Return to Morocco…2016…Part 1

The land of Morocco had worked its magic lured me back for a second visit and this time I would be taking Julie. I went with some friends in 2014 and was so blown away by the land that I quite fanc…

Source: Return to Morocco…2016…Part 1

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Hey up!

February it is now and a year since my old dad, my indestructible dad passed away. Christmas was filled with sad memories of him fading in the madhouse that was Pinderfields Hospital (nr Wakefield) The one highpoint was when I took the hip flask of Glavia for him, I positioned my chair so’s I could keep an eye on the nurses station from the room. He was smiling and happy this afternoon as the warm stuff was consumed by the pair of us, if it all could have ended there and then it would have been perfect, as perfect as death could be. Instead he suffered on until Mid February passing finally at the Price of Wales Hospice.

Dad would always make me smile with his comments and observations on life, he spoke with a “black is black and white is white” mentality, sometimes he could be so brutal he made even me wince, he had no time for Political Correctness! Brutal and honest he could be but it was straight from the heart, in later yrs he did get things mixed up but to keep the flow going Id not correct him instead Id stifle my grin..I knew what he meant!.. He was in for a knee replacement one time and when the Anaesthetist came onto the ward Dad chirped up loudly “Tha see’s that bloke over there wi’ white coit on? Well he’s my atheist… He’d alreight he is. the guy in the bed nearly choked! Im smiling now as I remember. Mum would mutter “Silly old bugger”… in fact she’d mutter that a lot. Years ago I got him a visit to my workplace.. HMP Wormwood Scrubs.. He was impressed but had better ideas on how we should treat prisoners! and how bloody southerners ought to bloody buck up! I took him on the back of my motorbike and toured of the city of London the bike started wobbling as we went round the massive and busy Hammersmith Roundabout, I glanced in the mirror and saw he was warding off the Black cabs with his walking stick! “Buggers getting too bloody close” he said. He came down to London a few times and really enjoyed it except for the faster and busier pace of life. He loved the bike too, as a kid I used to ride on the back of him on the Honda 90 when we went visiting relatives, now here was I taking him around on my motorbike. we used to go all over London city, he loved being on the back of the bike. Once on one of the motorways on a quiet morning we did the magic ton!

047 Dad Box Hill Honda Shadow 1100cc ACE 1996

Dad on the Honda Shadow 1100cc at Boxhill Dorking around 1990

 

14a                                                   Dad and “his” bike  back in 2000

Mum loved her visits to London too Id like to add! Taking her to shows in the West End and the posh Sunday markets like Greenwich and Notting Hill. Mum loved her stuff and Dad loved his. Motorbike..Duxford air museum History and seeing different things to Mum

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Mum & Dad at the Thames Barrier London 1991

The older he got the more predictable he got whilst at the same time he often went off at tangents especially when mum passed away, I think her passing showed how much an influence mum was in keeping Dad in check! One of the days he drove over to have a serious chat with me, he wanted to write brother Mick out of his will! Dad said Mick hadn’t been in touch for a long time and he’d upset him over something else, he didnt say what (he was now living in Australia) Mum wasn’t around for him to bring him round, Dad was very agitated and upset but by the end of the day he’d calmed down and the issue was forgotten, from that point on I popped over weekly, though Im not sure “popping over” is the right word for a 60 mile round trip! Next doors and old Ted kept me informed on Dad, they caught him attempting to repair the garage roof,up the ladders with an electric drill and hammer! He’d already had a go at the plastic extension roof. Lucky for me it took nearly an hour to make the journey so I was calm again when I turned up. He’s fallen more times than he’d let on! I convinced him to buy a new conservatory and get the yard resurfaced, he always argued he would’nt spend any more for someone else to get the benefit, he was frustrating at time. Fukc me I could have throttled him myself!! Once he asked me how the internet worked after I showed him how easy it was, there was a push from the council to help old people with easy and simple to use basic computors and my intention was to get him “on-line” But he couldnt get his head around the internet and we ended up talking about rockets and the ether! He became so “kack handed” too that he would break it, Id already re-framed several pictures and threw away lots of broken ornaments after his attempts at dusting and  more than once he “buggered up” his telephone during a dusting spree, Id phone Ted and ask him to check Dad. No, the computer idea wasn’t going to work unless it involved a hammer, so Angela Rippon an Judith Chalmers had failed with my old dad Im afraid! I bought him a simple mobile phone for when he took himself off up the lane, you can guess how this idea turned out….

