Archive for May 2012

Blu before he moves – Wimbledon part 1   13 comments

Having charged my camera up last night, I thought I’d go out on Sunday and take some pictures of the area where I currently live, sort of a blu before he was on the move, so to speak. It will be 28 years since I moved into my house on August 4th, and although my circumstances have changed over that time, I’ve never seen a reason to move, just to buy another house in London.

Three bedrooms and three reception rooms, what more does one need; its big enough for two and for the last 15 years or so, big enough for one. Now that I’m giving up work its time to leave the UK, and move to pastures both newer and warmer. I finally finish work on 29th June and cannot wait to get away.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m planning on moving to Gibraltar, or Britain in the sun as I sometimes call it. Talking of the sun, its lovely and hot today, about 25 deg and I’m sitting here baking.

Not just because of the temperature, but because I’m working on this in the front reception room, the french windows out into the garden at the back of the house are tightly locked, as criminality in London is now so bad, the local toerags will be in over your garden fence and in your windows in no time. Those of my neighbours with sheds have had them broken into on a regular basis over the last 18 months or so.

So what is Wimbledon like. Well it has a theatre which is quite well known across London. I’ve only been a few times, the things I’d be interested in seeing sell out quickly, and I don’t want to go to the theatre just for the sake of going to the theatre. That’s the kind of thing my mother would have done.

The theatre has been renovated quite recently and now calls itself the new theatre. I’ve not been in there since the renovations were completed so cannot comment on how much its been improved. Its quite an impressive building and I like the dome on top of it, but as you can see, even on a Sunday the roads are busy.

We also have a shopping centre, imaginatively called Centre Court, I wonder who got paid a fortune to come up with a name like that. It comes complete with the usual suspects, Apple, Sony, Debenhams and Marks and Spencer, plus numerous mobile phone providers.

If you look just passed the front of the big red bus, you’ll see that there is also a Tesco here. The part of the building that Tesco are in is the old Wimbledon town hall before it was done away with in another reincarnation of local government structure, that brought us the creation of the London Borough of Merton.

The more observant will also notice the job lot of traffic lights that were sold to the borough. Its only the facade that has been kept, the heart of the building was ripped out by the developers. Centre Court also features the facade of an old church and the fire station, similarly dessimated.

I would have taken pictures of these, but the main police station is on the other side of the road and many London police officers are of the belief it is illegal to take photographs of public buildings, so thought better of it. No problem with the other photos though, the police budget cuts have seen to that.

They say that familiar concepts make people feel at home, so I had to reassure my faithful readers that we have a Morrisons too, albeit somewhat smaller than the one in Gibraltar. Perhaps I should point out that the space above Morrisons’ is a gym, which helps explain what the image of the young lady in the window on the left is up to. I’m not going to add a slide show to this post, there are only 3 pics and they are quite big so its not really necessary.

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Posted May 28, 2012 by bluonthemove in Gibraltar, Relocation, Travel

WordPress Photo Challenge, is it still swearing ?   1 comment

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It just so sums up my feelings about the whole thing.

Photo courtesy of:  We Don’t Give A Shit About The London 2012 Olympics posted on facebook.

Posted May 21, 2012 by bluonthemove in Uncategorized

Sharing   4 comments

What is the obsession with sharing these days, especially on the Internet. Everytime I read an online newspaper, it wants me to share the article with all my facebook, twitter or other friends. If I want to read an article a friend of mine has read, I cannot do so unless I sign up to an “app” that requires to know my inside leg measurement and demands permission to post on facebook anything it likes in my name. To read the article, I have to copy the title and paste it into google, which takes me to the article as it appears from whatever source.

I also have to “like” things, and if I do, there they go, posting away on my facebook wall. Sometimes you click on things that are either plain bizarre or you suspect they are downright dishonest, and forever more they claim you like them on your facebook wall several times a week. Am I unusual for wanting a bit of privacy, for wanting to decide what I share and with whom. Even the great Zuckerberg keeps secrets, apparently this weekend guests turned up to his girlfriends graduation party only to find it was actually her and Zuck’s wedding.

I was perhaps brought up slightly isolated in my formative years. This is the family home where I lived from the age of well a few weeks I guess until I was 21.

By the time this picture was taken, in the early 1990s

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we hadn’t been living there for a while, so it was being used as nursing accommodation as well as accommodating the odd Landrover!! We never owned it, it belonged to the NHS. It was in the grounds of one of those huge victorian former asylums, where my father was senior consultant.

