Seahouses, Northumberland

Seahouses is a little town not that far from the English border with Scotland. It probably has some of the finest fish and chips in the north of England. My personal preference is for the ones at Neptune fish restaurant but I would happily buy them from another if Neptune was shut. If you own Neptune and want to pay me I’ll say I would not buy fish and chips anywhere else…ever 🙂

Inner Farne
Inner Farne

It does still have working fishing boats but the main business people go for is access to the Farne islands. It’s a thriving business even for ex fishing boats to take people on tours around the islands and weather permitting, and season permitting you can land on the main island which has a colony of terns on it. It’s run by the National Trust but don’t let that put you off, it’s a great experience and I still remember my very first one with my Dad when I was about 8 years old. The birds dive bomb you if you go too near their nests and while they don’t hurt you, it’s exciting and a little unnerving when they do it.

The islands are easily visible as they’re not far off shore, and Longstone lighthouse on one of the islands is still one of the most powerful in the UK being visible for 24 nautical miles.

Seahouses of course has a thriving gift shop which has been there a very long time, and in summer it’s still a popular destination for holiday makers including families. A couple of miles away is Bamburgh which is almost as popular just for the castle. 
Sitting on the edge of the great Whin sill Seahouses has some amazing geological formations both on the beach and nearby cliffs and the small rock cabin that housed the dynamite used during the construction of the harbour wall can still be seen. 

I came here for a day out with a friend, and aside from a picnic on the beautiful sand dunes and a long hike along the clean beaches that seem to go on forever, we got some fish and chips from Neptune and took them outside to sit on the harbour wall with.

It was a beautiful day as you can see by the photos, and there were a lot of people there but we had a fab time. Although we didn’t swim some hardy kids were having a great time splashing about in the water and it reminded me of visits with my kids when they were small. What kid doesn’t like the beach in summer, with sandcastles and ice cream and sand in their hair on the way home. 

Aurora Borealis!!

I had been to Tesco then drove to Gateshead where I was parking for the night and got myself comfy ready to watch a DVD. I noticed though on Facebook people were talking about the Aurora. I read a few posts and one of them was a guy talking to his pal, saying “Get yourself over there now, it’s still going on!”

I was galvanised! It’s a little dream of mine to see the aurora ever since I first read about it as a very young boy, so I packed everything away and sped off to South Shields. Marsden grotto pub car park is reasonably high and views north, so I pulled up there and there was definitely aurora light in the sky! Green, red and magenta, although nothing usable came out of the camera. I met a bloke there who turned out to be a member of th Facebook group which I admin, Let’s Talk Photography Northeast.  We spent about an hour and a half before giving up but as we left I decided on a whim to drive up to Bamburgh in Northumberland.

MK3_1813

I was not disappointed!

As you can see it’s not the best aurora photo in the world, but its mine…and I saw it…and a boyhood dream is achieved. To me it’s the most magical photo I’ve taken in ages and I am proud to put it on my blog.

FibreClass!

Well I got to Bamburgh safely despite some flooded roads, but on parking, got caught in some wire hidden in deep grass and ripped half of the bumper clean off the van. Everything from the left side of the number plate was lying on the ground.
So tonight I’ve tried repairing it using for the first time a fibreglass kit. I need some wood from somewhere to repair the side panel too, as the bumper screws into this, and there’s a section about 8 inches wide torn into pieces. I’m sure I can find some tomorrow from somewhere.
Wish me luck!

 

**Update. First time I’ve used fibreglass repair, it’s a doddle! Bumper now repaired and back on, although not fixed properly. I’ll wait til better weather to do it right 🙂