Along the riverside – a calming walk by a Scottish River. We are fortunate that (barring pandemics), the TMMA household get to have at least a couple of breaks a year in the Scottish Highlands. There are vistas galore to explore, in the car, by bike, walking or even if you like trekking over mountains (which I don’t really do).
The views change with the light, the weather and the seasons. On our last visit one very warm and sunny afternoon I managed to spend some time along the river bank. Away from the tourist hotspots you may not actually come across anyone else.
Being one to burn easily I have to be careful how much time I spend in the sun. On this particular walk I took advantage of the numerous areas of shade and just listened to the water.
I took in the sights and sounds as I slowly ambled along. The water rippling over the rocks, the sheep baaing (hope that’s a word) away in the fields. The wind rustling the branches of the trees and keeping things cool.
The water looked very inviting but I refrained from paddling.
Ok so no competition winners here but that doesn’t matter.
Glorious surroundings, great weather and a camera in hand… what more could you want?
On December 2nd England will come out of lockdown and be reduced to tiers. Essentially most of us will be in tier two, with the (broadly speaking) south east tip, middle and north east areas in tier three. Cornwall, The Isles of Scilly and Isle of Wight will be in Tier One. At least thats how it stands at the moment.
So has our second lockdown worked? Depends on how you look at it. We can go to the gym or the hairdresser but not mix with different households indoors. At the beginning of November half the country was in tier one, meaning we could mix indoors in homes or pubs and restaurants. Provided you kept to the rule of six.
So a bit of a mixed bag of results then. You can go shopping but you can’t see family members that you don’t live with. These new tiers will be reviewed every 14 days apparently. The (almost) good news is any restrictions will be relaxed to allow a Christmas of sorts.
Currently you can take unlimited exercise. This could be interpreted as going for a walk…oh and i’ll take the camera just in case.
I dont know about you but I like to zone out when taking photographs. I forget about the everyday things and just focus on capturing an image (see what I did there 🙂 ). Some might call this meditation photography. Seeing as its what I normally do I am not going to label it.
Cue visual break:
In these trying times our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Spending more time indoors than usual could have an adverse effect. Comfort or boredom eating can be a real issue. I normally stay around a certain weight. This year I’ve put on 4 kilos that I just can’t shake. Fortunately at the moment it is not a problem but I’m keeping an eye on it.
Now if only we could ‘weigh’ our mental health as easily. For a lot of us it will not be easy to spot a detoriation in our mental well being. We might need to rely on those in the same household to point out if were getting moody, grumpy, short tempered etc.
Try doing something you may not have done before. Maybe get into reading, knitting, modelling (plastic aircraft kits, railways, ships, type of modelling), experiment with some new recipes, search the web for all that (intelligent) stuff you wanted to google but never had time. This assumes you have shot macro of everything in your house already 🙂
If things do seem to be getting too much could I encourage you to seek outside help. There are plenty of organisations and charities that can offer advice on well being and possibly more practical help.
We are coming out of a lockdown into what for most of will be tougher restrictions. So I would say no we are not quite at the end. Personally I reckon round about spring might be a good target. Talking of seasons as a photographer I have mixed feelings about winter. There can be some nice opportunities photographically speaking BUT I absolutely hate the short days and long dark evenings.
Lets look forward to getting out and about and enjoying some beautiful scenery again.
Stay safe everyone.
A couple of UK mental health resources that maybe useful:
I had to say it…. In my last post entitled – It seemed to be getting better – I forget to tell Covid-19 that it was the heading of a blog post, not a challenge.
Large parts of the UK have had new restrictions imposed on them. Although inconsistent messages appear to be put across to the masses.
But this is a photography blog so lets get back to that. Unfortunately our latest escape became a non household mixing holiday as well, so our numbers were drastically reduced.
So the wife and I toured a part of Scotland we had only previously driven through.
Out of seven days we only had one day of rain. Not too bad for Scotland. The light wasn’t too bad either.
It seemed to be slightly quieter than we would have expected, although most of the places we visited were new to us. Having been to Fort William and Glenfinnan before they appeared to be the usual hot spots. Yes they are a bit of drive from Oban. We like to get around and explore when on holiday. It gives us an idea for future places to visit (think of it as scouting) or avoid depending on what we are after.
While the holiday wasn’t what we planned, we feel fortunate to have managed to get away at all. For our next Scottish holiday we are considering another area we havent visited much – the eastern coast. That will be next year when hopefully we won’t be talking about Covid as much.
Between coming back and doing this post there is talk of new restrictions for the Scottish Central region and something similar in parts of England.
Being in October now, it makes you wonder what sort of Christmas to expect…….
I’ve added a collection of other images of Oban in the 12 Pics series available here.
Highlands 2018 gallery has been added to the 12 Pics section after a recent visit.
You never really know what sort of weather you will get in Scotland. You could get rain, sleet, snow and sunshine all in one day.
Our last trip saw some lovely sunshine with warm temperatures.
We also had some cloud making for very overcast conditions. As the light changed the colour of the water also changed from a nice blue to a dull grey.
Not much you can do about the weather so enjoy what light there is and if doubt click away. You can always hit the delete button later 🙂
Highlands 2018 can be found here.