Sunday, 11 November 2012

Weddings and puppies

If you ever want a stressful day, accept the assignment to be a wedding photographer for a friend !

Over the years I have had 4 such stressful days. 
My sister in law and 3 siblings from friends who are like family.

The stress comes from knowing that if it goes wrong for any reason there is no going back and redoing the day. Simple things become the stuff of pre-wedding nightmares, such as...
Camera fail ( I take two) 
Delete pics by mistake  ( I make duplicates and down load to laptop half way through )
Poor photography ( I take hundreds, law of average says some must be good )

I'm far from being a professional photographer, but I have a steady hand ! Plus if you pay peanuts you can only expect to hire monkeys :) The guy that's free, generally wins the contract.

The beautiful bride above is Lauren taken before the service yesterday.

More pictures can be found HERE 

In other news our puppy is still growing and getting into mischief.

She looks more like a blonde version of Tatty Teddy of "Forever Friends" fame with every passing day

Lots more about Jessie can be found at her blog, Jessie The Cockapoo

Lest we Forget

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Laurence Binyon

Jake and Joanne reading the inscription at Agny (Pas de Calais, France) Military Cemetery

We went to visit the grave of Joanne's Great Grandfather
Corporal William Carrington
9th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps
Died Friday 2nd June 1916

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Jessie the Cockapoo update

She isn't loosing any of her cuteness with age ! We took Jessie with us to the beach yesterday afternoon and she was in her element. Both her spaniel and poodle heritage suggested she might like water...She loved getting wet and soggy racing up and down the water logged sand ripples !

We have also found dog ownership makes you more sociable. After the beach we walked through the adjacent towns high street. Well we tried to, we kept getting stopped by lovely people that wanted to talk to our walking teddy bear. Whenever Mrs RJR and our daughter went in a shop they came out to find me and Jessie with a couple of people talking to us !

There is much more info about Jessie and also a lot of pictures and videos on her own blog Jessie The Cockapoo

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Jessie the Cockapoo on Facebook

Its official. Jessie our puppy has her own Facebook page, I'm Mad !

And here is a video summary of her week

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Jessie the Cockapoo

I haven't posted for a while for various reasons, model making, holidays family commitments etc. But tonight I have some exciting news to share... The RJR household has a new addition, Jessie the Cockapoo puppy.

We bought her on Friday on our way home from our family Holiday in Scotland. She wasn't an impulse buy, our youngest daughter Ruth has wanted a dog for ages and I have been more okay with the idea than Mrs RJR has. The weeks vaccation was a chance to relax and for us to discuss the matter without the distractions of life. 
Once Mrs RJR had decided, we set too searching the internet for available puppies. This little girl was the right breed, at the right time, for the right price. It was also possible to divert on our return from Scotland to Doncaster to check out the litter... So how any people do you know that decide to buy a dog, then just "window shop" when viewing cute puppies ??? Not us 
The litter had started at nine, two had already found homes leaving five apricot/golden and two black puppies. Mrs RJRs criteria was cute, curly, and full of life and potentially good at fetching balls on walks. All the pups were cute in abundance and to top it of the mum was a working Cocker Spaniel gun dog (good at fetching !) 
For a time my two daughters and wife, each had a little girl puppy each in their arms, despite being the one that was over excited on Thursday night, I was sensible enough to remind them 3 puppies was not an option ! So a choice had to be made

There is so much conflicting opinion about how old a puppy should be before leaving, Some say 6-8 weeks is optimum, with 49 days being a "golden number" some say 10 to 12 weeks. Whatever you end up doing someone will look at you disapprovingly? The litter had been separated from their mum at just under 5 weeks as the nine of them proved too much for her mum to feed. So they had been hand weaned for some time. So when we went to view the only final separation was from her siblings. We brought her away at 7 weeks old, as a fit and healthy little puppy. 
She has settled really well at home and even wants to go out to toilet. Eating, sleeping and playing are her three favourite things. Its already evident she is a really clever little dog !

Having not had her vaccinations she is not allowed out, but she can socialise with the other hounds in our family. 

Here she is this afternoon, playing with me, my trains in the garden and Dads long hair Chihuahua, who has come to see our home as his territory over the past months. By the end of the afternoon Pepe was accepting but cautious !


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Maggie M Trawler Model build update

I've not been blogging for a while as my spare time has been spent down in the shed, here is my progress. The kit has had its challenges. Part of the problem is as a free spirit, that generally builds models from scratch and with no plans, doing things in someone else's order has been a little strange.
A couple of the instructions and plans have written or drawn a little wrong, but so far its gone together pretty well.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Maggie M. A new project

Two Saturdays ago my Dad and I took a trip over to Barnsley to pick up a model kit of a fishing trawler. He had very kindly ordered and paid for it as a present to me. We picked it up the manufacturer, Model Slipway which is a small husband and wife cottage industry. 

The kits are made in a series of large sheds, portakabins and a garage in the back garden. It is composed of a fibre glass hull, several large sheets of flat plastic with parts either printed or engraved on, and hundreds of tiny metal castings. Also included are a set of full size engineering drawings and a thick instruction manual.


Their porakabins are full of racks containing thousands of little hand cast fittings that they cast themselves. The kits are hand made up of all the required parts to order. When you consider how labour intensive the manufacture and putting together of each kit is you realise that they are not overly priced. Click on one of the two pictures above and look at the detail.

I made a start with the first item on the list.. A stand, this isn't included but is made by marking out a supplied paper template on a piece of plywood. You need the stand to have somewhere to sit the hull !

Next up.. have a good read of the instruction manual to learn how the rudder and propeller shaft fit. This is always a tense moment as it involves drilling holes in the bottom of the hull. Every hole is a potential leak !

Not good at reading technical drawings, this is probably not the hobby for you ! What you see above ends up looking like this below.

Inside the boat the propeller shaft and rudder can be seen below and then in the second picture a wooden block has been stuck in to mount the electric motor on.


With the 6v motor screwed in place, we have a form of propulsion

It will probably take several months to construct as its not quite as simple as an Airfix kit. Don't hit the un-follow button as I don't plan on posting daily updates, perhaps just weekly so you can watch it grow. When finished it should look like this....

The kit is a scale model of a real Shelter Deck sea trawler, that can be seen operating out of Scarborough harbour. She was built in 1990 by Cambeltown Shipbuilders. In the picture below she can be seen acting a s a Guard boat for an oil rig. This is a common activity for trawlers to supplement fishing income.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Welcome Freddy

Please say a big hello to my new nephew Freddrick John Pooley AKA Freddy, he was born this week to my little sister(-in-law) and her husband. He looks a lot like his dad and is a fit and healthy young man. 

I got to be the photographer at the wedding of Freddy's mum and dad a few years ago when they were young students. Since then they have become "pillars of the community"  Lizzy is medical Dr.Pooley and John is High School language teacher Mr. Pooley.

Below he is getting a cuddle from Aunty Jo (Mrs RJR)

Freddy only lives a 5 minute walk away, so we have seen him a few times this week, I think my girls want to bring him home to keep. But we might leave that one till he sleeps through the night ;)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. source

As an English man, I have been pondering a post for the 4th of July. It's not something we celebrate in the UK, for the simple reason that in order for the United States to have won a war of  Independence, someone had to have lost !
Once upon a time it was said that the Sun never set on the British Empire. Those days are gone and we could discuss their pros and cons for hours. In many ways the need to rule such a large Empire brought out the best, for example Victorian engineering survives today in the form of our rail network and GMT came into existence to harmonise an expanding and New World.. But on the other hand as the Deceleration of Independence goes on to say, there have been things in our Empirical rule, that are not wonderful.

Perhaps as a Mormon Brit, I have a different perspective than most of my countrymen for two reasons.
  • I have got to know a lot of US citizens so understand some of your culture a little better
  • I am grateful that America gained the religious freedom it did, which allowed the church I belong too the chance of flourishing. Something that could not have happened here in my own country.
So although the 4th of July will come and go, mostly without incident or mark here in the UK, I for one, wish all the best for my friends in the US of A and hope you continue to use your Independence and Freedom wisely. We can all learn lessons from failing to use such gifts from the pages of our collective histories.

Happy 4th of July !

(originally posted on RJRDaydreamer 04/07/11)

Monday, 2 July 2012

Passenger Trains

Its been a manic weekend with very little respite between operating as a kids Taxi Service. Taking to Saturday jobs, sports, dances and picking up from airports all had to fit in. But I did get 20 mins to chillax in the garden, watching the "train take the strain"


This first little engine is a Playmobil bargain from Ebay, pretty much as it would be sold as a kiddies toy. All I have done is add a couple of finer details and given it a new paint job.

The videos were compiled while the Euro 2012 finals were on in the background.


This BIG blue coach doesn't get to see the light of day very often. Like most of my stock it is scratch built from plastic sheets, each time I look at it I am reminded that it has dozens of windows that I still need to glaze. Hence the pictures of just the first 6 windows. The last picture of the set of three is the inside of the smaller green and cream train which is in the next video.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Olympic Torch in Oldham

Several weeks ago we discovered that the Olympic Torch Relay would be passing along the main road that our chapel is on. With the main road being closed and the travel difficulties this would cause, our Bishop decided to move the meeting times back a little. We beat the road closures and got there early with the chapel car park the ideal place to park to see the relay. Above Ruth can be seen as one of the first to take a position along the road side.

There is a building site behind the the blue/green temporary wall. The local schools had all made posters that had been fastened to the shuttering.


As the time drew closer more of the congregation joined the growing crowds, you can spot us, we are the ones that are wearing our Sunday best, ready for church afterwards.

My friend and I had a nice chat to one of the dozen or so Police motorcyclist.

About 15 minutes late, the Torch convoy arrived. Complete with sponsors floats.


Each Torch bearer gets to do around 300 yards and as well as lots of police cars and motorcyclists, each runner is flanked by police officers dressed in grey sports kits. 

There has been some controversy over the torches, each runner has an individual torch and the flame is passed from one to another. Runners are given the option to keep the torch as a keep sake, for a donation of around £200. Perhaps a little commercialism? One of the early runners allegedly sold their torch for £150,000 on Ebay drawing criticism. 

Overall, it was a great carnival atmosphere. I'm not sure it has made me more excited to watch the Olympics though and it did seem a little bit like the sponsors were taking over the show.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Wet Saturday in June

I had planned a couple of thought provoking posts for the weekend, but as I was awake at three this morning, thinking about my eighteen year old daughter driving home from a night out, my brain has been on a go slow all day.

As I sit writing this with my house full of ladies who are throwing a baby shower for my sister-in-law and the the afore mentioned teenager now returned and subsequently jetted of to Fuerteventura, for a relaxing post exam holiday in the sun with friends. My mind is closing down!!

So here is a short video I made this afternoon, this is how RJR relaxes ! I tried to get a few more "up close" "low level" clips this time and have decided my iPhone is a better camera than my camera is !



If all goes to plan, tomorrow morning we will see the Olympic torch as it passes through Oldham on its relay to London, if so expect pictures !

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Sunshine in the Garden

Garratt 138 Springhead Works

I don't know how the summer is going in your part of the world. Here in the North West of England some days have been more like winter than summer, rain wind cold, not what you hope for in the latter half of June 

Yesterday however the sun made an appearance so I had a dig at the back of the shed and found a couple of locomotives that haven't run for over a year. Batteries in and off they went. 

The one above is made form sheets of plastic and offcuts of plumbing pipe and is a based on Garratt 138 currently housed at the Welsh Highland Railway. 138 was designed and built by Beyer Peacock many years ago not more than 10 miles from where I live. Designed to articulate the Garratt locomotive was intended for narrow gauge railways with tight bends. Lots of power on small rails.

Mine in 1/24 scale took around 6 months to build and is probably the best running loco I have made to date. It is also fitted with a sound generator so the noise you hear when it passes is not dubbed on after.

The second loco I ran is a much simpler affair, in fact I don't mind it being referred to as a toy, because that's what it is. All my track and motors are made by Playmobil. They were bought second hand from Ebay very cheaply and recycled. The standard Playmobil train is this...

I generally strip the motors and wheels out to make the models like the Garratt above, but I decided to give one a make over and repaint. This has no sound unit but the replacement metal wheel make a pretty convincing Clack as it passes.

Pimp my Playmobil

Both can be seen on the following video, The Garratt is on second.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Same Gender Marriage

In the UK, for some time there have been undercurrents of disagreement as various groups share their expectations for the future of Marriage. I have followed various sides of the argument and have on a couple of occasions considered writing a blog about my thoughts. I don't hide the fact that I am a Latter Day Saint (Mormon) As you may expect my thoughts are influenced by my beliefs. As I write this I am aware some will read and disagree. I don't have a problem with people disagreeing. A fundamental tenant of Mormonism is found in what we call the 13 Articles of Faith 

"We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

So you may agree with all, some or non of the following... let us not fall out about it.

The Governments thoughts are to change the current law to allow couples of the same gender to marry. This it is argued, would bring equality and improve the present situation, which allows for Civil Partnerships. Many of the arguments raised against such changes are described as outdated at best, bigoted at worst.

Yesterday the Church of England stirred up the debate considerably. They argue that because they are THE church of the state, with the Monarch at the head they have a different role in Marriage. It is accepted that as the states church their "Cannons" or church laws are accepted as state law. They therefore argue that changing a civil law to openly oppose a church cannon, completely changes the dynamics of the relationship between the church and state. Unlike other countries this also calls into question the role of the Queen. As the head of state she as mentioned is also the head of the Church of England. Known as the Defender of the Faith (Fidei defensor in latin) which is why all UK coins have the inscription FD or FD DEF.

Potentially changing the law on marriage could in affect make much deeper changes to the nature of the country, which gives me potentially the only ever chance to use the word Antidisestablishmentarianism in a blog post, meaning to oppose the breakup of the relationship between the Church of England and the State. Disestablishment may be difficult to do if you read the promise made by a Monach at a coronation.

The Archbishop of Canterbury: "Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolable the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?" 

The Queen: "All this I promise to do. The things which I have here before promised, I will perform, and keep. So help me God." (coronation)

So I think it's fair to say parliament has created a pretty large challenge for themselves to make what may be considered by many a simple change. There are however further changes that would need to be made in order for Same Gender marriage to work.

Although considered by many to be an old tradition or forgotten part of the law, for marriage to be legally recognised it must be consummated. This is still a part of British law and is still in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 Section 12
Failure to consummate a marriage is grounds for an annulment. With the legal definition being that "Consummation requires sexual intercourse which is ordinary and complete" Law Teacher Again this is seen as a simple fix, change the wording... To what? This also causes problems for the Catholic church who currently do not allow Divorce but will allow a separation based on an annulment.

Now there are those that say church and state are too close anyway. There are also comments that the church is really not affected as the proposed legislation "ring fences" churches so no church would be made to perform a Same Gender Marriage. This sounds good in principal, but it has already been suggested that such a ring fence will not stand up to European human rights / equality laws. In much the same way we never expected human rights laws to be used to prevent a Christian wearing a cross to work.

So I have above I have outlined some of the things I have read around as I have listened to many sides of the argument, but where do I stand?

Currently I have no problems with people choosing to have a Same Gender Civil Partnership.
I think there is far more involved in the word marriage than is made out by those that want it for all.
I believe that marriage is inseparably linked to religion for many people.
I don't consider myself to be homophobic, I accept people for what they are, regardless of race, religion or orientation.
I believe that "The family  is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan" Family Proclamation

I recognise that in a big world, we have to find ways to coexist and live together with differing beliefs, but also feel that I want to express my thoughts as openly as those who would have us make changes. Because the changes suggested affect more than those who would benefit.

What do you think ?

Further reading Telegraph Article


Saturday, 9 June 2012

Etherow Country Park

Over last weekend, we packed lots in. 
We watched hours of Diamond Jubilee coverage on Television. 
Spent Whit Friday at the local walks and band contests 
I refurbished my Garden Railway

The top picture was taken with my iPhone using a cheap (less than £2) Panoramic camera app.

This post is number 3 in the series of things we did last weekend.. On Bank Holiday Monday we went to Etherow Country Park to a "Help for Heroes" event put on jointly by the Sailing club and model boat club. The picture above is of the larger of the two lakes in the park that is used by the real yachts. On the smaller lake several model boats owners sailed their boats to add another dimension for the visitors. In my last post  I shared the models in my back garden the following is the boat I have recently constructed from sheets of plastic. At just under 4 feet long it needs a bit more room than my garden will ever offer !!

My Dad sat across the lake and filmed ..

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