Monday, 26 March 2007

Running The Tan Hill Inn...

Last week I helped run the Tan Hill Inn while the owners and most of the staff were down in London attending the Publican Awards 2007.
I felt very privileged to be left pretty much in charge of the place and did not take the responsibility lightly, so put everything I had into it and it all turned out just fine :]

Myself, Andy and Rachel ran the place like clockwork(ish) and a superb time was had:

Upon arrival, Tan Hill was a windy and snowy scene

Who's the barman in the kewl hat?

The Old Peculiar clock, hung above the till, does actually make sense after 3 pints of the stuff, honest guv.

Tracy's Hagland - If we get really snowed in, this is our ticket out!

On my first morning, I should of guessed something was likely to happen, but did not expect to have a 'snowball wakeup'. This little jape was concocted between Andy and Rachel and I thought both of them were funny as f*** :0)

As you can imagine, I was glad to see Sherbet the dogga again, YAY!!!

It's true - 3 rings and it goes in. There are a few jars full of pickled phones on the bar :)

Andy actually washing up :0) *kidding*

One of the many responsibilities is looking after the chickens - So I round up the hens to put them somewhere warm for the evening and make sure they are fed.

Also, there are a few ducks to keep warm and fed too, but I have concluded that ducks are actually more stupid than chickens! Aww, how cruel, but they are cute.

Minty the cat making himself comfortable behind the bar, but he was soon 'removed'!

Toto the kitten outside the pub on a sunny afternoon

Ted Moult from 'that famous 1980s Everest double glazing advert' where he drops the feather by the window. The advert was filmed here and that is the actual feather used. How cool!

The hound really knows how to go straight to my heart by doing the classic sit up and beg manoeuvre, normally perfectly executed when I have food.

Here's Martin, a guest staying with a friend for one night. We found out it was his 21st birthday and Rachel made him the sign above his head. It was a riot* I tell you!!! A fireman's helmet was just the start *on the contrary :[]

I bought Sherby a new toy - She seems to like it :)

Jet fighters were practicing overhead one of the days and I caught this nice shot [the plane doesn't look like a blob when bigger]

The beautiful Rachel playing guitar and singing one afternoon, captivating the whole pub.

A chicken flew in through the open window one lunchtime, much to the surprise of the customers and that was further added to by me not batting an eyelid. The hen was soon being fed and fussed by everyone though

Aww, the hound asleep... She's all paws :]

The obligatory mooning shot on the Pennine Way... Sorry, but you knew it was coming, right?

Extreme close up of Sherby's nose... A wet nose = A happy hound

Rachel lit by a Sunset

Gosia, resident staff and the in house Polish pianist... and she's very good!

This sign was replaced by a modern one the day after I took this!

Ooh, yet another one of the dogga, how did that get in there?

Last, but very much not least, Tracy the landlady - Although I'm not sure the word 'lady' is something I would whole-heartedly associate with her :0)

A moody tan Hill sunset

Anyhow, I'm flying out to Germany today folks, to attend the Musikmesse and much more in Frankfurt, so see ya'll in a week.

Today, I'm Most Angry About: My car refusing to start this morning, as the battery appears to be voltage shy... Grrr... and then my PC at work broke, then my printer and then my PDA... What a morning that was - I was in ever such a good mood!
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 6/10

Today's Top Tip: Chavs in Vauxhall
Corsas. Attach a lit sparkler to the roof of your car before starting a journey - You drive the things like dodgems, so they may as well look like one!

Thursday, 22 March 2007


I been tagged be Kayla I 'ave:

A- Available or Single? – Both :]

B- Best Friends? – Andy & Martin

C- Cake or Pie? – Pie

D- Drink of Choice? – Beer

E- Essential Item? – iPod

F- Favourite Colour? – Deep Blue

G- Gummi Bears or Worms? – Gummi Bears

H- Hometown? – Kidderminster, England

I- Indulgence? – Massage

J- January or February? - February, as I get post Xmas blues in Jan :'(

K- Kids and Names? – What kids?

L- Life is incomplete without? - Good Friends and Music

M- Marriage Date? – Whoa... a what date?

N- Number of Siblings? – Two elder sisters

O- Oranges or Apples? - Apples for texture, oranges for taste

P- Phobias/Fears? – Being imprisoned for something I didn't do

Q- Favourite Quote? - Ooh, loads, but currently, see top of my blog
(That's an instruction, not a quote by the way :)

R- Reasons to smile? - Friends, dogs, cute girls

S- Season? – Spring (not too hot and no hey fever - just right)

T- Tag 3 People? – Dakota, Boo, Mellowlee and everyone else really

U- Unknown Fact About Me? – I can voluntarily flare my nostrils like a rabbit

V- Vegetable You Hate? – Onion, although I love the taste it gives me a bad stomach :[

W- Worst Habit? – Laziness

X- X-rays You've Had? – Teeth many times, wrists (ice skating accident)

Y- Your Favourite Foods? – Indian, Chinese, Pizza, Eggs, Steak

Z- Zodiac? – Cancer

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Seeing a woman swerving across the white lines in the fast lane of the motorway while there was no one in the inside or middle lanes... When I eventually passed her, I saw she was on her phone!!! Grrr - Stoopid idiot
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 7/10

Today's Top Tip:
Encourage friends to phone you by offering a free plastic dinosaur with each call!

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Otterly Brilliant...

A friend and I were out cycling in the Wyre Forest on Saturday morning and we noticed a few trees had been blown down in recent storms and had fallen across a stream like a makeshift bridge, so we went to go play on them :0)

We put our bikes down and my mate stopped by the fallen tree and said, "Did you hear that?"
I said, "Yeah, sounded like something squeaking!"

I then realise the sound is coming from my feet and upon closer inspection, I spot these two little dudes:

Pup numbah One

Pup numbah two

I suddenly turned into mush and was initially convinced they were abandoned puppy dogs, so I thought of rescuing them and then the thought of inadvertently acquiring two puppies did cross my mind - Not that I would complain of course!!!

Then, upon careful inspection with a stick (as not to leave a scent), I deduced they were actually otter pups, due to their clawed and slightly webbed feet, heavy whiskers and tail shape.

We left them alone, as the mother was probably out hunting or hiding round the corner away from us two herberts, but I do hope they were OK, as they only appeared a few days old.

This week I'm back off up to the Tan Hill Inn, as the owners are going to London for a few days and want me to work the pub in their absence.
See ya'll next weekend.

P.S. I just realised, I've been blogging for just over one year now! Happy Blogday to me :]

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Running out of hard disk space on my 30GB iPod... Grrr, I knew I should have bought the 80GB version, but I was too tight! :[]
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 2/10

Today's Top Tip:
Beat bicycle theft by towing a horse box behind your bike. When you stop, simply padlock the cycle securely inside!

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Agh! That's Me...What am I doing there..?

I get in from work on Thursday night and did my usual routine:

Sort my post out
Turn on PC
Grab a drink
Fire up iTunes and start listening to Soma FM 'Groove Salad'
Log onto MSN Messenger
Check e-mail
Start the Intermaweb and see a picture of myself on Lycos
WTF *cue record scratch sound effect*

"Extreme Close Up" (Knarly Dude!)

Several months ago, I switched to Lycos as my homepage, as I got bored of Yahoo and Google...
The dog angle on the site had NOTHING to do with it of course :]

After changing, I noticed a Lycos feature called 'Sexy Like Us'; a photo-rating feature.
I joined purely out of interest and nothing more, as you had to sign-up to view the photos. I didn't even write down my username and password and used the first photo I came across, my blog one - I had completely disregarded the feature and forgotten everything about it, so you can imagine my surprise to see my mug shot on Lycos's homepage!!!

It may still be there as it scrolls through the articles

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Stupid people on the roads... Where do I start... I was fuming by the time I got to work.. AND my CD auto-changer is playing up and skipping whenever I drive over the slightest pothole or accelerate hard... Grrr... :[
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 7/10

Today's Top Tip: A Teaspoon placed in a glass on the back seat of your car makes a handy audible gauge for road bump severity.

Monday, 12 March 2007


Hi folks... Last week a friend and I spent a week in Grindelwald, Switzerland and a fab time was had:

We flew out on a De Havilland Dash 8 Q400 - A lovely turboprop plane

We drank much beer, so I looked like this for most of the week :0)

Grindelwald is a lovely Swiss alpine picture-postcard town, nestled in the Alps

One of the many lovely buildings in the town, set against the mountains

We stayed in the Sunstar Hotel and it was 1st class - they served 4 or 5 course meals every night and it gave me the chance to try many new yummy things, including:

Raw Swordfish
Plum Sorbet
Mussel Soup
Ox Tail (not the soup)
Guinea Foul

The view from the hotel room's balcony - overlooking the Eiger

The 'in-house' entertainment was possibly cheesier than the Microsoft 'Wordart' font used on his poster! :)

I spotted this slight translation error on the room's phone, which presumably should have read 'Wake-Up'?
Perhaps they offered an alternative alarm call and come and hit you to wake you or maybe it meant something more dubious with the maid if both buttons are pressed simultaneously? LOL

The snow conditions weren't perfect, but we got a good few days in...

Andy, about hit a double-diamond black... NOT :]

Getting up the mountain was very pleasant, as a modern rack and pinion train took you to the top!

On the none-skiing days, we decided to go down the 6-MILE (9.7km) sledge run! (... Oh, sorry, I meant 'sledding')

A traditional Swiss Saint Bernard dogga.
There was no Brandy in the keg though :[

A snowy log stack I spotted on one of the slopes

Only 4 people have completed climbing the north face of the Eiger!
I've marked my contribution :]

Icicles hanging off a mountain cafe, 5000ft up

Having seen 'Curling' played on TV for years, I thought I'd give it a go and boy is it hard!

For ages I've wanted a hat with ears and after going to EVERY shop in town, the last shop I came across had what I was looking for!
How cool eh?
I got approached three times by Americans asking were they could buy one and I got stopped by a Chinese lady so she could take my picture :)

On a clear day, we decided to embark upon a trip to the highest point in Europe, Jungfraujoch. (Well, the highest point you're average joe public can get to)

The views were stunning looking down on the clouds!

I suffered from altitude sickness as the air was VERY thin up there and I was seriously light-headed for the hour stay. Tip: Don't hold you're breath when taking a photo to avoid camera shake, it makes the room spin :)

There's an exit out onto the glacier and I was genuinely scared. The winds were gale force and the platform shook a lot and was like a balcony with a several thousand-foot drop below!

The top of the Eiger [North Face]

While up there, you could also walk inside the glacier! How cool is that? Literally :]

I wondered how cold it was and the 2nd most sensitive bit of instrumentation I had with me was my arse... So a bare-butt test it was and I can confirm it was flipping cold!
Luckily I didn't stick or get caught by the attendant :0)

'Flybe' messed up the flight home, so they hired a BAE-146 200, which flew over empty, just to fly us home! Well done...
It's my fave plane ever and it was only a 3rd full, so I got to lie across three empty seats and have a nap on the way home.

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Having ZERO enthusiasm and generally feeling a bit rotten!
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 8/10

Today's Top Tip:
Avoid jet lag by simply taking an earlier flight, thus arriving fully refreshed and on time.