Not Such a Mystery

Written by Alan Chun on July 2nd, 2014

The motor yacht currently moored at Newcastle marina has been causing a bit of a stir among the natives this past few days.

Fuelled by the hype the local rag is spewing out, as there’s no other worth while news, hundreds of people have been flocking to the quayside to get a sneaky peak at the splendid vessel known as “Sovereign”.

The Evening Chronicle has been getting people all in a frenzy by saying it is a mystery who owns the yacht. Well according to official records it’s owned by Fairport Yacht Support – Fort Lauderdale Florida, U.S.A. who charter the vessel out. From when it was built, in 2011, up until 2013 its name was “Harbour Island”.

The mystery is who has chartered it and why they have chosen to come to Newcastle quayside. There is some speculation that it could be Cheryl Cole or Simon Cowell because they were photographed together recently in a local Chinese takeaway from one of Ms Cole’s old haunts. Another name being banded about is Mike Ashley, the “much loved” owner of Newcastle United FC and Sports Direct. I read a post by one person saying “It’s got to be the fat man, he’s doing it to wind us up!”

The yacht is here until Saturday 5th July and no doubt the Chronicle will be full of it until it leaves, unless anything really newsworthy happens such as a pedestrian is crushed under the mountain of seagull s*** that seems to be falling from the Tyne bridge at the moment!

Oh, before I go, is it just me or do the pictures of the interior of the yacht that the Evening Chronicle are displaying in this slideshow on their website look remarkably like they have been lifted from this video? I don’t see any credits for the original photographer, Jim Raycroft and there are no comments allowed on this story, hmmm wonder why?

Click on FS to view full screen

 

Happy St George’s Day

Written by Alan Chun on April 24th, 2014

The Gateshead Millennium Bridge with lighting especially adapted to shine red and white for the day.

Nice to see the local authorities actually marking the occasion without worrying about offending anyone.

Gateshead Millennium Bridge

The Gateshead Millennium Bridge lit up with red and white lights to mark St George’s day

 

The Moon & The Stars (and the International Space Station and Mars)

Written by Alan Chun on April 16th, 2014

I went out onto the coast last night to get shots of the full moon rising over the north sea.

Although I hadn’t checked to see if anything interesting was happening in the skies I was lucky enough to be in exactly the right place at the right time.
The ISS (International Space Station) came across and was visible northern England at the same time as I was taking a shot of the moon and Mars! Bonus! :o

The Moon, Mars and ISS

The Moon, Mars and ISS (International Space Station)

Oh, by the way, that’s a ship sailing on the horizon!

A couple of other shots from the night…..

 

Red Moon Rising

Red Moon Rising – No need for a lunar eclipse to get a red moon

 

Souter Lighthouse, the Moon and Mars

Souter Lighthouse, the Moon and Mars`

 

No more Bonnie Lads and Bonnie Lasses

Written by Alan Chun on April 11th, 2014

Today is our Peter’s last day on duty at the entrance to Gateshead Civic Centre. He’s hanging up his, eerm, hat!?!

Peter is hanging up his, eeermmm, hat!

Peter is hanging up his, eerm, hat!?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He has been the welcoming face of the council for about 4 years now with his “Good morning Bonnie Lad or Bonnie Lass” greeting and no matter what, he has ALWAYS had a cheery disposition and a very warm welcome to visitors. It has been a real pleasure to have met him, a true gentleman.

I remember when he and his colleague first started and everybody suddenly found themselves being cheered up on their way in to start their working week on a Monday morning, it was a strange feeling.

Back in 2010 when people were greeted with a big smile

Back in 2010 when people were first greeted with a big smile and a warm welcome

Christmas will never be the same without Peter’s fantastic choice of headwear in the run up to the holidays

Xmas Hats

Xmas Hats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I asked Peter what his plans were, if he was going to look for something new and he told me…

“Well bonnie lad, I don’t think I will, I’m 66, 67 this year, so no, I’m just going to enjoy my retirement”

No doubt with a few extra rounds of golf :)

Well “Bonnie Lad” it’s been a real pleasure and I hope the sun always shines on your fairway and the green always rolls in your favour. I hope you find joy and happiness in whatever it is you do end up doing with your time and we all wish you all the very best, you will be missed greatly on a morning, enjoy the cupcakes and your retirement :)

Farewell "Bonnie Lad"

Farewell “Bonnie Lad”

 

Papa Ganoush Middle Eastern Street Food

Written by Alan Chun on March 19th, 2014

While on one of my regular trips along Newcastle quayside during the Sunday market I just had to stop and get some shots of the Papa Ganoush stall.

Market regulars will need no introduction as this stall is one of the most popular out of all the savoury food stalls.

The aromas as you stand and watch, with mouth watering, the Lebanese Chicken and the Merguez Lamb Kofte cook on the griddles take you far away to a Kazbah somewhere in Tangiers.

If you haven’t yet experienced the delicious flavours of this Middle Eastern Street Food vendor I highly recommend you do on your next visit, you wont be disappointed.

