Wednesday, 14 January 2015

A Brief Recollection of a Never Ending Yesterday

'I only go out to get me a
fresh appetite for being alone'

Lord Byron

As we traverse the weather beaten days of January into the perilous abyss of twenty fifteen,

my mind is cast back to the sometimes balmy, sometimes bonkers days of twenty fourteen.
           Most of the events simply blended into each other like a veritable eclectic stew of
mini happenings, non the less they still appear delightfully fresh albeit jumbled in my
seasonally affected mind of disorder.

Run silent, run deep.

A particularly foolish thing to do is to assume that if one rolls the legs of their
trousers up as high as they possibly can go it shall provide ample distance
from the icy waters of the river Teign....well!
As I cautiously stepped in holding my tripod aloft, the sandy bed fluffed up
around my rapidly cooling toes and wafted away in the silently moving
current. Thrilled with my progress I moved cautiously further out taking care
not to step on the rocks which were strewn across the bottom. Then it
happened. The 'safety gap' of two inches of skin that was there to keep my legs
dry suddenly....and I mean SUDDENLY disappeared. To be precise, about
twenty five inches above my 'safety gap', the surface of the crystal clear
water settled at approximately waist height leaving one of those comedy
expressions on my face which is difficult to replicate without the direct aid
of a freezing cold Dartmoor watercourse.

Let's go fly a kite.

Not just any kite, oh no...this one happens to be an airborne piece of weaponry
sturdily constructed from nylon and mesh with the prime purpose of stunt
performances and the ability to unceremoniously wrench the unwary operative
from terra firma at every opportune moment the wind happens to gust in an
aggressive manner. With hindsight Houndtor was probably not the best place
to play with such a hazardous item of destruction, a matter which became
more obvious as further groups of people turned up throughout the morning.
The wind had picked up by now and the 'blade of death' as we had christened it
was scything its way through the stratosphere with great haste and was becoming
particularly hard to control. A small group of 'rambling types' were cheerily
making their way in our direction up the grassy avenue from the carpark 
when I suddenly lost all control of the kite which by now should clearly
have an ASBO slapped on it for its intrusion into rural calm. As it
spiralled groundwards out of control towards the once cheery group, it caused them 
to scatter with great haste in a similar fashion  to that of a herd of Wilderbeest once a 
very hungry Cheetah is introduced into the equation. The 'they WERE there'
scenario was promptly followed by the 'and now they're not' as I could 
just make out the brightly dressed individuals lying in the bracken 
amongst the tangled carnage of tartan thermos flasks and shattered Kendal 
mint cake. Apologies were made.

Ladies who lunch.

My friend's incessant whining as to how I am a defective human being due
to the fact that I don't possess the latest model of iPhone six, seven or what ever 
it is as I truly, madly, deeply do not give a flying fishfinger about such complete
and utterly pointless things. As we sat there, she cradled the object of her desire 
lovingly in her arms and was staring at it as if it were a newborn infant.
"Look it has finger print recognition" "I don't care"
"It has a better camera" "Can you stick a 70-200mm f4 IS L lens on it?" "No,
it has loads of apps" "I don't care" "It's thinner with a larger screen" "I'm 
losing the will to live"....well this went on for quite some time. "This app.." she 
started as she tapped the screen "This app tells me where the nearest Starbucks 
is with regards to my location." The fact that we were sat in Starbucks at 
that very moment made her claim somewhat redundant , a fact that I felt I just
had to point out to her before she started on how it is good for world peace
and its kindness towards children and the elderly. "Ok, look...Siri, where is the 
nearest Starbucks to here?" She smiled through the uncomfortable silence. 
"Siri...Siri, wait...hang on" Tap tap tappity tap. "Oh...Siri seems to have stopped 
working and I don't appear to have a wifi signal" "Can I go now?"

And the winner is...

As I lay face down in the purple heather staring through the viewfinder at the 
approaching evening sky, quite literally the largest gentleman appeared as if by
magic and stepped on my hair causing me to yell out. This in turn caused  him
to jump upwards in a very camp style accompanied by "Oh I'm so sorry,
I didn't see you down there" It was a good photo. Trying to get the smell of tuna 
out of the back of a Landrover after a particularly enthusiastic lunchtime treat
in the shadows of Bellevere forest. Losing a bacon sandwich in the early 
morning mists of Belstone ridge. Almost...ALMOST falling head first 
into the murky depths of Haytor quarry's pond when Moomin shouted across to 
me that the 'owls aren't in the tree anymore" Playing chicken with road mounted 
cows on Dartmoor's most haunted road....lots of cows, in fact I'm sure they had been
networking that very activity on their own cow based social media site. The delightful
family who saw me setting up my camera on a waterfall accompanied by my 
courtesy call of "I am going to be exactly two minutes then it's all yours. No,
they couldn't wait for one hundred and twenty seconds and unloaded their ample
tat and various assorted children right in the middle of my shot  completely 
ignoring me with that 'pretend she's not there and hopefully she will go away' thing
that certain ignorant people do...which I did. I was left to remove the 
entire family blood line from existence through the medium of photoshop
.....and their little dog too.