Saturday, 27 December 2014

What to do on New Year's Day

You know, I rather fancy an adventure. Nothing is yet quite finalised for New Year's Eve - in fact I have two standby invitations to consider, but I haven't totally committed myself - and it would still be possible to avoid all the celebrations, go to bed early, get up at 3.00am in the morning, have a fortifying cup of tea, and set off in Fiona before 4.00am. It would of course be pitch dark on departure, but I could reach Stonehenge or Avebury by dawn, and get some amazing sunrise photographs. Something on the lines of this for Stonehenge (a 'sunrise' version of a shot I took in 2008):


Or these for Avebury ('sunrise' versions of shots I took in 1993 and 2005):


One gets some extraordinary light effects on a winter dawn!

And, who knows, I might have these places to myself. I mean, who else would have an insane notion to travel through the dark night to a frosty dawn rendezvous like this? Especially on the first day of January?

Well, an army of mad Wiltshire photographers would... But I'd tolerate them, if they kept out of shot. And then, with a bevy of superb dawn images in the bag, I would hie me to a roadside hostelry, greet the jolly landlord, and the following cheerful conversation would ensue:

Lucy (stepping out of Fiona, and slapping thighs): Landlord! A breakfast fit for a princess, if you please!
Jolly Landlord (laughing heartily): It shall be done! Upon my word, where is that boy? Josiah! Mind this lady's steed! You maids, lay the Great Table! The finest silver and plate! This way, honoured guest! We don't get many princesses round here! Your lightest wish and whim will be our pleasure!

Wiltshire hospitality is proverbial. This would be merely a churlish, low-end example of it.

There is a slight cloud on the horizon. In fact, quite a lot of clouds. My BBC Weather app tells me that the early-morning forecast in the Stonehenge area is unpropitious for any kind of dazzling, magical sunrise. It may in fact be dull and very wet. But hey, that would be a great excuse to stay in bed at home. Always look on the bright side of life.

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