Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Then I Thought.... Go On... Why Not?

After all - you can't take it with you and it IS only money....

Presenting - One Sigma 150-500mm Zoom Telephoto Lens.

Its a beauty and is under field test now - photgraphing birds in our back garden!

Results follow!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

England (or South Africa 'B'?) v Sri Lanka

Just watched England (?) coast to an easy victory against Sri Lanka in a One Day International game.

Look at the "England" line up:

Cook - born in England
Kieswetter - born South Africa
Trott - born South Africa
Pietersen - born South Africa
Morgan - born Ireland
Bell - born in England
Bresnan - born in England
Broad - born in England
Swann - born in England
Anderson - born in England (well - Lancashire so he's nearly a foreigner)
Dernbach - born South Africa

Five of the eleven are not English! No wonder youngsters don't want to play cricket - what chance of progression is there if we fill the side with players who obviously aren't good enough to make their own National squads?

Even the bloody coach comes from Zimbabwe!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

I Forgot About These!!

A week or so ago, I took some pictures in our hot rolling mill at work. Got some fairly dramatic images one of which is to be incorporated into the new website we're having built.

Our company was founded in 1792 and there has been a rolling mill on the present site since the late 19th century. When I started at the company, back in 1971, there were about 22 rolling mills similar to ours in the Sheffield/Rotherham area but the steel strikes in the early 1980's closed most of them. We survive because we have a unique product, the process of manufacture of which was originally invented at our company.

Anyway - enough of the sales pitch - here's a couple of the photos:

My son's company in Holland has designed the new website and when it's up and running, I'll give you the link.

Back to photo editing now.....

Not a lot to Report This Week

Another quiet week with the only real happening of note a visit to the hospital for a "Kidney Stone Check-up" on Thursday. Good news is there is no evidence of further stones and I have been discharged from the hospital back to my GP. We celebrated by dining at the Bowshaw Carvery - as good as ever!

Saturday - used the bus pass and the X17 "limited stop" bus sevice to get to Chesterfield for a wander around the shops and market. I'm not a regular visitor to Chessy but I was pleasantly surprised to find a very nice shopping centre and an excellent market. Sadly, it emphasises once again what a dump my own city, Sheffield, has become.

Whilst there I bought a USB memory stick - 4Gb - and the Duchess bought a new charger for her iPhone - so she has one upstairs and one downstairs now - is that just a little TOO decadent?!?

I also found a branch of London Camera Exchange in the town centre and lusted after a new lens - a Sigma 150mm to 500mm which is on sale at Jessops at £849.95 and Jacobs at £849.00. Ron Harrison Cameras in Sheffield want £849 too.

London Camera Exchange price is £799. A good price on the face of it but with a holiday coming up and no room in my camera bag - it's not an option just now.

Pity - would have been perfect for our visits to RSPB sites and also great for cricket pics. Still - never mind. Maybe later!

I've not used the camera much this week - but still have several hundred pictures to edit so I'll get on with that (Still haven't finished Edale, Rutland Water, Bempton etc!)

Since its such a great weather forecast for today, this afternoon will be spent in the garden, cutting the grass and generally tidying up before the holiday. Right now - it's listening to the Archers Omnibus and editing photos!

I'll gerron wi it then.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

I know I promised pictures but I've been busy.. again!

Only major events this week have been....

Friday evening - went to Currys and bought a new microwave oven

Saturday - went to Sheffield and bought a new card reader and a frying pan.

Wot an exciting life we lead.....

Work has been busy but only because my colleague has gone off on honeymoon so I'm covering his job as well.

In the absence of any other astonishing news, here's a few pics from recent photographic excursions....
Apples already on the tree in  our garden...

Razorbills at Bempton - "Find yer own flippin' perch"

The cliffs at Bempton.

Kittiwakes with chicks

One of Bempton's most famous residents - the Puffins

And another - The Gannets (and look at the size of the chick in the centre nest!)

Gannet in flight - majestic!

Boats at North Landing

Overlooking North Landing

"Dancing Fountains" - Sheffields Peace Gardens

Norton Sunset - last Friday

That's all for now - I promise I'll try to work on a couple of albums - Edale - Rutland Water - Bempton/Filey/North Landing.... but there's a heck of a lot of photos and not a lot of spare time just now...

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

That's why I haven't posted.

Been one of those weeks - gets to Friday and you wonder "Where'd it go?"

In summary...

Tuesday evening - took the Duchess to her League Meeting

Wednesday evening - nipped down to Meadowhall to look for a gift for a mate who's getting married.

Thursday - can't honestly remember!

Friday took a day off and went to Bempton cliffs - album of seabird pics follows (along with the promised Edale and Rutland Water images.... honestly!)

Saturday - nipped down to the Town Hall to see my work colleague get married. On the way back to Nortoner Towers, called at John Lewis and bought a nice frame, selected a photo from the ones I took at the wedding, edited it then nipped down to Sainsbury's to get it printed. Mounted it in the frame and presented the happy couple with the finished result at the evening "do".

One o'clock  Sunday morning we got home! We had a grand evening but it was way past my bedtime when we got back!

Lie in this morning and since it is now absolutely pouring with rain, I'm editing and sorting out pictures and albums....

More follows...... at some point!

Monday, 6 June 2011

"I shouldn't have been prosecuted cos it wasn't just me!" - Local MP

From the Sheffield Star:

Disgraced former Barnsley MP Eric Illsley was paid more than £6,500 in the 4 weeks that he clung on to his seat after admitting fiddling his expenses.

Illsley, who was jailed for a year in February for making fraudulent expenses claims worth £14,500, admitted his guilt on January 11th but refused to resign his parliamentary seat until February 8th - 2 days before he was sent to prison.

