The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

You Grumpy Old Baker- but you are the best

For many years we buy bread, croissants and other stuff from an Italian bakery about 3 miles away. So it means a special trip and finding somewhere to park is sometimes complex, but it is worth it. This is the best bread in the area by a long way. There is usually cabaret in the shop for no price added. The actual baker, who I think runs the shop with relatives, might be wrong, is a little bit grumpy sometimes and very grumpy at others. Dont get me wrong, he is not rude, just a little bit on the Victor Meldrew scale. This is a compliment to him. Yesterday his grumpiness was in full swing. ” Can I have 60 grams of …..” ” no the smallest we do is 100 grams and have not done 60 grams minimum for years”. He gives short shrift to anyone who does not have their precise order on the tip of their tongue. Yesterday a full blown moaning session because 3 consecutive customers wanted half a Bavarian loaf ( delicious actually), or small loaf. He had none.

But we will miss these characters when they go. Tesco is not a good second option. we should be embracing our small shops and thats why my effort to buy bread from Grumpy Baker is well worth it!

Ice Dancing on Navigator of the Seas

Ice Dancing was not actually what I had expected to see on a short cruise aboard Navigator of the Seas, but there was an ice rink and there was a show. A real challenge to get photographs essentially almost in the dark, but working with high ISO speed and trwating the skaters as though they were Formula 1 racing cars helped. Anyway a few shots from what was truly a brilliant spectacle that was enthralling.

Can these Jeans be saved? The Question

My 12 year old daughter is on a mission to repair these jeans with her mother’s new sewing machine. Do you think they can be saved? Bernina 1000 to the rescue. All will be revealed




Football Defending Gangnam Style

Woking v  Alfreton. enjoy


Woking 1 Alfreton 2. Blue Square Conference. Photos and short report

There were a few games that could be chosen today. Brentford were away at Preston and that was a trip too far. This game stood out as Woking is a friendly club, reasonably close, easy parking anf the two sides were close enough together in the league to suggest an even game. I think I am correct also in that both these sides are not full-time like an increasing number of conference sides are. A crowd of 1500 arrived on a pleasant if cool afternoon but the rain held of. 15£ is the admission price and £3 for a programmes and 3.50 for a cheeseburger.

The game was an even game but one felt that Alfreton always had the edge. Alfreton took the lead with a goal midway through the first half and Woking equalised before half time. The winning goal, a diving header that was unchallenged came around the 60th minute and from then on Woking never really looked like scoring again. Alfreton look like a side that will exist easily in mid-table but Woking need to hope that there are 4 worse sides come end of April.

Woking is also a good ground at which to photograph during daylight but today the light was poor and the floodlights not very strong, and I would guess that there were two stops difference in areas of the pitch. For those with photographic interest, most of my shots were taken initially with 1/1000th and 4.5, using ISO around 600, but by the end the ISO was up to 6400 and shutter speed down to 1/320th.  A decent day out.


Old Main Stand at Woking

Alfreton defending Gangnam Style

Alfreton Score First Goal



Reflections on Scotland

Scotland is really not an average place. Expectations of lochs and bagpipes are millions of miles away when one lands at Edinburgh airport. The surrounding areas are industrial if one is being polite. Driving along one finds places like “Ratho” ( is that Rat Ho, or Rath hoe?), that bring one to the worst roundabout in the world. Said roundabout has more traffic lights than the whole of london and all are set perfectly so that only one car can get through. Gridlock is not a possibility but a guaranteed state of affairs.

The motorways are tedious and even though fields are around they are invariably decorated with smoke producing buildings, towers and who knows what else. In short this is not the idyllic part of Scotland as one drives to Dunblane.

In Dunblane what used to be the Dunblane Hydro is now the Doubletree by Hilton………..which is the better? Double is actually not a bad description as they see fit to advertise : “Tea for two for only 31.50£”. Which is actually also the price of breakfast for two…………so one might then see why I chose not to donate money to this institution that wanted 176£ for a room for the night.

Lastly, it is good to see that the Tramway in Edinburgh is getting nearer completion and is being built at the airport. That will be joyful!

Dunblane Hydro or Doubletree by Hilton?

Things to make you laugh. The 10 commandments as not written by Moses.

The 12 year old goes to an amazing school, than will remain nameless. Religon is new part of her repertoire of lessons this year and I suspect she is not enamoured. the other day she came home and made a throwaway comment that one of the lists they had been given in class was wrong and said that ” they should commit adultery”. This seemed like worth investigating as adultery in 12 year olds is not so common. Said piece of paper was provided and hysterics ensued. A few small mis-prints but so funny!!

Thou shalt commit adultery and thou shalt steal……….

Rant about Marriott hotels. Part 2

There has already been multiple rants over the Marriott policy to charge for wi-fi at the extortionate rate of 15£ for 24 hours, which is unfair on many levels, including how rarely one actually stays physically in a hotel for 24 hours, and of charging to park. Well, here in Edinburgh it is warmer outside than in my room. Despite turning all the dials up like a mad old professor , the heat level seems to have decreased with the added benefit of a hideous grinding noise coming from what might be a fan.

My solution? To find an abandoned radiator in the hallway, wheel it into my room when no-one is looking , turn each dial up to maximum and then hope………

Brentford 2 Carlisle 1

This was one of those games that restores faith in professional football. The weather was right for football, cloudy with a sense of rain in the air. Floodlights on in the second half. The ground had almost 7000 in there, a decent crowd considering not so many had made the trip down from Carlisle almost 400 miles away. The Brentford board and directors also did their bit by allowing fans to buy tickets up to 4 pm friday at only 10£.

But this was a great game of football. Carlisle came to play and not just block up one end for 90 minutes. Brentford took the lead in the first half with a nice finish in the box from Jonathon Douglas and then gifted Carlisle an equaliser following a dreadful  defensive error. But Brentford went on to get the winner in the second half and combined with a penalty save by the Brentford keeper Simon Moore about 10 minutes from the end got the 3 points.

So why was this a good game? Well put simply effort and running all game from all 20 outfield players. Great tackles, great saves and decent goals. A few maligned Brentford players had their best games and in fact all 11 might have been man of the match. Great day out, great game this football. And the Cornish Pastie, re-heated I suspect  a snip at 2.50£.

Met Police 1 Crawley 2. FA Cup round 1

A rather atypical game. Crawley took a two goal lead shortly after half time, deserved, Met Police then battled away and controlled much of the second half, scoring a goal 10 minutes from time. In the last 10 minutes all hell broke loose. Met police hit the post with a shot, had shots cleared off the line, forced Paul Jones into two great saves, but just could not get the equalise they deserved. A very decent crowd too around 1500, compared to a normal crowd usually in the 120-150 region.

It has to be said that Met police are a good team and this is a nice club. I almost forgot to mention that 150 places separate these two sides, with Met  Police playing in the Ryman Premier. Altogether a great day out and I will return.

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