Black and White Monday

This is a photo that I’ve probably blogged before. It’s one of my favourites though it wasn’t always. It was a colour film photo that was drab and non-descript. When I scanned it, a few years after I took it, I played around with it in Photoshop and this was the result. I was quite pleased with it. Black and White photography can really “pop” a photo, with contrasting light and textures.

I was on a walking tour through Richmond and we walked along the Thames towards a pier. There was a boat builder just beside this where we stopped to hear about him persuing his craft using traditional methods. We later boarded a boat to sail to Hampton Court where we had a guided tour of the highlights of the palace. I really want to go back again someday and explore it all.

The Thames, at Richmond

Travel Theme: Numbers

This week’s travel theme from Where’s My Backpack has me thinking about numbers, budget numbers.  Do you set a budget and work within it when you travel? I do and I don’t. I don’t set a specific number as such but I do set limits for what I’m willing to pay for hotels and other expenses. I wait for seat sales, buy train tickets in advance, and book attractions online where they often have a little discount. Yes, you might be restricted to a particular day but that’s the…er..price you pay.

I lob all the prices and costs into a spreadsheet, add on a ballpark amount for “spending” money which would include food, gas, transportation (cabs, bus etc.), phone top ups and other miscellaneous purchases. Then I make a column to record how much has been put in the savings account and later, how much I’ve paid on my credit card once things are purchased or charged (flight, hotels, etc) so I can see how much more I need to save/pay. There’s X dollars that generally go towards the travel fund each pay so when I’m ready to book, there’s a good bit there already.

Most of the time, the bulk of the trip is paid for by the time I leave. Yep, sometimes I splurge while away, sometimes spend more than the allotted X dollars spending money. That’s ok, though. I’m pretty good for staying within the budget or reasonably so.

The travel has other advantages. Other numbers that add up. I’m a registered Aeroplan member and have a credit card that gets me points. I watch the miles add up and currently I’ve got enough for two flights in North America. Notice I don’t say “Free”. When I started using Aeroplan, there was a small fee to book using points. Now they charge you all the taxes and surcharges and your “free” ticket isn’t so free anymore. A flight to London from Halifax most of the time costs, with taxes and charges all in, about $1100 to $1200 depending on when you go and if you can get a seat sale. A “free” ticket on Aeroplan points costs over $600. It sometimes costs more than the price of the airfare.  I can remember when a ticket to London on Air Canada would cost about that much with all the fees and now it’s double.

Ah well. More numbers. The days always count down to the next trip. We don’t start counting “sleeps” until the plane ticket is bought. Now, however, we aren’t planning a trip, we’re planning a wedding. (196 sleeps in case you’re wondering)

And a few photos for the number challenge

Lombard Street in London. The banks and moneylenders used to use symbols instead of written signs because most of the everyday people couldn’t read.

Water measurement on the hull of a ship

Clock in the city of York, UK

Flight Connection Centre, Heathrow Airport, What number is your gate?

Flight Connection Centre, Heathrow Airport, What number is your gate?


A Word A Week – Recline

Relaxing on a Tall Ship prow

Adam Lambert, Queen’s Killer Queen!
Bell Centre, Montreal

 A Word A Week challenge

WPC Challenge – Refraction

WordPress has a weekly photo challenge, this week’s is “Refraction“.  Refraction is the effect of light passing through something else and changing. Rainbows are refracted light. Reflections can be. Light through water causes really interesting effects. Here’s a few from my archives.

Light through the cut glass globes.
Chatsworth House, England

Cool Clear water. Off the coast of Newfoundland

Reflections through the glass show items upside down.

Sun on the Halifax Harbour

And finally, through a raindrop

Travel Theme: Broken

While in the UK this past spring, we visited two museums in the Lake District, one in the town of Coniston and one, the Lakeland Motor Museum. In both, I learned about a man named Donald Campbell who, along with his father, raced cars and later boats to try to break land and water speed records. Their racing vehicles were a bright blue and all named Bluebird. Donald Campbell created versions of the speed boat version of Bluebird, more and more aerodynamic and often raced them on Lake Coniston (or, locally known as Coniston Water) in the Lake District. Campbell broke 8 land and water speed records and is the only man to hold both a land and water record in the same year.

But it always has to be bigger and faster. Campbell’s last boat was a jet engine powered hydrofoil, the Bluebird K7.  His luck ran out in 1967 during speed trials on Coniston.

From this…

One of Donald Campbell’s Bluebird K7 boats

To this…

Wreckage of the Bluebird K7

He didn’t survive. He died in January 1967. His body wasn’t recovered until 2001 and the wreckage was raised out of the lake as well.

Ailsa’s Travel theme challenge (Broken)

A Word a Week – Fly

To fly. To soar. To be weightless. To leave the earth from under your feet and zoom through the air. As the crow flies. Fly me to the Moon. Fly and be free! From a landlubber caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly floating on the breeze. I think If i could have any superpower (other than teleporting, that is), I’d like to fly. Someday, I want to go up in a hot air balloon and that’s as close as I’ll ever get to flying.  I won’t be jumping out of a plane any time soon and I won’t be paragliding as in that first photo below.  In the meantime, I depend on airplanes for my travel needs.

Near St. Ives, Cornwall

The SR71 Blackbird could fly under the radar. Or should I say, streak. Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York.

Zuiderkerk, Amsterdam

Trying to fly. London Zoo

Sullivan’s Pond, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Travel Theme: Interior

I love architecture. But as much as i enjoy taking photos of the outside, what’s on the inside? More architectural detail, quite often. But not always.

Where’s my Backpack’s theme this week is Interior

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral

Altar of the Basilica of Our Lady, Bruges

Altar of the Basilica of Our Lady, Bruges

Le Poulbot, Paris

Dutch kitchen, Arnhem Open Air Museum

Entry hall, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Pantheon, Rome


Bath Abbey quire, Bath, England

And finally, inside and backstage.

Backstage. Old Granada studios, Manchester, UK