Thursday, 28 July 2011

Swallows at Work

Every year we are visited at work by swallows. They seem to like using the unit to make nests for their offspring and we certainly enjoy a noisy few summer months. They are beautiful and impressive birds to watch at close hand, although are not very helpful when it comes to trying to take pictures of them!

The one downside to having these visitors every year is their tendency to poo down from above without mercy... There is absolutely nothing I can do to prevent this and it's a continual job clearing up the splats!

I will sometimes cover up stuff that I really don't want splattered, and as you can see from the final picture below the swallows are highly accurate and intensive in their poo bombardment! :o)

Thursday, 21 July 2011


My first proper experience of Bingo happened this week at Gala Bingo in Acton town. I had a kind of image set in my mind as to what to expect and it was in fact pretty true to that. It was mainly an older clientele and mostly women. It actually made for a very interesting couple of hours of people watching. These people were all obviously hardcore bingo worshippers and I wondered what brought all these people together, how many times they had won and how much money they may have lost over so many years. It was kind of sad that the actual numbers in the hall were fairly low. Was this just on the night that I went or has the smoking ban decimated such places? I was a double first time winner taking a £5 and £10 win home with me which pretty much covered the evening's costs. I would definitely go again especially as I had to become a member to play, and what a fun night out for a group of people...

Friday, 15 July 2011

A Traditional Fry Up!

The traditional fry up is a rare treat, but this morning it was a much deserved treat. I was up at 3:45am to take mum to Luton Airport so by the time I was coming back towards work with an hour to kill the lure of a fry up at the service station could not be resisted!
In terms of quality a roadside cafe would have served up better fayre, but at 6:00am convenience took precedence, and the Beaconsfield services on the M40 did the business. All I have to do now is stay awake for the rest of the day!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

In The Poppy Fields

I have noticed some poppies outside my work unit over the last couple of weeks. I have loved poppies ever since discovering my favourite band "The Alarm" back in 1983 as the flower is the band's logo and emblem. Over the years I have lost count how many t-shirts and records I own with the poppy logo and I even got myself a poppy tattoo a couple of years ago. The fact the poppy is also the flower of remembrance each year gives it an added significance too.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Goodwood Festival of Speed

I can't really be described as a car enthusiast... As long as my car gets me from A to B then I am content. However an opportunity to go to the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011 with VIP passes came along and it would have been silly to turn something like that down.

The weather was stunning and there was the added bonus of being able to retreat to hospitality to cool down with the free refreshments on offer as well as having a Sunday roast and afternoon tea. I could certainly get used to such a lifestyle :o)

I wish I was a little more knowledgeable about the sport as I am sure I rubbed shoulders with a number of famous drivers, but I did see Lewis Hamilton and got very close to Brian May from Queen.

The cars were pretty impressive and if I do have a preference I think the older cars are beautiful machines...

The festival caters for everyone and not surprisingly the Formula 1 cars are extremely popular and loud!

The various classes of car took centre stage and the pictures don't show just how fast they are going making taking pictures quite tricky!

Up in the air the display by a Vulcan Bomber was pretty impressive too, maybe an air show is next on the to do list?

Unfortunately by the time we got to cricket pitch where the motor cycles and bmx bikes were performing incredible jumps and stunts the battery on my camera had died. These riders were the stars of the show for me, and they are absolutely insane doing what they do on these bikes!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Henley Royal Regatta 2011

I made a little video montage of Henley Regatta 2011. The background music is "The Eton Boating Song", a song dear to my parents and the perfect soundtrack I reckon.

Henley Royal Regatta has always been a big event for me coming from a family with a big rowing tradition, having a father who competed at the regatta in the 1950s. Mum and dad went every year for many many years, and mum still has a day out there each year.

It is not all about getting dressed up for The Stewards Enclosure, in my younger years we would pitch our tents at Swiss Farm for 4 nights and spend a long weekend enjoying the regatta from the riverbank and frequenting the numerous pubs in the town. It is an event that embraces all and not just the "toffs". It is a great British tradition and if the sun shines it's a wonderful day out for all.

This year mum and me were both there on the Friday so went up at the tea interval for an iced coffee, which was delicious. Mum still knows how to glam it up and what a hat!

Every good day out needs a partner in crime and I am blessed to have my wonderful friend Michele to take to such events and we had a lovely time watching the rowing in the deckchairs and soaking up the sunshine.

One of the great traditions of The Stewards Enclosure is that the gentleman cannot take off their jackets even in soaring temperatures so when the sun does shine it can be quite hot! I was wisely wearing a short sleeved shirt this year...

The brass band plays during the tea break and you really can't beat this! In the space of 7 days I go from watching The Killers at Hyde Park to watching the brass band at Henley!

The views from The Stewards Enclosure are stunning, and the regatta itself is held on amazing stretch of river with world class rowers competing on a two lane course as straight as arrow.

The river is open to all during the regatta even inflatable ducks!

The view from Henley Bridge enjoyed by thousands is awesome and a view I enjoy 365 days a year on my way to and from work. Alas for me the show is over for another year, so roll on Henley 2012!