Archive for the Franks blog Category

Things are starting to happen….

Posted in Franks blog on July 3, 2017 by frankmillar

So moved to Spain in 2015 and took over a Café here in Mojacar. We ran it for just over two years and loved it. The change of direction came when customers would come in the Café and ask me if I still did my photography (Mojacar suffers from small town syndrome, everybody knows everybody and what they are doing and done in the past!) So people were coming to me for photography work, which I squeezed in between running the café. It got the the stage that I was getting too much photography work, something had to give. Sue and I sat down to plan “what next” …. well it didn’t take us long to go with the option of selling the café, so I could do my photography and Sue, well she could become a lady of leisure! (That’s not working out and an update will come on the next post) So put the café up for sale on Facebook and it sold in three days.

So here we go with the next exciting project …….

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Test from Spain

Posted in Franks blog on March 14, 2017 by frankmillar

…. and finally

Posted in Franks blog on January 6, 2014 by frankmillar

some of my favorite images from last year …

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Jan on the beach at Lyme Regis … OK a bit of Instagraming going on, but still love the shot, and sold a copy too :)

IMG_4433Millar’s off to the pub on Christmas morning #thatisall

1492272_706338996052356_1157015654_o 1519110_706339322718990_927305850_o 1502634_706344429385146_481752901_oJazzzercise at Christmas …. next year I will make more effort ……

0121 Nether Winchendon House 211013 0223 Nether Winchendon House 211013 0073 Nether Winchendon House 211013Great commercial shoot with Ice The Cake at Nether Winchendon House

…. so 13 is unlucky, I think not

Posted in Franks blog on January 3, 2014 by frankmillar

With “13” being in the date of this year some may think it was going to be unlucky, but then I suppose for some it inevitably was, but for us, happy to say no it was another good year. Of course it was not smiles for 365 days, but then no one does that. Some of these posts have already been posted, scroll down to read them, but in the mean time here is a quick recap of the year …….

January brought a whole new meaning to getting fit for me. Jan and the girls would go out on various evenings to “Jazzercise”. On 26 January it was “bring a man along” so for a laugh I went along. Making a complete fool of myself, along with all the other men, we must have given all the ladies a good laugh. Surprisingly I came out wanting more, you see I have always loved music and dancing, so this was right up my street. If I could do anything different in my life, it would have been to be a dancer …. anyway the next class was on Monday evening, so along I went to sign up. I remember this girl (Rosie) asking me to stand at the front with her, so I could follow her …. I was having none of that and to the back of the class I went. Little did I know a year on, I would be standing front row, by choice and now and again even make it on stage to show my moves off ! …… I think so far up to date, I am somewhere around the 240 classes attended in a year …. Addicted, oh yes. I love it and feel so much better, lost a lot of weight, fit in my shirts and have made some great new friends ……. ps. one more Jazzercise story to come in November

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March brought another first, the Geneva Motor Show. I was invited along by a good friend Paul Westlake who I met on Twitter. He told me for £86 we could fly to Switzerland and back in a day and get into the show itself …. so that’s what we did. It was a great day and got some great pictures too. I must admit I spent the most time on the Mercedes stand and could have spent a fortune ! May be one year if my numbers ever come up.

Geveva Motor Show 120313 Frank Millar-4Geveva Motor Show 120313 Frank Millar-5

… sadness hit the Millar house on 20 March, we lost our dog Rudy. He was a good age and had a great life, it was only a matter of time and he lasted a lot longer than we expected. I had the job of taking him to the vets and not bringing him back….. the Millar house was very quiet that evening.

Rudy Millar

I suggested we leave it until Christmas to see if we replace him …. but I would catch Jan surfing the internet just days later and six days after we lost Rudy …. we had Archie ……. What he has destroyed so far (carpet, glasses, 32gb memory card, draw knobs, woodwork) I am not sure we will have him as long as we had Rudy !!

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 11.31.471963 was a great year as it was the year I was born. So fast forward 50 years and it was time to have a party……. I had been planning the party for over a year, well the guest list anyway. Having it at home we were limited in numbers …..yet we peaked at 90 …. all inside as well as it was a horrid evening outside. Some fantastic surprises, an old school friend, who turned up in his Aston Martin DB9 to my cousins daughter from Canada. It was the best party I have ever been to and will never forget it. Thanks to family and friends for making it one of the best birthdays ever. ( you can read more detail further down this blog)

_DSF3604_DSF3555_DSF3607The April tradition of going up to Sheffield to watch snooker continued this year, with a new addition, Peter. The six of us had the usually laugh, drink, curry and if I remember right we took in some snooker too!

June and in need of the break from working ( yes I have been working too, its not been all party party)  we were lucky enough to be offered our friends mobile home down on the south coast, so off Jan & I went for a few days ….. again you can read more further down the blog.

Who does not love Brighton ? We were again lucky enough to be invited down by my in-laws to spend sometime with them. We were only going to stay in The Grand. Now I have been to some nice hotels in my time, but this was one of the best. The service, staff and just everything about it ticked all the boxes. We were so lucky with the weather sunshine most days …. one morning I got up very early and just walked around Brighton, watching it wake up ….. so nice …..

Brighton-1so we had done the seaside, now it was time of some other friends of our’s, Ian and Tracy to spoil us with a boat trip on the Thames. They have a small little cruiser and we had a great day seeing the posh parts of Oxfordshire from a different perspective, the river. A picnic laughs and a good old chat  … and the odd beer or two… again another great day in 2013 was had

IMG_3411 IMG_3416August brings the British Beer Festival to London. Now if you know me, you will know I am a lager and bacardi and coke sort of guy, not together in the same glass you understand. So when my good friend invited me to come along, I had to think about it, for about a second, after all drinking was involved and I was willing to give anything a go. We trained it up to London and was surprised how much I enjoyed some of the beers. After the festival we popped over to Peter’s old stomping ground around Kensington and found an old pub he knew, which just happen to have a combination curry house within the pub …. so best of both worlds …. here is a little selfie we took ….. right at the end of the day !

IMG_3522Bank Holiday weekend had me working up at Danby Castle in North Yorkshire on the Sunday. So we decided to make a weekend of it and drove up on the Friday and booked ourselves into a B&B in York. We had stayed at the same place a few years earlier, just a typical old B&B, with great breakfasts. We spent sometime shopping and just looking around the great city. I can highly recommend York, it has everything you could want, shops, bars, sightseeing, history, bars more bars. I left Jan shopping on the Sunday while I attended the wedding, which as always was a good one. Monday we popped over to Harrogate, also a very nice place.

September 20 was a photo call shoot for the Pantomime in Aylesbury. The shoot was actual at Waddestone Manor and I was attending for a friend Charlie who produces a local magazine, Vale Life. Anita “get out of my pub Den” Dobson was the star of the show and she was obviously dressed in full costume and I got some nice shots. I must say she was a very charming lady and so down to earth and very nice with it.

0023 Sleeping Beauty 200913We had done The Grand in Brighton, so next the only natural progression was The Ritz in London ! This was Jan’s birthday present from the four of us. I booked it up well in advance, but could still only get a “Friday 27 September” slot at a reasonable time of the day. Now right up to the morning itself, Jan only though it was the two of us, but Carl, Laura & Jodie were also coming. It was a great surprise for Jan. We drove up to Westfield, left the car then carried on into the West End by tube. I love London and we were again lucky with the weather for the time of year. Nice and early as always, we had time for a quick drink in the pub before heading to The Ritz. Once are time came we headed off and what a great experience it was. All the Millar’s sitting down to tea, at the most famous venue for it, in the world. After tea, we headed into Green park and just has a wander around. The one thing all Millar’s love is London and one by one Carl, Laura & Jodie all drifted off to friends around London, which just left Jan and I. Walking around, we came across one of the show ticket booths, so checked out what was on …. “Jersey Boys” we thought, even though it was all a bit before our time, music wise. We had a bit of time to kill, so did a bit of shopping, then off to the show. All I can say is it was an amazing show, these people know how to sing, unlike those wannabe’s on Xfactor …….  The show finished at 10:15pm and we left the lights, noise and crowds of London behind and were back in Thame at 11:30pm ….. one of the nicest days ever had.

IMG_3912 IMG_3924 IMG_3932 IMG_3943 IMG_4488I don’t do a great deal for Charity normally, but always happy to take time out for Florence Nightingale Hospice. They were hold an event “Strictly Florence” in Aylesbury and asked if I would get involved in taking photographs. I arrived at the theater around 10:30 in the morning and could not believe what I saw over the next few hours until showtime. The amount of effort that goes into putting a show on is amazing, lighting, sound, dialog, practice, dress rehearsal etc…. WOW I was so impressed. Non pro dancers were going to do two dances in front of a packed house and pro judging panel, after only about 6 weeks of leaning how to do the dance!! I captured all the backstage going on’s and of course the show itself … in the words of one of the judges A-MA-ZING DARLING …. the dancers were fantastic, well done all who took part.

