Monday, December 31, 2007

Swim ?

Should anyone fancy a quick dip in White Wells on New Year's Day, the usual suspects will there at 10am for our normal madcap start to the year.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

An Eye



...for an eye...



...for an eye...



...for an eye...



...until the whole world is blind.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Captain America's Been At The Xmas Pud

The Chistmas Number 1

Well, my Christmas no.1 anyway, being the song that I have listened to most times (according to Scrobbler).

Where The Wild Roses Grow - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, featuring Kylie Minogue

It's a love song, girl meets boy, boy and girl fall in love, boy takes gir to the river to show her the beautiful red roses, boy bashes girl's head in with a brick.

In fact, nearly all of my most listened songs are a fiantly, or largely, disturbing in one way or another....

1 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Where the Wild Roses Grow

2 Madness – Lola

Naive boy leaves home, has never even kissed before, falls in love with strange girl, discovers that strange girl is actually a man.

3 The Clash – Rudie Can't Fail

Who knows, what the hell was Joe Strummer on when he wrote this one ? Rudie drinks beer for breakfast, refuses to get a normal job and drinks "sky juice at 10 cents a bottle", how odd.

4 The Clash – Spanish Bombs

Strummer takes us on a blood drenched lyrical tour of the Spanish Civil War.

5 The Clash – London Calling

We're all DOOMED, but we don't care.

6 Toots and The Maytals – 54-46 Was My Number

Toots points out that although he was arrested, tried and imprisoned for the crime, it wasn't him wot done it guv.

7 Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name Of

RATM's sweary anthem, Zack de la Rocha hits out at the prescence of KKK members in the police. This is the best song to get drunk and shout along to, ever.

8 Simon & Garfunkel – Richard Cory

S&G are depressing sods (as must have been Edward Arlington Robinson) who wrote the poem on which this song is based), here a factory worker in one of Cory's plants bemoans his lot in life and wished that he could change places with his employer, the song is double edged, even after Richard Cory kills himself the worker still wants to be him.

9 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – The Curse of Millhaven

14 year old female psycopath butchers her way through large parts of her hometown's population in a variety of violent and gory ways, after being caught does she show remorse ? Or course she does, there were so many more still left to kill.

10 The Specials – Too Much Too Young

Based on Lloyd Charmer's song Birth Control, Jerry Dammers upped the tempo and made this sad tale of a young, ill educated single mum a ska classic.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Christmas To Everyone

Happy Christmas folks, I hope you are all having a great day whatever your religious or philisophical bent.

Thanks to everyone who increased my collection of novels, graphic novels (Hellblazer / From Hell - sorted Christmas reading !), wine and whisky.

Thanks to all the staff that brought presents yesterday, that was very kind and sweet and most unexpected. It was a great pleasure taking you all out for dinner on Sunday, my staff are the best staff anyone could wish to have.

I'm really looking forward to the rest of the day, I love Christmas day. Mrs YS and myself will be hosting lunch for around 24 family and friends, there will be far too much food to eat, far too much booze to be downed, and just the right amount of love and laughter.

Don't forget the reason for the season.....



God Bless, have a great day,

Yorkshiresoul
Big Hairy McTavish, The Cheif Scottish Haggis

For My Friend Stephen


It was a cold morning in Glen Tavish, in fact, mornings were nearly always cold in Glen Tavish.

Big Hairy McTavish, the Chief Scottish Haggis, poked his snout out from his warm and reeking burrow and sniffed the air outside.

“Och,” he said. “It’s breek again.”

(Breek was a word Haggi used when they meant it was cold, damp and miserable)

“Och,” said Big Hairy McTavish again. “It’s always breek here in the Glen.”

“And what are you channering about ? Oh great Chieftan of the Pudding race ?” said Big Maggie McTavish, for Big Hairy’s complaining had woken her up.

Big Hairy turned around and shuffled back down the tunnel on his short, fat, hairy legs.

“I was just saying,” he said. “That it always seems to be raining here in the Glen.”

“Aye,” said Big Maggie. “And what of it ?”

“Well,” said Big Hairy, and here he paused, for whilst Big Hairy McTavish was a strong and wild looking Haggis, he wasn’t all that clever, when he tried to think and talk at the same time his words always came out wrong.

“Well,” said Big Hairy after rather a long pause. “I was thinking that perhaps we could get away, on a holiday.”

Big Maggie smiled, a holiday, she liked the sound of that. They could go somewhere nice and warm, she could lie on a beach and sunbathe.

“And where were you thinking of taking us, Oh Mighty Haggis ?”

Big Hairy didn’t stop to think this time, so he said the first thing that popped into his big hairy head.

“Glen Boddy,” he said with a grin, then he saw the look on Big Maggie’s face and he stopped grinning.

“Oh no, we are not going on a holiday to Glen Boddy. For one thing, the weather will be just as breek as it is here, and for another thing, you would run around wi yer daft cousin Gobha and make feckless eejits of yourselves.” Big Maggie was not happy with the idea of a holiday in Glen Boddy.

“Oh,” said Big Hairy.

“Oh indeed,” said Big Maggie. “You just better think on.”

Big Hairy did think, he thought all that day. He thought about places when he went to the burn to drink. He thought about places when he walked to the top of the fell to look at the Glen. He thought about places when he met the other Haggi at the howf.

When Big Hairy came back to the den in the evening he had a big smile on his big hairy face.

“Now there is a haggis looking happy with himself,” said Big Maggie.

“Aye, I am happy with myself,” said Big Hairy. “Because I have been thinking all day, and I have thought of a place we shall go for a holiday.”

Big Hairy smiled a bit more, in fact his grin was now so big it looked like his mouth was trying to eat his face.

“Spit it out then,” said Big Maggie, because she was now quite excited herself.

“Lanzarote,” said Big Hairy, and he sat back on his big hairy bottom and looked very pleased with himself.

“Lanzarote,” said Big Maggie, and because Big Hairy was so pleased with himself, he didn’t hear the change of tone in Maggie’s voice. “Lanzarote,” said Big Maggie again. “And how shall we get to Lanzarote.”

Big Hairy kept grinning, the truth was that once he had come up with the idea of going to Lanzarote, he had not thought any further and did not know how they were going to get there.

“Er,” he said, and his smile grew a bit smaller. “Er, well, er.”

