A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Archive for October, 2009

Blackpool Rock

Posted by Alan on October 31, 2009

So, last weekend I also headed out to sunny Blackpool. In fact to start with – it was sunny!

Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Tower

Having taken the train over the hills I could really see the draw back in the days of satanic mills and wakes weeks. I started the in the Calder Valley where all the houses are dark, the light is shaded by the steep sides and the air is always just a bit too moist. Climbing out and into Lancashire the weather did improve as did the terrain – by Blackpool it’s flat, open and relatively light even in the October light.

(I was also recovering slightly from the night before which may have had something to do with it).

South Pier?

South Pier?

Blackpool was still really quite busy during the daytime despite it being out of season. I did see a couple of the ‘notorious’ stag/hen parties out there, mostly from the safety of the tram or the other side of the street though! 🙂

However the weather didn’t hold out for all too long…

The Promenade

The Promenade

Big Wheel

Big Wheel

Just before the lights

Just before the lights

So came the dark. And the lights. This is really why anyone goes to Blackpool in the autumn…

Tower at Night

Tower at Night

This is probably the last real trip out for the Powershot S3 as I’m intending to actually buy that SLR very soon – got a couple in mind so just need to try and buy!

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The gig race

Posted by Alan on October 27, 2009

Been a bit of a frantic week for gigs. Firstly, last Thursday the Highbury Garage for Capital/Swimming/I Like Trains (iLT). I do like the garage – went there for the first time to see I Am Kloot not so long again and it’s good. Beer is a bit crap and expensive (£3.90 per pint of Guinness / metallic ‘cider’) but then it’s a gig venue, not a real ale pub!

I Like Trains

I Like Trains @ Highbury Garage

It wasn’t a great gig for photos either. Last time I saw iLT (way back in 2007 at the Scala) I managed to get some great shots on my phone. Alas even with a glass lens the C913 didn’t quite cut the mustard.

I Like Trains II

Close up of the lead singer

Of course, photography isn’t really why you go to a gig. Swimming were pretty good – after I’ve digested the latest pile of new CDs I’ll look into them more. iLT themselves played quite a few new songs which was OK. Highlights of the evening were Spencer Perceval and Terra Nova (Spotify required)

On Sunday, it was the turn of Bellowhead – a modern English folk band. This was up in the Academy 2 in Manchester (yes, resulting in the early morning start for London on a Monday. Owch!)


And it was pretty awesome.







A very lively gig with much audience stomping along 🙂

To check out: London Town, Widow’s Curse and The Outlandish Knight. The latter is my favourite track of theirs but they didn’t play it. (Bastards!). The studio recordings don’t quite capture the essence of the live performance but are worth a look nonetheless.

I also saw Bellowhead back in 2007. Perhaps it’s time I found some new bands to go see…

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The view from the afternoon…friday afternoon

Posted by Alan on October 26, 2009

On Friday we had half decent weather down here in London town. As I had my camera with me and I’d mentioned to Jon at work that many of the top brass were taking photos of the view before the office move, perhaps it was my turn.

I’m now splitting myself in two between North Greenwich and Victoria (which is fun) but really it isn’t so bad. I have a choice of lunch for a start. Enough wibbling… here’s the views.

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Posted by Alan on October 6, 2009

Put a tweet out earlier re: D-SLRs and have had a great response so far.

So… I should probably explain a little more:

Looking for some kind of starter kit, i.e.

  • camera body
  • lenses
  • memory card
  • bag
  • spare battery

Budget will probably be around £600 (is this reasonable?).

I’ve no preference to make (yet) but I have used a 35mm SLR before so I am vaguely familiar with most of the buttons and terminology…! For the next couple of weeks at least, there is a Jessops around the corner from the office so I can go try stuff at lunch.

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o2 fail

Posted by Alan on October 4, 2009

Not impressed with the o2 customer service. Last week I did a bit of searching to find out what was happening with the firmware on my N96 – to see when it might be upgraded. Indeed, Nokia have released updates (V20 and now V30!) to the Symbian OS – but o2 customers are stuck on V12! So I thought I would ask o2 when they might get round to releasing their version of the software to receive this garbled reply…


Good morning Alan

Thanks for emailing us about the Nokia N96. I understand you wish to know when is the firmware upgrade for your phone going to arrive. Also, you’re interested in knowing the realise date for Nokia V30. Let me see what best I can do for you.

Alan, I’m sorry as we’re unable to comment in regards to the firmware software for Nokia N96. I’ve checked the Nokia website and I can’t find any phone named V30 or V20. I’d request you to visit the nearest Nokia store, as they’ll be in a better position to help you with more details about the software and answer your query.

I’d like to tell you that any new phone available with us, it’ll be updated on our website. As there are demands for new phones, I’d request you to kindly keep a tab on our website by clicking on the link given below:


Alan, I’m pleased to tell you that we have a excellent range of other Nokia phones available online. To view the same, please click on the link given below:


To know more about the best deals available, simply contact our helpful sales team on 08442 020202 between:

– Monday to Friday 8.30am to 9pm

– Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm.

They’ll definitely help you with the availability of the phones.

Alan, I realise this isn’t the answer you were looking for. I hope the above information is of some help to you. Have a nice day. If you need any further help, feel free to contact us or visit our excellent online Help Centre at:


When you email us please provide: full name, first line of address, postcode, mobile number and registered email address as it helps us answer your query faster.

Kind regards

<name removed>

O2 Customer Service

Posted in Geek Streak, Rant | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »