Film Friday

Still the same Fuji roll of film in the Riva AF35ex, these are all from a day out in the Toon with Phil

lunch time


Fake beach huts


The Entertainers


Chris Hemsworth ~ Boss!


Begone thou damnable pigeon afore I remove thy head!

as always the pictures are clickable for an embiggened experience 😀



Wednesday Wings

The snow has all gone from here now, but whilst it was here I put extra birdseed out and in return got a visit from a new bird. At first I thought him a spuggy, but re considered and checked the RSPB bird finder, where I discovered he is a Reed Bunting.  I only got 2 half decent shots as he was dicking about all over the place, so here they are,


Bunty in the snow

Where I work is a converted old farmhouse, and beyond the carpark is just open grassland. When I  go out to the car I often see a kestrel perched on a nearby tree, the roof of the farm building or one of the lampposts. I saw her Monday and Tuesday this week so took my long lens and fuji to work today and she Kindly obliged me by landing on the nearby lamppost just as I went out to the car. She is beautiful.



I suppose she could be a ‘he’ really but I’m going with a ‘she’.  The local crows chase her around dive bombing her sometimes, and apparently this is a thing, it’s called mobbing, and they do it to birds they consider a threat. In fact the only predator dangerous to crows are goshawks and they’re rare as rocking horse poo, so I think they’re just mob-addicts.  Apparently terns and gulls are good at mobbing too, but crows are top of the mobbers. She flies off when they start on her but always comes back.  Unfortunately the fields over which she flies are soon to become a housing estate, and I suspect she will move away, but I hope not, I’d miss her.




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!


















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.




Monday Mobile Moments

I was clearing out my iPhone album this weekend to free up some space, and was struck by how many photo’s of signs I’ve taken in the past few years. SO I thought I’d share a few here and entitle my post

The Signs Of (my) Life

Italy 2013

Pub in Leighton Buzzard 2016

Bruges 2012

Columbus, Ohio 2014

Columbus 2014

Lake Ontario 2014

rest stop on Interstate 90 2014

Kentucky 2014

Nashville 2014

Nashville 2014

New York Times Square 2014

Sign of the Times (Square) 2014

Which one’s your fave?


Have a good week Wordypeeps!




Thursday Thoughts

I think today I reached Bad News saturation level 10.  Found myself bursting into tears half way through reading the newspaper this morning, I was in the middle of an article on Erdogan and bosh! off I went.  It’s not been a good week, Phil is on nights and where normally I’d have a little furry friend to keep me company, she isn’t here anymore, and I’ve been trying not to think like that, but the back of my head has been ignoring me.  Also I’ve not been sleeping too well which doesn’t help when it comes to eye leaking propensity.

1.30am, all quiet on the western front. Actually it’s the northern front but that doesn’t have the same ring to it 🙂

The terror attack in London yesterday was pretty awful and kind of shocking but not really as everyone was waiting for it to happen, but up here I’m just as remote from London as I was for the terror attacks in France, Germany, wherever.  I feel sad for the people injured, the families of the dead and the trauma everyone went and is going through, but the news is over the top with it’s reportage I feel.  The 24hr news means they have to interview every eye witness they can find and regurgitate previous clips ad nauseam, speculate on this that and the other, loads of talking heads, as if nothing else was going on in the world.  Report the salient details and move on! We didn’t even watch the news tonight as it’s still nothing but London.  Oh and the footy results of course, nothing gets in the way of those!

So I stopped reading the paper and did the crossword.  I try to be quiet in the house as Phil is asleep, find quiet things to do. Read a book, take some pictures.  I’m currently growing herbs from seeds planted last Thursday, the sweet basil is charging ahead followed by chives and coriander, but parsley has not poked it’s head up as yet. I made a crude time lapse of the basil, taken over a 3hr period this afternoon, and got a 15 second video.  Amazed at how much they move!

might have a proper go tomorrow and do a better one. Tonight I’m going to find a good movie and go to bed early, and tomorrow I’m not going to read the news 🙂

1000 miles day 8

“Hiya Frags, ready to go?”
‘Yep where are we off to today?’
“Well I spotted a cycle path on the outskirts of the estate the other day, so I thought we’d explore that.”
‘OK let’s rock’

“Pigeon post!”

“That’s a long straight path Frags”
‘lets get on the go then’

‘Curly ivy’

“Oh blimey Frags, good job we’ve got our hiking boots on!”
‘Try and go round the outside’

“Take a picture of me on this mountain”

‘Oh good, signposts’

‘I do like curly old ferns’

“Lovely day today Frags”

“Look the moon, that means it’s a dark night in Australia”
‘I guess so!’

“Oops gone past our turning, but nice walking back into the sun”.

“Lovely sparkles on the little stream Frags”

‘Oh we’ve ended up back at the wetlands!’

“I bet that’s the same moorhen as yesterday, all the others are in pairs except this one.”
‘Hmm not sure about that! There’s quite a few about.’
“Don’t argue Frags, I know it’s him.”

‘Beautiful reflections Frego’

“Yes but where are these ripples coming from?’

‘From your lonely pal!’

“It’ll be lovely here when Spring comes and all the trees have leaves again”
‘Can’t wait!’


“Ah my favourite sheeps are still here”
“Sheeps, silly, there’s more than one obvs”

“Let me get some of them”

“They’re so cuddly. OK Frags, home we go!”

4.07 miles

1000 miles day 5

“Hiya Fraggle, are you ready to go?”
‘Yep, where are we off to?’
“Well it’s a beautiful sunny day out there, but really cold, so I thought we’d do a longer version of yesterday, around Wardley, so we can get back in the warm ASAP.”
‘OK, lead the way’

“Don’t you love it when the sunlight picks out the tree leaves Frags?”

“I love this bent old fence with the circles, that’ll be a good one for Fence Friday!”

‘Well I like this horses head one, totally bonkers for a semi-detached house on an estate’

“Ah look, these berries match my jacket!”

“And this bush!”

‘Talking of bonkers, this is rather tropical, surprised it grows so well up here’

‘Pretty flowers’

‘I like the footprint in the cement here’

“Get a shot of the butterfly fence Frags”

“How do plants grow in cement?”
‘I have no idea Frego, maybe because the mortar is porous so holds water well, not sure really.’

“Haha look at our shadows!”

‘Men at work, maybe fixing a TV ariel’

“Whoops there goes the neighbourhood!”

‘Yes I heard a lady in the shop complaining about it, but I rather like it’s chutzpah myself’

“Well Fraggle we can turn here for home or go back the long way through the woods, what do you think?”
‘I think we’ll go the long way, I’m good yet’

‘This is the bridge I crossed the other way on Tuesday, I took one in B&W, but I’m liking colour today’

‘Look Frego, two for joy’
“Yep like me and you Frags”

“Look Frags I’m walking on thin ice!”
‘No change there!’

“What’s that building?”
‘Wardley Colliery, it’s falling to bits now’

“Ah, backlighting shots Fraggle, the sun’s low now”

‘It’s getting really cold now Frego, lets get home and have some hot chocolate.’
“Yes, that was a good walk wasn’t it?”
‘Indeed I quite enjoyed it!’

3.72 miles