Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Robin and a rainbow

I'm not sure it comes across in the picture, but this was one of the best rainbows that I've ever seen. A full half circle, taking up the entire sky. Lovely.

Of course, Robin, being the selfless little bird that he is, was happy to have his back to it while I took the picture. Seconds later, it had completely disappeared.

Hope someone got the pot of gold before it did...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Robin is back: a trip to Arsenal

Wow, has it really been that long? If anyone is still reading this, then I apologise profusely! I guess since fatherhood (the little fella's 10 months old now) I a) haven't been out and about to interesting places so much and b) haven't had a whole lot of time for blogging (sleeping is my favourite form of recreation these days).

But, here I am, back again with some more pictures of Robin (who's keeping well). On Saturday, we went on a trip to see Arsenal - currently top of the English Premier League - at their Emirates Stadium, which dedicated readers may remember Robin visited while it was being built and then for a friendly between Argentina and Brazil. They were playing Derby County, who my sister-in-law supports, but who aren't having a very good season. It ended up 5-0 to Arsenal. Anyway, here are the pics...

On the train, on the way to London

At Highbury & Islington tube station

A few drinks before the game

The game kicks off!

I'm going to try really hard to post more often now. It's nice to be back.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Robin at Wembley!

Sorry, sorry, sorry - I've not posted in ages. Wonder if anyone's even looking any more. Can hardly blame them if they're not.

Well, on Saturday, myself, the missus, the little boy and the Robin went to the brand new Wembley Stadium for the first ever competitive game there. It was the FA Trophy final between Stevenage Borough and Kidderminster Harriers. Kidderminster
were 2-0 up by half-time but, amazingly, Stevenage came back to win 3-2 with a winning goal a minute before the end. Pretty exciting stuff!

The new stadium was very functional and comfortable, with amazing legroom in each seat. But I don't think it quite had the character of the old Wembley Stadium. I guess that's hard when you have rows and rows of plastic seats and no pillars or anything to get in the way of the view. Still, it was an extremely impressive structure and we had a top day out.

Not sure if I'm doing anything interesting in the next few days, but I will definitely try to post again soon. Was there anything quintessentially English that any of you wanted me to take a picture of Robin next to? Perhaps I can grab one next to Phoebe, my brand new niece who was born yesterday (this may well be the first the world has heard about her...)


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter! More Helsinki pics!

Hello again folks. A very happy Easter to you - here are some more pictures of Robin from our recent trip to Helsinki...

At the gorgeous big church in the middle of town

Attempting to mimic statues at the station

A swing with a view, on a little island opposite the harbour

On a boat. Moments later a man came and rowed away in it. Luckily Robin got off first.

On a jolly large anchor that someone appears to have dropped from a great height

Standing on a life ring

Lazing on a rather prettier life ring

That's about all from the Finland trip - more pics to follow soon!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Robin in Helsinki

Hello again. Sorry it's been such a long time, but I never seem to have time to blog what with the nipper (who's nearly four months old now!). But we're in Helsinki for a couple of weeks, so I've just been for a wander around town to take lots of pictures...

1. In a bronze seal's mouth

2. By a kiosk for the zoo

3. By a nice building site, with a big crane

4. By a man looking at a very large map of Helsinki

5. Trying to look like a freedom fighter

6. By two ferries that are probably about the same size but look totally different, because of the magic of perspective. Despite appearances the further away ferry would not fit into Robin's beak. We know, because he tried.

More to follow in the next few days...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Robin and Gwen Stefani!

Yes, Robin's been hanging out with pop superstars again, this time with multi-million selling popster Gwen Stefani. She's turning her key-shaped necklace in his head, to wind him up (because she's got a single called 'Wind It Up'). Nice lateral thinking Ms Stefani.

She was a very nice woman. You'd like her.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

More snow!

So it snowed again, only this time it did it properly. Although, from what KJ is saying in the comments below the last post, it's a *lot* colder where she is!

The snow's been coming down for a few hours now and doesn't look like stopping anytime soon. As soon as we get any snow in the south of England, the whole place goes to pot. The neighbours' kids are all in the gardens, because their schools have shut (even though most are walking distance away!) and when I just tried to call the phone company about something, a recorded message explained they've got staff shortages because of the extreme weather conditions.

Oh well, I love snow and I very much hope it keeps going for days! More pictures to follow if it does...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Robn in the snow

Woke up this morning to find that it snowed last night. Of course that meant Robin made me jump out of bed and take him down to the garden (most robins like snow). So here he is. It's melting now, but don't tell Robin that...

KJ asked in the comments of the last post if High School sport is popular here, drawing crowds etc. Sadly not, I used to play for my school team and the crowd would usually consist of 2 or 3 pushy parents screaming at their kids for not doing well enough. We don't even get crowds for our sports teams at university/college level, whereas it seems in the US some college teams get crowds of 100,000! Crazy. Must be very odd being a superstar when you're 18 to 21, then coming down to earth with a bump when you leave college and get a humdrum job. However, we do have several hundred soccer teams who get paying crowds each week from your Manchester Uniteds getting 75,000 people to your Hitchin Towns, who play 7 or more division below, getting a couple of hundred.

If anyone had any more questions about UK culture, feel free to ask!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Back of the net!

Hello again. Here's a picture of Robin which I took at Hitchin Town FC this morning. I was up there at 8.30am helping them get the pitch ready for this afternoon's game (there's been an awful lot of rain, so they made a call for volunteers). Hopefully it looks like the game will go ahead now (after some stirling forking and sanding work from myself and a few others). Got to say, even though Hitchin are in the 7th tier of English football, I was still quite excited to be allowed on the pitch of a proper football team with a proper football ground!

Talking of football, did you folks over in the US hear that David Beckham is heading your way? Are people over there interested?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Robin by an old shoe shop sign

Here's a picture of Robin taken by an old shop sign in Hitchin, the town where we live. It's a lovely old sign, built into the wall as a mosaic, above the door of the shop.

Freeman, Hardy and Willis was a UK shoe shop chain set up in 1875 and named after three employees of the company. Their catchphrase was "Shoes For All The Family". I'm guessing this sign would date from the first few decades of the 1900s. In the early 1990s, there were 540 of them in the UK, but the chain collapsed in 1996 and is no more.

Still, at least this gorgeous sign remains and still looks in great condition.