30 September, 2006

Brighton Breeze 2006

So, just a few pics from today, set off super early this morning (accompanied by T&G) to witness the "Brighton Breeze" or what is effectively the VW version of the "London to Brighton" rally...We passed a few on the way -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #1
- but the vast majority of the convoy were *way* behind us, managed to park right on the seafront, opposite a few cheeky non-payers who had probably done the same -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #2
- and when we peered down to the venue, we had practically beaten the organisers -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #3
- *e m p t y* but then, for the air-cooled lot, it's not a race, even though some of them can beat modern performance production cars down the 1/4 mile (with ease), the attitude is more one of rest and relaxation -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #4
- so we walked down the front anyway, to find a bite to eat for breakfast passing one or two vehicles that could well have stayed the night -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #7
- and witnessed the forced removal of anything that wasn't a Volkswagen from the front (hehe!)-
Brighton Breeze 2006 #8
- so just a few of the early risers (I had set myself a little "Macro Mission" for this day, I've shot a lot of these buses before, so I was looking for some other way to approach the day, hope you approve ;) We'll get there in a sec, first, a great, and brave paint job which works really well-
Brighton Breeze 2006 #9
-then a quirky T25 Herbie hybrid-
Brighton Breeze 2006 #10
-and I love the bullet holes on de "Reservior Dubs" bus, not seen that in the scene before today, original (at least!)-
Brighton Breeze 2006 #11
-So, we stopped at the "Madeira cafe" for breakfast, it's towards the "Sealife Centre" end of the strip-
Brighton Breeze 2006 #13
- T&G kindly paid for the feast, and (had Flyingpops not been breakfast nosing, I would never had noticed, but the staff brought my plate out minus one sausage and one bacon strip(!)-Brighton Breeze 2006 #14
-compared to the others (that were eating meat brekkies) when I went to compain they were terribly nice though and brought it back to the table (with bonus double beans!), so, we sat and ate, and drank tea, and inhaled the exhaust fume as the quick ones started to chug onto the strip (interesting eyes!) -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #15
- and, even before breakfast was done, the queue had really started to form -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #16
- so, the Macro mission began -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #19
- I took a lot of shots that weren't too (and they are all on the Flickr Steam), but it was the little touches, and the left of centre -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #20
- and *mostly* close shots I was after today -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #21
- a beautifully painted bug -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #22
- an embroidered bra portion -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #26
- (sorry, took about 90 pics today) the feel of being around the stalls, hey, every old bus needs some rubbers-
Brighton Breeze 2006 #28
- some very funny t-shirts -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #30
- and an absolutely classic photoshopper, I bought this piece, but he has other copies at various different sizes (on canvas etc.) being a London commuter this just struck a chord, find him here (awesome!)-
Brighton Breeze 2006 #31
- an abstract macro (VW people will know what these are) -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #41
- and, okay, not a macro, but *where* did all this tupperware come from...this stallholder must trawl the car boot sales... ;) -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #45
- a "Big Trak"(!!!)...while I was framing the shot a guy behind me muttered "I remember them being a bit bigger than that", when I stood up (grinning) I said "Yeah, I know" (and motioned about the width of a door frame)..we parted grinning and shaking our heads... -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #46
- Now, where did I spot this muddy little fellow? ;) -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #50
- Not macro, a context shot (need a few!)-
Brighton Breeze 2006 #54
-Hehe...very cool...-
Brighton Breeze 2006 #57
-and thanks to whoever set this shot up for me ;)-
Brighton Breeze 2006 #59
-Now, I wonder if a certain little cat was responsible for the mud in our "metallic pea" camper's eye -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #61
-classic litho-
Brighton Breeze 2006 #63
-couldn't resist this one-
Brighton Breeze 2006 #65
-and this shot just begged to be taken-
Brighton Breeze 2006 #67
-(zoom in to read, the occupants of the camper gave me a laugh and a wave when I finally managed to get my focus locked in! Felt like it took about 10 minutes!) -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #68
- lovely reflection opportunity with all this perfect chrome -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #69
- hilarious(!) -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #74
- (hehe..) -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #81
- (very cool) -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #84
- By the time it came to leave the entire promenade was *full*, the queues were stretching the whole way up to the marina and we passed about 30 vans and bugs as we whipped up the road to Gatwick (on our way home!), I really think this event has outgrown Brighton, too much interest, far too much...-
Brighton Breeze 2006 #89
- Oh and then we got home and it rained(!) lucky we missed it! -
Brighton Breeze 2006 #90
In the breaks, during the late afternoon (lucky again!) we tidied up the front garden (my folks came round to help us out, bearing bedding plants and bulbs...yay!) and I paid them back by cooking up Thai for tea...

Chinese Grand Prix tomorrow...it's got to be a goodie! Tired now...might have to edit this entry in the morning... ;) Nite nite...

Oh, as I said, if you want to see all the other pictures from the Brighton Breeze 2006, just go here...

29 September, 2006

Camping toilet leak

...can't believe I forgot to mention this before...hehehe....back to the 30th Aug (yes, sorry, back onto the holiday *again*, work *should* have started to simmer down a bit now, so I might actually be able to find some time in my evenings I'm not either working or completely exhausted to catch up a little bit!) - I had the distinct pleasure of watching the occupants of the number one noisy tent in the field (the second most noisy had a higher volume, making their own music (with bongo and sitar) but only managed to keep it up for very brief sessions (before they collapsed into dope fuelled stupor) or so I speculate)...the slightly quieter, but *prolonged* party tent which had been rather irritating to Flyingpops' Pop (being used to a nice quiet field, apart from his party awning of course, which is excempt ;) had a *little* bit of an accident...

