Tuesday, August 14, 2018

To the Volunteers of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships aka Team 2018

Well Ladies & Gentlemen

Our time as hosts of the very first European Championships has come to an end 😢

We had joy. We had fun. We had seasons in the sun. We watched as athletes row, row, rowed their boats gently across a loch. Some just decided to dive into water while some took Dory’s advice & just kept swimming. Other’s braved the Seven Seas of Loch Lomand. Many an athlete took on their own bicycle race whether it be road, cross country mountain biking, BMXing or going around in circles in the Velodrome. Others tried to hit a ball straight down the middle towards a tiny little flag. And then there was those who decided one sport wasn’t enough and combined three just to make things interesting

All the athletes who participated in the events came with dreams. Some may have been impossible dreams. Other may have ended up on a boulevard of broken dreams. But throughout it all, we along with the public were there cheering them on, congratulating them no matter their result.

We’ve survived early mornings, late nights and probably some interesting interactions with athletes, officials and the public. Some of us have been at the front while other have been behind the scenes. Some might have even been caught in the middle. But no matter what our own part was, big or small, we all brought something to this event. We’ve helped set the bar for the next event and showcased why Glasgow is a great venue for events.

For some, this may have been your very first time volunteering. For others, you may will be a seasoned volunteer. No matter what you are, I hope that you feel proud of your achievements, have enjoyed your experience at the first European Championships event.. I hope you’ve met new folks, caught up with old friends, and (for some) finally met folk you’ve only known through facebook groups 😊

So…..until the next time…..

Friday, July 15, 2016

Antiques Roadshow is heading for New Lanark!!

Sunday nights for most of year in the UK on BBC 1 at 8pm means only one thing: the Antiques Roadshow. Of course they're already out & filming the NEXT series (which will probably start showing end of 2016) and they are once again venturing into Scotland for one of their days.

The Antiques Roadshow will be stopping off at New Lanark World Heritage Site on the 28th July 2016 between 9.30am - 4.30pm. What makes this more special is that this is the ONLY stop in Scotland for the current series that they are filming.

No tickets are required for the day but they do work with lots of queues (you've probably seen them if you're an avid viewer of the show) so if your thinking of attending then be prepared to waiting for a bit though they do try to get through the queues as quickly as possible. And of course, with it
being Scotland, be prepared for whatever the weather could throw at you. And don't worry, they'll be plenty of helpful stewards around to help you navigate the site too!

In fact, back in 2014, the BBC made a behind the scenes video at their filming in Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow: http://bbc.in/1bIslW7

So why not come along and see it in real life! It should be an interesting day out and a chance for you to maybe see if you have a wee fortune in something.

New Lanark has a dedicated page for the event which will be updated with regards to parking on the day and other arrangements. You can find it here: http://newlanark.org/visitorcentre/antiques-roadshow.shtml

And the BBC has a FAQs section here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4rtf8YKPv6XDbThQMSfWVjX/attending-antiques-roadshow

And another wee note is that the New Lanark will still be open for those not attending the roadshow, but do keep in mind the parking/travel on the day

Friday, March 11, 2016

Not all rosy in the Tesco flower garden....

Flowers have kind of became a staple present for Mother’s Day and I guess, in a way, it’s almost a fail safe option to go for. Well, I admit that I fell into purchasing this this year, but in a way, I wriggled out of it by having my mum pick her own flowers.

With it having been coming up to Mother’s Day, store up and down the country will have been flourishing in flowers and my local Tesco Extra was no exception. With prices starting (from what I could see) £3 for a wee bunch of colourful tulips to £20 for a Tesco Finest bouquet, there was, generally speaking, something for everyone’s pocket.

