There first "there" was the Cornerstone Gallery to deliver our prints for the Coast exhibition, which opens this weekend, only to be informed that we needed different fixings. So back home we went, via Habitat to buy new frames suitable for the gallery's fixing requirements. Instead of making more progress on the spring cleaning, we had to reframe eight pictures and return to the gallery that evening to deliver them.
Our reward for catching up with the spring cleaning the following day was a long weekend in Bilbao, northern Spain. We flew out Saturday afternoon, and by 10 pm that night were getting into the swing of things by sampling beers and "pinchos" (the Basque version of tapas) in several bars in the old town, a downhill walk from the hotel where we were staying.
Sunday saw us at the Guggenheim Gallery - the most amazing building, both inside and out.
We spent most of the day there, having lunch out and returned again in the evening after a short siesta to take some photos during the "golden hour" before sunset.
So carried away were we, that we didn't notice time passing until it was too late. The metro gates were locked firmly by the time we arrived and the prospect of a long walk back up steep hills wasn't very appealing, so we splashed out on a taxi back to the hotel and fell into bed, exhausted!
We ventured further afield on Monday, out to the dock area to see the Puente Colgante - Bilbao's world heritage transporter bridge. The high level walkway was closed, but the gondola transporting people and vehicles backwards and forwards across the river like clockwork every 8 minutes was working, so we crossed the waters, suspended by wires from a structure which looks something like Tower Bridge In London.
That set the theme for the rest of the day, crossing other bridges with increasingly regular stops for food and drinks as the temperature rose steadily to 42 degrees C, before the storm clouds gathered late afternoon and brought some relief. We ended up back in the Old Town in the evening for beers and pinchos, and then reluctantly tore ourselves away to return to the hotel.
The journey back yesterday went smoothly, with only a short delay while the aircraft circled London in a stack - it took much longer to get through passport control once we landed. However, our bus tickets home were valid for 24 hours after the time booked so no problem getting back to Oxford.
Some nice surprises we waiting for us at home - lots of people had been in touch because they seen my image "hot dogs" which had been featured in the Guardian Weekend magazine on the day we travelled out to Spain - click the link to see the online version! Guardian Weekend magazine 24 June There was also an e-mail to say that another image had been selected for the Association of Photographers (AOP) Open Awards, which opens in October.
But that's looking too far ahead into the future....we have more enjoyable things lined up this coming weekend, with more "there and back again" visits to family and friends. Come back next week to find out what we've been up to!