365 ~Hipstamatic Week 12

This week I chose the Aegina Hipstapak which consists of the
Aphaea 12 lens which adds vibrant contrast and saturation to images, and the Aeacus 6 film which has light bursts coming from unexpected angles and a strong grain pattern.

Sunday 19th March
Today was Mother’s Day in the UK, and Shelley and the kids came over with cards, flowers,chocolates and hugs, so that was lovely.

Lots of love!

Monday 20th March
A steady day at work, we’re not so busy of late, and can only think the upsurge in the cost of living is putting some people off getting their ears done, priorities change as the economy tanks. Anyway, Winnie cares nothing for that, her ears are one of her superpowers!


Tuesday 21st March
Oh my tree is really giving it’s all to the pinking, it only lasts a couple of weeks so there’s going to be a few shots of it until it’s over.

The Happy Eater Tree

Wednesday 22nd March
Today was new carpet day. Phil spent the previous few days emptying out the East Wing and painting the skirting boards, then the gadgies arrived at 8am and were gone before I left for work. When I got home in the afternoon Phil was rebuilding the stereo.

Building blocks

Thursday 23rd March
A busy day for me. This morning I took the car in for a service, and this afternoon I went to see the chiropractor who has his business in the same set of buildings as where I work. I went to see him as my neck isn’t getting any better, though it’s manageable and my boss offered to pay for me from the business to see him which is really kind of her. Anyways, apparently I’m wonky of bone structure (subluxation of spine I think he said) and need treatment, which I’m actually a bit wary of but I’ll see how it goes. This morning the tree was still looking spiffing.

Tree 2

Friday 24th March
A day catching up with laundry and housework, and in the evening we met up with Carl, (Phil’s son) his wife Karly, who is currently awaiting a liver transplant so it was lovely to see her looking well, and their son Matthew to go and see one of our favourite bands, Daughtry at the City Hall.. Anyway it was a disappointing gig for various reasons, but at least we got out and tried!


Saturday 25th March
This afternoon we went to see Liddy performing on stage. She goes to a drama/singing/dancing school once a week and every year they put on a show consisting of musicals’ songs, dance routines etc. Liddy is both the youngest and smallest amongst 20-25 older girls but holds her own very well, she’s a natural performer and absolutely loves it. Towards the end of the year she is going to be on a kids Channel 5 TV programme, I expect she’ll be famous one day!

Happy Liddy.

So that’s that and time to move on to a new combo. This one was OK, I quite liked the texture, but the lightleaks are a bit naff, so a bit of a non event. Onwards….!!

365 ~ Hipstamatic Week 11

This week I’ve gone with the Madalena lens which is inspired by the warmth and vibrance of Vila Madalena in São Paulo, this lens adds a strong flavor to any print. The film is Blanko, a simple film with a light border.

Sunday 12th March
My pal Connie is doing the hipstamatic 365 with me, and I am also doing the Sunday Coffee series with her, though on Flickr not here on WP, but today I did an extra one for the 365, which is killing 2 birds with one stone, a phrase I’m not keen on as I wouldn’t kill a bird ever but I can’t think of an alternative. Anyhoo, I may do that again, being a lazy~daisy.

Sunday Coffee

Monday 13th March
Back to work, nothing new there and no time for photos. I thought I was getting a cold as I had the sniffles and a slightly achy neck. Still trying to get the hang of this Hipsta combo, it seems to do better with close up things than landscapes. This is my water feature lamp Shelley bought me for Christmas.

Zen thingy.

Tuesday 14th March
Still feeling a bit rough though nothing mega and I had an easy day at work. I took a picture of my flowers when I got home. I bought these in ASDA 2 1/2 weeks ago, they appear in week 9’s set of photos. There’s no water left in the jug but they just don’t seem to give up the ghost, magic!

zombie flowers

Wednesday 15th March
A steady morning at work and then the weekly shopping on my way home. My neck was more achy now and I needed to take ibuprofen for it. Phil had been practicing his bass guitar when I got home, so after we put the shopping away I had him give me a performance. He’s trying to play Hysteria by Muse, which is hellishly fast and difficult.


