Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Things of MASSIVE importance in the world today

It has been a while since I have written as things been very busy and have had some hectic and quite stressy times in last two weeks .

Managed to get back to my former spiritual home of Motcombe last weekend and had a great night with the legends that make up the "Premier Club". Gangsta , Guru, Big Al,Donna, Adder, Jackie and not forgetting Roxy and the Brushmeister ... All very silly names , especially when you consider how bloody great they are .
NB very disappointed that Ronan did not jet back from Greece for the night..
Ok .. a good night and head now sorted .. only problem is am off work today as freezing cold and streaming .. hence time for some casual observations on the world today ...

1) Jon and Edward .... who the F**k are they ... I have never ever seen or heard of them and I hate them already ... In a year where my favourite boy band singer was Steven Gately , my favourite chef Keith Floyd and favourite actor was Patrick Swayze I would like to say they are my fav twins !!!

Moving on ... 2) Just read that bankers from bailed out banks will not be getting bonuses .... Isn't
that a bloody no brainer ... actually maybe not ... some of those poor darlings are down to their last 4 Ferraris !!

3) On TV this Friday is Michael Jackson .. The Seance !!! For the sake of everything what a lot of crap ... leave it alone ... who cares ... !! Wil it be another staged TV spectacular in the style of Derran Brown and the lottery??

Rant over ... Looking for this years Lapland scam but can not find it yet !!


Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Health vs Unhealthy ...

This was a weekend of extremes whereby my actions were extremely unhealthy and involved over consumption or were in fact good and wholesome and involved marching all around the Dorset coast..

Friday night was a little different in that I saw an Irish band and actually took part in a little Irish dancing ... well actually I got my feet caught up stumbled and nearly fell but to my fellow revellers I was Flatleys stunt double ... it would have been rude to shun the hero worship !!

Went for a walk around Portland on Saturday and walked down from Easton down to Church Ope cove which has an ancient graveyard ... Just off the main Graveyard is one grave all by itself ... Pirates apparently could not be buried with normal folk ...

Guess this means that modern day pirates like Lightening and I will get kind of lonesome when we curl up our toes !!
Church Ope Cove .. Portland

Obviously such a pleasant walk on Saturday afternoon meant that to restre balance to my life it was neccesary to go out on Saturday night , play pool and darts and generally behave in a totally unacceptable manner for an established pillar of society . Luckily I have a staunch ally when it comes to such churlish behaviour !! This obviously includes the consumption of purest blue cider !!

Sunday was a day of extreme walking which was in fact very enjoyable. We started off by driving to Lulworth Cove and walking around the Cove and having a bit of a picnic ..

After this we walked up to the Stairhole ... 26 years ago as a Geography undergrad I would have got excited at seeing the rock formations ... Now I just see a terrific bit of coast !!

From there it was the long walk all the way around the cliffs to Durdle Door and the Man o' War.... A terrific walk with great views !!

From there a bit of paddling and the long walk back to Lulworth . I must admit when we got back i was certainly starting to feel it !

A thoroughly enjoyable weekend ... and for the benefit of my good friends Nigel and Roscoe .... It's like a F******G rudder innit !!!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Shaun Tanner The week that was !!

Last week was absolute chaos and has left me totally drained and in no position to do anything other than lie down on the settee .. watch England vs Aus at Cricket and the two live games of football !! But hey ... do not feel sorry for me !!

Was due to go up to house in Wales to do some jobs as had taken Mon - wed off in work ... Was topping up the fluids in the car this time last week when I noted with alarm that the tensioner arm had come off .. managed to find a garage that could get the part and do the job on Monday and eventually got car back at 20.45 hrs .. My thanks to island motors for doing the job ..

Got up there at just before midnight and had a few good days and got a load of jobs done ... House is now great and has gone from this !! when times were bloody hard and uncomfortable ... i was sleeping on an old mattress in a freezing cold house with no hot water or heating

to this... spa bath that plays CDs and answers the phone ??? Too technical for me in truth !! and this .. which is the room in which I am standing with all the walls pulled down ..

