Wednesday, 31 May 2017
Tuesday, 30 May 2017
|The Angel On The Bridge at Henley|
The Angel On The Bridge at Henley is a pub I probably haven't drank at properly in over 20 years. However if you turn the clock back 30 years or so, it was a pub me and my friends would spend most Saturday nights at completely sozzled! It was usually the 10th pub in our Brakspears pub crawl. Back then the pubs didn't open until 5.30-6.00 on a Saturday night, so we usually aimed to be starting our 10th pint in The Angel by 9.00. Fast forward to staggering out of Stallones Night Club at 2.00am and the amount of beer consumed was quite vast... I probably drank more pints in one night back then than I do in a whole year now!
More importantly a lovely thing happened to me in Henley today. This photo was taken outside the Henley Regatta headquarters, and in there I met a lovely lady who gave me a bit of a shock when she asked me if I was related to John Darvell... It turns out she and her husband knew my parents really well from their days at Maidenhead Rowing Club, and also through Mum's riding. She was actually at Mum's funeral last year too. I spent a few minutes chatting to her and it was just a really nice moment in a busy working day 😊
Monday, 29 May 2017
|Storm not watching the play off final|
I'm afraid the rather dour play off final between Reading and Huddersfield didn't inspire Storm to take any interest in it at all - she spent the whole game in her bed in the dining room. I found it rather hard myself, but I grudgingly congratulate Huddersfield on their penalty shootout victory. They showed more ambition during the 120 minutes, so the better side on the day won 😢
Sunday, 28 May 2017
Saturday, 27 May 2017
|Arsenal FA Cup Winners 2017|
Not many people, including myself, gave Arsenal much chance of beating Chelsea in the FA Cup Final today. I said that if Chelsea turned up we didn't have a prayer... Fortunately Chelsea didn't turn up and Arsenal were magnificent 😃 Alas I wasn't there today, although I did see Arsenal win the cup at Wembley back in 1993 in the replay against Sheffield Wednesday. I took the photo of the television in my living room as the cup was presented 😄
You see the strangest things on the road. I followed this wonderful sight through Henley yesterday on my way home from work, and it got so many double takes from other motorists and pedestrians. I am presuming that it was some kind of gypsy caravan, but rather being pulled by a horse it had a transit van doing that job...
Thursday, 25 May 2017
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
So on Monday night there was a fantastic documentary on BBC 1 Wales about Mike Peters,from The Alarm, and his wife Jules. Mike & Jules: While We Still Have Time. It followed their lives over the course of a year that included Jules' cancer diagnosis and treatment. Straight afterwards on BBC 2 Wales there was a 30 minutes highlights show of this year's Gathering concert in Llandudno that I go to every year. So I now have made up a DVD of both shows for my collection.
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
It was an almost impossible task to take a photo after the tragic events in Manchester. Today is about people, and appreciating the love and friendships that we have in our lives. The Lives & Times bowel cancer fundraising book is all about people, and where the goodness in everyone who got involved shone through. My thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones in Manchester x
Monday, 22 May 2017
|Chelsea Flower Show!|
So during the week of the Chelsea Flower Show it seems that my roses in the garden are doing incredibly well. At the moment it's the turn of the yellow ones to have come into bloom. The garden is looking pretty good at the moment, especially with all the plants I brought across from Mum's garden, although the grass needs a cut quite badly...
Sunday, 21 May 2017
|Through The Railings|
Palmer Park in Reading is down the bottom of my road. It is where I go running, although I have been very slack on that for far too long. Thought I would take a photo through the railings, and it was only when I got up close did I realise the poor condition they are now in. A lick of paint required Reading Borough Council, though I guess it will not be top of the list with money so tight these days...
|Blaze of Glory|
I went to see Mike Peters & The Alarm at The Electric Ballroom in London. The band played material from the new Blood Red album alongside all the classic songs of the last 35+ years. Although I started off watching the concert halfway back, I ended up watching a large part of it nearer the back, so photo opportunities were limited. Towards the end I went upstairs and took this crowd shot during 'Blaze Of Glory'. The only gap I found to take the photo meant I wasn't able get the band in it too. However sometimes it's interesting focusing on the crowd. "MY HANDS ARE HELD UP HIGH"
It was also really nice to go to a gig and see so many people who I have gotten to know over the last 18 months. In days gone by I would have kept very much to myself, but through the amazing support from so many fans of The Alarm for the Lives & Times bowel cancer book, I have made some lovely new friendships. It only took me about 33 years!
Friday, 19 May 2017
|Blood Red by Mike Peters & The Alarm|
The postie has done well this week. On Monday I got my copy of Blood Red, the new long-awaited album by Mike Peters & The Alarm. I can't really give an objective opinion on it, other than its flippin' terrific. In fact if I ever meet Mrs Darvell I think I have discovered my first dance at the wedding! Today my ticket for The Gathering next February arrived too, so that's something to look forward to. The only minor blemish was the limited edition music package was missing a promo CD, so I am hoping that can be sorted soon...
Thursday, 18 May 2017
|Storm taking it easy|
It's been a really tough week for Storm. At the beginning of the week she had to go to Fitzpatrick's at Guildford for an emergency appointment as the cancer (lymphoma) had made a swift and violent return (couldn't think of what word to use so sticking with violent). The chemo had stopped working and was no longer effective, so they have tried another type, one which was injected followed by tablets the following day. She has blocked lymph nodes, which has caused swelling around her neck, and badly affected her back right leg, stopping her from get up any kind step and causing her legs to give way. Since the treatment, she has, true to form, bounced back very well and the swelling has noticeably reduced and she has better mobility although still a bit shaky. She is in a massive battle, and she is fighting hard. It's been another setback, but staying positive and just making sure she is comfortable and happy. I am hoping that if she has a good weekend, she will be well enough to come into work again next week.
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
|Price Flying Solo|
What a horrible day its been. Rain and rain and rain! Prince has been coming to work without Storm the last couple of days as Storm is not very well again with the cancer. Hopefully she will respond to the new chemotherapy she had yesterday, and will be back with us at work in the next day or two. Prince is a little lost without his mum, but he does get the van seat to himself 😍
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
|Skinny Lister at The Roundhouese|
Frank Turner played four consecutive sold out nights at The Roundhouse, and I went to the last of these shows. It was a fantastic evening with Frank on blistering form to a brilliant crowd. I have come a little late to the Frank Turner party, but I have absolutely loved the two gigs I have seen to date.
The added bonus was that Skinny Lister were supporting. They had given me a photo pit pass for their own concert a few nights earlier, but hadn't been able to meet me, so the plan was to meet before this gig. Fate was against me yet again, as the chapter in the forthcoming bowel cancer fundraising book will reveal. But it is going to happen at some point, so all is good. Their performance was fantastic, and the they got a terrific reaction from the audience.
The photo of Skinny Lister was taken from the crowd. I was hoping to get a photo pass to snap Frank, but it was not possible due to numbers, so I had to photograph him from the crowd too, but I think I got a really good shot of him to use in the book.
Monday, 15 May 2017
This stunning rhododendron is probably my pride and joy in the back garden. Over the last 8 years it has grown from the small plant bought at the garden centre to this huge shrub, which is breaking the half-barrel it sits in. The flowers really came out over the weekend, and it is just a shame that they don't last for long.
Sunday, 14 May 2017
Storm has had a really tough 18 months with all her health problems. On top of everything else she now has a poorly back right leg which is making it very difficult for her to get up any kind of step - I am carrying her upstairs to bed at the moment. However she really enjoyed her weekend away in Salisbury, and this photo of Storm and Michele is simply gorgeous!
Thursday, 11 May 2017
|Skinny Lister Photo Pass|
Tonight I went to see Skinny Lister play at The Scala in London. I had the amazing opportunity of photographing the band from the photo pit for the new bowel cancer fundraising book. The gig was simply outstanding! I am sure that I have some terrific photos, although the evening didn't go entirely to plan...
Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Tuesday, 9 May 2017
Shottesbrooke Park, situated just outside Maidenhead, is a quite stunning location. The perfect place to give the dogs a pit stop today! When we were growing up it was also home to Littlewick Show each August bank holiday. Mum was secretary of the horse show for 25 years, and we would help her and Dad to set up the show each year. I had my first ever drive here aged 15 or 16 I guess. I almost killed me and Dad, as I headed straight for a big tree. Thankfully dad grabbed the steering wheel 😆 The show has long since moved location and the lake has been beautifully restored in recent years. So many happy memories...
Monday, 8 May 2017
Today I had to do a delivery in Witney, which enabled me to go and visit my sister and her family in Alvescot. I stopped in Bampton, which is just a few minutes from their house and took this photo. It's is a traditional Oxfordshire village or town - it has both a village hall and a town hall. There is plenty of Cotswold stone on display as the Cotswolds are not too far away.
Sunday, 7 May 2017
|A message from Storm|
Storm and Price enjoying the lovely weather today. Storm also has a message if thanks for my brother Noel, who has given me a very generous contribution towards her cancer treatment. It was the kind of generosity that reaffirmed just what a great brother I have. We are truly thankful.
Friday, 5 May 2017
I travelled to Northampton after work today to meet the wonderful Deborah James. I've known her for a couple of years on social media after discovering her blog, so it was lovely to finally meet her in person. As to why? Debs is battling bowel cancer, and she was one of the first people that I wanted to be in my new bowel cancer fundraising book. It was a bit blowy outside the Northampton Town Sixfields Stadium, hence the mad hair 😋 I let Debs do the selfie honours, as I am not the best at those 😊
Thursday, 4 May 2017
I'm afraid no Star Wars theme today on 'May The 4th Be With You' day. Whilst Storm was having her chemo in Guildford I took Prince out for a walk to explore the local area, and we came across this impressive field with the Rapeseed in full bloom. Storm came through the treatment very well again and will return for another round of chemo in two weeks time.
Wednesday, 3 May 2017
Tuesday, 2 May 2017
Monday, 1 May 2017
|A Single Tulip|
A couple of years ago, after watching an episode of Gardner's World, I planted a multi-layered bulb pot as shown on the programme. The first year it was a great success, but not so much now. The main problem I have is that the squirrels have got to some of the bulbs, in spite of the netting protection I used. So this year the results have been disappointing, but at least I have got this one gorgeous tulip 😊
|Steve Hackett at The Reading Hexagon|
I got to meet Steve Hackett last night before his concert at the Reading Hexagon, on his "Genesis Revisited With Classic Hackett" tour, for my new bowel cancer fundraising book. That was fascinating and he was a lovely man, but of course all about that will be saved for the book itself. It was a quite brilliant gig last night, although I wonder if I was the only member in the audience who wasn't familiar with a single song he played! 😊