Tales from Fraggle Towers ~ April/May 2022

I’ve been rubbish at keeping up the monthly Fraggle Towers posts, but hey-ho, life and all that. Anyway here is a potted update on our doings.

April saw Phil and I attend our first gig since the Covid thing began, and we went into Newcastle and met up with Phil’s son Carl and his Missis Karly, to see the band Stone Broken, which I’m sure you’ve all heard of 🤣. Phil and I started out in our regular pub Rafferty’s on Pink Lane, which has cheap alcohol and a floor your feet stick to.

Rafferty’s

The venue was The Riverside, which is beside the river Tyne (not being funny, we have a Lakeside pub that’s nowhere near a lake 🙄) a small venue which gets packed. I must admit to a certain amount of trepidation at being stuck in a room with a few hundred people, none wearing masks. I had one on, but it seemed overwhelmingly pointless as I had to remove it to have a drink so ended up maskless too.

Family outing

Newcastle at night is lush for photos

Tyne at night
The Bridge and the bridge.

The Band were great

Stone Broken

and a good time was had by all, plus we didn’t get Covid and die, so result!

Phil and I went back there in May to see a brilliant American Southern Rock/Soul band, Robert Jon and the Wreck and they were fantastic.

Robert Jon and The Wreck

We’ve been checking out a couple of local restaurants we hadn’t been to before, the first one was pretty poor food-wise, though a nice looking pub, in a lovely setting near our wildlife reserve. It was cheap, which was probably why we got oven chips and frozen veg with our main course, Phil had a microwaved pie (soggy pastry) and I got away with scampi which it’s hard to ruin really. Won’t be going back.

The Cock Crow Inn at Hebburn

The other one is called Le Olive Verdi and is a lovely Italian restaurant on the top floor of The Pelaw Inn, had a fab dinner, steak in 3 peppercorn sauce and it came with fresh veg, not cheap, but worth the money, and we can walk there so it’s all good and we will be returning.

clock at Le Olive Verdi

The cats:- Lord Vincent has been his usual zen self, eating, sleeping, sitting under bushes and plodding about.

Lord Vincent

WInnie has been on a killing spree. I came downstairs one morning to find a dead mouse on our dining room mat, it wasn’t mauled, just looked like it was asleep. A few days later Phil found a dead blackbird in the TV room. Then one day whilst Phil was at work she came running past me with something in her mouth, I chased her upstairs to the bedroom where she had something under the bed which was tweeting. It must have got free from her and hid as she came charging around to the other side of the bed whereby I picked her up and evicted her. I couldn’t see anything under the bed and it’s too heavy for me to move so I shut the door and left as I had to go out for a couple of hours. When I came back I could hear a constant tweeting from behind the bedroom door. I opened it and something ran very quickly under a chest of drawers, so I left it alone again. Still could hear the tweeting. I tried again a couple of hours later and this time it ran into the bathroom.

Tweety Pie

I shut the door and waited for Phil to come home. Phil managed to pick him up and gently carried him into the bushes over the road, where, we hoped forlornly, his mother would hear him and come and fetch him, but Lord Vincent had sneakily followed Phil outside and as soon as Phil’s back was turned, well, need I go on?

Finally I came downstairs one day and saw

😳

which was a bit of a shock. I couldn’t believe Winnie had managed to catch this big magpie and get him through the catflap without a sound or feathers being every where and thought he must have managed to get himself in through it. But then when I checked our hedgehog camera, well… you need to set it to a slow playback speed to see it as she’s fast as fek! Keep your eyes on the top right corner right at the beginning.

So she dropped it through the catflap and it must have got away from her pretty quickly. Her ambition is boundless and I dread the day she decides Woody the wood pigeon is her next victim.

Even though she’s lethal, she’s still cute.

Killer Queen

and also makes us laugh

It’s all gravy.

