Now that is not a bad end to January


Darley Abbey Park, Derby

The last day of January…. but what a surprise.  Storm warnings and other rather depressing forecasts for us in our small part of the UK came to nothing.

Bright sunshine and blue skies (again) lit up the Conservatory and once Buster had finished his breakfast it was a case of walkies.

Today we headed to Darley Park, just one of several ‘local’ parks that have been a lifeline throughout Covid and its restrictions.

It was though cold, an arctic blast was the problem.  However as the sun started to climb it did have some warmth. and that wind started to dry the ground.  If you ignored the cold, it was quite like Spring!




Even the River Derwent was enjoying a quiet period of recovery after the January rains, its waters reflecting the Darley Heritage Mill Complex.


January has, like many months last year, not run to plan.  Weather has been much more unpredictable and not following what was once a reasonably dependable seasonal cycle.  W now wonder what is considered normal .

The month vanishes into the past.  The current difficulties continue…so as always….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

31st January

(C) David Oakes 2022

Moody Monday……..


The Torridons, Scotland

A moody mountain and Loch image for this last day of January.  Don’t think about that last part of the statement for too long, otherwise it will be Christmas again 🙂

Time moves along and so do the challenges we all face, so as always….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

31st January

(C) David Oakes 2022


Tall Trees and Blue Skies…….

A fantastic Sunday for the end of January……. a great day for a woodland walk.

You could also say that this was the calm after and before the storms.  A very different day to yesterdays gales and more gales are promised for tomorrow.

The Deer were taking full advantage of the warm sunshine, the Hinds un-bothered now by the Stags.


Even the Old Man of Calke seems to be withstanding even more of the ravages of time….


Tomorrows storms should see out January…..lets hope February will be kinder for all of us.. but as always..

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

30th January

(C) David Oakes 2022


Silent Sunday….. Off to Church


Newlands Church, Little Town, Newlands Valley, Lake District, Cumbria

This has to be one of my very favourite Churches. Tucked away at the head of the Newlands Valley adjacent to the village named Little Town, a village with less than a handful of houses and a farm … far from being “a town”.

Newlands Church served the wider farming and quarry community in the west of the valley.

If you look at the picture above you will see a lower building attached to the main Church. This is the School Room. Built by Parishioners so that children in the valley could receive an education.  It was opened in 1877 but was closed in 1967. Many villages across the country had similar small schools dedicated for the local community…. all now gone.  Not sure this is progress.

The interior is simplistic and intermate, still cherished by the community .


The setting for this tiny church gives great views over  the Newlands Valley, a fertile valley surrounded by hills. It is though, like many northern valleys in the Lake District, much softer than its more rugged neighbours.


A little Gem in a gem like setting…

Sunday and also everyday of the week…….. Please…

Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

30th January

(C) David Oakes 2022

Cees Black & White Photo Challenge – Cold


Cold Ice Cream on a hot Sunday in Copenhagen……. one suggestion for this weeks B&W Photo Challenge for which Cee has suggested the topic of Cold or Chilly.

Cee also suggests that spot colour can be used in your Black and White submission. So with tongue firmly in cheek (and not resorting to Photoshop) ….. here is another suggestion for this week.  It is not B&W but looks like it except for the natural ‘spot colour’ of the dry Beech leaves… I hope you will forgive the stretching of the rule….  but it is cold!


It is all a bit of fun, so why not join in, the link to Cee’s Blog is here:-

Hot or Cold and whatever colour your life is…..

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

29th January

(C) David Oakes 2022