Monday, June 17, 2013

Not just four candles, but lots of candles

Whitby wonders ( reposted from my photography blog :-)

They say weddings can be good for networking. Well the wedding I shot back in March certainly lead to one payoff that I certainly hadn't been expecting.

The bride put me into contact with another photographer she was friends with who attends a club in the Nottingham area. Now I have been looking for a decent club for a while, the first one I had attempted to join  was a bit of a disaster and the only other club nearby well if I joined that I'm certain I would have lowered the average age by about 30 years or so.

So this photographer was running a trip to the Whitby Goth weekend, now although this would be a bit different for me as I didn't know anyone from this club and I haven't really done any street photography before I couldn't resist the temptation as it would give me a chance to network and also get some rather different shots for my portfolio.
Mind you there were some bad sides. Firstly it was a long trip to whitby made longer by multiple roadworks and secondly it was a early start. A Very early start. In fact so early my first thought on waking was " Shouldn't it be illegal for this time to exist on a Saturday morning?"

Still arriving into whitby we moved down into the town centre seeing in the distance the church and the abbey where we felt fairly certain we would find some attendee's of the weekend. Now for those who don't know the weekend is held twice a year and has become a major draw for photographers. However this is somewhat of a double edged sword as a lot of people complain about the swarms of rude photographers sticking lenses in their face! So we were all determined not to be one of these sets of people. 
However we were quickly taught why these complaints are somewhat justified as when we stopped and had our first bash at politely asking people ( a whole family in steampunk costumes) we were stunned to suddenly find ourselves surrounded by at least half a dozen photographers who had appeared out of nowhere, swooped in and promptly disappeared without saying a word to the subjects. In fact one of the firls from our group got smacked over the head by someone else's lense, who was then promptly more concerned about his gear as opposed to her head!

Now the swarms of other photographers really, really got to each of us at somepoint because it was just getting well stupid. See this is a photo I took of the church, what you can't see is the young girl posing in the door. What you can see is the dozen or so photographers all trying to take pictures at the same time!

I even saw one photographer massively overstep someone's personal space and had his lense almost touching the poor girls Face!

Still as always it's the bad things that people complain about, or bad photographers in this case and not the good ones. I'll admit I was a little nervous at first about trying to go up and ask people for shots myself and used one of the girls from the club as a "in" until I had built my own confidence up.

 Initially I thought we had a lot of time in Whitby but it seemed to just shoot by. We didn't even really stop for lunch. We just grabbed a quick drink and some rather yummy homemade gooey cake that really gave us a needed sugar boost for the afternoon.

We found most people were up by the church which is famous for having a staircase with 199 steps that you have to climb to get to the top which doesn't sound like a lot and it didn't seem like a lot until my 4th or 5th time heading up there when my legs suddenly decided to protest. Which although bad then was nothing to the next morning when I ended up walking like a complete and total zombie.

Still no pain no gain as it was this last trip up the stairs that gave me the last three shots which I consider to be my "shots of the day"

Now the next weekend is in November which I seriously want to attend as I am now much more confident in my skills in street photography and I really want to get some more shots for my portfolio, as short of several sgteampunk and goth obsessed people joined my work or church, there's nowhere else I'm going to be able to get shots like that! 

The preston temple

My latest talk

Good Morning Brother and sisters.

