Spring

Celebrating the arrival of Spring…

INTRODUCTION

By way of an introduction to this post, which is celebrating some welcome good weather here is a video recording of Spring from Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”. 

If you enjoy classical music you might like to visit young singer and Royal College of Music student Charlotte Hoather’s website by clicking here.

SPRING ARRIVES

Since the epic storms I wrote about a while back, the weather has been gradually improving. Within the last few weeks I have been able to leave the flat without a coat, and then yesterday I switched the heating off. Today, for the first time in 2017, I am making use of my outside space:

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Also today, although they have been in evidence for a few days now, I managed to photograph some butterflies, again for the first time of the year.

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This was the first one I captured.

Butterfly2Butterfly3

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The fourth and best of the four butterfly pictures I was able to get today.

Where did I locate these little beauties? All within walking distance of my little town centre flat – two near Hardings Pits and two near Bawsey Drain, gained during…

A WALK

It being bright, sunny and reasonably warm I set off on a walk just after 10, and was out for over two hours in total. Here are some of the non-butterfly related pictures I took while out and about.

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The first seven pictures in this set are not actually from the very beginning of the walk – it has been a long while since I saw this many cormorants on what I call “Cormorant Platform”

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This buoy is not in its regular position – there is only one seal living in the Great Ouse, and no sand to be found. Norfolk does have one big seal colony, at Blakeney Point, which although part of the mainland is accessible only by boat – there is no road link as it is quite rightly a fiercely protected area.

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Musical Keys

A personal account of yesterday’s Musical Keys at the scout hut on Beulah Street and a walk on either side of the session.

INTRODUCTION

Musical Keys sessions happened at the scout hut on Beulah Street yesterday. I was there both as NAS West Norfolk branch secretary and someone who enjoys the session. With it staying light later in the evening and yesterday being pretty benign for an early March day in England I got two good walks in on either side of my session.

GETTING THERE

I made a quick visit to King’s Lynn library before heading for the scout hut by way of the Broad Walk and the Sandringham Railway Path. I had sufficient spare time to take some photographs en route…

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This town centre cafe is the venue for an NAS West Norfolk coffee morning on Wednesday
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Here are some of the trees from which it takes its name, on the bank of the highly sculpted stretch of the Gaywood river that passes through The Walks.
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The library, fresh from recent repair works.
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The first of four flower pictures – all featuring crocuses.

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AT THE SCOUT HUT

I arrived with the youngsters session still in progress – here are some pictures I took before my session started.

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Before getting into details of what I did, I have a short subsection about…

A SPEAKER SYSTEM FROM Q BRANCH

This is best shown in a series of photographs…

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The speaker system in use
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Partially closed up – machine and bag of cables in the centre, the two speakers forming the sides of the case.
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And fully closed – a stout black plastic suitcase.

MY SESSION

I was on the computer, using Scratch 2. Once again I consider a series of photographs to do a better job than words…

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A modest but sufficient set up – I have eight notes on my chosen instrument (Cello) set to be played by pressing a, s, d, f, h, j, k, and l respectively, and various extras, including getting the cat avatar to move and draw, with the pen size increasing each time I pressed one particular key.

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THE JOURNEY HOME

Once the session finished, and the clearing up and locking up was done it was time for the walk back. I journeyed back by a different route, heading for Bawsey Drain, the Tuesday Market Place and King Street. Here are some photographs from this walk.

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Toxic Earth

A warning note courtesy of http://www.indy100.org, some stuff about public transport, some stuff about science, a link to a satirical pamphlet and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

The title of this piece comes from an article on www.indy100.com although I am sharing many other things besides that, including some of my local photographs. However before I get into the main meat of my post there is one other matter to attend to:

ERRATUM

In a recent post I identified a bed of yellow flowers as daffodils. It has since been brought to my attention that they were in fact yellow crocuses. I apologise for the mistake, and please note that I am not resorting to the equivalent of putting the apology in six point type somewhere in the middle of of page 27!

TOXIC EARTH

Reading this article put me in mind of Anna’s recent post “No 17 drawing in my goals for 2017” where the drawing is about a group of people stranded in space looking for another planet to replace the one that they had to leave behind because they messed it up too badly. Click on the image below to read this important and sobering article.

