Archive for Friends

European Road Trip Photos

They’ve taken a while to sort through and collate but I’ve just finished uploading my photo collection from my European Road Trip that I took in September 2010 with Chris Worfolk, Norman Ralph and George Shore. Click on any of the photos below to be taken to the trip album.

European Road Trip PhotosEuropean Road Trip PhotosEuropean Road Trip PhotosEuropean Road Trip PhotosEuropean Road Trip Photos

To connect the trip properly I’ve tied all comments and track backs from the trip commentary of others into this post and also provide a link to the trip tracker which has now been made static and serves as a log of the highs and lows of the journey and our stopping points.

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Sunday in London

On Sunday I met up with Shweta in London to visit the Michelangelo’s Dream exhibition being hosted at Somerset house in Aldwych. Featured were a number of his paintings but the gallery was populated in the most part by his sketches which showed a fascinating insight into how he composed his works and also the lengths to which others have gone to create copies.

The gallery visit was followed by a wander round the streets of London and afternoon tea at St James Restaurant on the fourth floor of Fortnum & Mason.



The photo of Shweta was taken on the terrace at Somerset house looking out over the Thames and the second photo features the back of Somerset house taken again from the terrace.

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Weekend in London

Over the weekend I stayed with Matt Revell in London. With the fantastic warm weather it was the perfect opportunity to wander round the streets in a tee-shirt, snapping photos on the camera and taking in the arts and culture.

We visited the sculptures of Ife exhibition at the British Museum, took afternoon tea in the friends room at the Royal Academy of Arts and then browsed the Van Gogh exhibition seeing as it’s the last week when all these wonderful paintings and letters will be in London.

A splendid day of culture then, rounded off by an Italian meal and a few pints of ale in a local watering hole, complete with some music on the sound system that took me right back to my school days. Great fun and big thanks to Matt.

The photo below was taken of an old corner shop in Walthamstow on our way to Blackhorse Road tube station. Note how it still sports the original frontage complete with name and advertising in tiles!


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Christmas Cheer

So it’s fast approaching the end of the noughties and the festive cheer is upon us. I’m spending Christmas in North Wales and despite the poor weather on the roads all the family have made it here and the surroundings are really festive.

The mountains are snow capped, the sunshine is warm and low in the sky, we have real fires burning in the various grates and a real Christmas tree that I had the privilege of cutting down myself from a local grower. Keep on the look out for some fabulous photos of the country scenery that I’ll be popping into my gallery in the new year!

After relaxing over Christmas with my family I will make my way across country to Leeds where I will be seeing in the new year with the old crowd. It will be fantastic to see everyone again – I certainly do miss the regular social activities when I’m down in Swindon.

On the websites and communication front, I’m going to be a little less contactable over the festive period on account of my travelling around and the lack of connectivity in the countryside. While I will be receiving and reading e-mail on my BlackBerry I don’t expect to reply to any of it until the new year. If you need to get in touch with me urgently you can call my mobile – those who might need to have the number already.

Keen readers will have noticed that I’ve closed my forums until the new year. This is only a temporary measure and has been done to prevent people thinking I’m ignoring their queries – it’s Christmas and I won’t have the time or the inclination to answer technical questions. Please save up your issues and ask for help with them when the forums re-open and I’m around to answer.

Above all I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all my family, friends and regular blog readers a very merry Christmas and prosperous new year.

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Trip to Bath

On Saturday I went for a day trip to Bath to meet up with Matt and Ed and take in some of the sights. We were treated to some great weather and I was able to capture some great shots of the city architecture on my camera. Based on my brief experience I most certainly intend to return to the city and explore more!

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Trip to Cumbria

A couple of weeks ago, I took a trip to Cumbria to stay with Jill Amey for a couple of days and then afterwards headed slightly further north for the Solway Festival where I stayed with Sarann and enjoyed the sights and sounds for the remainder of the bank holiday weekend.

When I went off to university I all but lost touch with my school French teacher and good friend Jill Amey, but fortune allowed us to get back in touch via e-mail and led to an invite to go and stay for a few days at her new home in Cumbria. We spent some time discussing what had been going on at my old school after I left and also caught up on everything we’d respectively been doing since I left A level French class. In addition I was given a grand tour of the local area and took in some fantastic sights. It was certainly not hard to see how you can move to the country for work and then fall in love with the surroundings.

Solfest was spectacularly good fun as always and catching up with Sarann and her family at the same time was great. To say we got a little wet would be an understatement but the atmosphere and music were excellent and I certainly wouldn’t hesitate in going again next year, especially seeing as the eclectic nature of my list is more than just a little enhanced by my visits to the event!

A full and more comprehensive description of my trip is best done in photos and these have already been uploaded to my gallery. I’ve tried my best to capture the Cumbrian scenery but the photos really don’t do it justice – you should definitely spend a few days in the area yourself.

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Photo Update

I’ve updated my gallery again after off-loading some of my recent snaps.

A couple of weeks ago I headed out to the Windsor beer and jazz festival and was blessed with superb weather and a great collection of live jazz sets to compliment the pints of ale I consumed. The good weather brought the public out in force and I managed to take a few nice shots of people enjoying the day.

Last weekend I went for one of my many walks so far this year, this time with Julia and Chris, and we got as far as Avebury before relaxing over a pub lunch and a couple of pints before returning to Swindon. While I didn’t take many photos I managed to capture a superb landscape with a rather desolate looking farm building in frame that really seems to strike a chord.

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Classification Congratulations

I would like to extend my congratulations to the following Leeds School of Computing students who received their degree classifications today

  • Matt Revell – 2:1
  • Nicci Kerrison – 2:1
  • Chris Clarke – 2:2

Well done for all your hard work, you certainly deserve to have done so well. I shall be seeing you all at graduation and sharing a pint (or two!) with you after the ceremony :)

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Meeting Laura

At the end of my training course yesterday I headed back towards St. Pancras but instead of boarding the first available train back to St. Albans I grabbed a coffee and a table at the Costa Coffee on the concourse and waited for Laura to arrive from work.

Recently I’ve been catching up a lot with old friends but considering the time Laura and I used to spend (usually in the pub) musing over current events and discussing what the future might hold, it really was great to be meeting up again.

We did the usual “not understanding why we hadn’t spoken for so long”, “promising to call more in future” and such like but actually I genuinely think we will keep in touch this time. Talking about the old times binds us together but being able to see how far we’ve come since those student days of over indulgence in alcohol and other craziness was just as good fun.

After coffee we also took the time to wander round St. Pancras station and for the first time I noticed what an amazing building it is. Usually I hurtle through from one end to the other, in search of some train or tube, but staring up at the arches of metal and the huge station clock at the end of concourse made me realise that things we look at ever day and pay little attention to may have more to them than at first meets the eye. Next time you’re in St. Pancras, look up. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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Last night I headed out to meet my friend James and got to meet a couple of old friends into the bargain. Adam James I hadn’t seen in a number of years but Graham Free I hadn’t seen literally since the day I walked out of the school gates. It was nice to catch up with both of them and find that they were both doing well in their respective study and career exploits.

I was also pleased to make the acquaintance of John Hargreaves, a good friend of James’, with whom I found I had a number of hobbies in common. Sailing, real ale and 80s music to name a few.

I hope to be able to stay in touch with these people and hopefully meet up again upon my next return to St. Albans which is unlikely to be too far into the future.

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