Another Year

It is the 7th January as I write and Christmas already seems long ago.  The decorations have returned to the loft and it is as though it never happened.  Except, sitting in the dining room/study/my playroom (note the evolution) the evidence is there for all to see – a half built Tamiya Monster Beetle which will eventually play host to the GoPro camera and, a stack of new books.  As this is part personal diary, I will use this as an excuse to list them – they reflect my passions and tastes in a way that nothing else can.  I am grateful to a well-informed Santa (and friends and relations 🙂 )

  • Alan Bennett’s Keeping On Keeping On – because I have read everything else he has produced;
  • John Simpson’s We Chose to Speak of War and Strife – as above;
  • Damon Hill’s Watching the Wheels – because his dad was a childhood hero and this most thoughtful of racing drivers promises an intriguing insight to his and his late father’s character;
  • Rick Broadbent’s That Near-Death Thing – Inside the Isle of Man TT – no explanation necessary;
  • Julian Ryder’s MotoGP Season Review 2016 – again, no explanation required;
  • John Berger‘s Here is Where We Meet – a late convert to this man’s fine work, I have some catching up to do;
  • Colm Tóibín’s Mothers and Sons – anyone who has read Golf in the Wild will know why this title resonates;
  • Robert Marshall’s The Haunted Major – a comic golfing story first published in 1902. This wasn’t actually a Christmas present but, ordered in August, it didn’t arrive until January 1st, thanks to the neighbour’s offspring – bless ’em 🙂

There is a vaguely amusing story attached to this last book.  A friend who looks after the feet of the Newcastle United players loaned the Haunted Major to Kevin Keegan, explaining that it was the story of a sportsman who thought himself much better than he really was – “Are you trying to tell me something!” was Keegan’s immediate response. Within a week Keegan was gone from Newcastle, along with said book.  Once read I should pass it on as compensation.

The one passion not covered by the above is photography but I tend to just do it rather than read about it.  These are the Blip images from the first seven days of 2017:

... Fourstones

... at Hexham Golf Club

... Heavenfield

... Tyne Green, Hexham

... Planetrees farm, near Chollerford

... screen grab from a timelapse GoPro video at Beaufront Woodhead

... back at Green Rigg on the Scrambler.

This is the video used for grabbing the moon rising image – more fiddling about with the GoPro in the adjacent field.  Keep an eye out for the good lady feverishly cleaning the porch – Spielberg would have fired her on the spot 😀

Must stop now, I have some reading to do and a Beetle to build.


  1. socialbridge · January 7, 2017

    Adore the pics and vid. Methinks you’re a tad spoiled with all those books BUT I strongly suspect you overly spoil.

  2. Tish Farrell · January 7, 2017

    A fine set of photos, Robin. Also fascinated by the synchronicity of you pursuing John Berger just as we are. Have you seen his 1972 progs on You Tube; also on YT this ace 2016 documentary ‘John Berger or the art of looking’

    • northumbrianlight · January 8, 2017

      Thanks Tish – it was the recent BBC documentary that prompted the interest, that and his passion and writing about motorcycling – I immediately found an old copy of Keeping a Rendezvous on Amazon 😉 Somehow his 1970s work completely passed me by so I have been catching up – seems like we are on a similar journey.
      BTW – watched The Assassin and loved it, regardless of the thin storyline. It was glorious to watch and those long lingering shots of misty landscapes stick in the mind. There are lessons for western directors to learn from this.

      • Tish Farrell · January 8, 2017

        Glad Assassin hit the mark. It can be dodgy recommending films 🙂

  3. Sue · January 7, 2017

    Great images, and I like the sound of the Damon Hill book….

    • northumbrianlight · January 8, 2017

      Thanks Sue – there is an excellent review by Richard Williams here:
      … and if you like books on Motor Sport, Richard Williams is himself, one of the best. The Death of Ayrton Senna being a good example.

      • Sue · January 8, 2017

        Oh, OK, thanks Robin….I am a bit of a petrolhead..

  4. Su Leslie · January 7, 2017

    Lovely set of images!

  5. Cate Franklyn · January 8, 2017

    Ah, the week after Christmas is always the best as you don’t have to go to school and you can stay home and play with all of your toys. You seemed to have received a few good ones!!! I wish you many good days and night curled up with a good read.

    Love that second image!

    • northumbrianlight · January 8, 2017

      You got it exactly right Cate 😀 – staying at home and playing with all of our toys. The ‘Dog Days’ of January and February – wonderful – and if you are lucky the weather will be kind enough for the odd ride out. I have seen Twitter images of snow in NY this morning – assuming they are correct, I look forward to your images. All the best, R

  6. sustainabilitea · January 8, 2017

    I, too, love the images. 🙂 Sounds as though you’ll be keeping busy as well as having fun.


  7. J.D. Riso · January 8, 2017

    January has a way of erasing the glitter and cheer of Christmas. But it has its own mysterious charm, as illustrated in your fabulous photos. The first two are really stunning: shadow, light, mist. They capture the mood of this underrated month. Once you get the hang of photography, it’s probably pointless to read about it. You either have the eye or you don’t. Enjoy your reading and Beetle construction, sir. 😉

    • northumbrianlight · January 8, 2017

      Thanks Julie – yes, there is much to be said for the calm and slow pace of January and February. At the moment I am just longing for snow. In this, riding bikes and building RC cars, I remain determinedly juvenile 🙂

  8. michaelwatsonvt · January 8, 2017

    Another splendid post! So inspiring! Gratitude here.

    • northumbrianlight · January 8, 2017

      Many thanks and also for stopping by and taking the time to comment – much appreciated.

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