Caroline Vera Store – RIP

I finally started to get over a series of colds this month. We had also booked a day off work. We went off for a Yoga course. The yoga course was based on animal forms and as before it was a great day.

Later in the month we started to get worried about nan. She had got a cold and had stopped eating. Nan was very much a lady who did what she wanted and she told the doctor in no uncertain terms that she was not going to hospital.

The Friday before we were due to go on holiday we got the news that she was very ill. The Saturday, and the first day of our holiday in Wales we got the sad news. Nan had been admitted to hospital and had died that morning. We headed back that Monday helped my mother sort out the details.

Thanks to all the family and friends who helped and came to the funeral.

The BMF Show

The BMF show had seemed so far away and we had done no planning at all, but suddenly it was Friday and the start of the BMF camping weekend. We had booked for the whole weekend and so the morning was spent having a final sort and check, getting all the camping gear together and strapping it all to the bikes.

First off was the Deauville (Honda NT650V), top box and panniers for Caroline and the airbed, and the sleeping bags strapped to the pillion seat, not forgetting the camping stove and fuel also in the left hand pannier.

Then we loaded up the ‘S’ (BMW R1100S), panniers with Richard’s stuff and cooking pots, miscellaneous camping bits, and lastly the tent strapped to the pillion seat.

After a practice load, we then wrapped everything in carrier bags and bin liners and strapped it all down. All that was left was the tank bags which would hold waterproofs, spare gloves and of course the radios. We had bike to bike radios to help us out. Always nice to have a natter while you ride.

It was now time for the off, a gentle ride down the A15, stopping at a tea shop in Folkingham.

As we pulled into Folkingham it had just started to rain, so we were glad to stop for a very nice late lunch. While finishing our lunch the rain clouds blew away and we carried on to Peterborough in the dry, once there it was just a matter of following the signs to the BMF show. That at least was the theory, we missed the first turn but still managed to get there in the end.

We soon found a good spot on the campsite, unloaded the bikes and setup the tent. We were then ready for the evenings entertainment.

As usual there was stalls for food, a large marque for the bands and a bar. The bar was a bit disappointing, only your common beer and lager – nothing interesting. There used to be a large bar with loads of different beers, this was something they should re-introduce. Also there was no bonfire this year. The fair proved popular despite the showers of rain. After Beer, Bands and Pasties it was time for bed.

Come morning and a camp fire breakfast, its was time for the show proper. High on the list was the Honda, Moto-guzzi, and Triumph stands. The Pan European still did not fit Richard much better then the old one but the new Deauville was nice, but he feels that he has out grown it. Too much weight and not enough power.

Both of us have had soft spots for Moto-guzzi’s for many years and ever since Caroline saw the Moto-guzzi Breva 750 at the NEC show she has wanted one. Richard prefers the 1100cc Breva but both are good looking bikes.

The Triumph ST was also a good looking bike with the three under seat exhausts but the Rocket was simply stunning! They also had a Rocket trike!

The entertainment was great, but the highlights were the short track racing and the stunt team, see below!

Nan’s 90th Birthday


Saturday was Nan’s 90th Birthday. There were 5 generations present. Two of Nan’s daughters, Three Grandchildren, One Great Grandchild and One Great, Great Grandchild.

A lovely evening was had and some had travelled hundreds of miles to be there.
Thanks to everyone and the staff of the Nursing Home for making it a great occasion.

Update – 02/01/2007
This was the last birthday that nan saw, she died shortly after.

Our North Yorkshire Holiday

A whole week booked off but where to go. A favorite place for us is Whitby. This time we decided to stay in a little village called Hutton-le-Hole, we had stayed there before in a lovely Bed and Breakfast called Burnley House.

Off we set on Sunday morning. Normally I drag Caroline via every B road going, taking all day to get to our destination, but the car is getting a little elderly now. Caroline bought a VW Polo from new, over ten years ago, and its given her reliable service for all those years. This last two years we have broken down three times and we are going to have to face facts that we will have to go car shopping.

We left via Durham bridge, paying our 25 pence toll and headed for the A1. Straight up the A1 then we swung right onto the Thirsk to Scarborough Road. The difficulty was Sutton bank. It was a slow climb up the escarpment in first gear but we made it! Once we had got to the top we stopped at the National Trust Visitors centre for soup and coffee. Excellent soup! The entrance hall contains a rather interesting wood sculpture as can be seen here:

Arriving at Hutton-le-Hole we were welcomed at Burnley House by Caroline the owner. She made us feel welcome with tea, coffee and two slices of victoria sponge. We rested in our room then went to the local village pub for an evening meal.

For our first full day in North Yorkshire we decided to have a short walk through through the village taking pictures of the church and village centre, giving our new digital compact a good try out.

We then headed off to Whitby and took some photographs before visiting our favorite coffee shop, Mulberrys. As we had both had a huge cooked breakfast at Burnley House I thought I would just order a latte with cinnnamon, and some olives and bread. I was somewhat surprised when a huge plate of different breads and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip arrived, with the coffee and olives. This was far more then I expected for the price.

After this wonderful meal, we wondered around Whitby some more. If you are ever in Whitby on the north side. Head on up to the Whitby Sutcliffe Gallery. He was a photographer at the turn of the century who took some wonderful shots of the people and the local area. I went around Whitby taking lots of shots and as you can see here I have tried to replicate one of his photographs. Yes I am sad, I took an Apple G4 12″ Powerbook to do some digital darkroom work in the evenings!

That evening the local pup was closed so we headed out to the next village Lastingham and their local pub the Blacksmiths Arms, very good food and good ale. We might be heading back that way on the bikes as they also do accommodation, looks good for a weekend break.

Tuesday saw us getting ready for our first walk of the holiday. A short circular walk based at Hutton-le-Hole and with the half way point at Lastingham.

The weather was fine and a gentle but cold wind was whisking the clouds over, causing the light to change moment by moment. One moment clear blue skies and bright sunlight, then overcast and dull. There has been a fair bit of rain during the night so we made sure we were ready for all the weather cold throw at us. Together with walking poles and gaiters we would easily cope with anything we might meet.

We left the car park of the bed and breakfast and headed past the road. We passed the lovely church and then turned right to start the walk proper. Through the fields over a small bridge and then into the trees, we went up and down until we emerged from trees beside the road to Lastingham. We followed this for a short distance then turned off into the moors. Once again, up and down we went, at one point we had a small stream we had to ford, walking poles defiantly help in this type of situation.

Eventually we came to the sign on the moors for Lastinghamwe turned and went down hill into the village. Here we took a break, visited the church and crypt before heading out over the fields to make our way back to Hutton-le-Hole. All in all a wonderful walk.

Well we will not bore you any more, suffice to to say we enjoyed the holiday immensely, visited lots of lovely villages in the area, walked part of the Cleveland Way and had many fine meals in local pubs.

Happy New Year to Everyone

A New Year and its going to be new start to my photography.

The last couple of years has seen me do very little photography.  I used to shoot at lot of landscapes, architecture and studio work,  I had even  shot the odd model portfolio for a Peterborough model agency.

But for some reason the creative side of me lost interest in photography.

Luckily for me we have a few keen photographers here at work, and them together with inspiration from internet sites such as Luminous Landscape sparked my interest again.

I had always ignored digital, not as good, not real, and the cameras were slow and hard to use.

Last year showed me that digital cameras has started to come of age. I had the pleasure of shooting with Canon 1DII , and I also got to try the Nikon D70, both were a pleasure to shoot with.

I have decided that i’ll give digital a try and to that end I have purchased a basic Nikon digital compact, to get me started.

There is a lot to learn but the adventure starts next month.