Sunday, 31 May 2009

Have you been?

Last week I was on the train coming into Bristol Temple Meads from Derbyshire. 

It was late on a Friday; I was tired, delayed, irritable and not in a mood for larks. 

I then saw this fantastic bit of train vandalism that was pretty smart in its forward thinking.

It put a smile back on my face - well done to the bloke who did that! (Only a bloke would be that thoughtful and childish and inventive and harmless all in one go!)

The other pic' is my fine brother's fine dogs - I saw them recently and they were top smart and constantly up for larks with sticks.

Gadget stuff.

It's time for a gadgety sort of a post!

This weekend as well as the dizzying purchase of a new mop, I treated myself to a new radio. 

I stay away quite a lot and I am yet to stay in a place where the advertised free wifi exists, the radio works, or the TV is snazzy enough to get Radio 4.  I am a bit of a Radio 4 spod and I like it in the morning as I get ready

I purchased this DAB radio which is handy enough to pack into my away bag. I spent Saturday afternoon messing about with it and filling up the presets. Smart! It was a right old bargain and can switch from DAB to  regular radio too.

Also, on Friday I came to like my Blackberry more than I had before. I was in Matlock Bath(in Derbyshire)  awaiting a connection home and I googled The Trainline, a website that tells you all you need to know in this regard. It has a mobile friendly service that is dead good at giving you all the connection details and live updates for delays!

Over the weekend I did this smart bit of burning action too...

Friday, 29 May 2009

Train action Friday

Having ranted yesterday about the irritation of missing a train at Exeter, today I had a late train at Derby. On a Friday night homeward this usually sucks but today's extra 40 minutes was a Brucey, it enabled me to stroll from the overpriced station shops into Derby to find a sandwich and 4 cold Fozzies. That's a fair deal by me and here comes a cold one.

A decent day's work but pretty choppy in other regards and I feel :( about my part in that.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

On the go now!

On the go now and I think Drive knows the score; he's put her into top and the pedal is to the metal. Come on! Bristol. Bristol!


Missing train connections really fucks me off, especially when station staff tell me it's all going to work. Here I am with an hour on my hands after missing the previous one by a minute. I am not on the train , nor am I whizzing homeward I am on a station, blogging. Arse!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009


Just back from seeing Star Trek at the cinema.

I can understand why both my brothers thought it was Top and Massive

Too excited to Blog right now!

Monday, 18 May 2009

Set course for everywhere..

Another  series of away days this week; to Derbyshire today and a reservoir called Carsington Water. Tomorrow it's off to Loch Winnoch near Glasgow and the day after that, a nature reserve in Kinross. On Wednesday night I am back to Carlisle and then all the way down to BS5 on the train in order to carry on to Exeter in Devon the day after!

There is the prospect of seing Star Trek at the cinema on Friday but it feels days, miles and many counties away.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Ding Dong Merrily on by...

Today I was in the garden at Ma and Pa's just looking at the grass and stuff, and the Church bells started up! I recorded them for your pleasure. Not a great sound recording really, but some nice garden action in the meantime.

Incidentally, Rogue Trooper wasn't there, I just like the picture.

'Enjoy' as the Americans and the trendy (wanky) North London types say.

Cinema date...

What with all the excitement of concrete, trains, stations and breakfast, I forgot to put this picture up on my Blog.

When I was out and about last week and between meetings, I grabbed lunch in an office where I happened to be working. I got chatted up by these two chicks who wanted to know if we could all get together to see Star Trek this weekend (I have a very appealing request already so I politely asked if they were free another time) .

Anyhow, 'Carla' the chick on the right was giving it some in a French accent which I reckon was a put-on. The other chick, Michelle said she lived in a house that is white; odd thing to throw in but there you go. 'Mine's kinda yellow-ish', I said.

The pipes, the pipes are calling...

What a top smart day for blogging.

Keen readers may recall some Hong Kong photos from last week, including a very smart escalator (incidentally, a senior citizen I know of has recently captured the delights of the escalators at Cabot Circus that go slowly when no one has been on them awhile and then speed back up if you catch them just right -  it's quite exciting).

Anyhow, I am with my HK brother this weekend and  he had forgotten to send me this top image, reflecting the culture and diversity of 21st Century Macau.

And there are cranes in the background!


It was my birthday in the week and I turned 37 (eek) . On the day itself, I was working in a small town in Bedfordshire called Biggleswade and I didn't tell work colleagues of the occasion so it was a quiet affair.

Last night I visited Ma and Pa in Herefordshire. We all had dinner together and were joined by my parents' very kind, thoughtful neighbours. They are great company and Mrs Neighbour has a liking for champagne just now and again. She was kind enough to give the pictured gift to me for my birthday. How thoughtful was that? She's a good sort. Anyhow, we certainly drank it as you can see. Pol Roger was Winston Churchill's favourite champagne. I am not sure that Pol Roger is related to Pol Pot - I hope not.

Anyhow - sore head this morning but very much worth it for a happy evening in great company.

Oh yes- the Apple Mac you can see is not mine. Obviously!

A bucket in Nantucket...

Here is my bucket.

This really is a game bucket and he delivers every time. He's not been in BS5 for weeks and will accompany me home this weekend. I can't upload an image of bucket and car this morning as I left VX52 at the pub last night when I went for a few pints with my brother.

This bucket came from Wellington Bridge in Co. Wexford about three years ago!

The other pic' is Paddington station. I went through there on Wednesday night (back to BS5), and my brother came through 12 hours later from Hong Kong.

Platform Spaz

Overwhelmed by literally no requests for another train vid', here's one I took in the week.

Alas when I was at Sandy railway station at the start of the week, a colleague spotted me and came over for a nice chat. This kippered my plan to take advantage of the fast trains that hurtle through from London to Peterborough (4 every half hour, counting both directions!)

Check this out - with TOP digger action about seven seconds in. You can kinda' see me in the window so I'm sorry if that disrupts your viewing pleasure.

I am pleased to report that I am at Ma and Pa's today where I will soon be reunited with my bucket (for car cleaning purposes) which I left here aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages ago.

Some cleaning to follow!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

VX52 and Onions...

I woke at 5 and stayed in bed for an hour listening to a hat trick of Radio 4 programmes that covered birds living near The Wash, trains on the Settle to Carlisle railway line (smart!) and thirdly, chickens!

Up and about now and it is a bright, possible day.

I am going to prepare roasted onions as a starter to dinner today and I will roast them with a little goats' cheese and olive oil, and maybe some thin ham. How very Islington!

In order to do the above I need to take a drive to the supermarket in VX52, an increasingly rare treat. I miss going to places in my car.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Top far east action!

My ever excellent brother has been in Macau and Hong Kong this month and he has sent me some pictures today. The things he chose to photograph absolutely underline just how well he knows me and how easy it is for an older brother to be there for his younger sibling. 

Top smart transport and concrete and escalator action!


Just to fully reassure you that I am not a complete train spod, here's a quick vid' I took yesterday on my Blackberry. 

I have been doing lots of train travel these last six weeks and I have honed my spod spotting skills, and perhaps I have acquired some new ones too. Every station has train spotters and people registering rolling stock and engines! Anyhow, always entertained by a fast train through, I had to make do with this semi-speedy affair.

It's all going wrong!

The result of my train travel was a productive and very pleasant day in our Regional Office at Banbury in Oxfordshire. It's a civilised and gentle part of the world but it's not big on doorframes for a tall chap.

I have been at home, WFH or back home each night all week; a rare treat.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009


How could I not blog THIS!?  

Now I am not actually a train spotter or number gatherer as per recent accusations but show me any 30 something bloke who doesn't have a small bit of time for a fast train and I'll show you the secret to alchemy.

You can't go wrong with a train, albeit  one that runs a touch over 6000 miles from BS5.

Great bit of content by the BBC!

Mmmm Hmmmm - that IS a tasty burger.

I think Barack O pulls this off but old man Joe doesn't look quite so comfortable. 

Each of them has an amazing lack of simple courtesies (such as please and thank you) , but maybe that's an American thing as both seem polite chaps in general.

Anyhow, I liked this little vid' of staged normailty as it were, and Barack O was quite witty when it came to paying.

I wonder if Barack and Joe shot the shit out of anyone afterwards like Jules and Vincent did in the movie?

Chelsea Barcelona later after Arsenal's exit last night.

