Wednesday, 29 June 2016

My Life in Photos // June

Ah, how I love putting these posts together! I'm really looking forward to the same months next year and looking back through them all to see all the similarities and differences. I do know how lucky I am to be able to have variety during my day even through the week due to not working a full-time job.  Of course, we could really use the money, but Baker comes first and I'd never have gotten a dog if I was going to leave it alone all day. Obviously, I know different families work in different ways but we are just lucky enough for me to be able to be with him. So I am. 
Anyway, that was a little, unneeded tangent. Here is a day in my life from Wednesday the 8th of June.

1 // On my way to work and I was chuffed to surprisingly be joined again by not one, but two Fulmars! They were enjoying a good swooping session meaning I was actually able to get a semi-decent photo of them. So lucky that today I had my camera.
2 // On my way home and checking from the bridge to see if my Muscovy friend was back. Since the council cut the grass yesterday there has been no sign of her :(
3 // Yep, more bird talk. Home from work and I go straight to let baby b out for a couple hours.
4 // After I got Baker up and he sat watching the trains, I stuck a face pack on for a bit to try and help my awful skin just now.

5 // We popped outside to hang out Baker's freshly washed blankies and his dog that he sleeps with. 
6 // Now to wash off my face mask and get generally washed.
7 // Had to leave my own little monkey for an hour to go play with these beauties. Yesterday and today I stopped by to let the out and have a little run while their Mama was at work. We had a lot of fun <3 
8 // I used to love playing with these little 'helicopters' when I was little! Almost home & ready to fetch in the washing, check baby b and feed my boyo.

9 // People always ask how I manage to watch so many movies. Multitasking!! I am 90% of the time doing other stuff too while watching movies, like blogging, housework, cooking, playing with Baker or showering!
10 // Tea time! Bad me not having wholemeal pasta..but I love Conchiglie and I have never seen it in a wholemeal version.
11 // Daft hour of running in circles with toys before bed. 
12 // Ending the night with a little bowl of ice cream and more work on the laptop 

Another day over. A pretty good one though and such beautiful weather...if only we had a garden like that of Tilly and Brook (the dogs I went to let out) as Baker would love that and it'd be lovely to sit outside. I also did check on the bird a lot more but if I photographed it every time I went in that would make up most of this post :P So rest assured, it got well looked after.
Until next month, leave me links of your day!

Monday, 27 June 2016

YouTube Videos You NEED To See #29

Inspiration, empathy, happiness, talent, cuteness and way more is what these posts are about. I share the amazing talents from people of all ages, around the world and appreciate them, as well as being in awe of those with such beautiful souls to go through the things they do and kind people making our world a better place. 
Please watch and appreciate the videos I have enjoyed over the past month or so. Feel free to share videos you have loved lately!

It's easy to see why this secured the animator a job with Disney. A heartwarming and stunningly produced animated short. 

If you haven't seen Claire's version of 'Part of your World' where have you been?! Now she's done this with her Dad and completely topped it! Magical memories of her Daddy for when she is older.
[You need to watch this 'behind the scenes' video too, to completely understand how much work went into making this astounding video]

Re-introductions are possible! And so sweet <3 

One of the most magical destinations for such a wonderful moment. Devin's videography is always top of the game too!

How one video can change your life. Such awesome experiences for the 'Chewbacca' Mom!

Tayt is the most perfect person to go explore the Pixar studios! So insanely cool!

Just another reason to adore Disneyland Paris!

A Tale as Old as Time...<3

I know it's an old video but if this doesn't inspire you, nothing will.

An Insane Artistic Talent!

This Guy is Our Aladdin in the West End Show. Yes, Dean! Dreams Come True <3

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Weekly Reflections // Week 90

July 19th - 25th

Favorite Photo

Top Thankful or Happy Moments.
♥ Baker being a good boy and staying over at his Granny's house!
♥ Dad and I starting our 30-mile walk nice and early at Kielder Castle.
♥ All of the free roaming sheep.
♥ Visiting Kielder Birds of Prey again after 4 years.
♥ Getting to hold a Barn Owl, a Ural Owl, have a Yellow Headed Caracara on my knee and have Pelicans walk about right in front of me.
♥ Finally getting to our Inn for the night after a long, difficult walk.
♥ Seeing a wild Red Kite, Osprey, Canada Geese with their babies and deer tracks!
♥ Getting to the end of our very long, difficult walk. 
♥ Having spent two days in my natural habitat. 
♥ Coming back to my little man.
♥ Doing lots of 'Spring' cleaning.
♥ My new awesome camera backpack thing arriving.
♥ Going to vote. 

