Monthly Archives: April 2011

See Salts

So part of Cat’s degree course requires her to write a short essay on an exhibition she has seen. With this in mind, yesterday me and her drove to Ilkley, where (the DigYorkshire website informed us) the Manor House Art Gallery & Museum was displaying a series of Hockney etchings.

Sadly, there was no sign of them in the Gallery, and a blue-haired woman told us that no, there was no such exhibition, hadn’t been for years, and was unlikely to be one in the foreseeable. Ilkley Fail 1. After an hour’s hot drive (which included waiting at a level crossing for the longest, slowest train in history to cross), and now realising that we had to find something else for Cat to write about, we were a bit cross. Grrrr.

As we left, intending to kick Bluehair’s archway in revenge, she did say “You’ll find some Hockney in Saltaire though. You know where that is?” “Of course I do, you daft blue-topped bint!” were my thoughts, although I actually said (in my opinion quite wittily) “Yes thanks”, before realising I had no idea what she was talking about.

Saltaire? Hadn’t Mary told me about that before? Hmmm, where could I find a map…? Tourist Info Office, they’d have maps aplenty! And could we find the Tourist Info Office? Could we heck-as-like, even following the nicely mounted town centre street plan. Ilkley Fail 2. It began to look like the backup plan of visiting the Pre-Raphaelites in Manchester would have to be used, despite Cat wanting to avoid such an obvious subject. Also, if we went there, I might have to brave the nightmare horrors of the Button Exhibition.

But then, Ilkley began to redeem itself. First, Cat was given a free milkshake by a bonny lass outside Café Nerd (“Gorgeous”, apparently. I’m assuming Cat meant the shake, although one can never be certain of these things). Then I spotted a big old lower case ‘i’ outside the Library: Tourist Info! Maps! Also a leaflet about Salts Mill, but the instructions on how to find the place were “get a train or bus”. On the road map, getting to Saltaire seemed a bit complicated, but with Cat helping to remember some of the road numbers, we set off for an “Adventure Into The Unknown”  (actually, it was more “Adventure Into Bradford”, but that doesn’t sound so cool).

Despite my attempt at one point to take us into a scrapyard (“No Dad, left! LEFT!”), we found the place OK, and even managed to park out of the sun under a tree. We still didn’t really have an idea what to expect, although walking to the Mill we passed “The Early Music Shop”, which was a cool room of musical delights and unusual instruments galore. I could have just spent hours in there, thank you very much.

However, Cat dragged me onward, and we entered an unprepossessing small doorway at the base of the huge stone edifice of what was once the largest textile mill in the world. First thoughts on entering the vast ground floor? WOW! What an exhibition space! The light was incredible, due in no small part to the cheerful sunshine pouring through the blinds. There were Hockney works everywhere, and scattered up and down the mill were vases of large flowers, art materials for purchase, and fascinating objects such as beat up old chairs. Chamber music rippled through the air.

“Oh yes, Dad, this’ll do nicely” was Cat’s opinion, and she wandered off to make notes for her essay. For myself, I discovered many exciting surprises. I hadn’t realised Hockney was so varied in style, and oh my God so prolific! After an hour in that place, I began to appreciate him so much more than I had in Ilkley.

Upstairs from the Hockneys, the mill is also home to a mighty fine bookshop, a restaurant serving what appears to be really tasty and imaginative (though bloody expensive) food, a fashion exhibition, and an extensive antique shop (Forties clothes – win!). We had a marvellous time.

As many of you will know already, the mill was built by one Titus Salt, a man of mighty beard and many children, who also built the village of Saltaire for his workers. We had a quick wander round the village, where good old Titus had named the streets after his children. Not for the first time in my life, I was delighted to find myself going up Fanny Street.

We finished our day with a treat from the bakery – proper Yorkshire parkin for Cat, and a real traditional Yorkshire delicacy for me – a curry pastie. If you do end up going to Saltaire, which I urge you to do, don’t pay upwards of a tenner for a meal in the Salts Mill caff – get thee to the bakery for a proper pastie.

You can find out more about the mill at the Official Site.

Northern Exposure

189649_10150185920283313_771433312_7925777_2237005_nThose of you who already follow Ed Sprake on Twitter (@ed_moose) will know of this man’s talent. He takes heart-achingly beautiful photographs. Also, he has a beard, so must be one of the good guys.

Last Tuesday evening we went to a preview of his exhibition at The Portico Library in Manchester. (Well, his and three other talented photographers). There’s some uplifting pictures to be seen, and bought.

If you’re in Manchester before the 28th April, do yourself a big favour and pop into the little door just round the corner from the Bank pub. I’ll be there again on the 27th myself.



The cognoscenti gather in the Library.







The exhibition….







Impressive roof at The Portico.






One of Ed’s best, completely ruined by my own crap camera.







Polite Literature.







If you look carefully, you’ll spot Ed amongst the peanut and wine blaggers.





Peak Driving

I do so enjoy driving through the Peak District on a sunny day, especially when there’s refreshment at the end. (Photos taken with my crappy phone, hence the lack of quality).



A guest appearance of #FAIL

Hello #SUNDAYPIC-ers, a very late guest blogger @skydivemacca here.

Firstly, I feel it most prudent to appologise for the extended delay in getting all your moments of #FAIL posted to the world of bloggerdom. Sadly, I have no believable excuse (I was going to go with Alien abduction, but it’s been done to death), so will just admit that this has just been a giant time #FAIL on my behalf.

Secondly, for all those that take part in #SUNDAYPICS, please send @Wombat37 gifts of joy. I had no idea so much time went into those moments of pictorial blogging, so to you, sir Wombat (has a good ring to it) I thank you for all you do.

Thirdly, massive apologies if i’ve missed your pic. I’ve not done this intentionally, i’m just useless.

Right, gumph over, let’s get on with the end of week pics! For this, I asked you to tweet your moments of #FAIL. If you don’t know the concept of #FAIL, it’s something that’s as old as the internets themselves, providing merriment to all those who view the pictures of moments that others would certainly rather forget.

So, how did we all get on?

First up, @Alliterative with “Our own attempt to tap our maple was a #fail”. Good job you outlined what was happening there, as to the untrained eye it could have been considered to be some form of ‘tree contraception’.

@anniewhotweets lets us know that “This is my #fail for # Sundaypics”. Not too sure what’s gone wrong here, but I suspect she forgot to turn on the hot water and therefore has had to shower in extremely cold water rendering her unable to leave her house and is now a nervous wreck rocking back and forth in the corner of a room screaming ‘No, I don’t want any more Nutella’. This may or may not be right.

Like a parent with multiple offspring, one should never pick a favorite, but unfortunately internet friends, this week @BinaryDad managed to post up a pic that had me going back and forth from others, just to remind myself how funny this really was. He says “#sundaypics theme this week is “Fail”. Here is a catflap fail.”, I say, BRILLIANT!

@captain_doodle brings us the following “Once had to drop this (clearly fictitious) copy into a mag layout. Yoofspeak fail”. I agree, tha yoos of anglish nawdaz iz rubnish. POW!

You know when you go to McDonald’s (other delicious fast food emporiums are available) and order a Happy Meal, for er, the kids, it comes with an ace toy. @davidtims has discovered his local garage is doing the same! Who doesn’t want free mole grips?!? “Putting a spanner in the works. Left in the suspension of our car after a service at the garage. #sundaypics”

This window based submission is from the lovely @emjay123 “#SUNDAYPICS #FAIL Let’s not pretend to jump out of the window of the 20th floor in Chicago. Not with your luck” Advice well heeded, not that i’m speaking from experience or anything.

