From a series of images I made back in 2012 – where has the time gone !
Sorting & checking backup files before I pack my dark-room & computer plus printer for its return to the UK. It’s been a great adventure, even if work got in the way sometimes.
I should not complain because it was through work that I did my first trip into the desert. Someone told me about an airstrip abandoned just after WWII, where Kittyhawk engines could still be found on the shore at the end of what was left of the runway. The Kittyhawk was famous for its ‘Shark mouth’ on the engine air intake: made famous by No. 112 Squadron of the Royal Air Force who first painted this on their aircraft during the North Africa campaign in 1941. They copied the idea from Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 110’s which had been painted with similar markings.
Given a military ‘Ragtop’ Land rover & basic directions, with instructions that I could get fuel from any military base I passed (free) and not to get lost because it would be a long walk; off I went. Directions back then were rudimentary and consisted of things like “follow the sand track until you see a pole with a tin can on it” or “at the hill with 3 old towers, turn right”…… and so it went. I say this to people now and they stare at me in disbelieve, but anyone who had been here in the early days will confirm my comments on this. The only black-top roads were around Muscat.
I was away two days and although I got rather lost a couple of times, I did find it. Unfortunately the only engines were rusty and not really identifiable as coming from an aircraft. But I was hooked and eventually got my own Series 200 Discovery, two spare tires, tool kit, air-jack and a proper tent with lots of old Ordinance Survey maps. It has been non-stop ever since.
Still a couple of weeks left and I’m now in the ‘Where do I put everything & how have I acquired so much stuff !! most of it being books & camera equipment that cannot be easily replaced, so must be shipped back.
I still have lots of negatives that need scanning, so am not about to close this blog, but there will not be much more than the odd image until I am settled back in UK.
I started this blog on the 21st May 2010 with this image:
Tomb Umm an-Nar period at Shir/Jaylah in the eastern Hajjar
Here we are 18th June 2017 and 2159 images later, more comments & likes than I ever expected, which made it all worthwhile and has been much appreciated: but enough is enough & time I put my feet up with a good book & the odd glass or two of Laphroaig. Well that’s the plan but, we shall see 😎
28 thoughts on “Au Revoir for now.”
Just catching up David – your move is a really big deal in the “blogosphere”. I hope that we get to see more from your Oman negatives for a long time to come, and from your new surroundings too. All the best on the transition, I hope you don’t get too homesick for Oman.
Thanks you, much appreciated.
Apart from the weather being unpredictable & the cost of things, not being locked to my alarm clock & phone, is lovely.
The deserts are probably the area I will miss the most, especially at night with bright stars. So much light pollution here in UK.
It is lovely to be free of the electronic leashes! But I do know what you mean about the night skies – places that I frequently do field work are also free of light pollution, and while they often are overcast when the skies are clear, night time is so much more special and alive than in a light polluted area.
Best of good fortune (and patience) with your move. I have greatly enjoyed your photos and narrative for a long time now. It has all been new and fascinating, and your photography has been superb. I look forward to more good stuff in the future, wherever it might come from!
Very kind of you and I appreciate your comments and likes over the years.
Patience – yes I will need a lot of that with the way things are in UK at the moment.
Should be back up & running in a few months.
Bon Voyage..! Thank you for sharing Oman through your lens..
Many thanks & I am sure I will find more images when I finally sort all my files & negatives.
May the next phase of your life be as exciting and full of wonderful images, as it has been in Oman.
Thank you & with luck yes, not working to someone else’s timetable is going to be a great bonus.
I have enjoyed, gosh, really enjoyed your photographic adventures in that mysterious and ancient land David. I for one, will be missing each new weekly B&W photograph. However, I will look forward to your reviews and, I am sure, new images that were set aside.
You can be sure I will be sitting by my computer waiting for each new post.
When I get comments like this from someone with your experience, it makes me so glad I started this blog. I nearly didn’t as I wasn’t sure I had anything worthwhile to contribute.
Oman was/is still a relatively unknown part of the world (not a bad thing in some ways) I thought it would be nice showing what the country has to offer the intrepid traveller. As I found out more of their history, it seemed appropriate that here was somewhere I could make a little contribution to those interested in such things. I blame it all on my Landrover really, they have had a mind of their own when it comes to adventure; point one in the right direction & off it goes. I also had a job that allowed me the ability to travel the length & breadth of the country – from the last little island in the Straits of Hormuz to the Yemeni border with Masirah & the Rub’ al khali thrown in. It has been great fun even when stuck upto the axels in sand & even nearly going over because the sand ridge gave-way underneath me.
The only bit I wish I’d missed was Cyclone Gonu, 3 of us nearly died on that occasion: character building they tell me 🙂
Anyway this should only be a short interlude until we find a new house & I unpack all my kit: chemicals will be available again & film in more flavours than I could dream of here (non available now) so looking forward to it all. Ho & no alarm clocks or airports, for a while anyway.
Sorry if this is long but your comment was much appreciated, I thought it deserved this long answer.
I agree David, the best thing about blogging is the people you meet. Have a nice long rest and please begin posting again when you have recharged.
I will be waiting
Good luck with the move. Looking forward to when you start your new chapter.
Thank you so much & with luck I should be settled in a few months. Then I can experience the good light you so expertly capture.
That would be bad to lose this great source of great photos! Please go on and post others and well, I think there’s great stuff in the U.K. too to photograph!
Thanks and have a nice trip back!
I have a lot! of unscanned negatives & with luck should soon have the time for getting them in some sort of order. So it will only be a few month while we find a new house, then I hope I’ll be posting more.
You will miss the desert and its solitude, and the climate most likely! A different light in England. Memoirs to write. Look forward to your new chapter of photographic experiences, David. 🙋
Yes, the freedom of being able to wander without someone saying “you can’t take pictures here” will be the biggest loss.
But having good light will make up for it all I am sure. 🙂
Best wishes for your move and resettlement David; your blog has been very inspirational
That is much appreciated & pleased you enjoyed the photography – more will come in a few months.
Thanx for taking others with you on your trips through that beautiful desert!
It has been my pleasure and very pleased you and others enjoyed the photographic adventure.
Have a good trip. Look forward to the posts when you get back. Incidentally, it’s boiling in the UK this weekend which means summer will be over by the time you get back!
Thanks, I forgot about summer only being one or two days a year 🙂
I am looking forward to the autumn and with luck, lots of snow during the winter.
David, thanks so much for sharing your desert adventures in Oman. I have thoroughly enjoyed your photographs, history lessons, and occasional sharing of music you were listening to. Best wishes to you…
Thank you very much, it should only be an interlude.
Will look forward to having more time for exploring new photographic opportunities & kinder light. 🙂
So I’m waiting for more from the uk
With luck & once I get sorted – many thanks.