“I am waiting,” said Big Maggie, and she began to tap her foot. Hairy didn’t like it when Maggie tapped her foot, it usually meant he was in trouble. Big Maggie tapped her foot a bit louder.

“We could go by aeroplane,” said Big Hairy all in a rush, and he sat back again on his big hairy bottom. He was not quite so happy this time though.

“An aeroplane,” said Big Maggie slowly. “An aeroplane, and whoever heard of two Haggi travelling on an aeroplane ?”

Big Hairy McTavish wasn’t smiling now, he didn’t want to be wrong, he knew that Haggi did not travel on aeroplanes, but he wanted to make Big Maggie happy.

“I don’t know” he said. “I might have to think a bit more.”

“Well you just do that, and tonight you can have cold porridge for supper, it might make you think a bit harder.”

So Big Maggie gave Big Hairy cold porridge for supper, and big Hairy could tell that she really was in a bad mood because she had put sugar on his porridge, and everyone knows that real Haggi like salt, and not sugar, on their supper.



2.

The next morning (which was breek again, for those like to know the state of the weather), Big Hairy went to the howf to talk to the other Haggi of the clan.

“Och,” he said. “I have promised to take Big Maggie on holiday, to Lanzarote of all places, but I dinnae ken (this means that he did not know) how to get there.”

The other Haggi were quiet for a time, then Old Clavish shook himself and poked a finger into his ear.

“If yer ganna fly on an airyplane, yer ganna need some clink,” he said.

Clink was the word that Haggi used for money. Haggi didn’t really have any money, they didn’t really need it. They lived in their glens, they drank water from the burns, they worked in the porridge mines and they grew tartan thistles, bu as a rule, they did not have any clink.

“Where will I get enough clink to get on an airyplane ?” asked Big Hairy.

“Och that’s easy,” said Old Clavish. “We will go and look for some, there are always big folk wandering around the Glen, and they drop things all the time, we will just go hunting for clink.”

All the Haggi perked up at this, there was nothing Haggi liked more than a good hunt.

“A hunt, aye, we shall have a hunt for clink,” said Big Hairy.

The Haggi all rushed out of the howf, they were in so much of a rush that Old Clavish and Wee Cameron got stuck in the door and could not get out until Brae Morag came by with a jar of pig fat.

All day the Haggi hunted, they peered under rocks, they climbed trees (but only small ones as Haggi are short and fat and really not very good at tree climbing), they dived in the burn and swam in the pools and took big candles into the porridge mine and searched every nook and cranny.

When they had all finished searching they brought their clink back to the Howf where Old Clavish could count it. He divided the clink into the various types he knew, those being large coins and small coins. Wee Cameron pointed out that quite a few of the smaller coins were actually buttons, but Old Clavish rustled his eyebrows until Wee Cameron shut up.

“How much is there ?” asked Big Hairy.

Old Clavish rustled his eyebrows a bit more, then he made a sort of harrumphing noise.

“How would I know, Haggi don’t use money.”

(Work in progress)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Change

The undecaphants first recognised its coming, with their finely tuned senses they picked up on the micro lumen flux taking place above them, they swung their faceted heads in broad sweeps and uttered low moans of fear.

The undecaphants lived in the valley bottom but the sound of their frightened lowing carried up the green slopes and the picawrens that bustled and rushed in the treetops stopped their chitter chatter, they paused their constant flight and noise, and, heads cocked all to one side, they listened.

It began as a low sussuration emanating from the rapidly brightening lumen flux. The sussuration grew to an uluating, roaring wave of Doppler projected noise and now a black speck could be seen in the midst of the brightness.

The undecaphants were panicked, they ran in circles, in strait lines, took random angled turns and all the time they raised their trunks and trumpeted their fear and distress, adding their own racket to the tumult coming from above. Some tried to climb the valley walls, tearing huge chunks of avogadro moss and soil with their feet, some few plunged into the river which was now foaming and rushing in its channel, pulling loose the reeds and the nests of the webergeese they held.

The black speck grew to the shape of a bird, a large fowl, a vast creature with sharp angled slowly flapping wings.

So bright was the lumen flux that the remaining undecaphants were blinded. Pascalmoles pushed to the surface as the chaos of the bird's approach fatally altered the geometry of their sub surface homes. The picawrens dropped out of the air as a huge mag wave slammed down the valley, disorientated and lost they huddled on the ground and awaited their fate.

The bird with its sphere of light passed down the valley and in its wake it brought chaos and change. The river boiled and leapt, then froze into pinnacles, sheets and spears. The leviathan undecaphants regressed, legs shearing away, bodies narrowing and lengthening, a million years reversed in a second, and it took many seconds for the bird to fly over. The new triaphants flapped uselessly at the ground, their vast bodies already suffering without water to support them.

With dull thumps, the pasclmoles imploded, the soil pocked downwards where those that had not yet made the surface died in their lairs, the bird opened its beak and snapped at the glowing clouds of joules they left behind. It passed down the valley and the roar of its flight deepened and shook the trees.

In its wake everything had altered. The soft green meadows were now harsh plateaus of angular basalt, where the forest had breathed now stood spires of twisted geometry painful to the eye and mind. The picawrens remained, but they half turned, and half turned again and did not stand where they began and their chittering talk was now a discomforting shriek.

All in the valley had changed, the picawrens began to feast on the still living flesh of the triaphants who writhed in a duality of agony on the newly grown coulomb grass, the realms of the pascalmoles continued to collapse creating fractured sinkholes with violent primed edges.

All in the valley had changed and it would never return to the old ways, for such was the terrible passing of the isosceles triangle bird of doom.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Best MySpazz / Fizzbook Chain Letter

This is Amazing!!!

Forward this message to 5 people

AND within 3 minutes FUCK ALL will happen!!!

I tried it TWICE and it worked both times !!!

Absolutely FUCK ALL happened !

Pass this on, it really works !!!
Wht Was Cinderella Such A Poor Football Player ?

...because she kept running away from the ball !

Sounds like (add Bradford City - Sheffield Wednesday etc here ) !
What Do You Call A Man That Claps At Christmas ?

Santapplause.

I love cracker jokes.
Santa Is So Jolly....



....because he knows where all the bad girls live.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

That's So Gay

Why Is Sidebottom Batting ?

Because we're 33-6 already, that's really crap, I'm turning the tv off again.
The Old, The Ill, And The Absent Minded

I seem to be suffering from a surfeit of older and elderly relatives in various states of ill health and temper, so I have decided that before they all drive me bloody mad I'm going to have a garage sell and get rid of them all.

