Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Last Of The Year


Have a great New Year's eve people, no matter how you intend to spend it.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Something New

Tried something new today, all the way from the shores of Australia via my local Tesco.

Not quite up there with the Bucket List of things I should do before I die but nevertheless not so bad LOL. Now the question is, will I give up the UK's older cousin in favour of this young upstart of a Yeast Extract? Answers on a postcard or back of a sealed down envelope to the usual competition address.






Southampton 1 - 1 Reading.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Money For Nothing

Just how nice is it to receive money at Christmas? Chocolate money that is LOL.















Mmmm.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Boxing Day Sport

Reading played host to Cardiff today at the Madejski Stadium and for the most part had run of play. Points were even until the 89th minute when Chopra scored for the visitors and looked to have secured only their fourth win of the season. In the fifth minute of added- on time for injuries, Reading Goalkeeper Adam Federici left his position for a corner and leveled the scores. Phew!

The Royals took a deserved point and remain second in the league above Birmingham on goal difference and in line for automatic promotion back to the Premiership.

The Coca-Cola Football League Championship : Table
Friday, 26 December 2008




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Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD PTS
1 Wolverhampton 25 10 2 1 28 10 8 1 3 24 18 24 57
2 Reading 25 10 2 1 32 8 5 3 4 20 15 29 50

3 Birmingham 25 9 0 3 18 11 6 5 2 16 12 11 50
4 Burnley 25 7 4 2 21 13 5 3 4 18 20 6 43
5 Cardiff 25 7 3 2 20 11 3 8 2 15 14 10 41
6 Crystal Palace 25 7 4 2 21 9 4 3 5 17 18 11 40

7 Preston 25 10 0 3 21 12 2 4 6 14 19 4 40

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Season's Greetings



Happy Christmas everyone.

Peace and Goodwill to all.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

For Lockerbie

270 people lost their lives, 20 years ago today. We remember you.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Bombs R Us

So it's been announced today that the government has sold it's remaining shares in the AWE (Atomic Weapons Establishment) based down the road at Aldermaston to an American company. Can't have got a particularly good price in the current financial climate can they? So despite having a so-called "independent nuclear weapons" policy, control of designing and building these things is now in foreign hands. I'm not going into whether the UK should have nuclear weapons but since we do, shouldn't we at least have control of the things from start to finish?

Our nuclear energy generation is now controlled effectively by the French government (see previous posts) but now our weapons are to be run by an American firm. Just look what a cock-up a private company made of our school exams this year...

Elsewhere, despite having a terrible cold and feeling really miserable Little Lad was pleased to meet perhaps the most important man in his life (at least for the next week or so). Yes you got it the man in red himself. Queue was awful at over an hour and a half and nothing to keep the kids spirits up (some dancing Elves would have been nice LOL). But he was happy by the end of the experience. Please excuse the camera phone image.

Reading travelled to second placed Birmingham today for an early kick off match and came away with the full three points. Final score Birmingham 1 - 3 Reading. Nice.

Friday, 19 December 2008

To Raise A Smile

Thought I'd share an image of the Headington Shark in Oxfordshire, not far from me. Anyone not prepared for it as bound to say "WT..." as they drive past LOL. It's been there 22 years now.
















Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, 18 December 2008


Bus stop guy was back today. Welcome back fella, missed you.



I've also noticed a sign on my way to work: "Slow Troops Crossing." Methinks conflicts might be over a bit quicker if we used brighter troops..?

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

New Doctor Named!


OK Maybe not. Just me aged about 10 and my youngest cousin LOL.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Football

From yesterday, Reading 2 - 0 Norwich.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Not So Exciting Quiz Result

The answer to last Sunday's question is Acer palmatum or Japanese Maple.


Same family as the great big trees famed in New England for producing the syrup (yum) and closely related to the Sycamore, dontchaknow. In fact often you'll find a Maple grafted on to the root stock of a Sycamore, fact fans.

Now you know LOL.

Tuesday's Result

For anyone vaguely interested, Reading 1 - 0 Blackpool.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Four C's Sunday



Cake
- Carrot and Walnut, mmm.

Coffee- Monsooned Malabar medium dark roast.

Chat- Witty, lively and intelligent.

