WP01 – WELCOME TO WOODEN PEWS @WOODENPEWS

YOOO, hows life been since the end of the 3-a-day challenge? Boring? Nothing to read about more apart from the Metro or Evening Standard and let’s be honest we can all do with a little less serious news in our life’s, well please read below.

After a few weeks break and a lot of time spent watching Netflix and junk TV in the evenings, and instead of sitting down at my computer to edit photos and write these posts, Ive sat on the sofa just looking at my camera, Its now official I’m bored. Not bored of chilling out, just kind of board of not having something other than work to keep my brain ticking over, that’s why after a few brainstorming ideas, I’ve now set out on my next kind of photography adventure. The idea is simple take photos and try to connect with as many photographers as possible, plan and simple. The plans to now focus on black and white photography, seeing if I can take on my favourite form of photos and capture moments that most people would just walk past, helping to give you guys an insight to what happens over in the depths of East London. Its not all acid attacks and knife crime, we do really good food too.

I’m by no means a pro photographer looking to shoot the next cover of vogue magazine, I’m just that guy you see out walking the streets with a camera round his neck looking like he’s on a trip for the day, yea I’m that guy. My new means of connecting with people is going to be through Instagram, probably the most used photo sharing platform out there, the thought process was should I keep with my account or should I set up a completely new account and see where it takes me. I decided to set up a new account where its just photos I’m proud of and somewhere to constantly try to push my boundaries not interfere with pictures of the previous weekend.

Now comes the part where I spend ages finding a name, loving it and then finding out its taken and im not having a name like Love_Photography_1234. No. I want a name that is completely random but still has a pretty cool meaning and as I live in East London it was time to pull out the Cockney Rhyming slang dictionary and see what pops up, Apple and Pairs? Nope, Ruby Murray? Nope, all that obvious slang was too easy. Then I thought about what I wanted my account to stand for, I kind of what to inform people about London and especially East, kind of like the news, so I looked up “the News” in Cockney Rhyming Slang, and BOOOOM Wooden Pews, that’s the name. the logo you see below is kind of the first draft and I’m kind of happy with it for now but kind of imagine that it will probably get changed in the near future, I’m just all out of ideas and wanted to get something done so I could start this idea before I throw myself into work for the next three months. So If anyone is any good at design logos, I’m open to suggestions.

Wooden Pews, has kind of got a ring too it hasn’t it? and the best part is no one on Instagram has that name. My vision for the page is that I want it to be minimalistic and at the same time full of great content that I can do what ever I like with, no rules, no restrictions, just me and my ideas, not sure how dangerous that is, but I kind of like it that way. I also don’t really know how long I’m going to do it for but I imagine it will be a year, another 365 days posting, but this time how ever many times I want just not so much writing and don’t worry if you still follow me on here, I will be checking in probably every Sunday, and will probably share photos that I post that week on Instagram, kind of do like a weekly round up. But if I do start to go awol please don’t be afraid to tell me, mum / Dad. I’m kind of looking at you there, my number one fans.

So give me a follow so I don’t look like a complete loner @woodenpews. Ive also included below some photos that you can also see on my new Instagram. Its kind of exciting, I love this feeling of not knowing what will happen and seeing something hopefully grow.

Oh and yea if it does completely fail and turn out really cringy there’s a pub called the Sun tavern on Bethnal Green road, you’ll be able to find me there.

Heres some photos enjoy!

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– the new logo, what do you think? any good?
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– the future is here people! –
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– victoria park, one of the best places in london –
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– and some of the best chicken wings in london, if youve ever in shoreditch check them out! –
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– this is the kind of shop window I like –
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– im back guys and it feels good!

B365 – I CANT BELIEVE I MADE IT!

Well, its finally here, blog post 365 and it feels a bit weird. For the 90% of my facebook friends that have had to put up with these posts each day and who are just not interested, don’t worry its over. But for those that have read these and showed a small amount of interest, this is for you.

