Musical Keys and Other Stuff

Musical Keys, Cricket, Photography and some links.

INTRODUCTION

The title of this post refers to Saturday’s Musical Keys session at the Scout Hut on Beulah Street (a place that by now is almost as familiar to me as my own humble abode such is the number of events I have attended there). I also have plenty of other stuff to share.

MUSICAL KEYS

Having missed the previous Musical Keys session because I was attending the “Marxism and Nature” Day School in London (well done to the International Socialism Journal team, you organised a great event) I was anticipating this session more eagerly than usual. Then came the news that the branch chair would probably not be able to attend as her son was playing up, which meant that I would be the sole NAS West Norfolk committee member present.

THE WALK THERE

I decided to go via Bawsey Drain (there was no decision to make as regards the mode of transport although it is a longish walk) and I was able to  take some pictures along the way.

dscn6974
Another splendid tree (to see lots of tree pics visit Anna’s blog and look at some of the recent posts there)

dscn6975dscn6976dscn6977

dscn6978
The outside of the scout hut.
dscn6979
This section of path has recently been resurfaced.

dscn6980

THE SESSION ITSELF

I was specifically requested to take pictures during this session by John and Kirsten, who run the sessions for Musical Keys. Therefore I have lots of pictures. The session began with the focus exclusively on a kind of wooden drum, shaped like a three dimensional capital T, which had been cunningly wired up to a computer.

dscn6981dscn6982dscn6983dscn6984dscn6985dscn6986dscn6987dscn6988dscn6989dscn6990dscn6991dscn6992dscn6994dscn6995

dscn6996
How this wooden instrument was wired up to a computer.

dscn6997dscn6998

Later in the session people were encouraged to try other instruments – two electronic keyboards were available and both were used, I sampled an acoustic guitar and also an electric bass guitar, and a single drum was available for most of the session, with the full set (which tends to drown out everything else) in action for the last few minutes.

dscn6999
The keyboards being played.
dscn7000
A stand alone drum

dscn7001dscn7002

dscn7003
The range of guitars.
dscn7004
A couple of close-ups of the particular acoustic guitar that I played.

dscn7005

dscn7006
The full drum set ready for action
dscn7007
The drum set in use.
dscn7008
Kirsten (one of the two people who run the sessions) playing an acoustic guitar.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BANGLADESH – ENGLAND SERIES

The result of the second match in this two match series, which I celebrated here, was splendid not just for Bangladesh, but also for cricket as a whole. England now head for a five match series in India, where they can confidently expect every pitch to be turning from minute one of every match (and can have no complaints given the number of times they have had sub-continental teams play on green seamers at places such as Durham and Leeds early in the English season). Frankly having seen how England have handled spin friendly conditions in Bangladesh, India should probably reckon that any series outcome other than 5-0 to them is a disappointment.

England this series have been exposed in several areas:

  • Top order batting – in four completed innings the top five contributed only three individual scores above 50 between them, one a piece for Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Ben Duckett. Cook’s 39 in his final innings of the series was his best effort, while Ballance failed badly in all four innings, being out to a particularly gruesome shot in the final one.
  • Spin bowling – of the four front-line spinners played by England in this series (Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Zafar Ansari and Gareth Batty) none produced a really convincing performance overall, although Moeen Ali took five wickets during Bangladesh’s collapse from 170-1 to 220 all out in the first innings at Dhaka and Rashid 4-52 in second innings of that same match. England, in a spin dominated series, were saved from complete embarrassment by Ben Stokes who captured 11 wickets at 10.09 to be their joint leading wicket taker, as well as being their leading run scorer.
  • Captaincy – Alastair Cook had an even poorer series in this respect than he did with the bat. Whenever the spinners were bowling they had right from the word go fielders at deep long off and at deep point – meaning that singles were always easily obtainable. These field setting seem horribly like covering the bad ball (of which it must be said there were far too many from all of England’s spinners).

I am going to finish this section with individual player ratings for all those used by England (the player of the series on either side was Mehedi of Bangladesh btw).

Alastair Cook (C): a poor series with the bat and a poorer one as captain. Rating 3/10.

