Thailand, 2008 (I)

How do you compress almost 72 hours of intense activity into a few lines in a blog entry? Well, this isn’t going to be easy then, is it? We made it to Phuket – via Bangkok – relatively unscathed. Our luggage had a slightly more entertaining journey, stopping off as it did for a brief exploration of Bangkok while we flew ahead.

Initial thoughts on Thailand are – for me – very similar to the experience I had when I visited Brazil in 2004 – can it really be more than 3 years ago now? – and take little time getting used to. There are huge numbers of mopeds everywhere – like swarms of buzzing insects – and most of the riders seem to be daredevils, with a wonderful sense of humour. We followed one with a T-Shirt that read, “Make out with my Butt” and which took us a little while to realise meant, “Kiss My Ass”, but hey, whatever…

Here are just a few quick images from the first couple of days…



Weyhill Hawk Conservancy (II)

Last Friday I made a return trip to Weyhill, partly to see what was happening, partly to deliver some prints to a couple of the falconers, but largely to practice my [sadly lacking] photography skills. The [better] results are to be found below. This style of photography is still very much a learning experience for me, but one which I enjoy and to which Weyhill is so ideally suited. Each visit I seem to learn a little bit more about both my camera and the best way to capture a good shot, so every day spent there is well worth the effort.

To say nothing of it being a wonderful day out!

2007 Pedal Car Grand Prix

Every other year the New Forest Town of New Milton plays  host to street racing of a very specialised kind. Not the banshee howl of Formula One, but the slightly more sedate and far more interesting pedal-powered variety. More than 25 Teams, of 4 pedalists entered, with the objective being to cover as many laps as possible in the allotted time of two hours. Entrants ranged from the manic to the comic – and covered most points between!


Coastguard Callout

A pleasant and otherwise unremarkable stroll in a sleepy corner of the South Coast was briefly interrupted by the arrival of the Lee-on-Solent Coastguard Helicopter. Landing on a narrow strip of tidal beach, the helicopter picked up a stricken walker in order to gently lift them to the top of the cliffs and a waiting ambulance.

The whole process was smooth, slick and well executed. Hopefully their passenger/patient is both grateful and none the worse for wear.

Verely Wood

Vereley Wood, in the New Forest, is one of the very oldest parts of the hunting grounds once set aside for Kings of the Realm. Here Beech, Oak and Ash trees grow to 300 or more years of age and stand, with solemn dignity, as the world speeds by beneath them. Walk softly and you will be rewarded with sightings of rabbits, grey squirrels and roe deer, but, to be honest, it is the trees themselves that make this a special place.