In addition to below, back in January, we had another trip to Saltburn-by-the-sea with some old mates yesterday.
I didn’t have my Leica with me, but could not resist updating this blog post with some snaps images from my iPhone, because whichever way you look at it, Saltburn-by-the-sea is a crazy old North East seaside town, I just love it.
We had a trip out to the seaside today, to Saltburn-by-the-Sea. What a charming little spot in the middle of nowhere, just the sea, a pier, and the best fish and chips you could ever hope for.
I love the Stag of North Stainley; a sculpture constructed entirely of bicycle parts, creating our village symbol, the Stag of North Stainley and the Staveley family; made by local folk to celebrate the Tour de France passing through the village in 2014.
The Stag of North Stainley comes alive at Christmas time with a red nose and the village Christmas tree lit up in close proximity.
Stag of North Stainley
Thought you may like some snaps I took of the Stag of North Stainley today.
Vibrant scenes and interesting art installations at MediaCityUK coupled to a tour of local festive lights in my own village this weekend highlighted to me that we sometimes miss the real meaning of Christmas, when it’s right there under our noses.
I was wondering around and about my village in the cold cold dark evening and it struck me that some of my neighbours have the most amazing Christmas light shows, lighting up their houses like beacons of celebration at this festive time.
The same can’t be said for the church, standing all forlorn and unlit in the sodium glow of the streetlights as the occasional car whispers past through the cold night.
Surely it should be the church that is lit up at this important time for Christians?
Didn’t mean to be too philosophical on a Monday morning, but it seems to me that the actual meaning of Christmas gets lost amidst the constant rush for consumers to consume anything and everything in a frenzied rush against a corporate calendar leading to a peak of bloated exhaustion.
This holiday season, I want to be happy and healthy and spend time with my family; three things that I have not always achieved individually or collectively at various points over the last 12 months.
So let there be light in the world, lets get back to the meaning of Christmas and let’s follow the star as it shines in the East.
The sun was shining and the wind was blowing, Masham sheep fair had been ticked off and it was a Sunday; it was time for a Wensleydale day out.
Bolton Castle always offers some amazing photographic opportunities; so this time we ventured into the castle as well as out and about walking between Aysgarth falls, Redmire and the surrounding lower Wensleydale rolling dale.
What a great place to visit, if you live round the corner like us, or you are coming from farther afield – Wensleydale is absolutely beautiful, unspoilt and full of interesting history.
It’s not the first time I have featured Castle Bolton, bit on a sunny day like this, there is no better place to be with my Leica.
Last year we went to Ripley Show for the first time, it was fantastic and we made a date for the calendar to be there again in 2016.
Ripley Show gets better every year.
Well that date arrived, faster than you can say ‘organic produce’ so we packed up our picnic and made the most of another beautiful Yorkshire day; and I am proud to report that Ripley Show gets better every year.
There’s something for everyone at Ripley Show
The cattle this year were amazing, this beautiful Aberdeen Angus was my favourite beast of the whole show, majestic and absolutely huge!
The animals are great, especially the pigs and sheep, but the tractors and assorted old machinery are also well worth a look including the carriage driving and vintage cars.
No excuse for many similar pictures to last year!
– all in a all great day out, Ripley Show gets better every year!
Well done to all the organisers, exhibitors and competitors.
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 Robert Mapplethorpe Exhibition on level two was an added bonus –
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!
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!
Its’ my 53rd birthday today and no better place to be than a snowy Wensleydale. Castle Bolton to be precise.
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!
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.
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
I just found these pictures, from a Flamingoland 1978 Roundhay School trip.
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?
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.
What is Christmas all about?
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!
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!
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.
It’s also about stuffing as much food in as is absolutely possible in 48 hours
….until the shops are open again!
And then it’s about sitting back and relaxing, looking after those that need some TLC.
And keeping out of floods, the sales and outdoors generally….
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….
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.
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
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.
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
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!
Nunnington Hall has beautuful gardens that have something for everyone
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.
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.
The male and femaale scarcrows in the cutting garden are a sight to behold!
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.
The peacocks roam free in the grounds, both males and female with her two little chicks tucked under the wing for safety.
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.
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
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.
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!
Camped with our mates in Swaledale again last weekend at this fantastic campsite.
Usha Gap base camp
The weather was horrific, but when did that ever stop anyone having a good time?
Campfires, wine and some nice steaks on the barbeque – so no worries re a damp night under canvas, this is the place to be!
And when it stops raining you can take a lovely 5 mile walk up and down Upper Swaledale, taking in Muker and other villages; there is always the ‘Farmers Arms’ in Muker – a 10 minute walk away if you can’t face getting the washing up done.
Usha Gap is a great camp site – no electricity, you are back to nature and near some nice new toilet and washing up blocks on a family run friendly site in deepest North Yorkshire dales.