One thing 2020 has taught me is to appreciate the little things. The way light shines through green leaves, coffee with milk chocolate, plastic free coconut shampoo, a new episode from the Mandalorian (not a little thing) and squirrels frolicking in the park. I love to watch them run around with their sine wave form, hiding nuts, forgetting where they put them, then clambering onto a tree in the shape of a tiny Persian rug. The best part has to be when they jump from tiny branch to tiny branch as if they had life insurance. And then they sit, comfortably on some twig, waiting for you to pass by so they may continue their whimsical routine.
As the sun set over Seascale on a lonely summer’s eve, the street lamps waited to be illumined. They waited for the last drops of the sun to sink into the sea. Then they would have the courage to shine into the night. For they knew they were creatures of the night sky, as stars felt relatable. That’s every street lamp’s dream, is it not? To be a star for the Heavens.
It was around 9 pm on the 6th of August when I took this photo at Seascale. The sun was whispering its last words, glittering golden hues onto the sea. I watched the last rays sink into the depths of the sky. The sand had the shine of dark blue velvet. I felt small, as dusk swallowed me whole. Only for a moment, however. I knew light had not disappeared, it only wore the coat of night.
The tide rolled out from the quiet town of Seascale, revealing a heap of mumbling rocks. They were dressed in algae and drank seawater punch from shells. They looked at the horizon, where little houses sat dreaming. Clouds puffed above them like thoughts in a child’s mind. Soon the sea would cover the rocks and they would see this sight no more. ‘Ah,’ the rocks whispered, ‘to live only for the moment’.
Under the shadow of a great oak tree, sheep graze in joyful silence. They do not seem disturbed by passers by and run cheerfully from place to place. Some have had their coats freshly sheared. The paint of man, however, is still smiling from bittersweet pigments on their soft skin. This photo was taken on a sunny day in July at Friars Crag, Keswick.
A narrow footpath streaks across the vivid hills near Ambleside, Lake District. This is the old bridleway between Ambleside and Troutbeck villages. I was completely alone, but not lonely when I captured this shot. The setting sun painted its light on the stone farms in the distance. A gentle wind caressed my cheeks, bringing the smell of fresh grass and oak trees closer. Small stone towers marked the land from place to place, watching and waiting. Now they have witnessed my footsteps and my breath is forever engrained in their lichen ridden ears.
I visited Ambleside in the Lake District, towards the end of July 2020. I found a Roman fort nearby, where gentle cows grazed the pastures. This one, in particular, was very fond of maps and information points. Maybe it was just trying to tell me “You are here!”.
I love oak trees. There is something majestic about the unwavering branches of an oak tree. Moss and lichens grow on it unhindered, forming a velvet cape, fit for royal sap. I was listening to the leaves rustle in the wind as the sun sifted through the clouds when I took this photo. This king of oak trees can be found on the outskirts of Ambleside in the Lake District, on a cool summer’s day.
As I’m walking the empty streets of Manchester, I’m looking for symbols of hope. Like hands shaking and people embracing once more, albeit we are watching through the looking glass. Our world is somewhat distorted at the moment, but there is light, even in the darkest of places. See the full album, Manchester of Light and Shadow on my facebook page.
On the last Saturday of May 2020 I went for a walk through empty Manchester. The streets were mostly empty due to the COVID 19 pandemic. A beautiful display of light and shadow emerged from the old and new buildings. This city is an eclectic and somewhat asymmetric mixture of style and modern living. Even this runaway mailbox has stickers on it. See the album Manchester of Light and Shadow on my facebook page.