Family stuff

So, spent the weekend up in the North East to celebrate Great Uncle Jack’s 95th birthday. Apart from being an absolute Gent (and I really mean that) he has many fantastic nuggets of stuff up there in his head.

My Dad has a photo that he inherited, which used to have a painting mounted to it. The painting was by Thomas Moran, his Great Uncle, painted in the 1920s. He had the painting removed not so long ago to frame it but we brought the photo up to the party for Jack to look at as it had his Mother and his Grandparents (on her side) on it.

Great Uncle Jack was my Granddad’s Brother. I never knew my Granddad (Vincent Moran) as he died long before I was born aged only 42 from a brain haemorrhage. Jack is the eldest, and I think, only surviving sibling of the nine children his parents had. Anyway… here’s the photo.

Purvis Family Portrait

Say hello the Purvis Family. In the centre, with the very important moustache is Lambton Purvis. This is Great-Great-Grandad. He’s Scottish, I’m led to believe – and has a nice moustache.  Next to him sits his wife Jane. She’s the one who’s given birth to the 12 children that stand and sit around them, including the woman sat to her right my Great Grandmother Sarah.  I’m not sure when this was taken, but I found this brill article on the Durham Mining Museum website.

In it it details that:

  • William Lambton Purvis (My Great-Great Uncle) was killed in a mining accident aged 24 in 1904
  • Hi Mum was buried there too when she died aged 64
  • And his Dad was buried there too

It also tells us that in 1881 when the census was taken, that Lambton and Jane had 3 children aged 3, 2 and 5 months. My Great Grandmother was the eldest and William who died was 5 months. I’d therefore say this photo was taken just about the end of the 19th Century.

I really love this kind of thing. I have some fascinating documents from my Dad’s other side of the family too. I hope to write something about them soon too.


Nikon UK – Excellent Customer Service

On a recent trip to Budapest I was disturbed to notice my Nikon zoom lens* was failing to focus on anything much further away than 30 metres or so at the telephoto end of the zoom (135mm plus).

I was annoyed. I paid more than the RRP for this lens to have it as there was absolutely no stock in Europe when I got it back in March. However, I was reassured by many that the international Nikon warranty would be honoured, so I called Nikon UK. This was the only bad part of the experience – having to ring a premium rate number. I explained the problem, and the helpful person told me to send in only the parts needed (the lens and its caps), and to send in a plain box, as it would be unlikely I’d get the original box back, along with a description of the problem, proof of purchase and my warranty. I was worried that my e-mail receipt wouldn’t be sufficient bur it was accepted no problem. I was told to expect a 2 week turnaround.

Anyway, I packaged the lens on Thursday last week, and sent by insured recorded delivery to Nikon. The following day I received an e-mail confirming my lens had arrived, and a tracking number so I could see the status. Again, the repair estimate was 2 weeks. On Monday I got a further e-mail letting me know the lens was fixed and being shipped. At 11.30 on Tuesday, only 2 and a bit working days after I posted the lens, it was back in Leeds and back with me.

Last night I tested it, and all is well. It focused perfectly on the moon at 200mm and could have focussed further (if I really wanted o shoot some stars?!).

I’m really impressed – well done Nikon UK.

* Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED DX VR Lens

Simon und Karen’s Wedding

Simon und Karen
Just got back from a superb weekend away in Trier, Germany, for SImon and Karen’s wedding. Had a really fab time and the wedding was really special.

Here’s one of the better photos of the 700 or so I took over the weekend. I’m going to try and actually keep up a little better with this Blog now I’ve finally got over our own wedding, which I don’t seem to have got round to blogging yet. Ho hum.

Did I mention I ate 2 metres of Wurst on Saturday? Ha. :o)

Being Jim Moran

Yesterday I had a message to call someone at Leeds Guide, a local magazine, so I called them.

The person I contacted asked me why I hadn’t turned up at a photoshoot yesterday. I immediately knew what had happened, but he continued about how he hadn’t been able to contact me, so resorting to Google he found my Website and contacted me via my place of work, AWA. Despite my keen interest in Photography, I am not what you’d call a professional photographer.

I do know there is more than one Jim Moran on the Web though. Firstly there’s Congressman Jim Moran, he’s big news in the USA but I doubt anyone in the rest of the world has heard of him. Then there’s Jim Moran the Photographer in Leeds. Unfortunately for poor Jim, I seem to be outranking him somewhat in the Leeds-Based-Photographers-Called-Jim-Moran stakes on Google.

Sorry Jim. Hey, if you fancy a Website though, perhaps we could come to some arrangement? I do specialise in SEO :-)

Hard graft

After sucessfully choosing suits with Mike this morning for the Wedding (5 weeks, 6 days to go… *gulp*), I spent most of today with Debs in the garden. With the clocks moving forward the temparature seemed to rise as well, so we decided to tackle the garden for the first time this year.

First stop: Wilkos. Friends, we are the first people in history to spend more than £50 in Wilkos in one session. I’ve spoken to the late Norris McWhirter and he confirms this to be true. Wilkos is like inverse Costco, where it’s impossible to spend less than £70.

Armed with 18 gravel trays, 20 seed trays, 11 (all the stock) propagator lids, an array of seeds, pots of various shapes and sizes we headed to the next destination, Homebase. Here we procured 4 bags of gravel, and a couple of hundred litres of compost of various grades.

Back home, Debs got stuck into clearing dead stuff around the garden whilst I got seedy. It was at this point I realised that Greenhouses aren’t tall-people-friendly. My 6′ 5″ frame is quite comfortable in the apex, but luckily we have a small window in our greenhouse so I stood there. First job was to Get the gravel trays full. I’ve been a bit concerened about the humidity in our greenhouse in recent summers, it always seems dry, so I think loads of gravel trays full of water will sort that. Anyway, armed with sacks of grade 1 compost, I got planting… today’s luck seeds are:

  • Giant sunflowers x 24
  • Nasturcium x 24
  • Tomatoes, six varieties, 8 of each
  • Spring Onions… loads
  • Coriander, 6 pots
  • Basil, 2 large pots
  • Red Onions – 10 x small bulbs

Also, Ian next door donated a seed tray of about 70-odd marigolds, which I separated out into 48 individual segregated seed trays. He also donated a lemon balm, which smells gorgeous, and some cacti which needed splitting and re-potting. Cheers Ian, and for the beer too… very welcome!

Well, here’s some photos to show you.


Red Onions

A painting of my Fruit

I got a lovely surprise this evening – this wonderful watercolour painting inspired by one of my photos.

citrus 3

Merci Laurent Peters!

Wii’ve been a bit busy

Well, yes, finally it arrived. My brand spanking new Nintendo Wii. Actually TWO of them, oops. Having got a bit nervous about the likelyhood of Woolworths actually getting any stock, I got an e-mail from Gamestation, a specialist local gaming shop saying they would release a batch for sale online at 10am on 31st Jan. Myself, Lucy and Russell (who had also ordered with Woolworths) all ordered and waited for confirmation. As it happens, I had confirmation from Gamestation and Woolworths at the same time, but luckily some other colleagues of mine wanted a Wii too (yes, lots of wii/wee jokes at work these days) so I’d flogged it before I ‘d even taken delivery.

So, enough about that… what’s it like?

It’s great! We bought Wii Play, Wario Ware and Zelda in addition to the bundled Wii Sports. To be honest we’ve spent 90% of the time playing Sports – it’s so easy to get the hang of and it’s such a good thing to do over a bottle of wine. Bowling is far and away my favorite sport, but we like Tennis and Golf too. Boxing is good fun, but I’ve not got the hang of baseball at all – just can’t seem to get the timing right, which is actually quite like my real life ability at baseball.

Mii Debs

One of the real attractions is the ability to create your own Mii. Here’s a picture of Debs’ Mii…

Another cool feature is the ability to let your Mii’s roam about the place, and indeed let them roam around yours. As it stands I have 9 Mii’s on our console – Myself & Debs and various friends of ours (and their friends an family). All this means I can now play baseball with a team of people I know, which is good fun. :o)

My photos

January 2019
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