On the last trip we got a new mantlepiece put up over the burner in the lounge

Managed to spend some quality time with my mother and generally had a good time doing "jobs" to maximise my stay I had decided to get up at 4am on thursday morning and drive directly to work for an 8am start. accordingly I grabbed an early night and was well asleep until people started texting me after 11pm ... I could not get back to sleep and gave up at 01.15 and drove back early ... it certainly made for a long day on Thursday !!

Since returning my good mate Rob has been trying to influence me to buy some extreme add ons to the "Saucy Trout" He is thinking of twin 300hp engines ... a little excessive on a 16ft vessel especially bearing in mind the 40hp we already have is way overpowered but who am I to dampen the boys ardour ... I actually did find something useful to stick on the bow of the boat but it was a bit difficult to nick !!
Whilst up there I drove to a large Builders merchants that has a current advertising campaign stating how skilled all their staff are ... I used to be a bricky ... I used to be a plumber etc etc ... You would have thought that the particular store should have confidence in the construction skills of the staff ... yet when I go to the in store toilet .. I see this !!

I think I will do my own installation rather than use these "craftsmen!!" Oh well must away as the United vs City derby is getting v spikey ... Best wishes from Portland


Sunday, 13 September 2009

What could possibly go wrong ??

After the bad weather we have recently had the fine weather of Friday made it compulsory to go on a fishing trip on Friday afternoon . A group of four of us , myself Rob Nige and Ross complete with a stunning collection of squid (because bass like tentacly goodness) ragworm and mackerel managed to eventually float the boat (Note to self .. do not go fishing at low tide !!) ready for action...

Problem being the bloody engine would not start and so I had to jump over the side , wade back to the car and get my can of "Easy Start"... This too was a fruitless excersize leaving us with the option of either rowing or going back to the "Hellmouth" and simply having a few beers ... It was too nice a day and so we rowed...

Walking down to Chesil beach on Saturday

this too was a bit of a mistake for although Nige looks and sounds like an old hand of the sea ... and is blessed with size and great strength ....sadly he is far from Steve Redgrave !! As someone cruelly suggested that at a young age his stomach had digested his brain ?? We eventually got out and got on with the fishing when we moored up next to the Mulberry harbours to try and lure bass out from underneath. The mulberrys themselves are the floating concrete structures used and made famous in the D day landings ... Quick historical note there ! Part of the fun of going fishing with portlanders is the words they use ... Some people believe it to be very quaint but Rob reckons it is more to do with the gene pool being very shallow at both ends !! The other day when we caught Squid Ross and Nige were convinced it was a "Quiddle" On this occasion Rob caught a good sized Wrasse ... which Nige called a Cunner but Ross stepped in to correct him as it was in fact a tiger cunner... I give up ... I may look slightly more localised these days but I will never manage to speak proper Portish !!

After a pretty flat session Nige announced that he was "In to something a bit tasty.." he had in fact caught a whiting which was goldfish sized and was about half the size of the bait on the hook .. it had done well as it had clearly had to stretch its mouth to get the hook in ... To add to his misery he caught his hand on his own hook and then got bitten by the ragworms he was trying to put on the hook ... This was a source of great amusement to the rest of us and we decided to head back in with Nige announcing that he would be the rower ... He started rowing like a whirling dervish and really built up a head of steam . Unfortunatley the boat just kept going around in circles ... Nige took this badly .. especially when we started to question his sexuality and began to blame the "Fucking boat.... the Fucking Oars... The fucking tide !!" However if he had looked around he would have noted that it was in fact "Fucking Ross... who had simply grabbed a hold of a buoy and we were spinning around it ....

Another happy and harmonious day on Portland !!

Monday, 31 August 2009

Crazy little thing called love !!

