Monday, 11 February 2019

1765 : Picture Posts

10 From The Caribbean  3. Picture Posts

A series of posts off the Caribbean island of Bonaire mimic an art installation. Impressive as they are, they cannot compete with the way the coral reef photoshops the tropical blue of the sea.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

1764 : Bonaire Colours

10 From The Caribbean  2. Bonaire Colours

We moved from Curacao to the neighbouring island of Bonaire and there we found houses painted with the kind of palette used by tropical fish, and tropical fish relaxing in the shadows of seaside houses.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

1763 : Shopping In Curacao

10 From The Caribbean : 1. Shopping In Curacao

The first of a short series of photographs from my recent trip around the Caribbean. This first one was jumble of straight lines and natural curves in a shopping centre in Willemstad on the island of Curacao. Somewhere amongst all those lines and curves are a couple of relaxed shopkeepers.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

1762 : A Chance At Wentworth

This is one of those chance photographs which had all the ingredients of a photographic disaster which somehow came good. It was out of focus, the colours were all wrong and it resulted from an accidental shutter-press whilst using the camera as a crude telescope. I still think it could hold its own with some of the shots I have laboured over for hours. It was taken from the grounds of Wentworth Castle near Barnsley looking towards Wortley.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

1760 : Nine Distilleries 9. Jura

There are currently only eight distilleries on Islay, so to get to the last of my nine distilleries entailed a short ferry trip to the island of Jura. Despite being thirty miles long and seven miles wide, Jura has a population of less than 200, and only one road, one pub, and one distillery. The Jura Distillery was founded in 1810, but more or less completely rebuilt just fifty years ago. It’s whiskies are generous in taste and flavour - as was the hand of our host in the tasting rooms. The whole experience was well worth the crossing.

To complete the cycle of all eight Islay distilleries is a crowning achievement in anyone’s life. Once done, one can settle down to living the rest of one’s life in a kind of peat whisky fuelled glow. The task has been done - and would never need doing again. Unless, of course, someone was to build a new distillery on the island and then the whole exercise would need to be done again. 

As we were driving from Bunnahabhain to Caol Isla we saw the construction traffic and then the signs .... “Ardnahoe Distillery - Opening Late 2018”

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

1759 : Nine Distilleries 8. Bowmore

Bowmore - the last of my Islay distilleries - is a bit special. It is situated in the town of the same name; or at least what passes for a town on Islay. It has a tasting room with views to die for and malt whiskies to make your passing entirely painless. It is one of the oldest distilleries, not just on Islay but in all of Scotland. They even use the spare heat from the distillation process to heat the local swimming pool!

Monday, 5 November 2018

1758 : Nine Distilleries 7. Caol Ila

I wanted to go to the Caol Ila Distillery for two reasons. First, it would count towards my full set of Islay distilleries, and second, I was desperate to know how to pronounce it! For years, I have been going in pubs, seeing a bottle of Caol Ila behind the bar and being reluctant to ask for it for fear of pronouncing it wrong. So the first thing I asked the charming young lady in the Visitors Centre was for advice in pronunciation. She told me and then she served me with a complimentary dram to taste. Sadly, within a few hours I had forgotten how to achieve the precise lilt and lyricism: so I had to return to the distillery the next day and ask again. She very kindly repeated the lesson and the presented me with another free dram. I dare say that I could provide you with the phonetic spelling of the distillery name - but I am not going to do so. May I suggest you go to Islay yourself and ask the young lady concerned.