Autism Acceptance Revisited

A post sharing some of the best recent stuff about autism from the true experts – autistic people.

INTRODUCTION

As this is an Autism themed post and we are still in the month of April my text will all be in #RedInstead. Links will be in bold and underlined. 

AUTISM ACCEPTANCE

Autism acceptance is about people accepting us for who we are, focussing on the positives and on our abilities, not on our limitations (both perceived and actual, though the former are both much greater and much more important in terms of the effect on us). The Art of Autism recently put up and excellent post about this titled “THIS BEAUTY QUEEN’S MESSAGE IS AUTISM ACCEPTANCE“. I offer this screenshot as a tempter:

AOA

ABA THERAPY = CHILD ABUSE

ABA stands for Applied Behaviour Analysis, and is still recommended in certain circles. Those who were subjected to this as children and have subsequently written about it are unanimous in condemning it. It would appear based on this sample that the most frequent outcome of ABA therapy is that an autistic person ends up an autistic person with Post Traumatic Sress Disorder. I link to two very substantial pieces by a former practitioner of ABA who has learned the error of her former ways, with thanks to Rachel Rainey who put me on to these two pieces today. The pieces posted by madasbirdsblog are:

  1. The original mea culpa piece titled “I ABUSED CHILDREN FOR A LIVING
    MC
  2. A follow up piece provoked by a response defending ABA, titled “I ABUSED CHILDREN AND SO DO YOU: A RESPONSE TO AN ABA APOLOGIST“. This piece is very long (over 9,000 words) but I recommend you read it in full. My screenshot comes from just after the start of the post, and I hope muy reasons for this choice will be obvious:
    ABAdetailed.jpg

A NEW FIND WITH A
GREAT “WHAT IF?” PIECE

  1. This next piece was originally published in May 2016 but is still absolutely relevant. From a blog called autnot and titled “If the world was built for me” it does precisely what you might expect from the title. The screenshot below is from the end of it:

If.jpg

ERIN HUMAN’S ABLEISM SERIES

Regular visitors to this site will know that I have been greatly impressed by Erin Human’s series of posts focussing on ableism. I am delighted to share with you two new posts in this series:

  1. A piece titled “Is there a cure for ableism?” which tackles ways in which this scourge can be dealt with.
  2. Under the title “Ableism Therapies” a post which lists some important links:

‘AWARENESS’ IS NOT ENOUGH

Some of you may have noticed that unusually for a post of this nature I have yet to mention thesilentwaveblog. Fear not, I conclude the business part of this post with a link to a post titled “Awareness’ is not enough ~ Part 3: Talk is cheap.  Please take action“.

PHOTOGRAPHS

BRCHB1
Another railway themed horse brass. I will be doing a piece connected to this on my London transport themed website eventually. This first picture is formatted as a link to the website of the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.

DSCN6260

 

The Dean Forest Railway

A post hung on a horse brass. This post enables you to follow the trail of the internet explorations that this item inspired me to carry out.

INTRODUCTION

I have recently been given this horse brass:

DSCN5996

A combination of my knowledge of geography, the name of the railway company at the top of the brass and the fact that the locomotive depicted is a Great Western Railway one told me that this railway was located in the county of my birth – Gloucestershire. This was sufficient for me to look further…

THE DEAN FOREST RAILWAY TODAY

Today the Dean Forest Railway is a heritage railway, but through tickets valid on it can be bought on ordinary railways. They have a website which looks very detailed to me.

It would seem that if you are based anywhere close to west Gloucestershire this railway can offer you an excellent day out. 

MORE ABOUT THE
DEAN FOREST RAILWAY

There is a very detailed Wikipedia entry about this railway, which started its railway existence (it was a tramway before then) as the Severn and Wye Valley Railway in 1868, and entered its current phase of existence in 1971. 

9681 lydney junction north 2.jpg

THE HORSE BRASS FULL GALLERY

Here are the photographs I have of this item, ending with a picture of it in its current place:

DSCN5996
The whole thing.
DSCN5997
Close up of the title.
DSCN5998
Close up of the inscription on the locomotive
DSCN5999
The whole locomotive.
DFRHB
In its new niche – my hot water tank is behind this door btw..

