My littlest monkey is currently obsessed with krakens. Well, krakens, octopuses (I thought the plural of octopus should be octopi, but apparently not), squid and all things cephalopod.
So, to try and keep him entertained for a while, we went for a visit to The Deep in Hull.
If you don't know about The Deep, it's a massive aquarium with over 3000 creatures including sharks, sawfish, ray fish, sea turtles, jellyfish and much more. They've even got penguins! They've got pretty much everything except an octopus...
For more info on The Deep, click HERE.
We hadn't visited since not long after it opened about 16 years ago, but to be honest it seemed pretty much the same - only in my mind it had been bigger the last time. The place was still packed, the restaurant still crowded and noisy and the ticket prices were still an arm and a leg. Although they do last for a year - handy if you're local, but not so much when you're over an hours drive away.
Reading that back all sounds super negative, but I'm a grumpy dad - we love to moan! Apart from that, my little dude loved it. Although I think he loved the gift shop most of all - he managed to fleece me in there too!
After a couple of hours there, we went for a wander round town to see the sights and grab some food. We also called into the Hull Maritime Museum and gazed at the exhibits - the most impressive being a massive whale skeleton and also a couple of polar bears. There's lots of fishing heritage in there and a staggering amount of memorials of sailors lost at sea. Quite heartbreaking to see - especially when a lot of them were younger than my eldest.
My other half used to live in Hull as a student, and we followed her idea to search for the smallest window in England. We ended up having to Google it and found it about 2 minutes walk from where we were! I was initially disappointed it didn't match the image I had in my head, but had to admit it was kinda cool.
That's enough waffling - here are some snaps.
Gear used: Fujifilm XPro2, Fuji 18mm.
We fancied a little trip to the seaside last week, so we jumped into the Adventure Mobile™ and headed for the coast.
We started with a chilled out walk round Staithes before heading down to Whitby for fish and chips and then on to Saltwick Bay to visit the shipwreck of the Admiral Von Tromp.
A proper chill out in the fresh seaside air.
Here's some snaps.
For more info on the mystery of the Admiral, click HERE.
Gear used: Fujifilm X100F.
After seeing lots of articles the last few weeks regarding the 75th anniversary of the crash landing of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress in Sheffield, we decided to head on down there for a little family walk and visit the spot dedicated to the 10 USAF Airmen that lost their lives that day.
The story has garnered lots of media attention recently, after a journalist spotted Tony tending the memorial and listened to his story. Posting the info on social media, the attention received was staggering and a memorial flyby was held on the 22nd February - 75 years after the crash in 1944.
Unfortunately, we couldn't get to visit for the flyby, but about 10,00 others did - including relatives of the air crew. The sight must have been awesome!
Tony had been playing in the park with friends that day, as the battle damaged B-17 bomber appeared low over the rooftops searching for a place to land. Seeing the children on his hopeful landing spot, the pilot eventually crash landed in the trees, resulting in the loss of all on board. The pilot, Lieutenant John Kriegshauser, was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery in minimising the loss of life through his actions.
The 'Mi Amigo' was returning from it's mission to Aalborg, Denmark, where it had come under attack from German Focke-Wulf fighters - resulting in heavy damage and 3 mortally wounded crew members. The pilot and copilot managed to navigate back to England through terrible weather conditions, but suffered engine failure over Sheffield, forcing them to land.
Tony has tended to the crash site since 1953, after learning the significance of the crash and how the pilot had spared the children's lives at the expense of their own. In 1969, a memorial was built by the RAF to honour the airmen. Tony has selflessly tended to the area almost daily ever since.
On our visit, we'd been at the memorial for only a few minutes before Tony himself approached us through the trees. We weren't expecting to see him, but we were so glad we did. It was an honour to shake the hand of this gentleman.
He also posed for a photo with my little Sea Cadet, who wants to join the Navy when he's older. Such an awesome memory for him to treasure.
When asking about Tony's personal wreath laid at the back of the memorial, he told us that that's also the place reserved for his ashes to be laid when he passes. That certainly brought a tear to the eye. What an amazing man.
A few more snaps.
We left Tony to be interviewed once again and carried on our little walk.
Endcliffe Park is a lovely place to visit. Even on a gloomy, rainy February day (typically it was red hot the day before we went!)
For more info on the place, click HERE.
Some more snaps from our walk.
Gear used: Fujifilm X100F
The little monkey had been nattering us to take him for a picnic, so earlier this week we headed over the hills to revisit Dovestone Reservoir.
Dovestone sits at the edge of Saddleworth, on the Manchester side of the Moors at the edge of the Peak District. It's a lovely, chilled out walk round. For some info, click HERE.
The weather was a bit dull, but a few glimpses of blue kept our hopes up, and we explored a few bits we'd not seen before. A little picnic kept the monster happy and all was well until half way round. The bit dull turned to very dull, and then to complete downpour for the rest of the walk. We sheltered in the trees for a bit, but still got absolutely drenched by the time we got back to the car!
We still had fun though. And Mr Little Legs walked the entire route without a single complaint. That's deffo one for the books!
Here are some snaps.
