Northumberland Skies

The field next to our home is filled with sheep.  The red dye on their backsides confirms they have been seen to by the tup (ram) – he has been a busy boy. It is disappointing that, around the time the fruits of his endeavours begin to show, the flock is moved to the lower nursery slopes.

The ram has been rushed off his feet.

Looking exhausted

After a while you begin to notice how your neighbours behave.  On really cold, still nights, they gather beneath the trees to avoid the ground frost.  Generally timid, they will disperse as we leave the front door but, rattle a plastic bag that might contain ewe nuts and they will come running.  Lie down for any length of time and a significant number will limp away, appearing to suffer from dead legs.

I share their pain – a golf induced knee injury, rotten weather, salty slippery roads and various tiers of lockdown have all served to constrain the usual activities – travel, golf and motorcycles.  Nevertheless, there is always much to see, just look to the skies:

The sun going down in late November

… And sunrise

Christmas is coming – 23rd December

Christmas morning

Post Christmas steely blue skies – 29th December

And then modest snow arrived on Christmas Eve and hung around for the next day – a White Christmas for Hexham:

Fern Hill

Towards Fawcett Hill

So, to sign off for 2020, I wish my modest band of followers, all the best for a much-improved 2021.  Before I go, some 2020 milestones:

a.  In late 2020 I approached maximum disc space on after eight years – I am now subscribed with an annual fee which at least demonstrates commitment and should ensure my readers are not subjected to peculiar adverts;

b.  Despite lockdowns, I still managed to clock 7165 miles on the motorbikes – several hundred more than in lockdown free 2019;

c.  We still managed to get away – to Saughtree in the Borders, twice to Mallaig and once to north Northumberland.  A return to the latter was abandoned due to the second lockdown;

d.  The text for the Golf in the Wild sequel is now complete and due for publication in September.  Possibly the only golf success in a year when playing was much curtailed.

Finally, as parting shots, a couple of images of the ‘Bad Company‘ I kept on some of the most memorable days in 2020:

On the trip to Hawes

At the top of Rosedale Chimney Bank.


  1. Aviationtrails · December 29, 2020

    It’s certainly been a challenging year and I doubt it’s going to change very soon. However, I’ve enjoyed the many photos and tales you have shared for which I thank you. Let’s hope next year is better. Have a great new year.

    • northumbrianlight · December 30, 2020

      Many thanks and all the best for 2021 – we have optimistically booked all the hotels/B&Bs for the NC500 in May (on motorcycles).

  2. restlessjo · December 29, 2020

    Nice gang of mates you’ve got, Robin! And winter always produces some wonderful skies. All the best to you for 2021! 🙂 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · December 30, 2020

      And all the very best to you and yours in 2021, Jo. We are quite a civilised bunch, despite appearances 🙂

  3. HogriderDookes · December 29, 2020

    Stunning mileage under the circumstances….sadly I’ve barely managed 1500, but most of has been on NHS Volunteer duty, so all in all, worthwhile.
    Ride safe, catch you in ’21 ,

    • northumbrianlight · December 30, 2020

      Well done sir – to be commended. COVID has played havoc with my IAM training but the ambition is to volunteer with Northumbria Blood Bikes – the Good Wife is already a controller.

      • HogriderDookes · December 30, 2020

        Go for it! I’m RoSPA Gold and used to ride for Cornwall Blood Bikes some years back, but had to stop due to other life pressures and a screwed up knee. These days I do less pressured NHS jobs when I can and also only when it is daylight!
        Hope ‘21 is better for us all.
        Best wishes,

  4. Pit · December 29, 2020

    Gorgeous skies, and a perfect perspctive in “Towards Fawcett Hill”.
    All the best for 2021,

    • northumbrianlight · December 30, 2020

      Many thanks Pit and all the very best to you and yours in 2021.

      • Pit · December 30, 2020


  5. Sue · December 29, 2020

    Well, you’ve still managed to pack quite a lot in during this challenging year …all the best for 2021, Robin

    • northumbrianlight · December 30, 2020

      Aye, not a bad year considering, Sue – staying at home made for some good holidays – if only there weren’t so many with the same idea. Apparently, we missed the worst of it at Mallaig/Arisaig. All the very best for 2021.

      • Sue · December 30, 2020

        Thanks, Robin

  6. sustainabilitea · December 29, 2020

    You’ve done well, Robin. Which one is you in the bottom photos or are you taking the pictures? I love your snow-for-Christmas shot. Needless to say, no snow for our first Arizona Christmas. If there had been, I imagine quite a few people would have been surprised. 🙂

    I pay WP, too, and am getting nearer to the full capacity on my blog. Have to decide if I want to start a new one or pay more. But it could be some time yet. Having lots of photos fills the space much more quickly than just writing, that’s for sure.

    Happy 2021!


  7. socialbridge · December 30, 2020

    Always such a pleasure to read and look at your postings, Robin.
    You certainly achieved a fair bit in 2020, notwithstanding …..
    Happy New Year and mind the company you keep!!

  8. jef62 · December 30, 2020

    Best wishes for 2021. Let’s hope it is an improvement on 2020!

  9. J.D. · December 30, 2020

    I’d say you accomplished a lot this year, Robin. I sure hope 2021 is good to you, and filled with GOLF. 🙂 It’s been great following along your various journeys for all of these years. Cheers!

    • northumbrianlight · December 31, 2020

      Thanks Julie – there was definitely an element of ‘carry on regardless’. I hope 2021 is good for you too and I look forward to a return of your exotic journeys. Keep well and here’s to another/better year, All the best, R

  10. Júlio Zenkner · January 2, 2021

    Happy 2021, Robin!
    It’s a pleasure to follow you!
    It’s high Summer in South Brazil, almost Uruguay, now. We face a hard flat light all day.
    Congratulations on your stunning images!
    Keep pushing!

    • northumbrianlight · January 2, 2021

      Many thanks for your kind words, Júlio and all the best for 2021.

  11. Valheru Rides! · February 17, 2021

    Absolutely great shots, I’m immensely jealous.

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