Friday, 31 December 2010

Boulder Breweries

Today was a rest day, just the 8 miles in snow storms! Jan and I started the day picking up our skis from being serviced. Then Rob and I made our way to the Avery Brewery just outside Boulder. The weather was not good - about 8 inches of snow fell during the day and temperatures were about -10C.

At Avery the Out of Bounds cask-conditioned Stout was good but the Out of Sight coffee flavoured Stout was even better. Just the 20 beers on tap. From here we made our way through the blizzard the 2 miles to the Boulder Beer Co., a brewery on the outskirts of Boulder. There was a chocolate flavoured brewers choice Porter which was very nice but a bit sickly for a session beer.

The last port of call was the Mountain Sun Brewery in the centre of Boulder. This has one of my all time favourite beers - Java Porter, so we stayed long enough so that I could have two. Had a long chat with a couple of locals about getting up at 3am so that you could have a couple of hours ski touring before going to work!

I don't think I will be doing this any time soon! A little different to what I'm used to in the Peak District.

From the Mountain Sun we staggered back the half mile to Rob's house for a very nice meal.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Snowshoeing in Colorado

Having flown into Denver Airport at 5.30pm Monday we decided to have an easy day Tuesday snowshoeing the 13235 foot peak, Mount Sniktau. This wasn't the most sensible thing as Jan was quite ill from altitude sickness for the first time in her life. Despite this we made it to the south summit at 13185 feet but turned back as in addition the wind was strong and the temperature was bitterly cold (way below zero) and we feared frost-nipped faces.

Today we went to Rocky Mountain National Park and snowshoed around Sprague Lake. Tried to go to Dream and Emerald Lakes but weather too wild so retreated to forests lower down valley. Brightened up later and took some shots of raised snow footsteps on surface of icy lake as sky cleared slightly. Stopped at Lily Lake for snow pattern pictures then on to Brainard Lake area. Here I snowshoed with friend Rob to Red Rocks Lake for more pattern pictures of the frozen lake surface. The muted sun was reflected in the icy surface of the lake for something a bit different.

So despite the bad weather up high it was possible to find places to take interesting photos. Not the big views I had hoped for but lots of pattern pictures which always look good in black and white.

Monday, 27 December 2010

it's Heathrow Again!

I'm just sitting in the BA lounge at London Heathrow airport waiting for the flight to Denver. Jan has worryingly gone off to the shops with her credit card.

This is our annual ski trip and for the 3rd year running we are visiting our best friends Rob and Annie in Boulder, Colorado. The intention is to ski and snowshoe every day possible until our return on 15th January.

Am keeping fingers crossed for really cold temperatures to give frosted trees, and blue skies with white fluffy clouds. Not that I'm fussy or anything!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Tunstead Milton Gallery Refurbishment Part 1

The gallery at our house in Tunstead Milton has been refurbished. with an extension, new lighting, new gallery hanging system and simple white decoration. Here are a few images to give you an idea of what it looks like and there are more on the new Tunstead Milton Gallery web page. Now that we have completed the refurbishment of the main gallery area we plan to upgrade the other 2 display areas next year. If you would like to visit just telephone or email to make an appointment - I'm not here all the time.

There is usually a display of around 140 framed photographs and another 500 or so in browsers. In addition to this there are my 3 books, course information and the darkroom, where all the hand prints are made, can be viewed.

December Newsletter

I have just sent out a newsletter by email. If you are not on the distribution list you can find it here:
iContact Community.
If you would like your own copy sent directly to your inbox you can click on one of the links at the bottom of the page to set this up. It has all of our latest news and I hope you find it interesting.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Icy Peak District

Today I was in the Gallery in Buxton Pavilion Gardens. It was a cold clear day, about -6C, and I walked there and back (about 12 miles). It started with good views of the lunar eclipse which covered 3/4 of the moon as I left at 7.15am. Just a dusting of snow across the hills but at the green lane that runs around Ladder Hill (opposite our house) there was so much ice, 2 or 3 inches thick across the entire track making it difficult to walk down the lane. Looked like it had been rain water running off the hill which then froze. I came across more ice on the route to Buxton than I have ever seen before. Slowed me down a bit picking my way around it. Came back the same way this evening so that I could remember where the ice was rather than try a different route. It was dark all the way so it was good to have a bright headlamp picking out the track and the ice ahead. It took about 20 minutes longer than normal, including a detour over a snowy hill rather than along part of the track where I know it would be seriously icy. Had to tread carefully on the way home as I had bought a couple of bottles of Buxton Brewery Kinder Stout - didn't want to break them!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Christmas Orders Finished

All Christmas orders are now printed. The last few will be shipped by Royal Mail Special Delivery or DHL on Monday. Have despatched quite a few since Thursday. It was quite busy this Christmas because we were away for 4 weeks the orders built up then more Christmas orders came in and it has taken until now to clear all of them.

Hope to find time to make the contact prints from the New Zealand trip soon so that I can see what I have.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Bronchitis - Orders Shipping

I've had a bit of a cough and felt quite ill for a couple of weeks now. The doctor said it was a bit of bronchitis, he didn't say which bit though. Just finished a week of Penicillin which has helped but hasn't removed the cough completely, but I feel much better. I lost quite a few days but am pretty much on top of all the orders. I will ship several later today and make the prints for the last orders received today or tomorrow. So don't panic, if you ordered something you should receive it by early next week.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

RHS Wisley Contemporary Craft and Art Fair

We have a stand at the Contemporary Craft and Art Fair at RHS Wisley near Guildford and Woking in Surrey (GU23 6QB for sat nav). Jan is there on her own as I should have doing a show in Buxton which illness has prevented me from doing. There are about 250 of my original photos on display as well as books and posters. If you are interested in photography courses then Jan has all the details and can talk to you about these too. Hope you can drop in and have a chat.

Buxton Artist and Designer's Fair

It is the Buxton Artist and Designer's Fair in Buxton this weekend. Unfortunately, I am unable to be there as I have a bad cough and chest infection. If you were planning on visiting me on my stand please consider coming to our gallery in Tunstead Milton. I should be alright in a few days, hopefully.

Still snow across the Peak District and sunny spells but I haven't been able to get out and take any photos. Jolly frustrating.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Heavy Snow in the Peak District

We were hearing about heavy snow in the east of the UK and Scotland but next to nothing here. Then yesterday we had an inch or so. Should have been in the Gallery in Buxton but received an early phone call from Louise offering to cover for me. This also saved me 4 hours of walking to and from Buxton in bad weather. I accepted her kind offer and stayed at home all day.

Today we woke to 6 inches of snow and heavy snow showers have added another couple of inches. Most of the roads seemed to be blocked this morning but they soon cleared the main ones that didn't go over the tops.

Now, if only the sun would come out tomorrow I could get some photos. Maybe use the snowshoes to help move around the hills if it's any deeper.