Work is still full on, and I’m busy as a tree. Little Teddy is worming is way into my affections and I take him out for a walk when ever I have 10 mins spare, which is about twice a day. He mainly sits with Lynn our office manager barricaded in as he’s apt to escape.

Teddy and Lynn

Phil’s Giant Tank is coming along, and this weekend is his clubs model show, so I’ll be attending on Sunday to photograph the competition tables and winners for the club’s Facebook page.

phil’s giant tank.

Entertainment-wise I haven’t seen any movies I’d recommend, maybe The Contractor as it has a good cast- Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Kiefer Doodah. It’s a serviceable action movie, but nothing new. Bird Box with Sandra Bullock started out well, and she was great all the way through but there were too many good coincidences at the end. Phil wanted to re-watch Oblivion with Tom Cruise as he got the blueray but we gave up before the end as we’d had wine/whisky and couldnt get our heads around what the fek was going on. I’ll wiki it one day. 😃

TV has been better, we got through to the end of Ozarks and are currently in the last season of Better Call Saul, both have been outstanding. We are now rewatching the first 2 seasons of Das Boot as the 3rd one is out and we forgot a lot of 1 & 2 as it was a couple of years ago, looking forward to seeing the 3rd, it is excellent.

Reading, well I’ve read all 47 of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe series twice, and am starting again at the beginning, I just love these books. I have bought other books in the meantime, but as yet I can’t let go of Wolfe to read them instead. A strange addiction!

That’s all folks. More tales from Fraggle Towers to come, eventually. If/when I remember!

📷 😊

Tales from Fraggle Towers ~ March 2022

Yep I’m a couple of days late with a ‘tales’ post for March, but c’est la vie. March has been a busy month for us with Phil doing a make-over of our dining room.

stripper
paperer

We had a new floor done too, I can’t remember why but I like it so not to worry.

job done

New music equipment was purchased at the beginning of the month, well not new, Phil rarely buys new as it’s mega bucks for what he wants, he waits until new stuff comes in and then buys stock that’s getting sold at a bargain price in order to make room for the next things. We went off to Stockton on the River Tees for his latest aquisitions, a phono cartridge pre-amp and a regulated power supply. He tries to explain to me what these things do but I just can’t. Anyways we got lost getting there or rather we didn’t but just couldn’t see it, as the building entrance faced the river and the car park didn’t. We spent some time ogling the amazing music systems they had in their upstairrs showroom

ogling
more ogling

and I took a couple of pictures out of the window,

River Tees

The cats have been their usual selves, Lord Vincent has been loving the sunshine we had last week

LV

and Winnie has been bonkers

Boxed Winnie

WInnie has learned how to get up on top of our conservatory roof, and the other morning I woke up at 7.30am to her meowing. Couldn’t see her in the room but when I opened my curtains

let me in!

there she was shouting to come in. Not best pleased as I wasn’t going to work that day so getting up at 7.30 hadn’t been the plan. Sigh.

Talking of sunshine, it’s been a mad month for the weather. Last week was like summer, and then this week we got snow and sleet in between some sunny bits. I’ve been out walking a few times with the Contax Aria, with Sophie away a lot more than she used to be there are now several weeks in between our outings, so walking out into the nature bits around where I live is a substitute. Not a great one, but better than nothing.

Phil’s sister Annette had her 70th Birthday last weekend and 13 of us went out to a local restaurant, The Lakeside (there’s no lake anywhere near it) where she had booked us in for a celebratory meal. When we arrived they had no record of the booking. That was a shock and Annette told them she’d spoken to a chap but didn’t know his name. The place was really busy too. Have to applaud the manager and her staff though, they apologised profusely and went straight into action, managed to find enough tables to cobble together for us to sit at and we were sorted and our orders taken within 15 minutes. Not a bad meal either which Annette’s husband Brian paid for which was lovely of him. Afterwards we went to their house for cups of tea and some birthday cake.

