Holy Island - Retreat!


Location: One of the pleasures of summer when you're no longer a wage slave is the opportunity to browse round our National Landmarks on a weekday when the crowds are thinner. But.........

Beware places like the National Trust's Lindisfarne Castle, where access is restricted by the local tides.
(Click on the picture above - to view large - and see the view is spoilt by the queue of multi coloured 'ants'. At least there is no scaffolding - this time).
The sea falls back and so reveals
A rising tide of automobiles.
Like ants, tourists swamp the causeway
all driving to their holiday.

The car parking bays and meter's fill.
The ice cream seller stuffs his till.
Which way now? There's no need to ask -
Follow the line until at last

The castle appears, on high ground
With ants, queuing all around.
Lots of time, no need to queue
So let's sit and enjoy the view.

The view's blocked, they're all around.
The view's become a feeding ground.
Come on - break the line, find a spot.
If I'm lucky I'll get a shot.

Damn - it's no good - they follow too.
They think I've found a public loo.
So follow the line, follow the rest
To the castle, or is it the nest.

But once inside, there's no fresh air,
Just the damp warm smell of underwear,
Sweaty arms and clammy crotches.
No thoughts here of garrison watches.
Just the musty air of clammy cells
An ants nest, composting, and full of smells.

Bad poetry I know - but it gets the message across.
Despite the stunning views this was a disappointing visit - purely because the sheer volume of visitors made it virtually impossible to get a good shot. Even if you walked off the beaten path it seemed the mindless army took this as a cue to follow. Then having given up altogether on the 'quiet' shot and deciding instead to soak up the history of the castle - which was a military garrison for over 300 years - I was disappointed to find the place had been stripped down to being nothing more than a very cosy cottage. And.... despite the small corridors and rooms the National Trust made no attempt to control the numbers in the cottage at any one time - making the atmosphere inside damp, smelly, devoid of history and almost intolerable. I couldn't get out fast enough.
If you're going to visit plan your timing very carefully!



Camera Work: Nikon D80, Aperture priority, RAW(12-bit), ISO 125 - Auto ISO, 1/30 sec. at F/18, focal length 26mm
Post Capture Processing:
In Capture NX2: Exposure compensation - 1.08 ev to bring out the cloud detail.
In Photoshop CS2: much use of the clone stamp to remove most of the 'ants'.
Style: snapshot - taken very quickly before the 'followers' tramped into view.



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