When I first received the call from Brother Liddicott, asking me to speak my Dad asked me what I had been asked to speak about.  The apostasy, I responded.  Oh that’s easy he replied, I can help you with that, there was 12 of them.
Apostasy I corrected, not apostles. Oh, was the response, you’re on your own with that one.
So what does Apostasy mean? The English word "apostasy" derives from the Greek apostasía or apóstasis ("defection, revolt") It can mean "to stand away from," and Thus an apostasy can be an active, collective rebellion or a "falling away
Teach my gospel further defines apostasy as
Whenever people choose to disregard, disobey, or distort any gospel principle or ordinance, whenever they reject the Lord’s prophets, or whenever they fail to endure in faith, they distance themselves from God and begin to live in spiritual darkness. Eventually this leads to a condition called apostasy. When widespread apostasy occurs, God withdraws His priesthood authority to teach and administer the ordinances of the gospel.”
The old testament lists a pattern of prophetic dispensations through it’s recorded history, detailing prophets who are called by God to start a new dispensation of the gospel and were granted priesthood authority and had eternal truths revealed to them. However in each of these dispensations the people used their agency to choose to reject the gospel and fall into apostasy.
The apostasy I will be speaking about today is referred to as the Great apostasy and occurred after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
But why do we focus so much attention on this one instant of apostasy among others. Well I found it is summed up best by Kent P Jackson in his article from the December 1984 ensign.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has proclaimed to the world consistently since its beginning that there was an apostasy of the church founded by Jesus during his Palestinian ministry and led by his Apostles following his ascension. 1 This is a fundamental belief of the Latter-day Saints. If there had not been an apostasy, there would have been no need for a restoration.”
As the church grew strongly and flourished  with thousands of jews and tens of thousands of gentiles  converting to Christianity following the ministry of Jesus  It gave testament to the great zeal with which the apostles worked to spread the church through the world, for example in Acts 5:14 it states
“believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.”
 but even by this point there were several statements made by Jesus and his apostles about the future of their work.
In Matthew 24 9-11 Jesus Prophesied
“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”
This verse alongside others indicates that the apostasy was not a sudden event that occurred with the death of the apostles and the authority they held.  It was a process that began from within, a internal wound caused by the rejection of true doctrine by members of the church. What must have it been like for these early apostles to know from their own prophetic utterances that the end results of their efforts foretold tragedy. In short they knew the church would fall into apostasy after their time.
We also see reference to this internal wounding in Acts 20: 29-31 when Paul made the following prophecy to the Elders of Ephesus.
“ For I know this, that after my departing shall grevious wolves enter in among you, not sparing this flock, also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them”
In Andrew C Skinner’s article from the December 1995 ensign he refers to this passage of scripture as a chilling warning by Paul of things to come to a growing body of disciples that he had grown to love so deeply. He also refers to this passage of scripture as
This may be the most pointed and succinct description in all scripture of how the great apostasy of the early Church came about. “
This passage also makes it clear that apostasy was an internal phenomenon and was born of certain members desires to exalt themselves. Brother Skinner also states that
“ Nephi may have labeled it something else (that is, priestcraft), but he outlined the same basic ingredient of apostasy—pride.”
As it states in 2nd Nephi, 26:29
““He [the Lord] commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion”
In the second Thessalonian letter, Paul taught that the day of Christ’s coming would not take place until the “falling away” and the revelation of the “man of sin,” “the son of perdition.” (2 Thes. 2:3.)
The term “falling away” may give the incorrect impression of a process of drifting or gradually losing ground. The original Greek term, apostasía(from which we have the English word “apostasy”), means something much more drastic. Ancient sources use the term to describe political rebellion and revolution.
And in 1 Timothy 4:1-3 Paul prophesied concerning the departure of some of the saints from the faith
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (1 Tim. 4:1.)
Paul’ final prophecy can befound in 2nd Timothy 4 3-4
 For the time will come when they will not aendure soundbdoctrine; but after their own clusts shall they heap to themselvesdteachers, having itching ears;
 And they shall turn away their ears from the atruth, and shall be turned unto bfables.
But it was not just Paul who prophesied of the forthcoming apostasy, in 2nd Peter 2: 1-3 Peter prophesied
“ But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the lord that bought them and bring upon themselves swift destruction