The lots on offer will be.....

1) One legged hospitalised father with a tendency to fall out of bed and make innapropriate comments about the nurses. Bids to start at £5.

2) Very elderly Grandfather, can set fire to the kitchen, offend minorities of all sorts and can remember everything, and I mean everything, in exacting minute tiny detail from his whole exceedingly long life except what I told him not five minutes ago. Bids to start at 3 Groats.

3) A job lot of elderly aunts, hobbies include massive gin consumption and the tendency to switch the tv from Match Of The Day to The Antiques Roadshow just as Man U concede a penalty. Bids to start at £2.50

4) One niece, when being cute you can't afford her, when being a madam couldn't be given away.

5) One husband / son / brother / uncle etc (delete as appropriate), overworked, grumpy and suffering from bad back and relatives. Offers to start at - a nice comfy bed somewhere quiet.
Christmas Joke

Q: What’s orange and fizzy and comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve?

A: Fanta Claus.
Progesterex

Right folks, next time you switch Facebook on, leave your brain turned on at the same time, really, did nobody amongst the several dozen serial chain mailers that have forwarded the 'progesterex date rape' post think to check its veracity ? Obviously not.

Wiki on Progesterex

It does not exist. OK ?

Now you can just go back to worrying about sex offenders dropping roofies in your WKD.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Are You Troo ?

There comes a time in every man's life when he must turn inward and look deep inside himself and ask the most searching of questions to reveal the ultimate truth of what he is as man, you must ask yourself, are you a troo varrior of metuhl ?

So here is my current TAO (Top Artists Overall) from Scrobbler, what does it reveal, am I a troo varrior of metuhl, or do I fall somewhat short of true Nordic, facepainted, long haired, leather wearing manliness ?

1 The Beatles 678
2 Muse 642
3 The Wildhearts 638
4 Marillion 634
5 Coheed and Cambria 601
6 New Model Army 588
6 Pink Floyd 588
8 Simon & Garfunkel 545
9 The Clash 530
10 Gogol Bordello 468
11 The Beach Boys 463
12 Metallica 450
13 Siouxsie and the Banshees 422
14 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 421
14 Led Zeppelin 421
16 Madness 402
17 The Damned 389
18 Adam and the Ants 378
19 Sepultura 377
20 Magnum 372
21 Queensrÿche 368
22 Status Quo 359
23 Paradise Lost 357
24 Aerosmith 355
25 Megadeth 352
26 Rush 349
27 The Proclaimers 335
28 Placebo 328
29 Lindisfarne 327
30 The Decemberists 316
30 Georg Friedrich Händel 316
32 Rage Against the Machine 311
33 Iron Maiden 309
34 Little Angels 308
35 Marilyn Manson 306
36 Tiken Jah Fakoly 305
37 Richard Wagner 284
38 Johnny Cash 279
39 Bob Marley & The Wailers 277
39 Devo 277
41 Desmond Dekker 276
42 Lucky Dube 273
43 Toots and The Maytals 268
44 Ramones 265
45 HammerFall 262
46 The Specials 259
47 System of a Down 253
47 The Fighting Cocks 253
47 Ginger 253
50 Biffy Clyro 252

Oh dear, it would appear that my TAO is only about 28% metal, and that's if I shoehorn bands like Rush and Biffy Clyro in to make up the numbers. It does include Hammerfall though, and they're so metuhl that they should count twice.

A rocker perhaps, although the lines with metal can be blurry, but with the likes of Aerosmith, Quo, The Beatles and Placebo making up this broad church, 18%.

Am I perhaps a solid crusty punk then ? Nope, the list is about 18% punk, including The Fighting Cocks as otherwise they would be stuck in a bizarre little category all of their own.

Prog then, I must be a pantalooned, beardy (well, yes) worshipper of eighteen minute harpsichord solos ? 6% only, but in terms of listening time, 38% and a cod on a bicycle.

Folk music of all things, I'm 10% real ale drinking, cardigan wearing, beardy (again!) mandolin appreciating head nodding bloke in the far corner of the tap room.

Country, 2% and that's Johnny Cash, apart from The Man, country can drop the o.

12% reggae and ska, 4% classical, 2% pop (The Beach Boys).

28% Metuhl!!!
18% Rock
18% Punk
12% Reggae / Ska
10% Folk
6% Prog
4% Classical
2% Country
2% Pop

Eclectic then, that'll have to do, and I'm not a fanboy. How wide is your listening spectrum ?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Staff

I have decided to take on a new member of staff, I don't mind the cooking, the cleaning, the prep, the table setting and room organising, it's the bookwork that I hate so I have decided to employ a secretary.

Usually when I interview staff I like to know their qualifications, experience, a little about their family background, personality, trustworthiness and the like.

Well it turns out that Lisa has no qualifications, zero experience, she comes from along line of professional shoplifters, dole scroungers and work dodgers, at the interview she had all the personality and charm of a beermat and she listed her hobbies as watching Jeremy Kyle and snorting cocaine. Somtimes though, you just get a feeling about someone, and do you know, I think young Lisa is going to fit right in, especially if we fold her up really small.




Yorkshiresoul's Childminding Service

Staff, and Family



This is cousin Hollie, she's intelligent and good looking, studying art and photography, thus the arty weirdness pictures.



And she does some fashion modelling as well, although I must admit I'm hard pressed to think just how this shot would sell clothes. I am fashion allergic though.
I Like It Just So

Foibles, tics, quirks and downright strangenesses, we all have them, it's part of what we are, for example, I find fizzy drinks to be just too fizzy, the bubbles get up my nose and annoy me, so if I have a bottle of pop, or more likely, tonic water to accompany my Bombay Sapphire gin, I like to open it up a few times and give it a bit of a shake to let some of the bubbles out. I don't like fizzy drinks flat, I just like them less bubbly than the manufacturers do.

Coffee, I like it black and without sugar, but as far as temperature goes I don't like to drink it when it's really hot, and if I have a mug lying around in the kitchen because work has distracted me from drinking it, then I'll drink it no matter how cold it has got.

