Did you miss me?

Well of course you didn’t. I was all over your blogs like a cheap suit when we had some downtime while away, most of the countries we went through have the internet. 🙂 A rather different road trip than last years, which I did posts on over on the Universe blog,  and I only used the Fuji for museum shots and reference shots for Phil as he’d forgotten to charge his camera batteries the day we went off to the Panzermuseum! 🙄😊

So I won’t be doing the usual Fraggle report over there, but I did shoot a fair amount of film, and iphone shots, so we’ll do that on here I think.

I’ve been back a week already, and so busy at work and sorting out the holiday washing and all the boring stuff, but I did go out with Sophie yesterday and it was a sunny, if cold, autumn day, there’ll be a report on that eventually! 

It’s my 6th anniversary today of being on WordPress, yay go me! 

Some photo’s then? Oh go on, lets!  Here are a few shots I took of Frego on the roadtrip

We are sailing…
I’ve found the mini bar Fraggle!
So sad Fraggle..
Yum! Spaghetti Bolognese!
I think I need a wide angle lens Fraggle…
We should get one of these Fraggle
Good lord Frags, you could ride to the moon on one of those!

Thursday Thoughts

It’s taken me a while to get back here to The Other Place while I’ve been concentrating on getting 2017’s posts up on The Universe blog.  I didn’t know what to do with this place either for 2018.  I kept reading other people’s posts about exciting goals/resolutions for their blogs in 2018, but couldn’t really get enthused about any for my own. I didn’t want to keep doing the same old thing, but couldn’t get inspired or think of a project.  On top of the creative limbo, I’ve had and still have the damned flu thing that’s sweeping the world. Phil has it too, so we are a sorry pair at the minute,coughing and spluttering and sniffling our way through the days wishing it would go away. :/

I have though now found a little project I’ll share on the blog.  Last year I wrote a post on the Hipstamatic app on the  iPhone (HERE) and I’ve just bought the latest new lens/film pack for it.  When I looked at the ‘my gear’ section I find over the years I’ve built up 87 different packs, that comes to about £86! Not much in the grand scheme of things, (I’ve had the app since it came out in 2009) £9 per year really, but I’ve never really used the packs purposefully.  I’ve taken pictures with it of course, and then faffed about with the ‘lenses’ and ‘films’ to process the shot, but never chosen a pack first for a specific shot. So this year I’m going to take a picture with every pack, and see what each one does. Monday Mobile Moments will be resurrected for the project.

I still do the Sunday Challenge over on Ipernity photo site and I thought I just might post those shots here too. Probably on a Sunday 🙂

For regular visitors, you’ll remember last year I decided to grow my own veg, and what a disaster THAT turned out to be (goddamned horrid worm thingys) though I did get a few tasteless potatoes  and a good crop of herbs. So this year I’m just growing herbs, building on success and ditching the failure seems a good way to go 🙂 . Instead of trying to grow food, I’m making the effort to cook it instead, not that I don’t already, but I’m trying out lots of new recipes I’m finding on various cooking blog sites, and I might feature the good ones on here, I could do with some practice on food photography.

I love reading blogs where people review books, TV, movies etc and I’m not very good at that so I’ve been thinking I might have a go now and then, but I’m blowing hot and cold on it as it doesn’t involve my camera!  I think my pictures are much more interesting than my words.

So we will see. There’s not much structure in this is there?  🙂 but I’m OK with that, I’ll post stuff willy nilly as and when and that’ll do.

Last night my dear husband woke me up at 1am to tell me it was snowing 🙄 and though I’m eye-rolling, really I was pleased and stayed up for half an hour watching it come down in big fluffy white blobs.  I took a shot of it with the iPhone which came out pretty rubbish

but this morning I set the alarm for sunrise time and watched the transformation

Here comes the sun doo-dn doo-doo

Most of it’s thawed now, yet again a one day snow day for us, though the west of the country still has swathes of it and no doubt Scotland has a good share.

Oh and one more thing, for Frego fans, she got a gorgeous box of chocolates for Christmas, which she didn’t share at all! I imagine she will be popping up in the blog now and then.

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frego’s Friday

‘Hi Frego.. Oh you’ve brought some pals!’

“They’re not pals Fraggle, they’re my homies and here to assist me on my shoot.”

‘What shoot?’

“I’m doing a shoot with the oriental ladies today, so if you could just keep out of the way that’d be great.”

‘Uh OK, can I watch?’

“I suppose so, if you must. You might learn something”

“OK Cordelia,Henrietta can you set up the blue rocks for Yume & Yuzuki please”.

“Henrietta if you could light the ladies from the window side, and Cordelia stand by with the second camera. Yume,Yuzuki, get in place now and try to look natural”

“‘彼女はあなたが考えていない少し偉そうなの?”‘

“No talking now please!”

“OK that’s great, I think we’ll do Hana next.  Fraggle go and make some tea we’ll need a break after this. Cordelia will just have juice, she doesn’t like tea.”

‘OK Frego’.  (leaves shed to make drinks)

(returns with cuppas) ‘Oh you’ve finished already?’

“Not quite Fraggle, I’ve done Hana, Kaona and Momoko,  just got Saika & Kiyomi left to do, now hand out the tea and we’ll all have a break.”

“SAIKA!!  Come along please!

“‘オーケー叫ぶ必要を承諾しないでください! “‘

“Cordelia blow the bubbles and throw the petals now”

“”Which shall I do first??””

