Saint Monica Trust - Facilities, Aspirational Living & Care by Tom Glendinning

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Saint Monica Trust

Retirement Villages

St. Monica Trust is a Bristol based collective of retirement villages, with independent residential living and care facilities at 5 sites around the city and surrounding countryside.

The brief for photography covered the facilities and architecture of each village, to capture the character of each. In addition, we made a series of shoots with models (and a few willing residents!) to create location specific aspirational living portfolios, as well as specific sets to reflect care, activities and catering at SMT.

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This project exemplifies what I love doing most in my commercial photography at present. Balancing between many genres of photography and having them inform one another, fitting everything together into a wider cohesive set.

You can see the whole series on their shiny new website, created by the fantastic girls & boys MUD

PS: I've promised to get back to editing and publishing my travel photography super soon... Much more fun! Been a tad busy building a house. 

Sweden E3.2 Vangern Wildlife reserve by Tom Glendinning



Reserved for Wild Life


Here we found a balance point of Sky, Rock and Sea. A moment outside our frame of time & motion.

Rocky lichenous outcroppings burning under the sky, dropping to deep crystal waters crinkled by coastal breezes. A landscape moulded by eons of pouring rain, trammelling downward to sea-level. Carving, falling, pooling into luxuriously sun warmed bathing shallows, or deep refreshing layered gradients of temperature.


However, even the August sun has little effect on the main event.

As locals tell us ...  "You have to go in with the whole body".

I'm even more in love with daily Cold water plunges and the things it does to your body than ever before.

No better place to do it than this still sea. This challenges even the mirror fjords and glacier melt torrents in Norway.


Exploring the outcroppings, tiny Rivendellian enclaves of greenery open unexpectedly at your feet, features you do well to remember when you boldly re-walk the rock, jumping the narrow gullies in blinding mist-rains.


The sun and wind dependant, shifting textual contrast of rock and sea inspired a great deal of meditation here.

Focus held for hours by a few square meters of lichen, cracks and rippling sky reflections, bare feet moulding to water smoothed contours of curving rock.  Pure experience.


Excellent virgin bouldering rock by calm sea. Climbing heaven.


Home.  Wherever you take it.



For days and months we live outside practically for free. Hiding in our moving home or under tarps when it's cold and wet. Emerging to find local foods, spare parts, stories & crafts. Treading lightly on the land, foot off the gas. Giving wherever we can. Sharing whatever we have.


Go slow.  Experience your senses fully.  Live full and long.

Celebrate the landscape every day.

Take nothing but photographs.

Leave nothing but foot (and maybe hand) prints.


When we had to leave here by force of Sam&Chloe's onward flight schedule, I had never before felt a greater sense of thanks to a place, for holding and keeping me.  Nothing needed doing here. So much was done and felt.

Back to the road.

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Norway E2.12 - Oslo Urban Soundscape by Tom Glendinning

When we walked around Oslo for one day I didn't take a camera, only a recorder.

Taking toddler steps into the world of microphones and audio editing, being such a lover of superbly crafted audio, is daunting. The resultant audio track is my most complex creation so far, a long way from the ambient nature soundscape I mostly made during our travels.

See my soundcloud account for the rest of my soundscapes so far.

A few photos from Bobbie's phone to accompany below...

More photos from Sweden soon.

Astrup Fearnley Museum

Astrup Fearnley Museum

Sweden E3.1 Valövägen Wildlife Reserve by Tom Glendinning


Finally we've got out of Norway. Her precipitous angles and still waters shall be missed.

However, we're entering one of the most outstandingly beautiful and peaceful locations of our whole journey. The rugged, rocky, bewilderingly silent national parks strung down the west coast of Sweden. This is Valövägen.

Variety comes in the height of the rock from the sea.

We sought out the peninsulas less travelled, with tiny communities clinging to the edges of protected reserves. We trod lightly and spoke quietly. Everything here felt at rest. The sea, the rock, the little boats silently threading wakes between islands.

The landscape feels so ancient in its bare, water worn, cracked undulations. Inhabited by brief pools, grasses and lichens.