Its over, Ive managed to post 3 photos a day for 365 days and now Im thinking back at the days all those times where I’d given up precious sleep or I’ve been rushing around writing from my phone and its all built up to this moment trying to get these post done. Now, 150,000 words later, 2TB’s of photos and countless hours walking around trying to make each day interesting and worthy are over.

It all started from a conversation with Amy on a weekend away, that turned into me basically going full steam ahead everyday for the past year and in turn has been one of the craziest years or my life, I’ve worked all around the world, including two months in America and China, completely ruined my leg and had to basically learn to walk again, now living with Amy (my girlfriend), completely done up our flat and now working on some really cool projects and productions that I’m pretty proud of.

For todays post I was trying to think of a cool way to end it, like set off loads of fireworks or fly to some amazing beach and finish with a cocktail and some sun burn, but to be honest looking back at the year, the only way to end is to really show 25 of my favourite photos from the 1200 that I’ve posted. Photos that might over wise be forgotten about and disappear into the depths of my hard drive. I’m now sat on my Lunch break at work scrolling through photos and laughing at all the stuff that’s gone on, from coming home after 18 hours a work with nothing to photograph so running down stairs and buying some fruit to cut open and photograph to seeing someone sunbath on Shoreditch high-street drinking beer in just a pair of hot pants or even that time I flew back from Victoria, Canada on a dodgy plane that had no in flight entertainment so for 15 hours I taped my iPhone to the seat in front of me and watched weird low budget films the whole way, just after I had been in the path of Hurrican Irma and witnessed what state of emergency meant in North Carolina.

This blog has been one of the best things I’ve ever done and if it wasn’t for Amy saying “you should start a photo blog” then we wouldn’t be here today and I probably wouldn’t have the confidence or even writing ability and photography skills I have today. Im by no means an expert but I like to think from where I was last year, I’m much better. So thank you Amy for putting up with the words “I gotta do my photos” to helping me figure out tough posts and just generally putting up with the daily stress of being with me.  Your alright you are and I owe you big time.

Looking back at my writing a year ago I have no idea how I even managed to send an email let alone put together an interesting paragraph, but this past year I’ve written around 150,000 words with a minimum daily count of 300 words, its not just given me confidence in my writing ability, its also helped me talk to people and just going with my gut instinct, then having the confidence to see a task through till the end. That’s something I didn’t realise I didn’t have till I’ve started thinking about my next steps and how confident I am about what I want todo next. In the words of my good friend Anders “I’m no Neurosurgeon, but Ill give it ago”.

This photo challenge might be over and the stress of posting everyday is now in the past but I promise this wont be my last post, I’ve sat down this past month and thought of ways to carry on and what direction I should move in and to be honest what I have in the pipe line is something that I’m even more excited about and can’t wait to share with you all. But right now, its time to get some sleep and just enjoy the fact that I’ve managed to see this all the way through to the end. Not even the Chinese government or countless timezones and flight delays were able to stop me.

So one last time.

Here’s my photos from today. Enjoy.

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– this is how i plan on spending the next 2 weeks, before I start putting work in on the next project. I will still blog but just not daily – 

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– doing my final walk around bethnal green taking photos for the blog this evening, it kind of felt a bit like a victory lap –

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– I will always take street photos and try to capture cool moments where ever I am –
Before you see my favourite 25, I just want to say thank you too the 13,500 readers from 119 countries that have read my daily blog, not all hero’s wear capes.

On to the next challenge and a new direction for joshfspear.com

Peace out and thank you for sticking with me through the terrible grammar and countless spelling mistakes!

