Some regulars on the Forum will be aware that for a few years I've been suffering from Parkinson's Disease and, more recently, depression. I won't bore you all with the details of how that has affected me, but if anyone really wants to know here's a link to a very long post I made on the Parkinson's Forum (where I'm known as “Innominate”)

The effect on my photography has been mainly a loss of enthusiasm, at least in terms of the well planned landscape shoots I used to do that often entailed getting up at the crack of dawn. Sometimes it was only by being able to lose myself for a few hours on this forum and E-System User that I was able to keep myself going.

Hopefully that is all now changing. Recent hospital tests have virtually ruled out another disease that it was suspected I might have, Multiple System Atrophy – a much more serious condition, and it seems that I have “only” got Parkinson's, which is a big relief! Also, I am now signed off sick from work pending early retirement on health grounds. It wasn't until I stopped working several weeks ago that I realised just how much the daily struggle with my disabilities at work were affecting me. Not only was it leaving me drained, exhausted and bad tempered at the end of each day, it was apparently the biggest factor in my depression as I feel so much better now.

My time now is unfortunately not all free to pursue my hobbies; my good lady wife, ten year old daughter and numerous accumulated jobs that need doing around the house see to that, but I do have a little more time and, more importantly, inclination to get out with my camera.

Today was a good example. It was cloudy to start with and I seemed set to tick a few more jobs off my list. However, by late morning the cloud had broken quite nicely and the pleasant September sunshine was just too appealing to resist. I downed tools, threw my camera bag in the car and headed for Hatfield Forest, a large area of ancient woodland and open pasture just eight miles from home. I got a couple of pictures I was quite pleased with; nothing truly outstanding, maybe, but it sure beats working for a living!