December 2017 Picture Roundup

Dec 2017 047A month of quiet weather and some great skies.

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One of the most memorable events was the full moon rising over over the Humber Estuary.on the evening of December 4th. Worth missing Corrie for (not that I watch Corrie).

Christmas visits from sons and girlfriends meant trips out to the pub, walks on the beach, hundreds of pennies frittered away in the arcades - oh, the hedonism of it all.

Anyway, also nice was discovering the photographic delights of Grimsby Docks, coming soon in another article. A Happy New Year to all!

Read more: December 2017 Picture Roundup

The drinks cans of Cleethorpes

P1100744 001The gutters of Cleethorpes are littered with drinks cans.

But, to be fair, they do make quite intersting objects to photograph.

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I will be looking out for more.

Perhaps road markings and street furniture next - drain covers, kerb stones etc.

Read more: The drinks cans of Cleethorpes

Victorious music festival, Portsmouth

Portsmouth 010Flogged down to Portsmouth for a late summer music festival. It's nearly as long a journey as Scotland! And it was bank holiday weekend!! But actually, the roads were fine, just long.

Mainly went to see the Stereophonics headline the Saturday night, but also on the bill were Echobelly, The Hunna, Feeder, Maximo Park and jake Bugg. All in all, worth going.

A few pictures if you click the Read more..

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Compton Verney Art Gallery

P1090577Visited Compton Verney for the third time and , hey! it wasn't raining. There to see the Op Art exhibition 'Seurat to Riley'.

Click the Read more for some photos.

One of the first exhibitions of its kind in the UK, Seurat to Riley: The Art of Perception explores how artists have exploited the ways in which the human eye and mind perceive what we see. Containing over ninety works including painting, sculpture, light works, prints and drawings from public and private collections, the exhibition also features a gallery-sized mural by German abstract artist Lothar Götz (pictured) commissioned by Compton Verney.

The journey begins in the 19th century when artists were eagerly experimenting with the new exciting colour theories of the day. Discover how they began to use colour in ways that simulated our real world experiences, replicating the colours of nature and even movement. Learn how this desire to create art that conjured up the world around us evolved throughout the 20th century to the mesmerising Op art of today. Includes works by twenty three artists including Georges Seurat, M.C. Escher, Josef Albers, Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley, Peter Sedgley, Daniel Buren, Liz West and more.

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Linwood Warren

P1100222 2After troughing with family and friends at Jossels restaurant in Market Rasen, visited Linwood Warren nature reserve  on what was a beautiful, early-autumn afternoon. The reserve is right by the racecourse and consists mainly of lowland heath with some ancient oak forest on the periphery. 

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Familiar as wide, open landscapes peppered with the yellow of gorse and purple of heathers, more than 80% of our lowland heaths have been destroyed since the 19th century.

Even rarer than rainforest, heathland is one of our most threatened habitats. Fortunately, this heath is under the protection and management of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. The site is grazed by a flock of Hebridean sheep (see photos).

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Fog on the Humber

P1100043 2Woke to the sound of multiple foghorns, blaring away somewhere out in the Humber estuary.

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I wondered if this was a local phenomenon of if the fog was more general, but apparently it was misty in Lincoln too.

Looking forward to photographing the winter storms!

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Cleethorpes monochrome

DSC00673 001Some images of Cleethorpes taken during August, rendered in black and white.

If ya like photos, click the Read more for an image gallery.

Most of the photographs were taken using a Panasonic Lumix LX 100. A few were taken with a Sony A850.

The original raw images were processed using Adobe Lightroom 6. In most cases they were just cropped, sharpened and adjusted for brightness and contrast, then converted to mono.

I like to give them a final adjust using Picasa before exporting them at 1800px.

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Fexit complete

P1090096Bags and boxes unpacked, rooms more or less furnished, supermarkets located. From this end of the telescope, moving is a doddle. Just don't ask me to do it again within the next decade, thank you very much.

The nearest beach is about 10 minutes walk. Click the Read more for some recent photos.

I am guessing that the novelty of being able to walk out of the front door and go beachcombing any time I like is going to take a long time to wear off. There's always something to see, something to photograph, even if it's just snapping the guys cleaning the beach, or reading the grafitti scribbled on the sand.

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Cleethorpes sea views

P1080708So, Cleethorpes. Different to Ely, that's for sure. Ely has fewer donkeys, for one thing and not many opportunities for crazy golf. Mind you, Cleethorpes has fewer cathedrals.

The night life here is lively, to say the least, but probably not that much different to Market Street on a Friday night, except that here it's every night. I didn't hang around long enought to put it to the test.

Found a nice pub called The No. 1. It's down by the railway station, about a 10 minute walk from the house.

Go out early enough in the morning and the sea front is deserted. Most of these photos were taken before 7am. Click the Read more for an image gallery.

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ESJ Millennium Year class photos

Classes 2001 030I found this old photo album mouldering in a cupboard at school.

Actually, I found a pile of them, but that's for another time. The one shown here is a set of class photos taken in summer term 2001. The school was a lot smaller then, only about 300 children. KS2 classes were in mixed year groups - I had a Year 3/4 class at the time.

