While we were down in Leicester, we decided to have a little explore. We had initially planned to go visit Ashby de la Zouch Castle, but the weather was a bit too grim for that!
Our first stop was the New Walk Museum where we went to have a nosey at the dino bones and the Egyptian mummies. Freddie was a bit scared of the Egyptian bit, but enjoyed looking at some of the animals - especially the owl. His favourite bit was playing with the gemstones in the gift shop! For more info on the museum, click HERE.
After the museum we drove up to Notts, had some scran at the very nice Badger Box and then went to have a nosey round an old Church built in 1356 (the site is older though, the present church replaces an older one on the same site).
The church was pretty cool, a few nice old details left and lots of gravestones from the 17th and 18th Centuries in the yard. The coolest bit though, was the old Hall and the gatehouse to the rear. Built in the mid 1300s, it was once home to Mary Chaworth, who was the lover of the poet Lord Byron. Lord Byron's uncle actually killed (the then) Lord Chaworth in a duel in the gardens of the house. Very cool place with a lot of history - the home of some very powerful families in Nottingham. Wouldn't mind a revisit to get into the grounds!
Here are a few snaps.
We popped down to Leicester on Saturday, to have a little meeting with Anna and Matt, and have a nosey around their wedding venue where they will be tying the knot next year.
I took a camera along and twisted their arms until they agreed to a few shots around the place! When I say a few, I mean a few - it was pretty much freezing out there!
They were champs though, and we had a few laughs as we moseyed around the place - I'm not big on posing people, I prefer to try and let it flow to get a more natural feel.
It was lovely to meet you two, looking forward to getting back down there next year for the main event!
Here are a few snaps.
I love lazy Sundays. A lie in, a late breakfast and a generally relaxing day. But today we decided to liven things up a bit and go and jump around the local skatepark!
I had some new gear to test, so grabbed a camera and took it along with my two youngest boys to grab some snaps. I took a fisheye lens to get some crazy angles going on.
Alfie enjoyed a little bit of skating - he's not been out on his board a great deal, so is still finding his feet. He considered dropping into one of the ramps, but settled for posing for photos at the top!
Freddie enjoyed a few tries on the board, but was happier playing with his ball for a bit before heading over to the slide.
A bit of fun with my boys. A perfect Sunday.
Some snaps of my skater boys.
(P.S. Last pic is when we got home - I still annoyed him with the camera even while taking his shoes off!)
My little ginger ninja likes to dress up. Whether it be in full camo gear and assault vest for a walk in the woods, full basketball kit to shoot some hoops in the local park, or dressing like a little gent like he did today for our trip out to dinner.
On our way out I grabbed my little Fuji X70 and a little flash and we stopped off on the way home to grab a few snaps as the sun was going down.
He managed to keep a serious posing face for most of it, but his cheeky little smile popped through at the end!
He thinks he looks like a crime boss from Gotham. His mum thinks he looks like a mini Doctor Who!
Here he is, my little poser.
We decided to make the most of the sunshine on Valentine's Day and made a roadtrip to the coast.
We jumped in the Adventure Mobile™ and headed up to Saltburn-By-The-Sea to walk on the beach and eat chips on the pier. After a few hours it was time to jump back in the car and head further down the coast to Robin Hood's Bay where we walked down the steepest hill known to man, through the little windy streets and quaint little shops to the little slipway at the bottom where we stood and watched the waves crashing in. And slowly froze half to death! It was a good job we'd all brought flasks full of hot chocolate to warm us back up again!
It was an awesome day spent with the family. The fresh air and a bit of sunshine almost made us forget it was still wintertime for a minute or two!
As usual, I took far too many photos - here are some of em.
One of my favourite things, when I'm shooting a wedding, is watching the antics of the little guests.
Kids are awesome. And tiring. And then awesome again.
I've got 3 of my own, so I know how they can go from the cutest things on the planet one minute, to making you want to pull your hair out the next. There's a reason that people invented alcohol - and I'd wager a bet that a screaming 2 year old was behind it!
I love the little moments at a wedding - the ones that the Bride and Groom very rarely see until they get their photos back. That's what I like to do. I like to capture these little moments forever. Photos that can be shown in 10 years time when they think they're all grown up!
