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.

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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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Side By Side

Some musings on the county championship (cricket), and an acknowledgement of King’s Lynn’s latest effort to advertise its heritage.

INTRODUCTION

I am posting about two unrelated matters, hence the title, which is borrowed from a series of Bridge Magazine articles written many years ago by Terence Reese. The firs topic of the day is…

CRICKET

As another English season draws to a close there are two topics to cover in this section, first of all…

A THREE WAY TUSSLE FOR THE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP

Thanks to Somerset continuing their late charge with a 10 wicket victory over Yorkshire, and Lancashire earning a draw against leaders Middlesex the final round of games will commence with Middlesex, Somerset and Yorkshire in that order all in contention for the title. Owing to the fact that a decision to alter the structure of the two divisions has meant that there is only one promotion place up for grabs the second division is now settled, with Essex having secured the promotion.

In the final round of matches Middlesex will play Yorkshire at Lord’s, while Somerset face already relegated Nottinghamshire. While my chief emotion as a cricket fan is gratitude that the championship race is going down to the wire, I cannot claim complete impartiality – despite having grown up in London and possessing a Yorkshire surname, it is my support for the underdog that wins out in this contest – I will be rooting for Somerset. Somerset have never won the championship (Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire are also in this position, although the latter were named as champion county three times in the 1870s, before the official start of the county championship in 1890). Apart from being a historic first, a championship win for Somerset this year would also be a fitting reward for Marcus Trescothick as he approaches the end of a long and distinguished career with the county.

The change in the structure of the two divisions mentioned earlier, moving from nine teams in each to eight in first and ten in the second, is not the most significant one happening in English domestic cricket, that distinction going to…

THE INTRODUCTION OF CITY FRANCHISES

Yes, it has been decided by a vote of 16-3 in favour to augment the existing domestic T20 competition with an eight-team city based competition. I am not going to say either yea or nay at this stage, waiting to see how it works in practice before making a judgement. I mark the break between this section and the second section of the post with some recent photographs from King’s Lynn…

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This is the uncropped version of a butterfly picture
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And this is the cropped version.

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A CODA TO HERITAGE OPEN DAY

Beales Department Store which is near thus bus station in King’s Lynn has recently closed down. Rather than leave the frontage as blank windows, it has been used as an opportunity to advertise our town’s heritage, as shown below…

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Save for the planning notice at the end, these pictures are presented in the order in which they were taken.

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Pictures From The Stockholm Archipelago

The first post about my travels in Sweden, with lots of photographs.

INTRODUCTION

This is the first in what will be a series of posts about Sweden, where I am currently on holiday. If you enjoy this post I recommend that you make Anna’s blog your next port of call.

AN EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES

Although I have only been in Sweden since Friday night, I already have a huge number of stunning pictures to share. For this first part of my stay I have been in the company of a cousin and his Swedish fiancee Ida. My cousin met me at Stockholm central bus station (Skavsta airport, where my flight landed is too far out of town for him to meet me there, so I got the Flygbussarna into town on Friday night. On Saturday we travelled to an island that has been owned by Ida’s family for some time. This journey entailed a bus to Stavsnas, a boat out to the nearest island reachable by commercial boat, and a walk across said island, on the other side of which we met Ida who rowed us across the sound to the island on which we would be staying. Here are a few pictures from this part of the stay…

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These first couple of pictures were taken through the window of an aeroplane from high above.

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The remainder were taken either from the bus to Stavsnas or the ferry.

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The Island

This Island has no flushing toilets, and save for the main house no running water. It only got electricity in the 1940s. The sea is lovely to swim in, as I can attest from personal experience. We start with the house itself…

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Here some pictures from inside the house…

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I will be looking at more detail at the insect life I have encountered in a future post, but to whet the appetite here is a rare butterfly whose English name is Apollo…

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Now, some general pictures taken while on the island…

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As a lead up to the next section, here is a map of the Stockholm Archipelago.

SAILING THE STOCKHOLM ARCHIPELAGO IN AN OPEN BOAT

Richard and Ida had too much stuff to take back to their flat in Stockholm for the way we had reached the island to be appropriate, so we were escorted by private boat, along with Ida’s brother and his daughter. Here are some pictures from the Stockholm Archipelago…

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Lars (skipper of the boat), setting off on his return journey to the island from Stavsnas

Stavsnas to Stockholm

The last stage of the journey to the flat in which I write this, before heading off later today to catch a train to Kristinehamn, southern terminal of Inlandsbanan was by bus and tunnelbahn (the Stockholm Undergound, which I will be covering in a later post) yielded a few more pictures…

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These last six pictures feature central Stockholm, as seen from the bus as it approached Slussen.

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The West Norfolk Disability Forum

A brief account of a meeting of the West Norfolk Disability Forum and notice of a visit to Sweden.

INTRODUCTION

Most of this post is devoted to events that took place on Wednesday, but at the end of it I will have a small section looking ahead.

THE AGM OF THE WEST NORFOLK DISABILITTY FORUM

My invite to this event came from NAS West Norfolk Chair Karan, who was invited by councillor Squire. The meeting was to start at 2:30PM, but before then we were assembling at 1:00PM for a tour of Stories of Lynn in order to see what was right and what was wrong about it.

STORIES OF LYNN

I enjoyed seeing what this establishment had to offer, though I would have been under-impressed had I had to fork out the £5 admission fee because there si simply no way that what they have is worth that price. The main issues noted were that there is not enough seating in the building and that there is a lack of audio options for those who cannot read. Here are some of the pictures that I took at this stage of proceedings…

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The four big portraits tell you about themselves (all were born and raised in West Norfolk)

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The Pillory was abandoned as a method of punishment in this country about 200 years ago. A radical publisher named Daniel Isaac Eaton was one of the last to be subjected to this form of punishment – the populace delivered their own verdict by providing him with food and wine, and generally turning his spell in the pillory into something of a public triumph.

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Now that’s what I call a board game!
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The last room we saw is one where the exhbits will change periodically – this year is the 100th anniversary of RAF Marham, so at the moment that is the subject of the exhibits.
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Raf cap with cloth badge
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RAF hat with cloth badge
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The beret to which this metal badge is attached was impossible to image properly.

THE TOWN HALL

Next door to Stories of Lynn is the Town Hall, within which the meeting was to take place. We were meeting on the first floor and given my own attitude to lifts and the lack of available lift space I used the stairs. We were very early for the meeting, but refreshments had been set up in the largest of the upstairs rooms, just outside the room in which the meeting would be happening.

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The meeting room – visually spectacular, but as we to discover the accoustics were very poor.

During the pre-meeting wait the window panes within the main window that folk had marked to show when they had worked on it were shown to me. Yesterday I showed a single image that I had assembled to putting together all my indvividual images. Today, I present all the images plus a few others I took at the same time…

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Here is the composite image as a quick reminder…
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I assembled a large frame by connecting together these individual images, including one of the whole window, as the single panes were not quite enough to do the job….

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And filled the central space with an enlarged image of the whole window.

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THE MEETING

The meeting began with the election of a chair and deputy chair (the former a councillor, the latter not). As newbies and therefore not qualified to form an opinion Karan and I both declined to vote.

Once council representatives on the forum had been appointed it was the turn of non-council representatives.

Then various matters were raised, including shop signs restricting access, the state of facilities at both the bus and train stations etcetera.

Proceedings drew to a close after just over an hour.

LOOKING AHEAD

This section is necessary because I am going to Sweden for a fortnight, leaving on Friday. During that period posting will be restricted for obvious reasons. Finally, to finish this post here are some more pictures…

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Summer is Here and Other Stuff

A mention of politics, cricket and summer being here. Some good photographs as well.

INTRODUCTION

I have various things to cover, and of course pictures to share. I will work up to the pictures, covering everything else first…

LOCAL AND REGIONAL ELECTIONS

The only vote I was able to take part in was for Norfolk Police & Crime Commissioner, and although disappointed that it went the way of the Tory (by a small margin from Labour) I was pleased to see the incumbent, Mr Bett, finish a humiliating fourth.

THE LONDON MAYORAL ELECTIONS

The news from these was nearly all good. Sadiq Khan won with a record vote for any candidate in any London Mayoral election. This has probably had the added beneficial effect of ensuring that no further campaigns will be conducted under the malign influence of Sir Lizard of Oz (yes, even as the latest effort to be besmirched by his dirty pawprints was unravelling in spectacular fashion Mr Cameron was orchestrating a knighthood for him) aka Linton Crosby. Sian Berry was rewarded for the excellence of her own campaign with third place, a record vote for a Green candidate and election to the Greater London Assembly along with Caroline Russell, while Shahrar Ali just missed out on becoming a third Green GLA member.

THE OVERALL PICTURE

In the first set of elections since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader his party won 47% of the council seats contested while also succeeding in in two mayoral elections (Bristol as well as London) and two by-elections. For comparison during the first set of elections contested after the election as leader of Anthony B Liar Labout won 46% of the council seats contested, while in those days there were no mayoral elections.

CRICKET

The English cricket season is well under way, with some heavy scoring going on all over the country. May 9th 1895 was the day on which W G Grace played his first first class innings of that season, and just 21 days later he reached 1,000 runs for the season, the first time that feat had been achieved in May (the strict 1,000 in May has since been emulated only by Wally Hammond and Charlie Hallows, although Tom Hayward, Don Bradman (twice), Bill Edrich, Glenn Turner and Graeme Hick all reached 1,000 for the English season before June, having played some innings in April).

SUMMER IS HERE

After a somewhat patchy spring, summer appears to have started early. For the second straight day I am in shorts and t-shirt. Here are some summery photographs to end the post (in tiled mosic form – click on an individual to view at full size)…

Cricket Classic

An account of the finish of the Nottinghamshire vs Surrey game in the county championship, some quality photos and some important links.

INTRODUCTION

As well as an account of a classic finish in the county championship match between Surrey and Notts I have some photos and a few links to share.

SURREY’S UNAVAILING FIGHT BACK

Thanks to Kumar Sangakkara and Arun Harinath in their second innings Surrey came into the final day with half a chance of completing a Lazarus like come back. Surrey’s second innings ended on the stroke of lunch with them having built a lead of 168 – just enough that things might get interesting…

Opener Greg Smith played a solid innings for Notts, but when he was out the score was 152-7 and an upset was definitely possible. However, nos 8 and 9, with a pair of genuine tail-enders to follow saw through the danger to get Notts home by three wickets. There was no play anywhere else in the country.

PHOTOS

Owing to the nature of the day (cricket in the middle thereof), I took two walks, one in the morning and one in the evening and I have pictures from both to share…

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Shot through the window of a bus yesterday.
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All Saints Church
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The side of All Saints Church – note the checkerboard panel.

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These butterflies were enjoying the sun and the dandelions near Old Boal Quay

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This pic and the next have gone down well with my twitter followers.

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These three shots of the Brunel £2 set demarcate morning and evening pics.

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LINKS

My first link is to a piece in the Mirror which shocked me. This is a story of a school using leg gaitors to restrain a six year old autistic child.

My second link is a thunderclap “#Kidsneednature

My next three links all relate to:

ACCESSIBILITY ISSUES

The folks at disabledgo have put out a top 10 of fully accessible attractions in London which has led me to create:

  1. A new page on my London transport themed website, called “Attractions” and
  2. The introductory post to what will be a series based on the disabledgo piece.

My remaining links also belong together, constituting

THREE MORE REASONS FOR LONDONERS TO
VOTE FOR SIAN BERRY IN THE MAYORAL ELECTIONS

Sian Berry has been running the best campaign of all the contenders for London Mayor by the proverbial country mile, and today she has responded as a potential decision maker to not one or even two but three change.org petitions that I have signed. I have links below to the pages that show her very detailed and very positive responses to all three.

  1. The first is a call for a statue of a suffragette to be placed in Parliament square.
  2. The second calls for mayoral candidates to invest in youth work.
  3. Thirdly and finally is a call addressed by the creator of the petition to Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan, but today answered by Sian, to protect independent shop owners in the capital.

 

 

 

All the Bs (And a Follow Up on Autism Awareness Day)

A follow up to my Autism Awareness post, combined with some new photographs.

INTRODUCTION

The first part of my title refers to the fact that as well as birds I have a bee and some butterflies among my camera captures for the day, while the second refers to the fact that today is Autism Awareness Day and gives a nod in this direction.

MORE ON AUTISM AWARENESS DAY

I have some infographics spotted on the internet to share with you and a few links including an important petition. I will start with the petition, launched on change.org by my friend and fellow NAS West Norfolk committee member Callum Brazzo calling for greater representation of non-verbal autistics on TV and in Employment. Please follow this link to sign and share the petition, and let’s build it big!

My next link is to a splendid article posted on indepedent.co.uk which tallies very closely with my own views on autism.

Now to a link and an infographic. The link is to the website of the wonderful Anna Kennedy OBE (who will be at our Positive Autism Awareness Conference on April 15th) and the infographic is her Autism Awareness infographic:

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Another link and infographic pairing, this time to the National Autistic Society’s TMI campaign, raising awareness of sensory issues:

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The bright light at the south-eastern corner of The Wash is me putting myself on this map.

My remaining infographics come without links, and I present them in pairs, first these two general ones:

I finish this section with two warning infographics for our American friends about an organisation who are widely condemned in the autistic community:

BIRDS, BEES, BUTTERFLIES

In reverse alphabetical order, I start with some butterfly pictures…

Now we have the bee (yay!)…

Now for the rest of my pictures, which mainly feature the other B I mentioned, birds…