Gee, it was tough getting out of bed this morning. I’ve been getting up and out at 4.00am this week to claim my spot at the balloon festival. It’s happening thanks to a most supportive and understanding boss/colleague and I’m truly grateful and appreciative.

It’s also made for longer days at work – not so much to make up the hours, but more to keep the projects on target and to keep ahead of others in downstream processes.

Still, it’s worth getting out and on site for the morning’s photography session, especially now that I can sleep in later and later as the darker mornings roll on in. Yay for autumn and winter which also means earlier evenings too, so I get to catch up on some sleep during the week for four nights at least.

Walking barefoot over a rough track in the darkness is always a welcome challenge – trying to keep out of the gorse, and dodging tree roots in varying degrees of elevation above ground level so they don’t connect with the foot bones. It means I’m not on a factory floor between super-noisy machines, walking at a brisk pace everywhere, standing at a workstation or draped over a machine measuring stuff for anything between 9.5 and 12 hours per shift.

Traversing the wood copse in the dark means I can walk the sand and mud flats on a low tide during the pre-dawn light. I can plan my track through them so I’m not walking on a virgin canvas that the tide has so thoroughly cleaned and cleared for me. On a high tide, I can enter the water and walk out to thigh depth, turn, and look inland for my offshore-onshore image. The feel of the water, the resistance as I wade and the sand beneath is like a beautiful natural massage. It’s a tad cooler in winter though.

It also means the sounds of the surf and of feathered or finned species are predominant above the wind or waves. I love that. The only pressure I feel is to be aware of the light – its colour, the angle and intensity, and the direction relative to features that I can use in the images I already have in mind after planning them during the week.

Losing the sense of touch in the fingertips means that my typing is becoming worse than it already was. Being dyslexic makes things tough to start with; now the mixed up letters and words are entering the pages not only back to front, but sideways and on a third dimensional plane. The interface between what goes on inside my head and what comes out via the written or spoken word becomes totally illegible, sometimes even to me.

The walnuts are falling, hooray. Just to add to the weekend’s activities, we pick them off the ground, wash them and place them on drying racks for a month or so. On the bright side, our quail are now foraging the boundary hedgerows in groups that consist of three generations. The pheasants just do their thing along the same hedgerows, and are now noticeably more relaxed with us being out there.


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