Film Friday ~ August Miscellany 2

Summer seems a long time ago now, sitting here with the rain coming down all day. More pictures from my August roll of film, this time. Back at the zoo with Cal and Liddy, the digital shots some of you saw on the Otherverse Blog.

Cal & Liddy, & Snowy Owl
with the Poitou Donkeys.

I’d never heard of these giant donkey’s before, so here is the informtion you are gagging to know too now..

The Baudet du Poitou, also called the Poitevin or Poitou donkey, are (no surprise) bred by the Pesky French. They were (?)created by breeding male donkeys with lady Poitevin horses to produce Poitevin mules which were formerly in worldwide demand for agricultural and other work. The Baudet has a distinctive coat, which hangs in long, ungroomed locks or cadenettes. They were possibly bred from donkeys introduced to the area by the good ol’ Romans. According to wiki they were also possibly a status symbol in the middle ages at least in France, (will rely on April for corroboration on that point) I suppose like having a top specs Range Rover is today, or was, maybe not so much now with climate change and the cost of fuel. Anyhoo, I digress. By the 1800’s France had established a studbook for the breed, and the 19th and early 20th centuries saw them being used for the production of mules throughout Europe. (Is anyone else thinking ‘genetic engineering to the max?) During this same time, Poitou bloodlines were also used to develop other donkey breeds, including the American Mammoth Jack in the United States. Then came mechanisation and by 1977 there were only 44 giant donkeys left in the world. There are more now because of private and public breeding and by 2005 there were 450 purebred Poitou donkeys. They are still an endangered species, their population is below 800 animals worldwide, with 60 of them in the UK.

ring tailed lemur

A Ring Tailed Lemur surprisingly in focus! Interesting factoid:-
Ring-tailed lemurs have scent glands on their wrists, which they then rub all the way along their tails to then waft their tails at other lemurs in ‘stink fights’! As of early 2017, the population in the wild is believed to have crashed as low as 2,000 individuals due to habitat loss, poaching and hunting, making them far more critically endangered, despite reproducing readily in captivity and being the most populous lemur in zoos worldwide.

Fallow Deer

Fallow Deer have been around for over 8000 years, and are now found roaming free on every continent except Antarctica.

Liddy

Liddy ~ a unique member of homo sapiens, the most abundant and widespread species of primate. And she is a little monkey!

That’s it for this week! Phil and I are off to Edinburgh today, to the Murrayfield Stadium where Scale Scotland are having their model show, if the Pesky Scots have internet connection up there, I’ll catch up with y’all later.

📷 🎞 😊

Film Friday ~ August Miscellany 1

Random photographs from a roll in the Contax I took with me out and about in August.

A few weeks ago I posted my Hipstamatic outing to Tynemouth Market over on the Universe Blog but of course took a few with my Contax too.

Lunch Huts
Doggies

I was with Phil, and we always grab a coffee from the Ouseburn Coffee Company, and Phil managed to knock his one all over the counter, resulting in copious amounts of paper towel mopping up on our part. The guy serving was very nice about it and gave him another cuppa free of charge. I’d have made him pay 😉

OCC

I know I posted a picture of Foxy Scotsy last time, but I like this one much more.

Foxy Scotsy

I do love the quirky things people bring to sell, I might have to have one of these next visit!

Wierd stuff

I wish I’d been sharper with the focus for these cute guys

Awwww.

Just people.

Folk

I couldn’t resist these ladies again

Fashion with flavour.

That’s it for this week, stay tooned though!

📷 🎞 😊

Film Friday ~ A little bit of the Grand Union Canal.

Back in the Jurassic era, when there were heydays and I was in mine, on good weather weekends, my friends and I would cycle to the Grand Union Canal in Hemel Hempstead, where we lived, and cycle 8 miles along the canal paths as far as Tring, then we’d cycle back home. There were, and still presumably are, several establishments along the way where you could rest and refresh yourself with beverages, usually half a pint of Bulmers, and have a nice lunch. Summers were fab down south back then and I got fit and tanned, and only rode my bike and myself into the canal once. Ah halcyon days indeed.

The Grand Union Canal came to be in 1929 when it amalgamated with a couple of other canals to try and mitigate against the competitive rail and newly-developing road transport system. It’s the main navigable waterway between London and the Midlands, starting in London, with an arm running to Leicester and a second arm going to Birmingham. The London-Birmingham route is 137 miles long and has 166 locks to pass through.

The Grand Union Canal

When I went and stayed in Leighton Buzzard to look after my grandson whilst his Dad took his lady to the Isle of Wight Festival, I took my Contax to the bit of the canal that you can access from the carpark at the Tesco Superstore, and spent a pleasant couple of hours having a wander.

