Tag Archives: Adventure

Busy Weekend

Well it’s been a busy weekend after a busy week – and to be honest I’m just entirely knackered: spent all day Saturday working with on a catalogue making updates to measurements and sizing charts which is a laborious, thankless and entirely soul destroying task that I eventually got finished at half past two on Sunday morning, a day that I’m hoping to be able to reclaim in bed with a much deserved day off during the week!

But it’s not all been work which is good – on a recommendation that it’s “nice” we took the streetcar for a spin today around the M25 and all the way down to Hastings, which on paper sounds like it should be nice, and in parts it’s lovely – but the bit by the sea (and let’s face it if you go to the coast you want to see the sea!) was a chav-infested hell hole, car parks that were like the surface of the moon and roads clogged with 17 year olds ‘cruising’ in modified cars… in fairness we probably didn’t give it quite the chance we should have, but we took one look at it and drove out – maybe we’ll give it another go when it’s chucking it down, that seems to keep chavy-teenagers indoors

Away from Hastings it was out onto the country roads of Kent travelling through Battle taking a convoluted route back to London which was lovely – I’d forgotten how nice it was just to jump in the car, switch the radio on and just go for an entirely random drive, not the cheapest thing to do in what’s essentially a hire car, but nice nevertheless… I like rural Kent, it looks like the sort of place I could escape to, much like rural Bedfordshire – it’s deceptively rural, beautiful countryside, but never far away from a proper road straight back into London.

So on the way back we took yet another detour – this time via Coulsdon, admittedly not the epicentre of most peoples world’s, but to the Urbexer Coulsdon is the home of the catherdral of urbex: Cane Hill, so we popped in for a little unplanned worship… ok, I’ve taken that metaphor as far as it’ll go… anyway, with darkness closing in we took a dusk walk around the perimeter of the fence, taking photos as we went

Cane Hill Lunatic Asylum

It was, much as we expected, still magnificent; every inch the Victorian lunatic asylum – imposing, stately and grand – albeit in a falling down sort of a way… and even though it was just a walk around the perimeter you almost felt in touch with the building as it stands high up on the hill, surrounded by trees the only things we met along the way were the occasional hoot of an owl, or the bark of a fox – it was perfect, and it’s spurred us on to go up there again to take a much more detailed look at the building as it stands now in 2007; so don your hard hats and head over to the urbex section to keep an eye out for Cane Hill photos and reports to come!

It’s cold ‘tup north

Well this weekend’s been a short one, Saturday was a work day, which is the first for a while; and it started in the fog, crashing up the M1 avoiding people who don’t look in their mirrors before changing lanes, we ended up at MeadowHall in Sheffield to pick up a mini-dv to DV connecter for my powerbook which was an interesting experience before zooming off to a business meeting in central Sheffield.

Sheffield’s an interesting place, I’ve not been for years; and it’s looking a little worse for wear in places, it’s still that odd mix of swanky new flats and crumbling buildings, a bit like the Docklands of 10 years ago, there are a million great urbex sites, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get up there with that in mind without prior commitments for business, but you never know, with some forward planning it might happen. Meeting successfully concluded it was time to bimble down memory lane, both with family ties in South Yorks we tore around the back roads before eventually hitting the A1 again for the trip back down south, calling in on the parents briefly to find a strange transposition as I find myself and my brother talking about work, while my parents (although both gainfully employed) talking about being students, dad doing a degree and mum doing an optician’s assistant course.

And so to Sunday, spent mainly in bed, catching up on all the sleep we’d missed during the week and saturday, browsing the net for houses and catching up on the papers, spooks and some other stuff the media server had caught for us during the week, and so the weekend ended… back to the grindstone for another week, and a busy one it’s going to be too, so that’s my weekend, how was yours?

Sunday Driving

Well what started out as a quick blast around the local roads to stave off Sunday afternoon boredom turned into a marathon motorway trip up the M1 and down the A1 cutting across several roads in between, certainly the strangest Sunday excursion we’ve had for a while, but I can’t complain it did get us out of the house; although something tells me that we’re not going to be able to think of a reason why that trip should get 40p per mile off the company, our poor car having only just had it’s engine rebuilt from the ground-up is certainly getting a hammering, and doubtless will either end it’s days being run into the ground by the company or possibly if he ever gets his act together and learns to drive will be sold to my brother: who without a doubt would be easy pickings for the car-selling vultures circling above.

The one bonus about our workhorse of a car is it bears a striking resemblance both in model and colour to most Police districts favourite motorway undercover vehicle, so when a tit under-takes you at 100mph (no I’m not kidding…) and then floors it every time you try to overtake… well, let’s just say you can have some fun: for no reason other than necessity we were following him, and it was obvious that we’d have to do over a tonne to get past the stupid fucker, so Dave decided to sit squarely behind him; we weren’t close to him, but we resolutely weren’t going to pass him, and as fate would have it we were travelling in exactly the same direction of him, he must have seen this and the miraculously started to abide the speed limits, going 10mph slower than he needed to, and he started to indicate too… until we finally indicated to pull off at our exit, at which point he did the same, pulling onto the hard shoulder thinking we were going to book him… at which point much hilarity ensued in our car as we simply passed him leaving the poor bloke probably shitting himself thinking he’s been caught by some undercover unit…

Countryside Orienteering

You’d think ‘light bulb’ would be an easy one, certainly not an item on the shopping list that should cause fear, dread, or as it now does: loathing. But it was indeed a light bulb that caused all of this, but it’s no ordinary 60watt Bayonet, oh no… this is a 500W, 240v extra large screw, it’s a photoflood you see, we use it to get that shiny ‘bright white’ look that’s so fashionable in catalogues and ad material – and when one goes and you’re a million miles from civilisation it can be a pain in the arse to restock, we tried Cambridge, Peterborough, Kings Lynn, Nottingham, Luton, Barnstaple, Welynn Garden City, Letchworth, Stevenage looking for one close to where we were actually shooting, but could we find one… could we bugger: in the end we had to go to Bedford who had just one in stock: so off to Bedford we toddled, got said bulb, brought it back to the studio, screwed it in, plugged the rig back in again, flicked the power and Ta Da! We had light…

… For 3 seconds before the bulb went a violent shade of Florescent Green making a noise not unlike a cork exploding from a bottle… So the search began again, this time with the added problems of having to liaise with Bedford to make sure that wherever we did end up wouldn’t charge us for the bulb because it was in fact faulty: after much buggering about we ended up finding one in Northampton, so off to Northampton we bimbled, noting on the way we must be passing through the largest single expanse of Oil Seed Rape known to man, (do they actually grow anything else now in Middle England?) Also for those of you who’ve never been to Northampton it appears that every road into it is a ‘red route’ – and no that doesn’t mean that you can’t stop, it mean’s it’s “dangerous” – apparently: so a profusion of speed cameras, road filters, silly bollards to stop you overtaking on perfectly straight stretches to get past the convoys of HGVs and some of the silliest signs you’ve ever seen (my personal favourite being ‘caution moving vehicles’ – well duh, what with it being a road and all…) meant that what should have been two days of office and studio based work have ended up being two days of countryside orienteering.

I don’t mind the odd trip out of office, in fact I usually enjoy them, but by the time we’d stood in the camera store in Northampton for fifteen minutes waiting for some mug to serve us while the spawn of the devil himself was having it’s passport polaroids taken, I was; quite frankly, willing to take the life of the next person who came near me. Thankfully for everyone involved the second bulb works perfectly meaning that the shoot could continue finally finishing at 10.45 last night. Having started the day at 5.30am bed and sleep simply couldn’t come quickly enough.