Can’t See the Wood for the Trees

I always used to get stressed about leaving for work on time – because parking space is at a premium. In fact, if you’re not in there by 8.20am, you’re more likely to find a chilled-out T-Rex than an empty rectangular piece of car-sized tarmac.

So, I’m often left doing the ‘Car Park Shuffle’ – using short term parking, then moving on! We have several store car parks within walking distance of our building. The only problem is that they are limited to a maximum of two hours – some even less. And if you should accidentally go over your allotted time, you’re looking at a King’s Ransom in fines.

But if I can’t change the car parking situation, which, short of buying an Aldi store and levelling it, I can’t – there has to be another solution. I’ve had to look at things differently in an attempt to turn the negatives into positives.

There is a distant land where cars can stay, without fear of time limit or ticket. In the middle of a local park there are normally spaces to spare. But there is a downside – the long walk.

Realistically, the walk is less than 15 minutes each way. And now the British Spring has sprung, it’s a pleasant-enough hike on a tree-fringed tarmac path. And since I’m looking to increase my daily step count, it’s all good!  

And through the seasons, while walking through the park I’ve been inspired to use my phone and take a photo or two of something that catches my eye. Be it a beautiful winter wonderland, a spring flower bed in full bloom, or a travelling fair setting up.

Sometimes there’s hardly a person in sight, but often there are little kids zooming around on push scooters, being taken to school by their parents. Or small groups of dog walkers who stop to moan about the weather, just as the sun breaks through the dark clouds. 

A gardener occasionally chugs past on an industrial lawn mover like he’s in a Formula 1 Grand Prix race. A couple of the scooter kids give chase, leaving their parents trailing in their wake.

My route takes me past a big new-build house that I think looks perfect. I imagine myself living there, the owners having kindly moved out and handed me the keys. 

The gardener seems to be happily driving at half speed, now the kids have been drawn away by the urgent ringing of a distant school bell. 

And before I know, it I’m onto the road and outside my office building. Why did I ever think this option was a last resort? 

On some days, I find myself walking around the park in my lunch break, taking different routes, and soaking up the atmosphere.

So what was all the fuss about? Maybe I really couldn’t see the wood for the trees.  

Split-Second Story


Trafalgar Square, London.



London’s West End.



Outside the Houses of Parliament, London.


Three different snapshots of London, taken on our honeymoon, May 2010.

Trafalgar Square is a vibrant focal point, in the heart of central London.

London’s West End is Theatreland – with a wonderfully laid-back evening atmosphere.

There was an anti-war protest outside the Houses of Parliament, the home of British Democracy. This was overlooked by the statue of the great wartime Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.


This is my contribution to the ‘Split-Second Story’ Photo Challenge from

The Daily Post.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected


All photos © Steve Lakey 2013


If you’re ever in the village of Tattershall, Lincolnshire, UK, get ready to expect the unexpected!

It is a small village, home to 15th Century Tattershall Castle and early 16th Century Holy Trinity Church. Both well worth a visit. A couple of miles away is RAF Coningsby, home of the historic Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Museum.

If you choose to visit the ‘Tattershall Park Country Pub and Kitchen’ for a meal, you should find a good atmosphere and enjoy the food. But it’s when you go to visit the toilet that you discover the unexpected!

I’d describe it as high-class rustic. Definitely bringing the outdoors, indoors! I couldn’t resist taking some photos with my iPhone 4. It’s the first (and probably last) time I’ve taken pictures in a public toilet. Fortunately, nobody walked in as I was taking the photos!

I’ve used Perfect Effects 4 to slightly sharpen the main image.

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This is my contribution to Weekly Photo Challenge from The Daily Post. Please click here for more details and to view the other pictures.