Monthly Archives: March 2014

Seasonal Musings and Some Amazing News!


Much going on at the moment … I’ve been a tour widow for the last couple of weeks as the boy has been off in Germany and now in South Wales and Devon. The irony being that I booked this tour for him last year, to include all my favourite places to visit and loveliest folk clubs because, as I’ve mentioned on here before, I love going travelling with the boy, only to find that I’ve been so busy with other commitments that I’ve not been able to go with him. So it’s been Skype and phones all the way for quite a while, which is no mean feat when I’m working all day and he’s working at night. I’m just keeping myself going thinking about all the lovely travelling we have planned for the summer! Roll on summer!

In the meantime – Spring is making its presence felt. It has been commented on by The Twisted Yarn┬áthat there are many daffodils around on blogs at the moment, so I thought I’d add my contribution:



I just have to make one other comment on here, and it’s a bit away from the usual types of things I post about. As you’ll know if you’ve had a look at my homepage, this is my ‘happy place’ where I post nice things, but this is a different kind of ‘good’. You see today, the Department of Health in the UK has agreed that a vaccine against Group B Meningitis should become part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule. This is really, really mega news and I just feel I have to record it here.

In early 2003 we lost my eldest nephew, Luke to Group B Meningococcal Meningitis and septicaemia at the age of 7 months, and since then my family has done lots of fundraising and other things to support meningitis charities and try to raise awareness. I can remember thinking at the time how I would feel when they announced that a useable vaccine had been discovered. At the time it seemed so far off, as then research was ongoing, but there was no vaccine. Since then the vaccine has been discovered and trialled, but in recent time has only been available privately, as initial reports suggested that it was not ‘cost effective’ to be made available as a matter of routine. However today, following much campaigning on the part of some amazing charities, we hear that babies will routinely be immunised against this horrible, horrible disease. This really is the very best of news, and needs to be recorded in my ‘happy place’. You can read more about the vaccine and today’s announcement here.

Anyway, not a usual blog – but it kept up the ‘happy’ theme and it did include a photo!

Happy weekend and thanks as ever for visiting!



Filed under Photography

Sweet Sunshine and Lovely Nancy

Now then … Hope you’re enjoying the spring light as I am! It’s been beautiful around here today, including the most perfect ‘Golden Hour’ where I had to get out with my camera. Recently, hanging yellow bikes of various sizes have been appearing all over our village. This is to mark the fact that in just a matter of weeks, the Tour de France is going to be travelling through the village (passing the end of our little terrace.) These yellow bikes are in such lovely places, and I’m sure this isn’t going to be the only photo I manage. Apart from anything, there’s a life-size one on top of the pub, and it, along with the chimneys is just dying to be an HDR perspective shot. Just as soon as I can figure out how to get high up enough in the right place without actually becoming Spider-Man.

Anyway … To be going on with –


On an unrelated topic – my lovely mate Nancy Kerr has started a blog about her music and songwriting, and about traditional and folk music more widely. Nancy is an award-winning singer and fiddler and what she has to say is definitely worth a read. You can find her lovely musings here.

Love and peas, and thanks for visiting.


Filed under Folk Music, Outdoors, Photography


Ok, so 2 posts in a day may be a tad excessive, but I’ve been messing around with photography again, specifically testing out HDR on my beautiful concertina.

Can’t help but take the opportunity for a bit of Tina-Geekery though … so if this isn’t your thing, skip to the Pickies!

For those who don’t know (but would like to) this instrument is an English Concertina. It is a chromatic ‘squeezebox’ with the same pitch range as a fiddle. It was invented in 1830 (ish) by Charles Wheatstone. The one pictured here is my favourite of my concertinas and is the one I usually play. (It had a particularly enjoyable night out last night, playing in a session in Manchester!) It dates from approximately 1906, though as it is a Lachenal make it is not possible to date it precisely. Louis Lachenal was originally Wheatstone’s foreman, but set up his own business making concertinas. The reason why his instruments can’t be dated is because of a fire in the factory that destroyed the archives.

This particular instrument was made for the Salvation Army who, around the time the instrument was made, had concertina bands as well as brass bands. This instrument came from my father-in-law’s Citadel in Doncaster. It is a ‘New Model’ with rosewood ends (which is quite unusual) and has steel reeds and domed metal buttons. It is a thing of beauty and makes a fabulous sound!

A fairly accurate representation!

A fairly accurate representation!

And some silliness!

Thanks for visiting!


Filed under Folk Music, Photography

Great Names for Beers #101!


Is good, no? I think I sense another blog theme in the making.

Wonder if anyone else fancies sharing their ‘finds’ … ???

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Filed under Folk Music, Photography

Keswick #1

Just back from the best few days away in the Lake District. So much photo editing to do, but just couldn’t resist a teeny tiny post with a couple of teasers!

If you go down in the woods today ...

If you go down in the woods today …

I spent a lot of time photographing Jon over the weekend … portraits to follow, but above is some silliness by Derwentwater!

Bald Eagle

We saw some great wildlife at a park near Lake Bassenthwaite, including this Bald Eagle. Yay for the telephoto lens!

Hope you’ve had a nice weekend too.

Thanks for visiting.

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Filed under Outdoors, Photography