Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Last weekend in January

So it was the 5th anniversary for me and my girlfriend last week and we decided to go away somewhere neither of us had been before. For some reason we had decided on Derby. 'Why?' I hear you say, exactly the same reaction I got off people when I told them. Apparently it's a rough place with nothing going for it.
So off we set on Friday afternoon, expectations low. Stopped off at some Welcome Break for the obligatory coffee, Starbucks this time. Derby is only about an hour and a half away, but I get a coffee on the way to Birmingham! Got to our hotel of choice after getting lost, the Jury's Inn on King Street. At only £46 a night, I wasn't expecting much. To our surprise there was parking available at only £6 for 24 hours, but if you arrive after 5 or 6 in the evening, it is only £3 until 12pm the next day. If you are only staying the night on business or a night out, this is exceptional! We checked in and got to our room on the sixth floor. The room overlooked the city, cathedral and river, a really nice view, worth far more than the paltry price paid! After a quick change it was out to have a quick look around and grab a bite to eat. The Westfield shopping centre was only a hop, skip and a jump away. Ended up in Zara with my girlfriend, over an hour later came out carrying her bags! Burger King was very well received and then it was back to the hotel to spend the evening watching tv with half a kilo of pic'n'mix, my favourite crisps (Tesco finest lamb shank and red wine) and a bag of black country pork scratchings! Then came the snow. It started at around 7pm and didn't stop until the next morning. Around 8pm, I decided I would continue the unhealthy trend and popped out in the snow to get a McDonalds!
With the snow putting our plans of exploring the Peak District to the sword, so it was another day in Derby. Shock, horror my girlfriend wanted to go shopping again. Whilst walking to the high street, we deviated off the main track and into an area which I believe was called Little Chester. Whether or not it was named after the actual Chester remains to be seen, but it was rather historical with lovely Tudor and Elizabethan houses, gateways and alleyways, coupled with cafes and boutiques which made for a pleasant deviation, before getting back to the mainstream. Went for lunch at the food quarter in the Westfield again, a lovely fish and chip counter. A slab of battered haddock and chips for a fiver, can't go wrong. Trawled the shops once again, but it was getting on in the day, we didn't get up too early, so made our way back to the hotel. Along the way we popped into the fish, poultry and game market, accessed through the guildhall. I'm sure it would have been good, but they were all packing up at four. Down Iron Gate, there was an absolutely amazing little men's boutique called George Brigdens. Gant, Ralph Lauren and Hackett aplenty. Almost bought a gant wallet, but it was only the display model left, so I went without. Kind of regret it though, I haven't been able to locate it on the internet! There was another great little shop next door called Bennetts. Tweed and waxed jackets adorning the walls, Le Creuset cookware in the middle. After a quick change it was out to Nandos about 8pm. My girlfriend has coeliac disease, so nice food and gluten-free rarely go hand in hand. I, on the other hand, am not a great fan of Nandos. Last time I had one I ended up in hospital having my appendix removed, so I have always associated them. But I'm not going to have appendicitis again so I went. Now I have to say I think it is rather expensive for what it is. Apart from seating you, bringing your food and clearing the plates, there is no service. Essentially I had a little bit of chicken and a lot of chips. Not the best meal I have ever had.
Sunday was check-out day. Sleep deprived from some idiots in the next room keeping me up, we drove out of Derby, northwards. Driving along the A6, we came to Belper. The scenery on the way was beautiful and I could easily see myself living somewhere like that. However, nothing was open because it was a Sunday! So we drove on through Ripley and down to Nottingham. We had stumbled upon a lovely little pub call The Nuthall in Cinderhill. I had a Sunday roast and it was gorgeous. The gravy was flavoursome, meat cooked perfectly and vegetables al dente, just how I like it. If you are ever in the area, you have to go there. Rustic charm and and modern decor clash in the lounge area, making for a relaxed atmosphere. Very well priced and also extremely accommodating to my girlfriend and her gluten-free diet. Then it was back to Worcester to pick up the guinea pig!
That concludes my rather long winded weekend if you have stayed with me thus far, so thank you!

Another week has passed

Well I haven't been too busy this past week. I actually had 8 days off from work as well! Back in tomorrow, wish I had another 8 days off!
So I managed to buy a permit from baa last Tuesday and also purchased a fishing licence from the post office. Enthusiasm flowing, I headed out to the canal to embark on my coarse fishing pursuits. When I arrived I found that the canal had actually frozen and was under about an inch of ice. Managed to find a break in the ice under a bridge (m5 bridge to be exact), so set up just outside of the bridge's shadow. Made up some groundbait using sweetcorn, breadcrumb and birdseed (had read somewhere that it worked) and fishing a single piece of corn on a size 20 hook under a float. Fished at various depths, but didn't get a bite. A dead roach floated by, so did wonder whether oxygen levels were sufficient enough to hold fish, but there were silver fish jumping occasionally. So I blanked! Next day off is a week tomorrow so will have another fishing post Wednesday night, hopefully will have some fish to write home about!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

From Winter Wonderland.....