Cinema- Angelina Jolie in Changeling, gripping stuff.










Points will be awarded for correctly identifying the frost-covered sticks above LOL.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Who Needs A Full Team?

Barnsley 0 - 1 Reading

The Royals traveled to Barnsley today. On the way the team coach broke down so the game had to kick off 15 minutes late. Reading were reduced to 10 men early on when Jimmy Kebe was sent off over an off the ball incident.

Reading held on to the interval but in the second half came out fighting, seemingly not noticing Barnsley had 11 men to their 10. At around the 65 minute mark, Brynjar Gunnarsson scored the first and only goal, via a pass from Kevin Doyle.

Friday, 5 December 2008

The Fantastic Mr (& Mrs) Fox

We have a pair of foxes living nearby. You would not believe the noise they make at 4.30 in the morning (ungood). Oh and they'd found the remains of a leg of lamb in our rubbish last night, so proceeded to scatter all our rubbish up and down the street (plus ungood).

At that hour of the morning, on very little sleep, they certainly don't seem like the cuddley, cute fellows you may have read about as a child (double plus ungood).

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Musings

In no particular order:

Apparently I am an Ancestor. Haven't been referred to as one of those before but I guess from the point of view of someone living in a former British colony, I suppose on one level it is an appropriate description. However I AM NOT ANCIENT no matter what anyone says to the contrary LOL.

I'm worried about Dad.

Little Lad had to have a second filling today, the poor boy. Apparently he was "big and brave" and the Dentist was very gentle, I am told. Yesterday he went to big school for the first time for a look-see. He told me he enjoyed it, the teacher was nice and some of his Pre-School friends who went up in September were there. He starts properly in January, just as he turns five. Quite a busy week for him so far.

I'm having trouble sleeping again. Not too sure why because I feel so tired, just can't settle. The woman down the road doesn't help. She clearly likes to be up and out every day well before it is decent to do so. Even if I get off to sleep I get woken at stupid O'Clock by the sound of her burglar alarm being set.

I've been enjoying reading the blog from a most unusual (for me) source. Many will probably have heard of it. The author can certainly tell a good story and their observations are always well thought out. I have found it entertaining and informative for the most part, although it's not necessarily for the faint-hearted LOL.

One unusual tradition I have at Christmas is that I meet with a friend and go out for a festive curry at a local Indian. Not long to wait now...

Every morning on my way to work I tend to see the same cars and vans on the same stretch of road or the same people going about their business. There's one guy I see waiting for a bus every day who may have certain problems- he always appears to be shouting at the traffic but anyway, he's a marker on my route. When he's not there it's most likely because I am late and his bus has picked him up. Haven't seen him for over a week now, hope he's OK. I worry.

Jools Holland's new cd is brilliant, from what I have heard of it. Remarkably I have also found myself ordering Seal's new one.

My employer has just been awarded the master license for a number of high profile toys and merchandise. Thanks to the credit crunch a number of well known brands and companies are really struggling and we've been fortunate enough to pick up a good amount of the spoils. We're not gloating over other people's misfortune but thankful that we continue to trade and could well go from strength to strength as a result of this news. Come July things could be very interesting.

The BBC has commissioned another series of the excellent Spooks, to be on screen this time next year. Thankfully, I don't think Spooks: Code 9 will back LOL.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Can You Believe It?

For the third day in a row it's been near freezing all day but our Postman is still wearing shorts*!

Mad? Hardy? Or doing it for a bet?

*Short trousers.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Moving On Up..?


Reading 3 - 1 Coventry

Eyesight Test




















More to the point, did you see anyone you recognise LOL?

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Logged On

Today Dad and I entertained Little Lad for lunch. He was dropped off at 11, so the two of us shared some fun time together, before Grandad got home from church. As is always the case when Dad is around, my services were no longer required- it's Grandad this and Grandad that LOL. Which was fine- they played on the Cbeebies site while I cooked lunch. Roast lamb with roasted potatoes and parsnips to be exact, together with steamed carrots, peas and broccoli. Just so you know LOL.



Afterwards the pair settled to some imaginative play and then some quiet time before it was time for him to go home.














Oh and if you look closely at both pictures, you'll see some of my ceramic work too.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Whoops!

