We had a little family trip to the FINA World Series Diving at the London Aquatics Centre yesterday. It was my daughter Esther’s idea. She bought the tickets as a birthday treat for my wife Naomi who had enjoyed watching Tom Daley et al on TV competing at the Olympics two years ago.
My best picture was of Ivan Garcia about to hit the water having dived from the 10m platform.
This guy is maybe better known to UK readers. Tom Daley was not on his best form yesterday although he did execute a few truly excellent dives.
Not so easy to recognise from this picture, maybe even to his own fans. It’s Chen Aisen, but you’ll just have to take my word for it.
In between taking pictures of the sculptures I spotted this couple enjoying a bit of quiet togetherness on a bench, overlooking Chatsworth House.
They were just there, enjoying the view. In an odd sort of way, it reminded me of when Naomi and I just sat for an hour admiring the totality of Machu Picchu.
Another sculpture by Tony Cragg. This one is Tongue in Cheek.
I was trying to work out whether the title was supposed to work on a number of levels. That is, was it supposed to look literally like a rolled up tongue inside a cheek, as well as representing something intended as fun and playful?
Questions of interpretation apart, the sculptures in the Beyond Limits exhibition were in general very accessible in the sense that they were eye-catching and enjoyable for their own sake. Just back in August, Naomi and I had been to Venice and were somewhere between bemused and sickened by some of what passes for art at the Biennale fringe events.
I had some holiday to use up at the end of September, so Naomi took a few days off as well. We used one of them to visit Chatsworth House, to see the Sotheby’s sculpture exhibition “Beyond Limits” on display in the gardens.
This is Current Version by Tony Cragg.
We enjoyed the trip very much and luckily the weather held up, just. The Chatsworth gardens are quite beautiful and the fact that the 20 sculptures are strategically distributed around the garden area means you end up exploring the whole of it. The gardens set off the art and vice versa, so the experience as a whole was more than the sum of the parts.
On the minus side, I think my Sony DSLR is on its last legs. The electronics went very wobbly at one point and I was shooting “blind”. The problem righted itself but I think I may need to delve back into the camera market quite soon.
The afternoon of our trip to the Valley of the Kings our cruise ship (actually glorified riverboat) set off southward in the direction of Aswan.
We had to navigate the lock at Esna. Behind us were more boats waiting their turn. Whenever a riverboat is moving more slowly, close to a stopping point, it rapidly finds itself surrounded by a flotilla of traders in rowing boats. They get very close, trying to get the attention of the passengers, even when the cruise boats are moving. It is a wonder that some of the braver rowing boats don’t get crushed under the bows.
We headed to the lock, following another riverboat in. All the riverboats are built to the same design. Apparently there are 300 of them licenced to cruise up and down the Nile.
We had traders following us too, trying to sell Jellabahs (gelebaiahs or however you want to spell it), the traditional one piece garments worn by Egyptians. The traders in the picture are wearing them. Our ship, and very likely all of them, have an Egyptian dress up night at some point along the cruise and the traders know the passengers need to get kitted up.
Into the lock …
… through the lock and looking back towards it:
My it’s been a long time since I posted anything on this blog. That will change though because I have a trip to Egypt to document.
This is just a taster, a sunset taken from the sundeck of our cruise ship, berthed some distance from the Nile riverbank just to the South of Luxor.
The clear cut disk of the sun is, I think, the result of a sandstorm which had blown up in the Aswan area a couple of days earlier and resulted in heavily dust-laden air. Well that’s my theory.
It was one of those occasions when you see something spectacular and realise you have just a few minutes in which to go get your camera before the moment has gone.
The last batch of photos from Point Lynas.
Esther riding JJ:
A few more random pictures taken in Anglesey.