Film Friday ~ Craster May 2022

Sophie has been home from Spain for a couple of weeks and we’ve been out and about with our cameras. We spent a Sunday up in Edlingham and Craster ~ the Edlingham shots are mostly with the FujiXT2 so will be appearing on Sundays over on the Universe blog, but we also went over to Craster and had a windy walk up the coast to Dunstanburgh Castle, and I employed the Contax Aria for the visit, loaded with Kodak Gold 200 film.

Craster is a small fishing village on the Northumberland coast. It has a small harbour and a grassy path leading up to the castle which is the only way to get to it. For many years, the village has had a herring-curing business: Craster kippers are well known around the world.

Dunstanburgh Castle was built on an epic scale atop a remote headland along the coast. It was built at a time when relations between King Edward II and his most powerful baron, Earl Thomas of Lancaster, had become openly hostile. Lancaster began the fortress in 1313, and the latest archaeological research indicates that he built it on a far grander scale than was originally recognised, perhaps more as a symbol of his opposition to the king than as a military stronghold.

Unfortunately the earl failed to reach Dunstanburgh when his rebellion was defeated, and he was taken and executed in 1322. Thereafter the castle passed eventually to John of Gaunt, who strengthened it against the Pesky Scots by converting the great twin towered gatehouse into a keep.

The focus of fierce fighting during the Wars of the Roses, it was twice besieged and captured by Yorkist forces, but subsequently fell into decay.

Before we arrived at Craster we had lunch at our favourite café in Rock, which readers of the Universe blog will have heard me bang on about.

The Rocky

It was a really blowy~blustery day so walking up the coast was a bit like being beaten up, we didn’t get right up to the castle before we’d had enough and turned round, wimps that we are, but far enough for a long shot of it.

flower pots line the roads coming out of Craster car park
Mermaid with a big fishy thing.
Flowery things and harbour

There are quite a few holiday cottages to rent, or maybe they are second homes for posh people, along the sea front, and the have their own little gardens to sit in with views of the harbour, castle, and sea.

enjoying an ice cream and wrapped up warm.
bluebells
Gorse bushes along the coastal walk.
Dunstanburgh Castle

Film Friday ~ Contax Aria

Over on the Universe blog, I’ve been posting my outings to Northumberland churches, but I also took a few shots along the journey.

Sophie spotted this tree whilst I was doing my Ben Hur around the country roads, think it could be an oak.

Sophie’s Tree

We had late lunches and afterwards travelled home via the scenic route. Going through and out the other side of Warkworth there are parking spaces on the A1068 which runs along side the River Coquet. Looking back towards Warkworth you can see the medieval castle on the hill that dominates the landscape.

Warkworth

Looking forwards and ahead is Amble marina, you can just see the boat masts next to appartment blocks called ‘Coquet Cottages’. Pfft. Like no cottage I ever saw.

Coquet Cottages 🙄

Further along towards the coast we came across a stone gateway which seemed incongruous all alone on a country lane.

Craster Tower Gateway

It was built in the late 1700’s and made of whinstone rubble, and belonged to Craster Tower. The tower was a 14th century pele tower and is referred to in a survey of 1415 as in the ownership of Edmund Crasestir. When Edmund died the tower remained in the Craster family and a two storey Manor house was added to it in 1666 by another Edmund Craster. In 1769, George Craster erected an impressive five-bayed, three-storey Georgian mansion adjoining the south side of the Tower, which was reduced to three storeys and recastellated at this time.

 In 1785 the estate was in the hands of Shafto Craster who changed the appearance of the pele tower, to give it a gothic style. It was at this time he also built the coach house and the gateway. Shafto was also responsible for starting the kippering industry in Craster which still thrives to this day. 

And now onto cats and sunsets!

Winnie doing Winnie things.
Lord Vincent
Shepherd’s delight
Tango sky

And that’s it this time.

Laters Gaters 🐊 😊

📷 🎞

Film Friday ~ Contax Aria (4)

Not much point in numbering the posts really as the Aria is now my go-to camera for shooting film with, and all my others stand forlornley on the shelf gathering dust.

I’ve recently been shooting some more Kodak Ultramax 400 and got the results back. A fair few I’ve taken when on outings with Sophie, so they’ll get incorporated in to the Sunday Fraggle reports over on the Universe Blog. I made good use of spring and summer which came the week before last, and took the Aria on walks around the neighbourhood. Sadly we’re back in winter now and it’s a bit miserable out there. Anyhoo here are a few from my walks:

The path that leads to the Hebburn Quarry Nature Reserve (or Wardley Lake as it’s known chez Fraggle) is lined with hawthorn trees, and is lovely to walk down in spring.

Hawthorn arches

The arch isn’t natural, Storm Arwen made it, and though some of the trees got broken and uprooted, somehow they’re still flowering.

Sidelined

This young one is quite exposed but managed to survive.

survivor

Their branches gently reach out for the light and their buds open one by one.

It was so nice to walk in sunshine, and hear the miriad birds warning each other of dogs and humans in their territory. A flash of red here and there across the sky as the bullfinches go about their nest building and the ubiquitous pigeons crash landing in the tree branches.

I turn back towards home at the end of the path and walk back through the houses. Cherry blossom trees are a favourite with the inhabitants of our estate

the pink blooms glow in the sunshine and you can’t help feel uplifted at their promise of warmer times ahead.

I have to say our resident graffiti artist(s) are a bit lacklustre, could do better I think.

pfft!

The oak tree I once spent a whole month photographing is still standing, though it doesn’t look any bigger considering that was 6 years ago now. Wow, where did those years go??

old friend

Last bit before home, and it made me smile to see this couple holding hands, still love’s young dreams in their hearts.

♥️

And home, where my favourite blossom tree lives.

The Happy Eater Tree

Film Friday ~ Minolta Riva Mini

Back at the end of 2019 I’d decided that 2020 was going to be a year of shooting film, from instant to 35mm and 120mm and using many of my funky film cameras. Ah well, I managed a few posts before the plague lockdown and a post in July when we were allowed out to walk when I tested out the Canon Sureshot. 2020 was a bit of a washout for me photographically speaking, but I did a digital 365 throughout 2021 on the Universe Blog and that has at least fired me up for shooting film again. I put a roll of Fuji Experia 35mm I had knocking about in the film drawer into my Minolta and stuck it in my bag when Sophie and I started going out again at the end of 21, and did some shots with it when I remembered it was in the camera bag. I’ve since had it developed and will do some posts with the pictures. The Minolta Riva has been my favourite point and shoot and I rarely use the other ones I have as the quality of pictures from the Riva always surpass the results. I’m currently getting to know the Contax Aria and will be posting those in the next series, if any come out!

In October Sophie and I revisited one of our favourite places, Belsay Hall & Castle. We first visited back in 2019 and it is such a great place for photography. I did a history post regarding it HERE if you want to know about it.

Belsay Hall was commissioned by 6th Baronet Sir Charles Miles Lambert Monck in the early 1800s, he was inspired by Greek architecture.

Belsay Hall
down the side of the hall
looking back at the hall on the way to the castle
onwards..
Belsay Castle ~ built 1390
in the grounds of the castle
monkey puzzle tree
returning back towards the hall.
manicured lawn.

I did take many pictures with the fuji as it was full of autumn colour in the walled garden, so look out for a post on the Universe blog at some point.

Marseille & Dijon~ Sept 2000~ part 2

Part 1 HERE

We decided to hire a scooter and do a day trip across to St. Tropez, a hairy ride to say the least, but fun.

ST.Tropez was absolutely heaving with people, but we got down to the beach, and did our sunbathing thing. To be honest I’m not a fan of crowded beaches, or any crowds really!

The building at the top there is The Citadel, built in the 1600’s. Nowadays that’s where I’d be with my camera!

My favourite part of the holiday was when we stayed overnight in Dijon on the way back home. We had time to explore the town and came across lovely old buildings.

love the cat and bird on top of the roof in this next one

The people in Dijon were really friendly and restored my faith in the French people!

