Wednesday 11 August 2010

Time for a move

I've finally moved this blog over to a new home,  under my main web hosting.  The new address is:

Tuesday 13 July 2010

VNF West - Foto van de maand

I was back at the fotoclub today for the first time since February, taking with me a selection of photos from India (that I'd intended to show last month) and a selection from Texel.  Most of the meeting was dedicated to the selection of photos for an exhibition which will be held at De Papaver (the nature centre in Delft) next month, but there was just enough time left at the end for a couple of us to show some photos unrelated to the exhibition.  In the end, one of my Texel photos, of fighting black headed gulls, was chosen as the club's photo of the month.

Saturday 10 July 2010

Ackerdijkse Plassen

Back to the Ackerdijkse Plassen this morning with Arie, this time for a guided walk, inside the part of the reserve which is not normally open to the public.  The guide was very informative, and it was interesting to see and hear about the different types of habitat within such a small area.  Given the heat, it was particularly nice walking through the woods.

We didn't see so many birds to photograph - some cormorants, at a distance, and a buzzard flying by were the main highlights.

We stopped a couple times at bird hides, which at least gave us a few insect shots, and we also were inspected by the herd of cows who are allowed to graze the land, and were very curious about us.

Saturday 3 July 2010

Delft - Maassluis - Delft

Today's walk was the longest yet until the Vierdaagse itself - 39.1km.  The route took me through the Vlietlanden to Schipluiden, Vlaardingen and Maassluis, mostly walking along the waterside.  A good route, and the early part to Vlaardingen and back would make a nice Sunday walk, with a bit of bird spotting thrown in.

I ended up taking an unexpected break about 20km into the walk, when I came across a man collapsed on the side of the path.  He was being assisted by another woman, who had called an ambulance, so I stayed to keep an eye on him whilst she tried to bring in the paramedics, who were stuck on the wrong side of a hump backed bridge.  In the meantime, a police man arrived on a motor cycle.  After some questioning, and the aid of the Breathalyzer, it appeared that the man was not seriously ill, but seriously drunk. 

Wednesday 30 June 2010

Ackerdijkse Plassen (2)

Something a little more ethereal.

Tuesday 29 June 2010

Ackerdijkse Plassen

I went for a bike ride this evening around the Ackerdijkse Plassen in the hoping of finding some birds to photograph.  Unfortunately, two of the three bird hides were closed, and the remaining observation post didn't have anything much to offer.  I did however have some fun trying to photograph a  distant bird of prey (buzzard?), some swifts/swallows (about as successful as you'd expect, given how small, and well, swift, they are), and a couple snoozing grebes.  In the end, though, the best photo was of a frog, when I was on my way back.

The ride wasn't quite as tranquil as I'd hoped, as there was an almost constant stream of (racing) bikes zooming by.  My grebe photographing experience was a little ruined by the backdrop of a couple arguing, and bizarrely one cyclist swore at me for 'not leaving the birds alone'.  Given that the bird in question was a passing cormorant, I didn't really see his point.

Monday 28 June 2010

Sunday 20 June 2010

Zandvoort aan Zee to Katwijk

This weekend's walk was in the opposite direction from last week's, south along the coast from Zandvoort aan Zee to Katwijk, with a small detour through the Nordwijkerhout along the way.  Unfortunately, having taken the Garmin along with me and recorded the route, I managed to wipe it out in my relief at reaching Katwijk at the end.  Fortunately not before I knew how far I'd walked - 25km.  As you can see, it was a typical grey, rainy day.

Saturday 19 June 2010

Choral Evensong - 19th June 2010

The last choral evensong before the summer break, just a shame about the football supporters and their annoying orange honking things during the prayers.  Needless to say, thanks to the World Cup, we were a couple singers down.

