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This keeping fit lark is getting dangerous! Having spent most of the morning slaving over a hot computer I took a break to get in my daily constitutional. Grateful for the fact that we’ve had hardly any rain for the rain for the past 48 hours so the woodland footpaths are drying out I was really enjoying my stroll. Not slipping and sliding through miles of mud rather lifts the spirits, even if the weather remains cold. The better footing means you can take time to look around rather than always looking for trip hazards. Sadly, that was my undoing. Having successfully negotiated a couple of miles of woodland I headed to to the promenade and along to Savile Park to complete a circuit of the grounds. After all, what could possibly go wrong on a simple tree lined grass park?

Bloody tree roots, that’s what! There was me, merrily strolling around the park when all of a sudden my right foot skidded on a hidden root and before I even had chance to react I’d landed flat on my back with an impressive thud! Thankfully I was wearing a thick coat so apart from my pride the only thing that was bruised (but not broken) was my right side. I had to laugh as a few moments before I’d been congratulating myself of upping my exercise this year and feeling fitter as I’d eschewed the booze for January and also lost a few pounds. Undaunted, I still finished my 5 miles, although I know I’ll suffer for it in the morning.

Plonking myself back in my chair in the home office I forswore heading out again, so spent the rest of the day catching up on work and sorting out a selection of pictures for a potential book cover for a client. Slide scanning’s going to be taking a back-seat again for a little while as I’ve other things to concentrate on – although the odd one or two will get done, such as tonight’s picture of the day, which was taken at sunset on the Island of Viti Levu, Fiji, on the 7th March 1999. It’s the view from the beach outside the backpackers where we were staying.

The setting sun had disappeared behind some clouds, which cast the most spectacular shadows and light effects with the added bonus of the reflections off a millpond sea.

Lynn and I only had a week in Fiji as a stopover on the way back to the UK via the Cook Islands and the USA. Getting to Fiji was fun as we had a great evening flight with Air New Zealand. When the Steward brought round the drinks we were very happy to see they were serving really good Kiwi wines. We stuck up a conversation where we explained that we’d not really drunk much Kiwi wine as we’d been travelling on a budget and – as much as we liked them – Aussie wine had been cheaper. The guy was very sympathetic and determined to showcase his country’s wines so kept plying us with different ones. It got to the stage where he was just leaving us the bottle! As the flight time to Suva was three and a half hours the pair of us managed to tuck away a fair bit of wine as airlines were rather more relaxed in those days. So much so that they almost had to pour us off the plane! Arriving pissed at 22.30 in the evening in a strange airport in a country you’ve never visited with little idea of where you’re heading is always an interesting experience, but we survived! I still have the details of the wines in the notebook I documented our travels in, which brings back a lot of happy memories as I browse it for caption details of pictures like this.

I’ll add the final pictures of our trip over the next week. Despite the fact we’d been away for 18 months and only arrived back in March 1999 by December we were back in India, so there’s a whole new section of travel pictures to come over February – watch this space…

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