I’ve just heard that two of my photographs have been shortlisted in the Outdoor Photographer of the Year competition. The shortlist hasn’t been made public yet so I can’t post the images here but I did post one of them just a little while ago along with a few others, wondering which one you all preferred. Category winners (I’ve been shortlisted in the ‘Light on the Land’ category) will be announced on Wednesday 14th January and the overall winner will be announced at Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show at London’s ExCel on the 15th February. Looking at the shortlist and recognising the names of some of the top landscape photographers in the country, I’m really quite stunned and more than a little bit chuffed right now.. :-)
It’s been a pretty amazing day all round actually. I was assessed by a physio today for Functional Electronic Stimulation (FES) treatment. Basically my nerves are scrambled due to my MS and this has led to walking difficulties generally but one problem in particular, has been an inability to raise my right foot. The signals have not been getting through from my brain, and this has led to my foot dragging when it should be lifting when I take a stride. This has led to trips and stumbles and a very sore back due to trying to compensate by swinging my leg around rather than through.
The FES treatment involves wearing a couple of electrodes just below the knee attached to a pressure sensitive pad in your shoe. When you raise your leg to walk, the pressure pad is activated and a signal is sent to the electrodes which then deliver and electronic stimulus to the nerve, that should be being stimulated by my brain, through the skin. The result is a raised foot, no more dragging. I have two more appointments now with the physio to teach me how to use the equipment. Pretty amazing all round as I said! :-)
The Minnack Theatre and Porthcurno Beach..
But to business, Just before Christmas I visited the Minnack theatre in Cornwall. It was somewhere I’d wanted to visit for a long time and after a week of some of the dullest and miserable weather Cornwall has to offer, the sun came out. The Minnack theatre was the brainchild of Rowena Cade (2 August 1893 – 1983), older sister of the feminist Katharine Burdekin, who moved to Cornwall after the First World War and built a house for herself and her mother on land at Minack Point for £100. In 1929, a local village group of players had staged Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a nearby meadow at Crean, repeating the production the next year. They decided that their next production would be The Tempest and Miss Cade offered the garden of her house as a suitable location, as it was beside the sea.
Miss Cade and her gardener made a terrace and rough seating, hauling materials down from the house or up via the winding path from the beach below. In 1932, The Tempest was performed with the sea as a dramatic backdrop, to great success. Miss Cade resolved to improve the theatre, working over the course of the winter months each year throughout her life (with the help of Billy Rawlings and Charles Angove) so that others might perform each summer.
In 1944, the theatre was used as a location for the Gainsborough Studios film Love Story, starring Stewart Granger and Margaret Lockwood but inclement weather forced them to retreat to a studio mock-up. In 1955, the first dressing rooms were built. In the 1970s, the theatre was managed by Lawrence Shove. Since 1976 the theatre has been registered as a Charitable Trust and is now run by a local management team. Rowena Cade died on 26 March 1983, at the age of 89.
Nowadays, the theatre is used from June to September for a full summer season of 17 plays, produced by companies from all over the UK and visiting companies from the USA. The theatre is open for visitors throughout the rest of the year. The 75th anniversary of Minack was celebrated with a production of The Tempest in August 2007, directed by Simon Taylor and performed by the Winchester College Players. Source: Wiki
Once of the beauties of a visit to the Minnack Theatre is that right next door, you’ll find Porthcurno. Sadly the sun wasn’t shining when we visited the beach but it’s definitely one of the most beautiful in Cornwall. Imagine a nice warm sunny day, that gorgeous azure blue water, lovely golden sands.. Given that this was taken in December in the UK, it looks pretty good to me. :-)
Click on any of the images for a sharper view.. :-)