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
With the weather turning for the worse, we jumped up at the first sign of a non-rainy day, threw our big coats on and jumped in the car to have a little trip to look at the local Wentworth follies. I talked about the follies on THIS blog post a while back, but hadn't really had a chance to check them out until now.
I love autumn. The colours, the leaves - everything is a photographer's dream.
The first stop was Hoober Stand.
Hoober Stand is a pyramidal tower that stands just shy of a hundred feet on a little hill at roughly 157 metres above sea level. Construction was completed in 1748 and was to commemorate the quashing of the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion.
And it looks awesome.
I love pyramids and angled buildings. Shooting this from the side reminds me of one of my favourite buildings in New York - the Flatiron Building. The setting where it sits is also quite nice. My kids love the woods and there was a nice little bit of woodland here for them to go crazy in.
Next stop - Needle's Eye.
The Needle is just down the road from Hoober. A quick 150 yard walk up the footpath from the roadside brings you right to it. It looks pretty bizarre, a sandstone pyramid just sitting at the top of a little rise on it's own.
I do love a pyramid though!
The story behind this one is a little vague. It was apparently built in the mid-18th Century for the Marquis of Rockingham to win a bet that he could drive a horse and carriage through the eye of a needle. Measurements confirm that it would have been possible - so that brings a little bit of merit to the story. Rich folk have far too much time and money on their hands if you ask me!
There's also a little part that made my missus get a good case of the goosebumps - along one side of the pyramid are a grouping of musketball holes at head and torso height, suggesting that this may once have been a site of an execution by firing squad.
Next stop - Keppel's Column.
On the way we happened across a field of Highland cows, so obviously had to stop for a few snaps. A snorting big shaggy cow is a pretty awesome sight when it's a foot away from you. I'm glad there was a gate in the way!
The Column is a 115 foot tower built to commemorate the the acquittal of the court-martialled Admiral Augustus Keppel after the Battle of Ushant.
The tower sits on another hill, not quite as high as Hoober, but still a pretty good viewpoint.
The tower is in a bit of a sorry state. Not open to the public anymore, but it still stands tall and impressive on the rise.
This one is basically 'park at the side and take a photo'. The kids didn't even get out of the car.
And that's the follies! Here are a couple of snaps.
Gear used: Fujifilm X70 with the WCLX70 fitted.
Went out to the Rockley Engine House and Furnace for a bit of fresh air (and for Alfie to wear his new classic army pouches!)
I like Rockley. There's not much there, but the woods have cool trees, there's mega vines everywhere, there's a little stream, it's always quiet and the ruins are cool.
The furnace is from 1700 and the engine house is dated 1813, but reported to be older. The engine house once housed a pumping engine that kept the local Iron mines dry.
And it looks a bit like a castle with the castellated top - so kids love it!
Freddie's favourite part of the day was 'trampoline log bouncing'. And yep - he fell off. Laughing.
Here's some snaps.
Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, Samyang 12mm, Fuji 35mm 1.4,
Everyone has been stuck in the house for a few weeks - with non-stop runny noses, sniffles and all the other little general things that go round and round making everyone feel rubbish. So the other morning, while mummy was seriously under the weather, we tucked her back into bed and went for a little walk in the local woods - to get some fresh air back into the lungs.
The boys wanted to take their toy guns to run around with - but as you can see, Alfie went full on Assault Team Ginger...
Sometimes that bit of fresh air is all it needs to perk you back up. And it's always beautiful in the woods this time of year.
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.
We had a lovely little explore in the woods. My littlest enjoyed throwing stones in the water, collecting as many sticks as he could possibly carry and generally being a little mucky monster.
His big brother Alfie enjoyed searching for acorns, conkers and pine cones, whilst trying to spot the local wildlife.
I obviously spent the time pretending I was one of the Goonies, or recreating one of my favourite boyhood movies - Stand By Me. One day I'll grow up...
Here's a few snaps.
We've been planning this shoot for a while and today we managed to get some shots -
Kayleigh had been dying to get out and get some shots of herself in her Prom dress.
We wanted to take the formality of the dress out into some less than formal environments, so we had a little shoot at the old Priory and then on into the woods to get some greenery.
Kayleigh is super shy, but still modelled like a champ for me.
Here are some snaps.
It was Friday afternoon and the weather was a bit rubbish, so I had the genius idea to spend a night in the woods. I packed up my rucksack with a tarp and a bivvy bag and jumped on my mountain bike for a little microadventure.
Then it went wrong.
A couple of miles down the road I had a bit of a bike malfunction. This is what happens when you leave your bike stood for a while and don't get it serviced!
Once dropped off, I said my goodbyes once again and wandered into the deep, dark woods. They're not that deep and dark to be honest, but for the sake of a bit of adventure, we'll just pretend a little!
After a bit of a walk I found the perfect spot and sat down and had a cuppa and enjoyed the silence and solitude. I've usually got three kids making a racket, so it made a refreshing change!
The weather had turned even duller, with a few spots of rain coming down so I threw up my tarp to keep my kit dry. Photo opportunities were a bit limited due to the rain and pretty soon it was full on dark.
After taking a few long exposures of the woods, I cooked up some dinner and hit the sack - hoping for a nice clear day and a decent sunrise in the morning.
I didn't get one.
The rain was relentless through the night and into the morning, so I packed up my gear, removed all traces of where I'd stayed and headed back through the woods to take a few more snaps before a nice leisurely 8 mile walk home.
I wished I'd had the bike!
Here are a few snaps.
Disclaimer: Wild camping is mostly illegal in England as the majority of land is privately owned and permission must be granted by the landowner. However, I believe this to be almost impossible in most instances. I love the outdoors, and always treat it with respect. I collected all my rubbish and removed all traces of where I had stayed. Like the age old quote says - take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints.
Took my littlest monster for a walk yesterday to our local woods. It was just the two of us - a little daddy and boy time. His little legs managed to complete a full two mile loop all by himself - although we did stop a zillion times! We threw stones and twigs, scooped leaves into the air, blew dandelion clocks and picked lots of flowers. I say pick - he pretty much pulled them into a million pieces! By the time we'd finished, he looked like a little mucky snot monster with leaves for hair and fingernails from a Saw movie!
He loved every second of it.
And so did I!
Here are a few snaps from our little walk.
Thought I'd start this little blog to let people know what we get up to. Some personal stuff thrown in the mix too.