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Inside you will find a selection of my images taken both in the UK and abroad.

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Nigel

Hull – UK City of Culture 2017

I thought it might be a good idea to try and help to make our City of Culture year a success in whatever small way I could – so I volunteered to be a … volunteer. So, a couple of training sessions later I’m a little more knowledgeable and looking forward to whatever comes my way.

One of the sessions included a walking tour of the old town with Guide, Paul Schofield. I’d never thought about a walking tour of Hull or what it might entail but it was both informative and entertaining. I took the opportunity to take the GX8 around with me and so here are a few images from the morning.

 

The Sesh, Hull, 2016

As well as the band related images I took, here are a selection of “general” images, ranging from the wonderful pastries outside 1884 Dock Street Kitchen, to first thing in the morning – setting up the gin bar outside The Minerva, to one of the sound engineers on stage rolling up his trousers for some fresh air – either that or he thought the Hokey Cokey was about to start. On a more serious note, a first responder cycle ready for action, reminding us of the brilliant job the emergency services do for us all. Then – the MAN himself, first thing in the morning on walkabout just before Pavey Ark kicked off on the Minerva stage.

 

Sunderland Air Show – beach assault

In a break from the air display, we were treated to a battle re-enactment by troops from HMS Bulwark. The story was that reconnaissance had been carried out by troops from the Ship and commandos had sent a couple of advance commandos ashore in order to gather information as to how they should take the beach position under defence from artillery. Two inflatable craft were sent to recover the commandos and then after plans were drawn up, they attacked the beach position and captured it. One of the beach party tried to evade capture by dressing up as a blonde but the troops were sharply onto her/him. I think the hairy legs gave it away.

After the re-enactment, the troops sent a party onto the beach to make it safe and blow up any unexploded shells. Very loud and very watchable.

 

Fosse Hill Jetski & Caravan Park

There was an event on at Fosse Hill on Saturday and I took the opportunity to practise a bit of sport photography on the site. There were a number of competitions, novice riders, including John – a young at heart 62, and more experienced riders later, followed by the “Show us your best trick” competition. I had to leave before the results were announced but here’s a sample of what went on :-

Sunderland Air Show 2016

My fellow photographer Pete Stockton asked me if I wanted to go to the Sunderland air show. It’s a free show held on the seafront and had a great programme of events so I said yes.

The weather was awful – the sky was either grey or white or both and it was raining most of the day. I got wet, he got wet, the cameras got wet, despite having raincoats on them and we stood from 9:00am until shortly after 4 when the show finished. Sensibly, the organisers had brought the flying displays forward in an effort to try and dodge some of the rain.

I wasn’t entirely successful with my images on the day and therefore we’re going to have another attempt later in the year – nevertheless, here are a few from the outing :-

Woodhall Spa 40’s event

I’d seen this event advertised a long while ago and decided to go take a look. I then saw a post from an f4 chum, Dave Robson, who had said that he was going as his girlfriend Tina lives there. The drive through Lincolnshire countryside was peaceful apart from the numerous motorbikes on the winding roads – I’m sure they enjoyed it too.

Once in Woodhall Spa I parked up in a field and asked how far the walk was into town – “400 yards” he said. Well according to the iPhone app, nearly a mile and a half later I arrived where I needed to be and grabbed a coffee and waited for Dave & Tina. I took a seat on the lawn at the Petwood Hotel, home of the Dambusters. If I’d been a Dambuster I’d have lived there myself. What a charming hotel. I sat and listened to Heather Marie singing war era songs very well and dozed a bit in the lovely sunshine. There had been talk of the Lancaster flying over but it had only just been repaired from an engine fire some time ago and it was thought unlikely. However, it was being put through it’s paces in the sky although a long way up and away from the village – just being careful I guess. Someone near me said he thought that it probably wouldn’t have the necessary paperwork in place to enable it to fly at a display yet.

I decided to take a wander across the road into the park and look at everything going on there. US tanks and vehicles, 40’s fire engines and a huge number of folk in period costume which looked spectacular. Had a text from Dave saying they’d had a late night at the Kinema in the Woods – they arrived a while later and we had breakfast/lunch.

