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2012 - Ready

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2012 - Ready - Page Text Content

S: holmes family album - 2012

FC: 2012 | holmes family album

1: holmes family album 2012 | This book is one of a series of yearly books depicting the activities undertaken by the Holmes family and their friends and relatives. Thumbnails of most of those featuring are shown in Rogues Gallery. There is also a section at the end of the book listing some of the other things that happened in the year.

2: 2012 - contents - january to june | 2

3: 3 | 2012 - contents - july to december

4: I was really looking forward to this year because of everything that was happening and it exceeded all expectations, WHAT A YEAR! In no particular order, some of the things that happened were: - We moved to our dream house and Emma and Nick moved into Hilton Avenue - We were trackside at the best night of GB Olympic Athletics ever - I went on TV and played the World Quiz Champion on Eggheads - Blackpool got to Wembley again - I marshalled on the 18th at The Open - Phoebe and I went to Disneyland Paris travelling 1st Class - We went on holiday to Center Parcs and Torquay - We met Jessica Ennis - Michelle and Ian got married plus - Krissy would have been 21 - The Amigos have more good days out - Phoebe doesn't rejoin Fairhaven but takes up the drums - Carol gives up her dinner time job. - The new head at Ansdell Primary is not very popular - Grandmas are OK although Harriet had a couple of health scares - Holly goes to India - My golf starts off rubbish but ends on a high - I caddy at Royal Lytham and mix with pro golfers and celebrities - Jack's in his 3rd year at Leeds University, Phoebe's in her final year at primary school, Hol's working in Worcester - It's a rubbish summer with record rainfall across the country - Holloway leaves Blackpool to join Crystal Palace - We have some bingo wins including Grandma winning 369 pounds | 4 | 2012 - summary of the year | Miss Oaten

5: 2012 - rogues gallery | 5 | Cath | Ian | Tony | Tim | Frank | Mum | Janine | Jess | Dave | Danny | Steve | Phoebe | Oliver | Michelle | Nick | Gill | Notch | Jeff | Stuart | Emma | Tiger | Mike | Carol | Sharon | Adrian | Grandma | Jack | Dave | Kevin | Eleanor | Abi | John | Mark | Me | Chris | Bradley | Steve | Kenny | Holly | Danny | Kerry | Marie

6: Sun 1 January 6 | It's New Year's Day and we visit Emma and Nick at their flat. Phoebe, in particular, was keen to go round - not as it turns out to see Emma on her birthday but instead to see Emma and Nick's crazy new cat, Lemmy, who Phoebe thinks is fantastic. | 2012 - emma's 23 and here's lemmy

7: 7 sun 1 january | 2012 - emma's 23 and here's lemmy

8: Thursday nights are now quiz nights at The Fairhaven and so far our team is doing pretty well. Sometimes Andy Murphy joins us but usually its Mark, Nick, Jeff and me - each week we try and pick a topical team name (this week's was courtesy of Nick) and answer Dale Winton, Bob Carolgees and Fleetwood to at least one of the questions. The quiz consists of 6 rounds and despite a poor 2nd round we came good and with a little help from some of our friends just did enough to win by 1 point. Roll on The Eggheads. | 2012 - quiz night at the fairhaven | thu 12 January 8

9: For our 1st outing of the new year, Mike found an interesting walk at Langcliffe which is next to Settle in the North Yorkshire Moors. | Park in the only Car Park in Langcliffe. Set off, keeping the school on your right, and the church behind you, take the small lane between the houses. Go 50 yards forward and turn right up this lane, passing Hope Hill Farm on your right, then walk for about 200 yards. | Take this stone stepped stile on your left for Stainforth. (pictured) It is just past another single gate you will be returning by. | Go through a series of wall and fence crossings... ...enjoying the views that the area is acclaimed for, and keeping the river and the railway line on your left. | Eventually you end up here at this stone stile, and, once over it, you should turn right, heading towards Stainforth, with the roadside on your left. | Through this gate, or it's adjoining stile on the left, which will eventually lead you to a small road. | Cross the road, and up the track ahead of you. On reaching the top, follow the track forward all the way keeping the railway line on your left until you reach the disused depot, and eventually the massive Hoffman Kiln. | There is a trail to help you explore all of the site along with plenty of information boards | Once you have seen all you want of the kiln...both inside and out... continue the walk keeping to the path left of the kiln and walk over this small single track bridge, and follow it's trail, up and over the rise. | Cross this wooden stepped stile, and keep to the path. Head forward keeping the road on your left. | Make your way to this board, and cross right to left, into the field via the adjoining stile. Follow the pathway through this field. | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | Just beyond the Old School House over on the left is a narrow road. Cross the main road, and turn left down here following this steep byway downhill towards the Stainforth Packhorse Bridge, which was built by Samuel Watson, a Quaker, in 1670. | Turn right and go over the bridge, but near the end of it, go over to your left, and cross into the field through a small gap in the wall. (seen here) From now on your way back is accompanied by the delightful River Ribble on your left. You have scenery, wildlife, and tranquility. | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | There are several picturesque stiles and crossings along the way. | Pure Yorkshire Luxury...a choice of two types of stile, both at the same wall. | Continue walking along this trail, keeping the river always on your left. | You will arrive at the weir, and I must warn you that if the stones here are wet, it may be treacherous and slippy. The smooth rocks are on a slope, and it can be difficult to walk across them. Turn left and cross this bridge. | Once over the bridge turn left and if you have time, keep an eye out for leaping salmon and trout by the fish ladder, pictured here; mid right. Go up the lane to the main road. | Cross over the road, and then a footbridge. Enter Pike Lane on your left, just past the rail bridge.. After 50 yards, turn right through a gate and walk uphill to a small gate. Turn right into the lane you started on and return to Langcliffe. | 2012 - 3 amigos - langcliffe | 9 thu 19 january

10: We were really lucky with the weather and despite the threat of rain we enjoyed quite a lot of sunshine, which is unusual for us. The walk was about 4 miles long and took us nearly 3 hours to complete although we did struggle at first to find its start (confused looks right when there was a hint on the post). There were many interesting things to see en route and the only negative was that on the 2nd half of the walk, walking by the river the ground became very muddy and slippy. If it had been raining it would have been treacherous especially on the stones that we had to cross to get by the weir. The Hoffman Kiln was a complete surprise and that must have been really impressive when it was up and running. | 2012 - 3 amigos - langcliffe | thu 19 January 10

11: There were a few tricky crossings and we had to be careful. At one point Tim did come a cropper, hence the mud stains - bit gutted to miss a photo opportunity. | 2012 - 3 amigos - langcliffe | 11 thu 19 january

12: Never having heard of a Hoffman Kiln we were amazed at the scale of it and how well preserved it was (top right is what they looked like when operational). The Hoffmann kiln is a series of batch process kilns and are the most common kiln used in the production of bricks and some other ceramic products. Patented by German Friedrich Hoffmann for brickmaking in 1858, it was later used for lime-burning, It consists of a main fire passage surrounded on each side by several small rooms. Each room contains a pallet of bricks. In the main fire passage there is a fire wagon, that holds a fire that burns continuously. Each room is fired for a specific time, until the bricks are vitrified properly, and thereafter the fire wagon is rolled to the next room to be fired. Each room is connected to the next room by a passageway carrying hot gases from the fire. In this way, the hottest gases are directed into the room that is currently being fired. As the gases pass through the kiln circuit, they gradually cool as they transfer heat to the brick as it is preheated and dried. In a classic Hoffmann kiln, the fire may burn continuously for years, even decades. | 2012 - 3 amigos - langcliffe | thu 19 January 12

13: Passing by the kiln was the Settle to Carlisle railway line. The Settle–Carlisle Line is a 72-mile long main railway line. It is a part of the National Rail network and was constructed in the 1870s. The line runs through remote regions of the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines, and is considered to be the most scenic railway in England. | 13 thu 19 january | 2012 - 3 amigos - langcliffe

14: thu 19 January 14 | 2012 - 3 amigos - langcliffe

15: 15 thu 19 january | 2012 - 3 amigos - langcliffe

16: Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of African, Amerindian, European, East Indian, and Chinese cuisine. These traditions were brought from the many homelands of this region's population. In addition, the population has created styles that are unique to the region. Traditional dishes are so important to regional culture that, for example, the local version of Caribbean goat stew has been chosen as the official national dish of Montserrat and is also one of the signature dishes of St. Kitts and Nevis. Another popular dish in the Anglophone Caribbean is called "Cook-up", or Pelau. Callaloo is a dish containing leafy vegetables and sometimes okra amongst others, widely distributed in the Caribbean, with a distinctively mixed African and indigenous character. Ingredients which are common in most islands' dishes are rice, plantains, beans, cassava, cilantro, bell peppers, chick peas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, coconut, and any of various meats that are locally available (beef, poultry, pork or fish). The variety of desserts dishes in the area also reflects the mixed origins of the recipes. In some areas Black Cake, a derivative of English Christmas pudding may be served, especially on special occasions. In the Cayman Islands, Rum Cake made from locally distilled rum is popular with tourists and locals alike. | It was back to school for the 3 Amigos (although we had a temporary 4th as Russell joined us) this time to learn about the cuisine of the Caribbean again under the watchful guidance of Laura. The course was OK and well attended throughout. We made some tasty dishes but at times it did feel we were just following a recipe rather than learning new techniques. | mon 23 January..... 16 | 2012 - 3 amigos - preston college - caribbean cooking course

17: Curry Chicken (carrots, chicken breast, potatoes, chopped onion, spring onion (escallion), thyme, salt to taste, curry powder, cooking oil, plain flour, black pepper, sweet peppers, chicken seasoning, butter, water, lime | Mutton Curry (Goat meat (lamb neck fillet), curry powder, diced onions, spring onions, salt, pepper, hot chillies (scotch bonnet), grated ginger, minced garlic, thyme, butter, diced carrots, diced potatoes | Jamaican Jerk seasoning and Jerk Chicken Chicken Jerk (chicken, thyme, cinnamon, coriander, peppercorn, nutmeg, allspice, garlic, chillies, ginger, lime zest/juice, olive oil) | Fried and roasted chicken bits (chicken wings/thighs, onion, green pepper, red pepper, plantain, chicken seasoning, chicken fry mix, lime, egg | Festivals (Fried Dumplings) (self raising flour, cornmeal, water, salt, sugar) | Pea Soup (1/2 lb pigs tail (or bacon)), 1lb of stewing beef, kidney beans, water, potatoes, coconut milk (optional), onions, 1 whole hot pepper, spring onion (escallion), black pepper and salt | Beef (and chicken) Patties (scallion, thyme, breadcrumbs, pepper/chilli powder, garlic, water, salt, pepper, paprika, sugar) | Mango turnovers | Pastry (flour, water, butter, shortening, salt, baking powder, curry powder, turmeric) | Chicken tarts | 2012 - 3 amigos - preston college - caribbean cooking course | 17 mon 23 january.....

18: The Wind in the Willows is a classic of children's literature by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternately slow moving and fast paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters in a pastoral version of England. The novel is notable for its mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality, and camaraderie and celebrated for its evocation of the nature of the Thames valley. In 1908 Grahame retired from his position as secretary of the Bank of England. He moved back to Cookham, Berkshire, where he had been brought up and spent his time by the River Thames doing much as the animal characters in his book do—namely, as one of the most famous phrases from the book says, "simply messing about in boats"—and wrote down the bed-time stories he had been telling his son Alistair. The Wind in the Willows was in its thirty-first printing when then-famous playwright, A. A. Milne, who loved it, adapted a part of it for stage as Toad of Toad Hall in 1929. | Ratty (actually a water vole) is cultured, relaxed and friendly, with literary pretentions and a life of leisure. Ratty loves the river and takes Mole under his wing. He is implied to be occasionally mischievous and can be stubborn when it comes to doing things outside of his riverside lifestyle. | 2012 - ansdell primary school - assembly - the wind in the willows | thu 2 february 18

19: Phoebe was Ratty in Year 5's assembly production of Wind in the Willows | Phoebe had one of the main parts, She had 4 lines including "Oh no, his coat and shoes have gone, silly mole doesn't know the dangers in the Wild Wood and dear old badger will be displeased at being disturbed, if indeed he manages to find his home" | 2012 - ansdell primary school - assembly - the wind in the willows | 19 thu 2 february

20: x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x | As far as I can remember this is the first Blackpool away match I've been to (on my birthday too). It was a good day (once Mark and I had found the ground which wasn't on my SatNav because it had only been completed in 2006) - we arrived about 5, had something to eat and met up with Jack in time for the start of the match. There was a good atmosphere created by the 750 or so Blackpool fans as we watched a relatively comfortable win which made a very nice birthday present. | tue 14 february 20 | 2012 - doncaster rovers 1-3 blackpool

21: Gary Taylor-Fletcher scored twice as Blackpool showcased their promotion credentials with a comfortable victory at struggling Doncaster. The visitors went ahead when Taylor-Fletcher took Neil Eardley's long-range pass to slot past David Button. After Taylor-Fletcher side-footed into the bottom corner, Doncaster pulled one back when Ian Evatt fouled El-Hadji Diouf, who chipped home the penalty. Rovers improved after the break but Nouha Dicko tapped in to seal victory. Ian Holloway's side are now unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions. Rovers made a promising start and James Hayter had a fine chance when a poor back header fell nicely for the ex-Bournemouth striker, but he shot straight at Matt Gilks. Blackpool started to get into their stride and Dicko was denied by Button before Eardley picked out Taylor-Fletcher, who tucked home. Holloway's side were dictating the play with some slick passing and movement, and it came as no surprise when they doubled their lead. Taylor-Fletcher showed some neat close control, ghosting into the penalty area to side-foot past Button. The visitors were cruising, but Rovers were thrown a lifeline four minutes before half-time when Evatt upended Diouf and the Senegalese forward dinked the ball past Gilks from the spot. Rovers could have been level, but Hayter blazed over and it took a fine save from Gilks to keep out a volley from Martin Woods. But Blackpool carried a far greater threat going forward, restoring their two-goal advantage when Button could only palm Alex Baptiste's shot from an angle into the path of Dicko. The French teenager was left with a simple finish from close range. The home supporters voiced their disapproval at the final whistle. Blackpool manager Ian Holloway: "We've got a long run to go. It's going to be a hell of a gallop, isn't it? There isn't a bad team in this division and Donny certainly aren't a bad team. "I was pleased with parts, but I'm very displeased with a certain part of it after we went 2-0 up and that's what we've got to learn. You can't take your foot off the gas. I thought we stopped closing people down. We stopped pressing. "The fourth goal in the game was absolutely vital. It needed my goalie to make as good a save as Gordon Banks made. If that would have gone in, it would have been a totally different scoreline. If they'd got it back to 2-2 I would not have fancied our chances." | 21 tue 14 february | 2012 - doncaster rovers 1-3 blackpool

22: The Trafford Centre is a large indoor shopping centre and leisure complex situated in the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford in Greater Manchester, close to the Trafford Park industrial estate and approximately 5 miles from Manchester city centre. It is the highest valued shopping centre in the United Kingdom at 1.65 billion and is the largest shopping centre in the United Kingdom by overall size (including leisure and dining space) and the second largest shopping centre in the UK by retail size. Ten percent of the UK population live within a 45-minute drive of the shopping centre, which attracts more than 35 million visits annually. It has Europe's largest food court in The Orient and the UK's busiest cinema, attracting over 28,500 visitors each week. There are over 10,000 car parking spaces with plans to build a new Metrolink spur and a ferry system from the Manchester Ship Canal to the Centre. Twelve years after the Trafford Centre was first conceptualised by developers the Peel Group, the shopping centre opened in September 1998. Construction took 27 months and cost approximately 600 million pounds and employs 8,000 people. The Trafford Centre's interior and exterior architecture is Rococo/late Baroque in design, with elements of Art Deco and Egyptian Revival, and decorated primarily in shades of white, pink and gold with ivory, jade and caramel coloured marble throughout. Three domed atria are located along the length of the mall, with Peel claiming the middle dome is bigger than the dome at St Paul's Cathedral, and cost 5 million pounds to construct alone. | It was off to the Trafford Centre at half term to look primarily for items and clothing for Ian and Michelle's upcoming wedding. It's not my favourite place in the world but it wasn't a bad day out and Phoebe and Grandma kept each other entertained. | 2012 - the trafford centre | fri 17 february 22

23: 23 fri 17 february | 2012 - the trafford centre

24: I went with Mark and his nephew, Ben, by coach to watch Blackpool play Everton in the last 16 of the FA Cup with the chance to get through to the Quarter Finals for the first time since 1959. Goodison Park is situated on one side of Stanley Park with Anfield on the other side. It was boiling on the coach but cool, and bright, in the stadium. It was a tricky one for Blackpool because their main aim for the season was promotion and although a good cup run would be great they have a massive game at home against West Ham on the following Tuesday. As a result Holloway made seven changes for the match. Despite this, we and the other 6000 Blackpool fans that had travelled were optimistic (mistakenly as it turned out) about our chances. | 24 | sat 18 february 24 | 2012 - everton 2 - 0 blackpool

25: We had a good view from the lower tier and were close to the action. Unfortunately, Everton started a little too well for us by scoring in the first minute and making it 2 in the first 6 minutes. Despite a missed penalty in the dying seconds and a shot that hit the bar, Blackpool never really looked like getting back into it and Everton were deserved winners. | 25 | 25 sat 18 february | 2012 - everton 2 - 0 blackpool

26: We won the Fairhaven quiz and after re-investing our winnings behind the bar and having one drink too many we thought applying for Eggheads was a good idea and amazingly we didn't dismiss it even after we'd sobered up. I put the application in and it must have impressed them so much (especially our name) that I received a call from the organisers within 2 hours asking if we could come to an audition the following weekend. Unfortunately we couldn't make it but we were assured they would contact us again. Anyway, when I least expected it we got the call again and we turned up for our audition on 12 Apr........... | 2012 - challenger's challengers are born | mon 20 february 26

27: Jeremy | CJ | PAT | KEVIN | BARRY | CHRIS | JUDITH | DAPHNE | 27 mon 20 february | 2012 - challenger's challengers are born