Oh and before I forget, make sure you ask for one of their delightful Middle Eastern takes on a Scotch Egg!

Make sure you like their Facebook page

Their website can be found here

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Aurora Borealis February 27th 2014

Written by Alan Chun on February 28th, 2014

Despite a few clouds rolling in we did manage to get a couple of shots as it all subsided. It was like Piccadilly Circus at St Mary’s, there were more cars and people than on a summers day!!!

Aurora Borealis at Whitley Bay, UK

Aurora Borealis at Whitley Bay, UK

Aurora Borealis at Whitley Bay, UK

Aurora Borealis at Whitley Bay, UK

 

Abridged version of client video as a taster

Written by Alan Chun on February 20th, 2014

Abridged Version Client Video

 

Woop Woop! Party Time!

Written by Alan Chun on February 3rd, 2014

It’s a certain person’s birthday and she’s trying to hide it!!! Ooooh Noooooooo you don’t lol

Enjoy yourself :)

 

Happy Chinese New Year – Kung Hei Fat Choy – Gong Xi Fa Cai – Gong Hey Fat Choy

Written by Alan Chun on January 31st, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year_web

 

Mexican Fajita Dinner With A Difference

Written by Alan Chun on January 31st, 2014

We used to love having Fajitas the traditional way with tortilla wraps and salsa. After a while though the wraps became a bit hitty missy, never quite tasting the same and heavy going and the salsa could be very bitter at times. The chicken itself was always a winner, with the combination of spices and just the right heat, but maybe a tad dry at times.

So one day we decided we would do it differently. First thing we changed was the wraps. Out they went to be replaced by a bed of rice. Salsa went the distance as well, we just didn’t enjoy it but couldn’t think of anything to replace it so we just did away with it altogether. Next we turned the spices from a dry coating to a yummy Fajita sauce!

What we ended up with was a very filling and tasty dinner, keeping everything we loved and removing the bits we weren’t so keen on.

So today I am going to share with you our method of cooking this meal and hope some of you get round to making it and enjoying it as much as we do.

Oh, and before you all start shouting  “this is meant to be a photography blog”, the text will include the pictures of preparing and cooking the meal :)

This serves 2 generous meals, you could easily stretch this to 3 people.

The ingredients

  1. 2 large skinless Chicken breasts
  2. 5 or 6 Peppers, what ever colour you like. We like red, yellow or orange. The green peppers have too much of their own flavour and ruin the overall taste (for us that is).
  3. 3 large or 4 medium onions
  4. 250g Chestnut Mushrooms
  5. 300ml pot of Crème fraîche
  6. Rice (enough for 2 people)
  7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  8. Mini wraps, just in case you do miss them! :)
  9. The magic mix of spices – Salt, Paprika, Roasted Onion powder, Garlic powder, Chilli powder, Ground Cumin, Dried Basil, Dried Parsley.
  10. Or you can do like we do and go to Asda/Walmart or any store and buy the packet mix! We use Asda’s own Fajita Seasoning Mix, best tasting one we’ve ever found :)
  11. Half a cup of water

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Drizzle some olive oil into a baking tray that has an edge that is at least 1cm deep (stops the oil running over the edge when cooking). Chop onions, mushrooms (into quarters, don’t slice them) and peppers and add to the tray. Pour on some more olive oil and mix them all up with your hands, a bit messy but it wont kill you!

Put the vegetables in the centre of the oven at 200°c

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Add a small amount of vegetable oil to a frying pan or wok, we always use a wok for everything.
Cut the chicken breasts into small strips or diced, whichever you prefer, and add to the pan/wok on a medium heat. Stir often to make sure all of the chicken turns a brownish colour. Approx’ 5-7 minutes.

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Now add all of the spices and stir for about 1 minute.

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Add half of the water and continue to stir for about 2-3 minutes. This will break down the spices and turn into a thick sauce.

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Add the rest of the water, turn the heat up a little bit, and reduce to a smooth sauce around 4-5 minutes. Turn off heat and cover.

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Wash and cook rice using your preferred method. We always put it in a plastic bowl, fill with water to just over the level of the rice and place in a microwave for 10 minutes. Next fluff rice up and cover with a plate and place back in microwave for a further 4 minutes. Leave there, with plate on, until ready to serve.

You can relax and make a cuppa while the rice is cooking :)

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Whilst doing all of the above, take the vegetables out of the oven a few times and mix them up. This ensures all of the ingredients get cooked nicely and stops you getting burnt veg on the top!

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When the vegetables are done to your liking turn the heat back on low to the wok. Serve the rice onto plates and drizzle on some Crème fraîche

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Stir the chicken and serve onto the rice. Again drizzle some Crème fraîche over the top.

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Finally add the roasted vegetables and drizzle the remaining Crème fraîche over the top and serve!

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I hope you enjoy this meal. If you do try out please let me know what you thought.

Please feel free to add any comments or suggestions. Enjoy! :)