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– it was at this post that the idea for the blog was created, Bleinheim Palace –

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– playing with the gopro after amy picked me up from the pub, thanks mush –

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– walking through hyde park early morning is something I wish I could do more often – 

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– london has been the perfect city for this photo challenge, thank you to all the grumpy people that dressed up as storm troopers or sun bath on highstreets, you have made this blog a million times better –

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– the day I found out my leg was ruined and I wouldnt be able to run the ultra marathon or walk for that matter –

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– moving in with this one, so happy we have done the most of our ikea shopping tick list, please no more –

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– explore italy, she has some how managed to put up with my constant photo taking –

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– its always good to see stuff like this on your way home –

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– this dog still is one of my favourite dogs ive come across –

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– in four years of living in Bethnal Green, this year I saw the most snow ive ever seen in london –

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– Norfolk sea side is one of my favourite places to photograph, the colours always come out perfect –

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– this image was the first one I had taken shooting in RAW, and my god it was worth the switch from JPEG even is the files are bigger

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– I am looking forward to the summer again and getting more colour in my photos

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– this is one of my favourite photos from the past year, right time, right place i suppose –

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-again, right place right time, the sea gull literally dived down and stole her fish and chips –

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– seeing people jamming on the guitars in St.Louis was pretty cool, hopefully Ill get to go back there soon –

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– seeing a deer walk down the street in Victoria, Canada. Luckily I had a 70-200mm lens on my camera at the time –

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– water planes on the river in Victoria, a place that I would love to explore when im not working –

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– 15 hour flight, using my phone at a TV. that was an experiance I wouldn’t do again in a hurry –

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– walking round New York, this photo was taken somewhere near the brooklyn bridge –

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– flying out of New York –

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– the view from my room in Shang hai, that place is like no where else ive been –

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– christmas on Bond street, these two were well into the christmas sprite –

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– flo doing what flo does best, cause havoc –

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– our drive to the flat in Italy, the Amalfi coast is somewhere I would love to go again –
Peace out everyone, its been fun.

Much love,

Joshfspear

 

 

B364 – THREE STONE HEAVIER

ahh Tuesday morning and the end of the four day weekend, its kind of weird because I kind of feel like the four day weekend is kind of like the End and beginning of a new year, I’m not sure if its because of the end of the tax year or if its because the blog ends tomorrow. but for some reason its starting to feel like a new chapter. but before a “new chapter” starts I think its probably best if I just drag out some more easter photos just one last time.

After waking up slowly yesterday and chilling out in the morning, it was time to jump on a train back to London and sort ourselves out for work. I think its fair to say that we all left yesterday weighing at least 2 stone more. Ive had an easter egg for breakfast two days in a row and now I’m not really sure what todo with myself, I kind of feel like its acceptable to have a chocolate bar before 9am today but then again that might not be the best idea. I think I can speak for both Amy and me when I say thank you Auntie Michelle for a really really good easter break and an even better spread of food. We didn’t have the best weather but in a way thats kind of better because then everyone just goes into sleepy mode and we all just sit around chilling out, instead of trying to think of a way to make the most of the weather. kind of what easters all about, even though I wouldn’t of minded some sun and maybe just maybe temperatures above 20. today is a short and sweet post as I really need to get dressed for work, so hope thats ok with you guys.

Anyway, heres some photos from the weekend. I hope everyone had a good Easter and did exactly what they wanted too with the four day weekend.

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– Heading back to london –
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– I wish this was desert every day –
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– weather wasnt on ourside but sometime that makes weekends like this every better –
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– My dad wanted me to post this photo the other day but I forgot, Release the Chimps Beer it made him chuckle –

B361 – THIS IS GIVING ME A MINI HEADACHE

you know how I said yesterday that I had a pretty cool place to go and check out, well, heres a kind of mini story the day. At the start Amy and me headed out for breakfast in Covent Garden, it had just started raining that really heavy and wet rain that gets through even the best gortex jacket. We had just finished our starter at brunch in this really cool little greek restaurant and the conversation came up about how we were going to get to the location and then we realised that trains weren’t stopping near by and the bus was just not really an option. I know what you are thinking, uber? but to be honest, it would just have been a pain getting one there and then getting one back would have been a nightmare. things really wern’t looking up for us and this plan, it was time to make an extreme decision, so…

After our meal we headed across the road to a coffee shop to think of a new game plan, we were both pretty clear that we didn’t want to head back to the flat and spend the rainy day inside watching movies and eating food, we wanted a mini adventure and to see something new. it has been the first time in like 6 weeks, where we literally have the whole day to spend together, one of us didn’t have to work in the morning or disappear in the evening, so we wanted to do something fun and make the most of it, but every idea we had didn’t work out, see a last minute west end musical? not one on at the right time. London Dungeness? Nope, just nope. Then, just as we were about to finish our coffee’s, Amy had the idea about going to the design museum in Kensington and boom we had a plan and somewhere to go!

For yesterdays mini adventure I decided to take the 28mm lens, its something that I think has real potential and one that I want to get to know better. I like to think that I know how to get a lens to focus and can take an OK picture with basically any lens you put on my camera. After all, I have been doing it literally every day for the past 361 days. but for some reason I just cant get the focal length right for really any picture, its so annoying. I cant seem to get it perfect, its giving me a headache. But Im not just going to put this lens on the side and not use it again. it must have been made for a reason, and I’m sure its portraits and street photography, maybe I just need to spend some more time with it and get to the bottom of what it can be used for.

Heres some of my shots from yesterday, I hope you like them and just so you know, I will be using this lens again today and will do my best to figure it out!

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– us sitting across the road trying to make this day work out –
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– we found a big puddle with some water fountains so I decided to jump in it –
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– see I just cant work out the focal length of this length, maybe I need to use the aperture to make these photos sharper, but this is a stair case inside the design museum –

B360 – AND SO IT BEGINS

Thursday and the start of a four day weekend, what more could you want? Yesterday was a filming day so I didn’t get any chance to run off on my lunch break and take some cool photos, it was more about chasing Amy around Tesco’s trying to get some cool photos with a 28mm lens I’ve got this weekend.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the 28mm, it’s basically a wide lens that is really good to street photography and I would say nights out, it’s a f1.8 so that basically means it’s really good in low light.

But less about the lens I will probably dedicate a whole post too over the next few days. Yesterday I met Amy in Tesco’s for fish Tacos night, which was an experiment and something that definitely needs an improvement, not sure what happened but both of us weren’t happy with the result, luckily we had a big bag of Doritos and some cheese to make cheesy nachos while we watch a movie, only 10 minutes in and Amy’s fast sleep and that meant that was the end of movie night, time to hit the pillow. You know someone’s working hard when they fall asleep at 9:45 on the first night of a bank holiday weekend.

Today though we are up early before heading to a really really really cool place this afternoon, I’ve got all my camera batteries in charge so I can take some sick photos. I would say more but I quite like leaving it a surprise and trying my best to take some cool photos. but first I need a coffee and some breakfast. I’ve also just realised that this is my last weekend before I’ve finished this 3 a day blog challenge, so I really need to start thinking some of cool way of finishing! but dont worry, Ill have a little brainstorm and come up with something.

Here’s my photos from yesterday, enjoy.

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– sometime shop fronts give you really cool lighting, but shooting with red lights is never easy –
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– taking the lift down to meet amy for movie night food –
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– after this photograph the security guard came and told me off –

B357 – NOT JUST A HUGH GRANT FILM

So now im sat on my sofa after driving back from a long day of shooting in Kent, its like 10:30pm and Im trying to get this post done so i can watch an episode of Sinner before I go to bed. All in all today has gone pretty well, and it feels good to be back at the flat knowing that the shoot went well. The plan for todays post is to show you some more photos from the other day in notting hill, for those of you that arent so familiar with this place that features heavily in that film with Huge Grant which by the way is called Notting Hill, apart from that its been home to the likes of Jimi Hendrix as well as Damon Albarn and George Orwell.

I think though one of the best reason to head over to this part of town is for all those crazy little shops that sell thinks that you don’t even realise you need, till you see it for sale. thats the kind of place it is, like the door knob shop, which by the way I think it really cool, they basically create custom door knobs, how cool is that. I know plan on installing new door knobs on everything I can in the flat from cabinets to bedroom doors if thats even possible. Ive been fully sucked into this idea, I just need to get my vision past Amy first.

Notting Hill kind of has its own style that aren’t seem to be recreated anywhere in London, its got the hustle and bustle of Camden but the social standing of Chelsea, its a place where Sirs and Madams live in harmony with Goths and rock stars. Im not sure if thats just a 2018 thing or if its always been that way, though I cant imagine Jimi Hendrix is the type of person to live in a quite part of the town.

Im going to keep this post short as I need to catch up on Sinner and also spend to time chilling out. I hope you all had a good monday and all getting ready for easter.

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– Driving back to london tonight, I love the london Sky line. this might be all out of focus but I had the wrong lens on the camera. Sorry  –
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– this guy just wanted to play the guitar and pose like a Glastonbury Headliner –
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– I really like this kind of mirror, the Cafe shops round Notting hill are worth the trip too –

 

B349 – THIS IS PERFECT

When you stay in a hotel, the reason you stay there is for the bed, and nine out of ten times the bed is all wrong. You get given some rubbish pillows that feel like they’ve been folded in half one to many times and a duvet that is more of throw for your sofa than anything else. Well the Village Hotel in Dudley, Birmingham is not that kind of place, my room had at least a 14.5 tog duvet and the pillows to match, that is something that’s rare to find in a one nighter hotel.

If Premier Inn was a 4 star work trip hotel then this place is easy a 4.5 and its simple, this place has everything you need for a good nights sleep after a long day of work, from a gym and spa area that actually has a swimming pool deep enough to dive in (not that I went swimming), you could then head back to your rooms  and be pleasantly surprised that the showers they actually worked and for once didn’t give you third degree burns or worst frost bite, you are met with a constant supply of warm to hot water that actually does the job. One thing that has to be noted is the fact that they don’t have a luggage trolley, which makes my life 15 x harder. Most of the time when I stay in hotels its with a lot of camera equipment and instead of carrying 20 bags through receiption and into my room it’s nice to just put them on a trolley and push them around, even more so annoying in the morning. 

After some excersise and a great shower time to head down and get some food. That’s  when I found out about something that would put a smile on anyone’s face, I’m talking about game day chicken wings and beer all for something like £7. what more could you want, and what’s more suprising is the fact that this deal is in a hotel especially when they are showing all the football, so that being said I did enjoy the wings and also a few beers. So I will blame that on the bad grammer and poor spelling mistake into post.  but if you couldnt tell for the past 300 words, this hotel is really good and I would definitely recommend it if you need somewhere to stay in Dudley, Birmingham.

Heres my photos of the hotel, enjoy.

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– beer and wings all for £7 something, what could possibly go wrong with that –

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– look at that duvet, perfect. every one stop shop hotel around the country should take note –

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– I know its pretty stripy but I kind of like it. Amy can we do this with the bedroom –

B347 – FIRST TIME IVE EVER PHOTOGRAPHED THAT!

So after the bad Thursday I decided that Friday wouldn’t be the same and that the only thing I could do was to smash it pants off the last working day of the week and book in for an afternoon sports massage, my thinking behind that was I needed to sort my back and arm out after a busy 6 weeks of work and instead of me trying to sort it out, just give my body to a professional and get them to work on it and to be honest, it was the best decision, I came away from the massage feeling like I had given my body a full workout but without burning any energy and just laying face down on a bed, from now on im going to try and book at least one massage every month just to keep everything ticking over properly. the masseuses did say i needed one every two weeks but unless I take out a loan or start selling stuff on the black market I don’t think that is going to happen, but if you are in london and want to get you body fixed up and working to full capacity again or even just give your muscles some lovin then definitely check out Ten Health and Fitness, they are magicians. (they are the guys that also helped me with my leg) they are literally the perfect one stop shop.

