Saturday, 31 August 2013

Day 243 Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Bertram

This looks like it will be my last wedding of the year and it was a lovely day, so a nice way to finish off.

Sarah is the sort of personality who lights up a room with her genuine warmth and Steve is the sort of guy who is so laid back he is horizontal. A very nice couple who are very much in love.

Work again tomorrow so expect a picture of my breakfast or something!


Friday, 30 August 2013

Day 242 - Kinnears secret weapon

He plans to send her into the opposition dressing room and talk them to death!

As you can see, eventually she had good fun and finished the week off. Her favourite bit were the matches that they had at the end of each day. For me it was just nice to see her running around being a kid!

And that pretty much ends the summer holidays, what a roller coaster ride it has been, we have managed to get plenty done despite not having the joy of being off the whole holidays.


Thursday, 29 August 2013

Day 241 - Farewell

The world is a poorer place without Wyn in it, but I feel truly blessed to have known her, loved her and be loved by her.
I've been sat here for 20 minutes trying to put into words how I feel, and how much Wyn will be missed, and how great she was, but words simply cannot do this woman justice.
Her legacy is her family and I know she wouldn't have it any other way. The whole family are some of the nicest most genuine people you could ever have the pleasure of meeting, the sort of people you cannot see for years and then within 30 seconds of meeting up you are deep in conversation as if only momentarily interrupted.

Judy and Steve have very kindly donated one of Wyn's beloved teddy's to my daughter, who upon receiving it, without prompting said 'Daddy I think it would be nice to call the bear Wyn' and so I present to you the latest addition to our family, Wyn.

R.I.P , gone but never ever forgotten.


Day 240 Fields of Gold

Today and tomorrow are going to be very hectic indeed I have headed down to Cambridgeshire to bid and old friend farewell. The whole are is surrounded by fields of gold. It really is a beautiful part of the world.

Apologies for the lack of blog today but I have other things on my mind.


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Day 239 Roses are Red

Violets are blue, Erin spent her pocket money on you! Only if you are Christine though

She really is an absolute gem when she wants to be! 


Monday, 26 August 2013

Day 238 Tried and Tested

Back to work today after 15 days off, the least said about that the better.

On my home the sun was ridiculously low in the sky and a big red ball of awesome.

Hopefully you can make it out on this picture.

Off to watch the footie now.


Sunday, 25 August 2013

Day 237 - Chip off the old block.

There are moments where as a parent you swell with pride, and all those moments of stress and anxiety and heartache are worth it.

I'm lucky in that I have had 3 of these moments within 3 days, sometimes I can go for weeks without them!

That said I would never ever discourage Erin from just being a child and enjoying that too!

Sadly this will be our last day out this summer holidays as a full family, I may manage to squeeze out one more day with Erin the day before she goes back, but thats it for us as a family. Its been a blast!


Saturday, 24 August 2013

Day 236 Rainy Days

What better thing is there to do on a rainy day in the summer holidays than building lego? 
Only thing is the older Erin gets the less I get to build. 

Erin had some pennies left from her holiday money so this is what it went on. You can see her small collection of lego friends in the background. This is Legos attempt to get into the girly market, and it's worked, Erin totally ignored all the really cool lego heading straight for these stupid pink boxes. 

Ach well, life goes on.


Friday, 23 August 2013

Day 235 - 20 years on....

So 20 years ago today I started a journey that has led to where I am today, skint, miserable and overweight! I joke, 20 years ago today my soulmate agreed to go on a date with me, and the rest as they say is history.

We've had some amazing times together in the last 20 years, and as with all relationships we've had our share of troubles, but we always come out the other side (and would like to think we do so stronger).

However there is one thing that we did just under 8 years ago that is the best thing we have ever done. I won't go into the gory details, but needless to say 9 months later Christine had a bigger belly than I ever will (hopefully) and then along came our little angel (or devil depending on her mood).

This afternoon we went to see her perform at the end of a weeks summer school dancing with the Milly Performance Academy. I couldn't have been prouder, she delivered her lines with gusto and sang her heart out. Earlier in the week when parts were dished out no-one wanted to play Tracey's mum in what was quite an important role. So Erin gave up the role she had chosen and took this undesirable role. I personally think she did it only so she could sing the line ' you can't stop my knife and fork when I see that Christmas ham'.

Anyway here is my favourite picture of her performance today.

So here's to the next 20 years with my amazing wife, and our legacy!


