Interesting week


A couple of days in Birmingham, where the benign weather made exploring the city on foot a pleasure.  We always enjoy being here and particularly like the area around the Gas Street Basin




We heard a great concert in Symphony Hall including a stunning performance of Vaughan-Williams 5th Symphony.  We'd gone to the fascinating pre-concert talk and identified a few points to listen out for  - see if you too can "hear the sun come out" in the clip Mark's uploaded.  Gorgeous!  But for the second concert in a row, some poor member of the audience sitting nearby fell ill and needed help during the most tranquil moment of the piece.  It's not an easy task to manage this situation but somehow the SH staff cope with the minimum of fuss.

The following night, we were at an awards dinner at the National Motorcycle Museum where one generous sponsor had arranged a fantastic firework display to celebrate Guy Fawkes.  We oohed and aaahed with the best and enjoyed a fun evening with great entertainment.  The thing is, we've been to this venue several times now and have yet to see a motorcycle of any kind!



I finished the week in Gloucester with a couple of meetings.  Yesterday afternoon, however, I'd booked a place with my County Council colleagues on a photography course.  Absolutely fascinating!  Like most people, I've never been taught to take a photograph but have simply picked it up as I went along.  But Leigh Preston's workshop was so useful and hopefully I'll be able to put his advice to good use.  I've been trying hard to take more thoughfully composed photographs recently, doing my best to resist the temptation to take hundreds of pictures in the hope that one will be ok.  My self-imposed rule to post only unedited photographs on my 365 blog has given me good reason to take time to think and compose and the workshop emphasised how far I've come but also how much more there is to learn.



We focused (!) on taking photographs of people and I hope my colleague Jane, who sat opposite me and proved an excellent model* won't mind my posting this thoughtful portrait of her here.  I took Leigh's suggestion of transforming it into black and white once I got home - the only tweak made, since I resisted Jane's request to do a bit of wrinkle removal! 


*excellent model until I tried to use the "smile detect" feature on my camera - her sudden seriousness meant that it would not work!

And every bear that ever there was....

Point Zero