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Posts Tagged ‘photography’

A weekend in the Highlands – Easter 2016

April 3, 2016 Leave a comment

To most who know me, I am an Londoner / Southerner, with an definitive accent to match. To those that really know me, I have a big ole family in the North of Scotland and that is where we ventured to over the Easter weekend, to see places old and new, and visit family and friends. To truly appreciate this area could take about a million photos, but heres some from that fantastic weekend. Also, who thought not having a mobile signal for 4 days could be so great. Click on the photos for a better view. All taken with an iphone 6

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Barcelona November 2015

December 6, 2015 Leave a comment

So part 2 of the Autumn travelogue series is Barcelona. What a place. I had been here several times but always work related not as a tourist. So this time we put this right in style.

Another first was our flight. We used Southend Airport. If they have your destination on the their flights, and you are in the South East, I would use it. So easy.

We stayed at Hotel Sixty Two which was a smallish boutique place on Passeig de Gracia. This means basically you are in the middle of everything. The main attraction in town is the Segrada Familia, a cathedral that has been over 120 years in the building and still has 30 to go. It was designed by Antoni Gaudi and is still being built to his initial designs, with successive architects taking on the challenge and adding a small amount of their own ideas as well.  Hence most of my photos are from there. We also went to Casa Batllo on our last day but I seem to have no photos but it is another Gaudi masterpiece.

On with the photos.

 

 

Berlin March 2015

April 20, 2015 2 comments

This ones a bit late, but I have some time on my hands and blogging about West Ham is getting a bit samey and monotonous. The Man City game was one of the worst performances of the season, but hey Sam’s nearly gone now, so onwards and upwards.

On the Friday of Easter weekend my wife suggested that a weekend away would be just the ticket and 20 minutes later via British Airways website we had a nice well priced trip to Berlin booked.

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Vegas in the Spring Time

April 14, 2014 4 comments

The dice of life had rolled and I (we) had some spare time on our hands, so we took ourselves off for an unscheduled trip to Vegas (not a lot of poker content, some near the end, sorry Rob !).

Getting a car on landing is the only way to do it now, makes life so easy. So I picked up my MKZ from the airport and we were on our way. By the way, for speed and ease, Avis > Hertz (based on sample of 2 !).

We were in our nice hosted room in no time and were straight back out for dinner. The venue was to be Max’s Filipino Food on Flamingo. Max’s. Fastish food, but the crispy Pata ? Well, we will be back, put it that way.

A couple of decent table wins and our beds were calling.

Day 2 started with breakfast at the world famous Peppermill. Make sure you have a large appetite before you go, you will need it. Yes its tacky and neon, with multi coloured sugar in the dispensers, but the food is just………..mmmmm. So a big breakfast needs a big walk, so it was off to the outlets for a stroll and shop. I managed to get back in time to catch West Ham Sunderland in the MGM sports book. Learned that a dollar tip doesn’t get you too far for a beer in here!  SO 8 dollars down but 3 points up it was back home for a gamble up. Another decent night at the tables gave me 5 straights wins at my table visits. The weekend was going well, roll on the week. That night we ate at Rice and Co in the Luxor. This place for sushi, etc is well underrated.  BUT, don’t sit at the back, the aircon will kill you. But they will prepare Cali Maki’s if asked (not on the menu) and have a foursquare special to take a little off the bill (always useful in this town !).

Then the crash happened at the tables but was controlled and I was still ahead !!

Thanks to myvegas the next days breakfast at the Mandalay Bay was free, and another large feed at the buffet We took a drive around town, bought some sneakers in Caesars and then took off to the Town Square Shops. This place is more locals based than tourists and to be fair, wasn’t really for me. Until i found the cheapest A&F in Vegas. This place was a revelation, and will be on this list now for many visits in the future (car allowing !). That afternoon, i smashed the craps table for a few hundred so was good to go for the evenings festivities in KGB Burger in Harrahs. Another freebie thanks to MrsBen and Total Rewards.

Next day was the ever impressive Aria buffet (free !) and a gamble up on the strip. The gamble up did not work out for either of us, so we scuttled off home early after taking in the Bellagio conservatory. No penguins as spring is in the air, but good all the same. When were in the Bellagio, we saw 2 girls who had, what I can only describe as Arse Implants. This was the first time I have seen this, and I was taken aback (no pun intended – no photos either. I had one but it was blurry, I will see if MrsBen has any).

Thursday was the first day without the car so it was back to me in the pit and MrsBen at the pool. I don’t know who was more surprised, when i met her out at the pool, clutching 900 in chips from a 100 buyin on a Blackjack Table. Anyway, all donations gratefully received.