Have you ever played a practical joke only to see it fall completely flat? Well I have, shall I go on?

This morning a colleague- J- stopped by for a brief chat before getting to her desk. J and I get on quite well and you could say have found a common level of gentle teasing. You get the picture. Anyway after she had gone to her desk, I noticed she'd left her car key behind.

Now I really don't know what came over me but I thought it would really be a neat idea to hide her car, one of the new style Mini's (or an Estate Agent's car as we call them). So that's just what I did: went and found where she'd parked, had my ear-drums destroyed by the volume that greeted me from the stereo and then drove it round two sides of the building to a new parking space. Bad Dobby.

I then went back inside, played dumb (not hard I hear you say) and handed the key back to J saying she'd left it behind. J usually goes out most lunchtimes, often on errands for her husband and kids etc, so I didn't think it would be many hours before the jape would be discovered and- more importantly- she would find it funny.

However...

What I didn't bank on was another colleague arriving late and unable to find a parking space, simply parked behind J's car, completely blocking it in. This person then promptly went to an all-day meeting. Needless to say I was not popular. Not the person who had illegally parked, oh no, just me. Bad, bad Dobby.

And speaking of Dobby, well... maybe I'll save that for another post.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

End Of An Era?

The BBC is reporting tonight that Woolworths will go into administration shortly, to be run by Deloitte's. It is reported that 1000's of jobs at it's 800+ stores are now at risk although for the moment they will remain open.

When Was The Last Time..?

As shares in Woolworths have been suspended on the London Stock Exchange, I got to think when was the last time I actually bought anything in this once great retailer?

Then again a quick poll of friends and family has revealed the same. Used to be you would make 'Woolies' your first port of call when out shopping- the place where you could buy almost anything- now it's more like a last resort when all else has failed. I know there's a worldwide slowdown (and a lot of once great names are being humbled) and we mustn't forget the www has had an effect. Other retailers have moved into Woolworths' territory; I've been hearing rumblings of difficulties there for nearly a year now and I can't help but wonder just what's gone wrong?


Sarah Jane's coming back for a third season, yea!


Cardiff 2 - 2 Reading

Sunday, 23 November 2008

45












First broadcast this day 1963 and still going strong.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Saturday Update

Just a brief early evening posting for you.

Took a trip out to the Southern Pottery and Ceramics Show, held annually at The Maltings, Farnham. Sadly there were slightly fewer potters displaying this year- is this a sign of the Credit Crunch having an effect? It certainly costs a small fortune to exhibit and maybe some are feeling this was a show too far. I don't know.

Thankfully one of my favourite potters was present today, as well as being one of the afternoon speakers. How would you fancy serving your Tea from one of these creations? All are fully functional! I particularly loved the the blue Tea Pot with the black handle, which turned out to be rubber covered. Very tactile. Nice. All the rest are 100% ceramic and 110% amazing.














Take a look at Richard Godfrey's website here for more!

















Elsewhere today The Royals entertained fourth from bottom Southampton. The Saints out played Reading and finally broke their unbeaten home run this season. The game finished Reading 1 - 2 Southampton. The Reading stay in third.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Shop 'Til You Drop..?

Well not quite but I did spend a couple of hours tonight trying to make a start on all things Christmas-y. You know presents and stuff.

I have to admit it is a whole lot easier when you can pay a visit to arguably 2 of the UK's most popular chains (M&S and Tesco), who just happen to have (perhaps) their largest stores conveniently situated side by side and just down the road from where I work. Oh and did I mention they seem to be having sales on?

So among other things I was able to buy this little fellow and two of his buddies for £4.80 and I thought they'd make excellent additions to this year's decorations. It changes colour dontchaknow, from yellow to red to blue and finally green. Cool isn't it?

And yes before you ask I did manage to buy a few pressies as well. I'm not telling what though LOL.







Oh yeah before I go, I have to mention the smart money is on Paterson Joseph to take over in the lead role when the next full series of Doctor Who starts in 2010. Having seen him in others roles, I think this would be a good, bold choice. Let's see if we're right...



Read the BBC News item here.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Doctor Who In Thailand?

This is a bit of a non-story since nothing has actually been discovered but yesterday the Daily Telegraph reported that 9 missing episodes from the William Hartnell era may be found in Thailand.

