29 December 2005

Time for a re-cap I think!

Christmas day went pretty much as planned... stayed in bed 'til around 9:00am, got up and had breakfast, then opened our presents, with a bottle of Bucks Fizz! Not bad going, 10:00am and the first real drink of the day!

The rest of the morning was spent in front of the TV before we started to prepare Christmas dinner. Time to open the whisky bottle for me, and the sherry for Lynda. Just a small taste to help with the cooking that's all! Very soon Lynda had dinner ready and out on the table - and what a dinner! I love my Christmas dinner! So much so that I have mine on a serving platter rather than a normal plate! Makes it easier to fit everything on that way!

A superb meal was helped along with a rather nice bottle of wine but, I must admit, the Christmas pudding did have to wait until we had cleared the dishes away before we could face eating that as well!

We had planned to watch Shrek on TV in the afternoon, followed by Shrek 2 at night. Luckily I'd seen the first film before, as I fell asleep in the afternoon. I did see the second one though!

Monday and Tuesday were both very quiet days. We walked to fetch the newspapers on Monday and chose to go to the shop at the far end of the estate, then walked back the long way around so that in the end we had walked about 2 miles or so. Not a long way but it burnt off a little of the food we'd been eating. Lynda went into Derby on Tuesday, for the sales, and a "quick" trip turned into more than 4 hours! Later on Tuesday afternoon it snowed!!! A little late for Christmas but nice all the same.

Yesterday Lynda was back at work so it left me with no excuse to stay at home when Mel suggested we did a walk. So, with a rather good covering of snow now on the ground, we did a walk of around 4 hours through the fields and lanes of Lower Hartshay, Fritchley and Crich. I've no idea how far we walked but it was far enough! The walk was much easier going than I'd expected with the snow being about 3 inches deep at most. The only slight down point was that the sky was heavy with snow cloud for a lot of the time so one or two of the photos I took came out a little dull. Having said that the views from the Crich Memorial were still pretty good!

There we have it, the week so far! Not done a lot but it's been great and sure beats being at work! New Year's Eve next! Another quiet evening of food and drink for us.... until the fireworks start all around us!

Walk in the snow photos

24 December 2005


So, it's Christmas Eve! Work is now over, as far as I'm concerned until 2006, all my shopping is finished, presents are wrapped and under the tree and the car is safely locked in the garage and won't be coming out again until at least the 27th! It's time to start eating and drinking!!! Pity we don't have any snow though, feels like late summer outside not the end of December!

Very soon Lynda & I will be opening a bottle of mulled wine and getting settled in front of the TV for the evening. No doubt snacks of various types will be consumed in more than adequate amounts, as will the drink!

Tomorow will start with a light breakfast of hot bread rolls covered with butter - it's something we always had on Christmas morning when I lived at home, and we carried on with it when Lynda & I bought our house. This will be washed down with a bottle of Bucks Fizz! After breakfast we will open our presents before starting to prepare dinner. A small whisky or two will help with the fetching and carrying I'll do for Lynda who will, I'm sure, sample a sherry whilst cooking!

Christmas dinner has got to be the best meal of the year without doubt! Loads of turkey, stuffing, bread sauce, vegetables and potatoes. Oh, and not forgetting the "pigs-in-blankets". Small sausages wrapped in bacon for those that don't know!!! I love 'em! That little lot will be helped along by a bottle of wine and then followed by a good old fashioned Christmas pudding covered with brandy sauce!

Needless to say we won't be moving far for the rest of the day. However, by early evening we will start on the cold meats, pork pie and turkey again! I love Christmas!

19 December 2005

The past few days.

Right, a quick update of the weekend whilst I have time!

Friday's Bluehorses gig was a great one! The venue was a little slow filling up with people but, by the time the band came on stage, the place was packed out. The band chose Friday as one of their "Christmas party" gigs so it was fancy dress - only a few of the crowd joined in but the band had gone to town with the Harry Potter theme! There's always one of the guys that uses these gigs as an excuse to put on a skirt! This time it was Jay!!! Liz's interpretation of Hogwarts uniform was, erm, rather nice shall we say! :-)


Saturday I was at work, all very straight forward apart from KIA sending me a console/ashtray unit all the way from Korea - pity we had ordered a wiring loom! Someone is going to be waiting a little while longer for their car being repaired! In the evening it was the work's Christmas meal. All went off fine with that! The place was quite nice, if a little hard to find, the food was good (and spicy!!) and there was plenty of it, the drinks were all paid for by the boss and everyone behaved! All rather good for a motor trade night out! We left at just after midnight and arrived home around 12:45am.

Sunday morning dawned dry, bright and very frosty. The temperature was -4C at breakfast time, just the same as 4 weeks ago when we did the BHF walk - I did another long walk yesterday, but just for the fun of it this time! Then after I'd finished, it didn't feel like fun! More trouble with my knee!

I met Mel at the gym at 9:00am before we headed off into the Derbyshire Peak District. We parked in Ilam before walking back around Thorpe Cloud, along Dove Dale, Mill Dale, Wolfscote Dale, Beresford Dale and then up into Hartington. This took us around 3 hours, we then had to get back again! After a short stop for tea and coffee we headed back out of Hartington over the higher farm land before dropping back down into Wolfscote Dale again. We then retraced our steps, many, many of them, back to the car! In total I think we walked around 16 or so miles! Hence the bad knee again!

For the most part the day was dry, bright and cold, but for the last four or five miles we walked in a light rain as the cloud cover increased. Mel got to see her first "live" Kingfisher as we followed the river, then saw another later on in the afternoon! All in all not a bad day - I just wish I could shake off this problem with my knees.

15 December 2005

Just too busy!

Hey, I'm still alive - just very busy at work and home at the moment, hence no updates!

Monday, I did finish up playing Twister with Chloe again. She still cheats! Plus, this time their new dog tried joining in - what chance did I have? Right foot on green, left foot on blue, both hands on yellow..... then the dog starts licking my face!
Tuesday, we went to the gym and again my knee gave me trouble! Didn't do much of a workout but it was better than not going at all!

Tomorrow is the BLUEHORSES Christmas gig here in Derby, should be a cracking night, just a pity I have work the following morning! Then Saturday evening is my works Christmas meal at an Indian restaurant over in Nottingham.

Sunday I should be doing another big walk with Mel, if the weather is OK. Forecast at the moment is for it being dry and clear but very cold, we'll see!

12 December 2005

Frankie & Benny's

Last night we went to Frankie & Benny's - not people we know but an Italian restaurant and bar on the edge of Derby. It was the first time we'd been in here and I must say it was very good. Even better, it didn't cost us a penny as it was all being paid for by Lynda's work!