Blogs Posts I've Enjoyed.
Sorry! I was away for a few days doing a charity walk and then spent most of the remainder of the week wallowing in self-pity at not being in the forest anymore. I'm still not feeling 100% but hopefully, I'll have a few posts to list here next week. 

What I've Watched.
[!] Khumba     ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
[!] The Boss     ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
[!] Deadpool     ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Posts from the Past.
Favorite post from this weekDisney Classics: All About the Ages
This week in 2013JD Photography - It's A Dogs Life

Friday, 24 June 2016

Disney Classics: All About the Ages

So, let's kick this off with an edit to my original draft! I've had this idea 'sketched' out for quite a while (I write posts 1-3 months in advance of them going live) and then a few weeks ago I was tagged in a post by Jamie, which I think was originally started by Amy! Of course, I always feel the need to include a disclaimer of sorts so people don't think I'm a copy cat, as well as links to the people who have written similar things before me. It's a small world after all ;) and it's possible that we'll all come up with similar ideas at some point. 
On with the show!

Today I wanna talk about the ages of Disney animation. So what are the ages/eras, to begin with?

Disney 'eras' can be defined as unofficial, specific periods of time within the history of the Disney Animated Canon aka the original classics series. They are currently split into 7 sections/waves, separated by either breaks the studios took or dips in popularity, so to say, due to current events like wars or other important issues. Below is a little breakdown of each age or era and what they involve.

The Golden Age // 1937 - 1942
These movies are : Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi

The ones that started it all! With Walt at the helm, Disney's first full-length animated feature film 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' kicked off the Golden age, thusly named as it  showed the company at it's 'breakthrough best' with their take on classic fairytales, despite certain movies not doing too well upon original box office release.
For the most part, these movies are thought of as some of the darkest, evident in many scenes through out all of the movies but most prominently Pinocchio and Bambi. This, in my opinion, as well as other certain subjects within the movies make them not suitable for all ages but more suited to adults and older children - opposing most people's views of Disney being just for children.

This is my personal favorite era and not only just because it houses my favorite Princess!

The Package Era // 1943 - 1949
These movies are: Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Also know as the 'wartime era' or the 'lean years', here is where things took a turn for the worse for a while. War was the biggest influence on these movies what with a big chunk of Disney's animators being enlisted and the first of the bunch, 'Saludos Amigos', was a commission from the U.S government in which the four short stories set in South America had been inspired by a tour Disney Animators took.
All of these movies are made up of shorts and although are widely known to be the least popular out of all of the current 54 classics, there really are some great gems in the mix.

My top pick from these is The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad which I love to watch around Halloween time as well as Fun and Fancy Free for obvious reasons!

The Silver Age // 1950 - 1959
These movies are: Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, The Jungle Book

As you'll be able to tell from the popular titles above, these productions marked a turn in production - more amazingly done, feature length, higher budget animations. Evident in the painting-style scenes of Sleeping Beauty and the elaborate backgrounds in One Hundred and One Dalmatians, the Silver age was stunningly fantastical.
Personified, talking animals and creatures feature heavily through most of these movies mirroring, though moving forward from, the likes of Bambi from the Golden age.
Sadly this era ended with the loss of our beloved Walt. The last movie he personally worked on during the period that he fell ill was The Jungle Book.

I'm sure most people will agree it is rather difficult to choose a favorite from this bunch, but I think it'd be Alice!

The Bronze Age // 1960 - 1988
These movies are: The Aristocats, Robin Hood, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, Oliver and Company

After the loss of Walt the studios apparently entered a decline which included a lot of trial and error, however, I personally believe these movies are very underrated. Many of them have the darker theme that we saw in the Golden age, so much so I would say they also aren't as suitable for younger children and are even still slightly scary in my eyes (The Black Cauldron anyone?).
Technological advances in the form of the introduction of xerography (essentially a method of dry photocopying) not only reduced the time and cost it took to make the movies, but gave them the 'black line' sketchy characteristic.
Similarly to the package era, the Bronze age didn't receive as much love as it's predecessor at the time, minus Winnie the Pooh.

