Starring Shiah LaBeouf (of Transformers and most recently the new Indiana Jones movie), Michelle Monahan and Billy Bob Thornton this has some cracker car chase scenes! Shiah and Michelle’s characters (Jerry and Rachel) are thrown together on the run from the FBI as terror suspects all because of a voice at the end of the phone. They are to follow her instructions or face the consequences of threats to their lives and their families. The cool thing about the movie is the technology the mysterious voice uses to get Jerry and Rachel into high security areas, provide a clear path during the high speed car chases, load up accounts with money needed etc. Interesting story, great action and no love crap. Woo hoo. Winner. 3 out of 5.
I went and got my eyes tested in the weekend. Been getting a sharp pain just above my eye and with generally about 7 hours of computer work each day (including at home time) it is no wonder. However, it would seem that my eyesight (in particular my long distance is great). There is a slight degradation for short distance but nothing that I should be concerned about. More so to do with age than anything else. I could get some glasses by they won’t do that much so I didn’t bother. Going without them also won’t escalate any issues.
However, I did decide to pay the extra and get a photo of my eyeballs. How cool. By looking at the blood vessels they can provide an earlier detection for glycoma, diabetes, hypertension etc. All clear here as well. Yee hah. I just wanted to post a picture of my eyeball. It looks really freaky! Now if I remember correctly, the white bit that looks like it is glowing is the optic nerve. I have forgotten what the darker bit was.
That’s right. After nearly 2 years here and a blissful thirty (plus some) years of pickpocket avoidance some scum bag decides to strike. Had it been a wallet that wouldn’t be so hard to take. You just cancel the cards (annoying yes) and more than likely you probably end up on some credit blacklist because your identity has been stolen (OK not so easy to fix) but no, they went for the Canon IXUS 75. This was a dream camera. A tool that we use daily to capture so much of what we see around us. It is an instrument that we enjoy using and provides us with incredible pleasure. Do you get the feeling we enjoy photography? Anyway, some scummy pooh head decided to lighten our pocket! Note to reader – I can tell you now that “scummy pooh head” is my censored version of a more colourful rant that occurred on the evening.
We had been browsing through IKEA. We sometimes do this just for general inspiration and somewhere dry to escape too. Actually if I’m truly honest its because I LOVE their meatballs with loganberry sauce. We were kidding around, jumping on the furniture, enticing other children to break free of their parents and do the same but generally probably not being wary enough of our surroundings. By the time we got home, the camera was gone. Lifted without even being noticed. All I can say is that they were darn good at it. Pity they don’t put that kind of effort into a real honest job. Fagan would be proud of him/her anyway. With any luck they will get enjoyment out of the camera but in all honesty I get the feeling it was probably sold for a fiver in order to get a hit of some mind altering substance that can only work to further decrease the brain cells they already have.
We realised pretty quickly that we needed to replace it ASAP so after an intense internet search we finally came across one place in the South West that had one in stock. It was on special as it was a shop demo version. We barrelled over to Cribbs Causeway to pick it up and are again the proud owners of another Canon IXUS 75! What was the lesson I learnt from this? Booby trapped pockets – a practical new fashion trend.
Day 3 of stunning weather. Isn’t it sad that I can remember specifically days when the weather has been fine. More pathetically is that when we have good weather it totally dictates our lives. The urge to do something, anything, as long as it is outside is almost too much pressure! Arrrgggghhhh.
Exercise. That’s always the first choice anyway. We decided to do the Avon Gorge Trail again but this time get to the end. Stunning day, plenty of bikes on the trail darn it and 3 hours later we completed it. Hooray! Can I just say that 4 miles in when you finally get to Pill. There is NOTHING there!!! No loo, no picnic tables, just a farm gate and tragically bread clogged pond in which, if there were any resident ducks, they would have long since died from binge eating.
We also decided to have a look at the new Cabot Circus mall that opened up last month. Not bad for a gazillion dollar mall in Bristol of all places? All the posh brand names are there, the stores look great although you can clearly see that the workmanship on the build was rushed and doesn’t seem to be holding up so far to the million or so people that have visited to date.
Finally, here is a pic that Steve captured on our walk.
I have always imagined moorlands to be dark, ominious, slushy peat marsh like areas. This was not what we found when we went to Dartmoor National Park. Yet again we find another English space that appears to have been groomed within an inch of its life. There are Dartmoor ponies that roam free on the moorlands (which also serve as farmlands). Also roaming free are cows and sheep. Hence you need to be rather careful driving through this area as you are more than likely to round a bend to find a sheep sitting in the middle of the road.
Even though the fields and hills do remind me of a finely cared for golf course the landscape is wonderful and bizarre at the same time. The hills continue upwards, upwards and upwards in a gentle yet leg-achingly long stretch. The rock formations are spectacular and if you weren’t interested in geology, geography or topology then you will be after a visit here. I am in awe of the way the moorlands have been formed. The rocks are very similar in shape, colour and style to those used at Stonehenge. I keep meaning to do some research into this but…well there is no excuse actually.
Before heading into the moors we had stopped to get some supplies at a local bakery and butcher. So after a bit of a climb we found ourselves a nice position on a rock and did a wee fry up. The colours of the bracken and heather mixed with the green of the hills and slate grey rock looked great from our spot.
During the day we also found plastic lunchboxes hidden all around the area. It turns out that these are “mailboxes” which is a bit of a sport here in this area. Basically you can go on hunts for these mailboxes and they have a notebook, stamp pad and stamps inside of them. You leave a message in the notebook for the owner and then you stamp your book to show you have been there. I think there are actual official mailbox clues that you can download off the internet then go walking through the hills in search of them.
We are back from our short break to Wales. Had a great time for my birthday. Nice and relaxing even if the weather was atrocious. Like I have said before, if you hang around waiting for the weather to get better over here, you would never travel anywhere.
Here’s a few pics from our time on the Isle of Anglesey, South Stack National Park.
Today we have gone from the peaceful, tranquility of countryside Bewtys Garmon, to the mountains of Snowdon where we encountered torrential rain, followed by hail, followed by sun. Next we headed for Holyhead on the Isle of Anglesey where we are currently sitting in one of the 2 internet cafes that we have found today. This is the only one of those 2 that were open! The rain has stopped, the ship is in loading on its passengers bound for “who knows where” and we did a quick trip out to South Stack to look out across the Irish Sea. How dark and ominious it looked today.
Currently in Wales for my birthday. Have a good one.
A couple of weekends ago we decided to take a drive into Wales and head for Pen y Fan. Situated in the Brecon Beacons it is the highest peak in South Wales. At 886 metres it is not quite the most challenging peak in kiwi terms but nice for a day out.
We found a rather quiet spot to park the car and proceeded across the fields following the way markers. With some sheep and ponies along the way, the sun shining and very few other people around it was a great start to the walk.
The thing with land in the UK is that every bit of it is owned (not unusual) but groomed within an inch of its life. What do I mean by this? Well, having come into a national park I would expect it to be unfarmed. However, that is never the case in this country. Farming was the original use of the land and even though it has national park status, continues to be used as farmland. Not that this is wrong in any way, just that we are not used to it. Imagine the Tongariro National Park being used for cattle. It would soon be destroyed. That probably also ties in with the barren nature of Pen y Fan. Although there are a few trees spotted around they are far and few between. The grass is so short it looks like a golf green.
Given all this it is a spectacular place, the views magnificent and the continual, unrelenting uphill slog refreshing yet tiring. I was very surprised that as undulating as the land looks we never seemed to get a downhill slope, we were forever walking uphill.
An hour and a half later we made it to the top. It was at this stage that we realised that while we were slogging it out over dirt paths and sheep poo, there was actually many paths leading from all angles of the mountain to the peak. All of these other paths were paved! I am kinda proud that we took the back country route, you know, stand out from the crowd, strike our own route, blah blah blah.
When we got to the top we realised that the next peak along was actually Pen y Fan (pronounced Pen e Van) so we hot footed it for another 15 minutes to get to the highest peak. Success! To be honest we thought Pen y Fan was one of the top 10 highest peaks in the UK and we were rather chuffed at how easy it was. We have since found out that it is only the highest in South Wales which kinda takes the shine off of it. Oh well, it is a good starter for the other peaks we now want to complete.
Would I recommend it? If you are after views – on a fine day, yes. When the wind picks up in the afternoon it is bitterly cold so be prepared. Although you are hot and sweaty going up, a windbreaker at the very least is good for walking around at the time to keep the chill off and especially for the walk back down.