Thursday, 25 November 2010

Post 50. The birth & early journey of a blog ... & J_on_tour !

The dawn of J_on_tour.... Newcastle Central Station

I always intended that my blog should be mainly pictorial and a little mysterious but as the journey has progressed, so the text has increased and my character is more prominent. Although 50 posts is not a great achievement, I didn't think that you would be travelling with me after 11 posts, comments from 4 people and 1 follower. I am still here !

I do not intend to depart from the current format but thought that this was an excuse to share more of the place where I live and come from every 50 posts. I'm sure you'll allow me that privilege at these intervals as I feel that I am hiding something away from you !!

This post however, is a one off and I aim to involve my fellow travellers on this occasion that have helped me on my journey both around the UK in pictures and around the world in another form.

Despite being inspired by my parents to travel to local picturesque places, Scotland and The Lake District when I was younger, my travels started when I could afford my first train ticket to Durham. (My interest in trains started as a child in the local park where "class 37 diesels" passed by on coal trains, we all ran to the fence to watch them go by at the bottom of the bank. These freight engines worked summer holiday specials from Scarborough and Blackpool and it was an opportunity to ride behind them.)  I incorporated this with a tour of the historic city with my camera on most occasions. The distance increased to York, Leeds and Edinburgh in the first instance and later to all parts of the UK with accommodation in Wales, Scotland and Devon.

Later, when I could afford my own car,  I was able to re-visit teenage youth group things by learning the basics of hillwalking from a friend and eventually spent a large amount of time in The English Lake District and to a lesser extent North Wales. Although I have always loved and read maps from the back seat of my parents car from the age of 7, this was another opportunity to combine hillwalking with tourism and photography.

My first flight was a prize won in a local department store with the destination being the caribbean island of Aruba. This was the forerunner of travels that took me into another dimension for a while which included South West England and I was a frequent flyer on EasyJet. To give you an indication of the frequency, it is not often that a budget airline in the UK gives a credit voucher away towards another flight. In this period I was able to sample a lot of European destinations and got to know the cabin crew very well !!

Although I had used computers for a while, my interactive internet journey only began when I didn't feel comfortable with a Hotel in Weymouth and so I joined Trip advisor. I had to think up an on - line name for the site and J_on_tour1 was born. Soon after, I was "helped" into the digital photography age by my southwestern friend and later recorded my pictorial travels on social media with humorous captions.

One weekend at work during June, I had a discussion with primrosepatch ( special thanks .... because otherwise I wouldn't be here ) about other internet sites not being a great platform for this who in turn wanted ideas about taking better exposures and photographs. My big concern was that I am not a great photographer in my eyes, I am not a world travelling tourist, I am not a hillwalker in the extreme but I was a hybrid mixture of all three. The following day, with a great deal of help and mentoring, I published my first post. As I said earlier, it was a difficult start and it wasn't until the london post of number 13 that a few followers started to join and I was comfortable being myself in the process. There was a greater interest shown in my hill walking exploits to the English Lake District and Scotland. The variety of the journey continues through winter to places that might be unexpected........

That's enough about me.......

I had been thinking about what to do for a 50th or 100th post when an idea came to me, when out of the blue, 'Wind' thanked me with an award... how shocked was I when I saw where I was put on the list..

Photographis: Best Virtual Friend Award

It made me think that I didn't come on to blogger to blog but I came to interact and make friends. Prior to this I was inspired to reply to every comment.... something I have done since the end of September (usually for the 2nd most recent post, the day after I publish the latest post).

The journey of the first 50 posts has included three people that I have interacted with most and in no particular order are ... Wind @ graphis-artwork who is not just an amazing artist but an outstanding photographer. Adrian @ adriansimages who I think seems to have the most in common with what I try to do and visit the places I know. Having said all that, I think Adrian would prefer himself as more of a photographer and myself as more of a tourist !! I found cranberrymorning by accident on a Yorkshire profile page and soon discovered that there was more variety to "following" than I thought. At first I didn't expect to follow, but after a while, there were a few more things of interest that cropped up.

Two more people in the the top 5 that deserve a mention are Mahon @ redcat-albumart who as you can see from the above photo and his link inspires me with his photographs .......and felisa @ gaspar y familia who writes an inspirational blog that I don't always understand as it can be time consuming and miss something in the translation but respect for her following of my blog and the numerous comments.

I discovered a tourist group through photographer rafael lam by a subscribed post and as a result a travel conversationalist lily riani, award winning lonely planet photographer rizalenio and recent addition to my list.... traveling hawk & travelling on a budget with Debbie

Other people of note in the photographic area are
cimpoaca laurentiu,
sciarada @ anima mundi,
Farm chick @ its a small town life
luzia's art who is also an artist
Berit @ bare builder (beritsfoto)

I would like to thank the small group of walkers that I follow. You are a very patient group of people and even though some of you don't comment on my pages much, I know that you follow me. A special mention to Mike @ northern pies who has a unique sense of humour and as you will see from the link was the donator of my first blog prize.

I have to include variety bloggers from the other side of the Atlantic who I have accidently come across through subscribed posts sweet virginia breeze who I currently follow in RSS, mountain lyon and vickilanemysteries.

It is impossible to mention everyone who I have just started travelling with or those who I am not sure are still with me on the journey but I would just like to promote them as seen on the right hand side of the page .... The other people who have previously commented on my pages that I cannot miss out  are -

synflame, petrus @ rambler, Vania @ be my guest in rio and kae lani who i follow in RSS.

Lastly, as many longer term readers might guess, I look forward to having some fun with george the lad !

This has been a rather unexpected journey meeting and travelling with new friends as I begin my journey. Enough of sentimental talk now  &

May the journey continue...............
This side Edinburgh/ Glasgow, other side York/London.


  1. Congratulations on your 50th post! Looking forward to seeing next 500;)

  2. Congratulations - and thank you so much for your kind mention of my blog. I do enjoy rambling around with you. It's interesting how (whether we like it or not) our personalities come through in our blogs, and I enjoy your format of several photos and some 'story' too. Newcastle station is a special place for me, being the location of a truly romantic moment in my youth! So it's nice to revisit it today. Have a good weekend.

  3. Hi J
    Congratulations on your 50th. Look forward to following many more.

  4. Bravo on your 50th post! Blogging has been such a great way for me to "meet" and interact with people. I look forward to many more of your journeys and pictures. Keep up the good work. Also, thanks so much for mentioning my blog. Much appreciated.

  5. Congratulations on your 50th post and what a interesting one it is, I will be taking alook at each link you have put up, and thanks for the link to me! you where an unexpected fine after you leaving a comment on George's blog. I have enjoyed your journeys and you have helped me in the short time I have been visiting, to take better photos when out and about, (not sure how I will get on with the water fall this Saturday!) Plus I love the write ups of the places you visit.
    Looking forward to your next 50 posts.

  6. Congratulations! When you go into Google Analytics, you'll find that all sorts of people you never suspected are following your blog! Thank you for mentioning my little blog. :-) And just have to tell you, I loved that first photo, but when I got down to the bottom of your post, I heard a gasp (from me, I guess) when I saw that last photo. That is STUNNING!!!!!! I love the curves of the tracks countered by the curve of the roof lights. That's another one I'd make into a poster if I were you. :-)

  7. Congratulations on your post number 50, thanks for mentioning my blog, and I hope you continue traveling until at least 500 post.
    Warm hug
    (I started last week o English conversation classes with a person of the north of the north of England, his grandma say wireless in spite of radio, and he has a strage accent for me because I studied english with an old lady of Chicago..., and all is different..., but I know London, I was there about 3 weeks, ten years ago and no big problem with language....)
    I hope your blog being alive full of photos of your comings and goings.
    See you by here.

