Archive for the Franks blog Category

It’s been a while

Posted in Franks blog on March 20, 2020 by frankmillar

Trying to get back into this blog stuff and website design

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 …….

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.

Frank at 50

Posted in Franks blog on April 15, 2013 by frankmillar

Well not sure where to start. What a 50th that was. My official birthday was on the 7th and I actually worked in the morning, doing a family shoot over in Watford at The Grove. I got back home around 2pm, then it was all of the Millar’s and other half’s off to the Six Bells for a few. Wondering back up the town, we just had to pop in to the The Cross Keys for one. If you don’t know The Cross Keys, it’s an old style pub, no music no dartboard, just proper good old beer from kegs. Well, as we had been drinking for a while we were a little noisy and Peter, the LandLord who was upstairs, thought he had a hen party come in, as yes I laugh loud like a girl. After that visit there was only one place to end up, The Star & Garter for a curry. As always very nice, then it was off home for a few nightcaps of Bacardi’s. A great day on its own.

Now fast forward six days and we arrive at Saturday 13th April 2013. This was the real party day that I had been talking about for a year. We were going to have it at The James Figgs out the back, but when I asked them about it, the bar would only stay open until 1am, then you just know the music would of had to stop and that would have been the end of it. So we made the decision to have it at home, then it could finish when the last man or woman was standing !

First job, glasses from Waitrose, then back home to start moving everything to its new position ready for the party. We had always planned at 3pm to head off to Prezzo, so we could all have something to eat. Chris & Nakita were also invited for the meal. Anyway we were nearly all ready just after 2pm with everything sorted apart from the punch, which we were going to make on our return. Carl popped out of the lounge and I thought nothing of it, until he came back in and behind him was my cousins daughter from Canada, Christine. I was in total shock, just could not believe they all kept it a secret. She has been living in Ireland for a while with her boyfriend, Sean. What a nice guy he is and after just a few minutes, it was like we had known him for ages.

Off to Prezzo’s for the meal was next, again all very nice and due to the time of day and the number of us, we sat upstairs all on our own, so had a great chat and laugh, without anyone else around to upset or worry about.

Back home, punch made, final bits sorted, fires lit outside … Then wait for the people to arrive. When I was planning this party I sort of had this vision of it being a lovely day. With sunshine and blue skies, then turning into a loverly spring evening, so based the number of invitations on this. I could not have got that more wrong. Rain showers and wind was the order of the day. We had some gazebos up so at least some could go outside if they wanted to, not that any did !

So the guests start arriving and the amount of drink coming in was obscene, they were bringing what they wanted to drink as well as a bottle for me of either Champaign or Bacardi. Right then I knew it was going to be a great party. Back to the number of people, when we counted up with just two days to go we were at 84 …. Yes 84 ! Now we have a nice four bedroom home, but it’s not THAT big. So with two neighbours also popping in and Christine & Sean, we hit 88. There was still one more surprise for the night, Jan had emailed Anton, my old school mate, who we had kept in touch with until about 10 years ago. He told Jan don’t worry I will be there. So at about 9pm I looked up to this person coming into the dinning room and there he is. Well I was absolutely blown away for the second time today, big bear hugs (all very manly) then chat, chat, chat. Of course he had to drag me outside to see his new baby, an Aston Martin DB9, not bad for a guy who was not the most academic in school !

So now as we peaked in numbers we hit 90 ….. Oh wow that was a lot of people, but everyone was having a great time and all mixing and making new friends. A good friend of mine, Paul brought his camera and it’s thanks to him for these’s great shots.

Music was pumping, drink was flowing, dancing was happening. It really was the best party ever, which finished at around 4:30am.

Thanks to all the people who came, all the presents, to many to mention, but the cake with my picture on it, a personalised Newitt’s pie, a bottle of Bollinger, three great pictures, some personalises glasses, vouchers and more bottles of Bacardi and Champaign than the local off licence !

 

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QOTD

Posted in Franks blog on March 27, 2013 by frankmillar

You win some, you lose some, but you have to take part, don’t just do nothing

Rudy

Posted in Franks blog on March 20, 2013 by frankmillar

So today we lost a big part of the Millar family, our best friend who always loved to see us, regardless of the time of day or what the weather was doing outside ….. Rudy our Jack Russell.

From the early days when as a young little boy Carl used to take him out right up to current when he still enjoyed his walks by anyone of us, he just did not want to go too far, he loved his walks, that’s for sure. What will I remember best ? Well of course it will be his obsession with tennis balls and until his eye sight went a few months ago, he would chase that ball for as long as you were prepared to throw it for him. On walks out he could smell a tennis ball at 50 paces hidden deep in a bush and would not give up until just his back end was hanging out of the bush, just so he could get it!

Back in the old house, the old four horseshoes, in the late 90’s early noughties when I smoked, Rudy would hear my lighter strike up from where ever he was in the house and come running to the back door with his ball, ready for me to kick it up the garden while I hung out the door having a smoke. All of us are going to miss him so much, after all, like most dogs, they ARE part of the family, especially when they grown up with your own children, there is a stronger bond, I am sure of that. RIP Rudy.

Rudy Millar

What did you do today ? … I went to Switzerland and back !

Posted in Franks blog on March 12, 2013 by frankmillar

When two good friends who I met on twitter invited me to go the Geneva Motor Show, I thought to myself, that sounds expensive, but after reluctantly asking the question “sounds great, how much is it?” you could have knocked me down with a feather! All in all return flight, entrance to the show itself and parking at the Airport ….. £86 yes £86 …… or I could get a return train journey from Haddenham & Thame Parkway to Manchester for £88.60, £2.60 dearer, how can this be?

So it was a date. Up early at 4:30am with a great run to Luton Airport, well off site parking 10 minutes away. To say it was cold at that time of the day would be an understatement, not sure how cold, but cold enough to freeze the … well you get the picture. As you dont even really have to go outside at the Geneva end, a small light jacket was all I was taking and wow was I cold waiting for the transfer bus to the Airport!

Paul and Dave were already at the airport, we were already checked in online, so up to the long “disney” queue we went. Security is so hot at Airports which is understandable, but I wish they would realise thats its going to take longer to check everyone and employ more staff. Anyway as always I get “bleeped” and get frisked…. always by a man, I never get the women!

It was too early (for them) for a pint so a quick cup of coffee, sit down and we were off to Geneva.

We were meeting Richard at that end and he arrived the same time as us, you would have thought we planned it!

Once inside the show, it was amazing with all the BIG boys there, with £££££ worth or cars. If you know me you will know I am the biggest Mercedes fan in the world, so could not wait to get to their stand and when I did I was not disappointed, every make, every model #Heaven !

After spending around five hours at the show, which was just right, it was a quick pint, before the homeward bound journey started.

All in all it was a great laugh and day out … and yes if invited, will be going next year.

Geveva Motor Show 120313 Frank Millar-2 Geveva Motor Show 120313 Frank Millar-3 Geveva Motor Show 120313 Frank Millar-4 Geveva Motor Show 120313 Frank Millar-5 Geveva Motor Show 120313 Frank Millar-6 Geveva Motor Show 120313 Frank Millar-7 Geveva Motor Show 120313 Frank Millar

Thame #love

Posted in Franks blog on March 2, 2013 by frankmillar

Just a quick post re where I live Thame. Been living here since 1986 and love the town, people, shops well just about everything really. We are like Henley and Marlow without the river …. Or the weekend tourists, parking problems, same old chain of shops …. So do you know what, you can keep your river ….. I love Thame

My QOTD

Posted in Franks blog on February 25, 2013 by frankmillar

The gateway to everything you want is out there, you just need to find it and open it.

So proud of myself

Posted in Franks blog on February 23, 2013 by frankmillar

So the new year was suppose to be the year I got fit and lost some weight, but January came and the winter blues kicked in … Then it all went wrong with far too much sitting on my arse all day and evening and consuming alcohol like it was going to run out. The girls would go out to jazzercise, Carl would go off to the gym, which left me at home on my own in the evenings ….. Pour a large one stick some music on … Sorted.

So what saved me from the self district mode, well a few things really, but mainly being invited to a charity Jazzersice session on Saturday 26 January 2013. Typical me put the head band on, football shirt …. You know looked a right Charlie ! Anyway after an hour of making a complete fool of myself along with about 20 other men, I was buzzing all day with energy and excitement. I felt so good I just could not wait to go back again….. and this I did on the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday …. You get the picture.

FrankMillar

It all started to fall into place then, going out in the evenings to Jazzersice meant I was not at home on my own, therefore the drink never came out. I started to then watch what I was eating, cutting bread out altogether and now eating fruit like it is going to run out ! What a turn around, I could see such a difference, just shaving in the morning looking at my face, thinking to myself “wow I think I am losing weight” Now I had been for a weight-in the other week and thought it was time to just see how much I had lost. To my absolute shock and horror I have lost 7lb in 18 days !

My goal now ? To keep this up for as long as I can keep going … Wish me luck :)

Holiday 2012

Posted in Franks blog on February 20, 2013 by frankmillar

Holidays have changed over the past fews years due to less money to spend on them and it’s now its just two of us!

Majorca was the destination, Alcudia to be precise , staying in Club Bellevue. Now that doesn’t sounds so bad, apart from the fact its the largest complex I have even seen, let alone stayed in. There really was accommodation for thousands of people in the complex, but luckily for us we were going out of season, so it was not packed to the rafters!

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Jan

We went for the option of just accommodation and breakfast, which was the best option by far. Ok, picture a two level building with each floor holding about 1,200 people, now throw in a free for all buffet style meal ….. get the picture. It was during breakfast that I could see why we are turning into a nation of obese people. Plates were stacked high with cholesterol busting food that made me feel sick just looking at it, let alone trying to eat and digest it. For a moment I though where do they put it all, but then I looked again and it became apparent !

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Frank

 

Out of the 10 days we were there we did ‘Breakfast” about four times, we could just not take the hassle, it was not the snob coming out in me (not this time anyway) just can’t be doing fighting for somewhere to sit just for a couple of bits of toast and a cup of tea.

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View from our room

Alcudia itself is a nice place and from where we were staying, you could walk along the beach to the harbour in about 20 minutes, where the water and waves tailed off, to a very shallow warm depth, just right for laying down, cooling off and soaking up the the sun at the same time. Taking in a drink and a snack, then taking a slow walk back. All in all most of the holiday was spent either walking or hire pushbikes and going off cycling for the day.

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Taking in a coffee

Evenings again were spent just wandering around, taking in the odd drink or nine. With lots of bar’s with wifi, we did one evening FaceTime with Carl, Laura and Jodie, them stuck inside on a cold September evening and we were sitting outside in a bar, trying to keep cool.

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Homeward bound

Would we go back? no not now, we have been there four times in all, so as they say been there, done that!

At last something to read

Posted in Franks blog on February 20, 2013 by frankmillar

I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last proper blog update. So much has happened and taken place in Frank’s world, most of which I bet I have forgotten now. You need to go back to August 8 2011 for my last informative post!

I suppose the most memorable thing that took place way back, was that I was involved in a charity event for Sue Ryder planned by a local company Purple Frog, which took place Wednesday 9 November 2011.

Getting ready for the off

Getting ready for the off

The challenge, to visit each of the 270 London Tube Stations in one day and have a picture taken at the entrance of each station. This made the challenge more interesting as at some of the smaller stations, you could get off the train run to the exit, take the picture, then try and get back on the same train! Trying to do the challenge in one day was always going to be tough, so it was planned that 10 teams of three to four people would each have a list of stations to visit. Our team mostly got the Central line and not the nice end at Ealing Broadway, but the dodgy Epping end ! The starting and finishing point for everyone was Leicester Square. We all set off just after 10am and started the route, walking over to Tottenham Court Road for our start.

Lot's of waiting for trains

Lot’s of waiting for trains

To start with it was buzzing with commuters still needing to get to work (late) and the tourist’s just starting the day, but as we got further and further away from central London less activity became apparent!

 

Can you see us ?

Can you see us ?

Once we started to get out towards Woodford, it was like a ghost town and you would not have believed you were on the outskirts of one of the most famous Capitals in the world. Our team being committed only stopped once for lunch, with no pub stops at all (it would appear later that we were in the minority regrading this) early evening was approaching and we had a fare few more stations to hit, rush hour was kicking in which also slowed us down, so we had to call for ” backup” from one of the other teams who had finished, to help us out with the last few stations.

Taking a break at Grange Hill

Taking a break at Grange Hill

We made it back to Leicester Square just after 7:30pm for food and drink, then the coach trip home back to Thame. The challenge was completed with a picture record of each of the 270 Tube stations as proof, along with raising £10,000 for Sue Ryder. We have even made it on a Wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tube_Challenge

Having such a love for London for as long as I can remember, I am so glad I took part in this challenge and more importantly that I have now documented it on here.

Next post coming very very soon!

My thought for the day

Posted in Franks blog on February 17, 2013 by frankmillar

You have to go and get what you really want … For that there is no delivery

Photo’s its all so easy with Instagram

Posted in Franks blog on August 15, 2011 by frankmillar

I have had Instagram on my iPhone for a while now, an App that lets you take and share pictures and add filters to give it a certain style or look. I have now started to become a real fan. It’s amazing how such a simple picture can be transformed into a total amazing picture by just adding a filter. Here are three I took today, just clouds in the sky, but as hopefully you agree look pretty good.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday …. Happy Days

Posted in Franks blog on August 8, 2011 by frankmillar

Friday: I did not go out on Friday evening due to the fact that I had to be up at 4am Saturday morning to go and pick up Jodie and friends from Gatwick after a week in Kavos !

Instead I went along to a surprise party Laura’s friends had arrange for her 19th Birthday which is knew absolutely nothing about. It was held in Haddenham at one of her friends who live in a very nice part with some nice outbuildings, so ideal for parties.

About 20 boys and girls all got together clubbed in or food and drinks and Laura loved it. I stayed for about an hour, taking some pictures, then left them to it.

Surprise !

The Gang

In the early hours of the morning we got a text from Jodie saying that the flight was delayed by 3hrs, so to me that meant if they were due to land at 6am it will now be 9am, so the the alarm was reset for 7am. *RIIIIINGGGG…..RIIIIINGGGG* Up I get at 7am (yawn) just doing what you do when you get up in the morning and I get  a phone call. Its Fiona, she is the other “Taxi driver” for the collection from Gatwick. The first questions she asked me was where was I, and my response was “at home” her reply “ohhh, they land at 7:30am and the M25 is closed after an accident at 4pm on the Friday. So after a very quick wash I was off thinking which was the best way to get Gatwick avoiding Junction 7 to 8. My choice was down the A3 to Guildford, then on to Horsham then Crawley Gatwick. It was a good choice, as I got there just 5 minutes after Fiona who stayed on the M25 and took her chance.

The girls were aware we were going to be late so they were fine just hanging around. The journey home took forever as I decided to go anticlockwise home :( At the time of writing this I cannot believe they closed a major motorway in both direction, circling the capital and on route to the second most major airport in the country for 20 hours due to an accident. Ok so a lorry took out the central reservation and  there was a fatality, but still 20 hours ! Of course no one is accountable for the time it took or can you find out why, you just have to accept someone’s incompetence. People wonder why the UK doesn’t produce Cars, TV, Electrical goods in fact very little anymore ……. can’t think why can you !

So Saturday was a bit of write off really, Jan had woke up with a really bad headache, which stopped us going to Swindon in the afternoon and out or a drink with friends in the evening. Still to be positive look at the money we saved in petrol and not going out to the pub.

Sunday was a really lazy day, all the Millar’s at home for the first time in ages. A BIG family meal was planned for the afternoon so everyone was just chilling. at 4:30 we all left for the meal which was happening at The Fisherman, twenty of us in total. It was a good meal and nice to catch up with everyone. It was all an opportunity to get another picture of all the grand children, you can guess who got that photo shoot !