Thursday 16th March
Neck even more painful and restricting the movement of my head, wasn’t easy to drive over to Kendal’s place to get my manicure but lots of straight roads thankfully and not too much traffic. Had to park up and get a shot of the crocuses/croci (take your pick, both are right).


Friday 17th March
Last night was an experience. My neck was so painful I couldn’t sleep, and so I spent the night in the spare room ouching in between dozing fitfully. More ibuprofen today and we tried the tens machine, but that didn’t work. We went out for a walk as I’m desperate to get out and shoot some film, but it was too much pain and we came home not long after we set off. Plus I took one shot with the Contax and it packed up because the batteries went flat. I’d left the spares in my other camera bag, duh. I took a couple with the Hipstamatic though.


Saturday 18th March
No way was I going through another sleepless night, so had a diverse cocktail of medications that would floor a buffalo, and managed 4hrs straight before I got up and redosed before another 3 hours kip. Whatever it takes. Today I’m still in a lot of pain but keeping it at bay just about with 4 hourly meds. I HAVE to go to work on Monday so this HAS to be gone, and I’m FED UP, but my Happy Eater Blossom tree is gearing up for the big bloom regular readers will know from past spring posts, and that lifted my spirits.

Pinking up

I like this combination, took a while to get the hang of it but came out with some nice results, at least I think so 😊.

Anyhoo, time to be movin’ on…


365 2023 ~ Hipstamatic week 10.

This week I chose the Kantõ HP lens which adds moody cool tones and Panaji Film which adds subtle texture and a warm vignette.

Sunday 5th March
As usual, a quiet and chilled day today, rubbish weather. Read the paper, read my book, ironed my uniform for work tomorrow and played with photos until I found the combination I liked for this week.


Monday 6th March
Back to work and as usual Monday is full on. I noticed daffodils and crocuseses appearing on the grass verges on the way to work, so on my way home I parked up where I knew some grew near me, and took a picture of them.


Tuesday 7th March
We had a smattering of snow overnight, and I guessed it would be gone by the time I got home, so I took this shot in the morning before breakfast, and before it disappeared.


Wednesday 8th March
No snow today, but a chilly sunny day. I finished work at 2pm and went off to recce one of the Ray Lonsdale statues that’s on the next art trail Sophie and I do over on the Universe Blog.

Fiddlers Green.

Thursday 9th March
SNOW DAY!!! Yippee! Lord Vincent is not impressed. He doesn’t like getting his toes cold. It didn’t stay around, gone by the afternoon, sigh.

Winter~ time 2 & Lord Vincent

Friday 10th March
SNOW DAY the 2nd!! Yipee! this didn’t last long either. Sigh.

Winter~time 3

Saturday 11th March
No more snow, there’s a few patches where the sun doesn’t reach it, but that’s it. My blossom tree is budding like crazy though and I was a bit worried the snow would kill off the buds, but everything is carrying on regardless and I can’t wait until it bursts into pink!

Spring 2

Mad weather, but not unusual when I think about it, am sure last year was all over the shop too. Anyway, that’s it for this week. I like this combination, not too arty farty but some nice tones and subtle texture in the vignette. But onwards we go… so


365 2023 ~ Hipstamatic week 9

This has been a fun week. I’ve been using the Malasaña pak which consists of the Franco lens which is a simple lens that adds much warmth and emphasis in the yellow tones to images, and the Libros film, which adds abstraction and mid-frame effects to photos.  Named after Malasaña in Spain, which sounds a groovy place to be ~ Malasaña is a happening, student-friendly area, with streets filled with coffee shops, bakeries and vintage clothing stores. The Plaza del 2 de Mayo, a historic square lined with lively bars and weekend market stalls, is a popular meeting spot. At night, edgy dance and rock clubs host live bands and DJs, and the Conde Duque cultural center shows art and open-air movies in its 18th-century halls and courtyards.

