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


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

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Mary And The Witches Flower.

If you’re a fan of Anime movies you will love this one and even if you aren’t a fan its still a very enjoyable family-friendly movie.Released today May 4th. The movie  ideal for bank holiday fun and a well deserved trip to the cinema for a family get together. check out the trailer here


Mary is a young girl who arrives in the village of Redmanor to stay with her Great-Aunt Charlotte. After discovering a ‘fly-by-night’, a rare flower that blooms once every seven years, Mary is spirited away to Endor College, a college for young witches and warlocks. There, she meets Madame Mumblechook and Doctor Dee, who celebrate her arrival under the belief she is an all-powerful witch. But in a world of incantations and transformations, all is not what it seems. Mary will have to summon her inner strength if she is to understand the true power of the Witch’s Flower.

The stunning family adventure from the makers of Studio Ghibli classics Arrietty and When Marnie Was There. The film features an outstanding voice cast including Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent, Ewen Bremner, Louis Serkis and Ruby Barnhill as the voice of Mary, and is adapted from Mary Stewart’s beloved children’s classic, The Little Broomstick.

To add to your enjoyment of Mary And TheIWitches Flower I  am running a giveaway (see Pic) to win this fab bundle of merch hop over to my facebook page and leave me a comment on the post will draw a winner on Tuesday 8th may 5pm Now for the rest of the weekend I have  a new movie to view.



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May the 4th be with you

As most of you are already aware May 4th is now known as Star Wars Day.  “May the 4th(force) be with you” but whether you are a big fan of the movies or not you will love this Stormtrooper bluetooth enabled speaker.

The Original Stormtrooper Bluetooth Speaker will be launched on May the 4th. As all film fanatics know this is also May the 4th Be With You Day!

Featuring full-size helmet design and a limited edition of just 450. Includes Certificate of Authenticity signed by Original Stormtrooper creator, Andrew Ainsworth, himself.

This beautifully crafted, sleek and stylish speaker has been made in collaboration with Andrew Ainsworth, the man who created the armour and helmets for the original Stormtrooper in 1976. Andrew made the original mould and it has become iconic ever since.

The full size helmet speaker will sky rocket your party into a new galaxy. With 2 x 10w speakers that combine to make a galactic soundwave of 20W, it’s sure to liven up any gathering.

With crystal clear clarity, pure sound and superb bass it is the perfect speaker for any fans home. It’s set to be one of the speakers of 2018 and with its unrivalled and distinct design, who wouldn’t want as their centrepiece?

It works via Bluetooth and easily syncs to your devices and with a range of 10 metres it won’t miss your favourite tracks.

In 1976 prop maker Andrew Ainsworth of Shepperton Design Studios created the original Stormtrooper helmets and armour for the first movie. These products are based on the original moulds Andrew produced, as close as it is possible to get to the original film props.

The Thumbs Up Original Stormtrooper Speaker has an RRP of £300 and will be launching exclusively on Amazon on Friday, 4th May.

Available on Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078YC5YSG

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LetterBox Cakes and save 15%

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing a “letterbox cake” from the lovely people at Bakerdays.com.

As it was the father in laws birthday the following week Opted to get a cake sent to him, sadly I never got to taste it as he lives 300 miles away but it was a lovely surprise for him and he did say it tasted yummy. With a selection of cakes to suit every occasion.letterbox cakes are a fab little gift that really does fit through your letterbox. They arrived safely packaged in a 5-inch tin, we opted for this DIY/builder design as Mick is a builder and had it personalised without names. There is also a choice of sponge ranging from Dairy Freee for those with an intolerance, to Chocolate and even a gluten-free option to traditional sponge so something for everyone.

If you order your cake before 2 pm you should receive it the next day,  ideal for those last minute surprises or you can order to have it sent in time for a special day. I will be ordering a graduation cake soon for my daughter in July.


Now if this has inspired you to buy a Letterbox Cake we have a special offer saving you a whopping 15% if you use the code….   DAILYBREWREVIEWS15