Gear used: Fujifilm X100F
The weather's been miserable again, but we donned our jackets and went deer spotting for an hour to get out of the house.
I'd only recently learned that these were close by, so stuck the camera in the bag and went for some snaps.
These were a bit rushed - as my 4 year old is not the most patient companion, so hoping to return soon for some more.
Gear used: Fujifilm XPro2, 50-230.
Christmas is over, everything is back to normal and it's pretty safe to say that everyone has the rubbish-weather-post-Christmas-blues. So, we decided to remedy this by nipping to Scarborough for some fish n chips!
It was a proper flying visit - we basically drove there, walked on the seafront, had some chips, walked down the harbour and marina, went in the arcade, walked back along the beach and drove home!
The weather was half decent for us - it wasn't too cold, but the wind made it colder. It stayed dry all day though.
It was also surprisingly busy - I guess plenty of others were clinging onto that holiday feeling!
Here are some snaps.
Gear used: Fujifilm XPro2, 35mm 1.4
Following on from last weeks duties, today saw my little Sea Cadet took part in the South Elmsall Armistice Day Parade.
The day started with a grey gloomy sky, which soon turned into a good ol' British drizzle. All the representing cadets were outstanding regardless of the weather. The mix of uniforms was a sight to behold as they marched down the main street.
Sea Cadets, Army Cadets, Air Cadets, Yorkshire Rose First Aid Society, Town Council members, Royal British Legion and local schools all paraded proudly and brilliantly accompanied by the Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band and escorted by a solo RBL Rider. (Apologies if I missed anyone).
And here, in all their glory, are our outstanding Sea Cadets. Proud parent time for all of us watching.
David Lee Evans
26/3/1972 - 11/4/2018
My little Sea Cadet kicked off Remembrance duties last week with the Poppy Appeal Launch in South Elmsall - along with his fellow Sea Cadets, volunteers, members of the Town Council, Royal British Legion and military veterans.
All the Sea Cadets performed brilliantly as they did their duties. Kitted out in their finest, they paraded brilliantly onto the pitch before doing the rounds selling poppies and collecting for the Poppy Appeal. I even spotted a few doing the bin-bag rounds collecting rubbish!
In-between their duties they also had time to stand and relax with the rest of the staff, parents and fans as we all watched the match turn into a victory for England with a final score of 36-20.
A proper proud-parent day for me and his mum.
Here are a few snaps from the day. (Although I've got to say - trying to take snaps at a rugby match with a compact camera is a bit of a challenge!)
And, last but not least, a full photo of the players and cadets. Spot my little Cadet right in the middle of things!
(Photo courtesy of the Wakefield Sea Cadets.)
A few weeks ago we jumped into the car and headed up North to the top of Cumbria.
We stayed in a little caravan park in Silloth - a little town on the shores of the Solway Firth.
I was up there to do a charity walk along Hadrian's Wall, spending a few days with the fam before and after the event. Unfortunately, I had to cut the walk short after an ITB injury, but every cloud has a silver lining and it meant I got a few more days with the fam before we headed home.
Although I had to hobble everywhere...
We did our usual stuff - exploring the hills, beach walks, sea side towns, fishing villages, wildlife spotting, stone skimming, trying to keep the kids entertained when it rained...
And of course, we ate lots of chips!
The last night there was beautiful. We sat by a campfire on the beach while we watched the sun go down and the stars come out. Perfect.
Going home is always the worst bit, so we turned it into a little bit of a road trip and visited Keswick in the Lake District, then on down to Ribblehead Viaduct in the Yorkshire Dales.
As always, I took too many photos...
Gear used: Fuji X100F, Fuji XPro2, 35mm 1.4, 50-230, Samyang 12mm.
Last night we decided to have a wander round Frickley Park as it's another one of those places-on-your-doorstep that we'd never been to.
When I was a nipper I used to play on the old colliery site here all the time. We'd play near the old pit pump ponds at the bottom and walk through the woods at the back, looking for conkers and riding motorbikes on (what I called) 'the quarry' part at the back of the old folks bungalows on the Westfield Lane side - although these have all gone too. I also used to cut across from the Frickley FC side (who remembers the 'you'll never walk alone' painting on the wall?) as a short cut when walking from my grandad's on Pine Street to my auntie's house down on Elmsdale Close. I used to love it here - the wide open spaces made me feel like a proper explorer. I grew up next to Kirkby pit too and always enjoyed exploring there - although I was scared of 'the tunnel' and always managed to go home filthy!
Anyway, we had a little walk round. We started by exploring a little field of sunflowers before heading onto the old lines and following them back down to join the path into the park. The park is lovely. The developers have done an awesome job. There's over 7 miles of foot and cycle paths criss-crossing through it. There's also a few little nods to the site's mining history dotted about. A nice touch.
We didn't get time to walk round everywhere as the sun was dropping quick, but we'll deffo be back for more. It's a proper little den of tranquility. We need more regeneration of our little mining villages.
For more info on the park click HERE.
Here are a few snaps.
Gear used: Fujifilm XPro1, 35mm 1.4
Thought I'd start this little blog to let people know what we get up to. Some personal stuff thrown in the mix too.