30 April, 2008

Redhill Town Centre

Got stranded for a while (in-between buses) the other night in Redhill town -
Redhill Town Centre #9
- it being a Monday it was actually rather quiet (only about 20 drunk teenage chavs making a nuisance of themselves) so I decided to pass the time looking around the place (normally it's just a quick dash in to grab this or that in one of the shops), and it actually (if that were possible) seems to be going downhill (despite the obviously totally ineffectual threat of "Big Brother" watching from above) -
Redhill Town Centre #6
- for example, this signpost, situated on Station Road right by the Harlequin theatre -
Redhill Town Centre #7
- has been subtly modified so that not a single arm is actually pointing in the right direction any longer, and the Pedestrian Zone signs have seen better days, this one being modified by spray can to resemble a bowling ball (for some reason) -
Redhill Town Centre #8
- and the other one used as a notice board/poster site, and lettering picked at -
Redhill Town Centre #5
- even the new take-away in town could have used a little in the way of help with their sign painting -
Redhill Town Centre #1
- that sort of level of attention to detail doesn't exactly fill one with hope as to the quality of the advertised food...Still there are signs of regeneration, the new bus station is coming along nicely (can't wait for that to be finally finished) -
Redhill Town Centre #3
- but I can't quite get my head around how it is going to work, it looks like they have got rid of the three lanes they used to have in favour of a sort of bumpy roundabout type affair, with bays arranged around the edge and only a very narrow entrance...Still, I'm sure they have it all worked out perfectly *raises eyes to heaven in silent prayer* and it has to be better than the current facilities -
Redhill Town Centre #11
- still, maybe that's me being spoilt by the glittering wonders of Canary Wharf, Redhill didn't seem that bad compared with Kings Cross... ;)

More pictures of Redhill here...

29 April, 2008

Big Bang 2008 - Sunday

So Sunday arrived (much later this time, thanks to having the sun almost completely blocked) we cooked up some breakfast (discovering that the fridge was *still* freezing cold despite lacking power for about 36 hours by this stage), got "washed" (wet wipes) and dressed and then took a little walk around the show and shine (which was conveniently near to where we parked) -
Big Bang 2008 #65
Big Bang 2008 #54
Big Bang 2008 #61
Big Bang 2008 #55
Big Bang 2008 #62
Big Bang 2008 #67
Big Bang 2008 #83
Big Bang 2008 #85
Big Bang 2008 #90
Big Bang 2008 #87
Big Bang 2008 #91
Big Bang 2008 #94
- and then it was back to the strip, where we lurked for a while behind the start line (very unfortunately, thanks to "health and safety", the shed at the end of the strip has had to be torn down, and not only torn down, torn down and replaced by a huge concrete monstrosity, so it's now impossible for any spectator to enjoy the view down the quarter mile, this is about the best view you can get) -
Big Bang 2008 #96
- and to get that view you have to creep around the back of the hog roast van and find a space between their bags of rubbish -
Big Bang 2008 #97
Big Bang 2008 #104
Big Bang 2008 #106
- what a shame...no more chances to get decent shots like this (taken at Bug Jam) -
Bug Jam 21 - #122
- but in retrospect, if things *had* gone horribly wrong, I probably wasn't in the *best* place when I took that shot...anyway, we went back to enjoy the track action, even climbing into the grandstand (my first time up there I think) -
Big Bang 2008 #123
- and you do get a much better perspective -
Big Bang 2008 #118
Big Bang 2008 #115
Big Bang 2008 #113
Big Bang 2008 #117
- and yes, they really do need those wheelie bars at the back!

Anyway, we popped back to the bus for a spot of lunch, then packed everything up, had a chance encounter with a beach buggy owning mate of ours who had also attended (finding us by spotting Colin all set up), then we set course for home, getting back at about 5pm (knackered but happy)...

Great weekend, will definitely consider doing this show again, maybe in preference to Bug Jam, as (in Flyingpops' words) "it's becoming a bit of a victim of it's own success, just too busy"... ;)

28 April, 2008

Big Bang 2008

Big Bang 2008 #1
Got back yesterday at about 5pm from what was probably the best weekend we have spent at Santa Pod enjoying the "Big Bang 2008" (inc. Camper & Bus Show), if you haven't been before, it sort of feels like going to Bug Jam but minus the massive crowds (which is kind of a good thing as Bug Jam can be a bit intense at times, comparatively) and thankfully minus the mud this time...

Anyway, we set off quite late on Friday night (we both had to work, Flyingpops especially was a little later back than normal) so I busied myself packing the last few bits into Colin the Camper until she got back, got changed and then hopped into the driving seat...we pulled onto site and got all set up by about 11pm, went for a little walk around (only the significantly-smaller-than-Bug-Jam fun fare, dance tent, food stalls and bar were open), then came back and watched a movie on the Shinco, had a few drinks...woke up the next day (a little early as we hadn't put the window shields on quite correctly) to discover a glorious day -
Big Bang 2008 #3
- we made a spot of cooked breakfast (bacon and eggs for me scrambled eggs on toast for Flyingpops) -
Big Bang 2008 #2
- and then went for a little explore, noting that much of the camping was extremely spaced out (in stark contrast of Bug Jam also where every spare inch is crammed with campers/tents/sofas/rubbish/mud), had a poke around the autojumble -
Big Bang 2008 #7
- through the fun fair (which is on the camping side of the strip for this event) -
Big Bang 2008 #8
- and the catering area, now sporting a snazzy new gazebo style shelter attached to (and dwarfing) the bar -
Big Bang 2008 #9
- and then had a nice wander around the shops -
Big Bang 2008 #11
Big Bang 2008 #12
Big Bang 2008 #13
Big Bang 2008 #15
Big Bang 2008 #16
Big Bang 2008 #20
Big Bang 2008 #23
Big Bang 2008 #26
Big Bang 2008 #27
Big Bang 2008 #29
- checked out the lowering demonstration -
Big Bang 2008 #18
Big Bang 2008 #19
- and then noticed what looked like a couple of new attractions, the Racing Bug circuit (for the kids) -
Big Bang 2008 #28
- and the incredibly skilful (and scary) zero G bike team (who were bunny-hopping stupid distances and landing on broom-handle sized targets) -
Big Bang 2008 #31
Big Bang 2008 #32
- and then my knee started giving me some gyp, so we decided to rest it up by the strip for a while -
Big Bang 2008 #33
Big Bang 2008 #36
Big Bang 2008 #34
Big Bang 2008 #35
- for *once* a weekend of totally uninterrupted racing (cool), watched the Jet Beetle (that is now managing to run the strip without looking like it's going to either take-off or hit the wall) ;) -
Big Bang 2008 #41
- watched with building anticipation the new demo car -
Big Bang 2008 #43
- which unfortunately broke right before it's run, smiled at some (more) of the characters -
Big Bang 2008 #49
Big Bang 2008 #50
- and then we had an announcement that the governing body had issued a licence for the official qualifying to start that evening, so we watched more racing (teams gradually gaining in confidence and speed as they tried out their new tweaks and settings after the work over the winter months)-
Big Bang 2008 #53
- during this we popped down to the bar and had a beer and one of the excellent freshly made pizzas each and then that was pretty much the end of Saturday, back to Colin to curl up in the duvet and blankets snug as bugs in a rug (only stinging a little bit from sun burn)... ;)

More Later (still pics to go through), loads more are already on the Flickr Stream though (if you like this sort of thing)...

Update, pictures and write up of Sunday here...