Thursday, July 30, 2009

Swiss Party

Fire Juggling (Not my pic, but if I'd had my slr with me it could have been...)

1st of May was Swiss Party Day - to celebrate the impending birthday of Pierre-David, as well as his impending departure on a trans-siberian backpacking trip around the world. We met up in Yverdon, went to Grandson Castle, local thermal baths, and ate, drank, and slayed each other over the 2 days.

PiDa is keen live action role player, so there were many foam swords and pikes to go berserk with.

More pics:

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Welcome to Germany where I managed to mix a bit of business and pleasure back in Feb. The pleasure was in Wallerfangen where I was able to go to the last night of Carnival, a night of ba-doom tish "humourous" skits and schlager songs with actions for the audience and lots of arm-in-arm swaying...

The origins lie somewhere around Köln, considered the home of Carnival, who were represented here by a travelling trio of Kings and Queens

Some costumes were very inventive - I don't want to see what comes out of the spout!

Ralf and Jorg on stage singing and dancing. They really didn't want to be there, but being related to the President of the Carnival organisation (Christina's mum behind the white shirted dance leader) got caled into duty. There's somethign about 11's in Carnival - it starts on the 11th of the 11th, and there are 11 men on stage.

Christina's dance group with C in the middle

After shelling out extra for snow tyres I finally had use for them on my last day when I had a 5 hr drive back to the airport. There was chaos on the roads, the motorway was blocked, and I didn't have enough time to change plans, return the car where I was and go by train. It was hair raising at first having never driven on falling slushy snow (in Sweden it was all hard packed the few times I drove). There was much slipping and sliding, and I needed a push up hills twice, but I got there in the end and all was well. No 200km/hr autobahn driving that day though.
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Asbhy Castle & Calke Abbey

'Eyup, as they say

Sorry for the silence, so here we go with some of the latest buzz from my trips around the Midlands.

Not so many months ago when complaining that the Midlands were a bit boring, I was reliably informed that there is "so much to do" by a friend, and handed a book of all the UK Heritage sites in the area, which consists of castles, castle ruins, stately homes, more ruins, and cathedrals.

So, with new housemate on hand, we went to check out some of the local heritage and went to Ashby Castle (ruins) and breifly to Calke abbey, after discovering that the Bass brewery tour and discovery centre was closed.

The ruins were cool, the stately home ok too, but I've done a couple of each of these now, and honestly, don't really need to do more. But here for your viewing pleasure are some pics, with more on the Picassa weblink below.

Ashby Castle

Lots of tasty animals on display: Chinese golden pheasants above, and venison below!

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More photos: click here (

Friday, July 24, 2009

Update coming soon!

Keep your eyes peeled for an update soon!
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