Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sunday at home ...

31 July 2011

It’s a really nice Sunday morning here in Dorktown.  Jan is off to church and I’m sat here at home instead of out taking photos or birding.  You might ask why I am ‘wasting’ a nice day like today.  My answer is, I can’t be bothered going off anywhere!  So now I have to find something to do with the day.

To start off with I have read the Sunday Express.  Why that one?  Well, last year I went to Birdfair at Rutland Water and bought a copy of Stuart Winter’s Tale so a Tabloid Twitcher witch I read and enjoyed.  Mr Winter is the environmental editor of the SE and he writes a column every week called Birdman.  It’s a good read too so that’s why I have the paper delivered.  Besides, the whole paper is a worthwhile buy in my opinion anyway and it’s the only national paper we have.

My mate in Sale has finished proof reading House of Pain for me and sent it back.  I can rely on Bill being brutally honest with his proofing, that’s why I asked him to do it for me.  So I’ve downloaded that ready for me to start making the changes.  But before that another friend went through The Mission for me and I have to finish correcting that before I start on the second one again.  

So you see?  The day won’t be wasted will it.  It will be profitable filled with things that need doing.   

The Rochdale Sage has sent me another one ...

 A fleeing Taliban, desperate for water, was plodding through the
Afghan desert when he saw something far off in the distance.

Hoping to find water, he hurried toward the oasis, only to find a
little old Jewish man at a small stand, selling ties.

The Taliban asked, "Do you have water?"

The Jewish man replied, "I have no water. Would you like to buy a
tie? They are only $5."

The Taliban shouted, "Idiot! I do not need an over-priced tie! I
need water! I should kill you, but I must find water first!

"OK," said the old Jewish man, "It does not matter that you do not
want to buy a tie and that you hate me. I will show you that I am
bigger than that. If you continue over that hill to the east for
about two miles, you
will find a lovely restaurant. It has all the ice cold water you need. Shalom."

Cursing, the Taliban staggered away over the hill.

Several hours later he staggered back, almost dead & said:

"Your f***ing brother won't let me in without a tie!"

Have fun guys n gals.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

A pint of the best please.

30 July 2011

So it’s been 3 days since I posted on here.  My intention was to post every day but I’m afraid life gets in the way. 

So then – today the Boss and I went off on our scooters for a ride around the market in Dorktown centre.  I still say its not as good as it was even 20 years ago, let alone 50 years ago when I used to travel on the bus from Gun Hill with my parents when they did the weekly shop.  In fact the whole town as changed.

Instead of the old fire station and library there’s now an Iceland, a entry way into the Ropewalk Shopping Centre (where do they get the names from), and a T J Huges.  It used to be Woolies but that closed down of course.  I remember an old pub called the Castle which dad loved cos he could have pint of Ansell’s mild while mam, me and Dave (my younger brother – no longer with us), could sit out in the yard.  I also remember a place where mam used to go for the lavvy.  It faced Queens Road and the front of it was large bay-windowned place where me and Dave were parked and told to behave while mam went off to do whatever she did.  I told mam I remembered being taken there and she quickly changed the subject ... maybe I should look into it a bit more.
Now what else do I remember ... there’s the old post office and a shop where you could buy radios and stuff.  I loved it in there!  There was Clarkes fruit stall on the corner of Dugdale Street, always expensive and mam rarely bought from there.  Opposite corner was book shop, now what was it called, I can’t remember now.  I do remember he was a very surely old fart who ran it!  Oh yes, and don’t forget Martins pest shop where we bought my first puppy that I bought with my birthday money.  And right behind it was the town gas works ... oh what a stink!  It’s not the Co-op car park.  

Much later I got to know the pubs much more and many of them have gone.  The Peacock, Clock, Half Moon, Holy Bush, Newdigate Arms (a hotel really), Dugdale, Nags Head.  Some are still there but renamed like the George Eliot once the Bull Hotel;  the Blue Bear (where I have just had three very nice pints of Young’s bitter), once the Wheatsheaf; Bilberries, once the Grandby.  Dave and me were in there the night Grandby died.  I never actually liked the pub all that much but Dave did.  That night we went out for a few together and he claimed he had ‘suffered’ the Peacock (but by the way he put the Double Diamond away he didn’t suffer all that much), so it was no my turn to suffer the Grandby.  OK, fine.
Now the Grandby was one of those pubs where everyone knew everyone else or the folks they friends were with.  Everyone would meet up there and have a good time.  That made it a busy pub at the quietest of times!  So there Dave and me were enjoying our pint and taking the peepee out of a Geordie friend of his.  About 2 months earlier a new manager had taken over and he was a big difference than the old one.  The new one was a bit of a misery really.  Anyway ... 

One of Dave’s mates started making a bit more noise than the rest of us but no-one was complaining.  The manager told him to shut up or leave and not to come back.  The guy said, “If I do go I’ll empty the pub!”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard those tales before.  Out!  Now!” said the manager.  So as Dave’s mate drank up and made for the door, so did the whole crowd of us, about 9 all told.  Someone else asked what was happening so Dave told them, and they left too, another 6 or 7.  Slowly the word got out and within 10 minutes the place was empty.  It never recovered.  However, the Pen and Wing about 100 yards off took up the strain and prospered.  The Pen and Wig by the way is now a kids drinking hole where alcho-pops rule the roost but I can’t remember the name now.   

So there you have some of it ... the happy life of a Dorktown boozer.  Maybe I’ll tell you more one day.  Like the night I stayed in the Peacock until turned 3am one time and met the milky on his rounds as I walked home.  And the curries, oh the curries – so good.  Here’s the Peacock now ...

What a waste!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Lots of photos today ....

27 July 2011
I have at long last got around to sorting out my photos from Sunday.  My main camera is a Sony Alpha 350 and I always shoot in RAW format.  Normally I have there but to sit and go through all the images converting the ones I like or think are worth working with and saving them as JPEGs ready to work on later in Photoshop.  I know the Sony software allows me to do it all but I haven’t been able to get on with it.  Anyway ...

I have a copy of Elements 7 here too and I’ve found that it will convert the Sony RAW files and save them to PSD files and I can work on them when I like.  So today I did just that and I was finished with it all in the same amount of time it takes me just to convert them in the Sony Software.
My photo interest are pretty wide so please allow me to post a selection here for you.  To start with here’s me ...  

There's a lift that allows disabled folk to get down to the canal toepath and that was great to find on Sunday.  Last time I had to use a really bad path-way that shook me up badly.  You can't see my scooter in this shot but I am on it - honest ;-)))

Fout shots from around the Gas Street Basin are f Brum.  It's quiet nice around there and you may be lucky (or unlucky depending on your view point) in bumping inot Nick Owen in the area.

Fist pint of the day, a pint of Discovery in the Old Joint Stock, a Fullers pub opposite the cathedral.  I also had my car parked outside there too.

Two shots of teh catherdral then.

Ah yes, this one!  Have thought about we ever got on when we didn't have mobile phones?  This lass came into the pubwhere I had lunch and sat down with her pint of larger and started talking on the phone within seconds of sitting down.  She was still at as she left the pub half hour later!  I'm puzzled by it.  Why is it that some people just can't live without talking to someone.  When I'm out about about shooting I have my phone turned off so I'm not disturbed, then I turn it on and let the wife know all is OK.  It's the smae with car radios ... I rarely have mine on.  When I do its at news time and then it goes off again straight after.  Again, why is it that some folk just can't be alone with their thoughts?  Are they afraid to have to be alone with them?  If so, why?

My pint of Incubus in the Shakespear, another city centre pub that is very good and very popular.

The Town Hall and the fluzzy, Victoria Square.

It’s very cloudy today, not a good one for snapping really.  In any case we are expecting visitors later today.  We have sold our tent and camping gear on Ebay, neither of us is up to erecting it these days.  We’ve got it all sorted ready for them but one of us has to stay in until they arrive to collect it.  Next up is my spotting scope and tripod, again being sold because of their weight and my inability to carry it.  Shame really because it a good set-up.  The cash raised will got towards a holiday in Blackpool next month (we’re hoping to move up there soon), and a new lappy for me.  My current one is OK I suppose but its very slow and it has a rather small hard disc.   

I think that will do for today.  My daily quota of writing done ... although I will no doubt get some more done later as well.  I’ve started book #3 with a working title  of Moonshot.  We’ll see ... ... ... ...     


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Today's Tuesday ...

26 July 2011

... if you didn’t already know it ;-)))  Anyway, I had a trip into Dorktown today and had another really nice pint of real ale in the Felix Holt in Stratford magazine which I hoped would point me in the way of building a web site ... oops, got that wrong then!  So what else have I been up to?
Well, according to Writers Forum we writers should try to write something every day.  Does answering an email for the Rochdale sage count?  Well I did so, so I’m counting as such.  We have ordered a camcorder but it hasn’t arrived yet.  Then I thought, “Hang on a mow – my little Nikon does movies.”  So I had a play with it and it works a treat!  As I rode down town on me mobility scooter I had a go and recorded the houses opposite us.  And guess what, that worked too.  It won’t be wasted either cos when I get my second book House of Pain finally published I will use that clip as part of an ad-video to go YouTube.  The story actually starts along there see.  And another guess what?
As I was heading off home I nearly ran over a young lass with me scooter ... and I nearly jumped up and gave her a big hug ... she was just how I imagined one the twins right at the start of the story.  I’ve told my Domestic Supervisor and she wasn’t too happy at all.  You know, one time I joked with her about going down town to see me girl friend and she said, “Oh good.  She can bloody well have you then.  Give me some peace!”  No understanding these gels is the guys ;-)))

Don’t know about you folks but I get all sorts of stuff appear on my Google mail page when I open the inbox.  Today there was a recipe for Spam and broccoli cheese pasta.  What a waste of broccoli!  Which brings me to what I’m going to have for dinner tonight.  I fancy sausage, egg n chips or egg sausage n chips or chips egg n sausage or chips sausage n egg ... but one thing I am sure of, no bloody SPAM!!!   

I could me a chicken curry suppose.  Or I could take a hobble to the Chinky take away at the bottom of the street.  Oh dear, all these choices ... what a hard life I lead ;-)))