I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.     — Sigmund Freud

Tanfield Railway, Tyne & Wear, UK 2012

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.”–Anthony Brandt

Bolam Lake, Northumberland UK 2012

“Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.”– Lisa Weed

Staithes, North Yorkshire, UK 2013

“The memories we make with our family are everything.”– Candace Cameron Bure

Saltwell Park, Tyne & Wear, UK 2014

My children give me the gift of stepping out of the daily ordinariness into the father zone—a place where my innate curiosity, sense of adventure, and love of a weekend gets rediscovered.”      –Jeff Stone

Warkworth, Northumberland, UK 2015

“Becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you’re just a mother. The next you are all-wise and prehistoric.” Pam Brown

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne UK 2016

To be a mother of a son is one of the most important things you can do to change the world. Raise them to respect women, raise them to stand up for others, raise them to be kind.”     –Shannon L. Alder

Pow Hill Nature Reserve, Northumberland, UK 2017

“There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself ”. —-John Gregory

Eddy & Malina Poland, 2017

“In truth a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, and love you show to one another, and by the hopes for the future you have as individuals and as a unit.”– Marge Kennedy

Alnwick, Northumberland 2018

“Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of man, the victory of just cause, the triumph of truth.”– Menacheim Begin

Botanical Gardens, County Durham, UK 2018

Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventures, story-tellers, and singers of songs.     –Pam Brown

Tynemouth Market, UK 2019

“We are sisters. We will always be sisters. Our differences may never go away, but neither, for me, will our song”. —Elizabeth Fishel

Durham Castle, UK 2019

Stay tooned for whatever comes next time 🙂

all pictures clickable & embiggenable.

Poland ~April 2017~ Beaver Dam & stuff.

After our walk in Big Wood, Eddy took us out in his trusty van to the shop for some bits and bobs, and just down the road was a nest on top of a telephone post, home to a pair of storks

on the way back to the house we stopped to visit the Beaver Dam which was quite amazing to me as I’d never seen one before. They’d diverted a little stream that runs along the side of the road and made a huge pond

You can see the damage they are doing to the trees

There were some pretty yellow wild flowers so I asked Malina to pose for some pictures

and Eddy too 🙂

Then we went home and had a magnificent Sunday dinner thanks to Eddy and Gosia’s cookery skills, the leg of lamb was gorgeous!

Just a couple more of Malina, Eddy and Gosia

That’s more or less the end of our stay at Eddy’s. The next day we were up and out at 9am, as Eddy took us to Auschwitz from where we would get a bus to the airport and fly home after seeing it, so that’s the last picture from Eddy’s house.  I will of course be doing a report on Auschwitz at some point, but am going to include here a couple of pictures I took from the van window on our journey there (a 2 hour drive, 4hrs for Eddy of course) as they don’t belong in that post.

We had such a fantastic time and seemed to do a lot for a 3 day visit! Thanks to Eddy & Gosia for their unfailing hospitality, we can’t wait to go back and visit our friends.

So stay tooned!




Day 241~366

A colouring book is a type of book containing line art to which a reader may add colour using crayons, coloured pencils, marker pens, paint or other artistic media. Traditional colouring books and colouring pages are printed on paper or card. Some colouring books have perforated edges so their pages can be removed from the books and used as individual sheets. Others may include a story line and so are intended to be left intact.

Paint books and colouring books emerged in the United States as part of the “democratization of art” process, inspired by a series of lectures by British artist Joshua Reynolds, and the works of Swiss educator Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and his student Friedrich Fröbel. Many educators concluded that all, regardless of background, students stood to benefit from art education as a means of enhancing their conceptual understanding of the tangible, developing their cognitive abilities, and improving skills that would be useful in finding a profession, as well as for the children’s spiritual edification.The McLoughlin Brothers are credited as the inventors of the colouring book, when, in the 1880s, they produced The Little Folks’ Painting Book, in collaboration with Kate Greenaway. They continued to publish colouring books until the 1920s, when the McLoughlin Brothers became part of the Milton Bradley Company.

(info from Wiki)

Had the grandkids over today, and as they were colouring in, I thought yay! there’s my topic for today!

Cal & Matty
Cal & Matty

Liddy, Cal & Livvy
Liddy, Cal & Livvy

Liddy eating the crayon box, Livvy and Cal colouring in.
Liddy eating the crayon box, Livvy and Cal colouring in.

Day 220~366

We had a visit from Shelley and the kids this afternoon so I took a few pictures of Liddy, just love the punk hair 🙂






also the theme was ‘sport’ in the Sunday challenge group, so I did one of my old 10~pin bowling trophies from days of yore.


and finally, the colour shot today..

Analogous colors are any three colors which are side by side on a 12 part color wheel, such as yellow, yellow-orange,orange. Usually one of the three colors predominates.



