Tag Archives: gold

The mycologist in me will out!

OK. So I know I’m pretty obsessed by all things photographic. But I must admit I always thought mushroom photography was a step too far! But no, it seems not. The mycologist in me will out. And finding this rather impressive specimen in the forest, I just had to. I am clearly turning into a weirdo…


Where is all this going? What will I end up photographing next? Buttons? Garbage? Grass clippings? Mind you I didn’t set out to photograph mushrooms. I just sort of came across them. They were there, and clearly demanding to be photographed…







I shall have to kid myself – it was a test: “See if you can make an interesting image out of some fungi!?!” Well, I’ve tried. Now I’ve even gone so far as to look them up. Golden Scalycap no less (Pholiota aurivella)! Seriously Tom, get a grip! Get back to some serious photography, portraits, landscapes, nudes, anything, but keep me away from the ‘shrooms!!!



The Blazing Forest

Wake Valley Pond_press

I have to admit, I’m a teeny weeny bit nervous. Today I’m hanging the pictures for my first exhibition, and I’m wondering if anyone is going to come along to see it, and if they’ll like the images! It’s not as if it’s a big exhibition, it’s not in a prestigious Bond Street gallery (I wish), but it’s 30 of my pictures, & I’m an exhibition virgin, so I’ve come over all shy and apprehensive…





My theme is Epping Forest in the autumn – the Blazing Forest. The tiny world around Epping will vibrate with exquisite colour. The leaves are turning right now. In 4 weeks the forest will be shimmering yellow and burnished gold.  Morning mists, sharp frosts, still ponds, twirling leaves. Come November a storm will hit, the trees are stripped and winter will have arrived.

Wake Valley Pond mist_press



The show is on until 30th October at The View, 6 Rangers Road, Chingford, E4 7QH. If you’re around, come and have a look and make sure my pictures don’t go unseen. If you’re not around, get a plane, train or automobile and come over (joking…). The private view is on Sunday 4th, 2-4pm, and you are all invited. Come, say hi, and have a glass of wine. And enjoy the forest…

Loughton Meanders_press





Polite Olympics Fever, So British!

It’s been a fantastic two weeks in London, in the whole of the country! No talk of division, recession or secession. All talk of Team GB, fantastic sport, nations coming together and even the rain stayed off (mostly)

Britain has really shone for the last 2 weeks. Wonderful that Scotland, Wales, N Ireland and England can come together as Team GB. This is what makes our country great. Why would we ever want to split it up?

What will I remember? Lots of great sport, of course. All the famous big sports. But much more I will remember the less known sports – which can be so exciting.

Spot the ball...

Spot the ball…

Spot the spin…

It’s going over there…

The best of the best, for spectacle, was…. White Water Canoeing! Awesome:

She got a mouthful…

Ooops, he’s over…

Team GB golden winners!

Judo is fast furious (and slightly incomprehensible to the novice viewer)

I’m gonna Ippon you!

Told you!

For sheer athleticism I loved the diving, and the ladies!

(This is 10 metres up)


twisting, turning

Kissing the water…

Another brave 10m girl

The enthusiasm of the volunteers is infectious. Singing, cheering, joking, smiling. None of that British reserve everyone expects of us. Brits have been so nice, friendly and polite. The fans have made the Games. Everything has been sunny and joyous. We need to capture this and put it in a bottle. Of course there’s been massive support for Team GB, but also so much cheering for everyone else. Brilliant!

Proud boy…

Typical lad

Brit girl

Trendy gran

I wonder who she’s supporting…?

USA Today declared Britain “the happiest place on earth”, Der Spiegel called these “the good mood Games”. That is what it feels like, an incredibly happy welcoming feel-good two weeks.

Back to the sport – I saw the gymnastics. OMG! What these kids can do. Just amazing!


How scary is that!

She’s just vaulted way up into the sky…

I can’t believe it’s almost over! So, Thank You to the Olympics. The Games have brought out the best in the country. Let’s hope the closing ceremony is as awesome as the opening. And the last photo should be in homage to the greatest sprinter of the day, displayed by a fan + the volunteers.

We’ll never forget it!

Imperial Russia rides again! (part 1)

Do you ever play that game? The one where you choose a decade and the vote for which city would have been the coolest to live in at that time…. 60s? London, of course. 20s….? Berlin, if you wanted to live on the edgy side. 1880s? Can can-ning in Paris. Well, what about 1730s ………….? Got to be St Petersburg!!!

Imperial Eagles everywhere

And what’s amazing is that it still looks like a damn fine city. All done up in the imperial style, rebuilt, repainted, zinging with colour, not re-plani-Stalinified. And it just looks awesome. Peter the Great could ride right back in and probably still recognise it all.

The Hermitage on a Sunday morning

Not a bad spot to hang out for the winter...

He’d probably kick everyone out of his Winter Palace, which is now the Hermitage of course. He’d get the girls to put their huge dresses back on and throw a ball in the many spectacular rooms. Keep themselves warm in the winter. Good idea, dancing to stay warm…

And whilst Stalin refrained from ruining the architecture, there’s still some monumentalism (Imperial rather then Communist) – take a look at this guy’s feet (he’s holding up a huge entrance porch):

Big Foot

The whole city is pinks and greens and yellows – apparently to cheer everyone up when it’s grey in the long winter.

Venice of the North

So, Pete’s got his Winter Palace sorted. What to do in the summer? Too hot in the city, and too many smelly plebs. Better build a Summer Palace, the Peterhof!

The Summer Palace

Those Imperial Russians love a bit of triumphalism, so here’s a symbolic statue of Russia defeating the Swedes in 1721 to claim the Baltic coastline. Muscles, respect!

Russia tames the Swede

The Peterhof has definitely got a thing about gold. It absolutely shimmers and gleams. And there are ferocious babooska tourist guards everywhere that bark and frown at you if you touch any of the gold leaf. Terrifying!

Gulf of Finland

Off with her head

Alexander II got bumped off here in 1881, by some middle class norodniki terrorists (not me guv, I’d have been in Paris with the dancing girls). And lo! a church sprang up: The Church of Spilled Blood

Blood was spilled here...

It’s a fabulous, over-the-top, Russian Orthodox, onion domed, great big extravaganza. Russia wouldn’t be the same without these multi-coloured domes. cracking!

Onion domes, love 'em!

So St Petersburg get the thumbs up from me. Looks great, tons of history and culture, lots to do and see. But wait,…. when in Russia, you have to drink too – VODKA (I did, and suffered). And where are all the Russkies? Was St Petersburg deserted? What else happened on the trip to Russia…..? Ah, well. That will be the theme of the next blog post. The RUSSIANS themselves!

The Eagle has landed again!