As I said, I wriggled out of the decision over what flowers to get for my mum by cheating; she picked them & I bought them. At least then, she’d get something that she liked although I’m pretty sure that she would have been happy with whatever she had gotten. She settled on a lovely £15 (later £10 thanks to a cheeky wee voucher from Tesco’s Orchard programme) bouquet named Strawberry Shortcake. I have to say that it was a very nice bouquet, nicer than what was in the Finest bouquet that I had spotted at £20. In fact, I did find myself asking myself whether or not what was being asked for in terms of price truly reflected what was being offered. I know that not all bunches of flowers are going to be exactly the same but even looking at the same named bouquets, some felt better presented & had better contents than others, yet, priced the same.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve bought flowers from Tesco of course. Normally, we only splash out on the cheap wee bunches at a couple of pounds each. But these seemed hidden by the number of larger bouquets that were being offered for Mother’s day. Or for a special occasion, head to an independent florist where you don’t mind spending a wee bit more. But like all commercial holidays (and to be honest, it’s what Mother’s Day is becoming along with everything else) prices always go up in places like Tesco for their flowers.

Was buying the flowers from Tesco worth it? Well, past experience has shown that normally we can get about a week out of them before they start dying off, but the bouquet that I purchased for Mothers Day started dying 4 days in.

In normal circumstances, there’s usually something for everyone’s pocket in Tesco’s flower range, and I guess in some instances, you get what you pay for.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Taste Test: Jacob’s Cracker Crisps Thai Sweet Chilli Flavour

Jacobs Cracker Crisps Thai Sweet Chili Flavour Promo Image Let’s get one thing straight here: I’m not a cracker fan unless they’re prawn crackers (but think they’re a completely different thing) so why would I be trying the latest offering from Jacobs? Well there’s two reasons:

1. Curiosity (it’s not killed me yet!)
2. I was get £1.00 back from the Shopitize app on my phone (I may get around to doing a post on this app at some point….maybe a video…no that might scare people!) so worth the risk

Cracker crisps reality So first job is to work out where they would be kept with a name like cracker crisp. Are they a cracker or a crisp? Well according to one of my local supermarkets, they’re filed under crackers. Which is probably the right decision here as personally they do feel more like crackers than a crisp. I found the taste to be a tad strong meaning that I couldn’t have too many in one setting (normally I’m a fan of sweet chilli flavour but it took me two weeks on my own dipping in and out as no one else in the house fancied them).

They’re probably not something that I would buy all the time. For me they are more a wee nibble that you would have out at a party rather than something you’d buy and eat as you would a pack of crisps.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Glasgow 2014 One year on: A Clyde-Sider reflects

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since the 20th Commonwealth Games came to Glasgow! Today would have seen me trying to tread water again with my second shift as a photo team member at the weightlifting in the Clyde auditorium (or as you may also know it, the Armadillo)

I won’t lie, it was nerve wracking. I felt a little out of my depth a times and I think it was because I didn’t really know what I was getting into. But after the second shift, I think I finally settled into things and realised that for the most part, it was just being me and trying to be as helpful to the photographers as possible. After all, some of these guys had just come back from the world cup in Rio and have probably photographed some other high profile events. Then there’s me who’s never done this sort of thing before. At least one us knew what we were doing…I think anyway. Either that or someone’s been lying to me…

I think the other thing for me was that I had no idea about anything about weightlifting. In fact, I’d say, for the most part, I still don’t! I think what still gets me is that, yes people may have been there for a specific lifter, but how they all seemed to get right behind all of the participants and how it all became a bit pantomime from the crowd. When a lift was approved (“good lift”) the crowd seemed to go wild, but as soon as it was regarded as “no lift” I was sure some times the crowd was looking for the judges blood.

vhari_l-20150725-0002 There is one lifter who sticks in my mind. That was Daniel from Niue in the 105+ kg category final. It was his last lift in the clean and jerk and the audience had fallen silent, as they did every time as a lifter stepped up to the bar. Before his lift he cried out, in what seemed a distant voice in the large space “Glasgow I need your help”. And when he started that lift, did the crowd back him? Of course they did. Sadly he never made the lift but it always sticks in my mind.

