Tuesday is the new Sunday

Well it isn’t really, just that I didn’t take any pictures at all last week, was too busy on work days and too busy on days off. I don’t like being too busy. This week I am taking my camera’s everywhere and seeing pictures everywhere so I got my mojo back. Firstly, got up Monday morning, and whilst making a cup of tea, looked out of my kitchen window (which I cleaned on Sunday the day before!) and some dirty marks caught my eye. When I really looked it was a very good imprint of a flying pigeon. I couldn’t find a body so either the visiting cat got him when he landed or he managed to survive and fly off.

Blind as a Pigeon
Blind as a Pigeon

So I’ve got to do the damned windows again on my next day off. 😦

Yesterday and today has given us some really nice unseasonably warm weather, and I’ve been to some really lovely places to see clients. On Monday I travelled a long way north to Seahouses. I got there an hour before due to see a client so popped up the road to take a shot of Bamburgh Castle . This isn’t the usual view as most photo’s of it are taken from the beach side, but I didn’t have time to get up that far.

Bamburgh Castle
Bamburgh Castle

One day I’ll get up there and take some sunset shots on the beach. I drove back to Seahouses and lunch looking out to the Farne Islands, another place I have yet to do as there’s loads of bonkers birds on it like puffins.

Farne Islands.
Farne Islands.

Today I went back up north but not so far. Just to Newbiggin-By-The-Sea, bit of a mouthful but a really pretty place.

Newbiggin Bay
Newbiggin Bay

The church there, St.Bartholomews has 12th & 13th Century grave stones (which I forgot to look at haha) and is right on the edge of the coast.

St Bartholomews.
St Bartholomews.
The Couple, view from church yard
The view from the church yard

In that picture ^ you can just about make out ‘The Couple” an art installation of a man and woman standing on a plinth out on the breakwater. If you embiggen the photo by clicking on it you can see them, but don’t knock yourself out, it’s another place on my list of places to return to.

fence post
fence post

This was a cool find, he is a fence post, and I think it’s probably a cormorant, whatever, I think it’s cool.

door decoration 1
door decoration 1
door decoration 2
door decoration 2

these guys are at the end of a stone archway over the door of the church, carved in 12th/13th century, amazing to touch something so ancient, and I love that the second guy has teeth! I think they’re guys, haven’t found any info as yet on the WWW.

Pecking order
Pecking order

On top of the world, or at least the church roof. Thought this was funny, all those starlings wanting that top spot!

Finally, it’s turned into a bit of a bird week so far, I filled up my bird feeder in the front garden, and a herd of sparrows swarm it every now and again and fratch over who’s turn it is at the trough.

Band of Spuggy's
Band of Spuggy’s

Got such a mad busy day tomorrow, but hopefully will get out with the big girl camera toward the end of the week. These were all taken with my little compact, apart from the 1st and last.

Laters Gaters 🙂

 

 

A weekend in Folkestone.

Home gain now after our annual trip to the EuroMilitaire model show in Folkestone. We started going way back in 1990 so give or take the odd year when circumstances prevented us, we’ve been going 24 years. For the past 5 years we’ve stayed ina lovely hotel called The Relish, which has lovely rooms, a glass of wine and some cake waiting on arrival, and does a mean breakfast. Thats our room there at the top where there’s a balcony and what looks like 2 urns outside it.

 

The Relish
The Relish
Just arrived
Just arrived

Whilst Phil did the model show I went for a walk on Saturday afternoon to get some photo’s of the local area,the weather was overcast so any blue skies are from a few I took on Sunday. The architecture of the grand houses is beautiful, mostly turned into flats, hotels or residential homes for retired people, but I like to imagine how they used to be with a Downton Abbey kind of thing going on.

The Model Show is held in a hall on The Leas, a walkway on top of the cliffs above the beach, and it’s along there that I took my camera.

 

Boys being boys
Boys being boys
Grand Houses
Grand Houses
Lookout post
Lookout post
Chinese vine (not many grapes :) )
Chinese vine (not many grapes 🙂 )
French Clock
French Clock
The Meeting Place
The Meeting Place
Cormorant
Cormorant
Along The Leas
Along The Leas
Fkstn-12
The Bandstand
Alone
Alone
Weeds and webs
Weeds and webs

Phil did OK in the competition, getting highly commended judgements from the judges, and of course we went to our most favourite Chinese Restaurant twice!

