Sunday 1 October 2023

What I find is pleasing and I'm feeling fine

For October's Photo Challenge I sent out an APB which simply read "Expanses of glass. Windows; round, square, arched, stained, big, small, old, new, broken..."

After last month's amazing collection I really thought 2023's continuing exploration into all things pictorial had peaked; surely the quality of photographs couldn't continue on an upward trajectory. How wrong could I be? Seems like the only way really is up!

In time honoured tradition our friend Rol is first out of the traps: "Hi John, I struggled a bit this month - I don't seem to have taken many photos of glass edifices. I had a few stained glass windows, but the shots were rather unremarkable. Then I found this, which I have named Summer Glass. It should at least provide a little variety. Take care, Rol." Yep, this is pretty much how I'll remember Summer, Rol. Thank you, as ever.

We go north of the border next with Stevie from Charity Chic. "Hi John, I suspect you'll receive a few stained glass windows (surprisingly not actually, CC). This belter is from the Holy Trinity Church in the centre of At. Andrews." Thank you, Stevie. She is, indeed, a belter.

Swiss Adam, our Manchester correspondent, writes: "Hi John, I haven't managed to take a new pic for you, which I've tried to do each month, so have had to go back into my folders. This one is a cafe window in Altrincham last winter, from inside looking out into the street. The condensation, lights and darkness and shadowy figures outside were too much for me to resist taking a photo. Despite the off looks I got from a couple at a table nearby table." Just what I'm looking for, Adam. I remember many years ago (in another life, when I lived in Yorkshire) a caff in Scarborough called The Rendezvous. It was a real dive but their winter warmers on freezing cold afternoons were to die for and the condensation on the inside of their windows was very akin to your place.

David, half Nottinghamian, half Londoner, next. "Hi John, down a backstreet in the City of London."

"And internationally renowned Nottingham jazz club Peggy's Skylight. Which has a skylight." Indeed it does, David. Love it.

It's about time we heard from C at Sun Dried Sparrows: "Hi John, A couple of old photos attached. I do love a spooky window! C x." Until now I've never really seen windows as spooky, or, indeed, non spooky; as I say, until now...

Khayem has been out and about this month: "I’m always fascinated by people who are unable to walk past a dirty window or vehicle without writing something with their finger. Usually it’s “Clean Me” or a picture of genitals or some such. I was quite struck by the collection of hearts in this particular window."

"I'm also morbidly fascinated by windows that are no longer windows, that previously had glass but now have boards or bricks. This example on the brilliantly named Slad Road is even better for the 'door' above it."

"Lastly a sad old house in Dursley with all the glass removed and replaced. How wonderful it might have been back in the day with the sun streaming through its glass portals."
K's right: I think some of the hidden gems are hidden in plain sight - we just don't see them. Thank you, K. 

To sunny California next and Riggsby's take on all things glass: "A few of the buildings I see when I go in the office, including a couple of reflections of glass buildings."

Richard goes on to say - ''This is more a concentration of glass rather than an expanse - it's one of Dale Chihuly's works from a museum in Balboa Park, San Diego. I doubt it qualifies for this month's theme (You couldn't be more wrong, Richard!) but it comes to mind when I think of glass. There is an expanse of his works in the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas." Thank you so much, Richard. I can't begin to tell you how much I look forward to receiving your photos each month.

This month's Photo Challenge also sees the debut of Richard's wife. Welcome aboard, Jingyi! 
"This was taken in New York City." As you're probably aware, it's One World Trade Center, built on the site of Ground Zero. Thank you, Jingyi - a quite stunning photo.

In the same way that Rol invariably opens proceedings, so it falls to me to wrap things up.
First up is the beautifully etched window of one of my favourite public houses. The Blue Bell in York (known to all BlogCon23 delegates) is very photogenic, inside and out, not least when old boys with flat caps are captured blowing the froth off one of the boozer's many excellent hand pulls.

Whenever I'm out and about with my camera I'm always looking for that elusive Hopper shot; you know the sort of thing. Anything that remotely resembles Nighthawks always gets my pulse racing (I know, sad isn't it?). This restaurant in Tunbridge Wells came pretty close the night I walked by it earlier this year. 

Thank you to everyone who took the time - you're all very special people! Until next time...


P.S. 2.10.23

Just after I hit 'publish' I received a couple of late entries from Riggsby: ''Leaning tower of something, downtown San Diego. I liked the reflections of the clouds.''

''University of California, San Diego Medical Center. A bit different than the rectangular buildings. I must also tell you that I was shooed away from the Medical Center yesterday by a security guard! Apparently I needed a permit to take pictures due to patient privacy concerns with it being a glass building. Thankfully he didn't make me erase the shots I'd taken.''

Another latecomer, albeit a most welcome latecomer, is Ben Dakin: ''Am I too late?? I reckon no matter the theme I can crowbar a phone box into it!'' As I said to Ben in my reply, you can never have too many phone boxes!


  1. Another great selection of photos- the best yet I think.

  2. Great stuff. I particularly liked Adam's, which looked like a painting. Reminded me of Hopper's Nighthawks... until I saw you'd gone for a more literal interpretation of that at the end.

    1. I think Adam's knocked it out of the park this month.

  3. Oh, marvellous pics - such variety too. I particularly like Adam's as well - not only does it look like a painting as Rol says, it's also very cinematic.

    1. And it's lovely to be reminded of the Blue Bell here!

  4. Wow, thanks everyone, for all your kind words.

  5. Another wonderful and wonderfully varied selection of photos.

  6. I enjoy this series a lot and it's a real privilege to have been one of the contributors, though I am always. always wowed by everyone else's, such an inspiration.

    All fantastic this month, I was particularly drawn to the 'paired' cafe/restaurant shots from Altrincham (Swiss Adam) and Tunbridge Wells (yourself). Rol's opening photo set the bar very high and I'm grateful to Richard for introducing me to Dale Chihuly's work and life story, fascinating!

    I'm glad I revisited a few days later to add comments to benefit from Riggsby's and Ben Dakin's 'PS' contributions.

    A feast for the eyes. Thanks for inspiring us all each month and collating this series, John, it's a real treat.

    1. Thank you, K. Much appreciated. I think it's got under a lot of people's skin (in a good way); just two more to go!

  7. 'A splash of colour'. Something that jumps out against an otherwise ordinary backdrop; or maybe the icing on the cake. November's photo challenge. By the 1st. please.