I love these moments - bridal prep where two sisters are like little Princesses getting ready for the Ball. Sneaking little selfies on their phones. Ceremonies where the kids are that bored that they haven't realised the hymn book is upside down. Outside the church where confetti wars are the best thing on the Earth for 5 minutes. At the reception where they can't manage any more food, but demolish the sweetie cart in half an hour flat. Sneaky fingers going for the wedding cake. Bubbles and balloons - these are two of the greatest inventions to keep a kid busy that have ever been made! The quiet moments, when two 10 year olds can sit in conversation like a couple of 50s housewives and two 15 year olds can chase each other around like they're 9 again. The dancefloor, where they let loose like the adults daren't, when sliding is still the best thing in the world and swirly dresses make awesome twirls like they see on TV.
They all catch me eventually, and I get the goofy grin or the embarrassed smile or the covered face or the squeal of laughter. Sometimes I even get a pose!
These are precious moments. Moments which can, and will, be cherished forever.
There's one thing that kids can teach us - and that's how to live. Now. In the moment. Live every second without a care about what's next. Cry out your frustrations for a few minutes, but then carry on being the King or Queen of your world.
We all need to live like kids sometimes.
But, don't worry if you don't have kids, or there's no kids at your wedding. After a few drinks down our necks, us adults soon shed the worry of adulting and start acting like kids again anyway...
Here are a few of those moments.
The weather has been a bit pants lately. Everyone in the family has been ill on and off for weeks and it seems as though it's been forever since we've had a decent family walk. So, this afternoon we donned our big coats and boots and whizzed across to the YSP.
Alfie has been doing a home education project on America and one of the topics he chose to look into was Native American art. Once we found out that a genuine Totem Pole was carved at the park (by Tim Paul, an artist of the Nuu-chah-nulth people) it was deffo time for a visit.
It was cold, damp, muddy and, after about an hour of walking, it started to snow!
Our oldest lad, Joshua, moaned most of the way - in a typical teenage whine, our middle boy, Alfie, had a great time with his camera, and ran around as only someone with 11-year-old-boy energy can and our little monkey, Freddie, absolutely loved the colourful octopus and also jumped in everything that looked like a muddy-puddle that he could find! (That Peppa Pig has a lot to answer for!)
The YSP is a cool place. It's pretty much out of season at the minute, so there's lots of work going on and lots of paths closed due to the weather etc. There's lots of installations and exhibitions - some I like and some I'm kind of 'meh' about. But that's the beauty of art I suppose - if we all liked the same thing, it'd be a boring world! For more info on the park click HERE.
I had a new camera to test, so took far too many photos.
Here are a few.
I thought I'd put a blog post together to show what I get up to in my spare time.
I have a strong fascination with all things broken and abandoned. I love rusty steel and twisted metal, broken stones and mossy rocks, shattered glass and age old bottles, broken clocks and worn-out watches. I love to stand in a place where men and women once toiled and bled, the industry long since gone and their efforts forgotten. I love the feel of walking down a hospital corridor where cries of joy and tears of sadness would never be heard again, just the eerie silence of something forgotten - maybe the occasional patter of dripping water from the now broken ceilings. I love to sit in a chair where someone once spent the majority of their daily grind, see the random bits of graffiti carved into the desks, wondering who the initials 'JB' belonged to or whether 'Steve' still loved 'Alice'. The sadness of some of these places can bring a tear to your eye, the thoughts of someone's job gone as another steelworks or mill closed their doors. Some of the sights can be breathtaking too - the grandeur of the details in the building, the size of the doorways, the handwritten signs and the craftwork in the smallest window.
So, here are a few snaps of some of the places that I've visited. Abandoned mills, steelworks, factories, potteries, hospitals, asylums, collieries, churches, mortuaries, houses and mansions. Broken RAF bases, trainyards, garages, farms and barns. Lost cemeteries and junkyards.
I try to see the beauty in the broken. The splendour of the past in the grime of the present.
Have a nosey through - someone you know, knew or loved could have once walked these halls, drove these cars, sat in these chairs and watched these clocks, just waiting for the weekend...
Thought I'd start this little blog to let people know what we get up to. Some personal stuff thrown in the mix too.