This year, the decision was made to go to the Lake District. We hadn’t been there for a number of years and it seemed like a good idea at the time.
All the arrangements were made fairly early in the year with the assumption that the Covid-19 situation would have eased and around 10 members signed up and booked. There were no signs of anything improving so one by one members cancelled out until a hardy 4 were left. I felt sorry for Cathryn from Skelwith Bridge Hotel who put up with me changing arrangements , sometimes on a daily basis. But she (and the hotel) was very welcoming, the rooms were comfortable and the food was great. Just ask about the Steak pies – they’re wonderful.
We’d chosen a number of different venues to photograph, Skelwith Bridge itself, Elterwater, River Brathay, The Langdales Crummock Water and Buttermere. A good time had by all and some excellent photographs too. Here’s a selection.
Back in September I booked a Model Shoot through TimeLineEvents – just before we went to Mull for my 70th. I’d never been there before and found that the place itself was just a great place to photograph and must go back and do it one day. The models, Illyana and Emma were just brilliant to work with and had a range of outfits and poses and needed little guidance. There was a reduced number of photographers allowed at the shoot because of the regulations for Covid-19 in place at the time. Here’s a few shots from the day.
For my 70th Birthday Sue took me on the Glen Etive, owned by Majestic Cruise Lines. The cruise was called “Mull – her inlets and islands”. It is a small ship – usually sailing with maximum 14 travellers in 7 cabins – yes, it’s intimate. Owing to Covid-19 regulations, we sailed with just 10 passengers in total, plus 4 crew.
We were due to sail from Oban but decided to break the journey by staying at Duck Bay next to Loch Lomond. I had used this hotel before when on business in Scotland. As we were due to sail late afternoon the following day we planned to visit a viewing platform at Inveruglas and also the Falls of Falloch on the way up to Oban. Fate decided this wasn’t to be.
The next morning we set off and within 20 minutes I got a warning beep from the car telling me we had loss of pressure from my left rear tyre. We decided to make for a garage to get some air and/or change the wheel. The nearest one was a filling station at Arrochar only 2 miles away so we headed for that. It was an automated filling station so I filled up then went to the air machine – it was out of order. I thought I’d try and change the wheel but after having jacked the car up and got the wheel nuts off, the wheel wouldn’t budge. I called The AA – joined and asked for a call out. They said they’d get someone there at 12:30 which would have allowed sufficient time to get sorted and up to Oban by 3:15. At 1pm he hadn’t shown up and I got a text from the AA saying they were still trying to contact their breakdown service. At 1.30pm I got a call from their engineer saying he was in traffic. By this time, panic was starting to set in. A group of bikers came into the station and even if the AA guy arrived he’d have no space to park. I wondered if any of the bikers had a foot pump or something to hand and went over to ask. One guy patted his jacket down and said in a heavy Glaswegian accent that he hadn’t got it with him. He must have seen the despair (I’m gonna miss the boat) and asked what the problem was. As soon as I explained we were trying to get to a boat and I couldn’t get the wheel off he and his biggest mate came over and asked for the brace, jack and spare. He couldn’t get the wheel off either but his large pal said “will I give it a kick” – and he did – the wheel fell off and was changed in 5 minutes. It was a spacesaver wheel so we had to limit to 50mph and got there around 3:20.
Some of the cruise was spectacular, we saw dolphins, White tailed eagles, heron, seals and a golden eagle flying so high it was impossible to get a decent image. The small Lochs we went in were beautiful, especially Loch Spelve and Loch Aline. Unfortunately, because of bad weather, we were unable to get a tender into Staffa for Fingal’s Cave and onto Lungha to see if there were any puffins left – two main reasons for wanting to go on the trip. The crew were really excellent and the food from Gordon, our chef, was fantastic. The cabins are very small but are decently equipped.
We probably won’t go on such a small ship again but Majestic are a very accommodating Cruise Line and we’re pleased to have been on this trip. Thanks to our fellow passengers as well – we enjoyed their company.
At f4 Photographic Group we normally have a 12 or 13 week Summer programme of outings to go and photograph things of interest. Various topics and genres – generally something to suit everyone and it’s planned well in advance. This year of uncertainty has brought a great deal of unhappiness to so many people so the fact that our activities have been curtailed to some extent is more of a minor irritation compared to severe illnesses and isolation.
However, the small number of outings we’ve managed have been attended well and after a long period of non-posting, I thought I share with you few images taken from the Summer Session.