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoke of”
However of all the apostles it is Paul who is perhaps the best witness of the eroding forces working on the foundations of the church, as stated by S Kent Brown in his article from the October 1988 ensign
One impression that his letters give is that he and his companions spent considerable energy trying to smother the flames of apostasy.”
The death of the last of the apostles and the authority they held did not mean an end to Christianity. However their death did meant the loss of Paul had called the foundation of the church in Eph 2.20
 And are built upon the foundation of the aapostles andbprophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief ccorner stone;”
Many early Christians worked in the face of horrifying oppression and persecution and by the end of the 2nd century Christianity was truly a prominent force.
However this early saints did not have the same apostolic Authority, that John, paul and their breathern had and in their quest for doctrinal understanding their turned to other sources, which lead to the loss of many plain and precious truths.
In his article in the November 1994 ensign, Elder M Russell Ballard states that
History tells us, for example, of a great council held in A.D. 325 in Nicaea. By this time Christianity had emerged from the dank dungeons of Rome to become the state religion of the Roman Empire, but the church still had problems—chiefly the inability of Christians to agree among themselves on basic points of doctrine. To resolve differences, Emperor Constantine called together a group of Christian bishops to establish once and for all the official doctrines of the church.
Consensus did not come easily. Opinions on such basic subjects as the nature of God were diverse and deeply felt, and debate was spirited. Decisions were not made by inspiration or revelation, but by majority vote, and some disagreeing factions split off and formed new churches. Similar doctrinal councils were held later in A.D. 451, 787, and 1545, with similarly divisive results.
This passage gave me Pause Brothers and sisters, we often express our thanks for the priesthood and the blessings that its authority can bring into our lives as well as our families. But do we always realise just how far those blessings reach? We have the scriptures and we receive revelation through a living prophet on the earth today but do we also realise the blessings that come from our lesson manuals?  Can you imagine what it would be like trying to hold a meeting influenced by the majority?
During the first several centuries of apostasy, the major doctrinal disputes centered on the Savior’s resurrection and the exact nature of his mission—the very points on which the Apostles were charged to testify. (See Acts 1:8, 21–22.) We can see how serious the absence of the Apostles became, since such issues continued as centers of controversy among Christians until the fifth century A.D.
As Christianity moved into the time referred to as the Dark Ages , the beautiful simplicity of Christ’s gospel had been lost behind doctrine that was more popular opinion then revelation   
However in 1517 a german Priest named Martin Luther was moved by the spirit, after being disturbed at how far the church had moved from the teachings of Christ, to start a work that would lead to a reformation that was taken up by other visionaries such as John Calvin.
Their work would begin to bring about a religious climate that would inspire early explorers and the founders of America,  to ready a land where a young 14 year old boy after reading a passage in james would retire to a grove of tree’s one beautiful spring morning to receive a vision that would herald the restoration of the gospel , the formation of the only true and living church on the earth today, and let us know a significant and eternal truth. The heavens are not sealed and god still communicates with mortals as he did in ancient times.
Elder M Russell Ballard stated about the following about the apostasy and restoration;
 I taught my new friends in Orlando, as I teach here this morning, that either the gospel has been restored or it has not. Either the Savior’s original church and its doctrine were lost or they were not. Either Joseph Smith had that remarkable vision or he did not. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ or it is not. Either the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to earth through God’s chosen latter-day prophet or it was not.
The truth really is not any more complicated than that. Either these things happened just as I have testified or they did not. As a latter-day Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, my testimony, and the testimony of millions of faithful members of the Church the world over, is that what I have told you this morning is true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been restored to the earth through Joseph Smith and is administered today by a living prophet. These things I know!
I am thankful for this opportunity to have spoken to you today Brother and Sisters, I have to admit when I first got the assignment and looked at it, I was certain I would find difficulty in finding enough to speak about. But I was wrong and was once again taught their lesson that when it comes to things in the gospel, there is always something new to learn.  
Bear testimony etc J
And I say this things in the nameof Jesus Christ Amen.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Worst timing ever

It's been snowing again today.

Although not a lot, just that light kind of persistent snow that you know is not going to settle and you look out the window and wonder what's the point of light snow.

Anyway of course for it to snow, it has to be cold.

And what could be better, then after a long day at work you come home to a nice warm house.

Indeed, What could be better?

Well I'll tell you what's worse, coming home to find that the boiler has been classified as defunct, as it has been leaking a very small bit of gas, meaning it's had to be shut off until a part is replaced, meaning no hot water and no central heating.

Did I mention it's snowing outside?

Which means we are having to rely of some heaters that tap dance used to use at her cottage, which means at least certain rooms are warm.

Or warmish.

so could be worse.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Shuffling the decks... erhh I mean desks

well it was moving day at work again.

But not just for me. Oh no.

Our whole team was moving.

And not just our team.

Our whole department was moving in what was a swap with another department on the far side of the building.

Which sounds simple. But it's not really because you have to give enough time for people to be able to clear their current desk, move across the building, get reset up and logged in whilst making sure enough people are still logged in to take calls.

So it was rather a masterpiece of precise timing and co-ordination.

That is when the IT systems decided to play nice.

Still it also lead to one of the most random comments of the day when we suddenly heard from beneth one of the girls desks as she was tidying out the rather random phrase of

" I've found a farm yard animal under here"

Later folks

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Vital stats

I don't know if I've mentioned this but I am now on the Elders quorum presidency.

Which meant I had to be released from my previous calling as ward missionary.

And release me they did. Twice. Now I'm not sure how that happened, maybe I'd just done that good a job they wanted to thank me twice, maybe they just wanted to be sure they were rid of me :-) Or maybe someone just forgot to take if off the paperwork.

Who knows?

Anyway we have been doing a lot of talk about home teaching, and all this talk about stats inspired me to have a look at the stats for my blog to see just how people are finding me.

It seems in the last week the top keyword searches that led people to me are

  • south park doctor who
  • lightsaber cats
  • only wakko pictures
  • warbuggy
  • young single and mormon bbc
which seems a little strange but is nothing compared to the all time top keyword searches that are

  • battlewagon
  • cat with lightsaber
  • lightsaber duel
  • cat lightsaber
  • lightsaber cats
  • lightsaber cat
  • doctor who rory
  • kitty wardwell
  • ramblings-from
  • snoopy doctor who 
So it seems I am attracted a lot of star wars fans who also have a thing about cats. However the one which really baffled me is Kitty Wardwell which after a google search transpires is a murder victim whose body was found after being stored in a freezer for 28 years

What the heck????? How do searches regarding a murder victim bring people here? 

That;s somewhat distrubing

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Time goes by

It's been a really quick week this week.

Mainly because I've had the whole week off and nothing speeds up time like actually having a holiday. Why oh why can't work never pass this quickly :-)

But c'est la vie.

Still a break as they say is as good as a rest and boy did I need one after the past couple of months. IT was a nice long period of decompressing.

Or at least that's my excuse for staying in bed so late each day and I'm sticking to it :-)

Still, I managed to get a surprising amount done and was actually quite pleased with what I did get done as it was rather constructive. Even if I had to spend a large chunk of one day battling with the evils of Ikea furniture.

And I'm still convinced ikea is swedish for torture :-)

Friday, February 01, 2013

shameless plug time

Okay, so the new years resolution to blog every day is not quite going to plan but I do have a excuse as I have been spending a whole lot of time working on my photography.

If you do have any spare time please feel free to visit my photography blog and read my latest three posts.

Snow Day
Alas poor jessops
Like Paper beats rock practical beats theory

Snow Day shows off some more pictures taken during the recent snow fall.

Alas poor jessops details some more of my thoughts regarding the failure of hessops.

And Like paper beats rock, practical beats theory details my experience of a wedding photography course along with some photos which you have not seen here on this blog.

So that must be worth a look just for thatone :-)

Later folks

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spot the problem

We have recently changed ISP.

This means as well as having cable we also have a new voicemail system for the phone.

Which we eventually worked out how to access.

The first message on the voicemail was a welcome message telling us how to access and use the system.

Anybody else spot the obvious flaw?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Can he dig it? yes he can!

Owen does love the snow

It's all a matter of context

It's been a couple of days and facebook is still rumbling a little bit with the program from Monday ( see previous post for those of you not paying attention :-) ) Although it is slowly starting to die down, asides from a little flare up caused by some American SA who felt the need to defend themselves.

Now one comment caught my eye from someone who said words to the effect that it was only looking bad as it was a matter of context, and that the behaviour was perfectly normal beach party antics in the USA.

This lead me think to the latest Mid Singles event held here in the uk, which I suppose when you tried to explain the concept behind a " inflatable chapel chill out day" members from another country might think we seemed a bit strange as well.

Grumpys response when I told him the name of the event was to say " Inflatable chapel? What's wrong with a brick one?"

Plus the way we socialise over here did seem a bit different as I couldn't really imagine a situation over there where you would get a really long hug from a ex-model who you have never met before and doesn't even know your name and then be called her angel simply because in a random co-incidence you happened to be carrying sudafeed on you.

But I'm sure no one wants to hear that story :-)

There was also a comment claiming the film did not show a very good side to church members because there were more non member producers then member producers.

But where did it all go so wrong and seems to have upset the majority of people?

Firstly I think it crossed the line from documentary to reality show. And no matter how good your intentions it's always terrifying easy to come across really, really badly.

Secondly it was on BBC 3 which has a very good history of documentaries. Okay so we weren't exactly expecting panorama, but then again we weren't expecting a repeat of the last documentary about the church on the BBC where the genius reporter asking a group of the trainees at the MTC what their criticisms of the church were! When we were told it would be about four single mormons looking for love and what it was like being a single member that's what we thought we would get.

We didn't. In only one of the cases did the man come across as what you would consider a "average" church single. He was doing the right things, acting and dressing in the right way but it hadn't happened for him yet as it were and even by the end of the film even though everyone on facebook was routing for him, he didn't get the happy ending we were routing for.

The others well they came across to me as superficial. Now this could be down to bad editing, but some of the lines they were coming out with, like saying they didn't have a requirement of looks for people to be their friends or that they would ask the lord for help finding a car parking space didn't exactly scream out well rounded and deep individuals.

Now this wasn't helped by the second issue, now I know you should not base judgements on peoples looks but the appearance of being superficial was not helped by at least 90% of them looking like they had just come off the set of the outset and the girls were affected by a ad version to wearing shirts and the girls were suffering from a critical shortage of material for bathing suits.

Although this did lead to a sequence which one of my non member loved in that one of the guys was trying to stop a girl toppling over and had a obvious moment of panic when he couldn't think where to put his hands to grab her without it looking a little dodgy.

Now a couple of Americans did turn up on the facebook group and offered a defence for the documentary and in particular the swimsuit issue.

Firstly that there were more non mormons in the producers and they had chosen the direction of the film.

Secondly,  beach activities are like that.

And lastly it was not a event organised or endorsed by the church but organised by church members.

Which was a interesting defence to say the least.

Now someone raised the opinion that it would have been better if it had been produced by the church. But firstly lets be honest, A it would never have been produced by the church for a non official activity and B the intended slant of the documentary is something I doubt the would have been wanted.

So where does that leave my opinion of the documentary at the end of the day?

It was a good attempt but missed it's intended mission statement and regardless of whether or not you thought people were superficial or it did or did not actually show the activity in it's "true form" missed that mission statement means you have to chalk it up as a fail

Monday, January 14, 2013

Young, mormon and single and no I'm not talking about me

Now the program description read as Documentary which follows four single Mormons looking for their eternal partner at a weekend-long, non-stop but sex-and-alcohol-free party in Duck Beach, North Carolina.

The last time the church appeared on BBC the end results were more then a little mixed. However BBC three has shown some good documentaries in the past.

But then again we had heard nothing about this through regular channels.

So I was already starting to wonder.

But I couldn't help but have a look.

At within two minutes I had already grabbed my phone to check what was happening with facebook as I knew it was going to go into meltdown because my first sight of some of these LDS on a beach actually lead me to ask the quite honest question if the UK has a different strength of youth booklet to the uk plus the sight of a party being broken up police, a girl seemingly having a bikini top ripped off and a guy talking about sexually frustrated mormons who may well break the rules.

This opening immediately clued me into the fact that this could be nowhere official and as a media representative  I'm sure somewhere in the depths of Loughborough Bro H suddenly put down a book declaring he sensed a disturbance in the force.