Looking back, it does seem, to a certain extent, a little surreal. It’s the first time that I’ve been involved in something this big. It may not have been the same for everyone but remember coming home on the train, and yes, they might have been crowded, but it seemed that the party atmosphere carried on. It was getting to Dalmarnock station and seeing the athletes/coaches jumping on board and expecting that to be the norm after the Games.

Glasgow 2014 Weightlifting @ Clyde Auditorium, 31st July 2014I didn’t think that I would enjoy volunteering again after a bad experience in my past. But I think that the Games were probably one of the best things to happen to me. I’ve caught the volunteer bug again, and whilst I’m limited in my involvement due to work (most opportunities happening at the weekend) I have recently got involved with a local charity and looking forward to getting started with that. I met loads of wonderful people across my time there and some have become friends. I hope that in the future that I get to take part in something as spectacular as this again. It’s certainly some thing that will live with me for the rest of my life.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Lego® exhibition a brick short…

Lego(r)  Forth Road Bridge So back at the start of June I while volunteering at the Pearl Izumi round in Motherwell, I noticed a poster advertising a Lego® exhibition called Let’s Go (also known as Brick Built...apparently). Great, I thought. I’d been to the Brick City exhibition last year in Low Parks Museum in Hamilton and loved it (and missed the follow up one, Brick Wonders, at the start of the year in Paisley Museum). So seeing another exhibition in the local area, I knew I wanted to visit. After all, Lego® isn’t just for children!

So I finally got to visit it on Friday…and have to say I was a little disappointed. The main ‘exhibition’ was housed in a small room with it being made up with more of smaller models (not that these aren't as impressive as the larger models that I've seen). Though the highlight is right in the centre with the section of the Forth Road Bridge (that rarely gets a viewing given to the size & weight).

IMAG1235 Getting in to see the models is free. It is the other activities that they provide where the money: photo booth, wall art & an animation workshop. This is probably where they are making the money in order to host this event (along with the donations box in with the models)

Overall, it feels that there seemed to be a 'build up' before the event but that like a single high tower of Lego® bricks, it's fell flat. It feels that maybe it could have been more. Maybe this event was more aimed to children rather than AFOL (that's Adult Fan Of Lego® by the way) given that it's happening over the summer holidays.

IMAG1240 If you want to pop along and be inspired to what you can do with the little Danish bricks, Let's Go is on at the North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre until the August 15th (Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 4.30pm, Sunday 10am – 4pm)

Images (top to bottom, left to right):
Forth Road Bridge
Guttenberg Press
Arc de Triomphe

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

BBC Three moving homes….

So last week it was announced that BBC Three is set to become an online channel. I'm not going to lie, the announcement doesn't really surprise me. Over the last few years I'd say the quality that has been delivered on the channel has been variable.

When I look back across the years, you realise BBC Three has been home to some decent stuff. It was the original home of Gavin & Stacey, Little Britain & not forgetting of course a wee programme called Torchwood. There was documentaries that got you thinking (anyone remember Blood, Sweat & T-shirts that started Stacey Dooley's career?). Being Human (I remember seeing the pilot episode when it was part of a showcase on Three of new writers). In The Flesh. Russell Howard's Good News. And that's just what I can pull from the top of my head.

And then you can look at some of the other....questionable content. Snog. Marry. Avoid? Sun, Sex & Suspicious Parents (how many series does this need...and why do the participants not realise what's going on....after all the time?) And then there's the repeats. Repeats of Family Guy & American Dad (although they have lost the rights of these to rival ITV though the current series of Family Guy the BBC has moved to BBC 2 and something tells me they might be trying to get through it as quickly as possible), Top Gear (maybe no longer) & Eastenders (isn't that what the weekend omnibus was for?)

It's a shame too. BBC Three had all the potential there to be something for what is basically an unheard generation. But somewhere along the line, it's got lost. Occassionally it hits the right notes. But maybe it should take notes from Amigo loans and go back to the good old days. Time will only tell what's likely to happen when it moves online.