I'm a bit particular about timing, especially when I'm cooking dinner, but I can't bear to be late when we're expected somewhere, if an invitation says 7pm, then I really want to be there for 7pm, I think it's rude not to, after all if they wanted us there for 7.30 it would have said that on the invite. I don't accept the concept of 'fashionably late', that's just rude. I realise that in this I have become my father, he used to be sat outside the house, in the car revving the engine as he waited impatiently for my mother to get ready, and now I find myself doing exactly the same thing.

What are your foibles ? Do you wear lucky underpants when your team are playing ? Do you seperate your dinner into colour groups ? Come on, expose yourself, figuratively speaking that is.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Staff

Ever wondered what your staff do when they're not at work ?



Apparently mine pretend to be 'Ghetto', I think that's the word that these young people use ? That's Gangster Lucy on the right.

"Here is something you can't understand,
How I could just kill a man."
Sunset Crater National Monument

National Monument = National Park.



Eagle food.



You can't walk around just anywhere in this area, as the flora and fauna is very delicate and easily damaged, trails marked out by thousands of walkers in the early part of the last century are still clearly visible on the volcano. You are allowed up this loose and shifting cinder trail which allows great views of these mountains, the names of which I seem to have forgotten.



And slightly spoiling the view, a portly Tyke. I was a bit winded after hauling myself up this hill, a couple from New England whom I got chatting to pointed out that we were at an altitude of about 8,000 feet, which is quite enough to cause moments of light headedness.





Looking up at Sunser Crater.



Coconino National Forest, it might not be a forest as we Europeans might understand it, but you couldn't go too far into that without a compass, with its ground level bushes, everything would look the same in any direction.



Suddenly you come around a corner in the forest and the scenery changes to this, the Painted Desert. The photo really doesn't do justice to the palette of natural colours splashed across the landscape here.



An Indian dwelling built from and on a red stone outcrop.
Spock's Squirrel ?



Live long and prosper.....by eating acorns.
Why You Should Visit Kingman

Well, I'm buggered if I can think of a reason. The guidebook says that Kingman has a population similar to that of Ilkley, around 11,000, but they all appear to live in semi-permanent mobile homes, after driving around for a while it would appear that the only 'proper' buildings are the endless row of fast food joints that crowd the main road, it's a hole. Later on in our journey we learn that residents of other Arizona towns refer to Kingman as the 'Armpit of Arizona'.



So last night we stayed in the awesome MGM Grand in Las Vegas, tonight we're holed in the small and smelly AAA Motel, it is cheap though, and that is the only good thing you can say about it.

In the evening we eat at a diner in the 'old town' (I have underpants older than most of white America) where our cheap and filling 3 course meal gets served all at once, bizarre. I also make the mistake of trying a local beverage, root beer, Oh good grief no ! You know when you wash your mouth out at the dentist ? That's what root beer tastes like.



Kingman really was poor, we didn't like the room and felt none too secure in it, so in the small hours of the next morning as we lay awake in the dark chatting, we decided to move on. We had a quick coffee at the truck stop opposite, and then drive off into the Arizona dawn. There are warning signs constantly along the roads pointing out the dangers of deer and elk, we saw a few deer off in the distance in the dawn light, but no sign of the imposing elk.
Grand Canyon West Rim & Skybridge



This was out view for most of the 20 or miles of rough road leading to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. Mrs YS thought it was hilarious, she threw our 4WD around corners at speeds that had me grabbing for the handholds and muttering/whimpering "I am about to die". Every vehicle raised huge clouds of dust which hung in the air for ages, despite being almost blinded by this, Mrs YS did at no point find it important to slow down, indeed she spent most of the journey laughing like a raving maniac.



This is the skybridge, it projects out over a vertical face of the Grand Canyon, beneath my feet is a clear glass floor so you can see the sphincter tightening 4,000ft drop.



After a few minutes I feel slightly happier, but I'm still holding on. The guides on the bridge are busy telling you that it could hold a number of fully laden 747's, but I'll still grip the handrail if it's all the same with you.



The Grand Canyon is stunning, it almost defies description, and photos just can't capture the immense, overwhelming grandeur of the place.



This is the charmingly named Guano Point, if you can see the pylon down there in the Canyon, that's where miners used to go down on a cable to mine guano from the bat caves on the other side. Life and limb risked to mine bat crap, which was made into explosives and mascara.



A Hualapia Indian performs a traditional dance in costume, I like that outfit.



Meg, a huge Joshua Tree, and our enormous Dodge Durango which took us for hundreds upon hundreds of miles around Arizona And Nevada.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Am Alive

Hello folks, thanks for all the messages of support and 'where the bloody hell have you gone' comments, my web hosts ate my website.

But I'm back now, after a bitter and frustrating afternoon of trying and failing to get Wordpress, Cute FTP and Leech to work (all failing due to my hosts 'password corruption error'), I did the only reasonable thing under the circumstances, I retreated to a hot bath with a glass of red wine and a good book.

Hey ho though, I'm back now, let the gibberish continue.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

If anyone can read this, would they be so kind as to send an e-mail, it's driving me bloody mad at the moment.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I'm not sure what is happening with the blog / Blogger at the moment.

I'm trying to publish via a custom domain rather than via file transfer protocol because it would appear, by talking to people on the blogger help groups, that my current "530 verification" problem might not be cured anytime soon. There are people who hae been locked out of their own domains for months.

At the moment I can't see my own posts, the blogger help pages say this should right itself within 48 hours as web servers catch up to the redirection of the site.

Pictures that I have posted previously to Yorkshiresoul might not work, I havn't set up a lost pictures redirection file because I would like to get back to publishing straight to my site, probably without Blogger's help, in the future. Does anyone know what decent, really simple to use, ftp / blog publishing systems there are ? Bearing in mind that I'm really not very net / tech savvy at all.

Bugger Blogger pt.746

Of course, there was a time, pre Google, when Blogger was a small service, and some of us were subscribers, this gave us access to a decent service, especially when problems are encountered, such as the sudden refusal to transfer pictures that I have encountered halfway through Thursday morning.

So I fill in a form, outline my problem and send it off to superhyperglobalGoogleBlogger, and what do I get back in these days of uber net geek company ownership ? Bugger all, not even the usual crappy automated reply to say "Hi Whatsyername, we have received your complaint, but frankly we have more money that we know what to do with so we can't be arsed even to read to the bottom of your letter as we're busy making paper planes from hundred dollar bills."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Las Vegas



The dancing fountains in front of the Bellagio Hotel, these are really good, Mrs YS loves them.



Ceiling detail in the Bellagio.