Thursday, 22 August 2013

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Day 233 Hairspray

As I have alluded to previously Erin is at Dance Summer school this week with the wonderful Milly Performance Academy.
Each day I pack her off at 10am and pick her up again at 3pm, what she does in between those times is a mystery as she never tells us, I think she is trying to keep it all a surprise for the show on Friday.
Throughout the week the kids act, sing and prepare the stage for the show which they will perform to the parents at the end of the week.
She seems to be having an amazing time so thats the main thing. The only thing I know is I will be glad when we don't need to listen to the hairspray soundtrack anymore!

Here she is in her Hairspray T-Shirt ready to head off for todays adventures....

In the mean time I am catching up on some TV!


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Day 232 Hoooowwwwwaaaaayyy Blyth

I believe this is my first visit of the calendar year to Croft Park. Thats shameful really. I've been following Blyth since moving to the area over 30 years ago.
I went along this evening with no expectations as my last few visits have not been great. Blyth seemed to have recruited well in the summer and have a pretty youthful looking side with plenty of skill and pace. The game started scrappily with both teams unable to string 2 passes together and both seeming to have a bit of an obsession with 50 yard cross field passes.
Once the game settled down a bit it became a decent game with both teams having spells of pressure. After a Blyth attack fizzled out Trafford broke and the Blyth goalkeeper brought down the Trafford forward giving the referee no real choice but to award a penalty which was dispatched with confidence with the keeper being sent the wrong way.
Within 5 minutes Blyth were handed a chance to equalise with Dan Maguire was brought down in the box by 2 Trafford defenders. Up stepped Blyth captain Joe Kendrick to rifle the ball into the back of the net.
Then with about 10 minutes remaining in the half some neat interplay on the edge of the box gave Dan Maguire the chance to stab home from just inside the box to give Blyth a lead they would never surrender.
And that is todays picture.....

I will definitely be trying to return again sooner rather than later.


Day 231 Back on course

Back home and Erin is at dance summer school all week so what better way to get some me time than by heading back out on the golf course. 
My hip and my back have been playing up but I decided to play through it. Strangely deciding to play off the white tees for the first time ever too. 
One of the best things about golf is that it allows you to totally lose yourself in the game whilst offering moments of quiet reflection, probably just what I needed.

Anyway today's picture is of one of my favourite holes, not one that I score very well at but still I've always liked it.

As you can see there is a lot of water on the hole but it gives you a real sense of focus to avoid it. 

That's it for now


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Day 230 - Goodbye to the west coast

Sunday morning is for feeding Ducks at Rozelle, but requiring the time to fill up with fuel before leaving Christine and I left Erin to feed the ducks with Grandma and Grandpa and instead headed down to the beach for a quick walk.

The weather is really starting to turn now as we head into the Autumn, the wind was cutting in off the sea, making it very bracing. The rain clouds building steadily and dumping a load of rain on Arran. The waves again starting to don their white caps.

Fingers crossed it takes a little while to reach us back on the east coast.

So its goodbye to the west coast for now, until next time.


Day 229 Poets Corner

Saturdays at my parents are usually post office days, where Erin gets to go into the post office and 'help out'. I'm not sure how much help stamping repeatedly on paper, or drawing pictures actually is, but thats what we usually do. Erin's behaviour hasn't been great this week, mainly due to a lack of sleep, so we headed off to the Robert Burns Museum first as a punishment!
Not really, we wanted to get in one more touristy thing this week.

The museum is a vast improvement on the last time I was there, with many interactive exhibits and we only did the museum, I would imagine improvements have also been made to the cottage and the other areas too.

There were many artworks on show too, along with lots of information about Burns life, and how when push came to shove he was forced to swallow his principles and take a job as an exciseman (or taxman if you prefer). It was pretty interesting stuff.

My favourite piece was this wooden carved painting if you like, which I thought was simply amazing.

Tomorrow will no doubt be about feeding ducks before we head back home.


Friday, 16 August 2013

Day 228 Castles and Pipers

Today we visited Culzean Castle for the third time. Each time we come I have taken the same picture of Erin.

Today upon our arrival we were greeted by the sound of bagpipes. Not everyones cup of tea, but this was a full pipe band and highland dancers. It added to the whole experience of being in a Scottish Castle, that was until we found out the excellent highland band were from Canada... Yes you read that right. They are currently touring Scotland and they are the only group of pipers that have been allowed to play inside Stirling Castle in the last 60 years (allegedly).

As the weather turned we headed home for a relaxing afternoon.

Have a good weekend folks.