Birthday girl

Annette rang us the next day to tell us that she’s booked another local restaurant, The Green, for Brian’s birthday meal in a couple of weeks time. They asked her why we hadn’t shown up for the booking she made for the day before. 🤣🤣

My Happy Eater tree is in full bloom now, it’s strange to see the bees buzzing about on it in the middle of a snow shower.

The Happy Eater Tree

Unfortunately we seem to have aquired a herd of Magpies who are going through the bird food at a fast pace. I’ve counted 7 of them, ‘seven for a secret never to be told’, which I won’t because I don’t know what it is. Anyway I’m not keen on them but everything needs to eat so I keep topping it up. Sadly the cats are no deterent as Winnie barks at them from the windowsill and Vinnie sits under the tree but they know he’s there and wait until he goes indoors.

I drove over to the coast at South Shields the other day, managed to photograph the sea with a weather front coming in.

Incoming!

My boss was off sick with Covid last week, the guy who works for her the 2 days I don’t had picked it up and then, as he stays over at Brendas when he works for us (he lives in Scotland) she was the next in line. So far I haven’t had it, nor our office manager, we dodged a bullet there as they say.

Well that’s about it for March, I’m glad we’re into April now and looking forward to Spring springing and getting out more.

Tales from Fraggle Towers ~ Feb 22

Most of my photography is being done on film, but I’ve still managed a few iPhone shots, mostly of the cats.

Winnie has a thing for sticks of any description, and apparently spaghetti is in that classification. 🙄

sticks

Winnie and Lord Vincent don’t really get on, Vinnie is quite cool and doesn’t bother with her, but she hisses at him and sometimes jumps on him when she’s going past him, but the conservatory seems to be a no-mans land, or at least there’s a truce for there. Yep I know the windows need cleaning!

Another picture of Teddy from work, he’s ao adorably cute but SO yappy, which I’m not too keen on.

Yappy

He’s a cross between a Pomeranian and a Pappilon, whatever they are, and won’t get much bigger than he is.

I took some time out from work towards the end of the month and travelled south to see Ben, Lewis & Charlotte. It was Lewis’s 12th birthday last week but he was on half term the week before when I visited so I could spend more time with him.

That’s Ben’s ‘not another photo’ face!
Happy day!

They have been adopted by a cat who lives in their neighbourhood, Mrs. Miaow~miaow.

Mrs.Miaow~miaow.

It was nice to spend some time with them, but the driving there and back was a nightmare in the bad storms. I stay in a little annexe to a converted chapel as Ben’s house only has 2 bedrooms and I like my own room and bathroom and managed this time to mix up my leaving day, so I was turfed out on Wednesday afternoon when I thought I was staying until Thursday. 🙄 I ended up just driving home from 9pm and getting in for 1am.

We’ve only done 2 movies this month, Spenser Confidential, Mark Whalberg, which was a good action romp for a Saturday night, and The Counsellor with Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz. Directed by Ridley Scott we were expecting great things, but it was a bit of a damp squib really.

Phil has started on the redecoration of the dining room, and though it isn’t a huge room, it’s where the cabinets with CD’s, model tanks and a few preciouses live, so they have all had to be emptied and packed away. Steaming off the wallpaper starts tomorrow, thankfully I’ll be at work!

The weather has been fairly abominable, Storms Eunice, Franklin were mega~windy and rainy, I did my night drive up the country whilst Franklin was doing it’s thing, and I think we were supposed to have a Gladys too and we might have but if so it got lost in the news about Putin invading Ukraine. It’s been a sunny couple of days this weekend though so there’s that. But yes, Ukraine. Scary times and it seems to be escalating god knows where. Nothing to do but wait and see, but it’s hard to think about anything else. So that’s how February ends.

Lord Vincent

Corona Chronicles ~ 9

It’s been a few weeks since I did an update, so here’s number 9. I’m now in my 8th week back at work and it’s not letting up. I’m getting through 48 patients a week, and have got a routine down pat now. Masks are compulsory of course and I’ve got used to wearing one for most of the day, though when I have a plastic apron and my headlamp on I get uncomfortable and hot, but I’d rather that than be unprotected. So far no virus detected so although I’m certainly not blasé I’m also not too worried.

Phil is more worried as it’s so difficult in the full bifta, with face shields, masks, gowns and xray lead gowns to cope with, he is dreading a 2nd wave.

We have had an entertaining 4 weeks at home however. At the beginning of June Sophie got on a plane and went to Spain to visit her chap Mentat. They hadn’t seen each other for 3 months due to the lockdowns first there and then here. She was only going for 2 weeks and asked me to have her 2 cats whilst she was away and of course I said yes. Then the flight she was on got cancelled but they gave her an earlier one so that made it 3 weeks, and then her home flight was re-arranged for later and we’ve ended up with them for a month! Today when I get home Phil and I will return them.

They are a funny pair, Vinnie is HUGE and just wants to eat and sleep

Vinnie

and Winnie is small, doesn’t eat a huge amount and is mad as a box of frogs, chasing balls, up a height, here, there and everywhere!

Winnie on top of a door 🙄

They’ve been no trouble, well maybe there was an incident when Winnie climbed the curtains

😆

and a few times we couldn’t find her

🧐

they like sleeping a lot, especially in the sunshine

💤

and Winnie loves being in a box

or in a plastic bag

but her favourite spot is our Herky’s old place of preference

Vinnie really liked Phil

🙂

and he can do the cute thing too

and he made us laugh as he is too big for the cat toilet Sophie provided and has to stick his head out the door!

😂

It took Vinnie 2 days to come out from under our bed when he first arrived, but Winnie just got straight into everything. We’ve had to keep doors and windows shut as she is an escape artiste extraordinaire, which hasn’t been easy, so am looking forward to opening up the conservatory again when it’s warm. But we will miss them when they’ve gone home, it’s been so nice to have pets for a while.

But no, we won’t be getting our own, we still haven’t forgotten the trauma of Skye & Storm, and are not ready to be open to that again, and maybe one day we’ll be able to go on holiday again too!

Talking of which, it’s my birthday next month and it’s traditional to go away for that. We’re going to stay in Jedburgh for a couple of nights, a place not too far away but somewhere I’ve wanted to take my camera for a long time, so will look forward to that.

The garden wildlife is still ongoing, not as many hedgehogs as there were in spring when it was hot, but June and July have been pretty dismal regarding rain so the Hedgeies probably have enough natural food, the bugs and stuff. We have had an unexpected visitor though,

He was a bit of a surprise!

And that’s all my news!

Days 126-133

I’m back, did you miss me? 🙂 Although I had internet I had real problems uploading pictures to WP and embedding them from my SmugMug site, so have saved them all for one post. Normandy was gorgeous, and where we stayed was just fabulous. Of course I’ll be doing posts on it over on the other blog, but for now I must update the 365!

Our first day out was to Mont Saint Michel. There are a lot of steps to climb!

Day 126 ~Mont Saint Michel

Our next day out was to Dead Mans Corner, and to a British war cemetery, this one is at St Charles de Percy.

Day 127

Day 128 was spent visiting Arromanches, the American cemetery at Omaha beach, and the Overlord museum.

Day 128

Day 129 was our last day there as we had to leave early the next day, so we stayed local, and I took some more pictures around where we were staying.

Day 129

The sun comes through the front French doors in the morning, and so does Fatcat.

Day 130

Day 131 was our first day in Folkestone and I wandered round taking pictures while Phil was getting set up for the model show.

Day 131

More of the same on Day 132

Day 132 ~ The rather grand Grand Hotel.

Today we are home again, and getting back to real life. Phil won a silver medal for the tank he had in the show at the weekend, which was rather good.

Day 133

Back to work tomorrow, :/ I had a great time on holiday! 🙂

The 50 Picture Project

I’m still doing my Mirror project, and had a fettle on in the garden.  All the flowers are gone now, except this yellow one which came late to the party.  