I think this might be my favourite pic of the trip, it's a bit abstract, some metallic pillars and the i-pod advert playing on giant screens taking at an odd angle.



If you get out of bed early in the morning in Las Vegas, you might just get to see the Las Vegas Police Department official jogging squad.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Last Day

Well, it's our last day here in the USA, we have had a fabulous time, we've eaten our way around Arizona and Nevada, chilled in the mountains and roasted in the desert, it's been great.

Lake Havasu was ok, but not great. We stood and took photos of London Bridge, watched the ducks for a while and had our Thanksgiving dinner there at the strange Hillbillies & Barbellies, can't complain about the price, but the dinner wasn't great.

After Lake Havasu we moved on Northwards again with an idea to stay in Quartzsite or Oatman. Quartzsite turned out to be the world's largest gypsy camp, thousands of ginat RV's parked in endless rows all with little stalls in front selling all manner of low value tat to each other, and the dining possibilities looked liked McDonald's for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Oatman was a fun diversion for a couple of hours, we saw a cowboy fight in the street and looked at the (semi) wild donkeys, or burros, that freely roam the streets, but again, places to stay and eat looked rather limited so we pushed on again for the remainder of the day, past dreadful Kingman (sorry if any readers live in Kingman, but your town really is the arse end of beyond) and back into Las Vegas in the evening.

We checked back in to the MGM Grand, and for some reason we got upgraded and received a rather posh little suite with a fantastically comfortable bed. There is even a built in tv in the mirror above the bathroom sink, and a phone in the toilet, I'm sure that you dear reader, much like me, always nedd to make urgent phone calls whilst having a crap, or not.

We dined rather better here, dinner at Wolfgang Puck's, Meg had a giant steak and I had the biggest piece of succulent char-grilled calves liver, really good.\

Last night we went to the circus, 'O' at Bellagio. To call it a circus is to underestimate the show, event, happening, call it what you will. It takes place on a rising and falling stage within a vast tank of water with lights, smoke and effects and dozens of athletic dancers, swimmers and high wire artists. The show is in constant motion, sections of the stage rise and sink in the pool so that where a dozen divers were vaulting into the water moments ago, now a parade of running men in red uniforms pound by on the hard surface, then it sinks again and a house rises up, a pirate ship descends from the ceiling, a parade of shrieking ballerinas appear from within the audience. Everything happens at once so your eye is constantly drawn from point to point in the non stop action, it was deeply impressive, I've never seen choreography anything like it.

We're going out tonight for one last good dinner, then it's off to the airport in the morning for the first of our two flights, to Chicago and from there back to Manchester.

We have both taking loads of photos so I'll be posting those when I get home, I hope everyone is ok, see you all soon, YS.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Down On The Border

Mexico is only a few miles away, the weather last night was sweltering, still in the mid 70's close to midnight, Wednesday has dawned sunny but very windy indeed. A lot of the roads around here have large signs proclaiming "Warning : blowing dust area", we could be in for an interesting day's travel then.

When we were at the desert museum, one of the staff said that Arizona is removing groundwater five times faster than rain falls, so for each million gallons that fall, five million gallons are used, this is surely leading to some kind of environmental disaster in the not too distant future.

On the drive here you pass through hundreds of miles of scrub and cactus spotted hills, the rivers and washes contain nothing but sun baked stones, water seems only a distant memory, and then, whoosh, everything turns green. "Welcome to Green Hills Golf Course", way out here, or suddenly there are vast green fields being irrigated by enormous rolling sprayers, or fattening farms containing tens of thousands of cattle (which you can usually smell from miles away).

It seems insane to have this sort of false greenery in what is a desert area. How are these dry southern states going to cope ?

Thanksgiving is also approaching rapidly. This is the celebration enjoyed by many Americans to remember the generosity of the native people towards the first settlers who were slowley starving to death. The Indians brought them food and sustenance, in return the settlers stole their country, nice exchange.

To be serious though, the native American tribes lived in tune with the land, they hunted and grew what they could and moved on to wetter parts if drought struck them. There are so many more people now though, chewing and drinking their way through the area's natural resources. This is fairly similar to what we saw on Spain's 'Golf Coast', golf courses, hotels, restaurants and their supporting industries springing up in areas which are naturally unsuitable for them.

We plan on moving half way to Lake Havasu today, but first we might try and get a new sat nav, the one that came with the car dies yesterday. It's easy enough navigating between cities but I must admit the sat nav is a blessing when you're in an unfamiiar town.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

90 In The Shade
Yeehaw and all that, people here wear 10 gallon with no sense of irony, we're in baking hot Tuscon, way down in the South of Arizona, not so far from the Mexican border.

Our travel plans, which have been fairly fluid, have changed again, it looks like we're not going to bother with a day trip to Mexico, but instead we are going to travel North again to Lake Havasu. This is a resort town where an enterprisng American bought London bridge and had it shipped over here and assembled, locals mocked him for two reasons........

1) He may well habe thought that he was buying the rather impressive Tower Bridge, London bridge is actually a bit dull.

2) There is no river in Lake Havasu large enough for the bridge to cross.

Undeterred by this, he built a river as well.

Tuscon is hot, really hot, the temperature hovered at just under 90 all day yesterday as we wandered slowley around the Sonora Desert Museum. This was excellent value, 12 dollars and we spent almost the full day there seeing the various exhibitions, zoo and cactus gardens.
Last night we dined at Jonathan's Cork, which had great write ups in all the Tuscon food press, but was rather average in reality.

I have a last minute travel update from my wife, we're heading West ward to Yuma on the Mexican border. I'mreally enjoying this freefooted approach to holidaying, it suits us both rather well. We are getting to see and lots of stuff, but in no particular timeframe when we've wanted to move on, we move, when we can't be bothered, we book another night.
Mad Dogs, Englishmen, Shit

From pretty Flagstaff we headed up into the mountains to ven more beautiful Sonoma A pretty if rather touristy little town nestled into some of the most stunning mountain scenery I have ever seen. The red mountains of Sonoma (stained by iron ores) rise up in steep weathered peaks all around the town, which itself sits in a green and leafy valley bottom with a river in it.

The Grand Canyon is spectacular, but the views from here are almost too beautiful to describe.

We found a really nice room for 20 quid ! 9as long as we went to the time share expo the next day), plus wegot 50 dollars in meal voushers and a free pass to the festival of Christmas lights, we didn't buy a timehsare so we've had a really good deal here.

In the middle of the afternoon, with the temperature in the mid 70's, I went for a hike, I passed a number of signs displaying pictures of the local wildlife, tortoises - good, little pig things - good, snakes - not so good, scorpions - not very good at all, mountain lions - bloody hell, really ?

Anyway, off I set, I crossed the river by means of a fallen tree and wandered off into counryside that rapidly became dense, spiky, almost impenetrable scrub, then I found a bit of a trail, and then I saw it, the turd.

Now I'm not usually frightened of shit, you tend to see a lot of shit when you're outhiking, cows, rabbits, sheep, all produce copious amouts of shit and distribute it liberally across the landscape. /this though, it was large, more like that of a large dog, or more worryingly, very large cat, it had lots of fur in it, and little bones. Pretty much like the spoor of something that killed small furry things for dinner. I turned for home, back to the river, ducks arn't all that dangerous.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

How (not) To Eat

Ok then Yanks, you need a lesson in table manners.

1) How to use a knife and fork.....hold the knife in your right hand (or in your left if you're cack handed), the fork in your left, hold them as you would a pencil with the haft in the palm of your hand. DO NOT hold them upright in clenched fists and then turn your fist over to cut your dinner, it makes you look like a caveman.

Next, cut up your food with a sawing motion, pin the food with your fork, cut with the knife (see, that's why they give you knives at dinner !). There is now no need to put down your knife, swap your fork into your right hand and use that to pick up your mouthful of food, but that's what folk do, then transfer the fork back to the left hand, pick up the knife and start all over again.

Honestly, it's simpler and more efficient the way us Europeans do it, and it looks smarter as well.

2) How to serve a three course meal. Many main courses, particularly in diners, come with a free soup, and you may have ordered a starter as well. How I would like this served is.....

Soup (or starter if you must), then a decent pause whilst I eat my soup.

Starter (or soup, hey ho), then a decent pause whilst I eat my starter.

Main course, then, well you've got the idea.

What often seems to happen is this....

"Hey buddy, here's your soup, and your starter, and Dave's just behind me bringing your entree, have you thought about dessert and coffee yet ?"

We had a all our courses at once last night and it hardly fit on the bloody table.

You might think from all this moaning that I'm having a crap time, but no, it's just the opposite, we're having a fantastic time, and to balance up the moans above I'd like to point out some nice things.

1) The Yanks are really friendly, really really friendly. They shout greetings at you from across the shop / bar / restaurant as you enter, they like to chat about why you're here (they all think we're Australian though until we tell them otherwise) and they sound like they mean it.

2) The Yanks are very polite indeed, everyone here in Flagstaff is really nice, when they wish you a good day, or say that they hope you have a great evening, it really sounds as if they mean it. I've been to New York, where some people manage to make "Have a nice day" sound like "I hope you die soon" but here, you can't help but say "Cheers mate, that's nice of you", and then they all say "You're welcome".

Flagstaff - Arizona, home to nice, well mannered people, even if they can't use cutlery.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Driving Arizona

It's Thursday, so it must be Flagstaff. We stayed 3 nights in Vegas (and dined at Emiril's which was excellent) then on Wednesday we got up early and set off across country.

We had decided on a rough itinery before we set off, but we also said that we wouldn't stick absolutely to it if something more interesting came up, or just if we couldn't be bothered.

On our first day of travelling we went to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon to do the Skywalk, this is a scrotum tightening walk out onto a glass floored loop bridge which sits 4,000 feet above the floor of the canyon.

Yes, you can see all the way down, between your feet.

Yes, I was frightened, but I still did it.

In fact once I'd made the initial slow shuffle out onto the bridge I got almost used to it and had a little stroll back and forth across the chasm. I'll post some photos when I get home, but the Grand Canyon is hugely impressive, it's worthy of pretty much any superlative you want to throw at it.

The road in to the West Rim is 20 miles of rough dirt track, we have a giant Durango 4WD, Mrs YS was driving and laughing like a wild thing, and yes, I was frightened. Meg thought this was better than the cnayon, she just loved skidding our car/tank around wide corners and throwing up huge clouds of dust in our wake.

After the canyon, we headed for Kingman, which looked alright in our guide book, but in reality appears to be a giant trailer park with a population of 35,000. We stayed in a very cheap motel which cost us about 20 quid, the best thing about that room was that it was cheap. In the diner & shop opposite there were a number of refugees from Jerry Springer arguing loudly and aggresively and with much public swearing, great, free entertainment.

Today we have ploughed on and up, we're at over 6,500ft here in Flagstaff. The desert, scrub and prairie has given way to steep rocky hills, larger mountains and green pine forests everywhere. There is an 'historic old town' in Flagstaff, for Americans, this means anything built before 1950, they look rather non-plussed when I tell them that my home town was built by the Romans.

We plan on staying here a couple of nights, then moving on South with the eventual aim of spending a day over the border in Mexico.

I'm also doing my bit to confuse the Yanks by wearing a t-shirt which reads "The best test of a democracy is the freedom of it's critics", and it's in French. This gets the wholesome patriotic American in two ways, it's in French, the language of cheese eating surrender monkeys, and it appears that I might be criticising their government, which if they care to ask me, I am. I like to spread a little anarchy and confusion if I can.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Viva Las Vegas

Hello folks, here we are in madcap, bonkers, wildly over the top Las Vegas. We flew the first leg of our trip (Manchester to Chicago) with BMI in Business/1st Class, I am very impressed. For the people (much like ourselves until yesterday) who have never been able to enter the rarified strata of 1st Class, it goes like this....

1st - 18 fully reclining (as in into a bed) seats in acres of space
Economy - 348 seats in just enough space to accomodate 200 seats comfortably


1st - Waitress service with pre-flight champagne
Economy - A complimentary mint served by hassled stewardess

1st - A 3 course lunch, chosen from a full a la carte menu, served on real plates with real knives and forks. I went for Loch Fyne smoked salmon, rack of lamb with rosemary gravy and a cheeseboard, accompanied by a 1998 Haut Medoc and a glas of 20 year old Port, very nice indeed.
Economy - A 3 course meal that fits into a plastic tray and tastes much the same, served with a plastic cup of Chateau de Cheap Vin de Rouge which is rather oddly chilled.