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Day 227 Kelvingrove

Today we had a day out with Grandma at Kelvingrove Museum and art gallery. Check us out being proper posh and cultured... well maybe not, especially not my wife who was especially disrespectful ;)

Great fun and very educational too.

Tomorrow its off to another castle, right now I'm off for a date with the wife!


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Day 226 - Arran

After a last minute dash up the road last night, we headed to Arran today since this is supposed to be the best days weather we are likely to get.
And it was ok, it wasn't great weather, we got soaked, but we got a little bit of sunshine and blue sky so all was not lost.

The ferry journey was uneventful and the trip to the castle was fun on the open top bus, with trees whipping around our ears. We arrived and had a lovely picnic, then we had a look around the castle before bundling Erin off on a Vile Victorians tour.
Whilst childless we headed off in to the hills for a long walk, and happened upon the Duchess pools, a series of small waterfalls. And I just had to get some pictures, as is always the case.

As usual it didn't all go to plan with me slipping several times on the very greasy rocks. However, I think it was worth it....

Tomorrow we head into Glasgow, to tour some museums.


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Day 225 - Congratulashhhhhhhions

Congrats go to the new Mr and Mrs Bell on their wedding day.

Andrew and Lauren got married in a very intimate ceremony at the Alnwick Treehouse.
Andrew was my best man when I got married oh so many moons ago, so it was nice to be able to share his special day with him.

All the best Andrew and Lauren.

Have a great honeymoon guys, and we'll see you when you get back


Monday, 12 August 2013

Day 224 - My Girls

If ever there was evidence that I am truly blessed then this is it!

The ladies have both been to the hairdressers this morning, and both are very happy with the results!


Sunday, 11 August 2013

Day 223 Road to nowhere

First proper family day out of the summer holidays today. Where all 3 of us could get out and about. So off we headed to the roman land of housesteads.

I've long liked pictures of vanishing points and the old military road gives opportunity for such a shot. So I jumped out the car and proceeded to take such a shot, before realising my camera was without memory card, and I had only brought my small bag with me, with all my memory cards in the large bag. Oh well we weren't out to create a photography exhibition.
I grabbed my phone and took this shot.

After spending some time at housesteads we headed over to Allen banks for a walk along the river. It started to rain as we arrived so we sat in the car and ate our picnic. The sun came out tempting us out the car, but we quickly got soaked, and with the addition of a daddy detour found ourselves clambering up a 20ft muddy bank. It all just adds to the experience really.

Quiet couple of days coming up before we head to Scotland for 4 nights.

Have a good Monday folks.


Saturday, 10 August 2013

Day 222 Its a kind of Magic

Today was magic day at Seaton Deleval Hall, so off we headed, to watch some magic and maybe even learn some too.

Well Erin had a great time, watching the magicians strut their stuff, and watched amazedly as time and time again they wowed the gathered groups.

Then it was time for the magicians workshop. Magician Steve keys showed the children a couple of tricks before letting them into the secrets of the trade. Steve explained that he was trying to pass something on to the kids as he remembers as a child wanting to be a magician and not knowing where to start.
Erin was very impressed and couldn't wait to get home to show her mum her skills.

All in all another good day out.

Tomorrow is a walking day,


Friday, 9 August 2013

Day 221 Smooth

So I've finished work for the day and I don't go back for 16 days. What should I do to celebrate?

First wet shave of the year! What can I say I know how to live!


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Day 220 Monster Workout

We've recently purchased a second hand exercise bike, with the purpose of being able to burn off some calories in the house. 

But every so often we can't get on it as there is a monster doing its morning workout, and I'm not arguing with a monster!

Have a good day


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Day 219 Fat Day

So today the diet died, but if you can't have a bit of fun every now and again then life would be very very full.
For supper I'm having these little gems! 

Happy times!


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Day 218 Beach life

Well the plan for today was just to chill in the house, maybe do a little bit of creative play, and if the sun got out possibly pop out on our bikes.

Well, we got up and the sun was shining so we headed through the tunnel under the tyne and had a day out at Marsden Beach and Souter Lighthouse.

There were a lot of steps involved, 133 down and back up from the beach. and 76 up to the top of the lighthouse, and then back down again.

I'm pretty sure I will wake up with cramp again tonight!

Anyway, a couple of pics from the day.....

Another great day out, and once again I am shattered whilst Erin is still full of life!


Monday, 5 August 2013

Day 217 - Drowning in culture... and rain!

Well today was interesting, I have now experienced new levels of getting wet in a rainstorm (even worse than a walk with Kingy) due to being out at sea in one. But still it was a mainly good day.