The Last Hurrah

We have a frequent visitor to the garden since the mice moved in under the shed. We call him Mr.Fluffy. So far, he hasn’t caught one. A bit of a poor show really. 😀

You’re looking the wrong way!!

Autumn has definitely arrived here, at least in my garden, I’d much appreciate the weather god giving me a nice day to go find some coloured trees. 

Autumn & Raindrops.

This isn’t a mirror shot, but here’s Mr.Fluffy in large.

If I ignore her she’ll go away..

Wistful Wednesday

Once upon a time there were 2 sisters, called Storm and Skye, who were surrogate children to a nice lady called Alicia, who couldn’t have children of her own. She treated them like princesses, the best toys, the best quality food, they even had their own bathroom.  Because she lived on a main road though, the sisters were not allowed out to play, but they were happy and loved.  Then after 5 1/2 years, a miracle happened for Alicia and her husband and she found she was pregnant. Pop! Nine months later out came a little baby boy. It didn’t take Alicia long to realise she couldn’t give the same amount of time to the sisters as she had before the baby came, and so with a heavy heart she got in touch with the adoption centre to see if they could find a new home for them.

Just at the same time Mr. & Mrs.Fraggle were looking at the adoption website and saw a picture of Max, who looked well cool, so went down to see if they could have him home with them, but sadly Max had been already chosen by someone else, so they sighed, it was not meant to be, and went home a bit forlorn.  The next day they got an email from the centre, which included pictures of Storm and Skye, asking if they would be willing to take on the sisters.  They were beautiful, the Fraggles fell in love, and arranged to pick them up in a couple of days.  Mrs. Fraggle went to collect them while Mr. Fraggle was at work.  She couldn’t believe the amount of stuff that came with them! Bags of toys, blankets, portable toilets (with lids) boxes of food and biscuits, and a heart-breaking letter from Alicia telling all about the sisters habits and how hard it was to give them up.

The sisters soon settled in, and Skye decided to be Mr.Fraggle’s best pal, and Storm was Mrs.Fraggle’s.  They all lived so happily together, and bit by bit the sisters gingerly went outside into the garden, and at last experienced the great outdoors, though they never went far. Now and again Storm would be a bit sick overnight, but heartily ate everything she was given. After a while though, she was being sick every night, and started eating things she shouldn’t. Medical intervention was swift, and the Fraggles learned she had an inoperable tumour and didn’t have long to live. Storm had only been with them for 6 months at this point, and was only 6 years old, so you can imagine how shocked and upset the Fraggles were.  They looked after her and kept her going for another 3 months, but in the end Storm was too poorly to carry on. Mr.Fraggle had to take her to her final goodbye on his own, as Mrs. Fraggle was away that weekend.  Skye was a bit quiet when Storm didn’t come home, but soon went back to her nutty ways, and though she was always Mr. Fraggles special pal, she also tried to make up to Mrs. Fraggle for the loss of Storm. She entertained them daily and missed them when they were at work.  Then, after a while, she stopped being entertaining, and slowed right down, no more chasing the laser light or having mad half hours careering up and down the stairs. Sometimes she wouldn’t eat anything for a day or so, sometimes longer, and sometimes she would be sick and eat weird stuff.  Medical intervention again, and another tumour that couldn’t be cured.  The Fraggles were devastated.  Skye was only 6 & 1/2, had only been with them just over a year.  So yet again they carried on, looking after her, cuddling her whenever she came for comfort, and finally she too, was too poorly to carry on.  Mrs. Fraggle had to take her for the last goodbye, as Mr.Fraggle was working.

That day was a year ago today, and there isn’t a day goes by when I don’t think of Skye, her little cute and silly face looks out at me from my computer screen, and both their pictures are on all the pages of the calendar in the kitchen.  It has been an unending undercurrent of sadness in our lives that is nowhere near ending as yet.  One day in the future we’ll look back on all her antics and  just be happy to have known her and her sister, but that time is not yet here.

Skye & Storm kittens, photo courtesy of Alicia

The laydeez

 

 

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Thursday Thoughts

It’s all about the snow of course. The pesky white stuff that is inundating the British Isles at the moment. Facebook is full of camera phone shots of people’s back gardens or streets, the news is all about the disruption to schools and travel.  The met office is issuing yellow, amber, red weather warnings. (Don’t go out if you’re in the red area as you’re likely to die!). People went out and stock piled food items so nothing is left in the smaller shops. 20 vehicle crash on the A19, the A1 is closed now too and police warnings telling people to stop being stupid and stay home.  The whole of the North East is shutting down. People living in Canada, USA, Finland et al look at us and laugh at our inability to cope with this weather.  We have a few gritters careering about ineffectually, and there is a tractor company that turns them into snow ploughs for rent here and there, but on the whole we just shut up shop and hunker down until it’s gone. Disfunctional Britain due to snow.  Our excuse is that we don’t get snow very often, have even heard that we haven’t had it for over 30 years!  I must have been living in a parallel universe most of my life then.   This is me back in 1961, I’m the cuteypatooty on the right…

That white stuff  happened every year of my childhood, for a couple of months at a time, didn’t stop us going to school, we walked as we got older. Didn’t stop Mum from going to work in her car.  The roads were cleared every night and we had heaters in the classrooms. This was in Yorkshire by the way, I wasn’t living in the arctic. Oh but that was back in the olden days our snowflake (!) generation say, less traffic on the roads – what they really should say is less idiots on the road. I drove to work yesterday and the amount of stupid I saw had me swivel eyed all morning.

In 2009 here we had a month of snow, and I went to work as usual

 

but came off worse for wear when going downhill in Newcastle and an idiot in a great big Landrover pulled out of a side road and hit my car, knocking me into several other cars parked up on the other side of the road

I was really peed oft at the driver, he blamed me!!  The insurance sorted that one out so no harm done, and I continued to go to work in the replacement insurance vehicle.

The following year we had even more snow,

Herky 2010

Yoyo 2010

I went to work then too, without incident that year thankfully, but had to take Phil to work and pick him up a couple of times as his car couldn’t get off our estate, we live at the bottom of a little hill.  So why on earth everyone thinks we don’t get snow so it’s not worth investing in the equipment needed to keep the country going is beyond me.  I’m lucky to be off for the next few days, but come Monday I’ll be going back to work no matter the weather, if the roads are open that is! No metro service from here to there and the buses are irregular if at all. 🙄

Phil and I took a walk to our local shop this morning

for milk and vodka supplies 🍸 so we’re tucked up indoors with the heating on. Of course I’ve been taking pictures, (hasn’t everyone?!) mostly on film camera’s but also with the fuji,

night

and day

my bathroom window this morning

 

and I’ve been making sure to put food. out for the birds, they’re having a right old time at the Happy Eater tree, and I got some shots of our Bobby Robin in his element

Christmas card 🙂

snow bound.

and finally for a quick giggle press HERE

🙂

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End of year Photography review.

I like looking back over the year, and reliving  the places and events I got to see, my travels and my outings with Sophie.  This is the first year I’ve had 2 blogs on the go, so am picking my favourites from across both blogs and posting on both. I am multidimensional!

Back in January I decided to embark on a walking project to do 1000 miles over the year, and do a 365 photography project.  This was a complete debacle as 9 days into it I got really ill with the flu, and it took me a month to fully recover by which time the impetus for both projects had disappeared.  Frego accompanied me on the walks I did do and we got some nice pictures around the area I live in spite of the freezing weather.

     

February was the first opportunity to go on a photography trip with Sophie, and we went off to shoot the bridges of Newcastle, a sunny day but cold. We also visited the quayside market which was full of interesting arts and crafts, and yummy food.

Phil had a joint birthday party with 3 of his colleagues from work, and though his is the last one in March, the party was organised for the end of February. Family and friends of all the birthday people attended, some in fancy dress, and a good time was had by all.

March came in with Phil’s Birthday on the 2nd and we celebrated in our usual fashion.

Phil also started work on getting my shed ready for habitation, but also a sad time as our cat Skye, who had been diagnosed with an inoperable tumour, declined in health, and finally at the end of the month had to have that last trip to the vets. Our hearts are still not mended.

April was a busy month,  I went with Phil to the model show at Darlington, then the following weekend an outing with Sophie to the food festival at Bishop Auckland. They had opened up the castle for the day and so we took the opportunity to visit.

then at the end of the month, off to Poland to meet Eddy, Gosia and Malina.  What a fab long weekend! Days out with Eddy and his lovely family, delicious home cooked food from Gosia, just great company and good fun. Can’t wait to go back and see the new arrival!

Another busy month in May. Sophie and I went to another food festival, this time in South Shields.

Phil’s daughter Shelley had bought a nights stay (with evening meal!) in  lovely Dunsley Hall near Whitby in Yorkshire for Phil’s Birthday present, and after we got there, we went off to visit the abbey in the late afternoon.

Phil’s son Carl had got him a day out in a tank so we did that too!

In June Sophie and I had a great day out visiting Tees cottage pumping station in the morning and Hardwick Park in the afternoon.

Phil and I had a day out at The Hoppings Fair in Newcastle, on the hottest day of the year, there were fairground rides, army displays, police dog displays all in 32deg C which we are not used to at all! Of course I got sunstroke 🙄 but for a colour~junkie like me it was worth it!

July wasn’t as hot, thankfully and Sophie arranged us a trip on the River Tyne. Lots of riverside industry to see from a different perspective out on the water, and many bridges to sail under.

We also managed a trip out to Teesmouth nature reserve which is a mix of coastline, meadows and industrial complex.

Also in July I went down south to dogsit for my son, and had a couple of days out photographing with my pal Helen. We visited The Swiss Gardens at Shuttleworth, beautifully landscaped gardens with follies and quirky buildings to come across. And peacocks!

She also took me to Jordans Mill which has a smallish garden but is great for macro photography. Although it was raining we walked a fair way up the river Ivel too so got some mileage done.

Sophie was away a fair bit in August but we did manage a day out first to Cresswell Hall ruins, and then on to Druridge Bay where they had a vintage rally going on.

Another busy month in September, Sophie and I visited Pow Hill Nature reserve which is the current Fraggle report over on the Universe Blog 

and Northumberland Zoo was a great fun day out.

We also visited Bolam Lake just as Autumn was beginning to take hold, and the 1000 yr old St.Andrews Church nearby.

I also went to a work conference with my boss and friend Brenda, stayed in a posh hotel and had fun meeting people I hadn’t seen in ages. They put on a swish dinner in the evening and the guest speaker was Ben Cohen, formally a rugby player, then on Strictly Come Dancing, and now runs his own charity which he gave a talk on. So I did my first ‘celebrity’ shot ever! He is quite buff in the flesh!

In October Phil and I did a mini tour through Belgium and Holland, visiting loads of WW2 sites and museums, what a great holiday! We ended up in Veldhoeven for a big model show where Phil was judging.  Hard to choose a favourite as everywhere we visited had some great photo ops, but am going with this shot taken outside the Arnhem museum, of an old chaps hand feeding the deers so I could get a good shot of them. Nothing beats the kindness of strangers when in different lands I think. That touched my heart.

Of course it was Halloween at the end of the month and I did the usual thing of swapping treats for a photo when they knocked on the door.

November saw Sophie and I off to Jarrow Hall and the Bede Museum. They have an outdoor medieval village and Sophie tried her hand at grinding flour for bread.

We also did a long walk around the Rising Sun nature reserve, but man was it windy and cold!

I did a B&W project  for 30 days too.

 

December has been switching between very cold and very mild, and Sophie and I went off to an open day at the 17th century Guild Hall in Newcastle, afterwards we watched the sunset over the Bridges and got some lush photo’s of it.

We also went to the Camel Parade in South Shields, and as well as camels they had drummers and light walkers on stilts followed by a firework display.

Frego came round to do a fashion shoot with the Orientals.

and we had a Christmas party with our family.

So that’s the end of the year just about.  Not a bad one, except for Skye.

Thanks to all who follow this blog, and also to the Fraggles Universe followers ~  you all make blogging a fun thing to do 🙂 so Happy 2018 to all 🥂🍻

And stay tooned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday Thoughts

Woke up to this today!  We haven’t had proper snow up here for  7 years, so it was a bit of a shock.  The last time was bonkers

Yoyo in the snow 2010

but I don’t think it’s going to last this time, it’s almost all gone now.  It was nice to see it, well at least I thought so, but most people don’t seem to like it.  Our country seems to have lost the ability to cope with snow, more than a day of it and schools, trains, the roads come to a standstill.  People don’t know, or haven’t been taught how to drive in it.  When I was growing up in Yorkshire every winter would have weeks of snow, I think they still get more of it there than anywhere else in England, and Scotland gets the main share of it being the Northest (yes it IS a word, it’s in Fraggles Dictionary) part of GB.  Ah well, icy roads in the morning will cause a bit of chaos, then slush and rain and then back to rainy normal winter.

Tomorrow night is the Camel Parade in South Shields which I did attend last year but only managed a few decent shots, you can see them HERE  but am (weather depending) going again tomorrow evening and hopefully this year will do  better, I managed not to get a decent shot of a camel last time. Or the drummers. And my fireworks were a bit dodgy 🙂  so fingers crossed for a better result.  At least now I know what to expect and get in position, there were a lot of pushy people getting in the way last time so I will need armour plating this time!

I was going to give y’all my thoughts on Trump’s latest fiasco, I mean, why is he having a pop at us??   WTF was all that about?  But I won’t, because really I can’t stop sniggering about the fact that he mistakenly sent his tweet to our Prime Minister initially to a lady called Theresa May Scrivener, who had 6 followers , then had to delete it and send it to our PM Theresa May.   Ms.Scrivener lives in Bognor Regis (how awful is that name for a place) a seaside town in the south of England, and of course now she is being interviewed by the press and now known as ‘the wrong Theresa May’.  (honestly I’m laughing whilst I’m writing this! 😀 ) Her responses to the interviewer from Associated Press are a joy,

“If I wanted to be famous, I would have gone on ‘X Factor,”  –  “It’s amazing to think that the world’s most powerful man managed to press the wrong button,” she said, adding, “I’m just glad he was not contacting me to say he was going to war with North Korea.”

Ah the mind boggles.  I keep thinking, what would you do if apropos to nothing in your life, you got a tweet from POTUS to say he was going to war with North Korea?

I wonder how many followers Ms.Scrivener has now .  He managed to increase Britain First’s followers by lots of thousands. I bet they’re over the moon.

I know it’s not funny really, but if you didn’t laugh sometimes, you’d face~palm yourself so hard you’d knock yourself out.   To cap it all, at the end of his tweet to the PM he says, “We are doing just fine!”  Yep, you’ve not long had the worst mass shooting, a Right Wing fracas where someone killed a girl by running her over, Tillerson is about to be dumped, your son in law is under investigation over your Russia collusion, and your people are even more diametrically and vitriolically opposed than our Leavers & Remoaners, yep, you’re doing fine Trumplestiltskin, doing fine. 🙄.   Whatever I think of our politicians, and it isn’t good thoughts people, not good at all, even our worst (Boris, Rees-Mogg, Davies, Gove I’m looking at you) are not in Trump’s league of stupidity , incompetence, and national self-harm.  But close enough.

So that’s me not giving my thoughts on Trump’s latest fiasco. 🤪

Laters Gaters