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Wedding Weather, what does mother nature hold in store for your big day?

Planning a wedding is a huge responsibility for any bride and groom to be but one thing that is out of everyone’s control is Mother Nature and the weather. On my own wedding day we had ice, snow, sleet and brilliant sunshine and i got wed in January so mostly what we expected the biggest worry was would we even make it to the Registry Office. The Fab peeps at  Monsoon have created a weather forecast to help plan your big day. Using official Met Office rainfall data, we’ve looked back and analysed 86 years’ worth of statistics to establish which days have historically been the driest and which days have been a washout.

According to the calculator April despite being famed for April showers is in fact the driest month of the year with just 2.29mm of rainfall, the 15th April comes up trumps as the driest day of they year.

I have a wedding to photograph in September and was as always preparing for all eventualities but the calculator states 39.08 percent chance of rain that day. So I will be prepared and feedback my findings. You can of course check the calculator if you date has already passed and let me know how wet or dry your big day was.

The calculator can be found here at https://uk.monsoon.co.uk/will-it-rain-on-your-wedding-day

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Madagascar comes to Sunderland Empire

Are you ready to “Move it, Move it? I am that’s right Madagascar the musical will be visiting the Sunderland Empire. From the 28th August for a short run until 1st Sept.  Click on the Picture below for a preview.

 

Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar – The Musical follows all of your favourite crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.

Alex the lion is the king of the urban jungle, the main attraction at New York’s Central Park Zoo. He and his best friends – Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo – have spent their whole lives in blissful captivity before an admiring public and with regular meals provided for them. Not content to leave well enough alone, Marty lets his curiosity get the better of him and makes his escape – with the help of some prodigious penguins – to explore the world.

Since winning X-Factor, Matt has been non-stop. He’s been recording music all over the world including Miami, LA and Scandinavia. After a top 3 hit with Ed Sheeran penned winner’s single When Christmas Comes Around, he released his debut album ‘Trouble’ in November 2017. His first single from the album, Sucker For You has had nearly 60 million streams on Spotify. After Sucker For You, Matt went back to his Spanish childhood by featuring on Enrique Iglesias’s smash single, Subeme La Radio alongside Sean Paul.

Matt will be joined by cast including Antoine Murray-Straughan, Timmika Ramsay, Jamie Lee-Morgan, Shane McDaid, Laura Johnson, Jessica Niles, Victoria Boden, Matthew Pennington and Darren John.

This wacky adventure for the whole family is brought to life by Selladoor Family, the producers behind James And The Giant Peach, Seussical and The Owl And The Pussycat and Hartshorn – Hook, producers of the Olivier Award winning Rotterdam, Murder Ballad, Urinetown and American Idiot. Madagascar – The Musical is directed by award winning Kirk Jameson with choreography from Fabian Aloise. Designed by Tom Rogers, with Lighting design by Howard Hudson, Sound Design by Chris Whybrow, Musical Supervision from Mark Crossland and Puppet Direction from Emma Brunton.

Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo and those hilarious, plotting penguins as they bound onto stage in the musical adventure of a lifetime. Filled with outlandish characters, adventure galore and an upbeat score, you’ll have no choice but to “Move It, Move It!”

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With kids tickets starting at just £15, this colourful musical will be a hit with all the family so don’t be disappointed get your ticket today from Kids tickets just £15! Tickets available in person at the Box Office on High Street West, from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022* or online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland*

Disclosure. I have recieved a free pass to share this info thanks to Sunderland Empire

 

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Hartlepool Steam Punk Festival

Everyone knows how popular the Whitby Steampunk event are and now there is a new event the block as Hartlepool hosts the Hartlepool Steampunk Weekend.

 Sept 8th & 9th

Steampunk Weekend, Hartlepool

Free entertainment during the day including Captain Leaky and his steampunk camper van.

The Saturday evening sees and evening of Entertainment inside the Old Town hall. Including in no particular order of fabulousness, local North East band The Pastures, Illusionist Foxee Stole, legendary swamp-dwellering slaughterhouse blues band The Wattingers, multi-talented Greg Chapman (Juggler, Comedian, Unicyclist, Escapologist, Storyteller, Magician….), the very lovely Burlesque Dancer Pansy Cheung, and headline act, The Filthy Spectacula. (I am advised to issue a health warning here – under no circumstances get into a drinking contest with The Filthy Spectacula, hospital food is disgusting.) You can get tickets online, £18 and no booking fees, http://www.crewe-steampunk-convivial.co.uk/?