Mormon doctrine was then explained in a two minute animation which attempted to explain the importance we place on marriage but probably confused people more then anything.

Now it may be that it was down to bad editing but most of the people weren't come across as very in depth shall we say. And that's not just my opinion, the uk mid single facebook group was going into meltdown, especially as it showed several girls who were 21, 22, 23, etc worrying about being old and not married.

One of the people they were following came across very well mind you, Brian who if he ever comes to the uk will be beating them off with a stick. He seemed to be the only one who really seemed to show what it is like to be a mid single and how it's not easy sometimes to be a church member

Well the others, well to my eyes most of them looked like they had just stepped off the set of the OC, and the fact that the guys spent a lot of time wondering round with their shirts off and the girls were in bikini's it didn't help that some of them were coming across as dangerously shallow.

For example one girl who mentioned that she spoke to God as it were on a regular basis asking for help with things like finding car park spots and always thanking him when she got one, but she then didn't go to church as she saw a lad she liked but  she then also mentioned she would never ask the lord if she should marry someone. 

Another group was mentioning that they didn't have a requirement for people to hang with them but they had a lot of friends who were attractive who they invited and wanted to come so they were lucky.

And there was a lad who was only interested in girls about five or six years younger then him, not that he had anything against women older then him but he just knew that had problems in dating and getting married.

The trouble was it went on and on and by the time it reached the hot tubbing on a Sunday night where the girls in their bikini's were discussed the lads I just wanted it to end.

After it had, I went onto facebook and realised the reaction the program was gaining was immense. One girls status update regarding the program had a whoping 158 comments!

The general reaction seemed to be one of disappointment and that they thought people were very superficial.

Asides from Brian. Everybody loved brian.

However I then saw a comment which made me stop and think. One church member said words to the effect of lets all snoop at the lives of other members of our faith like total voyeurs via a tacky tv reality show and discuss how much more awesome we are.

Yes we were being judgemental a little bit. But then again it was all a matter of context, we were going off what we could see on the screen and lets face it there's always the possibility they were playing up for the camera's.

And hey I think anyone who watches any reality show will end up a bit judgemental as that is after all the nature of the beast. 

But it could have also have been editing, because the whole section where they went to church was maybe less then five minutes, if I'm being generous. And lets face it, as much as we are different to other churches and organisations we are very much the same in the sense that we have a wide cross section of people from the very good to the need a bit of work.

After all we are not a rest home for saints.

But regardless of what side you fall on, whether they were or were not superficial, I think the program didn't succeed in it's stated goal. 

You only became invested in one of the people and his journey. It was sad that it didn't have a happy ending but it gave it that touch of reality which is why I think it resonated so much with the mid singles on this side of the pond.

So I would say it was brave attempt but a missed goal. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

why it's not good to be a manager on children in need day

Sunset at sea

Duuun dun duuun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun BOM BOM

It's a stressful life

Alas Poor jessops

Well jessops has gone to that great high street in the sky to join woolworths, ottakers, Virgin, Borders and Somerfields.

Now I'll admit I have been buying my last few major additions to my kit from online, but it was nice to have a shop on the high street where you could pop into, to get any little odd's and ends like filters or a new cleaning cloth.

Then of course there's always that "play before you buy factor" which you just can't get online. Now with the big stuff like lenses it doesn't really matter that much as lets face it, if you want a macro lense you'll buy a macro lense.

I was more thinking about the stuff like camera bags. However can you know before hand if you're going to like a camera bag? It mike look great on the website but feel the most uncomfortable thing ever where you put it on.

Plus no more jessops academy either.

Boy, I'm glad I didn't wait to go on that course.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Jump to it

What ever evil genius needs

Bandits... 12 o clock

Okay so working at the airport has certainly proven to be a interesting experience.

In the past couple of years it has been closed due to a Volcano in Iceland, a bomb threat ( okay well technically the bomb threat didn't close the whole airport only our section of it, and technically it wasn't a threat but a actual bomb but c'est la vie, you get my point etc, etc) and yesterday it was closed yet again.

The reason? Well we heard that a aircraft's undercarriage had collapsed on landing. Being such a major airport we were wondering what kind of plane it was. Was it a cargo carrier? A large passenger plan? Or a small one?


It was a spitfire.

I'll say that again one of the major airports here in the uk was closed due to a crashed spitfire on the runway.

And even then the airport continues to insist it didn't crash, it landed safely before the undercarriage went.

Now I'm not sure why they are getting so defensive about it as let's face it people are going to be more focussed on the fact it was a spitfire as opposed to what it actually did.

Although Grumpy later pointed out that the more ironic thing is that it will have to be send to the USA for repairs as we don't have the facilities to repair it in this country.

Yep, we can no longer repair one of the iconic British aircraft.


Monday, January 07, 2013

out of the mouths of babes

We were up at speed demons this weekend as it was her Birthday. One thing you do have to be careful of there is that her toilet doesn't have a lock on it and it being full of useful energy sometimes her kids don't remember to knock.

So you have to remember to brace the door.

The following was a conversation with her youngest that occurred when she attempted to come through the door and wanted to know why.

Niece: Whose in there?
Saxon: Me
Niece: Ohhh...... I want to go to the toilet
Saxon: I'll just be a minute.
Niece: Okay I'll wait
Niece: Because wait is my middle name.
another pause
Niece: It isn't really.
Niece:  but I'll still wait

weep for the future

There are two things which are pretty inevitable every Friday when I finish work.

The first is the to resist that urge which near enough everyone gets to run from the building doing your best Mel gibson Scottish/Australian accent  screaming "freedommmmmmmm"

The second is that events will always conspire to make sure you just miss the bus you hope to get and have to wait for the next one.

If the fates are feeling cruel you can sometimes get to the pick up point just in time to see the bus disappear round the corner. If their feeling especially cruel the bus can still be there but someone has just grabbed the last seat.


Anyhow I waiting for the bus and a couple ( and by couple I mean actual couple, who got together sometime ago but to the relief of many have got over the lovely dovey stage which they were expressing by meowing at  each other and by meowing I mean as in cat) were also there, when the girl noticed a planet in the sky. The following conversation was to by regret totally serious

Girl : Ohh that star is bright
Boy: That's not a star
Girl: Is it a planet?
Boy: no planets are too far away to see without a telescope.
Girl: Then was is it?
A pause from the guy and that he said with great conviction
Boy: It's a plane
Girl: Really?
Boy: Yes, we are a airport aren't we?
Girl: It doesn't seem to be moving very fast for a plane
Boy: Well that's because it's so high up, so far away and the light is so bright. It's really making great big circles up there
Girl (giggling): you are so clever. I didn't know that

I meanwhile tried not to weep for the future of mankind

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Try to keep a straight face

Okay, so the very nature of my job means I get to interact shall we say with a wide variety of people with a rather varied selection of personalties and temperaments on a daily basis.

And saying varied is a bit of understatement. Kind of like saying water is wet :-)

It's always important to keep your cool and a straight face, or straight voice technically but even I was struggling today when I had a rather upset customer declare

" You are threatening to unleash forces beyond your understanding"

And before you ask I'm fairly certain his name wasn't Ming, Cruella, Dr Evil or Dok Ock.

I was also watching TV tonight and I was vaguely amused to see a advert on one channel advertising a new series of a program with the last line of the voice over stating " Drama that inspires you" .

The program? Well somewhat surprisingly, the Walking dead.

Yes apparently a program about zombies taking over the world is supposed to "inspire" you.

Quite how, it doesn't state.

But I'm sure if you ever face your own zombie outbreak it will certainly inspire you as to what to do.

Or if you not you'll probably just end up as lunch.

Later folks

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

It's that time of year

Yes, the working year has started again and so far 2013 seems to be pretty much matching 2012.

Well asides from it being that special time of year when the canteen staff look a bit nervous and you can buy whatever you want from the trolley which comes round at regular intervals or one of the vending machines as there simply stocked to overflowing.