These won’t appeal to everyone as they come in on the arty~farty side of life, but I really liked using this and shot loads more than I usually do. I think you have to look more into the photos and try to put things together in your brain, so not just an easy look-see image, and I used it with that in mind.

Sunday 26th February
Nothing much happening today, which is normal for Sundays when the weather is pants and the kids don’t visit. I took this slice-of-life shot in my little room, this is the board on the wall behind where I sit at the computer. I like how the sun sent some shafts of light to illuminate parts of it.

The Board of Everything

Monday 27th February
Another manic Monday at work. I didn’t have time to do anything there with photos so took some shots of some flowers I’ve got at home instead.

Flowery things.

Tuesday 28th February
Tuesday has become the absolute worst day for driving to work and then home. I have to go through the Tyne Tunnels, and lately the queues to get to it in the morning and evening are horrendous. I don’t get it because Mondays used to be busy too but the traffic on Mondays is much less now, whereas Tuesday is much worse. 🤷‍♀️

Losing the will to live.

Wednesday 1st March
A slow day at work, and then to ASDA for the weekly shop, but nothing floated my boat photographically speaking. Another slice-of-life shot from the little room.

The Shelves of Loveliness

Thursday 2nd March
Today is Phil’s birthday, but he was at work from 8am to 6pm. I got him some books I knew he’d like as a present, and cooked his favourite dinner- beef and broccoli in black bean sauce.


Friday 3rd March
Today Phil had his birthday part 2, and we went out to meet up with Shelley for lunch at the Red Lion. Completely forgot to take a photo but later Phil called me to see Winnie who had joined him in the bathroom to oversee his ablutions by sitting on top of the towel rail.

Winnie & Phil

Saturday 4th March
Phil had his birthday part 3 when Richard Sounds (a hi-fi dealer) texted to say his new thingumty-bob for his sound system had arrived. So he went off to Newcastle to pick it up, and is now replacing the 10 year old thingy for the new one. (Which looks exactly the same as the old one but hopefully improves Phil’s perception of the sound he gets from his system!).

Birthday part 3.

That’s another week done and time to move on to a new combination or hipstapak, I’m going to miss this one!


365 2023 ~ Hipstamatic Week 8

This week I’m using a Kuma lens which adds a vintage soft focus and warm color shift, and the Rasputin film which has a ragged black frame with warm tones.

Sunday 19th February
Just a quiet day today, no family visitors, so a very chilled end to the week. There was a magnificent sunset though.

A Wardley Sunset

Monday 20th February
Mondays are always the busiest days at work for me, and today was no exception. Not much time to think about the daily shot. I’m going on a flying visit down south for a couple of days on Wednesday so started the prep. I went to pump up the tyres on my car at one of the local garages in the evening after the rush hour, and thought to do a petrol station shot.


Tuesday 21st February
Another busy day, and this evening sorting out the packing to go away, under the watchful eyes of Miss Winnie.


Wednesday 22nd February
It’s my Grandson Lewis’s 13th Birthday today, and I travelled down south for a visit with him and his Dad, my son Ben. 241 miles, 4 hours driving and a 10 minute stop for the loo and to pick up a coffee to go. Glad I filled up with petrol at Morrisons, £1.40 per litre, the service station was at £1.74!! 😳 I mean, there’s ripping off customers and then there’s total greedy ba***rds. Anyway Ben and I picked up Lewis from school and then went home to watch him open his presents. In the evening we went out to Lewis’s favourite restaurant in Woburn, The Woburn Thai.

The Calamari Kid, aka Squiddly~Diddly

Thursday 23rd February
Today Ben and I took a drive out to Cranfield, to take some flowers to my Mum’s grave. A few tears from both of us. Ben cleaned it up, and then we went to lunch in the pub she used to take him to for lunch when he stayed with her at weekends when he was a young lad, and we remenisced about her.