And for those wondering what the heck is Steampunk the answer is

So, a Steampunk Festival in Hartlepool!! But what on earth is Steampunk?

Well, it is nothing whatsoever to do with mostly absolutely dire 1970’s “Punk Rock”. It is a genre loosely based on re-imagining Victorian Science Fiction and Fantasy, such as the works of H G Wells, Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Mary Shelley.

You can see it’s influence on television and film productions – the recent Kit Kat Advert’s Time Machine, films such as The Golden Compass, Hugo, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Wild Wild West, and the upcoming new Peter Jackson blockbuster, “Mortal Engines” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRsFc2gguEg&t=48s

It spreads through literature, fashion and music, and best of all it is easy and inexpensive to join in! The basics are probably in grandad’s wardrobe or the nearest charity shop, and from there you can bling it up to your heart’s content as you go along – the only limit is your imagination! And you won’t find a more welcoming and friendly bunch of people. In fact, I’d say it’s probably the most fun you can have with your clothes on!

This is a first for Hartlepool and if its successful it will be back so please attend we need more local events like this is our fab area.

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The Milky Way

Some people would think it mad, some foolish staying out till 3 or 4 am to get a shot of the milky way, but that is what me and a group of friends done last week. ive always wondered in awee how people get these fab photographs. So when my local group decided to have a late night i was up for the challenge. We set off at 9pm in a convoy of 3 cars headed for “Dark Skies” driving along familar roads with street lights then out into the country side crossing single lane bridges that were built for horse and carts.  After and hour and a half we pulled into a car park of which the entrance had hundreds of sheep asleep on it. They werent to happy at being disturbed. As we parked up, about 50 metres ahead of us was a tree the moon was quite low in the sky but not a cloud in sight. Within half and hour the tree was beginning to disappear into the darkness as the sky begin to fill with a thousand stars.

We then began setting up our tripods and cameras while gazing in awe at the fab sight that was unfolding overhead. The stars where multiplying and you could see the beginning of a milky white cloud that is the Milky Way.  This was one WOW of a moment and for a few minutes we all just stood in wonder admiring the stars and noticing the odd shooting star.  In the pitch black cameras ready to start clicking and praying the camera was set up right as altering it in the dark isnt easy, more so when you are use to using auto settings with a flash this is a totally different kind of photography. My camera was set with the lens wide open to let in the light, with the iso boosted as high as i could get it and long shutter speed set at 25 seconds I set about getting my first photo. I was pretty much out of focus when i viewed it back so refocussed on the tree with the help of a torch then the second short was wow i got it. Then it was a case of getting as many as possible as in the distance we could see some low cloud rolling in.  So that was the end of our night shoot but the time had flown by and it was 1.30am, time to head home to bed .

For my first attempt at “astrophotography” i was over the moon almost literally and its given me to motivation to get out more and push my limits and learning. Below are some of my pics taken using a Nikon D5000 and 18-55mm kit lens.

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Digital Scavenger Hunt

The Hunt is on: Students could win a year’s tuition fees by completing digital scavenger hunt

The UK’s largest student accommodation provider is giving students a chance to win a year’s free university tuition, if they can complete a ‘digital scavenger hunt’. The Leap Digital Scavenger Hunt will send digital-savvy students on an adventure around the internet for the chance to earn more than £9,000 – equivalent to a year’s tuition fees – as UK fees remain the highest in Europe.

The UK’s largest student accommodation provider has launched a digital scavenger hunt which gives students a chance to win a year’s free tuition, if they can complete the three-round challenge.

Unite Students is offering £9,250 to one lucky student who successfully navigates the Leap Digital Scavenger Hunt. Starting on the Hunt’s specially created website, contestants will set off on a tour of the internet, pitting their wits against a series of clues as they go.

Students can start the hunt here: https://scavengerhunt.unitestudents.com

Since being introduced in 1998, tuition fees have risen from up to £1,000 a year to £9,250 a year making them the highest in Europe. Fees are currently capped at £9,250 for each academic year*.

