Monday, January 31, 2005

Old Moor seems to be much busier since we were last there over two years ago. Posted by Hello

Old Moor viewed from the road. Posted by Hello

Joining The RSPB

On Saturday we went off to Hillsborough in Sheffield to do the shopping for a change, mainly because that's where the new SR Gents factory clothes shop is We had one of the best hot pork butties we've ever had from the little shop in the barracks.

After chilling out in the afternoon, we went out in the evening for a meal with friends, it wasn't as we'd planned it, there were supposed to be six of us but two our friends phoned at the last minute to say they couldn't make it. When we got to the pub, we waited for half an hour before phoning our other two friends and they hadn't even set off. We ended up having to go elsewhere and really didn't enjoy the evening at all.

We were up with the sun on Sunday morning and in a stroke of madness, decided to got to Meadowhall. We walked in, had five minutes and walked out again, I think we'll stick to going in the evening when it's much quieter

From there we drove to a lay by at the side of the RSPB Old Moor, we've not been there for ages having both been members before the RSPB took it over. I was still with the RSPB so we popped in to see how we could get a joint membership and it was as easy as pie and cheap as chips. Now we're both members we're free to visit any RSPB centre in the country and are looking forward to visiting Bempton Cliffs to see the puffins.


Friday, January 28, 2005


There's yet another new kid on the block, this time it's Blogazoo and it's appeared on half the blogs I've looked at today. The best part is, you can't even do any surfing yet, honestly, I think we've all gone bonkers!

Still, I've signed us up anyway seeing as it looks quite cute and the zoo thing fits in well here


Watch The Birdie

For the first time this week, we had nowhere to go after work yesterday and enjoyed just chilling out with a glass or two of falling down juice while watching Toddy watching the birdie on telly. Debbie read a little more of her book while I thumbed through my ever growing collection of photographic magazines, I just can't stop buying them!

Debbie mentioned that since we've had the new camera's we've actually taken fewer pictures than ever, being so busy at weekends, or ill or both and just haven't been able to get out and about like we normally do.

Crunchie day is here again and while we're still not exactly sure what we've got planned this weekend, I've got a sneaky suspicion that we'll be making up for lost time in the photo taking department.

Paul Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Website Update

Debbie and I have finally got round to updating our original website which we've tended to forget about since starting our three weblogs. We've updated the wedding page with all the details from the day itself and also updated a couple of the other pages that were looking slightly out of date having not been updated since March last year

Last night we took Dad's pictures over which we picked up from the photographer on Tuesday, he's thrilled to bits with them and can't wait to get them framed. He must have been chuffed because he opened his bottle of Tomatin whiskey, it's a pity we forgot the camera to record this rare


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Wedding Photographer

We picked up the last batch of wedding photos from Ken Trinder, our photographer, last night and just like the ones we already have, they are fantastic!

Debbie and myself would like thank Ken for a job very well done and can recommend him to anyone who is looking for a photographer. You can find Ken's web site with all the details and contact information here.


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Tea With No Name

Last night we were supposed to be having soup as part of our diet but with us still a little bit weak after feeling unwell on Sunday we opted for something different. I'm quite good at pulling things our of the fridge or freezer at random and knocking something together that more often than not tastes an awful lot better than it looks.

Yesterdays feast consisted of fresh Chinese rice that we bought on Sunday with mini sausages, chip shop curry and a dash of chicken gravy mix. It did actually look quite good but tasted even better and I can't understand why sausage curry isn't our national dish! Maybe I should mention it to the Chinese takeaway next door and then might be become known locally as a number eighty four.

We gave up looking out of the window last night, it's still cold here but not really cold enough to snow and this morning it's spitting with rain so it looks like we've missed out this time around but I'm sure there will be another cold blast on the way soon.

I seem to remember when I was a kid, that people used to say that if America had bad snow, we would get it here shortly afterwards and it did seem to work out that way back then but will the old saying still come true now?


Monday, January 24, 2005

Eric having a good yawn after having forty winks. Posted by Hello

Dodgy Chicken

We've had another very busy weekend, Friday we went over to see friends in Sheffield and had a great time, having a Chinese which was washed down nicely with wine and beer.

On Saturday we were up bright and early for a spot of shopping and also managed to get a few pictures of the frozen landscape on the way home. Debbie went to get her hair cut, she's been dying to have it cut off for months but needed to keep it long for the wedding. I wasn't sure about it but when she got back, she looked absolutely gorgeous :-)

In the afternoon we went over to see my Grandma for the first time since she came out of hospital, she seems to be in good spirits and is getting about ok the operation on her hip. Leaving there we called in at Crystal Peaks where we got another photography magazine which came with a cool little booklet with all sorts of advice on taking and editing photographs.

Later on Debbie started on the Bacardi n' Coke while I got going on white wine and in the morning, we both felt absolutely shocking! We had bacon butties for breakfast followed by some chicken wraps mid morning but I don't think they were very good because we both felt worse and Debbie later fetched hers back up. I managed to keep the food down but didn't feel any better until I had a couple of bottles of beer early evening.

We watched through the window during the night for any sign of snow but nothing came, all we got were a few snow grains this morning, never mind, maybe we'll get some snow later...


Friday, January 21, 2005

Sticky Brakes

I had a bit of a worry yesterday with my little car, the hand brake seemed to be sticking while driving along so I popped it down to Kwik Fit to have it looked over. They couldn't find anything wrong which was a relief but they cleaned everything up and now my little car is whizzing along just like new and what's more, they didn't charge a penny :-)

Back at the ranch last night, we opted to shut up shop downstairs early and go and watch telly in bed for a change. It's great now we've got the old freeview box upstairs, there's loads more channels showing rubbish to choose from. After Eastenders we just ended up reading again, Debbie got a bit further into her novel and I could her a chuckle every now and then when she got to a funny bit and a ooooolala when she got to a naughty bit I just carried on with my photography book, learning new tricks like how to level a photo when you took one while pissed out of your tree and every building looks like the leaning tower of Pisa.

The wind is still blowing this morning but it's not as bad as yesterday which is just as well as it's bin day today and I don't fancy fetching them back from the next village when I get home from work. It's crunchie day at last and we've got another busy weekend coming up and with any luck we'll have loads of new photos by Sunday evening and if the weather behaves, maybe a few flakes of snow :-)


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Birthday Shopping

Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday yesterday :-)

Last night to celebrate, we went off to Meadowhall, not everyone's choice for a birthday night out, but we were thinking about changing our mobile phones so decided to go and have a look at the options. Before trawling the mobile shops we had a curry in the Oasis which lovely, washed down by a nice cold cup of fanta.

One of the reasons for wanting to change our mobiles is that Debbie's phone keeps freezing, forcing her to take the battery and sim cards out for a few minutes. The other reason is that we're not that keen on them, however, our monthly contract isn't up until the end of this year so if we were to change, we would have to pay for the full cost of the new phones. We enquired first about having Debbie's phone fixed and that would be done free of charge as it's still under warranty. So we walked round and round weighing up the options while looking at other phones and eventually came to the conclusion that we're still not sure what to do

Back home, we chilled out with a few beers and while Debbie got stuck into her new book while I tried out a few of the tricks in Photoshop Elements. I got a picture of a tiger that Debbie took at Knowsley Safari Park last year and set about removing the wire mesh from the photo. It's a painstaking job but I got all the head done and the results we're surprisingly good for a first attempt.


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Misty supervising while the new computer desk is being built. Posted by Hello

Birthday Boy!

Almost pipe and slippers time for me, 35 today and the desire to wear cardigans and beige slip on shoes grows stronger which each passing day! I've got loads of great stuff, Debbie has got me two idiot proof books on photography and a wonderfully cute six pack bear which I think is to remind me what my chest should look like and not like I'm about to give birth.

