Versatile champion children

Patrick boys win new trophiesJohn and Thomas have spent another week at the High School Holiday Club.  Thomas swam 1000 metres, and John had a new personal best for his 1-mile swim in about 40 minutes.

However, this time they both came away with trophies for Ball Skills!  The prize envelope in Thomas’s hands contained two tickets for Trent Bridge.


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Spring is surely here

Spring balloonThis hot air balloon will have taken off from Wollaton Park in the balmy air of a lovely spring evening. The wind took it northward and out of sight before we could read the advertising logo!

Note that Round Hill School [pictured] is going to build three new classrooms round the back before expanding its entry in September.

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Two Jack Simcock oils purchased

Portrait of moustatioed manI was very pleased to have acquired (online) two oil paintings by Mow Cop artist Jack Simcock in the Adam Partridge Art Auction in Macclesfield yesterday.

One is entitled “Portrait study of a moustachioed gent wearing flat cap” dated 1954, and the other is “The Farm” dated 1957.The farm 1957

They will hang alongside “Biddulph Moor houses” in the “St Johns Grove Gallery” soon!

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Look after your old car

Vintage cars in Macclesfield saleroomWe drove to Macclesfield to look at pictures in an auction sale today, and found these big old beasts [a 1931 Rolls Royce at £5000 (for spares perhaps) and a 1930 Ford at £8500] in a side-room.

I wasn’t tempted to spend my money here though: our Corolla has a few more years in her yet.  I’m saving up for a Jack Simcock oil.  Watch this space.

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Ectoplasm or optical illusion?

Ectoplasmic Pigeon (1)Is John seeing an imaginary pigeon strike the window pane, or has the ectoplasm magically materialised overnight?

This photo was taken from outside looking in, and the windows were cleaned a week ago!

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David inaugurates Beeston’s own Park Run

David Park Run InaugurationDavid is celebrating success in establishing a regular 5 km Park Run on home territory at Beeston Lock on the Trent. Over three hundred runners were attracted to yesterday’s inaugural run, travelling from as far afield as Epsom, Cardiff and Milton Keynes.

David is shown here with the fastest finisher who completed the course in just over 17 minutes: that works out at 17.5 km/hr [11 mph]!

Clearly, a race like this needs to be highly organised.  Not far away, embarrassed race organisers had to cancel a half-marathon for 5000 runners because of a shortage of water.

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Alumni gather for Oxford old Master’s memorial

I returned to Oxford yesterday for the memorial service to a previous Master of my College Professor John Albery. The service was held in St Mary’s, the University Church where the Oxford martyrs Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley and Thomas Cranmer were tried and condemned for their protestant teaching and beliefs in 1555, and where John Wesley preached in the 1740s.

We retired for tea in the hall of University College [reportedly founded by King Alfred, as shown in the archival photo above] surrounded by the portraits of distinguished alumni, fellows and Masters including William Beveridge, Clement Atlee and Harold Wilson.

I was glad to see that little of substance has changed in the 50 years since I took my final degree!

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Two more photographs from Islamabad this morning


The photograph above is of a pond in the park with a mausoleum in the background, while the photograph below is of the cricket pitch in the park with the Margalla Hills providing a dramatic backdrop.  WP_20140330_06_21_16_Panorama

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Islamabad at dawn

WP_20140329_006 WP_20140329_06_38_13_Panorama WP_20140329_06_39_05_Panorama   WP_20140329_009WP_20140329_014   WP_20140329_002WP_20140329_019Clyde and I took a walk through Jinnah Park at dawn this morning when the light was perfect. The dew was just evaporating as the sun rose casting long shadows over the park in a clear light. More photographs on flickr.

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Learning from the master

Learning from the masterWe came upon the statue of Stanley Matthews at the Brittania Stadium in Stoke today. John and Thomas had the opportunity to practice their footballing skills in the presence of the master.

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