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A COUPLE OF LONDON
TRANSPORT RELATED BITS

I usually reserve stuff about London transport for my London transport themed website http://www.londontu.be, where indeed I shared the second piece in this section yesterday, but I felt these two bits should also be shared here.

LAURIE PENNY ON UBER

Laurie Penny has turned her fire on private cab hire firm Uber, and the result is a devastating article in the Guardian, which I hope will succeed in weaning a few people off this vile organisation. Please read the article in full please click on the image below.

TUNNEL ARCHAEOLOGY AT THE MUSEUM OF LONDON

The central section of the Elizabeth line (nee Crossrail) cuts through London on an east-west axis, and there being no space on the surface it also cuts vertically through millennia of history. It is this latter that has led to the creation of a new exhibition at the Museum of London showing the best finds unearthed during the building of the line. Accompanying this exhibition is a short video, embedded below. After the video are links to more about this and about the Museum of London.

Extra links:

PAYING MORE BUT GETTING LESS

This is a petition put together by Going to Work which calls not only for affordable affairs on our railways but also for a fully publicly owned and publicly accountable rail network. To view, sign and share the petition please click on the screenshot below:

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PHOTOGRAPHIC INTERLUDE

Here are some pictures from in and around King’s Lynn:

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Planning information posted near Lynnsport.

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The good and the bad of Bawsey drain in one photo – it is home to many species but in spite of continued efforts to clear it is still used by uncaring human residents as a dumping ground.

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This bridge crosses a stretch of the Gaywood, carrying Littleport Street across said river.

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The inaugural NAS West Norfolk curry night took place on Thursday, delayed by a week due to bad weather. Although some of those who had originally booked did not make it, those who did enjoyed it.
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My choice – Lamb Rogan Josh. The accompaniments are boiled rice, two small poppadoms and a garlic naan. The curry was a little spicier than I would have liked but other than that splendid. The accompanying drink, included in the £6.49 price tag, is a pint of Doom Bar ale (and yes for the record I drank only the one)
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One of many fine pictures to adorn the wall of The Globe, and the only one I got a clear shot at.

ATHEISTS ARE BECOMING MORE POPULAR

Here is a truly international link – a Brit sharing a post written by a New Zealander about the USA. Heather Hastie has carried out a typically thorough comparison between the Pew Research Centre’s findings of three years ago and of just recently. Please read Heather’s post in full by clicking here.

A TRIO OF SCIENCE PIECES

The first two pieces in this section were initially posted on whyevolutionistrue starting with a piece drawing on the work of Pliny the in Between, who runs a website called The Far Corner Cafe, and of a doctor who posts under the name of Orac on scienceblogs, whose piece can be read here, to demonstrate that Chiropractic is not merely nonsense, but dangerous (indeed potentially fatal) nonsense at that. Jerry Coyne, creator of whyevolutionistrue (it takes its name from his landmark book of that title published in 2009), has received many hostile comments in response to previous pieces he has written that are critical of Chiropractic. To read this piece in full please click on the image below, the first in a series of five drawings from Pliny the in Between that were used to illustrate the post.

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Second of the trio, again courtesy of WEIT, is a piece linking to a paper published in the journal Nature that mentions the discovery of potential traces of life in sediments that range in age between 3.77 and 4.28 billion years (the earlier end of the scale being about as early given what is known about our planet’s turbulent beginnings as life of any sort could have taken hold). To read the post in full and possibly move from there to reading the paper in Nature please click on the image below:

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The third in my science trio comes from the Smithsonian and has the self explanatory title “NASA Wants the Public to Log In to Help Find Plant 9”. To read the piece in full please click on the image below.

Planet 9

A SATIRICAL PAMPHLET
FROM UNLOCK DEMOCRACY

To read this pamphlet from Unlock Democracy  in full please click the screenshot of the cover below:

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SOME FINAL PHOTOGRAPHS

This set of pictures are of items that will be going under the hammer in James and Sons’ March auction, a full catalogue listing for which can be viewed here. 

127
Lot 127
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Lot 128
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Lot 140
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Lot 141
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Lot 142
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Lot 143
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Lot 149 (three separate images joined together)
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149-b. In the past, before the American way of reckoning up large numbers took over, a 1 with nine zeros after it was not designate one billion, but either one thousand million or one milliard, and one of the banknotes here shows that the Germans with a small difference in spelling used the same word when necessary.
149-c
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393-c. When putting these together I decided to make this image the centre of the picture, thereby splitting the two sets of booklets.
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407 – a four piece composite image
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407-e – I could not resist extracting this close-up.

Tackling the MP

Some stuff about putting pressure on MPs, some photographs and some general links.

INTRODUCTION

As well as the stuff relating to Sir Henry Bellingham, MP for Northwest Norfolk and therefore my local MP I have a few other links and of course a selection of photographs. Also before I move into the main body of the post I start with…

ERRATUM

In my last post but one I described one the birds I had photographed as a long-tailed tit, when it was actually a pied wagtail. I have as those following the link will note made the correction to the original post, but I am not going to settle for the blogging equivalent of a correction notice in 6pt type at the bottom of page 27!

TACKLING THE MP 1: AN UNSATISFACTORY RESPONSE

I recently contacted my MP as part of a campaign brought to my attention by Alex Runswick of Unlock Democracy. Here is Sir Henry’s utterly predictable and deeply unsatisfactory response to my message about Propotional Representation:

Thank you for contacting me about Proportional Representation (PR).

I am afraid that I do not agree with your views on PR, and fully support First Past the Post (FPTP). This tried and tested system ensures stability and clear governance,
preventing disproportionate influence by minority parties with minimal public support, who typically end up holding the balance of power in PR systems.

The British people were clear on this matter in 2011. While the Early Day Motion suggests that the referendum is not relevant, it is clear that the verdict was not only
against the Alternative Vote system, but in favour of FPTP. The system is clearly well established and understood by voters, and also provides a very clear link between
constituents and their representatives in Parliament.

More often than not, FPTP results in a Government with a working majority in Parliament, making decisive government possible. It allows the formation of a clear opposition
that can provide an alternative to, and a check on, the Government of the day. The Government therefore has no plans to change the voting system for elections to the
House of Commons.

I note that EDM 591 endorses the principle of votes that count equally. This is exactly what is happening through the Boundary Review, which will equalise the size of
constituencies. As it stands, some constituencies have twice as many electors as others, and this cannot be right.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Every Best Wish

Henry Bellingham

Sir Henry Bellingham MP for North West Norfolk
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

The reference to the 2011 referendum is particularly annoying, since the system on offer as an alternative was very nearly as flawed as FPTP. Also in 2011 we had not had the farce of the 2015 General Election which saw a party in receiving the votes of 24% of the electorate enabled to form a so-called “majority government”. 

TACKLING THE MP 2: A BUS SERVICES BILL

The Better Transport Campaign are seeking to get people to contact their MPs to gain support for a strong Bus Services Bill. For more details of what this is all about and if applicable to contact your MP (as I have already done, though not in my case with any real hope let alone expectation of support) please click the screenshot below:

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 PHOTOGRAPHS

Today was a nice sunny afternoon…

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OTHER LINKS

Rationalising the Universe have put up an excellent post titled Quantum Numbers. To see the full post click on the diagram illustrating the shapes of electron orbitals that I have included below as a sample:

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Ficitional newsreader Jonathan Pie provides a pungent take on the Trump inauguration (be warned there is some seriously strong language):

Finally, to end on light note, here is a link to a Guardian quiz entitled “what is your travel identity?”. When I did it it told me based on my answers that I always followed trends and sought to be cool. Anyone familiar with either me or this blog will realise that this assessment is further off beam than a faulty Trident!

 

A Sunny Morning in West Norfolk

An account, complete with a fine haul of photos, of a walk around King’s Lynn. This is followed by some important links and some interesting infographics. Please share widely.

INTRODUCTION

Being up bright and early this morning and noting the sunny weather I headed off for a walk. The body of this post is devoted to sharing the best sights from that walk. After that I have some links and infographics to share. I hope you enjoy this post and will be encouraged to share it.

THE WALK

My first ports of call were…

THE TUESDAY MARKET PLACE AND ST NICHOLAS CHAPEL

These places looked very fine in the sun. The extensive restoration work on the chapel is now nearly complete.

