Tag Archive: Family & friends


Cycling Family & friends

Fuck it, lets go to Cwmcarn

So a plan was made to go riding on Sunday. QE Country Park was discussed as they’ve just re-done the trails and I used to ride there loads when I was at Uni in Portsmouth. Thetford was also discussed. But then I said to Matt, fuck it, lets got to Cwmcarn.

Ohai Wales

So yeah it’s kind of a long way away but why not? Get up early, get going and ride some amazing trails. I tried to think of it as only a little bit further than you’d go to go to Swinley as the hard bit is getting out of London. But in reality it is a long way to go just for a day. Swinley was a total swamp the last time I was there on New Years eve and Matt and I can always find things to talk about on a long drive – mainly how bad his arse smells.

So we got there, got the kettle on, fettled, ummmed and ahhed and finally jumped on our bikes up the technical climb. The trails were really nice and bedded in compared to what I was expecting. Matt and I both hacked and coughed our way up until we got to the foggy start of the black run at the top.

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The first time down I couldn’t see a thing as all the moisture in the air was condensing on and around my eyes. I also managed to un-clip mid table top jump which felt pretty awesome indeed.

We rode back to the top and second time around it was much faster and flowed a bit better. The more natural sections following seemed to be more enjoyable though and again in tip top condition. Yeah I know the following shot is blurry but this was such a nice bit of trail.

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Now at the end of this section is a funny bit. You crest the hill and climb a steep concreted section to get to the next bit of trail. We met a large group of walkers and exchanged the usual pleasantries. One of them saying “I want to see you riding” the UK equivalent of allez no doubt. Nice words of encouragement. This section is usually hard to get the saddle height right, too high for the first rocky section and you come up on some nasty little obstacles, too low and you’re faced with a slog the other side. Either we got it bang on or it just seemed to flow really well today.

Funnily enough as we came round the last corner to ride the awesome last descent it didn’t feel as good as usual. The smooth bermed section at the end was rutted and neither of us could get a decent flow. Still it was great fun and well worth the drive.

Back at the van we packed up chatted about which bits we liked and headed back to London. Every time I use that van I think I love it more.

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On the drive back as we discussed the day I realised that I had been riding here since 2002 at least. Ten years ago! In those days I looked a bit different.

The great thing about it was that we could get there after work from Bath. Picture below from left to right is myself, Lee and Ian. Good times!

Now, just have to plan where and what to ride next weekend.

Me, Lee & Ian


Family & friends

Christmas photos

A few recent photos that haven’t found a home elsewhere yet.



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Family & friends Geek

Computing for parents

Whilst catching up with family over Christmas the usual duties of helping out with the odd IT query were carried out. I was pleasantly surprised to see my Dad with a Nook e-reader but then we opened up his laptop so he could tell me all about his Army friends from the 60’s and 70’s he was re-connecting with on Facebook. Internet Explorer had so many crap toolbars installed that half of the screen was in use.

Then at Mum’s house I used her laptop to check something online. 15 mins later it started up. Each individual action required waiting 10 seconds for the UI to update. Shocking how bad all this stuff is. Think an iPad might be the best option for Mum in the future.

Shocking to see how bad general computing is for the Mum’s and Dad’s of the world.

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Family & friends Photography

Grandma’s house

We popped down to see my Grandma this weekend in Weston-Super-Mare as she wasn’t very well. She soon perked up after seeing myself, Emma and my Mum. So much so that we all came away more tired after all her talking. Apparently Grandad used to say to her “Is your tongue not tired yet Mary?”

I have some wonderful memories of this place from going to stay there when I was very young. I was reminded of most of these with an amazing photo album she brought out for us all to see. Then I thought that I should record the place for all its amazing little mementos and memories from 50 or so years of living there. So I shot a few quick ones to get a feel for it and will continue to record it all next time I’m there and then make a photo book out of it.

Grandmas House - Front Room
Grandmas House - Kitchen


Family & friends Photography

Weekend pictures

Seemed to have taken a lot of pictures this weekend, some professional which I can’t show yet, and some for pleasure which of course I can. Some fairly dim flat light on Saturday but a superb Autumn day on Sunday. GB’s worth of shots into the Lightroom library. Took the D700 out instead of the X100 this time. Always forget how super sharp it is with the 50mm ƒ1.8 on.

Autumn all bagged up
Autumn colours

And my personal favourite was this dog keeping a watchful eye over the people on Lordship Lane.

Watchful eye


Family & friends

Fireworks in Hackney

On Saturday Emma and I headed up to see some friends near Hackney Central to celebrate their daughters first birthday along with a few fireworks as is customary at this time of year.

Friendly fireworks

Rather than bussing it we gave the overground a go which as well as being quicker was also ideal for lots of photo opportunities in the wonderfully over lit stations on the overground. The elevational shots of the fellow passengers waiting are great fun to take.

Hackney Central
Canonbury from the ground

And I couldn’t resist annoying Emma with my camera a few times whilst we waited for the train.

Him and Her


Family & friends Video

Oak tree timelapse

My mate Simon recently had a go at doing a DSLR timelapse of an Oak tree that was being removed next to his house. Timelapse is harder to do that it might seem at first with all the planning required to make sure it all works as well as making sure the timing comes together. Unfortunately the battery looks like it ran out during the night but it still makes a nice bit of footage. Pretty impressive for a first go really.

My favourite part is all the lights flicking on and off as the evening draws in.


Family & friends

Hawksmoor Saturday

Busy day of drinking, eating and socialising yesterday which was pretty tough. Firstly a trip to the new Hawksmoor restaurant on Air Street with Emma for a 50% off soft launch lunch. The food, cocktails and service were all superb and set in an incredible art deco style dining room, and of course the company was rather good too.

The off down to the Southbank and Concrete to catch up with my sister and her friends who were in town for the day. We quickly exited the Southbank due to everything being utterly rammed as usual so headed to the Kings Arms. Nice to not be at work and just relaxing.

Nice to get a rare shot of weequizzie sans hands in front of face.


And lovely to capture my charming sister too after a few glasses of wine. Maybe it’s time for a beard trim too.

My charming sister


Family & friends Travel

Mumbles seascape

A while back now but only just getting round to editing some of the shots I took including this cracking view from the B&B we stayed in. A touch of a grad filter added in Lightroom to bring out the detail in the sky but otherwise pretty much as shot.

Mumbles view


Family & friends

Happy six years with @weequizzie

This Sat Emma and I had been together a whole six years! She gave me the superb Velo book with illustrations by Jo Burt which instantly reminded me of all those years spent reading MBUK as a kid. I gave her the Mr Bingo book.

The plan was to go to Brighton for the day but that seemed to get quickly abandoned. Instead we grabbed the bikes and headed out to the South London Gallery for a coffee.

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We then took the back route to the Design Museum via Bermondsey to check out a housing scheme I had worked on at a previous firm as well as the forecourt of the White Cube Gallery.

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We popped in to see the three exhibitions on – Designed to win, something about crystals and the Designers in residence exhibition. Two of which were great, one was about crystals.

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After that we walked along the Southbank with the idea of seeing the tanks at the Tate Modern. Unfortunately we got caught in a zombie walk and made our escape to The Cut taking refuge in Byron.

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So nice being out and about on the bikes on a lovely autumn day.