South Shields Food Fair ~ May 2018

Sophie and I love a good food fair, most of the stalls have free tasters which we take advantage of whenever possible, we buy stuff you can’t really get in Tesco’s and have a cool lunch from one of the stalls.  I love to unleash the camera on some unsuspecting people for a change too. Back in May, we went to the one at Bent’s Park on the seafront and were not disappointed with the wares available.

Say Cheese!!! (The orange & whisky cheese was yummy!)


Interesting chocolate. Forgot to buy some :/


These otter go well with tonic!


The garlic lady. (Bought a peeler/mincer/storage jar from here. 🙂


and the rest!! 🙂


The Tempted


The Temptress


Making friends


Buy Two…


The War on Mundane begins

That’ll do for part 1 I think, don’t want you falling asleep.

Stay tooned for Part 2 coming soon to a screen near you. 🖥


Bridges Over the River Tyne~ Part 4

Part 1 HERE. Part 2 HERE. Part 3 HERE

After crossing back to the Newcastle side of the swing bridge, we walked down to the millennium bridge.  A Sunday Market is held on the quayside every week we were of course distracted by all the wares and people, so took our time and took some photo’s.

I think Gypsy Rose Lee had a very large family 😉

I have no idea where the horse was!

Theres always a busker~this chap had a really nice voice

Some interesting food stalls

Some traditional Geordie bangers

Pease pudding is a thing up here

Lunch queue

No queue, but he looked happy enough

HUGE cheese sandwich

Roast Pork burgers

Wiga Wagaa chilli stall

Next time we’ll look at the arts and crafts and get to the Millennium bridge.



Fraggle Report ~ Newcastle International Fair ~ May ’16

Sophie and I got out a fair bit in May last year, the weather was good I guess 🙂 Anyway, the International fair consists of lots of food and crafts from mainly Europe and is an excellent day out for those of us with a camera. I have checked and the fair is scheduled again this year, but not sure if it will be disbanded when we are out of Europe, I hope not as it’s most yummy!

From La Belle France, bread and pastries and lovely Frenchmen

Also from France Sausage a la Toulouse

and of course French cheeses

From Holland Pancakes & Waffles and works from the Dutch masters!

From Poland ~ chorizo,sausage,potato,ham & cheese lunches, and smiley ladies

From Germany~ had to be sausages and they were delish!

From the Caribbean ~ chilli sauces,

From Italy~ macaroons and a smiley baker

From Morocco Tagine, Couscous

From Spain~ Paella

Also from Spain chorizo potatoes and Catalan meatballs

From China~ Noodles

From Sweetland~sweeties!

would have loved to try everything, so this year I’m going prepared with saved up take away dishes!

Next time we’ll have a look at the arts and crafts.

Day 240~366

In fruit & veg different colours are caused by varying plant pigments that add nutritive value; each colour family has specific health benefits. The deeper the colouring, the more effective the nutrient.

Red colouring comes from the plant pigments, either lycopene or anthocyanins. Lycopene, which colours, among others, tomatoes and watermelon, is most touted for its cancer-fighting properties — especially prostate cancer in men. Anthocyanins provide antioxidants, which protect cells and also guard against heart damage, and are particularly effective against colon cancer. They are found in many red berries.

Orange- and yellow-toned fruits and veggies — encompassing most citrus fruits, many varieties of squash, peaches, carrots, and corn, among others — are coloured by the plant pigments carotenoids. Orange-toned fruits and veggies contain beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A and is particularly helpful in maintaining visual health and healthy mucous membranes. Yellow-toned examples, including most citrus fruits, contain less vitamin A but more vitamin C — another antioxidant — and the B vitamin folate.

Green fruits and veggies are coloured by chlorophyll, the same pigment that colours most inedible leaves. Dark greens like spinach, green peppers and cucumbers, contain lutein, which is important for vision health. Leafier greens tend to contain folate; more yellow-toned green veggies also contain the carotenoids present in yellow vegetables. Green veggies also contain the cancer-fighting phytochemicals sulforaphane and insoles.

(info from Leaf.TV)



Day 225~366

Yellow is the most luminous of all the colors of the spectrum. It’s the color that captures our attention more than any other color.

In the natural world, yellow is the color of sunflowers and daffodils, egg yolks and lemons, canaries and bees. In our contemporary human-made world, yellow is the color of Sponge Bob, the Tour de France winner’s jersey, happy faces, post its, and signs that alert us to danger or caution.

It’s the color of happiness, and optimism, of enlightenment and creativity, sunshine and spring.

Lurking in the background is the dark side of yellow: cowardice, betrayal, egoism, and madness. Furthermore, yellow is the color of caution and physical illness (jaundice, malaria, and pestilence). Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the sources of yellow pigments are toxic metals – cadmium, lead, and chrome – and urine.

Global Meanings of Yellow

In almost every culture yellow represents sunshine, happiness, and warmth.

Yellow is the color most often associated with the deity in many religions (Hinduism and Ancient Egypt)

Yellow is the color of traffic lights and signs indicating caution all over the world.

Unique Meanings of Yellow in Different Cultures

In Japan, yellow often represents courage.

In China, adult movies are referred to as yellow movies.

In Russia, a colloquial expression for an insane asylum used to be “yellow house.”

Bright “marigold” yellow may be associated with death in some areas of Mexico.

Those condemned to die during the Inquisition wore yellow as a sign of treason.

A yellow patch was used to label Jews in the Middle Ages. European Jews were forced to wear yellow or yellow “Stars of David” during the Nazi era of prosecution.

(info from


Day 65~366

We’ve got our grandson Cal staying for a sleepover, always a good excuse to have burger and fries. The bun is just about square, and the cheese definitely was until it melted 🙂 and I did shape the burger into a square, but it rounded itself out along the way :/  still, the mosaic tab;e it’s sitting on has enough squares to make up for it!


Day 63~366

Day off today, and Phil in bed sleeping, he had a stressful night at work. It was cold today, though we had a bit of sunshine. Me and Skye, we sat in the conservatory, were quiet as mouses and I read my book, did some work bits and made a square lunch. 🙂



Day 23~366 & the moon

A lovely moon rise last night over a pink sunset, had to get the long lens out and try for a shot. How cool my little fuji is! And as we all know the moon is made out of cheese, it inspired my still life for today 🙂

Tonight we are babysitting our grandchild Lydia for the first time, so there will be baby shots and such like.  Has to be done 🙂




The Fraggle Fried Rice Recipe report

Cooking a fried rice is a labour of love. The cooking time itself is short, but the preparation seems to go on forever. This one took over an hour, but I don’t mind, I was in the mood.  You can fry most stuff up with rice and do a little or a lot, but this was a special one so had lots of different elements. It was a sunny day today and I had intend to go for a walk to Wardley Lake with my camera, but we took our chucking up cat Storm

Storm the chucking up cat.
Storm the chucking up cat.

to the vet this morning as she has started eating cat litter in the middle of the night and then chucking THAT up,sigh, and then we went to ASDA food shopping, and I had to see a client this evening so had to do my cooking this afternoon. I was determined to take photo’s though, so thought I’d do some food photography with the Fuji. I also thought I would process them uniformly and applied a VSCO cam fuji kodak gold preset to each shot, I’m not overly a fan of presets that make your digital shots look like film, because of course they don’t look like film. I’ve got old photo’s on Kodak film and they look nothing like my digitals with a preset.  Maybe they just look how we would like film shots to look 🙂 anyway I quite liked the effect of this particular preset.

So onto the cooking bit. OK, when you do a fried rice you need to gather your chosen ingredients that are going in with the rice, chop them all up and put them in separate plates/dishes. Then fry them in a little olive oil, in a wok, one set at a time, and in the right order. You need a large bowl with a colander in it, as each time you fry a set you then tip it into the colander and any excess oil/water drains through to the bottom of the bowl. While you’re doing this you should already have your rice cooking, or you can use rice you already have cooked.  I use jasmine or basmati rice and add a good teaspoon of Turmeric or Saffron to the water to colour the rice. I like a lot of different colours in my fried rice.

boiled basmati rice with turmeric
boiled basmati rice with turmeric

So here we go..

red onions
  1. always start with frying the chopped onions and garlic together. I used a red onion just for the colour. Get your oil hot and flash fry at high heat for a minute to get tasty charred edges to the onions. Yum. 🙂 Then into the colander and wipe your wok out with a paper towel. Trust me, it’s better to start each time with a fresh dollop of oil. You don’t need a lot of oil, just enough to coat the bottom of the wok, this is a healthy recipe :).

    chopped garlic
    chopped garlic
  2. I like peas in my fried rice so thats the next thing to go in the wok. Once you’ve given them a quick stir fry, add a 1/4 glass of water, turn the heat down so they are bubbling not boiling,put a lid on and go to the loo/ take a pic of the cat/

    read a book/go on internet for 2 minutes,~ then tip into the colander and wipe out the wok, OK, I’m not going to put ‘ tip into the colander, wipe out wok’ every time now, tip & wipe will suffice.