1st - Afternoon tea, a election of fresh sandwiches (oh dear, smoked salmon again!) plus small cakes with fresh strawberries and clotted cream, on a proper plate, tea served in a real china cup.
Economy - something nasty in clingfilm plus luke warm tea in a paper cup.

It was nice, I mean really nice. I'd fly this way all the time if I could afford it.

Our changeover at Chicago was a little fraught, with only an hour in between landing and taking off we had to clear customs (remembering not to tick the boxes marked "are you an international terorist / nazi / communist / follower of Cthulu"), then oddly we had to retrieve our own luggage and take it to the next check in, that wasn't what I'd call good service, then clear security again where the polite but totally enormous security bloke made me remove my watch, belt, trainers and all pocket contents, we ended up running through the airport with me carrying half my clothes and trying not to let my trousers fall down.

We're here though, and we're very happy to be away from work for a couple of weeks. We have hired an SUV (in Britain this woulf be a 4WD, here it is something approaching the size of a school bus) and will be setting off touring Arizona on Wednesday.

We had a typically large American breakfast this morning, an eat all you can buffet for 13 dollars, we bought our holiday cash at 1.90 dollars to the pound so our spending power feels good, the breakfast was fantastic.

Mrs YS is at this moment sat in front of one of the millions of slot machines inside the cavernous MGM Casino, I lost 15 dollars this morning and that's probably my gambling over with for holiday.

I've been out walking along The Strip for a couple of hours to shed some of the thousands of calories of breakfast I have consumed, fending off the ticket touts pushing cards for tours, shows and prostitutes, it's a bit more lively than Ilkley.

Friday, November 09, 2007

War

I made my chice when I left my birthspace in the Gallente Federation and switched sides to the Caldari State. I had always hated the expansionist Gallente politics, the bullying indintimidating of the smaller neighbours along it's borders, and my views only hardened in capsuleer school as I trained alongside would be pilots of Caldari, Amarr and Minmater origins.

I've been working for the Corporate Police Force in Caldari space for some months now, I flown dozens of missions rooting out pirates, escorting caravans and mining barges and fighting fleets of self replicating drones out in deep space, and then then my agent Hola over at the CPF Logistics - Support - Security section calls me in and says she's got something for me.

A weird gas cloud that pirates of unknown origin are hiding in, they are warp disruption tech to pull passing freighters out of warp and rob them. go and sort it out she says, and like a good little trooper I load up my guns and set off to face down some pirates.

Except, it didn't quite go down that way. I loaded up my hulking Dominix battleship, which in a moment of booze fuelled idiocy I named Mr Whippy, and launched out from the CPF space base. Mr. Whippy (the ship's onboard AI personality takes on the name given by its owner) started reeling off the day's events and other items of useful information in his rather camp and prissy voice, we aligned on the target area and engaged the warp engines. Kusomonmon V has 23 moons, Moon 22 hung vast and bright behind us, a moment later it had shrunk to the size of an apple, and then with the passage of another moment the stars blurred and shifted and we spend down the tunnel of hazy, oily, refracted light that is the human experience of warp travel. I've tried asking the AI's what they see in warp, but their answers are bizarre and confusing.

We emerged after a few seconds into a bright cloud, pulses of light crawled and throbbed through the cloud's filaments, dragging hazy streams of dusty particles behind them. Mr Whippy prevented me from gazing too long at the majesty of it all by turning on the warning klaxons.

Multiple targets ranging from (whoop whoop) 80 klicks out, we are being targeted by five vessels (whoop whoop)

"Jeez turn off the fucking noise". I got ready for combat, pressed myself back into the pilots chair and the shell of the capsule rose up smoothly around me, I really should have done this back at base but like so many pilots I dislike getting gelled unless I really have to. The jack slots at the back of my skull opened up and Mr Whippy connected with me, with the capsule sealed the shockgel flooded in and quickly covered me, we were one now, man and ship.

My consciousness flooded out, I could feel my massive bulk in space, I/We engaged the drives and the battleship began slowly to turn to face it's aggressors, at the same time I reviewed the information coming in from the ship's sensor array. Five frigates were speeding towards us, two Gallente Navy Tristans and three Maulas electronic warfare support frigates. Almost as soon as we got a fix on them the Mauls threw out a blanket suppression field, although our drives were now working at full strength, they were pulling against the strange space folding effect of the field and we turned lazily like a leaf on an eddy.

We communicated by thought now, two as one. Mr W began to target four of the incoming ships, as a battleship we had a huge signature radius, it was easy for enemy ships to lock on to us, and they did within seconds, and as soon as they had locked on the missiles began to launch. We took the first and second batches of missiles on the shields before we managed to get a lock on them, within a second of locking on, the Maulas scrambled our targeting and we lost them again.

-Launch drones- I thought -Maybe they can get a lock-

~Ogres ?~

-No, send the Warriors, I bloody hate fighting Frigates-

This is the problem, Frigates are super fast and small, they're hard for a battleship to lock, it's hard to get my big coil cannons to track rapidly enough to get a decent shot on them. The five Warrior drones shot from my drone bay, this was like having five little pieces of me shot out, the fighting drones and urgent and aggressive, little hungry killers that become almost sexually excited in a fight.

Missiles continued to rain in on our shields, I watched impassive as the shield marker dropped down to zero, no matter, we're an armour tanking vessel. The two lead frigates were close enough now to open up with their ion guns, the hull began to boom as projected masses of superheated iron slammed into it. The armour plating began to fail in two places, with a thought I turned on the armour hardeners, we had installed a thermal and kinetic hardener and they began to soak up the damage. Until that is the other three ships got within range.

- bollocks -

~ indeed ~

For sixteen seconds we wallowed and lumbered to turn as the enemy pack hurled fire against us, even the hardeners were struggling to maintain armour integrity now, I switched on the first of our two nano armour repairers and began to keep a watchful mind's eye on Mr Whiipy's capacitor level. Our drones hung dead in space behind us, with all the jamming warfare around they couldn't lock either.




Finally though, lock, one two three four, instantly we opened up with the 3 dual coil cannons, and as the Tristans were already doing a close 5k orbit around us we tried to lock them with the heavy neutron blasters, the noise was deafening even through the shockgel as the 5 banks of weapons began spitting antimat shells at the frigates. The Warriors got a lock and sped off after the Tristan's, who in turn switched to shooting at the drones, they were so close to us and moving so fast that we would be really lucky to catch them with on shipboard weapons.

