Sunday, 16 February 2014

New Forest Ponies

Pony in the New Forest

The New Forest is a very well known National Park in southern England.  Bordering The Solent to the south, it is situated mainly in the county of Hampshire but extends to the north into Wiltshire. It covers an area of 218 square miles and is home to some 4,000 ponies, deer, cattle and pigs which can roam freely through the ancient forest woodland and heaths.

For reasons which will become clear in a future blog entry we had to visit the New Forest quite recently on our way down to Dorset. Time was short but I did grab the chance to take a few photographs of a small group of ponies as we drove through the quiet narrow lanes of the forest. It was also the first chance I have had to use my new camera, the Olympus OMD EM1. Paired with the Panasonic 35 -100mm f2.8 zooms lens, the camera performed effortlessly and handles so much better then the EM5 which has been my workhorse to date. I will write at greater length about my new acquisition but for the time being I hope you enjoy these few images of the New Forest ponies.

New Forest pony

Pony crossing

Tuesday, 4 February 2014


Ready, Steady………..Cook

From 1994 until early in 2010 the BBC broadcast a daytime programme called Ready, Steady, Cook. It was a very simple idea based on two 'celebrity' chefs competing against one another to create the best dish or dishes in 20 minutes from a set of unknown ingredients chosen by members of the audience. The success of the show relied on their inventiveness, fast thinking and skill to prepare an appetising and good looking two course meal. They also needed to be quite quick witted as the host of the show would often interrupt and distract the chefs from what they were doing. After all this was meant to be entertaining not just a lesson in how to cook some food.

A local restauranteur in our village, namely Nik Westacott of 82 Fishbourne, offered to replicate the Ready, Steady, Cook format and played host to two professional chefs: Neil Rusbridger, a lecturer and chef at Highbury College and Viv Casson from Cassons Restaurant near Chichester. The event was staged last week in front of a paying audience and proceeds would benefit The St Peter Project. I was asked to take some photographs and whilst the images will always be 'record' shots, I hope they have captured something of the atmosphere and fun of the evening.

Host and local character - Nik Westacott 

Neil Rusbridger - one of the two professional chefs

Viv Casson - concentration

Neil mixing his ingredients

The packed hall

Neil and Viv had 30 minutes and they prepared some really fine dishes.





The event was great fun and a huge success raising over £1,300 for the St Peter Project. 

All the images were taken with the Olympus OMD EM5 and 45mm f1.8 Olympus prime lens.