Monday, February 28, 2011

Jumping in Hungary

Jumping in Hungary, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Continuing an occasional series of jumps, here up on the Royal Hill in Buda. For Steblina.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Four in Buda

Four in Buda, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

We had a lovely weekend in the beautiful city of Budapest, here with our two Romanian friends who came over to join us and show us around.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Postcards from Budapest - The Gresham

Budapest is full of beautiful buildings and this was one of the best - the Four Seasons Fresham Hotel.

Friday, February 25, 2011

We are in Budapest!

We are in Budapest!, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Beer consumption up in Milan

Beer consumption up, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Crowds of Bayern Munich supporters crosed the Alps to see their team pitched against Inter Milan in a re-run of last year's champions League final. Neither team have been doing so well in their domestic competitions this year, due to injuries, change of managers (Inter) and the like.

As it happened, Bayern scored a goal in the last minute to take the tie 0-1.

Panoramic Duomo

Monday, February 21, 2011

A walk around Shoreditch

A walk around Shoreditch, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

I have a lot of time for street artists like this who have put in tremendous effort and skill to producve a work of art like this, knowing that at any time, such art can be destroyed, painted over or built against. This bird can be seen down one of the side-streets off Brick Lane.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

London widescapes

London widescapes, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

The Ripper Lanes of Whitechapel

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fred starts his 'Krokus Vakantie' today

Yes, already, Fred has Half Term, which the Dutch lovingly call the Crocus Holiday and, invariably, just in the days leading up to such a holiday, the crocuses start to flower. Such a beautiful sight when combined with sunshine like we have had these last three days. With the birds singing loudly and the evenings getting noticeably lighter, we seem to be heading for Spring and after a winter which started so early, that is a lovely feeling.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ladybird on Helleborus

Ladybird on Helleborus, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Loving my Macro lens - the Sony SAL-50mm f/2.8 lens, capturing this ladybird just awakening from his winter hibernation.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Holidays in Italy - Fred with a camera!

I could not find any pics which Fred took in Florence but have uploaded a pic he took in England down here - crossing a bridge over the Thames near Henley back in the winter of 1985:

A couple of pics from Fred from 25 years ago

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blue skies in February (well three years ago!)

I posted this today after a week of cloudy weather and, all of a sudden, the sun came out today (gone again now though!)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Alternate focus

Two views of same flower, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

The same Helleborus niger, now focused on the anthers, I made this my desktop background. Enjoying the macro-view of the world.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The garden in mid-February

The garden in mid-February, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Strawberry plant leaves, all nicely coloured, with a layer of rain to make them shiny.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

On a cloudy wet misty day...

On a cloudy wet misty day..., originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Getting close here and seeing the 'hairs' on the leaves of these tiny woodland plants.

To be honest (I found out later), the purple/blue-ish tinge on this comes not so much from the fact that there was so little light, more from the fact that I had left the 'white balance' mode switched to inside lighting, still worked out quite well.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Somalia bananas 50 centismi

Somalia bananas 50, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Here is the set of Somali deinitive stamps from 1961, at the time we were living in Somalia, which I have scanned from my mother's stamp collection. The most often used stamp for us was the 0,50 Somali Shilling (= 50 centisimi) which covered the cost of an airmail latter back to England.

I have always loved these, the beautiful colours, the simple graphic designs, the lovely dresses, the smiles of the women as they harvest their crops, suggesting a land of bounty. There is so much optimism here, in the year after the two Somalilands became independent. It is believed that the stamps were printed in Rome, cannot find who the artist(s) might have been.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Summer holidays in Cornwall in 1996

I always though this was St Nonna's Church in Alternun, made famous in the book 'Jamaica Inn' - known as the Cathedral of Bodmin Moor, but when I looked it up on the internet, it seems that it is not. Maybe someone else can help me identify it?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Out with the new 70-300mm lens

I don't know what happened to my 25 year old Minolta 70-300 mm lens which I had been using last year. It just seems to have disappeared. With money burning a hole in my pockets, as they say, I decided to go with a state-of-the-art new (from 2008) 70-300 mm lens from Sony (SAL 70300g). It is a bit of a monster, dwarfing the SLT-A55 camera and it arrived on a beautiful sunny spring-like day, perfect for testing in our local park Frankendael. I had photographed these two on their nest but found them later wandering around one of the ponds. Didn't get too close to them as I wanted to capture this formation, so had this at 300mm. A pity about the reed sticking out to the right, but that is nature, I suppose.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Where Fred was born

Where Fred was born, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Fred was born at his parent's house in Oude-Schuttingskanaal, just outside the village of Roswinkel, in the north-east of Holland, a few kilometers from the German border. The area was previously a peat bog (veen), which was being cleared during the end of the 19th century and early 20th century. Fred's parents were peat workers who helped digging up the peat. A layer of peat was left on top of the prevailing sand to create perfect soil for growing potatoes and for keeping sheep and cattle. However, it was a bleak landscape, with not too many trees, just straight canals going between the fields for kilometer after kilometer. These photos give a small impression of this bleakness.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Fred with his parents in Siena

During the last ten years or so of their lives, we took Fred's parents for their first holidays outside of Holland, twice to England and twice to Italy, as in here. Geert and Jantje, a lovely but particular couple. Here they are in Siena on a warm summer's day in August for the Palio. Fred has quite a bit of his parents' character in his own, the patience and kind-heartednes from his mother, his friendliness and inquisitiveness from his father, who was a great talker.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

A stormy afternoon in Amsterdam

Winds of 90km/hour all night and all day - didn't make for easy cycling but it was fun!

A stormy afternoon in Amsterdam

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Happy New Year of the Rabbit!

Happy New Year of the Rabbit!, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Boaz's rabbit!

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