Picking up from part 1, what else has kept me away from blogging? Oh yes! Last Sunday, Mrs S suggested we get up a little earlier and go to the park at Virginia water. The early bit was so that we could bag a free parking space opposite the park. Part one of the plan worked like a charm, we got up early and headed out…….
Part two, not so much, as the last space was taken by the car in front of us and so we went into the “Crown estate” car park, which, as you can imagine was pretty devoid of cars. This trip again, was with a view to taking photos and was another first for me, not having been there before. It was many years since Mrs S had been and she was keen to see it all again. So, armed with camera, walking boots on and a packed breakfast, we set out towards the first stop, a totem pole. For those of you that don’t know, which up until the other day included me. It was a gift from Canada to Queen Elizabeth in 1958. According to wikipedia it is 100 feet tall and represented the 100 years of British Columbia. One foot for each year, clever eh? Well, it would look good in a photo I thought, maybe even one of mine. As we walked along the path, I quickly realised that we were the only ones not walking a dog or dogs, jogging, cycling and or talking in a loud voice to the person less than a foot away from them. I smiled painfully but Mrs S reassured me that it would be ok and so, on we pressed and reached the totem pole without incident. The weather was a bit dull and any blue sky was quickly mugged by grey clouds until it became quite overcast. I’d seen photos of the totem pole on the internet and it looked colourful and bright, just the thing for a budding photographer to snap away at. Slightly disappointed, I looked up and down the totem pole and have to say, it had seen better days. The paint was dull, peeling away and large areas of wood had fallen away, leaving it looking a bit sorry for itself. It’s such a pity because all it needs is a bit of TLC but I suppose the money is being spent elsewhere, a nice (not) cafe area near the entrance, which in turn, brings more money in that isn’t spent on keeping up appearances. Minor rant over but you may agree with me as to why it irked me a little later. I did take a few pictures but it really did look forlorn to me and so, we decided to carry on.
We chose to walk around the lake, well, Mrs S suggested it and when the map said that particular route was cycle free, well, I jumped at the chance. I have nothing against cycling and am a real fan of the Vuelta Espana and the Tour de France but cycling up behind you in stealth mode is not my idea of fun. So, off we pootled, with just the dog walkers and the joggers for company. A few stops along the way were made, one for breakfast and the rest for photos. I’m happy to report that we didn’t have breakfast in an area of high national importance like at Wisley and were left alone. There’s something special about a flask of hot coffee, with an outdoor breakfast and so, we sat looking out over the lake, taking turns with the one cup (my bad) Which reminds me of a joke, although Mrs S may disagree. An elderly couple go into a well known burger chain and the man orders one burger and asks for it to cut in half because, they share everything. He then orders a milkshake and asks for two straws because, yes, they share everything. Of course, he orders one of the infamous hot apple pies/slices and asks for it to be cut in half because they share everything. The girl behind the counter thinks this is so endearing and does as they ask. She watches as the couple take their tray and sit by the window, where the lady begins to eat but the man doesn’t. Feeling something might be wrong, the girl goes over to ask if everything is alright, to which the man replies…” I’m waiting for the teeth”
Well, I liked it. Back to the blog. The weather turned brighter and there seemed to be more and more people on the tracks as we rounded the halfway point of the lake. Walking back on the other side of the lake gave me some more chances to take photos from different outlooks and when we reached the waterfall, I was able to get a few good shots in. I say waterfall, it’s known as the cascades and was built rather than being naturally formed but still looks good and there were lot’s of pictures being taken on mobiles, with faces contorted in poses for the ubiquitous selfies. I wonder if we’ll get to the point, where people will be so at ease with what is essentially gurning, that when there’s a wedding, all the people in the photo will have a face that isn’t really the one they have. I’ll admit that when I smile, I look like a geek but at least a smiling geek and not someone who looks like they are A) In pain. B) Have wind. C) electrocuted. D) Your choice here……. It was the final stop on the tour and we made our way out and went to the parking ticket machine and wondered why it had a black mask on it. We found out when it asked, no, demanded £10 for the privilege of spending a little more than 3 hours in the park. Of course we’d seen the charges were £2.50 an hour when we went in but it still irks me. You see why I mentioned it before when the poor old totem pole is fading away, while thousands are being made from parking and the cafe and it doesn’t seem right. Reading this through it looks like a letter to the Times from Mr Angry but it’s not really the case (is it?) I’m getting it off my chest and you, poor reader are paying the price for loyalty. Seriously though, I don’t want to come across as moaning, the majority of the above was very enjoyable and far outweighed any negatives.
And so, there you have it, the reasons for my lack of blogging over the past three weeks. I can’t promise another one in quick succession but hopefully I will do better next time. So, wherever you are, I hope you’re enjoying what is left of summer and we’ll speak soon (ish) That is, if you still want to?
One other thing, if you click on the photos, some of them will open up on a dreamstime photo page. You may see the words “Royalty free stock photo” on the page but please don’t worry, you haven’t bought anything. As you may have read earlier in the year, I have been submitting photos to dreamstime, so, if you’d like to look to the right of the photo that’s been opened, you will see a link with “TheSlowWalkers” in blue. If you would like to see what else I’ve been submitting, please feel free to click on it and have a mooch through. There’s photos from Spain as well as other places too. Or, you can click on the dreamstime link at the top of the page and get to my portfolio that way. This really is not a cheap attempt to get anyone to buy anything, I’d be rather pleased if all you did was have a look.
All Images © 2008- TheSlowWalkers