We managed to get to Bempton for the gannets and puffins, The Marina in Hull, a selection of sites on the Hockney Trail, North Cave Wetlands & an outdoor model shoot in Hessle. The remainder of the time was spent utilising Zoom for various on line challenges and presentations
All we are being asked to do is stay home, stay safe, eat, drink, sleep and look after ourselves. It doesn’t sound that hard does it but we’re all getting cabin fever to some degree. At f4 Photographic, we’ve started to hold on line meetings via Zoom and of course we’ve had to change our programme to reflect the remote access via laptops. We had a “Photographs I took this week” competition which was quite interesting and we incorporated a macro inspired “Can you guess what it is yet?” element as well. We’re managing to hold our internal club PDI competitions but likely we’ll hold all our print comps later in the year to catch up.
Anyway, here’s a few “Photographs I took this week”.
Sue and the ladies of Haltemprice Walking Netball had a tournament last week with a couple of other fairly local teams. It was held at the Hull University facility where I photographed Men City recently. A brilliant place which caters for many different sports. There were supposed to be 5 teams taking part but 2 were coming from well out of town and with the current uncertainty about coronavirus I think they were erring on the cautious side, so 3 teams turned up.
The ladies had a good session and for some players, the term walking hasn’t quite filtered down. Nevertheless, Haltemprice came out on top and added another trophy to their almost full cabinet. Here are some images from the day :-
No, it’s not a typo! Men City is a not for profit project that aims to encourage more men to play football. Taking place four times a week, the sessions are relaxed but competetive and encourage men of all ages, abilities and fitness levels to participate in the beautiful game. there is no pressure to turn up every week with participants invited to attend as and when they are available.
Here is a link to their Facebook page where you can see more information, but to whet your appetite, here are a few images from last week.
I was asked by Chris Johnson of the East Riding FA – Clubs and Participation Development Officer, to cover the Hull Floodlight Football winter cup final between HUBS and Malet 2.0. It was a cold evening but the rain that had been forecast kept away until a 30 second flurry at the very end of the game. Here are some images from the evening, the game having been won by Malet 2.0 3-2.
It’s a while since I posted anything – I’ve had one of these viruses that seem to last forever and the inspiration just hasn’t been there. Christmas presents the opportunity to relax and enjoy the time of year with family and friends so Bowness on a sunny Christmas Day was lovely.
We met our “Christmas Friends” Martin and Maxine at Bowness for a good catch up and to enjoy our hotel on Lake Windermere. As the weather on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day wasn’t very accommodating we didn’t walk very far and didn’t go on the Boxing Day lake cruise, more of a meander around the area really. Grasmere was very quiet – in fact, one lad I spoke to on his way to the car park declared that “Grasmere was shut” and they were going.
Good company and a much needed break – here’s some of the few images I took :-
For my birthday this year Sue booked a cruise on the Saga Spirit of Discovery. We looked and booked about a year ago and there weren’t many cabins left then. The ship looked beautiful in the brochures and didn’t disappoint when we got to Dover. The whole experience with them was just great. I must admit that I was wary about how old our fellow passengers would be but was quite relieved when the Captain said that the average passenger age was 56. We came down to earth a bit when he said that this included the crew… (only joking).
Anyway, we had an unexpected bonus on the first day, sunbathing in the North Sea, on the way to our first stop – Kristiansand. The North Sea was flat calm and around 20 degrees so we found a spot out of the wind and laid out.
Kristiansand was pretty, the fish market was great, I could have spent a lot longer there. I remember when we had numerous “wet fish shops” in Hull when I was younger and this place took me back to those days, except for the shark’s head which I’ve already posted on FB. We got to Bergen for my birthday and went up the funicular for a great panoramic view of Bergen. I hadn’t realised that there were so many good walks to be had from the top – must be great in summer with more time to spend. Alesund was pretty the last time we were there but this time the weather had closed in and we had sun, rain, hailstones and wind for most of the time we were there. We took a walk in and went to the Art Deco Museum. There were films running showing how Alesund’s wooden houses were destroyed in 1904 and then rebuilt. Also some really good art deco pieces in the museum – especially a beautifully laid out dining room. The final stop was Haugesund. We walked around the town in the morning and in the afternoon we had booked a “Coastal walk to Ryvarden lighthouse” It was only about 2km there and 2km back so just nice to finish off the cruise. Unfortunately the weather was becoming quite unsettled by then and we had a drop of probably 10 degrees in temperature and an increase in wind plus somebody had set the rain to stun setting. I got one awful shot of the lighthouse – it is totally exposed to the elements (well it would be wouldn’t it) and then we walked back. It was described as 2km on mostly even surfaces but it actually went up and down like a fiddler’s elbow. Anyway The Norwegian waffles and hot tea made up for it!
Lovely ship and great Birthday prezzy thanks Sue xx