Mum and Ben

Friday 24th February
We took Lewis to school and then went for breakfast together in Leighton Buzzard town. I got on the road home around 10.30am and did the reverse journey, stopping at the Woodhall Service station, which is more or less the half way point. It was nice to get home to Phil.


Saturday 25th February
Today my legs and back ache all over. In my jurassic era I could do that drive without even a tiny problem, now I feel like I walked the whole way! I received my updated driving license today. When you have a picture I.D card you have to update it every 10 years, which is a pain, but easily done on line. The new license has had a Brexit make-over.


and that was the week that was. Not too awful a combination that worked better on some shots than others.

Onwards, ever onwards… so


365 2023 ~ Hipstamatic Week 7

This week I’ve had mixed results using the Vicuña CL lens, which gives a hefty vignette and Vientiane film which adds a subtle desaturation and lower contrast to the image.

Sunday 12th February
Nothing much happened here today, the weather was meh so I fannied on with the Hipstamatic and figured I’d try this combination out.

cyclamen and spidey plants

It quickly became apparent that the middley bit was in danger of over exposure if you got too close, so that was something to keep in mind, and also that the subject would have to be central more or less.

Monday 13th February
Only 916 days until I retire 🤣. It wasn’t a bad day at work, and on my way back from taking some rubbish out to the bins I saw the sun reflecting off next door’s windows. It’s a cleaning company called Bright and Beautiful, which it looked.

Bright & Beautiful

Tuesday 14th February Valentine’s Day
No hearts and flowers today here, both Phil and I were working and we really don’t bother with it anyway, every day is Valentine’s Day for us 😍. There was plenty of frost though so I had to scrape the car before I went to work. Then half way to work I realised I’d left the back door wide open 😳 and had to turn around and go home and then start all over again. Still got to work on time though.


Wednesday 15th February
I quite like these wiggly tree thingies they’ve put up outside the marketing suite. Reminds me of pole dancing.

Wiggly tree

Thursday 16th February
Phil is so chuffed with our new stair carpet that he decided it was time to change the lounge carpet too. The one we have has lasted 20 years so it’s done a good job, but the time has come. This will be our forever carpet as we won’t last another 20 years 🤣.

Destiny is all!

Friday 17th February
This one isn’t too great but a rare truce happened when Winnie and Lord Vincent shared the Cat Tree so I had to grab a quick shot before it all went to ratpoop again.

Lord Vincent and Winnie

Saturday 18th February
Phil and I went to Tynemouth Market, mostly for Phil to browse the record stalls. He got a good haul today, he loves a bargain! The market is on both sides of the train station, and there’s a double bridge across the tracks. They always have some sort of display or artwork in the middle section between them, and today there were 10,000 cranes to support Ukraine. Which rhymes when you think about it. Anyway it was quite spectacular and I’m sure all the people hiding underground in Odesa and everywhere would love them but they’d probably prefer missiles or jets.

10,000 cranes for Ukraine

Another week over, I think this combination works when you factor in it’s exposure tendencies, with the cats it was impossible to get Vinnie exposed OK without Winnie being unsee-able, so I had to blow him out a bit, he didn’t mind. I think the rest are OK. Not one I’d use again though unless in specific circumstances where I wanted to really hone in on a subject.



365 2023 Hipstamatic ~ week 6

This week I decided to use a more straightorward Hipstapak, this time the Coney Island combo. It consists of the Big Bertha lens ~inspired by the carnival and summertime fun, it pops saturation in cyan, and the Ringmaster 71 film, which adds subtle contrast in the shadows to increase drama in the image. So without further ado..

Sunday 5th February
Sophie and I went on an outing this time to Barnard Castle, Egglestone Hall Gardens, and Egglestone Abbey. There will be posts on the Universe Blog at some point.

Egglestone Abbey

Monday 6th February
Mad busy work day, nearly forgot to take a photo but the sunset saved the day!

Wardley Sunset

Tuesday 7th February
One thing I learned in my other 365’s, if you see a good sunrise, take it and have a day off from thinking about what you’re going to do for your daily shot, especially on busy work days.

