Gleneagles is worth a visit

Gleneagles is worth a visit

I had never been to Gleneagles before, I am now asking myself, why I had to wait 52 years to come to this hotel in rural Perthshire, Scotland

… It’s amazing.

Gleneagles is worth a visit; in fact I would say it’s a hotel worthy of the group it belongs to; ‘ One of the leading hotels of the world’

Says it all...
Says it all…

The hotel is traditional, formal, relaxed and modern, all at the same time; the staff are so good, you want to take them home and have them organise the week ahead…

An amazing hotel, by any stretch of the imagination.
An amazing hotel, by any stretch of the imagination.

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The food is amazing, especially the breakfast, best savoured with your friends on a lazy weekend morning…

The Hattons and Bramwells, guests of Kinetic for the S.O.A.G. Balll, a night to remeber!
The Hattons and Bramwells, guests of Kinetic for the S.O.A.G. Ball, a night to remember!
OK we had to have one colour shot for those Duck Eggs!!

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The Rooms are amazing

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The bar is amazing, before dinner or after, with or without a dinner suit, the fantastic staff are on hand; and they really know how to make a lively Bloody Mary.

A special place for special people
Time for a spicy bloody mary…

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GleneaglesAnd I never even took the golf clubs, with my handicap it would have been an insult to the truly beautiful surroundings.

Of course any trip is really made by the people you are with, and in this case our hosts were fantastic. Thank-you so much for a lovely 24 hours of total decadence.

 

Waiting for the 11.00am all clear on the Centenary course
Stunning Perthshire countryside beyond the three championship golf courses…
Everyone was queueing up to play the Ryder Cup course, it’s the lovely established King and Queens courses that do it for me.

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To finish, this is truly a special hotel, I have driven past it so many times, I cannot believe I have now found it.

We will be back.

Once you enter through these doors, you become rather relaxed.
Once you enter through these doors, you become rather relaxed.

In the short time you have on this earth, irrespective of whether you play golf or indeed do not; everyone should go and stay at Gleneagles for at least a nightL1001831 L1001827 L1001824 – it truly is well worth a visit!

 

 

It’s all connected in Silicon Valley

OK, so it’s all connected in Silicon Valley right? And with 1 billion devices making people more connected than ever before, how should brands be thinking about and planning for the connected system of the future?”

It's all connected in Silicon Valley
It’s all connected in Silicon Valley

And the answer is; firstly, devices don’t connect people. People are really connected by their family, their lives, their play, their work and their imagination; the device is purely the means to an end.

The ability to communicate anything and everything across so many platforms and networks via a plethora of devices in a multitude of formats is merely the complex set of ground rules that marketers have to play by. In isolation, having all the technological solutions will never guarantee success; even the most adept brand will only make limited progress against its goals with tech alone as its partner.

It's family, life and imagination that connect people; not devices
It’s family, life and imagination that connect people; not devices

Why? Because the brand is of no significance to the potential consumer until they decide it is; and that is why the message will always be more important than the medium. So; think content and connections; not devices and technology. How should brands be thinking about the connected system?

They should be thinking about the consumer, not the device, or the channel – and they should be thinking about what gets the consumer out of bed at 4.00am in the morning. What is going on inside their head, what content and messages will they be interested or motivated or moved by?

Clients live in a volatile world, procurement has leapfrogged marketing and our job is to redress that balance by demonstrating real additional value to marketers via system thinking, investing in marketing that drives business outputs via a simple content and connections framework.

I strongly believe we are seeing the fruits of this approach at a local and regional level as well as clearly with our global clients. Our mantra to any client should be; stop measuring us on silo costs and value, start looking at your system and let us help you drive efficiency and deliver true value by understanding how everything works together.

So to get back to the question as to how clients should be planning; their data is at the heart of this process; they need to find it, share it and cherish it. In the new age of data planning and programmatic buying, clients need to think audience and outcomes, not channels and pricing, and plan for a connected future.

The 1billion devices that connect us all are not the issue; that is the easy part; it’s the data that flows between those devices that powers the system; it’s the context of that content that surrounds the consumer in all that they think and feel and do.

For us, Google is one of our largest relationships, growing more powerful each day, driven by mobile search and video, evolving and exciting, reflecting the dynamic growth in Silicon Valley companies and the opportunity this Summit presents to clients and staff alike.

To plan for the connected future, clients should of course be working with us!

Working together we can manipulate and optimized their system to deliver the very best business outcomes for their brand; making us an indispensable trusted partner for the future.

So please send me to California right now, and I will spread the word and get involved

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Giant Rabbit at YSP
Giant Rabbit at YSP

Following on from Brimham Rocks, here is another fantastic Yorkshire day out – man-made rather than natural, but if you are looking for true inspiration outdoors, then Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the place to go.

Relax at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Relax at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the Galleries at YSP
One of the Galleries at YSP

Yorkshire Sculpture Park – something for everyone

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a pioneering place that aims to challenge, inspire, inform and delight, welcoming over 300,000 visitors, including 40,000 learning visits each year.

“Probably the finest exhibition site for sculpture in the world.” Bill Packer, Financial Times


“In my experience, you get things from visiting these 500 acres of rolling rural north that are rarely available at other art locations.” Waldemar Januszczak, The Sunday Times


“A great way to combine culture, exercise and fresh air for all the family.” The People

YSP seeks to provide a centre of international, national and regional importance for the production, exhibition and appreciation of modern and contemporary sculpture. Many inspirational elements combine here to create a unique and exceptional balance of art, heritage, learning, space and landscape.


YSP’s success is a testament to personal commitment and vision. The organisation has grown over the last 35 years: from humble beginnings with £1,000 to fund a small exhibition of 31 sculptures, to now contribute £5 million to the local economy and is responsible for five indoor galleries set in 500 acres of the 18th century-designed Bretton Estate, reunited in recent years under YSP’s stewardship.

Within a national and European context YSP is unique, offering artists and visitors experiences and opportunities unlike anywhere else. ‘Great art for everyone’ has been YSP’s goal since opening to the public in 1977, enabling access, understanding and enjoyment of art and landscape for everyone, whilst dismantling many of the barriers that often exist between the public and contemporary art. This vision remains as strong as ever.

The revelatory nature of the Park’s setting opens up many possibilities and encourages exploration of the relationship between art and nature, stimulating engagement and adventure in the surroundings.

You have to hand it to him...You have to hand it to him…

To look out across carefully designed vistas in the parkland, to chance upon a sculpture in the landscape, to make personal discoveries whilst seeing and touching sculptures by some of the leading artists of the 20th century – there is nowhere else like Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

You have to hand it to him..
Inside the metal mesh cage looking out across the landscape

 

 

 

Beautiful countryside to walk in at YSP
Beautiful countryside to walk in at YSP

Crosby Beach, another place in fact

What are those cast iron men doing out there?

Crosby Beach, another place in fact

Crosby beach is located on the North West corner of England, stretching about 3 miles North-West from the Seaforth Dock in the Port of Liverpool, through Waterloo, where it separates the sea from the Marina, past Crosby Swimming Baths, up beyond the coastguard station in Blundellsands to the estuary of the River Alt.

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The navigable shipping channel in Liverpool Bay, connecting the River Mersey to the Irish Sea, runs parallel to the beach to around the coastguard station where it swings out to sea. This is a very busy shipping canal – if a little quieter than it used to be.

The beach has only really been stabilised in the last half a century or so. Previous to this at high tides the sea could come in as far as the first row of houses. Dune management, which is still ongoing to the present day (including the planting of old Christmas trees) and the building of a sea wall have now reduced the problems.

In the older dunes north of the coastguard station, between the sea and the West Lancashire Golf Club, there are still some remains of the old wartime defences.

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The Another Place sculptures by Antony Gormley are found on Crosby Beach,  after a Sefton Council meeting on 7 March 2007, it was agreed that after being displayed at several locations in Europe, these sculptures were to remain permanently erected in northwestern England. rather than having to move to yet another location, this amazing piece of art would now stay permanently.

Not everybody was as happy as I was.

Originally the statues were due to be relocated in November 2006. Those who use the front for watersports voiced the strongest resistance to the iron men staying, as the statues posed a safety problem – especially as the local marina was being closed to public use at the time.

Art lovers and local businesses lobbied for the statues to stay. Gormley himself was very happy to keep the statues at Crosby Beach, saying that the location is “ideal”.

 

The amazing work consists of 100 sculptures of the artist’s own body, facing towards the sea.

Each cast iron figure, all of which face out to sea,  are spread over a 2 mile (3.2 km) stretch of the beach between Waterloo and Blundellsands.

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Each figure is 189 cm tall (nearly 6 feet 2½ inches) and weighs around 650 kg (over 1400 lb).

In common with most of Gormley’s work, the figures are cast replicas of his own body. As the tides ebb and flow, the figures are revealed and submerged by the sea. The figures were cast at two foundries, Hargreaves Foundry in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and Joseph and Jesse Siddons Foundry in West Bromwich.

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Another Place was first exhibited on the beach of Cuxhaven, Germany, in 1997 and after that in Stavanger in Norway and De Panne in Belgium.

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The works became a major tourist attraction on Crosby Beach north of Liverpool.

Looking back at these pictures from 2006 and 2007 taken on a Nikon D40 and a small compact, makes me want to get back there with my Leica, the figures are amazing; truly from Another Place.

 

 

 

Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks.

It always sounded good as a kid, and having returned today probably for the first time in 30+ years, it was just as good as it sounds, in fact, it was better than it ever was.

The National Trust have scored a bullseye here

Brinmam Rocks, as good as ever 30 years on...
Brinmam Rocks, as good as ever 30 years on…

Brimham Rocks are balancing rock formations on Brimham Moor in North Yorkshire, England. The rocks stand at a height of nearly 30 metres in an area owned by the National Trust which is part of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Wikipedia

They can be found here – Ripon Road Barn Blazefield, Pateley Bridge, Ripon, Yorkshire HG3 4DW

Honestly, i have not been for so long they really amazed me today – a fantastic 2 mile walk around the edge of the moor, away from the crowds, there are some amazing rocks and the views across Nidderdale is awesome.

Here are 20 photos that should get you interested – everyone should go!

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Brinmam Rocks, as good as ever 30 years on...
Brinmam Rocks, as good as ever 30 years on…

Circular walk around Aysgarth falls and Bolton Castle

 

It seemed far further than 3 miles to get here...
It seemed far further than 3 miles to get here…

Circular walk around Aysgarth Falls and Bolton Castle

It said in the book that this walk was about 7 miles (11.27km), I think we took a few wrong turnings, but it was well worth it on an overcast day in Wensleydale.

Start at Aysgarth Falls National Park Visitor Centre; from the visitor centre, turn right along the path to the Middle and Lower Falls – we had a look, but nothing too exciting today and not worth getting the camera out for.

You then cross over the road and go through Freeholders Wood and follow the signs for Bolton Castle, easy to get lost on the first part of the walk, but once Bolton castle comes into view (when you have emerged through a few farms towards redmire) then after a short walk along the road you can take a left and work your way up the hill to the summit and the castle.

Bolton Castle, we love it here
Bolton Castle, we love it here

 

And this is a fantastic castle!

This feudal fortress was built in 1399 by Richard, the first LORD SCROPE, high chancellor of England, in the eighteen last years of the reign of King Richard the II, at a cost of 1800 marks (£12,000,) an enormous sum in those days.

It irregular square form, 125 feet on the east side, 131 on the West, 187 on the North and 184 on the South, has four towers 96 feet high, one at each corner, connected by buildings of enormous strength; the whole surrounding a court yard 96 feet by 52 feet with only one ground entrance to it through a gateway on the east side, defended by a strong portcullis.

Lord Scrope of Bolton, headed the Wensleydale and Richmondshire men, September 9th 1513, on Flodden Field, where they battled the Scots, who lost about 10,000 men including their King and the prime of their Nobility, Gentry, and Clergy.

Bolton Castle
Bolton Castle

Bolton was one of the many places in which Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned by her loving cousin the “good Queen Bess (Elizabeth I).

On the 16th of May 1568, Mary landed at Workington, and on the 18th arrived at Carlisle. On the 13th of July she left Carlisle, in charge of Lord Scrope and Sir Francis Knollys, finally arriving at Bolton one hour after sunset on the 15th of July, received by Lady Scrope.

Bolton Castle is the sole survivor of the numerous prisons in which Mary was detained.

In the Civil Wars of the time of Charles I, Bolton Castle was held for the King by the Richmond Cavaliers, first under Colonel Scrope, and afterwards under Colonel Chaytor, who resisted the Roundheads till the garrison had eaten their horses: Chaytor then capitulated upon the honourable terms on the 5th November 1645.

This castle, with many others, was ordered by parliament to be made untenable in 1647; and in 1694, the north-east tower, which had been sorely battered during the siege by cannon planted on the hill behind, fell with a sudden crash. Emanuel, Earl of Sunderland, the 13th Lord Scrope, who died in 1630, was the last of the family that dwelt at Bolton Castle.

When you leave Bolton Castle (having had a nice picnic on a park bench outside the church of St Oswald), walk through a gate and follow the double farm track for next 2½ miles along the bridleway on high ground back along the dale towards Aysgarth.

When the farm road ends, continue straight-forward through a gate. Keeping the wall on your left, follow this track after crossing a stream first. Continue along this track for awhile before the path eventually descends to join a walled lane.

Its bleak up here on the Dale
Its bleak up here on the Dale

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Continue along this path which leads to a road and in Carperby.

Caperby and Aysgarth in the disstance, the River Ure through Wensleydale
Caperby and Aysgarth in the disstance, the River Ure through Wensleydale

Turn right onto the road and go as far as Wheatseaf in Caperby, then turn left off the road to find  the path that will take you down to Aysgarth.

Track down into the top end of Caperby
Track down into the top end of Caperby
Looking towards Ascrigg
Looking towards Ascrigg
The sheep are proud of their shelter on this desolate Dale side
The sheep are proud of their shelter on this desolate Dale side

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After you have passed through a couple fields to emerge Freeholders’s wood, you will find the road and the railway bridge to emerge once again in Aysgarth Falls National Park Visitor Centre.

there is a far better description of this walk here on the Wensleydale web site.

Thanks to the lady who donated the parking ticket – a well worthwhile 4 hour trip, to be rewarded with some coffee and cake in Leyburn!

 

Significant Snacks of no fixed abode.

David St cafe, Holbeck, Leeds
David St cafe, Holbeck, Leeds

 Significant snacks of no fixed abode.

Food is so important to me; love it, hate it, you can’t ignore it….as Eddie Chilcott always said at Oxford (was that really 33 years ago?)

So let’s start with some amazing fish and chips; one of my favourite significant snacks.

Fish and Chips at 149 Friday is allways about Fish and Chips Bridlington, 12th May 2011 iPhone 3GS, 3.85mm, f2.8, 1/15 sec, ISO 125
Fish and Chips at 149
Friday is allways about Fish and Chips
Bridlington, 12th May 2011
iPhone 3GS, 3.85mm, f2.8, 1/15 sec, ISO 125

 

London Hotel room, a memory stick, an animal chocolate bar and some asprin; that was my dinner. This picture was taken on an apple iphone 4S, at 1.00am on the morning of the 30th November 2011. That was a significant day, it was the day that I sold Brilliant Media to MediaCom
London Hotel room, a memory stick, an animal chocolate bar and some asprin; that was my dinner.
This picture was taken on an apple iphone 4S, at 1.00am on the morning of the 30th November 2011.
That was a significant day, it was the day that I sold Brilliant Media to MediaCom

Significan Snacks of no fixed abode.

This blog post is indeed allabout significant snacks of no fixed abode; snacks that have played a major part in my life, snacks, meals, blowouts, morcels; they are al important in making up the fabric of my life.

Start the day with an egg Breakfast, Yorkshire, Nov 2013 Leica M 50mm f1.8, 1/500 sec, ISO 200
Start the day with an egg
Breakfast, Yorkshire, Nov 2013
Leica M 50mm f1.8, 1/500 sec, ISO 200

Not fancy restraunts, not entertaining on a grand scale, not expenses or treats; no, I am talking about the important stuff that fuels the working day;

pies,

breakfasts,

lunch at your desk,

snack on the run,

food of no fixed abode,

food that gets you ftom A to B.

This Pork Pie was balanced on the dash of a BMW 330d in May 2011. Significant, shot in Sainsbury's car park, Macclesfield the day i learnt my mum was ill.
This Pork Pie was balanced on the dash of a BMW 330d in May 2011.
Significant, shot in Sainsbury’s car park, Macclesfield the day i learnt my mum was ill.
At times like this, there is only one sort of pie that will hit the spot.
and hit the spot, it did.
and hit the spot, it did.

 

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a tart for all seasons
a tart for all seasons

 

 

Springtime in North Stainley

Has Spring sprung yet?

The church is open and the sun is shining
The church is open and the sun is shining

I don’t think it has.

Springtime in North Stainley

The snowdrops in the churchyard are early, Springtime does not officially start for another four weeks.
The snowdrops in the churchyard are early, Springtime does not officially start for another four weeks.
Springtime in North Stainley
Springtime in North Stainley

 

 

Despite my enthusiasm to run round North Yorkshire with a camera, I don’t think we have yet seen Springtime in North Stainley.

Welcome toNorth Stainley, welcome to North Yorkshire, and welcome to Spring 2015! North Stainley, 1st March 2015 Leica M, 50mm Summilux 1:1.4 ASPH, f1.4, 1/4,000 sec, ISO 200
Welcome to North Stainley, welcome to North Yorkshire, and welcome to Spring 2015 (not quite)
North Stainley, 1st March 2015
Leica M, 50mm Summilux 1:1.4 ASPH, f1.4, 1/4,000 sec, ISO 200

When does British Summer Time (BST) start?

Brtish Summer Time (BST) traditionally starts in the UK on the final Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October; so clocks will spring forward an hour at 1am on Sunday, March 29,2015, when BST starts and the country moves out of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

This means losing an hour of sleep in the morning; so we had better enjoy the next few weekends.

As a result of the change, there will be more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings. Clocks will go back an hour on Sunday, October 25, 2015 when BST ends and the country reverts to GMT. And when are clocks due to go forward and back next year? The dates in the UK for 2016 are March 27 and October 30.

Despite some lovely sunshine this morning, clocks don't go back for another four weeks.
Despite some lovely sunshine this morning, clocks don’t go back for another four weeks.

I hope that has cleared that up.

Across the Atlantic, most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2am on the second Sunday in March – this year March 8 – and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In North America, each time zone switches at a different time. In March, clocks spring forward from 1.59am to 3am and in fall, clocks fall back from 1.59am to 1am.

Some lovely sun today, but it's still winter, officially
Some lovely sun today, but it’s still winter, officially

There we have it. You will have to wait 4 weeks.