Saturday, 28 May 2016

Loch Ard. Water World. Lords of the Reedy River.

                                              ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN
I've always enjoyed a wide range of outdoor sports and will have a go at most things to see if I like it as that's just the way I'm made. ( As highlighted in my comedy novel Autohighography)
Although I enjoy hill walking and I'm very lucky to have a group of friends to go out with nearly every weekend I sometimes get frustrated by the seeming unwillingness of everyone around me to embrace the same kaleidoscopic approach to the outdoors -for a large section of the outdoor fraternity over the last 40 years it has to be hill walking every week and nothing else but hill walking. I also enjoy cycling, rural rambles, beach walks, caving, island bagging (just for the sake of it and not to capture a high point as the prime motive :o) urban city explorations, flower photography, wildlife, sex with penguins, day's out with furry triangular aliens, and anything else that comes to mind.
Most folk are not like that and tend to stick to one hobby at a time so years can go by before I meet someone like Alan, seen above, who is willing to try out other pursuits if you suggest them instead of the usual "but this is a hill walking club!?!!!" and " Why would we do anything else?!!!". People like him are surprisingly few in number so when he expressed an interest in kayaking, and already liked cycling and any kind of walk as long as it was interesting, I knew I had found a like minded kaleidoscope like myself. Ben Lomond looking huge and impressive seen from Loch Ard.
I used to go kayaking many years ago with various friends, mainly around interesting inland lochs, quiet rivers without rapids, or easy coastal areas with islands and  really enjoyed the freedom it offered to go anywhere on the water.
Loch Ard was a highlight then and still is; a small lesser known Scottish loch on the edge of The Trossachs district with a few scattered islands, a crannog, and great views towards Ben Lomond, 974 metres, Scotland's most southerly Munro. All the views around the 5 km long Loch Ard are delightful but the best features are its sheltered nature, its beautiful ever changing scenery and its necklace of watery attractions. This is Alan heading for a small island with a ruined castle on it.
Passing over a sunken tree. Kayaking is great fun but there are obvious dangers, including drowning, freezing to death from exposure, and getting hit by other faster moving craft or capsizing in their wake. Obviously, we are both wearing appropriate buoyancy jackets here,(or life jackets if you have them instead) we have picked a calm day and we are within swimming distance of the shoreline. I used to kayak alone sometimes (due to a lack of partners) but this is never a good idea in case anything happens. These £60 each inflatable kayaks are very stable and fairly sturdy but obviously they should only be used on calm inland waters, easy rivers without strong currents, or placid close to shore coastal trips to visit nearby offshore islands without a strong tidal flow. Being open plan they would be hard to Eskimo roll successfully without a sudden intake of water but as long as you accept their limitations they are fine for the money for folk on a budget using outdoor learned common sense.
As we were informed by a family we met on the loch it was £60 pounds to hire Canadian canoes for an overnight camping trip so it works out good value for money and I prefer these for stability and comfort in bad conditions, having tried both types. These have two separate inflatable chambers and additional flotation bags inside plus a webbing mesh to carry some additional gear on board within limits.(ie a small rucksack.) A sealed waterproof box ( cheap £2 plastic freezer containers that clip shut are fine) to hold essentials like a wallet, car keys, mobile phone. and camera.) You could pack in more luggage in the space behind the seat as long as you watched overall weight limits.
At the top end of the loch it is more open and this is where they hire out canoes and run a small water sports business for tourists. A safety boat and canoe instruction seems to be going on here with this large group of youngsters exploring the loch which is wide and open at this point.
There were a few other kayakers paddling around Loch Ard in more conventional type craft but I always found the main problem with the rigid models, like these, I had years ago, was one of storage and transportation, which could be a problem. Both inflatable kayaks and gear fit into the boot or the back seat of a car without requiring a roof rack which is handy nowadays and only take 10 mins to pump up. They are not as fast through the water for long distance work or serious camping/coastal expeditions but better than you might think in calm conditions for day trips.
A small hut in the woods somewhere.
Castle Island.
The real jewel of Loch Ard however is travelling along the small river system which connects the more open upper half of Loch Ard to its mostly hidden lower section. Being sheltered, in good calm weather, this is a complete joy as you glide along, barely paddling, with sparkling reflections everywhere and visible pools of liquid euphoria below the boat 10 foot down.
It does feel completely magical but paradise is so easily spoiled by others actions so if you come here please don't enter the reed plantations, or paddle through the lily beds and respect any wildlife you see and it might still be here for future visitors to enjoy.
Drifting gently downstream without a ripple we were able to get good views of the local wildlife without disturbing them too much. A Red Breasted Merganser and Chick.
Make that two chicks. One getting a ride on mum's back. Female Mergangers and close relative female Goosanders are almost identical to an untrained eye but I think this is a merganser mum due to its more prominent neck feathers sticking out. One of the few ducks to have tiny teeth to enable it to hold onto slippery eels and wriggling fish, hence its label/tag of Sawbill Ducks. A beautiful creature and very elegant.
This is a spectacular section of river/loch and leads into a sizable bottom pool which is also remarkable for its calm reflective beauty. A small loch but one with many faces. A water Kaleidoscope that changes around every new corner.
In a few places it looks like a dead end and conjures up disappointment for first  time visitors.
And then you squeeze through into this and feel like kings on earth for a modest £59:99. The bottom section of Loch Ard.
The Lords of the Reedy River indeed. A truly magical day out. Thanks to Alan for sharing the ability to embrace new ideas and sports. A rare gift it seems.

