We are all basking in sunshine and it feel's great. So here's something to make you appreciate the nice weather we are having.
Winter 2013/14 was the wettest since records began. Many parts of the country were hit badly, especially in the south, as we all know.
Here in the Midlands, Worcester suffered it was hit badly with the Severn reaching record levels. It's amazing that Worcester continued to function on a relatively normal basis, despite the huge amounts of water passing through it. Lot's of people put a huge effort in to keep the city running.
And now we have some and above average temperatures, so here a few pics (starting with my rowing on the racecourse pic that featured in the nationals), from the winter to help you appreciate what we've got right now.
Crazy Shrovetide Football
After checking the nationals the morning there was a disappointing lack of Shrovetide football (infact there was a disappointing lack of Shrovetide anything). So here is a dose of some hardcore Shrovetide football from Atherstone, Warwickshire.
I would usually head to Ashbourne as I'm from the Derby area, but Atherstone is on my doorstep and in recent years although it's a great day, Ashbourne become really popular.
So I felt it was time for a change. And what a change. The great thing about Atherstone is the accessibility to the "front line" so to speak. As you will see from the pictures, if your brave enough you can get right in the mix.
Usually I come home with a ding or two on my camera and a feeling of disappointment at not being able to get close enough to the action even on a long lens. Not this time, I got mega close, close enough for a wide angle and not a mark on my gear. Actually it seemed the closer I got the to the action, the less I got roughed up. The only casualty I saw was a guy with a camera who was not paying any attention in front of the ball and got a whack in the face. A proper wake up call.
And fair play to the competitors they even took the time out to let the little kids have a kick of the ball.
So all in all pretty good fun and I hope you enjoyed them. Next year will be a tough decision between Ashbourne and Atherstone.
Those pesky northern lights
Last Friday was like any other day. Got up and checked the news, when I got to the Mailonline I could not believe what I saw.
The Aurora Borealis had been seen that night across large sections of the U.K http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2569881/Aurora-Borealis-Norfolk-Skies-East-Anglia-turn-red-green-stunning-display-Aurora-Borealis.html
Needless to say I was totally oblivious to this due to a busy week. Which is frustrating as I have pretty keen to see them…...So keen I went to Iceland in December 2012 and came back empty handed due to adverse weather conditions.
Although I did have the joy of sitting next to a woman at the airport on the way home, showing off her camera phone pics of an aurora she spotted in the taxi to the airport . I was envious to say the least. That said we had a great time and Iceland is an amazing place, highly recommended.
Fast forward to early January and the press was full of news of an aurora being visible across the U.K. Great news, I got my kit ready, found a great location and headed to the countryside. Several hours later I returned home to contemplate another Aurora failure (and a full body defrost).
So the aurora has managed to avoid me yet again. Fair play to those that were out there and got good shots, it looked a great display and it got some great coverage in the papers.
So the next step?
Well I would like to catch them here but with chances few and far between, it's DEFCON 1 now, time to head to Tromso inside the Arctic Circle in the next year or so. Watch this space, I will get them……..Eventually!!!!!!!
Matt Stewart Photos
I've been a photographer for quite a long time now. So hopefully I have something to say about it.