Saturday, 31 December 2005

Cirque du Soleil

nouba
A New Year's Eve treat was a visit to the Cirque du Soleil. This evening included a champagne reception and a special finish to the show welcoming the new year with special light up wands which had been distributed amongst the audience. Great fun and then still time to get across to Epcot for a saunter around Italy and France before a fireworks finale as the new year was welcomed in, country by country. We stood in Canada and had a great view of everything.

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Friday, 30 December 2005

candle light carols

choir
The carol singing is a feature in Epcot at this time of the year, in addition to the country by country celebrations. Our plan was to do the first part of the park in an afternoon (energy, the land etc.) and then come back to visit the countries on another occasion.

Needless to say, we abandoned the plan almost immediately and revised our tactics to get onto some of the high demand rides on a separate early morning (ie Mission to Space, the crashtest and the new Soarin').
snow
And to keep a Christmas holiday theme going, we all visited the town of Celebration and arrived just as a Florida snow storm started in the main street. Mel and John thinking its not snow as we know it!

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Thursday, 29 December 2005

Hello Hollywood

terrortower
MGM Studios has a combination of interesting rides and insights to the movies. A priority ride is the Rockin' Rollercoaster, which is a limo speed across L.A. to attend a rock concert and great fun - but hold on to loose items for when the car is upside down!

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Thursday Thirteen (V7.0)

thursday13
13 florida things (V7.0) about rashbre


1. The Florida base is rashbre south. An occasional refuge from London and the Home Counties;
2 This the second Christmas in Florida. Last time it was Christmas in Florida and New Year in New York;
3. New Year, New York included Times Square and was the year Avril Lavigne played on the rooftop;
4. I have some Christmas lights for the Weston Hills house, but can't compete with the neighbours, who seem to adopt almost civil engineering levels of garden and house redevelopment;
5. The 20-25 degree Centrigrade weather is a welcome break from the 0-8 degrees around London;
6. We have a list of things to do which is way too ambitious, but will at least have a large range of options;
7. The maxi sized refrigerator is now well stocked thanks to Publix -including a proper Key Lime Pie.
8. I don't understand the difference between Coke Cola Light, Diet and Zero?
9. The pool is shimmering invitingly and I shall take a dip after completing this list;
10. I'm pleased to be able to drive around the whole area now without using maps, including all the nifty short cuts across Disney property;
11. About half our neighbours have employment in some way directly related to Disney; the people in the house behind us are involved with the Polynesian Resort - which does the fun Luau;
12. The nearby Route 27 still has plenty of orange groves, but redevelopment marches on;
13. I will want to visit House of Blues and Cirque du Soleil whilst we are here;

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Leanne's Thirteen!
2. Ivory Frog's Thirteen!
3. Running 2k's Thirteen!
4. Uisce's Thirteen
5. Chickadee's Thirteen!
6. Judy's Thirteen!
7. Raehan's Thirteen!

X. (leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)


Get Leanne's Thursday Thirteen code here!

ttirregular

The purpose is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! Why not do this too? Then leave me a link as a comment or trackback and I will update my entry a link to yours, and you can continue the chain!

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Wednesday, 28 December 2005

cinderella

castle
Time to visit Cinderella's castle in the Magic Kingdom, deftly avoiding the increasing numbers of people in this holiday season. Bright, warm, sunny cloudless day.

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Tuesday, 27 December 2005

planning at the planet

planet
We used a lunch stop at Planet Hollywood to plan our time. Without going mad on structure, it was evident that with New Year many places would be in great demand, both for New Year and the whole period around it.

