Warwick in Winter

Warwick Winter

Warwick top lock in the winter. Grand Union canal in January 2013 below Warwick top lock and the Cape of Good Hope pub.

 

 

8 thoughts on “Warwick in Winter

  1. I was recently laid low with a truly damnable cold that gave me an ache to the very bones. While languishing in this dreadful condition, my wife brought me a lovely bowl of piping hot tomato soup replete with slices of lovingly buttered soft white bread. But that wasn’t the only thing she gave me.

    She commenced blowing my soup as it was placed before me to decrease the temperature, and while she was at it handed me a rather intriguing handwritten note. The steaming soup was at this point placed upon a tray and settled over my horizontally positioned middle (although by this point my wife had partially positioned me in the upright position by an ingenious use of the pillows) enabling me to manhandle my most enigmatic telegram without spilling my soup. It read, ‘Dear Fred, hope you’re feeling much better soon. We’re all thinking of you. Here’s a little something to cheer you up.’

    Written on the card was an address for an Internet site on the the world wide web. I am pleased to announce that it was your very own fair site, Mr Grimes. There, in my helpless state, I proceeded to type the site’s address into my brand new iPad, bought recently, and perhaps providentially, by my daughter who is currently doing an MA in Industrial Heritage and Expression at Lancaster University no less. With my iPad in one hand and my recently blown soup in the other, I accessed the site. It is a moment I shall never forget.

    Hereafter a veritable explosion of sensations ran through my beleaguered and flu ridden body as I gazed upon longingly the gallery. My only reservation was not knowing which offering to ejaculate over first (mature readers will recognise that as a literary word, look it up, no sniggering schoolboys please!!!) in terms of contributing to the comments, most of which are far more noble and beautifully written than anything I could muster.

    I settled eventually, and after much deliberation, upon this scene, previously described as a ‘hibernis spectaculum’ by one sharp witted contributor. Couldn’t put it better myself! It has so much to draw in the observer that I barely know where to begin. It may be the sheer beauty of a snow scene. There is nothing more delightful, in my humble opinion, than seeing the earth’s face covered in a white depository (snow), while mother nature blows the whited flurries hither and thither towards a colossal and non mathematical chaotic distribution upon its surface.

    The least I could do, incapacitated as I was, ridden with a damnable cold and nursing a semi migraine, was to write this note of appreciation. It is just possible, Mr Grimes, that you have unwittingly nursed an ailing man back to health.

  2. Congratulations Sir, you made my wife cry!

    No, i’m not a sadist, nor have I lost my marbles, I really do want to thank you for stirring up such emotion. Let me explain. A few nights ago I got an email from an old friend, who happens to be a bit of a photography nut. After giving me an update on his recent history, he happened to mention how he’d discovered “a real belter; the best photography he’d seen in ages”. He was of course referring to your site.

    Following his email, I decided to check out your site and see what all the fuss was about. Sure enough, my friend’s assessment was bang on, and upon locating your collection, I couldn’t help but nod my head in delight as each new image came into view.

    At some point my wife came over with a cup of tea, whereupon she happened to catch a glimpse of the ‘Warwick in Winter’ masterpiece. Almost immediately she gave the appearance of going into a trance, and she politely but firmly relieved me of the laptop.

    I got up from the armchair and she quickly sat down, holding the laptop in front of her and staring intensely at your image. I didn’t say anything, as I could sense this was a special moment. A few minutes later she began to sob uncontrollably. It may seem strange, but I knew not to say or do anything….except wait for the tears to pass.

    A few minutes later (although it seemed a lot longer) she dried her tears, placed the laptop on the table, and went back to her chair. We both behaved as though nothing had happened, and it wasn’t until a few days later that the mystery of her outburst was revealed…

    It turns out that your winter scene reminded her of an occasion in her childhood when she had been walking her dog along the canal bank in Birmingham. It was a cold winter’s evening and the snow had covered everything, leaving the pure white canopy that is so perfectly represented in your image. Alas, despite the charming conditions, there was no happy ending. Her beloved dog, Charlie, went hurtling off only to slip into the canal. Despite frantic efforts to save him, he eventually succumbed to the freezing water.

    She can’t get over how your image was able to evoke such powerful emotions and (understandably) hasn’t looked at it since. However, she does want to thank you for reminding her of Charlie, as she recalled some wonderful memories, despite suffering the initial sadness.

