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Tweaking the site

I've spent a little time tidying up a few things on the site, including bits of how this news section works, an interim change or two in the guestbook to try and stop Phentermine and Viagra spammers, and a few other bits here and there - including restructuring the photography section.

So here's to a test message from my phone...

Castles and Piers

Brighton PierAfter seeing the Tower of London on Saturday and then Leeds Castle on Sunday, I felt that it was time for a bit of a change. On Monday I jumped aboard a fast train to Brighton to enjoy some of the fantastic weather we're having at the moment in the UK. Again, we were on a nice new Connex train which was air conditioned - a nice break from a bustling Victoria station on a hot day! Stepping out of the train, we found a busy, clammy and hazy city, but nowhere near as bad as it looked in the photos from over the weekend - luckily!

I took a few pictures, but not that many... not enough blue skies for my liking. Instead, I spent a lot of my time wandering around Brighton beach, pier and shops - I ended up looking like a lobster. D'oh! There are some nice pictures of the Pavillion though I think, and hopefully I'll get a chance to put them up here soon... There are already 3 photos in the gallery from last time I visted.

Leeds Castle

Leeds CastleYesterday, I took a day trip out of London with some friends to see Leeds Castle - apparently the "Lovliest Castle in the World". Oddly, this castle isn't actually in Leeds, it's near Maidstone in Kent, but none the less it was a lovely castle. We had originally only gone to visit the grounds but after much confusion at the train station (in Bearsted), they told us that we couldn't just do that, we'd have to buy tickets for the castle as well. So, that's what we did. It's better than just looking around a castle's carpark, afterall!

The weather was sweltering and only just made bearable by the air conditioning on the train (thanks, Connex!) and the cool air circulating around within the castle itself.

I took a batch of photos of the castle and its surroundings, so hopefully I'll get a chance to put them up here soon...

Cambridge and chaos in London

King's College, CambridgeI got some of my pictures back yesterday from my trip to Cambridge on Saturday. Some of them have come out really well, with stunning blue skies, even the guy in the photo place said so - though I personally think he was just trying to justify me spending so much money getting photos developed in his shop!

Once I'd put the films in to be developed yesterday - including one from before Christmas that was still sitting in my camera - I headed down towards Hyde Park where there was a big event on. Red Bull had organised a 'Flug Tag' (Flying Day) whereby a number of teams would make themselves a flying machine and try and get it - and them - as far across the Serpentine as possible. It sounded like really good fun, and something to occupy me on what would otherwise have been a lazy Sunday afternoon.

By the time I'd got to the park though, I found no way to get in, with police guarding the entrances and saying 'the next one down is open', forcing thousands of people to fight their way down the pavements and roads of London. By the time I finally found a way in, I couldn't move for people, and then couldn't find any shops which still had drinks left - no water, not even Red Bull! Feeling very dehydrated and dizzy, I tried to find my way back to Oxford Street and Marks and Spencer.

Great way to organise an event, Red Bull.

Day in Cambridge

I spent the day out of London yesterday after deciding to visit Cambridge for the day to take advantage of the amazing weather. It was a tough decision though, with my camera not working, so instead I resurrected my Minolta SLR camera which I've not used since before Christmas.

I took plenty of photos, a lot of which are of the different colleges around Cambridge and of the River Cam. I'll be getting them developed today and will be putting then up onto the site soon.

Camera in for repair

Over the weekend I started having some problems with my new camera which meant that I couldn't take any new photos. So, yesterday, I sent it back to Fujifilm to have it fixe so I can use it again. They say I may be without it for up to 3 weeks though... how will I cope?!

I'm really hoping to have my camera back, or at least a replacement, before my last week in London. I finish at Reuters on 8th August, and then spend another week here in London (possibly visiting Wales again for part of the week). After that I'll be moving back up to Manchester to prepare for my final year studying at UMIST. I'll also be spending some time in the Isle of Man over the summer, and hopefully going on holiday somewhere with some of my friends.

Weekend in Wales

Aberdyfi from aboveI escaped the city this weekend to spend a nice relaxing time on the western coast of Wales. Aberdovey (or Aberdyfi in Welsh) is a small village across the Dovey estuary and up the coast from Aberystwyth. My friend Joe has a small holiday cottage there, so Collie and I went up on Thursday to stay with him for a long weekend.

Whilst we were there, I took a heap of photos in and around the village. We also took a trip to the nearby village of Tywyn to travel on the Talyllyn steam railway between Tywyn Wharf and Nant Gwernol and back after grabbing a meal in Abergynolwyn. I will put up some more photos from the trip soon hopefully, but for now I hope you enjoy these photos...

In remembrance

Moon over fjord in Sandvika, near Oslo, NorwayOn Thursday last week I was in a small town in Norway called Sandvika, which is just outside the capital, Oslo. I was visiting for the funeral of a Norwegian friend of mine who tragically passed away here in London the week before. I would like to dedicate these photos of Sandvika to her family and friends, all of whom loved her dearly. She will never leave the minds of those she met, and will always be greatly missed.

On Friday morning I flew back into the UK for my brother's graduation in York, so I've also added a few photos from the city. Despite being up there numerous times to visit him, York is somewhere I'd never really taken any photos of - and even this time, I only took a few...

Trooping the Colour

Soldiers on the MallLast weekend I was in London to see the Trooping the Colour celebration to mark the Queen's official birthday. Her actual birthday is earlier on in the year but her official one is left until the summer so that celebrations can take place under blue skies and never ending sun. Well, we certainly had that on Saturday... I left sunburnt! It was a great day though, and fascinating to see how much attention is paid to the planning of the ceremony (including 2 trial runs in the previous weekends).

I have just added to my features gallery a collection of 22 pictures from the Trooping the Colour on Saturday. During Sunday I wandered around London a little before going to the Totally London finale in Soho. I was sat with some friends in Little Italy, enjoying a live jazz band playing right in front of us. Pictures of that day will be coming soon too...

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