I'd been determined to build up an appetite for the first and most elaborate of the tasting menus by not eating from breakfast until dinner and taking in plenty of lungfuls of sea air. As I'd lugged my tripod, filters and all the camera accoutrements with me over to the island I was very much hoping to capture some picturesque winter seascapes. Suitably clad in sparkly hiking boots (well, it is Christmas) I locate a spot on the beach that has a nice view of one of the distinctive red coastal hazard markers and set up.
I'm crossing my fingers I might get some attractive shots at sunset but the sky doesn't look promising. I am well prepared, I've even braved a long queue of locals in Boots buying last minute perfumes and indigestion preparations to procure a shiny new SD card for my camera. I fire off a couple of test shots then screw on the filters to slow the crashing waves down.
A couple of clicks and the inevitable slow shutter drains the camera battery almost immediately. But no fear, of course I've bought a spare with me. However when I spot that it's upside down in the battery holder I know this one is flat also. And my third? Well that's fully charged and back up the hill again in my hotel room. And typically, as I throw in the towel, wipe my tripod of sand and pack everything away the clouds clear slightly. And as the clouds become wispier the gold, yellow ochre and tangerine streaks start to emerge and I am camera-less. Most definitely a schoolboy error! Perhaps if I rush back up the hill, shake the beach off my boots and grab the last remaining battery from my other bag in my hotel room, there might a chance I preserve the Christmas Eve sunset. Around me everyone is holding their camera phones aloft and each time I turn around the sky has bruised further, and the indigo was merging with the orange streaks.
There wasn't time to return to the beach but I did manage to get a few hand held shots squeezing in between the parked cars and peering over the balustrades. Tomorrow, I will try again but with plenty of batteries!