  3. Add any other veg you like, I did this next 3 all at the same time, (no I don’t know why peas are separate, trust me and just do them on their own). Make sure your oil is hot before chucking them in. When you’ve done a minute flash fry, add a little water and also this time a couple of good lugs of light soy sauce. Put a lid on and get a drink/take a picture of the cat/check your FB,Twitter,Instagram for 3 minutes. Tip & wipe.
    shiitake mushrooms
    shiitake mushrooms

    I know, not the easiest name to deal with, but I like the exotic oriental stuff for my fried rice, and shiitake mushrooms are from Japan. They are more chewy than the usual mushrooms with a delicate nutty flavour. It is considered a medicinal mushroom in some forms of traditional medicine. Maybe I’ll give some to the cat.

    baby sweetcorn sliced into rounds
    baby sweetcorn sliced into rounds

    I like baby sweetcorn, it’s sweet. And a little crunchy.


    This was the first time I used Mangetouts, and just fancied something different, plus I liked the name. Very tasty, quite sweet and crunchy, I left them whole.

  4. I like to add some bamboo shoots as Phil loves them, I don’t, and water chestnuts as I love them,Phil don’t.:) I always use canned ones as I wouldn’t know where to buy fresh.
    bamboo shoots & water chestnuts
    bamboo shoots & water chestnuts

    Same cooking method as for the veg combination.

  5. On to the meat. If you’re veggie you can leave this bit out and still have a lush fried rice. You can use most types of meat & shellfish, but lamb and beef don’t really work as well as chicken, prawns or pork. Today I used pre-cooked char siu pork ( pork with a coating of chinese 5 spice) and chicken coated in chilli & spices, and king prawns soaked in chilli and coriander. You can use just one or a combination of any cooked meat.
    the meat of the matter
    the meat of the matter

    Get your oil hot, chuck it all in and stir fry, reduce the heat if it starts sticking to the bottom of the pan. Don’t add water this time but do add a couple of splashes of dark soy sauce. Tip & Wipe.

  6. By this time you’ll be getting hot, so get a cool drink to keep you going 🙂 I recommend

    white grape juice & ice
    white grape juice & ice
  7. Now we put it all together. Heat some oil in the wok but on a medium heat. Put the rice in and get it all stir fried, then tip the contents of the colander in on top and start turning it into the rice, when you do this don’t ‘stir’ as such, it’s more like the action you do to fold flour into cake mix.
    mixing it up
    mixing it up

    Add a good sprinkling of Chinese 5 spice, a tiny dash of sea salt (optional) and a good sprinkle of ground black peppercorns. Leave on a low low  heat turning every so often while you

  8. Make an omelette.
    eggs for omelette
    eggs for omelette

    Chinese fried rice always comes with chopped up omelette so get a little frying pan, and make an omelette in your usual fashion, when ready, cut into strips and add to the fried rice. Chinese people eat from bowls with chopsticks, if you can’t manage chopsticks a dessert spoon is better than a fork. But still use bowls so the rice stays hot, on a plate your last few mouthfuls would be cold. Some chinese crackers and a glass of wine to go with and some oyster sauce splashed on top finishes it off nicely. Try it, it’s delish!

  9. fried rice-17

I have not included how much of anything you need to have, it always depends on how many you are cooking for. I use a ratio of 3/5 goodies to 2/5 rice, thereabouts. But these are the other bits you need..

bits and bobs
bits and bobs

I once lodged for several months with a lovely lady called Jo

Jo and her beautiful daughter Emma
Jo and her beautiful daughter Emma

and she taught me some of the ways of cooking chinese, 25 yrs on and I still do dinner parties with her recipes, lucky to have had the experience 🙂

laters gaters


The Sunday Fraggle report..