Ben Duckett: looked unconvincing in his first three innings, but redeemed himself to an extent in the fourth – his approach in that innings got Bangladesh on the back foot. His dismissal straight after tea in that innings was the trigger for Bangladesh’s greatest ever session in the field in test cricket. Rating 5/10

Joe Root: a gritty 50 in the first innings at Dhaka when no one else offered serious resistance until the partnership between Rashid and Woakes was his only major contribution with the bat. Rating 5/10

Gary Ballance: after his first three innings of this series I commented that he was not batting long enough to know what sort of form he was in. His fourth innings was equally brief, but the shot with which it ended was truly dreadful. Rating 0/10

Moeen Ali: a useful 50 in Chittagong, and wickets in both games. However as an off-spinner he was comprehensively outclassed by 19 year old Mehedi on the other side. Rating 7/10

Ben Stokes: England’s player of the series, his 85 at Chittagong was England’s highest individual score of the series, he was the teams overall leading run scorer and joint leading wicket taker (this latter in a series were quick bowlers were mainly bystanders). Without his efforts this series would certainly have been 2-0 to Bangladesh. Rating 9/10

Jonny Bairstow (WK): A competent series with gloves in difficult conditions and a fifty in the first match. Rating 6/10

Zafar Ansari: his selection in place of fellow Surrey man Batty for the second match of the series gave England a more varied bowling attack, and he picked up a couple of wickets. He failed to contribute with the bat. Rating 4/10

Chris Woakes: significant contributions with the bat in both matches, though his bowling was not of much significance in this series. Rating 5/10

Adil Rashid: A useful batting effort in the first innings at Dhaka, when he and Woakes rescued their supposed betters and gave England a lead, his bowling in favourable conditions was disappointing. Rating 5/10

Stuart Broad: Bowled well at Chittagong, was rested for Dhaka. Rating 5/10

Gareth Batty: His selection for this tour at the age of 39 and after a 12 year hiatus in his international career was a major indictment of English spin bowling, and he contributed little in the one match he played, at Chittagong. Rating 2/10

Stephen Finn: Came in for Stuart Broad at Dhaka, and his only contribution of note was to become the answer to the quiz question “whose dismissal gave Bangladesh their first ever test victory against England?” Rating 1/10

FAWKES IN THE WALKS

dscn6957

This has historically been a very successful event and I hope it will be so again. However, as an autistic person who reacts badly to sudden loud noises, I would also like to say that fireworks should be restricted to official displays of this sort.

LINKS

My first link in this section is to an online protest against the charity Mind, taking place between 3:30 and 5PM today.

The Climate Reality Project have produced this very accessible guide to climate change.

My next two links both relate to Debbie Abrahams’ announcement that they will replace the Work Capability Assessment:

My next and penultimate link is to Anna’s effort to get people to post about tree walks. To view her most recent post on the subject click on the screenshot below.

tw

My final link is to a book review on my London transport themed website – click the screenshot below to visit it.

dscn6956

 

Congratulations Bangladesh!

My official congratulations to Bangladesh for achieving their first test match victory over top table opposition.

AN ASTONISHING MATCH IN DHAKA

Bangladesh have just completed a great victory over England. The margin is 108 runs after a match of astonishing ups and downs. The star of the show is just turned 19 year old Hasan Mehedi Miraz with 12 wickets in the match. In 95 previous test matches Bangladesh had won seven times, five against Zimbabwe and two against a depleted and demotiavted West Indies. This victory is their first against top table opposition in Test cricket. They came close in Chittagong in the first match of this series, but this time they have actually done it.

England rescued themselves from 144-8 in the first innings to lead by 24 (244 to 220), but then Bangladesh, principally through Imrul Kayes (79), Mahmudullah (47) and Tamim Iqbal (40) reached 296 in their second innings (the highest innings total of this compelling series). When England for once started well, reaching 100 with no wickets down things were not looking so good for Bangladesh. The first ball after tea account for Ben Duckett, chief architect of England’s good start, and once he was out England went into a tailspin.

It was appropriate that the series should end with confusion over the DRS – Stephen Finn thought he still had a review to use and had to be told that in fact he did not and the match was irretrievably over (the review would have made no difference anyway on this occasion).

The future looks bright for Bangladesh, with Mehedi a real find, and I end this brief post by echoing my chosen title: Congratulations, Bangladesh!

Hey! Where did the reblog button go?

Just showing that the reblog button is still here! (as it is on my own most recent post – just checked)

Annas Art - FärgaregårdsAnna

Have you noticed that the reblog button is missing on your posts.

I read several posts this evening that I wanted to reblog, but there was no reblog button. Then I checked my own blog and guess what? Reblog button was gone there too even if I have set the reblog ON in my settings.



I asked wp support


So I hope I get a good answer.

Until then, if you have anything to say about this, maybe you know where to find reblog button for an example, please let us know.

Anna

View original post

Drama in Dhaka and a Photographic Walk

A personal account of the opening day’s play in Dhaka, and a photographic walk concentrating on trees. Some interesting links at the end.

INTRODUCTION

As well as my view on the opening day’s play in Dhaka which I listened to earlier this morning this post contains details of a walk around King’s Lynn that I took after play had finished and some interesting links.

