Wednesday, 29 July 2009

First stop in new caravan - Braunston

We picked up the caravan from Daventry last week and drove a few miles to Braunston to stay on a 'certified location' site at the Marina. These are sites licenced to take 5 caravans and are usually a field rather than an organised site with laid out roads and pitches - much more to our taste. In the picture, our caravan is on the left. Not exactly crowded, is it?

The other caravan belongs to Doreen and Tony, another retired couple who have been caravanning for 35 years. With their friendly help (including a welcome cup of coffee) we were soon set up and going "ooh" and "ah" at the clever way the caravan is organised.

Braunston Marina (see the website here) is on the Grand Union Canal and is home to 250 narrow boats. Coal was carried from here to London right up until 1970 by narrow boat, later than I had expected. A Google of 'Grand Union Canal' will give you more information than you probably want (!) but this site gives an idea of the extent of the waterway.

We were lucky with the weather until we came to pack up and a thunderstorm held us up for a while but it soon cleared and we came home with a long list of things to get and do before taking a longer trip. That will have to wait till we come back from America! More photos here.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Free at last! Graduation Day

Alan’s last day at work with Leeds Metropolitan was Graduation Day on 15th July. The perfect day to retire as the class of 2009 paraded in all their finery to receive their awards. After the formal ceremony, the celebrations get a bit chaotic but in the midst of throwing mortar boards in the air, Alan was presented with a scrap book of email messages and photos from past students and colleagues. His colleagues bought him a Windmate (for details see here). He does love his gadgets!

Technically his last day will be the end of the month but he had vacation owing so was able to finish early.

More pictures

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Goodbye Mr Quips - Alan Machin Retires

This image  was chosen by one of Alan's colleagues for the invitation to his Pre-retirement party back in May as exams finished and students prepared to leave Leeds Metropolitan  University for the Summer.

A large room above the Original Oak pub in Headingly was booked and over a hundred students, ex-students and staff spent the evening eating, drinking and, above all, reminiscing and catching up with old friends.

Stuart Moss has put up two videos on FaceBook here then if you press 'next' you will get a more general one. More pictures are here.
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