Cricket, Music and Local Elections

Some cricket, some music including references to the Classic FM Hall of Fame, some stuff about upcoming local elections and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

An odd combination of topics to appear in a title, but all will be made clear in the course of this post. There will of course be some of my photographs as well. 

CRICKET

The English cricket season is well underway. Because of an alteration to the structure of the two divisions of first class counties last season to a first division of eight teams and a second division of ten teams, it is now possible for all 18 first class counties to be in action simultaneously, as was not the case when there were nine teams in each division. Over this Easter weekend, for the first time since 1999 (the last season of the single division championship) all 18 of said sides have been in action. Glamorgan lost heavily to Worcestershire before today was underway. Leicestershire had also suffered an innings defeat at the hands of Gloucestershire. Essex and Somerset also finished early, a century from Alastair Cook anchoring Essex in their fourth innings chase of 255. Warwickshire only kept their match against Yorkshire alive into the fourth day because of some assistance from the weather, and having started the season with back to back innings defeats, and three shocking batting performances out of four innings, they must be considered heavy favourites for one of the relegation spots from division 1. Of the five remaining matches, Nottinghamshire are nearly done and dusted against Durham (since I wrote this Nottinghamshire have completed the job as expected, with nine wickets in hand), and it would also seem to be only a matter of time before Kent finish the job against Sussex (this match has also subsequently reached its predicted conclusion). A draw looks the most likely result in the Surrey versus Lancashire, although Surrey are not out of the woods yet. Hampshire and Middlesex also looks like being a draw, although again the Londoners are not quite safe yet. That leaves only…

DERBYSHIRE VERSUS NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

Overnight this also looked like a draw was the most likely result, with Derbyshire 128 runs to the good with 10 second winnings standing. However, some behind the scenes discussions obviously took place, since Northamptonshire spent the morning session of today feeding Derbyshire easy runs, handing Reece (168) and Godleman (156 not out) a new record opening stand for Derbyshire. A declaration at 351-1 left Northamptonshire two sessions to score 326 for victory. Whatever happens in these two session neither team will emerge from this match with much credit in my book. While Northamptonshire’s motivation was obvious, Derbyshire could easily have declined the offer, backing their batsmen to score off proper bowling. 

MUSIC

The long Easter weekend is when the Classic FM Hall of Fame is unveiled. It is assembled from listener votes. Each participant votes for their first, second and third favourite pieces of classical music, and the votes are all tallied up. The Hall of Fame comprises the top 300 pieces that emerge at the end of the process, and they are played counting down from 300 to 1 between 10AM and 10PM on each day of the weekend (it used when it first started to be 9AM to 9PM). This is the first occasion on which there has been a clash between the Hall of Fame and live cricket. I have resolved that clash by listening to the cricket when it has been on five live sports extra, and to the music at other times. The only exception to this was on Saturday afternoon, when it was time for…

MUSICAL KEYS

A shortage of available NAS West Norfolk Committee members meant that I was there for both sessions. The attendances were unsurprisingly low in both sessions. However, those who were able to make it had a good time. In the second session I renewed my acquaintanceship with Scratch 2, and next time I shall be moving on to another aspect of this program. Here are some pictures…

Kirsten
Kirsten, one of the two people from Musical Keys who run these sessions, at a very impressive looking keyboard.

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MK8
I shall be adding some mathematics to the mix in two weeks time.

LOCAL ELECTIONS

Various places in the UK will be going to the polls on May 4th. Last time I mentioned this subject I said that I was between Labour and Green, and leaning towards Green. Since then, although I have yet to receive anything from any candidates a search of the King’s Lynn & West Norfolk borough council website turned up the following information about who was standing:

candidates

In view of the fact that there are three candidates in this list of four for whom I am absolutely unwilling to vote and that I regard failing to vote as unacceptable my vote will therefore go to Mr Collis, and I urge others who are voting in this election to cast their votes for Mr Collis as well.

Moving on from my own area, there also elections taking place much more extensively in Wales and Scotland. 

WALES

In Llanbadarn Fawr ward, Powys, the Labour Party candidate is none other than Mike Sivier of Vox Political, a fact which he announced in a post titled “Vote for Mike in the local elections!

– Vox Political’s Mike Sivier is standing as a Labour Party candidate for Powys County Council’s Llanbadarn Fawr ward – and there’s more to him than a nice smile [Image: Mike Sivier].

Today, Mike has put up another post about his candidacy under the title “Shadow cabinet minister is right – local elections are about CANDIDATES, not Corbyn“.

