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A day that began well has ended in great sadness.

R and I entertained his aunt and her husband to lunch today, as they travelled back home from a short break in Gloucestershire. It was really lovely to see them both, and I thoroughly enjoyed our catch-up chat.

I then wandered off around the village in search of a subject, and while stalking a goldcrest along a hedgerow under lowering skies, was suddenly almost blinded by a shaft of light coming through a break in the clouds. I turned to see what it might be hitting behind me, and found that it was spotlighting a row of poplars in their autumnal plumage; the photo I’ve put in as an extra has had minimal tweaking to pull back the highlights, and really did look like this on the back of the camera when I took it.

Then this evening at camera club we were told the terribly sad news that a stalwart of the club, and a very well-known photographer within his own specialist field, has died, not just unexpectedly but under really quite tragic circumstances. Although I didn’t know him well, I liked and respected him a lot; and the last time I was at the club I was boosted by some very positive comments he made about a couple of my dragonfly images. Everyone in the club is shocked and saddened by his death, especially people who have known him for decades, and as tends to happen at times like this, funny stores were being swapped about him as we stood around drinking our coffee at the half way point of the evening. But the thing that keeps bringing tears to my eyes is that recollection of him taking the trouble to seek me out, after the presentation when I tentatively proposed a possible ‘A’ panel, to give positive feedback and encouragement. Very, very sad.