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Monday, 26 December 2005

warm snow

ourtree
Early priority was assemble our tree and switch on the lights.
snowhouse
Our neighbours had ensured that our road would be well decorated and most houses had exceptionally good displays of lights, imitation snow, snowmen, animated reindeer and candy canes. We decided quickly that our road was the best in the district.
palms
However, the real trees of the neighbourhood gave a different impression from that of snow!
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keeping up with Santa

goofysanta
Fortunately, by the time we arrived in Florida, Santa had also made the trip across the water. We finally caught up with him delivering a few presents and managed to get that elusive snapshot, here showing dogged determination to finish the task.
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Sunday, 25 December 2005

rashbre south

westonhills
Off tomorrow to rashbre south for a few days, across in Weston Hills, Clermont, Florida, close to Disney. We'll be seeing the big cheese and visiting a reasonable number of the attractions. I hope the tree is still in the garage and we can make the lights work. Quite a few neighbours do elaborate lighting displays, so its fun walking around the neighbourhood. And we'll probably head over to Celebration, where the main street has regular snow falls just like a cold place. A surreal experience.

So bags packed this evening, and London Gatwick for the BA flight in the morning. Touchdown Orlando around 16:40, then drive to rashbre south, unpack bags and then across to Publix on the 192 for the first big grocery shop.

I suspect rashbre central will be off the air until I return to the UK.

New Year's Greetings to all - back around the 6th January.

season's greetings

robin

Saturday, 24 December 2005

tracking rudolph's nose

norad
Trust NORAD to find a way to track Santa's flightpath. Rudolph's nose gives off an infrared signature, created, I envisage, by the sheer friction of high speed travel. This means satellites can detect Rudolph's bright red nose with practically no problem. With so many years of experience, NORAD has become good at tracking aircraft ot other vehicles entering North America, hence the ability to track the progress of Santa, thanks to Rudolph. The NORAD video trailer is here

The tracking is kindly made available to us all as a web tracking site.

I drove past the outside of Buckingham Palace during the early evening, on my way from Knightsbridge to Essex, and managed to get this small footage on my cameraphone, along with some disruption to my navigation system.

Friday, 23 December 2005

look behind you

jack2
Today I watched the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, which is a typical Christmas season event. Pantomimes are mainly British and have a few important conventions, which usually include:
  • The principal boy ls played by a young woman;
  • An older woman (dame or widow) is played by a man in women's clothing;
  • There is lots of risqué double entendre, making innuendo out of perfectly innocent phrases;
  • There is a great deal of audience participation, including calls of "look behind you", and "oh yes it is" or "oh no it isn't";
  • There should be a song where the audience is divided at least into left and right halves, or ideally, men, women, children and usually insultingly 'poor people at the back', 'posh people upstairs' etc.
  • The pantomime horse or cow is played by two actors in a single costume – one as the head and front legs, the other as the body and back legs.
Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum!
I smell the blood of an Englishman.
Be he 'live, or be he dead,
I'll grind his bones to make my bread.

beware of the warning signs

traindelay
Dave Asquith and Alex Normanton decided to get their own back on normal Briitish signage, with a few specials which they have been inserting into British life, particularly on railway trains between Brighton and London. The signs look real enough, but have some slightly unusual wordings.

Here's one of my favourites.
sausages

Thank you green fairy for showing me the way to this one.

Thursday, 22 December 2005

Thursday Thirteen (V6.0)

thursday13
13 instant things (V6.0) about rashbre


1. Christmas tree acquired {Check};
2. Lights retrieved from last years boxes {Check};
3. Lights tested and ready for use {Nerp};
4. New lights bought from local garden centre {Check};
5. List for Santa prepared and placed in chimney {Check};
6. Initial present buying expedition completed {Check};
7. Outdoor lights in place and flashing {Check};
8. Wrapping paper and little tags ready for wrapping frenzy {Check};
9. Food shopping list prepared for the last minute dash {Check};
10. Party music identified and loaded to iTunes {Check};
11. Beverages assembled ready for consumption {Check};
12. Cards written and posted (Check);
13. Time set aside to pause for sensible reflection {Check};

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Leanne's Thirteen!
2. Ivory Frog's Thirteen!
3. Running 2k's Thirteen!
4. Uisce's Thirteen
5. Chickadee's Thirteen!
6. Judy's Thirteen!
7. Raehan's Thirteen!