Oliver and Company certainly stands out for me as a must see from this age, with a brilliant soundtrack to compliment the whole picture.

The Renaissance Era // 1989 - 1999
These movies are: The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan

The word 'renaissance', in this sense, means 'a revival of or renewed interest in something' so describes this wave to a tee. Obviously with these movies being between the years of '89 and '99, it's the era with some of the most popular movies for my generation and peers and is also regarded as the pinnacle point in Disney animation seeing great successes at the box office.
Being the first proper 'fairytale/Princess' movie for them, The Little Mermaid won many awards - particularly for it's soundtrack.

For me, The Lion King is one of the main movies I'm emotionally attached to from my childhood and I still have my Simba soft toy that I got in 1994 so that and the Rescuers are my top choices here.

The Post-Renaissance Era // 2000 - 2009
These movies are: Fantasia 2000, Dinosaur, The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Chicken Little, The Wild, Meet the Robinsons, Bolt

This is where these little lists can get a bit confusing as they differ from the US to the UK, 'Dinosaur' being excluded from the UK Disney Classics list and 'The Wild' being immitted from the US list. 'Dinosaur' was actually the studio's first attempt at CGI and so this began the transitional period from their traditional method of animation to computer generation which I think is so cool which is why I wish it was included in the UK canon.

So overall this is the era I favor least, Lilo and Stitch, Brother Bear and Bolt being the main three for me.

The Revival Era // 2010 - Present
These movies are: Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Wreck it Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia

Finally, that brings us to present day and our current age of Disney - the Revival era. Going from strength to strength it is understandable why people also refer to this the second renaissance. The Princess and the Frog re-introduced traditional fairy tale storylines once more while also using traditional animation techniques and worldwide raked in around $270 million! After that success, Disney moved on to Tangled using not just traditional animation, but mixing it with some CGI too, which evidentially led to a very popular release.
You're probably aware that the Revival era has only gone from strength to strength especially when it comes to 2013's Frozen. Nothing I can say will sum up it's continued success, even 3 years on from it's original premiere. A crazy $1.2 billion at the Box Office made it the highest-grossing animated feature of all time. It also received many awards!
A notable point to mention here is Winnie the Pooh from 2011 is actually #51 in the classics list for the US though doesn't appear in the UK line up.

Wreck it Ralph is my favorite so far from this era, including Zootopia (Zootropolis in the UK) which is not pictured as it isn't available on DVD yet obviously haha. The next scheduled release in the Disney Canon is Moana, in November this year, followed by Gigantic in March 2018.

And that is it! Phew!! This post has taken weeks and weeks of me coming back and forth to it, lots of research and pushing it back in the schedule for other posts I needed to get up haha. I'm glad to finally have it up and if no one else finds it interesting, at least I learned a couple of things I didn't already know ;)
As I mentioned at the beginning, Amy of Scariel's Grotto created a few tag question posts based on a few of these ages in animation, so make sure to pop over and check those out if you fancy it!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

National Railway Museum, York - Part 3

In the last post of this mini-series from our trip to The National Railway Museum in York (way back in February :O), I'm sharing a few photos from the Warehouse area and a couple odd snaps from the Workshop. 
The works (workshop) is where you can see engineers actually working on the maintenance of locomotives etc, read more here and back in 2010 they had the Hogwarts Castle here being cleaned!

The warehouse is simply an area used to house thousands of interesting bits and pieces but is open for people to have a wander around, similar to the one at Beamish if you have been there. 

As you can see from the 1st photo, one of the first and most exciting things I spotted in the warehouse was the sign to platform 9 and 3/4! I can only assume that this has been kept from the time when the Hogwarts Castle was housed here for a while before it being moved to it's home at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. (I have lots of up to date photos of it in it's current home which you will see in a few weeks in my 'The Making of Harry Potter' series'!)
Another thing we had fun doing was spotting anything and everything to do with Northumberland and the North haha, as you may be able to tell from the photos of the signs.