Wardley Sunrise

Wednesday 8th February
The photo’s I took for today were all a bit meh when I sat down to sort them out and pick one for the day. So I did a ‘slice-of-life’ corner shot. This is where the magic happens 🤣.

The magic corner.

Thursday 9th February
Today Phil and I went into the toon, me for the dentist, he for the record shops. (I know ‘he’ isn’t right but it rhymes with me quite nicely and you know what I meant anyway.)


Friday 10th February
Not the best photo of Vinnie, but it was the best of a bad bunch. Can’t win’em all.

Lord Vincent

Saturday 11th February
Another outing with Sophie, this time to Beamish Museum, the Living Museum of The North to give it it’s full title. They’re in the process of adding a 1950’s town and have a farm and 4 shops/cafés up and running but more on that in a Universe post at some point. I love the trams.


So another week over.


365 2023 ~ Hipstamatic week 5

This week I decided to try one of the more avant garde Hipstapaks and chose the Kaleidoscope combination which consists of the Kally X3 lens, a multi-lens that captures several images and gives you a kaleidoscopic photo, and the Brewster 1817 film which adds a rich and amorphous black matte to the image.

So, without further ado…

Sunday, 29th January
Phil’s son Carl visited with his herd of kids including his eldest daughter Katie, who we rarely see as she’s at University now and having her best life by the sounds of it. I took a picture of her with Phil for him, proud Grandad that he is. I’m not sure I’m keen on this effect for people shooting, so I also kept a straight shot, and decided not to shoot people with this set up.

Katie and Phil

Monday, 30th January
Back to work but nothing floated my boat there. When I got home though and stood at the back in the conservatory with my cup of tea, I noticed some clouds in the distance that looked as if they were fading Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds on their way out. I quite like the effect on the houses, like castles in the sky, but houses 🤣. I resolved to shoot more buildings.

Kelvin – Helmmholtz, maybe.

Tuesday, 31st January
The building works in the field beyond our little patch at work, have resulted in a ‘Marketing Suite’ in the corner of the land we’re on. I’ve been watching it come together, and this is the result. Our car park is going to be a nightmare when people start coming to it. There’ll no doubt be strongly worded emails going to our estate manager, who’s about as useful as a chocolate fireguard. The businesses in the units do not like their spaces being usurped.

Marketing Suite.

Wednesday, 1st February
ASDA day today, after an easy morning at work, shouldn’t say that too loud, it’s a rarity. Still had it in my mind to find buildings, and next door to ASDA is our local cinema complex, Cineworld, which I think is quite an attractive building, though it’s been a long time since I went in it. It used to have a long advertising board up where the Cineworld letters are, with posters of all the movies showing, but that’s gone so I’ve no idea what’s going on in there.


Thursday, 2nd February
Chores and laundry day today, as well as writing the next episode of Prudhoe remastered for the Sunday post on the Universe blog. I resorted to experimenting indoors, with mixed results. Tried the cats but that was a mess, so a simple window shot seemed to work best. I like how the Teddy squad are elevated to look out of the window and you can see the dip in the bedclothes where Winnie had been ensconced.


Friday, 3rd February
I needed to finish off a film before going out on Sunday with Sophie for our next adventure, and as the weather was bearable I drove up to the Angel and took some pictures in the spooky memorial hedge thingy. But of course, shot the angel too, which I think worked quite well.

The Angel of the North.

Saturday, 4th February
I was hoping for a decent sunset to shoot the houses over the road at the back, but you get what you get and it didn’t turn out too bad.

Sunset on Manor Gardens

So that’s another week over. On the whole I enjoyed it, it made me think differently as to what might work and what wouldn’t and I like the surreal results, mostly. Now to choose the next film and lens combo for week 6, arty-farty or straight up, hmmmm, decisions!

Hipstamatic 365 out~takes

I’ve been taking more than 1 shot a day most days, so figured I’d do a monthly post of the outakes I liked best. Which probably will mostly be of the cats.