SCOTLAND

The big debate in Scotland at the moment is over whether or not there should be a second independence referendum (#IndyRef2) following the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU, when Scotland was strongly pro-remain. It is not for me as a Sassenach to comment on whether or not Scottish independence is desirable since the only people who should be making decisions about the future of Scotland are the Scots, but I do believe that brexit is a sufficiently major change in circumstances as justify #IndyRef2, especially since one of the main claims of the no camp in 2014 was that an independent Scotland would not be able to join the EU. It would appear, if the article to which I link at the end of this section is anything to go on that the Tories seek to make the local elections in Scotland a sort of ‘pre-referendum’. Anyway, here courtesy of the website indyref2.scot, is a post that goes into detail on the issue, titled “Sending a message

Towards Indyref2…

PHOTOGRAPHS

I posted some photographs in the music section of this post, and I finish the post with some pictures mainly from outside…

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ENDNOTE – CRICKET REVISITED

During the time it took to put the above photos up both Middlesex & Hampshire and Surrey & Lancashire have shaken hands on the predicted draws. These means that only the ‘declaration bowling’ game between Derbyshire and Northamptonshire is still to be settled. 

Booking a Trip to Scotland: British Public Transport Daftness Exposed

A combination of an account of the booking of train tickets for a trip to Scotland and an expose of the sheer craziness of British public transport.

INTRODUCTION

My parents have booked a house near Kyle of Lochalsh for a week which includes my birthday. As a birthday present I have been given the wherewithal to purchase train tickets for the journey, which happens to feature one of the most scenic routes anywhere in Britain. To set the scene for the rest of this post and give you a little test here is a photograph of my railway tickets for the journey:

tickets
Can you see what it is about these tickets that even before I go any further reveals an element of daftness in British Public Transport?

BOOKING THE JOURNEY

Those of you who follow this blog with due care and attention will be aware that for some years I have been resident in King’s Lynn for some years, and had I moved I would certainly have mentioned it here. Why then is the ticket above booked as a return from Peterborough to Kyle of Lochalsh and not from King’s Lynn? 

The following screenshots will expose the reason for this and the utter craziness and illogic of pricing on British public transport.

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Note the difference in price between this ticket and the one from Peterborough (almost £60!!)
Peterborugh-Kyle
Given the immense price difference, the booking from Peterborough was bound to leave my up on the transaction (as you will see after these pictures in point of fact to the tune of some £50)
Outbound
My outbound journey.
return
The suggested return journey (don;t worry parents, I can also get back leaving on the later train from Kyle, at 12:08 and arriving home around about midnight)
KL - Peterborough
Even were I to rely on train for the King’s Lynn to Peterborough and back section of the journey two anytime day singles (the max I would have had to pay), would have set me back a mere £24.60 as opposed to price difference on the all-in-one of almost £60, but….

I will actually be travelling the King’s Lynn – Peterborough and its reverse route on the First Eastern Counties X1 bus, which will set me back £6.40 each way or £12.80 in total, making a saving of approximately £47 as compared to the all-in-one booking from King’s Lynn. 

You might think that having cut through all the BS re fares and booked the tickets the daftness would end there, but you would be wrong…

COLLECTING THE TICKETS

The booking accomplished yesterday evening, this morning I set about collecting the tickets. First, as a precaution since I would be needing to keep them safe for a long while I searched out a receptacle of suitable size, shape and robustness to put them in, locating this pretty swiftly:

ticketholder

Having thus equipped myself it was off to the library to print off some booking information that I was going to need to collect the tickets.

library

Then with the information printed it was on to the station to pick up the tickets. This is usually done via ticket machines, of which King’s Lynn station has two. Here are pictures of both machines, showing precisely why I could not use them…

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I fully understand the desirability and indeed the need to replace old ticket machines with new, but why take both out of service simultaneously? Why not take one out of service and keep the other operational until the first new machine is ready, then take the second old machine out of service and replace it, thereby keeping at least one machine operational the whole time?

Fortunately, there were staff present, and I was able to get my tickets printed at a ticket office. While waiting I bagged an image of the station plaque:

plaque

Although the process took longer and entailed more frustration than I had anticipated, I have the tickets and other info safely stowed, and am looking forward to my visit to the wilds of northwest Scotland. It will not be my first visit to Kyle of Lochalsh – back in 1993, before the opening of a swanky new toll-bridge and consequent removal of ferry services to maximise said bridge’s profits, I passed through Kyle en route to the Isle of Skye, returning to the mainland by way of the southern ferry crossing to Mallaig. 