0297 StrictlyFlorence 061013 0190 StrictlyFlorence 061013 0086 StrictlyFlorence 061013November usually a dull month for me with the cold weather coming in, Christmas decoration going up to early and all the hype that goes with it. Well this year November was going to be very eventful. Ever been waxed ? well if you are a women reading this, the answer could be “yes” but if a male, the answer is probably “no” I was going to end up in the “yes” group ! Its back to Jazzercise and earlier in the year I was approached and asked (while sober) if I would be happy to be waxed for charity ( I thought I said, I don’t normally do charity!) and I responded like a fool with yes. So it was all set up for myself and two other nutters, Bob another Jazzercise man and another Frank to be publicly waxed in front of a crowd of  “Jazzercise” women ! What was I thinking. So a “just giving” page was all set up and there was no turning back. The morning of 9th came and the hall was all set up. One by one we were brought into the hall, striped off to our shorts (leaving our socks on of course) and the waxing began, much to the excitement of the crowd. It even worked out for Jan to have a go at ripping the hairs from my body. At the end of the day it was a great scream, literally and we raised just over £1,600 for charity.

004 Wax On Wax Off 091113 012 Wax On Wax Off 091113 020 Wax On Wax Off 091113Going to snooker every year up in Sheffield it was inevitable that we would make some friends, but did not really expect them to be female ! These woman know more about snooker than us and have met all the great players. Well this year one of them, Karen was 40, so she hired a cottage up in York and asked Roger (another snooker fan) and myself if we wanted to come and help celebrate her birthday, ten of us in all. I had a wedding on the Friday so Roger and I left for York after that and arrived in York around 10:45pm. A quick change then off to meet everyone down the pub! In the morning Roger and I did breakfast for everyone and jolly nice it was too. After chilling out in the morning, we had a table booked at a Chinese for 2:30. What we didn’t know was that this was a proper Chinese and the food that came out was authentic Chinese, or as we called it “A Bush Tucker Trial” it was so bad, it made the afternoon, we could just not stop laughing at what they were bring out for us to eat …. then it was upstairs to a private karaoke room, then onto a night club with our own VIP area …. then back to the cottage for about 2:30am .. a long 12 hour session of fun. Sunday was just a chill day visiting the Barbican where the snooker was taking place for a photo shoot and the legend that is Jimmy White walked in, so had a chat and some pictures taken. After that a walk around taking in the local ….. brew, then managed to get some free tickets to go and watch Jimmy play in the evening…….  Monday was home time, another fantastic weekend.

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IMG_4301December and it is the annual family meal where all the family get together, all paid for by the in-laws. The Lambert Arms was the venue Sunday at 2pm for a quick round of photo’s (yes taken by me) then a meal, merriment and lots of drinking. The meal was excellent and the venue put up with us and we had great fun. The meal ended up with “shots at the bar” Carl asked the barmen “bet you have never seen this on a Sunday before” his reply ” I have NEVER seen it before !”

009 Family Christmas Meal 221213 018 Family Christmas Meal 221213 042 Family Christmas Meal 221213Christmas was great this year I am not normally a fan, but we had so many great get together, chill days down the pub and no falling out at all, lot’s of curries and general enjoyment, it was the perfect end to the perfect year.

In closing they say life begins at forty, well they are a decade out, this year by far has been the best every for me personally. When you look back at all that was achieved, not forgetting I was still working during all this. To all the people I met along the way, including anyone who used my service’s, thanks,  that’s all I can say…. its been a blast.

Life IS short, turn all the bad news off on the TV, don’t bother reading a newspaper full information about some “celebrities” life …. get out and enjoy your own …….

BRING IT ON TWENTY FOURTEEN

Short break away …in Poole Dorset

Posted in Franks blog on June 27, 2013 by frankmillar

Boarding school

This week was spent down in Poole Dorset as our great friends Katie & Barry gave us free use of their holiday home, based down here. It was so nice to get away and more importantly for me just to get out of the house for a few days. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but spending all day in the house editing, marketing myself or doing the dreaded paperwork, then spending the evening at home too, can drive you a bit crazy after a while. The drive down on Sunday night was a great one, arriving at around 9:30. We had brought some food with us (and drink of course) and the plan was to cook ourselves something on arrival. Unfortunately have never used a gas cooker before, we were unsure how to turn it on ….. How sad is that ! So it was a case of ” we will figure that out on the morning” and off to the local Chinese it was. Morning came and we were up early so went for a walk down by the sea, we were gone for ages, then back home for breakfast. The rest of the day was a lazy one, going in to Poole itself and just having a look around the town, walk along the sea front and take in the occasional drink or two.

Tuesday turned out to be a busy day. The plan was to go to Bridport which is where I went to boarding school for one term. According to lots of family members, I was a little horror and my Mum could not control me, so had no choice but to put, sorry I mean send me away ! I was only four and a bit, who would have thought someone so young could be that bad.

On the way to Bridport Jan suggested we stop at Dorchester for a look around, which we did. It’s a nice place with lots on nice shops and alleyway with small little shop in, so was wort the visit.

We got to Bridport just after lunchtime and parked the car up a lane just off the high street. We noticed a Museum on the way in so that was the first stop. It’s only a small museum so we had a wind around, then I asked at the desk if they knew where the boarding school was. They did not know of any boarding school, but suggested I go across the road to the Bridport Historical centre as they may be able to help. We walked in and there was five women all reading and I assume cataloguing various bits. One women asked if she could help and I said many years ago there was a boarding school somewhere close by ….. and before I could continue, she said you mean “The Visitation Convent” She walked over to a filing cabinet and pulled out a folder full of paper cuttings and pictures regarding the school. The next bit of news was sad, it had been knocked down and a small housing estate replaced the site of the convent. Looking through all the cuttings I found one picture of the football team that one a cup the year I was there. It was strange thinking I was at school with them 46 years ago back in 1967/8 …. Wow that was a long time ago !

Another photograph which brought back memories was one of the dormitories. It showed a long row of round sinks running down the middle of the room which is where we would have washed and brushed our teeth in the mornings and last thing at night. What else do I remember ? Well quite a lot really considering my age. I remember the waiting room at Reading railway station, which is where my Mum used to hand me over to the nuns. I can clearly remember my Mum running along side the train as it left the station me in floods of tears and her the same. Getting on a mini bus at Bridport end to take us to the convent. Looking out the window on 5th November watching the fireworks. All being lead into a hall with a TV on to watch The Magic Roundabout before going to bed. There is a video which my uncle Mel from Canada took on a visit to see me, wow how the streets have changed over the years. Going to Westbay, a small fishing port just a mile away from Bridport and going in a cafe to have a drink and iced bakewell tart, which I still love today. The cafe is still there on our visit to Westbay we just had to go in. Sadly they don’t do Bakewell tarts anymore, so it was cream tea for two.

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The Cafe I went to in very short shorts … many years ago

Apart from the tear’s at Reading station the only other bad part was the food. Being made to eat lumpy, un tasteful porridge which used to make me reach was horrid, you had to finish every last spoon full, also with sausages, fatty, chewy skin and full of grizzle, again until your plate was empty, you were not leaving the table. To this day 46 years later, I have never eaten a sausage or had porridge since, nor do I intended to ever!

Westbay

Westbay

My closing point on the convent is a website the lady at the historical center told me about. http://www.francisfrith.com/bridport/photos/the-convent-1903_50486/ ….. Francis Frith took a picture of the convent and passed pupils have left comments …… Most of it it not great reading ….. but very interesting how times have changed, may be not for the best, I think from a discipline perspective we should have stopped somewhere in between the 50/60 and 00/10.

After Bridport we stopped in Weymouth another place I visited when young, well 15. It was a lads holiday in a caravan, our parents thought two older adults were going with us, but they forgot to turn up! Well that story is for another time.

Weymouth

Weymouth

A walk around, a drink taken in and that was enough for us. We stopped at a pub on the way back to Poole for something to eat, it was call something like “The Smugglers Arms” later that evening found out we were just down the road from Lulworth Cove, a famous smugglers den of past.

 

Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove

We stopped at Lulworth cove and decided to climb that big hill to see if we could see Lulworth Castle. As it was getting on in the evening I though we could get a great picture with the sun going down, but when we got to the top there was no view of the Castle, as it was over the other hill ;)

That was a long but great day.

We also spent a day in Bournemouth, it has changed a lot over the years and not for the good. Just found it full of drunk undesirable people on the whole.

Sandbanks was a surprise for me , it was the first time I had visited and could not see what all the fuss was about. It’s just a place that has the sea, yet for some reason people pay ££££££££ to have a home there, can’t see it myself, London or New York would be far more appealing to me, but then what do I know! Some houses were for sale £6m and some … I would have to ask why, it’s Sandbanks !

All on all it was a great short break and can’t wait to go back again.

Bridport

Posted in Franks blog on June 26, 2013 by frankmillar

Spent some time yesterday in Bridport, Dorset and found some interesting reading regarding the Boarding school that I went to at the age of four ….. Blog post will go up soon.

Its late April, which means Sheffield and snooker

Posted in Franks blog on May 1, 2013 by frankmillar

It was that time of year again so off we set at 9:30ish, Sheffiled bound. This was our 10th year but with a difference as we were going to stay in a different hotel for the first time. We had decided to leave The Cuttlers due to a number a reasons, cost, quality of food and beer, but not due to customer service, we could never knock that. So it was find the new carpark for The Leopold Hotel. Staff on reception all very friendly and the rooms very nice. Quick pint in the bar, then off for the first session of two for the Friday,Frank Millar Crucible with the customary booking of a table at Aagrah curry resturant for 11pm. Great snooker session then back to the hotel, quick pint, then McDonalds to tied us over for the evening. The match just about finished in time and it was a quick walk to the Indian. This year was also different in the way that there was now six of us, Peter our newish Friday night team player was also with us. First order was obviously six pints of Kingfisher and 10 popadoms ! The poppadums arrive in record time, but no beers ! We had to chase the beers up twice before they came and once they did the food turned up a few minutes later, that’s how long it took to get a drink ! The meal was ok, but nothing special. As it was Peter’s first year we thought it would be nice to head over to St Paul’sFrank Millar St Pauls

which is where the players stay, to have drink and mingle with the snooker crowd. As we didn’t get in there until about 12:45am it was a bit quiet, but Karen and Paula who we met a couple of years ago and are snooker mad, joined us for a drink. About 2.30am they stopped serving drinks to non residents, so now what ? We thought as Jean-Paul, who is the night porter at The Cutlers was bound to be working, we took our chance and wondered over. Jean-Paul came to the door with his alway happy face and let us in. The bar was all closed up, but that soon changed and we were back on the beer. At 5:30am it’s time to call it a night and head back to The Leopold !

Time to get up on Saturday morning did not take long to come around, and breakfast time it was. All very nice and very friendly staff. Usual for me, about 2 pints of tomato juice with two poached eggs on toast and about half a loaf of toast.
A 10am start for the first snooker session of the day…….. Far to early if you ask me but we took our seats in row B. Now due to the fact the match on our table had finished the night before we were looking across an empty table to watch the other match. I don’t know how it happened, but before I knew it I was being woken up by security with the words “I think you need a coffee Sir” I did manage to stay awake then until the mid session interval. Then it was off to the pub to have a drink with my great mate Tony O’Brian, who was in Sheffield for football. Then it was off to The Monk to show Peter the cheapest place in the country to drink at just £2.08 a pint !
The Old Bear Frank Millar
Lynn’s Pantry was next for the customary ham salad, except this year I just had to have a bowl of chips on the side. The afternoon sessions was under way and I was falling asleep again, so nipped back to the hotel for a lay down for an hour !
Our last session of snooker then started, wow the weekend goes so fast. The session finished at about 8:30, so for Barry and me it was time for another curry. We found one on West St, but it was full up and a 20 minute wait, you have to ask, what recession ?
Carrying on down the road we came across Nermals Indian Resturant. It was half empty and looked very 70’s but hungry and thirsty decided to give it a go. It turned out to be a good choice, service was good and the food even better. All home made with care and tasted just a little bit different to the standard curry, so it’s on my list for sure for next year.
Barry and myself then headed back to St Paul’s and let the other know. This time there was lots of players and BBC people drinking. We sat down, Peter and Roger arrived, off chatting, then I got offered a chip by a women who was sat next to us, then before you knew it we were all chatting away and having a great laugh. Next came the embarrassing bit, Peter had photoshopped a picture of me and decided to show it to the person just stood behind where we were sitting, if that wasn’t bad enough, that person only happened to be one of the greatest snooker players ever …. Steven Hendry ! Well when Peter showed him the picture, he looked at me, looked and the picture, then pissed himself laughing!Frank Millar Snooker
Getting close to us not being served anymore, we all headed for ……… yes Cutlers, where we just knew we would get served and we were not disappointed…again The bar was open tonight and the usual very loud Welsh were in the bar, so we carried a settee down from the first floor and made our own space in the hallway. A great laugh was had until 4:30am, then time for bed.
Sunday morning came even quicker than the night before, breakfast had, walk around the town, check out, then homeward bound. Another great Sheffield snooker weekend.