Autism Acceptance Month

Setting the scene for Autism Acceptance Month, explaining why the original title, Autism Awareness Month is no longer acceptable. Numerous links and photographs.

INTRODUCTION

This post is by way of setting the stage for April, which starts tomorrow after all. As well as my own stuff this contains links from other autism related sources. The title of the post begs a question…

WHY NOT AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH?

There are two parts to the answer to this question:

  1. The original title is tainted by its associations. A very large organisation which I shall not name (think blue jigsaw pieces though) which presents itself as an autism charity but should be treated as a hate group uses this name. Although I am separated from this organisation by the width of the Atlantic Ocean I am a thoroughgoing internationalist and therefore stand in solidarity with autistic folk across the pond and refuse to use the tainted title.
  2. Even aside from being tainted the title is not fit for purpose. Awareness by itself means precisely nothing. I have created a simple graphic showing how things needs to progress from the basic starting point of awareness:
    AUA
    It is from that final goal of acceptance that the alternative title, coined across the Atlantic for reasons I have already stated, and gratefully adopted by me, comes. I have chosen white text against a purple background for my graphic because purple is the colour used by the National Autistic Society (NAS), and I am branch secretary of NAS West Norfolk.

SOME AUTISM RELATED LINKS

I start with this section with a link to a very detailed listing of blogs by people who are #actuallyautistic. To view this valuable resource in full please click on the screenshot below:

AABL

Next up is a piece from Eclectic Autistic titled “Wrong Model, Wrong Research”. This piece attacks what the author calls our society pathologizing difference and I recommend that you read it, which you can do by clicking on the title above.

Now we come to one of the pieces that inspired this post. It was created my mamautistic, and has the title “Being Autistic is Everything – Autistic Acceptance” and you can access it by clicking the image below.

Next we come to a good news story from the Irish Times. Shannon Airport has become the first airport in the world to open a sensory room for the benefit of autistic passengers. For the full story click on the graphic below which is taken from it.

Ryan Cunningham (4) from Gaelscoil Donncha Rua, Shannon tries out Shannon Airport’s new sensory room.  Photograph: Diarmuid Greene/True Media

We now come to a special subsection of this sharing section of the post…

A SILENTWAVE SMORGASBORD

The silentwaveblog has played a major role in inspiring this post, with one post in particular, the last of the three I shall be sharing, virtually setting the creation of this post in motion. 

  1. This piece, titled “The Double Edged Sword of Labels in the Autistic World”, is quite simply the best analysis of the rights and wrongs of labelling that I have ever come across. It also ends with a splendid vision of a future that may just be within reach. To read in full please click on the image below.
  2. Next we have “The problem with the OWN channel’s ‘For Peete’s Sake’ reality show“, which is an excellent critique of a newly launched TV show. This show may (being charitable) have been created with the intention of being part of the solution but it is quite clear from silentwave’s analysis that poor/ absent research plus maybe a bit of laziness has turned it into part of the problem. Click on the image below to read in full.
  3. The post that I regard as having pushed the starter button for this one was put up the day before yesterday and is titled “Update, March 29: what I’ve been doing lately & Autism Awareness Month“. I posted a comment in response to it when I first saw it, and the enthusiastic response from silentwave to that comment prompted to me to expand on it here. To read it in full please click on the graphic below.

THE FINAL SHARE: A VIDEO

This video, called Amazing Things Happen, has already been viewed almost 2.5 million times. Having seen it on facebook I offer you this link. Below is Amazing Things Happen’s own description of the video:

Amazing Things Happen

An introduction to autism that aims to raise awareness among young non-autistic audiences, to stimulate understanding and tolerance in future generations.

It is intended to be viewed, discussed and shared widely by anyone but especially teachers and parents.

PHOTOGRAPHS: A MEETING OF TWO SPECIAL INTERESTS

Regular followers of this blog will be well aware that I always like to include some of my own photographs somewhere in my posts. Since this post is by way of being an introduction to Autism Acceptance Month I decided to theme this section created from one of my special interests, photography, around another, railwayana. You will note the use of the phrase “special interest” in preference to “obsession”, with the latter having negative connotations. Similarly it is preferable to refer to Autistic Spectrum Conditions rather than Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Here are those pictures…

DSCN5307
This was given to me by a work colleague (four images).

