More RPS

I noticed we had almost a full moon tonight, and a nice clear sky (bloody freezing though!) so I thought I'd get my big lens out and see what sort of shot I could get of the moon.

Not too bad I thought, although it was too cold to stay out and mess around with the settings for long. Click on the picture for other shots with different shutter speeds.

Hills, hills and more hills...

Last Sunday I went on RPS (Real Photo Sunday for people that don't read maneuvers with Drill Sergeant Sadler and his trusty sidekick Corporal Pluck. As it was a nice day we had all decided to go out with our cameras and try to get some nice shots.

It was decided to go to Edale, and Kinder Scout, and perhaps we might get some nice sunsets in the afternoon, we arrived at around half 3 in the afternoon and set off into the countryside.

Being the fit and healthy person that I am, I was soon left behind, huffing and puffing up the path up towards the bottom of a massive hill. When I had caught them up, they had decided to walk around the base of the hill (thank god) towards the side that still had light from the setting sun. So off we went, looking for anything interesting to shoot. There were some trees, some sheep, and lots and lots of hills. Oh and grass... and some more hills, as you can see:

By this time the sun had set quite a lot, and we decided to head back from the little path that wound around the side of this hill that even the sheep were having trouble with keeping on, and to set up on the path that would be easier to navigate once the sun had set.

Here's some of the shots that I got as the sun set and the moon appeared:

Even with the strenuous exercise (strenuous for me anyway!) it was a good afternoon, and I got to play with my camera (which hasn't happened that often recently). Just need to remember the settings etc when I eventually get out to use it again :)

Pancake day

So it's shrove tuesday today and here are me and Dan making pancakes.

I won't go into details about who was the better tosser.

They were very nice though! :-)

Bullet For My Valentine - Tears Don't Fall

YouTube clips from the gig me and Dave went to last night. Bullet for my Valentine, Still Remains, and Skindred played at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall. Top gig, if you like shouty metal :) The second clip has better sound, but it's from a bit further away... Nearer than we were stood though :)

We were worried we might not make it with the crap weather, as it had started to snow a little when we were leaving Belper, but once on the A38 heading out of Derby it all cleared up and the roads were dry. Made it there and back in one piece and with time to get a couple of drinks in at the pub before chucking out time.

Linkin Park

These last few posts are a little out of order, but here goes anyway... We went to see Linkin Park play at Notts Arena on Thursday last week. Top quality gig, they put on a good show, and the sound quality was good too.

They played a lot of the tracks of the new Minutes to Midnight album, which Dan, Dave and Jim hadn't heard much of, so didn't recognise, but they also played a lot of the old favourites from Meteora and Hybrid Theory, like 'In the End', 'Crawling', 'One Step Closer' etc.

At one point we thought the guy that was doing the rapping was miming as he dropped his mic but still continued to rap at the same volume, hehe, but later on when he was doing it he did get louder and quieter so maybe we were mistaken... or it might have been the beer clouding our judgement! :)

Also there are plenty of phone camera vids of them on YouTube, here's one that I found that's quite good quality... for a phone cam :)

A day at the races...

As a birthday gift for my Dad, Christy (my sis) and I took Mum and Dad for a day at the races on Saturday. It was originally going to be at Uttoxeter but because of the months of constant rain here in sunny England the racing that day was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch or something, so we ended up at Doncaster instead.

There were 8 races during the day, most of which had 8 or so runners, some in the afternoon had about 20 runners.

I had been there before a few years ago for the St. Ledger with work, but they have had a new racecourse since then so I didn't recognise any of it.

The first race was at 12:20pm and Christy had been getting text messages from her other half on which horses to pick, so we bet £2 each on two horses to win on the first race (big spenders here... we each stuck a tenner in a pot to use for bets, and we'd put any winnings back in as well) based on Daves suggestions. Amazingly one of our horses came in, and we won £7.20, which I think was around 4-1 odds. Woo!

Needless to say, that was the last win of the day, as the rest of the horses we backed never came anywhere near winning.

Still it was good fun and a good day out with the folks. Here's us outside the grandstand before we left to go home and then on for a Thai curry for tea.

Here's one of us watching the screens for, I think, the penultimate race... It was nail biting stuff!

Flight is booked...

...almost. I think it’s booked but I have yet to pay for it.

I have booked it through the International Organisation for Migration, they have a concessional fare agreement with Quantas, so the fare was a little bit cheaper and it includes double the baggage allowance, 40Kg instead of 20Kg.

I have confirmed the itinerary that they sent me, and they will be sending me a bill soon, so to all intents and purposes I have bought my one-way ticket to Oz, leaving on April 6th at 12pm-ish. \o/ woo yay!

