Archive for Friends

4am Finish

Slightly more refined than student days of old, we threw a house-warming party in our new flat over the weekend with great success. Guests arrived, food was eaten, music was played and copious quantities of alcohol were consumed. The conversation and conviviality continued until the early hours of the morning, proving that being a student is not a prerequisite for an all-nighter on the party scene! Thanks to all who attended and may it be the first of many.

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Candle Fail

Usually when you buy a scented candle the scent is released from the wax as it burns, however there are others available which have a twin layer of glass, the internal “cup” containing the candle and the outer “cup” containing a gel which, when warmed by the internal cup candle, releases the scent.

Over Christmas my parents had purchased one of these and had it burning on the coffee table, releasing seasonally inspired scent into the living room. All of a sudden a large, tall flame was observed. While it was possible to extinguish the flame simply by firmly blowing on it, the flame was quite large and could have ignited other objects surround the the candle on the table. When extinguished it was clear what had happened; the outer layer of gel had somehow ignited and had started burning at a furious rate (shown in the photo below)

Having mentioned this to friends I’m now aware of at least one other of these types of candles which has caught fire, as such I’d recommend anyone that has a candle of this type not to use it and to dispose of it for safety.


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Hiking in Finland

During a trip to Finland to celebrate Chris and Elina’s pending wedding, Shweta and I took the opportunity to take in the sights and do a spot of hiking in one the national parks

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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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