Days 212 & 213 ~366

We have had our grandkids Callum and Liddy for a sleepover this weekend, so everyone was inveigled into helping me finish my shadow shots this month.

This the one from yesterday

To Infinity and beyond
To Infinity and beyond~Cal & Buzz


and watching in the wings

Grandad & Liddy
Grandad & Liddy


and before today’s shot, some of the kids

Cal & Grandad 'Wardley United'
Cal & Grandad ‘Wardley United’




Cal being a basketball loop!
Cal being a basketball loop!


Liddy the ball girl
Liddy the ball girl


nope, it's mine, get your own.
nope, it’s mine, get your own.


And this is my last shadow shot


Next month is Colour month. 🙂




Day 73~366

I has a little helper to do my shot with today, as Shelley came for a visit with Cal & Liddy. It was lovely and sunny so we sat in my studio (which is really our conservatory) and I took some shots of Liddy as well as inveigling Cal into doing my shot with me.


That’s the daily shot and bless him Cal doesn’t even like chewy sweets so no reward, but we played lego instead.

I took some shots of Liddy too so am including a couple of my favourites.





That’s all folks

😉 ❤


The Sunday Fraggle report~Christmas edition.

Well that’s Christmas over and done with, just New Year to go. It’s been a good week. On Monday I woke up to an amazing sunrise when looked out the window, had to get the camera out quick!


On Tuesday I had a lovely drive up to the Scottish borders, amazing scenery, but a fair bit rainy. On my way home the moon rose and I got a couple of shots with the iPhone.


The road to the moon

Phil has been working hard on his model Tiger tank, and Skye has been his constant companion 🙂





It’s been nice to have some time off with family over Christmas. We had a quiet Christmas day, Phil went to visit the kids while I got to grips with making the Christmas dinner. And took photo’s 🙂



new whiskey glass for Phil from the grandkids..



and we had festive smelly candles


Yesterday was Boxing Day, and we had the kids, grandkids and Phil’s sister Annette with her hubby Brian over for a buffet tea which I made. I like vol-au-vents.


and it was great to see the madding crowd 🙂

Liddy the pink
Liddy the pink

with grandad



Loony Liv


Mad Matty
Mad Matty

Cool Cal
Cool Cal

and all the family



And I’ve been playing with some roses Phil got for me




and I’ve been chasing sunshine around the house



And that’s it for this week. Still got another day off tomorrow yay. Have been thinking about doing a photography project for next year, but haven’t decided which way to go yet, watch this space I guess!

laters gaters

🙂 ❤


The Sunday Fraggle report ~loose ends edition.

Already a week in September has gone by and I’ve not yet got round to finishing August photographs.  I have been away to a military model show in Scotland this weekend, and of course have photo’s from that!

But I still want to post the photo’s of my little family down south from last weekend. It was great to see my son Ben and my grandson Lewis, who just gets cuter every time I see him 🙂

We had a day out at Milton Keynes, the shopping centre to start.

with the plastic cows
Lewis with the plastic cows, & a plastic gun.

The frog clock in the shopping centre
The frog clock in the shopping centre

Reflecting in Burger King
Reflecting in Burger King

at Burger King
at Burger King

Mr.Blue Eyes
Mr.Blue Eyes

Then we went off to Wirral Lake to the playground..

Wirral Lake
Wirral Lake

Swans at the lake
Swans at the lake


Dad helping
Dad helping

Balancing act


Then onto a giant slide thing..

giant slide thing
giant slide thing



A great day out. In the evening I went north to stay with Helen and caught this fab sunset on the way

Sunset at Stanford
Sunset at Stanford


it was amazingly beautiful to watch.

Helen and I went off to Shillington the next day to do The Scarecrow Festival (click to visit that post). But I took a few different bits and pieces of Shillington while hunting down the scarecrows. There were some gorgeous quintessential English homes….

Beautiful house



a flowering roadsign


One of the scarecrow houses had a train station in the back garden.

Garden feature
Garden feature

A house with a gargoyle 🙂


at Moorhen farm we saw haymaking going on..



and we loved the sunflowers


but you can see it was clouding over so that was the end of the day.

In home life we had a visit from our newest grand child Liddy..



and I saw another lovely sunset from my bedroom window..

Sunset 1
Sunset 1

sunset 2
sunset 2

and that’s some loose ends tied up. Still more to do, I might be taking too many photographs, quantity not quality!! Hope that’s not true!!!  Anyway back to work tomorrow and would you believe it back up to Scotland, then Tuesday back to Cumbria, lots of long journeys. Will try not to take any photo’s haha.

laters gaters





The Sunday Fraggle Report~Fathers Day

Thought I would have a break from all the history lessons 🙂 and post some up to date stuff as it was Fathers Day today, and Phil’s son & daughter and all the Grandkids came round to see him. Not often we see them all together, and it is great fun to see them in action.

