Internet

Recovery

Some of you may have noticed that most of the images on my blog have been missing for some time.  Actually, if I’m honest, I very much doubt if anyone has noticed.  Let’s face it, who reads blog posts from last year?  Hmm?  Anyone?  No, I thought not.  Nonetheless, the Read more…

By Matthew, ago
Life

Opportunities for snap-happiness

There are few things I like more than taking photos.  There are plenty of things I like equally, like drinking tea, having friends round, washing the car and so on, but on a sliding scale they are all pretty near the top.  And recently I have had a plethora of occasions to dust off my camera and capture the passing moments, each one with its own shade of significance.

The week before Easter we went to Torquay to visit my family.  My little brother was in the annual school musical - an adaptation of Guys And Dolls - and it was superb.  That was on the Friday evening.  We left Samuel with my parents while we went to the theatre, figuring that neither audience nor cast would appreciate the addition of his vocals to the performance.  It was only the second time we'd left him with someone else while we went out, so it was at the same time exciting and worrisome.  Thankfully my Mum has had plenty of experience of looking after children, with three of her own children and a career in childcare, so all was well!  And all of that is by way of introduction really, because I didn't take any photos that whole day.  That started the next day.

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By Matthew, ago
Life

A story of commitment, journies, sleepless nights, new toys and competition

Well, that's quite possibly the longest blog post title I've ever written.  But with good reason - I have a lot to say in this post.  So feel free to skip bits that you find boring, I won't be offended.  Just don't expect me to mow your lawn for free unless you've read every word.For a slightly more complete description of the above title, allow me to elucidate.  This weekend started on Friday, which was a little odd, with Phil and Esther's wedding.  That was followed by a fairly taxing drive back home, and very little sleep that night on account of my cold.  On a lighter note, I picked up my new computer on Saturday (on which I am writing this very post), and in the evening I had a house full of people to watch the final of I'd Do Anything, Doctor Who and Pushing Daisies.  All in all, quite a busy weekend, and most of that happened without my wife - Ellie was helping out at a church weekend away, so I haven't actually seen her since Friday afternoon. (more…)

By Matthew, ago
Life

Ian and Lucy’s wedding

Ian and LucyFirstly, a big congratulations to Ian and Lucy! Welcome to the club of married-folk...It was a superb day, bathed in glorious sunshine and with not a hitch in sight. Other than that of Ian and Lucy, of course. Getting hitched, I mean. The service at St Botolph's church in Colchester was lovely, with plenty of warmth and a sense of the usual level of excellence that tends to follow Ian around. Everything had been intricately planned and was well executed from start to finish. Ian and his two best men looked very smart, though respectfully upstaged by Lucy's gorgeous wedding dress, and the bridesmaids' dresses were sumptuous too.I actually sang in the choir too, which was good fun. In the invitation to the wedding Ian and Lucy had asked whether anyone would like to sing in the service as part of the choir, and following my offer I was sent music for the two pieces we were to sing during the communion and signing of the register. They were both beautiful pieces, though both unknown to me. Thankfully my voice was in good nick that day, and despite not sight-singing anything for years I managed to get to grips with both by singing along to YouTube the day before. The acoustics in the church are fantastic, so the choir sounded superb.(more…)

By Matthew, ago
Life

Diamond and Pearl

I’ve finally got round to taking some photos of our gerbils, Diamond and Pearl.  Ellie was cleaning our their cage this morning so I had to babysit them both on the sofa, and took the opportunity to whip my camera out.  It’s actually quite hard to get a good shot Read more…

By Matthew, ago
Minis

Manningtree Vehicle Show

CMC club standSunday it was supposed to rain.  At least, that's what the weather report said on Thursday.  By the time it got to Sunday morning the MET office had revised its decision and said that it wasn't going to rain.  But it was going to be grey and misty and cloudy and miserable.  And it was.  In the morning.  By the afternoon we were enjoying glorious sunshine.And it was on this day that I went with Colchester Mini Club to the Manningtree High School Classic Vehicle Show.  Not restricted to just Minis, there were cars of all sorts in attendance, all (or at least most) shined up and tidied to be on show.  Photos of the event are in my new Picasa album.

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By Matthew, ago
Life

On yer bike!

Saturday was busy.  At least, a lot seemed to happen.  In the morning I went bike-shopping (see my previous post about why I needed a new bike), and came home having only been to one shop.  £105 bought me a nice mountain bike with 21 gears and front suspension, and included a new saddle (the one the bike came with was a tiddly little one, which wouldn't have been any good at all, so I upgraded to a slightly nicer one).  The most scary part was in fact not buying the bike, but getting it home again on the back of my Mini!  Still, I know what I'm doing with that bike rack, so it was on good and tight and bike didn't move an inch, even over the bumps in the road.  It's just rather worrying when you see the bike sticking out either side of the car by a substantial distance!When I got home I took the bike for a ride, something I've not done in years.  My leg muscles complained almost instantly, but thankfully I managed to ignore them long enough to get a good long ride out of them.  At first I just cycled round the block, getting used to the bike and working up some confidence.  Then I started exploring some random roads in Wivenhoe that I hadn't been down before, found a few footpaths I never knew existed, and generally enjoyed being back on a bike again.  Then I ended up taking the bike off-road for a bit, and found some fields that I didn't know were there.  It was hard going, and I found a fair bit of mud, but I guess if nothing else it was good for the bike to know what it was in for!  After about half an hour of cycling I came back home again, thoroughly worn out but satisfied that I had had some exercise and shown the bike who was boss.

New bikeNew bikeNew bikeNew bike and oldNew bike gears

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By Matthew, ago