Jan 052016
2015 - a stay at home year

Despite having over a dozen overseas places on my ‘must visit’ list, 2015 was a year in which I stayed on these shores, unless you count the Channel Islands as abroad. Although outside of the United Kingdom, I don’t regard our annual holiday in Herm as a trip overseas. Holidays Apart from a day trip to Llandudno in April, my first holiday was a repeat trip to the Outer Hebrides, this time on an organised rail and coach trip. The last time I was in the Hebrides, Sandra and I flew there and drove the length of the Isles from Barra to Stornaway. [Read more]

Nov 152014
Mingling with the media and the millionaires

On Wednesday 12th November 2014, local winners of the National Lottery met at the National Watersports Centre in Holme Pierrepoint, Nottingham to celebrate the 20th birthday of the National Lottery. Winners worth in total over £100 million came from all over the East Midlands to  be interviewed by the media and to enjoy a buffet lunch. Sandra and I often attend these functions, so we set off after breakfast to make the 40 minute journey. Heavy rain and traffic meant that we arrived later than planned, so there was no time to settle in before I did my first interview [Read more]

Sep 092013
Welsh Mega Steam - day two

Lakes and mountains Day two was a day that I had looked forward to since I booked the holiday – a journey to the summit of Mount Snowdon. The day dawned bright and sunny, without a cloud in the sky. Breakfast was served around 08:00, and after dining, we boarded the bus for the short journey to Llanberis, and the Lake Railway. This is a delightful little train which runs from the centre of the village along the lake, using a track bed laid down for the slate quarries. The round trip took an hour, and after leaving the train, [Read more]

Aug 142013
Outer Hebrides - Harris and Lewis

The last leg of our self-drive holiday was based in Stornoway, the capital of the Outer Hebrides, where we spent three nights in the Royal Hotel. Before reaching our destination, we had to take another car ferry journey from North Uist to Leverburgh in the south of the Isle of Harris. As we crossed over to Harris, on waters that were so shallow that we could see the bottom on many occasions, we could see the landscape ahead of us was more mountainous than on the other islands. We were yet to find out just how desolate and wild the [Read more]

Aug 052013
Outer Hebrides - Barra and Vatersay

The first leg of our self-drive tour of the Outer Hebrides was on Barra, and its neighbouring island of Vatersay. Our arrival on Barra was spectacular, to say the least. We travelled over from Glasgow International Airport on a De Haviland Twin Otter aircraft, specially adapted for landing on a beach – yes, a beach! Barra Airport is one of the few places in the World where scheduled flights land on a beach. The airport is situated in the wide shallow bay of Traigh Mhor at the north tip of the island. The airport has three runways, marked by concrete poles at their [Read more]

May 102013
Hoisting the flag

On Tuesday 7th May, I took part in a photo shoot at Nottingham Castle to publicise that the Nottingham post code has the most lottery winners in the East Midlands. Camelot produced a National Lottery flag which was hoisted up the Castle flag pole, and flew there for the day. The Nottingham Evening Post photographer was there to record the occasion and I was photographed with Maid Marian, Site Services Co-Ordinator Katie Inglis. We were photographed around the flag pole, in front of the Castle, and on the roof, but as always, only one shot made the paper. I tried to [Read more]

Jan 312013
60 years on ...

I was born 60 years ago today in my grandparent’s small, two-up, two-down Victorian terrace on Albert Street, Eastwood. The house was part of a block with Scargill Street, Victoria Street and Princes Street forming the other sides to the ‘square’, as it was called. The house was demolished years ago, but I can still remember the tin bath hanging outside, the ‘copper’, also outside, which was the only way of heating water for the house, and the black iron kitchen ‘range’, which was the source of heating for the house and was where all the food was cooked. There [Read more]

Jul 122012
One night, 100 millionaires

Today I joined the Camelot publicity team for an event to promote the Euromillions ‘one night, 100 millionaires’ draw to be held on Friday 27th July 2012. To celebrate the start of the 2012 Olympics, the National Lottery are making 100 millionaires. I caught the train to Leicester to meet Jacquie Wilson, from Camelot, under the Clock Tower in the city centre. We had a Costa Coffee while the publicity team set up their stand. Camelot publicity team and me in Leicester The team were creating a ‘winners experience’ to give people an idea of what might happen if they [Read more]

Dec 082011

There’s always something happening at Bracken House. Today, we had a young Staffordshire Bull Terrier running loose on the land. She wanted to play with the ponies and the chickens. She even had a dip in the pond. I managed to catch her and took her for a walk behind the nursing home to see if her owner was looking for her, but it was raining and blowing a gale and there was no-one to be found. I put her in one of the stables and telephoned the Ashfield District Council stray dogs line. To my amazement, the dog warden [Read more]

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