Author Archives: broady964

One man and his dog

We were invited to our old neighbours birthday party back in Cheshire a long time ago; the date finally arrived and our stay in Bollington proved to be special in many ways.
These pictures of one man and his dog are for you, Mike!

One man and his dog

One man and his dog

One man and his dog

We wish you a very happy 70th birthday, it was so good to see you and celebrate the the ‘three score and ten’ landmark.

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking...

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking…

One man and his dog

One man and his dog

One man and his dog

One man and his dog

and big love to all of our lovely ex-neighbours!

Johny & Christina

Johny & Christina

Chris and Chris

Chris and Chris

Mike, Tish and Sweep

Mike, Tish and Sweep

Sue and John

Sue and John

Alex and Kate

Alex and Kate

Well done to Tansy, Tish and Sue and John for all your hard work!

Tansy and Peter

Tansy and Peter

70 is the new 50

70 is the new 50

Thanks for a great party, the best hosts, fantastic food, the dogs running around and enough drink to sink a battleship!

One man and his dog

One man and his dog

But most of all, love to you Mike (and George who would have been watching down on us) and all our ex-neighbours; we won’t leave it another two years before retuning to Happy Valley!

 

Hurtigruten from Trondheim to Bergen

According to Wikipedia, Hurtigruten is the one of the world’s leading premium Expedition Voyage Operator.

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They have been sailing up and down Norway since 1983, so we thought we would incorporate the MS Midnatsol into our trip for 36 hours, and take the famous Hurtigruten from Trondheim to Bergen.

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The company started operating voyages on Norway‘s western and northern coast between Bergen and Kirkenes. Sometimes referred to as Norwegian Coastal Express, Hurtigruten ships sail almost the entire length of the country, completing the round-trip journey in 11 days.

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We found that a day and a half was more than enough – cabin fever would certainly set in for much longer!

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The trip has been described as the “World’s Most Beautiful Sea Voyage,” with highlights including the Hanseatic League city of Bergen, the Geiranger fjord (summer only), and the Lofoten Islands.

We didn’t get that far, but what we did see was beautiful!

Bergen and Trondheim are a distance of 700 km (435 mi) apart, which is covered by several transportation options. Each option has its pros and cons, the main problem with the boat is it’s very slow and also blooming expensive – but for 36 hours at least you can relax and watch the coast go by; I loved it.

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Oslo Opera House & Vigeland Park

Oslo Opera House & Vigeland Park

Our train to Oslo from Flam is rammed with tourists – it is a busy Saturday in June I suppose, and we are tourists ourselves-  just trying not to look like them.

Oslo is a huge city by comparison to where we have been; The 1000-year-old Norwegian capital sits at the head of Oslo Fjord.

Not being tourists, we would of course still be visiting the visual delights at Vigeland Sculpture Park, the Viking Ship Museum and the amazing Oslo Opera House, just across the road from our hotel.

So no apologies for these tourist snaps, the opera house is so amazing you can’t fail to make it look good – even on an overcast day with an iPhone, but on a sunny day with a new 28mm lens, it shines.

Music is never far away at Oslo Opera House

Music is never far away at Oslo Opera House

So let’s start this post with one of the busiest tourist hotspots in Oslo; namely Oslo Opera House; a fantastic building that is home of The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and the national opera theatre in Norway.

The building is situated in the Bjørvika neighborhood of central Oslo, at the head of the Oslofjord, there is a huge amount of redevelopment going on here with the building of a new National library next door, scheduled to be finished in 2018.

Oslo Opera House

Oslo Opera House interior

Oslo Opera House interior

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After the Opera House we moved on to the Vigeland Sculpture Park

Vigeland Sculpture Park

This is a wonderful park with hundreds of sculptures – each one a work of art in it’s own right. It’s free to visit – quite remarkable for such an accessible location in an expensive place like Oslo.

You could spend hours here depending on your personal artistic bent. Nudity is the order of the day – some of the offerings are unusual to say the least. We certainly enjoyed the experience, I hope you like these snaps.

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Gustav Vigeland (11 April 1869 – 12 March 1943), né Adolf Gustav Thorsen, was a Norwegian sculptor. Gustav Vigeland occupies a special position among Norwegian sculptors, both in the power of his creative imagination and in his productivity.

