Monthly Archives: June 2012

It’s Black Over Bill’s Mother’s

The #YSPtweetup Bench Dance

YSP Tweetup – Best Wedding Anniversary Ever?

Knackered but eating liquorice ice cream

Well, it was a cracking day, wasn’t it? The weather behaved beautifully, Dave behaved beautifully, and the kids….. well they had fun too. Sorry we got there a bit later than planned, making some of you hang around the exciting car park. This was due to circumstances.

There’s a shedload of pics here, not all mine, so if I’ve used one of yours that you’d rather wasn’t here, let me know. Think I’ll let the pictures tell the story.





Me and Austin had a fascinating visit to “Australia – a nundred miles away” from the picnic site. He was particularly taken by the masked man and what had happened to his underpants…..





… and the racing man, who he thought would slip over in the mud.






283646_2904900080512_1434071103_nI ate SO much stuff, but how could I resist? Samosas (five second rule applies), cornbread, millionaire’s shortbread (my favourite), strawberries and champagne (thank you Andrea).



“And then Wombat ate it OFF THE FLOOR! EEEWWW!”




new DSCF7091I love the happy faces in this pic: I think Matt must have just told the best joke in the world cos Lou and Dawbes are peeing themselves.












Dave has a pork pie, while Otherdave reaches for his FNP 45 USG Bitone.





MEN are here! Men who have proper rucksacks and tattoos and stuff.




new DSCF7079


The pickernick table. Rob & Aud are obviously seated ‘below the salt’ (look it up) with the sprogs.



600846_2904871799805_707109447_nThirty-third Anniversary stuff. It’s quite remarkable that me and Maeve have been married longer than some of you have been alive. Sweet Baby Jeebus, but we’re old.  I have to say, though, that I’m still besotted by this woman even after 33 years. 205233_2904883720103_848592219_nThanks to everyone who came and helped us celebrate (you know, proper heartfelt thanks, not just hey-its-a-word thanks), and particular hug-and-a-bottom-feel thanks to ‘Manda for the flowery goodness, and Andrea for the champers.


Entertaining The Kids. And Dave.



Uncle Johnny entertains the kids with tales of tigers disembowelling zebras, and games about strangling.






Cat and Nell, either best buddies, superhero and sidekick, or evil mastermind and minion. Only they can decide.





AwGxpeICQAAwY-K.jpg large


I fell in love with Dave (and a little bit with his owner, but don’t tell her that). Speaking of which, have a few more Dave pics while I have them to hand….





“Can’t… quite… reach… the… itch…..”






Dave plays “Spot The Difference”.






The canine appreciation of Antony Gormley’s work.




Turning The Titanic

556531_2904955281892_1733744533_nSorry, that was Cat’s way of describing getting the group moving after nomming. It’s not easy to think up interesting titles, you know. This pic by Mel is one of my favourites, showing the herd flocking South.



A nice sit down. The kids, I have to say, were wonderful, and really added to the fun of the day.


new DSCF7116



Sexy rabbit, just cos I like to take every opportunity to look at a nice arse.





David reckons this looks like I’ve just beamed down from the Enterprise, and he’s not wrong. I did enjoy that crystal cave thingy.




Team photo by Steve’s camera, minus a few who had got lost by walking past a sign that said “Do Not Go Past This Sign”.

new 5


new6I’m pretty sure this is what made my arse ache so much on the Sunday, sitting-down-dancing on the Snow Patrol benches. No bugger rubbed my buttocks better either Sad smile


new10I like this photo of the do-not-climb-on-this-sculpture simply because of the way the kids are positioned. It’s like an album cover.





Proper photographers with proper cameras, making mine seem most inadequate. Their penises are probably bigger than mine too.




new chickenprincess


Peep-oh! Look, there’s Ted!





Jim’s Leap









Showing us all how to behave responsibly in the presence of children, Jim discovers that the properties of an umbrella as a parachute are greatly over-rated by cartoons. Click this sentence to hear his song about this foolhardy leap of faith.


Around The Lake



Artistically posed by accident. Well played, gang.






What’s in the box, Will?









Rob is very proud of his bumbershoot.







Mel decides to…. well I’m not sure, actually. Maybe he found a lovely ladybird or maybe a wounded tiny bird.






Uncle Johnny in charge at the stepping stones.







Waterfally falllingdownhousey shot. Just because.







Awwwww! “Chums”





And finally – bring on the wall! Dave loves it inside this Goldsworthy sculpture. He got all excited, bless him.