Been one heck of a weekend .... On Friday I got a job I had applied for as a Curriculum Team Leader ... tomorrow I start and between now and then I will hopefully work out what I am supposed to be doing !!

On Saturday I went to a wedding and a very nice day it was . The bride was an old friend of Carolines and it was nice for her and all her friends to get together

Whole thing was very nice and my sincere congratulations to Jo and Jim . During the speeches there was a golden moment where a small child walked out in front of the best man who was in full flow . He just slumped and fell asleep in an absolute comic way. Talk about sending subtle hints ... to cap it off he was the best man's son !! The speech was actually v good but this was too good to miss !!

On way home we stopped off in the local and karaoke was on ... I love it and managed to get a song in .... Queen ,,, just for a change !!

All things considered a very good day .. Been listening to people all day saying that this is the last day of summer .. Portland is a great place to live , especially when the sun shines ..... I just can not help but feel a little short changed with the weather this year ..



Sunday, 23 August 2009

Shaun Tanner Life in the Principality Tour 09

I managed to get a bit of "down time" last week and subsequently took off for the week planning to go to a few different spots in Wales. Shot down on the Tuesday morning and had pretty good journey down to Cardiff where I planned on stopping for a few nights . We had an excellent deal at the Novotel in Atlantic wharf and I would reccomend the hotel . Spent the afterbnoon shopping and walking through Bute gardens .. v pleasant!!
Caroline in Bute Park ... Millenium Stadium behind...

Wandering through Bute Park

For the evening we went back into the city and I showed Caroline the nice parts of the city that we normally visit on the lads cultural tours or (weaselfests !!) .. First pub we went into was a little strange in that the barstaff consisted of two rather petite but nicely made up young men ... serving in a bar that consisted entirely of men ...(and caroline who at this point was oblivious) with a balding DJ wearing a kilt and playing the Communards . After a little while two of the men .. both of whom were wearing brightly coloured shirts started a little dance so we decided to move on ... We went to Kiwis ... (the nightclub that time forgot!!) and down into the yard before having really nice italian meal at Gios restaurant ... A v pleasant night which ended with me discovering the dream shop for my cultural mate .."The Lightening Boy "

On second day in Cardiff we went down to the Bay area on the waterbus which was a pleasant trip . The Bay area being the home of Dr Who and Torchwood aroused my curiousity for all of about 4 minutes before I realised that daleks are not actually real ..(are they ??) Did have a v pleasant day...
Me and a miner .... Cardiff Bay

The following day we checked out and drove on down to St Davids ... Britains smallest city as we hoped to go out on one of the fast boats and go whale and dolphin spotting .. sadly the sea was too rough and all trips were off . Nice little jaunt around St davids then drove back to Tenby for the evening before returning to our accomodation in Pembroke ... If anyone reading this is looking for excellent B&B in this area "Tregenna" is fantastic ... very nice night and a cracking breakfast before heading back to Tenby to try and get the elusive fast boat trip ...
Caroline at Tenby

The sea was still a bit choppy but we managed to get out on the "Seal safari " The boat was a rib type vessel and was pretty quick .... this mixed with quite a rough sea made for a trip I thoroughly enjoyed but not all customers did and i experienced tears and vomit from some of my shipmates but Caroline told me off when I tried to get pictures of these emotional scenes !!

Caroline ... (Fun police!! .... not realising I took a sneaky one !!)

The blob on the ledge on the left is a grey seal ... the trip itself was fantastic !!
From Tenby we went back to my place in Talgarth and stayed the night there ... The brecon Beacons national park is truly fantstic .. Out down the Tower in the evening .. took my mother too and had a great night there before going back to the legendary "Ell 'Otel" for nightcaps .... A pleasant trip back yesterday and sadly tomorrow it is back to work .... A thoroughly good time tho !!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Watching too much Arnie !!!

