Blog full!!!

Please use new blog

A few days ago I started to get messages telling me I had run out of space for files which left me with two options – delete older files or pay to go pro – neither of which appealed.

So I have moved my blog to one I set up on my own site a few months ago – so if you want to know what I’m up to please feel free to pop over and see me.

Brighton Rock

Boat and pier

Happy little day, Kevin went away
Met his little Sarah on a public holiday
A happy pair they made, so decorously laid
‘Neath the gay illuminations all along the promenade

We went to Brighton for the weekend leaving the kids with Sarah’s mum. Actually it wasn’t a whole weekend – just one night. It was a wedding present from work which was nice. We couldn’t stay in the hotel we stayed at last time we went down there because they would only accept bookings for two nights so we had booked into the King’s Hotel on the seafront.

Considering how much it cost us the room was very pokey and although we had a window that faced the sea there was only a seaview if you opened the window and bent down to squint through the open four inches. The main window was so dirty that you couldn’t see through it. It was also a good job we didn’t take the moggie because there wasn’t enough room to swing it. It was a shame really because it was a nice little hotel otherwise – I’m sure I’d stayed there before with work.

We ate in the little Italian restaurant we ate in last time and although we thought about going on to a club afterwards we were knackered and it was cold so we just headed back to the hotel for an early night 😉

Sunday we went for a walk along the seafront and I took some photographs before we headed into town and looked round the shops in the Lanes. I bought a t-shirt with the logo “My IQ test came back negative” written on it and some postcards. We had lunch and then headed back to pick up the kids.

Pier 1

We were lucky because the choir Sarah’s mum is involved in were on a TV show called “When will I be famous” and had won the previous week which meant they had to go back and compete again on Saturday. However Sarah’s mum had told them that she couldn’t let us down. We were just about to leave when an emergency phone call came through saying that they had left the lucky moose behind and Sarah’s mum had to do a mercy dash from Croydon to Norbury with it’s twin brother. Although the moose made it – as mentioned by Graham Norton on the show – Libera lost to a man dressed as a tie-dyed slinky!!

Self Portrait Brighton

Self Portrait

In the Churchyard

graves

I’ve been driving the same route to work every day for nearly five years and every day I pass this Churchyard. It’s just as I go round a roundabout and next to the road are three Celtic crosses in a row. There are plants that climb and encircle the crosses and everyday they look different – especially with the passing seasons.

For some time now I have been meaning to stop and take pictures and today I finally did. I was quite pleased with the results. I think I will take some more when spring puts leaves on the trees.

See more pictures here

I like driving in my car

but this week I haven’t been able to!!!

We went to Sunderland last weekend to show my gran our wedding photos, marriage certificate (She’s so pleased we’re married now!) etc. I left Sarah and the kids there and set off home about 4:30. I managed to get about 22 miles before the car spluttered to a halt in a layby on the A19.

After an hours wait the RAC turned up, had a bit of a look and got me to drive 5 miles down the road to a diner. he said he thought it was either the thermostat or the water pump and that he didn’t think I should drive any further and arranged recovery for me. As luck would have it we were right outside the recovery firms office but it still took them an hour and a half to come and get me. This was because they had to repair the recovery vehicle first!!!!

It took about 6 hours to get me home driving non stop so when I arrived back at 12:45 I ached all over from sitting in that cab. He dropped me off and I went to bed. The next morning I should have been able to have a bit of a lie in and then head up to town for the conference I was doing except I had two video tapes which needed to go to the office. I looked up train times on the net and every journey involved either a bus or walking between stations. Eventually I settled on a train to Bromley South, then another to Beckenham Junction before finally catching a bus to Elmers End.

When I got on the bus I handed the driver a tenner and he said can’t change that!! I said sorry but if I’d known I was going to breakdown I’d have made sure I had some change. So he drove to the next bus stop where I got off and went into a shop for change while he waited for me!! What a nice bloke!!! 😀 The next time I caught this bus was Thursday and again he was the driver! He looked at me and smiled as I presented him with the correct change. I said I bet you’ve got change of a tenner today as well – he did!!!

I got the same train two days running – the 6:18 from Gillingham. Something happened that hasn’t happened for years (1984 to be precise when I was commuting from Sunderland to Newcastle Poly every day). I got on to the train on the second day, sat in the same seat as the previous day and the same guy was sitting next to me – on both sides!!!!

I had been told in no uncertain terms by the missus that the car was not going back to the garage that had pissed us about last year. I set her the challange of asking around for recommendations and eventually she found one. She rang up and it was arranged for me to drop the car off on my way to work at 6 the following morning!!

So three days, £235 and much commuting by public transport later I finally picked the car back up this morning. It’s much better now that the water pump has been replaced. The car doesn’t overheat anymore. The heater actually works and it seems to have got it’s oomph back again!!

Picture this

I bought this from ebay last week

s602 1

One of the things I realised in Australia was how much I wanted a decent digital camera. My little Kodak was ok but it was quite limited. It takes nice pictures in daylight but struggles inside. It didn’t have a zoom or any control over aperture or shutter speed.

I’ve had a few cameras over the years – my first proper camera was a Zenith E. I loved that camera and I took some great shots with it. I took it to concerts and all over Europe but it started to wear out and needed replacing – I still have it somewhere though!

Then after a trip to America I bought myself a Nikon 301. It was a good camera but it was fully automatic – no manual wind. I then bought myself a Nikon FE second hand. I went into a camera shop to buy a roll of film and came out with it!!

In amongst these I also had a couple of Olympus XAII’s to use as a point and shoot camera. When my second one died I bought the Kodak digital. I like digital photography because you can take as many pictures as you like without having to worry about processing costs. I also like the options it gives you to manipulate the images you take.

So when I came back from OZ I kept a look out for the Fuji S602 on ebay – a friend had one and he said they were really good so I decided to go for one. Ideally I would like a Nikon SLR digital but hey I can’t afford one!!

I finally won one for £62 and when it arrived I was really pleased with it – except I couldn’t get it to recognise a compact flash card. Eventually I e-mailed the seller and he gave me a partial refund. However the smartmedia slot also packed up rendering it useless and I got a full refund.

So I bought another one!!

s602 2

This one was £60 and it should arrive tomorrow (Snow permitting) – looking forward to it.

Here is one of the pictures I took using it while it worked!!

elmers end
Elmers End?

See more of my photographs at Flickr