28: Bolton-by-Bowland is a pretty working village that nestles in the hills and dales of the Ribble Valley, some 5 miles north-east of Clitheroe and 14 miles west of Skipton. Arguably the most attractive village in the Ribble Valley, Bolton-by-Bowland was first recorded in the Domesday Book in 1087 as ‘Bodeton’, a derivative of bothl-tun which is Old English meaning an enclosure with dwellings; in other words a hamlet. | The village’s next claim to fame arose in 1464 when Henry VI sought shelter with Ralph Pudsey at Bolton Hall after his defeat by the Yorkists at the battle of Hexham during the ‘War of the Roses’. A somewhat strange haven, for Henry was a Lancastrian and in 1464 Bolton-by-Bowland was in the Craven District of Yorkshire! There is documentary evidence of a Church in the village in 1190, but the existing Church owes much to the generosity of the local landowners and residents of Bolton Hall, the Pudsays, who during the 13th, 14th, 15th and early 16th centuries supervised and paid for the improvements and extensions to the fabric of the building. It is uncertain where the Pudsays originated for the first time the name appears was when Simon de Pudsay married Katherine, daughter of Richard de Bolton, in 1312, and the Pudsay name remained in the village until the death of Bridget Pudsay at Bolton Hall in 1770. In the Church is the tomb of the 15th century landowner, Sir Ralph Pudsey, his three wives and twenty-five children! A short walk from the village is Rainsber Scar, which is a beautiful spot but known locally as Pudsays Leap, where William Pudsay is said to have made the leap on horse back when being chased by the Customs for illegally minting his own coins. (According to legend his godmother, Queen Elizabeth I pardoned him). There are two village greens, one of which houses the remains of the 13th century market cross and stocks, and is bordered by the beautifully maintained memorial garden. The war memorial clearly demonstrated the impact of the First World War for there are 26 names of men from the village who fought and died, including two sets of brothers and two cousins. The village boasts a thriving Cricket Club, an oft-used Village Hall, a Public House, Gift Shop, and Shop and Tea Rooms where village residents have enjoyed many a televised sporting event!! During the summer months Bolton-by-Bowland is visited by tourists and relatively local people just wishing to enjoy a day out and perhaps a walk in beautiful surroundings. The village is on the Tosside Beck, near its confluence with the River Ribble. The Beck has for many centuries marked the boundary between Bowland and Craven. Nearby is the village of Sawley with its ruins of an abbey (see right) that dates back to the 12th century, | 2012 - 3 amigos - bolton-by-bowland | thu 1 march 28

29: Another really enjoyable and peaceful day out and for a change the weather was kind to us. Not as strenuous as some of our previous walks we strolled over the fields catching sight of lots of sheep, deer, Pendle hill, the Ribble and a sulpher spring that we were directed to by 1 of the villagers whose family had lived there for over 100 years and had a rare dovecote built in over their porch. We finished off in the tea room where we told over 300 scones are sold in a week - I had one and can see why. | 2012 - 3 amigos - bolton-by-bowland | 29 thu 1 march

30: 30 | 2012 - 3 amigos - bolton-by-bowland | thu 1 march 30

31: 2012 - 3 amigos - bolton-by-bowland | 31 thu 1 march

32: 32 | 2012 - derby county 2 - 1 blackpool | tue 6 march 32

33: Mark and I went on our travels again, this time to Pride Park, Derby for a game that Blackpool really needed to win to keep their promotion aspirations going. Blackpool couldn't have got off to a better start when they (Ince) scored in the 1st 2 minutes. Unfortunately that was the highlight of the game for us, Blackpool didn't play the fluent game I like to watch and there were too many outbreaks of head tennis. In the 2nd half Pool gave away 2 needless free kicks that Derby converted. | Despite the result it was still a good day out. We arrived around 5, parked at the station, had something to eat at the local Harvester and arrived at the ground about 7. The stadium was well designed and clean and one of the best I've been to. It has a capacity of around 30,000 and over 26,000 were there on the night. The 1000 or so Blackpool fans were in good voice throughout. We came home via the scenic route (not deliberately plus it was dark) and got home at quarter to 1. | 33 tue 6 march | 2012 - derby county 2 - 1 blackpool

34: Very unusually for us we ate out 3 nights on the trot starting at Salters Wharf on the Friday with Derek, Gill, Will and Dan followed by the children coming back to play Skylanders. Then on the Saturday we went to Diane's and Jock's with Carol and Brian and had a very nice Irish Stew followed by a collection of sweets including an unusual but very tasty chocolate and potato sponge cake. To cap it all, on the Sunday we went to The Queensway for Mother's Day. | 34 | The Skylanders are legendary heroes and champions in the world of Skylands, as well as the only playable characters in Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, and one of the main playable characters in Skylanders: Giants. Their ancient mission is to protect Skylands, and its magical Core of Light, a great machine that repelled The Darkness, the ultimate force behind all evil. Using their magical powers and machinery, the Skylanders defended their world for generations, keeping peace and balance, until Kaos arrived and banished them to Earth. The most powerful of all Skylanders are the Elder Elementals. | 2012 - skylanders | fri 16 march 34

35: We went to The Queensway and on a clear night saw Jupiter (the same Jupiter that the previous year we thought we would only see once in our lifetime) and Venus, looking close together on a clear night. Not the clearest picture I've ever taken and Jupiter seems to have disappeared so to the right is a slightly clearer one. | 2012 - mothers bay at the queensway | 35 sun 18 march

36: Phoebe's 1st trip away was for 2 nights to Winmarleigh Hall near Garstang. We waved them off at 11 hoping that she'd have a really good time. It was never going to be easy for us to see her go but we (especially Carol) put on a brave face and her teacher, Mrs Welch, agreed to send us updates which was reassuring. | 2012 - ansdell primary school - trip to winmarleigh hall | wed 21 march 36

37: 37 wed 21 march | 2012 - ansdell primary school - trip to winmarleigh hall

38: For our next venture to a race meeting we chose Haydock Park. I was really impressed with the set up which was grander than Carlisle but on the downside it was less intimate so we were further away from the action. Tony McCoy was there again but didn't feature. I didn't have the best of days and only managed 1 winner and 1 place. Mike did slightly better but the betting was very close and it was difficult to spot the favourite and adopt a winning strategy. However, apart from 1 horse, Star in Flight, we would have come up on the 6 horse place accumulator. | Haydock Park Racecourse is a racecourse in Haydock, Merseyside, England. The track is a mostly flat left-handed oval of around 1 mile 5 furlongs with a slight rise on the run-in. There are courses for flat racing and National Hunt racing. | 2012 - 3 amigos - haydock park | wed 21 march 38

39: 2012 - 3 amigos - haydock park - The Course | 39 wed 21 march

40: 2012 - 3 amigos - haydock park - the parade ring | wed 21 march 40

41: 2012 - 3 amigos - haydock park - The racing | 41 wed 21 march

42: I think the only way to describe Tim's look is splendid as he really looks the part. | I'm working on Carol to let me buy a flat cap but so far without success. | 2012 - 3 amigos - haydock park - the punters | wed 21 march 42

43: 2012 - 3 amigos - haydock park - The bets | 43 wed 21 march

44: 2012 - ansdell primary school - trip to winmarleigh hall | thu 22 march 44

45: The children arrived back looking shattered. We were sent reassuring texts but that didn't tell us the real story which was that Phoebe had hurt her arm on the first night. | 2012 - ansdell primary school - trip to winmarleigh hall | 45 thu 23 march

46: 46 | Spring is here - the weather for the weekend and into next week is superb, temperature in the seventies and little wind. Mr Redcliffe was hosting a quiz at St Paul's so we had a pleasant stroll down for the quiz and hotpot and apple crumble. We didn't win. | 2012 - quiz night at St Pauls | sat 24 march 46

47: 2012 - fairhaven lake | 47 sun 25 march

48: We welcomed Adrian along for our next trip and he brought some fabulous weather. We went to one of the wildest, bleakest places in the UK and enjoyed a gloriously hot sunny day. | We had a leisurely 5 mile walk on a mainly flat, and remarkably for us, dry track that meandered through farmland and circled the very impressive viaduct. | The viaduct is the largest 1 of 18 that supports the 72 miles of the Carlisle to Settle railway. | 2012 - 4 amigos - ribblehead viaduct | tue 27 march 48

49: Tue 27 March | 2012 - 4 amigos - ribblehead viaduct | 49 tue 27 march

50: Ribblehead Viaduct is a railway viaduct across the valley of the River Ribble at Ribblehead, in North Yorkshire, northern England. It has 24 arches and is 104 ft high and 440 yards long. The viaduct is a Grade II listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It was designed by the engineer John Sydney Crossley. The first stone was laid on 12 October 1870 and the last in 1874. One thousand Navvies building the viaduct established shanty towns on the moors for themselves and their families. They named the towns after victories of the Crimean War, sarcastically for posh districts of London, and Biblical names. There were smallpox epidemics and deaths from industrial accidents; meaning that the church graveyard at Chapel-le-Dale had to be extended. One hundred navvies were killed during the construction of the viaduct. | 50 | 2012 - 4 amigos - ribblehead viaduct - some facts | tue 27 march 50

51: In 1964, several brand new cars being carried on a freight train that was crossing the viaduct were blown off the wagons they were being carried upon and landed on the ground by the viaduct. It is the longest and most famous viaduct on the Settle-Carlisle Railway, a railway line passing through some spectacular British scenery. Ribblehead railway station is located less than half a mile to the south of the viaduct. Just to the north of it is the Blea Moor Tunnel, at 2629 yards, the longest tunnel on the line. It is located near the foot of the mountain of Whernside, which is the highest of the Nort Yorkshire 3 peaks at 2415 ft. The viaduct is curved, and so may be seen by passengers on the train. British Rail attempted to close the line in the 1980s, citing the reason that the viaduct was unsafe and would be expensive to repair. A partial solution was to single the line across the viaduct in 1985, preventing two trains from crossing simultaneously. The closure proposals generated tremendous protest and were eventually retracted. The viaduct, along with the rest of the line, was repaired & maintained and there are no longer any plans to close it. | 2012 - 4 amigos - ribblehead viaduct - some facts | 51 tue 27 march

52: 2012 - 4 amigos - ribblehead viaduct - our walk | tue 27 march 52

53: 53 | 2012 - 4 amigos - ribblehead viaduct - our walk | 53 tue 27 march

54: 55 | 2012 - holly and jack play squash at the dalmeny | sat 31 march 54

55: I went to watch Hol and Jack play Squash at the Dalmeny and was impressed - they have improved quite a bit since I last saw them. | 54 | 2012 - holly and jack play squash at the dalmeny | 55 sat 31 march

56: 2012 - ansdell primary school - year 5 photo | mon 2 april 56

57: 10;30 - Set off for Manchester with Mark, Tony and Jeff 12:00 - Start the audition for Eggheads at The Palace Hotel 12:30 - Make a mistake in answering a question wrong (I'll go for the one I haven't been to instead of realising Skiddaw was in the Lakes) that will probably haunt me for the rest of my life, especially on Thursday nighs 13:20 - Congratulate ourselves on doing a near perfect audition (slight exaggeration but we all thought it went ok, don't call us, we'll call you) 13:40 - Catch the train to Aintree 16:00 - Meet up with Mike, Tim, Adrian, Neil, Steve, Ash and Kenny 19:40 - Catch the train back having had 1 place and 1 short priced winner, Menorah 20:45 - Arrive home 21:30 - Go to the Fairhaven for the Quiz | 57 | 57 thu 12 april | 2012 - a busy day - eggheads audition and aintree

58: Aintree was the grandest course I've been to date and it was buzzing on the 1st of the 3 day Grand National meeting. There was 7 races in all and I had meagre success. It is of course the prelude to The National which was run 2 days later and produced the best finish I've ever seen when Neptune Collonges caught Sunnyhillboy and won by a nose hair - it was even more exciting because Carol at backed it at 33-1 although she wished she'd put more on than 50p ew. My horse, Synchronised, unfortunately didn't survive. The Grand National (also known simply as the National) is a world-famous National Hunt horse race which is held annually at Aintree Racecourse, near Liverpool. It is a handicap steeplechase run over a distance of 4 miles and 4 furlongs, with horses jumping 30 fences over two circuits of Aintree's National Course. The race has been held at Aintree each year since 1839, with the exception of 1916–1918 during the First World War when it was held at Gatwick Racecourse, 1941–1945 during the Second World War when it was called off, and in 1993 when the race was declared void owing to a false start. The steeplechase is the centrepiece of a three-day meeting, one of only four run at Aintree in the racing season. It is the most valuable National Hunt event in Britain, offering a total prize fund of 975,000 in 2012 and is popular amongst many people who do not normally watch or bet on horse racing at other times of the year. The racecourse is triangular in shape and contains sixteen fences, all except The Chair and the Water Jump are jumped twice. The course has a reputation as the ultimate test of horse and jockey, most starters failing to complete the two circuits. Certain fences are famous for their severity, notably Becher's Brook, The Chair, and the Canal Turn. | 2012 - 4 amigos - aintree | thu 12 april 58

59: 59 thu 12 april | 2012 - 4 amigos - aintree

60: The Chair is the most known fence to be in in front of the grandstands. Its height is 5 ft 2in, preceded by a 6 ft wide ditch compared with Bechers which is 5 ft, with the landing side 6in to 10in lower than the takeoff side | 2012 - 4 amigos - aintree | thu 12 april 60

61: 2012 - 4 amigos - aintree | 61 thu 12 april

62: 2012 - 4 amigos - aintree | thu 12 april 62

63: Menorah | 2012 - 4 amigos - aintree | 63 thu 12 april

64: thu 12 april 64 | 2012 - 4 amigos - aintree

65: 65 | For 50 odd years I have been looking into the night sky wondering what the brightest light was - now I know it's Venus I always look for it when the skies are clear. This was taken as I hot-footed back home from Ansdell station before going back out to the quiz. | 65 thu 12 april | 2012 - venus

66: Oh my goodness - we're going to be on telly, we've passed our Eggheads audition - the nerves and the cold feet have started. | Blackpool make it to the play-offs by seeing off Burnley 4-0 at Bloomfield Road. They look a good team again but they'll probably face Birmingham who always beat them - they've no chance, have they? | Newsflash | Roll on the 9th May when both outcomes will be known | sat 21 april 66 | 2012 - newsflash - eggheads update and blackpool make the play-offs

67: 67 sun 22 april | 2012 - st george's day celebrations on lytham green

68: On a bright but chilly day we headed to Lytham Green for the St George's Day event. There wasn't that much to do but we had a relaxing time which ended with us going into Lytham and Phoebe persuaded me to buy her a very strange looking Sesame Street hat. | sun 22 april 68 | 2012 - st george's day celebrations on lytham green

69: 69 sun 22 april | 2012 - st george's day celebrations on lytham green

70: On a chilly night we went to Belle Vue to see the Belle Vue Aces take on Eastbourne Eagles in the Elite Speedway League. We had no idea what to expect and we were greeted by a bit of a dilapidated stadium (well past its sell by date) and a very soggy track that they were desperately trying to get fit for racing - there was added pressure because Sky TV were there and a number of their previous fixtures had already been called off. After a bit of a delay, the first race started, they took the 1st corner, 3 riders came off and the meeting was abandoned. Our tickets remain valid so we'll probably go back later in the year, pity because we were looking forward to it. | mon 23 april 70 | 2012 - 3 amigos - speedway - belle vue aces v eastbourne eagles

71: 71 mon 23 april | 2012 - 3 amigos - speedway - belle vue aces v eastbourne eagles

72: This is one of the most satisfying pictures in the book - Phoebe's iPod was lost for nearly 24 hours and caused a lot of grief | In some ways its almost worth losing something providing it turns up because the feeling of relief and euphoria when Carol found it in Phoebe's suitcase was fantastic. | Footnote - later in the year, Phoebe did indeed lose her iPod on a trip to a farm with Eleanor. She was really upset but we, as very strict parents, compounded her misery by punishing her and forced her to accept an iPhone (Phoebe dreamt of owning an iPhone) as a replacement - it's amazing how quickly her tears dried up. | 2012 - phoebe's ipod goes missing | tue 24 april 72

73: Just north of Ambleside, Elterwater is one of the smaller of the Lakeland lakes and lies in the Great Langdale Valley in full view of the Langdale Pikes. We risked it because the forecast was very poor but we were lucky and it didn't rain and the 5 mile walk we did was relatively dry with little or no mud. However, as you can see, it was chilly and certainly in contrast to our last walk round Ribblehead. Our walk took us out to Loughrigg Tarn, through Skelwith Bridge (which is the town name as well as a bridge) and then back to Elterwater. | 2012 - 3 amigos - elterwater and Loughrigg Tarn | 73 thu 26 april

74: 2012 - 3 amigos - elterwater and loughrigg tarn | thu 26 april 74

75: 75 thu 26 april | 2012 - 3 amigos - elterwater and loughrigg tarn

76: What is the difference between a tarn and a lake? A tarn is a mountain lake that is formed in a valley which is normally called a corrie that has been excavated by a glacier. However, a lake is a large body of water that is surrounded by land. | There were an unusually large number of black lambs around | 2012 - 3 amigos - elterwater and loughrigg tarn - loughrigg tarn | thu 26 april 76

77: 77 thu 26 april | 2012 - 3 amigos - elterwater and loughrigg tarn - skelwith bridge and falls

78: Lakes in the Lakes in area size order: Area (sq km) Length (km) Width (km) Max depth (m) Windermere Ullswater Derwent Water Bassenthwaite Lake Coniston Haweswater Thirlmere Ennerdale Water Wastwater Crummock Water Esthwaite Water Buttermere Loweswater Grasmere Rydal Water Elterwater Brotherswater Blelham Tarn Loughrigg Tarn | 14.8 8.9 5.4 5.3 4.9 3.9 3.3 3.0 2.9 2.5 1.0 0.9 0.6 0.6 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 | 16.8 11.8 4.6 6.2 8.7 6.9 6.0 3.8 4.8 4.0 2.5 2.0 1.8 1.6 1.2 1.0 0.6 0.7 0.4 | 1.6 1.0 1.9 1.1 0.7 0.9 0.8 1.1 0.8 0.9 0.6 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3 | 64.0 63.0 22.0 19.056.1 57.0 46.0 42.0 76.0 43.9 15.5 28.6 16.0 21.5 18.0 7.0 15.0 14.5 10.3 | 2012 - 3 amigos - elterwater and loughrigg tarn | thu 26 april 78

79: 79 | 79 thu 26 april | 2012 - 3 amigos - elterwater and loughrigg tarn - elterwater

80: My first venture into caddying for nearly 40 years when I was asked if I was interested in helping at 8 corporate days Royal Lytham had arranged ahead of the Open there later in the year. The first event was sponsored by HSBC and this is my man, Mike Thomas. I think he must be very wealthy as his company owns 41 childcare places, 1 or 2 of which have a turnover of over a million a year and employs over 1500 people. He's a member at Woburn but hadn't played for over a year - he hit some good shots and had a lot of bad luck as many of his better shots ended up in bunkers. We got on really well and a very enjoyable afternoon on an uncharacteristically warm day - I'll have to see if it's as much fun when the weather's not quite as good. | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - caddying | wed 2 may 80

