Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Some recent mobile phone pics

I haven't been out shooting much recently due to my health but I have taken a few on my phone so here goes.

American Hustle (film review)

Set mostly in the 1980s the film is about a group of con artists who get involved with an FBI plot to trap corrupt officials.
I found the film very slow and frankly boring, as a fan of the British tv series the Hustle I suppose I expectedsomething similar, sadly it's nothing like the tv series.  The British series was polished with lots of clever plot and twists and turns everywhere, the film is none of those things.
Save the money and buy a box set of the tv series instead.

Waynes rating 3/10

Global warming the joke

A research vessel sent to investigate the ice loss in Antarctica has become trapped in the very ice they claim is vanishing, to add insult to injury the rescue vessel (a specialist icebreaker) has also become trapped in the "thickest ice that's been seen for years" Indeed far from vanishing the ice theres been getting thicker and covering a bigger area for several years (look it up like I did) records show theres been NO global warming for 15 years, but still the joke goes on....
But now it's finally come full circle... after all it's a bit tricky to claim the ice is all melting when your own bloody ships been stuck in it for a week.  The final irony would be if they all froze to death, I can see the headlines now.... GLOBAL WARMING SCIENTIST FROM FROZEN TO DEATH.......  Oh dear that wouldn't look good on someone obituary would it.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Alan Partridge Alpha Papa (film review)

Now I have to say I'm not a big fan of Steve Coogan, or his character Alan Partridge.
The plot of the film,  a hostage situation at Alans radio station leads to him being sent in to negotiate (unlightly if I'm honest) the story flows along and gets into pace fairly quickly, theres lot of the Alan we are used to from the tv series, and the film hangs together well.

Waynes rating  5/10  worth a watch if your a Steve Coogan fan

Kirstie Allsopp

Kirsties just whinged about people getting compensation for having their electricity off due to the storms, she says people all over the world manage without it all the time.  Well shes got a point, but then those people also don't live in a mansion like she does, they don't watch her crap tv shows either.
 But more importantly we have to pay a service charge, so why the hell should we pay a service charge when theres no service?  Not to mention the vastly over inflated price we pay for it in the first place, it's ok for her to manage she can afford a generator.
Time to get back to making shows about houses and stop making a fool of yourself Kirstie

Friday, December 27, 2013

Dr Who Christmas special

It was interesting to see Matt Smiths last day as the Doctor, even more interesting was how much he reminded me of William Hartnell (the first doctor) in the some of the scenes.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas travel chaos

The weathers causing chaos with peoples Christmas travel, planes are grounded and trains stopped, and they all seem to have one thing in common... nobody seems to be able to tell the stranded passengers anything.
Why for heavens sake?  Take an airport for example, someone must have a rough idea when it's going to re-open, (or at least a minimum of how long before it's lightly to re-open)  why not tell the stranded passengers it's going to be at least 4 hours or whatever instead of saying bugger all and letting them just sit there wondering.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Nigella Lawson court case

Like many people I've sort of followed the court case of Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi, it's been a bitter case with lots of allegations thrown about. 
 I suppose the saddest part is that staff could spend £650k without them seeming to notice, you or I would check our credit card bills and most would notice a few quid missing, that staff were just given cards and told to spend money with no real check is more shocking than the drug allegations.  After all it's not uncommon for "celebs" to have drink or drug habits so most people probably wouldn't have been surprised.
I must admit I like watching Nigelllas cookery programs, she makes nice real food your or I could make (unlike some ! Heston please note)  and lets face it she's not bad looking either..

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas party time

Here's a few pics from a Christmas party I went to yesterday..... Santa didn't behave like that when I was a child, I guess times have changes even for him.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas is nearly here, Happy holiday

Well it's the time of year to hang up your tinsel, buy the wrong presents and eat tangerines (where the bloody hell are they the rest of the year) and spend more than you can afford, well I have anyway.
I'll take the opputunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
May all your problems be small and your health good, have a good holiday and enjoy yourself.