ASLEFDSCN5308DSCN5309

1-10pics
These are the pictures I took of lot 369 and said in my previous post that I would be sharing them on here. I omitted to capture the text for cards 41-50, but otherwise this gallery is complete and has some close ups as a bonus.

1-10text11-20pics11-20text

21-30text
You will notice that having started with British cards this set also has some international ones.

21-30pics31-4031-40pics41-50pics

EgPalpics
The first of eight close up pictures, each of which features two cards. Only one of the four pairs of cards chosen for this treatment is British.

EgPaltextRh-SopicsRh-SotextSSRpicsSSRtext

Undergroundpics
The only British trains to merit a close-up in my gallery.

Undergroundtext

I end this piece with another showing of the graphic that appeared in the introduction and then a final message:

AUA

ENJOY AUTISM ACCEPTANCE MONTH!!

James and Sons March Auction

An account of James and Sons’ March auction with lots of photographs. Also a brief mention of the theme of my next blog post.

INTRODUCTION

James and Sons’ March auction took place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, with the first two days taking place at our premises on Norwich Street, while the third took place at Fakenham Racecourse.

DAY 1: LOTS 1-500

I arrived at the shop at 8:30AM, the setup was accomplished with no serious hitches, and the sale got underway at 10AM as planned. The first lots to go under the hammer were coins, and a few of them sold well, with a large internet presence making up for the fact that we had very few people bidding live. After coins came banknotes and related epehmera, including the first Traveller’s Cheques to feature in a James and Sons auction. Here are some pictures of lots in this part of the sale…

25
This was lot 25
140
Lot 140.
254
Lot 254 (two images – the first Travellers Cheque lot)

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255-b
Lot 255 (six images, the other Travellers Cheque lot)

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The remaining lots to go under the hammer on day 1 were cigarette cards, Liebig cards and match attack cards. None of these fared especially well. I therefore end this section with a picture of one lot that did sell and will feature in much more detail in my next post…

369

Lot 369 went to me. My next post on this blog will be about what I shall be referring as Autism Acceptance Month in preference to the older, less expressive and misappropriated (I won’t name the culprits, but if you want a clue think blue jigsaw pieces) Autism Awareness Month, and I shall display these pictures in the context of talking about special interests. 

DAY 2: LOTS 501-950

This was in many ways the most stressful of the three days, because in addition to the middle part of the auction it featured the setup at the racecourse to enable people to preview the third day lots in advance. The auction part of the day was very quiet, although there was one brief moment of excitement around lot 696, a Chinese stamp for which I do not have an image (I rarely do stamps these days because they are easy to scan and my time is better spent doing the more difficult imaging). 

After the auction part of the day finished I helped with the unloading of items of the racecourse to be set up for the morrow, took some close up photographs of a couple of items that were needed to enable me to answer last minute queries and walked back to the shop (it takes about 15 minutes from the Prince of Wales Suite, the part of the racecourse where we hold our auctions) to edit the images and answer the queries. I also got a small amount of April imaging done before closing time (having arrived early to ensure that I had time to do the IT setup, and given the day that I knew to lie in store for me on the morrow I was not going to burning midnight oil, and when the last of my shop based colleagues finished his day at 3PM and I had seen him out I called it a day myself. Here are some pictures of the lots I was answering 11th hour queries about…

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The first five of these images relate to lot 1142.

DSCN5316DSCN5317DSCN5318DSCN5319

DSCN5320
The remaining images relates to lot 1117 – a gun stock without the barrel which would have been stored inside it. Both these items sold for good money in the end.

DSCN5321DSCN5322DSCN5323DSCN5324DSCN5325

DAY THREE: LOTS 951-1560

In view of the fact that the catalogue advertised viewing at the racecourse from 8AM I decided to get the first bus of the morning to Fakenham, which leaves King’s Lynn at 6:28AM. I was therefore outside the Prince of Wales Suite at about 7:30AM, and had to wait for someone else to arrive with a key to open it up. Still, while waiting I did get this picture:

lbs

With the setup accomplished, and knowing that all was working properly I could get some pictures from the venue (the first had actually been taken the day before):

After a fairly quiet start to the day the militaria sold well and the toys/ collectors models also fared well. As on the first two days it was the online bidders (who by the end of the auction numbered some 350) who were responsible for most of the action. The auction finished, it remained to dismantle the sale, load the goods up and transport them back to the shop. This was accomplished just quick enough for me to get the 3:35 bus home. The third day more than made up for the comparative quietness of the first two. James and Sons next auction is on April 24, 25 and 26, with all three days happening at our shop on Norwich Street. Here are a few final pictures to conclude.

951
This was the first lot under the hammer on day 3.

951-a951-b

1110
This lot was the subject of query that led to the taking of a number of extra images (the sale price justified the extra work many times over)

1110-dea1110-m1110-m11110-m21110-m3

1301
This was the first of toy/ collector’s model lots.
1458
This little thing did not make big money (I will be collecting it and paying for both lots that I won when I go back to work on Tuesday).

Super Sharing Saturday – Transport and the Environment

Some links relating to transport and the environment and some pictures.

 INTRODUCTION

As my first post of today indicated I have a lot of stuff to share, and I am breaking it into sections. In this post I deal with stuff that relates to transport and the environment (linked by the fact that how one handles the former can have huge effects on the latter). 

TRANSPORT

I start this subsection with two links from the…

CAMPAIGN FOR BETTER TRANSPORT 

The first of these links, to a piece titled “What is the chancellor’s plan for transport” provides some detail on what the recent spring budget offered in terms of transport. Please click on the Campaign for Better transport logo below to read this piece in full.

CBT

The second piece from the Campaign for Better Transport is titled “show the love to transport”, which gives some detail about both the actual and potential threat posed to Britain’s transport system by climate change. Please click on the image below, which shows those London Underground stations under threat from flooding to read the article full. 

Image of tube map with green hearts to show stations at risk of flooding

To finish off the section, a link to the TFL “report it to stop it”page about unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport, which I have already posted about on my London transport themed website.

THE ENVIRONMENT

Three pieces in this little section as well, starting one from Sian Berry titled “Mayors Guidance Won’t Stop Estate Demolitions”. To read this excellent piece in full please click the image below:

Sian Berry with residents at Central Hill Estate

Next comes a piece from livescience.com titled “Carbon Dioxide is Warming the Planet (Here’s How)” which includes a short video, as well as the excellent text and the image below which I am using as the link.

My final piece in this section comes from the Guardian on how climate change battles are increasingly being fought and won in court. To read it click on the image below…

Campaigners outside South Africa’s Pretoria high court during the country’s first climate change lawsuit

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here are some pictures to finish…

1251
This is lot 1251 in our March auction (27th, 28th and 29th).
975
Lot 975, same auction (two images)

975-a

967
Lot 967, same auction
HH
Hanse House as viewed from the riverside.
HHplaque
The explanatory plaque.
Piedwagtail
A pied wagtail neatly framed by yellow painted lines.
Moon
The moon in an early evening sky (taken on Thursday).

 

Autism, Work and Links

The launch of a new facebook page with NAS West Norfolk connections, a bit about yesterday at work and some very interesting links.

INTRODUCTION

For the benefit of new readers it is worth reminding people that I am both NAS West Norfolk branch secretary and #actuallyautistic. Although the the National Autistic Society (NAS) has some paid staff at its London HQ branches are run by volunteers and branch money comes exclusively from fund-raising. This post therefore starts with some news from NAS West Norfolk that I consider worth sharing before continuing with a bit about yesterday at work which will include pictures and ending with some interesting links.

THE LAUNCH OF A NEW FACEBOOK PAGE

NAS West Norfolk’s Sports Co-ordinator, Grant Cotton, creator of the Autism Awareness Cup, has created a new facebook page to link all his activities. It can be viewed by clicking the image below:

YESTERDAY AT JAMES AND SONS

Yesterday was devoted to imaging as many of those lots for the March auction that were not yet images as possible (a catalogue for this auction, taking place on the 27th, 28th and 29th of March, can be viewed here). Most of the imaging I was doing yesterday was of coin lots. Here some pictures…

248-a
This is lot 248 – a seven image gallery for you to look at

248248-b248-c248-d248-e248-f

249
This is lot 249 – a four image gallery.

249-a249-b249-c

120
From here until lot 124 we are looking at hi-res scans. Although I produced my usual three-image galleries for these coins with on exception I am sharing only the main image.