The Hunt consists of over 15 stages, spread across three different rounds, and spans the internet from social media to well-known online platforms. At the end of each round students will need to enter the code they’ve uncovered into the Scavenger Hunt website, at which point they will have completed a round and be given the next clue.

The full hunt will begin on the 8th August and students will have until the 5th September to make it to the end of the final stage and make their submission. Once a student completes all three stages they will be entered into a prize draw to win the year’s tuition fees. The winner will be announced on the 12th September.

Entrants must be 17 years of age or above, and have a place secured at a UK university for the coming academic year.

The hunt is part of Unite’s wider The Leap campaign which recognises that making the move to university is a complex life moment. Unite know that the better prepared young people can be for that big leap to university, the more seamless that move will be and the better able students will be to rise to the challenges that such a big life change brings. The Leap campaign urges teenagers and parents to engage and have conversations about The Leap earlier, so their expectations are more closely aligned to the reality of university life.

Unite Students was established almost three decades ago and is the UK’s largest purpose-built student accommodation provider, welcoming 50,000 students each year to set up their new home with them.

John Blanshard, Chief Customer Officer at Unite Students, said,

“Through years of extensive research and insight, we know the challenges involved in making the leap to university. We understand that this is a complex life moment not just for students but for parents too. We also know that the better prepared people can be for those challenges, the easier they’ll be able to meet them. That’s why this year, we’re incentivising our students to take part in our digital scavenger hunt, a fun way to engage with a variety of digital platforms, as part of The Leap campaign. They’ll be discovering different places where we provide useful information that will help support them as they prepare for this next big exciting step in their lives.”

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The Black Dog

I never write about my health issues as i find baring my soul hard to take, but today after feeling under the weather for a few days despite being on longterm antidepressants. Today it has struck me that im sinking into that horrible hole where i hoped i wouldnt end up again. Ive had depression now many years from what started as “PND” post natal depression some 25yr ago. I have sunk into black holes for sometimes a reason and sometimes not and this time there is no rhyme or reason to it. Everything is fine at home, im on holiday from University which i love we have a comfortable home a car for getting out a caring wife and our furbabies but still im sliding. Home alone im bored, home with the wife im bored and havent a clue what to do with myself i always have to be on the go. I started gardening and got on top of it but no spare cash as meant plans are on hold for the time being. We downgraded the car slightly as last one which i had wanted for years cost more in 6 months ownership than my previous car cost in 6 yrs and was constantly going wrong. Is it these little things building up inside me? I would like to think not as they are minor blips but im grateful i got through my 1st year of uni before feeling like this, it gives me time to get myself sorted, just gotta live with hating myself for feeling this low.

Photo courtesy of https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/about-us/who-we-are

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Bank Holiday Monday, May 28th

Happy Bank Holiday one and all. what is everyone up to today? we are having a chillaxing kinda day may cut the grass if it stays dry but after a whole day car booting yesterday the bones ache a bit-old age creeping up me thinks. sitting here at 7am been up 3 hours already, weather is dry and foggy tempted to go for an early morning walk with camera..mmm

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Morning all

This week ive been busy decorating our bedroom, so havent had much time for blogging as it took longer than i had planned we did manage to sneak in a couple of walks so we didnt miss all of the nice weather. Hope you like some of the photos i took while out and about. Normal service will be resumed asap.

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Good Morning

Morning all last week at uni this week for me gutted my first year is almost over but will be chuffed to see my youngest graduate in July. Looking forward to balloons in Durham end of May, Tall Ships Race in July and Sunderland International Air Show so lots to see and do coming up. **update** well the first year of my Extended Media Degree complete barring one small piece to write up tomorrow its been a fab year, especially loving PR and Hope to continue this into yrs 2 &3 numbers permitting. I’m personally now on a bit of a high that its over and I got through without a mental breakdown, which can and has happened now and again. Onwards and upwards it’s a long summer so got two rooms to decorate then I can get back into pottering in my garden. Would love a greenhouse for next year will see what September brings oh and maybe a little pond, tho the wife will not be happy if we get frogs in it lol

 

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Silent Sunday May 6th 2018