There was a war re-enactment at the Petwood but as we were having lunch – we missed it, although we heard the explosions of course. In any event, there was another re-enactment at the Golf Hotel just round the corner later, so we went to that one instead. One the way there, we saw Mr Churchill just getting into his Humber motorcar on the way to address his public at the Golf Hotel. After the Golf Hotel I decided to make a move in order to avoid the traffic. The flypast advertised for 2pm hadn’t happened so I assumed it wasn’t going to. Just as we stood up to go, a throaty Merlin engine noise came from above and we saw a beautiful Spitfire fly over.I waited just in case anything else came but it didn’t so off I went. I’d just got in the car and put everything away when another plane came over and I missed it – never mind, I’d had such a great day. Not many images to show for it but I hope you like them. Taken with the Panasonic Lumix GX8 – it’s light and portable to walk around with. PS – if anyone recognises the two ladies taking a selfie at the Petwood, if they contact me I’ll let them have a copy of the image.

Rome to Athens (part 2)

With our adventures in Rome behind us, we were transferred to Civitavecchia where we were due to board the Azamara Journey. It was our first time on this ship – but we had been on the Azamara Quest twice before. It is surprising to find everything exactly in the same place as on the Quest. The Captain is excellent as is his twin brother (for those who have travelled on Azamara Journey before you’ll appreciate the shot I took of them having lunch).

Upon arrival at Civitavecchia we were greeted by the sight of the largest cruise liner in the world, the Harmony of the Seas. It takes 6780 passengers and 2100 crew and has 16 decks. In comparison, the Azamara Journey has less than 700 passengers….

The cruise was brilliant and we saw a few places we hadn’t been to before and some we had. The Captain did us a great favour by changing the schedule around at the end – we swapped Santorini and Mykonos around and that meant that instead of having to fight our way through 15000 passengers from 7 ships, there were only 3500 from 3.

Here are images from the cruise itself :-

 

Rome to Athens (part 1)

We decided to take a cruise from Rome to Athens this year for our Pearl Wedding Anniversary. As we hadn’t been to Rome before, we asked our travel agent, Bolsover Cruise Club, to organise a couple of nights in Rome before the cruise departed from Civitavecchia.

I had booked a Vatican City tour for the afternoon we arrived in Rome but we made it by the skin of our teeth. Plane late, transfer late, room not ready, wrong directions for meeting place, been there, got the T-shirt…. Anyway, to the credit of the Company organizing the tour, they left someone at the meeting point in case we showed up – brilliant. If you need them they’re called Vatican City Tours.

The following day we walked around Rome itself and went from our hotel which was in the Vatican City area, across to Piazza del Popolo, then Villa Borghese, down to the Spanish Steps, which were cordoned off for restoration work, down to the Trevi Fountain, then the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Castel sant’Angelo and then back to the hotel. A long day but thoroughly enjoyable. The next morning before leaving for the cruise terminal at Civitavecchia we had another stroll across Ponte Sant’Angelo up to Piazza del Popolo where we enjoyed a coffee and people watching session.

Here are some images from our full days walk :-

Bempton Cliffs

I took a day out to go up to Bempton with my friend Pete Stockton – he’d not been before. The weather was strange – a cold breeze meant that I had a few layers on to keep warm, but when I got home I found I’d got a bit burnt as well. Never mind, a good day with Pete – we finished off at North Landing and Flamborough Lighthouse after a good session at Bempton and lunch in a local pub.

Here are a few images from Bempton :-

 

Red Squirrels

5am on a Sunday morning at -1°C when you haven’t slept isn’t a good way to start the day. Neither is a 2½ hour drive along roads you accept because Satnav “told you so” and can’t get your brain into gear yourself.

Anyway, arrival in Hawes with my friend Rosanna (we belong f4 Photographic Group in Cottingham – a club dedicated to photography and drinking but not necessarily in that order) – we met Simon from WildDales with whom we’d organised a day photographing red squirrels and other wild creatures, from the peace and quiet of one of his hides. We’d chosen the reflection pool, but, because of the temperature and overnight snow, it was frozen. So the couple in the woodland hide kindly agreed that we could share their hide for an hour until Simon assured us the reflection pool would be thawed out. There were running poles, tree stumps and other features to attract the wildlife and we were engrossed in it for what seemed like 5 minutes when Simon came back to take us down to the other hide. Big enough for two people only and still with a light covering of broken slivers of ice we settled down and waited for only a short while before more critters came to join us. Lots of small wild birds and a pair of pheasant.

At 2pm and a few thousand images later we trekked up the hill to the land rover and said our goodbyes. A beautifully peaceful site which has been well thought out and developed by Simon over a number of years – can’t wait to go back.

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