  8. Jay it's a good blog you have, it gets better, I reply to comments as the interaction is fun. Our Styles are very different yet still have something in common. We get out and look at things then blather on about them. I like your research, I do it from time to time but tend to think well they can always google it. I like having the information on the same page like you present it.
    Thanks for the entertainment.

  9. Happy anniversary, J_on_tour! I myself had 100 posts recently (starting the blog at the end of June). I also thought about such an article but then, I left it for the 150th because it seems to be more impressive :) Oh, and you remebred me on Durham! I love this market town, where I spent a whole month, some years ago, when I was researching for my Ph.D. I wish you many more good posts!

  10. Just wanted to also say that I really enjoyed reading the history of your travels. I'm still wondering why I can't live in England for just one year - one measily year - is that asking too much?? ;-)

    You still have time to take the train to London and be at St. Paul's for the First Sunday of Advent. I'd recommend being in line by 4 PM. :-)

  11. Just to let you know: We have attended St. Pauls, King's College Chapel, Ripon Cathedral, and Westminster Abbey for services. Thrilling!!! It was at separate times that we toured the buildings. I have to do both - but at separate times. :-)

  12. Congratulations on 50 posts! I'm looking forward to joining you on many more adventures. I have learned so much about the UK from your pictures and informative posts.
    Thanks for mentioning my blog.

  13. Congratulations.I read your blog with interest and i discover new places.i'll keep reading and enjoy your story and photos.good luck

  14. Hi J, well done on reaching the big 50 and thanks a lot for the mention. I really enjoy the format of your blog. Very informative with some fantastic shots. Quite a few places I've been and even more I haven't provide fond memories and a little inspiration. Keep up the good work.

  15. Good morning Jay and congratulations on reaching 50. you were among my first 3 commentors and I added a link to my post for you.

    These are all wonderful shares. Thanks for taking the time and making the effort to share with us.

    I hope you have a great day!

  16. Congrats on your 50th, and an interesting one it is. Love the train station.

    Darryl and Ruth : )

  17. Congratulations on your 50th post!
    Thanks for the interesting post - a combination of biographical, touristic, photographic facts.
    Keep up the splendid work you do at your blog!

  18. Heaaaah, Congratulation to this! And I hope your are going on to entertain us with your wondeful images and interesting stories:-)) Thank you for your friendly comments and calling me an artist, my friend. A lot of hugs from Luzia.

  19. Hey...Jay!
    Only 50? I thought that I know your blog from a lifetime!
    What would I have done without your trips ....without your trains, without sheep sleeping under trees, without doors that tell the stories of those who have been there
    ...and ha ha ...without all that dogs!
    Anyway, I think that you have more friends since that "Best friend Award" ...that was the reason for your first position in my list!
    You deserve this!
    I wish you all the best in the world!
    Regards from Romania!

  20. Congratulations for your 50th post...
    Waiting for more trains to come,
    "take the A-train" (an old jazz-song).
    Greetings from warm Greece.

  21. I am honored by the mention, and I absolutely love that opening photo. I enjoy following your journeys. Best wishes, J.

  22. So, how did your camera accessory shopping go? What kind of camera do you have? I just have a digital Sony Cyper Shot which I bought 4 years ago. I have been amazed at what good pictures it takes. After looking at some of the photos on blogs I follow, I know that I need something with a powerful zoom to get some of the incredible closeup shots that other photographers take. Happy "shooting".

  23. Dear Jay,
    I finally discovered your name! Congratulations for your 50th post! I loved your biographical post, what made me think about how surprised and rewarded we can be by taking part into the big blogosphere, isn’t it? Yes, it’s a good opportunity to celebrate this amazing virtual brotherhood, what you did beautifully! By the way, thanks a lot for mentioning my blog, I’ll check later the other ones that you mentioned, because I’m very curious about them! Also, I’d like to say that it’s always a pleasure to have your visit and comment on my blog. Long life for us!

