Caroline Shipsey

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Mendip Ploughing Match - An Apology

It seems there has been quite a few visits to my website looking for images of the Ploughing Match which unfortunately I missed again this year. Sorry folks, I was on holiday in the Lake District. It must have been a great day for ploughing, I'll make sure it is definitely in the diary for next year !

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Lake District 2008 19th -26th September 2008

I had intended writing up my blog everyday and including just one image from each day, but there simply wasn't time and anyway the broadband connection was so slow at times it wasn't practical.

The weather was superb for a holiday but not always great for photography but we made the most of it anyway. Denise and I had some good walks together and separately, absorbing the atmosphere of the area and experimenting with our ND filters.

I was very privileged to be taken by the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team landrover to the place where Jim, my nephew was found by them on 19th January 1994, after falling from Swirral Edge. He was concious when they found him but died in the helicopter on the way to hospital. It was very moving to see the place and hear the facts first-hand from the man who found Jim, my mind has often been troubled by the knowledge that no-one from the family had visited this place or met the people who so generously give of their time to rescue the casualties that are inevitable on the unforgiving Fells.

Saturday afternoon meeting up with Denise was great, I really enjoyed her companionship, especially on our two big (in our eyes)walks before the seminar began. How I wish we had more time to talk, there just so much to cram in. Thanks to Terry Gargrave's suggestion we walked up Glenridding Dodd late on Saturday afternoon in beautiful sunshine and good visibility. Bessie appreciated walking on relatively soft ground after our earlier walk back from Brown Cove.

After a leisurely start on Sunday we headed up Place Fell, starting out in reasonable light but as time went on it became more and more gloomy. Despite this it was still possible to appreciate the views and get a feel for the grandeur of the Fells. The path has been restored/relaid for much of the higher part which took a little of the feeling of adventure away from it. The materials to do this had been dropped by helicopter, some bag of rocks remained.

Monday found me driving, Kirkstone Pass, Wrynose Pass and Hardnott Pass, Buttermere and a sunset. There is an amazing Roman Fort at the bottom of Hardnott Pass and as Bessie's feet were sore we spent some time pottering around here.

Tuesday - a low level walk in Grisedale, wonderful light and good distant views, the anticipation of meeting up with the rest of group for the Light and Land tour.

The days were full and very enjoyable, a great group of people and I was inspired and learned a few things. As I'm going to write a review of the holiday for the Online Fellwalking Club so I'm saving any further details for that.

The weather stayed dry and warm all week, the journey home was in sunshine all the way and all that remains now is to finish editing my photos.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Lake District - 24 Hours to Departure

My plan is to leave home around 6am tomorrow and head for Glenridding, the destination for my holiday and seminar with Charlie Waite. Not only am I excited about the trip but also because I'll be meeting Denise.

I've been slowly packing my bags since the weekend, trying to be logical about what is really necessary and reminding myself to keep it simple. Its reassuring to remember that if I've forgotten or need anything in the clothing/walking line, there is a good shop in Glenridding and plenty of others nearby that will more than cater for my needs.

I've got hold of some out-of-print books by W.A. Poucher who was regarded as a leading mountain photographer following WW2, and also one which is a colaboration between Derry Brabbs (photographer) and Wainwright. These have given me a couple of ideas of places to go that will, weather permitting, at least give me a better insight to the area and hopefully some decent pics.

The two pics below were taken when traveling home from Skye in 2006 and 2007, no time to stop and explore just quickly grabbed as we were passing through, enough to make me long to go back and spend more time ..........

Bessie, seen below will be my canine companion on this trip.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Love my Dogs - Fly (R.I.P) & Bessie

There is a great little app available from Brian Zimmer here its called:-
"SmugNDrag, a blog link automator. Unlike the Share feature of SmugMug, SmugNDrag generates a link which not only embeds the image in the blog entry but also creates the appropriate link click-through to the image in the SmugMug gallery. I was doing this by hand, SmugNDrag is much faster and easier."
I've no doubt I shall make good use of this - thanks very much Brian!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Mendip Village - Blagdon

Blagdon was my home from 1976 until 2000, I lived in a cottage in Grib Lane overlooking the beautiful Blagdon Lake. The view from the cottage extended towards Chew Valley in the east and Weston-Super-Mare in the west, sunrises and sunsets were an inspiration day after day, and the everchanging lake too was a constant source of pleasure.