Hoping Julie doesn’t read this coz its probably how Im going to turn out! Thanks too for the memories Dad and for passing most of your traits onto me!

 

 

 

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Christmas shyte

Hello all, hows life treating you?

Christmas is here again and the more it comes around the more I hate it and see through all the bull-shit we are fed by the media. Did you know that those two great Christmas songs that we are fed year in and year out by that Ex skinhead shouting bunch of twats from fekkin Birmingham..Slade and that fuckin Wizzard wierdo spliff smoking long haired sops not from Yorkshire were both penned 62 fuckin years ago?? Wham came in a lot fresher at 31 years ago, so many years ago when half of you fukc-wits were even born. They consisted of a Greek boy and his pal and called themselves Wham. I actually met George in Nice (not in a toilet) years ago and he really is a nice chap and has written  great music. What narks me even more is that pillock Simon Cowell who has invented himself as some kind of God even though he cant dress himself properly has kinda taken over what we like. Every year he and the BBC manipulate the charts to favour his show and give his winner the No 1 slot at Christmas..somehow I dont think I will be hearing any of his wank songs over christmas or even after fooking christmas. Is it any wonder I shall be joining the osses in the field on christmas day, its wank just fekkin wank! Either way Merry Christmas to all my friends! xxx

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Christmas Week

Hello all,

Its that time of year again when dad gets a new pair of socks from Gran and mum gets another new implement for the kitchen and the kids get an absurd amount of toys..Even the boy Jesus only got three pressies and none of them were toys!

Ive never been really into Christmas, I don’t have the faith I don’t believe in “Him on High” or his boy Jesus I don’t feel the need of that, I take his name in vain often that’s true enough, but other than that, its not for me. On the flip side its the highlight for many folk and makes them happy and feel great. So for that its worth it and it can carry on! I’ve never had a really close family, my eldest bro passed away ages ago, Mum a year or so after and Dad passed on just after Christmas last year  Im just left with 1 brother who only cares about himself, he never even turned of for Dads funeral just after last Christmas…He just came weeks later to check up on “stuff” I don’t have any kids or Grand-kids of my own. I’m not complaining or anything, my life is mostly my choice, I DO have a good life  I’m just saying that’s all! Christmas day will be spent here around Walnut Cottage wifey will be out with her boy LIGHTENING for a ride and I will be hereabouts with POOKA.

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                                                                     POOKA CAT

 

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                                          Julie and her boy LIGHTENING

Christmas parties are on full swing in fact Im out today with some old mates from work, we have all retired now and will be having a laugh up town in a couple of hours, there are some extraordinary characters amongst us who dont act our age….Lock up yer daughters Doncaster!

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   A gathering in Weymouth old staff2015 ..last worked together in the 1990’s

My life has got busier with the camera, I have started to follow a couple of hunts since Autumn and its opened my eyes and changed ill informed opinions,Its a new world for me and allows me to see our countryside from a different perspective, Im allowed to follow with camera in my truck onto private lands and estates. The social side to these things is quite a huge affair and not at all like I used to imagine and the friendship has been a wonderful bonus too.

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On the beautiful private estate of NEWSTEAD ABBEY with the READYFIELD BLOODHOUNDS

 

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    There’s many a thumbs up and smiles for me from the READYFIELD BLOODHOUNDS  gang 

 

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 On a Pleasure Ride with the guys from RIDE YORKSHIRE..East Yorkshire

 

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EPWORTH & DISTRICT RIDING CLUB ..where it all started..

