Sunday, 5 December 2010

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Snow not so fun.

Snow started around here last weekend with perhaps a couple of inches.

(Sat 27th out of the window)

On Tuesday it snowed non stop and they let us out of work early since lorries were getting stuck on our road, on average it took 6 times longer for people to get home and several staff abandoned their cars and walked the final few miles

By Wednesday morning the top of my wall had 32cm of snow call it 13inches, deeper in places and possibly 8 inches in general on the flat areas. As I was clearing my car I was phoned by my boss and told not come in, since all the key holders to the offices could not make.

Later that morning the only traffic going by my house was 4 x 4's and lorries since they had close the A38 due to an accident, that then turned into a stationary queue for an hour when a lorry got stuck on the hill about a mile from house.

Thursday I made it into work along with about 50% of staff, most of them who lived locally although we could not get into our car park. We greeted by a email from the head office which had no snow telling us we would not be paid for time off due to weather conditions so had to take the day as unpaid leave or a holiday, well my opinion of that is not for a public post.

The Youth Hostel I had booked in the Peak District rang and told me they would closed over the weekend, cancelling our Ascendancy Christmas party, in many ways that was a relief since people had started to drop out, not wanting to travel, me included.

All day Thursday it continued to snow and local radio, friend and family of staff at work were delivering bad news about blocked road and sheet house, then the duel carriageway to the motorway was closed due to a accident. Eventually they decided to close the office a hour earlier and with only a 1/10th of normal traffic on the roads I got home in no time. Although I did have to snow plough my car on to the drive since the snow was now about 11inches on the flat areas, 18inches on my wall, and almost to my knees in the drifts.

(Wednesday 1st Dec, after starting to clean the snow off the car, and digging path to pavement)

(Wednesday 1st bins with snow hats)

(Main road by mid afternoon, once queue had started moving)

Friday was icy as hell and I weaved my way between all the abandoned cars and lorries, some just people who couldn't get off the road on to their drive but most were stuck at the bottom hills unable to get up them. Driving was chaos and a 4x4 does not let get past a lorry that is stuck.

Last night we had another 2 inches, but today Saturday with a slight rise in temperature the main roads are in much better condition when you get on them, even if it is a little foggy. Now I have lots of pretty icicles.

(Sat 4th Dec a bit more snow)

(Sat 4th not been out through back door)

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Sunday, 21 November 2010

2010 Photo 46 of 52

Taken a little earlier in the month

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Saturday, 6 November 2010

2010 Photo 44 of 52

More Fungi - these are about the size of finger nail.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Monday, 18 October 2010

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Saturday, 4 September 2010

2010 Photo 35 of 52

Red Panda's at Chester Zoo

Thursday, 2 September 2010

A wedding at zoo

Chris and Louise got married at Chester zoo and it turned out to be a brilliant idea.

The days and weeks prior to wedding were very miserable but the wedding day itself was wonderful bright day with odd cloud but no rain, I arrived with Andy, Heather and kids and met Jeff, Lucy, Matt and Sam at gate.

We then spent the morning wondering the zoo, I had brought tie and jacket with me but left them in the car and unfortunately that's were they stayed for the whole day leaving looking a bit of scruff compared to the rest.

Starting with a quick monorail ride which took you only half way around the zoo we took in quite a lot before returning mid day to the hall within the zoo for the wedding. There people like Grum, Colin, Lotti, Gareth, Leslie, James, Dom, & Brian were waiting along with the groom, Karen was best man well I suppose best person. The bride was hidden away in wedding dress somewhere.

Called into the hall we were seated and waited for the bride who looked wonderful when she arrived, although Chris looked smart in his wedding suit.

The civil ceremony was conducted with a bit humour by the registrar or whatever you call her, followed by poem, all of which went well with the rest of the style of the wedding, they even managed to forgo best man speeches apart from quick thank you to everyone, which I thought was great.

After the wedding and bite to eat were told we could wonder the zoo again until it closed at which point we asked to return for cake cutting, more food and special treat.

I wondered the zoo with a few of those listed above, you can see some pictures below. Unlike Twycross which is a monkey/ape zoo Chester seems to concentrate of cats more than anything, although like most zoos it has a fair share of everything, including a bat cave which is pitch black until your eyes adjust and then full of bad whizzing past you and no doubt pooing on the odd person.

Chris and Louise cut the very nice giant chocolate cheese cake, then the zoo keepers turned up to give a personal public free tour of zoo and watch them feed the animals which was ace since some of the shy animals turned out especially for us. I particularly like the black panther which was invisible in its enclosure, but quick call and thrown fish and the panther darted out the undergrowth and incredible speed, ran along the windows and disappeared back into the undergrowth turning invisible again, what a wonderful animal.

Chris & Louise then took a few of us larpers off to see a statue he had found in corner of zoo not very visited while having professional photos taken, the statue photo below must have been created by some sort of cthulhu horror fan see photos below.

After the tour we returned to chocolate fountain and disco, chocolate fountain was yummy, although I should not have had that last chocolate covered strawberry which left me bloated and uncomfortable, but it was a chocolate fountain with quality chocolate so how could I resist.

I can honestly say the best wedding I've ever been too.

Got home early next morning since I decided not to stay locally.

A few more zoo pictures

Saturday, 28 August 2010

2010 Photo 34 of 52

Bird caught almost in flight after a short jump across a stream.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Visit to see Julie, Dave and Meredith

Went to see Julie and Dave with their new daughter Meredith on Saturday, nice to see them all looking fit and well, if a little tired and hear about the last few months adventures.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Sunday, 15 August 2010

2010 Photo 32 of 52

Behind the scenes photo at last event.

Week long of props

Just back from a week long adventure in the woods of South Wales, were help plot a week long full of monsters and machine with my follow refs.

Although I have been writing plot for fours years and ref-ing for almost two this was my 1st week long event and it was great, hard work yes, but I helped along with the rest of the crew provide much entertainment for the players which is very rewarding when you get good feedback.

My fellow refs also thanked me for the props I provided which helped set the scenes for many of the encounters, although prize for best looking scene goes to Amy for her bloodied vampire make-up. (see below)

First the new look vampires that walk in the day protected from the sun by goggles and full head and hand covering.

This is glowing spirit capture device which was smashed by the players to release the capture spirits

This device the Rakken Transmitter/Attractor (although not completed in this photo) spent a full evening being turned on and off giving players Rakken on demand.

This fearful looking thing made from a Dr Who mask retrieved from skip by DaveP and then converted by me with pipes, suckers on the reverse and various machine bits, eventually flew and stuck itself to a player character and sucked him dry of blood to provide a black out for the Vampires to attack in daylight.

Here we have a blood powered device, fixed again to player it pumped away his blood to empower the vampire with extra strength.

This prop was last conversion using from some spare parts I taken with me, fixed to prop already prepared by the other refs, the lights gave it extra oomph.