We got up early to head up to Holy Island just south of Berwick, since it is only accessible via a causeway we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time for exploring before heading down to seahouses and out to the farne islands.

I love Holy Island, it really is as tranquil as it sounds (the bad weather helps, otherwise I can imagine it would have been crawling with tourists), even with a 7 year old wittering on all morning, I was still able to enjoy the tranquility. Ahhh who am I kidding, she shattered the peace and quiet within seconds of arriving. Still we went for a walk up to the Castle and as National Trust members we went inside. As with most National Trust properties (Or English Heritage for that matter) I would have been disappointed to have paid the entrance fee for what it was like. Its a very nice little castle, which was transformed into a holiday home in the early 20th century. And it is in this theme that they have kept the castle. Its quite interesting and some of the vistas are brilliant, even on a rainy day.

The typical photo of Lindisfarne Castle

A more Paul style view involving clambering over slippery rocks...
Still the rain wasn't too bad and we headed back to the car to get across to the mainland and head down to Seahouses, where it was still raining. But we decided to brave the boat trip to the Farnes.

Erin has long wanted to visit the Farnes but after today I think she will be in no rush to return. The crossing was lets say choppy, and the rain got heavier the instant I paid for the tickets, and continued to get heavier as we crossed, by the time we got to the islands and started looking at the wildlife we would have been excused for thinking the boat was actually a cabriolet submarine. But still we got to see some seals playing in the sea, and some young puffins flying and what can only be described as bellyflopping into the sea. By the time we left the islands we both looked more than a little green due to the choppy sea. Thankfully we made it back to land in one piece and headed home.

Puffin in the rain....
Lets put it down to character building.

Hoping tomorrow is a little brighter and possibly less eventful!


Sunday, 4 August 2013

Day 216 - A walk in the dusk

Nothing to really say today, but I needed this little walk through the fields this evening.....

May not be everyone's cup of team but I like it.....


Saturday, 3 August 2013

Day 215 A little bit of Bokeh

The nights are really starting to draw in already, believe it or not.

I had an idea for an image for this evening, but there was no sunlight in the street and if I'm honest I couldn't be bothered to venture any further afield. So that idea is put on hold for just now.

Instead I decided to try and have a little play with something called bokeh....

Shallow depth of field, and nice blurred background.

I really must remember to use my nifty fifty more for portrait shots.

Have a great Sunday folks


Friday, 2 August 2013

Day 214 - The Birds and The Bees

Another day out with the child today, well I say a day out, a half day out. There was the small matter of Erin's MOT to sort out (Doctors and Dentists) first. As it was we got to the dentists to be told our dentist had called in sick (the day before her 2 week annual leave) and they had been trying to call us all morning.
But hey ho, a quick trip to the golden arches for lunch then off to the very local Seaton Deleval hall, for a bit of a chillax.

Erin constantly just wanted to sit and read her book most of the afternoon, which was pretty awesome to be honest. It meant I managed to capture some nice shots like this .....

and this ....

But then she woke up and had a bit of a run around and a little bit of Parkour.....

So another great afternoon out, and Monday / Tuesday promise more of the same. I hope in some way the multiple images make up for some of the days where I have posted some absolute rubbish!


Thursday, 1 August 2013

Day 213 The Dukes Home

Well what else is there to blog about other than my day out with my daughter to Alnwick Castle, home to the Duke of Northumberland. I purchased the Groupon that has been about recently as something to do as a day out and we have upgraded so we can go back as many times as we want in the year.

I don't know if its always set up the same way but with it being the holidays there is plenty on for the kids, from broomstick lessons, to fancy dress, and the dragons quest, a journey through some rather creepy corridors whilst unravelling a quiz.

We both had a great time, Erin especially enjoyed her dressing up and the broomstick lessons, I think you will agree, she really got the hang of it by the end....

The state rooms are amazing and the views from the Castle grounds are glorious. We then had a drive back along the coast, taking in more of the desolate bleak landscape that is just ripe for fracking.

In case you have missed this story in the news, some ridiculous Tory Peer, (Lord Howell of Guilford), the former energy secretary stated that the North East was desolate and there were plenty of room for developments.
What a toffee nosed prick he is. I guess he has probably never been any further north than Norwich. Maybe if instead of living off our taxes our whole life he had to do an honest days work his opinion may be different.

Having travelled quite extensively throughout the UK both as a child and as an adult, the North East of England is amongst the most stunning scenery in the UK, I for one am happy to keep idiots like him away from the area.

Anyway I hope to spend the rest of the remaining holidays enjoying more and more of our desolate region.