31.10.07

GO PEGGY!

A 100 year old self confessed "daredevil"
leaped into record books on Wednesday
by paragliding off a 2,500-foot peak
in northern Cyprus.

Peggy McAlpine's flight, which was monitored
by officials from the Guinness Book of Records,
beats an earlier record set by a 95 year-old Dane.
The jump was to mark her hundredth birthday,
which she had celebrated the day before
when she received a congratulatory
telegram from the Queen.

"It was the most wonderful, pleasant
experience," the Scot said after landing
on the northern coast of the
island near
Kyrenia.

"I was sitting in a chair floating above
the mountains. I saw the full range and
the coast of the island from one end to
the other," the sprightly centenarian
from Stirling, north of the city
of Glasgow, added.

Peggy is no stranger to heights- at the age of
14 she responded to an advertisement
in a local Scottish newspaper offering a
five-shilling flight with pioneer
aviator
Sir Alan Cobham in an
Avro 504K biplane.

"The thought of such a flight did not
worry me. Life should have a little
excitement. That's what
keeps people young."


YOU EAT THIS?

Mr "I'll Say How It Is" Ramsey visited Finland
recently and had to endure a television interview
during which he had to taste local food
including Karjalanpiirakka, mämmi
and leipäjuusto.

He asked if the Finns used the
latter for golfing as it's so hard.

He also asked if the Karealian pies are
horsefood or the Finns actually eat
them home? Mämmi reminded him
of wall paper paste and after tasting
it he said it was like baby poo.

I actually have to agree with
him on that one!


Now the whole country (well, the tabloid reading
part) are up in arms
about his not so favourable
comments.
20 000 people took part in a net
vote and 88% decided that Finnish food
is better than fish & chips!

Leipäjuusto

Why? It's one man's opinion and you can
not argue about taste. If he doesn't like

Finnish food so what? Problem is the Finns
are very patriotic and get easily hurt
if anybody, especially a Johnny Foreigner
dares to criticise the holy mother country,
it's people, habits or indeed the food.

The one thing the Finns need to learn, especially
the older generation (here's hoping!) that
Finland is not necessarily the best
country, when it comes to certain
things, in the world.

Karelian pies

There is a lot of fantastic food over there.
Indeed that is one of the things I really enjoy
when I pop over there - how the food
tastes like food, not like additives.

Everything tastes so much more organic and fresh,
like it's been grown in a field- not a glass conservatory.
And I'm yet to find better chocolate than the
Finnish variety. As strange as it sounds, the
Finnish chocs are heaps better than say the
ones that I've tasted from "traditional"
choc countries like Switzerland.

Mämmi

My favourite comment in the net discussion
that is raging about the subject is from
"Puutarhuri": "I'd like to go to one his
restaurants, order a meal and then
loudly declare it not fit for
human consumption".


THE CHEAPEST
HALLOWEEN COSTUME
IN THE WORLD


TOASTY TOES

I have world'd worst circulation in my
feet so as the nights are getting colder
I decided to treat myself to these
toasty warm
Ugg style boots.

The real Uggs cost nearly £80 so these
"poor mans versions" will do me!

I got them from a really nice seller called
Marg in eBay. I only bought them on Monday
and they arrived this morning at 7.30!

Super quick considering the massive backlog
of post that must still be in the sorting
offices round the country due to
the recent
strikes.

Maybe they sort out all the new stuff first
and tackle the post mountain when
they've got time. Who knows?

Anyway, thank you Marg, it's been a pleasure,
just hope all eBay sellers were as
friendly and quick as you!


30.10.07

HOW DOES
HE STAY ON?!


SOX THE GIRAFFE

Cute alert!

To honor the
Red Sox four-game World Series
sweep of the Colorado Rockies, staff at the

Franklin Park Zoo on Monday
named a baby giraffe "Sox."


In a statement, Zoo New England President
John Linehan said the staff chose the name
because of the female calf's long, lanky legs.

Other names considered were "Red,"
"Fenway," "Champion," and "Boston."


"Sox" weighed 154 Lbs (70 kg) at birth,
standing 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall.

The calf was born after Boston's Game
1 victory, but staff held off naming it
because they didn't want to jinx
the team's chances, according
to the statement.

Sox with her parents Beau and Jana.

"Sox" is a member of the Masai Giraffe
subspecies, also known as
Kilimanjaro Giraffe.

They are the tallest land animals, using
their unique long necks and tongues to
reach vegetation inaccessible to other
herbivores. Members of the subspecies
survive in the wild only in the
sprawling plains Tanzania and
Kenya, in East Africa.