 

 

 

 

Marseille & Dijon ~ Sept 2000 ~ part 1~Marseille

Back in 2000 I went on a road trip with my pal Gaz. Neither of us could afford a ‘proper’ holiday so we decided to drive down to the South of France, find a B&B soak up some rays, and explore the area for a while. We ended up in Marseille. It has an interesting history, named Massilia, a Greek colony originally, being founded around 600BC and populated by settlers from Phocaea (modern Turkey). It became the preeminent Greek city in the Hellenized region of southern Gaul. The city-state sided with the Roman Republic against Carthage during the Second Punic War (218-201 BC), retaining its independence and commercial empire throughout the western Mediterranean even as Rome expanded into Western Europe and North Africa. However, the city lost its independence following the Roman Siege of Massilia in 49 BC, during Caesar’s Civil War, in which Massalia sided with the exiled faction at war with Julius Caesar.

Ships have docked for more than 26 centuries at the city’s birthplace, the colourful old port, and it remains a thriving harbour for fishing boats, pleasure yachts and tourists. Guarding either side of the harbour are Fort St-Nicolas and Fort St-Jean, founded in the 13th century by the Knights Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem and we took a boat trip out to see them.

Porte d’Aix (also known as the Porte Royale) is a triumphal arch in Marseille, in the south of France, marking the old entry point to the city on the road from Aix-en-Provence. The classical design by Michel-Robert Penchaud was inspired by the triumphal arches of the Roman Empire. The Porte d’Aix was initially conceived in 1784 to honour Louis XIV and to commemorate the Peace of Paris (1783) that ended the American war of independence. Following the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1814-15, the project was resumed in 1823, now to commemorate French victories in the Spanish Expedition, notably at the Battle of Trocadero, August 31, 1823. It was eventually completed in 1839, with a more general theme of victory. This is just the worst shot of it!

The port at night was gorgeous and we were treated to a lovely sunset

 

We sat in the square and had a glass of wine or two in the evenings, and watched the world go by

there was a chanteuse in the bar

and street musicians came round wanting money!

There was a beautiful old carousel in the town and I got a shot of it by day and night

It was a strange time, the Rough Guide, my travel bible at the time, warned that people in Marseille could come across as arrogant, and I certainly found that to be true.  I speak passable French but if I went to a shop and asked for things in French, I’d be cut off and given short shrift in English. One night we went to a restaurant that had outside seating. One half had a few people seated but also a few empty tables, but the waiter seated us away from everyone in the empty half. After our dinner we asked for coffee and when the waiter came with it he pretended to trip and tipped the cups into my lap. Of course it was a shock as I thought the cups were full, but they just had sugar cubes in them.  The waiter and everyone in the other half of the restaurant found it all very funny, we paid up and left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tynemouth,South Shields & Seaburn, 1995

Before living up here in Tyne & Wear was even a blip on my radar, I brought Ben up for a cheapo holiday. We stayed in a lovely little B&B in Seaburn, and played on the mostly deserted beaches.

Marsden Rocks

Tynemouth

Sandcastle!!

small person in a big world

Jumping the waves

France 1992

I don’t have very many photo’s from this trip to France but am saving what there is! This is April 1992 and I was offered the chance to go with some work colleagues Sharon, her chap Chris, and Phil. Sharon’s or Chris’s parents owned a cottage in La Breille-les-pins and that’s where we were based. Ben came with us too.

The Cottage

It hadn’t been used for a while and with stone floors was bloody freezing!

Sharon & Chris

Phil, Ben & I went off to visit Tours and sat by the River Loire one day,,

And then the next day we went off to visit Le Musee de Blindes (Museum of Tanks) in Saumur which was at the Cavalry Barracks.

Saumur

The Musée des Blindés is now one of the world’s largest tank museums. It began in 1977 under the leadership of Colonel Michel Aubry, who convinced both the French military hierarchy and the local political authorities. Started 35 years ago with only a few hundred tracked vehicles, it has become a world-class collection which attracts visitors interested in the history of multinational tank development as well as professional armor specialists. From the very beginning, Colonel Aubry had made it a key policy of the museum to restore to running condition as many historically or technically significant vehicles as was feasible.

The museum has the world’s largest collection of armoured fighting vehicles and contains well over 880 vehicles. Because of shortage of space, less than a quarter can be exhibited, despite the move to a much larger building in 1993. Over 200 of the vehicles are fully functional, including the only surviving German Tiger II tank still in full working order. It often performs in the spectacular armor demonstration for the public, called the Carrousel, which takes place in the summer every year. Saumur was the traditional training center for cavalry for over a century but now holds the current Armoured Cavalry Branch Training School which is entirely dedicated to training armor specialists. The tank museum had its early origins in a study collection.

When we got to the barracks and went into the museum there were no tanks, so I asked the lady at the entrance and she told us they were all held in a larger building (now the current museum). She then took us over to the barracks and in to see Colonel Aubry, who was so lovely and kind, and gave us all a tank badge. He then had his secretary drive us over to the tank place where they were just about to close. She told the soldier on duty that Colonel Aubry said to hold it open for us while we looked at tanks! Don’t think he was all that pleased. Anyway we got to see The Tiger II and a few others, and went home very happy!

Thailand 2001~Part 2

Part 1 HERE

The Grand Palace is a complex of buildings at the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. The palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam (and later Thailand) since 1782. The king, his court and his royal government were based on the grounds of the palace until 1925. The present monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), currently resides at Chitralada Royal Villa in the Dusit Palace, but the Grand Palace is still used for official events. Several royal ceremonies and state functions are held within the walls of the palace every year. The palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand. And it’s not hard to see why.

Fuerteventura 1997 ~part 1

Fuerteventura loosely translated as “Strong Winds” or a corruption of the French term for “Great Adventure” is one of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, politically part of Spain. In 1997 my best friend at the time Nicki and I went for a girls week away. Apart from a couple of school trips to France this was the first time I’d ever been on holiday abroad, the first time I’d been on an aeroplane. I was a bit of a late starter being 38 (though I’ve made up for it since then) 🙂 Nicki and I had met in the operating theatres where we both worked, and being young (ish) free and single, became good pals. In September 1997 we decided to have a weeks holiday in Fuerteventura, so I packed Ben off to my mums for the week, and off we went.

Leaving Luton Airport

The White Cliffs of Dover

Flying over Northern Spain

Coming in to land

We stayed at a resort Caleta De Fuste, now it’s one of the largest tourist areas and on googling pictures of it, it’s a lot more built up on the sea front, but when we were there there was a lot of construction still going on. But our resort at least was finished.

Our apartment No.30 Castillo Mar

Inside

so annoyed I can’t remember what camera I had, that’s its case on the table but I can’t make out any details.

Have had a giggle at all the nail polish we brought!

It had an upstairs too, and these are the views from the balcony

and of course there was a pool

we were self catering, but I think this is the only time we did any! Here’s Nicki making us lunch on our first day.

I think every where I’ve travelled I’ve been adopted by a cat for the duration!

The harbour at Caleta de Fuste was full of boats, and as Fuerte is particularly known for it’s windy demeanour, also wind surfing.

So that’s where we lived, and played, but we also hired a car for 3 days and went touring the island, so that will be what the next post is all about.

Turkey 1999~part 3 ~ out and about

To finish up my trip to Turkey, this is a post about other excursions and activities. On our 3 day tour inland we visited the Mevievi Museum in Konya. The Mevievi is a sufi order from which the famous Whirling Dervishes come, but there were no whirlings going on when we were there.

We also got taken to see silk making and weaving

Then they tried to sell us rugs 🙂

We also visited a pottery

and we saw camels..

When we got back from our trip inland, we also organised a white water rafting day with a couple of holiday friends we made. The holiday reps also were organising this but it was cheaper to organise ourselves with the local excursion touts. It was quite different. The other people on holiday got picked up from the hotel in a nice air-con coach and off they went. We got picked up in a tatty old 4 x 4, taken to a families farm, and then put in a tractor with 2 young lads and some lifejackets and a dinghy and hauled up to the river. We got our life jackets on, got in the dinghy, were given oars and then the lads pushed off and off we went. The young lads shouting instructions to us and hooting and laughing as we went past the posh lot who were sitting in their dinghies with an instructor, being shown how to put on their life jackets and going through the safety measures of what to do if they capsized etc. None of that rubbish for our lads, they were brilliant, and obviously born to it. I think this is one of the best things I ever did and I loved it. After, they took us back to the farm where their Mum had laid on a great buffet of local food, it was delicious.

We also had some good nights out…

wish I could remember the names of our pals 😦

these all taken around the pool of our hotel where entertainment was on most nights

we ventured out to a local restaurant where there was more entertainment..

our pals

Ben and Matthew had a great time in the pool

and I’m finishing up with the boys messing about in the apartment we had

Matthew, Ben and Magic Mouse

Gaz & Ben doing ‘The British Bulldog’ pose (it was a thing back then..)

and goodnight all.

It was a really fab holiday, and the people of Turkey were lovely, all the hotel staff looked after us well, in particular the bar staff, 4 lovely guys, really took to Ben & Matthew, even took them out clubbing with them one night, that wouldn’t happen in the times we now live in! I gave my camera to anyone available to take a photo of us with it, even the Dad of the rafters, great stuff! Good times and it’s been fun remembering them.

Turkey 1999~part 2~Cappadocia

In the middle of our holiday we took a 3 day coach tour into central Anatolia,especially Cappadocia. The coach broke down along the way 😀

but they got it fixed and off we went. We visited the Goreme National Rock Park, which has amazing topography, and underground cities largely used by early Christians as hiding places before Christianity became an accepted religion. The underground cities have vast defence networks of traps throughout their many levels. These traps are very creative, including such devices as large round stones to block doors and holes in the ceiling through which the defenders may drop spears.

The tour guy put all on the coach trip together for a photo, and we all got a copy.

We 4 were kind of ‘the poor relations’ on the trip, we were on a tight budget and our fellow tourists were not so much. We had packed lunches whilst everyone else had paid extra to go into the restaurant at lunch time for a slap up meal. It was really embarrassing sitting outside eating our spam sandwiches! We also hadn’t thought it would be a colder climate inland, so didn’t have any other clothes than shorts and T-shirts and were often shivering! Them we’rt days!! I’m a no less than 4 star hotel kind of girl now for sure!
One of my best memories of the trip though was that we stayed a night in what looked like a palace in the middle of nowhere, it was really ornate & lush. All the other tourists were off out on a night out with a dinner, dancing and smashing plates kind of bit, but we couldn’t afford that so we went down to the huge and sumptuous TV room of the hotel, and watched Manchester United beat Bayern Munich and become European champions. Waiters in black suits with white tea towels over their arms stood ready at all times to fetch our drinks. A lovely couple from Yorkshire had also stayed behind (they were Man.Utd fans) and we had a great night in being treated like royalty!

Anyways, back to the pictures 😀

The rocks of Cappadocia near Göreme eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. People of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out houses, churches and monasteries from the soft rocks of volcanic deposits. Göreme became a monastic centre in 300–1200 AD.

The first period of settlement in Göreme goes back to the Roman period. The Yusuf Koç, Ortahane, Durmus Kadir and Bezirhane churches in Göreme, and houses and churches carved into rocks in the Uzundere, Bağıldere and Zemi Valleys all illustrate history and can be seen today. The Göreme Open Air Museum is the most visited site of the monastic communities in Cappadocia and is one of the most famous sites in central Turkey. The complex contains more than 30 carved-from-rock churches and chapels, some having superb frescoes inside, dating from the 9th century to the 11th century. Unfortunately we were not to take photo’s inside the churches as it’s dark, you need flash and that damages the murals. 😦

Us lot at the entrance to one of the churches. I don’t know what was going on with my hair this holiday!!

Gaz,Ben & Mat in the landscape.

Mat & me inside one of the rock houses

rock houses

Fairy Chimneys

Camel?

I found out later the people who live here expect you to give them some money if you want to take their picture, but I didn’t realise that so I think that’s why this lady looks grumpy.

Flowers, I think Irises growing at the base of some of the chimneys

And a great view to finish off with.