Friday, 29 August 2014

NATO visits Newport. Tidy mind, Spa.

You knows it!

NATO is coming to Newport on September 4th and 5th.

150 world leaders, 10,000 staff, 2000 journalists and 9000 coppers.

Every news outlet is reporting the NATO summit as Cardiff and whilst it maybe the Welsh capital, reporting Cardiff is still a sloppy mistake. Newport needs its publicity and this is surely it?

Barack O' and world leaders will be visiting to hammer out our great world issues. However, I am sure they will be in the bubble and shielded from the real thing that Newport offers. It isn't great.

To help the NATO bubble this 9 foot steel fence is right up around the whole venue. It is in place for miles and miles and miles (nine miles all told).  I drove past it today coming back from my folks' house to BS5.   How much did it cost and what does it say about NATO to have that much security? I bet the venue will be as tight as a gnat's chuff.

Newport is the town where I went to school, met best friends, and bagged my qualifications for University and beyond. It is not a town famed for beauty, tourism or culture. Check out this Alicia Keys parody. The guy in the video (Rhys) fronts the band GLC and was a couple of years below me at school.

You knows it Newport...tidy.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Ice Bucket foolishness

2014 has been quite the year for charities getting wise to the power of social media.

You know how it goes, do something silly and foolish, upload it to Facebook,  nominate a couple of your mates to do the same and into the bargain donate to charity - a good idea.

Naturally when Cancer Research UK rocketed the trend with the No Make Up Selfie in March, I did not get nominated (and they raised £7m). However, the latest ice bucket challenge has reached BS5 as it favours boys and girls equally . Kersploooooooosh with cold water and donate to charity to do so, then nominate two or three mates to do the same. Young Thomas Walsh nominated me along with his mum and little sister after he did his, and in turn I have nominated two good University mates and SiL's son!  Here is the video I uploaded.

Once I was dry I donated £3 via a text message to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Hire car eejits...

I work for a birdy charity and 99% of my travel is by train in order to minimise the carbon footprint we put out. All to the good but it takes forever to get to a destination to actually start my work. No complaints here though, trains are my thing.

Occasionally I have to hire a car for a drive of a couple of hundred miles. It is normally a wee roller skate, suited entirely to economic city driving. However, on this hire I scored a bit of an upgrade. This is a Nissan Juke and has a decent sat nav and a parking camera.

I am a bit miffed that it arrived today (Friday, 3.30) for hire on Tuesday next week; parking is already tight in my street as next door seem to be  running a clandestine and noisy Romanian people trafficking/scrap metal outfit from their house, and the cars and vans are frequent and endless. I am not insured on it for another three days, so there it will sit, stealing my neighbour's slot. And it will remain in situ' all next weekend too after I park it up and it comes off hire next Friday afternoon.

I think the firm who dropped it off have a number plate tailored to their drop off policy.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Water Bricks

I cycle around the BS5 and BS2 area a very good deal (they neighbour each other). I really enjoy it and one of my favourite bits of the area is shown here. This is the end of Oxford Street, a street on the way to the cheese grater bridge and Bristol Tempe Meads.

The pleasure I have in this road is that when cycling over these bricks, they all move and make noise due to the subsidence of the road and their floating  state. It is a most satisfying noise and the wobble is kinda' cool too. When it has hammered down with rain, you can hear and feel the wash of water underneath, prompting even more subsidence. I thought it was somewhat niche liking this and I had kept it quiet, but it turns out my bro' likes it too (no great shock, I suppose)

So here it is for public consumption, if I am honest, I always knew it was BlogBS5 gold....

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Tweeting my Blog.

This morning, I am blogging from a motel in Leicestershire in the East Midlands.

I am working another weekend (my fourth of late) for the cause.  This time it is at The Birdfair, pretty much the largest international gathering of those who get their kicks from birdwatching (I have my vices, but this is not one of them). 

Sunday is the last shout and for our retail team, it is break down and take down day too. That always takes longer than planned and I suspect I will miss my last connecting train home tonight, so it's random overnight locations to come....

I have encountered Bill Oddie, mind you.

Here is some retail action...and Bill. I have to say, meeting Ping was much more of a kick. 

Friday, 15 August 2014

This is a big day...

My friend Mike is the most musically articulate and literate person I know. There isn't a tune he can't reference to another, be it via a sample or an artist or a similarity to another track.  For most of the late eighties when we were at school, other than liking a bit of Prince (and that was via you, Banj') , I kinda' coat tailed Mike musically.

Thus today is indeed a big day when, after 30 years of friendship Mike messaged me to say...'I'm about to go for a run and I've got your Delorean Dynamite track lined up. You've introduced me to music. This is a big day'.

Have a listen yourself...if Swap Shop, Space Hoppers and Chopper bicycles were in your youth it will echo your growing up days.

A big day indeed.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Ping!! In and out of London....

This week my work took me to our London office on Petty France (a road in Westminster, SW1 and a moment away from St James' Park and Westminster).

I enjoy going into London because it is my favourite train route of them all (to Paddington station), to a happening place with a lot going on, and frankly for a day a month that is vastly untaxing.

The structure of the day was typical, a 1-2-1 with my boss first thing and then a shared meeting with the other fella who does my job, reviewing our stores and reporting back on the most recent month's commercial trading across the UK. Between us we cover England, Wales and Scotland and a fair few ££ of turnover. I work hard at the prep' before hand but the delivery is easy-peasy.

I was into London early and took a wander up Palmer Street to the corner of Victoria Street and Buckingham Gate. I rarely have time to appreciate the office locale and its proximity to London stuff. This was a new view for me and I really liked this pub, nestled amongst new office blocks. The Albert opened 169 years ago in 1845 as The Blue Coat Boy but was renamed when Prince Albert checked out. Here is my picture of it - rather pleased with it. Bagged the bus too!

After my meeting I caught the tube to Paddington, watching the mix of nations on the journey.  I bagged  the 4.30 service and my seat of choice (the first two in the carriage are not reservable so they are easy to bag but most people hurtle past them). It was the one here on the right, train fans!

Just before the off a lady asked if she could take the window seat next to me. She settled in and I asked if she wanted her stuff on the shelf above - she declined and thanked me for the offer, and whaddayaknow, I recognised her straight away as Ping, the rather attractive and exceptionally talented amateur cook who won this year's Masterchef! Left her to it, but conversation came naturally and I told her I thought she was terrific on the TV. She thanked me and we chatted most amiably about it all. She said that the morning after the series finale went out on TV her life was completely changed, for the good! It was cool to meet her and she was charming, chatty and grounded. She may not be blogging about meeting me, of course!

Ping did not ask me for any recipes from the BS5 book of second breakfasts and evening compilations.

#masterchef #Ping #Paddington #PalmerSt #Class43 #Intercity125

Monday, 11 August 2014

Groovin' on a Bristol afternoon.

With thanks to the Pete Tong/Ritchie Cole inspired title, here is a wee post about a cycle ride this Monday afternoon.

I travel a good deal on the train and I am pretty organised about booking tickets ahead and at minimal cost to my work expenses budget. Thus I planned tickets for the week and duly and cycled off to Temple Meads for fares into Slough, London, Birmingham and Oakham across the rest of this week.

My ride took me to Queen Ann Road, site of The Rhubarb Tavern. On thinking back now, the cones were probably laid out to prevent people using the road as the tarmac was still pretty new and had that nice smell. Oops.

I hope the tread on my tyres is not unique or traceable to BS5. Kinda fun though!

As you can see from that picture, there was a mighty crane behind The Rhubarb - even more excitement! I liked the green and orange Scania paint job.

After stopping to look here awhile (and spotted by the Banksman), it was on to Temple Meads to park up my bike in Brunel's original tram shed where work shelled out £163 for trains.

After that I made a point of going through a new tunnel my brother and I discovered at The Dings a couple of days ago!

It's all go, Groovin' on a Bristol Afternoon...

Sunday, 10 August 2014

So much taller than a Smurf.