Buca de Beppo for dinner, courtesy of our pit boss and a few beers in the evening was a good start to our weekend preparations. I say preparations, we actually didn’t do a lot, apart from pool and tables. I hit another heater on the craps table to ensure went went home well in profit, and MrsBen was no slouch on the slots either and made quite a few bob for herself. We had our last evening meal in Camelot Steak House, which was quality as usual (and free !).

We left on sunday, well ahead cash wise of where we were to begin with, and with full bellies ! I also got the see WHU vs Liverpool, but least said the better. Apart for the American Liverpool fan in his Gerrard shirt, who I swear had never seen a game of football (soccer) in his life. The glory hunters have started and they haven’t even won the damn league yet !

SO POKER !………….

I got to play in the 9am crapshoot at the Excal twice and the 10.30 variant at the Luxor once. I could give you tales of bad beats, etc, and you know what, I will.

1. Made the break and went out pushing A9 (the best hand in poker) into 2 random diamonds, who made the flush on a A93 flopped board.In the final table.

2. Luxor, tried a couple of moves, got no hands, and ended pushing a lucky draw to get out early, and succeeded !

3. And this annoyed me. I have made the break, just about to final table but i am low in chips and blinds are coming round fast. I have an M of about 2 (!), so i push Q3 clubs. Not a great hand but I’m in a bind. As my chips were low I get 4 callers. Great. Flop is Q35. Even better. This will put me on the final table and in about 6th place, so something to work with. One guys goes in heavy. Everyone drops out. The guy next to me offers his condolences. I say, with more than rye grin “I might be in here”. I turn over my Q3, and get to see raise guy turn over……………………..33. No Q for me so I’m out. But he was a nice guy who also had a chip and a chair earlier, and had turned it around the be chip leader. So fair play says I.

One strange thing in the last tournament was one guy I will call Texas Pete. This guy was drunk but communicative and seemed to have an understanding of life at this point in time. He re raised a pot early on to about 3K (you start with 4). He had 300 left. Another guy went all in and had him covered. He asked how many chips the guy had left. He asked about 8 times. He ummed, he arred, then folded ? LOL WAT? REALLY? You have taken 1/2 a blind interval, to Fxxxing Fold. REALLLLLLYYYY???

Enjoy the photos (from the phone this time).

 

 

Philippines and Singapore, Nov / Dec 2013

December 15, 2013 1 comment

This is a photo heavy entry so I’ll let them do most of the talking. The trip to Manila was a long one, as i was alone (Mrs Mrben had travelled ahead) via Singapore. It was my first trip on Singapore Airlines and they were fantastic. A true 5 star airline. Once we arrived in Manila it was the usual chaos: traffic, busy, flat out all day and night. We stayed in an Air BnB apartment with a driver, and the difference that makes is phenomimal.  After a few days we went to our favourite little island, Boracay and and as usual everything was fantastic. The beach is still the best. We stayed at Joneys as usual and if anything its got better (http://www.jonysbeachresortboracay.com/)

At a quid a cocktail in the happy 3 hours every evening, the nights flew by. One evening we ventured up beach to Fridays (http://www.fridaysboracay.com/), the oldest hotel on the island and had a meal on the beach to die for. Which we nearly did on the way back as we took the beach route only to find the tide coming in right up to the buildings and not abating. A bit hairy in places, but we both feel a bit wiser for the experience. The trip highlight was taking the sunset cruise on the small 2 passenger catamarans. Some amazing photo experiences, and all was good. Until on the way back to shore we caught a big wave that soaked us. No issue. Apart from I had all my photo gear in my bag on my shoulder and didn’t have the shower cover on. Oops. Anyway we got away with no damage. Thanks Lowe Pro.

Next stop via Manila was Singapore. What a place. Just WOW. So clean, so easy to get about and full of friendly people. My view may be been skewed by the fact we stayed in the Marina Bays Sands (http://www.marinabaysands.com). Probably the most amazing hotel I have stayed in on the planet. Great views from the room, great views of the botanical gardens and then the infinity pool on the 57th floor, across the width of all three towers. Just WOW.

Another highlight was a crazy evening in Clarke Quay. Always helps with costs if your friend manages 3 bars down there ! Tied up with dinner in Raffles and The Fullerton respectively brought down a graceful end to a fantastic holiday.

A Word a Week Challenge – Sea

September 1, 2013 1 comment

This week comes courtesy of Brora Scotland, Broadstairs Kent and James Bond Island Thailand.

A Word A Week Challenge – Curve

July 23, 2013 2 comments

As title. Back into the word a week challenge, as posted here. This week was Curve, so i’ve got 2 from the local BMX track and one from my Friends garden. Enjoy ! ImageImageImage