So, I found myself last night frequenting The Back Room, splendid venue owned by very long time friend Paul Sutton and his wife Gilly. Paul puts on a lot of live music and it’s great quality too. Headlining last night the excellent Amanda Rheaume Band, supported by the extremely talented Dennis Ellsworth. An all Canadian bill and not surprisingly they didn’t know of each other before they arrived (well it IS a big country so they say). Apparently the drive from Edinburgh to Hull for Amanda and her band was a bit like going to the shops in Canada….
I’d urge anyone who hasn’t been to The Back Room before and appreciates good music, to take a look at their page on Facebook, or look at the schedule on their website and get down there.
Here’s a few images from the show :-
A rare visit for me to see some old chums from my playing days, including Phil Tebbs who was up from darn sarf for a few days. I’d been to F4 Photographic Group meeting at King Billy and as Dunc had told me the Forks were gigging at The Duke of Cumberland for an evening to see how it went, with a view to a permanent Thursday gig – I took the camera down. Very dark in there so the images are a bit grainy.
The boys played wonderfully well and the huge crowd in there, lots of them regular Forks supporters, were well entertained. The guys are back next Thursday so well worth a trip – if you can get in.
I like live music, always have done – some of those amongst us make it look so easy they can do it with their eyes closed – well done Dunc!
I took a trip down to Hull yesterday morning to see what all the fuss was about. It’s BIG. I hope it doesn’t slip off the stand, it’ll ruin the new paving. The Blade is something that looked as though it was drawing comment from the scores of people standing looking, so from that point of view I suppose it can be considered as art. I heard one elderly lady comment to a friend that rather than dismantle all the bits and pieces that they had to in order for it to be manoeuvoured into place, they’d be better spending the cash on getting the pavements fixed. There are all sorts of opinions on this so I’ll just leave you with my favourite image of the morning which managed to get itself aired on Look North last night. Peter Levy thought it was a winner – Thank you Peter.
The first major event to start off the Hull City of Culture 2017 was “Made in Hull” – a huge projection in Queen Victoria Square, projected simultaneously on the City Hall, The Ferens Art Gallery and The Maritime Museum. Sue and I went into Hull by train to save parking problems. We got the last two standing room only places on the two carriage train for the 10 minutes ride into Hull. There were people left on Cottingham station as the demand was that high – they would miss the 4pm start but as the show repeated itself until 9pm, they wouldn’t miss a thing.
The story of Hull and its people, over the past 70 years, started off with the projections in Queen Victoria Square and followed a trail, leading down Whitefriargate, through Zebedee’s Yard, Humber Street, Scale Lane, High Street underpass, The Deep and back to Humber Street. I have to say that the visions of wartime Hull, which was the second most bombed City in the Second World War, with 90% of its buildings destroyed, were extremely moving, as were the visions of sailors sinking to the bottom of the sea following the awful losses of trawlers from Hull.
We didn’t stop everywhere – not enough time, so concentrated on Queen Victoria Square and The Deep. Here are a few images :-
Having chosen our spot at Goxhill, three of us arrived early at 6pm in order to park up and wait. The first 50 or so folk were already there, braving the freezing cold wind blowing straight in our faces. This was going to be difficult. We sat in the warm car for a couple of hours and waited until shortly before 8pm and then ventured along the river bank for some considerable distance until there was a clear spot. I think there could well have been 500+ people along the bank. Many tripods, many head torches, much anticipation.
Anyway, here are a few of the images.
We decided to go to Grasmere again and stay at the Wordsworth Hotel and be looked after by the excellent team there. On Christmas Eve we walked around Grasmere itself accompanied by four of the Grasmere staff who served mulled wine, prosecco and cake halfway round, before the heavens opened for five minutes, then we walked the last bit back and got dried out.
Christmas Day was full of good cheer and so were we. The camera stayed put and waited until Boxing Day where I wanted to capture the famous Wordsworth Duck Race. As my ducks from 2015 still hadn’t finished I was a bit loath to have another bet but as the proceeds all go to charity I relented – not to worry, they didn’t finish either. I was given instructions by good friends Martin and Maxine to make sure I got a half decent shot of the ducks going in. Then I hotfooted it to the end but missed the arrival of the first duck. Never mind, more prosecco, mulled wine and food to warm us all through. I felt sorry for one of the guys stuck in the water fishing out the ducks – he looked nithered. I said to him cheerfully “never mind, at least you’ve got your waterproof trousers on” – to which he replied “I’ve found out they’re not waterproof” – poor lad. I was impressed with Alex who was serving on the buffet – dressed in his suit, no overcoat and still serving prosecco the correct way.
On Boxing Day evening we were treated to a Dinner/Dance, started off with handbell ringers and carols and finished with a disco. The food and wine in between was lovely.The next morning we decided to do a last short walk, so we headed off towards Wordsworth’s cottage and instead of turning towards Rydal Water, we turned up the old coffin road and then left again up towards Alcock Tarn – I mean, how steep can it be? Answer – steep. The view from the top when we eventually got there was spectacular. Being overtaken by fit young 20somethings didn’t bother us, we took our time and used the stops to take photos.
All in all, a lovely break but our legs were pleased when we got home.
Well that’s it then. I never thought I’d change – but the sheer weight of gear has directed me to look at a new camera system. My decision wasn’t easy, I like my Canon stuff and I’ve built up a decent selection of gear over the years, but, as alluded to in a previous post, my tree hugging days have seen , well, better days to be honest.
There are forums, magazines, videos and leaflets, big shops and little shops, all giving you advice, letting you try B4 you buy and offering exchanges and Black Friday deals and the like. I chose the Fuji XT-2 – the saving in weight on the Fuji, over the Canon 5D Mkiii, is great. Plus, the new sensor and range of Fuji lenses available is exciting. Neil, a friend of mine from f4 Photographic Group is going down a similar path – he had the XT-1 which he really enthused over and so the XT-2 seemed a natural choice for him. Also, there are other members of f4 who made the Fuji choice a while ago and have been more than happy with it.
Time will tell – I’ll post some samples up next week after I get stuck into the manual.
I’ve never considered myself to be a mountain goat and yesterday proved the point. My mate Pete Stockton and I, had decided to make another trip to Falling Foss. It is a pretty place with a lovely tea room serving wonderful home make cakes and other tasty treats (it was shut). Never mind, Pete had been to get some pies from Stokesly on the way and we had something to drink so all was well.
The last time we ventured there we encountered a woodland nymph crashing through the undergrowth in a pair of hiking boots with mud up to her knees declaring that she wanted to be at one with nature and took her shoes and socks off and walked towards the waterfall. All we wanted was a bit of peace and quiet.
Anyway, this time the descent was a bit easier but I have to say that choosing the wrong way back up, I needed a bit of a pull up from Pete otherwise I’d have ended up back in the stream. If he hadn’t been there I’d still be there. So this brings me on to another point. My camera bag is too heavy and having talked about changing brands to a lighter option, I’m going to have to look seriously at it.
Here’s a couple of images from the day – yes, the trees were that colour and so was the sky. It clouded over an hour after we got there and we found refuge in a nice little pub! :-