Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Mark & Emma's wedding at Singleton Lodge

Finally got round to getting these up!

Mark and Emma are good friends of Rob and I. Rob has known Mark since they were young and he had the honour of being best man.

The wedding was held at Singleton Lodge near Blackpool. Emma and I stayed over the night before with her daughter Poppy allowing for a leisurely morning getting ready for the ceremony. Would certainly recommend Singleton Lodge, the rooms were lovely, service was great and the food was great.

Here are a selection from the day.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Exciting Day for the country mouse

Spent 45 minutes in Manchester today. Picked up Rob's glasses, bought a Philpotts' salad MMMM, posted a parcel, got a parking ticket despite having another half an our left on the clock and just as I was about to get on the M602 my water pump went on the little fiesta!

Much tweeting, web surfing, bonnet lifting, reservoir fiddling later, I called Rob, my Dad and the AA.

All in all an exciting day! Feel better that I know I hadn't let the water reservoir run dry ( was Christmas when I last topped up!!) Dean my AA man was brilliant a true saviour and good company on the run home, with a recommendation to try the Red Hot World Buffet in Manchester (watch this space).

Whilst Dean was diagnosing the problem I chatted to two year 8 Salford lads who shared their bugglegum with me, even let me have the tattoo!

So just got to await the verdict, or rather estimate, from the garage and see what have to say about my parking penalty appeal.

How to check your water in a Ford Fiesta

So for those of you that know how... look away... for those that think they know but are having a mental slip like I did today (baby brain) here is how and where to fill your little Fiesta with water.


2) A - Open bonnet, in my model there is a red handle/ lever on the steering column (the bit below the steering wheel) - pull it.
B - Go to the bonnet, it should have popped up a bit, slide your fingers in the gap at the front (in line with badge) bend down to look if you can't feel it. There will be a catch, mine is yellow, push it to the side. This will release the catch and you should be able to lift the lid.
C - hold it up with the metal arm. This is at the front of my engine (could be at the side) it's a long thin piece of metal that can be poked into a hole in the lid (the front or side of the lid).

3) Look at the water level - you will be looking at the 'expansion tank' that is water filler bit to those not in the know (me!) This reservoir will have a min and max line on the side of the tank to enable you to see if you have enough, too little, too much water. My expansion tank is at the top left hand corner as you look at the engine, see pic....

4) ONLY when you are sure the engine (and more importantly the water) has cooled down, you can open the cap to the expansion tank - water filler bit! I say this as it is possible that if your engine has overheated, the water will be scalding, and highly pressurised.. you do NOT want to get a geyser of scalding water over your face and hands (I am not exaggerating)

5) Make sure you have opened the correct cap - check all the other caps first to eliminate them - if you put water in these you could be up shit creek! Here are some symbols to show you what to avoid!

6) Once you are certain you have the correct area, you can pour in your water, remember to use the min/max lines on the side of the reservoir as you don't want to put too much in. The liquid in your tank may be clear or coloured, in the winter it is advisable to put anti freeze in. This is a liquid that stops the water freezing in the cold. Some countries have red or green anti freeze, I have only ever seen blue when purchasing from UK garages. (My water was cloudy orange... rust! Speaking to my garage about it!!!)

7) Replace the cap, tighten as much as you can.. and then some.

This should see you right. If you had to check the water level because your car was overheating it is probably advisable to get the garage or breakdown assistance to check your engine as there may be another reason why your engine got hot (faulty fan, water pump shot......etc) better to be safe than sorry! I got the AA to take me to my garage.

********DISCLAIMER************ I am not a mechanic, I simply know how to check and replenish my water and oil levels (which I'd advise you do every few months!) Do not rely on this information for problem diagnosis or fault repair, always seek advice from mechanic, or reliable Dad type personage!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Photographing comedians in the rain - happy anniversary

Laughter Lines is a comedy promotion company that has been in operation for years, their newest venture is into performer representation.

Husband and wife team Kevin and Penny Bland have set up this new agency representing stand up comics and they asked me to photograph the comedians for the new website, forthcoming promotional material and for posterity.

The maiden crew are Dan Bland, Scott Bennett, James Cook, my husband Rob Hallam and his alter ego.. sorry... Australian cousin Bob Darwin, Tudur Owen and Phil Pagett.

Today is our first wedding anniversary and much like our big day the rain lashed down for most of the day, so all good intentions of trekking into the woods for the group shots by the old mill ruins were shelved. As were the head shots that were also at an outside location. Not to worry as our spare room, soon to be nursery, is in a state of dis-repair and the walls with the patchy old plaster added great texture for the back drop.

The shots have been presented to the team for their selection but here are some of my favourites.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

How to... convert scanned text to an editable document... JPEG or TIFF to .doc

Doing a favour for a friend at work, she wants a story book producing with images and only has hard copies of the types text and painted illustrations.

I have scanned in all the images but there are 3 pages of text so currently trying out OCR software to convert the scanned text (jpeg/TIFF etc) into an editable format .doc or .pages

There were some online advice pages suggesting that Microsoft Office Document Imaging software does this, but I only have Office for Mac. According to my tech guru @jhothersall advises that the PCs in school do have this software, but school is a 51 mile round trip and I'm still recovering from over doing the decorating mid pregnancy, so glued to the sofa for the afternoon!

I stumbled across they offer OCR facilities, free and budget versions. The paid options between 99c and $1.99 offer proof reading which is great for projects when you are to busy or too slapdash to do it yourself. Normally that would be me, but I have summer holidays to occupy and this book task is a freebie so not wanting to incur any extra costs on this trial just yet. I am currently position 98 in the queue so will wait and see how successful this service is, and come back with a recommendation...

...well, I let the batch run and completely forgot about it until this morning, but all three jobs are complete and save a couple of formatting and spelling issues (to be expected as the original was not in great condition) the results are great!

Absolutely worth doing, it has saved me time and effort copy typing, and for the cost of the other services I would certainly use again to trial their proof reading.

Better OCR get a big thumbs up from me!