Liddy in her giant Christmas coverall PJ thingy.
Cal at South Shields
Winnies latest new-place-to-sleep
Lord Vincent
Winnie on the roof

C’est tout!

365 2023 ~ Hipstamatic week 4

This week I chose the Monti Hipstapak which consists of the Sergio lens, which enhances cool tones, and the Maximus LXIX film, which adds a warm grain.

Sunday 22nd January
I know, I know, another cat picture, but I can’t help it. You should see how many I don’t post! Phil was at work until 9pm so a quiet day for me. Winnie always likes to supervise my blogging, or prevent it from happening entirely. Here she was just sitting quietly with me so I got a bit done.


Monday, 23rd January
Back to work day! 🥴 I finish work on Mondays and Tuesdays at 4pm, and at this time of the year the sun is just going down. Today when I got in the car I noticed 3 crows in a tree silhouetted agains the sunset sky, so drove to the back of the car park and got out to take the photo.

3 crows in a tree.

Tuesday, 24th January
Another day another dollar! This is part of the converted farm building I work in. I like the curvy land, and how the low sun casts light on these two units.

Rake House Farm

Wednesday 25th January.
As well as leaving work just as the sun is going down. I’m getting up in the morning just before it rises. Yesterday and today I noticed the colours out of the window whilst I was putting my face on and had to stop, mascara half complete, to run downstairs and out into the garden to see it better.

Sun rising.

Thursday 26th January
My favourite view in the house, from our bedroom window. I love it when the sun illuminates the trees at the back, especially when there’s doom clouds behind them.

Sunshine and doom.

Friday 27th January
Phil went to the eye hospital today to do the health checks prior to cataract surgery in a couple of months. He’ll have to wear an eyepatch after I guess, so I might buy him a Pirate hat to cheer him up. When he got back we took a walk over to the little shopping bit of Pelaw, and I took some photos along the way, of course. This is Kirkwood Gardens, not sure why it’s called Gardens, it’s not very gardeny really. It’s the main road through the estate and we walk it to get to the metro station, which is behind me here. I’ll get another shot of it in spring when the trees are all glorious.

Kirkwood Gardens

Saturday, 28th January
Sophie is back from Spain for a couple of weekends and today we went out with our cameras and did another Art Trail, which will appear on either the Fragglefilm blog or the Universe Blog or both at some point as I’ve used both digital and analogue cameras. And also took this..

En marche.

And so, that’s another week over. I really like the dreamy, soft feel of this Monti combination, my favourite so far. But onwards!…


365 2023 Hipstamatic week 3

This week I chose a Jane lens, which boosts contrast and saturation, with Robusta film, a textured discoloured matte film.

Sunday January 15th
Shelley and Liddy came over in the afternoon, and of course I had to take a picture of Liddy eating her way through a huge piece of rainbow cake whilst wearing pink headphones, as you do.

Liddy the Pink

Monday January 16th
Nothing out of the ordinary when I got up for work, still in the dark here. I washed and had breakfast, looked out of my window and ka-boom, severe snowing going on. It lasted for about 20 minutes, stopped, and was all gone by the time I got home from work. Poor show really, sigh. I know other parts of the country got a lot more for a few days, but we missed out.

Snow Day! Well Snow 20 minutes at least.

Tuesday January 17th
I tried to get a decent picture of Teddy, my boss’s dawg, but everytime I bent to take a shot he came trotting forward for a fuss, so he’s blurry. Serves him right!

Blurry Teddy

Wednesday January 18th
I don’t have a sweet tooth, and me having a cake or dessert is rare as rocking horse poo, so when Shelley brought cakes on Sunday I left mine sitting in the fridge. On Wednesday I didn’t have time for lunch at work and it was way past lunchtime when I got home, so I bit the bullet so to speak and had this. It is white chocolate (which I don’t really like) cream, (which is OK in soup, curry & chilli etc) and packed tight biscuit crumbs, making this a cheesecake apparently. Being that cheese is the only part of this I would like, I couldn’t taste any at all, but I have to say this was bloody lush! I’m a convert!