He is most associated with the Vigeland installation (Vigelandsanlegget) in Frogner Park, Oslo.[1][2]

He was also the designer of the Nobel Peace Prize medal.[3]

This was the last day of the trip, it was a great idea to get out of the centre on the tram and take in the super Vigeland Sculpture Park – this was a truly amazing place!

Fram Museum

Finally there is no trip to Norway that is complete without paying homage to those Antarctic explorers who were busy beating Robert Falcon Scott to the South Pole nearly 100 years ago.

Fram is the strongest wooden ship ever built and still holds the records for sailing farthest north and farthest south.

At the Fram Museum you can get on board the ship and see how the crew and their dogs managed to survive in the coldest and most dangerous places on earth – the Arctic and the Antarctic.

The Fram Museum also has a polar simulator where you can experience both the cold and the dangers of polar expeditions over a hundred years ago. The museum’s Gjøa building has exhibitions on the Arctic and the Northwest Passage.

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Of course Amundsen beat RFS to the prize.

I suppose being in Norway I had to admit that the plucky Brits were never realistically going to win that race; having now seen it from the Norwegian angle.

A great end to our own little polar expedition.

At least we made it back, which is more than can be said for so many of those amazing brave explorers from 100 years ago.

Clarion Congress Hotel, Trondheim, Norway

We set off on an eight day Nordic Odyssey and our first port of call was the Clarion Congress Hotel, Trondheim, Norway.

Clarion Congress Hotel, Trondheim

Clarion Congress Hotel, Trondheim

If you find yourself in Trondheim, this is the place to stay!

Clarion Congress Hotel, Trondheim

Clarion Congress Hotel, Trondheim

Clarion Congress Hotel, Trondheim

Clarion Congress Hotel, Trondheim

Lovely bar and decking on the roof

Clarion Congress Hotel, Trondheim

Clarion Congress Hotel, Trondheim

Clarion Congress Hotel, Trondheim

Clarion Congress Hotel, Trondheim

Just testing – these images were taken on a Leica M with both a 28mm and 50mm Summilux ASPH-M Lenses.

Much more to follow in a variety of Norway blog posts…

from the hotel website

Clarion Hotel & Congress Trondheim is one of Scandinavia’s largest convention hotels, located close to the harbour in central Trondheim.

Location

The hotel enjoys a perfect location on Brattorkaia, right at the harbour. Our neighbours are two of Trondheim’s main attractions: Pirbadet – Norway’s largest pool complex and Rockheim – Norway’s national pop and rock experience centre. At Brattørkaia by the Pirterminalen Pier Terminal and Tollboden, you’ll stay within walking distance of central Trondheim, with excellent views of the Trondheim Fjord.

The hotel

Clarion Hotel & Congress Trondheim offers 400 rooms, 18 meeting rooms, a conference area of 3,000 m2, 300 parking spaces and exciting dining concepts. Ideal for meetings, conferences, seminars, events and functions in Trondheim. The hotel is a spectacular experience for you as a visitor, with its innovative architecture and exciting interior, built in energy class A.

A vibrant meeting point in Trondheim

Inspirational for overnight guests and city locals alike. Clarion Hotel & Congress is Trondheim’s new, vibrant meeting point and offers a varied programme of concerts, lectures and exhibitions. Not many bars compare to our Skybar on the top floor, with its magical view of Munkholmen.

Food and beverages

Our Skybar and Astrum restaurant with its exciting culinary concept are on the 9th floor, with a roof terrace covering a full 190 m2. Magical views of the fjord and city are yours to enjoy.

Confirmation, christening or wedding?

We offer a large range of meeting facilities for hire, for private events such as confirmations, christenings, weddings or birthday parties. Astrum Grill & Raw Bar has a fantastic view and is a unique place to celebrate anniversaries in Trondheim. We are flexible and can help organise delicious dinners and meeting facilities tailored to your requirements.

 

Baveno, Lake Maggiore

Baveno, Lake Maggiore

Baveno, Lake Maggiore

Some images from the Italian lakes this week;  wake up and smell the coffee.