Make sure to check out the first two parts of our day at NRM York and let me know your thoughts on this awesome museum! 

Monday, 20 June 2016

Project 365 2016 // May

It seems recently more and more people have commented to me that they had no idea I had two blogs! Well indeed I do! Underland 2 Wonderland (ah I know, it used to have a different name but I can't quite find a one to fit yet still tie in with this one) and is a home to my daily photography dating back to the 01/01/2013.

Feel free to go and explore it!
2013 Project 365 
2014 Project 52
2015 Project 365

My Top 3 photo from this month are -

The best moments from this month were -
- Having Kerri come visit/meeting in person for the first time!
- Finally getting and building a shelving unit.
- My very last DMR ever arriving.
- Becoming best friends with the Muscovy Duck and talking with each other every single morning.
- Meeting Tilly and Brooke <3
- Seeing the Flying Scotsman cross our famous Royal Border Bridge from our bedroom window (twice).
- A black swan arriving in town after many years since the last.
- Walkies to Ord and the Garden centre with Baker and Mam.
- Seeing 'Alice Through the Looking Glass'!
- Allll of the birds. 

Check out this month in previous years here -

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Weekly Reflections // Week 89

June 12th - 18th

Favorite Photo

Top Thankful or Happy Moments.
♥ Seeing baby bird fly away free <3 
♥ Getting Dad's little Fathers Day package sorted.
♥ Mam helping me to gut the downstairs.
♥ The Finest Hours DVD coming out!
♥ A lovely Etsy order from Priya <3
♥ Getting back in my movie watching groove.
♥ Having a catch up & DLP planning sesh on Hangouts with Kerri.
♥ Saturday morning with Mam.
♥ Finding the perfect new camera bag!!
♥ All of the fantastic birds that have come to feed in the garden this week.

What I've Watched.  
[!] Up, Up and Away     ⭐️⭐️⭐️
[!] Tumbleweeds     ⭐️⭐️⭐️
[!] Glory Road     ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
[!] The Sorcerer's Apprentice     ⭐️⭐️⭐️
[!] Buffalo Dreams     ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
[!] Summer Rental     ⭐️⭐️⭐️
[!] Wanderlust     ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
[!] The Poof Point     ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
[!] Without Reservations     ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Posts from the Past.
Favorite post from this week - The Beautiful Birds of Berwick
This week in 2015 - My Life in Photos || May Play Day
This week in 2014 - The Fairy Tale TAG

Friday, 17 June 2016

Countdown to Disney 2016 // Ride Hitlist

14,256,000 seconds
237,600 minutes
3960 hours
165 days
23 weeks and 4 days

The days are depleting quickly for our upcoming trip and so the obsessive, compulsive, organizer in me is chomping at the bit to fully schedule my days! Today is the 17th of June as this post goes up, however, I am writing it on the 5th of May and have had my general list jotted down for a few weeks already... I am not kidding when I say obsessive organizer!

So as with 2014's post of the same name, I'm gonna make note of my must-do rides for this visit. These are all either rides I have never done (for one reason or another) or ones that were closed on my previous visit and so I obviously want to do them and refresh my experiences haha.

Disneyland Park
Casey Jr. – le Petit Train du Cirque  - Closed on both of my previous visits (2010 & 2014) and I can't remember 1996, I neeeed to do this one to just make a memory. I love trains, I love Dumbo and I love the Casey Jr song. So hope this is open this year.

Le Pays des Contes de Fees - Another that was closed on both of my previous visited but I actually have some lovely photos from when my Mam, Dad and I rode it together. I'd love a chance to photograph it all again myself :)

It's a Small World - Again haha, closed, though only on our 2014 trip. That does mean that the last time I was on it was with a villain (not a Disney one :P) so with that and the fact it has been refurbished recently, we have to go on it at least twice!

La Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant - My Mam has actually never explored inside Sleeping Beauty's castle and it was closed during our 2014 visit. Not a ride obviously, but a beautiful place for a quiet 15mins and lots of photo taking so this will be great to do. 