  • Introit: Lord, For Thy Tender Mercy's Sake, Farrant/Hilton
  • Responses: Oxley
  • Psalm: 150, Stanford
  • Canticles: Collegium Sancti Johannis Cantabrigiense, Howells
  • Anthem: O Thou the Central Orb, Wood

Sunday 13 June 2010


This weekend I visited the island of Texel, off the north coast of The Netherlands, with Arie and Jules.  I still have quite some work to process all the photos (approx 1300), but here a couple taster shots of a kestrel (torenfalk).  We also saw plenty of godwits (grutto), avocets (kluut), sandwich terns (stern), common terns (visdief), gulls and oystercatchers (scholekster).

(I took these shots with the 300mm lens that Arie rented for the weekend, plus a 1.4x teleconverter.  Handheld, and quite heavily cropped)

Wednesday 9 June 2010

PatentRun 2010

So, I had been planning to take part in this year's PatentRun, and at one point I'd even had ambitious plans of improving on my time from last year.  But it wasn't to be.  Instead, I took along the camera and photographed the event, getting soaking wet in the process.

Sunday 6 June 2010

Scheveningen to Noordwijk

After a few weeks hiatus, I resumed my training for the Nijmegen Vierdaagse today with a walk through the dunes from Scheveningen to Noordwijk, about 20.5km.

The weather wasn't ideal - muggy and overcast, and about halfway into the walk, very rainy.  For the sake of experimentation (and because I hadn't charged up my GPS watch) I only used the iPhone (with the MapMyRun app) to record the route... very effective, but it also drained the battery very fast, so I stopped recording at Katwijk.  By the time I arrived in Noordwijk and wanted to look up the bus information, the battery was completely dead.  Not the smartest idea, thus.

Saturday 5 June 2010

Choral Evensong - 5th June 2010

My first choral evensong for ages... and it wasn't really the most impressive.  I contributed to the overall effect by tripping over the words in the middle of the second reading, and forgetting that victuals are pronounced 'vittels' until a millisecond after I read it.  Idiot.

  • Introit: Oculi omnium, Charles Wood
  • Responses: Ebdon
  • Psalm 121, Walford Davies
  • Canticles: Moore's 3rd service
  • Anthem: Here, O my Lord, Whitlock
The official photographer was along for the ride, to take some publicity shots for the choir.

    Saturday 29 May 2010

    Crazy Cat

    Nothing like putting your friends to work when they visit.... either as official cat photographer of the evening,

    ... or preparing dinner (and trying to keep Rupert out of it)

    Thursday 27 May 2010

    Poker night

    I got together with some of my old colleagues this evening for a game of poker, something that we manage to organize once or twice a year.

    Needless to say, I lost, as usual.  My excuse is that I was distracted by the Dutch playing cards... which have the letter H for king, V for Queen, and B for the Jack.  Most disconcerting!

    Sunday 9 May 2010

    Vancouver Sun Run - 10K

    So, the name gives it away... I was planning to run 10K today.  Instead, since the training hasn't exactly been going to plan, I decided to walk the event instead and consider it training for the 4daagse.  And since Mum is out here with me, I dragged her along too for the ride!

    The truth of the matter is that despite I always tell everyone that I'm visiting Vancouver, my Grandmother lives in a neighbouring city rather than Vancouver itself, and we very rarely make it downtown.  So, it was actually quite good fun to go into Vancouver, first on Saturday to pick up our start numbers, and then again today for the race itself. 

    We were lucky to have fantastic weather, resulting in an amazing turnout of 51,417 participants.  Not for nothing is this billed as Canada's largest 10K.  As walkers, we started in the last group, and didn't manage to get over the starting line until about 10.30.  As the official race start was at 9am, we had a lot of hanging around.

    The route took us past the cathedral, and to the tip of Stanley Park, home to the Vancouver Aquarium, which is one of the places we always used to visit when I was a kid, and then primarily along main streets around the edge of town, finishing up at the ice hockey stadium.  I couldn't help but think that if I ever decide to run a marathon, it would be pretty cool to do it in Vancouver.  It's a city that can't help looking good, with the water and the backdrop of snow covered mountains.

    Vierdaagse Training Progress:
    Total distance: 79.9km / 49.9mi
    Longest walk: 25km / 15.6mi

    I'm still looking for my first sponsor for the Vierdaagse! You can sponsor me here: