Despite not really planning to go and see Mt Fuji at the start of the holiday, it became a thing to do after a couple of days when my daughter expressed an interest, so today was nice weather so why not. So after a bit of disagreement on how to get there and a bit of huffing, we asked a kind person at the railway and he gave us explicit instructions to how to get there whilst apologising about hoe bad his instructions were.
One thing I haver noticed about the Japanese is that they really will kill you with kindness, we noticed this when we got our bags taken up to our rooms as we were made sure we were made aware of all of the features of the room. To confirm this, we were walking into Yokohama on the first day and it was raining a bit. Not greatly as far as a Mancunian is concerned, but enough to get you a little wet. But my wife and daughter had hoods and I didnít but my daughter wasnít using hers. Anyway after a while out of the blue one man offered my wife his umbrella and wouldnít take no for an answer, finally she accepted and he ran off to stop himself from getting wet. Strange but true and exceptionally nice of him.
Anyway, back to the pic. This is of Mt Fuji, which took us about 3+ hours to get there and 3+ hours to get back. Whist we didnít get to the top (a 5 hour walk) we did get to station 5 (by bus) which was probably the wrong thing to do as it added an hour to the travelling for what appeared to be no benefit at all other than to say that we got there, which in itself is reason enough some times, however with all that travelling and current lack of sleep, Iím sitting here with the distinct feeling that I am moving. Itís worth going to and itís very impressive, but donít expect that getting really close will make a great difference, just get a bigger zoom. The nearer you get the more of a problem trees become and sort of start getting in the way.
Oh the curse and blessing of sun on a winters day for photographers. The light just makes it so difficult getting a good shot. I took loads of pictures and to be honest I don't think I took a decent one. Mind you I'm like that most days, so I'm not sure why I'm trying to make excuses for my bad snaps.
The main problem is that fact that the ground is so light that if you take the exposure for that then everything else becomes an near silhouette. Of course the opposite is true, if you expose everything to make sure things aren't a silhouette then the snow is so over exposed it removes all features from it. Makes you impressed with how the human eye and brain working in tandem makes it all *look* so simple.
That's the technical bit over with. This weekend's trip was to go to Lyme Park and have a quick walk around. Only the second time that we ended up parking in Disley and walked in to the park for free (yeah we cheated the system). The problem with that of course, is that you've already had a pretty good walk before you've even got to the park, still you feel you mist at least walk to the hall before you turn around no matter how walked out you might be by the time you get there, especially after walking in a bit of deep snow.
Anyway, this is the cage in Lyme Park which I am amazed I can't find a really good link for, thought I can find loads of pictures, but you don't need any of those, you have this impressive specimen.
Ah the first picture of the New Year and finally some wintry weather, though to be honest it could have waited until we had got inside and nice and cosy so we could view the horrible weather through a window instead of at first hand.
After an hour of walking in sunny weather, then snow, then sleet, then rain and back to snow again we did manage to view the storm through the glass of the cafe, but half way through we met up with these two which I initially wasn't bothered about until one of them gave a brief shooing motion to my Wife with it's horns at which point I thought it was wise to keep a steady distance.
Still that's my weekly exercise done... where are the chips.
I don't think you'll find that stone guard dogs are that effective, something about them being stone, however athletically and from a maintenance point of view they are better than real dogs as far as I am concerned. None of that barkey nonsense with these chaps they just obediently sit there asking for nothing. These can be found at Brodsworth Hall near Doncaster.A loing way to go for a trip out but it looked interesting and we hadn't been there despite my Wife constantly saying that we had.
It's an interesting hall and probably better when the weather is warm and there would have been more to see if we has turned up on Sunday because we would be able to look at the chapel. Still looking at the huge hall set out as it would have been around the First World War is impressive though very cold even inside so if you do go when it's cold, make sure you take a good thick coat and as you can see by the picture it was cold. I think the snow gives it away.
It's not all fun fun fun as a Zamyatinite, sometimes we have to fly to nice places and run between transfers and drive for ages to get to where we are going and then have a four hour meeting. Still a view of the Alps is a bonus when you're flying from Zurich to Milan readying yourself for the airport and a drive to Lugano.
Despite what I said about HDR, this just looks good and since the camera on the Samsung is so bad into the sun I think I needed it.
OK we got lost but at least we got there in the end where ever there was off course. We initially started heading to Capesthorne Hall and an initial disagreement of how to get there caused us to pass Tarporly Hall which is where we got to the last time we tried to get to Capesthorne Hall. That time we had no cash and they didn't take cards. This time I thought that we needed to head down the A34 but we ended up travelling down the A556. We did end up at Capesthorne Hall and of course it was closed so we headed down to Gawsworth Hall, only to find that we had been there before and it was also closed.
Anyway we decided that stick around and walk around. The ducks were very glad to see us because they thought that we had bread as they skated around on the frozen pond. After taunting the ducks as they followed us despite having no bread we walked around the church and as you can imagine there is where the picture was taken. Nothing more to say other than it was cold and we then left for home the long way round.
With the finals of the Snowman competition getting close it was important that we got our skates on (no pun intended, that that it's much of a pun). With the snow piling down in Manchester and the odd thaw and then re-freeze on the cards we had our work cut out. This year features were grass and leaves making this snowman's hairy chest and belly. Twigs for hair that you cannot see but the peas of resistance monkey nuts for eyes and a mouth. Within hours the chap had lost his head as he fell sideways from a slight thaw. Now of course the remains of his head and the whole of his body are still there just covered by several layers of snow.
We are nothing but resourceful and unorthodox in the house of Zamyatin. You'll see no fossil fuels or carrots not stamped with the RSPCA Freedom Food logo used in out snowmen. Our snowman is allowed the free run of our back garden and if he can operate the gate then Manchester and beyond is his playground. With Mange tout eyebrows and mouth, black pepper eyes and a plastic rose for a nose he's nearly good enough to eat, but does it make him happy... no... not by the looks of it. Even his spade arms aren't enough to force the corners of his mange tout mouth skyward. Perhaps the little peas have been in our fridge too long awaiting a stir-fry that forgot them causing the mange tout and his expression to sag. Perhaps instead his sorrow is because he spies a change in the weather and his time is running short.
For those observant you will notice bits of his eyes are on the floor this could also be his concern... poor chap. Of course the snow today really stopped me getting out on my bike that I took all weekend to sort out for the Monday commute. Mind you I'd not have fancied going out today, the weather was really bad, and that was just the wind forget the horizontal snow. Still it wasn't that bad really, I remember worse and yet all people can talk about is how bad things are as if it's big issue. How would we cope if we got some real snow?
It snowed like crazy today very heavily for a short amount of time. This picture is of the Hare and Hounds just before the the hardest part of the journey up the hill past Chadkirk. Rationally we would have not stopped to take pictures but no. The steep hill into Romley took it's toll on a few drivers one of which on a motorbike met the tarmac. I must admit it would be a nice idea to be snowed in at the Hare and Hounds but it never happened. There were loads of pictures that would be ideal but the the fact that both the DV5 and the QTEK are bad at low light pictures put this out of my mind.