Blagdon Local History Society has produced 'A History of Blagdon' currently in 2 volumes which is extremely detailed and gives a great insight into many aspects of the origins of the village and village life. The village website describes the village as :-
"Located in the beautiful Mendips, Blagdon has a thriving, friendly population of about 1200 with a mix of traditional local families and new comers from diverse backgrounds. There is a mix in the village of single people, families and couples, with ages ranging from young children to those of retirement age."

The picture below is the view I looked out on everyday.


Saturday, 13 September 2008

At Last a Summer's Day

This afternoon was an absolute joy, I spent 3 hours walking on Blackdown - no waterproofs, no sweatshirt, warm sun all the way, still in a tee shirt at 6.30pm.

I tried out my new polarizer, this being the first day since I received that there has been enough sun for me to really appreciate the effect. Its crazy to think that I have gone all these years without ever using one, however I'm sure it will get some good use now. Clouds really pop out so their real beauty can be seen. Which leads me to the Cloud Appreciation Society........

Its a while since I visited the CAS website, I couldn't bring myself to look at the stunning images of clouds from all around the world while our skies were so dismally dull. My walk this afternoon inspired me to keep looking up at the wonderful Cirrus formations, my favorite being the image below, delicate layer upon layer so perfectly placed, so high up that I had to sit down and lean back to take the picture, otherwise I would have toppled over.


A real gem is the first CD to be released by The Cloud Appreciation Society it has no songs on it. It has no melodies, no lyrics, no instruments – just beautiful recordings of the most under appreciated sound in the whole of nature: the sound of rain.
You can listen to a demo from the CD here - I just love it !!!!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Counting Down the Days ........

Its only 10 days to the start of my holiday trip to the Lake District, I'm desperate to get out and try my new Lee filters but the rain just keeps falling. Its not that I'm a wimp but everywhere is just so soggy, and today the fog and rain were here all day.
This picture was taken a year ago, just to remind me that the sun did shine, and it didn't rain all the time.

east harptree

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Someone's Son .......

I was shopping in Wells yesterday afternoon, and as I came out of a store in the High Street I saw a couple of homeless people I know huddled in the doorway of an empty shop facing me. A dog was curled up beside them and they were deep in conversation, instinctively I knew something was wrong and went across to talk with them.

It was Luke a young lad I've seen around Wells for a while now, usually drumming in a doorway hoping for some coins to fall into his hat, he had been attacked during the previous night while he was sleeping. His back and ribs were really badly bruised as he had lain himself over his dear old dog Ninja to protect her from the attack. He had also lost his drum a couple of days earlier and was feeling pretty down. We had a few words and I remembered there was a drum in our loft which he might like to play.

He has a family somewhere, people who care about him and love him but nowhere to go and rest up for a few days while his aching body recovers. My heart aches for him and others like him.

Luke and Me

Monday, 1 September 2008

Autumn ?

Since I last wrote anything here it seems as though the seasons have fast forwarded from summer straight into autumn, the rain that has dominated our summer weather now has a coolness about it and the winds are blustery.

Several things have happened in the past 10 days that simply need recording so they are not lost in my mind in the future. Working backwards :-

Tony Jarrett of Bat Products Wells, who lived at Priddy died on Sunday 31st August @ 12.40 am. I knew he was terminally ill and went to the shop today to see if he was there, just for a chat. There were flowers and candles outside, and a helmet. The caving world and many on Mendip are very, very sad.

tony jarrett

Dave Freeborn, of the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team who found my nephew Jim Cullen on 19th January 1994, after a fall from Helvellyn, contacted me - I had been trying to make contact in preparation for my forthcoming visit to the area. Anyway he is going to take me to the place where Jim was found on 20th September at 9.30 am. Jim died as he was being transported to hospital in a helicopter, apparently from internal bleeding - he was a Jehova's Witness.

While walking on Blackdown I met David Parfitt and Martin'Benny'Bentham, (no website) who were sitting in some bushes behind a wall with paints and easels under huge umbrellas to shelter them from the rain. Benny is a friend and I'm privileged to have some of his work. I've long admired David's work but it is beyond my budget sadly. It was really interesting to see what they were creating on a dull and dismal day with totally flat light - a complete killer for landscape photography. Actually it was quite inspirational and encouraged me to do some wet weather photography.

At vast expense I ordered a filter kit from Lee Filters - Oh my this will take some getting used too !

Eventually Charlie Waite and I managed to speak on the phone after several days of leaving messages. He was so helpful with advice about filters, tripod etc but mostly we talked about dogs and the Blue Cross and will take this further when we are in the Lake District. I am so looking forward to the holiday, especially since speaking with Charlie, I'm sure it is going to be a great inspiration and learning process as well as great fun.