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From there I headed to…

BAWSEY DRAIN

This is a far more significant waterway than that name may suggest, and was rewarded with a clutch of fine pictures in that section of the walk…

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Watching and waiting in the undergrowth...
Watching and waiting in the undergrowth…

I left Bawsey drain part way along it’s length to head towards the Great Ouse by means of a nice route that I know, but I am briefly going to diverge from strict geographical recounting for a subsection on…

BUTTERFLIES

The butterflies were out in force, but it is always difficult to photograph them due to their speed. Nevertheless, I did get some good pics to share…

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This was the last butterfly  I got, while walking through Hardings Pits
This was the last butterfly I got, while walking through Hardings Pits
This was the first butterfly pic I got today.
This was the first butterfly pic I got today.
The only non-animal flyer I got today - a helicopter (Helico- = spiral, pteron = wing)
The only non-animal flyer I got today – a helicopter (Helico- = spiral, pteron = wing)
This one had its wings folded.
This one had its wings folded.

ARRIVING AT THE GREAT OUSE

Just a few pics here, but it was a delight to see the river at very high tide…

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My next set of pictures are themed around a small but (to me) very significant little landmark which I have dubbed…

CORMORANT PLATFORM

The very high tide meant that most of the structure was submerged, and the presence of boats and the river and West Lynn Church on the far bank also contributed to a great set of pictures…

A brilliant piece of photobombing by the flying gull!
A brilliant piece of photobombing by the flying gull!
Multiple species of bird coexisting peacefully.
Multiple species of bird coexisting peacefully.
The platform and a boat.
The platform and a boat.

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The church contributing to the scene.
The church contributing to the scene.

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Two cormorants took wing in my direction.
Two cormorants took wing in my direction.

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Not all of the boats i saw on the river were there for leisure purposes – there was also a…

RESEARCH VESSEL

Four pics showing the boat and website details…

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From here all that was left was…

THE HOME STRETCH

The pictures I took in these final few minutes are very varied…

One last boat pic.
One last boat pic.
The Custom House.
The Custom House.
Looking north from the Lower Purfleet.
Looking north from the Lower Purfleet.
An adult moorhen in the Upper Purfleet
An adult moorhen in the Upper Purfleet
The smallest baby moorhen I have ever seen.
The smallest baby moorhen I have ever seen.

We have reached the end of my walk, but I do hope some of you stay for the…

LINKS

I have a shed load of important links to share, starting with some on…

CONSERVATION

My first link comes courtesy of Huffington Post and features Richard Dawkins giving Idaho huntress Sabrina Corgatelli the full treatment.

My next three links are part of a developing story involving airlines stopping the idiots from getting their “trophies” home…

  1. First to step up to the plate by refusing to carry such items were Delta.
  2. Who have already been joined by American Airlines and United.
  3. On change.org a petition is taking off to get South African Airways to impose a like ban.

Although it was a universally revered lion whose demise sparked this activity they are not the only species targeted by noxious individuals, and my next link is to a take part petition on behalf of the elephant.

Finally in this subsection, from Mark Avery comes a story about hen harriers which was written in response to a piece in the Telegraph that was shockingly inaccurate even by the “standards” of that detestable rag.

SCIENCE

Just a few links in this subsection. First up, a brilliant scheme from Norway to combat climate change (unlike the “I’m all right Jack” types who currently form the British government these people can see beyond their own immediate concerns). I am also classing as science these two connected links regarding London postcodes:

1)From londonist an interesting post about why London which has compass point themed postcodes beginning with E, SE,SW,W,NW and N has no S or NE postcodes.

2)The website of the author of the above piece, mapping modernity.

Finally in this section, a quirky piece about science facts, accompanied by a graphic. courtesy of viralands – there are 22 facts in total in this piece.

Scientific Facts

DISABILITY AND AUTISM

A few links in this section, which i shall present as a bulleted list:

CELEBRATE SUFFRAGETTES NOT SERIAL KILLERS

I mentioned this yesterday, and the story has moved on since then. My source today is Socialist Worker with a piece giving great detail, including the fact that the museum which got planning permission on false pretences did not open yesterday as planned – let us hope that in it’s current incarnation as a musuem dedicated to Jack the Ripper it never does open its doors. here are the two links:

  1. The Socialist Worker article.
  2. The 38degrees petition

ODDS AND ENDS

A final bulleted lists of links that did not belong anywhere above but which I wish to share:

INFOGRAPHICS

A few infographics to round things off…

Earth Age End the Great Housing Giveaway IDS

There is a link to the story behind this earlier in the blog.
There is a link to the story behind this earlier in the blog.

