I don't do many podcasts. They're quite time consuming, but above all, I can only do them when I have something to say. Sometimes, what I have to say, isn't immediately obvious and in terms of the Lofoten islands, which I visited this March, it took me a good month to figure out what it was, about this place, that made a big impression on me.
Speaking to a friend of mine recently, we discussed my trip and it became apparent that what had affected me the most was how the seasons felt very out of step.
Let me explain. In Scotland winter tends to come to a drawn out close around April and sometimes as late as May. But when I was heading off to Lofoten in March, there were sure signs of Spring in the air here. The sun was out and it was t-shirt territory. I even felt I had a 'spring in my step' too (not bad for a 43 year old!).
Now consider that just shortly after arriving in Lofoten, I stood in a petrol station in the town of Leknes, waiting for my bus to arrive to take me to Reine, and outside, all I could see was a snow blizzard hammer relentlessly against the window. I do remember thinking 'oh, what have I got myself into this time?' and I wondered if I'd been really foolish to come to such an amazingly desolate environment (I use this term with no exaggeration - Norway, above the arctic circle at this time of year is an extremely harsh place to live).
Anyway, as the podcast shows, it's also a very beautiful place and I certainly felt as though I'd taken a step back in time a few months, right into the depths of winter.
It was an absorbing experience to feel like an outsider, looking in on a season that was very much alive and real to the friends and locals I met in Lofoten, but had become very much a thing of the past for me.
I'll be releasing my future podcasts (including this one) on Vimeo, because it allows me to give you an HD version with nice viewing controls. You can also find my other podcasts on Vimeo as well in 720 HD mode, so enjoy (and if you'd like to leave some nice comments on Vimeo - even better :-)
I do hope you enjoy this podcast. Lofoten is an extremely beautiful place. It has two faces, a stunningly beautiful summer face and a dramatic winter face. That is why I am headed back there this mid-summer, to photograph the night (11 till 5am brings beautiful light). Now where did I put my eye-patches?