For me it's been an interesting year, my health if anything has got worse (hence no recent photos) but I've met some wonderful new people over the year, and lost a few more old friends. My children are growing up into two big fine lads, I'm really proud of them, and it seems I did a half decent job of bringing them up (I could have been a better dad I'm sure)  So good luch all and ass dear old Dave Allen used to say may your God go with you

George Clarkss amazing spaces (ttv series)

I haven't seen the full series but I have watched quite a few of the programs.  George Explores some wonderful small houses... well I use the houses loosely, some are sheds, others are old ambulances, my favorite was a cob house that looked for all the world like the sort of thing a hobbit would live in.
What people have done is take a small space and with ingenuity make fantastic use of the small space they have.
One of the things I like about the series is the way George Clarke is just so enthusiastic about what people have done, he really seems to be enjoying being there, that makes you the viewer enthuse about it too.
Waynes rating  8/10 well worth a watch, but be warned you'll want your very own small space after watching it  (I do)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Hobbit the desolation of Smaug (film review)

I saw this last night.
The story continues from where the last film left off and is part two in the trilogy.  The film has the excellent special effects we're used too, with wonderful sets and graphics, the fight scenes are also well done, with scary big spiders and the great ballol chase sequences.
I enjoyed the film and it's failry fast paced from the start, but I did feel it was lacking something compared to the first film, although I couldn't put my finger on what was missing.

Waynes rating.  8/10  well worth a watch on the big screen

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tesco blast shoppers for food waste

The retail giat Tesco today blasted shoppers for causing Tesco to waste food, it seems that us shoppers "pick the cream of the crop and leave the rest" when it comes to shopping.  Tesco claims it threw away 30.000 tons of food in the first 6 months on this year.
A few points Tesco. First off if I'm spending my money I will pick the best stuff I can see, only a fool buys rubbish when theres better stuff for the same price, secondly Tescos used to be cheap, but your prices have gone up a lot over the last year, far more than inflation, so if your going to charge top prices I want top goods for the money. 
Some other points to consider, not everybody want to buy bulk packs of everything, many people live alone, they don't need 48 toilet rolls or whatever, your getting more like a whole seller than a retail outlet every day.  The buy one get one free is wasting stuff if it's perishable goods, many people take the offer and throw away the second part, after all it cost bugger all (so they think).
But maybe the biggest lesson Tesco need to tae in is not to buy misshapen damaged fruit in the first place, and maybe a lot wouldn't end up damaged if it was stored and looked after properly in shop.
Remember Tesco, your not the only place we can buy food, theres cheaper better shops around just waiting for you to screw up.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas tv adverts

This time of year we're bombarded with terrible Christmas adverts.  It's crazy!  They must cost a fortune to make (look at John Lewis or Cokes adverts)  Yet it still hasn't occurred to these people that  A most people will shop were they always shop, and B a lot of people in our multi cultural society don't actually do Christmas so the adverts are offensive to many non Christians.  
Yet every year we get these really terrible Christmas ad's, I do enjoy Christmas, but the adverts are driving me crazy to be honest.  I know it's Christmas in 2 weeks, I don't need it rammed down my throat by some grubby marketing company or a shop I'll never use.

Gravity (film review)

Gravity is a si-fi film, two astronauts are stranded during a space walk and have to make their way to a near bye space station to survive.
The special effects are excellent, sadly I can't say the same about the soundtrack, the droning, whining, music? (sounds a bit like a knackered jet engine)  really got on my nerves after about five minutes, after an hour you'll be suicidal, even sadder is the fact that it wasn't needed, the film itself is quite good on it's own merit.
The story is a bit over the top with the actors having to fight countless obstacles to survive (just one would have done, honest!) but it's a good romp.

If you see it in the cinema take your ipod and wear the earphones, you won't miss much and it cuts out the really horrid music/noise thingy, if you watch the dvd just turn the sound off the telly.

Waynes rating   6/10 probably worth watching on the big screan for the views of earth.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Amazon drones

It seems Amazon are planning to use drones (unnamed aircraft) to deliver your parcels, while sounding like a good idea to the finance department, it really needs thinking through properly.
First off there's the slight risk these drones would hit real aircraft, and although unlikely it's still a factor.  Then theres the much bigger risk of them crashing on cars or busses causing a serious accident, with todays congested roads a very real danger. 
By far the biggest problem though is the problem of delivering the goods.  My street has big trees and lots of overhead wires, all a risk to a low flying drone, then what happens if it manages to find the right garden, theres washing lines, trees, etc, even if it dodges those it can't just leave the parcel on the lawn. 
You see most normal houses don't have closed in gardens, and even those with them often have a dog that wil eat the parcel (or drone) that is if the neighbours or a passer bye doesn't steal it first.
Sorry Amazon, your trying to be too clever, it simply wont work in practice, many people won't get their parcels, and sooner or later some clever bugger will work out they can bring the drone down with an airgun or something and steal the goods, if you don't cause a big accident first.  Stop now while your ahead.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


It seems tv is loosing out to the computer for peoples entertainment, well hardly a surprise is it.  I have about a 100 channels or so, yet I'm still struggling to find something to watch a lot of the time, the problem is simple, the newer shows are mostly 'reality' tv (cheap) and the rest are mostly 1970-1980s era shows that we've all seen and thought were crap 30 years ago.  That coupled with nearly as much time on adverts as programs means people simply give up and watch stuff on the computer.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dr Who 50 years

Happy 50th anniversary to the Dr Who TV series.  The series which started in 1963 with William Hartnell as the Doctor and also stared Carol Ann Ford as the Doctors granddaughter Susan Foreman, Jacqueline Hill as Barbara Wright one of her teachers and William Russel as Ian Chesterton another teacher.
The 50th anniversary special featured 4 of the doctors and for me the best bit was the closing moments which showed all 12 doctors.
Thanks for 50 years of entertainment all of you.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Some studio shots of Ashliegh.

Films that should never have been made.

Air Force One.   Or air farce one as it's known by most, why Harrison Ford made this garbage is beyond me, he really must have needed the money.  The film is cheesy and corny in the extreme. Lets face it the secret service let the terrorists board air force one then only the president can fight them off, what a joke, some of them can only just tie their own shoelaces.

Rambo 2-3-4-ect  While the original film First Blood was passable and well filmed, the follow ups were terrible.  Obviously some bright spark had the idea 'well we've got Rambo, what about having him rescue pows.fight Russia/ etc etc etc' the trouble is they were badly filmed, had no real plot and Stallone isn't what most people would call a good actor.

All horror films made in almost total darkness.  Why for God's sake?  I know the idea is the characters can't see the bad guy coming, but then neither can the bloody audience, so it's not very scary as we can't work out whats happening.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Some news.

Cycling.  It seems that five cyclists have died in London in the last nine days.  Sadly I don't think theres an answer, the fact is today's modern traffic and our old narrow road layouts are just unsuitable for cyclists. I have been a keen cyclist myself, sadly my health stops me now.  But when I was cycling it was always a gamble, traffic simply won't give way to cyclists who it feels are holding them up, and cyclists can't keep up with road speeds easily either.
 Separate cycle lanes work up to a point, but the problem with those is many don't follow the normal road and go miles out of the way.  Worse are the road marked cycle lanes, what a joke! Traffic simply drives over the lanes (often shared by buses and taxis) then theres the road junctions that cross them anyway, traffic turning simply will not give way to a cyclist.

Acid seas.  It seems the global warming gang have now decided that as the earth isn't actually warming (not in the last 15 years anyway) but that our emissions are now turning the seas acid instead of warming the world up.
Now a few things strike me, first off how come it took these Einstein's 15 years to notice global warming was a load of crap (something most of us knew anyway) and secondly what made them think of checking the acid levels in the sea instead?  To be honest it sounds like a lot of people trying desperately to justify their jobs and grants.  This is now the NEW excuse for pollutions tax's, then in 15-20 years it'll come out this was a load of bull droppings too and it'll change to something else.  Give it guys and start telling the truth.

Public transport.  The government and bus companies are getting concerned by the number of people using their cars instead of buses....   Have any of these people actually tried going anywhere by bus recently?   It's a farce.  My local town is about 2.5 miles from where I live, not far, a reasonable fit person can walk that in about 35 minutes without killing himself.  Yet the bus takes 40 minutes to get there.  Why? Because the bus goes around miles of side streets and through estates.  Where before each area had a bus direct to town, now the one bus goes everywhere, trouble is this means it's painfully slow.
Now in my car I can go to town, pay a bill and grab a bit of shopping and still be home in about an hour, on the bus the same trip means I end up waiting for the bus, rushing to do my shopping (so I don't miss the bus back) and still takes the best part of 3 bloody hours.   Madness!
For public transport to work it has to be
A cheap
B regular (not one an hour but 4 or 8 an hour)
C reliable (ours turn up if they feel like)
Sadly most public transport is anything but any of those above.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Football club

As a favor I was supposed to be shooting part of a calendar for a local football club, anyway it never happened so I ended up shooting some pics to pass the time.  here they are.

The Worlds End (film review)

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost star is this outing.  the plot is 5 friends reunite to finish a drinking challenge they failed in their youth, but things have changed over the years, the friends are not the same and neither is their old town, locals are acting strangely, will they finish their quest....  Watch and see.
A bit slow at the start, but the film get into it's pace and things start happening.

Waynes rating 7/10 worth a watch

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Royal marine found guilty of murder.

A Royal Marine Sergent has been found guilty of killing an Afghan insurgent and faces a life sentence, the wounded man was allegedly killed after being wounded in an exchange of fire.

I was very saddened by this report.  First off surely the whole point of our soldiers being there is to keep the peace (a policeman's job really) and kill our enemy.  Secondly you have to remember this has happened after an exchange of fire, the man killed was trying to kill our troops shortly before, if the situation had been reversed our soldiers would have received no quarter from the Afghan insurgents.

But lastly the real reason I'm saddened is because we always have to fight our wars with one hand tied behind our back and a copy of the marquess of queensberry rules under the other arm  It's time we stared to fight wars like the rest of the world, not like to two 'chaps' in a gentleman's club sorting out a ladies honour. If we're going to go to war (and don't call it a stupid peace keeping action, it's not bringing any peace I can see) then lets bloody go for it, bomb the hell out of the beggars and then use guerrilla tactics like they do, plant our own IED's, see how long they last then.  It's a bloody war remember!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Choosing a wedding photographer.

Some advice for those choosing a wedding photographer (from a wedding photographer)

1.  Look at some work they have done, this really is vital!  Try and see a full wedding, not just a few shots from each of half a dozen, it's easy enough to get one of two good shots, much harder to keep the standard up for the whole wedding.

2.  Dont book on price alone, all too often I've seen photographers booked because they are the cheapest, look at the quality of their work as well  Price isn't a good guide of quality either, just because the photographer is dearest doesn't mean they are best, theres good cheap photographers as well, thats why you must chect the quality.

3.  Find out what plans the photographer has for things like a camera failing (it does happen) a decent photographer will have a back-up camera and lens, if they look baffled when you ask walk away. Also ask what they'll do if it rains, now this can be tricky, some like me carry studio lights to shoot indoors, but this isn't always the answer, some venues simply don't have any room to set up a studio.

4. Don't choose a photographer by his/her style then give them a list of photos (sometimes with pictures) and ask them to copy those, if you like the other pics book the photographer who took them.

5.  Please please book a photographer who actually does wedding, don't use uncle Bob just because he has a good camera.  You can buy an F1 car but it doesn't make you an F1 driver does it!.  Remember the cameras just a tool, it's the photographers skill your booking, uncle Bob may be great at taking landscapes but a wedding is different.

6.  Don't use one of those stupid lists from the bridal magizines telling you questions to ask your wedding photographer, I've seen a few and most of the questions are pointless and won't help you decide.  Look at the quality of his/her work, talk to them, see if you get on, remember your spending most of the day with them.

