Promenade Reflection

The sea fret or mist stuck around for a while on my walk this week on Aberavon seafront in south Wales and contributed to this first image which I think is my favourite in this selection for today. I was there to visit the Health and Wellbeing fair in the Aberavon Beach Hotel and in the interest of that subject matter thought that I would go early and take a walk. The weather may have been dark and damp in the early morning but this is a fantastic place and lost nothing for all that.

promenade reflection

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Look, No Hands – Cycling in the Sunshine

The path we followed on the Swansea Health and Wellbeing Walk is divided like many others into separate areas for walkers and cyclists. It is a very useful thing for cyclists to have bells on their bikes – most useful to the walkers. So thanks to all those many cyclists using this path during our walk for warning us that you were there as it is easy to stray from one part of the path to the other. With the noise of traffic on a busy road, the bells become essential!

cyclist

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A Place to Lie – Neolithic Chambered Tomb

It was tempting to lie down in the neolithic chambered tomb at Cairnholy but it felt like it might be dishonouring the place somehow – I would also have had to have been quite short. My walk this week to visit both the tombs at Cairnholy was well worth it even though the weather was coming in around us by the time we were up there. It didn’t stop me trying a few different perspectives on the standing stones at the entrance to the tomb but raindrops on the lens did create a bit of a challenge.

Cairn holy chambered tomb

Cairn holy chambered tomb

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Wet, Drying and Dry – Subtlety in Sand

While the patterns in sand I have been looking at on my walk this week have been details of the beach in Swansea Bay, there are also interesting patterns and textures to be seen from longer, wider viewpoints. In this first shot today I like the gradual fading of the reflected light on wet sand as it transitions to drying sand.

In the second photo the pattern was subtle, perhaps more-so in reality than it is in the image but still noticeably there and resembling a tiger’s stripes. While I enjoy nuance within imagery and my surroundings, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at this pattern strengthened and converting to monochrome and increasing the contrast was one relatively quick way to do this.

Beach Perspective

Beach Perspective

Dry and Drying sand

Dry and Drying

monochrome sand

monochrome sand

There was subtlety in the sounds of the beach on this walk as well as in the patterns of sand. I got my recorder out again as soon as I heard my footsteps on top of one of the sand banks where the surface still retained water and the rhythm of my footsteps created a fizz of compressed sand and released moisture. The passing of a distant small aircraft only seemed to emphasise the peace of the beach at this stage of my walk.

Footsteps in Damp Sand

Perspectives Viewpoints and Angles

As I proceeded further along the beach towards Port Talbot on my walk this week, I became more and more excited by the patterns I was seeing. I kept walking backwards and forwards and around in circles to view the patterns of ridges and ripples in the sand from different angles, enjoying them from different viewpoints and finding new perspectives. As I said earlier in the week, I may be becoming obsessed with sand as a natural art form.

Sand Patterns

Sand Patterns

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Crossing to the Other Side

Crossing to the other side of the street on my walk this week revealed more natural life than it occurred to me I might find. This is a busy city centre street (or close to it) and the predominant features tend to be of man-made materials – concrete and metal, tarmac and bricks.

As I reached the point where the street I was on changes its name, I crossed to the other side and as I waited at the pedestrian crossing I noted some of the patterns around me and also the plants and flowers lining sections of the street.  The perspective of trees lining the extension of this street is a deliberate plan, but the plants and flowers (some would say weeds) in the forecourts (if they can be called that) of the buildings on this section of the street are there because that is what nature will do if you let it.

The owners of these buildings and businesses are clearly not concerned about this aspect of their working lives and from my point of view the growth of the wild flowers and grasses are a lot more attractive than concrete, but each to their own. At least the vegetation allows some natural drainage.

Street-side plants

Street-side plants

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Bay Campus – Reviewing the Walk

During my walk this week at Swansea University Bay Campus there were some beautiful sunny spells which allowed me to enjoy the campus at its best. However, below is the proof that bad weather will set in eventually! Even when the prospects look good for sunshine, these unpredictable days can so easily change and suddenly bring in wind and rain, even hail or snow.

dark clouds

My apologies for not providing any sound clips this week and similarly no soundscape to listen to along with the image sequence below.

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Building Blocks

My walk this week around Swansea University’s Bay Campus suggested to me that there were limited materials to work with when designing the place. I imagine that this was indeed the case with regard to finance (it always is), but it seems there may have been a restriction on the shapes that could be used as well.

Swansea Uni new campus-23

From my criticism of the architecture used, it might sound as though I don’t like the campus, but in fact in some ways I do. I enjoy the regular rows of dark rectangles set into the alternating colours of brickwork. I like the reflections of light in some of the glass fronts (see tomorrow’s post),Continue reading

Classically Standing Alone

The new Great Hall at Swansea University Bay Campus stands alone in the arrangement of buildings housing the College of Engineering, the School of Management and student accommodation. The whole complex has quite a conservative feel about it, but the Great Hall is very deliberately classical in style.

Swansea Uni new campus-18

Is this building and the rest of the campus architecture intended to present such a serious and sober outlook? I suspect it is.Continue reading