November …

… in Northumberland (and elsewhere) – a selection of images from the the month which first appeared on Blip. It started out relatively mild and I kept riding but, since the 19th the temperatures dropped, the wind got up and the Yamaha has been locked up in the garage (the other two are off road for the winter). The last game of golf was on the 23rd – I could be in for a long winter 😦

Mixed weather at Kielder

Last of the light – Northumbrian reflections

Whiteside and the epicentre of nowhere.

The Angel

Storm brewing near Hadrian’s Wall

The last golf outing – Newbiggin on the 23rd

Steamy, smokey, misty, Hexham

Remember when our songs were just like prayers.

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Monte Carlo or Bust …

… or, how one thing leads to another.

I blame Tish Farrell for this line of thought – it was the story of the allotment bottom test that had me thinking of Donald McGill and smut 😉

I walk into a shop in Hexham and announce to the lady behind the counter – “I am interested in your bust” – pregnant pause – “Ah, yes sir, you mean the one in the window”. Smirking like a schoolboy, “But of course, what else”.  That’s more or less how it happened which goes some way to explain why our house resembles a Scandi Noir crime scene (and that came from an exchange with the wonderfully creative Katherine Anne Griffiths at Photobooth Journal).

To explain – there is a torso in the bedroom created by Dennis Kilgallon and the aforementioned bust.  In the second bedroom there is half a head attached to the wall, a cast from a statue at either Belsay or Wallington Hall, I forget which.  In the lounge there is another bust and in my study/playroom, a pair of lips act as a paperweight.

Stay with me – as regular readers of this blog will be aware, I have spent three years persuading Nikon they needed to exchange my flawed Nikon D600 for the D610 and eventually they came good.  So here I am with the an expensive and very fine full frame DSLR supported by a variety of equally expensive prime lenses and what do I do – spend £26 on eBay buying a Holga pinhole lens and attach it to the D610.  These are the results:

Through a pinhole ...

Eleanor Rigby ...

Another Holga ...

The inspiration for pinhole photography came from fellow Blipper – Flashcube.

On an entirely different topic, I was back in Newbiggin again yesterday – more golf in perfect condtions. Having levelled some criticism at the Couple for being inaccessible in the previous post, I was told there is a land based equivalent, so I went looking.  I was not disappointed and yes, John Updike would be delighted to know, there are Couples:Eb and Flo ...

The Couple ...

PS – in conversation with a local, I learned they are known locally as Eb and Flo. Opinion is still divided; this particular resident would have preferred a miner and fisherman.

It started with a kiss …

Now I have your attention, I confess it started with something much more mundane – a trip to Newbiggin by the Sea to collect a waterproof jacket and trousers from the golf club.  An entirely appropriate purchase given the links were empty, the rain coming down sideways, the skies forbidding and the gulls struggling to maintain their flight plan.

We have been meaning to see the Couple for years, and so it works, public artworks attract visitors.  On the bitterest of days we walked the prom and the beach to see them staring out to sea:

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
John Masefield

When first installed, as with most public art, opinions were divided but I would be surprised if many now object; they are part of Newbiggin’s fabric, not just the couple but locals.  If I have a criticism it is that they are too inaccessible – Sean Henry‘s works are finely detailed and should be seen up close but this remains the preserve of strong swimmers and gulls.

And what came next was a desire to give the couple a permanent residence on this blog – so after nearly five years the theme has has been replaced and they have joined a number of images that randomly appear in the header – a change was long overdue.

The Couple ...

The Couple ...

The Couple ...

The Couple ...

A late addition: