Sunday, 30 September 2007

Recognition Is Always Nice

I was contacted the other day by a lady from Schmap . She had seen one of my photos of Netley Abbey on my Flickr Photostream and asked if it could be included on one of the Interactive Travel Guides covering the Southampton area. (There's a miniature version at the end of this post)

It didn't take long to say yes. To be honest I didn't even think it was my best photo of the abbey but if they want to use it that's fine by me. I know that there are some professional photographers who get upset by this approach, seeing it as unpaid amateurs being exploited and depriving them of paid work. But at the end of the day I'd put the photo on Flickr because a) I was happy for others to see it and b) other users comments can give you an indiation as to where you are going right or wrong in what is after all just a hobby for me. And as the title says, recognition (even if it unpaid from a profit making organisation) is always nice .

Saturday, 22 September 2007

The Time Is Right To Do It Now ............

....... The Greatest Rock & Roll Swindle.

I have never been the sort to dismiss any type of music as rubbish simply because I don't like it. But, in my opinion, never in my memory has the current trend(s) in popular music been so bland.

But not for much longer ! The Sex Pistols are back!

No doubt they are, in reality, cashing in on the current trend of long forgotten groups (Police, Led Zeppelin etc etc) reforming in order to fleece their loyal fans one more time, but in their case it's a welcome and well overdue comeback.

They took the music world by storm in the 70s when they emerged from a world of tired glam-rock and disco. It was time for something different back then and by god is it time for change again (even if it's not actually change it's the same again just 30 years on).

Originally announcing just a one-off concert to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the release of Never Mind The Bollocks, 2 extra nights were swiftly added after the first sold out in just 10 minutes. Regrettably these two were also sold out before I even realised they were to take place.

But it's not just concerts. At weekly intervals throughout October their greatest hits will be re-released one at a time, starting on the 1st October with my all time favourite record Anarchy In The UK.

For those of us that loved it first time round it will be like the return of the prodigal son. For the kids today brought up on an exciting (italicised to emphasise the sarcasm) diet of souless hip-hop, r 'n' b, and indie (not to mention - and I'd sooner not - Coldplay) and you ain't gonna know what's hit you.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

This Keep Fit Lark..........

Not content with a few walks recently Mrs W has convinced me that when I get home this evening we are going on a bike ride ! She had a little difficulty at first, but she finally persuaded me when she said she would be wearing proper cycling gear like those girls in the picture ==>.
There's a lot of hills round our way so one way or another this aint going to do the old blood pressure any good at all .... this could be my last post for some time.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

The Things We Take For Granted

Since last weekend we've had no hot water.!

Our ancient boiler had been, for several days previous, randomly deciding whether it wanted to provide hot, cold or tepid water. Showers have started to take on dance manoeuvres that even Arlene Phillips would have found hard to criticise. A quick wash in cold water was just about acceptable, but a shave required a trip upstairs with the kettle.

It's the second time in a year or so that it's done this. Out came the gas engineer who confirmed my suspicions - it was time to send it to the great boiler-maker in the sky.

We've bodged it up (it's hot - sometimes - but I keep having to go out to the garage to relight the pilot) till next Wednesday when he can install a nice shiny spanking brand new one. It's times like this that make me realise what comparative luxury we live in. My parents generation still had tin baths in front of the fire, and millions all over the world still travel daily to the well just to have any water at all. Then again, they're used to it and I'm not. My next hot shower could be the longest one ever.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Wedding Bells

On Saturday I attended the wedding of 2 good friends. It was a wonderful day, someone was certainly looking after them weather wise. Having reached the age where I'm more likely to be invited to friends funerals than weddings it was a rare pleasure.

During the speeches I couldn't help but thinking forward to our wedding next year. It made me realise how much organising is involved to make a wedding day run smoothly. But then we've still got (according to that little countdown thing on the left) 257 days to get things sorted. That's ages ....... isn't it ?

Saturday, 8 September 2007

A Quick 9 Holes

Today I had a game of golf.

A friend getting married later in the day (no doubt more about that later) decided that a good way of relaxing in the morning would be a quick 9 holes . I hadn't played for about seven years or more and I was shite then but I thought I'd give it a go.

What a perfect way to pass a few hours on a beautiful September morning. I came last - as expected - but their was only 3 shots between the four of us so (positive view) I near enough held my own or (negative view) the other 3 are almost as shite as I am .

In the past I used to judge the success of a round not on shots taken but balls lost. My good friend Snopper would be proud of me, in 9 holes I lost 2 but found 4.

The one worrying outcome of this is that I have spent 3 years finding excuses (back injury, knee injury, shoulder injury etc etc) not to play against Mrs W - she sounds like she's (worryingly) pretty good at the game. When (negative)/If (as positive as I can get) she beats me I'll never hear the last of it. Never. Ever. After coming home injury free and having fully enjoyed my morning I have now run out of reasons to say No.

Friday, 7 September 2007

More Rubbish From The Press

Today the Daily Mirror reported that my team Southampton's manager had cleared his desk and was leaving the club.

Within a couple of hours Burley himself had phoned the local radio station to put the record straight and the club's Official Site had also published a denial (quite possibly their quickest reaction yet to any story).

How can newspapers get away with continuously printing stories that are so blatantly false ? I guess as long as people keep buying them they'll carry on doing it - I rarely bother myself these days.

Although being a lifelong Saints fan I can't help thinking that like most other stories about our club over the years there's no smoke without fire.

Thursday, 6 September 2007


Normally we shop at Tescos (there's a huge one half a mile up the road) for all of our food shopping for no other reason than it is convenient. But for the last few weeks we have been getting our fruit and veg from a local farm shop (also half a mile away in the other direction so why haven't we done it before?).

The difference between their produce and Tescos (and no doubt the other big supermarkets) can be summed up as:-
  • More taste
  • Less cost
  • More choice
  • Less packaging
It gives me a good feeling knowing that we are now eating more healthily, helping a local business survive against the big boys and also being able to buy what we want, not a limited range of pre-packed quantities. And of course the lack of needless packaging means I'm doing my environmental "bit"as well - so everyone's a winner.

Next step is to start using a decent butchers !

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

A Breath Of Fresh Air

I am lucky to live where I do, there is so much open space within a short drive.
On Sunday we (Mrs W and I) took a trip down to the New Forest to follow a short route described in a book of forest walks. The directions were a little vague to say the least and we soon weren't quite sure if were on the right track. Eventually I (well someone has to be in charge) decided we would make it up as we went along. After an hour or so we found ourselves - much to Mrs W's amazement and relief - back close to where we started.
When you're working indoors all day during the week it's great to be able to get out like that, stretching the legs and breathing some fresh country air. Ending it as we did with a visit to a proper country pub makes it even better.
Getting home from work on Monday it was a beautiful evening. I was up for another one so I convinced Mrs W housework could wait for another time nd off we went. Just a couple of minutes from home and we were parking the car and taking a walk of about 5 miles down the bank of the river Hamble and back. Totally different scenery to the day before but just as enjoyable.
Oh, and that one involved a pub stop at the halfway point - there seems to be a theme developing here.