Saturday, 24 November 2007

A stroll through Caen Hill locks, Devizes

Devizes Lock Photo 4

It is Saturday morning, it is still dark and outside everything is covered in frost. That can only mean one thing for me. Get back under the duvet in the warm?... eh no! Go down stairs, put the TV on and enjoy the day's first cup of Tea?... eh no! Go into the cold bathroom, jump in the cool shower, climb into cold clothes, defrost the car in the dark and freezing temperatures, sit on the freezing cold leather seat (and freeze my butt off) and drive... I must be totally barking mad, but yes that is exactly what I did.

So, I turned on my heated seat, pressed the voice control button in my new car and asked the computer to warm the car up to 23 degrees (I felt a little silly talking to myself in the car), set the satellite navigation to direct me to Devizes in Wiltshire, switched on the lights and finally drove away (shivering! Damn, why is the prettiest winter weather always when it is so bloody cold ?!*#!!@! )

Soon the car warmed up, the music was playing away, and my bottom was beginning to defrost as the heated seat kicked in. About 35 minutes later I pulled up in the Car Park, it was 7.55am (Yep, I must be completely off my trolley getting out of bed so early on a Saturday morning). The weather was quite grey, not the clear blue skies of the morning before. For some reason over the past couple of weeks the weekday mornings have been beautiful but the weekend mornings have been overcast.

As I left the Carpark I was met by the most festive of images. A beautiful red breasted Robin perched on a bench. That single moment made the whole journey worth while.

Devizes Lock Photo 2

The walk from the Carpark leads to the top of the 29 locks, providing a wonderful view down the hill overlooking the "Kennet and Avon" canal.

Devizes Lock Photo 3

These 29 locks have a total rise of 237 feet in just 2 miles (or 72m in 3.2km), as was the engineering marvel that gave boats and barges the ability to travel up and down the hill (although the journey would take about 5-6 hours). The sky had turned a dull nothingness. A shame really, it would have been so much nicer with a clear blue sky.

Devizes Lock Photo 8

I took a slow wander down the canal alongside the locks. My ears were freezing. It was certainly a cold and breezy morning. Yet, it was also tranquil and relaxing. The perfect remedy to see off another stressful week.

I finally arrived at the bottom of the locks and made my way onto the bridge to admire the view looking back at where I had just come.

Devizes Lock Photo 1

Devizes Lock Photo 7

The other side of the bridge provided a wonderful view of the canal disappearing into the distance between the frost covered fields and trees. I stopped here and poured a hot cup of tea from my flask. Mmmmmmmmm, heavenly!

Devizes Lock Photo 5

And this is where my journey came to an end. I wandered slowly back up the hill, taking in deep breaths of the crisp fresh air. The inside of my car was warm and welcoming as I removed my boots and thawed out my toes against the heaters.

And here ends another wonderful walk in the wilderness of the Wiltshire landscape.

Before I finish, a number of people have asked what camera I use. Well, I have two.

The first is a "point and click" digital Canon Powershot S45 which I have owned for a number of years now.

However, it still takes great photographs (It has survived a trek through the Amazon and a fall off a!). I never go anywhere without it.

My second camera is a Canon EDS 350D, which I purchased about a year ago. I wanted to have more versatility with the settings as well as wide-angle and zoom flexibility. Along with the camera body I have a 55mm lense, a 200mm lense and a 300mm lense

My approach to photography is nothing scientific. I simply snap wildly at everything I see and hope that at least a handful of the photographs turn out okay.

Until next time, cheerio from me xx


AZZITIZZ said...

Ahhhh, what a lovely picturesque stroll I have just had on your blog whilst sat in my warm, cosy lounge drinking hot tea.
I really look forward to my virtual days out. Wonderful. Thankyou.

Simon said...

What's an experience! This post makes me wanting to go out and seek for such a journey myself.

Unknown said...

Azzitizz, that is the best thing about blogging - we can all share the same journey. It's just that we can enjoy it from our own homes, rather than freezing our butts off!

neoauteur, I never really truly valued the scenery that I have around me until I started blogging. I'm completely addicted to it now. I look forward to seeing the results of your wanderings. Everywhere is so beautiful if one really looks hard enough, albeit in the middle of a city, in the countryside, in the desert....anywhere!

Michelle said...

I love to look at all the pictures you post, they are so lovely. wish I had areas around here that looked that pretty. It really makes me want to go for a stroll like that to relax. Lord knows I need too. God Bless!

no more said...

ahhaa..the fancy pants camera! lol Nice gear, you know I am a huge canon fan. I've got a canon a620 as well as a rebel G which i never use because well..we've gone to the digital age now. I'd love to have an attachable zoom lense, not sure if filters are possible but i don't see why not.

Seriously - you missed your calling Graham. You take amazing shots

Linda R. Moore said...

I have a Canon Powershot S70. I've almost worn it out. :)

I love your photographs. The one of the robin makes me achingly homesick. The robins here in California are just not robins.

The West Country is my favourite place in England.

Linda, an ex-pat Brit

PS Found your site through BlogsWeLuv.

Anonymous said...

Chanced into your blog today...and I must say it's one of the most creatively designed one I have seen in a while.

Also, loved your description and especially the pics in this post. Will be back soon to read other posts...

Cocaine Princess said...

Such a beautiful and vivid description, I could see everything so clearly. Not only are you a talented writer but you are an equally talented photographer.
Cocaine Princess

coltfan said...

your pictures are very peaceful, and serene. I love nature in the spring and fall.Hearing the birds churping and seeing the small creatures running in the woods , makes me feel at peace.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could tell my car to warm up to 23C in the morning! Man, it was -10C yesterday...

As you can see from my last post, we are now in the cold.

Nice canal and locks, very similar to Ottawa and the Ottawa river for some reason. I'll post pictures one day!

Unknown said...

Hi Kasper, thanks for your words :) You must absolutely go out for a stroll. You will be surprised... everywhere has its magical places. What may seem to be dull to one person is amazing to another. Give it a go and you will be amazed at the outcome. Let me know when you post your photos, I would love to see them :)

Unknown said...

Hey Muse :))))) Thanks friend.

There is something about the quality of a canon camera. They seem to be able to get the best colour and image. Filters are possible with DSLR's. I do have some, but haven't tried them yet. I need to set a few days aside to really get to know how to use them to their best potential.

Thanks for your encouragement, your words are always truly appreciated.

Unknown said...

Linda, the powershot has been a great camera, and is so handy to have around. I agree, the "West Country" is an amazing place. I will try to go out as much as possible over the next few months, so that I can capture its beauty. Nowadays we all look to travel far and forget what amazing places are on our doorsteps.
Thanks for your nice comment.

Shantanu, Welcome and thanks for visiting. I look forward to visiting your blog too :)

Unknown said...

Hiya Cocaine Princess! I hope you are well and having a great weekend! Thanks for your words, I am glad you enjoyed the journey.

Welcome Coltfan, thanks for your visit and comments. I totally agree, there is something about walking in the woods and being close to nature that is so magical.

Unknown said...

Hey Zhu :) My goodness, -10C that is a lil chilly!!!! I look forward to seeing your photos of the Ottawa river. I am a little envious of you as I adore the cold weather, I just find it so full of emotion.

ps. Although I ask my car to warm to 23C, it still takes it bloody ages to get!!!

linda said...

I HAVE to go there when I go to the UK. Must, must, must. Just beautiful. It will be Easter which is Spring so I imagine all the greenery will be offering a new look, just as beautiful.

I have just bought a Canon EOS400D with two lenses. I am still a bit precious about it, nervous. Not much time to go out and about and just take pictures. I have to be very organised with my time to get time on my own.

Unknown said...


You must go there. The great thing about that area is that it is close to Devizes which is a nice town. Also near there is the historic Avebury stone circle (see one of my previous posts) and also just down the road is the Savernake forest, where I took the early morning photos from a couple of weeks ago. Just a little bit further on than that, is the wonderful village of Marlborough.

You have the EOS400? That is a great camera! My father bought himself one a few months ago. These cameras take brilliant photos and the lenses give so much flexibility. I am like you, I just need some time to learn how to use the bloody thing properly. These recent posts have really been the first time that I am trying to experiment with the manual settings. We'll certainly have to share tips!!!!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous! That's something I'd love to see firsthand.

Sue said...

Love that bench picture! I have made early morning treks to get good photos too!

Daszzle said...

I must admit, you're car sounds pretty sweet. Now it doesn't have a name like Bertha, but it does have just about everything else from the sounds of it haha. Lovely pictures. Good for you and your ability to always go out and embrace the beauty in life.

Michelle said...

I tagged you for the writing mistakes meme. Go to my page to get it.

Marjie said...

Graham, you always take such breath-taking pictures everytime. Lovely that you have such passion for the outdoors. It sure does keep a man alive better and longer.

By the way, you'll be glad to know that I added "visiting stonehedge" in one of my list before I die (thank god for travel channel to tip me). It'll be good to see England one of these days. Definitely. =)

Anonymous said...

yanno...I wish I could do that...find that one red robin to make it all worth it.

Im usually so consumed with thoughts of lists of things that need to get done I never take the TIME to notice these simple beauties.....

I would have stayed focused on my freezing bum.

Anonymous said...


Canon Takes The BEST photos EVER.

Unknown said...

Raivyn, if every you visit the UK you must go there. It is a wonderful sight :)

Sirissel, early morning is the best time to take photos... a truly magical time of day.

Hey Daszzle, thanks for really nice comment. Hope you are well and happy!

Unknown said...

Kasper794, a writing mistakes meme... now that sounds like my kinda thing...LOL! I'll be sure to have a go at it soon.

Marjie, thank you soooo much for your nice words. I truly appreciate them. Stonhenge is just down the road from me. I will probable go their over the next few weeks to take some photographs. I'll let you know when I post them.

Unknown said...

meleah rebeccah, hey ;) and I hope you are settling in well after the move :)

It is the best thing, being outside early in the morning. Positively relaxing. I love the cold weather and warming up is always fun ;)

Canon make the best cameras. I have always bought canon and so far I have never been disappointed.

Unknown said...

nice nd lovely pics

kep it up

i m in vacation rentals bussiness nice to see your xsotic coloection

Chick said...

I'm so thrilled to learn your amazing pictures (or at least some of them?) are taken with the canon point-click. I have the canon powershot SD 450 and get fairly decent results. clearly you have the magic touch!

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