Firstly to say a big Hi to my friend and colleague Tony who is feeling a bit rough and off work . All the gang from the Piss Pot Palais are missing you bud .... get yourself well so we can get a bit more of this in !!
Sadly .. it has just dawned on me that walking around wearing sunglasses ... a leather glove on one hand and black and white leather shoes is a bit of a retro Michael Jackson "Billie Jean" thing to do ... message to self never again !!
Tony .. I know you will read this tomorrow so get back on your feet as soon as poss as myself and the obnoxious horrible bastard (aka Golf Club boy !!) are officially challenging you and Kev to a fourball !!
Cheers Bud

back to more Arnie inspired violence and one liners !!!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Marketing and Self Projection Tenthirteens guide !!

Ok ... why on Earth am I doing this when anyone really interested in the subject could buy a crap and meaningless course from the adds on TV ... simple ... have got a Shwartzenegger film on and following the rantings of an extreme right wing politician from Austria has historically caused issues ! Apart from which in terms of self projection Arnold has done a pretty good job

What is true marketing .... actually it is simple C .... N......S Find CUSTOMERS ...... establish their NEEDS and be able to SATISFY them .....

This is not strictly true of all sales pitches namely those that sell Double Glazing and heating to the elderly, stupid and infirm... These guys are simply wankers thriving on commission ... St Peter is waiting for you guys !!

To succeed you need to be different ... Look at my thriving little firm .... http://www.sensitivegroup.co.uk A security firm calling itself Sensitive and with a Snazzy Pink Logo .... OK am not a real Dragon but when the budget version of Lizards Den is made I am available !! Lightening my mate did produce a different picture displaying cropped eared doberman pinschers with filed teeth and tooled up militia beating up youngsters . We were offered contracts by the Columbian Govt and Millwall FC ... It was simply not the image !!

A pretty sensitive looking me !!

In the recent Walkers Crisps promotion in which numerous bilious suggestions such as cajun Squirrel and Chilli and chocolate were victorious my name and picture was , well I thought excellent .... Behold the Anthrax Bhajee flavour...Am v sure that any of my mates who have been on a cultural tour of Cardiff will remember these tasty morsels !!

An Anthrax Bhajee at the Millenium stadium !!

On a recent night out I discovered the delights of the Japanese Wasabi crisps . A combination of these and the lethal cocktail known as the cricket bat is a devilish test for household domestic porcelain !! Check out the advertising comment !! Killed me !!

The white letters say Its a right hot Gobful ...... someone earned thousands for that !!

Finally I must point out two howling marketing Innacuracies !!

Bodyform will not enable you to play tennis well or ski and surf !!!

New Just for men will not make you attractive and automatically get you past the ladies front door on your first date .... Would she say "Would you like to come in to a festering crackhead ... I think not !!"

Oh well Arnold has done his speaking bit and is now in ruthless slaughter mode so back to the film for me


Sunday, 26 July 2009

A weekend of contrasts !! Shaun Tanner relationship Guru !!

Been a very strange few days and done a lot of different things .. Went out on Thursday night to the works bar and spent time on a balcony overlooking the sea . Terrific views from on high over the cliffs then I looked left and noticed a little vixen happily going around its own business .. All sorts of wildlife here on Portland !!
The following day a lot of us went to the funeral of a local lad , details I will not go into but it makes you realise how mortal we all are when you bury someone nearly half your age !
Following day was much more light hearted as went out with a mate for a quiet game of darts and to listen to the marital woes of Carlos (the Jackal) ... Portlands second best barman !! Why is it that people who are in relationships are blind to the absolutely obvious !! I include myself in this category as I actually went out with someone who told me "!Do not go out with me as I will only hurt you !!" She did and I still had the cheek to feel bad ... I mean the girl had given me a fair warning ...lol
Anyway back to the Jackal ... 5 weeks ago his girlfriend moved in with him .... within half a day she had moved out because she found him boring .... We thought this was harsh as he was actually in work at the time !! She had a quick one nighter with a local (not the rock I hasten to add !!) before deciding that Carlos might be the one after all !! They got back together and immediatly announced their engagement and throw an engagement party... A tote commences as to how long they will last .... Last night the Jackal announced with regret that his engagement had been broken on Wednesday ... but by Saturday he was about to move in with someone else !!! Guess I am just old fashioned !!
I am not sure why but I have been to the Weddings of several friends .. both male and female and thought ..NOOOOO do not do this ....each time I have been proven correct .. sometimes within a few months ... Problem is if you tell someone you tend to lose their friendship .... what a dilemma !!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

A helping hand for the Minister of Education !!

