To celebrate this current spell of good weather and to get in some good walking, I have bought another of those weekly “freedom” bus tickets. Paying for it online and using a swipe card that is read by the bus’ reader, means a £2 discount, over what you pay in cash to the driver but I was nervous using it for the first time as I’ve seen a few traveller’s cards coming up as ‘error’ and they have to pay, again! And it takes a stupidly long 48 hours between payment and being able to use it – we all know technology can be FAR quicker than that.
Anyways, no problems so far and I have used it every day, so far. I went for a 20 mile round stroll yesterday, after I had posted up my dog walker blip.
Wow! Did you guys just love that Blip?! Being out all day yesterday on my jaunt I didn’t comment and only had a chance to thank all the many who cast their Hearts to it, first thing this morning. I checked on my mobile and saw that it had got to the very top Spotlight position by mid afternoon. Thanks so much and so glad you liked it.
I would like to point out that I don’t dislike dogs, or their owners. Both often and usually wish me good morning, for a start! I am not scared of the dogs either, though some of the owners at that time of the morning look a bit scary! I have a strict policy of totally ignoring the dog, blanking them out. But I do have to keep a sense of what they are doing and where, as they often take a keen interest in my rucksack, which is usually on the ground. And I have had my entire lunch ripped out of said bag and ruined. Not eaten, but then, when it’s trailed half way up a muddy track, neither can I!
I blank dogs so that they take either no, or very little interest in me. That way, they do not jump up or bark. In a way, they are like small children, show an interest in them and they will want to play, expect to get fed and not leave you alone! One woman once thanked me so gratefully that I had completely ignored her frisky puppy as everybody else she met had made a huge fuss and she was trying to train the creature.
But mostly, it is because a dog, or even a person, is a distraction. I’m usually out long before the dog walkers, in a sublime landscape that is waking up. I am in-tune with its rhythms and vibes and the way it changes. Photography flows freely. Then, a bounding great bundle of fun breaks that. I’m not anti social towards them and fully realise that that landscape is not just for me and they have just as much right. Indeed, it is regular dog walkers that keep many rights of way open, by their continued usage.
Finally, at last, Ludgershall Castle:
On the first bus out to Andover, is the village of Ludgershall, on the west Wiltshire/east Hampshire border. The Castle, which is under stewardship of the National Trust, is open at all times and is free entrance. Not a huge amount remains but the grounds are kept immaculate, with the pathways mown just the day before, I reckon. I had visited this site four years before, with just a standard zoom, on a dull day and I was getting more and more keen to return.
To quote an information board – “Henry III, who inherited the Castle from his father King John, was an enthusiastic builder and evidently fond of Ludgershall. He visited at least 21 times and made many additions and improvements to the Castle between 1234 and 1251”
It would have been used as a Royal hunting lodge, what remains of Harewood Forest is not a huge distance away. So, yes, less of a Castle, more a Royal holiday chalet!
I chose this shot and viewpoint for my Blip to make full use of that blinding sun, over that dead-man’s noose of that skeletal tree. It also shows the profile outline of the main part that survives, though the other side of that has quite a few more laid out low walls. One of my shots from there would have been better for a website of the Castle, but you all know me better than get a boring shot like that!
The weather forecast was for a cloudier day, today. But it was still a glorious start, again. It was really good to get back to this location, on my complete own and with many lenses, including the fisheye, used here.
Have a great weekend, folks!