(Written on 27 April 2016)


Insomnia  –  the inability to sleep

Jet Lag  –  a temporary disruption of the body’s normal biological rhythms after high speed travel through several time zones

#WexMondays  –  a weekly photography competition on social media that has been known to cause insomnia

I suffer from insomnia, normally I get to sleep at around 2am if lucky. I’m then awake at around 6.30am when my wife’s alarm goes off (she’s always been the early riser). I then nod until 8’ish before rising and getting to work (late). Luckily I’m the boss.

Having just returned from a 2 week holiday in Arizona, where the time is currently 8 hours behind the UK, it would be fair to say I’m tired this week. Last night, or this morning to be more accurate, I got to sleep at around 4am. Yesterday I was less tired as I managed to get to sleep at 3.30. Result.

Arizona is a wonderful place to visit, and to live I guess. For photographers it is heaven on earth. When they hear of Arizona most people think of one thing, the Grand Canyon, however it is so much more than that. From the lowest point of 72 ft at the border with Mexico to 12,600 ft at Humphreys Peak near Flagstaff, I cannot think of a more diverse 400 miles long x 300 miles wide area anywhere else. During my visit we experienced a temperature change of 39f (4c) to 35c (95f) within a couple of days and 140 miles. Phoenix gets 7 inches of rain in a year and temperatures regularly reach 110f  during the summer months. Flagstaff, some 140 miles north, is one of the top five snowiest cities in the US. Whilst most think of a desert climate, there are large areas that resemble Colorado; mountainous with lakes and pines.

I’ve been fortunate to visit the state, and South West USA, on a number of occasions. The first time I went was for a family holiday in circa 2003, to Scottsdale. At that time I was a keen golfer so the trip was part holiday part reconnaissance mission to check out the local golf courses. My wife and I instantly fell in love with the place. Being from Scotland anywhere with sunshine is exciting, but the added bonus of practically zero rain and scenery that could compete with my homeland, as well as dozens of oasis like golf courses in perfect condition was almost overwhelming. Since then I’ve returned numerous times, the golf clubs and friends accompanied me on a few occasions, but most of the trips were with my wife and children.

It was Arizona that inspired me to pick up the camera again. I was keen on photography in my teens, even to the extent where I purchased the equipment to allow me to enlarge the negatives I received from my local Boots, although I never developed my own film. I suppose like many teenage boys I had an unhealthy obsession for making things larger!

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