It's been widely reported that the BBC used to junk old episodes of series they no longer had use for or perceived a value. This was in the days before satellite and cable reruns or sales on VHS and DVD you understand, in order to make space in their archives. It was not just the adventures of the Time Lord that were affected but many once-loved series are no longer in existence.

However the BBC did often sell Doctor Who to other broadcasters, who didn't always return their copies after transmission. Obviously the BBC didn't actually see any value in demanding these copies back from Australia or the US for example, so they often got thrown out but occasionally archived by the local broadcaster. Once in a while dedicated fans have been successful in locating missing copies and negotiating to buy or copy and return them to the BBC.

Check out the good fellows at the Doctor Who Restoration Team who have done wonders cleaning up, restoring and splicing together old episodes bringing up to broadcast standard and ready for retail. These guys all have full time jobs and do this mostly for the love of the programme.

If the Telegraph story does turn out to be true I for one will be very pleased but the Restoration Team will certainly have their work cut out!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Some Things Don't Change


Some 30+ years ago a little boy used to play endlessly with his Hot Wheels set in his parent's Living Room. I'm pleased to say that in 2008 another little boy loves playing with his own set. Doesn't seem to have changed much over the years either and a real Billy Bargain at only 7 quid from the used toy sale.


Please pardon this poor quality camera phone image but you get the idea.





Oh yeah in all the excitement yesterday, I forgot to mention the Postman delivered my shiny new Doctor Who series 4 box-set. Should help me get through the long dark winter evenings, don't you think? LOL

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Winning Ways

The Royals traveled to Sheffield today and came away with 3 well deserved points. The final score being Sheffield United 0, Reading 2.

Both Wolves and Birmingham won today so Reading stay in third but have managed to close the gap on the leading pair and open a (slight) lead over fourth placed Burnley.

Well done lads.

The Coca-Cola Football League Championship Table 15 November 2008


P GD PTS
1 Wolverhampton 17 15 40
2 Birmingham 17 9 34

3 Reading 17 22 33
4 Burnley 17 2 29
5 Sheff Utd 17 9 28
6 Cardiff 17 6 28

7 Swansea 17 4 27
8 Bristol City 17 2 25
9 Plymouth 17 1 25
10 QPR 17 0 25

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Pie Time!

You know I like food. There's no getting away from it or denying the matter and one of the best things about Christmas time (apart from the roast Turkey, Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding etc) is this:














Mince Pies. What sums up Winter and Christmas in particular better than a warm Mince Pie? Well perhaps two warm ones. I love 'em and can't get enough so it's just as well the shops are now stacked high with the things. Excellent! For any out-of-towners I'd better explain these are a sweet pie usually stuffed full to the sugar dusted crust with Sultanas, Apple, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Orange. Or so the packet tells me.

The only downside being that if I keep on eating them I may well get large enough to don the red coat and give the Fat Man himself a run for his money during the festive period.

On another note, I forgot to mention last week I bumped into S the younger sister of A, the family friend you may recall recently discovered she has quite advanced Breast Cancer. Well she's doing OK, keeping her spirits up and trying to remain positive. She's now had two chemo treatments, with more to follow. S told me that obviously at the back of her mind is the fact my mum didn't make it in the end. I'm afraid I had to agree but pointed out mum had 13 good, Cancer free years and that we all have to be grateful for every day God has given us on this planet.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Take A Moment














To all those in our Armed Forces who have given their lives so we might enjoy freedom and security, we will never forget you.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Where Did Christmas Go?


Our local Asda (Walmart for any out-of-towners) is now selling Hot Cross Buns.

OK so Dad couldn't resist and I ended up "helping him out" but these are an Easter food. Did we just skip Christmas and go straight to Spring? Where's my present-filled stocking? What happen to kissing under the Mistletoe (I should be so lucky), Christmas Cake and relatives you only see once a year? This is just so wrong. Still they did taste very good LOL.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Cracking News


I've just been reading that A Matter of Loaf and Death, the new Wallace and Gromit 30 minute story will probably air this Christmas on BBC1.

Pass me the crackers and Stinking Bishop!

Best Man For The Job?


In case you hadn't noticed, over in the US they're having a little election today. You might possibly have missed it LOL.