DRAMA IN DHAKA

A wonderful opening day in the second Test Match between Bangladesh and England in Dhaka has finished with England 50-3 in response to Bangladesh’s first innings 220. When Tamim Iqbal and Monimul Haque were speeding along at four an over Bangladesh seemed to be headed for much for than 220, but Tamim’s dismissal shortly after completing a sparkling century triggered a collapse from the high water mark of 171-1 to 220 all out, Moeen Ali picking up five cheap wickets. The loss of Cook (captaining the England test team for record equalling 54th time), Duckett (just starting his international career) and Ballance (who has not been batting long enough lately for anyone to see what kind of form he is in) meant that by the close Moeen Ali was batting, and with some assistance from the weather he and Joe Root managed to hang on.

In some ways this match has similarities with Old Trafford 1902, when a lightning century from Victor Trumper (who reached the landmark before lunch on the first day) gave Australia a strong start which was then hauled back. Australia had a brief mid innings revival on that occasion and reached 299. England lost early wickets but then two middle order batsman, Len Braund and Stanley Jackson steadied the ship, the latter reaching one of his five test hundreds (all scored against Australia in England), and England were a mere 37 behind. A magnificent second innings bowling performance from England saw Australia all out for 86, and when England in pursuit of their target of 124 reached 92-3 the game appeared to be done and dusted, but then England panicked and started losing wickets, Clem Hill took a spectacular catch along the way, and suddenly debutant Fred Tate found himself going out to bat at 116-9 – he snicked one four, survived two further deliveries and was then comprehensively bowled to give Australia victory by three runs. If this match is as close I will be delighted, and as I stated in an earlier post, I will be particularly delighted if said close result goes against England because I believe that a victory against top table opposition for Bangladesh will be good for cricket as a whole.

To finish this section, although Bangladesh are pretty new to international cricket, Dhaka under its old name of Dacca has a much longer connection to the game, being one of the few cities to have hosted home games for two different countries. Going back further still, Bransby Beauchamp Cooper who played for Australia in the first ever test match in 1877 was born in Dacca.

A WALK FEATURING TREES

I got the idea for doing a walk in which I focussed mainly on trees at this transitional time of year from Anna, who put this post up recently (I recommend that you check the comments as well!). This then is my version of a tree walk…

SETTING OUT

As this first set of pictures, taken from my outside space show I don’t have far to go to be able to see trees:

dscn6889dscn6890dscn6891dscn6892

Heading across Baker Lane Car Park towards the Purfleet which I was then going to follow the Great Ouse provided these pictures:

dscn6893dscn6894dscn6895

A SOUPCON OF HISTORY AND ALONG THE RIVER

Since I wanted to be in  that vicinity to photograph trees on the other side of the river anyway I took one non-tree related photograph before heading along the river, and this set of pictures actually features a second. This stretch ended with a brief diversion from the river front to skirt Bole Quay.

dscn6896dscn6897dscn6898

dscn6899
The second non-tree related photo.
dscn6900
The view along Millfleet

dscn6902dscn6903dscn6904dscn6905

SKIRTING BOLE QUAY AND LEAVING THE RIVER

After skirting Bole Quay I briefly rejoined the river front, before leaving it by way of a path through Harding’s Pits.

dscn6905dscn6906dscn6908dscn6909dscn6910dscn6911dscn6912dscn6913dscn6916

HARDINGS PITS TO SEVEN SISTERS

From Hardings Pits I headed by way of the South Gate to Seven Sisters where I entered the parkland area.

dscn6917dscn6918dscn6919dscn6920dscn6921dscn6922dscn6923dscn6924dscn6925dscn6926dscn6927dscn6928dscn6929dscn6930dscn6931

THE PARKLAND

I headed from Seven Sisters to the Band Stand, and the from the Band Stand to St John’s Walk, which I followed until I left the parkland heading in the direction of the train station:

dscn6932dscn6933dscn6934dscn6935dscn6936dscn6937dscn6938dscn6939dscn6940dscn6941dscn6942dscn6943dscn6944dscn6945dscn6946dscn6947dscn6949

HOMEWARD BOUND

Even after leaving the parkland there were a few more photographs:

dscn6950dscn6951dscn6952dscn6953

dscn6954
Decorative brickwork above a pair of shops on Norfolk Street.
dscn6955
The upstairs portion of the building that houses an imaging business – I have never used it, but you can get digital photos printed here among other things.

LINKS

My first is a little gem from travel vibes on twitter, introducing the word thalassophile (not all readers of this blog are on twitter, and this is a goodie).