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those are from both nights, we couldn’t eat THAT much!

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Phil checking out one of my prawns

 

At the end of the dinner on the second night Phil decided he really wanted a cup of tea (we always have a cuppa after dinner at home, it is Phil’s thing!) and he was a bit surprised when it came.

Green Tea
Green Tea

No milk, no sugar???? 🙂 We knew as we’d ordered a whole pot for two we had to drink at least some of it, there were no plants about to surreptitiously tip it into, and actually it was really palette cleansing and very refreshing, Phil even managed a top up! But we won’t be buying any for home anytime soon 😀

So back to the real world today and working a day off yet again, but it was great to see our chums at the model show and get together at one of the hotel bars in the evenings, and we had a good time, so will be back next year no doubt.

 

It’s not Sunday

So, posting today because I’m off and away to Folkestone to the Euromilitaire Military model Show. Phil is taking a few of his models to put in the competition and I’m driving us down there. It’s always a fab weekend and we get to go to our favourite Chinese restaurant, twice! 🙂

Here are the models Phil is putting in the figure section.

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Steiner
Steiner

We won’t be home til late Sunday night as it’s a 6 hour drive for us.

In the meantime this week has seen my bird feeder being taken over by the spider community of the garden, and most mornings I’ve gone to the kitchen and some new web has appeared, and the previous ones disappeared. All that work for just a few hours fly catching!

webs1-2

webs1

webs1-3

webs1-4

webs1-5

webs1-6

webs1-7

Another Park, Another Sunday

Didn’t take any shots much during the week, and what I did take is on the yawn side of boring, so lets skip right to the good stuff. I worked Monday – Thursday and so on to Friday and my day off. 🙂  I went into South Shields town as they have a junk market on to see if I could find anything photogenic and cheap.

South Shields Market Place

I bought a little wooden inlaid box for £2.50 and 3 glassware candleholders for £1. The best bit was it was full of mature couples looking for things they can take to an Antiques Roadshow at some point, and I heard a market stall  holder telling a lady the little pots she was looking at were made in the 1920’s, and she bought them straight away. Also there seemed to be lots of people on mobility scooters. Now these things drive me batshit. Nearly everyone I see on them is capable of getting off and walking, and everyone of them is at best overweight and at worse really really overweight, and I’m like duh?? I am sure there are genuinely immobile people who really need these things, but no-one I’ve seen as yet. Rant over.

South Shields high street was surprisingly full of people (Bargain Hunters!) because when I go on a weekday it’s normally quiet empty. The recession has taken it’s toll on high street shops in lots of places, and empty spaces where shops used to be is a sad sight to see but hey!! good news……..

good news?

A shop full of trainers and tracksuits. Yay. Just the regeneration it needs. Sigh. That lady was rocking her scooter 🙂

I love the old architecture in Shields, the Lloyds Bank Building is quite impressive..

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Lloyds Bank

There was also a really nice young chap busking with his guitar, he had a great voice and sang really well, I was going to take a shot of him but this silly old lady person in a bright green dress and pink cardigan started dancing right next to him and in front of him, I was quite annoyed on his behalf, they were romantic songs and not dancy anyway.  I mean, how rude!  I didn’t want to then encourage her by letting her think she was being photographed, but I suppose if I was more journalistic I should have taken the shot.

On Saturday we had Cal come to stay over, and he is a ball of energy (which we are not haha). We decided to take him out to Saltwell Park for the afternoon and he had a great time, and I took some nice pictures of him and Grandad. Cal can’t say Grandad, so calls Phil ‘Dawdaw’ which amuses me greatly.

First stop play area,

Slide
Slide

then bouncy castles, £2 for 10 mins across 3 castles, not bad value, Cal loved it.

Bounce
Bounce
happyness is a bouncy castle
happyness is a bouncy castle

Then onto the lake and a trip in a dinosaur peddle boat, £5 for 30 minutes, best bit of the day for me, love being in boats 🙂

to infinity and beyond..
to infinity…

next up a trip on Thomas The Tank engine

and beyond
and beyond

 

then we went home

homeward bound
homeward bound

and after tea we baked cakes.