A no-apparent-cheese cheesecake.

Thursday January 19th
On Thursday Phil and I did chores. The biggest one clearing out one of the kitchen cupboards which had got to a point where you couldn’t get one thing out without another falling out with it. It’s all very neat and dejunked now, and to celebrate we took ourselves out to lunch at the Red Lion in Boldon. Had the awesummyummiest scampi and chips with mushy peas 🤣, you can’t beat 70’s pub grub! They do it really well at the Red Lion.

Phil & menu.

Friday January 20th
Friday was a busy day, Phil at work in the morning and I got more housework done, then spent the afternoon doing a post for the Universe blog. I got a cyclamen not so long ago, and it’s a bit quirky compared to normal houseplants in that it likes to be cool, doesn’t like the sunshine, needs moist soil all the time, and goes dormant in summer so you have to hide it away in the shade. I mean, what’s that about? Anyhoo I’m renowned for causing death to houseplants so getting a complicated one probably wasn’t my greatest idea, but encouraged by my continuing success with a spider plant I took the plunge. So far, so good.


Saturday January 21st
Friday night is always music night here and we play youtube videos of bands/singers we like, CD’s and vinyl until the wee hours and imbibe a few sherbets along the way. So Saturday morning is the one after the night before and a gentle day is required. It is a cold but blue sky day today and I took another shot for my ongoing House Across the Road series.

The House Across the Road, and visiting magpie.

So week 3 is over, and I really like this lens and film combo. The lens is sharp and clear and the film has warm tones and a nice bit of texture, but not too much. Onwards though….


365 2023 Hipstamatic week 2

This week I’m trying a combination of Lumière Lens with Delauney 1941 film. The film is named after Sonia Delauney, a French artist who co-founded the Orphic Cubist art movement, and the film adds a cubist filter to pictures and does funny things with colour.

Sunday January 9th
Phil and I went over to the coast and had coffee in Marsden Grotto, a gastro pub now, it started out as a home for a chap known as Jack The Blaster back in 1782.

A lead miner from Allendale, Jack Bates and his wife Jessie moved to the area in 1782. It is alleged he moved into a small cave at Marsden Rock either after refusing to pay rent on his house in Allendale or simply having nowhere to live. Using explosives from a local quarry, he blasted the small cave into a much larger one, earning his nickname “Jack the Blaster” in the process and creating a rent-free and landlord-free home. The dwelling was accessed by zig-zagging stairs down the cliff, thought to be built by Jack. The unusual and eccentric choice of dwelling attracted visitors, which the couple supplied with refreshments at a cost. It is suggested that he became involved in smuggling activities – offering refreshment to smugglers using caves of the coastline to hide contraband cargo.

Marsden Grotto

Monday January 10th
Back to work. The converted farm building in which I work, the land it sits on and surrounding fields are owned by the Duke of Northumberland. He is building 310 houses on the land next to us and last week put up a prefab sales office in our car park. This chap was laying slabs for a path to the office door.


Tuesday January 11th
The rains came, and didn’t stop.


Wednesday January 12th
I finish work at 2pm on Wednesdays and go straight to Asda to do the weekly shop. The car park in our Asda is down a slight gradient, and it was still raining.


Thursday, January 13th
Once a month I go to my pal Kendal’s place to have my nails done. I’m not really bothered about them any more but I’ve been going for over 10 years and I’d miss her if I didn’t go, plus she needs the money! This is her 18 month old son William, and a bowl of spaghetti in tomato sauce. He scoops some spaghetti into his spoon nicely, then picks it out of the spoon with his fingers and shoves them in his gob. 🤣 He is quite adorable.


Friday, January 14th
I was hoping to do my blogpost for yesterday at this point on Friday. Sigh.


Saturday, January 15th
Went to the local shop for a few bits and bobs, a blue sky morning but cold!

Three Tall Trees

And that’s week 2 finished. I quite like this combo of lens and film, but next week I’ll be moving on.

😊 📱