Given my impending departure, today was very much the last day we were going to get photos in good sunlight (I've been assured England is currently suffering from a permenant haze of rain, snow and gloom - quite the impediment to good photography).
For a variety of reasons, including Loretta needing to teach this morning, we had very little time and the decision was made to scour the area around where I live in Tai Po for good scenery. We didn't have to go far, as it turned out there's a huge and very beautiful banyan tree nearby. We also found some nice wrought iron gates. We were largely ignored by the small children with lightsabres, which is almost disappointing.
Tai Po is very much in the bowels of the New Territories in Hong Kong, which most around here would assure you is practically the countryside. The sheer number of buildings, including high-rises (not quite skyscrapers) would seem to belie this assertion, but who am I to contradict local perceptions. The temperature is said to be a whole five degrees colder than in the city, which means all and sundry need deploy their woolly jumpers, argyle vests, fur coats and padded jackets.
The take home quote of the day was Loretta's repeated reminder that "elves don't smile" - something that made the Serious Expression all the more difficult to maintain.
As the key to good photography is a lot of bad photography, I've several hundred photos to sort through before I could really post (though nothing goes through anything as complicated as colour correction or photoshopping, cropping out the cars in the background and making the composition make more sense is important - with one or two really obvious exceptions, the only process inflicted upon these photos is cropping).
However, for the curious and impatient, there are another handful of preview shots under the cut.
The fig tree Loretta (in the blue dress) appears to be communing with is actually crawling with fire ants.
And yes, that bow and arrows are rubbish. It was bought in a costume shop years ago and was dusted off for the purposes of giving me something to pose with.