Dec 132016
Tromsø in Winter (136 photos)

Between December 5th and 9th 2013, I spent four days in Tromsø, Norway, with friends Sue and Simon, hoping to see the Northern Lights. This is a photo album of our trip. This is the first 100 photos in the gallery. To see the other 36, go to the Flickr page here. Related articles Everything you need to know about visiting the Arctic

Jan 052016
2015 - a stay at home year

Despite having over a dozen overseas places on my ‘must visit’ list, 2015 was a year in which I stayed on these shores, unless you count the Channel Islands as abroad. Although outside of the United Kingdom, I don’t regard our annual holiday in Herm as a trip overseas. Holidays Apart from a day trip to Llandudno in April, my first holiday was a repeat trip to the Outer Hebrides, this time on an organised rail and coach trip. The last time I was in the Hebrides, Sandra and I flew there and drove the length of the Isles from Barra to Stornaway. [Read more]

Jun 132015
Steam, food and a golden jubilee

In 2015, the Severn Valley Railway celebrates its 50th year, having been brought back to life in 1965 after the purchase of the line from British Rail. Since then, the Railway has developed into one of the best preserved railways in the country. The journey is full of interest, as the route follows closely the course of the River Severn for most of the way on its journey between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth. Severn Valley Railway’s Kidderminster station I visited the line on a sunny Saturday in June on a day when a food festival was being held in the Engine Shed [Read more]

Apr 252015

On Saturday 18th April 2015, I visited Llandudno for the first time for seven years. I had driven eldest son Jamie to Crewe so he could do some work on a Railcam project and I had eight hours or so to spare. What better way to kill time than take a ride along the North Wales coast rail line. The route took me through Chester, passing the famous racecourse, before heading along the North Wales coast. The line runs through the seaside resorts of Rhyl, Abergele and Colwyn Bay, before branching off to Llandudno. The resorts along this coast are no longer [Read more]

Mar 212015
An aurora, an eclipse and an equinox

This week has been an exciting week for astronomers and skywatchers in the East Midlands. Within the space of four days, we saw a display of the Aurora Borealis, normally reserved for higher latitudes, as far south as Derbyshire, and a partial solar eclipse with 90% coverage. March 20th was also the spring equinox, the day when the Sun crosses the equator and moves above the Northern Hemisphere. The action started earlier in the week when a geomagnetic storm on the surface of the Sun produced a massive solar flare which collided with the Earth’s atmosphere on the evening of March 17th. The [Read more]

Mar 102015
Learning Lightroom

Since I purchased my first Apple device, a MacBook Pro, over six years ago, I have used iPhoto and latterly Aperture to manage and edit my extensive photo collection. Having over 32,000 photos, I relied heavily on Aperture to sort and search my collection. Imagine my shock when I heard that support for Aperture was being discontinued and iPhoto was being replaced by a new application, Photos. Needless to say, I was upset to hear that an application that I use almost daily was being fazed out, although Aperture will continue to work after the release of Photos. I received [Read more]

Jan 122015
2014 - where did you go to?

They say time flies by as you get older, and for me, this was certainly true in 2014. No sooner had the buds burst out on the trees, than the leaves were falling and Winter was returning to this part of the United Kingdom. I suppose the main reason the year flew by was because I was kept busy most of the time. I don’t seem to get bored, although I do have many moments when I sit around and watch the World drift by. Not having to work does give me the luxury to enjoy these quiet moments, and [Read more]

Nov 152014
Mingling with the media and the millionaires

On Wednesday 12th November 2014, local winners of the National Lottery met at the National Watersports Centre in Holme Pierrepoint, Nottingham to celebrate the 20th birthday of the National Lottery. Winners worth in total over £100 million came from all over the East Midlands to  be interviewed by the media and to enjoy a buffet lunch. Sandra and I often attend these functions, so we set off after breakfast to make the 40 minute journey. Heavy rain and traffic meant that we arrived later than planned, so there was no time to settle in before I did my first interview [Read more]

Oct 022014
Diesel Weekend Event

Over the weekend of September 13th / 14th 2014, the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley held a Diesel Event. The chance to ride behind some of the diesel engines from my youth wasn’t something I was going to miss, so on the second day of the event (a Sunday) I visited the Centre with eldest son Jamie. For once, the weather was fine and we arrived at the Centre shortly after 10:00 am. Our first port of call was Swanwick Junction Station, five minutes down the line where we spent half an hour or so taking photos of the engines [Read more]

Aug 202014
Multiple Memories

I was born in an era of steam railways, but this era was soon to come to an end, and when I reached my teenage years, steam was rapidly being replaced by diesel. My favourite form of diesel engine was the diesel multiple unit, or DMU. I fondly recall riding through the Peak District in a DMU on the Sheffield to Manchester line. DMU’s are now becoming increasingly rare, but one place that has preserved several of these units is the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, which runs through central Derbyshire between Wirksworth in the north and Duffield in the south. This [Read more]

Jul 312014
Caravanning at Kilnsea

Ever since I learned to drive, over 30 years ago, I have visited Kilnsea and Spurn Point at the mouth of the River Humber. This is a wild and windswept part of the North Sea coastline prone to coastal erosion and flooding. Spurn Point and the peninsula is a three-mile spit of sand extending out into the Humber estuary formed by the sea depositing sand eroded from the clay cliffs to the north. The peninsula is constantly moving, but sea defences built around the first World War have prevented the natural movement of sand from taking place. These defences have now [Read more]

Dec 312013
2013 - thanks for the memories

2013 was a year that will always by in my memory, thanks to the wedding of my eldest son Jamie, to his long-time partner Alice, and four amazing holidays. My trips this year took me to the Outer Hebrides, along the railways of North Wales and return visits to Tromsø and Herm. Jamie’s and Alice’s Wedding The wedding took place on June 8th and was a day to remember. The ceremony took place in the Booking Office of the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley and was followed by lunch on a steam train, which made several journeys along the line [Read more]

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