Letter from America - Coming Home!
by Candia Peterson
All sorts of fun was to be had at the Harrogate conference of the Landscape Group at the beginning of March. A gathering of old friends and new, some inspiring talks, a good choice of shooting attractions, a biting cold wind and what can only be fondly described as a Fawlty Towers-esque venue.
In the ten days or so following the conference, I raced from one end of the Kingdom to the other, from York to Falmouth, (the sleet on the drive to Cornwall reminded me of home in Upstate New York) in the interests of business and, as ever, with all trips back to Blighty, I got to the end of it wishing I had been sensible enough to stay put in one place for more than two or three nights. It will never happen!
Images above: Birch Thicket and Snow Laden
The night before I was due to fly back to Newark, I had a call from my son telling me – joy of all joys – that it was snowing hard at the rate of about six inches an hour and that the town was basically closed. He didn’t think he would be able to get out the following day to come and pick me up. Up early the following morning, I had a look at my weather app and it was still snowing, and due to snow all day, so I resigned myself to the pleasures of a grotty airport hotel for the night – just when you are longing to get back and sleep in your own bed! Fortunately, it was only raining in New York so there was no danger of the plane not getting there, though the landing in the tail of the storm was “interesting”!
Just as Uber is known for “surge pricing” when you need them most, I came to realise that the Marriott Newark Airport (other hotels are available) indulges in similar practices and I emerged the day after I got back $450 the poorer (somewhat more than the Harrogate conference I might add!). Finally, the son got himself out of Dodge, rocked up late morning to get me and then, at last, I was on my way home.
Images above: Carving Onwards and Into the Bend
If there was a silver lining to take out of this story of travel woes, (I’m not going to dwell on my conversation with my insurer!) it was that the end of the three-hour drive – the last 35 minutes once off the motorway – under what were, by now, clear blue skies with heavy banks of snow lining the road, I had myself a little photo shoot from the passenger seat of the car. Normally, I’m either driving myself or – if met off a plane – it is dark by the time we get to this bit. The images that pepper this letter were all taken with my phone on the Slow Shutter App. To give a sense of progression of the drive they have been placed in order of which they were taken; the feeling of speed capturing my eagerness to complete the trip and the last was taken at that marvellous point where you crest the last hill, and you know that it is only a mile downhill to home, wine and bed!
Images above: Around we go and The final descent
All images © Candia Peterson