Friday 30 September 2011

Skywatch Friday (55)

Indian Summer

Fabulous Fall Blog Challenge: Day 10

Thanksgiving Memories

Stars and Stripes

Uploaded by nat_mach on August 20, 2011
© All rights reserved
Our Thanksgiving starts when I get home from work on Thursday. We join the Sky Sports team for their Thanksgiving games (well the Better-half does, I usually fall asleep before the last game).

We have a little turkey breast with stuffing (comes ready prepared in a tin) sometimes pigs-in-blankets and of course sweet potato topped with marshmallows. If there's room then we might have a cheescake for desert.

We've been doing this now for as many years I can remember... it isn't just a memory - it's a tradition.

Today is the end of Neely and Amber's Fall Challenge Link Up. thanks guys, it's been huge fun!

Tell MS Friday (2)

Time for another 'Tell MS Friday'.

Whatever you want to get off you chest about MS (whether you usually blog much about it or not) - please come and join in... the good, the bad and the ugly - all welcomed!

Thursday 29 September 2011

It's OK Thursday (3)

Linking up with Neely and Amber for "It's OK Thursday" again

It's OK...

  • to have the fan on even though it is nearly October (it is nearly 30 degrees outside)
  • to carrying on taking a dozens of photos of your Kitten-cat every day (he just gets cuter!)
  • to spend all day with Twitter and Facebook as there isn't much else to do stuck in bed
  • to wish the steroid course was finished (even though it might be doing some good) as the insomnia bites

Fabulous Fall Blog Challenge: Day 9

Favourite Football Passtimes

Living in the UK there are two sorts of Football in my life. The first is what anyone in this country will think of when you talk about football (i.e. soccer) and the second is what anyone in the US will think of when you talk about football (i.e. NFL).

On the Hallowed Turf

Uploaded by nat_mach on September 19, 2011
© All rights reserved
I was introduced to the 'beautiful game' in my early twenties by a guy (of course) - my family were more cricket/rugby orientated. I started my love-affair with Charlton Athletic... it outlasted the guy, and brought me and the Better-half  together!

When I started watching them Charlton played in Divison 1 (now the Championship) I saw them promoted to the glory of the Premiership, and relegated down (and down again).

At one time I had a season ticket, but the whole work life balance thing and having to go and watch what was becoming increasingly poor football didn't really work for me.

I still try and get down the Valley once a season though - there is nothing like the walk to the ground (downhill) or the struggle home (uphill) - the slightly warm and not very fizzy beer from plastic cups on the concourse before the game and at half time... the conversations during the game when not much of interest is going on... it's more than just watching the game... it's a whole community.

The promotion to the Premiership at Wembley is still the stuff of legend... the Bank Holiday before my Uni finals - and I was off watching football instead of studying!

Outside the Home of Football

Uploaded by nat_mach on September 29, 2011
© All rights reserved

NFL is oddly something from my childhood. NFL was very big when my brother was around 8 or 9. I have a photo somewhere of one of his birthday parties and half a dozen little boys all dressed in the turquoise of the Miami Dolphins. In order to play various games it was necessary for me to learn the rules of the game - and once learnt you don't forget! 

Our NFL tradition (5th year at the end of next month) is when one of the regular season games is played at Wembley. It doesn't really matter who is playing (although the first year it was rather thrilling as it was my Giants) as once again it is more than just the game... it is the whole day out. The entertainment before and at half time, the (more expensive) warm and not very fizzy beer... our game of shirt bingo (trying to spot a shirt representing every franchise) - just a great day out.


A set by nat_mach

049 052 053
044 045
047 048
054 055

My other favourite football pass-times are statistics. I keep spreadsheets. The Better-Half and I have a score prediction competition (which I lose every year) and we take part in a pool as well. I also play a fantasy game on-line - so knowing the form and stats are very important.

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Fabulous Fall Blog Challenge: Day 8

Fall Travel

I have only ever taken one fall trip. It was a long time ago (over a decade ago now). It was the first time I'd ever travelled anywhere alone, it was the first time I'd been to America - it was the first time I'd been to New York City.

Having friends about (my mum's room-mate from when she lived there in the 60s) and family (in both up-state New York and New Jersey) certainly made it a special trip.

When I booked my flight I only booked a hotel for the first night as the travel agent (idiot travel agent) told me acommodation would be easier to find a cheaper once I got to NYC. What nobody had told the travel agent was it was the weekend of the New York City marathon. I arrived on a Wednesday and managed to get a bed in the same hotel for the Thursday... and then panic set in. 

A trip from Penn Station took me out to see family in New Jersey. I got to experience the beauty of a New England Fall and saw some beautiful scenery and country side.

A few nights were spent in the YMCA before I was off to follow (quite literally) in my mother's footsteps and lodge with her room-mate for a few nights. This was superb as a born and bred New Yorker she gave me some excellent places to visit I might otherwise have missed. 

Another weekend out of town... including a Thanksgiving meal; this time with my god-parents in upstate New York. I had a night out with their daughter (strongest martini ever) and a trip to a genuine shopping mall.

My last few days back in the City before flying home... some many sights and visits - so much I missed as well.

Highlights: the Empire State Building and the World Trade Centre (the start of my skyscraper love affair); Central Park; walking all over Manhattan (I was too scared to take the subway!); shopping; museums...
Regrets: before I met NFL or MLB so now trip to Yankee Stadium or the Meadowlands; not taking the subway; that digital cameras weren't invented!

NYC 99

A set by nat_mach
Visit to New York City - November 1999
Looking down Top of the World Now entering NYC
Big Apple After dark...
Christmas already... Twin Towers
What a view! Old and new