Baveno, Lake Maggiore

Baveno, Lake Maggiore

A tour day trip to attend a conference with colleagues from around the globe is a great excuse to visit the last of the Italian lakes to evade me to date.

Baveno, Lake Maggiore

View from the terrace.
Hotel Grand Dino; Baveno, Lake Maggiore

Baveno, Lake Maggiore is beautiful!

Don’t take my word for it; here is the official blurb from their tourism site.

Baveno, Lake Maggiore

Baveno, Lake Maggiore

Baveno is situated on the most panoramic point of Lake Maggiore; on the hills which slope gently to the banks and the blue expanse of water, with the beautiful view of the Borromeo Islands in front. Its beauty and peace, on account of its smiling charm and favoured position form such a restful and peaceful corner. In addition to its natural beauties, charming villas, picturesque alleys and gardens which diffuse their sweet fragrance around, Baveno offers the great convenience of all sort of accommodation, supplied with every comfort for the pleasure and well-being of their guests.

Every year in July in Baveno take place the music Festival dedicated to the composer Umberto Giordano who used to spend his holiday at Villa Fedora, today a public park.

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OK that’s eight and a half hours in conference, time for a few more snaps now and a gulp of fresh air….

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Ich bin ein Berliner

This is my Berlin Blog, March 2016

No apology for over 200 images here; because four days of hard walking around this amazing city we last visited ten years ago proves Ich bin ein Berliner.

And I can tell you with my longest blog post since I started, there really is no place like it.

Armed with a 4-day Berlin travel card purchased at the airport (the best 35 Euro you can spend), we arrived in Berlin centre on the train, trundling our bags down  Friedrichstraße to the Westin Grand Berlin and then straight out on the tourist trail to Checkpoint Charlie.

Friedrichstraße

Friedrichstraße

Checkpoint Charlie

This is where East meets West, or used to at least, more likely now tourist meets museum and gift shop.
Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

The museum and remnants of the Berlin wall are a stark reminder of how hard it must have been to be a Berliner in decades not so long ago – a remarkable juxtaposition amid the commercial hustle and bustle of  a modern capital city.

 Having taken that in, turning off to the West, we walked past the amazing Trabi-World museum and shop, a good place to take a tour of Berlin driving your very own historical transport as part of a Trabi safari tour

Moving on from the fun, we re-visited a spectacle that was far from it’s present state ten years ago – an amazing complex now that was little more than a series of trenches next to an original portion of the Berlin wall;

The Topography of Terror.

Topography of Terror Documentation Center More than one million people visited the "Topography of Terror" in 2015, making the documentation center one of the most frequently visited places of remembrance in Berlin

Topography of Terror Documentation Center
More than one million people visited the “Topography of Terror” in 2015, making the documentation centre one of the most frequently visited places of remembrance in Berlin  

More than one million people visited the “Topography of Terror” in 2015, making the documentation centre one of the most frequently visited places of remembrance in Berlin; there is a link to the site here.

Nothing prepares you for the horrors in this area, so I will let the pictures do the talking, an amazing part of the city that also includes an equally striking monument and historically significant building a little further away

The Jewish Museum Berlin

The Jewish Museum Berlin

The Berlin Jewish Museum

This is a superb museum and well worth a visit. located here, the museum takes you above and below ground. The Museum opened in September 2001. Two years earlier, the empty new building by architect Daniel Libeskind was an unexpected visitor attraction. In this section, we present the building complex in image and text: The Old Building – the baroque Collegienhaus, the postmodern Libeskind Building, the Glass Courtyard erected in 2007, and the new Academy opened in 2012. The circumstances of the museum’s foundation, thecollections it is based on, and the people who have directed its development can be found here as well as personalities of public life who are dedicated to intercultural understanding and have been honored with the Jewish Museum’s Prize for Understanding and Tolerance.