Social Exclusion Map Stop benefit sanctions

A King’s Lynn Walk

An account of a walk in an around King’s Lynn.

This walk started and finished at my compact town centre flat, and with frequent photography stops occupied two and a quarter hours.

I was on my way down the stairs that take me to street level when I took my first pic of the day, the top of the Clifton House Tower…

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From there I crossed the Baker Lane Car Park, took the bridge over the upper Purfleet and headed for the lower Purfleet and the Custom House…

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Just in shot above you can see part of the statue of Captain Vancouver…

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Where the lower Purfleet joins the Great Ouse is a glass sculpture…

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The next point of interest is the new jetty on the Great Ouse, not in use at the moment in deep midwinter…

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Hot on the heels of this comes Marriott’s Warehouse, which required two shots to do it justice…

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Next up was the carcass of the old Somerfeld and Thomas building…

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After crossing the lower Millfleet on the bridge that has a high water mark from December 2013 the next site was the remains of Boal Quay…

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A few minutes later came the meeting of the Nar and Ouse, and the structure I have dubbed ‘Cormorant Platform’. Sadly none of the birds in question were there today, but still the picture is a fine one…

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My next port of call was Hardings Pits…

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Crossing the Nar as I headed towards the next stage of the walk I got this picture…

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Next, as I headed towards the parkland areas came one of King’s Lynn’s most distinctive landmarks, the South Gate…

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From here I walked along London Road as far as the light controlled crossing, crossed and headed through Terrace Court and an alleyway to the Seven Sisters entrance to the parkland area…

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As I headed towards Guanock Gate and the Vancouver Garden I got a sight of The Walks, home to King’s Lynn Town FC (only two more promotions needed to gain league status)…

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The Guanock Gate came next, closely followed by a shot of the Red Mount Chapel looking along the upper Millfleet…

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Next came the Vancouver Garden, which I entered via one bridge and left via the other (these are the only two means of getting in or out unless you fancy a dip in open water – definitely not recommended in an English January! This area is always worth a good few photographs, and so it proved once again…

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A few minutes after this I arrived at Tennyson Road, and two more interesting things, the educational fence, a sample fo which I photographed and the King’s Lynn signal box…

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From there until Lynn Sport, a few minutes later, there is nothing of great significance, though for the first part of that distance the path runs between two academies for those interested in such things. Lynn Sport has some interesting stuff outside it, notable the brickwork bus and the ornate mile post. It also boasts an elaborate weathercock…

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Shortly after this comes the first glimpse of Bawsey Drain, which I was going to follow all the way back to town, but I started with a shot looking the other way…

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The walk along Bawsey Drain did yield a few interesting (for me at least) shots, reproduced below, the large number of flying birds as approached the town end of it being particularly impressive…

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Getting a good shot of St Nicholas Chapel is a challenge because you need to be far enough away to get it all in. Also, it is undergoing repairs/ renovations at the moment. I was pleased with this one…

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From St Nic’s it was on to the Tuesday Market Place, where as well as getting a full shot of the Corn Market I also noticed a glass sculpture on the same lines as the one where the lower Purfleet meets the Great Ouse…

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Finally, I delayed my return home just sufficiently to get some shots of the Guildhall (8 in total) and King’s Lynn Minster…

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I enjoyed doing this walk, and enhancing my photo collection.

Monday in King’s Lynn

Having been confined to barracks all morning as I was waiting for two deliveries (both materialised – my new tenancy agreement, and a Christmas present for a cousin that I then had to send on to Australia) I was glad to get out and about immediately after lunch, especially as the weather was pleasant for an English November.

Therefore, having taken the package for Australia down to the post office, forked over a noticeable amount of cash and obtained proof of posting I set off on a walk in the course of which I obtained some decent photos even while restricted to the old Samsung (a phone call to the shop in Dereham revealed that the components were delivered at the end of last week, so I really should not have much longer to wait).

My twitter following continues to grow at a satisfying rate, with 400 rapidly approaching.

Now for some pictures…

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