comlay.net

Welcome to the world of ‘Treescaper’, an alias which first appeared on Flickr in 2005 when the purchase of a new pair of walking boots and a digital SLR gave rise to an orgy of tree photography in the countryside near my home.  Photography has been a hobby over the years and you’ll find a few pages dedicated to images, influences, and the collection of cameras which I’ve used in the last fifty years.

Perhaps most importantly, this page is home to ‘Travels with Tilman’, paying homage to one of the least known but most illustrious of Britain’s twentieth century explorers.   In an era of exploration which included such great names as Francis Chichester and Wilfred Thesiger,  HW (‘Bill’) Tilman stood head and shoulders above the lot.  A maverick hero of both world wars and a defining pioneer in British mountain exploration of the Himalaya, he carved out a role as the first high latitude small boat sailor of the modern age.  That puts him in good company, from the Elizabethans John Davis and Martin Frobisher, through to Ernest Shackleton, Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen in the early 20th century.  Knowing him as I did, perhaps the working sailor, whaler and latter day clergyman William Scoresby would have been his more modest role model.  I had the good fortune to sail with him twice, to West Greenland in 1970 and East Greenland in 1971, beginning an unlikely friendship spanning three generations that continued until his loss at sea in the South Atlantic in 1977.

It’s also the world of ‘Keypuncher’, the name which really should have been engraved on my ‘Ten Year Clock’ had the company’s sense of humour not failed so spectacularly. When I was ‘retired’ – in the Bladerunner sense – by my global IT employer, I wrote down a list of potential blog items, only one of which ever got written. Five years later, with the need to find a more modern platform for the ‘Travels with Tilman’ website triggering a move to WordPress, it’s possible that I might start chipping away at that list.

Bob Comlay – October 2016