Tag Archives: mountains

Irish vistas…

Sunrise in Inch StrandIt’s been a while since I’ve posted, but lockdown has allowed me to process some images, and I thought it might be nice to resuscitate the blog. Last year was a good year for running workshops with Quest, and these images come from our lovely trip to the Dingle and the Burren on the west coast of Ireland. The images above & below are from the Inch Strand –  a great place for a symphony of light.


Driving inland in the Burren we came across this view of the mountain pass with the road in the distance…

mountain pass1b

And finally, another dawn shoot, this time at the Stone Portal on the Burren where I took the photo and waited for the Guinness/Whiskey hangover to subside…. Ah, indeed, a great trip it was!

Portal tomb

Harris Colour

Inspired by Roy Essery’s cracking website (here) I thought it about time to upload some of my images from our recent workshop to Harris. The Outer Hebrides being so far north, and so far into the Atlantic, it’s no surprise that this is a world of contrasting weather and contrasting colours. It’s a wonderful place for black and white, but I’ll leave that for another day…


These colours are barely tweaked at all in PS. Vivid green, purple, blues and oranges, all very typically Scottish…, and all very photogenic!





There’s no Scotland trip planned for 2019 (check out the brochure here), but Harris pulls strongly, so we’ll be back there the following year. Now, to have a look at the monochrome images…

Half term chaos on the slopes

Skiing should be a dream: Vast expanses of empty white nothing; no-one to interrupt the perfect carve; elegance and rhythm, speed and style. With a bit of luck the sun is shining, to take the edge off the crisp cold. That’s the dream… on a slope a bit like the ones below…

Le rêve

Le rêve


Le soleil

Then crash bang WALLUP! Reality kicks in and you realise it’s half term, the French Alps have become franglified with holidaying Brits, a Coke up the mountain costs ridiculous Euros, and queuing etiquette has been replaced by the shove of the masses…


La foule


La piste

(Nice style Sophie!)

The collective madness infects everyone. Here’s a brother crashing in slo-mo into a sister and them heaping up on the floor. Hilarious! Usually, I admit, it’s me that does the crashing. But not this time! I leave the honours to Mrs P and my bro-in-law. Young cousin is being gentlemanly and returning lost ski…


Le crash

Next week I shall blog my way back to the serenity again and return to the dream. Leave all this chaos behind!


Skiing with the girls, part 2

Skiing in the Italian Dolomites

Last week was the boys (link here). This week the girl gang is on the slopes! a recipe for slow skiing, and lots of hanging around whilst gloves are found, sun screen is applied, bags are packed, skis are carried and helmets are adjusted.

Collective noun for girl gang skiing? Skiettes?

But much fun is had nevertheless! Imogen is quite capable of singing her way from the top of the mountain to the bottom of the slope, with a couple of tumbles on the way to liven things up.  Last time we took her skiing she smacked her front teeth out, this time she’s a natural, almost…

Uncle has to take evasive action

She even manages to win her ski school race with aplomb!


Celebrating as a snow angel

This is the life, huge wide empty slopes and great views. No queues on the lifts. Why can’t it always be like this?

Can you spot the skier?

Italy has become my favourite place to ski!

And the girls keep it nice and lively. Hannah manages to drop her ski into the trees from the ski lift, and then skis down on one ski (!?!?!); Freya (her first week) can’t turn, loses control and almost careers headfirst into a logpile (saved by her hero uncle… me!); Melissa is the earth mother extraordinaire, with a bag that contains absolutely everything – drinks, wipes, chocolate etc (Freya asked her if she had a chicken in it? – great question!)

Relaxing on the slopes

Phew, managed to dodge the woodpile...!

Girl racers

The real world seems far away, which, after all, is what this week is all about. Just great views and good times with the family. Long may it continue!

All together

Up in the mountains

Our village - St Martin in Thurn

The trouble with skiing…, part 2

View onto Col de Fresse

The view onto the Col de Fresse

Having had a jolly good moan in part 1 about the amount of gear you need for skiing (scroll down below this blog page and have a look if you haven’t already seen it), there is of course another problem about skiing that I have to mention. And that is, that just occasionally, quite by accident, you fall over. In this respect I feel slightly jealous of the kids. Lower centre of gravity, younger bones, less sense of anxiety, they just bounce back up and carry on. When I fall it’s either embarrassing or it hurts. And I managed to cram in both sensations this week….

Immy takes a well earned rest (fell over...)

The first occasion was the more excruciating. I had just got off the ski lift, gently skied down to the map billboard to discuss with wife, brother- and sister-in-law which route to take; I was coming to a halt, maybe doing all of 1 mph, when I slid into 3 stranger skiers who were also standing by the board. I swear everything then happens in slow-mo: I realise I’m going over, grab onto the woman who’s next to me, which means she’s coming down with me; she clatters into the next person who also topples. Embarrassment supreme as this English nitwit manages to cause carnage whilst moving at a snail’s pace (do snails ski?). I remember I was apologising profusely in French as I went down. She’s replying ‘it’s ok’ but her look says: ‘plonker’. Skis & poles everywhere as we try to get up again…. What’s worse – no help from the rest of the family, who have turned their heads away as they crease up in laughter and don’t want to embarrass the other skiers. The humiliation!


My second tumble was not as embarrassing, but was potentially a lot more dangerous. I was piling down the giant slalom course, going as fast as I possibly could, when I lost control. Thump! went my head on the ice floor, off come the skis, and I’m sliding down the steep hill backwards at about 30 mph. I distinctly remember whacking my head (luckily wearing helmet – SO important) and thinking: ‘Ouch! that hurt, I’ve survived but I’m completely out of control, never mind, just go with it, enjoy the backwards arse slide’. By which time I’d come to a stop. Some nice French skier picked up my skis up the hill, brought them to me, enquired if I was ok, and skied off wishing me ‘have a nice day’ (?!?!?) For me, this was a lucky escape…

A tumble

Charles, on the very last moment of the very last ski, manages to fall down whilst taking his skis off. Thank God I’m not the only one…! Also I enjoyed my wife taking out my bro-in-law getting off a ski lift, highly amusing…. And below, the intrepid kids at ski school.

Ski skool!!!

So my last photo from Tignes is a pic of me practising my board jumps. Big squadgy balloon to make sure you don’t hurt yourself. Love it!