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                                The friendly folk from the Historic G&R Hunt

 

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                       Team GB at the EUROPEAN 3 day event at Blair Atholl

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                                                      With the G&R Hunt at Osburton..

 

 

 

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                                                                Enjoying myself!

As you know..or don’t..I run a private FACEBOOK page for all the horse and pony folk, It started off a couple of years ago just putting a few photos on FB with the club Julie is in.  Now its 620 strong with guys from different groups. I even sent some photos onto a Dutch international rider in September from a trip to Blair Atholl up there in Scotland. Its a busy thing I do but I really enjoy it.

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Somewhere in Sweden…..Our jaunts in 2016 are MOROCCO and ICELAND

 

                                                             

Right then guys, its time to go get ready for this afternoons drinking session with some mature hooligans! Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and see you in 2016!

 

 

 

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A cold start..

A bit of a late rise today. Bitter cold old winds rushed around outdoors, the mild autumn we were having has been finally killed off. Rumours of snowflakes dotted FaceBook friends posts. After breakfast I decided to pop out with the camera and see what was what, and capture the last of the golden brown autumn scenes perhaps. Id also give my new winter coat a go..Ive been shopping in an equine establishment..slowly but surely Im moving away from my trusty ex army clobber that has served me well for the past 20 odd years especially on my biking weekends in our wet English summers…

2                         Sandal Beat Woods. Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England.

 

1It surprising how different a scene looks when a Black & White application on my photo-shop programme is used..

 

3It was fairly quiet today with few yapping dogs dragging their owners about

 

4There were just enough people to use as distant subjects!

 

5                                                                   The footbridge

The old foot bridge Allows people to cross over the railway line from the woods to Armthorpe. I was concentrating just on the sun lit fence line.

 

 

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                                                         Armthorpe Pit tips

The re-generation of the old Armthorpe Colliery is complete now with a couple of housing developments and re-sculptured spoil heaps..In West Yorkshire and at my old workplace in particular ( Sharlston Colliery ) we used to call them slag heaps. If you scuff the grass away on the side of the rain ditches you can see the grey shale. Can you imagine, it started life a 1000 feet underground and on my shovel!

 

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                                        Looking towards Bawtry

From the top the view is expansive as its the only raised ground for miles. Away to the west I could see just white coated hills of The Pennines on the western edges of Sheffield. Behind me in the distance I could see two power stations Ferrybridge and Eggborough, Drax I think was out of site somewhere behind them. Over my other shoulder I could see a the wind turbines blocking the view to Scunthorpe further to the right I saw the power station near Gainsborough. My eyes were streaming tears as the bitter wind ripped into me I had to keep blinking to see through the view finder. This coat I have to report is excellent and can be filled with lens’s and other camera stuff AND my flask rather than shot rabbit or pigeons!

 

8                                                  Frozen in the wind at 1250/1 second

 

9         A similar shot but fiddled with in the Black & White department

 

10                    I found the warmth of the woods below me much friendlier!

Im sat here doing the blog and its 15.30 hrs its getting colder outside as the light is failing and the central heating is on. In fact its been on for a couple of hours already, yup I think Autumn has given way to winter. It wont be long before Ill be publishing some winter snow scenes!

 

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The worlds largest transport aircraft comes to Doncaster airport

Last week as I stood on the doorstep a shadow passed over me, it was Big Ivan and is the largest aircraft in the world, it’s the one and only Antonov 225 Mriya (Dream)  It was built originally to carry huge sections of Russia’s space rockets. They then made it a bit longer still, swapping the huge tail fin for two wider smaller ones in order to carry their new Space Shuttle but that space adventure ended sometime around 1990. Its now employed to carry out-sized and awkward loads all over the world. Its the second time Ive seen it here at Doncaster. Here are a few photos…

IMG_1398        The ANTONOV 225 Mriya It was soon evident that I didnt need my zoom lens as she came closer. I was stood by the fence next to the terminal building along with a dozen folk with cameras, some airport staff came for a look too. It is the only one of its kind after all

 

IMG_1408              To get all the big jet in I would have to stand in the next county!! the camera on my I-Phone would have been more than good enough on this occasion!

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Suddenly white steam / smoke came out of the nearest engine (she has 6) It must have been normal because nobody was running around in panic nor did the fire engines dash over.I love ‘planes especially old propeller driver war-birds like the Spitfire and Lancaster. But I’m no “geek” so I cant say what was happening here.

 

IMG_1382                                                Yes your arse does look big!

After the smoke cleared the groundstaff unplugged the comms jack the crew shut the door and took the handbrake off before going for a run around the airport before coming back seemingly satisfied and finally shut the 6 engines down.

 

IMG_1391 Our mighty and equally famous Vulcan bomber also lives here at Doncaster but is royally dwarfed by this giant white truck!

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Out with the Yorkshire Farmers Bloodhounds

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Scandinavia by Land Rover Part II

Scandinavia by Land Rover Part II.

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Scandinavia by Land Rover….Part 1

Scandinavia by Land Rover….Part 1.

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June…05.. Naturally

Hello all.

So how have you been? Its summer and not so warm and supposedly the longest day about now here in the UK and Doncaster in particular. Not very inspiring is the temperature in fact it has dipped and the grey clouds keep coming over, we do have sporadic days of glorious weather but nothing to write home about. Oh well we can’t have it boiling hot every year can we? People will have to find another topic to open their conversation with.

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                                                      Last of the Daffodils..

 

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                                                                      Last of the tulips..

The cycle of like in the garden goes on regardless, the Daffs have been and gone, so too have the beautiful tulips I’m left with shrivelling stems and leaves, the rockery stuff is spreading nicely, the pond is dotted to fukc with tadpoles, I’ve never seen so many as there are this year! Last years little frogs can be spotted hopping about the lawn, one yesterday was trying to leap the impossible leap vertically up the wall but kept failing, I was strimming a hedge nearby when two of the blighter’s hopped out and ran off towards the pond.

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                                                    Common Frog    Archive photograph

Its fun to watch the fledgling on the feeders Blue tits and Great tits with fried egg mouths fluttering from pole to pole learning how to fly land and feed. The Magpie family of four yoofs are funny to observe too as they pick and prod at everything they where all taking a bath the other day overseen by a big fat Rock Pigeon who looked a bit put out as these four louts played in HIS waterfall.

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                               Fledgling Blue Tit…….Archive photo from RSPB

Two young grey squirrels are frequent on the lawn in the pond and up the bird feeders, one has a gammy leg but seems to be managing, I don’t mind them on the feeders, I have plenty to go around though you wouldn’t think so listening to the squabbling Sparrows. marching from one pole to the other on a well trodden path are the fat pigeons fluttering after them are the ring-necked doves. around dusk the hoover comes out and sweeps up the remains of the day..Hoover? yeah sorry I mean the hedgehog. Im sure the tits are in the pay of the ground feeders because for every seed the take they scoop out twenty more and chuck em on the ground.

We have a bee’s nest in the roof this year, their entry is above the steps to the door, sitting on the swinger watching the guys on the entrance is interesting. two or three appear to have the job of guard duty and only let fellow bees in occasionally somebody tries to gatecrash but don’t make it past the guards, on a few mornings now I’ve seen a dead bee curled up on the steps, in fact yesterday a big friendly bumble bee tried to get into the club but got fukced off by the guards. He persisted and aerial combat ensued, one of the guards got stuck into the big guy eventually crashing on the steps, I walked over to see the little worker and the big bumble bee rolling around on the floor, I could hardly see the little fella but he was right in there, they were in death clinch, rolling and fighting they ended up on our swinger, the worker eventually fell away spent and the Bumble Bee staggered off down the lane. After watching this death fight Ive decided to leave the bees well alone until later (very late) Autumn!