81: My fellow caddies were Phil Kilgour and Pete Kelly and they showed me the ropes. The real highlight came though when Paul Casey joined us and played the 13th, 14th and 15th with us. | As well as Paul, Tim Henman (fuzzy picture of him below) and Padraig Harrington were also involved and played with the other groups. Going up the 18th with all the stands there was also good fun and something the golfers all really enjoyed. | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - caddying | 81 wed 2 may

82: fri 4 may 82 | 2012 - blackpool 1 - 0 birmingham city

83: Well, here we are again, another chance to go to Wembley via the play-offs. Tim kindly asks me to go and as expected it's a nerve-racking 90 minutes. Blackpool are the better side and score with a deflected Ince shot in the 1st half. Birmingham are no mugs though, in fact Blackpool haven't beaten them in ages, and they nearly snatch an equaliser in the last minute when King hits the post. The return leg will be tough. | 83 fri 4 may | 2012 - blackpool 1 - 0 Birmingham City

84: 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding | sat 5 may 84

85: The big days arrives, after months of planning it's finally here. The weather is kinder than of late so everything is set. | 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding | 85 sat 5 may

86: Mr. and Mrs. Spink leave the church. After the photos it's off to The Grand Hotel although for us it was via McDonalds. | sat 5 may 86 | 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding

87: 87 sat 5 may | 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding

88: 88 | 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding | sat 5 may 88

89: 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding | 89 sat 5 may

90: sat 5 may 90 | 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding

91: 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding | 91 sat 5 may

92: In The Grand it's canapés, a relax and chat before going to eat a superb meal, Carol and I both had the lamb. Meanwhile, before the meal, we lose Phoebe, who goes to Eleanor's to help her get ready for the night do. | 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding | sat 5 may 92

93: 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding | 93 sat 5 may

94: And so to the speeches, Glyn's is from the heart and emotional, Stephen's is very good and funny as he uses a slideshow to focus on Michelle's eye for the camera and her attraction to the colour tangerine, the best man tells everyone what a good catch Ian is and how he and Michelle are a perfect match and the groom's, after a bit of a shaky start, was funny and sincere. | sat 5 may 94 | 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding

95: After the meal Billy did a very impressive bat impression and showed off his watch that he received as a gift from Ian an Michelle and Jessica played some sort of hide and seek game round one of the columns. The cake looked very nice but I haven't found anyone who actually had a piece so it remains a mystery as to where it all went. | 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding | 95 sat 5 may

96: To the sounds of local group Flip the dancing gets underway. They use a violin, guitar and set of bongos to create a pretty good sound although it did get rather loud towards the end of the night. | 96 | 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding | sat 5 may 96

97: And so to the star turn - Ian, and a side of him I suspect not a lot of people had seen before, takes the dance floor by storm | 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding | 97 sat 5 may

98: Here's a few other pictures taken on the day | 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding | sat 5 may 98

99: 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding | 99 sat 5 may

100: The end of a very enjoyable and well organised day - Good Luck Ian and Michelle. On the Sunday, Barbara and Alan came round to watch the big game, Newcastle v City which City won 2-0 before we went to Salters Wharf to cap off a really good weekend. | 2012 - ian and michelle's wedding | sat 5 may 100

101: 2012 - grandma with barbara and alan at salters wharf | 101 sun 6 may

102: Our Great Big Eggheads Adventure | Days don't come much bigger than this - Our Team of Challenger's Challengers head off to Glasgow to compete on television against the Eggheads and Blackpool face Birmingham in the 2nd leg of the playoff semi final. The day went something like: | 4 of us, me, Jeff, Tony and Frank meet at Ansdell Station Nick joins us at Kirkham Mark joins us on Preston Station, everyone seems calm except Mark We catch the train to Glasgow and settle down, we try some last minute revising but it's a bit late to learn everything about everything and the conversation soon turns to other topics. We spread out to do our own thing and attract the odd quizzical glance from fellow passengers as we converse amongst ourselves. Everyone seems relaxed, except Mark | 11:45 12:00 12:35 12:54 | wed 9 may 102 | 2012 - our great big eggheads adventure

103: 15:20 | As we approach Glasgow we cross over a river which is probably the Clyde but could it be the Kelvin - normally I wouldn't care but might we be asked this question? | 15:25 15:30 | We arrive at Glasgow Central Station, bang on time First decision to make, we're not wanted at the Studio for another hour so do we look round the Centre to find a suitable place to eat later or do we head straight there. We decide to head to the Studio after taking a few photos. Abigail has written us a Good Luck card which has best wishes from the girls, families and the pets. | After eventually finding a taxi that would transport the 6 of us we arrive at the very impressive BBC Studios at Pacific Quay which overlooks the River Clyde | 15:55 | 103 | 103 wed 9 may | 2012 - our great big eggheads adventure

104: It's a lovely day and we spend some time taking in the air and views and practicing our intros which refer to us all being Tony's love children (mind you he has got 10 children so you never know) | 16:00 | We go in and ask the receptionist to take a group picture of the team. Certain members of the team would have liked to have taken a picture of the receptionist. | 16:25 | 2012 - our great big eggheads adventure | wed 9 may 104

105: 17:00 | Marie, our Eggheads contact, takes us to the Green Room where we place the 3 outfits we have brought (1 is chosen by the Production Team) to wear and she and Kenny (who we met at our audition) brief us on what happens next. By this time no-one appears nervous, except Mark. | 17:20 | We're taken to make-up where we are touched up, altogether quite a pleasant experience. The experience keeps Mark the quietest he is throughout the trip, all of 3 minutes. For some reason they take longer on Tony than anyone else. | 2012 - our great big eggheads adventure | 105 wed 9 may

106: 18:00 | It's back to the Green Room, past the impressive central staircase, where Marie and Kevin give us our final instructions, explain the rules and video us agreeing to the Terms and Conditions. | 18:30 | Next its off to the Changing Room where we don our stage gear, to another little room where we are given our name tags (these are re-cycled so cannot be kept), and then we are taken to the set. By this time we're all a little excited except Mark who is very excited. A special mention for Frank (affectionately known as Don Franco), our 6th man and coach who is doing a superb job in building up our confidence and keeping our spirits high. He was also a natural stand-in for Jeremy. | wed 9 may 106 | 2012 - our great big eggheads adventure

107: 18:45 | We provide our introductions before the Eggheads arrive, Tony and Nick 1 take, me and Jeff 2 takes and Mark 4 takes. | 107 wed 9 may | 2012 - our great big eggheads adventure

108: 18:50 | The game commences. At this stage I am contracted not to reveal the content or outcome, turn to Dec ?? for the details but what I will reveal is that I got to play my idol and the best Egghead, Kevin, in possibly, apart from Food & Drink, my worst subject, Politics. | My credentials for taking on Kevin are as follows: - Someone who sometimes gets a few questions right in the weekly Fairhaven quiz Kevin's credentials, which is why he is understandably apprehensive about facing me are, in no particular order: - Four times World Quiz Champion and twice Runner Up - Winner of Series 3 of Fifteen to 1 and the special 'Millennium Edition' featuring all the past Champions - Holder of the Mastermind show record of 41 points with no passes in his heat before winning the overall title - Winner of Brain of Britain when in the semi final he scored 38 points which remains the highest score ever recorded on the show - Winner of Brain of Brains (contested between the previous three years' Brains of Britain and Top Brain (contested every nine years between the previous Brain of Brains - Twice winner of Master Brain, a radio competition for winners and runners-up of Mastermind and Brain of Britain - Seven times British Quiz Champion - Winner of Sale of the Century, Screen Test, Quiz Night, Trivial Pursuit and The Great British Quiz - Currently ranked World/European number 1, he has 16 Gold, 10 Silver and 2 Bronze medals from the British, European and World Championships | In summary he is widely regarded as the best quiz player in Britain, if not the world. | wed 9 may 108 | 2012 - our great big eggheads adventure

109: 20:15 | The game takes a surprisingly long time to record but the time flies and soon it is over and The Eggheads and Jeremy come over to commiserate/congratulate us (all will be revealed) and pose for a few snaps - they do seem a genuinely friendly bunch and have time for us which is pretty good seeing as the they started recording the shows (5 per day) at 7am and must be pretty tired. All I can say at this stage is that none of our team disgraced or embarrassed themselves and we all had a great time. | 2012 - our great big eggheads adventure | 109 wed 9 may

110: 20:30 | It's all over, just a final bit of admin work to sort out with Laura and then it's in a taxi to our hotel, The Hilton Garden Inn which is just the other side of The Clyde. After dropping off the cases, it's into another cab as we head to Ashton Lane in Glasgow which is the in place to get watered and fed. For some of the team this is a chance to relax and focus on the menu choices. For others in the team, namely me and Mark, this is the beginning of a very stressful part of the day as Blackpool go 3 up on aggregate with goals from Dobbie and Matt Phillips but are then pegged back to 3-2 and have to endure a frantic last 20 minutes as Birmingham throw everything at them. But Blackpool hold on and unbelievably are Wembley bound again. | 2012 - our great big eggheads adventure | wed 9 may 110

111: 21:30 | Finally we can relax and have a few beers plus some excellent food (courtesy of Eggheads). | 111 wed 9 may | 2012 - our great big eggheads adventure

112: 23:30 | Time to head back to the hotel for a nightcap before Frank and I said our farewells to the rest - they were going back on the early train whereas Frank and I were going back slightly later so we could look forward to a Full English (or is it Scottish) breakfast. By this time Mark had nearly calmed down. | 2012 - our great big eggheads adventure | wed 9 may 112

113: 08:30 | We wake to a really wet, grey day but with super views over the Clyde to the Television Studios where Prince Charles and Camilla visited later in the day. I spent most of the time on the train sleeping because I was shattered from our efforts but it was unanimous that we'd had a great experience and a brilliant time. | 2012 - our great big eggheads adventure | 113 thu 10 may

114: No I haven't won the Open and this is not the original, which permanently resides in the R & A but 1 of 4 replicas that are used throughout the world for corporate events such as these. Today's job was to look after the bag of one of the main men at Rolex, their International Head of Sponsorship, Jean-Noel Bioul who can often be seen on TV presenting their top prizes. Also in our group was the Chief Executive of the R & A, Peter Dawson who was a very useful 3 handicap. Also in attendance was a very sprightly Tom Watson who saw everyone off the first and then played the 12th with all the groups. The showers stayed away but a cool, stiffish northerly wind made conditions very tough. | tue 15 may 114 | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - caddying

115: The so called good golfers both hit bunkers with Mr Watson taking 2 to get out. My man meanwhile, who plays off 8, hit his best shot of the day with a 3 wood to about 4 feet. As he left the green I heard him cursing that if he'd stuck to his instincts rather than listen to Tom he would have holed the putt for a 2. | 115 tue 15 may | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - caddying

116: Today I was definitely over-dressed, the forecast was for cold weather with the possibility of rain but it turned out nice and I was sweating cobs. My man (in the middle above), Martin Griffiths, had a heavy bag which was made even heavier as he took more and more clothing off. He was another high flier, in 2004 he was named young Sottish Finance Director of the year and he is currently the Financial Director of Stagecoach. There was the by now expected assembly of stars with Ian Woosnam, the elusive Tim Henman and Gavin Hastings joining Tom Watson who was making his 3rd appearance - Gavin Hastings, a 5 handicapper, played the first 6 holes with us. My man, though was the star, he was a 16 handicapper who didn't do a lot in the first 8 holes but then he chipped in for a 2 on 9 (in front of Woosie), birdied 10, parred 12 and 15, birdied 17 and parred 18 to come back in 1 over if you forget the 16th where he lost a ball off the tee. | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - caddying | thu 17 may 116

117: 2012 - golf - royal lytham - caddying | 117 thu 17 may

118: In 2007, it was imperative we won against Yeovil In 2010, it was a dream to win against Cardiff and gain promotion to the Premiership In 2012, it's a bonus - nobody expects us to bounce back after relegation and nobody expects us to have a chance against a West Ham team that have beaten us 4-0 and 4-1 this season. | sat 19 may 118 | 2012 - championship play-off final at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united

119: It was an early start, 7:30 from Warton Street on a very smart double decker coach organised by Dave and Cath Powell again. On the way down they'd arranged a raffle, a quiz and a what time will the first goal scored competition. It was a good journey down and after a stop out the M6 Toll Services we arrived at Wembley just before 1 on a day, although nowhere near as hot as 2010 was mild and dry. Amongst the 82 travelling on our bus were Stuart and Sharon, Phil, Natalie and Simon, Gill and Sam, Lisa and Patrick, Ian Singleton, Janet (Ian's sister) and her pal Irene. | 119 | 2012 - championship play-off final at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united | 119 sat 19 may

120: 2012 - championship play-off final at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united | sat 19 may 120

121: 2012 - championship play-off at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united | 121 sat 19 may

122: For some reason, on my previous visits I hadn't sought out Wembley Way so I did this time. There was the usual colourful collection of Blackpool supporters outside and inside the ground and everyone seemed in good spirits and quietly optimistic. | 2012 - championship play-off final at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united | sat 19 may 122

123: 2012 - championship play-off at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united | 123 sat 19 may

124: Credit to Ian and Michelle who arrived back in the country at 5am after the honeymoon, took a taxi from Manchester to Crewe to Ian's brother's house and then took a train down to Wembley. | 2012 - championship play-off final at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united | sat 19 may 124

125: Sat 19 May | This was our view from the lower tier and pretty good it was too. I had a wander down to pitch side to see what it was like and the pitch looked in excellent condition. However, while I was down there I saw Ken Garrett who told me Gary Taylor-Fletcher was out because of an injury he'd picked up in training - I thought this could be a big blow because when he plays Blackpool usually win and when he's out the forwards don't seem to gel as well. | 2012 - championship play-off at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united | 125 sat 19 may

126: The ground starts to fill up and I find out something, The Hammers are also known as The Irons. Blackpool haven't sold as many tickets this time and there are quite a few gaps, Wembley in their wisdom decide to let West Ham fans have the spare seats which leads to some ugly scuffles which the rather inept stewards and absent police fail to deal with. Meeting up with Stuart and Sharon later, who weren't sat with us, they tell us they had to move away from the trouble. | 2012 - championship play-off final at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united | sat 19 may 126

127: Come on The Pool | 2012 - championship play-off at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united | 127 sat 19 may

128: 2012 - championship play-off final at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united | sat 19 may 128

129: 2012 - championship play-off at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united | 129 sat 19 may

130: sat 19 may 130 | 2012 - championship play-off final at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united

131: The kid to the right, and left for that matter, was a bit annoying as he refused to sit down but despite him and the West Ham fan invasion it was a fantastic atmosphere throughout. | 131 sat 19 may | 2012 - championship play-off at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united

132: It's a fantastic experience as the teams are led out (one I don't think I'll ever tire of), and the noise is deafening. | 2012 - championship play-off final at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united | sat 19 may 132

133: The game was a very good advert for football - despite what was at stake, both teams played very fairly, were keen to attack and created a lot of chances but unfortunately West Ham scored 1 more than us. | They went ahead after 35 minutes a bit against the run of play when Cole tucked it past Gilks - before that Blackpool had hit the post and Matt Phillips had gone close twice. | Blackpool equalised just after half time when Tom Ince turned in a great ball from Matt Phillips past Robert Green. | After Blackpool scored they looked the more likely team to win it but they didn't have their shooting boots (we did miss GTF) on and West Ham still looked dangerous on the break. With 3 minutes to go a harmless cross into the box wasn't cleared and Vaz Te had a simple tap in - Game Over | Blackpool 1 - 2 West Ham | 2012 - championship play-off at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united | 133 sat 19 may

134: We're not used to this - watching the opposition celebrate, politely applauding our players, first out of the Stadium and on the trip back reflecting on what might/should have been instead of revelling in our win. | 2012 - championship play-off final at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united | sat 19 may 134

135: They played well and could have won - now the question is will they be inspired or not for next season. We listened to Chelsea fluke the Champions League Final in Munich against Bayern on penalties on the way back and got back at 11. | 2012 - championship play-off at wembley - blackpool 1 - 2 west ham united | 135 sat 19 may

136: We picked a superb day for our next outing, this time to Kirkby Lonsdale. The walk was surprisingly strenuous and although only 5 miles in length (although with a few wrong turns it was nearer to 6) took us 4 hours to complete although we didn't actually rush. Kirkby Lonsdale is noted for the Devil's Bridge over the River Lune. | The section of river underneath Devil's Bridge is also popular with scuba divers, because of the relatively easy access and egress, deep rock pools (about 5 metres during a low swell) and good visibility. | Considered by Jervoise (whoever he is) to be “by far the finest bridge in the north of England”, the Devil's Bridge over the River Lune is supposed to have been built by the monks of St. Mary’s Abbey, York, some time around the year 1365. Its three, almost semi-circular arches measure 16.7m, 16.7m and 8.5m in span, and the bridge's height from river to parapet is 13.7m. | 136 | tue 22 may 136 | 2012 - 3 amigos - kirkby lonsdale

137: Tue 22 May | We set off by walking past a very large tree - maybe the next course we go on is a tree identification course as we're pretty hopeless in recognising them - is it an oak?. | We had to negotiate a series of tricky little gates which weren't so bad for me and Mike but for Tim it wasn't so easy because of the size of his ginormous (and heavy) backpack. After a stiffish climb we were treated to some spectacular views that looked even better in the warm sunshine. | 137 | 2012 - 3 amigos - kirkby lonsdale | 137 tue 22 may

138: The next part of our walk was like an adventure course as we went through a tunnel of greenery that lasted for about a mile. | 138 | 2012 - 3 amigos - kirkby lonsdale | tue 22 may 138

139: Finally we emerged to more gates and stiles and green fields although we did have a bit of a scary moment when our path took us through a field which had a Beware of the Bull sign on it and we were close to a farmyard where a Great Dane dog looked like it was eying us up for lunch - the cows didn't give us any trouble. | Time for a spot of lunch - I must really try and dress a little more colourfully next time. | 2012 - 3 amigos - kirkby lonsdale | 139 tue 22 may

140: 2 miles from Kirkby Lonsdale lies the village of Whittington and our walk took us past the church there: Whittington Church stands on an ancient site of a motte and bailey castle. It is believed there has been a church on this site since the year 1200. In the churchyard many old stones can be seen dating back to Norman times. The tower is the oldest part, built in the 15th Century and the height is fifty feet. Fragments of stones in the doorway are reputed to go back to the time of William the Conqueror. Apart from the Tower, the external appearance of the church is Gothic, and this is due to the fact that major restoration took place in 1875. The church has registers dating back to 1538, the year Thomas Cromwell ordered them to be started. They are bound in calf skin and immaculately written in copper plate. | tue 22 may 140 | 2012 - 3 amigos - kirkby lonsdale