I also try and match any selected videos to correspond with the posts and they always have great vivid imagery in them.( to my way of thinking anyway)
Another Stunning Water World Within. The Ocean Deeps. Best watched full screen.
















Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Streap 909 metres. Glenfinnan Viaduct. Ben Nevis. Stob Ban. Scottish Mountain Views.

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With a period of good stable weather over Scotland Alex suggested a day trip to do one of his remaining 7 Corbetts. Hills falling between 2,500 feet and 2,999 feet. Above is Ben Lui, 1130 metres, a shapely Munro near Bridge of Orchy and a hill labeled the "Queen of the Southern Highlands" due to its magnificent central corrie crowned by a sparkling white tiara of upper cliffs, that often lasts into early summer before melting completely
Contrast that with Beinn Dorain, 1076 metres, passed in the car just a few miles to the north and bare of snow on the same day.
Rannoch Moor followed next and the Bridge of Orchy big four dominating its southern edge: Beinn a' Chreachain, 1081 metres, Beinn Achaladair, 1039 metres, (seen here) and then running southwards into Beinn an Dothaidh, 1002 metres, and Beinn Dorain in the one long chain of peaks over 3000 feet.
The entrance to Glencoe and a different view of the Buachaille Etive Mor, 1022 metres, profiling the back ridges running down Glen Etive, with the famous Etive Slabs as a climbing venue at the dead end road, a short walk from the bottom of this glen. ( a pertinent fact for the end of this post.)
Ben Nevis. Scotland and the UK's Highest Mountain at 1,346 metres or 4,414 feet. An early rise at 5:00am to get ready for this trip meant excellent early morning views without the slight heat haze of midday. It was supposed to be the warmest day so far this year with 26 to 27 degrees C predicted.
Hardly a cloud in the sky over Ben Nevis, viewed here from Corpach.
Although we made good time on empty roads and reached Glenfinnan just after 9:00am the car park was already full of tourists, which surprised us until we remembered the Harry Potter effect. Glenfinnan Viaduct  has been used in the films for years now with a Hogwarts bound train heading for Wizards School. We just managed to squeeze in and not wanting to miss out on a golden opportunity with a captive audience I started handing out small white business cards promoting my own photographic guidebooks and comedy novel featuring Scottish scenery to bemused, Japanese, Dutch, English, German and Polish tourists.
Having recently obtained 1000 of these little cards for £30 quid I was determined to shift them over the summer and at least try to get my investment back.
Whether they wanted one or not :o)
As we intended cycling into our mountain of choice we unpacked the bikes from the back of Alex's car and set off up the smooth tarmac ribbon into the interior of this rugged area. We soon left the Harry Potter tourists behind around the viaduct  and continued on with just the early bird Munro baggers as companions, me still handing out cards.

Between photography, blatant book promotion, and trying to catch up with a driven committed corbett bagger on the hunt to capture his prize I was already knackered by the time we reached Corryhully and was left far behind. It's hard work being an unappreciated author! Bet JK doesn't get blank expressions, sullen looks, or complete apathy when she brings out her latest opus. Or nervous strangers backing away hurriedly when you bounce enthusiastically towards them with all the charm of a friendly Rottweiler. Some of the fitter cyclists were determined not to be caught, despite my best efforts to force a card on them. Rejection can be cruel.
Alex heading over to this estate bothy.... read somewhere recently it might be MBA maintained now but it's not down on the MBA bothy list if that's the case so maybe not.
Inside the "electric bothy." Spent many a happy night in here but as it is so well known by now on the internet I'll name it on the blog. We met one guy in here so not that busy this time. And one bothy mouse was spotted inside. It looked in good nick- clean and tidy.
Corryhully hadn't changed much in 30 years but I have noticed a big increase in signage everywhere in the Highlands these days, even small signs pointing up the individual Munros, as seen here. You would think with smart phone technology and visible paths to follow from sea level to summit up most of the Munros no one would ever get lost now on the hills.
I've said it before but you cant beat the OS paper Landranger maps for cheapness, reliability, and also to give you a large scale overview of the area you are walking/ cycling in. Recently, we have bumped into a few young folk using only smart phones and a three inch screen as navigational aids outdoors but I can't see the attraction myself. To my eyes it's like a horse with blinkers on that can only view the road in front of its feet instead of a constant panorama of other surrounding mountains but many folk under 50 are so conditioned to using smart phones now for everything that it is completely changing the planet. Paper may well die out and become almost obsolete, same with actual cash transactions, and the current migrant situation has been largely facilitated with the growing use of smart phones where anyone anywhere in the world who has one can access information very easily on any country in great detail with unforeseen consequences.
I for one will proudly stand with a twenty pound note held high and declare with my dying breath ..."from this dead hand will you take my cash money and not a single minute before !"
Mind you, I don't have much to take anyway but I do like to have real money in my pocket and would feel strange leaving the house with just a smart phone/ smart watch and online access. Point is... if this becomes the norm everywhere then that choice is taken away, along with many others already being phased out and shown the back exit.
"I think they got the spelling wrong on this bloody hill." Alex gasped.
It had taken us ages to climb up the steep slopes in punishing heat and a lack of breeze in the sheltered glen had us sweating profusely. A kilometer back from the 471 pass high point we decided to tackle Streap  from this angle, navigating through a band of vertical cliffs as Alex cheerily informed me 13 people had lost their lives on this mountain. I could see why as it is relentlessly "Streap" from every angle yet a peak on most hill walkers radar, unlike a lot of remote Corbetts that only other dedicated Corbett baggers have ever heard of as it towers above several surrounding glens and has a prominent summit with a knife edged ridge. Certainly from this direction there was no path and good navigation was required up and down to weave a safe route through the vertical rock bands running across this hillside with only a few grass gullies permitting entry upwards. The Corbetts today are very similar to the Munros from 40 years ago with distinct paths on only a few out of the 221 total number.
This narrow summit ridge was fairly straightforward and easy without snow cover on it except for a powerful wind threatening every step. From a complete lack of breeze down in the glen to a howling gale once up on the ridge-line it was an interesting contrast but it did mean the surrounding views stayed clear. Ben Nevis once again a dominant feature from the summit. Another feature of bagging Corbetts is that you rarely meet anyone else on them even on a cracking day like this one.
We did meet a young twenty something? girl down in the glen after chaining the bikes up in a small wood near the bothy who was walking the Cape Wrath Long Distance Trail, reputedly one of the toughest in the UK. Link and map here.
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/cape-wrath-trail.shtml
I must admit these new long distance walking routes seem to pop up almost every year now across Scotland but this one is really special, travelling through remote glens and spectacular scenery but it's not a route for everyone with few villages or refueling points available throughout its length. She seemed very fit though, being a competitive fell runner, and was travelling light and fast between isolated bothies but not fast enough to avoid a few cards.. Every new stranger a potential victim :o)
Fitter than us certainly as the equally steep descent off Streap was torture on my poor long suffering knees and I had to take painkillers just to reach the bottom and the bikes.
On the way down the road back to Glasgow we had more amazing views of iconic mountains. Stob Ban, 999 metres, in the Mamore range seen here ( I think) looming large above Fort William. I can't remember seeing it this clearly from this unusual angle before looking far higher than 3277 feet above sea level. Mullach nan Coirean is the only other candidate, also in the Mamore range, but my best guess is Stob Ban due to its distinctive bowl shaped corrie below the summit.
One of the many ridges on Bidean Nam Bian, 1150 metres, the complex and cliff guarded  'King' of Glencoe.
Driving back in the late evening under Bidean's north facing cliffs. The highest summit in Argyll.
Evening sunlight picking out features on the landscape near Tyndrum and Auch. The West Highland Way, Scotland's original long distance walk passes through here on its journey from Glasgow to Fort William so you could link up both routes for an epic hike. A long day out for us creaky old guys but a good one. Six Corbetts left for Alex. Yippee. The end is in sight. Thanks go to Alex for the driving and planning. Streap in a day trip is perfectly feasible in summer with the long hours of daylight.

