Saturday, 31 December 2011

Dec 13th - Gunmen in Liege

A lone gunman spread terror in the Belgian city of Liege, opening fire and throwing hand grenades onto a square packed Christmas shoppers, killing five people and himself, and injuring scores.

2011 The year of the revolution.

Well here we are again 365 days later, and wow what a year it was. First up the London Fireworks display was out of this world literally, and this year it promises to be even better. Whoop!

Then on a more serious note and eight days later: Jan 8th - Attempted assassination of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and subsequent shooting in Casas Adobes, Arizona at a Safeway grocery store kills 6 and wounds 13, including Giffords herself.

Then more mayhem and yet more negative news from somewhere else on the globe: Jan 14th - Stampede near Sabarimala in Kerala, India kills 104 devotees and injures 100 more.

Jan 15th - Wikipedia the free internet encyclopedia turns 10 years old
Jan 24th - At least 35 died and 180 injured in a bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport.
Jan 25th - Egyptian Revolution of 2011 begins in Egypt, with a series of street demonstrations, marches, rallies, acts of civil disobedience, riots, labour strikes, and violent clashes in Cairo, Alexandria, and throughout other cities in Egypt.
Jan 28th - Hundreds of thousands of protesters fill the Egyptian's streets against the Mubarak regime in demonstrations referred to as the "Friday of Anger"
Feb 3rd - All available blocks of IPv4 internet addresses are officially distributed to regional authorities.
Feb 11th - Egyptian Revolution culminates in the resignation of Hosni Mubarak and the transfer of power to the Supreme Military Council after 18 days of protests.
Feb 14th - The 2011 Bahraini uprising commenced.
Feb 15th - Libyan protests begin opposing Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi's rule
Feb 22nd - An earthquake measuring 6.3 in magnitude strikes Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 181 people
Feb 24th - Final Launch of Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103).
Feb 25th - In the Irish general election, the Fianna Fáil-led government suffered the worst defeat of a sitting government since the formation of the Irish state in 1921.
Mar 9th - Space Shuttle Discovery makes its final landing after 39 flights.
Mar 11th - An earthquake measuring 9.0 in magnitude strikes 130 km (80 miles) east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami killing thousands of people. This event also triggered the second largest nuclear accident in history, and one of only two events to be classified as a Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.
Mar 12th - A reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant melts and explodes and releases radioactivity into the atmosphere a day after Japan's earthquake.
Apr 1st - After protests against the burning of theQuran turned violent, a mob attacked a United Nations compound in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan and killed thirteen people, including eight foreign workers.
Apr 9th - A gunman murdered five people, injured eleven, and committed suicide in a mall in the Netherlands.
Apr 11th - Minsk Metro bombing
Apr 19th - Fidel Castro resigns from the Communist Party of Cuba's central committee after 45 years of holding the title.
Apr 23rd - Zach Daniels defeated Rick Michaels to become the new TNT Heavyweight Champion.
Apr 25th - At least 300 people killed in deadliest tornado outbreak in the Southern United States since the 1974 Super Outbreak.
Apr 27th - The deadliest day of the 2011 Super outbreak of tornadoes, the largest tornado outbreak, in United States history.
Apr 29th - Wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Kate Middleton.
May 1st - Pope John Paul II is beatified by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI.
May 2nd - Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the September 11 attacks and the FBI's most wanted man is killed by the United States special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
May 2nd - The 2011 E. coli O104:H4 outbreak strikes Europe, mostly in Germany, leaving more than 30 people dead and many others sick from the bacteria outbreak.
May 22nd - An EF5 Tornado strikes the US city of Joplin, Missouri killing at least 158 people, the single deadliest US tornado since modern record keeping began in 1950.
