Saturday, 24 November 2007
A stroll through Caen Hill locks, Devizes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 mountain...lol!). 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