Namely a noisy and rapid *emergency* tent evacuation caused by pungent effulgent forming a river through (and over) the occupant's feet and possessions from a malfunctioning camping toilet stored in the trailer tent (slightly uphill)...cue much screaming of children, panicked running adults with sorbent paper and leaking plastic sewerage containers, the elderly holding their noses and mouths and retreating across the field...and me, pretending to continue to read my book but keeping half an eye in their direction, and a straight face, gently, but uncontrollably rocking with internal hysterics... ;)

28 September, 2006

Anousheh Ansari - blogging from space!

...a very interesting read, Anousheh Ansari (she of X-Prize) has been blogging about what it's like to be on the ISS... (executive summary - it made her feel sick to start with but she's loving it anyway)...if all goes to plan she'll be back on the planet today...fingers crossed... ;)

Update - Check out her Flickr stream!

Just imagine having that view to shoot... :0

27 September, 2006

100 400? Where the *NTL* is BBC1?

Looks like NTL has (in their wisdom) re-numbered all their channels...resulting in 10 minutes of rebooting and confusion as I was pressing "1" on the remote and ending up on either channel 100 or 400 (both "Pay as you go"/"On demand" cash cow channels)...looks like they are hunting the confused and vulnerable for extra cash (if you ask me)...I mean, since when was BBC1 on channel "101"...yes, very clever, I'm sure you will catch out numerous poor grandmothers trying to get to their programmes by clicking "Watch"...even to me, this was extremely annoying at the end of another *very* long working day, and *especially* today...

I was six inches (of patience) from ripping the box free and throwing it across the room, before my internal diagnotics routed me around the (unnecessary) cause of the stress...

Sorry, this wouldn't be too bad, but the last few months they have been charging me about £80 per month for 2 broadband connections (both the wrong speed, and I only have the one (slower one))...neither of which I *ever* asked for, they were offered as free bonuses because of previous (week long) outages thanks largely to faulty NTL hardware...and every call I have made had just made matters worse (always they up the bill, even though the fault is theirs)...

NTL = Absolute chaos/Terrible service/Deliberate Rip off merchants/Virtually impossible to contact on (vaguely definable as) "technical" support numbers

Time to move...shame I live in the middle of the country and choices are limited...don't want to consider the fact that they may already have collected that information and are ramming me appropriately, but I wouldn't put it past them...

Happy Anniversary...

...I love you sweetheart... x

26 September, 2006

"The Tree Inn" Stratton, Cornwall - Review

Right, sorry, back now (and this is the last time) to the holiday, and my final food review (thereof)...

This is a "second visit" review, having already had one wonderful visit spellbound by the food, but appalled by the service (extremely inattentive waitresses) who rarely managed to actually bring what we ordered...so, our last night, having failed to score a table at "The Countryman", we fished for another of the classics of the area and came back to -
The Tree Inn
- "The Tree Inn" (very ancient, very lovely, and) of the (seriously underrated) historic Cornish town of Stratton -
Cornwall 2006 #73
- (despite the charming notes the local residents leave around the place, zoom in at your peril) -
Cornwall 2006 #74
- The food here is excellent, if second to the Countryman (but you can put that down to sour grapes if you like..)...it's really jolly nice, and they can cook very decent steak...(and they own the Countryman for veg, loads better!)...

Most importantly, fancy a bit of history with your dinner? You absolutely can't go wrong, it's an amazing place, you feel like you are eating in a banqueting hall or wandering around a museum! :)

24 September, 2006

Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular 2006

So we went to the grandly entitled "Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular" today (after doing a spot of food shopping in Redhill, didn't need enough to merit the "Full Tesco"), first time we have ever been along to this show, and it wasn't a dissapointment, I think we were expecting something along the lines of the "Redhill Steam Fair" but it was actually probably one of the better ones I have been to this year, because, I think, of the added attractions like these deer (there were also other "smallholder" type animals like rabbits, sheep, chicken, even a donkey in residence -
Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular #1
- the obligatory stationary engines (performing a diverse range of demonstrations from pumping water, through grinding corn, to electricity generation) -
Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular #2
- and of course interplanetary exploration (you'll have to zoom that one in, hehe...) -
Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular #3
- quite a lot of (really interesting) shopping opportunities (not just mountains of rusty tools) -
Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular #4
- lots of the aforementioned "Vintage Vehicle"s in various states of restoration (this one is the main reason for our visit, to see Al's Scammell in all it's glory, restoration after 15(odd?) years under a tarp, rusting away on a farm, is proceeding apace(!) -
Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular #5
- the usual collection of embarrasingly amusing (for their shameless sexism!) signs around the place (which one cannot avoid!) -
Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular #6
- model boats enjoying the best playground I think I have ever seen at a show -
Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular #7
- (oh, another naughty sign example, sorry, but I must document, my duty as a citizen journalist ;) -
Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular #8
- and then on to the frankly astonishing - lurking in the woods (behind the indian teepee you saw a few shots ago) is the old wild-west town of "Deadwood" -
Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular #9
- still populated (everyone was in period costume!) -
Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular #11
- with shops, saloon, church/schoolhouse and restaurant -
Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular #12
- blacksmiths (etc.) -
Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular #13
- and even graveyard(!) -
Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular #15
- anyway, back to the main field we watched a few people flying kites in the kite field (apparently some years they have massive kites that can't get airbourne without being towed into the sky by smaller ones!) and then back to the arena to see the processions -
Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular #18
- some really nice exhibits that you don't see at Laughton, nor Ardingly -
Kingsfold Vintage Vehicle Spectacular #19
- from local owners...entrance fee for all that lot? £3.50...watch out Laughton! :)

Great day out...might be one to consider exhibiting at next year, hanging out in Deadwood with the cowboys in the night time with all the oil lamps lit could be fantastic! ;)