Seriously given the amount of coverage we've had for the past several months here in the United Kingdom, you might be forgiven for thinking we all get to vote. Thankfully we don't- I just don't think I could choose one man over the other.

You know I really can't believe just how much money both campaigns have spent; Wouldn't the money have been better used to support currently struggling small businesses or given to the needy? I mean $2 million for 30 minutes advertising- How many mouths would that feed in Africa?

So for what it's worth, here's my thoughts:

I firmly believe whether it's President of the US or Prime Minister of the UK, the person best suited to lead a county is the one who least wants the job.

Wouldn't it be great if at the bottom of the ballot there was an extra box you could select that simply said "None of the above."

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Ka-Pow!

In no particular order:

Took a short trip today to South Hill Park Arts Centre to the tiny 60 seat cinema they have there to see The Dark Knight. Pretty good, if a little long and couldn't help but nearly shout "No!" as ...... got ...... half way through. Batman fans will know what I mean. As expected Heath Ledger was pure brilliance. My only criticism being that for a certificate 12, it seemed extremely violent. Or am I just getting old?

Tomorrow night I start my photography course. Yea! Which reminds me I ran into someone from the ceramics group at the cinema last Wednesday, purely by chance. Long time no see but it was good to catch up briefly and confirm we'll both be present at the potting bench in January. Are we really that close to 2009 already, it doesn't seem true.

The Royals traveled west on the M4 yesterday to Bristol to play City. Reading came home with the points after a 1-4 victory. Nice.

Rain stopped play Saturday, or at least canceled the fireworks and bonfire Little Lad was pining his hopes on. It meant he wasn't able to hold his Grandad's hand and tell him there was nothing to be scared of LOL. Maybe next week.

I did manage my now weekly walk around the Uni lake today, despite the weather. Feeling better but I'm not sure the weight is shifting. Hey ho.

In Formula One, Briton Lewis Hamilton has just become the youngest ever world champion, despite finishing fifth in the Brazilian Grand Prix. Also across the great watery divide today, Paula Radcliffe takes the women's New York marathon title for the third time. Well done to both.

My dvd choices for entertainment this evening are The Claws Of Axos or Ironman. Which should it be?

Friday, 31 October 2008

Halloween Message

I think this year I might take the Ringo Starr approach and post the following note on my front door, for the Trick or Treat brigade:

"Clear off. Peace and love, peace and love."

That should do it. LOL

Thursday, 30 October 2008

At The Movies

Went to the cinema last night to see the new Coen Brother's film, Burn After Reading.

Bit of a slow start, building the characters and establishing the set-up but once the plot got going really very funny. Good strong cast featuring John Malkovich, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton and Brad Pitt to name but a few.

I don't wish this to sound too negative but to really enjoy this film you have to at least like the Coen style (it's not for everyone I admit) and- I should warn- not be too easily offended. The certificate 15 was deserved to be honest. Coming in at just over an hour and a half there wasn't a single scene I could say was not put to good effect and moved the story along at a pace.

Now where exactly did Harry get the plans for his machine from..? LOL


Unrelated I know to the above but regarding yesterday's snow: Someone made an interesting observation to me. Yesterday morning many car doors were frozen up including my own, meaning they couldn't easily be opened. Picture the scene- you press the clicky thing to unlock, pull the door handle and nothing happens. The door won't budge. Automatically your brain fails to take in the evidence of all the snow and ice, instead reasoning that you must have left the car unlocked over night. So what do you? You press the button again (which of course now locks the car) and frustratingly try the door again. Repeat until common sense kicks in. LOL

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Who Next?

David Tennant has just announced he is to step down from the lead in Doctor Who at the end of 2009. Read the story here on the BBC News site.

First Russell Brand quits his radio show, now this. Talk about experiencing the highs* and the lows all in the same day.

*Hint: I don't care for Mr Brand's type of humour.

Step Back In Time

Found this (courtesy of F) about the discovery of an abandoned corner shop, seemingly stuck in the past. Made me smile.

First Snow!

OK so it only just counts as snow and won't last the day out but nevertheless this is the first of winter in these parts. Yea! It actually started around 8 last night and I guess must have continued through the night.