    I guess that’s the power of photography. In the hands of the right practitioner, the results can be as moving as any work of art.

    You’ve certainly got the magic touch!

    • What a remarkable story. Thank you for this. I am currently recovering from a cold and your story (along with a bowl of steaming tomato soup!) has cheered me up no end. I think that’s the hallmark of a good photographer: he is able to reach into the emotions and draw them out like deep subteranean waters long concealed from the light of the world.

  3. My first thought was that this one’s worth a squirt. I particularly like the imaginative use of the snow. Although really a common place scene, the angle, the saturation, all of the factors that go to make a splendid photo are present here. I must say that this lovely quaint winter scene has pretty much inspired me to get my own camera out after many long years of redundancy and snap away indiscriminately at scenes that might just draw praise from others. Unless I’m very much mistaken, that’s the Cape of Good Hope in the background. What a cracking choice of pubs for a photographic subject! I was known to pop in for the odd tipple before it became a gastropub. That’s the beauty of a good photograph.: it captures the magic of bygone and more favoured days.

  4. It was a friend of mine with whom I enjoy a pint of real ale on a frequent basis that first drew my attention to this particular winter scape or hibernis spectaculum as he preferred to call it. We had been discussing the recent snows and, not withstanding the obvious inconvenences that came in its wake, just how it made almost any place appear fresh and uncontaminated by the insepid hand of man. “You ought to look at this photo I stumbled across while perusing the internet,” said he, “It shows just what I mean about the purifying effects of a good old fashioned blanket of white snow,” he continued. He was, of course, referreing to your above showcased work. And I have to agree. I almost long for the return of the whited flurries and sub zero temperatures while gazing at this piece. I think if you can transmit a message wherein I am longing for winter’s return just from gazing at this image you have skillfully taken then you have generated a powerful image indeed from really a rather simple scene. Winter hats off to you!

    • All I can say is that you must keep some truly remarkable company! I have to say that I am at least little envious of the eminent association you claim to enjoy, as my reflections on Mr Grimes’ profound works are confined to the odd online interchange on this most excellent site. Oh what I’d give for a fireside discussion of such noble thoughts, facilitated by that O most desirous ‘oil for the intellect’ (real ale)!

      This is a spectacular piece of photography as far as I am concerned, putting pay to all debate concerning the validity of photography as being justifiably placed on equal footing with the other arts and products of the muse in all her various shades and nuances! Any doubters as to photography’s artistic merits ought just to gaze into this production and dare to deny its place amongst the sacrosanct arts. The same goes for the entire Grimes gallery.

      I feel compelled to add that Any old Tom, Dick and Tony could aim a camera at such a scene and take a haphazard snap of a landscape like this, but it takes a skilled technician and artisan to take such a simple snow-scape and transpose it into an immemorial image that firmly impresses itself upon the consciousness and, as a previous contributor has observed, invoke within the mind of the beholder memories of stories and novels that dance in the imagination like fluttering snow-flakes upon the wind.

      The distant Cape of Good Hope free house is a magnificent addition that draws the beholder inexorably into this whitened fantasy world that is a sheer joy to the senses. As the Greeks would say: Aristos!

  5. Takes your breath away this picture. I have enjoyed looking at your site although this is my personal favourite. Funny to think this picture was taken in winter and here we are at the beginning of spring with yet more snow!

    Still, it’s another bite of the ‘winter’ cherry for the keen photographer. You’ve got a keen eye for these scenes.

  6. What a picture!

    It reminds me of the scenes dreamt up by the modern day Tolkein, George R. R. Martin, in his fantasy novels entitled ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’.

    The seasons in this fictional world last for thousands of years; your image captures this extended fantasy winter most beautifully…as though time itself was frozen.

    This may seem strange, but your picture reminds me somewhat of a frozen lemon meringue pie photo that I viewed a few years ago. It was taken by a professional photographer, and he had created a landscape using the pie as his canvass. It was incredibly imaginative, as he had transformed the everyday into something quite magical.

    I recognise the same alchemical process here.

    It takes a certain trained-and wonderfully creative-mind to produce such an exquisite composition. I hope your work receives the recognition it truly deserves.

    Praestantia Prestantia!

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