Adventure Brown

Im Lew - A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I'm doing it anyway - expect all sorts of randomness.

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I’m fortunate enough to live in an area where there are so many places to visit for a day out.

I live on the North East coast, If I travel North I have Northumberland, If I travel south I have Yorkshire and the east coast such as Whitby, and If I travel West I have Cumbria. I am surrounded by beautiful areas up and down the coast and remote woodland in all directions, Some are further than others but an hour or so in the car isn’t bad.

Sometimes I don’t have to travel very far to have a good couple of hours out with my first born. Last week we traveled to one of our favourite walks; a beautiful woodland with wildlife all around – Hawthorn Dene.


The walk through the woodland is easy enough and you could easily take a buggy if needed.

As you walk through the woodland you reach an opening which we usually stop and have a picnic and watch the trains pass by. This time out we walked a little bit further than usual, and you come to a fantastic viaduct stretching way up in the trees. As you get closer a little path goes off through the trees then down under the viaduct which brings you to a beach. (This isn’t good for buggy as the steps down are steep and the beach very rocky)

It’s the type of place where your children’s imagination can go wild. Lots of opportunity for playing and exploring through this vast area. And as always plenty of sticks for your kids to play with, (as for some reason kids love sticks).

As we approached the beach Z immediately started playing with Marley, throwing stones for him and making him dive into the rock pools.

We then went Limpet hunting and had a nice walk up the beach. Its not the easiest beach to walk on due to the amount of rocks around but it has more to offer for play time and adventure – lots of rock pools you can explore and you never know you may find some sea creatures.

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.


Do you go out with your local photography group? Well this week I was invited out on a photo walk, a walk I have done a thousand times, this wasn’t the reason I went, but at least I was there to lend a hand to others that needed, “went to the local river in Sunderland”.


Sony A6000, Samyang 12mm, F16 ISo320, 30secs

What I was most looking forward to was going star hunting to see if I could get the Milky Way or a star trail. The location went to didn’t let me take the milky due to where it was located. So i attempted to try a star trail which was quite difficult when I didn’t have a timer or intervelomater, but I really want to test out my Sony A6000 and Samyang 12mm.

I wasn’t sure when we got there if it would work due to the light pollution.


When photographing stars, make sure your away from any light. Ideally you want zero light pollution.

I set up using my Velbon Ultra tripod and extended the legs out so I could get as low to the ground as possible. I found Polaris (North Star).


When shooting star trails it is best to aim for the North Star as all other stars rotate around giving the sky a circular feel when edited together.

I took a few test shots so I could get the settings right, made sure my camera was on manual mode and manual focus, focused to infinity so everything was in focus from my foreground interest to the stars. Once I found the settings I was happy with I stared to shoot. The issue I had was the intervelomater, I think its a must, you can set your timer and an interval between each shot, i.e., 10secs, interval 2secs 100 shots, You can tell the camera to do this and then just step away and let it do its thing.

I wasn’t that lucky, I had one with my old camera but with my new Sony A6000 I had to count in my head the interval.

photography, night photography, how to photograph stars, uk, north east, sunderland, south shields

Sony A6000, Samyang 12mm, F2, Iso500, 20secs, 90 shots stacked

The end result was better than I thought. And this was the first time shooting a star trail so any outcome I was going to be happy with.

To edit the images I used Lightroom to sync the edit, then I transferred into Photoshop, then aligned the layers  and used a lighten blend mode to create the star trail, I then transferred back to Lightroom for further editing.


Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.


Can your remember going to grannies and grandads after school or on a weekend and all they seem to do is feed you biscuits and cake?

Ah the good old times. The only time you got away with eating bad food. As a child you think it’s the best. But in reality, did it do us more harm than good?

Does it still happen now? Or was it a thing of the past.

It definitely happens today as well as other things that can be bad for our children’s health. I seen an article the other day on the BBC News website and it made for an interesting read.

For me I don’t think it done me any harm. Yes my grandparents fed me all sorts of rubbish. And when my gran was baking I always made use of the left overs in the bowl. But growing up in the 90s when there wasn’t any real technology It kind of forced you to be outdoors more. Climbing trees, playing football. Going on a stand by me Style adventure so for me I was always in the move. When helped to burn off any fats I was eating.

Yes my love of food now has took its toll on my bod. I have an excuse though. I’m a dad and dad bods are cool.

But I do worry for children today. There is too many distractions in the home, iPads, TV and games consoles. And not much physical activity happening. For the kids that do consume a lot of sweets and cakes then just want to sit in gaming or watching TV all night isn’t doing them any good.

It’s how you control it. It’s not to say because gran fills your kids with rubbish that a child will automatically become overweight. It’s what you do do after. Have rules on screen time. Go for a walk. Take the dog out. Go play football in the park. Just a small amount of exercise will help.

Introduce healthy meals if your not doing this already.

