From the start of September, I am only working four days a week – I now have Wednesday’s off. The idea was Mrs M’s who decided that I needed to step away from work a little more. Our circumstances have enabled us to contemplate doing this and after initial misgivings I agreed to do it.

The choice of Wednesdays was a conscious one in that it enabled me to be available in the office for any problems that may occur at work on Friday and Monday and it will also break up the week into two parts.

The other reason for Wednesday was that Mrs M and I decided that it should be for me to pursue my photography interest and not tagging the day off on to either side of the weekend means that home and house stuff that is normally done at the weekend does not ‘leak’ into the day off.

I intend to try for an RPS distinction, so the day is going to be used for the accumulation and processing of images for that as well as some of the personal and club projects I have going on all the time.


This week the weather has been gorgeous as the UK is in the grip of an Indian Summer at the moment and so this Wednesday I decided to take a trip down to a favourite haunt – Stowe Gardens in Buckinghamshire. I took the D800 and the 50mm f/1.8 lens and spent a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon wandering around the fabulous grounds and monuments, snapping away happily and enjoying the warm, and sometimes even hot, sunshine.

I had a lovely chat with a National Trust employee who was also a photographer and who showed me some of his excellent images of Stowe. The winter shots with hoarfrost on the trees were especially stunning. I felt jealous when he said that he often brings his camera gear to work and when the grounds are closed to the public he just wanders around taking shots that visitors don’t get the chance to do. A great perk of the job.

I spent three to four hours wandering around the almost deserted grounds taking photographs and enjoying the peace and quiet. Now and again as I walked through the trees to another photo opportunity, I had to remind myself that I wasn’t playing truant from work, it was a strange feeling and one I think will take me a few months to get used to.

I have the best wife ever.