Trains tomorrow for work (I'll take my spotter book, Suburbia) !

Gooner, gooner gone... :(

I am a bit disappointed at Arsenal's exit from Europe and I think Arsene did a credible job to get that far with a youthful side. Now I don't care for Alex Ferguson and I think he is an ignorant, chewing-gum obsessed Scotsman, but there is no denying his form and his record, and WOW that Ronaldo free kick was fantastic. Good for Man U, good for both Ronaldo's goals.

I had to text updates to a pal in Israel - she couldn't get to a TV set and is I suspect also a bit hacked off today.

I'd love to see a Man U - Barcelona final! It would just be a bit more exciting than Man U - Chelsea.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Fact fans...

Well now fact fans, here's a little slice of travel drama for a working Area Manager. Over the next couple of weeks I am leaving Bristol Temple Meads (pictured) on the train for various journeys. 

I have just used our office booking system and secured trips as below, covering 756 miles give or take a random extra 140 from wherever I end up near Edinburgh on one unkown mystery tour.

Bristol to (and back) .....

Sandy via London
Banbury via Didcot
Cardiff Central
Exeter St Davids
Matlock, Derbyshire

Love it!

It's still fun despite not getting a seat on 40% of journeys at the very least.

Monday, 4 May 2009

All a bit Islington...

Tonight I cooked a leg of pork to see me through the week - it is an efficeint way to eat. I roasted it in the oven and to the roasting dish I added a diced onion, a lime, cumin seed, mustard seeds, ground ginger, merlot  and some apple. These caramelised deliciously and I added them to some olive oil in a ramikin. 

Here's the Islington part, and it's a part I would normally find a bit wanky, along with a cafe latte and a lack of tie wearing.

Tonight I had griddled asparagus with salt, lime juice, olive oil and goats' cheese - man with the caramelised stuff and a glass of merlot it was FANTASTIC (as was the company) ! I fear a chunky sweater on the horizon and crapping on about lentils in the week to come - and a dreadful desire to vote Labour, ban public schools and cease tie wearing altogether. 


Here's Winsto' to remind us of decency and the right way. Phew.


In the week just closed I was all over the place with work, as has been my recent fortune. In amongst days here and there across counties, railway stations, meetings, stores and bird sanctuaries I made time to come back to BS5 on Thursday night for the Confirmation service at my local church.

Quite quietly and with no real reference to anyone else but my tremendously thoughtful and kind Vicar (pictured) I decided to press on and go for it; it is a decison of about 25 years' contemplation, and 18 months (to last week) of serious thought. Anyhow, I did it and enjoyed it, and in a service attended by 120 folks, eight of us were confirmed. 

I read the first reading to the congregation before being Confimred by Mike Hill the Bishop of Bristol. I had not met him before but he is a cool chap who speaks inspirationally and with an Antipodean twang that is born only of a UK heritage, I think. Most enjoybale it all was and I like that I did it. Ironic that he has a Jewish heritage when he is a Bishop in the C of E, but then I suppose all Christians are Jews really.

I am not trying to convert you or promote it by any means, but just to tell you that it gave me pleasure.

Not in Scotland.

Today my brother has gone to Macau, prior to coming home to the UK for a month's stay in a week or two (I am looking forward to that very much) . I am afraid I could not place Macau on the map, and hey, it's not in Scotland, as was my first impression. I Googled it and found it near Hongerrs. It has a tower so I am hoping my brother will take a picture of that and the odd passing bus to share with me next time we elbow a bar in the UK.

Later today I am heading into new food territory under attractive and close supervision; I am going to put some asparagus stalks onto a hot griddle pan with a  little olive oil and some salt. Apparently it's really tasty - reports to follow.

Back to work tomorrow though in fact I am WFH which is a top Brucey Bonus.

A happy b/h weekend here!

Beans in Brimingham.

On Friday just gone I had the day off. This was on account of working Good Friday. I took a trip on the train and went to Selfridges in Birmingham's Bull Ring. It's a smart 5 floor store with some great TVs, loads of wanky fashion concessions, and a whole floor of food and sweets. I spent quite a lot of time in the foody bit, where for 20,000 pounds you can buy this Bull, made entirely of Jelly Beans!

Home Friday night and into a great bank holiday weekend!