I’ve been having issues with my 3 year old as of late. All he wants to do eat sweets even though I am quite strict with sweet food, we have always had the sweets under control, so where has he learnt the behaviour from??.

We always make homemade meals from scratch at home and he loves it, and he always ate the food I was cooking but over the past few weeks it has got to the point where he wont sit at he table and just screams for sweets. So now we buy pots of mixed fruit as a treat or yogurt with honey on as a treat. And only limiting sweets on a weekend. The first few days were hard but has helped.

We are quite an active family too so I don’t feel I have issues with weight but I can see how the problems can arise today.

What’s tour thoughts on this?

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.


Do you love pancakes? If so which do you like, flat English or fluffy American?

I’ve always been a fan of American pancakes and I have tried a lot of different recipes and never really found the right mixture, all the ones I’ve made have been nice but never raised enough to the way I really like them.

When I was in America the pancakes from IHOP were just out of this world, nothing beats a pancake from a true American pancake restaurant.

I think I’ve created the best recipe for American pancakes and I don’t know why I’ve never tried it before, I took a recipe and made it my own by adding extra ingredients and playing with different measurements.




200g self raising

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 ½ tsp baking powder

3 eggs

190ml of full fat milk

Pinch of salt (optional)



Place all dry ingredients into a bowl and give it a mix around

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour milk in, give it a good mix then add the eggs, just put all 3 in at once.

The way to mix this is to use an electric mixer, it helps to make the batter nice and smooth, you could mix by hand if you wish just make sure you mix it well enough to get rid of the lumps.

Get yourself a good sized flat pan and put it onto a medium heat with a little oil and a small amount of butter, make sure it has melted and start adding your batter, just add a small amount about 3 inches or so.

When it starts to bubble on the top flip it and cook on the other side for about a minute.

Top with your favourite toppings and enjoy.

I like to put a little but of Nutella and peanut butter in-between each pancake, and pour over maple syrup.

food, pancakes, recipe, american pancakes

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.


We share all the duties in our home, well we both own our home so why wouldn’t I?

Its not the early 1900s now, times have changed since woman ran the home and the men went out to work. The new age is seeing more and more stay at home dads, and women with high earning careers. It makes sense that we need to share responsibilities in the home.

But it does make me think how many households still live like gone by eras, where men expected tea to be on the table when they came in from work or have clothes washed and ironed. I bet there is a lot more than we think.

In the new age men are more domesticated – we wash up, hang clothes on the line, cook, clean, and even look after the kids. Never thought I would include that in, looking after your own children.

But going back a few years to where my original traits came from; I didn’t have a dad around and I lived with my grandparents for a while, so I was learning my Grandads’ traits. He was the only father figure I had around. He went out to work everyday and came home and tea was ready, my Gran cleaned the house religiously and looked after me with my mam. He went out on the drink 3-4 days per week, and participated in no chores in the home other than DIY when required.

I think I took some of his traits on board without realising how wrong they may be in today’s society, but when I bought my first house I never knew how to use the washing machine, never knew how to cook a proper meal and I had never ever cleaned.

I was never made to do chores when I lived at home and I think this was the biggest problem, I just expected my partner to do it all as my Mam/Gran had always done. I remember having a lot of arguments over it. Baring in mind she was the one with the big career bringing in the big wage but I still expected her to have all the time to maintain a home too.

QUESTION- Do you think it is important to teach our kids that the home running is to be a shared task? Yes I do, were not cavemen – men are able to clean, but I’m not picking on us men, women to, it’s important to teach all children how to cook and clean.

If I fast forward now to the present day, I think I’ve come a long way since that first house purchase. I don’t do all of the chores in the house but we share most of them. I do most of the cooking now, the other half plans a meal plan each week and does the shopping for it and I will mostly prepare and cook the tea each evening when I come in from work. I will carry out at least one cleaning task most days, but then we have to because we have a dog so hoovering daily is a must. I must admit that there are jobs I do a lot of and some I don’t do at all, not out of choice but it just ended up being that way. For instance – I still don’t put the washing machine on or do the food shopping but I am always the one to clean the bathrooms, put the bins out and cut the lawn.

Going back to my question of teaching children. It’s not about teaching kids cleaning, but teaching them how to run a home. I bought a house from a very young age but never understood it really, to a point I still don’t. The missus deals with all our financial concerns and to be honest if she wasn’t around I wouldn’t even know which lender our mortgage is with never mind the term, which concerns me. My eldest son is now 3 and he will be getting taught how to run a home, from finances to domestic chores. Not right now of course as he is a bit young, in saying that he does help me clean now already. He loves the duster and he likes to clean the doors down. From when he could walk he had a toy hoover and played with it religiously- he thinks its a game but that’s a good thing, plod on son.

What’s your thoughts on the matter, both teaching kids from a young age or what its like in your household?

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.