National Portrait Gallery, London

National Portrait Gallery front door; home to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition
National Portrait Gallery front door; home to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition

Yesterday  I went to the National Portrait Gallery in London; it was fabulous!

National Portrait Gallery If you like head and shoulder shots, you will not be disappointed!
National Portrait Gallery
If you like head and shoulder shots, you will not be disappointed!

My main objective was to get into the ground floor Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition – a very reasonable £4 charge was levied and I was in.

The blurb says this is the leading competition to celebrate and promote the very best in contemporary portrait photography from around the world.

Certainly the many images were spread across both traditional and contemporary approaches to photographic portraits, I don’t even know who Taylor Wessing are, but well done on them, because this was a great show.

National Portrait Gallery front door; home to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition
National Portrait Gallery front door; home to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition

Having moved on upstairs, I was allowed to get my camera out; I only took a couple of pictures, I hope you like them.

National Portrait Gallery, a group are given a quided tour and hang on every word in the Tudor section
National Portrait Gallery, a group are given a guided tour and hang on every word in the Tudor section

 

 

 

I don’t think they like you taking pictures in here….of course there was one addition that was rather poignant; Mr Bowie.

David Bowie at the National Portrait Gallery
David Bowie at the National Portrait Gallery

And that’s all I have to say about that. Except that afterwards I had to get some fresh air and walk around Trafalgar Square,  and say hello to some old friends my wife and I had both been perched upon for pictures as young children.

Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square

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Snowy Wensleydale

Snowy Wensleydale

Its’ my 53rd birthday today and no better place to be than a snowy Wensleydale. Castle Bolton to be precise.

Castle Bolton, Wensleydale
Castle Bolton, Wensleydale

Castle Bolton is one of my favourite spots and the prospect of parking up here for a five mile walk along the tops on a snowy Wensleydale Monday is about as good as it gets on your birthday!

The beautiful sheep guard the cold and empty Castle Bolton, Wensleydale
The beautiful sheep guard the cold and empty Castle Bolton, Wensleydale

We have done this walk before, Castle Bolton walk (March 2015) but not with the snow and the cold that we experienced today – and the conditions made it so much nicer, crunching through the snow rather than sloshing through the mud!

Castle Bolton opens to the public from Valentines weekend – we are making a vow to get there this year, it certainly looks like a place we should be visiting, although not being part of the National Trust, it has eluded us for many a year.

As one of the country’s best preserved medieval castles; originally built as one of the finest and most luxurious homes in the land, the castle bears the scars of over 600 years of fascinating history. The castle is still in the private ownership of Lord Bolton, the direct descendant of the castle’s original owner Sir Richard le Scrope.

The countryside above Lower Wensleydale is beautiful; set off walking in a westerly direction from the castle and you can’t go wrong, today the views were beautiful, even with low heavy cloud, as we looked towards Askrigg and Aysgarth.

One day I would like to turn north and head up over the top to drop down into Muker and Swaledale; not today, but perhaps armed with a better map and some sunshine, that is something to aim for in the spring!

Anyhow, enjoy the view, there’s nothing better than a bit of snowy Yorkshire on a Monday; especially a Monday where you are a year older and wiser.

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Flamingo Land 1978

It’s good to start the year by looking back  -especially if you are looking right back to Flamingo Land 1978. Not something I intend to do a lot of – but when you find something old, it reminds you how important it is to think long term, invest in relationships and stay in touch with people even when you aren’t on facebook and are pretty rubbish at christmas cards.

Flamingo Land 1978

Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978

I just found these pictures, from a Flamingoland 1978 Roundhay School trip.

Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
David Waring, Roundhay School.
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978

Taken in summer 1978 on a Kodak Instamatic; not bad to say they are nearly 40 years old – and have weathered the storm probably better than some of my classmates – I hope they are all happy and healthy; we had some great times and I remember this day as one of the best!

Roundhay School, 5th form class of ’79

I think this was the summer before our O Levels; probably all aged 14 or 15, some where to leave the following year, others to stay on and do A levels at Roundhay, leaving aged 18 in 1981.

Where are you now Paul Dowson, David Waring, Janet Williams, Nicky Hurst, Martin Smaller, Arthur, Louise and Anna?

Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978 on the train
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
Flamingo Land School Trip 1978
Chris Broadbent and Paul Dowson – Flamingo Land Roundhay School Trip 1978