Showing posts from July, 2024

The Happiest McDonald's Fries

I can't recall why my amazing mother hadn't ever had a McDonalds before and so, in Newport , we popped in and she fell in love with their fries. (This is one photo even though it might feel like two chopped together)

Nature Meets Art

Once again nature meets art, what a stunning photograph of a gorgeous late autumn woodland scene over the Wye Valley , Monmouthshire. If someone can tell me what style of painter this reminds them of I'd be very grateful. I am particularly fond of the right hand side with the farm buildings and old church nestled away amongst the trees. Zoom in on the full photo, there is so much loveliness to be had.

Angela Barnes

Angela Barnes is good solid funny comedian that knows how to tickle ya funny bones. More than that she's a fucking awesome human being and I have all the time in the world for her. PS: Her support act, Michael Fabbri , was superb as well.

Hancock's Half Hour

A radio show from the 1950s on stage in the 2020s, must prove something. Nostalgia is alive and kicking amongst those who were there or who's parents would tell you about it. Hancock's Half Hour shows still stand as great comedy writing. The acting (impersonations?) were excellent, especially 'Sid James' and 'Kenneth Williams'. Finally, as it was staged as an actual radio recording it did feel a tad like seeing behind the wizards curtain. If you ever get a chance absolutely go .

Misty And Moody River

Sometimes eh, just sometimes nature puts on a show and it can be breathtaking. The River Wye from the Wye Bridge towards the Boat House.

It's Like We'd Always Been There

Time is an illusion, lunch time doubly so. So says Douglas Adams , and he's right. Time is one of my new topics of ponderment, alongside the why we're here, what's it all about, and why is my little toe growing inwards. Those that actually study time aren't even agreed on the  question, " Does time exist? " Standing under the ancient ceiling of The Queens Head with my two oldest mates, Rob and Andy, it does beg the question what truly is time? Of course it wasn't the same, we were in a surprisingly empty pub that unsurprisingly closed down a few months later. We are all fathers, none of us live in Monmouth, and we have all lived big and different lives. And yet, here we were, back again and even saying that it felt like time hadn't moved. Time, it's a feature of love IMHO.

Map Of Fictional Britain

Ever wondered where Pontypandy is? Curious about Ambridge ? Pondered as to the location of Stoneybridge ? They are all here and so many more, enjoy [ tap/click to open larger image ]

Sarson's Malt Vinegar

It's a truth universally acknowledged that any UK establishment in possession of good food, must be in want of a Sarson's bottle. I've noted this before but I can't go past this photo without highlighting once again just how ubiquitous the Sarson's vinegar bottle is.

Have I Lived My Best Life?

Ok, alright, fair enough, "Am I living my best life?", you know what I mean. Yeah, I believe I am living life. I certainly don't feel like I am 'existing through' life. I see some living their lives in amazing ways, some living life in ways that are not for me but are obviously very cool for them, many living lives that I have no idea about but I hope are best. That word 'best', that's the key one eh. What does it mean to live the 'best' life, by what criteria are we to use to judge whether it is a 'best' life? How about these ... I have the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expect of me. I have the courage to express my feelings. I stay in touch with my friends. I let myself be happier. "Nice Mike, made those up to suit your own life / this article did ya?" Well, no actually they are the positive spin on the  Top five regrets of the dying (via Susie Steiner, The Guardian, Feb 2012 - unfortunately th

NEW: Objects From Iceland And Dr Who

It's been fun adding new photo albums to the Iceland collection, that ends now and onto a few others as well: National Museum of Iceland A collection of items and objects that I found intriguing at the time Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder (July 2024) An exhibition of all things Dr Who at Takina in Wellington

History Comes Alive

This is Mr Evans. In the closing years of the 1970s it was noticed that I was old enough to go to 'big school'. Initially my parents thought it would be a step up to go to the Haberdashers Boy's School ... I didn't want this as none of my friends were going so I failed the entrance exam on purpose. Monmouth Comprehensive here I come! There's a million stories , a million heartaches, a tonne of boredom, and friends I still have.  [ Facebook group: Monmouth Comprehensive leavers 83/84/85 ] And there was Mr J Evans. He was my History teacher for a year or so. I never pursued history in any academic way but you can tell by this blog's #history  that it is a thing for me. This is almost exclusively down to Mr John Evans. Quite a few of us recall him acting out the Romans invading Wales. Him jumping onto desks to act out the Welsh hiding in the mountains, the battles between the desks, the cry of the dead, the whoops of the victorious. John Evans is as spry as he ev


Time to leave the incredible country of Iceland . I hope to be back and stay for a few months! As you know I'm a hunter of street art and Keflavik airport has plenty , both inside and outside the terminus. Íkarus (Icaros) by Leifur Breiðfjörð Leifur Breiðfjörð, a renowned Icelandic artist, presents "Íkarus" (Icaros), a remarkable stained glass creation that adorns the terminal. This piece, alongside its counterpart "Yearning for Flight," forms a duo that eloquently expresses humanity's age-old aspiration to soar through the skies. "Íkarus" delves into the timeless tale of Icarus, juxtaposing this ancient myth with the modern-day feats of astronauts and the natural grace of birds. The artwork becomes a luminous spectacle at night, a beacon of dreams and human ingenuity. "Icaros" spans an impressive 490 x 970 cm and is beautifully situated in the departure hall, overlooking the south window, offering a captivating visual experience to trav

Secret Entrance Into City Hall

Top work the person that designed an entrance into Reykjavík's City Hall via a set of steps that descend through the surrounding pool, love it!

Northern Lights

Whilst I did see them I, like almost everyone else before and after me, was a little underwhelmed. Now, I have mates who have seen spectacular aurora and won't stop talking about how astounding it was but I believe they are the very lucky ones and the average view is a lot less intense - see the recent aurora that we all raved about a month or so ago. Staring straight up and at it you sort of see a slight change in colour. Side eyeing it (using your peripheral vision) brings more definition to the colour. Finally, pointing your camera at it brings out a much clearer view. This photo has been enhanced (not faked, but edited to bring contrast and up the colour). It was there, this is what I was looking at, but this not what I saw.

Whale 'Looking For' Comes To An End

We didn't actually see any whales, some puffs as they exhaled in the distance, but I wasn't bothered as it was simply a lovely trip from the Old Harbour out into the large Faxafói Bay. I think I may have fallen asleep at one point.


I know, childish, not big nor clever, and certainly not the first time it's been said. It's Þúfa ("tussock ") an art / tourist thing that I only ever saw from a distance. I'm not sure I knew how to get to it, or what it was. Turns out Þúfa was created by Icelandic artist Ólöf Nordal and is an 8-meter, man-made, grass-grown mound, which can be walked up. The whole piece is on an artificial island. Those who walk up to the top are able to enjoy one of the most impressive views of Reykjavik available.  Damn 🫣 Source of info: Visit Reykjavik: Þúfa art piece

Architecture A Go Go

The  Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre on the Reykjavik waterfront is an astounding building. From the outside it's a giant glass covered item lit up by the sun and reflecting the water and sky. It's well worth a wander around looking at all the different angles, light, and interesting moments. I wandered inside but couldn't go into the auditorium(s). But still, wow, as wonderful inside as out. I see I've shared two photos of this magnificent building already, and here's two more as I just can't decide which is to be the one for today's daily photo , lucky old you.

Runny Eggy Soldiers

There's an Enid Blyton story feeling that wraps me up in comfort and safety that I feel when I slowly dip my slices of toast into my egg. It's been too long, let's all do it! btw: count the fingers .

Be A Man Not A Boy

I don't really know how to get this through. When I was 18 or so I was quite the timid person despite the exterior bravado. I felt like I was a small boy in a man's world and my job was to keep my head down unless the "bigger boys" spotted me and called me out. I have carried that little boy (about aged 13 or 14) with me for years and years, during my mental breakdown he was close to the surface, crying out in pain, and I finally listened . Most of the times I failed were those when I allowed the boy to act out, lash out, to be, well an angry 13 or 14 year old. This time though this little boy was in charge of a mans body, a man that was legally allowed to drink alcohol, drive a car, have sex. It was a potent combination, and so wrong. In Aotearoa New Zealand I see so many mens bodies being driven by a boy inside. Men, with the machinery of being men, and for much of the time having a man at the controls, being a good parent, a loving friend, expressing empathy and k

Have A Happy Day

This voettir / gnome was just sitting there next to Tjörnin, the lake in downtown Reykjavík. He made me smile, I hope he does the same for you whatever the time of day it is where you are on this planet.