Walt Disney Studios
Tower of Terror - I don't do rides alone and have always gone to DLP with people scared of heights so I'm hoping to take advantage of the fact I'll have other people with us this time around.

Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop - As Toy Story Playland opened in the Summer of 2010 after my visit in the March, Halloween 2014 was my first time seeing it all. Again, the heights issue was a problem so maybe this year!

Crush's Coaster - This was on my list last time and we actually waited in the queue for an hour before seeing warnings about not riding if you have back problems etc. It was at that point that we left the queue and so didn't manage to tick it off, but after doing lots of looking into it Mam is determined to do it this time.

Mickey and the Magician! - Ahhh, so exciting! As sad as it is to see the epic Animagique go, I am really looking forward to seeing what we have in store with Mickey and the Magician :)

Yeah, so of course I'll do most of the other rides (minus the ones that I don't like or are closed) but these will be the ones I'll head to first to make sure I can for sure get them done. I'm planning to get some use out of my GoPro while I'm at Disney this time so let me know which rides you'd like a to see a full 'walk-through' of, if any in particular.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Beautiful Birds of Berwick

You have no idea how excited I was to finally catch the bird above on camera. Seriously. Not that you can really tell as it had the sun behind him, but he is a Fulmar! :O He's been visiting a certain part of my town, usually early in the mornings when I'm walking to work, every now and again for the past 6 months to a year I'd say. Most people would think he's just a Common Gull (Seagull to most people) in passing but he was the most beautiful and striking bird to me as soon as I first saw him. 
Fulmars are actually not gulls but seabirds related to the Albatros. What surprised me to see him was that they are never usually this close to town... They feed out at sea and breed on distant cliffs of the Scottish coastline. In Berwick, we are on the North East coast of Northumberland and right on the border to Scotland so it's not too strange to see him, though I always get concerned to see any birds in places that they shouldn't be - for example, this close to town. Just look what has happened to 'Seagulls' with people feeding them and their intelligence leading to foraging in bins etc rather than being out at sea. 

Anyways, that's probably enough waffling about a bird most of you will not give a hoot about. If you did read that I commend you and I hope you enjoy some more photos along my walk-to-work route of other birds & beautiful sights. 

Another little guy who is in a place he shouldn't be is the black and white duck with the red face. He's a Muscovy Duck, a breed that is native to Mexico, South and Central America but which isn't really present in the wild over here nor do they migrate. After a little research that leads me to believe that he is either, unfortunately, a dumped pet/prize bird or an escapee from a farm. Muscovys are sadly used for meat and even more disgustingly, foie gras :( This guy is true to his breed with his friendliness and I've become pretty attached to him since his random appearance so I make a point to talk to him every day. 

Other birds featured above in appearance order are - 
 Male House Sparrow
 Male Mallard flying
Close-up of the male Muscovy
Close-up of a male Mallard

The birds above in featured order are -
Mute Swan
Pied Wagtail
Male Mallard
Female Blackbird
Collared Dove
Close up of a Common Gull

The birds I've included in this post aren't the only species we are lucky enough to get, of course, though these are the ones I managed to get semi-good photos of over two days and they were just quick little under 30minute sessions. Other fab birds we get include - Grey Heron, Golden Eye duck, Sandpiper, Curlew, Dunlin, Little Egret, Cormorant, Eider, Gannet, Oyster Catcher and sooo many other beautiful creatures.
I am still working on catching the otter family on camera closer up and the second to last photo shows near where they are living. This was taken at 300mm zoom so I stayed my distance in case they were nearby, just FYI ;)

If you enjoyed this post, you are my type of person haha. Let me know which bird above you like the most and what is your favorite bird that is not pictured!

As a quick edit, I wanted to include a few more photos I'd taken recently. Including the above shot of, yes, the Fulmar!! I hope you can see it a bit better than in the first image and can therefore see it's many differences with gulls. They are so beautiful and on this particular morning there were two! I couldn't believe it and was so excited. Very lucky to witness such stunning creatures.

Also above are:
A juvenile male Mallard

Two Grey Heron

The Muscovy Duck sleeping in the sun with all the male Mallards
A visiting, beautiful, Black Swan
My famous Fulmar 

This really is the end of the post this time haha.