Another week gone by …

There is a chill in the air with some days clear and bright, but rain remains illusive. Normally this would be of no consequence, however, the roads nearby remain covered in a layer of muck and salt such that any outings on a bike, once again result in hours spent cleaning.

It was just the second game of golf this year on Tuesday followed by a long ride out on the GS to Anthorn in Cumbria on Thursday – 117 miles, the longest this year. By contrast, in 2021, I didn’t get out until 17th February – maybe it was the weather or lockdowns or a combination of both – I forget.

It feels like the year is tilting towards spring with almost no days of winter.  There is time yet, I guess.

The view from Struthers, Allendale. A brief detour on the way home from an enjoyable 18 holes at Allendale Golf Club – Home of Golf in the Wild.

Looking east along the channel of the River Wampool Anthorn.

A return to Anthorn (home of the pips) on the GS. Finally bit the bullet and increased the insured miles – expecting a hefty admin fee, the total charge was £2.46 :D!

Storm Malik was blowing a hoolie on Saturday

Another sunrise at Beaufront Woodhead – today – Sunday 30th January

The racecourse from east of Blackhill Farm – today – Sunday 30th January.

More sheep – near the racecourse

Towards Hexham, looking northeast from the racecourse road


Last sunrise …

… of the decade.  Yesterday I journeyed 94 miles on the F850 GS, riding into the sullen Scottish Borders – drizzle and heavy mist over the hills, having left the Tyne Valley in bright sunshine.  This morning brought a heavy frost and removed any temptation of venturing out again.  Ice and two wheels don’t mix.

… last sunrise.

… and a heavy frost.

… just north of Kielder

Riding the bike into distant empty roads focuses the mind, clears the head and banishes dark thoughts about the year gone by – it has not been a good one.  A new decade begins, turn, turn, turn

My big sister: 1944-2019


In the winter, the sun rises over a row of larch trees, the same ones that shed their needles in autumn and turn the lanes orange.  Their shadows stretch across the full length of our adjacent field until the rising sun clears their tops. By late November and early December the sun’s appearance coincides with mine so I am more likely to capture its arrival.  From down here, the sun doesn’t seem to change but the skies it lights up are different everyday.  These were taken a few days apart:

Here comes the sun …

Sunrises and sunsets are a photographic cliché but this doesn’t stop me rushing for the camera every time I see one.  If they occurred with the infrequency of the northern lights it would stop us in our tracks.

We are fortunately placed, with a near uninterrupted view of the sun rising across the high ground above the Tyne Valley.  These images were taken a short time apart – above the valley the mist has burned off to a gin clear day while down in Hexham, there is fog on the Tyne.  If you look closely to the right of the video, you can see the fog bank shifting along the valley – these time-lapse videos have a certain sameness but I admit to compulsive habits and this is just one of them:

... across the field at Beaufront Woodhead

Fog on the Tyne ... Fog on the Green ...

A Sunday smile …

These images were taken this morning, just twenty minutes apart.  Mist rises from the very damp Tyne Valley and rolls across the fields opposite our home.  A constantly changing scene, it is changing still.  Enough to raise a Sunday smile …

First snow ... First snow ... First snow ...

All I want is the best for our lives my dear
And you know my wishes are sincere
What’s to say, all the days I cannot bear

A Sunday smile, we wore it for a while
And at cemetery mile we paused and sang
A Sunday smile, we wore it for a while
And at cemetery mile we paused and sang
About a Sunday smile, and we felt clean

We burnt to the ground, left a view to admire
Buildings aside, church of white
We burnt to the ground, left a grave to admire
Hills reach for the sky, reach the church of white

This is just the sort of track Adam Curtis would use to great effect – maybe he has.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

The story of these sunset pictures, taken near Ullapool in 2012, is told in a previous post – a couple have appeared before but never in this full sequence at The Golden Hour.  The view is north along Loch Broom towards the Summer Isles.  I guess they cover a period of about 20 – 30 minutes; unfortunately I was not prepared so they are handheld and each is taken from a slightly different position.

Golden HourGolden HourGolden HourGolden HourGolden Hour

The photos were taken over a year ago so I thought I should make the effort to take one specifically for the challenge.  This entailed getting up ‘early’ on Saturday for the morning Golden Hour, in an attempt to capture the dawn light in monochrome.  For the first time in a number of years we are having a proper summer in Northumberland; it is 7am and the view is across the fields next to home; the shadows are still long, there is a mist in the distance which will soon burn off and the sheep are still slumbering – which begs the question, what do they count when they cannot sleep?

Golden Hour

For some reason I have been humming this whilst creating the post – all but one may look seriously strange but they still sound wonderful: