I hope that I find you happy and well.
Not a photography blog this time, I just feel that tonight is a good time to write a little about what has inspired me and what continues to inspire me. What has prompted this? Well, it's just a CD that I ordered the other day and received in the post today.
The CD is 'The Crossing' by Big Country. Not just any old version but the 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition which features all the original tracks and lots of demo and unreleased songs. 'The Crossing' is in my humble opinion, one of the finest Rock / Guitar albums ever made. Released in 1983, it sounded like nothing else did at the time and nothing ever has since. Blistering guitars, unique drum patterns, dark lyrics, fantastic melodies and a sound of 'wide open landscapes' that quickly became Big Country's trademark. For those of you who are not familiar with Big Country, I would urge you very strongly to listen to this classic (also check out 'The Buffalo Skinners' album from ten years later which is also a fantastic blistering rock album). God rest in peace Stuart Adamson, who sadly took his own life in December 2001 at the age of just 43.
Speaking of 'wide open landscapes', the ones we have right here in the British Isles are also a massive source of inspiration. Although I have lived all my life in an urban environment, I feel most at home out in the country and the hillier it is the better. I am no mountaineer, but I love to walk in the wilds and take photographs which in some way do these landscapes justice. Cornwall and the Lake District are particular favourites.
History, particularly that of the 'local' variety also inspires me and I will one day (when I have more spare time) make a photographic documentary which revolves around this theme. My childhood was spent in the place of my birth, Conisbrough in South Yorkshire. Conisbrough has a spectacular Norman Castle which always fascinated me and I spent a lot of time there as a boy. How must life have been lived in the 12th Century when this fortress was built? How did they build it? It has stood for so long, a proud monument of our Medieval past and today once again restored to something that can be appreciated and enjoyed (it was falling into ruin when I was a boy, but has been saved by English Heritage).
Last, but certainly not least, is my wife and family. I met Nicola, my wife, in 1986, when she was sixteen and we were married two and a half years later. Next year is our 25th Wedding Anniversary - I think we need to come up with something very special to celebrate! We have two boys - Daniel (17) and Ben (14), both very talented in their own ways. Daniel is the creative one (visitors to the Pentax User website will have seen some of Dan's images) and Ben is the musician, having just passed his Grade 8 Drums exam just 18 months after first picking up his sticks. I'm trying to induct Ben into the Big Country fan club by making him listen to their virtuoso drummer Mark Brzezicki, but he's not having any of it! Far too old-style for Ben. Maybe one day he will learn to appreciate how good this music is!
I hope I have not bored you with this drivel, I just felt like putting some words on the page tonight after a particularly trying week at work.
All the best