Wednesday, 29 July 2009

BBQ Summer..... My Ass

So its official, the Met Office have got no more clue about what the weather is going to be like in the next 10 minutes, as my Yorkshire (Yaarksheer) Terrier has. They are a total and complete shambles, and what is more we are paying for the buggers to make these jokes of a prediction.
If they were thinking it was going to be a BBQ July, then we should have made them cook only on a BBQ for that period, ie put their money where their mouth is.....the prick teasing (skinny) B@£$ards.
The only good thing these last few days, is that this heavy, showery weather we have been having has got our bug population up, and the Red throated Swifts ( so My learned Wife tells me), have been having a ball, and in doing so have provided me with plenty of photo opportunities (most of which i have missed by a short mile).
I have no idea what speed these little Hooligans are capable of, lets just call it fast..... as in most cases the reflexes of a 49 year Old Man has not got an earthly of photographing them. My poor feeble attempts i attach below for your derision.....but hey, it kept me occupied for a while doing it.....Simple pleasures !


Saturday, 25 July 2009

Arbroath Seafront Spectacular

Saturday was the big day, and the Crowds were most definitely out to see what Arbroath "Could do for you" in terms of seaside entertainment. For once it was blessed with good weather, which was the major difference compared with last year where the rain just made everyone go home with that years version of swine flu.
Entertainment included some daft French motorbike stunt artist.....although heaven knows why they had to fetch him from France, as I had seen better wheelies etc performed along Victoria Promenade on a Friday night by the local Barry Sheens (Boy does that name date me !). There was some idiot called the Human Statue, who basically stood still.....good act eh, a real money spinner, and really incredibly interesting along with it......NOT. Unbelievably amongst all the various stalls for Fostering, International rescue (who bought a clapped out old Fire engine with them, which last rescued someone in 1953), various assorted stalls with candy floss, Sweeties, Chips, burgers, Fudge (In no assorted order of consumption by Myself of course), there was some maniac selling Rugs and carpets, who was doing a roaring trade for some unfathomable reason..... I mean who goes to an event like this with the express intention of buying a sitting room rug ?
Oh, and there were this lot below.....

The Brylcreme boys impressed the crowds with their fake Spitfire, I say fake, as it had some kind of new fangled lawnmower engine in it, instead of a Merlin, which therefore made it sound like a Flying sewing machine.

Old bikes, along with posing Middle aged Hells Angels (the UK soft version) riding Harley Davidsons. Who incidentally saved the day, as they stood in for the Sea king helicopter who was meant to show what a sea rescue looked like, but unfortunately could not make it due to some kind of gearbox issue (try putting some oil in it). So the Harley Club really pushed the boat out and their 10 bikes cruising up and down the seafront saved the day with the crowds.... No really, it was that good....almost !

Pretty in pink, and driven by some well muscled Young Ladies....."Nice bike Madam".

Montrose's version of the Fred Dibnah show. Roll up kids, and come and sit on my lap and have your photo taken....strange, but true, as i was there, and No, its not me in the picture !

Someone with far too much time on their hands, and could someone please tell me Why the Flintstones ? The Italian Job, Michael Caine and the Swinging 60's.....but the Flintstones ?

Is it a bird, is it a bee....No its....what the feck...

Its the Wing walkers, who really were the best bit of the Show, apart from leaving of course.

That attractive rustic old building at the bottom of the picture is the local seafront toilet. I thought you would all just like to know that just for future reference in case you are ever caught short in Arbroath....and no, you don't have to pay an entry fee.

What do you put on your CV/Resume to get a job doing this ? and how many Flies are you picking out of your teeth afterwards ? All good questions that deserve an answer, but continue to remain a mystery to this very day (Early Monday morning).

Whoops, now where has she gone ?

...and finally, why do grown men feel the need to dress up like this ?

Answers on a postcard please.


Thursday, 23 July 2009

Part 2- Escape from Yorkshire

This probably falls somewhere in the "Worlds best sign" Categories, especially if you have recently visited Yaarksheer.....
Anyway thats it for me, I finally made good my escape and after filling up with diesel headed out of Leeds in the early evening. Now speaking of Diesel, is it just Me who is getting increasingly frikkin bemused about fuel Pricing ? 6 weeks ago, there was a 10p difference between Diesel and Petrol, and now they are the same has that happened then ? Are there now less diesel cars/Lorries on the roads, so that there is more to go round all the Saddo's who use the Devils fluid ? Having said that, Gordon and Ali seem to have done a pretty good job in forcing Haulage companies to the wall recently, so maybe there really is more diesel to go round...hmmm.
The other thing about fuel pricing is why the hell do they feel the need to price a litre, to a tenth ? The garage i filled up in yesterday had Diesel at 99.9 p/litre, and 4 star petrol at 99.6p/litre...what the feck is that all about ? my initial thought was it must be a Yaarksheer thing as they are tight with their brass, so they must have .6p coins around down here somewhere.
Please just call it a squid for Gods sake, we are not living in the 50's where we were all gullible to you slick Southern Marketers, and only registered the first digit in any pricing, give us Northern Consumers a little more credit...durr.
Right, I better clamber off the High horse and get on with things, as this was meant to be a quick entry, as I'm still suffering from jet lag.
The A65.......Anyone have the grave misfortune of knowing this road ? For those of you who don't know what the feck I am talking about, its the road that runs to the NW from Leeds to the M6 Motorway and escape from Yaarksheer. The very thought of it being an escape route should fill you with overflowing joy, but it surely has to fall into the other well known category, of the "Worlds worst roads". Theres nothing really wrong with the road itself, except its narrow, windy and almost impossible to overtake on. Its just so damn busy, and mainly busy with complete assholes driving Toyota Yaris's, and wee Fords, who have grey hair and insist on driving at 35 mph, without once looking in their wing mirrors to notice the queue of 30 other vehicles stacked behind them....Jeepers. Then there are the cyclists. Of all the roads in Britain, why do they insist on riding in packs on this one.....I mean I like cycling, but I don't wish to commit suicide, so therefore I engage my brain (Yes, i still have the odd synapse firing off somewhere), and don't cycle on roads such as the A65 where some old, short sighted geriatric is going to come up behind you....and just keep going, without even registering the bump and thump as they run you over.....STAY OFF THE A65.
Anyway, I managed to finally get home, close to 10 in the evening, and what a great evening it was; the mist just beginning to gently rise off the fields, and a clear sky beckoning a good day coming in the morning....... Life is pretty damn good.


Monday, 20 July 2009

Part 1 - Arrival in Yorkshire

Well I had to get my ass down to Yorkshire, or Yaarksheer as the locals in the Flat Hats say, on Sunday, as the Old Man was having an Op in the World famous Jimmy's hospital.....Heaven knows why it gets so much publicity from the TV cameras etc, as my experience of how my Dad is getting treated in it, is a story in itself, and its certainly nothing like what I've seen on the TV.
Its a depressingly bad Hospital, staffed by uninterested Employee's from what I can see and have very, very different from what we get in Scotland, where at least they all have a sense of humour, and even (unbelievably) look interested in what some old patient is rambling on about. Here in St James Hospital Leeds, you are a number, and the reason I know this, is that they lost my Dad, and then asked me If I had seen number 128, as they had managed to waken up at the Nurses station, at some point in their long and very busy shift, and noticed that number 128 was no longer in his bed, and I was the last Person seen talking to him, so presumably i may therefore know where he had gone off to..... I even knew his name which was a bonus for them as well !
Obviously if your name is Richard Hammond you no doubt get exceptional service, and even a freebie helicopter ride.....but not my Dad unfortunately, and he was really looking forward to the helicopter ride as well !
But at the risk of alienating what few readers I have, I have to say that this part of Yorkshire just depresses the ass off sorry about that if you have the misfortune of living in it, please just feel free to delete me from your reading list, I have broad shoulders and should be able to cope with the rejection.
Leeds/Bradford is a dump, its over populated, also has too many rather nasty "get rich" kind of Folk living in it, mostly driving over-clean cars of the 4 wheel drive variety. The road network is appalling for the number of cars that use it, and everyone drives as if their collective asses are on fire. Most of the houses are eye wateringly expensive and in most cases pretty dour, especially in the rain which always seems to be falling when I have the misfortune to have to visit. It has some "interesting neighbourhoods.....all of which I viewed from a car with firmly locked doors, and with no intention of getting out of, for a wee explore.....or even to get a quick rock or 2 to smoke later, no matter how tempting.