DISCOVER DOGS

I've just had a phone call from our
friend Cindy- she's got tickets for
us to this years Discover Dogs
at Earls Court.

As my regular readers know I'm a huge
fan of all things furry, especially our
woof friends so attending
this show is a must.

Me at the 2005 show with Cindy's
(behind me)
Bergamasco Siggi.

Discover Dogs is aimed at people who are
thinking of getting a dog so it's not like
Crufts where breeds are judged.

In this years show The Kennel Club is
showcasing nearly 190 pedigree dog breeds.
With each example of the breed, experienced
and knowledgeable owners provide essential
advice on dog training, dog health, what to
look for in a pedigree puppy and
what to ask a dog breeder.

Cindy and Siggi.

My favourite breeds are the Bergamasco,
Affenpinscher (a big dog in a small body!)
and Rough Collie like the one
I had as a child.

And of course Irish Wolfhound
and Great Dane!


Me and my Collie Leni
when was about two.


SUNSET OF
THE WEEK


At lake Päijänne in Finland.


NICE PIC OF THE DAY

Lanterns at last Sunday's
Diwali celebrations at
Trafalgar Square.


SPOOKY

A stately home in Norfolk has been
named the National Trust's
most haunted property.

Blickling Hall (below) is said to be
haunted by three spectres
including the headless ghost of
Anne Boleyn.

Henry VIII's second wife, who was
beheaded in 1536, shares Blickling with
fellow ghosts
Sir John Fastolfe, the 15th
century knight who inspired Shakespeare's
Falstaff, and
Sir Henry Hobart,
killed in a duel in 1698.


"Oh yes, those three," said Jan Brookes,
Blickling's house manager calmly. "Some
of our visitors do mention them, especially
around May 19, the anniversary
of Anne's (below) death.


"One or two of our volunteers report
little bits too: the 'Grey Lady', someone
coming through the wall and disappearing
again but then, this is a very old house
with a lot of clanking in the pipes."


Blickling Hall topped a list of the
National Trust's top 10 most haunted
houses which was compiled to
coincide with Halloween.

Other properties with ghosts roaming
the corridors include
Dunster Castle,
Somerset, where even the gift shop
is said to be haunted.


The selection was made with the help of
Siân Evans, the author of
Ghosts: Mysterious
Tales from the National Trust, who insists that at
least 200 of the 630 attractions open to
the public are haunted.


Miss Evans said that most National Trust
ghosts were harmless. She added, however:
"The trust does exorcise some properties.
It doesn't shout about it, though."


Ghostly Top 10

1. Blickling Hall, Norfolk
Anne Boleyn's headless ghost is said to
appear with her head in her lap on
the anniversary of her execution


2. Dunster Castle, Somerset
Man in green seen wandering
through former stable block


3. Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire
Said to be home to a ghostly
gang of former workers


4. Newton House, Dinefwr,
Carmarthenshire (above)

In the 18th century, Lady Elinor Cavendish
was strangled by a suitor. Visitors report
invisible hands squeezing their throats


5. Gibside Hall, Tyne and Wear
Thought to be haunted by
"The Unhappy Countess"


6. Lyme Park, Cheshire
A phantom funeral cortège is
said to pass through the park


7. Lanhydrock, Cornwall (above)
Supposedly home to ghosts including a
man hanged outside the gatehouse
by Civil War Royalists


8. Hughenden Manor, Buckinghamshire
Benjamin Disraeli, above, is said
to smile at guests by the stairs


9. Powis Castle, Powys
Visitors report a lady in black,
or feeling a hand touch them


10. Belton House, Lincolnshire
The "Gentleman in Black" is said
to stalk the Queen's Bedroom


29.10.07

AUTUMN COLOURS
OCTOBER 2007


I was in our local park with Archie The Wolfhound
this morning and took these shots as this
is the first sunny day we've had in ages.

I love all of the different leaves, each one
is like a miniature piece of art
with its individial colours.

Please click on the images
to view a larger version.


To view larger versions of these images
and for more
photos please visit
minnakellandphotos


D-DAY!

Available in
iTunes Store

Also check out
the new look
Official Website


28.10.07

20 THINGS A MAN
WILL NEVER SAY


1. You could go out with your girlfriend’s
tonight while I pop to Ikea, buy that
new cupboard and put it
together in a jiffy.

2. I think her breasts are too big.

3. I’ve no idea where we are.
Let’s stop and ask for directions.

4. That red one looked quite good on you
but we’re not in a rush, let’s go to some
other shops and have a look a round.

5. There’s a new Bard Pitt film
coming out tonight, would you
like to go and see it?

6. Can I bring you something
when I pop into the kitchen?

7. No, I can’t drink another pint.

8. Remember Tuesday is parent’s
night at the school and we’d
better get there early.

9. I’ve already written all the Xmas cards.
Would be so kind and write a list
of all the gifts we have should get?

10. I was talking to colleague about his
problems with his wife and I said
they really should seek counselling.

11. Look at this - an invite to your
cousin’s wedding! We’ll definitely go!

12. Let me see the instructions.

13. I’d love to go and see your
mother. When’s a good time?

14. I didn’t go out with the boys from
the firm because with all that
free booze I would simply
drink too much.

15. I’d love to hoover.
I’m going to do it right now.

16. Oh, the 19 year old girl next door is
walking around naked again.
I’ll just close the curtains.

17. Dear, these new clothes you bought
are a real bargain. Could we
shop there again tomorrow?

18. Why don’t you choose
which car we should get.

19. I can tape the game if you
want to watch your soap.

20. Can I read that Jackie Collins
when you’re finished with it?

27.10.07

AI SLOTH MAKES
PAUL A CHAMP


The new national Scrabble champion
has won the title with a two-letter
word for a three-clawed sloth.


Paul Allan, 37, who has just moved to
Southsea, near Portsmouth, from Aberdeen,
won the 36th annual competition in London.

He beat opponent Stewart Holden, 28,
from Nottingham, three games to one.


He won with the word ai - a three-toed
sloth of South America. It also means love
in Japanese, so he dedicated his win
to his Japanese wife.


Mr Allan, a former international decathlete,
said he was "absolutely delighted" with his
win, having played the game against the
computer for 20 years and competitively
for the past 12 years.

He will now represent Scotland in the
World Scrabble Championships
in India next month.

He paid credit to Mr Holden, who is
ranked ninth in the UK and makes his
living running a business selling
word-play merchandise, who
he said played "brilliantly".


"I thought I'd won the third game but
he came up with a brilliant move -
the word otitis (inflammation
of the ear)," he said.

Staying on the subject of Scrabble, one of the
books I've got on the go at the moment is
Stefan Fatsis ' "Word Freak",
"a wacky grab bag of travelogue, history,
party journal, and psychological study of
the misfits and goofballs whose lives are
measured out in Scrabble tiles."


LET ME KNOW

I've been channel surfing catching up on
all the new music and absolutely fell in
love with
Roisin Murphy's "Let Me Know".
It's got a nice retro disco groove to it.

I liked her in Moloko (their song
"The Time Is Now" is a pop classic)
and her solo stuff seems to be good as
well. I'm definitely going to check
out her album Overpowered.


26.10.07

SMOKING KILLS

TODAY'S WHO'S WHO

My favourite song of the day is
Nickelback 's Rockstar
See how many famous
people you can spot!

I also like James'
spoof version
Popstar
The lyrics are so true!


25.10.07

AMAZING PIC
OF THE DAY


The devasting California wildfires are
finally easing up. This photo is
from a couple of days ago
when it was it's worst.


DIM WITTED
UNDERCLASS


This news made me laugh:
Human species 'may split in two'

Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the
London School of Economics expects
a genetic upper class and a dim-witted
underclass to emerge.

The descendants of the genetic upper class
would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive,
intelligent, and creative and a far cry from
the "underclass" humans who would have
evolved into dim-witted, ugly,
squat goblin-like creatures.


What do you mean "may"? All you have
to do is go to any UK High Street on a
Friday night at pub chucking out time
(or Mitcham on any given day)
and you'll see it's already happened!


24.10.07

TODAY'S KNUT

My favourite polar bear Knut has had
over two and half million visitors since
he became the Berlin Zoo's superstar
after being rejected by his mother.

Thomas Dörflein has been caring for
the cub around the clock since he was
born in December 2006. The close bond
between the two has been evident ever
since Knut's first public appearance on
March 23 this year, even though other
keepers joined Dörflein during
Knut's daily outings.

From July this year Knut's had the enclosure
to himself though as he's getting too
big to play with and the keepers
safety is paramount.

My Knut
ARCHIVE


BETTER LATE
THAN NEVER


Aah! What a lovely story.

Karen and Mark Cline from Mansfield
in
Ohio were teenagers when they got
married and didn't have $150 (£73)
to pay a photographer for
their wedding photos.


But now they've got the pictures,
just in time for their 27th
anniversary tomorrow.


Their photographer located Karen Cline
last week at the diner where she works
and surprised her with a photo album.


"About a month ago, I was just cleaning out
some of my old things and I found it," said
photographer Jim Wagner, who's now 80.
"I knew she didn't have any money
back then, and I just thought
she might like to have it."


It was too much for Karen Cline.
"I just stood there and cried and cried
and hugged him," she said, tearing up
again as she described their meeting.

She was 18 and her hsuband 19 at the time.
They felt really bad because they couldn't
afford to pay Wagner. All they've had is
a single photo that someone else took,
of her walking down the aisle.


Wagner said he was able to track down
Karen Cline after running into her
stepfather a few weeks ago. He said she
immediately wrote him
a cheque for $150.


3 TIMES A DAY

I just got back from my first physio
appointment at St George's
hospital in Tooting.

I had a lovely friendly therapist called Clare
and we went through all sorts of bending
and twisting while she was working out
what is the best way to try to release
the trapped nerve.

These are exercises she asked me to do
at home 3 times a day for the next week
and a half and then I'll go and see her
again. Hopefully with these I can release
the nerve myself, if not she'll do
some more "poking" about.


OH NO! THE B*******
HAVE OUTBID ME!


SOMEWHERE
IN THE WORLD


Today I have been listening to
Nina Hagen's Irgendwo Auf Der Welt.

My friend Juha from Finland sent
it to me. Thanks honey!

She's on form doing golden oldie big
band dance tracks (and ballads) and
you can't help but tap your toe along!

I'm a huge fan of Nina's. I love the fact
that she's totally nuts but so very talented
and not afraid to take on different genres
and make them her own.


WHO'S DAVE
IS IT ANYWAY?


My latest telly favourites are the re-runs
of
Who's Line Is It Anyway on the newly
named comedy channel
Dave (who ever
thought of that name is a
genius by the way!)

The best one liners always happen when
Ryan Stiles (below right) and Colin
Mochrie (behind him) are paired up.
I was laughing so hard the other
night I couldn't breathe!

They were doing a "Narrating" sketch
where they have to act out a scene
whilst describing each other.

They were out "hunting" (they're holding
"shotguns" in the pic above) and Colin
started defining Ryan: "He wasn't a
handsome man- he had a face
like a collpased lung".

Guess you had to be there
but it was bloody funny!


MAGNIFICENT!

I was in the park with Archie The Wolfhound
this morning and a chap with a border
collie walked past us and simply
uttered: "Magnificent!"

I think he was talking
about the dog...:-)


I always forget how big Archie is because
when you live with something day in day
out you get used to it. He is a truly grand
sight and other so called big breeds
like Alsatians are half his size.

He is big for a Wolfhound as well and has
a slightly wider head than they usually
have so he looks even bigger.


He is huge but he's
just a big softie!


22.10.07

I'M WRAPPED...

...and ready to post.

EVERYBODY
ROCK YOUR BODY


Check out Snowball, a Eleanora
cockatoo. He's so funny!


6000 MILES
IN TUXEDOS


TWO wacky adventurers made a
gruelling charity trek from Hong
Kong to London - wearing smart
tuxedos and bow ties.


Briton Heath Buck (below left) and American
Doug Campbell met in Hong Kong - where they
hatched their plan while drinking in a bar.


Londoner Heath, 28, and Doug, 27, saw 19
countries on their four-month, 6,000-mile
(9600 km) trip which took them through remote
regions of China, Vietnam, Tibet, Nepal,
India, Pakistan and Kazakhstan,
then across Europe.


Doug (above on the left) said: “Heath came
up with the idea. Amazingly, I agreed to
accompany him.
We’d known each other
less than two weeks. I felt like James
Bond at times.”
Heath added: “We only
fell out a couple of times - a day.”


Their tuxedos were specially made from
resilient fabrics in Bangkok, Thailand.
Money raised along the way went on
local causes – including helping
rescued sex slaves in Nepal.


Donations total £2,500 and
they hope to reach £10,000.


SUNSET OF
THE WEEK


NELSON AT NIGHT

I was waiting for a friend at Trafalgar Square
last night. It was about six o'clock and
just getting dark. I took this shot
of Nelson gazing at the night
sky towards Wetminster.

The white blob is the moon, not
a pigeon poo on my lense!

My favourite statue of the last few
years on the square has been
Marc Quinn's Alison Lapper
Pregnant.

Alison and Marc

It has now been removed and will be
replaced on the 7th of November with
Thomas Schütte 's "Hotel For The Birds "
(below) which was originally suppose
to go on the fourth plint in 2005.