Window box in Christmas Steps, a narrow and ancient alleyway in the city centre.

May sunshine was flooding across Bristol, but one side of the deep cleft of Christmas Steps was still in deep shadow.  I’m not usually someone who waits around for photos to happen, I’m usually on the move, if only slowly.  But the sunlight was inching its way around towards the Steps’ northeastern side – you could almost see the light creeping across the masonry – and I decided, this once, to be patient, because I wanted to see the light flooding across the textures of the buildings’ facades.

It seemed like an eternity, but a cat came over to see me and that passed some of the time.  And then the blazing light hit a window box, with the wall behind it still in deep shadow, and I took this picture.  The slightly open window frame is glowing in light reflected from a shop sign just out of shot on the left.

What does this picture do for me?  Well, it talks to me about peace – something not in limitless supply in the UK on this particular Sunday morning – and quiet; it talks about warm air, warm breezes and warm shadows to relax in, and some release from the pace, stresses and lowered quality of modern life.  It reminds me of pictures from more southerly climes, there’s something Mediterranean here perhaps, something not experienced over large parts of the year by us relative northerners.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 195mm (equiv); 200 ISO; spotmetering for highlights; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Christmas Steps, central Bristol; 26 May 2017.


  1. It’s a very nice photograph, and I enjoyed reading about all of it – first, I sympathize with the lack of patience, and I too would find it more tolerable to wait for light if a sweet cat strolled my way. And I’d be congratulating myself too, most likely, for staying put. 🙂
    Second, I am sorry that once again England reels from violence, and of a sort that seems almost impossible to prevent. Find your peace where you can, my friend!


    • Ah, you’re into cats too; except in my childhood I have never shared a house with one, but maybe because of that one in my childhood, I retain a warm and lasting affection for them – reserved and independent creatures, yes, but beautiful and serene nonetheless. And, having seen the big ones close up in Kenya, I would love a cheetah as a pet!!!!!!!

      Regarding the violence, we hear this morning that, yet again, at least one of the attackers was already known to the security services. I don’t think people here are going to go on being alright at hearing this.


      • It’s hard to know what “being known” consists of and what one can do to monitor that population of people, because there are probably a lot of them. But outrage is healthy, and maybe something more can be put in place. Random vans veering off course in crowded places though – how do you stop that? A tough one.
        We didn’t have cats either – we had spaniels, good kids’ companions. I learned to love cats when a boyfriend and I adopted a stray that wandered into his parents’ Greenwich Village place. They didn’t want it. What a cool cat he turned out to be. Years later we took him to a rather remote island off Maine/New Brunswick, Canada, and we camped for a week. When it was time to leave he wouldn’t come. Finally he did, then when we got home to the apartment, he was so angry wouldn’t look at us for a week. Hilarious.


        • Lynn, thank for a good, long reply, its always good hearing from you. Yes, there are a lot of these people, a government estimate puts it at 23,000. And now we have a general election on Thursday – in which I can all too easily see a divided parliament being elected – but, no point in worrying, all I can do is cast my vote! A 🙂


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