This week we went to the Bristol balloon fiesta to share a picnic and some lovely, loud, noisy hours together in the fresh air . The fiesta takes place each year at Ashton Court, a fine, large park just over the Clifton Suspension bridge (and a mansion house and park since the 11th C).

I was pleased to spend a Friday afternoon off with H and J before they go to see their dad for two weeks of summer holidays. These last weeks Hazzman has stretched from a little chap into a right old gangly beanpole. It is good to see and I can empathise entirely as this happened to me and I lost all coordination (which is yet to return 28 years later). Harry will be taller than his lovely mum (see stripy knee) within 12 months - a cause of imminent delight to any young man heading towards 15, and a source of much future head patting for her (only the cat will be shorter if he hangs on beyond 19) .

Lots and lots and lots of balloons on show but to our slight disappointment, on our evening most were of the conventional type - none in the shape of spoons, yoghurt pots, saucepans or motorbiking minions :-(

I liked the Smurf one and this video reminded me how quickly Hazzman has out-smurfed his former self of but a few weeks ago, shooting up to stretchy gangliness.  Tall and growing he may be, but larking about under the picnic blanket and hoovering up Doritos were still high on the list - delightful stuff.

In a moment of shared boys' humour we both speculated as to A-Gas on the ballon shown here - did the A stand for Arse, and was that the source of the fast rising?

Hazzman: grow up but don't grow up , gooning about is a life skill :-)

Monday, 4 August 2014

One Hundred years ago.

At 11pm this evening here in the UK it is 100 years to the hour since the Great War came to the country. It had started the day before with Germany declaring war on France. It took a further 24 hours for the British diplomatic implications to entangle us, as our commitments to countries various fell and folded-in towards an inevitable, epoch-changing catastrophe.

A century later there is an initiative to light a candle at 10 and leave it awhile, to be extinguished by 11. This is because in that hour a hundred years ago (also a Monday) , Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary, well knowing the diplomatic unravelling to come  allegedly said the following "The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our life-time"

The picture for tonight's post is my Grandpa (my Mum's Dad) who took an active part in WW1 and in particular on The Somme on its first day and his 21st birthday. I knew him until I was about 12. Candle on the go here, next to this picture in its frame.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Spiderman, Skateboards and Cinema.

Near BS5 is a ten screen cinema with a massive car park.

All sorts goes on during Sunday afternoons. At one end of the car park about 40 body-kit cars were parked up with people comparing, playing the stereo as loud as possible and generally having a noisy, harmless time. At the other end, about eight fellas were skateboarding, filming ollies, slips, grinds and slides with some pretty serious camera kit ('Hey man, how's it going?' they cheerily said). But the side of the car park was a spod-blogger.  The car park is right next to the GWR line out of Temple Meads and off to Bath. Why have I not been here before for BlogBS5? I pass it a million times a week on the train! Trains pass on the level so it is not too bad at all for a bit of spod-action, and indeed there are steam trains passing here most weeks.

This is 43127, Sir Peter Parker grinding and clanking its way into Bristol this afternoon. I had a quick stop here, and then merrily on my way putting in a few miles for the pleasure of it. This particular power car was completed on July 14th, 1979 and has been in continual service since (I had not long since turned seven!)

I think my next indulgent purchase will be a camera that is a bit better than my phone.

Friday, 1 August 2014

A Bristol day out

A day out on my bicycle today to look around the City I live in.

I have not done this in a while and it was a pleasure just to amble about with only a loose agenda. I made a bee-line for Bristol's arts museum, The Arnolfini, and The M-Shed, the industrial and cultural museum. The M Shed was my destination because it has a massive satellite floor-map and I wanted to stand a few thousand feet above BS5.

Here's some pics and explanations and a shaky video, complete with my finger obscuring things in Queen Sq (where Bristol's slave trade was headquartered).

Got home just as summer ended and the heavens opened - typing now amid hot, heavy rain:

Scale model of all sorts of city areas, Arnolfini

Bristol Dinosaur!

Standing above my house, about dead centre of this picture on a street running top to bottom

One of a series of cranes, dockside

Wallace and G Motorbike and side car (Aardman animations a Bristol venture)

Cranes, river views, streets and Queen Square