Also, this morning I had a call out of the blue from none other than James Scott, an ex-TBSer that moved with his gf, Nads, to Oz a few years ago. He had been speaking to James Shiels (another ex-TBSer who moved to Oz, Perth to be exact) about my imminent arrival and they have very kindly offered to let me stay at their house while I sort out somewhere of my own. He lives just north of Sydney so that will be really great for me to see a couple of friendly faces when I arrive :)



Aliens and Predators...

Went to see “Alien Vs Predator Requiem” last night, and it was quite a good flick.

Don’t go to the cinema expecting Oscar winning acting, or even much of a plot. Especially don’t go if you are thinking the movie is attempting to compete with “Alien” for suspense, and please stop moaning about it if you did think that... jeez.

It’s basically an excuse to go:

“Who’d win in a fight between aliens and predators? Let’s see... FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!”

So plenty of action, deaths, face huggers, predators with cool killing gadgets, and a fair bit of local populace “Collateral Damage” :) Makes for a great movie in my book!

Some good scenes in it, although I was a bit disappointed with how dark a lot of the fight scenes were, made it a bit tricky to see what was going on. There were some nice homage’s (sp?) to the alien movies as well, especially alien face in the hospital cubicle curtain.

We also got a glimpse of the predators home world, which was cool... would be nice to see a movie that was set there.




It is final now!

That's it, my house is no longer mine, and there is nothing of mine left. It was all shifted by 5pm on Sunday.

So that's the first step to Oz completed, most things sold, given away or thrown away, all the big stuff anyway.

Now I have to get through spending 2 or 3 months living with Dan :)

A lot of stuff has been happening...

...from Christmas up to now. I suppose I should have blogged these things as they happened, but due to circumstances out of my control (laziness, not having time, not having access to a pc when I had time... the list goes on) you are getting this all in one big lump!

The worst news is that a good friend and collegue suddenly passed away just after the New Year. It's been a shock to all of us, as we were only just having a beer with him in the pub a day or so before it happened. I don't think it's properly sunk in yet for me, as I haven't really had much time to stop and think since Christmas, with the impending house sale. It's his funeral next week so I can pay my respects and I think then everything will become final. Still, we shall hoist a glass (or two) of red wine in his name, he will be missed, always ready with a joke, or just some humourous profanity, but ever dependable, and loved a good curry. To Martin!

Better news was that I think my Mum enjoyed her Birthday, which was last week. We went out for dinner at a local restaurant, the four of us, Mum, Dad, me and Christy (me Sister ;) A nice meal, some nice wine, and conversation too. The waiter plied us with Italian lemon liqueurs, which were quite good. Then a few of Ma and Pa's mates round after for G&Ts... and to test out their new sofas, freshly delivered (and de-cat-fluffed) from my empty house.

Which brings me onto the last few days of toil... the house sale. After spending a lot of christmas and new year packing (but not too much you understand, didn't want to over do it) I was starting to think I wouldn't have enough time, and that I wouldn't find homes for all the bits of furniture that I had left. As the 11th drew closer, the house was getting steadily emptier, until Sunday the 6th, when I had rented a LWB van. After that it was crunch time. First delivery was to Mum & Dads with the sofa and TV, moved into the van with Fish's help. The sofas are a good fit in the living room, but the TV wasn't... so that's on ebay now. Then a tour around Derbyshire dropping off tables, wardrobes and beds and stuff. Now my house is empty, I don't have anywhere to sleep! So this was official move into Dan's night. Which has gone well, we haven't argued yet, and scarily enough not drunk a lot either, go figure? (Plenty of time for that over the next couple of months I hear you cry)

So Friday was completion day, and on Weds there was still a lot to do. But by Thursday night most stuff was either at Dan's, sold, given away, or in the garage, which I managed to break the door of. Bloody typical. But at least it was looking like it was gonna be ok for the big day, there wasn't much left, other than two cats rattling around in the house.

It was weird on Friday, giving up the keys, and saying goodbye to my home of 5 years... it didn't seem so final the last time i did it, but then I had somewhere else to go that was mine and we had to do it all in a day so it was pretty busy.

Finally it was off to Notts to deliver the cats to their new keepers, which they weren't best pleased about. Daisy didn't stop telling me about it all the way there, and Molly made her point by doing a poo and throwing up in her basket. (Not sure if it was the driving, or the being locked up that she was most annoyed about) But after being let out for a few minutes they both calmed down and went to hide for a bit. I heard that they had recovered properly later that night and were running around after each other and investigating their new home for the weekend, before being taken to Kent for a longer stretch (sounds like a prison term, but it's not, I hear it's nice down in Kent, garden of England or something...), after which they will be returning to Notts, unless their keeper in Kent decides they should stay :P

Even though I don't own the place now, I was still round there today, got a garage to empty. Trips to the tip and Dave and his Dad came to fetch the last few bits of furniture and now it's almost done. A few more trips to the tip tomorrow should see that sorted.

Then it will be final...

Still, it's nice to go on to online banking and cancel all those direct debits :) Australia here we come!