Wales from the air


Trearddur Bay

I travel between Cardiff and Gwynedd on a semi-regular basis, and my favourite (and fastest) way is by plane. Last time I tried it before Christmas, the 40 minute flight turned into a 5 hour taxi ride, after a three hour delay due to dense fog. This flight was definitely more successful, since we arrived at Anglesey a full two minutes early!

Not much to report here (for this blog at least), but here are some of the stunning views you can enjoy on this journey:

Cynon and Taff Valleys

Brecon Beacons National Park



Harlech Coast (almost being obscured by clouds)

Caernarfon Bay

Holy Island and South Stack Lighthouse

Home for the weekend

Film stock: Kodak T-Max 400 (medium format)
Developed: Self-developed
Camera: Mamiya 645

I do more than occasionally travel home to my family. On this occasion, it was pretty convenient – I was needed in north Wales for work, so I actually got my travel paid for, and a nice weekend home in the process.

I only live in south Wales but, one of the most convenient ways of travelling home is actually by plane – and a scenic 35 minute flight from the south east to the north west definitely beats spending 4+ hours on a train! So of course this led to a situation where I was travelling by film and had to deal with x-ray scanners. I didn’t really worry about it though, and the film wasn’t affected, so it’s all good.

Ooh! Is this our plane?

Oh, ok. 😐

But like I said, it is a very scenic trip:

Welcome to Anglesey, an airport where the question “where are you flying today?” never needs to be asked!

To be honest though, there’s not much to say about this trip apart from…

“Oh my god, there’s no way my brother is expecting me to fit through that hole in the rock face!”

Yeah, I sometimes can’t believe the things my brother does for fun! The location for some of these shots (the ones in Dinorwig at least) involved having to contort myself through a disused tunnel entrance to get to. Next time, I think I’ll leave some of these places to him!

My shots for this weekend were an experiment. I’ve never shot black and white film before, and I’ve never developed my own film before. I wouldn’t exactly call this a resounding success, but I guess you can’t ever expect to get everything perfect the first time. Some of the shots are also cropped because I had some minor development issues on the edge of the film. Nevertheless, here are some shots from the weekend:

The most pointless flight ever


Flying somewhere over Essex, looking towards central London.

My upcoming flight to Lisbon will be departing from Heathrow tomorrow. I seem to have this weird fondness for it at the moment, and I’m not sure if it’s anything to do with being a bit of a plane geek and liking big airports, or if I just prefer to avoid budget airlines like Ryanair and easyJet if I can. Either way, I need to find a way of travelling from Cardiff to London.

Normally, I’d look at catching the train or a bus, but I opted for a different mode this time. When the Severn Tunnel closed for 6 weeks in October, travelling to London by train took longer than usual and Flybe stepped in and said they’d offer direct flights between Cardiff and London City, and then continued to offer the flights even after the tunnel reopened because of demand.

Now that a train to London takes just over two hours again, it’s kind of pointless. I just thought it would be a cool way to arrive in London, and an opportunity to see it from the air.

Also, it was cheaper than the train!


I got an entire row to myself on the flight!


Flying somewhere over England.

When I got to London, I met up with my friend Jonathan (one of my fellow medal and flower bearers at the London 2012 Olympics). It was his birthday a couple of days before, so I latched onto his birthday meal! We were eating at Gaucho in Central London.

The thing is, I live in the most expensive city in Wales (Cardiff), but the cost of everything pales into insignificance when you compare it to London. This place is almost certainly considered cheap for London, but I was looking through the menu for the cheap options. In the end, I decided to splurge a bit (I was on holiday after all) and didn’t regret it. Argentinian grass-fed steak with chimichurri is a culinary experience I’d gladly go through again!


The view out of the windows was pretty cool…


…but the view down towards the table was even better!


Mmmmmmm… *drools*


I may have been in the mood to splurge, but I wasn’t sure if that stretched to an £80 glass of cognac!