Film Friday ~ Bits and pieces at the end of 2022

Sophie and I visited the the Spanish Gallery in Bishop Auckland and I took a couple of pictures in the town before we got to the gallery.

The Hut

The Hut is just outside the Bishop Auckland carpark, and does the usual Northern fare, chip butties, bacon butties, sausage butties, teas and coffees etc, but I’ve been there a few times and never seen it open.

Walking from the car park to the gallery…

Fore Bondgate

The area known as Bondgate dates to the very beginnings of Bishop Auckland.  It is named after the ‘bondsmen’ – labourers, bound by contract, who served the bishop.  Shortly after Auckland Castle was established, a small settlement grew to the west of the bishop’s residence and Deer Park.  By 1183, the Boldon Book reported that 22 villagers lived here, including a cobbler, a miller and a smith.For centuries, Fore Bondgate was Bishop Auckland’s main shopping area, home to an eclectic mix of shops and public houses.  Although, today, shops are more widely spread across the town, Fore Bondgate remains home to numerous independent businesses that keep the tradition of the area alive. (ish).

These two shops are not alive.

the birds in this shop are also not alive.
Town Hall and St.Annes Church

A random tree, no idea where I took this.

Tree

Sunshine after the rain made my net curtains look like they were sequinned.

Well I thought so!

I am surprisingly keeping this cyclamen alive.

Pinky.

Finally, let’s end with a cliché..

Wardley Sunset

all pictures embiggenable with a click.

📷 🎞️ 😊

Film Friday ~ Watergate Park ~ Film edition

A few weeks ago on the Universe Blog I posted some photographs of Watergate Park, a recreational park on land that used to be a colliery, you can check that post out HERE. I also took quite a few with my Contax Aria armed with a roll of Kodak Portra. It’s freezing here in the North UK and has been all week, so let’s turn back the clock to Autumn, and have a lovely walk through the park.

this way
the treeful path
All the colours

A pin oak. Or scarlet oak. Some sort of oak anyhoo.
Arty farty sculpture chair. Doesn’t look very comfortable.
Frog on a stick with spectacles.
Shimmertrees
Water falling
The look-at-me tree.

It has been a lovely Autumn, that seemed to go on a long time. Phil’s hanging baskets lasted until this week. Not much snow here, just a few hours on a couple of days, but below freezing temperatures day and night, so what we did have is stuck in suspended non-animation and it is treacherously icy everywhere. The south got the worst of the snow, which is fair enough as they get hotter summers, but I really would have liked some more of it, for photographic purposes 🙂

stay tooned!

📷 🎞️ 😊

Film Friday ~ South Shields beach front ~ Oct 2022

After I’d walked around the empty funfair (here) I sallied forth beyond it to the beach front. Very few people around, but I spotted this chap with his camera photographing some little birds that were hopping about. I asked him what they were and Snow Buntings was the answer. They are a sparrow-sized bird that breeds in the Arctic (from Scandinavia to Canada), and winters in the UK, mainly around the coast. Too small for the lens I have on the Contax, but the photographer wasn’t. When Phil saw this he said the guy looks like he’s about to launch an RPG!

Fire!

I liked the clean lines of the locked up Lifeguard building,

Baywatch Hut

and I liked the additional rainbow that landed on it a moment later as the rain started up.

Tag!

The rainbow got cut off at the edge of the clouds, but it hung about as I walked up to the skateboard park behind the funfair.

Little rainbow

The skateboard park was, unusually, bereft of lads with their derring do, and a lone Seagull sentinel stood aloft awaiting the action.

Guardbird
People ahoy!

I realise I’ve grown too old to understand the graffiti alphabet or language of today, I think there’s an M in this. But I liked the mouse. Or maybe the rat?

No idea

It was quite cold this day, and I thought she could do with a coat on, or a blanket, but I guess pirates are mean.

Shiver me timbers.

If only, a beach bar in Havana, warm sunshine, a Cuban Rumba on the music system, a handsome waiter pouring me a cocktail, sitting by the outside bar and gazing out to sea, ah, if only!

Havana

I left Havana, without a cocktail, and wandered up towards the beach at Trow Rocks, where a herd of people, (well 4 anyway) were walking their dogs.