  24. Joo... Thanks, I hope I have enough material to last 500 posts !

    Jenny Freckles... Thanks, Newcastle Central Station.... now I never expected you to say that. I always like looking at your blog as I feel it is the next blog geographically south of me.

    Trevor Woodford... Thanks, Hopefully it's the start on a long journey.

    Farmchick... Thanks, One of the reasons I came on here was to interact with people. I am just finding my feet in this area.

    George the Lad... & Jan, Thanks, As I said in my post, readers will understand why I wanted to talk with a dog. I'm interested in your site as although it's about George, there are other things that interest me including your location and walks. I'm flattered that I'm a photographic interest to you ... I consider myself to be " Jack of all trades.......... " !!

    Cranberry Morning... Thanks, As i said in the following post, the first and last shots were taken while waiting for the Glasgow train. The best thing about the station in my opinion is the roof ! I sometimes feel guilty about tantalising you with all these places. It is not possible to see everything, so it is an opportunity to take everyone with me to see these places here.

    Felisa... Thanks, London accents are unique and a lot different to what you hear in the rest of South East of England who have regular English accents. I might have a strange accent as I come from the North ! Your English is impressive.

    Adrian... Thanks, It sometimes difficult keeping the research "light" as I don't want to bore myself far less other people ! I enjoy your slant on the places that i know... hoping to learn something from them.

    Travelling Hawk... Thanks, I didn't intend this post to be a celebration as I am still relatively new to the process but more the problems in getting to this stage with the blog and a thank you you for those who have been with me for the journey so far.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze... Thanks, One of the major thoughts in my head that I haven't said anywhere on this blog yet is the passion to showcase places to people like yourself that you wouldn't expect.... & that the UK is not just London. With the variety on offer, it's less of a travel blog and more of a personal diary.... journey.

    Pharaonx... Thanks, I'm pleased you are enjoying the ride.

    Synflame... Thanks, Memories and inspiration... funny, I think the same when I look at your blog. Hope I can keep up the standard. It's always difficult to find those one or two unusual / interesting shost on the day of travel.

    Shinade... Thanks for linking me a few times on your blog. Im pleased that you find it enjoyable.

    Living in Williamsburg, Virginia... Thanks, the station is always good at dawn with the sun. Unfortunately it was just at the wrong moment but I think I just got away with it.

    DUTA... Thanks, Hopefully I'll have less of the biographical in future !!

    Luzia... Thanks, Yes there are some good Art pictures on your 25th November post.

    Wind... Thanks for your kind comments. I am sure you have guessed that you were the inspiration for this post. I will have to try and photograph different things as you have worked my photographic style out. It could be difficult as I can not change.... who I am..... logs, dogs and doors !! ha ha.

    Bitch... Thanks, Looking forward to getting into your blog during my next 50.

    JoLynne Lyon... Thanks, You deserve a mention as you have been with me for a while and we have had a few decent thought provoking conversations on your pages.

    forgetmenot... Thanks, Hope you got my e-mail link to my journey with cameras. I still haven't arrived ... you will find as you are starting out that there are some amazing photography blogs to out there.

    Vania Moreira... Thanks, It took a lot of persuasion for me to join blogger and as I said in post number 1, I hope it brings pleasure to both the reader and contributor.

  25. Congratulations to you! And thanks for the shout out! A little piece of me freaked out a little though because I go by my middle name, Kae Lani, but my first name is legally Rio... and the person you referred to before me, their blog is called "be my guest in rio"... HAHA! I pick up on weird details.

  26. Kae Lani... Thanks, Now there is a fascinating thing, how unusual is it that I mentioned the name Rio before your name.
    I have been slow to start reading your blog, I realise that you have qualifications to complete and I am a bit behind on some of the places you cover but look forward to it as I have converted myself now from a secret RSS feed into being a full follower of you now.

  27. Just happened to click on this post again tonight to re-read it. I still think those two photographs of the train station (the first and last photos) are absolutely spectacular!


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