May 25th - Oprah Winfrey airs her last show, ending her twenty five year run of The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Jun 13th - Christchurch, New Zealand is hit by another strong earthquake measuring magnitude 6.3
Jul 7th - Roof of a stand in De Grolsch Veste Stadium in Enschede which was under construction collapsed, one killed and 14 injured.
Jul 8th - Space Shuttle Atlantis is launched in the final mission of the U.S. Space Shuttle program.
Jul 9th - South Sudan gains independence and secedes from Sudan.
Jul 10th - British tabloid News of the World publishes its last edition after 168 years in the wake of a phone hacking scandal.
Jul 11th - Neptune completes its first orbit since its discovery on September 23, 1846.
Jul 13th - Mumbai is rocked by three bomb blasts during the evening rush hour, killing 26 and injuring 130.
Jul 21st - NASA's Space Shuttle program ends with the landing of Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-135.
Jul 22nd - Norway is the victim of twin terror attacks, the first being a bomb blast which targeted government buildings in central Oslo, the second being a massacre at a youth camp on the island of Utøya.
Aug 5th - Svalbard Polar Bear Attack (2011) - a rogue Polar Bear attacks and kills a Bristish schoolboy.
Aug 6th - A helicopter containing members of Navy SEAL 6 is shot down in Afghanistan killing 38.
Aug 16th - Beginning of World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid
Aug 18th - The West Memphis Three are released from prison after 18 years in imprisonment
Aug 23rd - Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi is overthrown after the National Transitional Council forces take control of Bab al-Azizia compound during the 2011 Libyan Civil War.
Aug 23rd - 5.8 earthquake occurrs in Mineral, Virginia felt as far north as Ontario and as far south as Atlanta, Georgia
Aug 26th - The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing's all-new composite airliner, receives certification from the EASA and the FAA
Sep 7th - Plane crash in Russia kills 43 people, including nearly the entire roster of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Kontinental Hockey League team
Sep 17th - Occupy Wall Street movement began in Zucotti Park, New York City.
Sep 20th - The United States ends its "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, allowing gay men and women to serve openly for the first time.
Sep 22nd - CERN scientists announce their discovery of neutrinos breaking the speed of light
Oct 15th - Global protests break out in 951 cities in 82 countries.
Oct 15th - Legoland Florida in Winter Haven, Florida Opens. This is the world's largest Legoland theme park
Oct 18th - Gilad Shalit is released.
Oct 20th - The former leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, and his son Moatassem Gaddafi are killed shortly after the battle of Sirte (2011) while in the custody of NTC fighters.
Oct 23rd - A powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake strikes Van Province, Turkey, killing 582 people and injuring thousands.
Oct 27th - The Royal Australian Navy announces that they discovered the wreck of a World War II submarine in Simpson Harbour, Papua New Guinea during Operation RENDER SAFE - it is likely to be Japanese.
Oct 29th - Record-breaking snowstorm in the northeastern United States leaves nearly 2 million residents without power for more than 36 hours.
Oct 31st - The world population reaches 7 billion inhabitants according to the United Nations
Nov 8th - The potentially hazardous asteroid 2005 YU55 passed 0.85 lunar distances from Earth (about 324,600 kilometres or 201,700 miles), the closest known approach by an asteroid of its brightness since 2010 XC15 in 1976.
Nov 12th - Silvio Berlusconi resigns as Prime Minister of Italy due, in large part, to the European sovereign debt crisis.
Nov 23rd - Arab Spring: After 11 months of protests in Yemen, The Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh Signs a deal to transfer power to the vice president, in exchange for legal immunity.
Nov 25th - Sudden violent storms strike southern Sri Lanka, killing 27 people and drowning many fishermen caught by surprise. Thousands of homes lose their roofs and several more sustain damage. Landslides along with flooding was reported on the mainland.
Nov 26th - 2011 NATO attack in Pakistan: NATO forces in Afghanistan attack a Pakistani checkpost in a friendly fire incident, killing 24 soldiers and wounding 13 others.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Can't believe the cheek...!

So doing some Christmas shopping, in Manchester city centre today, when as i'm going back to the carpark in the Northern quarter, where I also had another negative experience (more later). I spotted three guys, one an elderly black gent, the other two seemed to be early thirties.

One of them pointing at something the gent was holding, when out of the blue over the dulcet tones of Guy Garvey singing:
"The birds are the keepers of our secret,
As they saw us where we lay, In the deepest grass of springtime
In a reckless guilty haze"

Comes a voice of some stroppy chav girl, "What ya starin' at?", now she must've fallen out the bed the wrong way or Santa wasn't happy with her this year, but she shouted again, "What ya starin' at!".

Well I wasn't staring at anything, I was merely looking to see if this gent, was okay before this loud mouthed and abusive woman ranted on and on.

I crossed the road towards them to make certain the gent was okay, he seemed to be nothing untoward was going on, but it was the woman who really riled me. It gave me a sense that the elderly was in need of help, but alas he wasn't, the woman on the other hand, had nothing to do with the other men, carried on regardless walking and being abusive, I spied an empty magnum of veuve cliquot outside the Moho rock bar, on the cobbled ground, eagerly waiting for me to pick it up and use it as a weapon of destruction, against this abusive chav, the moment passed though, then was rekindled again.

By this time, the presents for my family had been placed firmly in the boot of my car. I then reached to grab my Canon EOS 5000 camera, it's a nice cam and yes while it may be an analogue one, it serves it's purpose and it does a variety of apertures and shutter speeds.

I turned and headed through the carpark doorway I was currently on level 8 of the carpark. I ventured towards the steps leading to the roof, I wanted to take a few snaps, I did anyways but was surprised  to hear over the fine voice of Zoe Johnston singing "Alchemy" on Above & Beyond album "Group Therapy", these two clueless (in my opinion) carpark attendants said "It's illegal to take photographs here!", were trying their best to intimidate me, I laughed it off stating, "Really show me so, if your such an expert, where are the signs, do you practice law?"

To which one of them replied "You have to seek council permission!" to which I replied in a very irreverent manner "FUCK OFF!", I couldn't believe this was happening on a Christmas eve in a carpark in Manchester.

How very dumb these two lads were, they're no signs stating it is illegal to photograph, I should know what they look like, I worked for the UN in Cyprus here is how they look: You see clearly they're non in the NCP carpark in the Northern Quarter. So tweedle dee and tweedle dum, if you are reading this, please look at the sign carefully, and ask yourself the question, hmm maybe that guy has got a point, I bet he thought "can't believe the cheek of some people.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Christmas is coming...

Well it's finally here again yawn, same thing every year it begins to get monotonous, it did after the age of 13.

Never mind, am betting my nephew and nieces are looking forward to it. children always have and unless you have your own you find christmas boring, unless you attend the obligatory "office party", fortunately I don't have to yay!

So 2012 beckons and with that the possibility of the 2012 phenomonon brings with it, all manner of cataclysmic events. Not so This date is regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar.  Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae related to this date have been proposed.

What are my thoughts, wait and see ;-p

Monday, 28 November 2011

Autumn is finally here...

Well the beginnings of Autumn fall have finally arrived, and yes so has the opportunity to photograph some brilliant colours; reds, yellows, browns and a mixture of golden leaves, acorns, pine combs and overdue conkers hit the wood laden ground with a cocophony of sound raising the alarm for the fauna that occupies the wood, that dinner has arrived.

So it is that they stock up for the winter, may be it will be a cold one like the two previous winters here in the northern hemishpere. When I was a child between the ages of five and eleven that is all I could remember, a white christmas and a really cold time of year. I didn't enjoy it much, but now I love this time of year, it's very photogenic.

This time of year too let's me know that my impending birthday is only a couple of months away, alas a year older but hopefully a little wiser too. I share my birthday with my twin brother Stephen, I do feel sometimes he is actually older than myself with his outlook on life, but he is of course a parent to a loving son Oscar.

This time will be gradually getting more exciting and in his child like imagination which know's no bounds, will grow to appreciate this time in his life. So I give you some more time to stoke up the fire and with a mug of tea in hand sit back put your feet up and give yourself a wry smile that we only have twenty seven days left of 2011, what a year it was only this time last year I was adventuring my way through the Asian continent with a group of people I had never met before. Enjoy this Autumn may it bring you some great memories of a year gone by.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Life in the fast lane...

It is normal to have some degree of regret when a relationship breaks down due to a lack of understanding or support. I wish it to be know that I do love my missus but I wish she would take heed of the advice she has been given.

I wish her a speedy recovery and one that will see her gain strength.

Jane I love you with all my heart and do not want to fail you.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

My first visit to Crosby Beach and i've witnessed some amazing work by the artist / sculptor Antony Gormley, his work can be seen across much of Britain and indeed across the globe.

This particular piece was Number 88 in a series of statues across Crosby Beach. The work itself for me signifies the dockers from the ship yards in Liverpool, which can be seen from the beach, also when you walk further out look in a Southerly direction and you can see the Liverpool Skyline, which from the beach reminds me of Dubai and the city's skyline reflects that.
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Thursday, 22 September 2011

Took this around the corner of Manchester Climbing Wall in response to Bernard
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Saturday, 3 September 2011

Welcome to the world Saffron

Well it's now a 8 week old puppy still growing and showing all the signs of a personality such a boisterous dog.

Saffron is an Irish setter beautiful in colour with patches of white on chest and on her rear right foot.

She is goregous!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Cold spell in weather is actually quite good!

Well been a while since I was last on here, i've decided to take a break during the cooler weather for the time of year. I decided on a trip to Stanage and it was well worth it, climbing with my girlfriend Jane. Who incidentally has really taken to climbing outdoors, especially the trad! Whoop!

Friday, 6 May 2011

April what a month!

Well what a fantastic Spring season we are having, been out as much as I can be in such great weather out on the quarried Gritstone edges of Cow's Mouth Quarry then up to Blackstone to continue working on a project I have.

This year is going to see so much climbing, got the right frame of mind, just one thing injury in my left shoulder due to bad posture or tendonitis?

April what a month!

Well what a fantastic Spring season we are having, been out as much as I can be in such great weather out on the quarried Gritstone edges of Cow's Mouth Quarry then up to Blackstone to continue working on a project I have.

This year is going to see so much climbing, got the right frame of mind, just one thing injury in my left shoulder due to bad posture or tendonitis?

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Al's Corner

This is a post I wrote on myspace a while ago, in regards to Al who was constantly shouting BIG Issue with a smile.

He was certainly one person who has graced my life, thanks Al.

Yesterday I was travelling home from work, when I stumbled upon an old face I recognised from working in Manchester city centre and Oxford Road to be precise.
Yeah the guy on the corner of Portland Street/Oxford Road junction who used to sell us "Big issue", that guy's name is Alan.
As many of you who remember him will remember the many things that happened on that corner "Al's Corner". Some of us used to stop for a chat during our luchtime or if you were simply going somewhere around that part of city.
We and many of you did would buy a copy of the mag "Big issue" from time to time, some of you gave a couple of quid, (thanks). Many of us witnessed some accidents on that corner amongst other incidents shall we say as well. Al once actually helped a woman who was knocked down one day on that road, this woman actually came back to thank Al for his help and he always was.
Well I stopped to have a chat with Al and a beer I might add which he offered me on the train home.
He was going to visit his parents, so we chatted about how was doing and how positive he is (he always was). If there is one trait this man has and he has a would be his tenacity for LIFE, he's the type of guy who would never give up and was always heard to say "Am getting there".
Well people he has, finally after all the hardship of being homeless, jobless except for selling the "Big issue" and of course hungry on occasion but of course thanks to KFC (TM) and McDonalds (TM) he never went without the occasional fast food breakfast or luncheon.
Al would stand on that corner for atleast eight a hours a day, seven days a week, that means he was doing fifty six a week if you want to be a statician!
Anyways Al is finally working for the M.E.N newspaper, that's right he distributes the local publication from Deansgate, for those that know the area. Now to here this from his lips made me smile, he instantly gave that warm feeling (the buzz you get when you achieve something like a goal you set yourself). Fantastic I thought i was so happy for him, and it showed Al was kind enough to give me a beer from his bag, a nice cold can of Stelle Artois (TM). I didn't expect that, and this tells me this guy is very generous despite his own previous circumstances.
We talked some more and Al mentioned that he would like to thank you all for the support we and many of you have over the past six years to be precise, have given him "Thank you".
Al tells me he would like to write about his daily chores on that corner Al's Corner, am sure many of you reading this now would probably enjoy reading it too. Remember the best sellers are usually about struggle and self belief that you can achieve something with your life, you just gotta believe.
I can think of one incident that accident which the guy simply walked away from his vehicle only to return to take a photo and sit down at the pedestrian crossing.
Lots of things happened on that corner I think we should if we see him encourage Al to write this biography, thanks for the beer Al and I wish you all the best for the future it looks great from here on in, well done man.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Back to work...

Yes finally start work for a company selling/booking holidays online. Yes it will be competitive but am looking forward to it making new friends. Really happy, been climbing outdoors too of late, paid a visit to Burbage North in the Peak District went with friends Adrian and Rick such a good weekend.

Today is sunnier so may have to do some crack climbing at Wilton, will let you know how I got on, good news also and a big shout out to my girlfriend Janie who successfully climbed her first F5+, good for you Janie. X

Monday, 7 March 2011


Hmmm where to start, ever get the feeling that sometimes your right?

Monday, 14 February 2011


Sat at home presents wrapped waiting for my loved one to arrive, Champagne is being chilled as we type ; p

Must say looking forward to watching the Juliet Roberts film "Eat, Pray, Love". This will set the mood easily as we took in to a well prepared meal...