Sunday 11th March 2018, 2.10pm (day 2,390)

Pollination, 11/3/18

With the extinction of pollinating insects being one of the more plausible end-of-the-world scenarios doing the rounds, it’s gratifying that this one has survived the cold snap and sees in our winter-flowering heather some pleasant sustenance. I like how it looks as if its little eyes are closed, though of course that’s not how insect eyes work. Gives it a look of contentment though.

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The ball comes my way

Saturday 10th March 2018, 3.15pm (day 2,389)

Stockton v Newton Aycliffe, 10/3/18

How often do football photographers, concentrating on their shot, fail then to pay enough attention to the shots of the players and get a ball in the face? A split second after taking this, the missile to top right smacked into the fencing a foot from my head. No wonder I seem to be the centre of attention….

Ah well, no harm done. The guys in yellow and blue were my hosts today, Stockton Town of the Northern League. Expect to see more of them on 24th March.

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Plant crossing

Friday 9th March 2018, 9.20am (day 2,388)

Plant crossing, 9/3/18

Decided I’d better put in a photo from Manchester just to prove I do still occasionally show my face there. I know this sign doesn’t mean what it seems to mean, but there’s always something mildly amusing about this idiom. Each generation of kids anew must look around them in trepidation when they pass one.

It was also nice to depict an outdoor scene without a crust of winter over it. Quite a pleasant day in Manchester, in fact.

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Thursday 8th March 2018, 7.15am (day 2,387)

Pink tipped mountains, 8/3/18

Early flight home out of Tromsø. The first half-hour was spectacular: a panorama of seemingly endless white mountains, the tips tinted pink by the rising sun. Felt like asking for compensation from SAS as I had a rather grubby window beside my seat, but did manage to get a couple of tolerable shots. This one is impressive, first, because of the scale and prominence of the rocky towers on both peaks: measurable from the fact that the shadows cast by both are quite visible on the slopes behind (it’s clearer with the right-hand peak).

But I swear it was only later I realised how closely these resemble… well.. if you can’t see it, translate the title of the post out of Norwegian. Please tell me I’m not the only one that thinks this.

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On Storsteinen (The Big Rock)

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 11.55am (day 2,386)

Storsteinen summit, 7/3/18

Storsteinen is the name of a 421-meter (1381 feet) summit not far outside Tromsø city centre and reachable by the Fjellheisen cable car. As far as my primitive Norwegian can establish, its name just means The Big Rock. Certainly a fine place for an excursion to pass the time on my last full day here on this particular trip — though I’m due back in about seven weeks.

Even including the picture taken on the summit of Kilimanjaro, and the ones in Moscow in January 2017, I nominate this the coldest of all the 2,386 pictures thus far. According to information on the Fjellheisen web site, it was -13ºC up there today. And I can assure you all that it felt like it.

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Helene and Lars at dinner

Tuesday 6th March 2018, 6.15pm (day 2,385)

Helene and Lars, 6/3/18

Let’s have a change from snow and winter. I’m sure there will be more tomorrow. Almost exactly a year from when she was pictured at dinner on 10/3/17, on my first visit to Tromsø (the present one being my fourth), here is Helene again. I know she does a lot more than just eat dinner….

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Walking to work

Monday 5th March 2018, 8.50am (day 2,384)

Walking to UiT, 5/3/18

It’s nice to be able to walk to work in the morning, without the prelude of a train journey beforehand anyway. Even if it was ten degrees below zero in Tromsø this morning.

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Flying north

Sunday 4th March 2018, 5.45pm (day 2,383)

Norwegian coast, 4/3/18

This is not the first time I have managed to get out of the UK during one of its wintrier spells only to find myself heading somewhere even colder; though the weather in northern Norway at the moment is also rather sunnier and more pleasant than at home. Taken from the plane at some unspecified spot between Trondheim and Bodø as I hopped up the coast on a succession of flights.

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Defiant spring

Saturday 3rd March 2018, 11.25am (day 2,382)

Snowy crocuses, 3/3/18

Enough of this winter, say I! I don’t see this as a winter shot. This is the first picture of spring. If we all exert our will on the weather surely we can psychically change it. Worth a try surely.

I’m leaving the UK tomorrow, I guess it is possible there could be a shot from Manchester airport (although I’m sat there as I type this, and nothing is inspiring me thus far), but more likely is that tomorrow will see the first non-UK shot since the one in Sheremetyevo airport on 25th October (day 2,253), a run of 129 days and the second-longest such run since I started on this blog. Let’s travel, though I’m not heading anywhere warmer…

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Still winter, then

Friday 2nd March 2018, 5.15pm (day 2,381)

Icicles, 2/3/18

I did make it into Manchester today, and home again — unlike those stuck on the M62 last night. My train to work passed over the gridlock on the motorway somewhere around Castleton. At home in the evening there were vague signs of a thaw but as one can see from this shot, it is putative at best. At least I’m getting out of here on Sunday. To the Arctic.

Clare would like to take some credit for this photo as she claims ‘she saw it first’. Consider it inspiration then…

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