Anyone for a short back and sides, followed by dinner ?

Colourful fruit and veg

Ohh Look, Coronation Street.....nice

Anyway, while waiting for my Father to get carved up by some pompous Surgical Consultant, and his sidekick, I decided to have a wee wander to calm down, and take some local pics, of the sites around the northern part of Leeds round Otley and Ilkley.
The views are pretty good.....Its just that there are just so many People and Houses around, and to be honest they ruin just about everything you try and photograph.....I guess this area was really a hell of a lot better in the "dark satanic mill" period, where there were fewer people, and more space.

Nice view.....shame about the Houses...

The road to Nowhere...... I wish !

Anyone lost a Dog ?

These rocks are the famous millstone Cow and Calf formation, the reason I know this, is that there is a rather grand pub/hotel nearby named after them....don't even bother thinking of taking a pint and a bite to eat in it though....overpriced, and an experience which i would politely call shite.

While passing the High Royds "development" near Guiseley ie new Housing estate for all those Drivers of shiny blinged up 4 x 4's. I came across this wee sad tucked away field with locked gate.

Between 1905 and 1969.....thats unbelievable, the Yanks were sending Men to the moon, and we were busy burying the local loonies in an unmarked grave in a field in Guiseley !!

Right, now that I have now insulted almost everyone from West Yorkshire, I had better stop while the going is still good and I have all my digits.....Part 2 The escape from Yorkshire, via the bloody awful A65, will be in a couple of days !

Eey Upp as the Mill workers say.....allegedly.


ps. I believe that if you click on the pics above they show the larger versions......don't bother !

Friday, 17 July 2009

Oh to be a Doctor...

Yesterday I pottered off for my bi-annual Offshore medical, the last bi-annual one I was cheerfully told by the Doc who examined me, as I was about to reach the magic age of 50, which would then mean it went to an annual MOT of my aging body, thereby increasing their revenue from me twofold for the remaining number of years i would continue to work in this daft job of mine.
15 minutes later, after checking my heart was still beating..... after a fashion, exhibit some kind of coordination, when all extremities were moving all at once ie walking (who says Men can't multitask eh ?), and finally read some letters on the wall, I was declared fit enough to work Offshore.....and that would be 75 squid Sir, Oh thank you very much Sir, suits you Sir etc etc.
15 mins and 75 squid....nice job.........thats 300 squid an hour, and if he manages to do say, a 6 hr day after (a liquid) lunch and a bit of rumpy pumpy with the Nurses, then he's taking home 1800 squid a day, or 9 grand a week....and we worry about Fred the Shred and all those other WBankers salaries !
In the good old days, some 20 something years ago, when Men were Men, and Sheep were scared, they at least still had the decency to give you maybe, lets see....about 42 mins of their valuable time, and if you were unlucky enough to work in the Norwegian Sector of the North Sea, you had the added dubious pleasure of a very large, normally bearded (and you should have seen the Men!), Noggie Doctor attempting to insert an over size digit into a part of your body where the Sun don't shine. You got all that excitement for 15 squid.....Those were the days !
Anyway, after the shock of discovering what these smiling assassins earn, and considered fit and able to work, and as it was a lovely evening, I managed to struggle through a Dog Walk at our nearby Golf course, before pouring Myself a large one or three to celebrate my potential ability to keep working,well for at least another year; and if the Buggers don't make me redundant in the meantime....cue the photo's.


Wednesday, 15 July 2009


One of the side affects of being away for 5 weeks at a time, are the production of various lists of things I must do when I eventually return Home.
My Good Wifes list always differs from Mine in 2 main areas, firstly Hers are very much larger than mine (obviously), and secondly her lists are carved in stone, and are seen as some sort of legal and moral pledge, allegedly agreed by Myself (normally in my absence !). Whereas I see my list as a loosely based reminder of the things i should look at, if I manage to find the time to get round doing them, when I have finished playing with my Airgun, Camera, Classic car, Wii, Wife, Computer (and now this Blog), or been fishing, walking and generally being a Lardy arse in front of the Telly,.....not all necessarily in that order !
Anyway, the last couple of days have involved an ever evolving list of things to get done in the Garden, watched by the 4 Stooges.

I have to say its not been a great success so far though, as another side affect of being away, is that machinery, and tools that had previously been working without issue before I disappeared last time, now break with impunity, or no longer run without me having to get a spanner out, or in most cases a hammer; with the rapidly germinating thought in the back of my mind, that its big cousin the Sledge will shortly be called into action, if the 'effing engine on this lawnmower, laughingly called a quick start, does not fire up anytime soon.



So between that, and the threatening weather, i thought sod it, and reverted to my list and went off to Balgavie Loch to take pretty pictures of blue Dragon flies and generally enjoy Myself.

The Wife came too........


Monday, 13 July 2009

Sunday bloody Sunday

Well I disappointedly did not get to Glamis and the Car show, because with unerring accuracy I decided Sunday's weather would be better than Saturdays weather, and as usual my prediction was completely arse about face.
Sunday as you all know in my part of the world was.....full of Scottish mist, or as normal people would say....hacking down. So I guess on Sunday, all those elderly Gentlemen with bobble hats or Flat caps at the show, probably did not have a great deal of fun watching their beloved Classic cars starting to rust in front of their very eyes........I am talking British Classic cars here, as most of our Continental cousins had discovered very early on how to galvanise metal, and put a uniform layer of paint on to all exposed metal bits and bobs.
I obviously was not meant to add to my Blog either, as the "Helper" decided he wanted to use my laptop, plus, I actually sat through one of the most boring F1 races I have seen for quite a while...well since at least Mr Schumacher was around, so all in all, Sunday was a compete washout, and hardly what you would call stimulating and exciting.....
Roll on Monday....


Saturday, 11 July 2009

Flower Power

I had the misfortune of having my Birthday while I was away on the Boat this last trip, I say misfortune, for 2 reasons, the 1st because I am getting old, and consequently increasingly wrinkly, and hair is beginning to come out of my nose, and the 2nd because I had to endure a Boat Birthday cake. This Boat Birthday cake is now something of a tradition on our Ship, a tradition where the Cook attempts to make sure you don't see your next Birthday due to the large number of Calories, and obscene amounts of cholesterol it contains.
Anyway, as usual I digress, as the point I was trying to make was that on my return Home, My Wife had bought me a present...a Nikon digital SLR, and wow is all I can say, as it puts my previous wee instamatic thingy completely in the shade. This now means anyone who is bored enough to find, and even read my ramblings are now going to also be assaulted by my happy snapper experiments starting with Flowers..... as seen below.
Of course there was another 2nd more devious reason that My Wife gave me a camera such as this, and that is that I know she really, secretly needs me, and the reason I know this, is that I carry her camera gear around. This is her big (and I mean big), hobby, and consequently she has a lot of stuff, most of which is heavy, bulky and awkward, with lenses the length and size of which, you could have probably photographed Neil Armstrong stepping onto the moon from a seat in your garden, supping a cool glass of vino at the same time. I have absolutely no idea what half these lenses and cameras do, but I am intimately acquainted with all of them, as I'm the bugger who lugs them around, unless I have something more pressing to be seeing a Dentist.
So by giving me a camera and introduction into her hobby, she is now guaranteed a Sherpa for life, as I now have no excuse not to go out, and while I'm out with her, then I may as well continue to carry around her kit....sneaky eh ? Being a typical Man, I have fallen for it hook, line and sinker.....just how shallow am I ?

Little does she know, that she is getting dragged to the Classic car show at Glamis this weekend, just so that I can use my new camera...of course !

Yellow Flower

Deep Pink and Yellow Flower

Another Pinky Flower

Blue Flower with Bee

Yet another Pink Flower

Red, white and yellow Flower

Yellow pointy Flower