Month: May 2008

New view due soon

So I thought I’d capture the old one for practice …and prosperity.

The view from 33 Glebelands after a bit of photomatrix wizardry.

I’m having a bit of a dilema now as my two favourite uses for my camera are currently…

1. Making funky HDR pictures like those above and below.
2. Making things move quickly by time-lapsing them

…both of which require some PC power. So, do I take the laptop to Russia or do I wait till I get back? Right now, I think I’ll take it.

and talking of the trip to Russia – Pete’s just updated with a picture of the trusty steed – Ralph Rover.

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Street Legal But Covered in Crap

Well for those of you who haven’t yet set eyes on Rover, here he is. After spending the best part of six weeks parked under a tree full of crows, it doesn’t take a scientist to work out that a bit of a clean may be in order.

A shiny new tax disc means he’ll be street legal this weekend, watch out if you live locally!

The Tube

My second HDR attempt. You can click on the image for the full size picture. One day I’ll have the powers of this guy.

The London Underground 21st May 2008

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Track Tastic Mate

I know its a golden rule that you should never write on a blog when you’ve had a few to drink. Oh well never mind!

I’ve just spent the evening devouring my music collection looking for every up beat driving track to accompany us on our little sojourn to Riga. Truth is I’d like to say I spent the evening looking through my CD collection, but unfortunately it was spent in front of a computer, pity I haven’t actually got round to MP3ing my CDs yet!

Anyway, perhaps you guys could help. How about we compile a collection of your top driving tracks too? Just add your comments to this post and we’ll do the rest. Perfect bank holiday activity I think, have a good one.


It’s official. Eddy is allowed in Russia!
It took a few weeks and cost about £80 but, the formalities are complete and I’m the proud owner of an all-singing, all-dancing double-entry visa for the Russian Federation. 45 days and 3000 miles to go and I’ll be dancing with the red Bear.

I needed the “double entry” option (£10 extra) as I’ll be driving through Russia on-route to Latvia and then I’m gonna leave Pete (& Ralph) in Riga & catch a train back under the iron curtain to Moscow.

It’s only one place on our two week trip but, experience tells me I’m going to enjoy Russia a lot …in all it’s oddness. Also, I’m really looking forward to meeting (and maybe understanding) some more ‘real’ Russians. I’ve only ever known one ‘real’ Russian and although I consider her a very special friend, like Churchill’s Russia she’s definitely a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

My invasion will be less imposing than yesterdays football extravaganza but naturally – far more memorable. Time for some cyrillic practice I think…

McMafiaThe RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce)

I was lucky enough to attend a lecture last night by one of my all-time hero’s Mr Misha Glenny. His knowledge and experience of the Balkans is hard to match and his books are partly responsible for my fascination with the region.

Based on his new book ‘McMafia’, MG unpicked “the nexus of crime, politics and money worldwide which have become entangled and interdependent in entirely novel forms since the 1980s, arguing that conventional policing methods are no longer appropriate to deal with a problem whose roots lie in global poverty and the ever widening divisions between rich and poor.”

Having spent another 3 years of his life chasing, interviewing, studying and documenting some of the worlds most ruthless characters he clearly explained how the collapse of communism fused with the rise of consumerism and the global financial market to create a global ‘shadow economy’ which may now account for 20% of the world’s GDP.

I believe the talk will be available as a podcast so I’ll keep my eye out for it and post it on here if I can.

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She’s a visa

and she’s mine

…and she’s arrived 🙂

“The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia.”

Still no sight of my bells-and-whilstles two-times visa! But I have faith it’ll arrive. Maybe in a month or so.

So, in the absence of this or any other news, I’ve been compliling my entry for the best 10 driving tunes competition.

Do we have a deadline for this Pete? and can I submit 13 songs and pretend there’s just 10?

Finally, you’ll be pleased to hear that Obi (my car) is OK. The water pump had gone Chernobyl. (for those who don’t know, I had a few minor car issues on Monday) but, the superbly reliable Mr Mark Purcell Ltd had it fixed in 2 hours. It did however cost me £176. That’s three quaters of the total price of Ralph ‘the dog’ Rover! …and almost as much as a Russian visa 😉

Mr Edd

Visa Teaser

Well my visa has just arrived back from the Russian Embassy, I’m about £80 lighter for the privilege. Royal Mail managed to not track my recorded delivery to the embassy so I’ve spent the last two weeks worrying my little socks off.

My advice, do not use Royal Mail’s Signed For delivery service for this kind of thing, only ever use Recorded Delivery, it just isn’t worth the heartache.

Let’s hope Mr Edd comes up trumps with his whizz bang multiple entry visa.

BBC Radio 2 – Simon Calder’s Travel Article

Seemingly every football fan in the UK wants a Russian visa at the moment. Don’t much like Simon’s alternative route for getting to Russia, I think it was clearly nicked from our master plan!

Click here to listen to the article

Spot the Fiesta

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