Saturday, 30 June 2012

Local carnival

I spent the afternoon at my town's local carnival. I shall be posting some pictures of the event brother is still at the celebration and he has my main camera so at present I cannot copy any images to my computer! I am looking forward to viewing the pictures he has taken, as well as the ones I took.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Bee cluster video

I did shoot a few videos of the bee swarm in our front yard, here is one of them; it is not very long, but it shows the cluster as it was close to completing its formation:

Thursday, 28 June 2012

The following ewe

Remember the ewe I mentioned in my post about Rutland Water? I took a few other images of her, but I really like this one where she is staring at me (and unknowingly posing for the camera):

On most occasions it is not desirable for an animal to follow a person, but in her case she was used to people and I was flattered for her to follow for a short period before she returned to her fellow ewes.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Another answer on the "Who's On Heart" competition

I wrote about the "Who's On Heart" competition slightly over two weeks ago, and in the last couple of days a lady named Caroline correctly identified a second voice in the game. The person saying "heart" is the actress Joely Richardson, the younger sister of late Natasha Richardson. Caroline won £20,000 from her guess.

I do find it interesting that Joely Richardson is among the three "well-known celebrities" selected for the competition. Not to belittle her success, but I would not consider her to be well-known or a celebrity, and prior to hearing her name on the competition the most I read about her would have been in passing while reading about Natasha. Of course, I do not want to complain about what I think has been a fun competition to follow, and all because I do not consider someone to be "well-known" does not mean that others will share that same opinion.

With two of the names down, only the man saying "on" has to be identified now. As a quick re-cap, voice one ("who's") is Tina Turner, voice two ("on") is unknown, and voice three ("heart") is Joely Richardson.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A swarm of bees

Some pictures from yesterday's bee swarm. All were taken with my main camera and through the window:

During yesterday afternoon, the air at the front of our house was suddenly filled with flying insects. When we first noticed them we thought they were flies buzzing around something, but upon further inspection we saw that they were honeybees. Our immediate response was to close all the windows and bring in the clothing from the line in the backyard.

Unsurprisingly, the massive swarm outside our house drew the interest of the neighbours, but fortunately they were more interested in watching and avoiding the swarm than in bugging us to let us know that we had bees in the front (we were already aware, and my mother was on the phone to the council).

The bees continued to swarm, then decided to form a cluster in this conifer. As they clustered in the tree, fewer bees were flying around the vicinity, and providing people avoided the tree no one was in any immediate danger of being stung. Even so, my mother was on the phone to a local beekeeper after being directed to one by the council.

By the time this was taken the vast majority of the bees has ceased swarming the conifer and had joined their brethren in the cluster. It was quite a sight to watch the cluster grow in size over the course of half an hour!

The beekeeper arrived about an hour after Mum spoke to her on the phone. The lady dealt with the bees by carefully snipping the swarmed branches off the conifer and placing them into a box. Hardly any damage was done to the tree in cutting the branches; in fact, when I look out my window the trimmed area is barely noticeable.

The bees that did not get placed inside the box swarmed the outside of it instead; the beekeeper estimated that the cluster contained some 5,000-10,000 bees alone, and only a few hundred to a thousand did not make it into the box. After the bees had settled down the beekeeper wrapped up the box with all the bees safely inside (I think including some of those on the outside there) and took it and the contents with her back to her apiary in Northampton.

It was an extraordinary experience to observe a swarm of bees in action; it was unexpected, of course, as none of us anticipated a swarm showing up all of a sudden in our front yard. The swarm and its queen are now living in a much safer location than our conifer.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Bee swarm

At present we have a large bee swarm inhabiting a tree in our front yard. The swarm is being dealt with by a beekeeper, and by "dealt with" I mean the bees are in the process of being moved elsewhere not killed (I think they are honeybees!). I have some pictures of the swarm for tomorrow's post...for now I am waiting to see if I can take some more as the bees are being moved.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Carrie Underwood at the Royal Albert Hall

I had an amazing time during the afternoon and evening of this past Thursday. Some time ago my friend Becca, knowing that I am a Carrie Underwood fan, had been kind enough to invite me to attend Underwood's first-ever concert in the United Kingdom with her. While I was initially concerned about not being able to get transport to London, I was able to obtain train tickets and we made arrangements accordingly.

All of my pictures were taken with my phone, as I did not bring my main camera with me. Unfortunately, most of the images I took within the Royal Albert Hall's auditorium were blurred, which I was extremely disappointed with. A few did turn out well, and I also brought my Vado along and captured a few videos, making up for the image losses.

