Taken on the fourth day of my walk home from Southampton to Cheltenham with my brother. It was a very rainy day and when we reached the campsite my hip gave up and hurt like hell.
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Lightning Over Southampton - 16th July 2006

The back lit sky looked amazing and this shot nearly captured it. I've definitly found a better way of shooting lightning which is to put it on multi-frame and just snap away. Sadly I had the ISO up a little too high resulting in grainy and over exposed images. Nest time...
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multiple bolts from one burst, sadly a little over exposed
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A single lighting bolt earlier this evening
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Men and Fire - there is something primeval about making and enjoying a good fire. This was our small (2 pallet) Saturday bonfire last night. Who wouldn't be a pyromaniac?
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The fire after it had burnt down a bit
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Close up of flames
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And no fire would be complete without a little basic metallurgy and iron working. Here we are quenching the spade head I found in the Uni skip, hear treating it in order to harden the metal.
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Teabags: Mechanically Recovered Tea

Originally posted on The Dark Side of the Chaplaincy Blog:

Why oh why oh WHY does everyone rave about teabags as if they are the height of tea excellence? Have you ever opened a teabag and peered into the murky depths? If you do you will find a selection of finely ground dust that contributes the 'tea' flavour to the water. The sad fact is this dust once used to be leaves - whole leaves; in the same form that plants have them.

Those humble leaves that contain all the tea goodness (it all comes from leaves) go through a process equivalent to having the shit kicked out of them until they are no more than a broken memory of their once former glory. They are then packed into bags and shipped to stupid consumers in far off lands (most commonly at non Fair Trade price).

You see teabags are the equivalent of mechanically recovered meat - it's basically all the rubbish tea swept together and sealed in bags so no one will notice.Meanwhile all the learned tea drinkers purchase REAL tea in tea form - i.e. LEAVES! The process of making a pot or cup of tea is identical, but instead of having some multinational dictate how much tea one must put in a cup, you get to decide. In the manner of spoonfuls, or less (or more - it's just so easy). The hot water is then added and then the magical part happens. All those tea leaves (which are dried and curled up when purchase) unravel themselves into splendid leaves with charm, beauty and full character. Hallelujah!

The second magical part is that when the tea is brewed the leaves sink themselves to the bottom of the cup/pot so when you drink or pour you don't get a mouthful of leaves as is commonly (and mistakenly) thought. How cunning that little added feature is. Mind you, you need to be careful not to finish the cup in one gulp as then you will be eating the tea (NOTE: being leaves from a non-poisonous plant, these tea leaves are of course completely harmless to eat - brilliant!).

So please, do the tea world a favour and go buy some leaf tea and find out how tea is supposed to be, rather than the soiled excuse for tea that bags offer.

Rant over.

Nice Quote

As the author Terry Pratchett once put it:

"this is not a time to play golf wearing copper trousers and shouting all gods are bastards"