Monday, 30 December 2019

Happy New Year 2019 / 20

Well hello from my local village green in between Christmas and New Year. I'm still active on here although only just and wondering how many other people are still in the blogosphere. I thought I'd try and squeeze one post in for 2019 and a give a very brief resume of the year !!

It's been a hectic one with lots of things that seem to take up more of my time. In the meantime, you can probably notice from the sidebar widget at the top that  I've been using Instagram to keep my photo interest going.

For most of the year I have been annoyingly trying to sort out my on line photo storage as I lost some albums accidentally from Google whilst trying to systematically watermark everything from the beginning of this blog experience.  Despite playing around with Flickr and pasting the images onto these pages, they changed their pricing rules and rather than pay for two systems, I simplified my storage. It's probably taken about six months on and off to do that, so I am serious about continuing.

The big news of the year was I gave up working for the NHS at the end of November after 38 years due to an imminent transfer into a pension scheme that wasn't as good for me. I was hoping to leave in the next year or two but the pension pot would only be better after about five years or so. Someone took this photo of me with laser glasses on and I had no idea that it was going to be used for the cover of a memory book that was given to me during my last week of work.
I have lots of things to get my teeth into including preparing a relatives house for rent and subsequent management to pay for her care home fees.
I also intend to have an activity day doing either walking, cycling or golf once the house is out to rent. It may be at that point, I'll do some more posting on here.

The Mighty Oaks Gateshead Charity coffee van that I told you about last year now takes on average about 1 day a week although not all in the same day. We have had some sadness by losing a volunteer to serious illness but gained another along the way. The above photo was taken prior to one of our most busiest events of the year in the middle of Gateshead Town Centre.

The annual trip to see relatives in Kent during May was a scorcher with some of the best weather of the Year. On arriving at Folkstone for the day, this was the view on closing the car door at the seafront.

On a different day, the colourful beach huts on the North Kent coast near Whitstable.

A large family holiday was arranged on the border of South Cumbria / North Lancashire and this was Eric Morecambe "bringing me sunshine" at his adopted namesake town.

There were several trips up to the Lake District and a first visit for me to Wray Castle on the shores of North West Windermere. A National Trust property with a varied background still in the process of evolving with its use.

We always look forward to our September break and this year we decided to do some boat trips with Molly around the coast of Kintyre in South West Scotland. The impressive ferry MV Finlaggan took us to The Isle of Islay.

On another occasion there was an opportunity to sail on the oldest Calmac ferry across Loch Fyne and then a drive all the way around the Loch.

As the weather was disappointing on the day of the previous photo, we returned to Tarbert in better weather later in the week. This building used to be a weigh house and has now been converted into a shop.

As is customary now with this annual post, I thought I would share my rail extravaganza trips this year behind class 37 diesels. There were only three I could do this year, the first being a poor weather day from Carlisle to Gourock (at Gourock on the River Clyde),

The second trip during May was a nostalgic trip from Newcastle to Oban. This particular locomotive seen here running around at Oban last worked regular passenger services from here between 1985 and 1989.

 Lastly, a trip from Crewe to Portsmouth outward via Northampton and the outskirts of West London, returning via Guidford and Oxford. The Charter company raised over £10,000 for the work of the RNLI on a series of trips that weekend. This scene is a very early morning start from Crewe.

Here's a few more local photos with a colour splash / pop theme, one for Armistace day....

 .... and the other on a routine dog walk. Molly doesn't have the patience to wait for the photographer in me !!! Strangely enough the owner of this former school house painted the door red the following week in preparation for putting up their Christmas Wreath.

 Lastly I wish you a Happy New Year with a scene from Loch Venachar in the Trossachs taken back in late March. I hope there are some good things in store for you all in 2020.


  1. I have enjoyed reading the review of your year. You have reminded me that I must post mine.

    Happy retirement to you :-) A couple of years ago I retired in similar circumstances to after 39 years in public service.

    1. Thank you, Lots on the “to do list” at the moment.

  2. Enjoyed reading your review of the year Jay...Hope 2020 is a good first year of your retirement... It's now over 10years since I retired and I still think it was the best move I made. I still miss your more regular blog posts
    which I used to enjoy very much. I was only thinking today how many regular bloggers have disappeared from the blogosphere over the eleven years that I have been posting. By the way I have restarted weekly posting on my 'Aura of Past Shadows' monochrome image blog if it's of any interest...Anyway wishing you all the best again for 2020....

    1. Thanks Trevor, I may have more time to blog in the second quarter of the year after I get the other house sorted. We have a week booked in May to visit the Kent relatives for the third year in a row, I should be able to do something with photographic material from there. There are lots of people who I followed on here who have disappeared over the last few years. All the best.

  3. Lovely pictures. Do I understand you left flickr? I may have to.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I haven’t left Flickr, I just reduced my storage by deleting half of it down to about 850. I’m still using it but only posting occasionally instead of the 15 or so I did as a group for this blog.

  4. Hi J, happy New Year (and indeed Decade!). good to see you still here, your images are stunning as ever. I hope you get more time to take images in retirement! Particularly like the beach hut image here - and of course the "Finlaggan", which has been the start or end point on some fantastic adventures on the W coast :o)

    1. Thanks for your kind words Ian, hopefully a few more posts this year, hope you are well.

  5. I meant to comment earlier but had to figure out what Blogger wasn’t cooperating. It’s good to catch up on your last year!

    1. Thank you. I find the comment section difficult as I can’t sign in properly on my laptop thanks to complicated e-mail address issues. I have to approve comments awaiting moderation and read other blogs on the blogger draft page with the lap top, then reply or comment elsewhere using a google search on my phone. I found that out by chance and It’s not user friendly for me but I’ll live with it.


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