For the next minute or so the glittering cloud was further illuminated by bolts and streaks of red laser fire, then by the explosions of one of our drones, then rapidly by one of the Tristans. We had managed a gun lock on the leading Maulus as well now, his shields melted under the combined shell power of three banks of our twin cannons, as his armour blew apart the pilot turned his ship to run, he would know though, he was too close, there was never a chance he could outrun the guns now.

Two ships down, the other Tristan was taking damage, we were holding our own now that the incoming laser fire had been switched to the drones. Another enemy ship exploded and the two remaining support ships tried to run, we called the damaged Warriors back to the ship and launched five heavy Ogres in their place, the Ogres are as big as a frigate but just built for speed and firepower, they rapidly caught up with the fleeing frigates and tore them apart.

Those were not drone ships, in less than two minutes I had extinguished the lives of five people, five Gallente, my birth people. There is no going back now.
At The Next Election, I'll Be Voting....

Cook Like An Ecaudorian

Because new friend Eva bought me an Ecuadorian cookbook, that's why. So all I need to do now is to figure out where I can get hold of a Capybara.



Or failing that, a guinea pig or two.

"Hello ? Is that the pet shop ?

"Yes Sir, what can I do for you ?"

"I'd like to buy a guinea pig"

"Yes Sir, do you want a male or a female ?"

"Er, which is the most tender ?"

"Excuse me ?"

"And how many servings can I expect to get from one ? Hello, hello, oh, I think they've hung up."
Fizz Bang Oi ! pt.2

Thanks to everyone who came to our firework party on Tuesday, and special thanks to my partner in firework expertise / life threatening explosive danger, Wosser. Most of our conversations on the lighting up front go like this......

"How many do you reckon ?"

"Let's go for three"

"That's two, IT'S LIT, RUN AWAY !!!!"

Cheers to all the staff (and friends) that turned up, no thanks at all to the buggers that ate the last chocolate buns, or, to be rather more precise, commited the heinious sin of licking the icing off the top of the buns. After asking niece Ellie to fetch me a bun, I was presented with a pre-licked effort, naturally I blamed this on...

a) Ellie

b) Kayliegh, because she was looking guilty, as well as cute

However, after much investigation and questioning of local stool pigeons and grasses, I gather that the real suspects are none other than young Georgie Arundel, wiatress of this parish, and close friend / partner in crime Sophie.

Sophie, in case you're in any doubt, Georgie grassed you up, you should be ashamed.

Anyway, a fun night was had, the neighbour's cats were severely frightened, shards of spent rockets were scattered across the 18th fairway for me to collect the next day, and many portions of pie 'n peas were consumed, not by Sous Chef Carol though, who objects to eating anything that looks radioactive, fussy fussy.

Big thanks also to Duncan, our hard working Head Greenkeeper, who provides the mobile rocket launcher (i.e. a trailer full of bunker sand) that we use to safely set off our annual extavaganza.

See you all next year, KABOOM!!!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

test
Fizz Bang Oi! pt.1

We went along to the Devonshire Arms bonfire last night, it was a big do, they were expecting 3,000 people. The fireworks were brilliant, really good, like good Brits we queued to get in, then queued for a meat and potato pie, then queued for a paper cup of hot chocolate.

Walking back from the Dev to the village car park at Bolton Abbey was fun in the pitch darkness, you could tell the people that had done this before, they brought torches, everyone else just stumbled and bumped along in the blackness. I giggled a lot as I fell over tree roots, pavement edges and other walkers / stumblers.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Every RPG Character Paddy Has Played In Any Game, Ever

Counting Down The Days

To our holidays, we're flying to Las Vegas on Sunday morning, then touring Arizona North and South and hopefully popping over the border into Mexico.

We were originally going to visit Canada, but.....

Rainbow's End below Eller Ghyll, Ilkley

Raining on Ilkley Moor, Sunshine In Burley, Raining on Otley



Quite often in these parts they say the weather today will be "changeable."
Ilkley Tarn

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Banned Advertising



(Via Greasy Chip Butty)
LOL

And I do, especially when we get together with family or friends, there always comes point in the evening when I'm beset by a fit of giggles to the point that I have to leave the room, or remove my glasses to mop the laughter tears streaming from my eyes, or reach for my intal because I've managed to laugh myself into an asthma attack.

Last night at Wosser's was business as usual, I can't remember what set off the first bout of giggling*, but once I'm off, then I'm off. All the gang know this so of course it amuses them to keep me going, Candice achieved this quite well by balancing the little plastic playing pieces from the game we were playing on my hands as I struggled to control myself. I'm not kidding, my chest ached from laughing when I got home, that's a good way to be.

Here's a tip for an entertaining evening, invite someone foreign over for dinner, then suggest playing after dinner word games, "But I'm Dutch !!" came the horrified shout from Eva.

Lastly, the "Is Wosser overly competitive when playing games" multi choice quiz ?

You may pick your answers from.....

1) Yes

2) Yes

3) YES

*Although it may have been excessive consumption of red wine
Cell Block Addingham



What is this then ? A new prison complex, planned housing for short term asylum seekers, cheap housing for first time buyers ?

None of the above I'm afraid, what you can see there is the death of good architecture, which are now being slung up by Bellway Homes in Addingham in the old mill complex.

These are horrible, just horrible, it's the architectural equivalent of a big mac, thoughtless, cheapo, naff looking. Our ancestors knew how to build stuff that looked good, so why with our new and improved modern skills do we construct endless piles of boxy crap like this. Don't go thinking that this is cheap boxy crap either, a 2 bedroom flat in one of those cardboard cut out homes will set you back something in the region of £180,000. A 4 bed 'town house', which I think is modern bollocks-speak for 'terrace' will cost a mightily steep £400,000 plus.



This is a proper building, Leeds Town Hall, it's grand and imposing and looks good, particularly in this pick nicked from Videovault TV.

Videovault TV Production



This is one of my favourite buldings anywhere in the world, St. Pancras Station in London, look at that, it's just wonderful, fabulous, beautiful. But whilst there are examples of beautiful, eye catching architecture to be seen almost everywhere, the plonkers at the Bellway School for Prison Designers continue to fill up our lovely towns and villages with their overpriced, dull, oh so square little boxes.
Autumn Colours



I was out walking on a rather dull and overcast autumn day, but there are still some bursts of colour to be seen.