“Both together silly, I don’t want to spend hours in potatoshop!”

“Fabulous! Right let’s get Kiyomi in, Madeline get the car ready! Come along Kiyomi,we haven’t got all day and we’re losing the light!”

“‘問題なく問題がなくて、私は途上にあります”‘

“Henrietta hold that light steady please, and Skego, don’t get in the way!”

“That’s a wrap everyone, now you all get cleared up while I go and process the shots”.

‘Can I see what you’ve done Frego?’

“Of course as you’ll be doing a blog post of the end results”

‘I will?’

“Certainly, it’s about time you had some great photo’s on it instead of the usual rubbish.  Your readers will appreciate a bit of class after all this time I should think.”

‘Sigh’

Yume & Yuzuki

Hana

 

Kaona & Momoko

Saika

Kiyomi & Skego

‘Um thanks Frego, I think..’

“You’re welcome. I’ll be back to do the rest of the ladies when I’m not too busy.  Come on homies, time to go, our work here is done!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mundanity Monday

Another week completed of B&W with (mostly) no people.

On Monday my shiny new (well almost new- ‘good as’ according to amazon) 23mm lens arrived.

I forgot to do a shot on Tuesday 🙄

On Wednesday the moon was out in daylight and though I did get a sharp shot, I like this one with the blurry bird and moon better

It snowed on Thursday

and on Friday Frego came back to do a shoot, she brought assistants and they had a tea break or two during the shoot

Phil spent  Saturday changing stereo equipment from one room to another

and on Sunday Sophie and I went off to Newcastle to do a Heritage tour of the 17th Century Guild Hall, which will be reported on the Universe blog at some point.

 

 

 

Mundanity Monday

I missed a couple of days shooting B&W last week, but resumed half way through, so a couple of extra ones here this week.

Last Saturday we treated ourselves to rib eye steak. I’m crap at cooking steak in spite of religiously following Gorgon Ramsey’s video. 😦

on Sunday Sophie and I had a camera outing to the Rising Sun country park, (report to come on the universe blog).

Washed my hair on Monday

Went to work on Tuesday morning

Checked out the Christmas lights on Wednesday

Bought some flowers on Thursday

a coal~tit visited on Friday

Frego & I got new camera’s on Saturday 🙂

Sophie and I went out on Sunday

I know there’s not meant to be people in them but it’s my project so I can break the rules if I want 😀

laters gaters!

 

 

 

Across the Pond 9 ~ Sept 2017

Our ongoing collaboration of iPhone photography (details HERE).

It was my turn to choose the theme for September, and thought Frego and Lady O could do with an outing

I took Frego to the coast, and Kathy put Lady O on a chest of drawers 🙂

Thursday Thoughts.

I knew I should have just done the crossword and the word scrambler in the newspaper this morning, but I went and spoilt it all by reading the news as well, and as always ended up being incensed.  Apparently in order to make our way in the world after bloody Brexit, we will be increasing our arms exports internationally.  The Defence & security Equipment International (DSEI) event is happening in London and our Defence secretary, Sir Michael Fallon was there doing a talk.  We’ve already secured £5.9 billion in defence (I use that word because he did)  orders in 2016 and are already the world’s second largest weapons exporter. Well, isn’t that something to be proud of.  By 2018 our ‘defence’ budget will be £37 billion.  (But we can’t afford pay rises for our public servants, or pay for mental health care). Our new weapons include Dreadnought subs, Apache helicopters, F35’s and frigates.  We’re also working to develop artificial intelligence for use in warfare. At least that’s good because real intelligence seems hard to come by.  Sir Fallon also told everyone “there are robust safety measures to allow ethical defence exports to flourish, protected by a licensing system to  ensure exports are rational and lawful and which guarantees that we do not in the process violate international law, create tensions, promote terrorism or endanger global security”. That should cheer up the civilians being bombed in Yemen with British weaponry supplied to the Saudi’s. The Rohingya muslims currently undergoing ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Burmese military in a training programme by the UK will also breathe a sigh of relief I’m sure.  Coincidentally the DSEI is on at the same time as International arms control talks are going on in Geneva, the hypocrisy is staggering.

My country does not look after people, not our own and certainly not anyone else’s.  Our considerable research and resources do not go into making the world a better place for anyone anywhere, but we are extremely good at defending ourselves, and  subjugating and killing other people, and it was ever thus.

So I took my camera out to the coast at South Shields, my go to place when the world gets me down, and I took Frego with me for company.  It was really windy with dramatic skies, but peaceful all the same.

We saw some police horses being excercised

and more weaponry! A Disappearing Gun on Trow Point was first placed there in 1887 when the army were experimenting with coastal defences. The gun was forced down into a pit for re-loading by the recoil after the gun fired, so affording protection to the crew and obscuring the gun from direct enemy fire. The structure was sunk deeply into the ground to accommodate the water upon which the platform rose and fell, actuated by air pressure pumps. Trials of platform took place on 15th and 16th December 1887. It was found that the raising and lowering of the platform was too slow and the system was abandoned in favour of the quicker and cheaper Elswick hydro-pneumatic mounting. The replica gun was installed in 1997.  The graffiti not long after!

this chap was having fun

I love the colour of waves just before they curl over

and how they hug the rocks

there are still little pops of colour to be found in the grass dunes

and places to sit and take in the view

Equilibrium restored!