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Time for change #review

You might have noticed that my blog posts have changed this week. I want my writing to be more successful and to be read by more people. I’ve decided to concentrate my efforts in one place on A Zillion Ideas and make better use of my photography too. I can optimise the SEO better on my other site using a plug-in as well.

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Community events #Sunday #ramble

1 Brendan Hawthorne

Welcome to my Sunday ramble, when I ramble on about whatever happens to be on my mind. I was out at the local church hall taking photos for a charity event last night and so I’m struggling to stay awake today. (more…)


Dark secrets #Sunday #ramble

Welcome to another Sunday ramble and today my lead picture is of the mill pool. It looks scenic, but if we dig into it’s past will we find dark secrets ? On the other side of the pool is heathland, but part of it is now a school field for what used to be Menzies high school. (more…)


It could be worse #Sunday #ramble

So, the Tories pulled a fast one. Instead of targeting Labour seats they went after the Lib Dems instead. It makes sense, rather than go after  the left wing constituencies, they swayed the middle of the road voter to turn right. It could be worse though, even though we have five more years of austerity. (more…)


Heritage, art and culture #Blackcountry

In the Black Country the culture has an eclectic range of influences. People have come from many countries and brought their cultures to influence ours. The main source of influence though is the industrial past. (more…)


Jezza Clarkson suspended #Sunday #ramble

Yes, this week Jezza Clarkson of Top Gear fame was suspended for slapping a producer. We all know he was just messin’ around and joking. He once said Wednesbury was the worst place on earth. He was joking, he loves Wednesbury! (more…)


We are all alcoholics now

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Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

21 units

The government recommends that we drink no more than 21 units of alcohol a week, but many people drink more? They can’t force us to cut down, can they? It seems they are going to try, at least for people on benefits. If they get away with that, how long before they try it with the rest of us? (more…)


A mid-winter ramble

In the movies you get that guy who lives in the big house all alone and looks a bit weird. I think that’s me! I have a house guest at the moment. My brother joked that I could be the axe murderer. I joked that when my guest goes home, he could call the police and say she’s missing; they might come and dig my garden for me! (more…)


The Sunday Ramble: Life in The Black Country

The Black Country

You probably think writing a blog like this is easy; it’s not. There are lots of technical things you have to know. It’s no good me writing this stuff, if no one finds it and reads it. Is it? I have to optimise it for the search engines like Google and Bing. Today, my focus key phrase is “The Black Country”. (more…)


The Sunday Ramble: getting about

I’ll be getting about this afternoon, taking photographs somewhere. Sunday is the only day when the roads are reasonable clear. The congestion on the roads gets worse in the Black Country and finding a place to park is a nightmare. (more…)


Boxing Day: more Frying Pan photos

I hope everyone is enjoying Christmas. It hasn’t been a white Christmas here, but it is getting colder; it was freezing outside when I woke this morning.  Today’s photo was taken in 2011. I think we had snow quite early that year. (more…)


The Sunday Ramble: challenging

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Christmas is nearly here and it looks like being ‘challenging’. Challenging is the word the politicians and other politically correct people say when they don’t have a bloody clue. There are people with greater life challenges. (more…)


The Sunday Ramble: We are all photo-journos now

Wednesbury Christmas Lights 2014 (173) (Copy)

It’s the first day of December tomorrow and so just 3 weeks to Christmas. We have the Christmas trees up in Wednesbury and the lights switched on. I was at the official switch-on by Gareth Gates on Friday.  I wrote a post yesterday on A Zillion Ideas and beat all the other local news services to it by publishing early! (more…)


The Review: Gareth Gates does Wednesbury

Wednesbury Christmas Lights 2014 with Gareth Gates

I went to the big switch-on of Wednesbury’s Christmas Lights yesterday with Gareth Gates doing the big switch-on. I froze last year and so I was well protected from the weather this time. (more…)


The Sunday Ramble: Easy street?

I was thinking this morning how easy it is for some people to make money. According to Myleene Klass (what  a name), 2 million quid buys a ‘garage’ in London. “Some garage,” said Nick Clegg, trying not to look too smug… (fail). (more…)


The Sunday Ramble: risk

Roulette Wheel courtesy Wikpedia

Image: Courtesy of Wikipedia 

In life there are constant risks. Every time we drive we risk road traffic accidents and death. We can contract some dreadful illness at any time and die horribly. We can have some financial disaster and find ourselves begging on the  streets. (more…)


The Sunday Halloween Ramble

Sunday 19th October 2014 around the Black Country (140)

It’s Halloween this week, when spooky things happen as the darkness of winter begins. Can you imagine politicians going around Westminster doing ‘trick or treat’? Who would they select to do it? Iain Duncan-Smith and George Osborne would be scary even without masks. (more…)


The Sunday Ramble: changing seasons

This was Forge Mill Lake in February; I wonder what it looks like in Autumn? I might find out today. The seasons change and the landscape changes with them. Our lives are like that, people come into our lives and leave with the next season. We look for permanency in our lives, but everything  is  really temporary.

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The Sunday Ramble: they are among us

The Manor Hospital copyright: Mike Maynard

This week Walsall Healthcare NHS trust was fined £120,000 for delays in A & E and long waiting times. When we are sick, we expect to be seen fairly quickly and although 88% were seen within 4 hours, that still means some people waiting over 4 hours. (more…)


The Sunday Ramble: music, politics and photography

The Vine Darlaston

The sun is shining this morning and it could be a good day for photography. I will be doing some indoor photography early this evening. I’m going to photograph Acoustic Alliance who will be playing at the Vine in Darlaston from 6 – 8pm. (more…)


The Sunday Ramble: The alternative Nobel prizes

Bike on Tipton Canal

It’s Tipton canal and community festival this weekend. I haven’t heard how it’s going, but I’ll try and take photos of it this afternoon. It should be just down the canal from where this picture was taken; I think boats are mooring overnight at the rear of the health centre. I have new readers today, so I’ll make an effort. (more…)


The Sunday Ramble: Back to square one

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You are probably wondering why I’ve started with a picture of my runner beans. I have just been out to pick them. I have enough for my meals all week! When I first started this blog, I wrote my Sunday rambles as lunch was cooking. (more…)


Photography: Wednesbury Carnival

SSAFA at Wednesbury Carnival

Wednesbury Carnival

I photographed Wednesbury Carnival on Saturday and although the weather was good, it is still difficult taking photos in really bright sunlight. I tried to do a lot of close up shots and some general shots to show what the carnival was like. (more…)