Sunday, 9 December 2012

A short ride...

I've been so hindered by work deadlines, new projects and existing contracts that getting out on the bike is a rarity - in fact I've resigned myself to the fact that the rest of this year is more or less a write-off in terms of mileage. I might fit in 2 or 3 rides more before Christmas if I'm lucky.

Last week I did manage a short ride between engagements - there was a break in the frosty weather and while the rain held off I decided a quick ride in the dark would be beneficial. Having made the decision I changed quickly, and before I could properly think about it I was out there. I decided on a quick and easy circuit, just 8 or so miles, and as I pushed up the first hill my lack of miles of late became apparent. These roads were easy a few months back, I would fly along at around 20mph whereas now 12mph was a struggle - I consoled myself that the darkness and cold made all the difference. Then, as I approached the junction for Congerstone and along a tree lined stretch I noticed something at the edge of the road, an animal of some sort, caught in my lights it halted as I approached - I slowed and watched it for a few seconds before it moved into the trees - it was dark brown or maybe black - like a big ferret - it had lighter tones to its face and maybe underside. I was unsure what it was - I considered that it might have been a mink. When I got back I looked it up on the internet and the closest I could find was a polecat - could it have been? Not entirely sure but the photos I found certainly looked like it was, more so than a mink anyway.

Today I've been photographing again - hoards of families eager to visit Father Christmas, his reindeers and elves at Conkers in Moira. It's a tough assignment - outside, on my feet all day, photographing children and animals - a combination fraught with problems! At 2.30pm I thought the day was moving along quickly - by 5.00pm I thought how much the day was dragging - it is one of those jobs. Interestingly though, one of the visitors today was the TV chef Glyn Purnell. I recognised his broad Brummie accent first (it was getting dark when he came through) - and as he lined up with his friends and family and I composed the shot I decided not to ask them to say 'cheese' in the accepted norm - I went for 'Michelin Star' instead - at least I got them to smile! He apologised for what he thought was a fair bit of messing around from his group (there wasn't really) - That's Ok I said - just give me a discount next time i visit your restaurant! 'No problem' he said.

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