Down the coast, only the changing height of the rocky formations proved your passing. Where the rock was low, the sea was shallow, choked with slippery weeds. We would leave the bare salty rock to little wooded inlets and meadowed valleys, working around to return again only just across the sound, where the quiet rock was waiting.

People were tucked into the landscape, bothering you only with a smile, and scandi "Hihi!"

...Also, on our way here, on a moonlit misty night, we met our first Elk. Standing tall and silhouetted in the middle of the road like a Swedish grim. That's another story...

Norway E2.11b Mortensrud Kirke by Tom Glendinning

This is a wonderful church built for a local community just south of Oslo.

Designed by Børre Skodvin & Jan Olav Jensen - Our tutor Martin Gledhill at Bath University often brought up this amazing place in his lectures.


The building fits simply and serenely into a peaceful landscape. It's a contemplative and connective space. We felt this even after a month in the wilds of Norwegian national parks, along with a sacred, temple aspect given by the structure.


There is actually a rough trail cut around the perimeter of the building through the vegetation, likely by architect pilgrims.

Sadly the time we managed to get there en-route to Sweden we couldn't go inside, except peering through the glass. The light was wonderful though.

The Send Climbing Venue by Tom Glendinning

Hereford has it’s first climbing wall!

Perfectly timed with my return from travels and living temporarily in my home town, I helped the amazing team at The Send with architectural venue interiors and model photography. Thanks to everyone who got involved with such enthusiasm.

It’s also a wicked place to climb, with loads of room to yoga on the crash pads as well (-it wasn’t just me).

If you’re in Hereford drop on by for a climb, the setting is fantastic.

The wall in skeletal construction progress

Wye Valley Brewery - Process - Pubs - Portraits by Tom Glendinning

Wye Valley Brewery rebranded last year, seen here before for the Hopfather Anniversary Beer shoot.

I worked with them producing new imagery for their website. Over multiple shoots I covered the brewing process from start to finish in their state-of-the-art brewery, made portraits of their fantastic team and architectural photos of the WVB pubs across Herefordshire.

Read More

Norway E2.10 Skydje Fossen at Eidfjord by Tom Glendinning

Far up the gulley North East of Eidfjord, tucked just away from the Westering gales driving inland up the Fjords, there is a waterfall.

It's marked on the tourist's guides as a good one, which is saying something. 

Norway has more waterfalls than it knows what to do with. It perplexes most arrivals however, who take the rutted gravel track through the woods to find it, as it lacks a carpark.

           "Sorry... Sky.. die? Fossen - We are looking for Skydjefossen... is it here?"

This all standing under the omnipresent, grumbling roar of glacier melt pouring from the mountain plateau over a lip, 400m or so directly above us, pounding a tattoo on your eardrums.

We found it by accident, using our ears and eyes.

To listen to the soundscape at the camp we made in the gulley beneath the waterfall, follow the Soundcloud link below. You can also find my other ambient recordings from this travel there, on Time&Space Audio Journal (TSAJ).

There are plenty more to come, with some designed as background nature soundscapes for meditating or relaxing to.

We made a half-day hike up the gulley wall and over the rocky moor tops - to explore the glacier, which fed the river, feeding the lake, which spilled over into Skydjefossen.

iPhone only so lower your quality standards.

High river valley above Skydje Fossen

View of the gulley to the campsite (just out of site downwards)

View of the gulley to the campsite (just out of site downwards)


Norway's nearly over, just Oslo left.

On the way there, further South East over the mountains, we found some timber, sod and grass roof huts built in traditional Scandinavian style, some over 60 years old.

Time&Space Technical Issues fixed by Tom Glendinning


Due to website technical issues that went unnoticed while travelling, all the posts made so far have not been sent as email.

This has now been corrected!

In order to see photos from the trip so far there are 9 posts waiting for you on my website here:

Scroll down to the Recent Post links on the sidebar to the right

Scroll down to the Recent Post links on the sidebar to the right

Enjoy! More posts soon (It's not all of Norway I promise...)