There were around 20 of us there for the evening, staff from the sales dept. at Lynda's work plus their partners, and it turned out to be a real fun night. We all met in the bar at around 7:30pm and got some drinks before being shown to our table. There was a fair choice on the menu, around 20 starters and the best part of 50 main course meals, most being either pasta or pizza dishes. So far so good!

After changing my mind each time I looked at the menu, I finally settled on the Crispy Coated Chicken Strips as a starter, followed by Meatballs on Penne Pasta as my main course. Lynda went for Potato Skins filled with cheese and chives and then Mushroom Ravioli.

The starters were very good, the honey and mustard dressing on the salad that came with the Chicken Strips was absolutely delicious! The meatballs, well, what a plate full! A huge bowl full of pasta topped with 5 equally large and very tasty meatballs in a gorgeous ragu sauce! One of the guys with us had the same as me but was beaten by the amount of food and couldn't finish it- me, I could have eaten the lot again! It really was that good. Lynda tells me that her meal was equally as nice; the small amount of Mushroom Ravioli I was allowed to try certainly tasted OK!

So onto the sweets.... the waitress had the cheek to ask if we wanted to see the menu! OF COURSE WE DID!!! Lynda went for the East Coast Sundae - a huge glass full of toffee and chocolate ice cream layered with chocolate covered honeycomb, mini marshmallows and topped with chocolate sauce and cream! Me, I had a cinnamon waffle topped with ice cream, toffee sauce and toffee crunch pieces! Both very nice!

Next time I may just try the sweet chosen by one of our party - the Chocolate Cookie Sandwich! It's two giant cookies, loads of ice cream, cream and then topped with chocolate, butterscotch and strawberry sauce! It's meant to be shared by two people, he had one to himself!!!

11 December 2005

The weekend, so far...

So, it's Sunday morning and we've eaten our way through the first part of the weekend OK! Friday evening's buffet at Mark & Sheila's was great - we all ate way too much food but hey it was good! There was so much choice I can't even start to remember all of what we ate. I do know that we kept on going back to the table for more! The pizza was good, as was the spicy chicken, the salmon, the beef, the ham, the sausage..... The home made ice-cream, with apple pie, was absolutely gorgeous! I was full to bursting by the time I'd finished eating!

Saturday was the Derby RSPB Group's December coach trip. There hasn't been a December trip for some years now because the interest in it had dropped off due to people having Christmas shopping and such things on their minds at this time of year. So, to try and get some of the interest back a slightly different format was tried this year. We were to have a mornings birdwatching, followed by a Christmas lunch! More food!

The venue was Far Ings Nature Reserve in Lincolnshire. The site is an old clay and tile works that dates back to around 1850. Since it was abandoned the clay workings have filled with water to form a series of fresh water lakes. Now, the area is home to a variety of wildfowl, waders and also common woodland and garden birds. Lynda and I saw a total of 46 species between 10:00am and 12:30pm. If we hadn't needed to stop for the much more important business of eating, then I'm sure we could have added more birds to the list.

Wildfowl numbers were a little low but we did come across Gadwall, Pochard, Tufted Duck and a pair of Goldeneye. Waders of note included, 60 Dunlin, 49 Redshank, around 40 Golden Plover in flight, 5 Snipe and a single Curlew. Most of the waders were roosting under the Humber Bridge - which, Lynda was sure, was moving in the breeze!

A feeding flock of around 40 Siskin was the best find in the wooded area of the reserve, along with numerous Goldcrest, Redwing and a single Willow Tit. By around 12:30pm our thoughts turned to food and we headed to the hotel that backs onto the reserve and, after changing out of our muddy walking boots, we headed for the bar! Lunch was due at 1:30pm so plenty of time for a pint!

Our group of around 50 were seated in a really nice dining area that overlooked one of the lakes - should have kept our binoculars with us - and the food was great! I had soup to start, followed by a good old Christmas dinner of turkey, new and roast potatoes, vegetables and plenty of gravy! By the time I'd cleared my plate I was getting pretty full again, still made space for the Christmas pudding that followed though! Plus another pint and a rather nice cup of coffee at the end! Oh, and a mint chocolate! All in all a great day out, enjoyed by everyone. With luck this will become an annual event for the group.

So, now we have Lynda's works "do" this evening - more food and more drink! Tomorrow we are going over to see Lynda's brother and his family which will not doubt see us eating even more! That and probably playing Twister or Jenga with my 5 year old niece! And she usually wins!

Far Ings trip photos

08 December 2005

The chaos starts tomorrow!

Friday sees the run up to Christmas move up another gear! Over the next four days we are out for three evening "do's", one lunch time meal (as part of a days birdwatching trip), plus a visit to see my mum before her birthday!

Then the following week Lynda is out for a meal on the Wednesday evening, with some ex work mates, on the Friday it's the Bluehorses Christmas gig here in Derby (can't wait for that one!) and then on the Saturday night it's my "works do" over in Nottingham.

If we survive all that extra food and drink then we have a clear week, so far, leading up to Christmas Day! Will have to hit the gym extra hard that week so I can then put all the weight back on again! Last year I managed a highly respectable weight gain of 14 pounds over Christmas and New Year! Gives me something to aim at this year!

05 December 2005

Buxton Goes Tribal!!!

OK, time for an update! Yes it's a day or two late but I've been kinda busy this past few days......

It all started on Thursday around 1:05pm. I checked out the Albannach forum and found a post from Nikki about a "private gig" in Buxton - damn, just up the road and it's behind closed doors! Oh well, can't be helped! Then things changed, very quickly! By 1:15pm Jamesie, from the band, had posted an invite on the forum for us to join them at the gig! What a result!!!

Over the next few hours, and into Friday, messages passed back and forth and it was all sorted. Not only were Lynda and I going but also Nikki, Gila and Meg, who is over here from the States. This could turn into a fun night!

Saturday evening arrived and so did the rain! When we set off from Derby it was pretty bad, what would it be like up in the Derbyshire Peak District? Well, it was wet, very wet! We passed through low cloud and mist and along roads with about an inch of standing water in places! In Buxton we parked the car then decided against getting out for a while - it was throwing it down outside! I took the opportunity to send a text message to Nikki to find out where they all where. The answer that came back.... LOST! Oops, not good news, then to make things worse I lost all phone signal so we were out of touch! Time for a beer!

Once inside the hotel things started to run a lot more to plan - we found the bar, then the beer, then the band, then Nikki, Gila and Meg found us! We spent around an hour or so in the bar, just chatting and taking photos of everyone so that they could be posted on the Albannach forum for everyone over in the US to see, before it was time for the gig. And what a gig it was! Jamesie and his troops just blew the place apart!

The drums and pipes echoed off the walls of the hotel like thunder! This was pure tribal energy at it's best, the place just didn't know what had hit it! I could go on for pages about the gig but it's easier just looking at the photo links at the end of this - you'll get more of a feel for it that way!

So, that's why I've been a little slow with the update - I've been in recovery mode, that and sorting through all the photos Lynda and I took!

The night ended for us in Buxton at around 12:30am on Sunday morning, then we had the hour or so drive back to Derby. Even that wasn't enough time for me to come back down to earth, I was straight onto the Albannach forum to chat with the people over in America! I think I eventually went to bed at around 3:30 in the morning - tired but very happy!

Sunday, I started my Christmas shopping! Strange how things soon bring you back to earth with a bang! I hate shopping!

Buxton gig photos

More Buxton gig photos

29 November 2005

What a pain...

Went back to the gym tonight, the first time since doing the BHF walk just over a week ago, and the old knees gave up on me again! Only managed around half an hour of cardio stuff before having to stop. The pain in my left knee was just too much again. After doing some fixed weights I headed for the swimming pool - much easier!

The air temperature was just below freezing tonight making the outdoor pool feel even warmer that it was - just like swimming in a hot bath it was! I managed about 30 lengths of the pool before it was time to head home. You certainly feel just how warm the water is when you climb out and walk back to the indoor pool area!

Will give the legs another try again on Thursday and see how it goes then! Think I must be getting old!

27 November 2005

Weekend re-cap...

Work was quiet on Saturday morning so the fish tank did get it's clean! I started it at just after 9:00am, after having a sausage & bacon cob whilst sorting the days workshop parts out, and was finished by 11:15am. For the third time I got a "friendly" bite from the biggest fish in the tank - that one really is pushing it's luck now!

Saturday evening's meal at The Plough Inn was great! We picked Mark & Sheila up at 7:15pm and arrived at Normanton on Soar by around 7:40pm. As the table was booked for 8:00pm we ordered some drinks and went and sat in one of the lounge areas. The big leather sofas were so comfortable I could have stayed there all night. If a fire had been lit in the big open fireplace, then I'm sure I would have!

Once at the table it was the usual problem when at any of the pubs owned by this group - what to choose - as there is such a choice! I'll not go through what we all had but the Potato Skins with Cheese and Pineapple starter was very nice, as was the Marilyn Monroe chicken that I had! The chicken is a boneless breast covered in a sauce made with cheddar cheese and cider with a light bite of English and wholegrain mustard, very tasty. The steak that Mark had looked very good as did the Boozy Bullock Pie chosen by Sheila. Lynda tells me that her Chicken Napoleon was also very good.

When the friendly waitress asked if we would like to see the dessert menu we all jumped at the opportunity! Not because we were still hungry I must add, just because we could!!

I'd have liked to have put a picture here of the Crunchy Bailey Boo that Mark and I both chose but I'm not sure you could face it! It's a HUGE bowl of ice cream, covered in small pieces of Crunchy chocolate bar, with a rather large measure of Baileys liqueur added! What an end to a meal! We rounded off a very pleasant evening with coffees back at our friends home.

Over the next 3 weeks we have another 5 "meals out" and thats BEFORE Christmas arrives! Think I need to hit the gym hard again!

Today I went into work for a short time so that I could feed the fish there, then spent most of the day sorting out hundreds of photos that I have on my PC. Most are now safely stored on CD!

25 November 2005

Chill time....

It's Friday! Time to look forward to the weekend again!

Tomorrow I've got work in the morning, may be cleaning the fish tank if there isn't too much going on, then back home and stay in the warm in the afternoon. We've missed the snow here so far but it's freezing cold and the wind will cut you to the bone!

Tomorrow evening we are going out for a meal at The Plough Inn, at Normanton on Soar. We've not been here for a while and when our friends, Mark & Sheila, suggested it was time we met up again we chose The Plough for a change! Any excuse for some good food! Might not be a bad idea if I start looking at the menu now - there's always such a choice I can never make my mind up!

Not sure about Sunday yet, all depends on what time I can get out of bed, if the snow holds off and also if Mel decides we're doing another walk! I'll let you know on Sunday evening!

21 November 2005

BHF Walk Day...

Well, we did it! 17.5 miles in the Derbyshire Peak District, in November! It's now 8hrs since we finished and I can honestly say.... THAT HURT!!!

So, how did it all go? Well, I was up and out of bed at 5:40am, had a cooked breakfast, packed all my gear, made a flask of coffee and loaded the car. By 6:50am I'm ready for setting off. No such luck! It may well still have been dark but one of our friendly Blackbirds wanted some food!

After feeding the wildlife I'm off to meet Mel, my sometime training partner at the gym. Having picked her up we set off to Cromford and the starting point of the walk. The drive there only takes around half an hour so we arrived in plenty of time for our 8:30am start. Once in the car park we met up with my mate Paul and then handed in our registration cards. A quick photo call and we're off.

The first mile or so was alongside the old canal and nice and flat, after that we hit the first climb of the day, and it's a big one! Still, best getting it out of the way now and not at the end of the day! The view from the top was worth the effort in the end. After that we had another few easy miles before hitting our second climb - I was glad when we reached the top and the first BHF rest point. We grabbed a quick cold drink here and set off again.

The next 6 or 7 miles were quite easy going, the ground was still very hard from the overnight frost ( -4C when I left home ) and we made good time, passing many of the walkers that had set off ahead of us. At 10:45am we took a 10 minute break for drinks and a bite to eat. I'm not sure but I think it was around the Longcliffe area, so we'd covered about 8 miles.

Minninglow was the second BHF rest halt at 10.5 miles. Here Paul had some soup from the BHF, Mel had a cup of tea and I had more of my coffee. We rested here for 15 minutes - the breaks were taking longer now! We decided to push on for another 2.5 miles so that we could reach Friden where we had our lunch stop. This was at around the 13 mile point. Lunch took us 25 minutes, I said the breaks were taking longer!

Getting started again after lunch proved a bit of a pain! Literally! My knees were starting to feel the distance now. Still, only a little over 4 miles left. The next couple of miles didn't prove too bad once we'd settled back into our pace. Even my knees eased off a little.

Parsley Hay was our final rest point only 2 miles from the end, and we only stopped for 10 minutes! What a mistake though! My legs were starting to seize up by now! We also noticed that we were no longer catching other walkers up, or being overtaken! Everyone was feeling the strain! Having said that, the morale was still very high with everyone - ourselves included.

We covered the last 2 miles in half an hour so the pace was still quite good but it certainly hurt. Not just me, but also Mel and Paul! And just about every other walker that was around us! At the final check point we had our sponsorship forms stamped, took a few more pictures and headed slowly off to find the coaches that were waiting to take us back to Cromford and the car.

All in all a great day! Rouned off by a gentle swim back at the gym followed by a short time in the spa pool. Can still feel my knees though!

So, will I do it again? I think so! I've had problems with one of my knees for a few years now so expected a bit of a pain there, the muscles in my legs feel fine and I'm not tired at all. If my knees are OK in a day or so then yes, I'll be back again next year!

BHF walk photos here!

Andover break...

What a nice easy trip to Hampshire, for a change! We left home at just after 6:00pm and by 8:35pm we were in Andover - no traffic jams and no fog or rain like the week before. Why can't our roads be like this all the time? We did see two shooting stars on the way as well, which were good.

We sat and chatted with Lynda's aunt and uncle for the rest of the evening, catching up on news and also having our first taste of sandwiches with "invisible crusts"! Don't ask! Having sorted out the plans for the following morning, we were doing a walk and pub lunch, we headed off to bed and an early night.

Thursday was very frosty with clear blue skies - ideal walking weather. We met at just before 11:00am for a circular walk around the village of Quarley. The walk was an event arranged by the Andover U3A and was well attended with around 30 people there. The birdlife was a little quiet, we only saw the more common species such as Pheasant, Crow, Magpie etc but did see around 8 or 9 deer on the edge of one of the woods. We also came across an old barn that has so far escaped being turned into a house!

After the walk we headed off to the Old Plough at Grateley for lunch. Lynda and I both had chicken in white wine with Yorkshire puddings, very nice it was too!

On Friday Lynda, her aunt and myself visited the Fairground Craft and Design Centre at Weyhill, a complex of converted old barns from a no longer working farm that now house a variety of craft workshops and shops. Here Glenys, Lynda's aunt, treated us to two hand turned vases made from the seed cases of a Banksia tree. Very unusual and attractive they are too! In the afternoon I sat in the house reading while the girls went off shopping and Morgan, Lynda's uncle, went to his photography group.

Saturday and we had to start thinking of heading home. After a lazy morning in front of the TV with the papers we loaded the car with our bags before heading off for petrol and then down into Andover for a pub lunch with the rest of the family. We had a great time there, all eating far too much as usual!

The journey home wasn't as pleasant as the journey down, we encountered patchy fog around Oxford and then spent the best part of an hour queuing into roadworks just before the M40. Once through that the rest was quite straight forward and we got home around 5.00pm.

Walk photos here!

16 November 2005

Looking ahead....

Only just over 2 hours till I finish work for the week!

Then it's straight off to Andover for a couple of days break. We're back sometime Saturday afternoon ready for my sponsored walk Sunday.

Just had a look at the weather forecast for Buxton on Sunday.......

High: 2°C
Low: -3°C
Rain / Scattered snow showers
Wind: From the West Southwest at 3 mph
Precip: 30 %
Max. Humidity: 88 %

Sunrise: 7:41
Sunset: 16:05

Hmmm, could be a fun day then!

13 November 2005

The sun still shines...

After what seemed like weeks of rain, with only the odd bright day, Saturday arrived dry and cloud free, if a little cold! If only it would stay like it for the rest of the day! The morning continued in a positive manner as we waited in the centre of Derby for the coach to take us to Titchwell, Norfolk, for the day's birdwatching. A male Peregrine Falcon flew over and landed on the cathedral across the road from us! First good bird of the day!

By just after 9:00AM we were stopping at the Farm Cafe on the A17 - one large sausage, bacon and egg cob later and I'm ready for anything the day can throw at me! Having done this trip many times before I took the chance to sleep off my second breakfast at times during the rest of the journey! 11:00AM and we were at Titchwell. By now the weather was looking great, clear blue sky, plenty of sunshine and only a light breeze.

The first good bird on the reserve was a "heard only" Cetti's Warbler. We did spend a short while waiting to see if it would show but then moved onto the marsh itself. From the path down towards the sea we saw Curlew, Little Grebe, Dunlin, Ruddy Duck, Little Egret, and large numbers of Brent Geese feeding on the salt marsh. A Water Rail caught us by surprise as it took flight from the side of the path. It wasn't just the fact it flew up from close to us but also seeing a Water Rail in flight was pretty unusual.

From the sea shore we managed to pick out Common Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-throated Diver and Great Crested Grebe on the water and also 5 Gannet flying past some way out to sea. After much searching we also picked up 2 or 3 Velvet Scoter in amongst the Common Scoter. Three Sanderling that flew past were the only waders of note.

On the walk back towards the visitor centre we stopped off at one of the hides for a while and saw a flock of around 400 Golden Plover and large numbers of Oystercatcher. Other birds of note included Turnstone, Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Grey Plover, Ruff and Pintail. A Peregrine hunted overhead for a while but failed to make a kill. A Marsh Harrier showed briefly over the reed beds as we walked back along the path to the visitor centre. By this time the sun was starting to set on what had been a very good day's birding! We saw a total of 59 species ourselves, not a huge count but still a very enjoyable day!

Titchwell photos here!

11 November 2005

It's Friday......

It's only been a four day working week but it's been a long four days! Another hour left at work and then I've two days off! Roll on 5:30pm! Straight from work we're off to the gym for an hour or so,then home so I can clean my walking boots - been going to do them all week!

Tomorrow we're off to Norfolk, with the Derby RSPB Group, for a days birdwatching at Titchwell. Just hope the weather is better than it is here right now, it's raining and the wind's blowing like crazy!

No idea what I'll do Sunday yet, maybe just sit around the house and catch up on some TV! Then again Lynda may well have other ideas - mow the lawns, wash the car, clean the house, shopping, gym!

Is it time for work again yet?

08 November 2005


Not long now!

It's just under 2 weeks until the British Heart Foundation walk. My sponsorship total, so far, stands at just over £290.00!

I'd aimed at raising £100.00 when I first received my forms, that target soon became £200.00, now £300.00 will be no problem! Can you help me hit £400.00???

You can sponsor me via the BHF web site on the following link....!


31 October 2005

Pizza, timber buildings and horses!

After a pretty horrible week I was glad to see Friday come around so that we could have a bit of time to chill out and enjoy ourselves a little. After work Friday it was straight down the gym for a quick workout before heading off for a pizza and a beer with Lynda, Paul and Ali. OK, it kind of defeats the object of doing a workout, but I like my food too much to be a slave to good eating all the time!

The pizza was great, as was the salad bowl we shared (my bit of good eating!) but the unlimited trips to the ice cream machine were better! Even more so because of the chocolate buttons that Lynda piled on top of the second bowl full! I love them! After we'd eaten our fill we headed back to Paul and Ali's for coffee. A nice quiet evening just chatting and enjoying some chill out time.

Saturday I was in work until lunch time. Lynda picked me up at 12:30pm and, after going home for a quick change of clothes and a bite to eat, we headed off to Shrewsbury for the Bluehorses gig. The journey only took us just over an hour and a half leaving us plenty of time for a look around the town.

Many of the old timber framed houses are still in the town centre as are some of the old cobbled streets. We also had a quick look around the castle grounds but, as is often the case with such places, the castle itself had a lot of steel work up against it where restoration work was being carried out.

The early part of the evening was spent in The Bull pub having a meal and a couple of drinks. Cottage Pie, salad and potatoes was my choice, Lynda decided on gammon, eggs, pineapple and chips - we both went for the apple pie afterwards! So, at just after 8:00pm we walked back to The Buttermarket, the venue for the gig.

The first thing that hit me, almost literally, was the amount of old red brick in the place! The stage was in one of the end arches of the catacombes, underneath the main building, a great setting once the main lights were turned down and the spot lamps came on. The band took the stage at 10:00pm and rocked the place until just before midnight.

Highlights for me included Witch In Wedlock, Black Is The Colour and, one of the newer tracks, Billy. Crow On The Cradle was a new track to me and I'm sure it will become a 'horses classic! But the best was still to come in my mind - SKYCLAD! Saturday's performance of this track must be the best it's ever been played! The speed that Nat played the bass left myself and most others totally in awe! Oh, and it left Nat with some pretty nasty blisters on his fingers too!

After the gig we stayed around for a while chatting with everyone before finally saying our goodbyes at around 12:15am and heading for home.

Click below for photos!

Town photos!

Gig photos!

26 October 2005


With now just a little over 3 weeks until the British Heart Foundation walk my sponsorship total, so far, stands at just over £250.00! But, there's still plenty of time for that figure to increase!

You can sponsor me via the BHF web site on the following link....


24 October 2005


Sunday dawned dry and bright so Lynda and I decided we would join the Derby Local RSPB Group for their guided walk at Blithfield Reservoir, Staffordshire. Two days running that I'd been out birding, things must be looking up! After a little over half an hour drive we met up with the rest of the group, 22 people in total.

The first thing that struck me, apart from the two low flying hot-air balloons, was the lack of water in the reservoir! The past few months must have been a lot drier than I'd thought - we really do need a lot of rain if our water supplies are to recover. Thankfully we didn't get any on Sunday!

The first part of the walk took us through a section of very old deciduous woodland that was somewhat lacking in bird life. I did hear a Great Spotted Woodpecker but that was about all. What it did hold was some interesting fungi, unfortunately many were damaged by people walking the paths or had been eaten by birds or animals, but I did get one or two decent photos.

At the end of the woodland we came out on to the banks of the reservoir. Here we saw Wigeon, Ruddy Duck, Goldeneye, Teal, Mute Swan and 2 male Pintail. There were also around 100 Black-headed Gull roosting on the water's edge and a single Lesser Black-backed Gull. A steady walk along the reservoir edge also gave views of Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe and Grey Heron. In the surrounding fields and hedgerows we also saw Magpie, Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch and Robin.

The best find of the day for me was the huge fungi that were growing in long grass by the path. There was a group of four of the things - sorry don't know what they were called! - all over 12 inches across and standing almost as tall! I passed a good few minutes taking pictures of them!

We continued to the far end of the reservoir and another wooded area. Here there was a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees. New birds for the day here included Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Goldfinch and Linnet. Views over the water gave us a single female Goosander, 9 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, 2 male Pochard and a further 3 male and 1 female Pintail. Nine Golden Plover flew overhead with around 200 Lapwing. By now it was just after 12:00pm and time to head back to the car. By the end of the walk we had seen a total of 40 species of birds. Not a bad count for a Sunday morning stroll.

On the way out, from the car park to the road, we stopped twice so I could take more photos of fungi!

22 October 2005

Shardlow stroll

Another Saturday off work and another grey start to the day! Isn't it summer yet? Never mind, get out and make the most of the fact that it's dry! First, breakfast! You can't start the day without a good cooked breakfast, well I can't.

As the weather could have gone either way I decided on staying local to home again, and with the last few days having been very wet I needed a walk that would be on reasonably firm ground. Shardlow canal was my choice as I hadn't been there for a couple of years, it would be fairly solid under foot and would hopefully give one or two good birds.

I parked on the edge of the village and within a 100yds or so of the canal path. First birds were a family group of Mute Swan, 2 adults and 3 of this years young. As I walked down the path they drifted up the canal and climbed out on to the lawn of one of the waterside houses - not sure I'd want them on my lawn!

The hedgerows along the canal give close views of Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock, Chaffinch and Song Thrush. Every now and again a Moorhen would creep off into the Willows overhanging the water, trying to take cover as they saw me approach.

By 10:00am small numbers of narrow boats started to move down the canal, most seemed to be people out on their own boats but one or two were boats on hire for holiday use. The latter were easy to spot once they came to use the lock!

Overhead, Redwing had started to move through, a sure sign that autumn has arrived. In total around 40 birds went over in small groups, only days or even hours ago they would have been in Scandinavia. A small number of Goldfinch landed in the top of a dead tree, one or two Skylark flew up from fields by the path and a single Great Crested Grebe drifted down the river where it joined the end of the canal.

At this point I turned and retraced my steps back to the village. I'd taken just under an hour so far, a walk that without birdwatching could probably be done in less than half the time!

Extra birds seen on the walk back included a single Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Green and also Great Spotted Woodpecker, and a female Sparrowhawk hunting along a field edge.

Back in the village I had a short walk along to the old canal warehouse, which is now a pub, before heading back to the car. Must go back to the Clock Warehouse pub again soon, not been inside for years!

All together I saw a total of 36 species during the morning, not a huge count but much better than sitting in the house! Back at home I was met by our friendly garden Blackbird demanding to be fed! Why he couldn't eat the fruit that was out on the bird table I don't know, but he wasn't letting me in the house without some more!

17 October 2005

St. Neots Sunday!

5:45am and I'm up and in need of breakfast! One large bowl of cereal followed by sausage, beans, toast and scrambled eggs and I'm ready to face the day! By 7:00am I'm on my way to St. Neots for the last race meeting I'll do this season.

The trip took just over 90mins, with very little traffic (not surprising at this hour!) but quite a bit of mist and fog along the way. Once at the track I had a quick look around but couldn't see Gary or his car - could have been because of the fog, but more likely because he hadn't arrived yet! Oh well, time for a quick look at some of the SEGTO cars as the mist started to clear.

The saloon cars didn't look that different from our NASA cars but the specials certainly did! It was like going back 25 years! OK, the running gear may be modern but the shape of cars was from way back!

After Gary arrived we had a quick look at the track, decided on what tyres needed fitting to the car and then watched a few races before it was time for the MG to hit the track. Five or six races later and the tyres were changed back to the first set, as the track conditions had changed so much! Oh well, time for our first heat!

After a slightly slow start to the first heat the M219 MG ZR was soon up to speed and moving through the pack and, by the time the chequered flag fell, another race win was in the bag!

The second heat should also have been another win but a slight mistake going into the 3rd and 4th bend one lap from the flag, saw one of the local drivers get a better line through the corner and take 1st place and Gary second.

The final... well we'll never know! A big first bend bunching saw the MG take a heavy smack to the nearside front wing going in to the corner, which was only a panel damaged, but coming out of the bend the same car took another, bigger, hit at us! This time breaking a driveshaft as he hit the MG's front wheel - out of the race Gary went! So much for non-contact motorsport!!

Not quite the end to the season we wanted but all in all a good day with some good racing and even plenty of sunshine in the end! Roll on next season!

15 October 2005

End of the week...

Just a quick update!

Work was quiet this morning so I took the opportunity to give the fish tank a full service. The glass was cleaned inside and out, the filters cleaned again and around 30% of the water changed. It all took around three and a half hours but the end result was well worth it - the tank looked great again afterwards. I also got a bite off the biggest fish in the tank again, three times it's done that now! Once more and I'm either going in after him or he's coming out!

The weather for Sunday is looking like it will be OK for racing, temperature of around 60F, light winds and staying dry. By this time tomorrow I'll know if the forecast is correct! Full details and hopefully some pictures late on Sunday evening - if I get back in time!

13 October 2005

The week so far......

Monday... I found out that I was a Lottery winner!!! Lynda checked our tickets and my numbers had come up - £10.00 for me then! Not even enough to pay my petrol money for St. Neots this weekend, but it all helps!

Tuesday... We came close to flooding the showroom at work! We have a rather large fish tank, over 17ft long and 6ft tall, that I help look after. Just before I left on Tuesday I fed the fish and, as part of my normal routine, I had a quick look at the filtration system. Oops! It's not flowing through one of the tanks correctly! If I'd not spotted it then I think within 4 or 5 hours we would have had a rather large problem! Had it sorted in around half an hour before heading off to the gym.

Wednesday... My mate Gary phoned and we are all OK for racing this weekend! He must have worked pretty hard on the MG this past week or so because the poor car was far from good after the last meeting! Now we just need the weather on our side again. It's another trip down to the St Neots track but this time just for a fun meeting. The meeting is a once a year event that allows cars from the NASA organization to race against cars from the SEGTO clubs. Two totally different rule books and totally different types of car! Should be fun. I'll try for pictures of the more interesting cars!

Today... A quiet day at work mainly due to us having no computer system working for part of the afternoon! The PC's themselves were working fine, as were the internet connections, but the programme we use for workshop bookings, parts orders and sales and also car sales did not want to play! An update was e-mailed to us from the IT company and, after 3 attempts at running it, we were back up and running. After work it was another trip to the gym, then home to do this update.

09 October 2005



That's the web address you need so that you can donate to this very worthy cause via the sponsored walk I'm doing!!!

My current total now stands at just over £234 which I'm quite pleased with but please, if you haven't already done so, consider adding your name to the on-line sponsorship page!

Thank you so much!

Back To Birding!

I can't believe it's almost 4 months since I last did some "proper" bird watching! OK, I've been on 2 or 3 walks during that time, where I have seen birds, but today was my first time out with my binos and scope since June 22!!

After a couple of heavy rain showers yesterday this morning dawned dry and bright and by 7:45am I was out the door and on my way to the first stop of the morning. Ambaston Gravel Pits is a small area of old gravel workings and farm land which is only around 15 minutes from home, by car, so makes an ideal local patch when time is short. Today I spent 2hrs there and although I only walked around 1/2 a mile from the car and back I saw 36 species of birds. Not a big total but it was just good to be out in the early morning air!

The main pool held c500 Black-headed Gull, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 25 Coot, 4 Teal, 4 Mute Swan, 9 Mallard, 2 Tufted Duck and 2 Little Grebe.

The fields and surrounding hedgerows gave, amongst others, 2 Red-legged Partridge, c40 Stock Dove, 20 Linnet, 2 Yellowhammer, a single Kestrel and one Grey Wagtail. A pair of Stonechat were flitting around the tops of a reedbed. Flyovers included c40 Canada Geese, 4 Jay, 4 Skylark and a single Lapwing.

As I started back to the car a slight movement on one of the small islands caught my eye and on checking through my 'scope I found a Snipe creeping around the water's edge. Within a few minutes I had counted a total of 13 that I'd missed earlier! Just as I was about to walk off, a shrill, pig-like squeal stopped me once more. Definitely a Water Rail, but would it show? Five more minutes and I had another bird on the day list! Not stunning views but they very rarely are with such a skulking bird!


My second site was Barrow upon Trent. The only public access here is to a small lake that has been left after the gravel works had finished with it. The last time I came here was back in March this year when a Slavonian Grebe was present - nothing that good today!

I walked from the village, down the lane to the lake, around the lake and back, a total time of just 85 minutes. There was nothing much of note here but the walk was good and I did see 25 Pochard, 50 Tufted Duck, 10 Great Crested Grebe and 7 Mute Swan on the lake.

Other sightings included 1 Jay, 3 Bullfinch and a Green Woodpecker. Two Buzzard circled on thermals a short way away for a time with one landing close by at one point.

All in all not a bad morning! 45 species in total and all within 10 miles of home!

03 October 2005

Some you win, some you lose!

And it was all going so well!

Then.....BANG!!! And what a bang it was!

The East Midlands Champion Of Champions race was the first race of the day on Sunday and after a week of on and off rain the track was always going to be a bit on the tricky side. For Gary this wasn't proving that much of a problem, he was quick away from the start and making ground up on the other cars from the word go.

The main problem with these sort of races is the handicap system used - the lower classes of car, less modified than ours, start up to a full lap ahead of the quickest. This makes for a more exciting end to the race as, in theory, the last lap or two will see everyone in with a chance of taking the win. Great for the spectators, not so if you're the one battling from the rear of the grid!

Around 3 laps into the race and Gary was on one of his famous wide line charges around the pit bend, going right around the outside of one of the Class 3 cars (modified front engine, rear wheel drive) as if he wasn't there! Just as Gary set off up the back straight the Class 3 "lost it", shooting off his racing line and taking Gary straight in to the post and wire fence! End of race!
The end result was a re-run, that we were not allowed back in, as we had been the reason for the stoppage, and some pretty heavy damage to the car! All the left hand rear of the car was pushed in around two or three inches and the rear wheel pulled out of line by about 4 inches! Some quick work in the pits (thanks Micky Manning for your help!) and the car was sort of straight enough to run again.

As the meeting wore on we became aware that if we could just get the very battle scarred MG to the finish of the next two heats then Gary would still win a hat-trick of titles! The overall Club Points Championship had us 8 points clear going in to this last meeting. Our nearest rival took a first and a second in his races; Gary did a second and third which left him Overall Club Points Champion, as well as Class 6 Club Champion and also League Class 6 Champion!

In the end not a bad day but the damage picked up now means that the planned trip to St. Neots, in two weeks time, is in the balance.

28 September 2005

Wet Wednesday .....

Hey, it's Wednesday evening so half the week's gone already! Yeah! It's NOT a nice night outside though - cold, wet and very windy - and it's already dark at just after 7:15pm! Autumn is sliding into place!

Anyway..... Sponsorship for my BHF walk is coming along nicely - stands at just over £160 at this moment - and I've only had the forms for a few days so I'm quite pleased with it so far. If you're reading this and haven't sponsored me yet then don't worry I'll let you stop reading now and nip off to http://www.bhf.org.uk/sponsor/richardcrooks so that you can add a few pounds or dollars or yen or what ever it is that you trade in!

Back so soon?! Just so long as you are coming back AFTER visiting the BHF!

So,what's in store for the rest of the week? In short, not a lot! I'll be at the gym again tomorrow night and also Friday, after missing out on Monday due to a dodgy shoulder. Nothing that bad, I think I either over stretched a muscle at the weekend working on our friend Mel's house or, and this is most likely, I slept funny on it! Sad isn't it!!!! I did do a bit of a workout last night but only some easy cardio stuff, followed by about 20 mins. in the steam room!

Saturday I'm in work in the morning and then it's over to see our friends Rob & Jane in Nottingham in the evening.

Sunday is racing again after a few weeks off. Just hope the weather dries up before then or it will be a bit of a mud bath, plus we need a reasonably dry track for Gary to have the best chance of winning the East Midlands Champion Of Champions race!

26 September 2005


Just a very quick update on last nights posting.....

My sponsorship page is now up and running on the BHF web site!

Please feel free to rush away from this site and go to.......


where you can donate to this very worthy cause!

25 September 2005

Quiet times.....

Hello again!

Summer must certainly be coming to an end - very little going on at the moment, apart from work and the gym!

The last two weekends have been mainly taken up with helping our friend Mel with her new house, stripping wallpaper, filling walls, rubbing down walls and generally getting very dusty! All good fun but still a long way to go before it's finished.

Over the last couple of weeks Lynda has taken the summer bedding plants out of the garden and yesterday the winter bedding went in. I said summer must be coming to an end! Only feels like a matter of a few weeks since the start of spring and the first of the summer migrant birds started to arrive!

So, what do I have to look forward to over the next few weeks....

Next Sunday it's back to autograss racing with my mate Gary. The main race will be the East Midlands Champion Of Champions race, open to the top cars from each class in our league. Gary already has the East Midlands League Class 6 title in the bag, along with the Melton Club Class 6 title, so this one would be the hat trick! If the track is with us, along with just a little bit of luck, then Gary has a more than fair chance of taking the title! The main challenge, if he is there and I'm sure he will be, will come from the 2005 National Class 2 Champion and National Champion Of Champions P12EM John Gadsby.

The final autograss meeting of the year for me looks like being the open meeting at the St. Neots club. This is a track we have been to twice last season, getting mixed results, and once this season as spectators at the Ladies' and Juniors' Nationals. I'd like to be able to camp there again for this last meeting but with it falling in the middle of October I imagine that we will just be there for the Sunday racing! It's only a one day meeting and by then it could well be very cold or wet! This is an end of season fun meeting that is also open to cars from the SEGTO organization. SEGTO run meetings along the south coast of England to a totally different set of rules than the clubs we race with so this will see a much wider range of cars racing against each other.

My "big target" of the next few weeks is the British Heart Foundation High Peak Trail Walk on Sunday 20th November. This sponsored walk starts at Cromford meadows, near Matlock, and finishes some 17 miles later at Hurdlow near Buxton. Hmmm, 17 miles, November, Derbyshire Peak District. Could be interesting! This is a sponsored walk so if you come into contact with me on a day-to-day basis please think about adding your name to my sponsor form. If not then I'll be setting up an on-line sponsorship page, via the BHF, very soon! More on this over the coming weeks!

11 September 2005

Jasmine Garden!

No, not a new addition to our own garden but the Cantonese restaurant we went to last night!

£10.50 a head and eat as much as you like! My sort of place!

Lynda and I had been here just once before and had enjoyed both the place and the food, so, when our friends Paul and Ali suggested it was about time we all went out for a meal again we decided on here!

Like most of the day it was pouring down as we set off at just after 7:30pm, by the time we arrived it was raining even harder but at least we were able to park quite close to the door! A quick sprint and we were inside without getting too wet!

The place wasn't quite as busy as before and we were shown to our table straight away, even though we were early! Our drinks order was taken, and also our request for shredded duck with pancakes, almost as soon as we had taken our seats! Make the most of all food seeing as it's included in the price I say! Hmmmm, four of us eating but six pancakes -what's that all about then?! Never mind plenty more choice for later!

Right, time for thinking on my feet here - as I'm stood at the buffet - 'cause last time I missed out on soup. No mistake this time, found it straight away and it looked good! Back at the table and I'm aware of Lynda laughing at me from back at the buffet - OK I'd got my soup, pity I'd not picked up a spoon! Wife to the rescue, again! And the soup was just as good as it looked.

The rest of the evening was taken up with numerous trips back and forth for more food - crispy seaweed, spring rolls, prawn crackers, sesame toast made up some of the starters. Main courses included beef curry, beef with noodles (I think), king prawns, three or four chicken dishes, a couple of vegetable ones plus the most gorgeous mushrooms with onion and garlic! Oh, and not forgetting the usual egg fried rice and chips!

Two bowls of strawberry and vanilla ice cream, with strawberries, was enough of a sweet for me - I didn't want to over do it - whilst Lynda had profiteroles and ice cream. There was also a choice of fresh fruit and two differentt gateaux.

