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Hoping to shake off some of the Christmas holiday period cobwebs Mrs M and I went on a morning visit to Charlecote Park. There had been a heavy frost the night before, the car was thoroughly iced up before we started and there was a thick, cold, fog laying low over the houses. The sun was trying to shine through but was being severely diffused by the pea-souper.

When we got to Charlecote, we found it too was laying beneath a thick fog and frost with the sun trying desperately and ineffectually to burn it off. The light that sifted through the fog though was glorious. Softened, it gave the trees and surrounding parkland an eerie, unearthly feel.

This image was taken with the Fuji X-T1 and 18-135, f/3.5 – 5.6 lens. I overexposed by a stop to ensure that I got the glow from the sun, and you can see that the sun itself, diffused by the fog, looks huge in the sky.



The basin in Stratford today was frozen over. The commercial barges that lay at berth were locked in by the ice and the ever-present ducks and swans looked bemused as they ambled about wondering why the water which hitherto they had floated on, had gone hard.

The sun was bright, and obviously showing-off, but it’s mild winter warmth was completely ineffective against the froze blast of the wind which cut its way across the river like an icy scalpel.

The ice in the basin was made of large pieces of a previous freeze, which had broken and moved randomly and then frozen again.




Today I was in Dudley at the Black Country Living Museum. A great place where you can see how people lived and worked in the Black Country from the start of the industrial revolution. The museum recreates a black country industrial town of over a hundred years ago over 26 acres, which include shops, houses, industrial businesses and a canal. There are volunteers on hand all dressed in period costume and suitable Black Country accents to give you information should you require it.

When we arrived at the museum there was an inch or so of snow on the ground, which provided a great backdrop for the industrial housing and businesses that have been recreated on the site. The wind was bitterly cold and although the sun was out at the start of our visit, when it went in later in the afternoon it went even colder on the site. The people who work in the museum, dressed in the clothes of the day, coped with the freezing weather superbly. Much kudos to them.

Racecourse Colliery

Racecourse Colliery

I took the D800 today and armed myself with only the superb Nikkor 50mm f1.8 standard lens. Despite the weather, we had a great day, with which I am sure the faggots and mushy peas helped at lunchtime.


I had the idea last year that I would try and remember to write an ‘Out and About’ post every time I went out on a shoot. Here’s the first one for 2015.

It’s been a rough start to the year so far. Both Mrs M and I came down with the flu (it WAS the flu, not a cold) over Christmas and to some extent it ruined the festivities. I am only just starting to be able to walk further than 10 yards without requiring oxygen, defibrillator and careful nursing care. It was truly a massive dose of man-flu.

Anyway, today we took a short trip over to Charlecote Park for a walk. I took the D7100 and it’s 35mm lens hoping I might get a couple of shots.

But by the Lord Harry it was cold.

The Siberian-like wind howled across the fields, froze your ears and nose and then tried to pull them off. The sun was playing silly buggers by only popping out every now and again for a few seconds, and the coffee shop was full of weaklings sheltering from the sub-arctic wind. (I must point out that I only went in to the aforementioned coffee shop to humour Mrs M and Miss M, who wanted a beverage and a slice of walnut cake).

Anyway here’s today’s shot. It’s Charlecote church across the wind-blasted fields.





I’m feeling pretty pleased at the moment.

The Royal Shakespeare Company got in touch with me a month or two ago about using a winter image that I took of the house in Charlecote Park for the leaflets and advertising media in productions of Love’s Labour’s Lost and Love’s Labour’s Won which is better known as Much Ado About Nothing. The setting for the plays is, respectively, the summer of 1914 and the winter of 1918.

The stage designs are set around Charlecote Park, hence the request to use my image on their advertising leaflets. The designer had an idea to show the house in both the summer and winter and so my winter image was used as well as a summer one by another photographer.

You can see the result below in a a scan of the leaflet centre pages.



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