Archive for June, 2009

Hot shit.

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Redwither Tower

Redwither Tower

It really is. It was 28.5 celcius at THE TOWER. For Britain, this is hot. The met office has given a warmer forecast for the end of the week.

Today I went to the Trafford Centre with some friends from work. Getting there was mad as I went too fast and missed the lane for the M60, so ended up using a route I remembered from many years back which requires you going past Old Trafford and then through Trafford Park, a massive industrial estate.It's really the tower

Most of my clothes buying experiences stem from internet shopping, or the odd shirt I find that nobody seems to use, so it was an experience. I went to River Island and Topshop Topman. The thing I noticed is that there appear to be craploads of hot women around suddenly.

I have some clothes for the Avox summer party now. Excellent.

The Ffestiniog Railway

Sunday, June 21st, 2009
Rolling past Merddin Emrys

Rolling past Merddin Emrys

Yesterday I went to the Ffestiniog Railway in North West Wales. It’s been a week since I got my camera back, so took it with me to get some excellent photos from areas not reachable by road or public footpath. I only ended up going because my father has always wanted a day out going up the Conwy Valley by train. It’s a great journey, the only problem being you have to spend time in Blaenau Ffestiniog for a few hours to make a day out of it and the only problem with that is that you have to spend time in Blaenau Ffestiniog. The only two things to alleviate this issue is to do one of two things; Go under Blaenau Ffestiniog in the Llechwedd slate caverns, or get away from Blaenau Ffestiniog on the Ffestiniog railway. The latter made more sense, as it takes you away from that forsaken place.

The day began with an early start on a Saturday. Usually this isn’t an issue, but as I’d not had 15 hours sleep in the previous week, it meant I was really tired. So my dad drove, to ensure I didn’t crash into a wall. Unfortunately we were stuck behind slow moving traffic for most of the way. I’m sorry, but if you can’t do 60 in an NSL where 60 is safe, GTFO mah roads. Seriously, 40 is not a viable alternative.

Anyway, we got to Llandudno Junction for 10:20, ten minutes to park and get the tickets. But there was a problem. This was an NCP car park, it only accepted coins, and we had none. So we needed to get the tickets and the parking. So, I parked by phone using my dads card. By the time I’d gotten off the convoluted automated phone system and back to reality, we were on the train, halfway up the Conwy valley, on the side with no views, and facing backwards, so there are no photos of Llandudno Junction or the train journey up.

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Rolling past Merddin Emrys

Of course, apparently my dad was heading for a good seat when he was shooed away from it by an approaching woman, who could only be described as a “chunky scouser”. My dad was further shocked when the train moved off away from the direction he thought it was heading. After a short hour journey, including a four minute journey through the seventh longest tunnel in Britain, at over two miles.

Upon exiting the tunnel, the doom and gloom of Blaenau dawns on you. It was raining, the sky is grey, the enormous slate tips are grey, the buildings are grey, their slate roofs are grey, the tarmac roads are grey, the pavements are grey, and the only green areas are tiny gardens, and council run playing fields. Lovely.

Upon stopping at the station, we notice an FR train is there in the station. Headed by the double fairlie David Lloyd George, this train was rather empty, being the first train of the day from Porthmadog, probably leaving around 9:15. Most people from our busy train rushed over to the booking office, which was a less than impressive container, which I am sure is the one we got tickets from in Caernarfon a number of years ago (see below)

Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway Station

By this point, it was raining heavily. We quickly retreated to a carriage with space left, in our case, an old heritage carriage from the 1920’s. This had no aisle or end connection to the rest of the train, but every two seats were enclosed, with windows on each side. The seat was comfortable, but the backrest was wooden, and not very. As the train snakes its way out of Blaenau, the train gets so close to walls and other trackside objects that in some places there must be almost no clearance at all, yet the train maintains what appears to be quite a good speed.

The weather improved considerably on the way down, and by the time we got to Porthmadog it was bright enough for the sun to start poking through.

Minffordd Yard

Once we were in Porthmadog, we had 35 minutes to kill, so we walked to the bank, got out some cash, and both a pint each and some sandwiches from the station. The pub there, Spooners, has won pub of the year several times, and you can see why.

The journey back to Blaenau was notably sunnier, and I had several photos by now, but when we arrived back in Blaenau, it was grey again. We boarded the train, but not before I got this classic of both gauges.

Big and Small

We got back to Llandudno Junction, but I was falling asleep at this point, so the way back was quieter. When I got back, I put the photos on the upload, and then fell asleep. 16 hours later, I woke up again, and am completely rejuvenated, but was annoyed to find the upload had put everything up twice, and not in the right set. So I’ve spent the last few hours making things work correctly. Oh well.

The days photos can be seen HERE

Dragon Boat Racing!

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

It’s been three days, but whatever.

I'm in the bright yellow T-Shirt

I'm in the bright yellow T-Shirt

On Sunday I went to Chester with half of Avox to experience a dragon boat race. The company was split into two teams, the Tigers and the Dragons. I forget which I was on, and ended up doing being on both anyway, by the end though, I was on my original team, and after wounding one of the other team, we won in a race against them, and also beat their fastest time.

Of course, the weather was better than expected, meaning I didn’t put on any sun lotion and got burned. The fact I was wearing sunglasses made it worse. A lot worse. I looked like an inverse Panda the next day.  Parking was a right arse as well, and I ended up parking in front of a friend to avoid endless walking to the site.

Each team had three races each, and the last race was between the two teams. There were a lot of people around and it was most busy. Between the two races, I wandered out onto a jetty and took some shots of the other team loading.

The other team loads up

The other team loads up

Not having my D40 on me, I had to use a *shudder* compact camera, with it’s traditional grainyness and poor zoom and focus. Not to mention the tiny thing didn’t have much power left, with batteries that can’t be charged, and the SD card was gone, meaning I was limited to the poor internal memory. The cable was missing, meaning I had to get a new one, which is why this post is three days late, hence the rambling about this because I can’t remember anything that happened on the day now. Oh well.

There were some shocking team names there, like “Posh and Decks”, or “Sunk and Disorderly”. I was most impressed with some of the teams speeds, and none of the Avox teams were able to get into the final race, a four boat head off. A shame.

All in all it was an excellent day out, with much fun had by all involved, and if you ever hear of such a competition locally, get your scrawny arses over there, because you’ll love it. Next company outings involve the annual company do, and Paintballing! Woo.

In unrelated news, there is now a Photos page up and running. This uses a script that integrates with Flickr, so go and have a ganders.

This weekend I’m going back out to the countryside with my D40. I’ll bring back images. Really.

New Domain

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Welcome to chrisjones.uk.net! Check it out.

I spent the other night fixing the TT-Terminal. I changed all files to use tt-terminal.co.uk as a base URL, so nothing should be broke. The news posting software was also a bit broke, but I’ve fixed that too.

Using a script from orudge, the logo in the top left now rotate between several, randomly. I’ll add more.

Also, check out Zernebok Hosting Ltd for all your hosting needs! If I’m going to be a part owner, I’m going to advertise it everywhere, dammit!

How Lord of the Rings should have ended

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

In other news, my parents have gone for two weeks, but have taken my camera. No photos! Nooooo!