Sunday, 24 June 2012

Dogstronomy and a Carvery. 23-24 June 2012

Saturday.



A full day ahead was planned at the Shadoxhurst Dog Show and Fete. The Astro society were hosting a stand there. I picked up Dave and his paintings first thing and then set off. We arrived at the venue and set about putting up the Gazebo. Then Jason turned up with Windbreaks, banners and telescopes. The day was very successful astronomy wise,  We had a lot of interest, and the sun managed to pop in and out of the clouds to enable us to use the Solar Telescope. We even had a visit from a Llama, we didn't sign him up. The WI cake stall next to us was brilliant, we all bought loads from them. It was a shame Dave never sold any paintings. I reckon people don't tend to spend much cash at these functions anymore, except for food, drink and maybe a go on the Tombola.

We were joined by Dave P and his family, including one of his Daughters who has to be the luckiest person going. She absolutely fleeced the Tombola stand, coming away with at least eight prizes. We had a go and won nowt. After the Raffles were drawn and rosettes awarded to the best doggies it was soon time to leave. We packed up about 4pm and set off for home, everyone agreed we had a good day.

Our friends came round this evening for dinner and a chat. We decided to try the new Chinese Takeaway down the road. I have to say it was the best I've had in ages. Loads of food, cooked well and reasonable too. We all will be using it in future. We rounded of the evening with a game of Uno Extreme. We love Uno Extreme.

Sunday.

After an early morning shop we set off for Bexleyheath, where we were meeting the rest of the family for lunch at the Crook Log, a Toby Carvery. The place is very popular and our decision to get there early was a good one, as it fills up very quickly. We all had a nice Sunday Lunch, including a wicked pud. Comedy moment was provided by the waitress, who said to my brother when his card failed to read in the machine, "Would you like me to take it out for you and rub it?" Then realising what she had said went bright red. We took my parents home, went in for a quick chat and then made our way back to Ashford. 

I managed to record the European GP and I was glad I did. What a race! Although Lewis Hamilton was cruelly taken out two laps from the end, you can't take anything away from the winner, Fernando Alonso, who drove a superb race in his home country. I'm now watching England V Italy in the Euro quarter finals...I don't think my nerves can stand it though. 

Until next week then.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Another Wedding and Dine out in style. 16-17 June 2012

First of all success! After 4 weeks The Pug 206 CC has been repaired and is back home with us. No wonder it ran like a pig, the cam belt had slipped a notch so it would never run correctly. Anyway after a days driving  around everything seems ok so far...Fingers crossed.

Saturday.

We got up in time for the man from the alarm company to come round and perform his annual service on our house alarm. We are thinking of upgrading so he is putting a quote together. That is not to say the existing one is faulty, it works fine but is getting on a bit and it would be nice to have some modern tech installed.



We went into town for a bit of shopping, then to Dobbies for lunch. This afternoon I had two things planned, gardening and recording a radio show for DWR. Which one I did first was dependent on the weather. As we got home it chucked it down, so I recorded a show. Then as I finished that the sun came out, so I cut down the front and rear jungles. Tonight we are off to Denver and Jo's wedding reception in East Malling. I'm looking forward to it as we'll be socialising with the Astro club crew, very good friends of ours. The Bride looked lovely, The groom seemed to have a permanent smile on his face. They had a great day. From experience the day of the wedding goes in a flash. You spend your whole time mingling, socialising and ensuring you make conversation with everyone there, plus eat, drink, cut the cake and dance. I liked the venue. Bradbourne House was your archetypal stately 'ome, the panelled walls festooned with portraits of  previous occupants from down the centuries. Apparently they come back to visit, there are stories of hauntings.......

Sunday.



We have booked lunch at Eastwell Manor. It was a christmas gift from Sarah's parents, and it is always welcome! After shopping and washing the Pug 206 CC, we changed into our finest and made our way to Eastwell. After a drink at the bar and a peruse of the menu, we were showed to our table. Starters - Salmon fishcake for Sarah, potted shrimps for me. Lovely. Main Course - Scottish Roast beef and Yorkshires for Sarah, Guinea Fowl Supreme with potato Gnocchi for me. Two things I've never really had before and they were delicious! We both had Eaton Mess for dessert which was again delicious, then we retired to the bar for tea and coffee. If you have never been and want to give yourselves a treat I recommend Eastwell manor for Sunday Lunch. At £25 a head it sounds expensive but for 3 courses of high quality food with first class service and surroundings its not too bad. Oh yes and because it was Fathers Day they gave me a miniature Jack Daniels. which was ok by me even though I am not a father!

We popped into the psychic fair where Manky was peddling his paintings to collect something we bought from his Kleenezee catalogue. There were some strange goings on there. Apart from the usual Tarot, Mediums and Crystal ball gazing there was some fella waving his hands over a woman on a bed , then he did the same thing with a feather. There was also an Aura photographer, with a gadget called a  Biofeedback Imaging Colour Spectrometer. I'll let you decide what you think these things do. I'm not convinced.