Onto friendlier things and an update on Julies boy LIGHTENING who is doing well after a most of last year being crook. He wont be doing any jumping though which actually suits both him and wifey! He goes out hacking and occasionally to see old and new pals down at EDRC events at Simms Hill Last week he was introduced the the killer umbrella! Osses think different way of looking at things to us, they see everything as a possible attacker..wolf..lion..black bag…brolly…kiddies push chair…and all they want to do is get as far away as possible. So after a near escape from a buggie recently Julie introduced the boy to a pink umbrella, He’s quite handy at barging me up and down the field in search of treats but show him a pink umbrella…My god what a bloody wuss!!

IMG_5127                                         LIGHTENING and the pink umbrella

IMG_5174                                                   Stable-mate RIO takes the pi**

The world of animals is funny to watch sometimes if you give yourself the time..I’m sure they think the same about us too. Im spending quite a bit of time amongst the guys at The Epworth & District Riding Club EDRC this year too with the camera. I like it because I can take photos in my style then crop and colour as I want and not in the set way one has to do when selling as a professional  photographer has to do, the spin-off works both ways I get some great/different photos and the girls get to copy and paste photos for free from our webpage, which at the last count was 275 members.

69                This is TURPIN the rock star….I’ve gone a bit mad with the settings in Photoshop and made him look pretty lush don’t you think?

 

148                                                                        Hanna

This is an “ordinary” photo of Hanna on her pony. Nothing wrong with either shots in my eyes but I do have the freedom to play with the images.

Have you noticed the red poppies when you’ve been out and about these past few days? Here in the UK at least and Northern Europe too but not sure about the rest of the world. Usually for us we see them around the edges of fields with crops and mostly they are of the small vivid red variety. I was out and about yesterday in the truck in search of such fields and found one less than two minutes from the cottage, the poppies were not confined just to the edges in fact they were spread well into the field of young wheat. over the next hour whilst there taking photos two couples in cars pulled over and also took photos on their I-phones!

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  Poppies Galore!!

 

11      After playing with this in Photoshop Elements I love this one the most 

 

So now the trip is nearly upon us, The adventure with ATLAS OVERLAND to Scandinavia! In fact we are on the countdown and the truck is nearly ready.  We take the Harwich ferry to Rotterdam drive north-east to camp 1 just above LUBECK in Northern Germany. On a ferry to the Danish Island of Fehmarn and Lolland driving past Copenhagen over the Oresund sea bridge into SWEDEN.

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                                                          Oresund sea bridge

The hack north to Trollhatten for camp 2 In the morning go north-west into NORWAY to  camp 3 near Oslo, north again to Skabu in NORWAY for Camp 4.  North again after breakfast to Lom on the coast still in NORWAY by the way for camp 5. Still in country we head north to Andelsnes to camp 6.

 

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                                         Gamle Strynfjellsveg coast road Norway!

 

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               The infamous Atlantic Road NORWAYAKA The Road to Nowhere

then turning south-east we head for FLAKK..still in NORWAY for camp 7. Crossing into SWEDEN we make towards Hede and camp number 8. South now and we make for Bengtsfors, SWEDEN still, for camp 9.

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                           SWEDEN….Camping with  Wolves….DONT tell the wives!

 

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    SWEDEN.. If you go down to the woods today….don’t forget your big gun

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   A big gun!

For camp 10 we go back over the sea (ferry) to Copenhagen, DENMARKS capital for a couple of days, and to get the wounds seen to…Jokiing joking! Camp 11 is back over the islands via the sea bridges to north of Lubeck again in NORTHERN GERMANY. The day after which we head back to Rotterdam and the overnight ferry back to Harwich and the completion of another exciting stunning road strip and another 3000 miles under out belt. Its going be brilliant!

 

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