I found this carved felled tree trunk at the beginning of the walk

Lemmy Out.

Plenty of narrow boats that people either live in or use as holiday homes are berthed on the canal. Lutra is named after the Eurasian Otter of the same name.

Lutra Lutra
homes from homes

Loved the washing line and TV ariel on this

All Mod Cons

There are houses who’s gardens abut the canal,

an idylic situation

The Wyvern Shipping Company hire out narrow boats for day trips, or longer. holidays, it’s on my bucket list of things to do.

Not every vessel was a narrow boat

Narrow boats are usually decorated with plants and colourful painted bits and pieces

I reached the first lock on this stretch and was hoping for a boat to come through

Linslade Lock

And got lucky.

That was were I turned round and went back to pick up Lewis from school, after a lovely afternoon which brought some fab memories back.

All shots clickable and embiggenable

All shots taken with my Contax Aria on a roll of Kodak Portra.

Film Friday ~ Morpeth & Herterton Gardens

I’ve recently been posting about Morpeth and Herterton Country Garden over on the Universe Blog with images from my FujiXT2, but of course I took along my Contax Aria loaded with a roll of Kodak Portra 200 and took some more pictures with it which I’m sharing today.

The Toll House
Toll houses were built on toll roads, tolls being fees that travellers on the road had to pay. A toll collecter lived in the house and there was often a gate across the road to stop people travelling without paying. This one is an early 19th century building, a Grade II listed building and is now a pub called The Office.

Morpeth sits in a loop of the River Wansbeck.
Morpeth Old Bridge ~ footbridge part.
a medieval multi-span bridge of 13th century date, which spanned the River Wansbeck in Morpeth. The bridge was in use until 1835 when it was partially demolished and replaced by a new bridge downstream. The abutments and central pier remain standing to about 4m high and are surmounted by a 19th century footbridge. 
Free dip and tomato ketchup!!

On to Herterton now.

Top topiary!
A saxon pot
The three faced scottish sundial on the arched byre, and Marjorie at work.

the exit from the flower garden into the wildflower garden
in the wild flower gaden
pink poppies
gooseberries
Macedonian scabious (Knautia macedonica), an extremely hardy ornamental plant.

accompanying posts from the Universe blog :-

Morpeth Part 1
Morpeth Part 2
Herterton Country Garden Part 1
Herterton Part 2

Film Friday ~ April & May

Random shots taken on the Contax Aria on Kodak Ultramax film.

I do like a sparkling rosé once in a while

A glass of I Heart.

I planted these violas last spring and they’ve resurrected themselves this spring too, which is why I suppose, their nickname is Johnny Jump-ups.

Johnny Jump-ups

Phil sits on a stool in the conservatory to have a cuppa and read the paper. 🤣

Winnie
Vinnie

I am enamoured of the views from our upstairs windows, I like all the angles and lines of the urban landscape at the back, and I especially like Cheryl’s washing line as it’s so colourful. 🙂

The front bedroom window is my favourite though for all the trees and our Happy Eater Tree when it blossoms.

Blossom and blue sky
Blossom and storm
Last of the Blossom and fog

My first attempt at photographing the grandkids on the contax.

Liddy and Cal

My spider plant is taking over the bathroom, not sure what I’m going to do with all the babies.

Mum and babies

When the weather is kind I go on walks around our area.

runner
The secret lake, and distant swans.

Hmmm. Not the done thing.

Union Jack

On the whole we don’t fly our flag everywhere as in America, a good explanation as to why is HERE.

On a trog over the railway bridge to go to Lidl at Pelaw i saw the trailing foliage over a lot of people’s back garden fences.

Pelaw

That’s it for this time,

Stay tooned 🙂

📷 🎞 😊

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

Finishing up with the last pictures from a roll of Kodak Ultramax 400, as I’ve just sent off 2 rolls of Kodak Gold for developing.

Firstly three from a trip to Newcastle

Premium Parking
Smiley Texter
Pigeon Puddle

Phil wanted to go to a vinyl fair which was being held in Byker, and I took a few shots on our walk from the metro station.

Byker
Byker Wall Estate
House of Holland…and Istanbul.. and New York…and….

Finally, my old man 🙂

Phil Rolling

all pictures embiggenable with a click 🙂

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 ~ Contax Aria (3)

More shots taken in Newcastle this time with Kodak Ultra Max 400.

Next door to the long closed Gaiety Theatre in Nelson Street was the Café Royale, and it’s thespian pillars are fab. Sadly the café closed in 2020 and it’s owner converting it into offices. Or would have done if not for the plague.

Newcastle on film
smile!
girls and gadgies.
you can have ital.
cool girls
side gadgies
busker
keep it simple!
the man in black
live & Bean
cash withdrawals
pot shop 😎
low cuisine dining
The End.

Literally. For now.

📷 😊

Film Friday ~ Contax Aria (2)

A few more from the fujifilm SP roll I had in the Aria, this time in Newcastle. There is nearly always a busker of some kind in town when we go and this time it was a guy singing opera, and doing it beautifully I have to say. The picture is a little bit out of focus, but I like it anyway not least because, well… succulent veggie balls made me laugh. 🤦‍♀️

Opera and succulent veggie balls

and just as a little treat here’s a short video of him singng

I love the Moss Bros. shop in Northumberland Street. Originally a 19th century home, it was later converted into a high end cobblers, and then Moss Bros took it on. Its façade is ornately decorated with plaster (a decoration known as pargetting), which was added in 1953 to commemorate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It sits between modern higher buildings, and has a lot of character I think.

Moss Bros.

Outside one of the entrances to Grainger Market there is a rather large red boot, I assume it’s an advertising thing for one of the shoe stalls.

Red Boot

I think this one speaks for itself

we’re all screwed

We have a cycle for hire scheme in Newcastle, like Boris Bikes in London, though I haven’t been tempted as yet, orange is not my colour.

not Boris’s Bike

Although I shot on colour film, I converted two of the shots to black and white as it suited them better. First Grey Street

Grey Street

It was was built by Richard Grainger in the 1830s with the aid of several architects, including John Dobson. The whole of the western side of the street was designed by two architects from Grainger’s office, John Wardle and George Walker. It contains the Theatre Royal designed by John and Benjamin Green and the Central Arcade and is renowned for its Georgian architecture.

In 2010, BBC Radio 4 listeners named it Britain’s Best Street, describing it as “a street on a human scale with a grand vision”.

Newcastle Castle seen from Central Station

Central station

The first covered train station in the world and made mention of by Simon Jenkins, in his book Britain’s 100 Best Railway Stations, the Romano-Italian design Newcastle railway station is a Grade I Listed building – a building of outstanding national architectural or historic interest. On August 29, 1850, the station was inaugurated by Queen Victoria.

That’s it for this time. Next time I’ll be posting some from a roll of Kodak Ultramax.

Friday Film ~ Contax Aria (1)

I’ve now completed 2 rolls of film on my Aria, had them developed by the wonderful Analogue Wonderland people and sorted them out ready for posting. Not all have turned out well and mistakes were made, but I’ll be leaving those ones in the dustbin of posterity and just posting the ones I like. I am on a steep learning curve with the Aria and though I’ve worked in manual mode before with the Rollei’s it’s been a while so that’s an ongoing refresher too.

The first roll I put through was a Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 400 135/36 Color film, and I started that at the back end of December. These shots are test shots mostly around the house and a few from South Shields. I haven’t faffed with any of them other than to crop or straighten where necessary, I save all that malarky for my digital work. It’s nice just to have them as they are.

King Street, South Shields

like a lot of small coastal towns in the North things have gone downhill, with shops closing down, the shoppers going to Newcastle or Sunderland instead of local. In (a vain~ sorry- cynic) an attempt to regenerate the town centre, the council are demolishing buildings in King Street, which housed Mothercare, and Thorntons (chocolate shop) amongst others. This is in order to ‘clear the way for further development’ and according to Councillor Dixon, “We know that for our town centre to thrive we need to move beyond retail and create a more vibrant environment”. More details HERE.

Demolishing
Demolished

Back at home we had a snow day. I say snow day but I really mean a snow 2 hours. The picture isn’t so good, I was hanging out the bedroom window and camera shake was a thing, but I had to document the only snow we’ve had this winter so far. 2 hours I ask you? What’s the point in that?

Snow. A bit.

We had Livvy and Matty to stay over one Saturday night, another dodgy shot as I didn’t get the exposure right so the shutter speed was too slow for a crisp shot, but I like it anyway, makes me smile.

Livvy, Matty.

Of course I had to turn the Aria on the cats..

Winnie on Phils window sill soaking up some rays.
Winnie being snug
Lord Vincent being snug

I have always taken images of the sunsets I see from the bedroom windows, I have an ongoing series of Wardley Sunsets, so I had to see if the Aria would be able to contribute.

Wardley Sunset
Wardley Sunset

So that’s enough for this week. Out of 36 frames I got 19 I was happy enough with, so thats 50%, considering how expensive film is that percentage needs to be improved, but that’s fine, I’m at the beginning of this journey and I’ll get better with practice. Stay tooned for next time when I shot a few frames in Newcastle. 🙂

all pictures clickable and embiggenable, but don’t, they look better smaller 🤣