Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christmas is just around the corner

It's that time of year again when the shops are selling Christmas goods openly. The shopkeepers are hoping for a good turnout. I always think of shopping at night at Christmas time. I do like when the towns are all being lit up with Christmas lights. I enjoy the hustle and bustle of shopping days. I don't like the crush of crowds very much but if I'm not in a hurry to get somewhere then it's okay. The best place to be at Christmas is either at home or at the pub I reckon. Nothing quite like being warm and drinking wine or beer in the company of friends and loved ones. It's better if you're safe in the knowledge that you have got your loved ones all of their presents. I don't like the stress of buying presents just for the sake of it. Despite all the talk of shopping, I love the food and the smells of Christmas. I even love the fact that the weather is usually terrible. It makes me happier to be indoors at home. At the end of the month we have some friends over and we'll go watch the turning on of the Christmas lights in town, they do a fireworks display as well that is quite good. Looking forward to it. I will also be seeing the Christmas market when I go to Manchester. That's usually very good as well. I love the fact that there are so many food and drink stalls.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bletchley Park

This afternoon my son and I visited the secret wartime code breaking location of Bletchley Park. I knew quite a bit of the story before going, as it is one I do find fascinating. But I picked up things even I had not known or had forgotten. The tireless way the people worked there and the production line like nature of the code breaking is only something you can appreciate by going. It's incredible to think what teams of linguists, mathematicians, scientists and engineers can do when they work together. It's a great place to visit, the funding they have had has really helped make it an attraction that's worth visiting.





Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tasty supper for a cold day

Last night I had a walk around and decided to eat at one of those places I like to go once in a while. It's a restaurant that specialises in pies called Pieminster (in Manchester). The food is great and arrives really fast to the table, the beer was great bottled beer too. Here's a photo of my supper, yummy! This particular dish is called Kate & Sidney and I had mine with minted mushy peas and cheese, a combo they call the Mothership. It also has a pouring of rich red wine gravy on the creamy mashed potato.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Bonfire Night 2014

It was our local fireworks display last night. My wife was in London at the theatre with a friend so I went with my children and a couple of other families. The fireworks were pretty good, they usually are. Here is the video that my son shot, he wanted this particular music for it - Carmen Overture.

We Remember Them

Very poignant Remembrance services were held today across the country. It is 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall too. I took the photo below of a section of the wall that is outside of the Imperial War Museum.
So many men and women have fallen in battle for the sake of our country and our freedoms. It is hard for subsequent generations to truly recognise the sacrifice they made. The war poetry and poignancy of the ceremonies helps us all to mourn and remember them. Even though we may not appreciate the ways that they all fell, the day to day gritty nature of life in wartime. Few can truly remember what it was like, our soldiers of today have perhaps the best chance at this. But even though it is hard, it is important to think and reflect on how awful life would be if our freedoms had not been fought so hard and so valiantly for.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Imperial War Museum

After our large lunch we went to the Imperial War Museum, which was incredibly interesting. Unfortunately, to get timed tickets to visit the First World War galleries you need to get there very early. So we didn't get to see those but I did go and look at another interesting gallery about the Holocaust. It was quite shocking. At the end of it there is a scale model of the Auschwitz Death Camp, all in white under bright white lights. Very stark and very chilling.
I took a photo of one of the exhibits, an eagle from the new Reich Chancellery. It is shocking to think what a hold that Nazis had over ordinary Germans to make them accept what Hitler wanted. Very disturbing to think that something like that could happen again because it has happened before.

Wagamama's Firecracker

On Friday when we were in London with the boys, we visited the Wagamama restaurant near to the Royal Festival Hall, it's close to the Thames river. For a change, I ordered a dish I haven't tried before. I believe it has only recently been added to their menu, it was called the Firecracker. It had a lovely sweet sauce with red chillis, green mange tout, spring onions, chicken, red pepper, green pepper and a lovely centrepiece of rice. The food was hot and spicy but not unpleasantly so. I could take it, I had a few ice cubes leftover from my ginger beer and I used those to cool my mouth down. It was a great meal and a great dish but I was a bit too full for all the walking I still had to do in the afternoon. I don't think my legs have yet got over the distance we walked.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

The Shard

Our visit to London yesterday gave me an opportunity to take a few more photos of The Shard. I had taken a few photos from London Bridge when I visited Comic Con the Saturday before. Here are the photos I took, adjusted slightly. I think The Shard is an amazing building, it is really striking. here you see it in black and white with the sun behind it, in another shot I got the reflected image of it and finally I shot it from the ground looking up.



Tower of London ceramic poppies

I had the day off yesterday and visited the Tower of London with my wife, my son and his friend. There were a lot of people visiting the display and it was an amazing sight. My photographs don't really do it justice. It was unlike anything I've seen before, considering the poppies are not the paper ones but are made of clay. They can be purchased but have all been sold in advance I think, they will make a lot of money out of them and deservedly so.

RIP Jack Bruce

Sad news to hear of the death of the amazing bass guitarist Jack Bruce this week. I also really thought he had a great voice to go with his bass playing. Cream is the band that a lot of people will recognise he played in. One if the first 7 inch vinyl singles I was given included Cream's Tales of Brave Ulysses and the B side was great too. I also enjoyed Bruce's work with Robin Trower. Amazing songs and playing on the B.L.T. album. He would be what I describe as a musician's musician, not interested in looks or ego but someone only making music for the sake of moving it forward, constantly stretching himself.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Encona Hot Pepper Sauce

I cooked a nice chilli con carne for our tea tonight. I cook quite a mild chilli because my wife and children don't like the spices too hot. So for mine I added some sliced green jalapeno chillies and then I added several drops of Encona hot pepper sauce. It's a sauce I haven't tried before but it was good stuff.

MCM London Comic Con October 2014

On Saturday morning my son and I got up early to go into London. We spent the day at the MCM London Comic Con at the Excel in the Royal Victoria Dock. This is a huge event that combines many different types of attraction including comics, videogames, autograph signing, cosplay, cinema, Japanese culture including Manga, food, and sweets. It's a great show to go to but boy it gets busy. I spent a lot of time looking at comics and speaking to the artists and writers, all enthusiastic about their work. The show seemed to be bigger than ever. My son was bowled over because there was a Pokémon stand there, showing off a video about the new Pokémon game coming out in November.

Here are a few photos I took of people in cosplay outfits, there were some great ones this time, good that the weather was good outside.