Thank You

I’m not going to name you all individually, cos I’d be bound to forget someone and then you’d be upset, but I really do appreciate everybody who came on 23rd June. I appreciate the effort it took, especially following days of rainy deluge. You made it a right special day, ta. Special thanks to Jim, for his Wombat song. That’s right, click just there to hear it.


Tis the day before Tweetup……

All you need to know for tomorrow’s #YSPtweetup. If you have any questions, or can’t find us tomorrow, @ or DM me on Twitter.

Weather Forecast

The Forecast (click on Saturday) says currently that it’ll be cloudy, with a chance of light showers & sunny intervals in the afternoon. It may be a bit too damp underfoot to spread blankets on the grass like last year, but hey-ho! Come with a hat and a cheerful heart and we’ll manage, eh?


It’s a big old car park. Parking is £7.50 per car for all day parking, and the machines take both cash & cards. Motorbikes are free.

Bus from Wakefield

Thanks to @sjnewton for the info that the 96 bus goes to YSP once an hour from Wakefield Bus Station, and the last one back leaves YSP at 17:38


The YSP opens at 10am, and we’ll meet up outside the YSP Centre (see the map below) , then move down to the Picnic area (also on the map) where there are at least tables. Any rain shouldn’t arrive until later, but if anyone can remember an undercover place to eat, please do jog my memory.

When the spirit moves us, we can wander off to explore the park, either en masse or as smaller groups. Do remember to take plenty of photographs for Sunday’s #WOMBATPICS.

anniversary Hugs

Yes please.

Paper bags

Purely to please @TheFlossieTP (what better reason?) it’d be fun to attempt a Mass Paper Bag Trick (a la Eric Morecambe), so do bring along a paper bag if you fancy joining in.


To find YSP, leave the M1 at J38 and follow the signs. Click the map below to see a much larger version.

ysp annotated


In a desperate attempt to catch up with the few older missing blogs, I’m just going to fling this one up here in a quick and dirty fashion (yes, I’m just wearing pants) and let you hover over each pic to see what the poster said. Bet you’d all forgotten this one anyway.

@_aaronkelly My niece's tea party. Today we eat like kings! Specifically King George II

@calmprotractor more food! Best rock cakes baked today@andromedababe Squidgy, orangey, chocolatey lusciousness. It wasn't Terry's@ariadnes_web Greedy Jenny Has TWO Food pictures. Moroccan pastries@ariadnes_web My favourite Food - scrambled eggs and smoked salmon@b_wildered  I'm not proud@baronhawkey@beanobundle Every so often, the alti in my choir have a tea party. No other section is clever enough. NOM@beatsbassnbears a home-made bolognese and pasta. That was for breakfast that day. Hearty@beatsbassnbears Banner's Potatos. One of my fave hearty breakfasts at one of my fave local restaurants@beatsbassnbears BBQ dinner Atlanta, GA. No one does BBQ like The South@beatsbassnbears Because kids and grownups love it so@beatsbassnbears Home-made jam from one of my Greek customers. I am not big into jam but needed to be polite@beatsbassnbears I couldn't eat half the food I do without these@beatsbassnbears I have to have these to keep me going at work some days@beatsbassnbears Lastly, a nice home-made Vietnamese salad@beatsbassnbears My first #SundayPics submission. Pizza from a coin-op machine that makes it in 3 minutes@beatsbassnbears Yes. Here 'tis. With 'real' cheese and tomtoes. A beast of a machine but for £3.50 in 3 min@belfegore homemade marmalade and sunshine@bottyb Blessed are the cheese makers@briandgregory@butmadnnw @usmcfm bought this during Sat. outing I picked a brekky from it to make; pic later@butmadnnw Just made these breakfast egg muffins from Paleo Comfort Foods. Simple, but I feel a proper chefi@caddac23 My cookies@calmprotractor food!! took this on a market in France ! Can one enter more than one picture@calmprotractor ooh! More food! Same market, different veg@candysherbet The evidence from Friday's shopping@candysherbet This is Sparky my cockatiel feeling a bit peckish@captain_doodle Browsing books at local country park today. My rather tragic entry @cha0tic Pork, Pineapple 'n' Beans@cloudofutopia On the 7th day she ate breakfast, and it was good@davidgilray Strawberries for tonight's dessert

How to pronounce “scone”

Father’s Day Poppies

Some years ago, Ellie’s Father’s Day gift to me was this story. Her writing has improved immeasurably since, but it remains one of my favourite presents ever. Enjoy.

