Country by Day, City by Night

A Perfect Day…and Night

The temperature has risen about 30 degress overnight in London.  The sun has appeared…and stayed!  Blue skies have replaced the gray clouds.  The warmer weather has inspired everyone to get outdoors and replenish their depleted vitamin A supply.

Last minute, I decided to join my friend, Page, on a walk through the countryside yesterday.  The last time I took a country walk, I was almost too bundled to move, buffeted by three layers of clothing, gloves, boots, and hats.  This has been my uniform ever since!  Yesterday, I wore shorts and Tshirt.

I couldn’t bear to leave Lucy behind, so she came along too!

The English countryside is always beautiful, but the colors really pop on a sunny day.   The bountiful fields of flowers created vibrant streaks of yellow that seemed to glow with an inner phosphorescence.  I felt like I was within one of David Hockney’s explosions of color on canvas.

You could literally smell Spring in the air as wafts of lilac, honeysuckle, Queen Anne Lace, and various wildflowers tempted us at every turn.

Ubiquitous sheep inhabited the many pastures, and old stone church steeples rose above the thatched roofs of the local cottages.  These are the familiar staples that are impossible to avoid on a walk through the English countryside.

          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After 8 miles and 4 hours of walking, we made our way back to London.  By 4 pm, I returned home and immediately fell asleep on the sofa, kind of like my dad does after playing a round of golf…except he is 30 years older than I am!  At the rate I’m going, I will need to rest after a short trip to the grocery store in my retirement.

By 8 pm, I was ready to head out again for a totally different experience.  I had signed up for a night photography tour of the city (hairygoat.net).  The object was to shoot some of the iconic images of London by night.

We concentrated on the Tower Bridge area along the Thames.  I joined a group of people who included a Canadian woman with a photography degree and a man with a freelance background.  These people knew their way around a tripod!  With lots of patient instruction, I managed to get my dinosaur of a camera, the Nikon D50, to take these incredible shots.

I traded phosphorescent flowers for lighted bridges, bucolic landscapes for urban skyscrapes, and baaing sheep for braying drunks!  I cannot tell you how many inebriated people jumped in front of my tripod thinking it would be hilarious to get in the picture.  “Come on mate, don’t you like my smile?”  I like the sheep better.

St. Paul’s dome peeked out behind London Bridge as red double-deckers drove by, and the Tower of London shone like a beacon across the river.  It’s hard to believe that such a lovely place that now houses the Crown Jewels was once the site of routine beheadings and torture.

I returned home a little past midnight totally exhausted and exhilarated at the same time.

I was both Country and City Mouse for a day.

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