Saturday, December 30, 2006

Robin does moblogging

I was telling a friend the other day how easy it is to post blogs via a mobile phone (Hello Clive! Hope you and Gwyn made it to Oz ok!). After that, I thought I should put my money where my mouth is and give it a crack. So I've set myself up to post Robin pics on the go (in this case, "on the go" involved being in my kitchen!). And very simple it is too.

Of course, this gives me even less excuse not to post regularly!

Robin on Boxing Day

Hello again - hope you all had a good Christmas. Mine wasn't as sleep-filled as they have been, but it was nice to celebrate our first as a little family!

This is a picture of Robin at a football match that happens every Boxing Day (Dec 26) in the village where my mum lives. It's the oldies of the village versus the youngies (though the boundaries between what constitutes the two aren't all that clear) and it's been going for a good 20 years now - possibly more. The ball is behind Robin's head and was about to be volleyed home by the chap in the blue shirt sprinting in above Robin's right eye. He was playing for the youngies, who won the game 4-0 (I think, I wasn't paying all that much attention by the end). It's nice that the tradition goes on.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Sorry I missed a week!

Sorry folks, I missed last week's Thursday posting and I'm a day late with this one. It's obviously been pretty hectic since Junior arrived - and I haven't really left the house much!

Oh well, better late than never - here's Robin next to the Christmas candle thingy that's sitting in our window, which my wife's mum kindly brought us from Helsinki when she came to visit the baby. Looks very fetching as you pass it at midnight. I know this, because I've had to take the little one out in his pram at that time to calm him down from one of his crying spells...!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Look who came a week early...

Yes, a week earlier than planned, our little boy turned up on Monday night/Tuesday morning. My missus was a total superstar and little Yan is absolutely lovely and seems jolly happy. Needless to say, Robin is very impressed.

Happy, happy days.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Red sky Robin

Hello again. So, as promised, I'm going to be blogging every Thursday from now on - and here's a picture taken with my brand new super-fancy digital camera. It has a function on it where it can automatically swap one colour for another - in this case the blue of a clear blue sky for the red of Robin's chest. Very clever. And quite dramatic looking. I think I'm going to like playing about with this camera.

Thanks to those of you who commented on the last blog - Rob, KJ, Dawn and, of course, my mum - it's nice to know you're still paying attention. We still get quite a lot of visitors to this site every day, which is great. So if you're looking, do say hello in the comments - you don't have to register or anything.

In other news, it's just 12 days to go until my missus is due to give birth to our first child. Scary. Exciting. Mind-boggling. And brilliant.

See you next Thursday. Who knows, I might be a dad by then...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Robin meets Johnny from Razorlight

Hey folks - sorry it's been *such* a long time. I've been super-busy with moving house, being busy with work and having a pregnant missus. It's all good, it's just not left as much time for blogging as I would've liked. Hope some of you are still there though, I'm aiming to post once a week from now on - every Thursday. And now that I've said it, I'll feel bad if I don't! But keep the comments coming, it's nice to know someone's reading.

Anyway, this is a picture of Robin with Johnny Borrell the frontman of multi-million selling UK rock act Razorlight. And a lovely chap.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Robin at Hitchin Town

Here's a pic of Robin at Hitchin Town vs Bognor Regis Town in the 2nd qualifying round of the FA Cup last weekend. The game ended 0-0. The official attendance was 353 people and 1 robin. Hitchin won the replay to progress to the next round (if they win four more games, they could entertain Manchester United in this little ground...)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Robin meets Lily Allen

So, this week Robin met Lily Allen, who's widely known as the poster girl of MySpace, because she caused quite a fuss on there with her music before she got famous and started having hits - in fact her songs have been played over 4 million times on there and she's got 74,000 friends (click here to see her profile). Robin hasn't caused quite such a fuss on MySpace yet, but he's got 101 friends, which seems pretty good. You can see his profile here.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Robin at Brazil v Argentina

Hey folks. Here's a picture of Robin at the Brazil v Argentina game last weekend. Sadly, we weren't on a trip to South America, but it was the next best thing as two of the best teams in the world came to play a game at Arsenal's brand new stadium, just a couple of miles from our house (Brazil won 3-0).