Heres a link to their website: https://www.ten.co.uk/

After that my plan was to get off at Liverpool street and walk home taking photos on the way which turned out to be a great idea, because just after Brick Lane it started to rain quite heavily but at the same time the sun was shining so i managed to photograph my first every rainbow, and in such a cool place. It was literally right over an old Church inbetween the spire and the roof, making for some pretty cool photos. after all that it is safe to say that Ive properly managed to turn this week around. Now im spending my saturday doing fun things like bills and some DIY, what else are Saturdays for. I have to admit its just nice to be sat on my sofa not moving.

Heres my photos, hope you like them.

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– can you see the Rainbow? how cool is that?
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– I love it when the rain comes but its still sunny –
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– these guys are magicians –

B344 – PREMIER INN HATFEILD – 8/10 – “worth the stay and good food”

So tonights Premier Inn is somewhere near a motorway around a town called Hatfeild, thats as much as I know about where Im staying to be honest and out of all the Premier Inns Ive stayed in, this one could be the best for customer service. The food was a bit slow but you cant judge a hotel off of one slight mistake, the rooms are clean and the food was actually pretty enjoyable. Today I decided to try something that has been a bit controversial and go for the fire noddles with chicken ( for an extra £2), and it was actually a pretty good choice and right now I know all those Wagamammas fans out there will be saying ” but it doesn’t have a thing on wagamammas” but thats not true.

With a place like wagamammas your standards are a lot higher but with some where like Premier inn its just about getting some sort of food inside you and today thats exactly what i got, good, kind of fresh food at a decent price. what more could you want.

I know this is going to sound like a first world problem and to be honest its not something thats a deal breaker but one thing I dont like about Premier Inn, is the length of their corridors and numbering systems. I know that they need to fit a certain number of room in but please guys add a few short cuts or something because when someone like me who travels with 10 bags and 15 peli cases needs a room we also need it to be easily accessible from the reception which 9 out of 10 times is not that case.

But for all its worth I would have to give this Premier Inn a 8/10 and a 4.5 star travel rating, its a place that does everything it says on the tin and also has a really good sized car park, which is perfect for long wheel base vans.

Hatfeild premier Inn on the M25 you have served me well.

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– these corridors are just a bit too long for someone with so many bags –

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– the best sight someone can see after a long days work, the famous premier inn bed –

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– my dinner the fire cracker noddles with chicken – pretty decent and quite healthy –

B341 – NOTHING LIKE A ENGLISH SEA SIDE TOWN

Saturday in norfolk are mostly about chilling out and just sleeping whenever possible and thats kind of what I’ve done. Yesterday we did the usual dog walk in the morning and then sat around watching films / rugby before heading out with Amy’s friend’s for a meal and stuff. its been the first time in like 6 months since amy has seen some of her friends so its was kind of like a mini reunion.

What I love about coming to norfolk is the kind of sea side town vibes you get, when we took amys dog dexter on the walk we took this path that takes you through a proper english caravan site, with all those static caravans, which this time of year look completely abandoned expect for those few dedicated caravan people, you then head into the sea side town of Sheringham which has some how survived this fate of so many other sea side towns around the country and is still booming, with local butchers and of course the arcade’s with those amazing basketball games and 2p machines but most of all you have to love the local pubs which feel like they have been there since the beginning of time. my favourite is the Welly and now they even have WIFI. who would have thought it.

Its kind of amazing what when you think about what has happened to sea side towns around the country in the past 15 years, a lot of them I feel like are making a come back and a pretty fast one at that, when you look at places like cromer, it must have lived on a knifes edge for a few years while its locals made the decision to move on or stay put and fight it out and try to keep cromer alive and to say that while walking round Cromer briefly yesterday new cafes are opening and smart restaurants are starting to appear. If I had some cash I would quickly buy some old flats overlooking the sea and in a few years I guarantee that those places will be worth a small fortune, especially in the holiday season. So everyone come to Norfolk and have a mini break, you wont regret it and probably wont break the bank doing it either.

Anyway heres some photos from yesterday.

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– dexter on a dog walk, I think someone needs a drink of water? –
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walking through a caravan site –
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– at one of my favourite places in the world, The Welly pub / Cromer –