See? Dolomiti

See? Dolomiti

Norway E2.9 Hordaland by Tom Glendinning

Skirting the coastline, (fjordline? "...lovely, crinkly edges") North of Odda into Hordaland and onto the Hardangerfjorden. Rounding the northern point then west we meet the west coast weather that is held back from the valleys by the coastal mountains. The central valleys (Setesdal especially but also at Odda due to Fonglefonna to the West) maintain a relatively mild climate unexposed to the wind and rain whipped by the chaotic northern extension of the gulf stream, which warms the area by many degrees but delivers also incessant wind and rain.

If Fonglefonna has the highest precipitation in Europe then Bergen is it's capital. There are no photos from Bergen. The tourist board photographers are evidently Earthsea-esque weather sorcerers.

Despite the windy weather we had this area is known as the 'Orchard of Norway' - we drove through village after coastal village of plums, cherries and apples right up to the cliffs.

After more wonderful seaside camping with Uli and Eva and a ferry crossing we go our separate ways.

L-R: 4x4 popup, Vin Diesel, Fire #???, Uli, Bobbie, Eva

L-R: 4x4 popup, Vin Diesel, Fire #???, Uli, Bobbie, Eva

Here the dramatic coastline suits the wind and rain

The Hardangerfjorden near Eidfjord


Norway E2.8 Folgefonna Glacier by Tom Glendinning

This is the first glacier I have ever come close to. This National Park info sums it up; in short the glacier is central to the incredible landscape and ecosystem that we were exploring at this point.

The landscape in this part of Hardanger is so beautiful it bears comparison with the most outstanding places in Europe. Folgefonna is the third largest ice cap in Norway, all of 168 km2 . It probably reaches a maximum thickness of 300-400 m. If we take 150 m as an average, Folgefonna has about 30 km3 of ice. Its highest point (1662 m a.s.l.) is believed to be one of the wettest places in Norway, receiving an estimated annual precipitation of around 5500 mm. The natural environment surrounding Folgefonna is dominated by the proximity of a large ice cap. There are numerous rushing rivers, and many lakes and rivers have the characteristic opaque emeraldgreen colour of glacial meltwater. The park includes the next largest area lacking major infrastructure in the county of Hordaland.

The gulley the glacier melt torrents down carries with it a freezing wind falling from the glacier. Sinking down the bottom of the valley it is a stark and palpable layer flowing over the watery tumult. 

If that looks cold it's because it is... of course I got in!

If that looks cold it's because it is... of course I got in!

No problem finding a shower in Norway's campsites

The pristine environment here is so inspiring and enriching - this is perhaps one of my favourite hikes I have ever taken and left me totally rejuvenated.


Norway E2.7 Tjørnadalsfossen & hike to Rodekot by Tom Glendinning


Our precariously balanced camp near Odda, overlooking the Sandvevatnet fjorden had a permanent sound backdrop of falling water from the Strondsfossen above and Tjørnadalsfossen across the green waters. This is the land of water and stone. 

Tjørnadalsfossen (far) & Strondsfossen

Two excellent Austrians made camp with us and shared the things travellers shared. We hiked above the fjord, through the tangled birch woods to the lakes and high meadow pastures. 

Uli, Eva, Bobbie

This type of woodland seems ubiquitous at a certain altitude here and is my favourite environment, full of gentle light and sound textures broken by mossy granite boulders and clanking sheep bells.

The Fonglefonna glacier spat a cold wind across the community of sheep and ponies very happy to make immediate and very close acquaintances.

Fonglefonna glacier overlooking summer meadow cabins

There are some more photos from this set - if you want to see more idyllic scenes including a portrait of the lovely Uli & Eva go to:

Norway E2.6 Telemark & Låtefossen by Tom Glendinning

En route to Odda from the Setesdal valley we passed through many long tunnels. We came out of one at altitude to a stunning mountain landscape in the West of the Telemark region.

Leaving the mountains down a steep gorge we stopped at the most touristic place we had seen so far. Låtefossen falls just above the road and tourists clogged the highway to have their photo on the narrow bridge... It seems that the renown dramatic waterfalls is due more to their accessibility than rarity however.


Norway E2.5 Setesdal - Valle by Tom Glendinning

Eventually the rain, winds and cold 5º nights sent us back to sunny Setesdal valley. East of the mountain range that catches all the weather coming over the North Atlantic.