Dear Minister

Even though there is a lot of flannel , hype and spin about the current state of Education we are all acutely aware that things are pretty poor as illustrated by the standards of functional illiteracy in adults of working age ..... Statements such as every learner counts are laughable when one looks at the actual systems and funding in place to benefit those learners .. As I write this I am listening to Shane Warne speak ... the word.. Spin .. Spin ... Spin is in my head !!

Being a good old boy and something of a great sage (well certainly in the pub I drink in where functional illiteracy is deemed a positive!!) I am actually coming to you with the solution rather than a problem ...

The establishment I work in has just been Ofsted inspected and come away with a glowing report ... To be honest the inspectors hardly saw any of the lessons, didnt see any real selection of the teaching and were hardly in the classroom at all . Whilst we are pleased to have been rated highly .. surely Ofsted have let a lot of students down by actually failing to inspect more vigorously. It then dawned on me that the idea of Ofsted is to drive standards upward yet the real trend is declining standards.... If this was the private sector there would be a lot of heads rolling .... who is actually inspecting Ofsted ???

Not that I am hoping to create another tier of well paid jobs in Education for those who cannot
actually teach themselves for they are the main curse of the education system .... and many other public services to boot !!

I have had the pleasure of teaching alongside a great many colleagues ... many of whom I would class as being far better teachers than me . Personally, I deliver short intensive courses and my success is seen in exam results. From that angle I am doing well but the reality is that I am teaching to an examination and not as an educator. This is what the system wants but I doubt that it is in the best interests of the students. The problem that good and ambitious teachers have, is the fact that they can not self develope and progress their careers if they wish to remain as teachers . The more promotions you gain within the system the more you are removed from the classroom and the education of young people . If you flick through Educatonal supplements all the better paid jobs within the system involve running around with clipboards rather than actually teaching . Basically, good and ambitious teachers either leave the sector or get promoted to roles from which they are actually lost to the classroom ... Solution is simple mate !!! less clipboards and better rewards for those who excel as teachers .....

I am not saying there is no management requirement ... just less of it !!

On a recent short break in Dublin I read an article about the Irish health service which would be able to shelve thousands of jobs without having any direct effect on patients ... says it all really.

Final rant ... the LSC .. it is going soon .. good !! The way they apportion funding is an absolute scandal .... more interested in your ability to write a bid rather than your actual ability to deliver quality, accredited teaching . It will be interesting to see who gets to hold the purse strings next !!

If you read this and have views I would love to hear them

Monday, 13 July 2009

Shaun Tanner a fun packed weekend ....not !!

This weekend was the Weymouth marine Exhibition which we at http://www.sensitivegroup.co.uk/ have provided the security for over the last three years. Our main role being to ensure that the exhibitors tents are not damaged or pilfered during the period 20:00 - 08:00.

The camera had been drinking !!

The exhibition has a lot of large and expensive boats for sale and we are stationed on a part of the harbour where visitors put their motor boats . In an inspired entrepreneurial moment , the lightening boy suggested a possible method of us raising the neccessary dosh to purchase a sunseeker vessel. Since we had access to a hundred meters of marquee tents we simply offered a cut price B+B service for the weekend to weymouths homeless population .... Somehow I could not see it working !