One thing about rock climbers is that they get to know rock types and rock architecture intimately. You might think you know rocks pretty well as hill-walkers going up hills but it's the difference between partners as non intimate friends and associates compared to long term lovers, aware of every detail of flesh, contour, birthmark, and bone. When your life depends on what you are hanging off at any given moment it pays to know the properties of the various materials you are dealing with. Some rocks are fine when dry but treacherous when any moisture hits them. Others are full of good holds and cracks for protection all the way up while some are conspicuous by their absence.
Spartan Slab, VS, lies on the Etive Slabs and has 600 plus feet of climbing up smooth granite. It is one of the easier grades of rock climb on this ancient landslip leaving a large section of bare rock exposed at a critical angle and a good introduction to "friction climbing".... i.e. trusting the granite surface to keep you on it by toe pressure alone between holds. As the rock grades get harder on this steep exposed cliff so too the increasing gap between holds widens alarmingly and more technical padding up bare surfaces between runners occurs, requiring considerable faith and nerve.
A cracking route and video that brought back memories. Not having the necessary bottle for harder stuff this climb was my limit for friction moves although Alex managed The Pause HVS and Hammer HVS. Gets much better 1:30 mins in when that awful piano bar music changes and the slabs appear onscreen. Well worth the wait.















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Saturday, 14 May 2016

"Fairest of a Thousand Shires." Knapps Loch. Kilmacolm. Glen Moss. Quarriers Village.

                                               ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN.
Renfrewshire is special because, like Glasgow, it is covered in drumlins. These are low hills of glacial enhanced construction left over from the last ice age that create a rolling landscape of open meadows, sheltered wooded valleys, small kettle lochs and rugged small escarpments on gentle ridges. I've been coming here since I could travel on my own four paws and I never grow tired of it. The first time I set eyes on the sea was from a hill around here and that thrill has never left me. It is completely unique and there is nowhere else like it in Scotland- probably Britain. Summed up perfectly in the line "A shire like no other, neither highland nor lowland but placed somewhere in-between - resembling the rolling waves of a mighty ocean calming down slowly after a day of storm." 
A Scottish glimpse of Arcadia or far off Byzantium perhaps, where the drumlins roll freely, uncluttered by housing, ridge after exquisite ridge merging into a blue distant horizon where all dreams are possible and just within reach of wildly straining fingers. A mere eight hundred years ago Glasgow must have looked very similar to this with a small ecclesiastical village straddling an open hillside around a tiny High Street and modest church perched below a higher Drumlin. The birth and beginning of the mighty Drumlin City of the future which would eventually come to dominate sea borne trade, ship building, and locomotive production across the globe from the 1700s on-wards swelled by refugees from the highland clearances, which gradually transformed that area into a Victorian theme park, game reserve and sheep farm, a situation that still continues to this day, more or less. The unfashionable but prolific workhorse of the British Empire had its numbers swelled further with refugees coming over from Ireland looking for work as an alternative to starving on the streets there during the famine years of the mid 1800s.
As it's under 30 minutes drive from my house and not on most peoples radar for visiting I keep returning to it as any trip here in good weather is sheer pleasure. Recently I was out with Alex up one of his remaining remote Corbetts up north and I was almost dreading the trip beforehand as I knew it would be a long tough day and so it proved. I had to take painkillers coming off the hill due to knackered knees and a relentless steep decent of almost 3000 feet and although I enjoyed it in retrospect I could hardly walk without pain for 3 days afterwards.
By way of contrast Renfrewshire is easy, delicious and delightful like a really nice fruit sundae with
three flavours of ice cream, cherries, strawberries, sliced bananas, seedless sweet grapes then topped with sprinkled crushed chocolate flake, nuts and  raspberry drizzle on a hot summers day. It is that good.
Kilmacolm village seen above.
Alex has always been an out and out bagger of hills, and I've had many great adventures up high in various clubs, with him and others over the years but sometimes sitting in a deck chair out in the garden, beside a pond filled with tadpoles, frogs and dragonflies, reading a good book surrounded by bees, butterflies, sunshine and shade is nice as well and this resembles that pleasure.
 In short it's relaxing and enjoyable, just like exploration cycling and can even be euphoric at times.( head down, full throttle racing cycling is a different game entirely and not for me)
 Knapps Loch above.
It's always a puzzle to me why people like Alex don't seem to enjoy coming here and can only get their kicks by punishing/ torturing  themselves on long hikes, climbing up steep gradients every weekend but everyone has different tastes and on the plus side Renfrewshire is still quiet and unhurried with only locals exploring it. Cycle rides or walks here on empty minor roads (many routes described and illustrated in my visual guidebooks online) contain  a huge variety of landscapes in a small area without much effort involved. My not so guilty pleasure. Look at the contrast in these two photos a few miles apart.
I did ask him if he wanted to come, but as usual, with decades of refusals and excuses as a past benchmark, he wasn't interested. Fifteen minutes in the car from Kilmacolm takes you to the edge of the sea  at Dumbarton Rock and Castle, seen here, where the River Clyde opens out to become the massive Firth of Clyde Estuary, the largest enclosed body of coastal water in the British Isles. The photo above shows a large ship passing this ancient stronghold of the Britons, seat of the Kingdom of Alclud and one of the oldest almost continuously inhabited fortified structures anywhere. This commanding volcanic plug was a natural, easily defended fortress before Queen Cleopatra was born in 69 BC; it probably predates the iron age as a defensive inhabited power base in northern Britain; it was certainly known and feared by the Romans, whose relentless march through Britain stopped just short of the rock at Old Kilpatrick and they never progressed any further up the west coast, preferring the flatter eastern seaboard to get as far as Fife or Aberdeen before being defeated by hostile resistance and troubles brewing nearer Rome.
If 'King' Arthur did exist as a real person he might well have visited here before he died as many southern Celtic tribes were forced into the extremities of Britain by successive waves of overseas intruders. It's no coincidence that Cornwall, Devon, Scotland, Cumbria, Wales and Ireland all have shared Celtic roots as these remote, often mountainous, places provided a refuge for displaced tribes fleeing persecution. An early form of Welsh, (Brythonic) was spoken in this area then and Merlin gets a mention visiting here in an ancient account of the period. Arthur, Merlin, and even Camelon crop up as old place names through the Borders and Central Belt regions although its impossible at the moment to attach any value to them unless new evidence is found, which is not likely to happen. The "Fort of the Britons" is still impressive today and a visit to the castle is a memorable experience for those able to ascend its steep walkways to reach both summits. A low level path runs around the base of the rock to the overhanging north facing cliff that contains some of the hardest rock climbs in Scotland.
For Camelon see link below.
http://www.falkirklocalhistorysociety.co.uk/home/index.php?id=29



Anyway, I arranged to meet Alan and his faithful hound at Kilmacolm to start this walk.  In total it's only around 10 km distance and very easy but also provides a highly enjoyable outing of 3 to 5 hours as you do not want to rush this landscape. You can easily shorten or lengthen it to your tastes by missing out sections or adding extra miles by including the scenically attractive minor road network which has only occasional cars.( marked in yellow on OS maps)
 Especially in late spring/ early summer, with the sweet spicy infusion of richly scented gorse all around and shimmering heat of 26c degrees (not that common in May for chilly old Scotland) every special kaleidoscopic inch of ground should be savoured to the full. Well, you don't gulp down ice cream and assorted fruit pieces, do you?...or jump around frantically in a deck chair. It's that sort of day here. A gentle, slow, lascivious and luscious pace, taking it all in, soaking up the heat in this sheltered magical hollow.
At the far end of Knapps Loch we stopped for lunch on a small knobbly summit and took in the view. Superb! Three of Mr Kipling's deep filled jam tarts for greedy old me soon followed. An apricot, raspberry and blackcurrant taste sensation of the highest order occurred next along with a bottle of original flavour tangy lucozade to wash them down. The small inexpensive pleasures in life should be relished. Sublime decadence.
Winnie the Pooh could not have been happier with his hairy head stuck in a honey jar than fat old Bobby on that modest summit taking in the panorama below.... teeth deep in a succulent red berried tart. Every vampires dream.
Alan came across a cow skeleton on the edge of a small bog picked clean by predators, like foxes and badgers, and as he's a sculptor, metal worker, and artist he soon knocked up a lifelike alien in the middle of the field where he found it lying.
His dog was not so impressed however and didn't know what to make of it at all, circling around it nervously. It's a good wee animal and despite appearances and a young age still shows no sign of being interested in cattle or sheep other than natural curiosity although he goes on a lead when travelling through livestock, just in case.

