Tag Archives: arctic

Ow! Ow! Ow!


Flipping heck!

The weather’s a bit uninteresting here at the moment. Certainly in comparison to other parts of the world and even the UK. All we have weatherise  in Littletown today is a grey nothingness .

That’s not a complaint. Grey nothingness, while it’s certainly not my favourite weather, is preferable to howling gales and rain. What’s my favourite weather? Mmmm, let me think. Snow has to come top of the list followed by a lovely crisp frosty day with bright blue skies. Sunshine is always good but not too hot. I’m a tender flower and I wilt in the heat.

Right! You at the back. Stop that guffawing immediately! I AM a tender flower! Tsk. 

What’s your favourite weather?

It’s exactly this time last year that Boofuls and I were making the final preparations for our trip to the Arctic. I like to say Arctic as it sounds so much more exciting than the Swedish/Finnish border but we were inside the Arctic circle so it qualifies. Poor old Boofuls doesn’t half put up with some stuff from me. Given the chance he’d always head south to the Carribean. Me? Let’s head north! The whole trip exceeded my wildest dreams. I’ve already blogged about it so I won’t repeat it all again but if you’d like to read about it or look at the photos you can find them here.

Several years ago a past life therapist told me I a was  a Viking in a previous life. I’m not altogether sure she’s wrong. I do love that part of the world and definitely feel an affinity to it.

Anyway. Where were we? Oh yes, grey, gloomy weather.

Douggie the doggie and me set off for the nearest park this morning. It’s the best place for a boring weather day as it’s quite an interesting  walk with the park, woodland, cemetery  and moors  all within a few minutes walk from each other. In a nod towards my new year ‘get rid of the half a stone I’ve put on recently’ campaign I set the workout monitor to track the walk and set off at a brisk pace.  We walked up through the Victorian park, through the beautifully scented fir forest, over the fields until finally we walked along the top of the cemetery on our way back to the car. What a brilliant walk. I felt refreshed, revived and at peace with the world.

Douggie met a new friend. A golden labrador called Milly. Round and round they ran while I chatted to Milly’s human. Suddenly my eyes widened with horror as two wildly galloping  dogs headed straight towards me. OH MY GOD!!! With no chance of getting out of the way I stood terrified while Douggie skimmed past me but Milly ran at full speed into my legs. OW! OW! OW!

I tried not to cry as I sank to the ground, unable to put any weight on my right leg. Poor Milly’s owner was distraught, offering to carry me back to my car, call an ambulance, get help and anything else she could think of that might be helpful. What he hell are these dogs made of? Reinforced concrete? I felt like I’d been hit by a sledgehammer.

Eventually I managed to get back onto my feet and hobbled back to the car. Douggie stayed by my side all the way as good as gold. They really do understand when something is wrong, don’t they? Well, it certainly messed up my workout pace. I hobbled back at the rate of half a mile an hour. It’s sore and there’s a cracking bruise appearing but I don’t think it’s any worse than that.

It certainly livened up a grey day.

I’m back at home now,  ensconced at my computer to get on with a bit of work before all the family come round later for an end of the festivities festive meal. I’m sure I have grounds for getting someone else to cook it. I’ll just smile wanly, wince  and exaggerate my limp as I walk to the kitchen. Oh! The mileage I could get out of this.

Every cloud, eh?

 

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The BIG Adventure


Sigh. We’re back. Back from one of the best experiences of our entire lives.

So good in fact that I’m getting teary just sitting here thinking about where to start telling you all about it. I suppose the best place to start is at the beginning, so here goes….

Some months ago a florist that we have met at many a wedding fair over the last few years told us she wanted us to photograph her wedding. At the last wedding fair she arranged the date – for the day before our Big Adventure.  Bit of an issue there as we were planning to set off on holiday that day for an early flight the following day but hey ho. let’s just incorporate it into the plan.

The day of the wedding arrived and we packed all the camera gear along with our passports, suitcases, boots and all the other paraphernalia involved in going away. After the wedding Lashes and Len met us to take the bulk of the camera gear home and we headed off down south. Yay, it’s happening – we’re on holiday!

After an uneventful journey we arrived at our destination, Narnia. What? Not Narnia? Well, it looks like Narnia. It’s definitely magical.

Ok, it wasn’t actually Narnia, it was Sweden.

On the coach journey to the hotel I was mesmerised by the way the trees were so heavily laden with snow that they bent in half, bowing majestically to us as we drove past.  Other trees assumed the shape of snow dragons, trolls, birds…..hang on. Are you sure it wasn’t Narnia?  I couldn’t believe that somewhere on this earth could be so beautiful. For the whole of the two hour journey to Karesuando I was transfixed and enchanted.

