsh it is called Pont Abermaw, and in English, Barmouth Bridge. It was constructed mostly from wood during the 1860s, and included a drawbridge section that would open allow tall masted ships to pass through, sadly not a facility much needed these days. It would be fine sight though, so please add your own sailing ship to this vista.
Black & White Sunday This week Paula requests we show her the unexpected. Please drop in there for more creative renditions of the theme.