After saying our farewells we drove back home (top down on car as well!), then I spent over an hour recording the second half of my show.

Until next week then...

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Weddings and Radio Telescopes 9-10 June 2012





Greetings from not so sunny Birmingham. We have been here since Wednesday staying at Sarah's parents. During that time we have shopped in the city, got rained on, visited a couple of stately 'omes (see pics) and seen MIB3.

Saturday.



So its off to Macclesfield for the wedding of Sarah's Niece. After a good breakfast, prepared by myself, we set off oop north. It took about hour and a half to get there. After checking in at the hotel and a quick snack we made our way to the very picturesque Adlington Hall for the Wedding. The weather could have been better, but it did stop raining whilst the photos were being taken. So we sat down to 3 courses, wine, bubbly and coffee, then there were the speeches, including a rather funny but risque one by the best man. Evening came and it was time for the band. I was impressed by their repertoire, they played everything from Kings of Leon to Sugarhill Gang. And they played them well. Sarah and I even got up for a dance, which is something I hardly do these days. We said our goodbyes and headed back to the hotel. I was feeling rather uncomfortable after all that food and drink so I was glad to get to bed! I know from experience it takes a lot to organise a wedding, and this one was perfect. Everything went so well and we are very pleased for the happy couple.

Sunday.

I slept really well. The beds in these Premier Inns are actually as good as it says on the advert. We had a spot of continental breakfast then the family split. Some went off for lunch with the happy couple. The rest of us went to Jodrell Bank which was only a few miles from our location. 



The Lovell Radio Telescope is a very impressive beast. At one time it was the largest in the world at 76m diameter. As we arrived they were moving it into position, and I tried to take video with my DSLR, and failed, having pressed the wrong button. OK here's a warning to one of my readers who said I look after my pennies, which I don't really by the way. I'm about to have a moan. At £6.50 each to get in you didn't really get your moneys worth. There was a visitor centre, of which some the displays would not have been out of place in the Science museum of 30 years ago....and that was it. They had some sound mirrors there which were interesting for a few minutes, but apart from that, if you are thinking of going don't make a day of it. We stopped for refreshments there and I had a coffee and an apple danish, which for some obscure reason they microwaved, and Sarah had some chocolate cake, which wasn't the best either. One interesting thing they had in the cafe was a series of clocks. Showing GMT, Sidereal Time (23 hours and 56 minutes per day), Mars Time (61 minutes per hour), Venus Time (243 days per 24 hours and runs backwards) and Jupiter time (9.5 hours per day) That one was quite odd as the second hand was whizzing round. The one showing Black Hole time had stopped obviously.....

The Journey back to Birmingham was uneventful. The M6 isn't the most exciting of roads. As I was a passenger I was playing 'scan the radio for local stations' and I have come to a conclusion. Most local radio stations, apart from some BBC ones, are total cack, so I put on a CD....

We are heading home tomorrow to a whole world of stuff that needs doing, We have to...Collect cats, Collect or complain about the car (still no news), take cat to vet, do shopping and I have to record a 2 hour radio show...Phew!

Until next week then.









Sunday, 3 June 2012

Air Show and Back on the Air 2-3 June 2012

Saturday.

Well it is the start of a long break, we are not due back at work until next Tuesday week so we have a lot planned. Including a Birthday BBQ, a trip to Birmingham, then a wedding in Chester!



We had arranged quite a while back to go to the Folkestone Air Show with friends. So after a quick trip into town we made our way to James and Kat's place (The Admiralty) where the others were gathering. It was great timing as the bacon butties had just been made as we pulled up outside. A fifteen minute walk and we were at the seafront, and after finding a place on the beach we set up in plenty of time for the first air display. We had forgotten one important item, Sun lotion! It had been cloudy on the way down but as we hit the beach the clouds cleared. There was quite a delay between the displays and some of us had a bit of shut-eye in between (pic) . After watching a procession of different aircraft doing loop the loops etc.. and a great display by the Red Arrows and the Eurofighter Typhoon, we packed up and made our way back to the Admiralty. It was then that I noticed how sunburnt I was. I was red raw.  One of our lot seemed to be a lot worse off. He went on one of the fairground rides and that, coupled with too much exposure to the sun meant he didn't hang around afterwards. A quick cuppa and Jaffa cake later and we were saying our goodbyes. We dropped off Dave and Tina then ordered some Chinese grub. After all that sun and food I was zonked out. 


Sunday.



I woke up feeling very sore, the sunburn has really kicked in. It has been years since I last got burnt and it was agony just to shave this morning. We went shopping for the barbeque we are having tomorrow, then we drove up to Bexley to visit my Parents. My Mum was coming down tomorrow but she has picked up a nasty cold so we had to go there to collect Sarah's birthday cards. We also picked up a gazebo from Argos and some Strawberries and Pimms from Morrisons, then it was back home. After dinner I drove down to the DWR Studio in Deal to record a show for Wednesday night. I am sitting in for one of the regular guys who is taking time out for a while. It was great to get behind the microphone again. Its been a while since I was last on the air down there. 

Until next week then .....