First the definition: Thalassophile (n): Lover of the sea, ocean. Here are the real reasons for posting this, the accompanying pictures:

 

Next come two autism related links:

  • As NAS West Norfolk Branch Secretary I am delighted to publicise NAS’s latest campaign “Close the autism employment gap”.
  • My second concerns the Kevin Healey petition calling on Brentwood County High School to expel a gang of bullies who have been preying on an autistic student. Since I put up a link to this petition in a previous post details have emerged of a second shocking case of bullying at the same school. For more details, please click here. As a coda it is sadly abundantly clear from the comments that bullying has been a major problem at this establishment for a long time and that the head teacher in particular and other senior staff have been taking the ‘ostrich’ approach to the problem.

My next link is to a campaign to secure better working conditions for Uber drivers (and now is a particularly good time to pile on the pressure as Uber have just taken a hit in court). Click here for more details and to support the campaign.

I give the final word to Britain’s youngest MP, Mhairi Black, here hammering Concentrix – and managing to be very funny in the process:

 

 

 

 

 

James and Sons’ October Auction

A brief account of James and Sons’ October auction with some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

James and Sons’ October Auction took place in the Erpingham Room in the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich on Wednesday. Lots 1-450 were fairly normal James and Sons auction fare, and then lots 451 onwards were a lifetime collection of posters. Thus the plan was to have a break after lot 450.

A DIFFICULT START

We started the day with the internet not working properly. We were able to connect using Wifi, but our card reader requires a cable connection to function properly. Nevertheless, the auction got underway on time, and there were some notable successes early in the auction, especially the militaria.

THE POSTERS

As well as imaging pretty well all of the posters I had described most of them, so it was with interest but little expectation that following a short lunch break that I awaited the outcome of this part of the sale. A few posters sold well, but the majority did not. Slightly frustratingly in the circumstances with so much not finding buyers all four of the railway themed posters I had been considering went way beyond my price range. Here are the fab four in question:

729
Lot 729 – I had not particularly expected to get this one given that it was laminated and clearly old.
737
Lot 737, which I used as the centrepiece for a post about the Museum of London on my website (this one), this being where the Lord Mayor’s carriage is displayed when not in use – again this was not a great hope.
763
Lot 763, an advert for one-day travelcards – this was the one that I had reckoned I was most likely to get.
764
The double sided laminated poster that was lot 764 also sold for much more than I could have afforded.

764-a764-b

The auction done, it was time to load the van back up. This task accomplished I was able to go my own way (the van would be unloaded the following morning, so I would not be needed in Fakenham). I had just enough time before the last bus I could catch home using my dayrider plus to make a trip to the library worthwhile. I got home 13 hours after setting out.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Fortunately enough good things happened during lots 1-450 to more than cover the disappointing outcome of the poster sale, and it was overall a very good sale.

Autism and Bullying

A link to a very important petition accompanied by a short video – please sign and share. Also some stuff relating to the appalling decision to approve a third runway at Heathrow, some photos and a few other links.

INTRODUCTION

The main purpose of this post is to share a very important petition posted on change.org by autism advocate and anti-bullying campaigner Kevin Healey. I also have some other links that have come to my attention this morning and a few photographs.

BRENTWOOD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL
PULL YOUR FINGERS OUT!!

Kevin’s petition relates to the case of Harry Gosling, which is covered in detail on the site. Please visit, sign and share the petition here. There is also a short video embedded below:

THE HEATHROW HORROR

The title of this section refers to the appalling decision by the ‘Mayhem’ government to approve a third runway at Heathrow Airport. I have three links to share in this section, starting with this one to a an article in the Guardian outlining just how expensive this crazy project will be even in purely monetary terms.

My other two links relate to the upcoming by-election in Richmond triggered by Zac Gioldsmith’s decision to resign and stand as an independent in protest at this awful decision (a gesture that in no way redeems him for the disgusting London Mayoral campaign he chose to run). They express differing opinions as to whether or not Labour should stand:

My own opinion: I do not think that Labour should stand a candidate in this election – I would recommend that they, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats get together and stand a single anti-Goldsmith candidate who can help to deliver a final damning verdict on Goldsmith by making his current status as an ex-MP permanent (the Conservatives have already said that they will not field a candidate against him, because, although this bit is unstated by them, they know perfectly well that any such candidate would lose).

PHOTOGRAPHS

Just a few photographs this time…

dscn6869dscn6871dscn6873

dscn6874
Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning (this picture was taken yesterday on my way to Norwich for James and Sons’ October auction which I shall be covering in another post)

dscn6876

SOME FINAL LINKS

I have three more links to share to end this post. My first, from New Zealand blogger Heather Hastie, is about the current state of healthcare in the US. You can visit this post, which is chock full of solid sense, by clicking the infographic below:

us-healthcare

Same Difference have produced a post to alert people to a new dirty trick that the DWP have come up with.

Finally, this piece ends where it started, with autism, in the form of this post on The Mighty about the pressure on autistic people to attempt to act normally.