 

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alien cakes
alien cakes

today we entertained his Lordship til Mum and Dad came to get him, and then have just been toodling around preparing for work tomorrow and cooking a sunday lunch. I was supposed to take a shot for the sunday challenge group, but am too worn out! There’s a reason we have kids in our 20’s and not in our 50’s 🙂

Cal
Cal

Sunday again

It comes round so quick! Another busy week, is there any other kind?  As usual I didn’t get a photo on Monday, must have a mental block but on Tuesday I went to see  client who lives in Finchale Abbey Village, which is like wooden lodges set in the Abbey Grounds. It was a beautiful day and I had to take a picture of the Abbey as I left.

There’s a river behind the Abbey so am going to have to do a proper shoot down there at some stage.

Finchale Abbey
Finchale Abbey

Wednesday was my first time (and last!) in my new clinic in Newcastle. We had a room in Barnabas Church, but unfortunately on the other side of the wall was the ladies toilet, and every time someone flushed the loo, washed their hands, or used the air hand dryer, you could hear it really well in the room. Also the kitchen was opposite, complete with whistling chef, and the metro underground trains run beneath it. All in all NOT conducive to doing hearing tests! My morning client didn’t turn up, and one of my 2 afternoon clients forgot and went on holiday!

Quiet room. NOT
Quiet room.
NOT

 

 

 

Thursday morning, was another beautiful day & I went to the opticians in South Shields. Am FINALLY getting my eyes sorted out, my current spectaculars are scratched to the Nth and I can’t see out of them, am looking forward to picking up my new bins in a couple of weeks. Anyway I took an Iphone shot of South Shields while I was walking up to the opticians.

South Shields.
South Shields.

Thursday was exciting as I texted my Tog friend Mike to see if he fancied doing a night shoot, something we always said we’d do but never got round to. Anyway he said yep lets do it so we got together our cameras, tripods, flasks of coffee, several chocolate bars and packets of crisps, and set off for Keilder Water which is the UK official “Dark Sky” and only 1 1/2hrs up the road from us. It was a bit spur of the moment, and by the time we set off at 9.30am it was proper dark, so we couldn’t see where we were 😀 but we got there about 11pm and then spent a couple of hours or so shooting stars. The sky was amazing, you just don’t see this many stars in towns and urban areas and I got a few nice shots for a 1st attempt. We are definitely going again. We set off back at 2am, and the mist and fog had really rolled in,  so we gingerly made our way back, I dropped Mike off and then got home at 4am. Here are some of the pics:-

Ursa Major (The Plough/Big Dipper/Great Bear) over Keilder Water
Ursa Major (The Plough/Big Dipper/Great Bear) over Keilder Water

K2

K3

pleiades
pleiades

K8

Milky Way
Milky Way
Milky Way B&w
Milky Way B&w

Got well bitten by some bugs on my face so look like Spotty Dotty now 😦 but it was worth it!

Friday was a day off, actually so was Thursday but I went to work after the opticians. I didn’t take a shot on Friday as I slept in, and then spent the afternoon processing the photos of the stars.

Saturday Phil and I went out to lunch and met up with Shelley and Cal for a pub lunch at The Hastings Hill pub in Sunderland. Scampi & Chips, very nice! I took a couple of shots of Cal but he never keeps still so its a bit blurry.

CAL
CAL

As I hadn’t seen them for a couple of weeks, Shelley had bought me some flowers and chocs for my birthday which was a lovely surprise.

flowers from Shelley
flowers from Shelley

So now it’s sunday, and I’ve been doing photo’s for the Sunday Challenge group over on Ipernity and the challenge was selective light. I used the rose that came in Shelley’s flowers,

Rose
Rose

and also took a pic of my new watch which I bought on Wednesday morning when no-one turned up for my clinic so I went shopping instead. I lost my dear 25yr old watch when I went to Saltwell Tower last weekend, it must have fallen off somewhere in the park, and no-one handed it in.

new watch
new watch

And that’s been my week! Phil’s finished his night shift on Thursday night so we’ve had a lovely weekend, and I just made a very yummy dinner for us, stuffed chicken breasts -cheese,mushrooms, garlic all mushed up in tomato puree, with roasty potatoes in cheese & tomato sauce, all my own recipe and work 😀 Need a nap now!

Before & after
Before & after

 

 

 

 

Caged Bird

caged bird

 

Caged Bird

BY MAYA ANGELOU

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Maya Angelou, “Caged Bird” from Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? Copyright © 1983 by Maya Angelou

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