Wednesday February 17th, 2016

Boy did I sleep well last night.

That was a statement, not a question.  Cause I did.  I guess all the weird little sleep patterns of the previous week came together and I got a good 10 hrs.  I rose refreshed….at noon !

Still not 100% by any means as I’ve got a bit of a lingering cough but that’s about it.  I’m safe to visit again although one friend said to give it a couple more days just to be sure !

Well ok then.  Love you too !


I may have mentioned before how I have a bad memory.  Of course I may not, I don’t remember.  Boom, boom.

Anyway reading today’s entry in my 1970 diary tells me it’s always been bad.  Good to know.  It seems that I was going home for the upcoming weekend but because it had been snowing heavily recently, on Monday my lovely mummy had sent me £1 for the bus in case she couldn’t make it up to the school to take me home.

A whole £1.  Blimey those were the days. Actually I’m pretty sure no bus could take me all the way to Ballymoney so I think I would get off part way home (the hard part over the mountains) and mummy would meet me in the car for the relatively easy remainder of the drive.

Back to the diary and all Tuesday I was upset because I couldn’t find the £1.  I even put up notices on the school boards but without success.

Then this morning when the day boys buses arrived, Leon McAuley gave me the 2 pens and a rubber that I’d asked him to get for me WHEN I GAVE HIM THE £1 ON MONDAY !

So my bad memory isn’t a recent aging thing, thank goodness. It’s always been crap.

Oh and in case US readers are wondering what I’d need a rubber for at an all boys boarding school, well remember we did have priests there !  Ohhhhhhhh my bad.  Actually a UK rubber = a US eraser.  Well in this case anyway.


Seeing as I was still recovering from my debilitating cold and friends didn’t want me to visit (!), I used my down time today to look through some old photos via my laptop.

I’ve got about 65,000 photos backed up onto one external hard drive; 16265 are from my European trips, 25,300 from my various US trips and the rest are general ones from around the UK.

And I’m probably in about 6 of them !

As I’ve said before, photography has been my hobby since school days and I’m usually behind the camera. Most of my trips have been of the solo variety and again, although I did take some of myself at famous places, most photos don’t include me in them.

When digital photography met social media, it was a match made in heaven. Now people put up multiple photos of themselves everywhere from Facebook and Twitter to Flickr and Instagram.  I know someone on Facebook who posts numerous photos of herself and her kids every day despite most being blurred or taken in a series where all are just about the same as the others. No selecting takes place.  No attempt to weed out the bad ones. If the phone camera takes the photo, up it goes onto Facebook.  In effect she’s using Facebook as The Cloud or Google Drive or some such repository.

I got so fed up with my timeline being filled with these photos that I used the Facebook option to not see her posts at all.  Being still a Facebook friend I can go to her site and look through them when I want to but at least I don’t have them forced on me when I’m just trying to catch up with posts from other friends.

I guess I’ve never been one for accepting photos that aren’t as good as I can get them. I see ones taken at parties and in pubs where the faces were 2 ins from the lens so you see an eye or a mouth, maybe a bit of hair and a section of a glass of beer/wine. They’re taken at a funky angle as the person taking it was probably dancing or drunk or both.

I know that’s fine for many people and they’ll say even that sort of photo brings back a memory (often the only one !) and after all, isn’t that what photos are for…..capturing the moment ?   I guess so.  Most of my group type photos would be classed as “boringly staged” with the people lined up like they’re about to be shot – by firing squad.

Then again I don’t take many group photos – most are simply recordings of places I’ve been to so I can revisit them in years to come.

But I’ve digressed.  And ranted.  And showed myself to be Mr. Dull.

Here are some random pre digital US photos that I scanned a long time ago. Some even include me just to show that, occasionally, I did manage to get myself in them despite touring on my own.  What I wore didn’t seem out of place at the time but now……OMG.


Passing Alcatraz on a cruise to and from The Golden Gate Bridge, California.


Amistad Dam bridge between the US and Mexico, Del Rio, Texas.

Between Mexico & USA

The Cabbage Patch Kids “birth place”, Cleveland, Georgia.

Caggage Patch Hospital

The Space Needle, Seattle, Washington.

Space Needle In Seattle

The Capitol Building, Washington D.C.


Niagara Falls. Ok so it’s from the Canadian side but from the US side, it’s not as awesome !


Mount Rushmore,  South Dakota.  Hey it WAS a long time ago and tourists dressed like that.  Honest ! Checkout the full size VHS camcorder.

Mount Rushmore

Crazy Horse Monument, South Dakota.  Yes it was on the same day as Rushmore.

Crazy Horse Monument

The Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri.


Martin Luther King‘s birthplace, Auburn Ave, Atlanta, Georgia.

Martin Luther King Home

The (formally named) Texas School Book Depository, Dallas, Texas.

Dallas Bookshop Repository

Monument Valley, Arizona-Utah.


The Sands Hotel, Las Vegas.  Where I stayed on my first visit.  Was imploded and is now The Venetian.


View of The Transamerica Building taken from Coit Tower, San Francisco, California.


View of Coit Tower from The Transamerica Building, San Francisco, California.


Yosemite Falls at Yosemite National Park, California.


Confederate Memorial Carving, Stone Mountain, Georgia.


Devil’s Tower, Wyoming.  Yes, think Close Encounters.


Outdoor swimming pool at Hearst Castle, California.


The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas.


View From The Lincoln Memorial across The Reflecting Pool towards The Washington Monument, Washington D.C.  And yes, I had a dream too.

View From Lincoln Memorial

The VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) at the KSC (Kennedy Space Centre), Florida.


Grand Canyon South Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Grand Canyon 1

Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, California.  This was while I was recuperating 8 weeks after my quintuple bypass surgery and in those days I never even thought about taking out medical insurance !


The Ewing Mansion, Southfork Ranch, Parker, Texas.

Southfork Ranch

The Queen Mary and (behind her) the Spruce Goose Dome, Long Beach, California.


The JF Kennedy Memorial, Dallas, Texas.

JFK Memorial In Dallas

Looking up Lombard Street (Crookedest Street In The World), San Francisco, California.


London Bridge at Lake Havasu, Arizona.


Ok I think that’s more than enough.  Sorry if it’s too much but if nothing else, at least I’ve somewhere else to find these photos if I should ever have a catastrophic disk error.

Many of my earlier digital photos WERE lost when a hard drive crashed but no point crying over spilled milk, even if it did cause the hard drive crash !


I finally finished watching all the episodes of “Mr. Robot” and I’m not quite sure what to make of it.  Certainly different.  Not sure I’ll be bothering with the second series.

I also finished Ken Follett’s Fall Of Giants” and decided to go straight onto his next in the trilogy, “Winter Of The World” which moves all the families on from the end of WWI and onto the years leading up to WWII.

Happy days !


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