Just North of Byglandfjorden, near Valle we found one of our favourite wildcamps to date. A rocky river bed that must be an incredible sight running rapid with the spring thaw.

Still there were clouds, but importantly we weren't in them for a change.

Norway E2.3 Setesdal - Tjørhom by Tom Glendinning

Up out of the Setesdal valley and West over the mountains, reserved for reindeer (Elk also? We won't see them until later, just sheeps for now).

Water, water everywhere, and all of it good to drink.

All elements of the mountain roads here shown in roughly representational proportions.

Most of these photos come from the mid-level around 700-950m altitude, where I find my favourite landscape so far - the bushy, scrub, low birch woods with moss & lichen barely covering the granite. Overflowing with wild berries and fresh wind. 

Most mountains reach a tumbled, broken and boggy granite plateau at 900-1000m and peak not much higher than 1500m here. Up on these 

A lonely lakeside wildcamp... Until the 12 Poles, 2 Swiss, 6 German, 7(?) French and 4 canines nationality unknown turned up in the rain.


Norway E2.1 Kristiansand & E2.2 Setesdal- Byglandfjorden by Tom Glendinning


Lakeside home on Byglandfjorden, Setesdal region, opposite Lauvdal

A long standing dream to explore here. The campervan, willingness to camp wild anywhere and the amazing accessibility of this sparsely populated natural wonder of a country makes travelling here remarkably affordable for us. These posts are not to tell our whole long story but only are snapshots, so I will let them speak for themselves. Already we miss this wonderful part of the world and felt instantly at home and welcomed here by the marvellous people and pristine nature.

Trout, Granite & Pine

Islands by the port of Kristiansand, from Odderøya island Nature Reserve

Åraksbo, Byglandfjorden

(where we meet Jenni and Alex, in the endless stream of happy German travellers who go everywhere)

Agriculture is cut from the forest on the low sloping sides of valleys.

European Campervan travels E1.1 (Intro; Denmark) by Tom Glendinning

Bobbie & Vin Diesel

(Due to website issues that went unnoticed while travelling all the posts made so far have not been sent as email, I am trying to correct this and re-send these old posts).

We (Bobbie and I) are making a 6 month trip in our campervan, wild camping through some of Europe's most spectacular national parks, wildernesses (if you can count a place with tarmac road wilderness) and general awesome places. Wifi for uploads is hard to come by but time out of being culture and nature-drunk to edit photos is proving even rarer... 

We are now stopped for a rest with our wonderful Polish friend Maria's family in Zory. The first short chapter comes from the trip heading North, starting from The Hague and driving swiftly up through a few spots in Denmark, culminating in finding unexpectedly good surf at Thy [Tí] National Park behind the dunes. I thought the board would stay on the roof until Portugal.

Thy National Park dunes

Also to be found will be soundscapes to accompany some of the landscapes - short, minimally edited vignettes of sound that we record on the way. To find these first forays into recording with my new Zoom go to Time&Space Diary's new Soundcloud page.

Denmark - land of Water, Wind and Rye

Bobbie begins her driving career with a 1.5 ton van with soft suspension. 

Next stop, South Norway.

Snowdonia NP by Tom Glendinning

For Mungo & Gav’s birthday weekend we stayed in a mountaineering hut in Snowdonia National Park, making two days out on the snowy peaks with really excellent weather for February. The pro boys carried their crampons in vain. 

These are photos resulting from:

Day 1 - Snowdon (1085m), followed by the horseshoe to decent; 

Day 2 - a valley walk (I didn’t take a tripod so no waterfall photos) followed by one solid ascent to Pen Yr Ole Wen (978m) with a great view of Snowden beneath the clouds, thena vertiginous scramble straight down the other side, looking over the stunning jutting crag of Tryfan. 

All the panoramas were taken by steady hand with no tripod assistance, just sweeping around the view in portrait orientation. A good skill to practice if it’s cold and more importantly if you are going to slow everyone else up taking your camera out as the light gets just right!

My Peak Design clip holster also had a good long term trial to great success. Very good when on the move, with shifting light requiring a quick response, and especially with a pack.

As usual you also can view the whole set on Flickr

Really worth seeing the whole set this time. What great conditions we had.