Firstly, for the second week I have a photo left behind from the previous week. I hope this is not the beginning of  mental decline, but much previous similar experiences tell me it probably is. I forget loads of stuff. I console myself with the fact that my lovely hubby is as bad if not slightly worse than me :). And what is this wonderful photo you forgot to post I hear you cry…

Ducking About
Ducking About

well there you have it. A masterpiece no less. Taken with my Iphone 5 and the hipstamatic app. Don’t ask why.

So on to this past week. I have to say the grey and rainy days are not helping me on my travels around my patch of Engerlandland. Dull and dishwatery skies, and everything just blah. But at least on the day I had to visit a client in the windy wilds of North Yorkshire there was an interesting sky that I stopped to take pictures of. My little Nikon S1 compact is no match for my D700, but the wonders of Lightroom, NikFXpro and SmartPhotoEditor more than make up for it, and actually the S1 picks up a lot of detail when you dig for it.

original shot
original shot

This is one of my original shots, not totally inspiring but it really didn’t look like that through my eyes (or why would I have stopped to take the photo’s??).

And this is what it really looked like..

holes in the sky 1
holes in the sky 1
Holes in the sky 2
Holes in the sky 2
Holes in the sky 3
Holes in the sky 3
Holes in the sky 4
Holes in the sky 4

and because the theme for the challenge group today was over processing…

bonkers & OTT
bonkers & OTT

I don’t like it, but it was kinda fun.

Also before I came across the moody weather I drove past Bolton Castle which you can just about see in this next shot, and also you can just see the edge of the dark sky chasing me.

Bolton Castle (it is there really)
Bolton Castle (it is there really)

AND on my way home I turned a corner to be thwarted by sheep, dogs and a motorised shepherd.

it's a modern old world.
it’s a modern old world.

Just after I took this, the dogs jumped away and started herding the sheep to go left up a path, but a few of the idiot~sheep ran through a field on the right, and it was great to watch the dogs round them up and send them back the right way. I don’t think the guy on the trike did anything much, didn’t hear any whistles going on, the dogs just knew what to do.

Mind you, I don’t suppose I would hear a proper dog whistle as I have not got dogs ears.

Not much else to shoot on my travels, but I did find some cool shoots and leaves

shoots and leaves
she shoots and leaves


On Thursday morning it was very drab, and I spotted this fellow hunkered down on my front garden fence


People don’t like pigeons overmuch but I like all birds, they have so much character, even the dim ones are funny, but he just looked so sad. Yet I loved how his feathers looked, like a soft suit of armour against the rain. As I got in the car I took a quick snap of him side on, but didn’t really see what I was looking at only to note it was in focus, but when I got it on my big screen I was quite shocked to see he has a big eye infection. I debated wether to post it or not because it did upset me, but sometimes photography isn’t nicey picey.


He was still about today, and taking advantage of all the seeds that drop to the ground from my bird feeders, and I could see the other side is not affected. He’s nice and plump and is eating, so maybe he will get better, if the neighbours cat doesn’t blindside him. He looks miserable though (not surprisingly) and I had some tears over him today.

On Friday night we had Lorraine and Paul over for a musical soiree, Lorraine cooked some fine curry’s and Phil & Paul played guitars whilst Lorraine & I played percussion (I banged a tambourine more or less in time with the music and Loz had a washboard thingy). Far too much grape and hops were imbibed but hey ho it doesn’t happen THAT often.  I took some cool Polaroids of the guys and gals, there’s more in the Polaroid Page, but this was the best,

Paul and Phil
Paul and Phil

note the tripod music stand 🙂

and from the Hipstamatic…

Lorraine & paul
Lorraine & paul

and I got chocolates & flowers


so a good night and Saturday was a recovery day 🙂

I did manage to cook a lush dinner on Saturday, Salmon in soy,ginger & garlic sauce, with saffron rice. very yummy.

Salmon in soy ginger garlic sauce
Salmon in soy ginger garlic sauce

Today we have had Shelley and Callum, Carl with Matthew and Livvy for a visit this afternoon, wow our grandkids are noisy. You kind of forget in between visits 😀 It was good to see them all charging about playing and hollering and laughing. I would have taken photo’s but they move too fast 🙂

Phil’s on nights this week, so a quiet time for me anyway 🙂 Keep your fingers crossed for dry weather for me this week as I’m off to some more far flung gorgeous places.

Laters Gaters 😉