In the middle of winter

“O light! This is the cry of all the characters of ancient drama brought face to face with their fate.
This last resort was ours, too, and I knew it now.
In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer.”
― Albert Camus, L’été


24mm ISO64 1/160s f/10

70mm ISO64 1/200 f8

62mm ISO64 1/100S f/10

40mm ISO64 1/125S f/10

24mm ISO64 1/125s f/10

62mm ISO64 1/80s f/10

70mm ISO64 1/200s f/8

70mm ISO64 1/100s f/10

 70mm ISO64 1/400s f/3.5

*images made with Nikon D850 and AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm F/2.8 E VR lens*

green new deal?

And now we welcome the new year
full of things that have never been
― Rainer Maria Rilke


New trees, new hope, a pair of robins, a family of blackbirds and assorted wagtails have made their new home amidst the olive grove (well, there are now two such trees). Nature has shown that even a brief respite from the toxic side products of human endeavour pays (green) dividends.

Let’s hope ‘we the people’ can now renew and heal as we transition to a new year, working together to heal differences and put aside toxic divisions.

(newly planted) olive tree: 1/200s, f/8.0, ISO 64

(newly planted) magnolia: 1/200s, f8.0, ISO 64

(precocious) prunus: 1/200s f/8.0, ISO 64

(ready for new residents) White House 1/200s f/8.0, ISO 64


*All images made with Nikon D850 and AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E VR lens with limited edits in Lightroom*

out in the midday sun

“and from the ends of the earth, across the thousands of miles of land and sea, kindly, well-meaning speakers tried to voice their fellow-feeling, and indeed did so, but at the same time proved the utter incapacity of every man truly to share in suffering that he cannot see…”

– Albert Camus, The Plague


Today, I will let my photos tell my story.

Except, one more thing?

Some words, from a colleague with whom I am fortunate to be working (in a virtual sense), who observed (more or less) “our planet has been suffering a fever for some time, now that we too have a fever, perhaps we will change”.

He nailed it.

Coronavirus is presenting us with not only what is perceived (by some) as an existential threat but perhaps also the reverse. Pollution across the world is down, perhaps because people, people like me, are grounded.

So, are we up for a change? I am, even if only in a small way. Every little helps, no?

And, perhaps as my photos suggest, we may be down, but our planet, nature is surely not.

Stay safe everyone.

…and a p.s. as expected, the hotel has (this morning Friday, 27 March) informed we remaining sixteen guests that they are considering closing next Wednesday. So my nomadic lifestyle continues, another twist and turn, watch this space.


*all images hand crafted with iPhone 11 Pro 4.25mm f/1.8 lens, unedited*

uluru

‘the time has come to say fair’s fair
to pay the rent, to pay our share
the time has come, a fact’s a fact
it belongs to them, let’s give it back’

lyrics – midnight oil, beds are burning


As at 16:00 on Friday, 25 October 2019 the right of the public to clamber over this place came to an end in recognition of the reverence in which it is held by the indigenous people of Anangu.

Australia retains a firm hold on a part of me, her spirit locked down tight, forever, deep inside.

It is impossible to be indifferent concerning this continent of colour, contrast and contradiction. Much of this beautiful, desolate land remains unexplored by many who live there.

Perhaps one of the last places on earth that holds tight some of its oldest stories.

As a Deputy Secretary in the Australian Government, I was privileged to travel across this wide brown land, exploring places almost as far away from our urban environment as it is possible to be.

Maybe I will write more about that.

Uluru is not a rock.

It is an irrepressible force of nature.

A powerful psychic force that ensnares you from the moment you first see it whether from the air or up close and personal. There is a visceral thrumming in the air. A song from the past that captures your mind, your body, your soul.

Away from the inevitable tourist traps there is no sound. Only the whispers of the ancestors.

I am happy that this place has been given back to those whispering souls.

There are too few places left in the world that move us and re-connect us to our roots, to the essence of our humanity.

Imagine also, how much a boy from the Rossendale valley felt blessed when sharing a flight and snatched conversation with Peter Garret, lead singer with Midnight Oil, and then Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts.

How do we sleep when our beds are burning?

It starts by smelling the smoke and doing something about it.

No?



Images made in November 2009 with Nikon D70 and Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX lens