So the heady days of summer seem to be well and truly behind us. We're layering up and stepping away from the thermostat, consuming damsons and apples in abundance and on our walks, observing distinctly autumnal landscapes as slowly, but surely, the trees reveal their skeletal frames. Things are getting twisted. Spooky season is almost upon us!
Born from the charcoal remains of one of the woodland casualties of the summer fires...
...this dragon emerges from his slumber.
After another manic week, I can confirm that the woodland elopement shoot went very well, but I'm afraid that's all I can say for now, as the shoot is scheduled to be featured in an industry blog next month, so for now, my lips are sealed, although there are a few permitted sneak peaks on my Instagram accounts.
So what else have I been up to, other than editing photos and touting them around town? Here's a brief rundown of people, places and consumption of media.
A couple of weeks ago, in the dying days of summer, I had a lovely visit from my oldest friend, Sarah. We met at primary school, but don't get to see each other so often these days as Sarah lives in London and is a busy working actress/writer/mother to two young boys. Shortly after her visit, my Mom discovered some old photos of the two of us.
Here we are, having a Hot Fuzz moment in a model village somewhere in the Cotswolds.
And now. Sadly, I can't share the photo of the two of us, as I was doing a slow blink and I don't want to scare you. Mercifully, Sarah and my Mom are way more photogenic.
I've finished reading "And Away" Bob Mortimer's amusing and highly digestible autobiography. I'll shortly be moving on to either Victoria Hislop's Cartes Postales from Greece or My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl (two more differing reads you would struggle to find...the joy of charity shops!)
TV we've watched and enjoyed:
Trainwreck: Woodstock '99, the Netflix documentary of the ill-fated 90s revival of the original peace and love festival of 1969.
The first series of this crime drama set in Northern Ireland, contained one of the best plot twists I've seen and the second series is certainly living up to expectations and cranking up the tension.
Cunk on Earth (BBC)
For light relief, look no further. Her spoof presenter is totally ill equipped to take on the hefty topics assigned to her and her interviews with various academics are priceless. The writing is sharp and infinitely quotable.
Ka-De-Ve (BBC4) The German subtitled period drama about 4 friends coming of age in 1920s Berlin, centred around the luxury department store. So far, so brilliant.
The Electrical World of Louis Wain a delightful, bittersweet film about the eccentric artist Louis Wain starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy.
As for the places we've visited. Last weekend we headed to the attractive Warwickshire town of Bideford-on-Avon for the RSVP VW BBQ - a meet for uber cool "rad ride" owners. Oh my, there were some beauties.
This rare Brasilia, for example with its beautiful patina.
The editor of Hayburner Magazine (a bible for many VW owners) was hanging around this gorgeous Karmann Ghia, which is unsurprising. What a beauty!
As for this splitscreen, the owner explained to me that it was rescued from New Mexico, where it had languished for years, in use only as target practise. Its bullet hole scars have now been soldered up and embraced as part of the van's history.
After years of photographing VWs at festivals, nowadays, I tend to zoom in on the details. I spotted a few familiar stickers...
It's some months since our last visit to the grounds of the house (read about it here Winter Peach Photography: Horticulture, History and a Hint of Intrigue). This time we headed inside to locate the seven priest holes hidden within its walls. Harvington is known as an Elizabethan manor house and for its role during the period of catholic persecution, although its moat and artificial island date back to the 13th century.
As for the priest holes, we found them all, but some are so cleverly concealed, accessed through attic space, reached via a fireplace for example, that they are impossible to photograph.
This one, hidden in plain view in the library, has to be my favourite. At the top of the steps, you can see a dislodged timber (top right). This is the opening to the priest hole.
Even more ingenious, is this hole, hidden beneath the staircase. The family would hide jewellery just inside the priest hole, so that if and when it was discovered by a soldier, the soldier would hastily pocket the jewels, assuming this to be nothing other than a clever hiding place for valuables. He would then guard the hole (and unbeknownst to the soldier, the priests lurking way down inside) with his life to ensure his precious bounty remained a secret from the others.
In other news, I've bought some tulip bulbs and potted a few hyacinth bulbs in my newly acquired £5.00 charity shop find - a vintage 50s Sylvac clam shell planter.
The waiting begins.
That's all for now. On Saturday, I'm off to Birmingham for a fix of Peaky Blinders; this time courtesy of the Rambert Dance ballet entitled "The Redemption of Thomas Shelby."
See you soon!