A Favourite View

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For ten years now, I have been driving the road to Crowborough every day from Tunbridge Wells and I’ve blogged earlier about the joys of this drive, but today I simply want to celebrate one viewpoint. Just under the old sign for Eridge Green is a small parking space where I often stop and look over the fields, trees and mist. One day I will have the time to climb over the fence and disappear into this wonder!

The picture above is from yesterday- the next three are new to this blog, but the others have been shown here before and come from various times in the last ten years:

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Dark Park

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Grosvenor/Hilbert Park has always seemed like the poor neighbour of Dunorlan and Calverley, but it is a bit of an undiscovered gem and a real working park, which is actually fun for families, rather than just politely strollable.

It also seems like a lost dream in my memory.

I think this is because it has changed so much since it was a prime play site in my childhood. Unlike the rocks, pantiles or other places that we revisited endlessly back then, it never seems familiar against my memories – I’m sure I remember actually swimming there as a child- can I be right?

Maybe because of these mysteriously vanished memories, it seemed right to photograph it last year in infrared black and white:

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As if to make it even more otherwordly, a balloon drifted down low overhead:

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When is a Park not a Park?

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Regular readers of this blog will know of the senseless bile that I have been spitting out about the hedges in some of the gated areas of the town which obscure their beautiful houses from the view of ordinary people. It surprised no one more than me therefore, to visit Camden Park- just as private and exclusive as the others, but with hedges that were politely lowered in my honour.

The houses are wonderful of course, and the sun seemed to come out spontaneously in recognition of this hedgelessly socialist utopia- only colour photography can suit the joy this brought me:

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When there were hedges, they were crafted into jaunty bits of topiary as above or in this scene- almost as if they were gently mocking my hedge-hatred:

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But just when I was feeling so unusually benign about the rich owners of these trimmed wonders, another nagging thought emerged-

If this is Camden Park, where is the actual park?

Then, when I found it, once again the cruel nature of the oppression of the exploited poor became obvious- there is a beautiful park, but as far as I can see no-one is actually allowed in it- at every potential access point, it seems to be locked:

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The houses themselves get a view of it, but it appears as if no-one can actually step into it, which seems to me to be just as sad for the owners themselves as it it for the likes of the rest of us.

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You can sense it in the furtiveness of these shots, as the best view you can get is from behind the trees that surround it:

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Makes me hanker for the right to roam in Calverley Park!!

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Selling Out?

_SAM2469 When I started this blog in October last year, I was really doing it for myself- trying to force myself to get out and about in the town I loved, but rarely photographed, rather than restricting myself to taking pictures on holiday.

I didn’t actually expect the blog to be popular with anyone else, but since then I have had about 8,000 visitors- not massive by internet standards, but really pleasing for me.

Some of you have asked whether I ever sell any of these pictures and in the past the answer has been no- I have always taken pictures for myself and somehow selling them has seemed to me a bit exploitative. But I have gradually changed my mind- if people want to own any of these pictures, then I am honoured and if I pledge to spend any money I earn from them to fund camera equipment, I support what is after all a pretty expensive hobby and possibly can take more pictures.

So what is a fair price? Actually I don’t really know, but as a suggestion for Tunbridge Wells based readers, for £100 I will frame a print of one of my pictures at 29cm by 20cm and drive it around your house .

As an alternative, we can actually meet by the spot I took it. If you live further afield, want more privacy, or want a different size, we can talk about postage prices. If it is a different size you are after, I will make sure that you just pay for the extra frame size and print, but won’t sneak in any extra profit of my own.

Please send orders to this email address CBPHTW@virginmedia.com.

So what pictures might you want to buy?

You can see a list of all the previous pages on the site by searching down on the right side of this page. They are also listed as pingbacks, whatever they may be, at the bottom of the page.

You might be interested in pictures from my embryonic worldwide travel blog here.

You might even want to check out a more full selection of my pictures here.

And if you think that price is ridiculous, I’m likely to agree- make me an offer.

Here are some worldwide favourites from the last year- we don’t usually travel so much- there have been some big family events to celebrate:

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Ullswater:

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Dunstanburgh Castle:

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Vesuvius:

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Tanah Lot, Bali:

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A Hedge Too Far.

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Of all the hedges I could rail against in Tunbridge Wells- this that obscures Calverley Crescent must be the one I hate the most.

As always, I mean no offence to the good people who actually live there or their wish for privacy, but this masterpiece was designed by Decimus Burton to look like this:

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That was surely the finest view in town, and today, because of that ridiculous hedge, even the owners themselves can’t step back far enough on their lawn to get a proper look.

In my desperation to get a good view, I’ve resorted to a photographer’s most extreme measure- the fisheye lens:

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You can spend forever trying to correct the odd vertical lines in pictures like this, until you decide actually to embrace the odd perspective. In the pictures that follow I have done so and in many cases also decided to give full rein to my colour blindness:

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