I think we can all agree, a well trimmed bush is a must in this modern work-a-day world, however i’m not sure the same can be said for trees. @ericafairs submitted this rather baron looking stump suggesting that perhaps things went a little too far. Next time erica, hide the tools. “#Sundaypics – the same apple tree after OH decided to ‘prune’ it in the Autumn. Massive ‘Fail'”

@fintanbear pretty much leaves me with nothing else to say: “Total photo #fail for #sundaypics no idea what it is.” Agreed. Wait, is this like those ink blot tests? If so, I absolutely can’t see someone bludgening someone else to death… Or can I Oh hai crazy person removal team. Oooo, thats a nice jacket you have for me. YAY I GET TO CUDDLE MYSELF.

“I *fixed* the light fitting about 2 months ago. #fail #Sundaypics” – Lets be honest here @flossieTP, you haven’t *fixed* anything here. To have done a proper job would have required duct tape and the use of small farm animals. Neither are apparent here, so yes, YOU #FAIL.

@Island252 leads us to believe the #FAIL here is “#sundaypics firepit fail on the first day of spring”, though I think we ALL know the real #FAIL is that bench. I mean seriously, what were you thinking? Did you steal it from a bus stop? I’m joking, can I please still come and use your hot tub? Wait, why aren’t you in it? RE: the fire, try a little petrol – what could possibly go right?

#FAIL is nothing without threat, and this bad boy has it in abundance. @jamerz3294 – a supporter of local retailers – spotted this interesting picture and ‘took’ a photo of it. I wonder if he had to pay? “#sundaypics #fail this sign has been outside a local business for years!”

Proving that photography is more akin to a black art, @Jaxbourne conjured up this STAGGERING image of the recent super moon. Well, I guess that was the plan. Perhaps less vodka next time. Wait, is that the light at the end of the tunnel? I’m coming father… “Think this has to be my #sundaypics #fail! My shot of last nights mega moon..not so Mega”

The Royal Mail. The crowning glory of the UK’s national mail network. Kings amongst men. Proving beyond a doubt they really do deserve that raise, @jfzola25 found this gem where a package should be. “#SUNDAYPICS postal delivery #fail”. Could you imagine if it had been bin day? *shudders* Not worth thinking about. That parcel could have been anything. Talking of which, my old next door neighbor – a postman – actually got sent to prison for stealing lingerie, marital love aids and naughty videos from the post. True story.

Hey you! Yeah famous guy! Aren’t you off the telly? @jfzola25’s second entry to the world of #FAIL “#SUNDAYPICS taking a picture of someone famous #fail Its @MrEdByrne Honest.” Of course it is. Keep telling yourself that…

Van Halen said ‘jump’, but nothing about ‘on to’ a poor defenseless ginger bread house. I have no proof that @kaPOWed was listening to Van Halen, but I suspect that he was. Either way, I truly hope that defenseless, yet tasty house was consumed post demolition. “#sundaypics we have family challenge of jumping over gingerbread house (don’t ask!).This is bro a couple yrs ago-FAIL!”

It seems gingerbread is a genuine source of #FAIL this week as @kirtle shows. Nothing ever looks like it does on the box after you try to make it. I blame Ikea, though I suppose that would be unfair, they do make exceedingly good hot dogs. “My #sundaypics ‘Fail’ photo – our abortive attempt at making a gingerbread house”. @kirtle, don’t let this put you off. Please once again try to make a gingerbread hot dog called Plunk.

There’s a man, who every year manages to travel round the whole world in just one night. Well, until he reaches Guernsey, then it all seems to go horribly wrong. Proving that the children of Guernsey don’t need no stinkin’ presents, @LilianLouvaine shows how they deal with fat jolly men in her part of the world. “Santa fail, Guernsey, a few Christmases ago”

Like, you know, hats are for winners. Unless you’re a monkey. Then it’s time for a dose of #FAIL. Thanks to @MannyMunkeh for proving this theory. “Total hat #FAIL dudes #sundaypics”

You say Signing, I say Singing. Either way, if you need to buy a book about it which includes the ever so patronising moniker ‘dummies’, something’s gone wrong. @matt_cochr tweeted up this little gem of a #FAIL by the good book store staff who clearly have a problem with dysclexia. “#sundaypics Either a fail at book sorting, or that the book ‘Signing For Dummies’ even exists.”

