Nobody enjoys the fact that it’s dark by 5pm. At the same time, it’s nice to take solace in the hot baths, the mulled wine, and the (usually) metaphorical hearth that you return home to during Winter. The season is a contradiction. Although bitterly cold to the point of unpleasant, its changes in light and in atmosphere are strangely invigorating. Today, I went happily outside wearing multiple layers to see what I could find in the park, idly supposing that there would be nothing interesting enough to warrant photography. As soon as I stepped through the gate I was faced with an amazingly sweet little squirrel, calmly gnawing its way through a decent-sized nut at the bottom of a beech tree. Fantastic!
As soon as I reached into my bag he turned, horrified, and tore up said tree at the speed of light. I danced around underneath, trigger finger poised, catching sight of him fleetingly in first one branch then another. A worthy adversary, he spotted me always at roughly the same moment, eventually melting away like a phantom. I scrolled through numerous blurry shots and – even worse! – shots of nothing but leaves. Yes, he was there in a couple. But nothing resembled a close-up. I looked back as I left. There he sat, high up in his beech, with a look at once cold and triumphant. You’ll have to get up earlier in the day, sunshine.
So dies the dream of Winter Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Maybe I should stick to things that are easier to capture?
Last night I took my first trip to the Ritz – a famous city centre club/live music venue – to hear Tame Impala, an Australian “psychedelic hypno-groove melodic rock” band who have a real and genuine buzz around them at the moment. It’s easy to hear why because their short but captivating set was some of the best live music I’ve heard in a long time. The entire audience seemed to have fallen (or be falling) hopelessly in love with the music, a feeling which only intensified when Kevin Parker and co let loose on tracks including Solitude is Bliss, Be Above It and Make Up Your Mind, which worked everyone into a happy frenzy. The Ritz is a great venue, somehow feeling intimate despite its size (capacity = 1500). There weren’t any signs of trouble either, which must have been a relief for the security guys who were more than happy to let me get in their way by leaning over the barrier to take some photographs. Thanks for that! 🙂
I’ve said before I don’t like to try and write about music and I’m really not that good at it anyway. So if you haven’t heard the young, beautiful and unique Tame Impala yet then please, check them out straight away. You’ll probably hear the influence of early Pink Floyd, the Beatles and Supertramp, but apparently not anything drug-induced. Next time they play the UK, I’m definitely going to go see them again! You should too.