And that’s the end of this roll of Kodak Portra, which I think suits the subject quite well. It was a strange afternoon, I’ve rarely seen the place so unpopulated, even though it was cold (ish), but it was also cool, to be able to focus on what there is, and not what everyone is doing. Peace and tranquility, unexpectedly. I think I’ll go back next summer when it’s all on the go, and do some contrasting photographs.

So thanks for visiting, and stay tooned for whatever comes next!

📷 🎞️ 😊

 

Film Friday ~ South Shields Funfare ~ Oct 2022

We’re going back to the funfair this week, not with the Ektar diptych maker, but my beloved Contax Aria.

A tiny History Bit

The Funfair is officially known as Ocean Beach Pleasure Park, which sounds very Victorian, which is no surprise as she was Queenie in 1899 when the fair became a permanent fixture. Mostly it’s known as The Fair, as there isn’t another one in our county unless you call Diggerland in Durham a fair, which I don’t.

Prior to 1899, travelling fairs would come along in summer, park up by the market and only be allowed legally to start up once the ordinary market stalls had finished for the day. Eventually they had their own space and could run rides any time. One of the first permanent rides was the Aerial Flight, built in the 1910’s-20’s and cost 1d (old pence) (which would be 0.23 cents in $) for a ride, and advertised that it is suitable and “approved” for all ages. (But not any of my ages, ever.)

STH0000818 Copyright South Tyneside Images 1920’s Ariel Flight Ride.

All gone now, and things are a bit more modern. Well a little bit at least.

Bird poop on his face but surrounded by laydeez, a happy chap.

There were a few Marvellous rides (this is the little bit of modern)

Black Widow being chased by an X-person I think
A bucket of Avengers

This chap is doing well for a 94 year old.

Mickey

Would have had a go on this next one if it had been an option!

Aqua Blasta (should be blaster, sigh).

These next ones are to do with Peter Pan. Firstly a galleon which swings up high at the front, then wangs itself backwards and swings high at the back. You have a bar to hold onto, which you need when it goes back as your bum leaves it’s seat. I know as I’ve been on one prior to being in my dotage, had to hold my lad from falling out. Very scary biscuits.

Shivering timbers

This a faceless Captain Hook I believe, he was at the bottom of the steps up to the galleon.

“I see no ships” (Nelson, 1801)
“Death is the only adventure I have left, Smee.” (Hook 1991)

you can have

Fun fun fun!!

and have lots of

Dentist fodder.

and for your little bambinos

Fragile fish

Finally, some surprised elephants. I did wonder if it was a Disney Dumbo thing, but the ears are not long enough and there isn’t a feather in their trunks, so they’re just your average surprised elephants.

Surprise!!

My favourite is the Zombie enclosure at the top of the post, might have to go in there when it all opens up again. That’s it for this week, but stay tooned, there’s a few more to come from outside the fair.

📷 🎞️ 😊

Film Friday ~ Kodak Ektar h35 ~ part 3

Camera info ~ This camera is a half frame camera, which means what it says, it only shoots half of a frame of film, so when you put a roll of 36 in it, you get 72 pictures. Neat eh? The camera itself is cute looking but a bit hokey, plastic with no settings other than a flash on/off on the dial around the lens, and the dial is as stiff as a stiff thing on a stiff day. I loaded it with a roll of Kodak Gold 400 and took it everywhere with me but it still took a fair few weeks to finish the frame. I shot the film with the making of dyptichs (2 pictures taken together to complement each other) in mind. I’ll be posting some of them on Fridays.

This set of diptychs will be my last for some while as I’ve a new roll now in the Ektar which will probably take a couple of months to shoot. These are from a little project I’m doing on South Shields sea front.

My first visit was to Little Haven Beach to see the Weebles

Weebles.

and Herd Groyne Lighthouse

Herd Groyne Lighthouse

the beach was empty of people though evidence of them was apparent.

Kevin Woz ‘Ere

I went up to Sandhaven and Ocean beaches and had a walk along to the amusement park.

Some pirate or other.

There’s a mini race track for mini people outside one of the arcades.

A bit further on I got to the fairground, which is usually locked up over winter, but I wandered in unchallenged and so started taking photographs. I think one of the arcades was either open or having work done, but they didn’t bother about me.

Spinning round thingys.
Verticle spinning bucket thingy and a crazy house.
Rides for little kids
Twisty twirly thingys.
No rock and a zombie apocalypse.

A good place to end. It was strange to be alone in an amusement park usually shrieking with kids and things spinning and moving all the time. I took some more photos with the Contax so we’ll have a look at those next time.

Stay tooned 😊
📷 🎞️

Film Friday ~ Kodak Ektar h35 ~ part 2

Camera info ~ This camera is a half frame camera, which means what it says, it only shoots half of a frame of film, so when you put a roll of 36 in it, you get 72 pictures. Neat eh? The camera itself is cute looking but a bit hokey, plastic with no settings other than a flash on/off on the dial around the lens, and the dial is as stiff as a stiff thing on a stiff day. I loaded it with a roll of Kodak Gold 400 and took it everywhere with me but it still took a fair few weeks to finish the frame. I shot the film with the making of dyptichs (2 pictures taken together to complement each other) in mind. I’ll be posting some of them on Fridays.

This weeks diptych series starts with a few I took when on my visit to Guisborough Priory which you can read about HERE if you want the history.

Guisborough Priory
flowers in the grounds of the priory

This phonebox is outside the Kirkleatham Museum next door to the Owl Sanctuary.

A rare beast.

The next ones are from walking around Wardley.

Bomba Nonce??? I have no idea what that means.
Rowan Tree
The Oak Tree

and I’ll finish off with a couple of pictures from home.

Lord Vincent
Game Night ~ old school.

So that’s it for this week, but fear not dear reader, there’s more to come so stay tooned!

📷 🎞️

Film Friday ~ Kodak Ektar H35

A couple of months ago I treated myself to a new camera, the little Kodak Ektar H35. This camera is a half frame camera, which means what it says, it only shoots half of a frame of film, so when you put a roll of 36 in it, you get 72 pictures. Neat eh? The camera itself is cute looking but a bit hokey, plastic with no settings other than a flash on/off on the dial around the lens, and the dial is as stiff as a stiff thing on a stiff day. I loaded it with a roll of Kodak Gold 400 and took it everywhere with me but it still took a fair few weeks to finish the frame. I shot the film with the making of dyptichs (2 pictures taken together to complement each other) in mind. I’ll be posting some of them on Fridays.

These first ones I took when we went up to Edinburgh for the scale model show.

Peter Vardy 🤣
one of the rugby practice pitches and a wall of programme covers.
Our Hotel and the Take-Out!

I took a few when we did the Art Trail, the digital versions are HERE

Delegation

The curved hull.
Mining memorial
Past & Future.

When I posted this next piece on the Universe blog it got a big reaction, mostly of consternation but Sophie has been in touch with the artist and she had this to say –

“My work explores my thoughts and fears about how mental health feels and how I think people may see both me and other sufferers.

I am passionate about art and mental health and believe that representing it through art and talking about it can only help end the negative stigma that is attached to it.

I find the helpful meditativeness that I get while working extremely cathartic and it is this that has helped me through difficult times”.

“This piece represents the acute feeling of anxiety, how sharp and intense it can feel”.

Impaled

And that will do for this week. I’m travelling down South to see my son and family tomorrow but will be checking up on everyone in the evenings when I’m back where I’m staying.

Stay tooned, more dyptichs to come you lucky people!

📷 🎞️ 😊

August Miscellany ~ 3

The last shots from this roll in August take me back to sunny days and Bar-B-Qs, or ODE’s as they’re known here ~ Outdoor Eating Experiences :). Our friends Paul and Lorraine who live over in South Shields and have a lovely big garden, had friends and family over one Saturday afternoon, and I took a few frames.

Phil, Lorraine Paul under the gazebo thingy
Paul ~ masterchef
with Pat & Derek, Lorraines Mum & Dad
a drink 🙂

It was nice to be socialising oudoors and seeing family we hadn’t seen in ages.

Phi and I had a few ODE’s ourselves on sunny evenings after work

Phil Masterchefing
Sauces and Sparkles

finally, I love it when the evening sun lightens the corner of the living rooom window, and if you look carefully in the shady bottom right hand corner, you can espy Lord Vincent on the back of his favourite chair.

That’ll be it on Film Friday for a while, I’ve got 2 rolls of film on the go and no-where near finished, but, I’ll be back!

Stay tooned! 📷 🎞 😊

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