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It's great seeing again photos of children who are now all growed up and in their 20s, having finished with formal education and now gone out into the world to seek their fortune..Some might even have left home!

I wouldn't mind betting that not a few of them still live around Ely though, because Ely is that kind of place. Most will be working, with some perhaps paired off or married and starting a family of their own. It would be great if some of them came back to visit the school, to help us celebrate our 25th anniversary.

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Visit to Woburn Abbey

Woburn smallWe chose the right day to go.

The weather was glorious, the gardens looked great and, best of all, the place was practically deserted.

Actually, even better than that, if you are a member of the Historic Houses Association (HHA), you get in for nothing!

Click the Read more for an image gallery. The skies look very saturated in the photos, probably because I was using a polarising filter, but they were actually very blue anyway.

We've never actually been inside the house, but we have been told off by an official for standing at the back of the place to have this photo taken. There was a small notice, we discovered afterwards, saying Private, but we hadn't seen it. So naughty!

The cafe's OK and quite reasonable, just don't go expecting a 7-course banquet. We went on a Saturday and there was a wedding on, which meant that a bit of the place was roped off. Whatever. We went for the gardens really, and they are fab.

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Recent gigs June 2017

gigs 001aSaw a few bands in May/June, all at the Junction in Cambridge. Maximo Park played songs from their brilliant new albun Risk To Exist plus favourites from their huge back catalogue. Paul Smith was on excellent form. We saw them in Doncaster a few years back but this was a much better gig.

Click the Read more for an image gallery.

As always,Twin Atlantic were loud and lively. I was fairly close to the mosh pit, taking photos. It was a vision of hell, basically. At one point, Sam McTrusty leapt into the audience and sang as he was carried around by the crowd - at one pointI was nearly garotted by his mic cable. It's the third time we've seen them. Unapologetically full-on Scottish rock.

Talking of Scotland, Justin Currie wowsed a rather sparse crowd with numbers from his new album This Is My Kingdom Now, in my opinion one of his best for a while. Needless to say he also played a goodly number of classic Del Amitri songs. Lost count of the number of times we've seen him perform, and we're going again to see him in Nottingham in October!


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Gunby Hall NT property in Lincolnshire

Gunby HallGunby hall is a National Trust property near Skegness.

This was a quick visit on our way home from Cleethorpes.  No doubt we will be back to see more.

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The walled garden was great, stuffed with colourful plants and two friendly moggies. You can get tea and cake but not full meals. You might need to queue for the loo if it is busy.

We didn't go in the house - that's for next time.

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Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum

OswaldThe Stirling Smith is a museum and art gallery in the town of Stirling (durr, where else?).

Like many local museurms it is a treasure trove of curios and unusual artefacts, mostly relating to the hitory of the town. Well worth a visit if you are in the neighbourhood.

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More unusual, perhaps, is the fact that the museum has adopted a cat, Oswald. He is black and white and is quite a character. We kept an eye out for him during our visit but with no success. Then on our way out of the building, who should we bump into? The curator was kind enough to scoop up Oswald (who looked more interested in getting inside for a spot of lunch, no doubt, than in talking to us) and letting us pet him.

So, as a consequence, the Stirling Smith gets a 5 star rating from me, anyway!

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The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery, Bournemouth

Russell Cotes 026If you are ever anywhere near Bournemouth, the Russell-Cotes is a must-see.

We visited Bournemouth for a couple of days in half term week. It was our second attempt to get into the place; the first time we tried, in 2016, the museum was shut for the day. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Basically, the museum is a treasure house of Victorian (and early 20th century) art objects - the photographs will give you the idea.

It's a photographer's paradise, and no mistake. Click the Read more for an image gallery.

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February mist

Misty ElyEly can be beautiful in any weather.

These pictures were taken early one Sunday morning.


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There was absolutely nobody about - just me and the ducks and geese.

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Beaulieu Motor Museum

Beaulieu 001Forget the cars, go for the grounds, the gardens and the lovely house.

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There was plenty to see outside even in February.

I really liked the padlock tree sculpture and the Alice in Wonderland topiary - probably even better for photographing had there been a few more visitors around.

The house is one of the cosiest stately homes I've ever been in. It was big without being grand and you could see that it had been a happy family home in its time, for many generations of the Montagues.

The ticket price is steep at £25 but if you are an HHA member it's free! And that's for everything.

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The Fife coast

Fyfe coast 003Fife is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful stretches of British coastline.

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Not a bad day for a visit, bearing in mind it's April and it's Scotland. Cool and blowy, so had to keep moving.

The pebbles on the beaches just north of Kirkcaldy are just amazing for their variety. I wanted to fill the car boot but wasn't allowed to.

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The Bowes Museum

P1040741Chances are, you've never been there. The Bowes Museum is off the A66, about 10 miles or so from Scotch Corner (where?). Well worth a detour if you're on your way north (or south).  

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The museum itself has an interesting history and the contents are world class.

I'll leave you to find out more.

Read more: The Bowes Museum