Sunday, December 24, 2006

Guardian In-Pictures - RITUAL

The Guardian run a weekly photo competition. THis week the subject is RITUAL and I couldn't think of anything more ritualistic than shaving every morning.



Saturday, December 23, 2006


1. The annually recurring date of a past event, especially one of historical, national, or personal importance:
a wedding anniversary; the anniversary of the founding of Rome.

2. A celebration commemorating such a date.

The 20th December 2006 is the anniversary of our move to Henley from Knossington so Wendy decided it was an important enough date for us to celebrate.
We went out to a little restaurant in Henley town centre called Antico.

Neither of us had been there before and we hadn't booked a table. We made our way to Antico via the "Idle Hour" pub which we'd also never been in and probably won't go in again. It's one of those modern GastroBars that is not really suited to Henley. We had to walk past the many flowers left on the street at the spot where a local business man was recently kicked to death.

The Idle Hour does not accept debit cards for less than £10 so a bit of searching around in Wendy's purse was needed to get the £8.50 for the two drinks I'd ordered. Pint of Lager and a large white wine.

Once we'd had enough of that place we then walked around town to the Antico and made our way down the little alley way to the entrance. All very quaint. There seemed to be quite a bit of noise coming from the place and I was concerned that we'd not get a table as we had not booked. We were warmly greeted by the owner and our coats were taken to hang up. They apologised that they had a work christmas party in.

We were seated at a reasonable table and offered drinks, we ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigio which was excellent. I really cant remember the Italian names of the food we ordered but we had, Mushroom pasta and Crab pancake for starter and Veal and Fish for main. Wendy didn't want any pudding but I had Créme Brullee and a glass of Ben Rye desert wine which was fantastic.

There was some food left over and of course the bone from the veal so we asked for a "Doggy Bag" for Jarvis. The left overs came back wrapped in tin foil in the shape of a swan. Wendy has pictures of this. I was a bit drunk and for some reason known only the Drunk Steve wore the swan on my head on the way home to the great ammusement of people in the Pizza Restaurant we passed. Wendy Has pictures of this too.

A great celebration for our one year in Henley. We'll certainly go back to the Anitico probably in January as the food and service were top notch.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mr MacWhitey...

Seems there is a known fault with MacBook displays. We've had a little problem in the past which was fixed by resetting the PRAM but yesterday evening, du to some unexpected unplugging, Wendy needed to restart Mr MacWhitey.
No blank screen this time but a rather nice vertical candy coloured stripe pattern all the way across the screen.

OK so I need the reset the PRAM again...

Tried that 5 or 6 times but no joy. Wendy was getting panicky and a little tearful. Was Mr MacWhitey dead?

I phoned Apple Support, they told me it was a serious hardware fault and to take it to a authorised dealer to have it checked out. I then got an email from them describing the fault in detail and what to do to resolve it.


Not sure why but I tried it a gain and this time it worked! They recommended updating the OS to 10.4.8 (10.4.7 was causing the problem) so now that's all done and Mr MacWhitey has been discharged from the hospital.

Wendy is very happy now!


Sunday, December 17, 2006

A good weekend!

Following some trying times at work with my line manager and her line manager be put "At Risk" of redundancy and on "Garden Leave" I was happy to look forward to a little family gathering with Margaret, David, Gillian and David on Saturday.
They were due to come to Henley for Lunch so Wendy and I had checked out the local pubs for availability and suitability for the right sort of food. Nothing too fancy and not too expensive as none of us have much money to spare these days.

They arrived at about 1pm while Wendy was out posting a letter. after a quick chat and a cup of tea we decided to walk down town to the Three Tuns pub. It's a small place with a "Restaurant" area at the back but we decided we'd sit at the very front of the bar area so we could see what was going on in the streets. We started of, as usual when we all get together, with a drink Pints of lager for us men and wine for the girls.

We got ourselves settled in the window area and asked for some menus. Various choices were eventually made although Gill and I had to order our main course before anything else as we had decided on Pasta and the chef had to get that cooking or it wouldn't be ready with the other main courses.
Mushroom soup, Mushroom Brusectta, avocado salad for starters and Sausage-n-Mash, Char-grilled veg-n-Pasta and Steak-n chips for main course. We of course had more beer and wine with the meal and finished off with a few puddings. I had Lemon Tart with Crème Fréche. We managed also to entertain ourselves between drinks and food with a little box ow trivia questions to be found on each table in the pub. Available from "Talking Tables" web site which I've not yet checked out.

On the walk back home we decided to stop at the Bird in Hand pub for a quick one where Jarvis had a nice time playing with the pub dog. Wendy had been out to get Jarvis while Gill and Margaret were looking around the shops and Dave, Dave and me were in the pub have more drinks.

When we got back we decided that more drinks were needed and some more food. I got the drinks, Wendy made sandwiches David W was ill in the toilet and David S fell asleep and entertained us with his snoring. I have pictures and a short video which I may post later.

Sunday has been a lazy day. We woke at our usual 6:30 am and had tea and just lazed about for a few hours then we got up and went for a walk down by the river. The weather was so nice. Not too cold although there had been a very heavy frost in the night. It was bright and sunny and the river was so full the lock flood gates were running wild. Here is a picture of the flowing water.

Flowing Water of Marsh Lock

All in all a good weekend...


Monday, December 11, 2006

Water, revisited

Here is a tighter crop of my "Water" set subject shot. It still needs work but I think the crop is about right.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Special gift from some new friends

We met Elika's parents (Kenet and Annica) and sister (Linnea) for lunch on Saturday. We had a great time over lunch and finished off with some Swedish mulled wine back at Ben and Elika's flat. Annica made the wine specially for us and we have raisins and almonds to put in the hot wine. Very Nice!

Elika's grand mother sent ups a present of a limited edition plate from 1973. What a very special gift since we were married in 1973 at Christams.
If your reading this Elika's Gandma.

Thank you very much (Taka dej illa mycket!)

Here's a picture of the plate.


Photo Competitions and a bit of a grumble

The Guardian newspaper run a photo competition each Saturday with a set subject. This week I decided to get the paper and see if I could capture an image of their set subject. The subject this week is Christmas.
I can't seem to come up with the inspiration needed to capture this in a picture so I'm feeling pretty pissed off about it. The weather is crappy. Sunny this morning and pissing down this afternoon. Not at all like Christmas as I remember it being when I was a lad.
Now, saying things like that, must be a sure sign that I'm getting old and I certainly feel it today. I've got my old back pain again and found it difficult to walk around Waitrose to do the shopping today.

Christmas - Bah, Humbug!

I've two other competition set subjects to prepare for, Water and Entertainment. I'm supposed to get 3 of each ready for the next camera club comp. on the 9th January. Here's some images I'm considering...








Friday, December 01, 2006

Economic road pricing my arse...

The UK Government have commissioned a report on how we can stop road congestion and guess what they came up with.

Improve public Transport?
Improve roads?
Better traffic management systems?

Oh No, none of that.

Economic Road Pricing. What does it mean I hear you say. Well, it's just another Tax Attack on the British motorist. They'll install sensors (cameras probably) EVERYWHERE and read your registration number so they know where you've been driving and when you were there so they can then produce an invoice for road usage.

They're currently justifying it by saying "It's only fair that the more you use the road the more you pay..."

Bloody Hell! We already do that with Petrol Tax of about 70 pence a litre.

Apart from the money it'll cost me just to get to work, I don't like the idea of a Government department knowing where I've been driving. Looks like Orwell was about 100 years adrift. Big Brother is Watching YOU. 2084