My brother, who was 18 months older than me, was an August baby, so when he went to school at 5 years and a couple of weeks, leaving me at 3 and a half years to play by myself for a couple of years, atleast during term time. Although she never worked, my mother didn’t bother with me much, so at 3 years old I rode my tricycle not only round the extensive grounds of the hospital but inside too.

The hospital was built in a circle, so I could ride round the corridors. Most people knew who I was, so I was given lots of sweets and when I went on the wards I’d get orange juice and biscuits too. Matron, who was very strict, invited me into her flat, where she would give me gin, which was a bit naughty, I mean, I was driving. Strange too, to contrast with today, when most parents won’t even let their kids out of their sight.

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The pics by the way, were taken with a Logitech Fotoman. The Fotoman was the first digital camera to be available commercially in 1990, it could take up to 32 monchrome images which were then transfered to a PC via a serial cable. I still have mine, however it doesn’t hold charge anymore, so not much use.

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Posted May 21, 2012 by bluonthemove in Publishing, Relocation

Photography   7 comments

I was once told that the problem with my photographic efforts lay between the camera case and the ground, I’m cannot think what they meant!!

Below is an excellent example:

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These are the two I will miss most when I leave London. No, not the rose bush, even though that is what the camera decided to focus on, but my neighbours two pussy cats, Cleo and Dave, who are twins if that is the right word when talking about cats in the same litter. Its hard to say, but I think that is Cleo in the background and Dave in the foreground, they are not quite identical and if someone hadn’t put that rose bush in the way. I’ll miss Olly the hyperactive spaniel who lives the other side of me too, but he has a pet passport, has been on holiday to Portugal, so could come and visit me.

I think this photo would qualify for the WordPress ‘unfocussed’ theme. I’ve got what was a half decent camera when I got it in erm 1999, its 3.3 megapixel and has a 340mb IBM microdrive to store pictures on, which allows me 1600 low res images or 350 high res ones; even the latter is more pictures than I’ve taken in my lifetime. It also came with a manual about an inch thick telling me all the things it can do, including taking 30 sec video clips, stitching a series of photos together to get a panoramic effect and the like. Its only been used in earnest when I went on a travel agent freebie trip to Tenerife about 2 years after I got it. Sometime when I have the time to do it, I might dig out some of those old pics from then and do a Tenerife post, as its the closest I’ve ever got to going on holiday since childhood, but I’ll first have to find the computer I was using 10 years ago and try and get it going!!

I browse the camera shops from time to time, looking at the 25 megapixel offerings from Canon and Nikon, but so far common sense has prevailed, as I know even if I spent a thousand quid on a new camera it wouldn’t improve my photos one bit, and my current camera is perfectly good for anything I’m likely to use it for. Here are a couple of other examples of my appalling photography. I don’t know how to do posh slidey show things so I’ll just post them as they come.

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This is Cleo inspecting my patio, in the mistaken belief its actually hers, something cats tend to do. I think she wants to know when I am going to clear up the hedge clippings. Here is another pic to remind you lucky bast people what a spring day in London looks like.

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I guess being honest, I’ve just never really got in to photography as a hobby. I never had a camera as a child, and thinking back I probably bought my first and only film camera in my mid to late 30s. I think I resented the cost of film and film processing. I liked the idea of digital cameras as there was no film to buy or process, and you could take half a dozen photos of the same thing, and just keep the best ones, many of which were then imported in to adobe photoshop and ended up on various websites I used to create for people. I hope WordPress is going to allow me to add categories to this once I click the post button, if not I might have to learn to add them manually afterwards.

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Posted May 15, 2012 by bluonthemove in Gibraltar, Relocation, Travel

Hello world!   8 comments

After nearly 40 years, I guess I am done with London.

Arrived here for fun and debauchery university and kind of forgot to leave. Landed a nice job publishing a stable of medical journals across the developing world which entailed significant contributions to a number of airlines cash flow.

Work ceases at the end of June 2012, in many ways its quite frightening. I hope I will be able to find enough new things to do to keep me occupied. Not absolutely certain where I’m going to live, but Gibraltar does show up as somewhere with possibilities; the weather of Spain without the pressure of having to learn the language right away. Also looked at The Bahamas, but I’m really very much a European.

So this blog will be about my move, it’ll be about my leisure travelling and may well compare it to the days of business travel and it’ll be about anything else I want to talk about. It will start with some bits about London though.

Thanks for reading.

Posted May 11, 2012 by bluonthemove in Gibraltar, Publishing, Relocation, Travel