Deadpool, the Orb and an Unplanned Day Out

IMG_1180As I’m sure you know, it was Valentine’s Day yesterday. Some of you may have pushed the boat out, others may not have marked the occasion at all. My husband and I tend to fall into the latter category – other than a spectacular surprise night out several years ago, complete with jazz, baby animals and a picnic, we don’t really do the ‘Valentine thing.’

Which is fine by me. There are 365 days in the year in which to say we love each other – to celebrate one as being more important than all the others isn’t really something I’m bothered about. However, to each their own.

So this year we had made no plans, as usual. Then the gorgeous girl was asked on a sleepover at her best friend’s house, and suddenly we found ourselves at a loose end. The weather was cold but sunny, so when husband suggested a drive out to Dunstable Downs, I was very keen.

I love the Downs. There is an energy there at once uplifting and relaxing, the ancient landscape holding the feel of old Britain, green countryside stretching for miles around. Other than a very nice visitor centre, there is nothing much up on the Downs, which is how it should be. The attraction is the view, the clear air, the gliders swooping like giant birds overhead, kites streaming in the fresh breeze.

It was bitterly cold when we got there, but the sun shone and I took several photos up there, as I usually like to do. When I looked at one photo I saw this:


I had taken two photos in quick succession of the same view, cold fingers fumbling a little. The orb is visible in both, though in the second shot it has moved a little. And, even though I took other photos pointing the same way, it’s only visible in these two. Trick of the light? Maybe. Probably. But then again…

IMG_1190So. This was already a cool (actually, cold – it was freezing up there) start to our unplanned day out. Feeling hungry, we stopped in at a popular country pub on the way back, expecting it to be heaving with couples yet hoping we might get a table for two. And we did. Amazing! The food was lovely, the service excellent and we enjoyed the chance to sit and talk and eat uninterrupted. Then we realised there was a 5:15pm showing of Deadpool at the local cinema. It was 4:40pm. Forgoing dessert we asked for the bill and headed back into town, hoping we’d get in before the movie started (and that it wasn’t sold out).

It wasn’t. We made it with ten minutes to spare, managed to get two seats together and sat back, ready to be entertained. Husband isn’t as big an X-Men fan as I am, so he was a bit unsure. However, from the opening credits he was laughing, as was I and most of the other cinema patrons. Deadpool is excellent. Profane, funny, gory, romantic – we both enjoyed it immensely. It was probably the perfect Valentine’s Day movie for us.

Sometimes the best days are those with no plans at all.


Thursday Doors – Notre Dame, Paris

Notre Dame DoorsThis is the Portal of the Last Judgement at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Probably one of the most famous cathedrals in the world, construction was started in 1163 and it opened to the public in 1345. Notre Dame is a marvel of gothic architecture, filled with detail inside and out – these doors are just one example. I particularly love the curling hinges and the way they are almost like lace set against the wood.

There are actually three sets of doors on the front of the building – the Portal of the Virgin, the Portal of the Last Judgement and the Portal of St Anne. When you visit, they bring you in through the left hand set (the Virgin) and you exit through the right hand side (St Anne), having completed a circuit of the cathedral. We visited on a bitterly cold day, just after New Year, yet the cathedral was still full of visitors, the Nativity a gleaming frosty display, candles lighting up chapel ceilings painted with stars.

Notre Dame InteriorI took this quick photo looking down the central nave- it is a bit blurry, as I’m not sure I was supposed to be taking photos inside. However, you can see the rose window and get a sense of the columns and grandeur. You’ll also notice a whole lot of orbs floating around. My daughter took another photo from lower down (she was four at the time) and there are no orbs in hers – however, they seem to be having a party in mine. Of course Notre Dame is an ancient building and there were lots of people there that day, stirring up dust. Still, I wonder. I’ve written a couple of other posts about orbs – interesting how they show up in some photos and not others.

As usual, my Thursday door is part of Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors Challenge. So pop on over and check out the other doors from around the world, or add one of your own.



A Question Of Orbs

A few weeks ago, Hugh over at Hugh’s Views and News posted an image he had taken on the beach which featured a strange glowing orb. We ended up having a conversation in the comment section, as I had also blogged about a photograph in which I’d captured some unexplained phenomenon. I mentioned I had a few other shots in which these ‘orbs’ had shown up, and promised to do a post. So here it is.

I took these images at Warwick Castle about five years ago when the Castle was all decked out for Christmas, so they are very timely. Warwick Castle is the ancient seat of the Earls of Warwick and has a building history spanning almost a thousand years, from the original Norman motte and bailey to the Victorian renovations done when Lady Warwick was a favourite of the Prince of Wales, who often visited.

The first image is taken inside the Great Hall, which, as you can see, was set up for a Christmas function. As you can also see, there are loads of orbs in this image, including a tiny one way up high, and another hovering like a bauble at the lower right of the Christmas tree. There is also a cluster of orbs running along the left side of the image. Perhaps a ghostly party going on? Or just a dusty old castle?

Warwick Castle Great Hall

This second image was taken in one of the drawing rooms, renovated in Victorian times but dating back several centuries earlier. In this image there are two visible orbs, one at the base of the wall sconce, the other by the curtain tie-back on the right.

Warwick Castle Drawing Room

And just for comparison, here is a shot I took just a few minutes later in the room next door – the Gift Room. As you can see, the lighting is similar, but there are no orbs. So I guess I can dismiss dust on the lens?

Warwick Castle Gift Room

All the photos were taking using a digital camera within a single half hour period. So I leave them here without any further comment. Looking forward to hearing yours 🙂