Although a circular walk exists around this small loch we headed downhill to pick up a farm track leading up between a golf course and green fields to bring us out at Lawfield Farm , a minor road and the nearby Lawfield Dam fishery pond which was busy with anglers dipping their rods in the water.
From here we walked along this quiet tarmac ribbon for a short distance past the golf course then took a signposted right of way through it to bring us out at Glen Moss, a local nature reserve of ancient bog and watery swamp.
Two swans in perfect harmony.
Wild Flowers. Bog and moorland variety.

After visiting Glen Moss we entered the scenic village/town of Kilmacolm (Locals still call it "the village" and it certainly has a well defined small central core but it seems a bit big on the outskirts for that title now.
Here we walked along the cycle track for a short distance then cut down to the right on a grass covered path to pick up the old green-way track, which is not as busy with cyclists and brings you out past North Denniston fishery and the B788. We then regained the cycle track following it down into Quarriers Village. A very special place indeed.
Quarriers was set up by William Quarrier, a Glasgow philanthropist who became distressed by the appalling conditions of local children without parents to look after them as that was his own background as well in childhood. He set up this village in the late 1800s to look after orphans and to try to give them a better life and sound values. The village is divided up into separate units of around 30 large cottages, a fire station, a magnificent children's cathedral, (Mount Zion Church) and a school. Over 1000 orphans lived here and many of the cottages have religious messages carved above each doorway, like this one in the photo. I can't comment on what it was like to grow up here at that time but if you dropped me into Wonderland tomorrow it wouldn't match this. I did experience a Renfrewshire childhood myself, growing up close to the Brownside Braes and Barrhead Dams but it's the individuals personal home life situation that determines happiness as well as surrounding scenery.
Each of the doorways has a different message above it and they were probably more like "named houses" to the children. Very grand for "cottages" with multiple spacious rooms inside. Think Harry Potter separate dorm names or like my own school where we were originally grouped into clusters, (say Maxwell House which is the only one I remember) although in my own case I never stayed where I was put and liked to move around as soon as they stopped noticing my absence or counting heads each morning.
Mount Zion Church and Alan. William Quarrier is buried nearby in the church graveyard and many of the houses now have been converted into private homes although the magnificent exteriors and general feel of the place has been maintained. There is still a social care charity based here helping a wide range of vulnerable people and their families. As you can see it's usually quiet, peaceful and beautiful here and I hope it stays that way for a long time.
Another view of Mount Zion- The Children's Cathedral.
Peaceful lawns in the village with a few of the cottages. A small tea room is open at certain hours here for a cup of sustenance and home baking. With little parking available in the village itself for outsiders however it should retain its quiet appeal as most folk walk or cycle to reach here.
The Roman Army on the nearby cycle track.

With such a colourful post it requires a suitable video to match it. I've been a fan of Kate Bush since  her first album came out in the late 1970s but I prefer to discover new music and bands that I haven't heard rather than stuff I know well. A few years ago I stumbled on these fan made videos appearing on You Tube and immediately thought they were excellent. If the guy that puts them together (the highly talented Mr Marrs) doesn't work in the visual arts field already someone should snap him up as they are better than the artist's official videos put out with large bags of cash behind them.
Fascinating images spliced together to perfectly match the lyrics of the song, sumptuous beauty, sparkle and elegance as a given, seem to be his trademark.
A real joy to watch even if you don't like her music and a poem prologue courtesy of Alfred Lord Tennyson, (The Coming of Arthur) one of the inspirations  for the Ninth Wave segment about a passenger swept overboard then struggling to stay conscious and afloat in a vast empty ocean.
Best watched full screen from the start. Now this is 'Art' as I understand it and better than 90 per cent of  modern conceptual art , highly priced head scratchers, or pretentious gobbledygook, hanging in galleries today. If you only watch one video on this blog in your lifetime let it be this one, viewed full screen.