Temperatures have taken a small but noticable jump downward to -1.5 Celsius this morning. Maybe we'll be in for a good, cold winter. You know: the sort that will take care of some of those bugs that have thrived in our more recent mild ones. Might even have to consider closing my bedroom window at night...





Elsewhere last night, the Royals went down away at Burnley 1-0 totally against the run of play. How did that happen? Reading drop to fourth.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Howard Gardner Has A Lot To Answer For

Have just taken this test curtesy of T & J respectively.

Here's my outcome, what do you think?

Your result for Howard Gardner's Eight Types of Intelligence Test ...


Spatial
8% Logical, 65% Spatial, 8% Linguistic, 20% Intrapersonal, 33% Interpersonal, 37% Musical, 25% Bodily-Kinesthetic and 37% Naturalistic!





"This area has to do with vision and spatial judgment. People with strong visual-spatial intelligence are typically very good at visualizing and mentally manipulating objects. They have a strong visual memory and are often artistically inclined. Those with visual-spatial intelligence also generally have a very good sense of direction and may also have very good hand-eye coordination, although this is normally seen as a characteristic of the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.


Careers which suit those with this intelligence include artists, engineers, and architects." (Wikipedia)

Hmmm....

Brrrrr!



Bit chilly this morning coming in to work. My car very helpfully told me it was no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (about 33F). Reminds me it won't be long and the Fat Man* will be on his way to visit us. Can't wait LOL.





Regarding a previous post, of course another benefit of this time of year is having the excuse to sit in front of a roaring fire. Preferably with a warming glass of something.








* See Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather.

Monday, 27 October 2008

I Shouldn't Laugh But...


Just found this and couldn't stop laughing.

Sorry, my bad.

Sunday Update

Just a brief update.

Yesterday I visited the Contemporary Craft and Design Show, at it's stop-over in the wonderful grounds of a nearby private school. Spent an enjoyable couple of hours browsing the 100 or so stalls and chatting with makers. I should be posting lots of pictures from the show but sadly there were numerous signs forbidding photography and every time I whipped out my camera for a sneaky click, I got seriously scowled at. Here's the link for the official site. My only real criticism of this event remains the same as for previous years and venues. This particular organisation seems to allow a disproportionate number of Jewellery makers into their events. Somehow it appears a little unbalanced in that regard.

Later I met with my uncle and aunt plus two of my cousins (the middle and youngest on that side, fact fans) with their respective wives and kids. I haven't seen the middle one and his family properly for years (they moved away, for a better life in the West Country) although we used to be quite close, brewing and 'sampling' wine and beer together (hic) among other things... The conversation was lively, while the Beef Madras was very good and although it sounds like an odd combination to follow, the Treacle Toffee Pudding with custard was excellent. Mmmm

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Burn

I love this time of year. The leaves change to a beautiful colour and the mornings can be crisp. We put the clocks back, so an extra hour in bed tonight (will we ever stop debating whether we should keep changing our clocks?). Long walks and hearty winter food*.

And above all we get to celebrate religious intolerance. Yep I'm referring to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. We mark the occasion when Guy Fawkes (a Catholic) and his band decided to blow up the (Protestant) King James I and his Parliament because they didn't quite see eye to eye with each other. You thought religious extremists were something new, didn't you? Guess you're wrong LOL.

This event is traditionally held on or about 5th November each year but in this particular neck of the woods we celebrate at least a week earlier than everyone else. Don't really know why but it does guarantee a really good crowd. So we have a big firework display followed by a big bonfire, where a dummy Guy is tossed on the fire to be burned. Not quite sure why but this year he seemed to resemble Abraham Lincoln...


Reading 0-0 QPR

*I also attended a local Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser today, where I won in the raffle a cook book. Maybe I'll be cooking lots of lovely winter dishes. Or as a friend once put it: "All pigs loaded and ready to fly." Maybe not then.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Thought

You know there are times when- quite unexpectedly- it hits me just how much I miss my Mum.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Three Points

Reading 2-1 Doncaster

Tonight the Royals played host to visitors Doncaster. Reading took the lead in the first but the visitors battled well in the second half and equalized, putting pressure on Reading.