Apparently, if you #FAIL while trying to #FAIL, the world ends. Anticipating this, i’ve already removed all my clothing, donned my tin foil cap and run up and down the street screaming the end is nigh. As it turns out, it wasn’t, and further, the local constabulary haven’t heard of Twitter. @mikeybaer may have had more luck, but certainly struggled getting things uploaded. “Twitter being it’s usual, stable self #fail”

Bat man has the joker, Superman has Lex Luthor, I have that weird kid across the street that wont stop throwing things at me. My point is, everything has a nemesis. For #FAIL, it’s #WIN. @MrsAshborosCat spotted this epic moment of #WIN while shopping. Hopefully for light bulbs ‘cos that’s a pretty illuminating deal. Wow, I really went there. Sorry everyone. “#SUNDAYPICS I suppose it’s a #win if you need lots of lightbulbs…#fail if you’re Morrisons though…”

Proving (If you know bread, you’ll find that one hilarious) that bread isn’t as easy to make as it is to simply buy, @nyncompoop shows what can happen when you leave a bread tin unattended. Seemingly, it will slowly take over your entire bathroom (what, you don’t make bread in the bath? Why lie… we all know the truth) and slowly, but surely re-create until it builds it’s own army of dough hell bent on world domination. I BOW DOWN TO YOU NEW BREAD OVERLORDS. “#sundaypics trying to find my F French certificate. But in the meantime here’s my loaf tin fail”

@Och23 has broken the unwritten rule – don’t ever mock chocolate. Wait, now it’s written. Damn. Can we back track? No? No time, huh? Well I’ll show you, get me my flux capacitor and 1.21 gigga watts! “#sundaypics #fail A joint entry from me and @robmorrey. My Mum gave me a box of chocs http-// We still ate them, yummy.” Glad to hear you still managed to munch away. Chocolate should never be not eaten.

@OldMotherRiley will tell you “Facebook is not strong on grammar. #FAIL #SUNDAYPICS”, however I suspect the bigger #FAIL here is the number of applications being used. You know you can delete those right? Well, not poking, that’s pretty much the whole reason for stalking on Facebook. Am I right? HIGH FIVE!

Long term fan of fire fighters @RHSFB12 shows us her latest attempt to attract them to her house. She classes it as “#sundaypics fail – almost burning down house melting butter – this was AFTER most smoke gone”, but I think we all know it was because the cat was tired of getting stuck up a tree.

The true definition of being popular is the number of friends you have on Facebook. I have nearly 4, which makes me exactly twice as popular as my cat. Hoo yah! @richlieu_uk on the other hand, shows us he’s not quite so cool. You could add me and the cat, which is all you’ll need. “#sundaypics for this week- my social life #fail”

@rosamundi is a person who shouldn’t be allowed near sharp instruments, or indeed blunt instruments like a piano – Seriously, you ruined Beethoven for me. Now I have to listen to ‘jungle’ just to get it out of my head. Incidentally, why did the lion get lost? Because jungle is maaaassivvvve! “#fail #Sundaypics for @wombat37 failure to observe knife-handling safety leads to failing at neat first aid”

Now this is an AMAZING light bulb! Wait, what? It’s NOT a light bulb? Dear god. Nurse, cancel my 1 o’clock. Ok, glass, take two of these every hour until the pain goes away, or you become a Christmas decoration. @ScullyScully – well done for blowing, instead of sucking like I did. Now I have a heart of glass. “My one day glass blowing course resulted in this failed Christmas bauble. Was fun though”

@Superblouse brings us quality items from a holiday far, far away. To be fair, the biggest #FAIL here, is that you didn’t buy any! Shame on you. “Another FAIL from Tenerife- wish I’d bought one of these #sundaypics”

ZOMG girl! You certainly aren’t a tiny vole! Look at the size of you compared to the sink! @TheTiniestVole proves that bidet’s are still cool and that she can’t take a self portrait to save her life. Not saying that her life was in danger at the time of this photo. Well, unless… No, i’m sure she was fine. I’m certain. I think. “@TheTiniestVole fails to take a picture of herself. Nice one of the bidet though #sundaypics”

I’m no expert, but i’m pretty sure cars don’t go this way. Unless we’ve invented upside down flying cars. Have we? Anyone? Just me then. @thorn_waite – perhaps it’s best if your brother gives up driving. “#sundaypics Fail- my brother crashed his car”

@Toffeegirluk Sleeps on the floor in a tent. Not sure why. What’s wrong with a real bed? Wait, why didn’t I do an ‘erection’ joke? I’m losing my touch. Think about it… “#Sundaypics Borrowing a *really* old tent, not knowing how to put it up, and sleeping on the grass with the bugs! FAIL”

Last and certainly not least, our faithful #SUNDAYPICS leader @Wombat37 shows how to park a car. Well, how to park a car if you want to make an insurance claim. “#SUNDAYPICS – Parking #fail in Grange-over-Sands last year”


OK blog folk. It came to my attention via Twitter that perhaps I had made a bit of a boo boo and forgot a couple of people. My sincerest apologies to you all. Fear not though, as it also turns out I forgot my very own wife – @MacJude – ouch.

So… For those who were missed, but not forgotten, har we goo.

Despite looking like the opening scene of Water World, or indeed some kind of informercial for building your own Ark, @Tonihill79 submitted this rather watery #FAIL. “#SundayPics FAIL when the overflow pipe wouldnt stop overflowing and caused all this mess!!!!!”. Had you thought a little quicker, you could have built an Olympic swimming pool underneath it, filled it and had all manner of watery fun. NOTE: Not to have included bombing, diving and certainly not heavy petting.

OMG!!11!1!!1!! How the hell did you park your car like that? Clearly the #FAIL here is that you meant to park horizontally rather than vertically. Fair play for managing to get the car like that though, perhaps you should consider a career in stunt driving. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome @talojo and the aaaamaazzzzing sideways BMW! Ta dah!

You know who is both amazing and beautiful? That’s right me. Well, me and the very lovely @MacJude. You may remember her from such wives as mine. Somehow, a rip in the time space continuum caused a catastrophic failure of epic proportions at the EXACT moment I wrote this blog posting. I don’t remember exactly how it happened – although I do remember my tea tasting of sweet rohypnol. Do I want another cup of tea? Yes, thanks Ju…. *THUD* ZzzzzzZZzZzzzzz. Wait, I don’t remember shaving my eyebrows off – but somehow I didn’t include her #FAIL #SUNDAYPIC. So, here in all it’s glory is the picture she took of our angry rock that spends its life trying to escape, shitting everywhere and biting you while in the garden tortoise, who managed to lovingly get himself wedged between the leg of the bird table. Undeterred, he soldiered on taking the table with him. Crazy fellow.

I have also noticed that I, @skydivmacca, didn’t add any fails. So, good people of #SUNDAYPICS, here are a couple of mine from the vault. Well, HDD, but who’s checking. Oh, you are Mr Vault inspector. Ok, well here it is… I trust everything is in order. It’s not? Oh. Do you accept bribes? No? Wow, this is awkward…

Spring in the Air!

“All the farmyard is busy in a regular tizzy and the obvious reason is because of the season”. Yep, time to celebrate the arrival of Spring with lots of groovy pics of flowers and new life. Also springs. Now, since my previous wedding post took so long to write, I’ve gone a bit different and produced this, erm, thing –



You can also click through to a slideyshow type album below. Feel free to add your own comments there –


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