Oh, by the way, we're moving house in a couple of weeks, so I might not be posting too much as I'm so busy with packing, but it should lead to a whole new set of Robin pictorial experiences...

Monday, August 28, 2006

Robin hits MySpace

Hey folks. Yes, as the picture proves, Robin has finally made it onto MySpace (I've been meaning to sort him out with a profile for ages). If you'd like to join him on there, do head to his profile at and click 'Add to Friends'. Thanks folks. Oh, and he's not really 69 years old - he's 5, but you have to be at least 14 to get on MySpace. Shhhh...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Robin and deer

Hey folks.

So this is a picture of Robin with the deer at Dunham Massey, a National Trust house and gardens near Manchester that we visited last week when we were up there for the England v Greece game. Click here to see its home page. We had a lovely walk around the grounds with our pals Simon and Evelyn, who'd taken us there. Top ice creams too!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Robin at England v Greece #1

Hey folks

So, on Wednesday, me and the missus went to see England v Greece play football at Old Trafford in Manchester. We decided to go in the Greece fans' section (as you might rmemeber, my wife's family are Greek). Unfortunately, Greece lost 4-0, but it didn't matter too much because a) it was only a friendly (ie not part of a tournament) b) the Greek fans kept singing and jumping about all the way through the second half, keeping everyone in the ground entertained and c) um, I'm English, so it was quite nice to see us play well and score a few goals!

Oh, and note the St George's flag being created by the England fans behind the goal at the other end, using red and white paper. Very creative.

Robin at England v Greece #2

Here he is, outside the home of Manchester United FC, Old Trafford - which holds around 72,000 fans. Which makes it rather big.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Robin in Belfast

Hey folks

Here's a shot of Robin in front of the Albert Memorial Clock in the middle of Belfast, Northern Ireland - which actually leans four feet off the vertical, making it the Belfast equivalent of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I was only in Belfast for about 24 hours, having not been there for around 20 years, but it seemed a quiet, pleasant sort of place these days - even if the police cars do still drive around with armour on them.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A record-breaking hot day!

Hello. Here's a picture I took a moment ago of Robin on what they're saying will be the hottest day in London on record! Apparently temperatures will get as high as 38C/101F. It certainly feels like it - it's baking out there! We've got a little electronic temperature sensor on the window sill. It's in the shade but apparently it's 36.6C/98F out there at the moment! Hot hot hot hot hot. Robin is currently chilling near our over-worked fan...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Robin at the races #1

Hey folks. On Saturday I took the missus to the races at Sandown as a birthday treat. We had a top day out and didn't lose too much money despite our particularly rubbish gambling skills. This picture shows Robin standing very near to the finish line, with number 4, Road To Love, galloping to victory in the 5.25 at odds of 9-1 (naturally it wasn't the horse that we'd bet on). It's great to see the horses up close - they really do travel at an amazing speed. See below for Robin's first foray into horse riding (on a horse that doesn't move quite so quickly)...

Robin at the races #2

This is Robin on a bronze horse at Sandown races on Saturday. Self-explanatory really. Good balancing skills though - a career as top jockey seems to beckon...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Robin outside the World Cup final stadium!

Hey chaps

So here's a picture of Robin that my wife took, while sitting on my shoulders (!), over the fence outside the Olympic Stadium in Berlin where the World Cup final will take place this evening between Italy and France. It's been a great World Cup and I was very pleased that Germany managed to clinch third place in the play-off against Portugal last night - they hosted the tournament with real style and the people we met in every city were really friendly. Good job Germany.

So, onto the final. I don't mind too much who wins (leaning towards France slightly, I think) just hope that it's a really good game and that it doesn't end in penalties.

ps... Happy Birthday to my wonderful wife!!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Robin and Zidane!

Hey folks

Here's a photo taken in Leipzig, Germany of Robin next to a huge picture of Zinedine Zidane, the French football captain who will be playing his last ever football match in the World Cup final tomorrow, before retiring. He's a wonderful player and, seemingly, a lovely man (when he swapped shirts with his ex-Real Madrid colleague Luis Figo after Portugal v France the other day, you could see the care that Zidane was taking to make sure his shirt wasn't inside out when he removed it handed it to Figo!). Me and Robin would like wish Zidane and the French boys all the best in the final tomorrow. Or, as the French fans put it, Allez les Bleus!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Robin at the World Cup #4

Hello and welcome to the 301st post on this blog (sorry, didn't notice the big 300, so we'll have to celebrate 301!). This is a picture of Robin at Angola vs Iran in the World Cup in Leipzig on Wednesday last week (Iran are in white, Angola in red). I've decided to put the picture 'large' rather than 'medium' to see what it looks like, but I won't know until I click 'Publish Post'. (Edit: mmm, looks quite good)

So, the Angola vs Iran game ended 1-1, which was a shame as I'd hoped Angola would win and go through to the next round. But all the fans were very nice - from both countries - so at least a draw sent them both away feeling a bit happy. Notice all the empty seats in the corner even though Fifa keep insisting all the games have a capacity crowd (all the tickets *have* sold, but that's a slightly different thing to people actually turning up).

Leipzig is in what used to be East Germany and it seemed like a really nice town. It's been interesting to travel around Germany a bit during the tournament as it's a country I haven't seen much of before. But all the places we've been to were really pleasant, friendly and excited about the World Cup.

Now, let's just hope England can get a victory over Ecuador this afternoon...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Robin meets Nelly Furtado!

Yes, here's Robin with top Canadian pop star Nelly Furtado, who is currently Number One in the charts in the UK and riding high in the hit parades across the globe! My wife met her recently and took along Robin so that the very-friendly Nelly could join the growing list of stars (Kylie Minogue, Chris Martin, Dave Grohl, Shakira, Andre 3000...) to have shared an audience with the little red-breasted bird!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Robin at the World Cup #3

Hello again!

So, yesterday we went to see Ghana vs Czech Republic in Cologne, which turned out to be one of the best games of the World Cup so far. Czech Republic, ranked 2 in the world, got beaten 2-0 by Ghana, ranked about 48th, and it could have been more than thst. The Ghana team were breathtaking to watch - they passed and moved so quickly. Me and the missus feel very lucky to have seen a game as good as that. The Ghana fans were great too, creating a real party vibe both inside and outside the stadium.

Interested to hear that you folks in the US *know* about the World Cup, but just don't *care* about it! Well, hopefully you'll know that last night USA came very close to causing a major upset by beating Italy, one of the best teams in the world. In the end, it finished 1-1 - but the US side played a lot of the game with just 9 men after two of their players were (questionably) sent off and yet they still nearly beat the Italians (only a disallowed goal stopped them). Must be quite sad for the American players to know they're the only team in the world where the folks back home don't care whether they win or not. After a result like yesterday's, you chaps should be proud! And you should definitely cheer them on in their final game, against Ghana on Thursday.

We've just got one more match to see (amazing to have seen four though!), we're off to see Angola vs Iran in Leipzig on Wednesday. Can't wait.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Robin at the World Cup #2

Hello again!

So, this is another shot from the World Cup (see below), this time during the England vs Trinidad & Tobago match yesterday afternoon in Nuremberg. We only found out we had tickets the evening before (big thanks to my bro Rob for that!!) which meant we had to hastily arange a hire car to get us the 300 miles (500 kms) down to Nuremberg for the match. Luckily you can drive as fast as you like on German motorways (faster than I'd be willing to admit I drove to my mother...) so we made it down in plenty of time.

