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It’s Crimbo!

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Here’s me with Crimbo, the smallest of the Metrocentre’s oversized reindeer! It’s almost twelfth night, so I guess they’ll have to be dismantled soon!

This 1,961st post was filed under: Scrapbook, , , .

Happy new year!

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Last night, I went with mum, dad and Wendy to a New Year’s Eve party at the Hilton in Gateshead (or Newcastle Gateshead, as the hotel calls it…!) We had a lovely time, and walked across to Newcastle Quayside to enjoy the midnight fireworks. We’d also been to the Winter Festival Carnival earlier in the evening, so certainly can’t be accused of failing to celebrate the New Year!

Who knows what 2013 will hold? It’s the first year since I was two years old that there’s been no repeating digit in the year. I don’t know what relevance that has to anything, but I thought it was interesting!

Happy new year!

This 1,954th post was filed under: Scrapbook, , , .

Photo-a-day 301: Glitzen’s progeny

Glitzen is a 40ft tall reindeer. As tall as a house, she’s the tallest reindeer sculpture in the world. This is the third year she’s featured among the Metrocentre’s Christmas decorations, and this year, she has two children with her.

The scale of the sculpture is certainly arresting – far more so, actually, in person than in photographs. The frame is made of over 2km of aluminium, and the sculpture is decorated with over 10,000 fairy lights. I’ve no stats on the new baby ones, but you’ll notice from the picture that each is more than a storey tall.

It’s just slightly depressing to be seeing them in October!

This 1,866th post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, , , .

Photo-a-day 288: Millennium rainbow

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This is a picture I took earlier in the week of the Millennium Bridge lit up, as it is every night, in its rainbow-like colour scheme. The current lighting system was installed in 2009, and is LED based for super energy efficiency.

It’s the (first, second, third, fourth) fifth time I’ve featured the bridge this year, so you may be bored of seeing it by now…! In my own defence, this is the first night-time shot of it!

This 1,849th post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, , , , .

Photo-a-day 287: Bus stop

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Here’s something you don’t see everyday: a bus stop being delivered and installed! Even the giant red kite in the background looks a little surprised at the sight!

This 1,848th post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, .

Photo-a-day 277: ThinkPod

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Recently, Regus gave me a free Businessworld Gold membership, which gives me free access to their business lounges. Today, I thought I’d pop into a nearby Regus to check it out. I had some work to do that needed close concentration and I didn’t want the distractions that often come from being in the office, so I had planned to spend the afternoon working from home, and this seemed a reasonable alternative. I was slightly concerned that it would be a bit rubbish, but figured that I could just carry on home if it was.

In fact, I was pleasantly surprised. I installed myself in this ThinkPod, a sort of cocoon containing a desk, chair, reading lamp and power sockets, and worked undisturbed in a quiet environment. There is, of course, free wifi, which seemed pretty fast. There were comfy seats and free hot drink drinks available, but I didn’t use these.

Basically, it was like working in a good library, but more private and more comfortable. It was much nicer than working in a coffee shop, which I’ve done a few times in the past year. I’ll definitely go back over the next year while my free membership lasts, and with over 1,000 locations in 95 countries I can see that this would be invaluable when working away from home .But I’d never dream of paying 25/month for UK access, nor 35/month for global access which appears to be the going rate.

This 1,835th post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, .

Photo-a-day 268: Calendars

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This is the first pop-up Calendar Club that I’ve seen this year – and it seems a depressing reminder that Christmas is coming!

Calendar Club has grown at a remarkable pace since the first 12 stores opened in 1998. It now opens over 300 temporary stores every Christmas, and sells over 4 million calendars from a selection of over 3,000 varieties. These days, it even publishes its own calendars under the Other House label.

One of the most remarkable parts of their business model is their store turnaround time: they aim to open within 24hrs of taking a store’s lease. Minimal turn-around times maximise the company’s profit, but also give it a great reputation with retail landlords who typically want to minimise the number of closed units in their malls… which, in turn, gives the company a stronger negotiating position year-on-year, reducing rents and further maximising profits.

This 1,822nd post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, , , .

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