My top ten tweets of 2019

GWR HSTLast year I posted my top ten tweets for 2018 and I did the same in 2017 and 2016 which was interesting to see which tweets of mine were popular.

The top tweet back in 2016 was this one for #WednesdayWisdom

Whilst top tweet for 2017 was this one from the 2017 ALT Conference and it was my sketchnote of Bonnie Stewart’s keynote on openness.

The top tweet back in 2018 was this one about the newly revamped WHSmith at Bristol Temple Meads complete with storage cage!

So in 2019, my tenth most popular tweet was this one about my son appearing on BBC Points West whilst working at Bristol Temple Meads as a GWR Apprentice.

In ninth place was a nostalgic tweet about a steam train visiting Weston-super-Mare ten years ago in July.

I did tweet a lot about the past this year, and will do less of it next year.

At number eight was a tweet about the phrase “digital detox” which gets bandied about a lot when people feel they need to take a break from services such as Twitter. If you feel you need to take a break, you probably do, but is it necessary to tell everyone about it?

Seventh was about about an incident at Oxford Circus. The tweet was picked up by some news outlets and my photo appeared on a news website.

The sixth tweet was about WHSmith in Bristol being covered in plastic last February.

I did find this reply amusing….

The reason was less worrying, it was because they were putting the Post Office into WHSmith.

The tweet at number five was one about  great women in edtech from March for International Women’s Day.

Fourth was another nostalgic tweet about the #140conf Twitter Conference  I attended in 2009 and was on a panel session with some great people.

And now the top three, with the third tweet was an early morning tweet celebrating that GWR were now using old HSTs as commuter trains, so we had more seats and faster trains.

At number two was a tweet about the revamped WHSmith in Weston-super-Mare.

So the most popular tweet of 2019 was this one about keeping the old Twitter.

So what does this tell us? Very little.

Stuff: Top Ten Blog Posts 2019

Bristol HarboursideOver the last twelve months I have posted 68 blog posts to the blog. This is less than in 2018 when I published 89 posts. However most of the 89 posts in 2018 were from the Gromit Unleashed 2 trail across Bristol. I did post 24 televisual advent calendar posts in 2019 so this boosted the total.

Most of the top ten posts are nostalgic posts about Bristol in the 1990s…

Remembering the Bristol Temple Way Flyover

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Five

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Six

Changes at the railway station

“the cafe on tv at weston super mare is it real”

Cinematic Advent Calendar #05 – Leon

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Four

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Three

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

Ten more amazing sand sculptures


After last week’s ten sculptures, here are another ten.

For over ten years now, there has been an exhibition of sand sculptures on the beach at Weston-super-Mare. To call them sandcastles is a bit of a misnomer as these are truly remarkable sculptures and the artists have spent hours and days carving the compacted sand.

We have been most years and I bring my camera to capture the sculptures, here are some photographs of this year’s carvings.

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Aliens in your head

Aliens in your head

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Ten Amazing Sand Sculptures


For over ten years now, there has been an exhibition of sand sculptures on the beach at Weston-super-Mare. To call them sandcastles is a bit of a misnomer as these are truly remarkable sculptures and the artists have spent hours and days carving the compacted sand.

We have been most years and I bring my camera to capture the sculptures, here are some photographs of this year’s carvings.

The theme this year was “What if?”.

What if Rome had never fallen?

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Incredible Sand Sculptures

What if mermaids were real and were suffering due to the pollution and plastic waste in the sea.

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Incredible Sand Sculptures

Incredible Sand Sculptures


For over ten years now, there has been an exhibition of sand sculptures on the beach at Weston-super-Mare. To call them sandcastles is a bit of a misnomer as these are truly remarkable sculptures and the artists have spent hours and days carving the compacted sand.

We have been most years and I bring my camera to capture the sculptures, here are some photographs of this year’s carvings.

These sculptures all start like this, wooden frames, filled with sand which is then compacted down.

Stuff: Top Ten Blog Posts 2018

Over the last twelve months I have published 89 posts.

The tenth most popular post on my personal blog was Cinematic Advent Calendar #07 – The Eagle has Landed.

Cinematic Advent Calendar #07 – The Eagle has Landed

In at number nine, is one of a few posts about the harbourside in Bristol, Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Five

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Five

Eighth most popular post, was about how Trenchard Street in Bristol had changed from the 1970s to today.

Trenchard Street, Bristol, circa 1970s

At number seven, was a post about the Bryan Brothers’ Garage Demolition, Bristol, in 1999.

Bryan Brothers’ Garage Demolition, Bristol, 1999

The sixth most popular post was about A nice clean new shiny Millennium Falcon as would be seen in the Solo: Star Wars Story film.

A nice clean new shiny Millennium Falcon

The post at number five was a post containing photographs from the harbourside in Bristol. Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

Fourth most popular post was Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Three. This was another post containing photographs from the harbourside in Bristol.

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Three

Post at number three, Changes at the railway station, was how things have changed at Weston-super-Mare railway station.

Changes at the railway station

Second most popular post was some photographs from the Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

The most popular blog post this year was Cinematic Advent Calendar #05 – Leon.

Cinematic Advent Calendar #05 – Leon

4. Giggles

One of the aspects of the Gromit hunts are those sculptures that are outside Bristol. This year there are two Gromits down in Weston-super-Mare, one at Puxton Park, the other at the Grand Pier.

4. Giggle is a clown themed Gromit  who you can find at the entrance to the Grand Pier.

4. Giggles

4. Giggles

In a nice touch, the people behind the Grand Pier have placed a Grand Pier background, so when you take photographs of the sculpture you have a ready made background.

4. Giggles

Back in 2015 I attempted to see and photograph all 70 Shaun the Sheeps I managed to get 62. This time I am aiming to get all 67 sculptures.

I have created this page to record all the sculptures we find.

Download the app to find the sculptures.

3. Merry-go-Gromit

One of the aspects of the Gromit hunts are those sculptures that are outside Bristol. This year there are two Gromits down in Weston-super-Mare, one at the Grand Pier and the other at Puxton Park.

3. Merry-go-Gromit

3. Merry-go-Gromit is a funfair themed Gromit who wouldn’t look out of place on a carousel.

3. Merry-go-Gromit

Gromit does look a little forlorn and sad, but I think that might be the way he is sculptured.

3. Merry-go-Gromit

He is just outside the main entrance to the park, so no need to go inside, but you might want to visit the farm shop if you like your food.

Snowing again

We’ve had some heavy snow again, combined with cold winds from Siberia, a storm from Portugal called Emma. This snow is different to the snow we’ve had before in Weston-super-Mare, this was colder, icier and blew around a lot. So in some places we had big drifts and in others the snow had been completely blown off the pavement.

I have over the years (when we had snow) taken a particular photograph so here is the 2018 version.

Snow in 2018

This with the wind and the cold was actually some of the worst weather I have seen down here, but as you can see it doesn’t look too bad…

This was how it looked in December 2010. Back then we had very heavy snow.

Snow December 2010

This was how it looked in eleven months earlier in January 2010,  again heavy snow.

Snow Jan 2010

And here it is in February 2009. At this time this was some of the worst weather we had seen in twenty years.

Snow in 2009

This time though we are seeing less of the slushy roads, people appear to be taking note of the advice and driving less. Also it is very cold so the snow isn’t melting as quickly. You can also see in the series of photographs how much the tree on the left had grown.

The multiplex has arrived…

So after many false starts, delays and other problems, this week will see then opening of the new Cineworld multiplex in Weston-super-Mare. Twenty two years after Cineworld opened their first multiplex, down here in North Somerset we finally get to see what other towns and cities have had for years.

It’s not as though we don’t have a cinema, as the wonderful Art Decor Odeon has served us well for many years.

Odeon

The Odeon are responding in the only way they know how, by reducing prices to compete with the new multiplex. Tickets are less than five pounds, which is significantly cheaper than the new place.

For me I really like the cinematic experience, I really enjoyed going to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the Odeon, though when the opening date for the cinema was originally planned for the summer 2017, we had planned to see Star Wars in the new place. However as it hadn’t opened we did go to the Odeon. It was a really great cinematic experience and we really enjoyed the film. Okay not as good as Rogue One, but that’s a different blog post.

For me there are some films which deserve to be seen on the best screen possible and then thee are some that, well to be honest I would be quite happy on a smaller screen. With any multiplex you get the really big screen, which something like the Last Jedi would look great on, but then there are the smaller screens, and in these circumstances the older Odeon experience would be just fine and dandy.

The one thing that I wish all cinemas I frequent would sort out are the food and snacks. Not only are they either too sweet or too salty, they are also stupidly expensive. I know from a business perspective that cinemas make more of their money from the food and drink than they do from the tickets, but sometimes I wish I could have some value for money decent snacks. However as they probably sell all they need to, that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

So what film will I go and watch at the new multiplex? Who knows.