I was almost sad when we reached the hotel, until I stepped off the coach to an even more magical place. The paths were lit by candles and the trees, glistening with snow jewels were lit from deep in the woods giving an ethereal, magical effect. My eyes got wider and wider to try and take in the beauty of our surroundings. As an adult I felt like I was in a fairy tale, I can’t even begin imagine how small children must feel when they come here to see Santa.

I’m going to let the photographs tell you the story. I may chip in from time to time.

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Silent night….ssshhhhhh I said SILENT night!


Living, as we do,  on top of a mountain in  (almost) the windiest part of the windiest country in Europe, the actual windiest place is Scotland, we get used to it being, well, windy.

The thing about wind is that it makes a bit of a racket with it’s whistling, howling, roaring blustering windiness. We get so used to hearing it that we don’t even notice it any more, unless it’s a really rumbly, house groaning type of wind in which case we pull all the curtains shut , snuggle down under a blanket and say, “Ooh, hark at that wind. Glad I”m not out in that.”

Very rarely we get a day that isn’t windy. Guess what? The silence is DEAFENING!

Today was one of those days.

As I walked Velcrodog down the foggy and silent lane we spoke in whispers to each other since the silence was quite intimidating.  Speaking in a normal voice felt quite wrong. The atmosphere was one of a doctor’s waiting room. What do you mean, what do I mean? Of course the dog and me speak to each other. I’d just be a mad woman with a dog if I walked down the road talking to myself. Well, alright. he doesn’t so much speak as look at me and nod sagely as I waffle on about heels, by me’s and good boys but it all counts.

So. Moving swiftly on as I’ve just realised I do sound ever so slightly mad…….

While we were walking I realised that part of the reason I like fog and snow so much is that it muffles sounds and makes everything peaceful, calm and still. That’s a real treat these days, a bit of peace and quiet. I hope we get a few more days of it before we return to the howling and blustering.

 

It’s now only a few more  sleeps till Boofuls’ and my BIG ADVENTURE!!

Just in case you’ve been on Mars and haven’t heard about it – We’re off to the Arctic!

Thermal knickers and socks were the order of the day for Christmas presents this year in preparation for the trip. I’ve even invested in a super duper new camera especially for the trip  – a Canon 5D MkIII.  OMG!!! (as they txt).

Just for the camera nerds – and I do know there are at least two of you reading this. I used one of these cameras at a freelance wedding job I did last week and it was amazing.

It has  an incredibly high ISO of 104,800!!!  The wedding shots with ISO of 800 or higher were completely noiseless! (Ok, I know I’m sounding a bit excitable now but I am excitable – and I can’t seem to leave the ! key alone!). That means, dear non nerdy readers – and well done for keeping going this far – that I can practically shoot pictures in the dark with little or no noise! Perfect for the Arctic in January and for the much hoped for northern lights. *Thinks* Arctic in January ? Are we totally bonkers?

Gotta go! Gotta pack!

 

 

Last Days of the Arctic


Slumped on the settee after a hard days scraping wallpaper off the bathroom wall (I’m certain that decorator used superglue to apply it), I found myself in full possession of the television remote control.

Boofuls was out in the workshop putting the finishing touches to a new door he’s made, and I must say it’s looking pretty smucking fart. Good job, Boofuls!

After a quick surf through the channels I landed on ‘Last Days of the Arctic’ and settled down to watch. It was BRILLIANT!!!  As you already know, I have a bit of a love affair going on with the frozen north at the moment. The Big Adventure planning is still in progress but moving very, very slowly.

The latest update is that I asked for a quote from a ‘specialist’ company telling them that I wanted one week, fly from Manchester, one night in the ice hotel and the rest at a mountain station. Easy, yes?

What I actually got  was a quote for three nights, flight from Heathrow, two nights in the ice hotel and one in a mountain station. Ready? £2600!!! Crikey!

Now I’m back to researching independent travel and I need to get a move on because things are booking up fast since November and December are peak season over there. Have I already told you all this? If I have have just put it all down to my hormones and me being a forgetful old bat.  For all I know with the way my memory’s going lately I might have already booked it and forgotten!

Anyway, back to the plot and ‘Last Days of the Arctic.’

It featured a photographer called Ragnar Axelsson and his ongoing project to document life in the Arctic.  I was spellbound by it. Here’s the link to the BBC iplayer in case you missed it, it’s really worth a look: Last Days of the Arctic