The trip began when I arrived at my local railroad station. I was slightly nervous, as it was my first time on board a train and I was not sure what to expect, but once I was on the train and on my way to London I relaxed. My train was slightly late to arrive at my local station, but early to make it to the St. Pancras (the station in London my train was bound for). There were a few bumps on the tracks, but I found the ride to be a fascinating new experience and I became fond of watching the countryside as it went past me.

Once I had arrived at St. Pancras I quickly met up with Becca there and we made our way to the London Underground (the subway system for the whole city and some areas outside Greater London). The Underground was the only part of the trip I was more nervous about than the initial train ride, as I was expecting a poorly-signed, complicated system; instead, I learnt that the Underground is surprisingly well-directed and easy to learn (well, the part I travelled in was, but I doubt it would change much outside Zones 1 and 2).

This is the inside of the London Underground train we rode on our way to the Royal Albert Hall. My first-ever ride on the Underground turned out to be the emptiest I have ever seen the place, for whenever I have seen pictures or videos it has always been packed with people. It was hot in parts, though, as the Underground is currently not air conditioned (made worse thanks to the recent rain).

After we exited the Underground at the Tube station for South Kensington, we made it to Exhibition Street, where I took this picture. Most of our time in London was spent in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, although St. Pancras and King's Cross (the station Becca travelled to) are both located in the London Borough of Camden.

We walked up Exhibition Road, turned a corner, and arrived at the Royal Albert Hall! It is deceptive, as it looks small from the outside (and at that particular distance), but inside the Hall is humongous. When I first set eyes upon the Royal Albert Hall I had one of those "wow, I'm really here!" moments.

Another shot of the Royal Albert Hall, taken at a different angle. Becca found it amusing at how "touristy" I was my taking lots of pictures and looking around in a fascinated manner at my surroundings. She was correct...with this being my first visit to London in over sixteen years I was more than happy to walk around and take in as much as I could in the time we had before going into the Hall!

The Albert Memorial, located just across the street (Kensington Gore) from the Royal Albert Hall. While we were there, the sun was at just the right point in the sky to give the gold on the Memorial a bright shine. Apparently, some twenty years ago this structure was under wraps due to renovation.

The "What's On?", showing the line-up of events at the Royal Albert Hall for June 2012.

The posters advertising Underwood's performance at the Royal Albert Hall. When we went into the Hall we explored the building for a bit, as there was still an hour to go before the doors to the concert opened. The merchandise stand opened while we waited, which Becca and I quickly got in line for; I purchased a poster, a photo card, two keyrings, and a magnet.

A shot showing both how full the auditorium was that day and people still entering: the concert sold out within ninety minutes, so Becca was fortunate to rapidly obtain tickets for the performance. Those empty seats in the background? They were all filled before Underwood came onto the stage.

Becca and I had wondered what sort of fans would attend the concert, and what was delightful was that the demographics of the crowd were diverse: I was sat next to a man in his sixties and Becca was next to a couple in their forties; there were white people, black people, Asians, teenage girls, teenage boys, families, people on their own, and people with others. It was good to see that Underwood's United Kingdom fan base covers a broad array of people.

Now on to an image of Underwood herself! She is hard to make out, and sadly her face is not clear in any of the pictures I took (my phone camera is good, but it was not suited for this type of photography), but I can assure you that the bright person in this shot is Carrie Underwood. She started performing at 8:30pm.

Becca, myself, and the man next to me (and possibly several others) received an unexpected seat upgrade, so we went from paying for standing seats (worth £25) to getting regular seats (worth at least £50) at no extra cost. We were also not that far from Underwood herself, and much closer to her than we would have been in the seats we originally paid for.

Another shot of Underwood performing. I was amazed to see Underwood in person, although I did promise Becca that I would not embarrass her by shouting "I LOVE YOU CARRIE!" (someone else did that instead, and a group of teenagers did the same thing but substituted "I" for "WE"), running up onto the stage and doing something really stupid, or by being so overwhelmed at the sight of Underwood that I would faint and miss the performance! Nah, I wanted to see the show, not have us thrown out.

The set list for her performance is here. Underwood sang all the songs I hoped she would sing ("Last Name", "Before He Cheats", and "Blown Away"), plus several from her newest album, Blown Away. She sang "Before He Cheats" as the final song in the main group with "I Know You Won't" and "Blown Away" being her encore. She also performed a cover of Coldplay's "Fix You"; before she sang that particular song she explained how she wanted to sing something by a British artist out of respect for her British fans and talked about how careful she is when covering another musician's work.

