After several weekends spent travelling the length and breadth of the country exploring abandonments of various ilk, my long-suffering wife finally put her foot down demanding I spend some time with her. As a little tip to fellow married photographers, replying to such demands with “I have some space in my schedule in three weeks time” will not go down well.
Once the weekend in question came, I was at a loss. My body-clock, having finally adjusted to the night-time Megabus journeys and the sleeping in 15-minute blocks when- and where-ever possible, felt extremely confused. No packing of bags and charging of batteries, no weighing up the bare minimum changes of clothing before they refuse to let me on the coach back. No sorting through my array of light-painting toys, credibility props, climbing equipment, camera accessories and lenses . It all felt very wrong indeed.
So, what do normal sane people do on a weekend? I should probably think of something nice to make the most of the time I am to be spending with my wife. …we should go somewhere, out and about, walk in the countryside! Yes, that’s what normal people do instead of crawling through steam tunnels and scaling walls. Living in Newcastle we are lucky enough to have the vast and beautiful countryside of Northumberland on our doorstep. A lot of it is just farmers fields though, we need somewhere specific to visit. We need somewhere nice, somewhere memorable, somewhere we have not been for ages.
Perfect! The tidal island town, otherwise known as Holy Island due to it’s links to the beautifully illustrated and eponymous gospels, was to be our destination. I informed my wife who was apparently very relived fully expecting me to drag her along to some abandoned hospital or colliery. Lindisfarne was a much less controversial choice of destination. One which we could both enjoy without it being exclusively about trying to capture extreme and unusual photography. We could walk along the islands coastline, explore the quaint town, sit and have a picnic by the towering castle or crumbling priory. My wife smiled broadly as I explained the finer details of our trip.
“We will need to set off at about two in the morning, I think. That way we get the full tonal range as the sun begins to rise. Do you have a torch?” Her enthusiastic smile slowly dropped…