X. (leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)


Get Leanne's Thursday Thirteen code here!

ttirregular

The purpose is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! Why not do this too? Then leave me a link as a comment or trackback and I will update my entry a link to yours, and you can continue the chain!

Tag:

Tuesday, 20 December 2005

time to wear a silly hat

santa_hat
This morning I was being filmed for something that happens in January. Later, I headed over to the Crown for a festive lunch with a Santa hats for each of us. Yet more Crackers and bad jokes and then by late afternoon it was time to move to meet Nick for a drink and a second appearance of the silly hat.

Monday, 19 December 2005

its working

gitarmusic4
Bizarrely, the JCB song I mentioned as a long shot was number one in Virgin Records today. The power of buzz marketing. And according to their enthusiastic fan forum its number one on the BBC?

Here's my link to the original post. And here is the video.

Sunday, 18 December 2005

bugged out

influenzar
I am attempting to repel something like the above at present. Honey, lemon, paracetamol, eucalyptus all play a part.

Saturday, 17 December 2005

all that jazz

jazz
To Windsor to meet Ron and Lizzy and then the others in the entrance to our Jazzy evening. We strolled into what could have been a 1930s scene and found a bar, whilst listening to a singer accompanied on piano.

After a drink we moved to the main street where dancers jived under the street lights and another band were playing, comprising double bass, drums, guitar, trombone and singer.

Later we dined, interspersed with dancers showing us a good time and the band rocking the joint. Then later we found the main dance floor where we bopped until the wee small hours.

Friday, 16 December 2005

cork

HPcork
Across to Cork, Ireland where I was met by Tony, in preparation for an evening with a few friends. We drove first to the Clarion, which is a new hotel in the centre of the ever changing city. Cork seems really 'European' now, with the extra building, style of new cafes and bars and the quite cosmopolitan mix of people.
kudospic
Tony and I first went to the Clarion's bar before heading on to the Long Room, where we met the others. Catherine seemed to be in charge and Mark was already experimenting with port and brandy cocktails. I decide to start more gently. Seamus is there, along with Mick, Colm and Ronan and after saying "Hi" all around we get ready to move on to the Ambassadors for dinner. By the time we arrive, Angela has already got the table arranged and we all sit together to enjoy a Chinese meal and catchup on gossip.
clarionhotel-bar
Much later, we leave the restaurant and rejoin the busy late night streets of Cork, in our case on the way to the tiny Hi-B bar, upstairs near to a hairdressers and hardly announced except for a well worn mosaic floor square at the entrance. The bar is packed, we start off standing and eventually squish ourselves together around a tiny table to finish the evening. In the morning, I will be on the first plane back to London; in just a few hours.

Thursday, 15 December 2005

crackers

15658097
I forgot that Christmas Crackers are a particularly British thing. The brightly decorated tube shaped cracker is placed on the table at dinner parties. Two people pull the ends and it explodes. Out falls a small gift such as a bottle opener, set of screwdrivers, fortune teller fish, miniature pack of playing cards or thimble. Also inside is the paper hat and a small slip of paper, on which is a joke or motto.
300px-ChristmasCrackers
Here are some examples of typical Cracker humour:

What's ET short for?
Because he's only got little legs.

Why did the man get the sack from the orange juice factory?
Because he couldn't concentrate.

What athlete is warmest in winter?
A long jumper

How do snowmen get around?
On their icicle!!

Customer: Waiter! Waiter! What's wrong with this fish?
Waiter: Long time, no sea

Why is it difficult to keep a secret at the North Pole?
Because your teeth chatter

How do cows subtract?
With a cow-culator

Why did the teacher wear sunglasses?
Because her class was too bright

What is your favourite Cracker joke?

canary

canary-wharf-small
Met John in Canary Wharf, where we headed to a nearby Starbucks, one of hundreds in London and around 4 in Canary Wharf.
canary-wharf
We could sit in an underground area between buildings, sip coffee and watch the world go by. Then to a very high building before driving back to Waterloo, from where I caught a train to Woking.