Now when you are standing around in the small hours you get to meet some strange people ,,,, we seem to be magnets for such people and sure enough we were visited by the "Street pastors" a group of Weymouths God squad people who wander the town trying to ensure that youngsters who have over binged end up being safe... Fundementally this is a good thing but when they try and preach to you there is a need for them to be sped on their way ... Their leader looked at the two of us and asked what our support network was..... I told him that we were happy as we were .... he enquired if we needed his card in the event of trouble ... I am ex Old bill and lightening is ex navy and as such we were unable to work out what he was going to do but again it was a kind offer ..... He continued to question our safety ... right up to the point where I informed him that we had a vast armoury of fully automatic weapons and a primed spear gun in the tent... (the latter was true!!) he left muttering !!

Within half an hour of them leaving we were joined by two twenty something chavettes who were on thier way to get shitfaced and find rich husbands!! To get themselves into the confident socialite sort of way both were drinking cans of special brew .... also known as central heating for tramps...... Having spoken to these two for at least 20 mins and listened to their plans to find Mr Right I can now offer the following advice to lovestruck , binge drinking chavettes !!!

1) Do not show off all your tattoos and body piercings on the first night.....

2) Special brew does not make you seem mysteriously attractive to men !!

3) Neither does your prison record and your tag is not fashion jewelery !

4) Repeated use of the words Farkin Ell !!! Not good .....

Of course I could be wrong



Friday, 3 July 2009

Boys games with boys toys !!

Guess what we have swimming around in the sea off Portland ??

Yes.. the rather exciting looking fish is a porbeagle shark ... To make things even better we also have had sightings of one of these too!!

This little beauty is a mako shark .... We have had loads of sightings from commercial fishermen and local divers ... We are looking to spend a lot of time at sea fishing this weekend ... would love to see one up close and get a picture .

can not help but think of the film jaws ,.... hope we do not need a bigger boat !!



Sunday, 21 June 2009

A somewhat downtrodden Blog

Today is fathers day .. well it was .. I just didnt write earlier .. I have had a bit more contact with my girls just recently and was hoping for some contact ... didnt happen ... I appreciate it is tough for them but yes it got me down !!

On the plus side . after ages of talking about it I finally got out on the "Saucy Trout " this weekend ... Have a look at the pic .. the engine is far too big for the boat !!

The obvious plus side to that is that the boat is very fast and overpowered and likely to tip over at high speed ... but hey ... who wants to live forever !!

What this pic fails to show is the fact that I am at the front end trying to keep the boat in the water whilst the lightening boy is giving it large at the power end !!

We actually caught a combination of Pollack , mackrell and whiting and had a really good day ... Right up to the point where we docked and I think Lightening broke two of my knucles ... C'est la vie ... Took this picture of Portland early evening and did like it !!

Shows the locals on Chesil beach ... fishing at about 9pm .. Bloody magic !!

At the risk of rubbishing myself I also took part in a golf competition earlier and won a competition of extreme skill which was rewarded by my good mate .. Ice Ice PP .. Motcombes gangsta with homosexual tendancies on the building site ... face it .. who else wears a cravat whilst mixing muck !!

What happened was I mis hit a shot ... well actually I miss hit several and ended up embarrassed by length ... But Pete with me it is only on the golf course that length is an issue and not a life time curse that I have to endure ... As such I was awarded a batch of rose and lavender bath salts ... Ashamed !! bollux .. I won it fair and sqare !!

Regards to all !!


Monday, 25 May 2009

A political rant !!

Firstly and with all due respect to "Blogger" wish I was still an AOL blog ... Is there anyone else still writing as most of the blogs I followed are now inactive ...

Having been a keen follower of politics for many years it is with regret that I have to say that my opinion of Politicians could not be lower . There would appear to be many snouts in troughs at the present and the galling thing is that there is little or no regret for wrong doings ... Hazel Blears is a classic example and should be sacked with loss of pension rights along with all others caught up in the same game.

The other week I looked at a job working with a good friend in what sounded a far better working environment and for 5k more ............ When I did a trial run down there i realised that the extra money was not sufficient to cover the travelling costs and therefore declined ... (and now very much regret that !!) .. Had I been an MP I could have simply claimed on expenses and taken the job ...

I have a strong feeling that UKIP and even BNP will do well in the next election simply because of the shabby individuals who are in mainstream politics !

On a brighter note have had a good weekend and walked to a local seafront pub on Sat night ... The sea is a marvellous thing especially as the sun goes down ...

A pleasant night sitting having a drink and watching the sea... Oh well must away as plenty of things to do before going back to work ...

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Shaun Tanner ... A guide to Dublin ... How to track Herons and Seals

A big thanks to those who e mailed re my Birthday weekend ... was going to blog about it but it was largely a social bash respect to the gang and many thanks for new rod .... Bass everywhere are quaking in their fins !! The local had a suprise cake for me and must say that Kebab , beer and chocolate birthday cake is a concoction that Heston Bloomenthal would be proud of !

I also was v lucky as Caroline had got me a "Special" shirt ready for the launch of our boat ... the "Saucy Trout"

The trout is of course registered in Panama as this sounds trendy .. She is 16ft of throbbing pirate vessel and will be more feared than Somalian pirates !!

OK ... total digression .. Dublin ... this was a trip of extremes in that what was good was great but the city has a lot of crap features as well . Firstly there is the myth of the CRAIC and temple bar ... If your idea of a good night is to be served a round of two drinks by totally non Irish bar staff with a Dublinners CD being played and it costs £14.50 then this is the place and you have more money than sense... total rip off ...loads of beggers and crackheads .... Temple Bar ... Shite !! ........ However if you walk 70 yards out of Temple bar towards O'Connell st you will find Cassidy's bar ... Much cheaper , proper Irish who want to talk about Rugby and an altogether better experience !!

This gives the impression that trip was all about nightlife ... did far more than that .... Hotel was Ballsbridge Inn , very reasonable and a good experience . We were right outside Lansdown Rd .... from a Rugby point of view it was great ... Croke Park, Donnybrook, RDS and lansdown Rd ..all in the same city .

Spent an entire day on an excursion called "Wild Wicklow tours" It was pretty good and we went all around the Wicklow mountains and visited the sets of films such as PS I love you and Braveheart (which I thought was in Scotland !!)

Caroline at Dalkey ... very nice place where one of the local girls allegedly knocked Colin Farrel back ... The local ladies apparently swim in the sea all year around ...

This view is the Guinness lake ... actually owned by the Guinness family ... What the picture doesnt show is the fact that the water appears dark brown due to the iron in the water and the lake itself is naturally shaped like a pint pot !! To add to that the family then ship in a whole load of golden sand which gets laid at one end and hey presto ... a guinness lake !! It was good !!

From there we went on to a place called Balindalough

This was a chance to have a decent walk around the anvcient monastery , check out the "Viking Proof" round tower, and walk amongst the lakes and waterfalls.
One of the things our guide told us was that North of Dublin was a fishing port called Howth where it was sometimes possible to see seals. Am into a bit of wildlife and so we went to check it out ... On the way out on the Dart (rail system .... v good !!) it was wet and overcast and as such sightings seemed unlikely ..... but then !!
Those blobs are actually seals ... Having pretended that my phone was a fish and managed to find a less intelligent seal who obliged on a close up .... difficult when ur using a phone camera to get decent pics !!

On our last morning , following a reccomendation from a friend ... no names mentioned .. Kev Benson !! we went out to the seaside town of Bray ... All pleasant ... Caroline .. as she does went on a yomp and then came rushing back as she had found a young heron hunting in the surf .... I couldnt get any closer but the bird was great to watch !!

All things considered ... Dublin was a good break and we saw and did plenty . It is very expensive and to be honest you need to pick your eating and drinking spots carefully as some places (city centre) are shameless rip offs. The Euro is basically now worth a quid so cheers Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling ... you tossers !! ... If you look about accom is reasonable and trips like "Wild Wicklow tours" are good value.