Now for the videos:

This video helps make up for most of the blurred images I ended up taking of the auditorium: it shows how full the Hall was becoming.

This is Underwood performing "Last Name", from her Carnival Ride album. While I loved hearing all the songs she performed live, this was among the best.

This is of Underwood speaking to her audience. I wanted to capture at least one video of her addressing the crowd, so I kept my Vado on standby until an appropriate moment arose. This is a humorous part in this video.

The concert ended at roughly 10:15, giving Becca and I time to leave the Royal Albert Hall, ride the Underground back to our train stations, and say our goodbyes without having to rush (our respective trains departed London at 11:15). I made it to my train in time and even had to wait for a few minutes for the gates to open; unlike the travel to London, the train ride back had several stops on the way, and it was well past 12:30am when I arrived back home.

Carrie Underwood's concert at the Royal Albert Hall and London itself were far more impressive than I had ever thought they would be, and I hope the success of the performance will encourage Underwood to return to the United Kingdom. I thank Becca, again, for the chance to go and see Underwood live.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Rutland Water

On Wednesday we went up to Rutland Water, a reservoir for Anglian Water and one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe. It is also the location of Normanton Church.

We spent the afternoon there and walked all the way to the reservoir's dam before returning to the car. While our main activity was walking, there were other things to do at the eastern side of the lake: there is a cafe, at least one restaurant, a hotel, areas to hike, and boat rides. We only saw a part of the lake, and did not even get to explore all of that area, so Rutland Water is definitely a place we will be visiting again.

In the meantime, here are some of the pictures I took (all were done with my phone as I forgot to take my main camera with me):

A view of the lake taken from near the parking area. We were on the eastern side of Rutland Water for the duration of our visit.

Another view of the water, taken from the vantage point at the mini-peninsula Normanton Church is located on.

This is Normanton Church; I have read that it is a museum nowadays but the doors to enter the building were locked. It looks a fairly large structure from a distance but up close it is not that big at all; from the outside it looked like there were two, perhaps three, rooms in there.

Another shot of Normanton Church; I like taking pictures of buildings at this type of angle, providing that I have a head-on capture of the structure as with the previous image.

Believe it or not, this fancy building is a Best Western hotel. I was surprised to learn this myself, as I am still used to United States-style Best Westerns!

Along part of the path was an area for sheep to graze; at night they sleep underneath this tree. Looks like a fun little hideout!

This ewe allowed me to get several pictures of her and even decided to follow me for a little bit as shown in this image. She did not come too far, though, and as I walked further along she stopped, stared, then went to re-join the other sheep.

Another shot of the lake, taken from the dam end of the path.

When the weather is much more clear we will go up to Rutland Water again. It is a good place to walk and the cruise boat that travels around the lake looks fun. If you are ever near Rutland I recommend paying Rutland Water a visit!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Another day in Nottingham pictures

Here are three pictures from Tuesday's trip to Nottingham; they are all of the Trent, in the evening, and were taken with my phone:

I have certainly not forgotten to post yesterday's content from Carrie Underwood's concert at the Royal Albert Hall! That will all be on here once I have gone through my pictures and videos, and posted a couple of already scheduled items (this being one of them)!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Carrie Underwood

I shall be leaving soon to attend a Carrie Underwood concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London; I will be travelling by train and a friend of mine will be meeting me at one of the train stations so we can go to the concert together. Underwood's performance at the Royal Albert Hall will be her first-ever in the United Kingdom, and we are both very much looking forward to seeing her live.

This trip to London will mark my first visit to the place since returning to the United Kingdom, will be the first time I have been to a concert, and my first time riding on a train. I am not sure if I will be able to get any pictures, as the weather has been rainy all day...but it has been improving in the last couple of hours and it could be drier in London...but if I do I shall be sure to post them!

Underwood came to Southern Oregon a couple of times while we lived there, but as much as I wanted to attend those concerts I was unable to. It does seem funny that I will be now be seeing her here in the United Kingdom, but at any rate I am pleased to be going!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Foxton Locks images

The Foxton Locks, located on Leicester's line of the Grand Union Canal, are ten locks divided into two sets of staircase locks. Also at the Foxton Locks is the Foxton Inclined Plane.

Here are some of the images I took during our visit there; all were captured with my main camera:

This is the Foxton Inn, a pub. Apparently, the food there is of good quality, but very expensive. We did not order anything from the pub or even go inside the building, but eating there is something to consider next time we go to the locks (or even going there for dinner one evening).

A shot looking up the upper staircase of the Foxton Locks. There is a museum off to the left and slightly behind me, but we did not visit it.

Looking down the upper staircase; the museum I mentioned previously is the building in the background on the right.

Some lilypads in another area of the grounds. We did not see any frogs in the vicinity of the pads, but there were plenty of fish!

A view from an observation deck on the grounds. From here both the Foxton Inclined Plane and some of the rolling hills of Leicestershire can be seen.

A brick/cobbled bridge crossing over one of the canals. There is a quaintness about this type of bridge that I really seem to like...they are both good to look at and fun to walk on.

This mother duck appeared to be teaching her ducklings that humans can provide ducks with food, as she was allowing them to swim up to people and even swimming to people herself. Her lesson was a failure, however, as no one had any bread to give her and her offspring. Maybe next time!

One of the many boat rides located along the bottom of the locks. I would have shot a movie of this boat instead had my camera card not been full.

A shot looking over the canal and back towards the Foxton Inn.

The entire grounds are walkable, and in addition to the pub and musuem there were a couple of smaller stores and another place where one can get something to eat. I think we will go to the Foxton Locks again at some stage and perhaps check out those other parts.

Finally, something partially related to our visit to the Foxton Locks, today we went to Rutland Water, loacted in the county of Rutland. I will be posting pictures of that place soon!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Another day in Nottingham

Spent the day up at my grandparents' house in Nottingham, visiting both to see them and to help put up some outdoor lights for them. We also watched England defeat Ukraine in the Euro 2012 (not a fan of football, but my grandmother is and she had the game on, so why not watch it?). I do have some pictures of the day, which I will post at a later date.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Foxton Locks

We visited the Foxton Locks in Leicestershire this afternoon. I do not have time to post any pictures of the place in today's post, and likely will not for tomorrow's either, but I should have them up by the end of the week. I took 209 pictures plus four movies while we were there!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Picture of Christmas crackers

In the jokes I have posted previously, I mentioned that those jokes were written for various Christmases and in particular for the crackers we often made during the season. Even though we are currently not close to Christmas, I found this image I shot of the crackers we created in 2010:

Saturday, 16 June 2012

"One More Time" - Daft Punk

I know this is a music post right after a previous post on music, but "One More Time" by Daft Punk was played on the radio a few minutes ago, and hearing it reminded me to write about the song.

I became familiar with "One More Time" from all the times it was played on Open House Party. The heavy use of Auto-Tune and voice processing in the song have never bothered me, as it is a fantastic dance track. Funnily enough, the Open House Party was played during the weekend, which was when I would hear the song most often, and my most recent time in hearing "One More Time" on the radio was today...a Saturday!

The main difference with the Open House Party version and the one I just heard is that the "One More Time" played on OHP was always the longer mix:

Friday, 15 June 2012

Daniel Powter's "Bad Day", and his potential return

Remember "Bad Day" by the Canadian musician Daniel Powter? It is a happy, positive-sounding song about having a bad day and was a massive hit back in 2005/2006. "Bad Day" was the biggest single in the United States in 2006, it charted in numerous countries, was the most played song in the United Kingdom during the 2003-2008 period, and earned Powter numerous nominations and awards.

Despite the enormous success of "Bad Day", every single that Powter has released since has flopped. None have reached the Billboard Hot 100, and outside the United States they have struggled to chart...and when they did they reached abysmal positions. His lack of chart success after "Bad Day" was remarkable enough for Billboard to declare him the top one-hit wonder of the 2000s, a feat in itself, but not one that any musician wants to be saddled with.

It is a shame that Powter's work since "Bad Day" has been unsuccessful, but it is even more of a shame that he turned to substance abuse for a period stemming from difficulties handling his sudden fame and being burnt out from constantly having to sing "Bad Day". Fortunately, he has since recovered and moved on from the habit, and is now engaged and has a daughter who is four months old, but it is still saddening and disappointing that he did have an addiction to alcohol and drugs for a time.

Powter is currently working on a new album and has recently released a new single titled "Cupid". Time will tell if his new work will elevate him out of one-hit wonder status, but I hope it does. In the meantime, we can listen to "Bad Day": it is still a brilliant song six years later, will certainly put you in a good mood when you hear it, and will remain in your head for days afterwards (when my brother and I were listening to Heart Cambridge last year, it was the first time we had heard "Bad Day" on the radio frequently since 2006, and that did please us).