After all the excitement with the snow yesterday, it's back to normal now, cold wet and miserable, for a few days anyway, the weather forecast this morning showed it getting colder again at the weekend.

The new computer desk we got on Sunday is going down a storm with the cats, Toddy has the bottom shelf and Eric chills out on the keyboard shelf. Misty on the other hand was more interested in the box that it came in.


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I just had to go and see what it was like over Woodhead Pass in the Pennines! Posted by Hello

Thanks For Linking!

A big thank you to Best Of Intentions and Elephants & Dragonflies for linking to us

Heavy snow falling this morning. Posted by Hello

Dusting Of Snow

We did our shopping at Tescos last night for the first time in ages and ended up spending more that we we're planning to It was my fault for spotting a freeview box, we've had nothing but trouble from the Nokia one we have at the moment which we paid about £130 for, so after hovering for 5 minutes deciding whether to get a new one, I went for it and shoved it in the trolley and at £45, a bit more of a bargain than the old one. Debbie got 2 new CD's for the car, Scissor Sisters and a new classical album for chilling out in the busy Sheffield traffic.

Getting back home, I set it up the new Echostar T101 freeview box and I must say, it's a vast improvement on the old box, it's going to be cool being able to watch telly without it freezing twice nightly. We checked the weather sites for a while with reports of snow coming in from places further north but no sign of the white stuff arriving here.

This morning, we awoke to a dusting of snow and just as we set off to work, it started snowing again. I took a couple of pictures on the way to work and Debbie took one here mobile but it was still a bit early and they're all a bit on the dark side, however, I did manage to get some pictures from my window on the weather when it started snowing again. We've got bright blue skies again now, hopefully we'll have a few more snow showers through the day.


Monday, January 17, 2005

Birthday Shopping

The kitchen went by the wayside this weekend, I got as far as discussing how to do it with my Dad on Saturday morning but with us both still feeling under the weather we decided to leave it for a few days while we got our strength back. Instead, Debbie got our second wedding album done using other pictures that we have and I got the photos loaded on our photo page.

On Sunday, we we're up with the sunshine and headed off to Meadowhall for brunch at McDonalds, we weren't'missing out on two Big Macs for the price of one Debbie got me two photography books for my Birthday on Wednesday then we went looking for Adobe Photoshop Elements which we figured would be the best package for us, so we left Meadowhall and headed off to Parkgate at Rotherham.

They had it in PC World at £70 which seems to be the going price so we took it to the till and then had to wait for ages while the bafoon there tried to get hold of the manager to authorise a chip and pin with no pin. They got that sorted then the manager disappeared and the next person in front of us produces his chip and pin card but doesn't know his pin, so it's off to find the manager again! Meanwhile everyone behind us had sneaked off to another till that had just opened behind us, disgusted, we just left the software on the till and walked out.

They did us a favour really because we got it from Comet across the road, £20 cheaper! Next mission was to find a new computer desk and a comfy chair, we looked all over and couldn't find one right for us, the very last stop was PC World in Barnsley and we weren't holding out much hope following the farce in their Rotherham branch. To our surprise, we found just what we wanted and a very helpful chap got us a couple of trolleys then rushed us through the till.

We spent the rest of the afternoon putting the desk and chair together and finally got everything sorted, new software loaded and a couple of drinks on the go. We've had a quick dabble with Elements and it looks just the ticket for us, all we've got to do now is read the manual, not really our strong point that one


Saturday, January 15, 2005

We've Done It!

We’ve finally got around to adding our wedding album to our photos page which you can view here.

Now it’s time for us to go and get another drink!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Thanks For Linking!

A big thank you to Rachel for linking to us

Lucy found her snowman last night, it's been missing since Christmas Day! Posted by Hello

Wedding Album

We picked up the wedding photo album last night and it looks fantastic! All the photos look great and the photographer has done a superb job, especially with a picture of us walking from the church to the reception, where he's removed street lights and a traffic sign etc. Now we've got a load more photo's to load into our on-line album and we haven't even got round to loading the ones we already have We'll get them sorted out over the weekend when we're having a break from the DIY.

We're going to have to get to grips with touching up photos ourselves, at the moment all we really know how to do is to make pictures brighter. With our new cameras came a photo editor which looks ok, I'll have a tinker with it later and see what it can do, I think the complexity of something like paintshop pro might be a bit too much for us at the moment, can't be doing with all those knobs and buttons hanging about

I think for my birthday I might ask Debbie for books titled something like "Idiots Guide to Photography" and "Photo Editing For Muppets".


Thursday, January 13, 2005

Shameless Advertising

We signed up for a variant on Blog Exchange yesterday called Blog Clicker, it works just the same and certainly seems to be increasing the hits. While I guess that many whizz by during a frenzied click-a-thon, some people do leave a comment, link to us or both before clicking on by which always brightens our day.

Anyway last night, after I managed to prize Debbie off the computer, going for just one more click for about ten minutes, we went upstairs to watch The Others. We've seen it before but it's a fantastic film, very simple, not really any special effects but keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole way through to the best twist I've ever seen at the end of a film.

We also got a phone call from the photographer last night, our wedding album is ready! We'll be off to pick it up soon and can't wait to see the photos now they've been touched up a little to correct the colours and background etc.


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Thanks For Linking!

A big thank you to It's Raining Again for linking to us


I think we're both coming down with a flu/sickness bug that's doing the rounds here at the moment, so last night, rather than have our soup for tea in line with our diet, we opted for a therapeutic visit to McDonalds instead.

I did start working on the new photo album for the wedding and honeymoon pictures last night and quickly realised why we've not been adding pictures in there as often as we should be doing... it's a right royal pain in the butt!

First selecting all the pictures we want to put in, then narrow them down, then renaming them all from dsc dah dee dah, open and save them again in paint (reduces the file size) and finally load them into the album. Suffice to say, with over 200 photos to work through, we've not got to the loading stage yet, hopefully we'll at least get the wedding ones loaded tonight.

This morning was weigh day and Debbie's doing rather well, only putting on 2 pounds over Christmas and she's lost more than that over this week, I however, put on considerably more but I'm heading in the right direction again now the beer intake is subsiding.


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

R.I.P. Hotmail

We've been having problems with hotmail recently, we used to access the account through Incredimail and it's suddenly stopped sending messages, although messages were still coming in. There was no error so we weren't aware of the problem for a week, then I read somewhere that accessing hotmail through an external email client was now limited to those daft enough to pay for the premium service. So, after six years with the same hotmail account, it's time to say bye bye.

We're now just using our three gmail accounts through Thunderbird, which is the email client from the same team that brought us Firefox. It is a bit fiddly to set up access to gmail accounts but the help on the gmail site is first class and guides you through every step.

We had an email from my Auntie last night, she had sent us some photos of the wedding last week but thanks to hotmail we lost them, but now we have them back again safe and sound. My Auntie has also posted some of the pictures on her own website here which we're chuffed to bits with.

We're going to load all the pictures we have so far into our photo album tonight and update our original website which we haven't touched for about eight months.


Monday, January 10, 2005

Higher up, the stream winds through the trees and rocks. Posted by Hello

The stream on the Longendale trail, disappearing into the hills. Posted by Hello


We've had a great weekend, a bit on the wed and windy side but still good fun. On Friday night we went out for a meal with friends and just about managed not to get blown off the M1 motorway on the way home, it was certainly the worst wind I've ever driven in before.

On Saturday, with no desire to do anything at all, we just stayed indoors while the wind howled away outside. With the weather being a little better on Sunday, we ventured outside and went to get myself a new camera, the same as Debbie's new one, Konica Dimage Z2, because it's so easy to use, does great piccies and has 10 x optical zoom which is going to be ace at Knowsley Safari Park.

To test out the new cameras we took Lucy along to a new spot we've found, it's just off the A628 Woodhead road on the Longendale trail next to the houses near the reservoir. We parked up at the bottom and walked alongside streams running down from the hills, it's lovely down there with loads of waterfalls all the way along. I did quite well and only ended up on my backside three times after slipping on slippery stones.

Feeling peckish, we went over Holme Moss and dropped down into Holmfirth for fish and chips, we didn't go in Sid's Cafe but another one along the waterfront, they still had photos of Compo, Clegg and Nora Batty on the wall though

Getting home we chilled out, watching the second instalment of Sea Of Souls which is a little bit like the early X-Files before it got stupid and was gripping right to the very end.


Friday, January 07, 2005

Blue sky, clouds and the beautiful Loch Ness. Posted by Hello

Can you see Nessie behind the trees? Posted by Hello

The sun peeks through over Loch Ness. Posted by Hello

Looking For Nessie

Thank crunchie it's Friday today, these four day weeks sometimes seem to drag on longer than a normal week. Time now to go back and see what happened on the next day of our honeymoon in Scotland....

Wednesday 22nd December 2004

Having arranged a tour of a local distillery, we we're up nice and early to get there for the agreed time of 10am. The Tomatin distillery was easy to find, just off the A9, on arrival we left Lucy in the car watching a fork lift moving casks around. After being greeted by a lovely lady in the visitors centre we settled down to watch a video all about the distillery, showing how whisky was made and where the all important water comes from. Although production had been stopped for the Christmas break, we still had a tour, taking us through the malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturing stages. They had some casks dated 1965 and they weren't sure if they would bottle these in 2005 as a 40 year old malt or leave them for another 10 years, whatever they do, we'd probably have to re-mortgage the house to buy a bottle!

The last stage of the tour was my favourite, the tasting! Debbie just had little sip being the designated driver, while I downed both drams! Next job was to empty the shelves in the shop, I think our guide for the day was amazed at the number of bottles we were putting on the counter!

So, having brought a few bottles home, I can tell you that the Tomatin malt is lovely and their deluxe blended whisky, Antiquary, is lovely and smooth. Talisman, which they also produce is also quite nice, although we drank most of that with coke. The last bottle we got, another blended one, Big T, wasn't a patch on the others and only really any good for mixers.

Leaving the distillery behind we headed off to Inverness, we were planning to a bit of shopping there but at the last minute decided to miss that out and carry on to Loch Ness. We took the main road from Inverness that goes right along the Western side of the loch, stopping at all the lay-by's on the way down. We've seen the loch on television before but you just have to be there to really appreciate just how huge it is. All the way down, we were in a race with a car full of Japanese tourists would were also stopping at every lay-by and clicking away

We stopped at the South end of the loch in Fort Augustus and found a small cafe for some lunch. Next we headed back North on the minor road following the East shore of the loch, meaning to follow this all the way up but about 10 miles in we took a wrong turn, which in the end was for the best as this took us back to the A9 and it was getting late. Nessie never did make an appearance, except in the visitor centre, where there are hundreds of little Nessies to choose from

Back at the cabin, we watched the news and the weather forecast, it wasn't looking very good for Friday (Christmas Eve) with strong winds and snow so we made the decision to set off home a day early on Thursday morning.

We had a clear run most of the way home, the Forth Bridge was a bit hairy though, with the wind blowing and closed to all but cars.

Back home, we were relived to find everything as we left it and had a quick brew before going off to pick up the Three Amigos. The lady at the cattery was sad to see them go, Misty and Toddy had been so lovable all week and Eric had been having everyone in stitches with his antics! Back home with the zoo, it was time to put the feet up, have some tea, a stiff drink and chill while trying not to think about a mad shopping day on Christmas Eve.


Thursday, January 06, 2005

Paul braving the elements at the top of Cairngorm Mountain. Posted by Hello