Tuesday, 31 December 2013

travel photographer of the year 2013


It's that time of year again - the awards for the Travel Photographer of the Year have been handed out, and some of the winners are above.
If you want to see extra photographs (and find out more about the above ones), look here.  It's worth it.

toodle pip

the gnome roses

What a genius idea!!! (although it's been on offer for a while)
The Stone Roses as gnomes!!
They look magnificent, and have been modelled to look like cartoony gnomes, but also realistic enough so that you can recognise each member of the band. All for less than £80!!
Available here.

toodle pip

charles baudelaire, mathew arnold, and my good self

I've recently been reading some poetry by Charles Baudelaire (The Flowers of Evil / Les Fleurs Du Mal) and Mathew Arnold (Selected poems, but mainly 'The Scholar Gypsy'), and of course this inspired me to put fingers to keyboard, and produce something myself.Hence the semi autobiographical self pitying effort below.I'm still not 100% happy with it, but l've been messing around with it on and off for a week or so, and it's starting to get on my nerves, so this is as good as it's going to get for now.

Dec 2013

I once set off with inflated lungs
The master of the planet pale
Knowing every song that’s sung
And thankful for a glass of ale

The air was calm and the water clear
And full of hope l led the way
The mirrored surface held no fear
And the sun embraced me every day

But searching for my lovers eyes
I ache and struggle to set my sail
Fearful of the lowering skies
And hiding from the howling gale

I pine for sleep, l crave for rest
And still the howling winds do wail
If there is a God, this must be a test
I cower beneath the shadows veil 

I feel the anguish within me rise
Captured under a ceiling of mist
My body and soul crave for a caress
And I’m pining for a lovers kiss

The frothing waters tell no lies
I’m lost at sea and in distress
So I must free myself from all these ties
And find myself a place to rest

toodle pip

the state of the colburn lodge at the moment

Obviously l could not have taken these pictures myself, as it would have been trespassing and illegal, and l would never break the law of the land.  However, as they have somehow arrived in my possession, it would be amiss of me not to post them up for all to see.
The Colburn Lodge, a favourite old drinking establishment of mine in Catterick, as it was a couple of days ago.
The talk is that it is going to be re-furbished, re-opened and selling meat, but also have some kind of eating place within.
No doubt we will find out soon, but it is a shame that it is no longer going to be used as a pub, as many a cracking night has been had within those walls, especially when 60 Squadron used to be based over the road from it.
Trust me, it could be as mad as Mad Jack McMad himself (but in a good way!).

toodle pip

the youngsters and christmas drinks at my sisters house

Adam and Hayley

Kelly and Connor

I was around at my sisters house a couple of evenings ago, dropping of the usual money and books for Christmas, and ended up staying there for about six hours, drinking plenty of spirits, eating cheese, and chatting with Linda, Shane and the youngsters above.  I even came away with some book recommendations from them ('I am Pilgrim' and 'Soldaten'), although it's hard to believe that Hayley will be 21 and finishing University next year, and Kelly will be 18 and starting.
They both still look about 12 to me, and the time has flown on by (in the blink of an eye!) since they were both young sprogs.

toodle pip

Monday, 30 December 2013

george best - hard tackles and dirty baths (with harry harris)

Harry Harris may be considered a top football journalist / biographer (or at least a prolific one), but he certainly doesn't check all of his facts (or his minions and accomplices don't).
I have just been leafing through George Best's 'Hard Tackles and Dirty Baths', ghost written by Harris, and one glaring error leaps out straight away.
The 1967/68 season was a momentous one for Best, and probably his most productive, as he ended the season with personal awards such as Footballer of the year, as well as helping win the European Cup at Wembley with Manchester United, beating Benfica 4-1 in the final (and scoring United's second goal in extra time).
However, according to Best and Harris, the season was also memorable for the first game of the season, the Charity Shield game at Wembley that ended in a 3-3 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, as the Spurs goalkeeper, Pat Jennings, scored from a kick upfield, the Wembley games bookended the season, and the game was the first to be shown in colour by the BBC on some transmitters. As they state in the book, who could forget that?
The trouble is, the game was not played at Wembley, but at Old Trafford, Manchester, as l still have the programme and remember it well (better than Best and Harris anyway).
Things like this really piss me off, as the book will no doubt be quoted to me when l am arguing about the game in the future, with a 'So you think you know more about it than Harris and even Best himself' thrown in for good measure.
On this kind of evidence, l'm afraid l most definitely do.

The goals from the game on youtube, which are certainly not from Wembley.

The programme for the game

toodle pip

clubbed to death / furious angels

This is one of my favourite moments from a film, as the 'Furious Angels' music (by Rob Dougan) is so atmospheric, and fits the (slightly dragged out) scene perfectly.
From 'Clubbed To Death', a French film from a few years back about a couple of heroin addicts, and the music has since been used (not clubbed) to death in other films, on TV, and in commercials.  Dougan must have made a fortune from it, but if so, he deserves all he got, as the song is a masterpiece.

toodle pip

out and about in december

Christmas is over and l am now looking forward to the New bleeding year.  Meanwhile, I've been about and about in December, hence some of the photographs above.  More trips to the dentist, meals out in Catterick Village, and visits to pubs in Newcastle, Darlington, Middlesbrough and locally.
I've just finished work for a few days, missed my link up with the FPO, and Mr Parrot is still hugely entertaining.
Time to crack on with what l laughingly know as reality, and yes, that is Shaun Ryder in the bottom picture.

toodle pip