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Lovely red rose

I found a picture my brother recently captured of a red rose in our front yard. The picture is absolutely lovely...I definitely had to post it (with his consent as always, of course, it is his image after all!):

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

End of the hospipe bans

Before I turned my computer off last night, it was good to read that most of the remaining hosepipe bans are being lifted today. There has been a significant amount of rain for the United Kingdom since the bans came into effect, and several places have flooded while others are at risk of flooding. Parts of London and the southeast of England will still be under "in drought" status, but here in Northamptonshire and the rest of the nation the hosepipe bans will be ending.

This does not mean that we will resume our previous rate of water consumption. No, if anything the hosepipe ban has taught us to be more economical in the areas where we use water, such as the shower: I now average about three minutes in the shower, down from more than six pre-hosepipe ban. Unfortunately, it does mean that some people will go back to obsessively washing their cars, but we will keep to our work of ensuring we do not use too much water.

It is a relief that the majority of the bans will not be in effect until or beyond Christmas, as had been mentioned a few times in the news. Hopefully with some more rain the remaining in drought areas will soon join the rest of the United Kingdom.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Frog with a hat

Similar to "Mug with a hat", this is my ornamental cowboy frog with that same Jubilee hat. I was not planning to post this image, but someone else liked it and thought it was cute so I changed my mind:

Monday, 11 June 2012

About the "Who's On Heart" competition

For the past few months the Heart radio stations have been holding the "Who's On Heart" competition. In a nutshell, people have to guess the three celebrities saying the words "who's", "on", and "heart" (a different celebrity says each word) to win cash prizes. The competition has been immensely difficult, and a series of clues have been given to help speed up the process.

At present, only one name has been uncovered; a lady named Katie O'Brien correctly guessed Tina Turner as one of the three and she won £5,000 from her answer. If someone guesses a second question they will win £20,000, and if someone guesses all three they will win £60,000. From what I understand, even though Tina Turner has already been guessed, people still have to say her name to win the £60,000.

With the clues and incentives, about two months ago a list of all the wrong guesses was revealed on the Heart website, and the £50,000 jackpot was increased to £60,000. It was announced this morning on Heart that the prize for guessing a second name was increased from £10,000 to £20,000; in addition, the woman who says "heart" is apparently an actress, the person saying "on" is a man, and Tina Turner says the word "who's". This last clue was a surprise, as nearly everyone assumed "who's" to be said by a man, and the voices were always thought to be two men and one woman, but it is actually two women and one man. However, when my father first heard the three voices he did state that "who's" sounded as though it was being spoken by a woman, and it seems he was right on that.

In reading a few online discussions about the competition I was unsurprised but still disappointed to see that some people are angry/bored that it has gone on for such a lengthy amount of time, have "given up" on it, or just believe that it is rigged. I think it has been a fascinating competition so far, and the recent release of information only makes it all the more interesting. Anger at the competition because no one has identified all three celebrities is both pointless and unnecessary.

A list of all the incorrect names can be found here, and a clip of the voices is here.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

The 2005 me on phones (2)

As a follow-up to my post on my 2005 opinion on mobile phones, there is one other point worth mentioning on the subject,

A few weeks ago, for the first time ever I received a text while having dinner, and as was expected my phone alerted me about the text. I was slightly embarrassed by my phone going off in the middle of the meal (I had forgotten to switch it to vibrate), but everyone just laughed and carried on eating. I checked the message and responded after we had finished.

I saw the funny side of this, because I used to really dislike it when someone's phone went off during a meal, regardless of whether the person answered it or not. In all fairness it does depend on the situation: in that particular case my phone went off but I did not respond until after dinner was finished (only a few minutes away); I think I would have received objections if I had texted back while others were still eating. Since then I have received a few more texts during mealtimes, and in most cases I respond immediately after finishing.

Unless I was expecting something important (not general chit-chat), I would not answer an actual call during a meal. I would not want anyone whom I was speaking to in person and having dinner with to feel as though they are less worthy to talk to than someone on a phone. This is not something that has happened to me, but I have heard about it being done to others.

It a nutshell, I am no longer bothered by a person who frequently (but briefly) checks their phone or receives a text/call when speaking. The former is what I do with my phone and the latter has happened to would be hypocritical to be offended when someone does something that I do!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

An updated game of "Run Off"

I previously wrote about how my brother and I now play Run Off using the 2010 Census rather than with the game's native 1990 Census. A recent game of it was played over two days, and I took a picture of the board on the night we had to stop. This is what the game looks like under our method of playing:

Note all the pieces of paper to highlight the new census figures. They look annoying but they actually are very useful and give us the opportunity to play using the modern census. This was what the game looked like at the end:

The game ended at 272-266, with my brother narrowly winning. It should be noted that if we had played using the 1990 Census, my brother worked out that I would have won, and with an even slimmer margin at 270-268.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Mug with a hat

Here is a picture of the hat I was given at the Jubilee; I placed it on a mug to ensure that a significant amount of the hat was in the image and so the flash did not wash out all the colours by reflecting off the hat:
I think this photograph turned out well. On an unrelated note, I will have a follow-up to yesterday's post either tomorrow or the day after: I have been busy this afternoon and only have time to post this.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The 2005 me on phones

As I have written about previously, during the last Christmas season I received a mobile phone. When I was first given the phone I did not anticipate on using it much; however, for the last few months I have found my phone to be extremely useful, with texting and its stopwatch being the two features I use almost daily. In addition, I have my phone on me almost all the time, as people who have my number know that it is the quickest way to contact me.

This is a huge contrast to the 2005 me...a person who mocked mobile phones and declared that he "would never text because it was stupid". He saw little reason for people to need anything other than a landline, and he never wanted his own mobile phone. If you told him that one day he would not only be texting with other people but also be constantly carrying his mobile phone around with him, he would likely not have believed you; and if you had given him a phone he would have been highly offended.

It should also be noted that where he lived he was outside the range of the local cell phone towers, and thus, any such phones did not have service. It is possible that this factor had an effect on his opinion.

Okay, I will stop referring to myself in the third person now, but the Andrew of 2005-2006 was a vastly different person to who I am today. I am glad I moved on and grew beyond what I used to think about mobile phones and texting (as well my opinions on an array of other topics, but that is off-topic): after all, they are another form of communicating with people, and texting is a brilliant medium for sending a short message to somebody when you need to contact them quickly but would rather not disturb them with a phone call (not to mention that texting back and forth with someone is fun in itself).

Even eight months ago I still did not really have a use for a mobile phone (but I was not hostile to them or to owning one), but now that I have one it is hard to imagine not having one again!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The orange moon

I took this picture the other night of the Moon while it was full; what is fascinating about this particular image, however, is that the Moon was orange during that night:

It may have been caused from some fires (the smoke), but regardless it is spectacular to see an orange Full Moon!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Jubilee street party images

Here are twelve photographs that I took of the Diamond Jubilee street party, where both myself and my brother were in attendance yesterday afternoon. All images were taken with my main camera:

We arrived at the party around its starting time, and this image was taken shortly afterwards. At this point there were several clouds in the sky, and it had rained a little over a couple of hours before; the weather got better as the afternoon progressed.

The weather had improved substantially by this shot: the sun was out and the dark clouds had almost entirely moved away by then.

Cake time! There was a delicious selection of muffins, cupcakes, and pieces of regular cakes; as lovely as it all looked I decided to have only one piece of cake, though!

A perspective looking "down" the table. Between 200-300 people were expected at the event but there was room for 600 if necessary. I would guess that there were around 250 people there.

Now a perspective looking "up" the table.

Another perspective looking up the table.

This is at roughly three-quarters the way up the party. Some people decided to place their chairs on the corner!

I was standing in a similar position to where I was in the previous image, but looking down again. Note that some people have party hats...I was given one, too (still have the hat)!

I had to post a picture of the piece of cake I ate during the party; since this was at the Jubilee, I think it can be described as scrumptious!

This was taken when I sat down; in this picture I am looking up the table, and behind me were only a few people and empty seats (the end of the party was approaching).

Similar to the previous picture, just significantly more zoomed it.

At slightly past 5:00 in the evening the party came to a close, and this was one of the last pictures I took of the event. In this image the chair are in the process of being folded and taken away.

As for some of the events that took place at the party, a game called "pass the parcel" was played, there was a fancy dress contest and judging, and there was a raffle, but for the most part people just talked and ate; in addition, throughout the party there was music playing (which turned out to be an important piece of pass the parcel, for whenever the music stopped the parcel was opened).

Both my brother and myself are glad we attended, and we are honoured that we were a part of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee in some form (it was our first Jubilee, as we did not celebrate her Golden Jubilee ten years ago).