Tuesday 29 December 2015


I've been lucky enough to get a few days off this Christmas. So what have I been up to? Nothing. Not a thing and is been brilliant. We had family visit on Christmas day and Boxing day, the rest of the time the 3 of us just relaxed, watched TV and ate junk food. I have strong views about the sales on Boxing day so I will NEVER be one of the people that makes people have to work unnessesarily.

Today is the last day before I return to work and we've just done a bit of shopping and tidying. I left my bike at work on Christmas Eve so tomorrow I'm travelling in on the bus.

Sunday 27 December 2015


The Captain's Movie Review in Seven Words :



Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Ok I finally got there. I waited for the crowds to subside a little, especially since the cinema is close to the the largest shopping centre and the arena.

Friday 25 December 2015


We started the year with a funeral for Uncle Mick, I was also just recovering from my second cycling accident. It was a low place to start, we hadn't had a holiday in years, I was getting physio for my injury and my self confidence was on the floor.

The good news was that I had a new bike (which I was yet to ride) and the best news was that our eldest had come back home. Our family was complete again.

Snow came and went in February and I started riding my bike again.

A free trial on gave me the opportunity to continue the feeble start I'd already made to my family tree. This time I made some real strides. The breakthrough was finding a long lost cousin who had already done plenty of work. I found the story of my direct ancestor who had changed his surname, this opened up the story. I traced back my family to the Norman conquest and a poor Knight who came over with William the Conqueror. Further still I traced the family line back to Norway then Sweden. The furthest concrete record I found was for a king of Sweden and the last of the Yngling dynasty. After that it was all in the history books and subject of myth and legend. If it's true then I am a direct decendant of Odin. I'll take that.

After months of indecision and pondering I decided to join a cycling club. It was time to add a social layer to my hobby. I joined with a group who met up on Sunday mornings about 8km away. They're a great bunch, I've ridden some great rides this year including a 100 miler to York. I also rode my first sportive in August conquering Holme Moss. All in all a great year of cycling.

There was a general election this year where we hoped that the horrendous coalition government would be over. Well it was. But not in the way I hoped. The conservatives won with a slight majority. We are in for a hard 5 years of cuts and austerity. This was reflected at work where in August our jobs were declared "at risk". This remained the case until last week when the status was removed as many have chosen to leave recently.

Terrorist attacks over the world, especially in Paris changed the world all over again.

The derelict pub that in its day caused us loads of headaches was finally demolished. We now have a lovely view of Don Valley.

After the great news last year of our eldest daughter's return and reunion things seemed to be going well throughout the year. That is until late summer when unexpectedly she walked out cutting off all ties. This was the case until a few days ago when she visited. Things are still in the early stages but I'm hoping we can develop a relationship over the coming months.

The summer saw us on holiday for the first time in 3 years. We visited our favourite Welsh place, this time staying in a beautiful cottage across from the beach. We've booked again for next year.
Rags went on a school trip in October so Morticia and I took the opportunity to have a short break in Scarborough. It was our first holiday together since our honeymoon.

It's been a hard year. At its worst it was horrendous and difficult which of course tainted all of the good. I have to say though the year is on course to end on a high point, but that is the subject of another post.


Monday 21 December 2015


As promised,the rest of my choices for TV over the festive period.

Sunday 27th
Top pick: Catherine Tate's Nan #1 (BBC1 22:25)
Mention: Harry Price: Ghost Hunter (ITV 20:30)
Eight out of Ten Cats Does Countdown Christmas Special (Ch4 22:00)

Monday 28th
Top pick: Royal Institution Christmas Lectures #1 (BBC4 20:00)
There are no mentions today, not keen on what's to offer. Perhaps a day to catch up with what's been recorded?

Tuesday 29th
Top pick: Eight out of Ten Cats End of the Year Special (Ch4 21:00)
Mention: Storage Hunters UK Celebrity Special (Dave 20:00)
Royal Institution Christmas Lectures #2 (BBC4 20:00)

Wednesday 30th
Top pick: Catherine Tate's Nan #2 (BBC1 22:25)
Mention: Royal Institution Christmas Lectures #3 (BBC4 20:00)
The Real Star of Bethlehem: A Sky at Night Christmas Special (BBC4 21:00)
All New It'll Be Alright on the Night (ITV 21:00)

New Year's Eve
Top pick: TFI New Year's Eve (Ch4 19:30)
Mention: Celebrity Juice: Bestest of the Unseen Bits (ITV2 23:15)

New Year's Day
Top pick: Sherlock (BBC1 21:00)
Mention: Mrs Brown's Boys #2 (BBC1 22:30)

And that's it for this Christmas. These are my picks, there are hundreds of channels and I may have missed some gems. That's the way it goes, thank goodness for catch-up TV.


Sunday 13 December 2015


The arrival of the Christmas Radio Times is an integral part of my festive experience. I relish flicking through the pages with my pen marking all the programmes I don't want to miss. As I've done previously I want to share some of my choices. As usual no films are included, just specials and seasonal one offs.

A photo posted by CaptainKirt™ (@captainkirt) on

Saturday 19th
Top pick: The Perfect Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special (BBC2 18:35)
Mention: Porridge 1976 Christmas Special (BBC2 20:05)

Sunday 20th
Top pick: BBC Sports Personality of the Year (BBC1 18:50)
Only because Chris Froome is nominated
Monday 21st Top pick: John Bishop Christmas Show (BBC1 21:00)
Mention: Judge Ringer for Text Santa (ITV2 18:00)
Mock the Week Festive Compilation (BBC2 22:00)
Celebrity Juice Festive Edition #1 (ITV2 23:45)

Tuesday 22nd
Top pick: Back in Time for Christmas #1 (BBC2 18:30)

Wednesday 23rd
Top pick: Back in Time for Christmas #2 (BBC2 18:00)
Mention: Celebrity Juice Festive Edition #2 (ITV2 22:00)
Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Special(R) (BBC1 23:05)

Christmas Eve
Top pick: Not Going Out (Special) (BBC1 22:45)
Mention: Would I Lie to You? At Christmas (BBC1 20:00)
Eight out of Ten Cats Christmas Special (Ch4 21:00)
Through the Christmas Keyhole (ITV 21:45)

Christmas Day
Top pick: Doctor Who (BBC1 17:15)
Mention: Mrs Brown's Boys #1 (BBC1 21:45)

Boxing Day
Top pick: The Big Fat Quiz of the Year (Ch4 21:00)
Mention: Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer's Llamas (BBC1 18:10)
Still Open All Hours (festive episode) (BBC1 20:00)
Inside Lego at Christmas (Ch4 20:00)
A Gert Lush Christmas (BBC2 21:00)

The New Year choice will follow later....

Friday 11 December 2015


Back in August it was announced at work that my role was officially "at risk". This was because of the government cuts, they were looking at losing over 60 people (from my role alone). It was a difficult thing to hear, it was looking like we were alll going to be interviewed for own own jobs.

Since then many, like rats from a sinking ship, have found other jobs and moved on. So much so that this week we were informed that our jobs were no longer "at risk" at we were safe at least until April 2017.

From next April there will be more changes including a new 3 week shift pattern (which includes more weekend working). At least now we can breath a little easier.

Wednesday 9 December 2015


The Captain's Movie Review in Seven Words :

Not Christmassy at all, not my humour. 


The Night Before

Sunday 6 December 2015

1512.06 TRIMMED UP

People tend to think I'm anti Christmas. I'm not. What I hate is the comercialisation and the hype. I hate the fact that shops start pushing it down your neck from the end of August. Why do we need to prepare for 3 months just for a day?

Ok now I've got that off my chest here's the start of my Christmas story... 

I'd planned to make a day of the decorating. Usually it takes ages and we are still busy late into the evening. Rags assisted me early to move the furniture around (necessary to get the tree in). We then got the boxes down from the loft and began the task. 

Around lunchtime as a break we decided to attend a Christmas fayre in Firth Park. We wish we'd have not bothered, it was a load of crap. Not wasting any more time we went to a local Weatherspoons for food before going back home to continue. 

Rather than being a cheerful, seasonal event it eventually became a stressful task for us all. We overran, eventually finishing around 20:30 ish. 

So the house is ready for Christmas at the proper time... in December.