Matty Superhero
Matty Superhero

Livvy & Cake

Cal & Cake
Cal & Cake

Matty, cake already gone :)
Matty, cake already gone 🙂

Let me tell you a secret....
Let me tell you a secret….

Playing nicely...
Playing nicely…

we three

descending into madness..
descending into madness..

Happy Grandaw

pretendy camera
pretendy camera


Skye hiding with the guitars
Skye hiding with the guitars

The Family (except Carl who was on Xbox :) )
The Family (except Carl who was on Xbox 🙂 )


The Sunday fraggle report

A busy weekend this weekend as on Saturday night I went out to a surprise party for Phil’s daughter Shelley. Her friend Sam organised a joint baby shower/birthday party for Shelley and we all turned up at The Avenue pub in Sunderland before Shelley arrived. I had picked up Phil’s sister Annette and Karly ( Phil’s daughter-in-law) and Karly’s daughter Katie, and was ready with the camera when Shelly arrived.


I didn’t do too well with the Fuji in this situation so am going to have to figure out what went wrong. Think I had ISO stuck on A so shots were taken at 6400 and came out grainy. Couldn’t bin them as everyone wanted to see the album on Facebook, so I gave them all a vintage coating. I did use the flash, which to be honest is a bit on the pathetic side, but yes, a rethink and research moment coming along!

good memories
good memories

Still they will make good memories for Shelley, and that’s more important than technical perfection. I guess.


What I am impressed with is the new B&W film from the Impossible polaroid film makers. Their generation 2 film is just about instant, doesn’t need to be shielded from light and left to develop for 45 minutes, and has really good contrast and tones.  I took these next shots with my 3000 and a 600 film and am really impressed with how they’ve come out.

Karly & Katie
Karly & Katie

Lorraine & Karly
Lorraine & Karly

Shelley & Sam
Shelley & Sam

Karly,Katie & Shelley
Karly,Katie & Shelley

I have a flash on the 3000 with a bit of tissue taped over it to diffuse it, didn’t work that well on that last shot but the others are OK.

And now some cute cat shots 🙂

Skye polaroid
Skye polaroid

Skye (iphone6)
Skye (iphone6)

Storm (iphone6)
Storm (iphone6)

And that’s it for this week.

Laters gaters


The Sunday Fraggle report~cats n kids edition

This weekend we were going to have a quiet one, not wanting to freak the cats anymore than they were, but on Saturday Carl came for a visit with his two youngest, Matty and Liv, and the cats were not phased at all, came down to see what was going on, and as Matty & Liv come from a 2 cat home, they weren’t bothered with them either. Matty & Liv are quite bonkers and funny, and I tried the XT1 out on them.

Matty & Pringles
Matty & Pringles (XT1)

Matty & more pringles :)
Matty & more pringles 🙂 (XT1)

Smiley (XT1)

Live saying 'cheese'
Live saying ‘cheese’ (XT1)

Live having a laugh
Livvy having a laugh (XT1)

Garden footy
Garden footy (XT1)

Livvy & Grandad
Livvy & Grandad (XT1)

Matty & Grandad
Matty & Grandad (XT1)


Today we had Shelley and Cal over, and the cats were fine again in spite of Cal trying to get them to play with their toys, (which on the whole they have no interest in!). Cal was very excited as he isn’t used to pets, so it was a big deal for him when he got to stroke them.

Cal (XT1)

Another smiley chap
Another smiley chap (XT1)

on my way
on my way (XT1)

So a trauma free weekend, phew!

Tomorrow is our 3rd wedding anniversary, so we went out last night to Piero’s Italian and had a lush dinner.

Beef stroganoff and Gambolini Thermador
Beef stroganoff and Gambolini Thermador (Iphone6)

Then we came home and watched a movie, Transformers 4 which went on and on and though it was good in places, needed to end 1/2 hour prior to when it did!

Of course I’ve been taking some shots of the ladies

Snuggle time
Snuggle time (Iphone6)

more snuggles
more snuggles (Iphone6)

They’ve stopped hissing at each other now and are back to being pals.

So a nice weekend after the trauma of Friday.

Things I’ve learned about the XT1 today,

1)that when you import to LR5 adobe changes the colour profile, so even if you use one of the presets when shooting it gets replaced. You have to choose the colour profile you want in the ‘develop’ section of LR. Not sure if it is just for RAW files or on jpegs too, will have to try that out. Anyway I used ‘Astia soft’ for the kids portraits and garden shots. Anyway no point in choosing a film preset in camera when using adobe products for processing!

2)The face recognition thingy is brilliant!

laters gaters