Friday, 27 August 2010

Paxton Pits

We had a club outing to Paxton Pits, near St Neots, last Sunday, but I've been so busy that this is the first chance I've had to post any pictures.  There wasn't a great deal of bird life around - mainly cormorants, in fact, and as a trout fisherman I have a pathological hatred of these black pests!  There were some rather beautiful swans around, though, and the ripples on the water provided a great background for them.

On one of the shots, a second swan managed to find its way into the frame - in reflection only - but I rather liked the effect.

Not being motivated (or proficient) enough to chase the rapidly moving dragon flies, I stood by the river and watched the world go by.  The speed of the canoe was more to my liking!

As always, this trip wouldn't be complete without the usual selection of Homo photographicus specimens.  There weren't many of us, but that didn't matter as we had an excellent morning out.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Breezy Bridlington

My parents moved to Bridlington after they retired, so it's somewhere I know quite well.  I can't say it's one of my favourite locations, but Izzi was keen to re-visit places hadn't been to since my mother died in 2005.  The whole of the North Promenade area is taken up with amusement arcades and fairground rides, all of which were a bit tatty and slightly sleazy.  Everything in Bridlington is done "on the cheap"...

We went onto the North Pier to avoid the noise of the arcades.  Bridlington is flat - much more so than the resorts just up the coast - so attracts the elderly and infirm.  As a result you need to be careful of people zooming around on disabled scooters.

There were various flavours of boats in the harbour, including two very different pleasure craft.

The people are always fascinating in seaside towns, and these two caught my eye.  The girl was very bored looking after an ice-cream stall, and nobody was buying anything because of the weather.  The chap with the camera kept leaning further and further back over the railings - what we photographers do for an ideal shot!

Two more scenes from the North Promenade, including the "road train" which takes families from Bridlington to Sewerby.  The building in the first picture - actually a leisure centre - was completely covered in seagull guano.  Seems to sum Bridlington up...

Finally, some pictures of Bridlington's shops.  Now you know where to go if you ever need smelly balls!!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

...and then the sun came out

In the middle of the afternoon the clouds cleared and the sun came out.  That doesn't mean it was warm, of course (being Yorkshire) but everyone started behaving as though it was anyway.  We never did manage to get to the beer festival...

Because the middle of the town was heaving with people, Amber and I wandered onto the West Pier to escape the crowds.  This is a great place to observe traditional seaside behaviour on the beach below.

There were several pleasure boats steaming around the harbour, including an appropriately named speedboat and Whitby's old lifeboat which now gives pleasure rides.  The speedboat driver (pilot?) seemed to be in the middle of a late lunch, as I discovered when I looked at the pictures when I got home!

The pier itself is always a good place to watch the world go by.

The final two pictures from Whitby, looking back towards the town from the pier.  What a magical place...

Friday, 13 August 2010

People Watching

More from Whitby, illustrating some of the human specimens I observed while wandering around.  It was cold when we arrived, so there weren't very many people on the beach.  This person seemed to have the right idea.

The next group struck me as "three of a kind".  I'm not sure I'd want to meet any of them on a dark night...

Others were sitting, watching the world go by.

Shops and Cafes are always good places to observe human behaviour.  The Cafe, in this instance, is the world famous Magpie which serves the best fish and chips ever!

The centre of the town became really busy towards the end of the afternoon, so I retreated onto the West Pier where the last two shots were taken.

Not quite sure why, but I seem to be going through a bit of a monochrome phase at the moment.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Trip to Whitby

Whitby is a place of which I am extremely fond, having gone there on holiday as a kid pretty well every year since I was six.  I always make a pilgrimage whenever I'm in the area, and this time was no exception.  First port of call is one of my favourite shops: the Carlsberg of bakeries, E. Botham & Sons.  A magical place which produces the best sandwiches and scrummiest cakes in the world.  On this occasion I was banished outside as I had Amber with me, but the "Queen Of Hearts" made this an entertaining experience while she replenished the window display.

Whitby was extremely busy with tourists, in contrast to the sleepy fishing town I remember from the mid sixties.  The narrow streets of the East Side, in particular, were heaving with people, so Amber and I headed for the 199 steps up to the Abbey and St Mary's Church.

Amber then proceeded to pull me up the steps at break-neck speed, much to the amusement (and envy) of some onlookers.  It was mercifully quieter at the top, and as an added bonus the sun came out!

We took the descent at a rather more leisurely pace (thankfully), and watched the world go by as we went.

The final shot on the steps was of a fellow tourist attempting to balance a camera and rapidly melting ice cream while taking a shot of the view.  I was struck by the similarity in colour of her dyed hair and the pantiled rooftops.