Monday, November 10, 2014

Another photo competition

Barbara Johnson, Richard Laidler, David Harper, Gary Richardson, Chris Morse and Peter Phillips

Another week and another competition.
This time I made 3rd place in The Spirit of Teesdale competition held by The Morritt.
All the entries can be viewed at the link, and a calendar is also available with proceeds going to St Teresa’s Hospice.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Return to Beamish

We went back to Beamish, making the most of our tickets that allow free return entry for 1 year.
It was midweek, so a lot quieter, which was fine as it gave me a better chance to take photos. There is still a lot to see on the 2nd visit, and a bit less of a crowd to see it.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Elionwy has a Saturday job at The Moody Bakers in town:
We were all invited to Dave's house (The Moody baker himself!) for a Halloween party last night. Great fun, a great host and my horse's head made for great visual difficulty.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Heart Of Teesdale Photography Competition

We went to the presentation evening for the Heart Of Teesdale photography competition. The top 25 photographs were on display. Elionwy had one of her photo's chosen! She took it on her iPhone. I had 2 chosen. I was a bit amazed when my name was called for 2nd place! and very pleased when my friend Nick was called as the overall winner.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


So, a friend at work told me about Piercebridge. How amazing it is. How there is a Roman bridge there as well as a Fort.
I was a little skeptical, because I've been to this sort of place before and only found mounds in a field and wondered where the remains were before I realised I was on them.
Anyway, we gave it a go this morning...and this is the famous Roman bridge:

I didn't even bother taking a picture of the fort.
I have to say I was disappointed. Nicky thought the history was really interesting though.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Streets Of Durham

The latest busker festival took place last week. This Australian performer was first on, and bored me so much I left before he was finished. It took about 30 mins for him to get this far in his act. It was supposed to be 'awesome' but after seeing him spent the first half of his act making awful jokes as he set up his table, which I couldn't help wondering why he couldn't have done this before he came on, I gave up.
Also, he managed to do his whole act with his flies down which was rather off putting.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Resevoirs

Just past Cotherstone there are some signposts for reservoirs, so the last few weeks we have been ticking them off our walks. There are some spectacular sights up by these, they all have public walks around them. The top picture shows Nicky still walking up the 275 steps to get to Balderhead Reservoir. Just below it is Blackton, and then Hury Reservoir. Further up the road is Grassholme and Selset.

The Lakes

In the 14 months we've been here, we've not taken the hour drive into the Lake District. So many people have described it as one of the most wonderful places on the planet, we thought it was about time we took a break and made the journey.

OK, so it is stunning, but I had very mixed feelings there.
First, 20 mins after arriving at our lodge, Nathan went to play football and came back with a twisted ankle. This severely hampered our walking holiday, with us only getting out on 2 proper walks, leaving him behind.

So, we spent quite a bit of time just doing gentle visits to the main towns, Windermere, Conistone, Grassmere etc...and really didn't like them much at all. Windermere was more like Southend-On-Sea or Weston-Super-Mare. So busy, full of fun fairs, shops selling postcards, walking equipment and of course anything with Peter Rabbit on it (Beatrix Potter lived in the area). And it was sooo expensive! Like London prices.
Another frustrating thing was our Garmin Sat-Nav couldn't get reception. Apparently TomTom can. So we relied on the guide books left in the lodge...but none of these guides actually had any good directions to find the starting points, and relying on the signs was equally as frustrating as literally half of them seemed to have been allowed to grow over with hedges etc. I was told after it's something to do with nesting birds and they can be cut back in September?

When we did find the walks we wanted (Cat Bells & Tarn Hows) they were stunning.
So it was a good fact finding mission. next time, and there will be one, we will go somewhere more secluded. Buy a TomTom, and invest in a good map.

Monday, July 14, 2014

2015 Teesdale Calendar

A bit gobsmacked by this. Nicky came back with the 2015 Teesdale Calendar, and I have 3 photo's printed in it. (Raby Castle, Eggleston Gardens & Barnard Castle-night scene). I entered the competition a while ago and then as usual, forgot all about it.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Staindrop Carnival 2014

The Turf Richmond

Our secret guilty pleasure. The Turf in Richmond is one of the best, cheapest, abundant restaurants we've come across. If you can see the table of food we have, well, we bought all this, drinks and deserts later for cheaper than the price of 1 full course at the Rose & Crown in Romaldkirk.
My fave dishes are the chillli, lasagne and the burgers. Superb food at really good prices.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The ABBA Sensation at Thorp Perrow

I went last night with the family to see the ABBA Sensation at Thorp Perrow. ABBA are not on my top 10 of groups, I just went for Nicky and Elionwy. These guys were superb though. Great fun, a real rapport with the audience. It was the first concert I'd been too that was half concert and half picnic.
It didn't take long for the group to have everyone singing along, then clapping, then waving hands, then mass dancing. It even got to the state when some of the girls were using trees to pole dance with. Seriously!

The Dream Academy: Life in A Northern Town

The weather this morning just reminds me of this old video. It had to be added at some point.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Beamish Museum

We finally took a trip to Beamish Museum. So many people have mentioned it as a must see. It costs about £40 for a family ticket, but you can go back free for a year in that price.
It's called a 'living museum' and very similar to the Welsh St Fagans, except it's about 5 times the size. So big you have to hop on one of the free trams/trains/buses that frequently travel past when your feet start to get tired.
It really did live up to the expectation. Everything is accessible. You walk down a street from history, you can enter the shops, speak to the proprietors, leave the shops, pass some houses, visit the dentists, the farms, even the small gardens at the back of the houses.
It's also a photographers dream. I was told you would need a full day+ and they were right. There is so much to see, we just scratched the surface.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Judie Tzuke At The Sage

An hour out of Barney on the 12th of June, we visited Gateshead 'The Sage'. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't the space age looking building we found (just seen poking into the corner on the last picture).
Judie was as usual fantastic, and we all had the privilege to hear her daughters too. It was the kid's first proper concert, and they were blown away. I don't think they will ever hear someone quite as good as Judie.
When we came out the town was lit up looking very picturesque.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Teesdale Sports Center

It's only taken me about a year to go to the Sports Center, even though I pass it every day on the way to work. Our friend Michael has started a sort of Badminton Club, so Thursdays we've started going and having a knock around. For £6 a court for an hour, split between however many, it's pretty good value.

The Meet Pt.2

The Meet ended on bank holiday Monday with a procession through the town. Not the greatest spectacle, but it was nice weather and the amount of people who turned out to see it was staggering for such a small town.