Foxfield light railway 2017

Random photos of trains and train parts (not the propeller), from 2017.

Foxfield Railway is out in the countryside off the A50 between Caverswall and Blythe Bridge. Its an old coal/mineral line which used to haul coal up a steep slope from a mine then down a less steep incline into the outskirts of Blythe Bridge. The main railway line runs nearby.

Foxfield is worth a visit over the summer months when it is open to visitors mainly at weekends. You can take a trip on a train, visit the engine shed where most of these photos were taken. Visit the cafe for a simple menus of hot and cold food, or visit ” the one legged shunter , the bar selling real ales. The bar is named after the dangerous job of shunting. Men would sometimes get trapped between train waggons, losing legs or sometimes worse!

 

Photos of Warhorse

I wrote about going to see Warhorse last week, but I did a drawing because we were not allowed to take photos.

Then I found these photos on line. I think they are publicity shots which are allowed to be shared. If they suddenly disappear you will know why.

They just show the beauty and also horror of the play. Such strong sculptural images.

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Finding panorama mode.

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It took me a few months to realise that there is a panorama mode on this phone. This was westport lake last month. I like that my partner is at the far right and the path continues at the far left. The geese are at different heights which seems to work with the step where the landing stage cuts into the waters surface. Mine and my friends shadow are a bit annoying but the sun was setting behind us and all the shadows fan in towards the lake. I like how the path on the left is straight and not curved like the rest of the photo.

I’m picking random photos to look at because often they just get a glance and then I move on……

Silhouette

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Sometimes it’s nice just to take a close up abstract shot of something. Shapes become more important than detail. Tiny pink petals almost look like butterflies and the straggly money plant, which is cast in shadow, raised its bulbous leaves up to the sky. The thin pale leaves of the spider plant are almost translucent in the light.

Then again you can play about with silhouettes in nature or draw dark doodles to make a pleasing composition.

Always explore, always enjoy, always create if you can.

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Addicted to blogging!

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I started blogging in January 2018. I’d never really written before. I’d done things in a little newsletter years ago and I’d tried to write a children’s book which I called the swimming dragon about a dragon wanting to get back to its family in South America. But I’ve never had that published and I spent hours over it. I even painted illustrations¬† But it never went anywhere because I was too nervous. It’s stuck on a floppy disc and on my old computer somewhere .

So I wasn’t expecting to get into this. It’s been a revelation to me. I know I’m only skimming the surface of blogging but I find myself more and more involved, to the detriment sometimes of painting which is what I intended this blog to be about.

I find myself enjoying writing short stories, sometimes with a little twist in the tale. Other times trying to write poems. I think about science and other subjects. I have stopped watching as much TV. I go out more so I can post photos of places. Most disturbing is that I no longer look at Facebook and Instagram as much.

Life is interesting, whether or not I shall continue at this pace I don’t know. But I’m enjoying things at the moment.

Patterns

Patterns, that’s what I like, I make them out of trees, out of skies out of water.

Nature makes it easy to create something interesting and different each time. Sometimes you can see faces and animals in the patterns.

Each time I take a photo I think how it would appear if I turned it into a pattern. Some pictures are easier than others, photos with a lot of strong diagonals, or lots of sky and just a small corner with the side of a building in it can also be interesting.

The pictures I took today have strong contrasts because of the bright low sun. The light delinated the branches and made them stand out.

Most of the time I turn each picture four times, but I don’t have to stick to that format. For instance the third picture in this series is slightly different, see if you can see why.

Photo walk

About 5 years ago we went on a photo walk around the north of the city of Stoke on Trent in a town called Tunstall. The idea was to do a circular walk encompassing greenways around the town that used to have a rail line and that runs between terraced houses on a raised path. There are bridges over paths and tunnels driven through the ground.

I used my old phone so the images are not brilliant. The day started overcast then it started to snow as we walked along the path. We came out onto the side of a newly built section of road then followed the path round up a hill before coming out at an old pub (can’t remember it’s name) where we stopped off for lunch and sat next to a real coal fire to warm up. Then off through local streets to finish near where we started outside the local health centre.

Photos include trees, train signals, walking along the path. A terraced house. The corrugated side of one of the tunnels. One of the metal greenaway signs, a dandelion growing on the side wall of part of the path, and bracket fungus growing on an old wooden post.

I’m hoping to go on another photo walk, may be when the weather is a bit better. The idea of looking at industrial and post industrial landscapes fascinates me.