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The Jewish Museum Berlin

The Jewish Museum Berlin

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Potsdamer Platz

Emerging from the museum, night had fallen and it was time for a beer and some homely german food at Potsdamer Platz, the new centre of Berlin.
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Renzo Piano and Helmut Jahn proposed the winning master plans. Investors Daimler-Benz (today Daimler) and Sony backed the two visions. The Piano/Daimler-Benz project envisioned a more diverse European style area with narrower streets while Helmut Jahn’s Sony vision presented the more uniform ultra-modern glass-steel plaza which became the Sony Centre.
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The vast covered public space with its striking glass roof was the result of a remarkable engineering feat – an outstretched tent roof with material fastened to a steel ring attached to the adjacent buildings.
The Panorama Punkt with an observation deck 93 meters high is reached by elevator for the best all-round view of the area in the brown-brick Kollhoff building.
This is a great spot for  a beer and pickled herrings…
IMG_6831 IMG_6832 IMG_6833 L1004364 Another day of sightseeing comes to an end, soon it would be time for the undisputed best breakfast in Berlin – Eggs Benedict at Cafe Einstein.
Look no further than this cafe, 2 mins walk from the Brandenburg Gate at
Unter Den Linden 42.
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 Time to get the bus then, number 100 and off through the park from the Brandenburg Gate over to see my hero Helmut Newton

Museum für Fotografie

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 The  Photography Museum is a splendid place to spend a couple of hours, located here.
The Helmut Newton exhibition and private collection of belongings is truly spectacular, sadly no photos allowed inside so I had to sneak a couple…
On to the shopping district and the fantastic…

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

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 And then of course into the largest department store in Berlin – where coffee, cakes and foods from around the world make it very hard to leave that top floor;

KaDeWe, or

Kaufhaus des Westens

to give it the full name…

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Before the 100 bus back to the hotel, its time for some low light classic Berlin night time photography
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 Saturday morning, time for the train out to the Eastern corridor walk along the river – and some serious street art

East Side Gallery

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 Take the train back to Alexanderplatz for some shopping and a good old demo – its the Kurdish march and protest, starting off from under the TV mast.
Just like a Bourne movie…..
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Not far from here is another fantastic museum – the DDR Museum, every reason you ever needed for communism not taking off the way Joseph and his mates planned.

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Berlin Royal Palace

This reconstruction of a the huge Berlin Royal Palace is an amazing feat and dominates the skyline 65 years after it was demolished
The temporary 5 storey Humboldt Box gives you some great views of the capital, especially the amazing Cathedral and museum island – with a skyline dominated by cranes.
Time for some more homely german food –
IMG_6873home via the off-licence, conveniently located on platform one….
And onto Sunday morning, another Cafe Einstein and then way out East on the train to

Mauerpark

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L1004470 L1004471 L1004472 L1004473 L1004474 L1004475 L1004476 L1004477 L1004478 L1004479 L1004480 L1004482 L1004483 L1004484 L1004485 One of the best Flea-Markets you will ever find!
and where there is a flea market, there is music!
Rupert’s Kitchen Orchestra where an essential part of this Sunday morning experience. Great sound.
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 Thats about it, four days of walking, snapping and eating sausages, I hope you liked this tour of Berlin, please let me have your thoughts; here are some further images to end with.
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Thanks for the sausages….

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Ich bin ein Berliner

Ich bin ein Berliner

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Beautiful Lincoln

Inside beautiful Lincoln Cathedral

Inside beautiful Lincoln Cathedral

Beautiful Lincoln indeed!

Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral

Another place I had never visited. Unlike Skegness, this is somewhere we will come back to! Our house was right in the centre of things, rented via Lincoln Town Houses, link here.

The weekend away - Lincoln was a great find!

The weekend away – Lincoln was a great find!

The traditional valentines weekend away with friends, their turn to choose location, and a pleasant surprise in the form of Lincoln; historic, beautiful, accessible, not too up-itself, but there is a bloody huge hill to walk up and down!

Away from it all, don't forget to post the valentine's card though!

Away from it all, don’t forget to post the valentine’s card though!

I hope you enjoy my monochrome shots, grouped into for key areas around this great historic city;

 

Lincoln Cathedral

Wherever you are in or around, approaching or driving away, you can always see this amazing gothic monstrosity towering over the landscape- the largest gothic building in Europe, an amazing statement that dominates the city and whole of Lincolnshire.

I know I took a lot of pictures of it, but it is truly remarkable and deserves them!