141: It's a good job it's been dry recently. Whittington is the setting for The Vale of Lune point to point races that first took place at in 1936 and now happen at Easter each year. The interesting thing from our point of view was that the fences they use are set into the hedgerows bordering the fields and meadows. | Tue 22 May | 2012 - 3 amigos - kirkby lonsdale | 141 tue 22 may

142: We then turned back and walked alongside the River Lune back to Kirkby Lonsdale. The striking thing was how clear the water was - despite seeing 2 men fishing we saw no evidence of fish but with our record of spotting wildlife this was no surprise. | 142 | tue 22 may 142 | 2012 - 3 amigos - kirkby lonsdale

143: 2012 - 3 amigos - kirkby lonsdale | 143 tue 22 may

144: So eventually it's back to where we started and the end of another interesting and enjoyable walk. A few motor bikes are now in the Car Park but this is nothing to weekends in high season when Devil's Bridge is the meeting place for hundreds of bikers. It's not the safest place to get to though and 2 out of the top 3 most dangerous roads in Britain lead to the Bridge as the motorcyclists mix speed with farm traffic, caravans and tourist traffic and often come off worse. | tue 22 may 144 | 2012 - 3 amigos - kirkby lonsdale

145: 2012 - 3 amigos - kirkby lonsdale | 145 tue 22 may

146: Today my man is Tim Gittins (2nd from the right) who is Retail Director of Moto and is in charge of retail distribution in 50 Moto motorway service stations across the UK. He played off 18 and was pretty steady throughout the round with his highlight being 2 perfectly struck shots up 18. | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - caddying | wed 23 may 146

147: Woosie was the pro again and played the 12th with all the groups - he managed a 3 but my man also got a 3 and one of the others in the group, Bert, got a 2. The main Coca Cola guy, Nick, provided the highlight of the day when he holed his 3rd on the 14th to score 5 points as he was playing off 28 and had 2 shots. | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - caddying | 147 wed 23 may

148: 2012 - golf - royal lytham - caddying | thu 24 may 148

149: Today was the hottest day so far and the longest round taking 5 hrs 20 mins so at the end everyone was pretty exhausted and my man, Daniel Coyle (a Merecedes Benz owner from Scotland) was very weary. Not much else to report, the golf was average at best, the pro was Woosie again and there didn't seem to be anyone of real significance in our group. We did end up in the most fearsome bunker on the course though, which is on the 8th. | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - caddying | 149 thu 24 may

150: It's been hot for a few days now and today was the warmest yet although compared with the temperatures Holly's facing in Delhi (46C during the day and 30 at night) it's not that hot. We took advantage of the weather and ventured down to Fairhaven Lake where there was a lovely onshore breeze that made it very comfortable. Phoebe is definitely growing up and growing as well and she doesn't need to stand on her tiptoes to show she's catching up with the Grandmas. | sun 27 may 150 | 2012 - fairhaven Lake

151: 151 sun 27 may | 2012 - fairhaven lake

152: After a shorter than expected wait of around half an hour we went on our customary cruise around Fairhaven Lake leaving the Grandmas to ponder and sort out the world's problems. You'd have thought I had it easy but I didn't because I had to sit strategically because if I moved to one side Phoebe told me off because the boat sunk to one side. | 2012 - fairhaven Lake | sun 27 may 152

153: 2012 - fairhaven lake | 153 sun 27 may

154: This is more like it - after our last visit when it was cold and wet this was a glorious hot evening and we were able to experience a full night of racing even though the competition was over very quickly as Swindon thrashed Belle Vue. We made sure we checked out every vantage point to see the action from different angles. The stadium is well past its best but next year the team are moving to a new one which, who knows, may attract some better riders to a team that has a reputation and record that's as good as anyones in the country. We did try and get in the pit area but you were only allowed in if you had a pass. There were one or two tumbles (the riders not us) but nothing too serious. | 2012 - 3 amigos - speedway - belle vue aces 33 - 60 swindon robins | mon 28 may 154

155: 2012 - 3 amigos - speedway - belle vue aces 33 - 60 swindon robins | 155 mon 28 may

156: A speedway bike has a clutch but no gears, no brakes and no rear suspension A speedway bike accelerates as fast as a Formula 1 racing car reaching 60mph in less than 3 seconds, on the straight the riders reach 70 mph and can corner anything up to 80 mph The bikes run on methanol and at full racing speed a bike will do no more than 5 miles per gallon The bikes race in an counter-clockwise direction around the track, the tracks vary in length and are between 260 to 425 metres long, it takes approximately 1 minute to complete four laps on an average track A standard British speedway league meeting, involves two teams of 7 riders, who race each other over 15 heats - there are four riders in every heat. The Elite League (EL) and Premier League (PL) are the top 2 leagues. At the end of the season the EL team finishing last faces the PL play-off winner over two legs with the aggregate winner taking the EL spot in the following season. Three points are scored for first place, two points for second place and one point for third place and accumulate over the competition. Teams can use a tactical substitute rule once in a meeting. If that team is eight or more points in arrears, they may bring in a different rider in their team lineup, to race in any heat except for heat 15. If they are ten or more points behind, a rider with a scheduled ride may go out for double points, in which the riders points will be doubled. Any rider taking a tactical substitute ride or double points ride is denoted by a black and white helmet colour. If that rider remains unbeaten by either opposition rider his scored points are doubled and also count towards the rider's Calculated Match Average (CMA). Calculated Match Averages (CMA) are issued or assessed periodically by the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA) and are used to determine the riders averages for team building. For both the Elite League and Premier League there is a points limit in place for team building purposes. This points limit is created to prevent teams becoming too powerful, therefore creating a competitive league. All Elite League teams must declare 7 riders before the start of the season and the combined averages of the 7 riders must not exceed 39.9. At the start of a season, a rider retains their last recorded CMA (or assessed CMA if they have never previously established one) until they have competed in six home and six away matches. A new CMA is then issued that comes into effect seven days later. Belle Vue's triple British League triumph from 1970 to 1972 is the only straight title hat-trick in speedway history. Belle Vue riders have won nine world titles (Ivan Mauger 3, Peter Craven 2, Jason Crump 2, Ove Fundin and Peter Collins). | 2012 - 3 amigos - some facts about speedway and the belle vue aces | mon 28 may 156

157: 2012 - 3 amigos - speedway - belle vue aces 33 - 60 swindon robins | 157 mon 28 may

158: 2012 - 3 amigos - some facts about speedway and the belle vue aces | mon 28 may 158

159: 2012 - 3 amigos - speedway - belle vue aces 33 - 60 swindon robins | 159 mon 28 may

160: It's a special class assembly to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee where Years 3 to 6 dress up and do a performance based around one of the decades of the Queen's reign. Phoebe's year are given the 70's | wed 30 may 160 | 2012 - ansdell primary school - queen's diamond jubilee assembly

161: 161 wed 30 may | 2012 - ansdell primary school - queen's diamond jubilee assembly

162: 2012 - ansdell primary school - queen's diamond jubilee assembly | wed 30 may 162

163: Wed 30 May | 163 wed 30 may | 2012 - ansdell primary school - queen's diamond jubilee assembly

164: 164 | fri 1 june 164 | 2012 - center parcs (6) - Day 1

165: It's another trip to Center Parcs and once again we're all looking forward to it. The weather is set fair and we arrive at our lodge (88 Lakeside) about half five. It's off to the Sports Bar for tea (food was OK but prices a bit steep) before having a leisurely evening in the Village Centre. On the way back I spotted a pile (not sure whether that's the right technical term) of ducklings settling down for the night. The highlight of this and any of our previous trips was seeing a badger on the Badger Channel for a couple of minutes - I could not believe it (I was the only 1 to see it as everyone else was in bed). | 165 fri 1 june | 2012 - center parcs (6) - day 1

166: This was always going to be a tough one for me as everyone (quite rightly) wanted to see me lose and I got off to the worst possible start with a maximum 8 on the 1st. After that the lead to'd and fro'd several times with everyone on the whole taking it seriously and having some good holes and some not so good holes. | 2012 - center parcs (6) - Day 2 - mini golf | sat 2 june 166

167: 167 sat 2 june | 2012 - center parcs (6) - day 2 - mini golf

168: The scores never lie although there were some unfair accusations of me cheating (especially from Mrs Holmes) just because I was scoring. | 2012 - center parcs (6) - Day 2 - mini golf | sat 2 june 168

169: 2012 - center parcs (6) - day 2 | 169 sat 2 june

170: The rest of the day was stop off and observe some precariously perched people on the top of a wobbly pole, feed the ducks (who are all called Geoffrey, but this one wasn't the brightest because he kept trying to get back out through the glass), go swimming, eat in The Italian, spend a little while in the arcade, go to The Quiz where we scored 21 out of 30 and then back home for a relax - a good, full day. | 2012 - center parcs (6) - Day 2 | sat 2 june 170

171: 2012 - center parcs (6) - day 2 | 171 sat 2 june

172: Probably our favourite activity of this trip was Laser Combat and it was especially good because Phoebe was now old enough to participate. We were divided into 2 teams and had several games where the idea was to kill each other by shooting at your enemy's helmet sensors - you weren't killed by a single shot but several which you could hear whenever you were hit (the guns were pretty sophisticated and accurate for up to a quarter of a mile. You had to advance so had to make the choice of being a hero or providing the cover - I was a hero 11 times because that's the number of times I was killed. Most of us stayed by trees (in Carol's case this was one tree) but it was a game designed for Nick and he was diving and rolling all over the place. After 3 games it was a draw so we had a shootout and my lasting memory was of 6 people shooting and eventually killing our last remaining survivor, Phoebe (I'm sure our team's guns weren't working properly. | 2012 - center parcs (6) - Day 3 - laser combat | sun 3 june 172

173: 2012 - center parcs (6) - day 3 - laser combat | 173 sun 3 june

174: 2012 - center parcs (6) - Day 3 - laser combat | sun 3 june 174

175: The End Game - this is just after Phoebs was gunned down by the 6 on the the other side | 175 | 2012 - center parcs (6) - day 3 - laser combat | 175 sun 3 june

176: On the way back we stopped to observe some precariously perched people on the top of a wobbly pole - maybe next time for us although with our collective dislike of heights it may not be the wisest thing to do. | 2012 - center parcs (6) - Day 3 | sun 3 june 176

177: What to do on a cold June (but more like November) afternoon - it's obvious, go on an unstable kayak with holes in it so you can gradually get soaked with a 50 50 chance of getting hypothermia and/or falling in - the thing was we all even remembered the state Nick was in after he'd got in one on a previous trip. Phoebs did really well but the cold got to her (and me) after about 20 minutes of our half an hour and we headed back in. Carol made the sensible decision and went shopping instead but had a good laugh at us before she set off. | 2012 - center parcs (6) - day 3 | 177 sun 3 june

178: 2012 - center parcs (6) - Day 3 | sun 3 june 178

179: As soon as we'd got dry it was straight out again to the pool, towel off and then back to the lodge for a shower - we seemed to spend a lot of time being wet We had a takeaway delivered, watched a bit of The Golden Jubilee on telly before heading off to the Lakeside Inn for the Sunday night quiz where we just missed out by a couple of points. We should have won though because just about every question had a jubilee/royal theme so we put Central instead of Jubilee for an underground line that crosses all the other lines and Dr No instead of Casino Royale for the 1st James Bond book. | 2012 - center parcs (6) - day 3 | 179 sun 3 june

180: 2012 - center parcs (6) - Day 3 | sun 3 june 180

181: Bravo Emma with an an impressive show of strength as she effortlessly lifts Nick as we leave the Lakeside Inn after coming so close in the quiz. One last trip to the arcade followed by nightcaps and then its back for nightcaps and supper to conclude another fun trip. | 2012 - center parcs (6) - day 3 | 181 sun 3 june

182: It's the weather we've been waiting for and it's time for us to go home. | 2012 - center parcs (6) - Day 4 | mon 4 june 182

183: 2012 - center parcs (6) - day 4 | 183 mon 4 june

184: 2012 - center parcs (6) - Day 4 | mon 4 june 184

185: As it was a double Bank Holiday we took our time getting back and stopped off at Kendal where Nick did some climbing and we did some eating. | 185 mon 4 june | 2012 - center parcs (6) day 4 - lakeland climbing centre and kendal

186: Holly of India | For Hol's next jaunt she flew out to India to meet Danny who spent 10 weeks out there completing his medical elective. They had a great time travelling round the country and some of the many highlights were staying in a luxury hotel overlooking the Taj Mahal, parascending and spending 4 days trekking in the Himalayas. She flew to and from Delhi and while they were there the average day time temperature was a ridiculous 46 degrees C and at night it only dropped to 30. | 2012 - holly and danny of india | tue 5 june.... 186

187: 2012 - holly and danny of india | 187 tue 5 june....

188: Fast Facts - Built between 1631 and 1653 by Shah Jahan (and 20,000 workers) and dedicated as an Islamic tomb to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal who died giving birth to their 14h child. - The Taj Mahaj is One of the Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site - For the transportation of the construction materials, more than 1,000 elephants were employed. - Depending on what time of the day it is and whether or not there’s a moon at night, Taj Mahal appears to be of different color every time. - Taj Mahal attracts 2-4 million visitors annually with over 200,000 from overseas. | 2012 - holly and danny of india | tue 5 june.... 188

189: 2012 - holly and danny of india | 189 tue 5 june....

190: 187 | 2012 - holly and danny of india | tue 5 june.... 190

191: 2012 - holly and danny of india | 191 tue 5 june....

192: 2012 - holly and danny of india | tue 5 june.... 192

193: 2012 - holly and danny of india | 193 tue 5 june....

194: 2012 - holly and danny of india | tue 5 june.... 194

195: 2012 - holly and danny of india | 195 tue 5 june....

196: Grassington | . | Off to Grassington in North Yorkshire, once again, for our next day out. The weather was coolish to start with but once the sun came out it turned out to be very pleasant. | 2012 - 3 amigos - grassington | thu 14 june 196

197: One of the features was the number of stone walls, arranged in rows that bordered the surrounding fields. | The walk was about 5 miles which is a bit longer than we are used to but it was very varied with lots of contrasting views. We started by walking through the town and then to Grass Wood past a few abandoned stone barns and an interesting looking cave. | 197 thu 14 june | 2012 - 3 amigos - grassington

198: The predominant colour in the wood was, you've guessed it, green. Before we went in we discussed how little wildlife we'd managed to see on our travels and then lo and behold we saw a deer walking alongside us - to be fair Tim spotted it, I would have probably missed it | 2012 - 3 amigos - grassington | thu 14 june 198

199: 2012 - 3 amigos - grassington | 199 thu 14 june

200: We stopped for our lunch at Fort Gregory, an iron age settlement, or so they say, in the middle of the wood before emerging to some breathtaking scenery and the Wharfedale valley and river. | 2012 - 3 amigos - grassington | thu 14 june 200

201: Thu 14 June | 2012 - 3 amigos - grassington | 201 thu 14 june

202: 2012 - 3 amigos - grassington | thu 14 june 202

203: 2012 - 3 amigos - grassington | 203 thu 14 june

204: Ghaistrill's Strid - A Strid is where the broad River Wharfe becomes suddenly narrow and the water rushes with great force. The Strid was formed by the wearing away of softer rock by the circular motion of small stones in hollows, forming a series of potholes which in time linked together to form a deep, water filled chasm. | 2012 - 3 amigos - grassington | thu 14 june 204

205: As we head back to Grassington we can clearly see Grass Wood in the distance. A few bits and pieces about Grassington: - Lying in spectacular Wharfedale, one of the loveliest of the Yorkshire Dales it has great character, with its stone houses and cobbled streets attracting visitors from all over the world. - It is about 9 miles (14 km) from Bolton Abbey and is surrounded by limestone scenery. Nearby villages include Linton, Threshfield, Hebden, Conistone and Kilnsey. - The entrance to an inclined shaft at Yarnbury Lead Mine is to the north-east of Grassington. - Today Grassington is the main residential and tourist centre in Upper Wharfedale. Centred around its small cobbled square are a selection of shops offering food, clothing and gifts, small cafes, restaurants and hotels. In the centre of the square stands the old water pump. - Grassington Festival is a two-week long annual event encompassing music, performance, and visual arts, held in a variety of venues around the village. - Grass Wood, a large area of ancient woodland including the Iron-Age fort, Fort Gregory (also known as Gregory's Fort), is situated just over one mile north-west of Grassington. - | 205 thu 14 june | 2012 - 3 amigos - grassington

206: On a hot June evening we were packed into the hall to watch and listen to the School Music Night. There was some good talent on display but to us the best was the Samba drum performance that included Phoebe. The routine was a few minutes long and really catchy and Phoebe looked the part and played well - she said afterwards it was easy but it didn't look it to us and seeing her up there on the stage made us both feel very proud of her. | tue 19 june 206 | 2012 - ansdell primary school - music night

207: 207 tue 19 june | 2012 - ansdell primary school - music night

208: Day 36, Lytham St. Annes to Manchester 06:20 Royal Lytham St Anne's Golf Club - Left Turn St Patrick's Road South - Left Turn St Thomas Road - Left Turn Clifton Drive South (A584) - Right Turn King Edward Avenue - Left Turn Inner Promenade Ansdell Road South - Right Turn Clifton Drive (A584) West Beach (A584) to Central Beach CONVOY: Lytham St Anne's - Warton 07:22 Warton Lytham Road (A584) from Warton Village sign Lytham Road (A584) Lytham Road to (A585) 07:53 Preston 09:12 Blackburn 10:19 Accrington 11:05 Burnley 12:58 Crawshawbooth 13:04 Reedsholme 13:18 Rawtenstall 13:51 Rochdale 15:01 Heywood 15:27 Bury 16:15 Whitefield 16:41 Prestwich 17:10 Higher Broughton 17:35 Prestwich 17:44 Manchester | It's Day 36 of the Olympic Torch's journey round the country and today it starts on the 18th green at Royal Lytham and we were there at the crack of dawn to see what must be a unique event in all our lifetimes. This is the start of a very busy day and weekend for us. | The Torch features 8,000 small cut-out circles, representing the 8,000 people who will carry it on its 70 day journey around the UK. At the heart of the Torch there is a burner system which keeps the Flame alive. It stands 80cm high and weighs 800 grams - it has been tested at BMW's climatic testing facility in Munich to ensure it can withstand all weather conditions. It is made from a special aluminum alloy developed for the aerospace and automotive industry which is lightweight but strong, with excellent heat resistance. The flame commemorates the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus and its origins lie in ancient Greece, where a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics. Torchbearers will carry the Flame through more than 1,000 cities, towns and villages in the UK. ensuring the Olympic Flame will travel to within an hour of 95 per cent of people in the UK, the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey. | 2012 - olympic torch | sat 23 june 208