Thursday Thirteen (V5.0)

thursday13
13 instant things (V5.0) about rashbre


1. This is the earliest on a Thursday that I have ever done Thursday Thirteen;
2. I pulled my first Christmas Cracker this week;
3. I've found the outdoor lights and draped them across some bushes and a tree;
4. I have planned to start Christmas shopping on Monday. I know its late, but there won't be so many people around;
5. I'm planning a video short to include in my January visit to Barcelona;
6. I have been meaning to hire a car for my upcoming trip to the USA for about a week;
7. I ordered a replacement Sky box for the broken one, but was out today when UPS tried to deliver it;
8. I'm visiting Canary Wharf tomorrow and will take my camera;
9. Tomorrow evening I will be part of a surprise party for someone leaving the UK to return to the USA;
10. Friday I plan a trip to the Republic of Ireland, to Cork, to meet Tony, Mark and the gang;
11. is still my favourite number;
12. I have received some Christmas cards, but around half have come from unexpected sources;
13. I plan to write my cards to everyone on Sunday;

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Leanne's Thirteen!
2. Raehan's Thirteen!
3. Colleen's Thirteen!
4. Carnealian's Thirteen!
5. Jen's Thirteen!
6. Shelli's Thirteen!
7. Barbara's Thirteen!
8. Enigma Chaos's Thirteen!
9. Angel's Thirteen!
10. Running2K's Thirteen!
11. D's Thirteen!
12. Jenny's Thirteen!
13. uzi's Thirteen!
X. (leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)


Get Leanne's Thursday Thirteen code here!

ttirregular

The purpose is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! Why not do this too? Then leave me a link as a comment or trackback and I will update my entry a link to yours, and you can continue the chain!

Tag:

Wednesday, 14 December 2005

Dibley dinner moment

hotel_n
I found myself with a Vicar of Dibley situation today, where I'd arranged to be involved with two separate Christmas dinners, one at lunchtime and the other at the Wheatsheaf in Virginia Water in the evening.
Picture 4
Maura had arranged the lunchtime session and a small group of us sat together swapping stories about our plans for the next two weeks. And then in the evening, Sue and Pauline had arranged a long table in the Wheatsheaf and about fifteen of us enjoyed the evening together, with crackers, scrumptious food and a live singer. The pub was very well decorated for the season and we all enjoyed one anothers' company until the realisation of how late it had become.

Tuesday, 13 December 2005

rsst awhile


Pondering the reason this blog goes wrong, I discovered align="left" with a picture seems to confuse Microsoft. I shall be less inventive to improve the display on Windows XP.

Meanwhile, other inventions abound.

Monday, 12 December 2005

sky darkens

fireclouds
Looking into the sky yesterday, I thought initially it was clouds filled with snow that were forming, although with a temperature of 12 degrees Centigrade, it seemed too warm.
smoke
The clouds were actually from a major oil fire at a massive oil storage facility about 60 miles away in Hemel Hempstead. There were three types of container ablaze comprising aircraft fuel, petrol and diesel. The fire has 150 firefighters still trying to combat the fire a day later.
smoking
By today, the smoke clouds at 5000 feet have cleared in our area, but yesterday the clouds spread across a large part of Southern England and were easily visible from satellites.

Sunday, 11 December 2005

sky die

skyplus
I still have one electrical item die every day. Yesterday evening it was the Sky Plus box, no doubt in preparation for the Christmas season. I will call their helpline to see what they say, but I suspect something drastic has happened as all that works now is a little red light which informs me it is 'OFF'.

Saturday, 10 December 2005

Christopher Robin joins the lost boys

crmissing
Is this focus groups feedback, political correctness or guerilla marketing?

The Disney Corporation are to make Winnie the Pooh's Christopher Robin a girl?