Inside beautiful Lincoln Cathedral

Inside beautiful Lincoln Cathedral

 

Castle and walk around the wall

This is a fantastic castle; it’s well worth getting up onto the castle wall with a 21-point audio guide, guaranteed history lesson and a fantastic value couple of hours all for £5 in the castle shop!

Lincoln Castle

Lincoln Castle

 

 

Up and down that hill

Lincoln has a famous hill that leads from the (rather boring, just like any other town) city at the bottom, with it’s formulaic shops, railway station and civic buildings, to the old city at the top of the hill; with the Cathedral, castle and historical centre. The mile long walk connecting the two has a fantastic array of independent shops, bars and café’s, if you need an altimeter from an RAF Nimrod, or some retro denim shorts, this is the place to be.

Out and about in Lincoln

Drinking beer is a good thing to do in Lincoln. The Cask bar is a lovely spot, and handy for a beer and pizza before trudging around the Cathedral. Another winner is the Wig & Mitre, food looked nice but didn’t have time to stay! But the best spot was the Lincoln Tap House, where a super selection of Friday night beers and food awaited us; well worth a visit.

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That’s another year of standing on one leg all Valentine’s weekend. Leyburn in Wensleydale, Ambleside in cumbria and now Lincoln in beautiful Lincolnshire; where to in 2017?

Another on-legged valentines weekend bites the dust

Another on-legged valentines weekend bites the dust

 

Skegness, Oh yes!

Skegness, Oh yes!

Skegness, Oh yes!

Skegness, Oh yes!
If it’s good enough for Peppa Pig then it’s good enough for me.

I had never been to Skegness before; when I got there I realised why.

Skegness, Oh yes!

Skegness, Oh yes!
Twinned with Bridlington, this is no Harrogate on Sea

Skegness, Oh yes! It’s horrible.

Skegness, Oh yes!

Skegness has something for everyone, that is, anyone who has never been anywhere else.

Situated 42 miles east of beautiful Lincoln on the East Lincolnshire coastline, battered by the relentless brown mass of the North Sea, looking out the icy wind at a sea of wind farms, generating enough energy to light up every amusement arcade along the strip, this really is the last place on earth.

Skegness beach

Skegness beach

Skegness, Oh yes!

I was looking forward to this trip out to the seaside. As every mile of A road twisted and turned towards our destination, I became less and less enthusiastic, the 42 miles took 90 precious minutes, in the face of a steady stream of vehicles escaping back to normality in the other direction, why are so many people coming away from this resort on a pleasant Saturday morning I thought; I can see why now.

Looking out to the North Sea at Skegness

Looking out to the North Sea at Skegness

Finally arrived, having driven out to a desolate car park at the Sea View Pullover on the edge of town next to a derelict Sun City Amusement Park, where a giant digger was noisily smashing up a huge fibreglass tyrannosaurus.

All the fun of the pier

All the fun of the pier

Windswept, everything closed, desolate; a long time since any fun was had here.

It’s time to don five layers of windproof clothing plus hat scarf and gloves, to climb down from the Discovery into a world that forty years ago was a thriving family holiday destination, the jewel in the crown of the Lincolnshire Riviera.

Skegness Pier

Skegness Pier

Immediately switched the Leica to Black and White; monochrome is the best method here I thought, everything is grey anyhow, 50 shades no doubt behind some of those closed doors.

Fun Fun Fun

Fun Fun Fun

The North beach itself is a beautiful if baron place, but it would be in February. Stretching for miles towards the distant Butlins encampment to the North, where thousands of caravans line up in Google maps to resemble a military encampment. We turned south and into the bracing wind, towards the pier; that’s the pier that mysteriously stops 300 yards before it meets the sea, seemingly not fancying its chances against the swirling waves battering the beach beyond it.

After a couple of miles taking in the lifeboat station and the South beach area it was time to turn inland and find a well-earned coffee; beautiful coffee aromas, Starbucks for a cinnamon swirl? Costa for a chocolate muffin? or Nero for a crisp biscotti?

Decisions decisions; time to consult the map…

Welcome to Skegness

Welcome to Skegness

Fat Chance! You are in Skegness, Oh yes!

