Archive for the ‘ Photography ’ Category

A Return to the Stadio Olimpico

Just when I think we’ve got the Rome backlog of images broken, out leaps another set. The Stadio Olympico is covered in many places, but pondering the fact that such a massive amount of fascist material still survives, and is maintained here, is staggering, and a fascinating subject for discussion. It might appal many, but the rights and wrongs of its preservation, or destruction, are far from clear-cut.

A Museum on the Streets of Rome

As new adventures will shortly be following, we thought best to try and get through some of the final images to be recorded from the most recent adventure in Rome. These images, taken outside of the Mausoleum of Augustus, show a bizarre on street installation project, a museum of the street, an archive of the tourist perhaps, however you want to brand it, please enjoy.

The 'entrance'.

In case of emergency...

Natural History Gallery...

Tourists.

Waiting Room...

Biblical History...

Art Gallery...

Wales v France: Grand Slam Day in Photos.

An amazing day was had in Cardiff yesterday as Wales brought home a third triple crown in a generation, but what really marked the occasion was the wonderful atmosphere coming from the fans, as Welsh and French alike enjoyed the day together in the best possible spirits.

The Bretons were in full force.

Flags for sale.

Bands paraded the high street.

While bin men and bands joined in musical harmony.

The game builds up.

Injured, but not for long.

Wales on the attack.

Celebration!

The French and the stewards.

Flag flown with pride.

Welsh and French on the streets.

A late night comes to its conclusion.

 

 

 

 

Wales beat Italy, Crowds Call for More.

Time is a funny thing, with it the views and expectations of a nation can rise and fall, to the extent of becoming unrecognisable from one year to the next. Yesterday in Cardiff, Wales won for the fourth successive time, and find themselves on the precipice of a championship and elusive Grand Slam, yet the Cardiff crowd walked away from yesterdays entertainment with a shrug of the shoulders and a despondent sigh – where once a Welsh crowd would craw greedily at the coat tails of any form of triumph, now the most comfortable of victories can barely turn a smile.

Wales and Italy lineup.

Does this stem from heightened levels of expectation? Is the Welsh fan becoming akin to the New Zealander, expectant of only the highest quality of wins, where nothing less will suffice? It’s hard to say, but certainly the atmosphere following the game was a mixture of begrudging satisfaction and (somewhat perplexingly) relief – no singing in the trains back home following this fixture (as accompanied return journeys out of Cardiff following the Triple Crown game).

And yet – where does the despondency come from? There are a number of schools of thought which could pass over this game, but let’s take the more obvious whinging option out of the equation early on – the referring of George Clancy. We should not dwell too long here, because interpretation of refereeing performances are usually far too subjective affairs, yet even the most one eyed critique could see that Clancy came to Cardiff with the sole intention of killing the game, for both Wales and Italy. If home fans were frustrated with the level of Welsh play, much of their ire can be directed towards the man in the middle, for whom the notion of an open flowing game, if something he must have heard of, but dismissed as some form of myth.

If Welsh fans were unhappy with the win, spare a thought for those backing the losing side.

Refereeing excuses aside, there are two ways of looking at things, and let’s get the negative out of the way first – Wales failed to put Italy to the sword, and disappointment steps from this pre-game expectation. Hard to argue with – everyone in Wales seemed ready to demolish Italy by 30-40 points and never be phased by the game. Yet, should we be critical of Wales for this, or positive about Italy? Certainly Italian defensive efforts were beyond committed, and the number of last ditch defences from quality Welsh line breaks was impressive. Last week England were hailed for stopping Wales, this week no word of encouragement for Italy’s endeavours – a touch of post match hypocrisy from some corners perhaps.

Wales attack once again - with below par results.

Yet what of the positives – were there any? Well, while Italy came to Cardiff to defend, they did not come to Cardiff to win. The Italians locked the game down well, but never was the intent on display to do anything other than contain Wales – the result from a Welsh perspective was never once threatened. On top of that assertion, perhaps it’s worth noting that for the second game running the Welsh try line held firm – a home win that was never in danger, and a suffocating defensive effort, can we really complain?

The Italian team head for home, knowing they defended well, while having no intention of trying to win.

Okay, the Welsh performance was a long way from World Class, and of course, a step up will (probably) be required for France in a week’s time (though on current form, the French need to find a gear or two as well). But for all the negativity that can be found in the game, perhaps Welsh fans should sit back and think of the bigger picture. It is a rare thing that any defence can hold out over multiple games – for this championship, only Wales can make such claims so far. It is even rarer that a team will win four games in a row. For all the disappointments from Cardiff, Wales still won, their line was never broken, and their victory was never in doubt – we might want more in Wales, but perhaps we might take some time to enjoy and be grateful for the success that we do have, rather than brace ourselves for possible, even hypothetical disappointments to come.

Padlocks on the Milvian Bridge.

A series of images which rather tell their own story really, the historically significant Milvian Bridge is home to a wonderful little tradition, where lovers mark their affection by adding their names to a padlock, affixing it to the posts on the bridge, before flinging the keys into the Tiber – a lovely sentiment, and in the right light, an amazing glittering scene of commitments. We’ll let the images speak for themselves from here.

 

Hidden St Fagans

We keep returning to St Fagans, and with good reason. Through all the years, and all the visits, new features are still to be found, while old favourites serve to surprise when caught in the right moment.

St Teilos caught in shadow – I love this image, just the perfect tiptoe of shape over the blank canvas of the site.

A wonderfully creepy creature lurking out of the pond below the castle.

A number of the trees in St Fagans are suffering from one condition or another, yet their demise still serves to create some stunning visuals. This one almost looked as if it were being conquered by some moving mass.

More headstones, this time from the churchyard behind St Fagans. No overgrowth this time, but a rare example of this style.

I forget which building this was taken in, but lit up it seemed almost on fire that day.

 

Nature Tombs: Photo Blog

Following on from images of Coity Castle, in a churchyard hidden behind that same castle, were some amazing nature reclamations of many burial monuments. Here are just a selection of some of the nature tombs to be found.

Some examples saw nature taking the shape of certain monuments.

In other instances, form is lost as nature expands above and beyond the original construction.

While it is always a shame to see such monuments forgotten and left to decay, there remains something quite impressive about these images, as nature takes back body and monument together.

Coity Castle: Photo Blog

Adventures in and around Bridgend continue here, with a first set of images taken from Coity Castle. On the outskirts of Bridgend, this predominantly 14th century site (though established in the 11thc) overlooks the village of the same name – and is well worth a look during the summer months when performance events are held within the site. Also, the rather excellent Six Bells pub sits directly below the castle, and offers some impressive lunchtime meals!

A changing sky made for atmospheric conditions.

Looking into the distance, the local 14th century church can be seen, surrounded by impressive yew trees.

Well worth a visit, just a five minute drive from the centre of Bridgend.

Wanders in Bridgend

Bridgend has no shortage of hidden gems, and while castles a plenty are there to be found, churches, chapels and pubs shape the town and its surroundings as well. Just a few samples to be had below – before looking at some castles tomorrow.

Walking down from the train station, into the historic heart of the town, religious centres are scattered about, some being the home of a rather different kind of worship…

And while some of these churches have become pubs, some pubs are unlikely to ever become churches, though the prominent flag of St David may give pause for thought, or at least cause for another round.

The Welsh Rugby Team Training Session.

Some distant images of the Welsh rugby team training infront of over 10,000 fans.

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