Necessary points hard won and a home record still intact. Reading remain third in the Championship, four points and two behind Birmingham and Wolverhampton respectively.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Baa


Some will know I am a big Wallace and Gromit fan and so is Little Lad. That's why it's so easy to indulge him in DVD's of the spin-off series, Shaun The Sheep.

If you enjoy the plasticine adventures of inventor Wallace and his faithful dog, you'll probably appreciate it. There's now 4 DVD's, with around 8 stories on each and a 5th due for release in November. Cracking good fun.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Must Try Harder

Preston 2-1 Reading

After the break for international duties, the Royals traveled to 12th placed Preston today. Having taken the lead in the first half, all they had to do was hold on for the remaining 45 minutes or even score a second to seal it. Instead Reading managed to give it away with an own goal and later allow the home team to score the winner. A questionable decision from the Referee late in the game might have permitted Reading the chance to equalize from a penalty but it was not to be. It seems appeals by Preston players changed the Referee's mind.

Had they won and taken the 3 points, it would have allowed them to move closer to the leading pair of Birmingham and Wolves. As it is Reading stays rooted on 20 points in third. United take on Wednesday in the Sheffield derby tomorrow. A win for Sheffield United will put them on equal points with Reading.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Gold Badge

On this day 50 years ago a little 15 minute programme called Blue Peter was first broadcast on BBC TV.


I guess almost everyone in the country has at some point sat and watched BP when they were younger and it is still going strong today. No other children's programme can make that claim.


Over the years format has changed and the presenters have come and gone, some more memorable than others. We all have our favourites, depending on the decade we were watching. For me I fondly remember Singleton, Noakes and Purves, yeah that gives away my age. Then there were the numerous pets from dogs and cats to tortoises; some have even been named by popular vote of the viewers. Of course there have been rival shows that have attempted to steal BP's crown but where are they today? What happened to ITV's Magpie?


So here's to Blue Peter, a programme that has shaped and entertained the nation's young with stories of trains and dolls, sticky backed plastic, safari adventures and charity appeals.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Meet Tommy

Just a bit of fun but an important message.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Teal

This week I will mostly be listening to Clare Teal.




















I think I'm in a bit of a jazz/big band/swing* mood so I'll playing the current cd (above) and lots of her previous stuff. Best apologize now to the neighbours.


*Define her however you fancy, Clare has a lovely voice and is brilliant live in concert. So there. LOL

Friday, 10 October 2008

Breasts, Boobs, Jugs, Tits

Well that got your attention didn't it?

Here in the UK October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Take a look at http://www.cancerresearchuk.org.uk/

I don't think there are many people that can say they haven't been affected in some way by Cancer. My mum died in August of Secondary Breast Cancer and I have a family friend who has had a lump removed from her Breast but not before the disease had spread to her Liver.

Here's a couple of facts: Around one in 9 women develop this form of Cancer at some point in their lives and although rare, approximately 300 men are diagnosed each year.

Whatever you call them and wherever you are in the world, please do your best to raise awareness and also get yourselves checked! Thank you.

End of Preachy Bit.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Guest Potter

For some reason best known only to the founding members our Ceramics Association our year runs from the Autumn, so last night was our first meeting after the Summer break.


















Our guest potter speaker was Tina Vlassopulos from London. She took us on a brief pictorial history of her 30 something years in ceramics. This was followed by a demonstration of her working techniques in coiling, pinching, slabbing and also using paster molds.














Tina also brought along some excellent examples of her finished work for sale, all very reasonably priced in the £20-£50 mark. Visit her website (link above) for more information and much better pictures.













Wednesday, 8 October 2008

From Riches To Rags

Yet again I appear to have cursed another top US TV show by saying how much I enjoyed it.

The Eddie Izzard/Minnie Driver series The Riches has been cancelled by the FX network and won't be returning for a third season.

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/ustv/a132099/fx-drops-izzards-the-riches.html

Just for the record, I think Heroes is rubbish and Battlestar Galactica should be taken off the air immediately. LOL

Oh and happy Hump Day everyone.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Moving On Up

Reading 3 - 1 Burnley

Keeps Reading in third position, only 3 points off the leaders. Nice work boys.


