late 14c., “horizontal zone of the earth,” Scottish, from Old French climat “region, part of the earth,” from Latin clima (genitive climatis) “region; slope of the Earth,” from Greek klima “region, zone,” literally “an inclination, slope,” thus “slope of the Earth from equator to pole,” from root of klinein “to slope, to lean,” from PIE root *klei- “to lean” (see lean (v.)).
Whatever the climate might or might not be doing, in these parts, it has certainly been changeable. From bright, cold March sun through heavy snow, to biblical rain and out the other side to hints of summer, we have had it all these last seven days:
… bitter March landscape
… high water
… lonesome highway
… winter returns
… beneath Hexham Bridge
… bring me sunshine
Sunrises and sunsets are a photographic cliché but this doesn’t stop me rushing for the camera every time I see one. If they occurred with the infrequency of the northern lights it would stop us in our tracks.
We are fortunately placed, with a near uninterrupted view of the sun rising across the high ground above the Tyne Valley. These images were taken a short time apart – above the valley the mist has burned off to a gin clear day while down in Hexham, there is fog on the Tyne. If you look closely to the right of the video, you can see the fog bank shifting along the valley – these time-lapse videos have a certain sameness but I admit to compulsive habits and this is just one of them:
After the previous frantic post, this is a calmer time-lapse video to soothe the frayed nerves. The view is across the fields from our front door – as far as I am prepared to travel before breakfast (in my dressing gown 😨) . The morning started well enough but even over the hour this was shot, the day started to dull down. Passengers flying into Amsterdam from Minneapolis on a Delta AIrbus A330 and those on a Lufthansa A380 from San Francisco into Frankfurt were treated to the best of Northumberland – they streak across the sky near the beginning of the video.
There is still some snow but the sun is doing its work at least until the next batch arrives:
And finally – this looks perishing but it wasn’t – the camera always lies 😉
This is a collection of images posted on www.polaroidblipfoto.com over the previous week. I first started submitting to Blip in late 2013, the central idea being that you take/publish a different image everyday (I ocassionally cheat a little 🙂 ). It has now become something of a compulsive obsession but its main benefit is that it makes you constantly think about opportunities for taking photographs and a camera is always close to hand – this is no bad thing. Over two years later I have now built up a photographic diary which, like many other ‘Blippers’, I would be very disappointed to lose. The future of Blip has been in doubt for some time so the opportunity to support its survival through crowd-funding came almost as a relief. It was therefore gratifying to see this posted from Blip Central on 2nd February:
We’ve got the money … We wanted to let you to know as soon as we could that the collection of money from pledges and donations via PayPal has just passed the target of £120,000. We offer a massive thank you to everyone who has contributed and helped. Give yourselves a collective pat on the back for we can now go ahead and complete the purchase from the current owners.
The images show: Our local drystone wall repairman – plenty of work in hand; the Tyne rising yet again; the Sandhoe water trough; the Pant (fountain) at Tanners Row, Hexham; Sue Dunne’s white dove; panels from Hexham Abbey (there are actually three); evidence that the sun can still shine on Allendale golf course.
It was only recently that I became aware of the connection between Philip Larkin and Haydon Bridge, the next town along the Tyne, west of Hexham. For some reason I take some delight in his shared knowledge of the area. Since the by-pass was built a few years back, the town has returned to the pace of life which Larkin would have remembered. The second set of patio doors, overlooking the Tyne, is the back of 1A Ratcliffe Road:
Writer Philip Larkin and Monica Jones, his companion of 40 years, shared this secret love nest from 1961 to 1984.
“I thought your little house seemed … distinguished and exciting and beautiful … it looks splendid, and it can never be ordinary with the Tyne going by outside … a great English river drifting under your window, brown and muscled with currents!”
Philip Larkin April 1962
On this bright, frosty, December day, the Tyne was anything but brown and muscled – a sleeping giant. This is almost, but not quite, the view from the back of 1A Ratcliffe Road:
According to Wiki: “One of his better-known later poems Show Saturday is dedicated to the 1973 Bellingham Show, which they attended. They also went to the tar barrel ceremony in Allendale, and dined at Blanchland. It was a record of Tommy Armstrong’s Trimdon Grange Explosion which Larkin heard at the cottage that prompted him to write his own late poem The Explosion.”
“I am always trying to ‘preserve’ things by getting other people to read what I have written, and feel what I felt.” – Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica
Like many of us.