The Haunted House

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!!

I am sending this early because to be honest, I am quite pissed allready. So Happy New Year. I hope everyone has a good time and this blog will resume next year :-)


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Magpie Mine Walk

Last night Neil and Caroline came around for dinner. Amanda made a Chorizo, tomato and pasta starter and a Chocolate, banana and hazelnut brownie for dessert. For the main course I made a lamb, cranberry and ginger casserole.

We also got through a truck load of wine and beer. I had a horrid hangover this morning which made it difficult to get up, especially as we was going out for a walk. We met Neil at his house at 9am and headed off for the walk. The walk is near Monsale Dale which we did earlier on in the year.

We drove to Ashford in the water to start the walk. The route was 7 miles total. It was quite cold today, but not too uncomfortable. Luckily it didn't rain like it did yesterday. Caroline didn't come on the walk as she was feeling ill.

The first part of the walk was quite steep, it was also made harder because it was very muddy. It was probably the muddiest walk we have done all year. Good job we was prepared...

Just over half way round the walk we arrived at the Magpie Mine. This is an old mine shaft with a winch house. The place is in ruin now, well the original winch house anyway. There is another winch behind this but it hasn't been used since the 1950's.

I really like the corroded steel rope picture I took below, This would make an interesting texture for an album cover I think. I'll have to make a mental note of that for later in the year...

Towards the end of the walk we reached the most muddiest part. We were ankle deep in mud for quite a few miles. This made it quite hard and slow to walk through. We completed the walk in around 4 hours.

All of us were knackered by the time we had finished. After we drove back to Neil and Caroline's house we popped in for a cup of coffee and some biscuits. We all needed the energy. Once we got back home Amanda started the dinner. We had left over casserole from last night.

I'm back in work tomorrow, booooo, but I am looking forward to new years eve. We are planning on having a quite night in, then on new years day we will probably go out for another walk with Neil. We need to work off the Christmas calories :-)


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing Day Walk and Bingo

This boxing day we was up in Newcastle for dinner at Amandas Mums house. In the morning we decided to go for a walk with Amandas Aunt and her son Oliver.

The walk was near Simonside where we did a walk back in October. We got to Rothbury about 10.30 to start the walk. The walk was a fairly easy one, 5 miles in length but not too steep. It was very cold though.

The whole walk took about 3 hours to complete and by the time we got back to the car everyone was quite hungry, especially Oliver who was looking forward to chocolate cake with dinner. :-)

Once back to the house we got changed and everyone had turned up for dinner. For dinner we had prawns for a starter and ham and turkey for main. For dessert we had a Mississippi mud pie that Amanda got from Costco a few days earlier.

In the evening we played the traditional family game of bingo. Most people contributed prizes for the bingo. All the prizes are not supposed to be worth more than a pound, so they were all quite silly :).

The game went on for a good few hours. I won a pack of cards and a laser pointer. Below are a series of photos from the game.

After we had finished the bingo most of us watched TV for a bit. We didn't have too much of a late night as we had to drive back to Derby the next day as I had to go to work.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Distant Horizon Is Now Available Worldwide

My 2nd album Distant Horizon is now available worldwide from iTunes, Napster, eMusic, Rhapsody, and MP3. The CD version will be available from real soon. My previous album, Mechanical, received some excellent reviews, so here's hoping they like this album as much, if not more.

The album is my usual dark cinematic affair utilizing lots of processed circuit bent toys for a real dark twist. It is also very beaty and has lots lots of melodies and harmony.

I would like to thank some people for helping get the album ready. Firstly, Amanda, for putting up with all the circuit bent toys littering the house and all the strange noises I have been blasting out the speakers, I think she is used to my quirks now :-) Also Mat Newlove for mastering the final wav files ready for release. I would also like to thank Neil Duffin of Neil Duffin Photography for doing a great job on the photography and layout of the CD case. The artwork really captures the mood of the album.

So go out and buy the damned thing and above all, enjoy it, it will sound like nothing you have heard before.... :-)


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas Already??!??

I really can't believe how quickly this year has gone. To bloody quick!! We have just got back from my parents house near London for a Christmas visit. We have also just put up our Christmas tree, so the lounge now feels very festive. Only 2 weeks to go and then another year is upon us. I hope 2008 slows down a lot!!.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Free EPs from Haunted House Records

Well my little label has now been running for a year. I have released some cool records which has generated interest and attention from the independent music press. As a little treat I'm releasing the Creature EP's Daisy Cutter and Twilight, aswell as ZiBiRs EP Electrodes for free for December. To download them goto the Haunted House Records website.

The MP3's are encoded at 320kbs with a constant bitrate for maximum quality. The download links will expire on 1st Jan 2008. Enjoy...


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Good Food Show and Gordon Ramsey

Today Me and Amanda went to the Good Food Live show at the Birmingham NEC. We have had the tickets booked for quite a while now. Amanda got them through the company that she works for.

We was originally going to drive to her Birmingham office and go to the show from there, but we was told you get to try lots of wine, spirits and beers at the show so we got the train instead. We got to Belper station for 8am to get our train into Derby. Once there we got the train to Birmingham, the train was absolutely packed. Most people were going to the show also.

We got there about 10.30 and went into the main exhibition. There was lots of stuff to see from cookware, knives etc to different kinds of foods. By the time we got to the wine tasting section we were both quite full from all the different samples you could try. When you enter the show, you can buy a wine glass to carry around with you for the tasting. By 1pm we were both quite tipsy.

At 1 we went to a Thai restaurant stand and got some red and green curry. We wanted to get lunch done quickly as at 2pm we had to go to the main theatre at the show ready to see Gordon Ramsey. The auditorium was massive, there were thousands of people in there.

Before Gordon came out to start his cooking demonstration, the BBC producer announced that there would no doubt be strong language and if anyone is offended to leave :-)

The demonstration was quite good and very funny. The camera man on stage seemed to also be a part of the act, as at any chance he could he messed around winding up Gordon by zooming in on the Sainsburies logos on the produce. It was Sainsburies who sponsored the show.

Gordon cooked, a Chorizo and pepper soup, steak with caramelized red onion, port and turnip, and a Teramasu dessert. They all looked nice. After the show we walked around the show a little more, tried some more wines. We didn't really buy much, except a professional knife sharpener and a rubber headed mop, don't ask!!!!

The show was definitely worth the visit. Gordon's show was very funny and interesting to watch. I was pleased with the photos I got. I used the image stabilizer on our new camera, so I didn't have to use the flash. That coupled with the decent zoomed worked out pretty good as we was sitting roughly in the middle of the auditorium.

The train back was very busy, but once we got back to Belper we got a taxi back to the house. They are running this show again in the summer. We have already said we will go again :-)