England didn't actually play too well, but it was amazing being there and I'm happy to say that we won 2-0 in the end, thanks to two late goals - cue mass celebrations from tens of thousands of English who'd made the journey over for the game (it also made our 300 mile drive home afterwards much cheerier than it would've been if we hadn't won!) There was a nice atmosphere at the game, with the Trinidad fans mixing merrily with ours and not a hint of the hooliganism than the media always seem to anticipate so eagerly.

That chap second from left with the blue boots is David Beckham - probably the most famous footballer in the world, who made the pass for both our goals. We're off to another game tomorrow, Czech Republic vs Ghana in Cologne. Should be fun.

Oh, by the way, those of you who've followed this blog for a while may be interested to know that my wife is pregnant (yee-ha!). As of December, I'll be a dad and Robin will be, um, an uncle.


Robin at the World Cup #1

Hello folks

Long, long time no post - sorry about that. I've actually gone freelance from my full-time job and in the final weeks at my old job was sort of doing two jobs at once (the old job in the daytime, the new freelance stuff before and after work). So I really didn't have a moment to myself. But I should be a bit more regular now. That is if anyone's still reading (please post comments if you are!)...

So, here we are at the World Cup in Germany. For those of you in America who don't know too much about it, the World Cup is a massive football (soccer) tournament that the whole world gets very excited about. It's like the Olympics only with just one sport and with a bigger TV audience! We're out here for a week, staying with my wife's sister in Duisberg, just north of Cologne. And I'm positively giddy with excitement about it.

This picture was taken at South Korea v Togo in Frankfurt on Tuesday afternoon. The game ended up being won 2-1 by South Korea, but this picture was actually taken at the point that a lot of people are talking about. Before the game, the teams lined up to sing their national anthem (as happens at each World Cup match). The South Korean anthem went first, then it was the turn of the Togan one. Unfortunately, they managed to play the South Korean one again by mistake! So they played that through and all the flag bearers and ballboys ran off thinking their work was done. At which point the real Togan anthem started. A bit of a shambles really, but quite amusing!

Oh, and those of you who read this blog during the Olympics will be scandalised to hear that whereas a bottle of water in Athens cost half a Euro, here, where temperatures have been almost as hot, they're charging four Euros! Outrageous.

Anyway, I'm going to post this and write another one, so better go (two blogs in ten minutes after not writing one for weeks...)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Helsinki on May 13

Here's a picture of Robin, taken near my wife's parents' flat in Helsinki at about 9pm on May 13 2006, when the sun was still shining brightly. See below for what it looked like on December 30 2005...

Helsinki on December 30

Here's a picture of Robin, taken near my wife's parents' flat in Helsinki on December 30 2005, when the sea was frozen. See above for what it looked like on May 13 2006...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Robin and a train!

Hello folks. So my mundane pictures continue, with this shot of Robin and a train at Leytonstone High Road station in East London. We'd been there to visit the two day old baby of some friends of ours. Big up to Xavier (that's the baby's name) who I was going to take a picture of with Robin but, um, forgot. So I took one of the train instead. It's a nice train. But not quite as nice as little Xavier.

Right, got to pack my bags, we're off to Helsinki today. Now my mundane pictures won't be quite so mundane, because they'll be Finnish too!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Robin at England's HQ!

Hello again. Here is a picture of Robin outside the headquarters of the Football Association, who run football in England (that's the Three Lions badge of the team over Robin's shoulder). I was down there just as Sven-Goran Eriksson announced England's squad for the 2006 World Cup (for those of you in the US, that tournament is a MASSIVE deal). He wasn't actually announcing it at the FA HQ, but I could see it happening on a TV above the reception. Bizarrely, Sven chose to include a 17-year-old striker called Theo Walcott who hasn't even played for his club side yet, let alone the national team. Only time will tell if Sven's a genius, a madman, or a bit of both...

Oh, and I've worked out how to block spam comments - you just have to type in a word thingy now.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A post about not much!

Hello, hello, hello.

Apologies for not having posted in weeks - the problem is that I've been so busy I haven't really done anything all that interesting. In the end, I thought I'd post you a boring picture of Robin, as that's better than posting nothing at all. Right?

