Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Telling Error by Sophie Hannah (Culver Valley Crime)

I won the book The Telling Error by Sophie Hannah via a giveaway on the Goodreads website. This is a cracking murder mystery from Sophie Hannah. It is very well written and with enough twists and turns to keep you glued to the pages. What I liked about it was the wit, humour and the fact the main ‘good’ characters all seemed slightly slightly neurotic. A very entertaining read.
The Telling Error

Blog post by Richard Randall
Total prize value to date: £840 (from 1st September 2013).

Elena = Scam

Good afternoon! I liked your profile very much and I took a decision to
send a letter to you. My name is Elena. I
am from Russia, Samara. My photo is applied to
my message, I believe you like it. I am
28, My birthday is on the 10th of
June. I am 165 cm tall and weight 51 kg. I have a higher education in the
field of Marketing and Advertising Business. I live in an apartment
with my sister. A rather big number of people in our
country live in apartments. My parents live
far from us in a country house, they take pleasure from the
silence and fresh air. Please, tell me some facts about
your relatives. I would like to find a boyfriend. I would like to have
relations and to have a good and strong family where the relations are
based on love,
understanding, respect, friendship and trust. I wish to find a man who will
happy with me and will support me in difficult moments. It will be very
interesting for me to hear a little about you and your way of
life. I have to finish my letter. I believe it
was interesting for you to hear some facts about me. I look forward to your
Have a nice day! Give a
reply to me at my e-mail.
Sincerely, Elena


Free Clothes

The other day a t-shirt arrived in the post that I won on twitter via @sticksports I’m starting to build quite a wardrobe of won clothes. This is my 5th t-shirt to date that I’ve won. Plus I won a £100 ASOS voucher. Maybe by the end of the year I can leave the house in 100% ‘won’ clothes. 🙂
Blog post by Richard Randall
Total prize value to date: £835 (from 1st September 2013).

Car M.O.T.

Yesterday I needed to get an M.O.T. done on the car.
I didn’t have to go far, just up the road to Gary’s Auto’s (Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery, Tel:01915271300).
I left the car at the garage, and then walked home. They said they would phone me when the car was ready. It was a phone-call I was dreading.
I was expecting the car to fail its M.O.T. not for any specific reason, and I’m a pretty positive person not given to negative thinking, but because the car has clocked-up a lot of miles, so I wasn’t looking forward to the phone-call from the garage. I thought they’d say it had failed its M.O.T and when I returned to the garage to pick-up the car I’d be given a big long list of the repairs needed for the car to pass its M.O.T. and more than likely a big bill too.
Thankfully my negativity was unjustified. It passed!
My wallet gave a big sigh of relief.
To celebrate the car passing its M.O.T. the next time I’m at a petrol station putting diesel in the tank I may just run it through the carwash, and who knows the inside may get a vacuum too.

Blog Post by Richard Randall

Flickr Upload

Last week I retrieved an hard drive from my parents loft. It had been living up there for about 3 years and holds all of my old photos. Needless to say it has been a very busy week for me. I’ve uploaded just over 3000 images to my Flickr Pro account, which was a slow process because of the lacklustre internet speed I get. I now have to go through my old videos and reedit them, so that I can upload them to my YouTube account. No rest for the wicked.
Time for a glass of wine to motivate me into firing up iMovies.
Wine Glass

Egypt, a Blast From The Past

Many many moons ago, I can’t count how many moons as that would be lunacy, Mrs. R and I travelled to Egypt for a 3 month adventure.
It was an exciting time, enjoyable and frustrating in equal measure. The sites we saw were phenomenal, and the interaction with the locals was – interesting to say the least. Thankfully we always managed to find a cold beer to calm us.
I’ve just retrieved my old photos which we shot during our past travels, from my parents loft and updated them for the digital age.
I had already scanned the negatives and slides, so it is just a matter of putting them on my iPad and messing around with them a little, so that they are fit for 2014. 🙂
I still have a lot of images to edit, which I will share on Instagram (@zoqyphoto) and needless to say on this blog too. Hope you enjoy them.

Blog Post by Richard Randall

Stapylton Arms, Hawthorn Village, County Durham

We have now been living in County Durham for just over 3 months, and because we have been busy renovating our house, and the local pub is not really ‘up our street’, going out for a beer has been a rare treat.
Stapylton Arms We spotted the Stapylton Arms one Sunday while killing time before taking the dog to a training class. We saw it had a ‘Dogs Welcome’ sign outside.
Today we decided to pop in for a quick pint before lunch. Dogs are allowed in the bar area, which was the main draw for us.
Stapylton ArmsWe parked up and headed into the pub, where we were greeted with a warm and friendly welcome. We ordered our beers, and then the barmen offered us some kitchen scraps for Barley. A nice touch we thought. The scraps were a very generous measure of roast beef, which Barley greatly enjoyed. Water was also offered.
Camerons SpecialThe bar area was cosy and warm, a proper traditional pub, and some decent beer on offer. I imagine that this pub will become a regular for us, because it is only a short drive from our house, serves good beer, and is very dog friendly.
Black Sheep BitterWhile enjoying a beer in the bar, we saw lots of food going out to the dining area, given the pub is not on a main road, it is a sign that it must be good. We will have it give it a try one day, in the Summer when we can sit outside with Barley.
Lurcher and BeerIMG_3314

Stapylton Arms,
Village Green,
Hawthorn Village,
Phone:0191 527 0778

Wine and Whine

It’s now been a long while since I’ve had any wine adventures. I now live in the far north of England, so visits to wineries are off of the cards. Also I’ve had the tighten the purse strings, so no exciting wines are finding their way into our house. I will have to find other ways to have wine related adventures. Ideas welcome.
Muzzled Wine