Finally remember, after the wedding the only things you'll have left is the dress and the photos/video, don't spend more of the cake or flowers, they are gone by the end of the day.  If your on a budget cut the chocolate fountain or sweet trolly, or something, don't try to save on the photographer then wonder why your wedding pics are crap.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Phone hacking

The phone hacking trial has started here in the UK, interestingly while 3 newspaper people are facing trail for hacking a few celebs phones the US government who hacks every body's phones are being ignored.

Spam update.

I recently posted about a dodgy tin of Spam I'd bought and was mouldy inside the can, well the update is both the supermarket I bought it from and Spam have been in touch.  I had a nice letter from both and a full refund from the supermarket Tesco (and a goodwill gesture from Spam) 

Now to be fair to both it wasn't obvious from the outside that there was any problem with the can, and I've been told that even a tiny pin-hole in the can could let in air causing the problem.  The can was one of those ring pull ones so it only needed the ring to catch something, or someone to pull the ring on the shelf in the shop and you have a problem.

So a big thank you to both Spam and the supermarket Tesco for taking the matter seriously and dealing with it, it's nice to see good old fashioned service is still alive and well!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cwm Mawr waterfall, southerndown.

A bit tricky to find if you don't know where it is.  The first time I went looking I went miles along the cliff top before coming back to it on the beach, as theres no obvious way down (and I couldn't get around the point in southerndown bay itself due to the tide)  The way to find it is to follow the path through the gate by the bottom car park and up towards the castle tower, then circle around back towards the beach, note the paths been diverted by the lookout point due to a cliff fall but follow the divertion (not far) and on the left you'll find a small gate, this leads to a path and steps to the beach, the bottoms a bit of a scramble so take care.
Then cross the beach and small valley and you'll see the waterfall running down the rock face.

Note be aware the the tide comes in fast and theres very few places (especially further along the beach) to get off if the tide comes in, people have drowned!  Always check the tides before going onto the beach, and keep a good eye on the tide, if you've doubts don't do it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Air crashes

I've studied quite a lot of air crashes over the years, as well as tv documentaries and books I've had the benefit of reading the proper accident reports of many crashes.  There's a fairly common theme in many.  It seems once the flight crew come off the automated part of the flight, unless it's a normal landing they tend to have issues
It seems that the crews in many cases simply can't fly the plane manually if there's any kind of problem.  I think they've got so used to the computer doing it all when it comes to a problem they forget even basic things about actually flying the aircraft, they don't watch the instruments, they often even forget which way the controls work (pulling back the stick to gain speed for example) 
In a recent case I saw a 747 had a simple engine problem and the crew lost control trying to fly on 3 engines, something the 747 is quite capable of doing.  Yet during WW2 poorly trained pilots with only a few hundred hours often flew back from bombing missions shot up and on 2 of their 4 engines, yet one would expect a properly well trained modern crew with thousands of hours to do a lot better. 
My suggestion (and it's a risky strategy)  is to have the crews fly most of the flight manually, at least that way they'll get used to actually flying the aircraft.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Spam (the food)

I haven't bought a tin of Spam for ages, don't know why, it's nice enough I suppose, so the day beofre yesterday I bought one.... Thats where it went badly, the tin I bought (and opened the next day) was mouldy as hell, well dodgy (see pics)  So somehow I can't see me buying another one in the near future.

Monday, October 14, 2013

By Any Means (tv series review)

The plot is fairly simple a sort of undercover police unit using ex criminals to catch serious criminals using 'any means'
The goodies who consist of a pretty girl, a computer nerd and a mild hard man (with a few others) take on the baddies with high tech surveillance and all sorts of clever tricks.
The series reminds me of the Hustle, with it's clever twists and turns, just when you think it's all lost the team pull it back and save the day.

Waynes rating 7/10  well worth a watch

Lollipop men/women (school crossing patrols)

In the news today 65 year old Bob Slade a lollipop man in Manadon Vale Plymouth has resigned after being threatened with suspension for 'high fiveing' the children using his crossing, his friendly gesture was distracting him from watching the traffic it's claimed.
I suppose it's true he's there to look after the children and not to get possible distracted, but I can only assume someones complained.  So someone believes he's not taking the safety of the children in his care seriously enough.
I've never met or seen Mr Slade, but personally I've seen lollipop ladies and men who frankly are down right dangerous, there was one who used to be talking to the local road sweeper while the children crossed on their own, and another who didn't look before walking out in front of traffic.
To be honest I've always wondered why we allow old and often infirm people to be school crossing patrols, it's well known that as we age our faculties go, our eyesight, hearing, the ability to judge speed and distance etc, all pretty essential things for a person taking our children out in front of traffic.  Yet instead of putting younger fitter more alert people to look after them we use old people, many considered too old or infirm to do their normal jobs.  It's madness!   At least my children are now grown up, but maybe it's time we really looked at using the right people for the right jobs.

Friday, October 11, 2013

White House Down (film review)

The plot is simple, a group of terrorists take over the white house and only an off duty Washington cop stands in their way.  Think Die Hard in the white house and your close.
The films a little slow starting but then gets into an all action pace with, bombings, shootings car chases and plane crashes.  Special effects are good and it's interesting seeing what the inside of the white house is supposed to look like.
For me the film was a bit over the top, with the baddies unable to miss every other target but our hero, there were also a number of fairly big plot holes and inaccurate details (an RPG will not penetrate the frontal armour of an A1 tank for example) but if you like your action/adventure and don't take it too seriously it's ok, although I really hate the cheesy ending (you can see it coming miles away).

Waynes rating   6/10

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Paciffic rim (film review)

The plot is giant Godzilla like creatures are coming through the earths crust under the sea, to fight them giant robots manned by ninja style crews are sent out to save the earth.

Think Godzilla meet Transformers and your close, many of the scenes reminded me of the fight scenes in things like power rangers with the giant monster/robot bashing hell out of each other.  Ok the special effects are miles better but you get the idea.

Sadly the film didn't work for me, it was all too silly for my taste, but would probably appeal to most 14 year old boys.

Waynes rating 3/10  give it a miss if your grown up.

After Earth (film review)

Tough hero space ranger Cypher Raige (Will Smith) and his young inexperienced son Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) are stranded on the abandoned earth of the future where everything is hostile.  With his father badly injured Kitai has to travel 100km to reach a rescue beacon, their only hope for rescue and saving both their lives.
Basically the story of the boy growing up to save his father.

The special effects are well up to scratch, and much of the scenery stunning, Jaden Smith shows his acting talents.  Sadly I didn't connect with either of the Smiths, Will's character a crusty patronising wooden father, seemed very much at odds with his sons terrified over the top nervousness.  By about half way through I didn't really care if they escaped or not, and personally I'd like to have seen the film made with the son injured and the father doing the tough stuff.

I can see why the film had mixed reviews in the press.

Waynes rating 5/10

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Note to film producers/directors

Please note, a grubby field in Los Angeles with an orange filter over the lens does not look like Africa, Africa is not freaking orange, nor for that matter is Miami (CSI Miami please note) putting an orange filter on just makes it look like you couldn't get the colour balance right.
Ireland, also please note;  Ireland is not all small rural villages where people smoke briarr pipes,and wear waistcoats. And using houses in California  doesn't work either, the houses are totally wrong..
Wales no longer consists of small terraced vilages with gangs of coal covered men in mining helmets walking about singing, that died out back in the 1920's.
For heavens sake look on bloody google at the places your supposed to filming, just for a change try and get it right, I'm fed up of seeing places that are obviously not the place it's supposed to be  The same with history, for gods sake it's all written down, just bloody look it up instead of getting it wrong, just look at Braveheart, it's all bloody wrong, the Scots weraing kilts and covered in blue wode, fine except kilts came in after the battle and wode was used by the picts 800 years earlier, all you had to do was look it up!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bear Grylls escape from hell

Well what a disappointment!  I'd waited for the new series after Bears falling out with Discovery channel but this was nothing like the Bear Grylls we're used to. it was a boring hammed up reenactment of other peoples survival stories with clips of bear dropped in, it reminded me more of Ray Mears series than what we've come to expect from Bear.
Sorry Bear you've lost it, I for one won't be watching any more of this crap.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Gower again

I visited the Gower coast again recently and took some pics, here they are.