Huh?

Now I know its fashionable to be a girl with an ambiguous moniker (Jo, Chris, George, Mel, Jules and so forth).

According to various sources, including the BBC, Christoper Robin, a key part of the A.A. Milne Pooh bear storyline, is about to be written out and replaced by a girl. OK, nothing wrong with adding a girl to the story, but why zap Christopher Robin?

Milne's English granddaughter, Clare, is trying to reclaim the rights from Slesinger, but Milne's widow Lesley doesn't think he would have minded this change.
pooh
Disney says that the series will target preschool children quoting, “The young character will elicit physical, cognitive and emotional responses from the viewing audience and will also address them directly". You can also let Disney know your views via their own comment facility.

And the milk picture above along with a further adventure of Christopher Robin lost in the Hundred Acre Woods comes from Whatever.

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bust bus

routemaster
I posted a few weeks ago about the demise of London's Routemaster two person bus (the one with the open platform to hop on and hop off). The last day was yesterday and it was even a top news story on Radio Four's Today programme, complete with interviews with the decision makers.

The appropriate eulogy is at this gem of a site which has a systematic review of the last journey. There will still be red buses in London and a few tourist Routemasters. But an icon has gone.

The old joke, "Whats red and lies in the gutter?"
deadbus
Boom boom.

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Friday, 9 December 2005

friday soiree

orientaldance
Tonght was party time with an oriental theme, in a huge marquee outside a stately home near London.
dodgems
We had bindi dancers, a bucking camel, a sumo wrestling den and dodgems.
partyon
There was a Chinese inspired dinner and a mainly open bar. The dance floor was packed from after the dinner and the chill-out tent was strewn with cushions and people taking it easy.

I admit I back-posted this on Saturday afternoon when I regained consciousness.

Thursday, 8 December 2005

snow storm

snow globe
I couldn't resist adding this link from Jenny about the snow globe. Give it a try!

Thursday Thirteen (V4.0)

thursday13
13 instant things (V4.0) about rashbre


1. I was determined to do Thursday Thirteen for two weeks in a row!
2. This is the first blog entry this week that I have spent more than about five minutes writing because I have been out each evening this week for a variety of reasons;
3. I moved into the editing stage of my NaNoWriMo work last weekend and as part of it have developed the ending for the story. Now I've printed the 100 plus A4 pages for the first time. When I reformat it as a book, I calculate i will be around 160 pages.Here is an extract of the rough draft.
4. I listened to 'Across the Universe' as a small tribute to John Lennon today. Jai Guru Deva, Om;
5. I've printed the HTML of my blog template to try to find the annoying incompatibility which make it go wrong in Internet Explorer;
6. The changes to rashbre central layout were after the critique from Ms Chatty and her friends;
7. I have not bought a single Christmas present yet - I will need to take a day sometime next week to get organised;
8. I've just eaten a pepperoni pizza;
9. Yesterday, Jenny gave me some Swedish St Nicholas cookies; they are supposed to make me nice.
10. The cookies reminded me of the Neimann-Marcus cookie recipe hoax, but I won't publish it here!
11. is still my favourite number;
12. I critiqued Michael's web site and will check again in a week or two to see what has changed;
13. I'm going to a big party tomorrow

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Leanne's Thirteen!
2. Raehan's Thirteen!
3. Colleen's Thirteen!
4. Carnealian's Thirteen!
5. Jen's Thirteen!
6. Shelli's Thirteen!
7. Barbara's Thirteen!
8. Enigma Chaos's Thirteen!
9. Angel's Thirteen!
10. Running2K's Thirteen!
11. D's Thirteen!
12. Jenny's Thirteen!
13. uzi's Thirteen!
X. (leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)


Get Leanne's Thursday Thirteen code here!

ttirregular

The purpose is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! Why not do this too? Then leave me a link as a comment or trackback and I will update my entry a link to yours, and you can continue the chain!

Tag: