Rainbow Pictures from Wales

We just stopped off to pick a few things up from where my son and his family live and while in the house I heard the car horn honking. I thought what’s that. Went out the front door and my wife pointed across the fields. I grabbed my camera as quickly as possible and took these pictures before it faded. This is the view from their house across the valley.

View across the valley
View across the valley


Sunrise at Luton Airport

Drove the Church Mini-Bus to the famed Luton Airport this morning for a group to fly out to Romania. Up at 2.15 to get ready. My daughter took the picture below at 5.38 as we saw the control tower in the distance. Man what a place. It’s like the whole world converges on one small roundabout for the airport and town centre – which bright spark thought that one up! Where did all the traffic come from? Anyways, all safely dropped off. Didn’t see inside, the car-park was enough!

Sunrise at Luton Airport

In Praise of our Emergency Services

My Mother-in-law had an episode yesterday morning and was unconscious for just over a minute. My wife phoned the doctor and before she had put the phone down a Paramedic was knocking at the door. He came in with his equipment to run some tests and before he had finished there came another knock at the door and an Ambulance crew had arrived. See picture.

This is our National Health Service at its best and I would like to acknowledge it. She was taken to Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry where they were able to monitor her overnight. We picked her up earlier this evening and she is now back with us and seems fine. Thank God for our dedicated Emergency Services.

Warehouse Blaze in Coventry

Out and about in Coventry earlier today and saw a massive plume of smoke on the other side of the city. It turned out to be a huge warehouse fire on or near the site Baginton Airport. Here’s a couple of pictures taken with my phone. As far as I know – no-one was injured.

The Gluttenous West

Pic by Ashley Felton

Friday evening we went out for a meal as we seem to be doing of late – for reasons I needn’t go into here. Thinking about where we should go that didn’t entail hanging around too long for the food we made our way to TayBarns. This is a chain of eating establishments modeled, so I’m told by Wikipedia, on the US Golden Corral chain. It’s a very popular ‘all you can eat’ place and we were very soon making our way to the feeding troughs.

I decided to go for the carvery with all the vegetable trimmings. It was OK. I decided to go and then have another meal – this time a spicy selection. The staff are so good at clearing away the plates that I found myself thinking ‘it doesn’t matter if I can’t eat it all they can just throw it away’. I couldn’t believe I was thinking like this and was pretty disgusted with myself. on looking round it wasn’t a surprise to find a lot of overweight people. Now, I’m under no illusion that my food waste was going to help anyone in the developing world but it just seemed all wrong. My mind went back to the Asterix and Obelix books that I read to our kids and the mythical ‘vomitorium’ where Romans would gorge themselves, vomit it all back up and start again. Taybarns has that flavour to it.

So, Taybarns is not the sort of place I really want to go for meal even though it’s relatively cheap and you can have a much – or as little I guess – as you want, but all in all it’s pretty disgusting. I know, no-one is forcing people to gorge themselves stupid but as a selling point (all you can eat) it obviously works. It’s actually immoral, and in the words of Proverbs ‘If you be a glutton put a knife to your throat’.

More importantly, how good is it for my soul to stuff my body stupid? It isn’t. Behind this is a philosophy that believes the self must be fed at all costs. Me. I am the centre of the universe. Wrong! I’m a sinner that must have a Saviour. I must give up my autonomy and bow the knee to King Jesus and find my satisfaction in Him.

Goodbye old faithful

'Old Faithful'

Christmas is a time for new things – and sometimes out with the old. Today I put into the bin our old Filter Coffee Maker . This was bought as a wedding present for us just over 28 years ago by my Best Man (Thanks Mike) and wife. My default is to try to fix things. The machine was leaking from somewhere in the water container and so after each brew a pool of water gathered underneath. The only thing I could think of was ‘Rad-weld’ but on reflection decided that wasn’t a very good idea – so it had to go in the bin. It’s my wife that uses it most as I’m really a confirmed Tea Drinker; So her Christmas present was a shiny new one – but I’m guessing it won’t last as long as our old Phillips one. ‘They don’t make em like they used to’ and ‘all things come to an end’. I’ve attached a picture of the old faithful, then it was to the bin.

End of a Cinematic Era

View across the road

I knew it was going to be demolished but driving past the old Granada (Plaza) Cinema today and seeing a massive hole in the side of the building made me realise it was the end of an era. Back in my childhood and through my late teens watching a film at the Granada was a weekly ritual. I went with my parents for years. This is back in the day when there was an intermission and ices and Kiora (remember those) drinks were sold at the front of the balcony. A lady would walk down to the front and people – including my Dad – would queue all the way back up the steps. Those were the days!  I watched many great films in that place. Not sure why but the BFI had a focus on cinema in Rugby. Here’s part of the Case Study:

View of the balcony

In January 1933, Rugby had its fourth cinema. The Plaza, built in the grounds of Northfields House (which at that time was part of Newbold Road) was a luxurious development.

All of these 4 cinemas continued showing films throughout the Second World War, and in 1946 the Plaza was once again taken over by the Granada Theatre Ltd, and became the Granada.

In March 1946 the Scala Cinema had a fire, which started in the winding room of the cinema, fortunately no one was injured, but the cinema was forced to close its doors.

In the late 40s and early 50s television became a popular form of entertainment and many people preferred to stay at home rather than visit the cinema. Audiences for cinema across the country and in the USA plummeted. Many cinemas had to close their doors and Rugby was no exception. The Regal was the first to close in 1953, followed by the Century in 1961 (the old) Picture House and later the Regent. The Granada continued until 1971, when it became a Bingo Hall.

Another view of the balcony

(Update: Although the above is from the BFI site, the 1971 date must be wrong. It must be later than this and may have been 1981. Maybe there will be something in the local paper.) Years ago according to a friend at the time the Granada had a superb sound system. Apparently the massive bass reflex speakers were constructed out of Concrete in order to achieve a better sound. I’ve no idea if that were true but it all added to the mystique. However, I have come across a DIY Granite Speaker Project so maybe it is true.

I parked the car and took a few pictures on my phone that you see here. They won’t mean much to most of you but seeing these things remind us that time is ever inching forward to that last day when Christ will return in Glory. It reminds us that we live in a fallen world where nothing is permanent and everything decays.

Back in the day

Here’s another picture I came across at another blog with a series of articles reminiscing about about the Granada Cinema. This blogger reckons it closed around 1975. This would be more accurate than 1971 because I’m sure I remember seeing The Exorcist (1973) there.

Blast from the Past

I suppose Blogging if we’re honest has some element of self-promotion to it. I try to keep it to a minimum but thought the following pictures may amuse or even surprise. The quality is not that brilliant, but anyway have look.

My daughter scanned the first one and called it scary dad. I’d been a Christian for a very short time and some of the girls had some fun with my hair.

The second is from a time (I must have been about 23) when The Lord Jesus was far from my thinking – except as an expletive. You can read a brief account of how Christ rescued me HERE. I actually have very few pictures from this period of my life. This is one of them.

It’s been a fairly circuitous route but my love of music has been revived a bit and I find myself revisiting Soft Machine, Weather Report, Magma & others. Not very keen on soppy Christian stuff I’m afraid. I absolutely love the good old hymns though! (Williams, Watts, Wesley, Gadsby etc)

Red Sky in the morning…

Took this picture this morning – I liked it anyway…

Sunset Pictures

We have been away for a few day so here’s a few pictures to stop us getting too bogged down with all the heavy stuff. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them. The first picture is from the place – standing at the door – where we were staying just outside Aberystwyth, Wales. The next two are taken some 15 minutes later a lot further up the hill and from a ridge looking in the same direction.