Yes, I could only be talking about that old chestnut of new years resolutions.

Of course not everyone is firmly melded to the idea of giving things up, as one of the girls from our team cheerfully tucked into a cake and crisps today.

When asked if you was not following any new years resolutions, she cheerfully replied that she usually doesn't make it past mid January anyway so why miss out on the cake and crisps she could be having?

I suppose there's kind of a twisted logic there.

If you look hard enough.

Although I suppose it could be worse as the weather this winter seems to be keeping to the "wet" theme as opposed to "cold", which although somewhat dank and depressing it really rather easier to drive in.

Plus it doesn't get me all wound up at the start of the day because as regular readers will know, driving in ice is not my favourite thing.


Later folks

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Those ole good intentions

Okay, well I think we can agree that last year posting here on grumblings kind of went totally to pot.

For a number of reasons.

But c'est la vie. What's done is done, can't change what's in the past, insert time related cliché here, etc, etc, etc.

But you know, it's the 1st day of a new year, so I need to get things corrected where I've been slacking off a little and this little blog of mine was near the top of the list.

Especially as my online presence as it were is expanding. More on that soon :-)

But first up, if you have a moment please go and visit my Mum's new website at . A christmas present from me to her it is show casing all of her paintings. And there are rather a lot of them.

I now also have a twitter feed which you can see here

I am also writing another blog now at

Which is detailing my various photographic exploits.

The twitter and the other blog are leading up to something, which I will reveal more of soon.

Now I would go on but unfortunately I am back in work tomorrow which should be a rather fascinating experience.

I'm sure some others mind use other words then fascinating to describe it, but That's what I'm gonna stick with for now.

Later folks

Mr Saxon goes to Poole: Sunday morning. " It's what time????"

At most conferences I've been too it's always the last day where it's most difficult to get up and this conference was no exception.

I'll admit that unlike most people I don't get a lie in on a sunday morning but 6.30pm when I had only gotten to bed a few hours before.....

Couldn't you at least get a later start time depending on how far you've come to the conference? Hey you've travelled four hours to get here, so feel free to show up around 11 okay??

Well it might catch on

anyway, it was breakfast in the same place, which was nice although it's always a pain trying to ea a fried breakfast whilst wearing a white shirt.

It's usually the same for sunday evening meals at conferences. They always give you something with gravy, but hey I digress.

I ran into cheery at breakfast, although to be technically accurate she ran into me ( it was in the process of giving me a big bear hug mind you :-)

I ran rather into speed up and roch who had arrived rather late to get breakfast. In fact most of the attendee's were still hanging around giving the restaurant staff fits as we were practically fill up two thirds of the place. Although it did lead to some interesting teaching experiences as it were for some people as some of the other customer s were rather intrigued as to this rather large group ( and rather happy for that time on a Sunday morning) were.

The Sunday conference/testimony meeting was held at the same primary school that we had done the service project at the previous day. Even though it wasn't a chapel the chairs were just as uncomfortable after a long period as any plastic chairs you will find in a chapel. I mean seriously who designs those things??

It was a wonderful session, if a little hard at times to keep focussed, mainly due to all of the bright displays on the walls of the school hall. Well you know what they say about simple things and simple minds :-)

But then with that sudden finality that I knew all too well from YSA conferences, it was all over. Well bar lunch of course, but unfortunately with it being a Sunday I knew traffic would be heavy and with the distance I was going to have to travel I really wasn't going to be able to hang around no matter how much I wanted too.

So it was with a heavy heart that I had to say goodbye to my new friends and a couple of old ones and hit the road. However the trip back wasn't as plain sailing as I hoped due to two issues.

Firstly despite being able to make the trip down without stopping, I fund myself having to take a long break to get some feeling back in my foot as although a clear run can be easy, your foot tends to hurt keeping it in exactly the same position with exactly the same amount of force.

The second problem was the sat nav suddenly decided to roll over and die on me, which when you're the other end of the country is kind of a major problem. Fortunately I was able to get home the old fashioned way.

By following road signs :-)