Top: World's first 360-degree Panorama of Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia, Feb 24/2009, from 12 separate photos...

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

Top: View of the upper 2 parts of the village from its centre

Middle 2: a solar battery charging my cellphone, a gift from a friend in the UK this last summer (many thanks, David O!). A necessity in Ushguli during the all-too-frequent power outages

Bottom: Lali and Bebia (Grandmother) making chishdari, friend Svan cheese, superb with baked potatoes

Monday, 29 December 2008

Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

Top: Mt Shkhara, Georgia's tallest, at sunset, holding onto the sun long after the foreground buildings can on account of being much higher than they are

Middle 2: walking towards Shkhara

Bottom: a waterfall in central Svaneti on the way up to Ushguli

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

A belated Merry Christmas from Tbilisi, Georgia. 2 days ago Lali & I, house-sitting for some American friends here, hosted about 12 people from a number of countries at our first Christmas Day meal together. Great fun! Yesterday we found ourselves at the studio of Rustavi 2 TV, where I was one of the prizewinners for best programme of the year - the Ushguli 6-minute PostScriptum programme of April. (Now I'll REALLY have to get that thing subtitled & uploaded for all of you non-Georgian-speakers...)

And today I present a few more pictures from Ushguli of about 2 weeks ago. The event was the attempted capture and bridling of a filly. I used a slow shutter speed and panning - moving the camera with the direction of motion - to try to get some of the excitement of the scene. I admit to being particularly satisfied with the results.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

Zakro & the piglet, watched by his daughter

Closeup of the top of a watchtower

Another view from the windows of the museum

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

Top 2: moonlight! Tripod-mounted slow exposures, 20-30 seconds. The well-lit house left of centre is the guesthouse where I live with my host family; my window's on the left

Lichen on fenceposts

Watchtower detail

Watchtowers in Chazhashi, 1 of Ushguli's 4 hamlets

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

More sparks flying & bouncing off things as the axe is ground, maybe a 1/4-second exposure

View towards the top of the village from the museum window - this is the part where I live, with the school roof at bottom left

The school where I teach English, once a hotel but given for this use when the old facility burned down. There has been a school in Ushguli for 51 years as of this November, and a couple who teach there have been at their posts as long. Background: Mts Lamaria (right) and Shkhara (left), Georgia's highest at over 5000m

Lali & I at a waterfall, lower Svaneti

Tamar's Summer tower, Europe's highest watchtower (I think), overlooking the village

Friday, 19 December 2008

Back from Internet Exile

So I thought I'd got it all sorted out for internet on computer by mobile up in faraway Ushguli. Last year I also had problems but after about 12 days of phone calls back & forth to Magti (cellphone operator in Georgia) I was on. NOT this time. 17 days with no internet... Not that I'm a junkie or anything, but I DO like to stay in touch. Lali was up there with me at least...

But I had pressing reasons to return to Tbilisi before western Christmas, so here I am for a several weeks' break. Back online.

Photos top to bottom:

Zakro sharpening an axe, Temo holding the grinder down, Anzor looking on; sparks intensified by using a slow shutter speed

The tower at right collapsed earlier this year - c'mon, government, these are ancient national treasures, DO something!

View from the museum window

Orthodox Church bell from the 19th century, which was when the village last had a priest

Zakro shaving a newly- slaughtered piglet (most of its hair came off under boiling water)

Monday, 1 December 2008

Kakheti, Georgia

Grape picking, a leaf in a fence, readying pears for making compote

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Kakheti, Georgia

Top: grape sorting at Lali's sister's place (she, Dali, is front right)

Middle: tomato on the vine

Bottom: Zura's 50+ year old car and a Soviet decorative pillar - someone needs to record these before they're all gone

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Kakheti, Georgia

Blackberry, corn, persimmon: autum and spring both, with their dramatic changes, are my favourite seasons.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Kakheti, Georgia

Signs of autumn everywhere: grapes, landscape, aubergine (eggplant)

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Kakheti, Georgia

Blackberry leaves and landscape through grapevines.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Kakheti, Georgia

Autumn leaves

More churchkhela drying

Hot peppers

Persimmon leaves