During that period he claimed £6,766 in expenses including £2,253 for photocopier hire.

Details of his claims were released by the expenses watchdog in charge of the tough new system of parliamentary allowances introduced in the wake of last year's scandal. They said Illsley had still been entitled to claim because he was an MP until he resigned. There is no provision in the law to claw the cash back.

Last month The Star revealed Illsley claimed almost £2,000 in taxpayer-funded allowances in the two months before he admitted fraud.

The £1,965 he received in November and December included more than £1,000 for hiring a photocopier and £48.53 for renting a mobile phone.

Illsley was jailed for a year after admitting three counts of expense fraud relating to his second home in London. He was released after 3 months and is now serving the rest of his sentence under a home detention curfew.

On his release from jail he said he should never have been prosecuted, claiming he was not alone in making his expenses claims.

"What a lot of people don't know is that only a handful of MPs were ever investigated." he said. " Anyone thinking 'he's a wrong 'un' is not aware that lots of other MPS were in the same situation."

So not only does this arrogant liar and cheat hang on to his job for another month (and therefore get another months salary after pleading guilty), but he is let out after 3 months and then has the cheek to say - "I shouldn't be prosecuted cos it wasn't just me." I also wonder what the hell he was photocopying btw - you can buy a bloody machine for what he spent on renting them!

So next time a car thief gets taken to court can he plead immunity because he isn't the only one who nicks cars.

Every day, you come across someone who confirms that "Tosser" is spelled with a double "S".

We just met today's candidiate.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Decided to make more than one album -

Here's the first - after the rain on Bank Holiday Monday...

and our day at Fairburn Ings.....

and Wednesday evening at Bakewell...

Right - still working on Thursday at Edale and Friday at Rutland Water - but I don't want to bore you (or give you too much of a good thing maybe?) so I'll post those two albums a little later.

If you looked at these three albums - Thanks for looking!

A Hectic (But Very Enjoyable) week

After the Bank Holiday Monday rain eventually stopped, and after shooting a few pics of "residue rain drops" around the garden, we ventured out to Redmires Dam, a quiet spot just 20 minutes or so from Nortoner Towers. Got some more "big sky" shots (there's a surprise!) and took a few pics of alpacas at a small farm at Ringinglow.

Still trying to get a "great" shot of the bullfinch!

 An old friend made a rare appearance - Great Spotted Woodpecker

 Big Redmires Sky!

 Alpaca at Ringinglow

Sheffield City Centre in the background!

Tuesday - took a trip to Fairburn Ings, near Knottingley for a wander around the RSPB Reserve. Didn't see as much (in terms of birdlife) as at some other reserves but it was a pleasant enough day.

We walked about 3.1/2 miles altogether. Not a dramatic distance by some standards but for a lady with an artifical hip and an old giffer who is so out of shape it ain't funny, it wasn't a bad effort! Stopped off at Meadowhall on the way back for something to eat and got home in time for Britain's Got Talent (the show which proves, on an annual basis - that we have very little talent in fact!)

Wednesday - something different - a train ride to Barnsley (the free National Travel Pass comes in very handy!) and a look around the town centre and the fabulous market they have there.

On the way to the station - Sheffield's tallest building. The 32-storey City Lofts

Turn thru 180 degrees and you see this - which I think I prefer!

Ventured back to Sheffield on the 2:01 p.m. train (which was packed generally with younger folk who almost all got off at Meadowhall. Maybe something good on at the cinema!) and had a short wander around Sheffield (I bought a new Canoscan 9000 film scanner cos my present one has died) then back home for a cuppa. Out to Bakewell about 5 pm-ish for Fish and Chips before getting back home to see BGT.

Fisherman and his catch at Bakewell - he put the fish back to live to fight another day!

Thursday - highlight of the week. The Duchess' birthday and at about 9:15 a.m., our son phoned to wish her Happy Birthday. As she was talking to him, there was a knock on the back door. She went to answer it and was gobsmacked to see him and his wife standing there! They had driven over from Holland on Wednesday and stayed overnight at a hotel. I knew they were going to make a surprise visit and managed to keep the secret very well I thought!

In the afternoon we went to Hathersage and Edale

Edale Parish Church

We didn't venture all the way up there! But it looks beautiful!

Came back via Mam Tor where we watched some hang gliders (crazy people!) and then Calver bridge

The river at Calver - needs some water - as low as I've ever seen it

For the Duchess' birthday dinner, we met up with the family and an old friend at TGI Friday. A cracking day all round apart from the fact that on the way back from dinner, I developed a sore throat which over Friday and Saturday, matured into a full blown head cold with laryngitis thrown in as well! But you know me - not one to complain.......

Friday - Our son had a business meeting in the morning and they wanted to go to The Trafford Centre in the afternoon so we went our separate ways. The Duchess and I drove down to Rutland Water, near Stamford,

An absolutely fabulous day - weather wise

and after a good wander around, we drove back home "across country" rather than back up the A1, stopping off at George's Fish and Chip Restaurant in Belper for tea!

Saturday - after the supermarket run in the morning, I got stuck into the hedges and what passes for a lawn at the back of the house. Caught most of the second half of England v Switzerland and have to say - if those are our best eleven players, we are in deep do-do's!

Sunday - just waved our son and daughter-in-law off as they start the long drive back to Rotterdam. Missed the start of the Archers Omnibus so will have to listen later today via iPlayer. I also have to tackle the front garden... if it doesn't rain.

And I've decided as I was typing this that, since we crammed so much into my week off, I'll put together a "Spring Bank Holiday Album" and post a link later today (hopefully) but for now: