Wednesday, June 30, 2010

30 06 2010..............very nearly halfway 181/365

Today more iPhone shots from a lunchtime walk today in Cardiff Gate:
proving again the versatility of the device......
Well done iPhone 4

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

29 06 2010

Much as it pains me to say it, today the iPhone 4 showed its abilities. Following a busy day at work James FK and I retired to The Toby Carvery and a pleasant beer in the early evening sunshine.While sitting chatting an strange tiny spider with a bright green abdomen wandered along the table..... James sprung into action with  the iPhone using its standard and macro camera.... the results can be seen below
Above standard lens..... and below macro
I have to say well done iPhone 4 you win!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

27 06 2010

Following my birthday on Wednesday,  Emily had organised a family barbeque at her house for today.  It was a joint celebration as Emily's birthday is on 29th, while my sister who was over today had her birthday on July 6th.

The weather played its part staying beautifully warm all day.

My special surprise visitors Sian and Paddy had arrived from London on Saturday.

We had a fantastic afternoon with great food and marvellous company. We are very lucky having someone like Emily who cares so deeply about the family that she is always willing to go the extra is yet another big public  thank you from me  to Em for it was also she who organised the making of my wonderful hockey inspired birthday cake.                                  

Location : Address not available

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Location : Address not available

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

26 06 2010

The weather was certainly the star of the show today with temperatures hitting 30c in Wales today - it also appears to have been a bit warm for Wales down in Dunedin where the All Blacks gave us another rugby lesson with a final try on full time.

New Zealand 29 Wales 10

Well done Mr Henry and your team.

Location : Maesygwartha Rd, Llanelly, Monmouthshire NP7 0,

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Location : Maesygwartha Rd, Llanelly, Monmouthshire NP7 0,

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Friday, June 25, 2010

25 06 2010

At 6.30pm on a summer Friday evening I wonder why JamesFk and myself were the only people with cars still parked in the IB car park?

We must be working too hard?

Location : Maesygwartha Rd, Llanelly, Monmouthshire NP7 0,

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Location : Maesygwartha Rd, Llanelly, Monmouthshire NP7 0,

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

23 06 2010

Mmmm! I am not so sure about this message today, I fear that perfection is some way off! As I have decided to tick off the years since my 50th, I enjoyed celebrating my '47th' birthday today (LOL!)
A pleasant lunch was spent with work colleagues at a local hostelry, this was followed in the evening by a trip into Abergavenny to visit the historic Kings Arms for a great meal with Debbie ( I had the vegetable curry.... nice ).

The Kings Arms is so called because In 1645, Charles I on his flight from defeat at Naseby stayed at the coaching inn and again much later in his flights from Oliver Cromwell and his Parliamentarians. In the 19th Century, a sculptor was commissioned to carve a coat of arms to commemorate the royal patronage.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

22 06 2010

Eric Lauzon the IB Chief Information Officer gave IB staff in Cardiff a reprise of his presentation Education and Technology in a Global Economy which he gave originally in San Francisco in May for the Ed Tech Industry Summit. Eric used Prezi as the tool for his delivery which certainly held his audience. Please feel free to view the presentation and feedback your thoughts to me or directly to Eric.
We were taken through many of the issues that will be familiar to those endeavouring to encourage others in the use of technology in an educational setting - my favourite quote was from a child who says 'when I go into school I have to power down!'
When he came to discuss why it has proved difficult to embed IT in schools Eric challenged the reasons that are often given  -  ' Teacher Technophobia', 'Institutional Conservatism' and 'Lack of Resources', and put forward his theory that it is actually 'Teacher Practice', Curriculum design' and Assessment methods' that are having a greater effect. This certainly forces us all to consider how we can make serious long term progress in building technology into the curriculum..... thanks to Eric for his thought provoking presentation.

We were left with the thought from Prof. Stephen Heppell on what will be possible if we get this right:

'It's the death of education, but it's the dawn of learning that makes me happy' 

Monday, June 21, 2010

21 06 2010

Today's image is for my New Zealand friends. :-)

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Location : Maesygwartha Rd, Llanelly, Monmouthshire NP7 0,

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Location : Maesygwartha Rd, Llanelly, Monmouthshire NP7 0,

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

20 06 2010

Today has been Father's Day in the UK as it is in 55 other countries. I was very pleased to receive my card -
from Emily and the grandchildren -
The decision was taken that we should spend the afternoon down in Cardiff Bay. Cardiff has re-developed its once derelict Docks area into an excellent place for al fresco living. With its range of eating places and small boutique style shops plus iconic buildings it is an excellent addition to the city. It also continues the multi cultural feel that would have been prevalent with all of the nationalities that would have inhabited the area at the time of the heyday of the docks between about 1840-1880, this is evoked by many of the sculptures that populate the bay ( see below)-
We spent a happy few hours just taking in the sights and sounds of the area and even managed to fit in a waterbus ride around the bay area.
This included views of the Norwegian Church ( see below) where Roald Dahl was baptised ( it has been moved across the bay from its original position), to the iconic Cardiff Bay Barrage along with other great sites
A very enjoyable Father's Day, including time to get back and wish the same to my Dad before we got home.... I also found out how well New Zealand had done in the World Cup against the giants of Italy - Well Done Kiwi's :-)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

19 06 2010

A busy Saturday with performing arts coming to the fore, this morning granddaughter Abi had her regular ballet class, she was very excited to show off her new Ballet Bag.
 The weather picked up this afternoon and we managed to play quite a bit in the garden. Once this had been exhausted, music became the driving force with Jaycob heading for the piano,
While Abi headed further upstairs to Laura's room and the electronic drum-kit which she proceeded to have great fun with showing a great deal of natural talent at four years old.
Well done kids and thank you for a memorable afternoon

Friday, June 18, 2010

18 06 2010

An interesting image today taken ( borrowed!) from the  Interesting and beautiful pictures blog. I was meandering around the web and just couldn't resist this shot..... or this one!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

17 06 2010

Another day and the chance to support different national team at the FIFA World Cup. This evening's game in Polokwane South Africa, is between France and Mexico...... I will support?????
Why Mexico of course..... this is probably the 'kiss of death' to Mexico as every other team I have cheered have gone on to be defeated recently..... come on Mexico!!!
Viva Mexico!
This is the advantage ( if this is the correct term!) of having my own dear Wales having failed to qualify...... their last qualification was in 1958 World Cup which took place in Sweden, when I was..... 1 year old!! Surely our time will come again?
Mexico 2  - France 0
Wow!!!! Well done Mexico!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

16 06 2010

It has been a very long day...... the issue which raised its head late yesterday has had to be addressed today. Fortunately we found that the effects of the worrying development does not have far reaching consequences, however it still needs to be put right. Other related points meant that this glass of wine at 9pm while watching South Africa play Uruguay (FIFA World Cup) in the background (1-0 Uruguay) listening to the sound of the glorious Vuvuzela ( watch and learn!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

15 06 2010

Many thanks to Emma Gwen for the image above of the Starbucks Grande Coffee Mug. At lunch today our colleague James FK  insisted that we accompany him to the Cardiff Gate Service Station to visit the Waitrose store on site. We stopped off at their recently re-branded Starbucks Coffee Shop for Mocha's and a Latte. Unfortunately I had left my phone at home and had to rely on Emma's coffee shot.... thanks again Emma.

Have you ever had one of those days when you find one small problem which unravels into a major issue?? Today was one of those days for me, I am heartily glad that I was able to uncover an issue which could have developed into a major problem for us in 15 days time. Our excellent team was able to pinpoint the problem which was actually not our error and it was eventually cleared up by external colleagues who were largely responsible for the issue!.... As a result however at the end of the day I had still not quite solved the initial small problem which had caused my original investigation...... The result was the need for a small intake of an amount of Pinot Grigio this evening as guess what awaits me when I get into work tomorrow morning?
Yup! you guessed it!

I have still not plucked up the courage to listen to my recent chat with David Noble [link]on his Booruch podcast as part of his Edonis Project! Call me chicken.

Monday, June 14, 2010

14 06 2010

Apologies for the rather grainy image from my camera phone taken through a window, but I did not want to disturb our visitor, a good sized rabbit which was foraging in the garden this evening. It wasn't the first time it had appeared today, at 7am I looked out before heading for work and saw possibly the same rabbit and a squirrel in the garden.
This would possibly explain the mystery holes which have appeared in our garden recently, we also appear to have the local mole population moving in and burrowing across our in the countryside I guess?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

13 06 2010

I had a great motor sport orientated day today - it actually began prior to midnight on until around 2.30am once I had found video and audio channels from the Le Mans 24 hour race which began at 2.00pm UK time yesterday. For a race of attrition/endurance it was pretty exciting with incidents and problems for a variety of  cars well into the night. When I finally went to bed there were two Peugeot's in front followed by two Audi's with the Peugeot of UK driver Anthony Davidson pushing for the Audi's in fifth place.
I caught up with the race again at around 10am this morning at which point I had not missed by long the demise of the leading Peugeot's with blown engines, by then Audi's filled the top three places with the Davidson car still pushing........ alas too hard and they also suffered an engine blow out. By 2.00pm Sunday Audi had 1,2 and 3 - as an Audi driver I guess I should be pleased ( they are Diesel cars as well!) however I was quite looking for a more exciting race.
Following some shopping and grass cutting it was time for the Canadian F1 Grand Prix from Montreal. This did turn into an exciting dice between the teams and drivers.... however there was no safety car which was a huge surprise to all concerned due to the tight barriers around the circuit. The race ended with a 1,2 for Maclaren ( powered by Mercedes!) with their two UK drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
Wow what a motor sport packed day..... now it is time for Germany v Australia ( with the Germans already 1-0 after 8 minutes)...... time to go to the TV now,  cheering of course for the antipodeans!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

12 06 2010

Today I have borrowed another shot from Debbie's trip this week ( Brighton Beach) as I have run out of the creative photographs of a painted room...... I too could have been in Brighton this week.
I need a holiday now that doesn't involve work........a nice beach would go down very well preferably somewhere warm and sunny!
Any comments about the new layout? Blogger have today brought in a wider choice of  blog templates and this is one which is beautifully clean... I like it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

11 06 2010

Today ends a long week when I have never been too far away from painting apparatus. I have had plenty of time to complete my tasks having saved the £400 quoted by local tradesmen. ......we will see how good the work is when Debbie returns tomorrow  from her week away!!

Today's image is from my bus trip home earlier this week. TGIF!

Location : Maesygwartha Rd, Llanelly, Monmouthshire NP7 0,

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Location : Maesygwartha Rd, Llanelly, Monmouthshire NP7 0,

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

10 06 2010

It looks to me very much like it is time to call it a day from painting for the day?........I need a coffee or something stronger!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

08 06 2010

No work on the kitchen today as a morning in work to meet a consultant and brief him on work required to bring our workshops up to the required standard for their run at the end of the month, turns into a 9-5 day!

Now an evening of babysitting while Emily goes out to the cinema with her group of mum's.

Today's image is from The Times and shows the tie in with an iPad app.

Location : 24 Monmouth Rd, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP7 5,

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Location : 2-10 Charles Edwards Close, Llanfoist, Monmouthshire NP7 9,

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Monday, June 7, 2010

07 06 2010 supplemental Stuart Cable

Stuart Cable
19th May 1970 - 7th June 2010
It was with huge sadness that I heard of the death of Stuart Cable today. As one of the many who never met him I  had a huge respect for the former drummer from The Stereophonics who had proved that it was possible to a full life after leaving a hugely successful rock band. Stuart had the common touch and in every interview that you watch he comes over a just a 'nice guy'

He will be missed - BBC Wales held a celebration of Stuart's life earlier this evening [link]

A great gig  Stuart thanks

07 06 2010

Those who have visited Abergavenny will no doubt recognise the bridge above - it is the bridge over the River Usk just outside the town. with the local mountain called The Blorenge mountain in the background.
I realise that my task for the week is to re decorate our kitchen........ however my excuse for walking alongside the beautiful Usk was that I was walking in to collect my car from its latest service (£155). Later in the day I did return to my main work and managed to complete undercoating windows and doors ahead of beginning the first coat on the walls...... honestly! Pictures will follow.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

06 06 2010

Debbie has gone away for the week and with Laura away in the US.......... my task........ to finally paint the kitchen that we had fitted two years ago! I know, I know it has taken rather a long time to get around to this job....... we even costed the work with local tradesmen who wanted around £400 for the job. I do begrudge paying this for work that I can and should do myself, hence a boot ( trunk) full of around £50 worth material to begin the job.
Later in the day I took Emily and the grandchildren to a local pool for a swim, but did manage to get back and prime much of the woodwork prior to some gloss work later tomorrow. Time for something to drink and an early night  before tomorrows work.

More updates to come as the week wears on!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

05 06 2010 156/365

Emily the children and I decided to take a spur of the moment trip to Cardiff by train today...... mmm looking at the image above and there should by a red coloured warning sign which of course we had no notion. Today at 2.30 pm Wales played a friendly match against South Africa at  The Millennium Stadium.  On these occasions 73,000 supporters make their way to Cardiff...... many by train!
Therefore there was only standing/perching room mid carriage all the way to Cardiff ( one kind person did give up their seat for a mum and child... a thank you to that person). In fact at Cwmbran there was no room for any passengers on the platform to get onto the train ( a two carriage train!) - There was a heavy police presence in Cardiff as today there was also a march and counter march by the Welsh Defence League and anti-fascist groups, in addition The Stereophonics are due to play in Cardiff this evening.... the city was alive with people( in red and green!), police ( both on foot and mounted) and their helicopters.
Once the journey had been achieved we actually had an excellent and relaxing wander around Cardiff with my small digital natives visiting the Apple Store and playing with the iPad.... which they loved especially the labyrinth game using the tilt screen functionality....
... and the excellent keyboard!
We travelled back on an early train, had four seats around a table..... luxury!

Friday, June 4, 2010

04 06 2010

Last night following our trip to Heathrow Deb and I were really pleased to be back in plenty of time to get down to The Globe in Cardiff for the Tom Hollister Trio's Welsh Launch Party for their new EP.... called of course The EP!
The band had secured the services of the marvellous Alexander John who brought his own unique blues style to the compact Cardiff music venue in front of around 260 fans.

As the temperature rose tH3 took to the stage and pushed it up further

Chris Buck (lead guitar),Tom Hollister ( Bass and vocals) Adam Roberts (drums) and Tom Hollister ( Bass and vocals) as seen above.
Entertained their audience with music from the new CD including 'Tell her not to go' and Tied up and Blue ( below) - they truly rocked The Globe with their rock blues sound - if you are interested you can purchase the EP and other TH3 merchandise at their website store for a very reasonable price. I have my copy of The EP and must say to the band that I love the three tracks....... but I do want more! Guys I am sure that you could charge £5 per copy, it is well worth the money!

The Tom Hollister Trio
TH3 in action

Thank you to The Globe, Alexander John, TH3 and Fran( for encouraging a large IB presence at the event)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

03 06 2010

The final fledgling flew the nest at 2.25pm today heading for Minneapolis with Delta Airlines - Dylan the dragon has gone along in order to top up his airmiles!

Location : Maesygwartha Rd, Llanelly, Monmouthshire NP7 0,

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Location : Maesygwartha Rd, Llanelly, Monmouthshire NP7 0,

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

02 06 2010

With Laura's  departure for America tomorrow. My mother had asked if we could have a family meal with as many children,  grandchildren and great grandchildren as we could muster.

As a result thirteen of us sat down for a meal at a local restaurant earlier this evening (we were only missing Sian and Paddy).

It was a leisurely early summer evening where the youngest members of the family enjoyed running around in the grounds between courses.

Tomorrow we head for Heathrow Airport to pack Laura off for her 'grear adventure '.......if she ever gets her bag packed.

Location : Maesygwartha Rd, Llanelly, Monmouthshire NP7 0,

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

01 06 2010 (365-152)

Wow it is really difficult to get my head around the fact that I have been blogging systematically every day for what now is entering the sixth month ( 152 days!). I  personally didn't think that I possessed this degree of dedication. I truly believe that it is due in part to my wonderful blog365 friends that you see on the left hand panel of the blog that have sustained me, in fact we sustain each other in this task.
Once you begin a task such as this there is an initial burst of enthusiasm looking to the challenges of the task ahead, this is then followed around three weeks later by that blog block moment where you ponder on the wisdom of the task and its rigour. I know that I for one began to doubt:
a) That what I was posting had any intrinsic value to a wider community.
b) Whether the somewhat tedious minutiae of my daily life was really of interest to anyone ( I do still have this concern) even my own family who consider me somewhat deranged in undertaking the task in the first place, find that hard to fathom....... there are after all so many ways to describe a latte!!!
This point is of course the do or die point for such a project as this, however the spirit of having started something and wishing to follow it to its logical (!) then kicks in, some may call this stubbornness or even pig headedness. I would have sympathy with these views.
As for all of us there have been days when blogging was furthest from my mind, such as when my grandson was rushed into hospital back in February..... however the messages of support received during that time actually made me and the rest of the family very glad that I had taken the time when things were difficult to post. I must say thank you to all who had us in their thoughts at that time..... it helped in very large part towards recovery.
Moments like that and other times where a post sparks interest make the whole process worth the effort, the connection of bloggers around the world each one adding a small stitch to the tapestry of life as it is lived in 21st Century makes for a great social record of 2010.
For me either blogging from my mobile phone or laptop everyday has become a daily ritual, there is not always time for reflection like today, it would be difficult for me to sustain that level of navel gazing!

Momentous events are afoot here in Maesygwartha as our youngest ( she's a baby!!!..... of 20?) Laura leaves home on Thursday this week. She flies off to her summer camp in Minnesota from Heathrow followed by a short visit home prior to heading off to university in Liverpool. After 24 years Debbie and I will actually have the house to ourselves...... this could be either scary or hugely exciting.... I am unsure which is true.
Today was my last opportunity for a while to go to the cinema with Laura - we do so love a bit of escapism, this time it was The Prince of Persia a delightfully jolly jape with some very interesting clipped English dialogue.
Our cinema of choice is the Baker Street Cinema Abergavenny, I think that you will agree the most un-cinema  looking establishment that you would expect in 2010, you can follow its transformation from a Drill Hall to a cinema here.
The Drill Hall as you can see has been a feature in the town since 1896 when it was built for soldiers a local regiment. 4th Volunteer Battalion South Wales Borderers
The Battalion would see action in the South African Boer War three years later ( 1899-1902 ) the building has undergone a transformation now to battles on celluloid...... today The Persians!