It's Greggs or Greggs

It’s Greggs or Greggs

It’s Greggs, or Greggs. A tomato soup and three sausage rolls for £2 take it or leave it.

Plenty of retail therapy in Skeggy

Plenty of retail therapy in Skeggy

In fact, finding any ‘mainstream’ shopping experiences in town were a challenge; Harrogate on sea? I think not. It’s not everywhere that you can find a strip joint above an amusement arcade.

Lap dancing anyone?

Lap dancing anyone?

There are certainly many parallels with Bridlington, another favourite monochrome East coast town that time forgot. See my 2014 blog post here.

There is a charm to these places, if you can avoid being mugged, and have the luxury of escaping to normality; it is a true experience to savour their delights on a windy cold February Saturday.

But of course for their residents, there is a fierce pride and loyalty, get off our patch, leave us alone; we don’t want you here. The glare from the teenagers in Gregg’s, the growl from the pit-bulls on the beach, the  police van in the car park; the steamed-up cafe you didn’t dare to go in.

Skegness, Oh yes!

 

 

 

The Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

The Silver Swan. Over the last century this swan has become the icon of The Bowes Museum. The Silver Swan dates from 1773 and was first recorded in 1774 as a crowd puller in the Mechanical Museum of James Cox, a London showman and dealer.

The Silver Swan.
Over the last century this swan has become the icon of The Bowes Museum. The Silver Swan dates from 1773 and was first recorded in 1774 as a crowd puller in the Mechanical Museum of James Cox, a London showman and dealer.

The Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard is a lovely afternoon out, especially if it’s throwing it down outside and you are new in town – as we are today.

The Bowes Museum is situated in Castle Barnard, a true jewel in the landscape

The Bowes Museum is situated in Castle Barnard, a true jewel in the landscape

The Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

What an amazing treasure trove of art and many other beautiful things!

The Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

The Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

The Museum is a truly imposing building and houses a treasure trove of art, the background to this amazing collection is below – I would recommend anyone to pay a visit!

Background to the Bowes Museum

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New Light Exhibition and  Prize

We were lucky to get in and see the last day of the the New Light Prize Exhibition, which had opened in October 2015 at the Bowes Museum and now I think moves on to the Mercer Gallery in Harrogate and then onto London in June.

I only took a couple of snaps but found a link to this year’s Exhibition where all the work can be viewed on the What’s New page.

The Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

Art in the New Light Exhibition; The Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

The Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

The Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

The Robert Mapplethorpe Exhibition on level two was an added bonus –

Robert Mapplethorpe at the Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

Robert Mapplethorpe at the Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

The magic in the muse is an interesting display that is on until April 2016; for any lover of Mapplethorpe, or great portrait photography, then this is a must also visit!

Robert Mapplethorpe at the Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

Robert Mapplethorpe at the Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

Robert Mapplethorpe at the Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

Robert Mapplethorpe at the Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

 

 

 

 

Robert Mapplethorpe at the Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

Robert Mapplethorpe at the Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard

You can see what’s on here Bowes Museum I can’t praise it highly enough, we bought a six month pass and will be back again very soon.

I hope you like my pictures and I am pleased the Bowes museum also have shared some of them, indeed feel free to spread the word!

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

Trafalgar Square Trafalgar Square Trafalgar Square Trafalgar Square L1004082

 

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

A Merry Ripon Christmas

A Merry Ripon Christmas!

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A very Merry Ripon Christmas to everyone out there, whoost so-ever you may be (to borrow Alan’s language). Indeed, a very merry Ripon Christmas to you all.

Boxing Day Pint at the Bull in West Tanfield; cheers!

Boxing Day Pint

What is Christmas all about?

The baby Jesus nativity scene, Christmas Eve, St Mary's church, North Stainley

The baby Jesus nativity scene, Christmas Eve, St Mary’s church, North Stainley

What is Christmas all about? It’s about the birth of the baby Jesus of course. But it’s also about a load of other stuff and if you don’t go to church much, there are a whole load of other reasons why it’s still the best time of the year!

Happy Christmas stories

Happy Christmas stories

Family. Staying healthy, and looking after those who are not so fortunate. That’s what Christmas is about – and there is nothing better than a happy Christmas story!

Finding your electric toothbrush!

Finding your electric toothbrush!

Going to church, seeing your neighbours and exchanging gifts with the ones you love – everyone in our house got a new electric toothbrush – except me, and I lost mine to boot, finding it in Salford only on the day before Christmas Eve. Woop!

It’s also about spending some quality time at home, in front of the fire, with a satsuma, some walnuts and a tonne of thornton’s continental chocolates.

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It’s also about stuffing as much food in as is absolutely possible in 48 hours

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….until the shops are open again!

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And then it’s about sitting back and relaxing, looking after those that need some TLC.

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Ripon Floods - The River Ure, Boxing Day 2015

Ripon Floods – The River Ure, Boxing Day 2015

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and I look forward to being more creative with my blog photographs in 2016 – perhaps I may even get a 28mm lens that enables me to open things up a bit more….

A very Merry Ripon Christmas

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The Jolly Fisherman, Craster

National Trust - Dunstanburgh Castle

National Trust – Dunstanburgh Castle

The Jolly Fisherman in Craster is my new favourite lunch spot, even though it’s a 2 hour drive from Ripon.

The Jolly Fisherman, Craster

The Jolly Fisherman, Craster

Craster is such a lovely spot, looking out over the North Sea to the National Trust Dunstanburgh Castle, this is a fantastic walk before a huge lunch at the Jolly Fisherman.

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Great to see the family and meet up for fun and food, i will be coming back to this lovely fishing village in the summer of 2016, with a 28mm lens to capture the scenery.

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Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

I took these pictures at Fountains Abbey yesterday, they reminded me of the words to one of my favourite Frank Sinatra songs

“Autumn Leaves”

The falling leaves
Drift by my window
The falling leaves
Of red and gold

I see your lips
The summer kisses
The sunburned hands
I used to hold

Since you went away
The days grow long
And soon I’ll hear
Old winter’s song

But I miss you most of all
My darling
When autumn leaves
Start to fall

Since you went away
The days grow long
And soon I’ll hear
Old winter’s song

But I miss you most of all
My darling
When autumn leaves
Start to fall

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And that is the end to this musical blog post.

 

Chatsworth Sculptures

The Chatsworth Sculptures are well worth seeing

Kay and her mates had a fantastic day out at Chatsworth while I was wallowing around with man-flu.

The Landscape of British Sculpture 1950 – 2015

Sotheby’s Beyond Limits is now firmly established as one of the leading events in the artistic calendar with artists including Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn, Jaume Plensa, Manolo Valdés and Thomas Heatherwick (designer of London’s Olympic Cauldron), having exhibited in recent years. Spread out across the garden, the diversity of these international artists’ works represents some of the most original monumental sculpture being made today.

Guest curated by Tim Marlow, Director of Artistic Programmes at The Royal Academy of Arts, the 2015 exhibition will feature more than 30 monumental sculptures created by Britain’s leading artists from the past 65 years. Find out more at www.sothebys.com.

Kay’s pictures are taken on a rather old iPhone, so don’t expect the usual Leica sharpness!

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Studley Royal rutting

Everybody is out this weekend looking to photograph some Studley Royal rutting.

Seeing some Studley Royal rutting yesterday was the high point of a man-flu laden weekend. A short walk on an autumnal Sunday in this majestic space was a lovely way to get some fresh air and see the beautiful deer inhabitants of this great park.

Studley Royal Deer

Studley Royal Deer

Lots of deer on view as well as all the best Autumn has to offer, some words below from the NT website.

Autumn at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal

 © Richard Jemison

Autumn has arrived with an explosion of colour in the garden and deer park at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal in North Yorkshire. Known for its autumn colour, the grounds are breath-taking each autumn, and this year is no exception.

The months of October and November are perfect for a walk through the acres of red, orange, gold and green woodland which surrounds the ponds and canals of the Georgian Water Garden. Run through the crunchy fallen leaves, find the biggest conkers and acorns, and discover some fantastic fungi from shaggy inkcaps to chicken of the woods!

Use one of our wildlife spotter sheets to discover birds that make the estate their winter home, spot which deer is which by the colour of their rumps, and take a look inside a fallen tree to see what bugs you can discover.

Please remember that during the months of October, November and December it is the annual deer rut in the park. The mating season can make the male stags and bucks aggressive and territorial so make sure you keep your distance and do not approach the deer.

We’re open every day apart from Fridays in November, December and January.

The daddy sits on his own

The daddy sits on his own

 

Oh deer…. here are my more inferior snaps

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey/wildlife/

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Studley Royal Deer

Studley Royal Deer

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The daddy sits on his own

The daddy sits on his own

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Ripley Castle in Monochrome

Ripley Castle in Monochrome

Ripley Castle in Monochrome

We popped to Ripley Casttle this afternoon and took some simple mono images, I hope you like them.

Ripley Castle in Monochrome.

I was messing around with mono filters and so have some different types of contract – let me know what you think?

Ripley Castle is a lovely spot, OK it’s a honey pot for tourists, but the guide was excellent and the gardens and deer paark are a joy; I just can’t wait for next year’s show….

http://www.ripleycastle.co.uk/

From their own website – Ripley Castle and Gardens, situated 3 miles from Harrogate in North Yorkshire on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, is an historic attraction open to the public all year round and makes for a fascinating and entertaining day out, in a beautiful location.

The Castle also makes the perfect setting for any corporate entertaining event whether it be a meeting or dinner. The setting is stunning, the service is friendly and efficient, and the catering is exceptional.

So here are my pictures, all taken on a rather overcast Sunday afternoon on a Leica M type 240, with Summilux 50mm 1:1.4 ASPH lens at ISO 800

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Nunnington Hall is fabulous!

Entrance to Nunnington Hall

Entrance to Nunnington Hall

Nunnington Hall is fabulous!

Nunnington Hall is fabulous!

Nunnington Hall is fabulous!

Nunnington Hall is a proper great day out for all the family – on a recent visit we reflected that we have not been back here for about 20 years; while the the children are all grown up now, there is still so much to do for a couple of empty nesters!

Something for everyone at Nunnington Hall

Something for everyone at Nunnington Hall

Nunnington Hall has beautuful gardens that have something for everyone

Lovely wild frowers at Nunnington Hall

Lovely wild frowers at Nunnington Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

Famed for its picturesque location, organic walled garden with spring-flowering meadows, flamboyant resident peacocks and a changing programme of exclusive and high profile art and photography exhibitions, Nunnington Hall offers something for everyone to enjoy.

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nunnington-hall/

There is a lot of stuff for kids in the grounds and gardens – especially liked the working ‘cutting’ garden part with a mud pie kitchen and potting sheds for the children.

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The male and femaale scarcrows in the cutting garden are a sight to behold!

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Wild flowers provide a home for all the insects and butterflies, some of which are amazing even on a rather overcast last day of August.

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The peacocks roam free in the grounds, both males and female with her two little chicks tucked under the wing for safety.

Mother Peacock at Nunnington Hall

Mother Peacock at Nunnington Hall

 

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One of the highlights is the amazing Carlisle Collection of miniature rooms on the top floor – these incredibly complex room sets were put together with such skill it is hard upon examination to differentiate them from the real thing – I took some pictures below of the study, the nursery and one of the sitting rooms.

Carlisle Collection at Nunnington Hall

Carlisle Collection at Nunnington Hall

The Nursery - Carlisle Collection at Nunnington Hall

The Nursery – Carlisle Collection at Nunnington Hall

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The National Trust have a changing programme of exhibitions in our Top Floor Gallery. This year including, the British Wildlife Photography awards, World War One Centenary, Children’s Illustration, Matt the Daily Telegraph Cartoonist and a new feature – Art for Christmas.

Inside the house there is a lot to see

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And outside, the walled gardens include a lovely open tea room area as well as the riverbank and lawns with ample spots for picnics and easy access to the grounds from an adjoining carpark via a small footbridge over the river.

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All in all a great day out on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and away from the tourist traps of Kirbymoorside and Helmsley.

Well Done National Trust – nothing changes in 20 years, and that is a good thing!

Easy to get to via the A170 in North Norkshire

Easy to get to via the A170 in North Norkshire