So, here he is, in the middle of the road! In an area of London called Bounds Green! Just near a very good Greek restaurant called Vrisaki, which is down that street on the right! Note how I've worked out how to do the picture slighter bigger than usual! With the text sitting next to it like an old friend! Note the Greek flag on the left, proving that Vrisaki isn't the only Greek establishmeny on that street! Note the white van pulling out and moving ominously towards Robin!

See, it wasn't that dull after all...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Robin at England's national stadium

robin at wembley stadium
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Hey folks.

So, here's Robin at the world famous Wembley Stadium, the home of football/soccer in England and an ongoing national farce.

The original stadium opened on the site in 1923, but they closed it to build a new one in October 2000. It was supposed to re-open in May 2006 with the FA Cup Final, but they've had a whole load of problems with it and it's now not going to be finished until 2007 (which means lots of sport and music events have had to be cancelled).

Still, when me and Robin were in the carpark the other night (we went to a gig at the venue next to the stadium) it did look very impressive. Here's hoping that when it's finally finished, it'll have been worth all the trouble!

This is what it used to look like -
And this is what it should look like when it's finished - (note the huge arch which you can see above Robin's head)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Life's a blur for me and Robin!

robin goes to the dogs
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Hey folks

Sorry not to have posted in such a long time, but I've been super, super, super busy with work. Hope you're all keeping well and thanks for still coming to look at the site - it's appreciated.

So, this is Robin at the Nottingham Greyhound Stadium, where we went a couple of weeks ago - as I'd sponsored a race for my mum and stepdad as their 60th birthday present. They got to present the trophy to the winning dog's owner and everything. Top night had by all. Although as you can probably tell from the picture, the dogs run jolly fast and, thus, don't photograph too well!

Right. Lots of updates coming soon. Promise.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Robin in Bergamo

robin and the old city
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Hey folks - hope you're all well.

This is a picture of Robin taken this weekend in Bergamo, a beautiful town near Milan, Italy.

The picture was taken on the site of Bergamo castle, and it looks out over the old city of Bergamo, which is set up on a hill above the new city. It's a stunning view from up there - round to the other side you can see right over to the Swiss alps (will post a picture of that later).

I thoroughly recommend that if anyone's ever in Italy and near Milan, they go over to Bergamo. Me and Lex have been twice now, it's just a gorgeous, relaxing place to spend a couple of days wandering the windy streets and taking in the feel of old Italy. It's amazing how few tourists you get there too - especially considering one of the Milan airports is a 15 minute bus ride from the centre of Bergamo.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Robin at the League Cup Final

Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Hey folks

Here's Robin at the League Cup Final (aka Carling Cup Final) at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff at the weekend, as the players line up before the game.

The chaps on the right in blue and white are Wigan Athletic, while the chaps on the left in red are the world famous Manchester United, arguably the biggest football (soccer) club in the world. Given that, you probably won't be surprised to learn that United beat Wigan 4-0 (Robin was pleased - as he's clearly more red than blue).

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Robin figure skating!

robin the ice dancer
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Yes folks, as voted for by you - here's Robin being a figure skater, in honour of the Winter Olympics.

They seem to have changed the judging/scoring this time around, but in the old days I reckon his performance would warrant a

6 - 6 - 6 - 6 - 6 - 6 etc...

Hope you like!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Dress Robin as a Winter Olympian!

Robin - an Olympic bird
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Now, obviously the Winter Olympics are on at the moment in Italy and this site was *born* to talk about the Olympics, so we thought we ought to do something to celebrate. (The Games have been ace so far - sadly we won't make it out to them, but I've been following it online and on TV).

So, I've decided to dress Robin up in the costume of a Winter OIympics sport. But which one? Well, that's up to you. Post using the comments link below this post (you don't need to register or anything) and choose your favourite from the list of sports below. Then, on Friday, I'll make him a costume and you'll get to see him in all his Winter Olympic glory! Be nice to hear from some first-time posters too.