Elsewhere I see Melton Mowbray pork pies have now been given the same protected status across Europe as Champagne. Fantastic. I'm pleased to see the portion of my taxes that funds the EU is being put to good use.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Stay Calm And Stay In Your Own Homes

Thought I would post this, following it's publication this week by the National Archives. Produced in the 1970's by the BBC and the government for use in the event of a nuclear attack on the UK.


BBC TRANSCIPT TO BE USED IN WAKE OF NUCLEAR ATTACK

This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you further information as soon as possible. Meanwhile, stay tuned to this wavelength, stay calm and stay in your own homes.

Remember there is nothing to be gained by trying to get away. By leaving your homes you could be exposing yourselves to greater danger.

If you leave, you may find yourself without food, without water, without accommodation and without protection. Radioactive fall-out, which followed a nuclear explosion, is many times more dangerous if you are directly exposed to it in the open. Roofs and walls offer substantial protection. The safest place is indoors.

Make sure gas and other fuel supplies are turned off and that all fires are extinguished. If mains water is available, this can be used for fire-fighting. You should also refill all your containers for drinking water after the fires have been put out, because the mains water supply may not be available for very long.

Water must not be used for flushing lavatories: until you are told that lavatories may be used again, other toilet arrangements must be made. Use your water only for essential drinking and cooking purposes. Water means life. Don't waste it.

Make your food stocks last: ration your supply, because it may have to last for 14 days or more. If you have fresh food in the house, use this first to avoid wasting it: food in tins will keep.

If you live in an area where a fall-out warning has been given, stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out. When the immediate danger has passed the sirens will sound a steady note. The "all clear" message will also be given on this wavelength. If you leave the fall-out room to go to the lavatory or replenish food or water supplies, do not remain outside the room for a minute longer than is necessary.

Do not, in any circumstances, go outside the house. Radioactive fall-out can kill. You cannot see it or fell it, but it is there. If you go outside, you will bring danger to your family and you may die. Stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out or you hear the "all clear" on the sirens.

Here are the main points again:

Stay in your own homes, and if you live in an area where a fall-out warning has been given stay in your fall-out room, until you are told it is safe to come out. The message that the immediate danger has passed will be given by the sirens and repeated on this wavelength. Make sure that the gas and all fuel supplies are turned off and that all fires are extinguished.

Water must be rationed, and used only for essential drinking and cooking purposes. It must not be used for flushing lavatories. Ration your food supply: it may have to last for 14 days or more.

We shall repeat this broadcast in two hours' time. Stay tuned to this wavelength, but switch your radios off now to save your batteries until we come on the air again. That is the end of this broadcast.

Not actually feeling this would have reassured me too much.

Full story can be found here.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Centric

I guess it's a reflection of what I've been up to of late or more to the point, what I've not been doing but I'm aware recent posts may look a little TV-centric and this one won't help matters much...


1) The BBC screened the first two episodes of Heroes series 3 last night. Wow- what a fab start. Unlike many I actually enjoyed series 2 despite it's slower pace but the new one looks like it will be a real roller coaster. Can't wait to see more of the new characters and (of course) how the established ones develop this year.




2) I've read recently that series two of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles isn't doing too well in the US and may get cancelled mid-season. As a fan of the films I thought series one took the story in new, alternative directions and was a neat addition to the franchise. If it goes, I for one will miss it.



3) Having parted company with Sky a couple of years back I've only been able to keep up with Battlestar Galactica via DVD. Yeah I know I could probably download but... anyway I've just received notification that series four is winging it's way to me in the post as I type. Yea!

Normal service will resume shortly. Honest.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

That's Better


(Sorry this picture is of no relevance other than I like it!)











Wolverhampton 0 - 3 Reading
The Royals back to away winning form. Nice.


The Coca-Cola Football League Championship : Table 30 Sept




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Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD PTS
1 Wolverhampton 9 4 0 1 13 6 3 1 0 10 4 13 22
2 Birmingham 9 3 0 1 4 1 3 2 0 8 5 6 20

3 Reading 9 4 0 0 16 2 1 2 2 7 8 13 17
4 Burnley 9 3 1 1 8 6 1 2 1 4 6 0 15
5 Sheff Wed 9 3 2 0 8 2 1 1 2 4 12 -2 15
6 Sheff Utd 9 2 2 0 6 2 2 0 3 6 5 5 14