Whilst we were chatting it came to light that Paul is doing a 17 mile sponsored walk for The British Heart Foundation in November, so it's either cough up the sponsorship money OR get walking. Looks like I may well be walking then! At least that way I get something out of it as well! Joking apart, it's for a great cause so 17 miles walking in the Derbyshire countryside is the least I can do. SPONSORS WANTED, PLEASE!!!!

At around 10:30pm we headed back home for coffees (OK, so I had whisky!) all pretty well full but not quite bursting!

So, another nice evening out and it didn't cost the earth - where we going next time then folks???

10 September 2005

Added extra!

After one or two false starts you'll see that I have at last added a "Guestbook" on to here! In the end it was a rather simple task, if you want one for your own site then I'd say give Bravenet a try, with the only real work being setting up all the extra little options that are available!

Been a quiet day today, trip in to Derby for a haircut, quick bit of shopping, then back home for a small lunch. Going out tonight for a Chinese buffet so need plenty of food space! The weather has been pretty grim all day, a lot cooler than the rest of the week and very wet so it doesn't look that good for doing anything much tomorrow - we'll see!

08 September 2005

Tent up - beer out!

Don't you just love road works?!

Work was a breeze Saturday morning, no problems, no real work as such and out the door smack on time! Sorted!

Short journey home - loaded tent, food, sleeping bag AND beer into the car. Re-checked beer was in the car, said my goodbyes to Lynda before re-checking the beer and off I set.

Six miles from home and I hit my first problem! The road I need around Nottingham is closed! Came as a bit of a shock - didn't see the cones across the road until I was almost through them! Ok, think, where do I go now? One quick lap of the motorway island later and I have a route in my head! Again, sorted!

Apart from the odd slow car or tractor the rest of the trip to Cambridgeshire was an easy run - for me! Friday night I had found that the A14, which I would have used, was going to be closed so I changed my route and also let Gary know not to go that way. He still did! I did the trip in just over an hour and a half, he did around twenty miles less and took an hour longer!!

So, at the track it's a case of finding a parking spot, the rest of the Melton club and opening the first beer whilst watching a bit of racing. I knew it would be busy but not this busy! The site was heaving! And it was hot, very hot. Glad I didn't need overalls on this weekend. In the hour that I waited for Gary turning up I saw one car through the fence, one hit it hard and another two get together in a big way! I'm not saying a thing about lady drivers other than this lot did not mean taking prisoners! And this is a non-contact sport!!!!

When Gary eventually arrived it was time for putting up the tents, before the beer really started flowing. OK, where are we putting them? Blank looks from everyone! This site really was busy! Never mind, just stick them on the first bit of grass that looks big enough. I finished up in a hedge bottom with a rather upset Robin one side of me and an equally upset Wren the other!

Tents up, open more beers and get the BBQ going! About time too, I'd hardly eaten since 7:00am! Soon sorted that out - sausages, burgers and steaks made the air smell much better and my stomach feel full again!

After everyone had eaten their fill it was time for a stroll around camp to see who else we could find, and also so that one or two of the group could go back to being kids again at the small fair that was set up at the far end of the track.

The rest of the night was spent sat around the fire chatting and drinking before we all eventually turned in at around 12:30am.

Sunday morning and for both the Robin and the Wren it was pay back time! Both started singing their heads off at around 5:30am! NO NEED! By 7:00am they had started working on the track with rollers and I gave up on sleep! First view out the tent was of mist and a grey sky - didn't look that promising - but by 8:00am it was sunny and getting hot again. Breakfast was our normal race feast of sausage and bacon cobs. Straight after eating it was down with the tents before it got too hot for working.

Before we knew it they were calling cars for the first race of the day so off we went track side. Most of the races went off without much incident or drama apart from one or two re-runs for jump starts or cars that had stopped in dangerous positions on track. Quickest car of the day must have been the NS1 car of John Gaffney, being driven by Diane Jones, then again what would you expect of a little Fiat with such a big Cosworth turbo engine in the back!! Come the class 7 final and the car was flying, Diane winning by a comfortable margin, much to the delight of "The Gaffer" who was jumping around like a man possessed on the start line for the whole race!

The rest of the finals started to get a little out of hand, with re-run after re-run, and by 6:00pm Gary and I were thinking of hitting the road for home with still 3 or 4 races left to run. That decision was made for us when two specials came together coming on to the back straight, leaving them both through the fence! Knowing that it would take a while for the fence to be sorted we made our move.

All in all another great weekend, made better by having a good crowd of people with us and a chance to just sit around watching the racing and chatting without worrying about working on a car or, in Garys case, having to compete! Roll on the next two day meeting!

02 September 2005

Time flys!

As I thought..... I set this up and then don't have the time to come back to it!

What a week, work has gone crazy mad - big problems getting stock this week and when it arrives it's damaged - the usual couple of trips to the gym (should have been more after last weekend!) and with all the rain this week the garden looks like a jungle! Will be a quick run around with the mower tonight before getting all my camping gear ready for the weekend!!

After an easy morning at work Saturday (I hope!) it's off to Cambridgeshire for the NASA Ladies & Juniors National Championships - Autograss racing for those that don't know! My mate Gary isn't racing (not a lady or a junior) so we can have a good few beers and chill out for a change without worrying about racing or fixing the car!

Spent a lot of the week chasing info on the Clann An Drumma gig in Stirling, Scotland, in October but still not having much luck - someone MUST know something! With luck I should get some feed back from the CAD web forum but even that has been rather vague.

Right, time I did a bit more work, otherwise I'll be left with loads tomorrow morning!!!!

28 August 2005

First Posting!

Well, after reading about this "blog" thing a few times I thought I'd give it a go, so, here's my first little bit of news! I NOW HAVE A BLOG!!!!

Quite what will appear here remains to be seen, as does the amount of times I actually find time to add "news", but we will see!

It's the Bank Holiday weekend this weekend and so far the weather has been quite good - for a change - with yesterday and today being bright and sunny, if a little breezy.

Lynda and I had a late start to the day with breakfast at around 9.45, followed by a lazy morning in front of the TV. I talked Lynda into taking us out for lunch (not hard to do) so after a brief stop off at work to feed the fish there (hey, someone has to look after them!) we had a rather nice couple of hours at the local Harvester. We skipped starters, apart from our trips to the salad bar, and went straight for the main courses so that we would have room for sweets after!!! Well, that was the idea. After my steak, which was great, I was totally stuffed! I did force a very small mousse but that was my lot. Lynda polished off a huge plate of chicken and bacon AND the biggest ice cream you could imagine! OK, with a little help, but not much!

The afternoon was spent having a quick look around a garden centre, buying more bird food, and then back in front of the TV. I like Bank Holidays! Lynda did her normal Sunday night thing - pub quiz - but again failed to win a thing!

As for tomorrow.....