The sports you've got to choose from are...

Alpine Skiing | Biathlon | Bobsleigh | Cross-country Skiing | Curling | Figure Skating | Freestyle Skiing | Ice Hockey | Luge | Nordic Combined | Short Track Speed Skating | Skeleton | Ski Jumping | Snowboard | Speed Skating

Remember, I'll dress Robin up as the one that gets most votes...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

In the Beatles' footsteps!

Robin at Abbey Road
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Hey up folks

This is a picture of Robin in front of the zebra crossing on Abbey Road, north London - as made famous by The Beatles on their album cover (which you can see if you click here)

We were there to see Robin's old pal Chris Martin and his Coldplay boys play a special gig in the Abbey Road studios - cameras weren't allowed inside though.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Happy anniversary to us!

Robin at the beach
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Hey up folks

Yes, today is exactly one year since me and the missus got married in Athens. Top, top memories.

To celebrate, we stayed last night at a lovely hotel in Whitstable, a little seaside town in Kent where we went on our first date almost six years ago.

The hotel overlooked the sea - in fact, this picture was taken by me leaning out of bed and holding Robin precariously out of the window! You could hear the waves crashing from the bed - utterly relaxing way to go to sleep.

While we were down in Kent, we also got my Grampa hooked up to the internet (wireless broadband and everything!). So hopefully he'll be reading this at some point. If so, then HELLO GRAMPA!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

So near, so far...

Well, Panionios gave it their best shot last night against top of the league Olympiacos. We went 2-0 up inside 20 minutes, but, sadly, the mighty Olympiacos came back and eventually beat the Panthers 3-2. Still, it was a mighty effort from our boys. You can read a little report if you click here.

Monday, January 30, 2006

C'mon Panionios!

robin at panionios
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Hey up folks

This is another picture from our trip to Athens last weekend. This is Robin at the Nea Smyrni stadium, the home of the football team I support in Athens, Panionios (that's what it says - in Greek script - on the seats behind Robin). The number says 1890, which is when they formed - making them the oldest club in Greece.

Anyway, we popped down to buy a shirt from the club shop and managed to wander into the stdium through an open door to take this picture.

Tonight, Panionios play Olympiacos - the big guns of Greek football - in this very ground. Panionios really need a win (they're having a terrible season). So let's all wish the Panthers (as they're known) our best.

I'll let you know how they get on...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Robin and a wonder of the world...

Robin at the Acropolis
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Hey up folks

Yes, we're just back from a couple of days in Athens, where we thought it was about time we got a picture of Robin at the Acropolis (or Parthenon) which was built about 500 years before Christ was born and which still stands over modern Athens.

Nice to be back in Athens almost a year after we got married there. What with the Olympics too, we've got so many happy memories in that city.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Happy birthday mum!

birthday bird
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

A very happy 60th birthday to my mum (and to her husband Peter, who also turned 60 a week ago today).

Hope your seventh decades treat you both very well!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Robin visits Platform 9 and 3/4

robin potter
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Hey up folks

Yes, the very weekend it was announced that the latest Harry Potter was the best selling book in the US last year (shifting over 7 million copies) me and Robin happened to be walking to get a train from Platform 11 at Kings Cross station in London, when we came across the famous Platform 9 and 3/4 (note the trolley disappearing through the wall) which, I believe, is where young Potter catches the train to his school from.

Nice touch by the folks that run the station, we thought.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy 2006!

Happy new year!
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

To all of you reading this from me, Robin and my missus - we'd like to wish you an absolutely marvellous 2006!

We celebrated it in Helsinki where thousands of people came out onto the harbour outside our appartment and fired fireworks randomly all over the place. Then, by about 12.15am, most people seemed to have gone home!

By the way, Robin is sporting a little 2006 necklace that was sent to my wife by the jeweller in Athens who made our wedding rings. If you think it looks nice on Robin, you should see it on my missus...!