To a dirty, disgusting mess! It was always going to happen, this is the UK after all, but I didn't expect it to be within a mere 24 hours of the first flake falling!
Well this week hasn't been much to write home about, work up until Friday, then in again yesterday and today. When the first snow flake fell on Friday, I didn't think it would turn into the snow fall that followed. I had to go pick up my girlfriend so I had an opportunity to go have a little drive in the snow in my scenic!hardly a car for the snow, but it coped really well compared to quite a lot of people! Although I don't think many people had managed to grasp the idea of engine braking and assuming their brakes would stop them, oops!
Work has been pretty boring the past two days. Unable to get out, we have had to spend 8 hours in the office with nothing to do! Cabin fever has already set in.
On a lighter note, Friday afternoon I put my guinea pig in the snow! First thing he ended up doing was eating the snow! Greedy little sod. Then it was straight back in to put him under the hair dryer!
Day off Wednesday. Will try and book Thursday off, which will give me Wednesday-Tuesday off. Payday tomorrow, so expect a quick post tomorrow to say I have my rod licence and will be heading out Wednesday to wet a line!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Costa anonymous

My names Glyndwr, I'm a costaholic! I have been everyday for the past two weeks! The Costa card is a godsend. Had two free coffees for all my hard spending recently!
Well thats enough of that! I managed to get out for a whole hour this afternoon to try and get a photo of a bird that I haven't yet recorded! I managed to grab a rather blurry photo of a fieldfare, whichI was rather pleased about. He didn't stay for long, so that was that! It was a lovely sunny day, but extremely soft underfoot! So muddy trainers and to make things even worse, a black headed gull shit on me, great! So I left for home to get a nice twinings inside.
Earlier in the day, I had signed for a parcel for my next door neighbour. When I came back from picking my girlfriend up from work (heidi-likes) I decided to take the parcel round. So I gave her the package and she asked 'do I have to sign for it?' haha cue the most awkward silence ever, then after I told her I was her next door neighbour, she was hysterical with awkward laughter! Even better when I tell you that we have lived next door to them for 5 months!
Then it was time for a bit of fooling around with the guinea pig, see picture below!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Fishing update!

Well as much as I would have loved to have gone fishing on Friday, I'm afraid it never materialised. Turns out that BAA have increased their day ticket price by 33% on last year! So I am just going to wait until payday and get a season ticket, £35 vs £8, I think the value for money speaks for itself. Also, I can't believe I have to pay £27 for a rod licence up until the end of March! It really would not be difficult to arrange a year from the date you pay for it. Anyway, I shall just have to pay £54 for 14 months, ludicrous in my eyes!But at least the canal I plan on fishing is available to fish through the closed season! So good news on that front at least. So no fishing post until at least Wednesday 23rd January

Thursday, 10 January 2013

5 days down.......

I work on average four days a week because I work a ten hour day, but this week is the last week on the 13 week shift pattern so it was 5 days straight! So now I have 5 days off! Both mentally and physically drained from my job, I think 5 days of relaxation is in order! May start tomorrow by dipping my toe into the unknown and go coarse fishing.
My sea roots have a strong hold within my head, I have never been one to sit on a chair or spend days in a bivvy waiting for 'the one'. I would much rather be on the wild and rugged coastline of my beloved Welsh coast. But, I am no longer in Wales! So the canals are my focus for the coming year.
I have been up and down the canal on numerous occasions between Worcester and Tibberton, fishy spots aplenty! Problem comes when choosing a species to target. Having recently read a blog post by Idler's Quest, I have become engrossed in trawling the internet for canal specimen fishing. But as pointed out by Idler's Quest, it is not well documented. Not having the finesse required for coarse fishing and not having much in the way of beginners literature, I think the first year I shall just be winging it with crudely made rigs and shocking attempts at groundbaiting or trying to feed a swim. Nonetheless I shall be embarking on a journey and hopefully pluck a fish or two out of the muddy depths of the Worcester-Birmingham canal. Tight lines for now!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Weekend round-up

Well this weekend wasn't as eventful as I would have liked, mainly because I worked today! But it wasn't all bad, yesterday started off with some amazing free range middle bacon from the butchery at tesco! After lazing around until 2pm, decided to saunter off into Worcester city centre. There was only one reason for this, a trip to my favourite coffee shop, Costa Coffee of course! Feeling hungry I caved in and got another McDonald's this week! Pretty sure that's up to 3 this week! Pets at home was the next stop for some treats for the guinea pig before his monthly shave and bath, which he absolutely loves, think the hair dryer is his favourite part! Can't help but think of this when he is getting dried! Checked all of my results from my accumulators placed on the football, that's better off left alone! That was my Saturday in a nutshell!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Friday's adventure

After being off for three days and not doing anything, I decided to go try and locate the infamous River Severn seal, or Keith, as he has become known. He was in Stourport on the 2nd of January, so I headed off there. Having never been there, I was pleasantly surprised when I got there. It was very nice indeed, even had a little funfair. It was obviously very muddy along the river footpath, but I ended up trudging through the mud in my trainers (not good). After walking for half hour, I came to within touching distance of where the seal was last seen, but the footpath was flooded! So my quest for the seal ended there and then! I managed to find this very lovely horse though. Put the bets on for tomorrow's football at coral. If all goes well then I shall not be going into work on Sunday!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

First day of the year!

Well after New Years Eve, decided to go blow out the cobwebs up at the Worcestershire Beacon on the Malvern Hills with my girlfriend. Consider the cobwebs well and truly blown out! Luckily the sun was shining, but the wind was extremely strong. Scenery was beautiful (see pictures) and it was very busy up there. Full of parents dragging their kids up to the top and a lot of dogs as well! I enjoy walking, but I tend to limit it because I walk miles everyday in work! After burning all those calories I decided to go put them all back on again with a Maccy D's!