February, 2014 Archive

A Trip to London #6Nations

We’ve spent the last few days in London with the kids, for some relaxing, sightseeing and then for a trip to Twickenham to watch England vs Ireland. We were last in London with the kids in 2009 and even though we are there quite a bit, the kids were really excited so that got us all in the mood for a fun time.

We were staying at The Trafalgar Hotel on Trafalgar Square and for sightseeing it is a great base with the majority of the sights in easy walking distance. On Thursday afternoon we headed to see Westminster and then to Buckingham Palace, before a crazy trip to Hamleys.

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On Friday we headed first over to Knightsbridge to look around Harrods, then over to Covent Garden, then to St Pauls and down the river a bit, then over to the London Eye.

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The kids are down there somewhere while we were up on the balcony enjoying a pint in the sunshine 🙂
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While we were wandering down the South Bank we bumped into our friends from Ripon Rugby Club so that was the evening sorted with beer and then the Wales v France match in a busy sports bar. The rugby theme had started 🙂

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Saturday was at Twickenham meeting up with the Ripon gang again, letting the kids soak up the atmosphere of the huge crowds, the packed pubs in the town and the really good banter between opposition fans before heading to the stadium

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Inside Twickenham was amazing, the atmosphere and the noise was deafening at times, what a day! I was also really impressed with my little Canon camera that I got for Christmas on its first real test of the zoom.

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We stayed the night at Twickenham and what a comparison it was in the morning when the place was deserted. The weekend was amazing … lots of fun had by all and a fantastic experience being part of an 80,000+ crowd cheering the England rugby team to a victory.

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Ripon and it’s Gypsum

So last night Magdalen’s Close in Ripon was rocked by a sinkhole opening up, causing a house to partially collapse and nearby homes to be evacuated, and today there have been press and news outlets buzzing around the scene, with this being the 6th sinkhole to appear in the UK this Winter, due to the excessive rainfall. Magdalen’s Close backs onto a derelict auction mart (which last week a planning application for 75 houses was rejected … phew!) and surrounding land that is known for its gypsum deposits, so there was a risk of this happening. This is the scene this morning and more info here at Shocking Times.

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Ripon has a sinkhole appear about once a year and normally it will occur in fields or farmlands so goes unnoticed, but when it affects buildings we are all reminded that we are in one of the worst areas in the country for gypsum. I remember when we first bought a house in Ripon and had to go through lots of extra geological surveys. Gypsum is a material that dissolves about 100 times faster than limestone so there are times when it just gives way.

I have lived in Ripon for about 25 years and the big one that I remember was back in April 1997 when over the course of 2 days a sink hole opened up at Ure Bank Terrace (just the other side of the River Ure to the latest hole). I remember when it was reported in the local papers (before social media and Google News!) and how this hole that was 10m across and 5m deep had a choke hole which was acting as kind of an egg timer and below what you could see from the surface was a big cave. Scary stuff. I have trawled the web and managed to find a couple of the old photos

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Pretty impressive!

What I like about gypsum and Ripon is the connection to one of the most famous books written. You may not have heard of Charles Dodgson as an author but you will have heard of Lewis Carroll. Lewis Carroll lived in Ripon with his father, Canon Dodgson of Ripon, in the 1850’s and it is believed that he stayed in Ripon during the time he wrote Alice in Wonderland. One of the places that Lewis Carroll spent a lot of time was Ure Lodge (now demolished due to gypsum!) where there was much disturbance to the land surrounding it with sink holes appearing. Gypsum has a shiny appearance and when it is exposed in the shafts of the sinkholes it is said to glisten, making it quite magical. So it is believed that when Alice fell down a rabbit hole (because you just wouldn’t be able to … as even Cooper tried to here) that it was more likely to be a gypsum sinkhole that was being referred to.

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Cooper down a Rabbit Hole

Cooper had fun this weekend while I was Away with Ethan’s rugby team at Pocklington .. he found a patch of grass that was littered with rabbit holes .. perfect for a sniffy spaniel. If he hadn’t had his lead on he would have gone further down.

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Video: The Battle Lines are Drawn

Earlier this week Dave released another video to share his views on where Google is at and what the future may hold. It is always a battle in this industry to keep ahead of competitors, which makes it important to always evolve and keep one step ahead. Another great video from the team, so enjoy.


via Google Draws the Battle Lines

Dave’s Video on Link Removals

In January we have been busy at Bronco looking at better ways to get fresh content out to the industry. Dave is a fantastic speaker and has been speaking at conferences around the world for over a decade. I have been to lots of places with him in the last 5 or 6 years, once the kids got to an age where they were OK to be left for sometimes a week at a time if it was a US conference, and he certainly has a way with the audience. Most of the time in sessions he will have prepared a deck of slides that follows the path of the session but everyone will agree, its when he goes off on a tangent, or gets an audience question where he delivers the best content.

The aim of the new set of videos we will be producing is to hit on the latest topics being discussed in the industry to give our viewpoint on it, but we will also be covering aspects of technical on page SEO to help the beginners out there, but also explain search marketing for people new to digital and marketing. Watching the video we have produced I am really proud of the team for getting all the set up sorted, working on the editing and producing something that captured Dave’s insights really well.

The first video covered link removals and we also had the video transcribed and set up as an MP3 download so everyone can benefit from it however they like to be fed information. On Friday Dave recorded another video which the team will work on and publish.

Here’s the Link Removal video and if you pop over to Dave’s post you can read the transcript or grab the MP3.