209: The start of a very busy weekend for us and it was a ridiculously early start as we get up at 5:15 and went to Royal Lytham for the start of the Olympic Torch leg. Amazingly Phoebe makes it and joins the other children who were there for a photoshoot on the 18th green. Once that was over we went to Lytham Green to see it pass. Although the weather wasn't great, compared with the previous leg from Kendal to Blackpool it was fantastic because then heavy rain had fallen all day causing widespread flooding over much of Lancashire. | 209 sat 23 june | 2012 - olympic torch

210: 2012 - olympic torch | sat 23 june 210

211: 211 sat 23 june | 2012 - olympic torch

212: 2012 - olympic torch | sat 23 june 212

213: 2012 - olympic torch | 213 sat 23 june

214: Because of the Olympic Flame it was a bit of a later start - we arrived around 12 and saw most of the floats at the end of the procession. The weather was always threatening but fortunately it didn't rain. Phoebe was her usual happy little self until she met up with her pals. | 2012 - lytham club day | sat 23 june 214

215: 2012 - lytham club day | 215 sat 23 june

216: This is the 1st time I can remember going to Lowther Gardens on Club Day afternoon. We went because the Rose Queen Elect, Sian, was the daughter of parents from school we know. We were entertained 1st by Mark's acrobatic troup, then Suzie Zumba's class and then various dance groups that Kerry and Phoebe tried to outshine. | 2012 - lytham club day - lowther gardens | sat 23 june 216

217: 2012 - lytham club day - lowther gardens | 217 sat 23 june

218: We (well the girls) had been looking forward to this for months - a nice sunny summer's day watching their favourite groups. The recent weather though had been horrendous, Elton John had his performance cut short the week before and John Barrowman had his show cancelled the night before because of rain and strong winds. So, as we queued to get in and as it started to rain heavily we feared the worst but just in time the sun burst through and it suddenly everything was OK. Kerry replaced Carol at the last minute and it's just as well because we ended up standing for 7 and a half hours - good day though and all the girls were great as long as we kept buying some incredibly overpriced merchandise such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, necklaces, programmes, posters and chips. | sun 24 june 218 | 2012 - mcfly plus others on blackpool prom

219: 219 sun 24 june | 2012 - mcfly plus others on blackpool prom

220: 2012 - mcfly plus others on blackpool prom | sun 24 june 220

221: 2012 - mcfly plus others on blackpool prom | 221 sun 24 june

222: 2012 - mcfly plus others on blackpool prom | sun 24 june 222

223: 2012 - mcfly plus others on blackpool prom | 223 sun 24 june

224: 2012 - mcfly plus others on blackpool prom | sun 24 june 224

225: It was a long day, we got back about half eight which was just in time to see England lose on penalties to Italy in the Euros quarter finals. To say England were poor would be over complimentary - not that it matters but the Ashleys, Young and Cole, missed. | 2012 - mcfly plus others on blackpool prom | 225 sun 24 june

226: The good weather continued and we headed off to the fair where we met up with a few of Phoebe's classmates and parents. Phoebe takes after her mum when it comes to rides and is not the bravest so it was a case of watching bravehearts Kerry, Eleanor and Abigail going on everything that was fast. I joined them on the Waltzer and then persuaded Phoebe to go on the Dodgems which was a big mistake because little did I know beforehand but these dodgems would have given a Formula 1 car a good run - the result was that Phoebs was rammed from behind a couple of times, banged her head and it all ended up in tears. I shared a car with Mark's son, Jack, and that was quite an experience as he seemed to become possessed almost immediately and I had to wrestle the wheel from him to stop him hitting everything in sight at full speed. Phoebe couldn't even console herself with winning another fish as Crash is still going strong but she did pppick up a penguin to add to her collection. | mon 25 june 226 | 2012 - lytham club day - the fun of the fair

227: Even though it was a lovely night, the fair was very quiet, this meant there was no problem getting on the rides but it was a long wait before they started as they waited to fill them up. | 227 mon 25 june | 2012 - lytham club day - the fun of the fair

228: 2012 - lytham club day - the fun of the fair | mon 25 june 228

229: 2012 - lytham club day - the fun of the fair | 229 mon 25 june

230: mon 25 june 230 | 2012 - lytham club day - the fun of the fair

231: 231 mon 25 june | 2012 - lytham club day - the fun of the fair

232: The Morecambe Bay walks led by experienced guide Alan Sledmore cross the sands by following the old coach routes. From Hest Bank they are of nine miles in length to Grange-over-Sands and six miles to Silverdale. The walks cross several estuary channels, some of which may be fast running and only those of reasonable fitness should attempt the walk. | Morecambe Bay was born in the last ice age, when retreating glaciers dumped soft sediments which formed expanses of sand which are now up to 80m deep. Sea levels rose and the area was flooded. The bay is now broad and shallow, with a tidal range of up to 10.5m at spring tides and an ebbing tide that can retreat as far as 12km. This means not much of the bay stays the same for very long. | We finally made it to Hest Bank, which is between Morecambe and Carnforth for our walk across the bay. Our previous attempt back in Sept 2011 was cancelled because of bad weather. This time the weather could have been better but at least it was warm. The busy main London - Scotland railway passes by with the crossing more shut than it is open and this is the only time on it's journey it travels along the coast. | 2012 - 4 amigos - morecambe bay walk | wed 27 june 232

233: Morecambe Bay is a treacherous place. The combination of fast tides, quicksands, draining rivers, shifting channels and sheer unpredictability has trapped the unwary for centuries. Horses, carts, tractors and trailers, plus the odd quadbike and transit van, have sunk slowly into the sands and never been recovered. | The bay is dangerous because it is dynamic, ever changing as sands shift and channels swerve. "The bay's broad funnel-like shape and shallow depth affects the tidal ebb and flow, creating strong currents. Tidal bores can roar over the sands at speeds of nine knots. These powerful tidal currents mould the soft sediments, piling them into sand banks, gouging out deep muddy channels and scooping out deep, dangerous holes that fill with quicksands whose positions can change daily." | The rivers Leven, Kent, Keer, Lune and Wyre drain into the Bay, with their various estuaries making a number of peninsulas within the bay, such as Humphrey Head. Much of the land around the bay is reclaimed, forming salt marshes used in agriculture. Morecambe Bay is also an important wildlife site, with abundant bird life and varied marine habitats | Alan Sledmore did accompany us on the walk on a quad bike and Jack, below, was our main guide. | Alan and Jack always check the route beforehand and they informed us early on because, as a result of ridiculous amount of rain that had fallen over the previous weekend, The River Kent was swollen and the channels it flows into were impassable. As a result we would be walking to Silverdale rather than Grange. | Jack was very interesting and pointed out how the landscape was ever changing. He also stressed how dangerous the bay was and the different horrible deaths that awaited you if you didn't take the appropriate care. | We were told in advance to dress appropriately (windproofs and old trainers) and that we would get wet. On reflection, it was quite funny that as we first went on to the beach, just before half 10, we tried our best to avoid getting our feet wet - little did we know what was to come. | 233 wed 27 june | 2012 - 4 amigos - morecambe bay walk

234: The first part of the walk was straightforward enough as we just headed straight out to sea along very flat sand and mudflats. Jack always went in advance checking for areas of quicksand which is common in the bay and can occur anywhere. When we were about 2 and a half miles out, Jack calmly comforted us by telling us if we went back the way we'd come there was a good chance we wouldn't make it back alive because if you weren't beyond a certain point 3 hours (longer if it's a high tide and/or a strong westerly wind) before the high tide you wouldn't be able to cross the channels. | Quicksand is created when water saturates an area of loose sand and the ordinary sand is agitated. When the trapped water can't escape, it creates liquefied sand that can no longer support weight. If you ever find yourself in a pit of quicksand, don't worry -- it's not going to swallow you whole, and it's not as hard to escape from as you might think. With quicksand, the more you struggle the faster you will sink. If you relax, your body will float in it because your body is less dense than the quicksand. It may be possible to drown in quicksand if you were to fall in over your head and couldn't get your head back above the surface, although it's rare for quicksand to be that deep | 2012 - 4 amigos - morecambe bay walk | wed 27 june 234

235: Jack prodded and poked at the sand before we advanced. There were about 30 in our party and it was evident that we all completely trusted Jack to deliver us safely even though we'd only known him for an hour or so. Looking back we seemed a long way out but the whole experience of flirting with death was becoming strangely exhilarating despite the less than ideal weather conditions as frequent squally showers soaked us. | It was now time for the next stage of our journey and we all fearlessly advanced towards the channels we had to cross if we were to eventually reach our destination. | 235 wed 27 june | 2012 - 4 amigos - morecambe bay walk

236: It was just like being a kid again as we paddled and splashed our way across. My shoes acted like a wet suit once they were soaking and my feet felt pleasantly warm very quickly. Below is Grange where we would have ended up had conditions been better. | 2012 - 4 amigos - morecambe bay walk | wed 27 june 236

237: We stopped for some lunch at about half way and Jack gave us some insight into how much the bay had changed even in the last 6 months - where we were standing was a deep channel 6 months ago and the 20 foot sandbank we could see between us and the shore didn't exist. At this point Alan offered to take those who were interested for a ride on his quad bike, this was an offer we couldn't refuse and had a fun and pretty quick ride. | Soon though we were on the move again. | 2012 - 4 amigos - morecambe bay walk | 237 wed 27 june

238: After a leisurely walk along the sandbank its time to look for an exit route. For the uninitiated the obvious way would be to head to the nearest land point. This, as Jack was keen to point out, would be a fatal mistake because between here and land are a whole host of dangers, as well as the unsavoury mud, there are channels up to 20 feet in height which are hidden by the sandbanks. | 2012 - 4 amigos - morecambe bay walk | wed 27 june 238

239: So instead we cross the Kent twice to avoid these dangers. | 2012 - 4 amigos - morecambe bay walk | 239 wed 27 june

240: 2012 - 4 amigos - morecambe bay walk | wed 27 june 240

241: After about 3 and a half hours we scramble ashore at Silverdale to get our bus back. What I didn't realise was how far we'd come and how far it was to travel back by road which took us about half an hour. Anyway a great experience and I think we're all game to do the full walk to Flookburgh (about 12 miles) on a nicer day when we even may be able to see the Lakeland Hills. | 241 | 241 wed 27 june | 2012 - 4 amigos - morecambe bay walk

242: There was a clash, Sports Day and the Morecambe Bay trip. Because the weather was poor in Morecambe I expected Sports Day to be postponed but this wasn't the case as it was fine here so I missed Sports Day for the 1st time I can remember. Carol took over the role of photographer. Apparently, Phoebe did well in her specialist event, the potato (egg) and spoon race where she finished 2nd after dropping her potato just before the finishing line when in the lead - again. Greens after their triumphs in recent years didn't do well this time and finished last. | 2012 - ansdell primary school - sports day | wed 27 june 242

243: 2012 - ansdell primary school - sports day | 243 wed 27 june

244: As far as I could recall, this was my first trip to Wrea Green Fair on a Saturday afternoon. It was another typical 2012 summer's day with rain (and heavy rain) never far away. But it was bright enough for long enough for us to spend a small fortune trying to get a ball in a bucket and throwing darts. My big problem was that I had a lucky throw first time on the darts which won us an oversized bear for Phoebe. Despite several additional attempts, none of us got close again so we didn't manage to win the same for Eleanor. | 2012 - wrea green fair | wed 27 june 244

245: 245 | 2012 - wrea green fair | 245 wed 27 june

246: Well, having recorded in the Open qualifying rounds in 1988, 1996 and 2001 Dave and I are doing it again but this time it's almost certainly for the last time because from 2014 they are abandoning Local Qualifying Rounds. It was quite a bit different from the last time with 36 holes in a day, 2 tee starts, a cabin instead of a tent and for me the introduction of a computer to transmit the scores to the R&A website. The course, after all the rain, was playing tough but looked superb. | 2012 - golf - st annes old links - the open - final qualifying | tue 3 july 246

247: The highest ranked player was Chris Wood, who had actually finished 3rd in The Open a couple of years before. He started 3,3,3 and then, we thought, made a monumental error by taking an iron off the 4th and ending up with a 6 when he could easily have got his drive within wedge range. He repeated his club selection in the afternoon and ended up with a 5 and this hole cost him a place in the playoff. Apart from Wood we followed Barry Lane for a while and he fared better getting to 8 under at 1 point but then hung on to claim a spot. | 247 tue 3 july | 2012 - golf - st annes old links - the open - final qualifying

248: John Williams, right and 1 of my playing partners, was entrusted with the "real" Open trophy. By the time John had finished showing it off it was harder to get a photo taken without the trophy than with it. | tue 3 july 248 | 2012 - golf - st annes old links - the open - final qualifying

249: The Links provided a lot of volunteer helpers on the day including ball spotters, starters, buggy drivers, divot repairers and marshals for the more known golfers. John was a starter and Mike a ball watcher on the 1st which he described as being quite hazardous. | 249 tue 3 july | 2012 - golf - st annes old links - the open - final qualifying

250: 78 73 79 | 82 66 73 | 71 69 83 | 73 69 78 | 84 73 78 | 69 68 72 | 76 75 76 | 76 73 70 | 71 76 73 | 70 71 76 | 76 73 68 | 77 74 69 | 78 77 76 | 156 150 155 | 77 75 73 | 159 141 146 | 146 148 160 | 75 79 77 | 75 76 72 | 72 78 72 | 70 70 71 | b | Ciaran Doherty (A) | 74 72 74 | 74 75 73 | 74 76 78 | 69 73 76 | 71 76 73 | 72 74 73 | 148 145 150 | 156 151 150 | 139 138 143 | Q | 150 147 150 | 150 148 143 | 145 152 151 | 139 144 152 | 147 149 141 | 149 148 142 | tue 3 july 250 | 2012 - golf - st annes old links - the open - final qualifying

251: 74 78 78 | 74 75 83 | 74 74 76 | 72 75 76 | 76 74 69 | 77 74 70 | 74 73 71 | 71 67 74 | 70 72 75 | 79 68 75 | 73 70 72 | 74 70 71 | 74 76 72 | 82 78 76 | 74 72 76 | 66 72 70 | 73 71 WD | 74 71 74 | 78 68 67 | 71 74 77 | 68 66 74 | 76 71 69 | 65 69 76 | 77 72 77 | 148 154 150 | 156 153 159 | 148 146 152 | 142 146 139 | 144 138 WD | 144 143 149 | 155 142 137 | 150 142 152 | 140 141 150 | 149 141 141 | 139 142 145 | 151 142 148 | Q | Q | 251 tue 3 july | 2012 - golf - st annes old links - the open - final qualifying

252: Jeffers and Chris invited the gang (Prestons, Lydons, Thompsons, Mills's, Murphys and Jaggers as well as us, Janine and Mark) to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary with a barbecue at their house. A good night was had by all All credit to Mark and Graham who were up at 4 the following morning to cycle to/from Blackpool to Manchester in the annual bike race. | 2012 - the challengers celebrate their silver wedding anniversary | sat 7 july 252

253: 253 sat 7 july | 2012 - the challengers celebrate their silver wedding anniversary

254: 2012 - ansdell primary school - phoebe's year 5 report | fri 13 july 254

255: 2012 - ansdell primary school - phoebe's year 5 report | 255 fri 13 july

256: 2012 - ansdell primary school - phoebe's year 5 report | fri 13 july 256

257: Grace Preston | Ella Walsh | Tessa Clowes | Shay Rolland | Olivia Jagger | James Farrow | Callum Stott | Laura Madden | Yasmin Hunt | Harvey Caswell | Evie Bloor | Phoebe Holmes | Teigan Beamont | Eleanor Whiteside | Tom Carr | Alex Higham | Eddie James | Lizzy Relf | Angus Taylor | Jack Hoyle | Abi Challenger | Eleanor Scholes | Millie Garner | Eoghan Murphy | Jasmine Wragg | Ellie Taziker | Kerry Sisson | Ellie Prime | Anna Tankard | Emily Kember | Morgan Frith-Jones | 257 fri 13 july | 2012 - ansdell primary school - year 5 photograph

258: This is what I've been waiting for, the return of The Open to Lytham after a gap of 11 years, the longest gap there's been since 1952. It's fingers crossed the weather holds in what has been an abysmal summer. | Old Links has been given the privilege of marshalling the 18th hole which is really exciting. The volunteers are split into 5 teams operating on a shift system. Our shift, led by Steve Hodgkiss, is not down to work on the Sunday, Monday and the final championship day. However, we have been drafted in to marshal the 72nd hole and for the playoff holes if necessary. | Jobs include spotting, grandstands, tee, crossings and escorting the players from the 17th green to the 18th tee | 258 | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open | sat 14 july 258

259: 2012 ?? 2001 David Duval (USA) 1996 Tom Lehman (USA) 1988 Seve Ballesteros (Spain) 1979 Seve Ballesteros (Spain) 1974 Gary Player (SA) 1969 Tony Jacklin (GB) 1963 Bob Charles (NZ) 1958 Peter Thomson (Aus) 1952 Bobby Locke (SA) 1926 Bobby Jones (a) (USA) | The club was founded in 1886 and was the site of the first British Ladies Amateur Golf Championship in 1893 and the Centenary Championship in 1993 won by Catriona Lambert, now Catriona Matthew. Sixteen years later she won the Women's British Open at Lytham in 2009. Royal Lytham is a true links course, set upon links land but set back from the current day shoreline, separated by housing, roads, and a rail line. However, the proximity is such that the wind from the sea still comes into play. There are 206 bunkers on the course, an average of over 11 per hole. The course is also unique as it is the only course on the Open Championship rota that starts with a par 3 hole. | 69 73 65 67 274 (-10) 600,000 67 67 64 73 271 (-13) 200,000 67 71 70 65 273 (-11) 80,000 73 65 75 70 283 (-1) 15,000 69 68 75 70 282 (-2) 5,500 68 70 70 72 280 (-4) 4,250 68 72 66 71 277 (-7) 1,500 66 72 67 73 278 (-6) 1,000 69 71 74 73 287 (-1) 300 72 72 73 74 291 (+7) am | Winners at Lytham are: | 259 sat 14 july | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open

260: Sunday | The course, surrounds and facilities looked magnificent to welcome the players and spectators although not many players took advantage of the breezy but for a change dry conditions. Q. What could possibly go wrong during the week? A. The weather of course because the forecast is for rain followed by rain and then some more rain. | 260 | sun 15 july 260 | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - sunday

261: 261 sun 15 july | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - sunday

262: Despite his lack of majors success recently and his injury and personal woes, Tiger Woods is still the main draw and probably the man to beat. He was the main person I wanted to see and I picked him up almost straightaway and bumped into an old school, work and rounders colleague, Mike Nield, above, along the way | sun 15 july 262 | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - sunday

263: Others spotted on a quietish opening day included Clarke, McIlroy, Singh, Rose and Snedeker. | 263 sun 15 july | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - sunday

264: The rain's arrived but it's not too cold and the wind's died a bit so conditions aren't that bad - update it battered it down later for about 2 hours. | Woodland | F Molinari | Clarke | Z Johnson | Kuchar | Woods | Schwartzel | Choi | Siem & Roe | Love III | Tony Jacklin | 264 | sun 15 july 264 | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - sunday

265: Els | Westwood | Donald | 265 | 265 mon 16 july | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - sunday

266: Current World No. 1 and the only person to have won the money list on both sides of the Atlantic (in 2011), the very wealthy Luke Donald. | 266 | mon 16 july 266 | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - monday

267: This is the day I start my marshalling duties on the 18th, today we are on afternoon shift so there's time beforehand to check out the form of some of the players. | Harrington | McDowell | Quiros | Ishikawa | 267 mon 16 july | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - monday

268: Dustin | Jason | Hunter | Bubba | Rickie | Jim | David | tue 17 july 268 | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - tuesday

269: Phil | The Americans are out in force. | 269 tue 17 july | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - tuesday

270: Before reporting for duty I came across and old pal Steve (Harrison), someone I'd not seen for years and who now lives in London - it was good to catch up. | tue 17 july 270 | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - tuesday

271: My first stint of marshalling is carried out in appalling weather as the rain came down heavier and heavier and drove most of the crowds away early although some hardy souls stayed on until the bitter end. The 18th seemed like the plum job and so it turned out but it did have its issues. It was very high profile and our performance was under constant scrutiny from the R&A plus Crossing B proved to be a pig to marshal because of the number of people who wanted to cross and the times we had to keep it closed because of the play that was going on. Today I spotted for a while before going on the stand. | Butch Harmon | Unknown but ideally dressed for the rain and looking suitably miserable. | 271 tue 17 july | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - tuesday

272: Curtis Strange | Rob Lee | Robert Rock | wed 18 july 272 | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - wednesday

273: A much brighter day but the damage had been done and many areas of the course were very wet and muddy. Another old pal, from way back on my shift days at GRE, Shaun Sowerby, turned up although he took a bit of recognising because all the marshalls look pretty much the same. Today, I spent my time on Crossing A which is OK because it's easier to open than Crossing B and you never know who's going to cross next as it's right by the ESPN TV studio. We (John, Anne and I) quickly devised a way of maximising the time for people to get across which the R&A thought could be used as a model for other crossings. I don't think Jack regarded his role of litter collector as a future career move. | 273 wed 18 july | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - wednesday

274: Photography is banned so I left my camera at home. The morning conditions were perfect, no wind and warm. In the afternoon the wind got up a bit but never got too bad however it did start to rain and got quite miserable. Marshalling wise I spotted at first before moving to the tee and then moved to Crossing A. | 1 Adam Scott (AUS) -6 T2 Paul Lawrie (SCO) -5 T2 Zach Johnson (USA) -5 T2 Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) -5 5 Brandt Snedeker (USA) -4 T6 Ernie Els (RSA) -3 T6 Bubba Watson (USA) -3 T6 Graeme McDowell (NIR) -3 T6 Tiger Woods (USA) -3 T6 Toshinori Muto (JPN) -3 T6 Rory McIlroy (NIR) -3 T6 Steve Stricker (USA) -3 T6 Peter Hanson (SWE) -3 T14 Jamie Donaldson (WAL) -2 T14 James Morrison (ENG) -2 T14 Thomas Aiken (RSA) -2 T14 Scott Pinckney (USA) -2 T14 Anders Hansen (DEN) -2 T14 Jbe Kruger (RSA) -2 T14 Anirban Lahiri (IND) -2 T14 Justin Hicks (USA) -2 Selected others T37 Luke Donald (ENG) E T54 Ian Poulter (ENG) +1 T80 Sergio Garcia (ESP) +2 T80 Paul Casey (ENG) +2 T99 Lee Westwood (ENG) +3 T150 Martin Kaymer (GER) +7 155 Robert Rock (ENG) +8 | thu 19 july 274 | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - day 1

275: Despite being a little (a lot) jaded me, Nick and Jeff made it down to The Taps which was buzzing. Above, I am with Trevor Sinclair, a Blackpool FC legend and scorer of one of the finest goals ever seen in the Premiership. Below I'm with Jim Leach and a very friendly american gentleman who was over for the golf. Unbelievably the bar shut at 11 when I think everyone in the pub would have been happy to stay for a few more hours. | 275 thu 19 july | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - day 1 - the taps

276: I had by this time made friends with a G4S guard and I knew he wasn't going to bother whether I had a camera or not so I took it on but was very careful when I used it because it's bad enough when a member of the public gets caught but a marshall's life just wouldn't be worth living. | The rain had poured down overnight and parts of the course were in a real mess with many of the bunkers having water in them, something I hadn't seen before. I was on Crossing B for the entire morning shift and at times it was really tense because 100s of spectators wanted to cross but we couldn't always let them. Today was the day I was meant to meet up with a few pals but that never happened so afterwards I ended up chilling at the back of the 16th after failing to make contact with any of the pals I said I'd meet. | 1 Brandt Snedeker (USA) -10 2 Adam Scott (AUS) -9 3 Tiger Woods (USA) -6 4 Thorbjorn Oleson (DEN) -5 T5 Paul Lawrie (SCO) -4 T5 Matt Kuchar (USA) -4 T5 Graeme McDowell (NIR) -4 T5 Jason Dufner (USA) -4 T5 Thomas Aiken (RSA) -4 10 Ernie Els (RSA) -3 T11 Steve Alker (NZ) -2 T11 Luke Donald (ENG) -2 T11 Steve Stricker (USA) -2 T11 James Morrison (ENG) -2 T15 Carl Pettersson (SWE) -1 T15 Simon Dyson (ENG) -1 T15 Toshinori Muto (JPN) -1 T15 Peter Hanson (SWE) -1 T15 Andres Romero (ARG) -1 T15 Mark Calcavecchia (USA) -1 T15 Greg Chalmers (AUS ) -1 T15 Simon Khan(ENG) -1 T15 Kyle Stanley (USA) -1 T15 Bill Haas (USA) -1 T15 Zach Johnson (USA) -1 T15 Thomas Bjorn (DEN) -1 T15 Martin Laird (SCO) -1 Missed Cut T84 Sergio Garcia (SPN) +4 T84 Justin Rose (ENG) +4 T84 Charl Schwartzel (RSA) +4 T101 David Duval (USA) +5 T120 Darren Clarke (NIR) +7 T146 Phil Mickelson (USA) +11 | fri 20 july 276 | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - day 2

277: 277 fri 20 july | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - day 2

278: This turned out to be a real treat. I volunteered to caddy for some visitors to Old Links and they turned out to be 4 charming South Korean ladies who could all play golf and who were on a golfing tour of the UK and Ireland. My lady was the one on the right, she did tell me her name but I forgot it almost as soon as she told me. I was paid 60 pounds for the privilege which was very nice. During the round we saw a strange ring around the sun which nobody could explain. | sat 21 july 278 | 2012 - golf - st annes old links - caddying

279: I was a little tired as I reported for duty after my caddying exploits in the morning but I managed to get pole position for the 3rd round right by the 18th green where the players leave the course. Photography was highly illegal but I did manage to sneak the odd picture when about 50 cameramen came to the green with Adam Scott. | 279 sat 21 july | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - day 3

280: These pictures were all taken from the TV and if you look closely I'm on every one. | sat 21 july 280 | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - day 3

281: Zach Johnson played the best shot in to about 3 feet but Paul Lawrie 4 putted which I imagine is extremely rare for a professional golfer to do. | 281 sat 21 july | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - day 3

282: 1 Adam Scott (AUS) -11 T2 Graeme McDowell (NIR) -7 T2 Brandt Snedeker (USA) -7 4 Tiger Woods (USA) -6 T5 Zach Johnson (USA) -5 T5 Ernie Els (RSA) -5 7 Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) -4 T8 Bill Haas (USA) -3 T8 Thomas Aiken (RSA) -3 T10 Bubba Watson (USA) -2 T10 Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) -2 T10 Mark Calcavecchia (USA) -2 T10 Matt Kuchar (USA) -2 T14 Dustin Johnson (USA) -1 T14 Kyle Stanley (USA) -1 T14 Luke Donald (ENG) -1 T14 Jason Dufner (USA) -1 T18 Vijay Singh (FIJ) Par T18 Nick Watney (USA) Par T18 Anirban Lahiri (IND) Par T18 Greg Chalmers (AUS) Par T18 Simon Khan (ENG) Par T18 James Morrison (ENG) Par T18 Steve Alker (NZ) Par T25 Keegan Bradley (USA) +1 T25 Matthew Baldwin (ENG) +1 T25 Justin Hicks (USA) +1 T25 Alexander Noren (SWE) +1 T25 Hunter Mahan (USA) +1 T25 Thomas Bjorn (DEN) +1 T25 Peter Hanson (SWE) +1 T25 Steve Stricker (USA) +1 T33 Joost Luiten (NED) +2 T33 Padraig Harrington (ROI) +2 T33 Harris English (USA) +2 T33 Francesco Molinari (ITA) +2 T33 Dale Whitnell (ENG) +2 T33 Jamie Donaldson (WAL) +2 T33 Garth Mulroy (RSA) +2 T33 Simon Dyson (ENG) +2 T33 Carl Pettersson (SWE) +2 T33 Paul Lawrie (SCO +2 | After the day's play we relaxed with a few drinks, 1st in The Open bar and then where all the marshalls gathered. | sat 21 july 282 | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - day 3

283: Man City footballer, Carlos Tevez, caddied for Andres Romero in the 3rd and 4th round. After 2 rounds Romero was 1 under and at the end he was 16 over, perhaps Tevez should stick to football. | And so to the drama of the final afternoon. Once again I had managed to get the plum job by convincing the R&A guys that the enclosure behind the green needed marshalling. Nothing happened for 14 holes then Scott imploded blowing a 4 shot lead by bogeying the last 4 holes to leave Ernie Els, at 42, the surprise winner. | 283 sun 22 july | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - day 4

284: Afterwards it was a really good atmosphere. I gave away my 72nd hole armband to a Swede and could have sold my Quiet Please board but kept it for Phoebe who gave me grief because she'd have preferred the money. | 1 Ernie Els (RSA) -7 2 Adam Scott (AUS) -6 T3 Tiger Woods (USA) -3 T3 Brandt Snedeker (USA) -3 T5 Luke Donald (ENG) -2 T5 Graeme McDowell (NIR) -2 T7 Thomas Aiken (RSA) -1 T7 Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) -1 T9 Vijah Singh (FIJ) Par T9 Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) Par T9 Miguel A. Jimenez (SPA) Par T9 Ian Poulter (ENG) Par T9 Alexander Noren (SWE) Par T9 Mark Calcavecchia (USA) Par T9 Dustin Johnson (USA) Par T9 Matt Kuchar (USA) Par T9 Thorbjorn Oleson DEN) Par T9 Zach Johnson (USA) PAR T19 Hunter Mahan (USA) +1 T19 Steven Alker (NZ) +1 T19 Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) +1 T19 Bill Haas (USA) +1 | sun 22 july 284 | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - day 4

285: 285 sun 22 july | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - the open - day 4

286: It was straight back to Royal Lytham the following morning at 8 O'clock to caddy in a Nikon sponsor's day. It was a long round and I was feeling a little jaded after the previous week but I survived it ok. Ironically my player went in to almost the identical spot in the same bunker as Tiger ended up on his way to a triple bogey that ruined his chances. My man, a 14 handicapper, got it out 1st time and took 2 more to get down whereas Woods had taken 2 to get out and then three putted. | mon 23 july 286 | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - caddying - nikon

287: 287 mon 23 july | 2012 - golf - royal lytham - caddying - nikon

288: thu 26 july 288 | 2012 - the olympic torch at the fairhaven

289: 2012 - the london olympics - the opening ceremony | 289 fri 27 july

290: Day 1 (Saturday) : Mark Cavendish and Michael Phelps fail to win a medal of any colour, never mind the gold which they were odds on favourites for. | Day 2 (Sunday) : Lizzie Armitstead wins the 1st GB medal (silver) in the women's cycling road race and Rebecca Adlington follows it with a bronze in the women's 400m freestyle. The French pull off the shock so far by winning the men's 4x100m freestyle and beating red hot favourites the Australians (unplaced) and Americans (2nd) to deny Phelps another gold medal. | Day 3 (Monday) : The men win the first gymnastics medal (bronze) in the games for over 100 years. Tom Daley and his partner Pete Waterfield have a bad 4th dive and come 4th in the 10m high board event after leading after 3 rounds. | Day 4 (Tuesday): The equestrian team win a silver although a poor round by Zara Phillips possibly cost them a gold. Michael Phelps wins his 19th medal (that includes 15 golds) in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay and becomes the most prolific medal winner of all time. | Sat 28 to Tue 31 July | sat 28 - tue 31 july 290 | 2012 - the london olympics - the medals so far

291: Day 5 (Wednesday) : The medal rush starts Helen Glover/Heather Stanning win Gold and the men's 8 win bronze in rowing Michael Jamieson wins silver in the 200m breastroke Bradley Wiggins wins Gold and Chris Froome bronze in the cycling time trial *** Jack was round and we watched the whole race as Wiggins destroyed the opposition in one of the most impressive displays I've ever seen at the Olympics - this follows his historic win in the Tour de France 9 days earlier *** | Day 6 (Thursday) : Gold (and silver) Rush The medals mount up as GB win golds in shooting (Peter Wilson), canoing (Bailie, Stott) and cycling (Hoy, Kenny, Hindes) and silvers in judo (Gemma Gibbons), rowing and canoing (Florence, Hounslow) Sir Chris Hoy got his 5th Gold and Phelps wins another Gold to take his overall tally to 20. | 2012 - the london olympics - the medals so far | 291 wed 1 to thu 2 august

292: On 6 July 2005 Great Britain (surprisingly) won the bid to stage the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Apr 2011 (when details of the ticket allocation were announced): Your mission, Mr Holmes (with the help of your son) is to: - Obtain tickets for the most sought after event, at the games, i.e. The 1st Saturday night's evening session at the Athletics when GB have a genuine chance of winning 2 gold medals. - Not only obtain these tickets but get the best seats in the stadium - Travel in style by 1st class rail - Despite the demand, book yourselves into a hotel that will give you easy access to the games and the chance to sightsee some of the London's most iconic landmarks. - Also obtain tickets for the morning session to ensure in 1 day you will see all of the most famous names in world athletics. - Arrange that the weather is warm but not too hot and most importantly dry the entire time you are in the stadium. - Be part of a frenzied crowd that enthusiastically (hysterically) encourages the GB team to make it the greatest single night in Athletics (and possibly all sports) history that has ever happened in this country. - Complete the above without a single snag. - Capture everything on film. | fri 3 august 292 | 2012 - the london olympics - our mission

293: We've been looking forward to this ever since we we found out we'd been lucky in the draw and would be going to the Olympics to see possibly the best Athletics morning and evening sessions of the games. | 2012 - the london olympics - our mission | 293 fri 3 august

294: We settle down in our 1st class seats and set off bang on time. The train journey is direct to London with no stops between Preston and Euston. It is also fast and we're there in 2 hrs and 10 minutes. We decide to walk across London to our hotel which is next to Tower Bridge - it takes us about an hour and it's hot in the heat. | 2012 - the london olympics - set ...... we're off | fri 3 august 294

295: After dropping off the bags we set off to take in our surroundings on a glorious summer afternoon. We understood there would be a big screen around Tower Bridge but we couldn't find it so we decided to make the trip to Hyde Park where we knew the Olympics were being shown. | 2012 - the london olympics - the sights | 295 fri 3 august

296: After a tube journey across London followed by a 20 minute walk (according to the signs) that took about 45 minutes to complete we arrive at Hyde Park along with thousands of others where we are searched before being allowed in but it is free to go in. There are 4 screens showing different sports. We see the cyclist pursuit team claim another gold but one of our favourites, Rebecca Adlington, could only manage bronze in the 800m freestyle. | 2012 - the london olympics - hyde park | fri 3 august 296

297: Even though it wasn't live the atmosphere was tremendous with people even standing for the National Anthem. Bark covered the floor and this didn't make for the most comfortable seat but nobody seemed to mind. At eightish we headed back stopping off for pizza and salad at Victoria Station. A good day to start our trip. | Fri 3 August | 297 fri 3 august | 2012 - the london olympics - hyde park

298: It's an early start as we're up at 6 for breakfast and then on to the DLR (Dockland Light Railway) for a half hour trip to the Olympic Park. One of the stops was the mightily impressive Canary Wharf (above). Once there we joined the inevitable queue but it didn't take too long to get in. | 2012 - the london olympics - the big day is here | sat 4 august 298

299: We spent a manic half hour in the shop before we emerged with t shirts bought and headed to the main stadium where they were letting people in a good 2 hours before the action started. | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday | 299 sat 4 august

300: sat 4 august 300 | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

301: When we got into the stadium and saw our seats we were really pleased with ourselves - despite having 2 animated Aussies in front of us we were close to the track and had a great view of the action. Normally there is not too much going on in morning sessions but there was a lot for us to look forward to as the mens 100m heats were taking place as well as the games golden girl Jessica Ennis who was taking a lead in the heptathlon into the second day. | Schedule - 4 Aug Morning session Women's Pole Vault Qualifying Rounds Men's 100 m Preliminary Round Women's Heptathlon Long Jump Women's 3000 m Steeplechase Round 1 Men's 400 m Round 1 Men's 100 m Round 1 Women's Heptathlon Javelin Throw | After day 1, Ennis (4,158pts) leads from Chernova (3,849) and Dobrynska (3,835). She’ll likely drop points in the LONG JUMP and JAVELIN but the 800m (8.35pm) is one of her strengths. | 301 sat 4 august | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

302: The pole vault took place right in front of us and lasted the entire duration of the session. The main interest was the GB competitor Holly Bleasdale and the world record holder, Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva. They both qualified for the final comfortably. | We were amused throughout the qualifying by the 2 Aussies who did everything they could to attract the attention of any Australian competitors. They failed miserably which was made even funnier when later on a Jamaican shouted once to Asafa Powell in the 100m heats and was immediately acknowledged. | Women's Pole Vault Qualifying Rounds | sat 4 august 302 | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

303: The main interest in the 400m was the participation of South African Oscar Pistorius who is double amputee. Nicknamed Blade Runner he successfully challenged the authorities to let him run in the Olympics as well as the Paralympics. He didn't qualify for the next round so the debate continues as to whether he would be allowed to partake if he threatened the top runners chances of medals. Footnote - Less than a year later Pistorius's life is in ruins as he is charged for murder for shooting and killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. | Men's 400m Round1 | 303 | 303 sat 4 august | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

304: Women's 3000m Steeplechase Round 1 | sat 4 august 304 | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

305: Women's Heptathlon Long Jump | Nothing really to report on the Steeplechase except the water in the water jump was surprisingly deep. This was the big one for Ennis as a poor result would put her under pressure - however we had full confidence and sure enough she delivered with her 2nd and 3rd jumps when she recorded a personal best - job nearly done. | 305 sat 4 august | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

306: men's 100m Round1 | A real bonus for us were the 100m heats where we got a chance to see probably the most famous sportsman in the world, Usain Bolt. The final when it was run the next day was the 1st 100m Olympic race that had featured the 4 fastest men in history. Bolt won that race convincingly and then on Thursday he won the 200m to become the 1st man ever to win the sprint double twice. | sat 4 august 306 | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

307: Women's Heptathlon Javelin | Because of the noise being generated in the stadium they held the Heptathlon Javelin back until all the other events had finished. Once again she didn't let anybody down and it looks like the gold medal is nailed on with just 1 more event to go. | 307 | 307 sat 4 august | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

308: We had about 3 hours before we we were allowed back in the stadium so we explored the sights and sounds of The Olympic Park. It was said there were 220,000 people inside the Park but to us it seemed a lot more. The atmosphere was good, the volunteers very friendly and apart from the odd downpour the weather was OK. The custom built stadia in the Park were being used for swimming, cycling, water polo, hockey, BMX, basketball and handball. | sat 4 august 308 | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

309: 309 sat 4 august | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

310: When we arrived for the evening session we had to keep pinching ourselves because the trackside seats we had were just about the best in the stadium - not only that, as it turned out the front row remained empty so we had the perfect view. As Jess Ennis was virtually guaranteed Gold after her efforts so far we knew we were in for a good night. | The entertainment inside the stadium was provided by various well known figures including Ben Shepard, Jack Whitehall, Jarvis Cocker and Liz McColgan. I also found the lager to my liking and had a few pints | sat 4 august 310 | 2012 - the london olympics - hyde park

311: Schedule - 4 Aug Evening session Men's 400m Hurdles Semi-finals Women's Discus Throw Women's 100m Semi-finals Men's Long Jump Final Women's 400m Semi-Finals Women's Heptathlon 800m Men's 10,000m Final Women's 100m Final | Our little spot was very popular and there was a procession of people who came down to have their photos taken. | 311 sat 4 august | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

312: We had tried unsuccessfully to buy flags (they'd all sold out) but one of the spectators kindly lent us hers for a photo and they happened to be just about the biggest we saw (why would she want 2?) | sat 4 august 312 | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

313: The hurdles were set out with military precision. Our hope, Dai Green (current world champion) didn't do so well and only qualified for the final in 8th place. | Men's Long Jump Final | Women's Discus Throw Final | Women's 100m Semi-finals | Women's 400m Semi-Finals | Men's 400m Hurdles Semi-Finals | Croatia's Sandra Perkovic wins from Darya Pishchalnikova of Russia and world champion Li Yanfeng in what is always a bit of a dodgy event because of the drug scandals. | We saw our only track Gold Medallist at the Beijing Olympics, Christine Ohuruogu, ease into the final of the 400m. | Meanwhile, the Men's Long Jump was hotting up where we had 2 competitors, Chris Tomlinson and Greg Rutherford. Suddenly Rutherford was in the lead, could he hang on? | 313 sat 4 august | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

314: So this was it - the moment when we first found out we had got the tickets we had been looking forward to more than any other - the golden girl (and face of the Olympics 2012) running for Gold. The most used word at The Olympics was amazing and the introductions, the race and the celebrations were amazing. | Women's Heptathlon 800m | sat 4 august 314 | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

315: Jess Ennis could almost have walked round and still won because she had such a big lead but she wanted to end in style and she did by accelerating off the final bend to win comfortably. I think everyone would have gone home happy then but there was more - more unexpectedly, one of our long jumpers, Greg Rutherford had leapt into the lead and very soon we had another Gold medal. Now we were ready for Mo. | 315 sat 4 august | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

316: 316 | sat 4 august 316 | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

317: 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday | 317 sat 4 august

318: The winners went on their lap of honour and were greeted by a euphoric crowd. However this was almost the warm up because then it was Mo Farah's turn and while he ran the noise grew and grew until it was way beyond anything I have ever heard before. The 10,000m is run over 25 laps and lasts for about 27 minutes and for all of those 27 minutes the crowd made an incredible noise - it was like watching your favourite football team score a goal in the last minute to win the FA Cup not once but 25 times. The race was close all the way but somehow he was always going to win and he did by breaking away on the final straight. So history was made, never before had GB won 3 golds in 1 night never mind 44 minutes, it was the 1st time we'd won a distance race, 1st time since 1964 we'd won a field event etc. etc. | Men's 10000m Final | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday | sat 4 august 318

319: 319 sat 4 august | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

320: And there was more - after the laps of honour by Mo Farah and the winner of the ladies 100m (a top event that was almost overshadowed by everything else that was going on), Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, they held the medal ceremony for the heptathlon which we weren't expecting. I doubt whether the National Anthem has ever been sung as loudly. | sat 4 august 320 | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

321: 321 sat 4 august | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

322: So we finally left the stadium around 11 and headed towards the BBC studio before making our weary but happy way back. I have to thank Jack for getting me back OK because by this time I was a bit worse for wear. | sat 4 august 322 | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

323: A day neither of us will ever forget! | 323 sat 4 august | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday

324: This patch of London was once a wasteland. Now it will always be hallowed ground. Saturday night saw to that. Saturday night, when something crackled around it. Something that can only be described as life-force. Something magical. It was the kind of evening that made people stand and stare with mouths agape, scarcely believing what they were seeing. There are arguments to say there have been greater single-event occasions for British sport. World Cup wins, European Cup triumphs, Ashes glories, Ryder Cup victories, British Lions triumphs and, way back when, Wimbledon victories. But because of the breadth and magnitude of its feats, because these are the London Games, because the country is agog, Saturday night is hard to beat. It would be wrong even to say that one magical moment followed another in the Olympic Stadium. That would do a grave disservice to the greatest night in British sporting history . | On Saturday night, one after another would have counted as positively dull. No, on Saturday night, the magic fell upon the Olympic Stadium in one great rolling wave. On one side of the stadium, Jessica Ennis was introduced to the crowd before the start of the 800m, the last event in her quest to win heptathlon gold . On the other side, a great roar went up as the long jumper Greg Rutherford soared into the lead with a leap of 8.31m. Ennis had a commanding advantage in the heptathlon even before the 800m started. She could have coasted through it in the pack and still won gold. But Ennis is not built like that. Overtaken with 300 yards to go, she moved back on to the shoulders of the leaders at the start of the back straight, then moved out to pass them. She looked majestic as she sprinted up the home straight, small and slight beside the giants who were her rivals, but utterly indomitable. She completed her victory like a champion, out in front, not in the pack. Then she fell to the track as the realisation hit her that she had won gold. History will record it as one of the iconic moments of the London Games, our equivalent of Australia's Cathy Freeman winning gold in the 400m in Sydney in 2000. Anointed the Face of the Games, Ennis had lived up to all the expectations. She had not wilted in the face of the challenge. She had risen to it magnificently. But even as she lay on her back on the track, photographers and camera crews clustering round her to capture her exhausted elation, there was another roar. Spectators stood and pointed beyond the prone form of Ennis to the far side of the stadium and the tumult that had gripped it. There, by the side of the long jump pit, an American competitor Will Claye, was kneeling on the ground, back straight, arms outstretched in prayer. He was waiting for the scoreboard to show the distance he had jumped, waiting to see if he had overtaken Rutherford at the top of the leaderboard. The crowd waited nervously for his reaction, too. They were hoping it would be subdued. It was. He was still 19cms short in third place. Next Rutherford was on the runway, ready for his penultimate leap. By now, Ennis swathed in a Union flag and on a lap of honour with the rest of the heptathletes, had drawn level with him. She watched him as he flew towards the pit, took off on the board and hurled himself into the air. He did not extend his lead. No sooner had Ennis completed her lap of honour than Mo Farah appeared on the track, ready for the men's 10,000m. The expectation weighed as heavily on him as it had on Ennis. Everyone loves Mo . Everyone was desperate for him to win. | sat 4 august 324 | 2012 - the london olympics - hyde park

325: Farah and his rivals started off at a blistering pace. They had covered two laps when Rutherford's last challenger fell short with his final jump. Rutherford could not be caught. It was the first time Britain had won Olympic gold in the event since Lynn Davies did it in 1964 in Tokyo. Two minutes earlier, the stadium announcer had told the crowd Britain had just won its first track and field medal at a London Games since 1908. Now there were two of them. As Rutherford stood in disbelief and then made his own slow, glorious progress round the stadium, taking the plaudits of the crowd, Farah ran on and on. The pace was fearsome and unrelenting and Farah allowed others to take it out, never losing touch, always looking comfortable. He kicked for home at the bell and many feared he had made his move too early. They were wrong. A deafening roar filled the stadium, urging Farah towards the finishing line, willing him bring an enchanted night to a glorious conclusion. Twice on that final lap, it appeared his pursuers were hunting him down. Each time, when it seemed it was impossible he could go any quicker, Farah found an extra burst of pace. As he crossed the line, he seemed almost delirious with joy. He beat his head with his hands and then fell to the track. It felt like a falling down kind of night. It was dizzying. A night, a day, like British sport has never seen before. A first long jump gold for 48 years, a first 10,000m gold ever and a gold for the darling of the Games. | 2012 - the london olympics - super saturday | 325 sat 4 august

326: The morning after a good night's sleep, a decent lie in and breakfast we were ready to go again. Our train back was at half past three so we had quite a few hours of our trip left. | The Olympic organisers had been kind to us because the women's marathon was due to come within yards of we were staying. The competitors were doing 3 laps of a course around the centre of London. The weather was a bit wet but that didn't stop the crowds turning out in force. No British interest in this race after Paula Radcliffe predictably pulled out before the games started. | Women's Marathon | 2012 - the london olympics - women's marathon | sun 5 august 326

327: 2012 - the london olympics - women's marathon | 327 sun 5 august

328: We opted for an open top bus tour and although we didn't have time to complete the whole trip (and had to miss the centre because it was closed for the marathon) we found it fascinating as the guide told us more and more interesting facts about the city. | Bus Tour | 2012 - the london olympics - open top bus tour | sun 5 august 328

329: 2012 - the london olympics - open top bus tour | 329 sun 5 august

330: Gold | Silver | Bronze | Mo Farah Mo Farah Greg Rutherford Jessica Ennis Luke Campbell Anthony Joshua Nicola Adams Timothy Baillie, Etienne Stott Ed McKeever Bradley Wiggins Jason Kenny Philip Hindes, Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Chris Hoy Victoria Pendleton Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Peter Kennaugh, Geraint Thomas Danielle King Joanna Rowsell Laura Trott Laura Trott Charlotte Dujardin L.Bechtolsheimer, Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester Scott Brash, Peter Charles, Ben Maher, Nick Skelton | Robert Grabarz Anthony Ogogo Liam Heath Jon Schofield Chris Froome Ed Clancy Tom Daley L.Bechtolsheimer | Athletics Men's 5,000m Men's 10,000m Men's High Jump Men's Long Jump Women's 400m Women's Heptathlon Boxing Men's Bantamweight Men's Welter Men's Middleweight Men's Super Heavyweight Women's Flyweight Canoeing Men's Slalom C-2 Men's K1 200m Men's K2 200m Cycling Women's Road Race Men's Time Trial Men's Individual Sprint Women's Individual Sprint Men's Team Sprint Men's Keirin Women's Keirin Men's Team Pursuit Women's Team Pursuit Men's Omnium Women's Omnium Diving Men's 10m Platform Equestrian Individual Dressage Team dressage Team Eventing Team Jumping | Christine Ohuruogu Freddie Evans David Florence Richard Hounslow Lizzie Armitstead Victoria Pendleton William Fox-Pitt, Nicola Wilson, Zara Phillips, Mary King, Kristina Cook | sun 12 august 330 | 2012 - the london olympics - team GB's final medal haul

331: Field Hockey Women's Team Gymnastics Men's Team All Around Men's Pommel Horse Women's Uneven Bars Judo Women's Half-heavyweight Women's Heavyweight Modern Pentathlon Women's Rowing Men's Single Sculls Men's Coxless Pairs Women's Coxless Pairs Women's Doubles Sculls Men's Lightwt Double Sculls Women's Lightwt Dbl Sculls Men's Coxless Four Men's Lightwt Coxless Four Men's Eight Sailing Men's Sailboard Men's Finn Class Men's Star Class Women's 470 Shooting Men's Double Trip Swimming Men's 200m Breaststroke Women's 400m Freestyle Women's 800m Freestyle Taikwando Men's Under 80kg Women's Under 57kg Tennis Men's Singles Mixed Doubles Triathlon | Helen Glover, Heather Stanning Katherine Grainger Anna Watkins Katherine Copeland Sophie Hosking Alex Gregory Tom James, Pete Reed Andy Triggs-Hodge Ben Ainslie Peter Wilson Jade Jones Andy Murray Alistair Brownlee | Louis Smith Gemma Gibbons Samantha Murray Mark Hunter Zac Purchase Chris Bartley Peter Chambers Richard Chambers Rob Williams Nick Dempsey Iain Percy Andrew Simpson Hannah Mills Saskia Clark Michael Jamieson Andy Murray Laura Robson | Team GB Sam Oldham, Daniel Purvis, L Smith, MWhitlock Kristian Thomas, Max Whitlock Beth Tweddle Karina Bryant Alan Campbell George Nash, William Satch R Egington, J Foad, P Hill, M Langridge, C Louloudis A Partridge,T Ransley, Greg Searle, M Sbihi Rebecca Adlington Rebecca Adlington Lutalo Muhammad Jonathan Brownlee | Sun 12 August | 331 sun 12 august | 2012 - the london olympics - team GB's final medal haul

332: After all of the excitement of the last few weeks it's nice to know we've still got our holiday to come. It's come round quick but it's off to Torquay again. Setting off at just after 7 we have a really good journey and arrive at 1 and we're pleased to know we can go straight to our room which is 113, the same as last year. The room may be the same but there are some differences to the landscape as the big balloon has gone (irreparably damaged in a storm in January) and although I didn't realise it while I was there, so had the hotel tennis court. | It was like we hadn't been away as we settled into our familiar routine, walk into Torquay, back to the hotel for shower and change, to the restaurant for 7:15 and sat ready to play bingo at 8:30. The hotel was busy but not overcrowded and there was a good atmosphere with the staff (including Ella, a waitress who remembered us from last year) being particularly friendly. The food was really good throughout the week and made us more determined than ever to hit the gym when we got back to shed the extra pounds we were about to put on - having said that we did spend many many hours in the pool and Carol went for several speed walks around Torquay. | 2012 - torquay (8) - Day 1 | sun 12 august 332

333: Phoebe is sporting her new boots and is suddenly looking taller. She's going through a phase of being plugged into things whenever she can, at home it's hours on the computer but here it's her iPod or my phone. That is when she's not at the pool (in which we spent at least 2 hours a day but usually more) on the Dinosaur machine or the grabbing machines which she still likes or playing bingo - will we have any luck this year?. | 2012 - torquay (8) - day 1 | 333 sun 12 august

334: Rain greeted us on Monday morning and looking at the week's forecast there was a chance of showers on most days but it wasn't all doom and gloom because sunny periods were also forecast and the the temperature throughout our stay would be pleasantly warm. So our tactics were simple - when it was raining, or likely to rain, head to the indoor pool or the arena. | No-one needed any persuasion to catch the road train into town from where we headed to McDonalds - there's a surprise. | 2012 - torquay (8) - Day 2 | mon 13 august 334

335: Phoebe looks even cooler on our return after she buys some sunglasses. | No success on the grabbers and below Torquay's waterfront buildings in a state of renovation. | 333 | 2012 - torquay (8) - day 2 | 335 mon 13 august

336: Time to set out our trip objectives: - Phoebe and me to have a Table Tennis rally that lasts over 20 shots - To have at least 1 win on Bingo - To win at least twice on the grabbing machine - For Phoebe to procure the ever elusive T Rex card from the Dinosaur machine that she's desperate for. | mon 13 august 336 | 2012 - torquay (8) - Day 2

337: Last time we didn't move from Torquay but this year we were keen to be a little more adventurous and took a bus to Paignton where almost inevitably we (I say we but mum took all the credit) had our first success on the grabbing machines when Yoshi was landed. It was regatta week and the place was heaving but I still managed to acquire my 1st ice cream of the holiday. | 337 | 2012 - torquay (8) - day 3 - paignton | 337 tue 14 august

338: A relax, back to Torquay on the bus and then the pool for a few hours | tue 14 august 338 | 2012 - torquay (8) - Day 3

339: After another failed bingo session we decided to try our hand at The Big Quiz which although we didn't know beforehand was focused on The Olympics, right up my street or so you would have thought seeing as over the last 2 weeks I had watched everything from horse dressage to music to rhythmic gymnastics. There were some other rounds where Carol and Phoebe helped out. Not sure where our team (we were Russia) came because it went on for ever but 1 or 2 things conspired against us: - Some of the teams were almost the size of the Olympic squads - I couldn't remember things - I failed to spot in the True or False round on The Olympics all the answers were True - this was particularly crucial. Still it was a fun night and we got to witness the enthusiasm of 1 of the most outgoing members of the entertainment team, Tom. | 2012 - torquay (8) - day 3 | 339 tue 14 august

340: It's a dull start to the day so that means the pool for several hours. As was the pattern of the week, part of the day was a bit wet and then it brightened up or vice versa. The forecast was for strong winds and a high tide around 5 ish so we had a stroll into Torquay to see. along the way we met Isaac and his parents who had a similar interest in the Dinosaur machine but who had the advantage over Phoebs because he possessed the T Rex card. | 2012 - torquay (8) - Day 4 | wed 15 august 340

341: Success on the grabbers, 1 Pacman and 1 Yoshi. | 2012 - torquay (8) - day 4 | 341 wed 15 august

342: wed 15 august 342 | 2012 - torquay (8) - Day 4

343: 343 wed 15 august | 2012 - torquay (8) - day 4

344: 344 | 2012 - torquay (8) - Day 5 - brixham | thu 16 august 344

345: Another bus trip, this time to Brixham. Suffice to say, this was not Phoebe's favourite place - she doesn't seem to bond with "old" places. | 2012 - torquay (8) - day 5 - brixham | 345 thu 16 august

346: At last, a win on the bingo - a very nice 60 pounds. We stayed on afterwards to see Kevin before heading off to play late night table tennis. By the way, Phoebs and I did have a rally of more than 20 shots. | thu 16 august 346 | 2012 - torquay (8) - Day 5

347: Yet another day that started wet and then improved. So, again, it's the pool in the morning and then a very pleasant stroll round Torquay in the afternoon where a big wheel was being set up.. | 2012 - torquay (8) - day 6 | 347 fri 17 august

348: There are signs that everything is not great regarding the Torquay tourism trade with trips to Brixham for only 2 pounds return. | 2012 - torquay (8) - Day 6 | thu 16 august 348

349: Phoebs, please take a photo of us. Sure, five minutes later and a little tomfoolery on Phoebs's part we get our picture. | We're on a roll, this time it's the final house and we win 164 pounds - great! | 349 fri 17 august | 2012 - torquay (8) - day 6

350: 2 miracles: 1. It's a nice warm, sunny day. 2. During an early morning visit to the Arena, Phoebe GETS THE CARD SHE'S BEEN AFTER FOR SEVERAL YEARS.. | 2012 - torquay (8) - Day 7 | sat 18 august 350

351: The wheel's up but not quite open for business. They're still selling those delicious ice creams that I am already addicted to and it's sunny - it's been a super, relaxing holiday. | 351 sat 18 august | 2012 - torquay (8) - day 7

352: Amazingly, it's yet another win (only 30 quid this time but very welcome all the same) giving us a grand total of 254 pounds overall. I did all right on the bandits as well winning 3 jackpots on the Monopoly machine in the bar and 1 on the trusty Star Wars machine although for several days it had looked like it had been Jeffed. To the right is 1 of the last pictures taken of Phoebe's Ipod because shortly after we came back it was lost forever on a trip out - still every cloud has a silver lining and somehow she ends up with her ultimate possession, an iPhone. | 352 | 2012 - torquay (8) - Day 7 | sat 18 august 352

353: So a remarkable and unique summer is coming to an end So now we can have a nice, relaxing time in the build up to Christmas - WRONG: We start looking to see if there are any suitable houses on the market. Having seen a property we would really like (and several we wouldn't like) we put our house on the market and cross our fingers. | Murkiness greeted us on our last day although it brightened up before we set off back - the trip could have been better because we were stuck in almost standing traffic for an hour and a half on the M5 because a caravan had flipped over. We arrived home at half seven and guess what, we've booked again for next year. | 353 sun 19 august | 2012 - torquay (8) - day 8

354: This has come round very quickly - Phoebe, looking far too grown up, sets off to start her final year at primary school where she'll be in Mrs Law's class. | 2012 - ansdell primary school - year 6 - back to school | thu 6 september 354

355: To celebrate Stephen's 60th, Gill arranged a surprise gathering at Lytham Tennis Club where Steve was rehearsing with his band. Family, current friends and friends from the past assembled in the car park and Stephen was lured out of the back entrance. He obviously had no idea. | 2012 - stephen's surprise 6oth birthday party at lytham cricket club | 355 sat 8 september

356: I had a quiet word with the group's drummer, Andy Jakeman, as we came in and the next thing is Phoebe is playing on his 2000 pound drum kit for about 20 minutes. | 2012 - stephen's surprise 6oth birthday party at lytham cricket club | sat 8 september 356

357: It was good to see some old familiar faces that I hadn't see for a while: Dave, Simon, Henry, Ken and Jackie among them. The group were, as usual, very good. | 2012 - stephen's surprise 6oth birthday party at lytham cricket club | 357 sat 8 september

358: Krissy's 21 | Today would have been Krissy's 21st birthday. | You were a beautiful, beautiful person in every possible way and we all miss you terribly. xxx | 2012 - kristina would have been 21 today | mon 10 september 358

359: Where do I start - I am missing my little girl with all my heart - today is your birthday, your 21st - you always loved birthdays. It is hard to comprehend that you have been gone for 12 years - I don't know where the time has gone, but you have been thought about every single day - loved and missed sooooo much. You could light up a room, now you light up heaven - God Bless You My Little Angel xxx All my love forever - mum xxxxxxxxxxxxx | 2012 - kristina would have been 21 today | 359 mon 10 september

360: Carol's creativity and skill continues to impress. | tue 11 september 360 | 2012 - nailz

361: 0.0km START: City Centre, Carlisle 24.4km Penrith 43.0km Yodel Sprint, Shap (outside Primary School) 51.8km SKODA KoM, Shap Fell (Cat.2) 66.7km Yodel Sprint, Kendal (outside rugby club) 79.9km SKODA KoM, Old Hutton (Cat.2) 81.2km Feed Zone, Old Town 86.3km Kirkby Lonsdale 98.9km Hornby 106.4km Yodel Sprint, Caton 114.0km SKODA KoM, Quernmore (Cat.3) 131.6km Pilling 138.4km Stalmine 144.1km Singleton 156.0km FINISH: The Tower, Blackpool Promenade | 11:00 11:46 12:10 12:21 12:40 12:57 12:59 13:05 13:22 13:31 13:41 14:04 14:12 14:20 14:35 | Last year the stage to Blackpool was cancelled because of high winds and this year the conditions weren't much better. The wind was again stong but this time there was heavy rain as well. We were lucky though and by the time the riders were due it had stopped raining and conditions were much better. We managed to get a good spot about 200m from the finish. | 2012 - cycling - tour of britain - stage 4 - carlisle to blackpool | 361 wed 12 september

362: The crowds were out in force this year because Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish were in the field. So there we were, cameras poised, in an ideal spot right next to a speaker so we knew how far they were away, 30km, 22km, 16km, 9km, 3km, 1km. Then whoooosh they'd gone past us and we missed them - about 3 riders in front of the ones above, Cav was racing to victory. We then missed the presentation because of the mass of people and made a rather futile attempt to photograph Wiggins by the team bus. | 362 | 2012 - tour of britain - stage 4 - carlisle to blackpool | wed 12 september 362

363: 0km START: Trentham Gardens 7.3km Yodel Sprint, Stone (Lichfield Road) 22.5km Baswich 29.2km SKODA KoM, Glacial Boulder, Cannock Chase (Cat.2) 37.5km Rugeley 58.5km Yodel Sprint, Uttoxeter (outside Plough PH) 67.4km Yodel Sprint, Rocester (outside JCB) 71.8km Alton 84.0km SKODA KoM, Oakamoor (Cat.2) 84.8km Feed Zone, Ellastone Road 99.1km Warslow 116.8km SKODA KoM, Gun Hill (Cat.1) 126.3km Biddulph Moor 139.2km Stockton Brook 147.0km FINISH: Old Hall Street, City Centre | We repeated our 2011 trip and went to Trentham Gardens to see the riders off, we guessed there were twice as many there as there was last year because of the pilling power of Cav (who was in the leader's gold jersey) and Wiggo. | 2012 - tour of britain - stage 5 - stoke to stoke | 363 thu 13 september

364: After watching the cyclists leave we headed off to Gun Hill to see them tackle a Category 1 climb. We were dead lucky because we got the last parking spot just over the brow of the hill. It was a great atmosphere but Cav disappointed because he was well off the pace by the time he got to us and Wiggo had stayed behind to see if he could help him catch up. Once again Jack and I were caught on TV and once again we were the only ones who knew it was us. | 2012 - tour of britain - stage 5 - stoke to stoke | thu 13 september 364

365: For the record, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke went on to win the race, the first British winner in 19 years. | 2012 - tour of britain - stage 5 - stoke to stoke - Gun Hill | 365 thu 13 september

366: Coniston Water (usually simply called Coniston locally) is the third largest lake in the English Lake District. It is five miles long, half a mile wide and has a maximum depth of 184 feet. It is 143 feet above sea level. and drains to the sea via the River Crake. | This trip has been planned for ages but because of the weather and other commitments we have to postpone it several times. Although it rained for about 10 minutes this was nothing compared to previous days when it has been torrential for hours on end and once again the country has been suffering from widespread flooding. Personally I can't remember seeing Coniston before, except on television in 1967 when 1 of the most famous live events took place when Donald Campbell, attempting to break the world water speed record in Bluebird dramatically somersaulted in mid air before disappearing under the water. Boat and body were recovered 34 years ago and Campbell's daughter is determined to restore and run Bluebird again.. | 2012 - 4 amigos - coniston | thu 4 october 366

367: 367 thu 4 october | 2012 - 4 amigos - coniston

368: 2012 - 4 amigos - coniston | thu 4 october 368

369: It turned out to be 1 of the more strenuous walks we have done because after Coniston we walked uphill for what seemed ages (about 450 ft) and we all struggled at times in the very pleasant spring like weather. It was worth it though because at the top Tarn Hows looked fantastic. Tarn Hows (originally Low Tarn, Middle Tarn and High Tarn which were artificially merged) is approx 2 miles northeast of Coniston and 1.5 miles northwest of Hawkshead. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area with over half a million visitors per year. | 369 thu 4 october | 2012 - 4 amigos - coniston

370: 2012 - 4 amigos - coniston | thu 4 october 370

371: To the left is the house we nearly bought, everything was progressing until we went round and saw that a lake had replaced the back garden. We then had a structural survey which revealed that all the ground floor rooms sloped and in the meantime I had found out that the house next door had had a claim for subsidence. We decided that it was too much of a risk and pulled out. | To the right is the property we thought was perfect and prompted us to put our house on the market - unfortunately it was sold soon after but it's taking a long time to complete so you never know.... | 371 thu 11 october | 2012 - Moving .... or not?

372: fri 12 october 372 | 2012 - ansdell primary school - harvest festival

373: Another really nice Saturday and another Saturday I couldn't get a tee time (which was a bit disappointing as I had managed to rediscover some form and come 2nd on the previous Wednesday (23 pts in last 8 holes)). The good thing was I'd been invited to Fylde for lunch and a few drinks while we watched the game against a team no-one had heard of but who were above Fylde in National League Division 1 | It turned out to be rather a fun day. We (me, Mark, Jeff, Murph, Thommo, Jason and a few others I didn't know) had a very nice lamb meal washed down with a few lagers before watching Fylde thrash the visitors before heading to Lytham for more lagers in Weatherspoons and the Taps before stopping off at the Blossoms for a night cap - it's been a long time since I'd drunk as much as that and needless to say I regretted it the next day big time. Roll on the next one. To the right is the longest post match huddle I've ever seen. | 373 sat 13 october | 2012 - fylde 44 - 12 cinderford

374: It was back to the area of a couple of our earlier walks when we tackled the climb from Grasmere to the heights of Loughrigg Terrace. It was possibly our most strenuous walk as the slopes up and down were quite steep and we were walking almost without a break for 4 hours. It was also very busy with lots of people of all ages out and about. The weather was kind though and the views when we got to the top, at Trig Point, over Grasmere, Windermere, Coniston and Rydal Water were truly spectacular. To make the trip extra special for me was that I got to hear that the house down Finsbury Avenue, that we'd set our hearts on, was back up for sale, so we bought it, WHOOP WHOOP! | 2012 - 3 amigos - loughrigg terrace | thu 25 october 374

375: 375 thu 25 october | 2012 - 3 amigos - loughrigg terrace

376: 2012 - phoebe's 11th birthday party at the blossoms | mon 19 november 376

377: Because there was so much going on we had a simpler birthday celebration for Phoebs this year and just took her and several of her friends (Abi, Anna, Eleanor, Kerry, Olivia and Lizzie (Tessa couldn't make it) plus guest appearances from Emma, Nick, Simon, Janine and Patrick to The Blossoms. It was a really good atmosphere though and everyone seemed to have a good time. No grand party so Phoebe would just have to make do with a custom built computer, a drum kit and a trip to Disneyland Paris as well as having the best room in the new house. | 2012 - phoebe's 11th birthday party at the blossoms | 377 mon 19 november

378: After 14 years (12 for me and 11 for Phoebs) we're on the move to our our 1st choice and dream house. The day was long and pretty stressful as, with the help of Julia's Removals, we made what seemed like endless trips to 1st of all the tip and then to the house with us hoping that we didn't tip some of our best stuff and move our rubbish to the new house. However I think we'd have made just about any sacrifice to move in as we liked the house so much and thought it was ideally set out for all of us. Our ties were not completely broken with Hilton Avenue as Emma and Nick moved in there so we knew we could still visit it - this was good because although we had many happy times there it was also Kristina's home for 2 years and there will always be reminders of her there. | 2012 - another day to remember - we move to finsbury avenue | wed 21 november 378

379: We fell for it when we first saw it and our views had not changed since - this is where we wanted to be and now we are here, WHOOP, WHOOP! | 2012 - another day to remember - we move to finsbury avenue | 379 wed 21 november

380: 2012 - minecon at Disneyland Resort, Paris - Day 1 | fri 23 november 380

381: This has to go down as one of the strangest (but still enjoyable) experiences of my life when me and Phoebs travelled to Disneyland Paris to attend Minecon 2012 which as everyone knows is the annual convention for Minecraft (computer game) enthusiasts. We travelled in style by catching a train down to London and then went 1st class all the way on the Eurostar to Lille, the TGV to Disneyland on the Friday and then reversed the journey on the Sunday. The highlight of the journey was the TGV experience which was like a white knuckle ride as it reached speeds of 200mph. | We arrived just after 5 local time and made our way to the very grand Disneyland Hotel before walking to the New York Hotel to register for the event and receive our goody bags. In the evening we ate in style at McDonalds and visited the countless Disney stores (not my favourite places) that were on site. | 2012 - minecon at Disneyland Resort, Paris - Day 2 | 381 fri 23 november

382: 2012 - minecon at Disneyland Resort, Paris - Day 2 | sat 24 november 382

383: We stood patiently in line alongside the other 5498 attendees for well over an hour (some of whom were dressed slightly oddly with boxes on their heads) still not knowing what to expect. | 383 sat 24 november | 2012 - minecon at Disneyland Resort, Paris - Day 2

384: We eventually made it into the very grand main exhibition hall where we were treated to some impressive videos and introduced to the brains behind Minecraft, people such as Lydia, Jeb, Notch, Seth Bling and Captain Sparklez. After an hour or so the main audience dispersed to attend breakout sessions and we joined a long queue to buy some of the abundant merchandise on sale. I still wasn't that much wiser as to what was going on but Phoebe was very excited at seeing all the people she hoped would be there and seemed to know them as if they were old friends. | 2012 - minecon at Disneyland Resort, Paris - Day 2 | sat 24 november 384

385: 385 sat 24 november | 2012 - minecon at Disneyland Resort, Paris - Day 2

386: 2012 - minecon at Disneyland Resort, Paris - Day 2 | sat 24 november 386

387: Phoebe got a few autographs and posed with the stars as we spent the rest of the day soaking up the atmosphere and catching some of the events laid on. It was no surprise when Phoebe finally turned into one of the main characters of Minecraft, a creeper I believe they're called. | It was late Saturday afternoon that Phoebe told me that the person she most wanted to meet was CaptainSpaklez aka Jordan Maron pictured left with Lydia so we set off to try and track him down without any success as we kept arriving somewhere he'd been spotted just too late. | 387 sat 24 november | 2012 - minecon at Disneyland Resort, Paris - Day 2

388: It's more queuing as we join our Minecon colleagues on an evening in Walt Disney Studios. We could also have got concessionary tickets for the main park but we didn't bother with those. | We had a good wander round and went on a tour of some of the sets, one of which sprung into life in a spectacular way. | 2012 - minecon at Disneyland Resort, Paris - Day 2 | sat 24 november 388

389: Our train back didn't go until 2:30 so we had plenty of time to do some sightseeing, see what was going on at Minecon and track down Captainsparklez, the latter being the most difficult. However we did manage it as he was judging a costume event on the main stage and we managed to waylay him after he'd finished. Despite being mobbed ours was the only autograph he signed as I gave him a sob story that we had to leave soon. Phoebe, rather typically, was a bit disappointed because she didn't get her photo taken with him. | Our trip back was really good (it's the only way to travel} until we arrived at Preston to discover no trains were going to St Annes but Mum Taxi came and got us. Phoebe really enjoyed the trip - she didn't tell me this as we didn't speak all that much but she had been texting her pals a lot to say she was having fun. One last question - where was Mickey Mouse? | 389 sun 24 november | 2012 - minecon at Disneyland Resort, Paris - Day 3

390: So the script was Mark and I went to Kirkham to see Jessica Ennis and buy her signed book at Silverdell book shop where there have been many celebrities in the past. Estimates varied between 400 and a thousand as to how many were there and it was made very clear to everyone entering the shop that she was just signing the book and no memorabilia but she did for us - also we manged to sneak a 9 year old called Lela in who promised us she had a glittering athletics career ahead of her so we'll be looking for her name in the years to come. | 2012 - book Signing at Silverdell by Jessica Ennis | tue 27 november 390

391: 2012 - book Signing at Silverdell by Jessica Ennis | 391 tue 27 november | 2012 - book Signing at Silverdell by Jessica Ennis

392: bbb | It's a new era down at Bloomfield Rd - Holloway's gone to Crystal Palace and Michael Appleton is in charge. | It was good to be back, the ground was full and the result was right with goals from Thomas and Broadfoot. | Blackpool perhaps weren't as enterprising as they were under Holloway but they still played some good stuff. Jeff was with with us (not in the picture above) and wasn't impressed by his Rovers side. | 2012 - blackpool 2 - 0 blackburn rovers | sat 15 december 392

393: Not the best end to the year as Blackpool are beaten by Wolves thanks to a very dodgy penalty decision against them. Bad first goal conceded inside three minutes but for much of the rest of the game Blackpool dominated and their keeper made a series of excellent and very acrobatic saves. This leaves Blackpool mid table at the end of the year. | 393 sat 22 december | 2012 - blackpool 1 - 2 wolverhampton wanderers

394: mon 24 december 394 | 2012 - christmas eve

395: Christmas was a little more low key this year than of late due to the house moves and buying things for the new home and the fact that Phoebe had had her main present, a set of drums, in advance so she could compete with Eleanor in the A Factor at school - unfortunately they didn't make it through the auditions which we put down to bias and favouritism by the judges because they were good. Phoebe also dropped a bombshell by announcing she was beginning to doubt the existence of Father Christmas. | 2012 - christmas day | 395 tue 25 december

396: wed 26 december 396 | 2012 - boxing day at the queens

397: We, that's not including Holly, Danny and Jack, were invited to Jason and Natasha Lydon's to bring in the New Year along with the Challengers, Murphys, Jaggers and Mills's. Unfortunately I had one of my coughs and only drank water. Here's to 2013 being half as good as 2012. | 397 mon 31 december | 2012 - holly, danny and jack and new year's eve at the lydons

398: 398 | 398 | 2012 - what else was news - deaths, music, films, top stories, tv, spoty

399: 399 | 2012 - what else was news - deaths, music, films, top stories, tv, spoty

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  • Title: 2012 - Ready
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  • Started: about 7 years ago
  • Updated: 11 months ago