119105

80
The exception – this New Zealand florin from 1934, where I choose to show the close-ups as well.

80-b80-a121122123

124
Lot 124 – the last of the scans
108
Lot 108 – the packaging indicated that three of these coins were special, so I did close ups as well as the main images

108-a108-b

108-c
The close ups

108-e108-d

107
Lot 107 – this time the packaging suggested that two of the coins deserved special attention, so they got it.

107-a107-b

107-c
The close ups.

107-e107-d

222
Lot 222
223
Lot 223. This horrible plastic tub did not have a lid, so I rehoused the lot in a nice wooden box with a fully functioning lid (I did a ‘meringue’ style test on it, turning it upside down with the coins inside, making sure that it was not too high above a flat, clear surface when I did so).
224
Lot 224.

LINKS

Most of these links are science related, so to clear the decks I shall start with the exception. This comes courtesy of Skwawkbox, and is a devastating indictment of Theresa May and her ‘sweetheart deal’ with Surrey County Council. I agree with the Skwawkbox assessment that this should be considered as resignation matter. As another blogger, Mike Sivier, put it when commenting on this same issue: “a turd by any other name would smell as faecal and this one sgtinks of big fat lie”. To read the Skwawbox piece click here.

SCIENCE 1: FROM LIVESCIENCE

Two very different pieces from the same source here. The first deals with small things (specifically spiders), the second with something very large (a nebula).

  1. Wolf spiders having threesomes (yes, you read that right). Female wolf spiders are noted for eating their mates after copulation, and it may be that if two males tackle the same female there is more chance of one of them not being cannibalised. For the full story please click on the image below:
  2. This piece is about the discovery of a huge new nebula and the attendant mystery of what its light source might be. For the full story click on the image below:

SCIENCE 2: WEIT (WITH AN ASSIST FROM YOU TUBE)

It is no great secret that I am a huge fan both of Jerry Coyne’s books (Why Evolution is True and Faith Versus Fact) and of the associated blog, whyevolutionistrueThus I am delighted to share with you the fact that a video series on  chapter one of Why Evolution Is True is now being created. Episodes 1-3 are available to watch (and highly recommended by this blogger!), and according to WEIT’s own piece about the series there are two more episodes to come (yay!). I have embedded the videos below (they run in sequence) – enjoy!

A Very Successful Three Day Auction

An account of James and Sons auction, which took place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

INTRODUCTION

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week James and Sons had its second ever three day auction. This one had the additional twist that two different venues were being used, our own premises in Fakenham on days 1 and 2 and the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich on day 3. 

DAY 1: FAKENHAM

I caught the 7:30 bus from Lynn to Fakenham, thus arriving at James and Sons at just before 8:30AM (this bus doubles as a school bus, so follows a more circuitous route from Lynn to Fakenham than the usual X29 route and therefore takes 15 minutes longer to make the journey than a regular bus). Thus I was able to get the setup done in plenty of time, and the auction got underway at the appointed hour of 10AM. On this day stamps, postal history and first day covers were being sold. There were a couple of room bidders, and thankfully large numbers of online bidders (over 250 by the end of day 3). Although there were not many things going for big amounts of money a lot of stuff did sell, and the auction had started well. I have no pictures from day 1 of this auction, but here are some images of items that will be going under the hammer in our March auction, which will be on the 27th, 28th and 29th of that month. 

1031-a
These first two pictures of lot 1031 in the March auction, which has an interesting story. This item is a grass sledge, designed and built by a craftsman in Sussex for use on the Downs.

1031

394
The remaining images here are cigarette cards photographed after day 1 of the auction finished and before I went home.

395396397398399400401402403404405406

DAY 2: FAKENHAM

The routine was the same as on day 1, but the items under the hammer were different. This day featured photographs, postcards, a few books, records, ephemera, Liebig cards, cigarette cards, cheques and coin first day covers. For most of the day there was no one present at the venue who was not a James and Sons employee, but the internet was very lively for much of the time. I had two moments of good fortune. The first featured…

LOT 864

Here are the official images of this lot:

864-a864

My opening bid of £10 was unopposed, and here are the photographs I took this morning showing the entire booklet in all its glory:

wrewre-awre-bwre-cwre-dwre-ewre-fwre-gwre-hwre-iwre-jwre-kwre-lwre-mwre-nwre-o

About 10 minutes later we got to…

LOT 891

Here is the image gallery for this lot:

891891-a

My opening bid of £8 again went uncontested, and here is a much more comprehensive set of pictures of this lot…

ttrh
We start with front and back images of the cards in sets of six (the complete set contains 30)

ttrh-attrh-httrh-ittrh-lttrh-mttrh-nttrh-ottrh-rttrh-s

ttrh-b
Then we have close ups of some of the more interesting cards – this one is Richard Trevithick’s Pen-y-Darren (that y is pronounced roughly as a “uh” sound), the first commercially operated steam locomotive ever. Steam engine technology predates this by approximately 1800 years – Heron of Alexandria designed a steam operated device for opening temple doors.

ttrh-c

ttrh-d
The most famous of all the very early locos – Stephenson’s rocket.

ttrh-e

ttrh-f
This Metropolitan Railway locomotive was designed specifically for operating in tunnels.

ttrh-gttrh-jttrh-k

ttrh-p
Luxury travel on the Brighton Belle

ttrh-q

ttrh-t
I travelled on this stock when I visited Scotland in 1993.
ttrh-u
The only other stock in this set of 30 that I have travelled on, the legendary Intercity 125.

ttrh-v

Overall this was a better day than we had expected – there were only a few quiet spots.

DAY 3: NORWICH

The fact that we were in Norwich for the final day of this auction meant that the stuff had to be loaded up to be transported over there, which was done at the end of day 2. It also meant that since I was going to have be in Norwich earlier than I could get there using the X29 that I claimed £5.50 in excess travel expenses as the cost of travelling there on the First Eastern Counties X1 is £11 as opposed to £5.50 if I can use the Stagecoach X29 route.

As intended I left my flat at 5:15AM and was on the 5:30 bus from King’s Lynn to Norwich, arriving at the venue at 7:30. I had my laptop with me because James and Sons were one laptop short (two working machines when we needed three). The setup was just about completed before the first viewers started turning up, and there were no issues of any sort. 

Here are some photos from that early period:

dscn3893

dscn3894
This item sold for a fair amount of money.
dscn3895
The rostrum – the black machine belongs to my employer, and we ran the operator screen (my responsibility) from it, while the white machine is mine, and we ran the auctioneer screen from that.

dscn3896dscn3897dscn3898

dscn3899
Only a few of these big stamp lots sold, although both helmets found buyers.

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A distant view of the main display area, and visible through the window, the wall of the Cathedral Close.

THE FIRST PART OF THE SALE – COINS & BANKNOTES

There were no headline making prices, but most of these lots sold, some doing very well. We had decided to have a 15 minute break after lot 1,300 (we started the day at lot 1,000). Just before the end of the session we came to some commemorative medallions from the Gigantic Wheel, which was a feature of Earls Court between 1897 and 1906. The first was lot 1,286, which I ignored as being beyond my means. Lot 1287 however, which was only a little inferior in quality was cheaper, and my bid of £10 duly secured it. Here for comparative purposes are first the official images, scanned at 600 dpi and brightened up a bit, and then the two photographs I took today:

1287
For auction purposes I scan each face and then produce a combined image as well as c,lose ups of each face

1287-a1287-b

ecgw-a
The photographs from earlier today.

 

ecgw-b
For the record, these medallions are approximately the same size as a Queen Victoria penny.

THE SECOND PART: MILITARIA AND STAMPS

The Militaria sold well. A chess set with German markings achieved barely credible £170. Here is the official image gallery:

13961396-b1396-a

Plenty of other things did well as well. The stamps predictably enough did not fare very well, but everything else had done enough that the auction was an unequivocal success.

AFTER THE SALE

I had considered staying on in Norwich to attend a Green Party public meeting at which Richard Murphy would be speaking, but in the end after three demanding days I was too tired to even contemplate not being home until 11PM which is what that would have meant, and so after a visit to Norwich Millennium Library I took the bus home, arriving back in my flat just after 6PM.