PoppiesThe young girl stared out across the field. Dusty red poppies swayed steadily in the tired breeze and small swallows dove joyfully like ribbons across the land, barely touching the bobbing heads of the sorrowful watchers. From a bramble-wrapped stone wall a bashful, brown rabbit darted out and scurried through the long, tan grass leaving a wistful peace behind. Above the green, shaded dome-like hills an orange sun blushed with pink slowly sank beneath the horizon, milky trails of colour washing across the surrounding landscape.

The girl tilted her head, her blonde hair swaying, catching the last of the sun. In her hand she clutched a basket of blackberries, freshly picked. They were for her mother to whom she would present them on her return, and consequently some sort of sweet baked dessert would follow, much to the girl’s delight. This was the first time the girl had been sent to gather berries. The task usually fell to her older brother, a source of wisdom the young girl had always admired. But today, her mother had sent her to gather the berries.

She had been sitting on one of the wooden kitchen chairs, watching her mother make the dinner. It smelled lovely. A smell of delight and deliciousness that the girl was not yet old enough to pinpoint in her memory though she knew it led to something nice. Her mother was at the stove, her lovely bright blue dress, her golden hair, scraggily pinned up and the eyes that the girl so brightly remembered and had consequently inherited. Lovely grey eyes. Her mother had looked across at the girl and told her that now she was five, she was old enough to go and gather the blackberries.

The young girl, thrilled at the idea of being given this new responsibility had eagerly run from the house, barely recognising her mother’s warnings to be careful. She didn’t need directions either as many a time she had followed her brother as he had collected the berries, sneaking from the kitchen.

Now the girl remembered those times and she remembered the way to where the best berries grew. She had revelled in choosing and picking the best berries and would not rest until she reached one at the top of the bush, even though it had resulted in a grazed elbow. The girl hadn’t cried, though she had wanted to for her arm hurt fiercely, but she was a big girl now. Five years old, and she was growing up.

But the girl didn’t remember this place. A field full of lovely red poppies. She struggled to find a picture of it in her memory but was only met by a grey, misty haze. The girl liked poppies, her father had told her about them many a time and the field reminded her of a song her father used to sing her to sleep with. A song of colours and corn, of meanings that the girl did not yet understand, but seeing the field full of poppies reminded her of it.

As she stared across the landscape a surge of inspiration hit the girl’s mind. She would take some of the poppies for her father. She placed the basket down on the verge of the track and lithely climbed over the gate. She decided to pick five poppies, one for each year old she was. That way, there would still be plenty of poppies left for anyone else who wanted to pick them for their fathers. As she picked five of the best poppies around her, the girl remembered something her mother had told her. That tomorrow was a special day. A special day for fathers where their children gave gifts to them. The little girl smiled when she remembered. What a perfect gift for her father. Five poppies from his daughter.

Soon, satisfied with her bundle the girl clambered back over the fence and collected her basket. The sun was almost gone behind the hills, and she knew her mother would be worrying but the girl was too happy with her gift to mind. She happily skipped home humming the song her father sung her so often and picturing his face when he saw the poppies.

Upon arriving home the girl hurriedly placed the berries on the great wooden table, ignoring her mother’s questioning glances, and filled a jug with water. She carefully carried it up the stairs and tentatively opened the door to her parent’s room and proceeded to place the jug on the table next to her father’s bed. Then she dropped the five poppies into it. Once finished, she stood back to admire the present and smiled. The poppies seemed to light up the room, a bloom of red amongst the browns. As she stared at them the girl found she was delving deeper into her thoughts than she had ever done before, and the words of the song her father sung, for a short time no longer were a swirl of words, but something that had meaning.

Her mother’s shout brought the girl from her trance and the song again became just that, a song. Forgetting all she had been thinking the girl ran back out of the room and again became a carefree five-year-old.

Her father never forgot the day he woke to find a jug of five poppies next to his bed. Neither did his daughter, for each year poppies yet again appeared at his bedside, though, for each year the girl grew older another poppy appeared in the jug. No words were spoken between the two about the gifts, for nothing was needed but the special bond remained, and as the girl grew up and learned more about the world her father revelled in the sight of the his little five-year-old who left five poppies at his bedside become a woman, get a job, find a perfect man and have two children of her own.


The day after fifty poppies filled the father’s room a mournful funeral procession took place in the church in the nearby town. The girl, who was now a woman, stood at her father’s grave, family and friends surrounded her, her own little five-year-old clutching her skirts uncertainly. Then, as the bright red of the sun slowly departed below the horizon, the girl began to sing. The song her father had sung her all those times. But now the girl understood the song and it would always be so special to her and she would pass it to her own children, to be sung for evermore in the family line. But in her heart, the words would always be just words of colours and corn, and a bright field full of poppies, swaying in the fresh autumn evening.

#YSPtweetup useful info

yspHere’s just a couple of things that you might find useful to know for next Saturday’s Tweetup at YSP, June 23rd. Here’s the map again too, so you know where to find us. If in doubt, DM me on Twitter and I’ll guide you in by phone.

Paper bags

I’d like to attempt a Mass Paper Bag Trick, so do bring along a paper bag if you fancy joining in. Here it is performed by the originators. Instruction will be given if for any reason you *don’t* know how to do it.


Parking is now £7.50 per car for all day parking, but the machines take both cash and cards. Motorbikes are free.

Bus from Wakefield

Thanks to @sjnewton for the info that the 96 bus goes to YSP once an hour from Wakefield Bus Station, and the last one back leaves YSP at 17:38


Mr. @yura_toole (Manchester) and Mr. @sjnewton (not sure, but I think North London ish) would appreciate a lift from anyone in their area. Her Majesty @chickenprincess says she has room for one and a half people travelling from, well, who the fuck knows?


Click to see a much larger version.

ysp annotated[2]

What the Actual???

Not sure if you’ll remember this theme, but that might be to the good as you’ll have forgotten the answers even if you do. You took photographs of common objects from an unusual angle for others to guess – a bit like in “Ask The Family” when television was steam-driven.

OK, see how many you can recognise, and if anyone bothers to send me their answers, I’ll award a special prize to the person getting the most correct. Hover over each pic to see who sent it.

@alexbrightsmith@ariadnes_web@awesomeorchid-not a laundry basket, here is a pic with an apple to help with perspective@butmadnnw-Aw, what the heck. Here's another@butmadnnw-Here's my #sundaypics. Don't think it's very good@davestaton-taken on yesterday's walk@davidtims-The more I think about it, this one is too easy@dbrereton@dbrereton2@dbrereton3-good game this@dbrereton4-Easy one@dbrereton5-my little girl has had a go now@dbrereton6-second one by my 8 year old@em_and_lola-less obvious I think@em_and_lola-my WTF pic. Probably v obvious but I liked the pic@emmalipton@flylilypad@furry_murray-Almost impossible (I hope). First go at this.  WTF is this@greythorne@harrietkap2@harrietkap3@harrietkap-I have never done this before so I hope it works@hippocrit2@hippocrit-It's more difficult that I thought making them not too easy or too hard. #sundaypics Try this@jimthesg@johnrands_tmtl-I doubt I'm the first to do this today for@judgetread@ladylittleton-Kin yer guess what it is yet, used most days@lardychap-can you guess what it is yet@little_mavis@little_mavis2

@littlemammy-It's not a pig@LucieMR@M4RKM@M4RKM2@mannymunkeh@matcochr-worried that this may be too easy@misterj35@mizzlizwhizz@mizzlizwhizz-Shouldn't be too difficult@mizzlizwhizz-Something I can't live without@och23@och23b@oldmotherriley-It's probably obvious but in case not, I've left a little clue in it.@oldmotherriley-Maybe this is more difficult @oldmotherriley-Or perhaps I can baffle you with this @polly_anonymous@polly_anonymous-Same object from a different angle@princesstidy@princesstidy2@quantumtree1@quantumtree2@quantumtree3@richlieu_uk-Let me lighten my Sunday evening leisure centre sojourn with a #SUNDAYPICS entry@sarahtregear@scullyscully-This one's for mums & older children@simonhurst@sjnewton-If it hasn't already been done, I'm a little behind this morning@snowgirl1972-Might be a bit tricky but here goes@starlitwolf-wtf is it Well, I like it@thetiniestvole@thorn_waite-I should probably clean this - whatever it is@tonihill79@vanishedhippo@vanishedhippo2@vanishedhippo3@yura_toole

New hashtag poll

I’m still not convinced about the new hashtag to replace #SUNDAYPICS (see post below). On the right there is a poll – please let me know which you prefer.