I conclude this post with two more photos, one showing all the printed material I have for the journey, and the other ending our journey back where we started (a lot more straightforward in a blog than in a journey on British public transport!)

traveldocstickets

 

 

The Six Nations and Some Sunday Shares

Some thoughts on round two of the 2017 six nations, and a few Sunday shares.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday saw the first two matches in round two of the 2017 Six Nations. This afternoon Scotland and France will fight out the final game of the weekend.

ENGLAND SQUEEZE PAST WALES

In the women’s match which preceded this England won 63-0, which gave them 89 unanswered points in their last 120 minutes of rugby (they were 0-13 down at half-time against France last week).

Wales dominated the men’s match for long periods, but too often did not turn pressure into points and eventually a 77th minute try put England in front for the first and only time of the match. England have not been all that impressive in either of their matches to date, but is the mark of champions to find a way to win even when not playing well.

IRELAND THRASH ITALY

Ireland were always in control of this match, with two players (Stander and Gilroy) recording hat tricks of tries. For the first hour the scoreline was semi-respectable but then the floodgates opened and the Irish winning margin mushroomed to over 50 points.

Two matches in to this tournament it is hard to see Italy doing anything other than bring up the rear, a long way adrift of the rest.

SOME SUNDAY SHARES

We start the shares with a couple of public transport related bits…

THE GREED OF THE PRIVATE RAIL COMPANIES

Private operators have creamed of more than £3.5 billion in profits from running Britain’s railways over the last ten years, while services get worse and prices go up. Click on the image below to read in more detail, courtesy of AOL:

Rail firms' £3.5billion profit despite passengers' fury at dire service

AN EXTENSION FOR THE BAKERLOO LINE

The extension, from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham is expected to open in 2028-9. Click on the image below to read the Time Out piece in full. I have already pressed a link on to my London transport themed website and will be writing about it in more detail in due course.

TfL has revealed where the new Bakerloo line stations will be

THE WENSUM VALLEY UNDER THREAT

The Wensum Valley is a very beautiful part of Norfolk, but a malign group of ‘planners’ are putting this beauty at risk – they intend to send a big new road through the heart of it. Please watch the video below to see what we are seeking to protect:

A COUPLE OF REGULARS

Another reminder that James and Sons next auction is on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of February, the first two days at our shop, the third at the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich. Click on the image below, from lot 891, to view a full catalogue…

891-a

Finally, the Autism Awareness Cup 2017 will be taking place at Ingoldisthorpe Social Club on June 4th. Click on the image below to visit the website.

Rugby, Links and Pictures

An account of this weekend’s six nations action plus some pictures and some links.

INTRODUCTION

The third weekend of the six nations rugby tournament is done and dusted. As indicated in the title I also have some links and pictures to share.

THE SIX NATIONS

On Friday night Wales took on France at the Principality (nee Millennium) Stadium. Yesterday’s two matches featured Italy versus Scotland at Stadio Olimpico and England versus Ireland at Twickenham.

WALES V FRANCE

Wales came into this match with one win and one draw to their name, France with wins over Scotland and Italy (a record which flattered them – given a decent kicker Italy would have beaten them and they were not convincing in the second game either). The match was fairly close throughout, and not of the highest quality. The Welsh emerged victorious and thus temporarily sat at the top of the table.

ITALY V SCOTLAND

Since Italy were included in the tournament, making it the Six Nations, these two sides have accrued 14 wooden spoons between them (Italy 10, Scotland 4) and few would bet against one or other adding to that tally this year. Often of late Italy have come to grief in the kicking department (see above) so it was ironic that on a day when Kelly Haimona was flawless with the boot they were well beaten, and are now very likely to finish bottom.

ENGLAND V IRELAND

England came into this match having won both games, unconvincingly against Scotland in the Calcutta Cup match and very comfortably against Italy. Ireland, winners in 2014 and 2015 had started with a draw and a defeat. England dominated the first half but failed to register the points to reflect that, and when James Haskell got himself sin-binned (for the fifth time in his international career) defeat was more than a possibility. However England were only one point behind when Haskell was able to rejoin the action, and two converted tries in a short space of time thereafter put them 13 points ahead. Although Ireland pressed hard in the closing stages England had done enough and on the balance of play over the whole 80 minutes their victory was well deserved.

THE TOURNAMENT SO FAR

England now lead with three wins from three games, Wales are second, and France third, with Scotland currently fourth, Ireland fifth and Italy sixth. England and Wales face each other in their next match, and the winner of that will be a strong favourite for the trophy, with France likely to finish third. Ireland, Scotland and Italy are fighting out the bottom half of the table. Thus far the quality of the play has not been especially high.

PHOTOGRAPHIC INTERLUDE

After a big chunk of text, here are some pictures…

LINKS

Although there are not that many of them I am splitting these links into sections, starting with:

TTIP LEGAL ADVICE

This is a direct link to Michael Bowsher’s legal advice about TTIP.

COSMOS UP

A link to a very interesting piece about Asteroid 2013 TX68, accompanied by an image:

Asteroid

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Three links, and also three pictures, the latter showing how I have combined two metal badges to make a composite public transport badge. Since I am talking about public transport, here is a reminder of my London transport themed website,
www.londontu.be on which I have already posted two of the links.

Citymetric expose in great detail the lack of a business case for the controversial garden bridge.

Following on from the previous link, change.org are running a petition against the building of the garden bridge – please sign and share.

The last link before the pictures that end this post comes courtesy of we own it and is a call to stop some our finest stations from being sold.

Composite badge
Both sides of the two combined badges in one picture.
DSCN4519
The front off= the ‘composite badge’
DSCN4520
The reverse side.

 

A Pot Pourri of Pics (and other stuff)

As I prepare for another day at work, I am listening to commentary from the Cricket World Cup. Bangladesh are giving a good account of themselves against New Zealand in Hamilton, while in between rain breaks in Sydney England look like finishing a truly appalling world cup campaign with victory over Afghanistan (maybe they should accept Cricket Japan’s invite to stop by for a few games on the way home!)

The pictures I will be sharing at various points in this post are from two sources, imaging for the March Auction (now practically complete) and some pics from in and around King’s Lynn. At some point in the future I will be putting up a post about architectural features to be found in the village of East Rudham, having recently taken some good pics there.

A lot of the imaging I did on Tuesday was of banknotes in albums, but a few other bits got in there as well…

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This was one of a quantity of these that made up lot 349
This was one of a quantity of these that made up lot 349

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This lot could appeal to postcard collecotrs, but also to those interested in stamps and postal history, so I have covered all bases!
This lot could appeal to postcard collecotrs, but also to those interested in stamps and postal history, so I have covered all bases!

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My Wednesday morning walk was fitted in between the cricket commentary finishing and meeting my mother to go to East Rudham for lunch, photographing architecture, providing a tutorial in MS Access and finally playing bridge at the Jolly Sailors. This latter was enjoyable in spite of the fact that I had the kind of luck that should be toasted in extra bitter Fernet Branca!. At 5p a hundred I ended up £1.30 down on the evening – and on the three hands on which I was declarer I made two of the contracts and went one down undoubled on the other. Here are some of the highlights from the walk…

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I will  finish by showing you some images from yesterday’s mop-up operation…

I don't normally image single coins, but the person who usually does them was not around at the time I located this one, so I did it.
I don’t normally image single coins, but the person who usually does them was not around at the time I located this one, so I did it.
Imaging it the way I did meant I automatically had close-ups of each face - and if you've got 'em, use 'em
Imaging it the way I did meant I automatically had close-ups of each face – and if you’ve got ’em, use ’em

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The next three items, lots 419,428 and 429 are sold with the usual caveats attendant on German militaria - at the buyer's own risk.
The next three items, lots 419,428 and 429 are sold with the usual caveats attendant on German militaria – at the buyer’s own risk.

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Now come two lots of scenic postcards for each of what I produced two images.
Now come two lots of scenic postcards for each of what I produced two images.

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This map is lot 719
This map is lot 719
Lot 726 (This, and the remaining three pics) is very nice.
Lot 726 (This, and the remaining three pics) is very nice.

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Bellerive Brings More History

The match between Scotland and Sri Lanka at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart is at the halfway stage and has already seen a record set and another equalled.

Kumar Sanggakara kept his appointment with a century, becoming the first to achieve the feat in four successive ODIs. His century was matched by one from Tillekaratne Dilshan and the main course was followed by an explosive 51 from Angelo Matthews as Sri Lanka ran up 363 from their 50 overs. In amongst this carnage Josh Davey took three wickets, taking him up to 14 for the tournament and temporarily leading wicket taker, one ahead of Trent ‘the conductor’ Boult. That figure of 14 wickets for the tournament also ties Eddo Brandes of Zimbabwe for most wickets ever taken by a bowler for an associate member at a world cup (in 1992 Zimbabwe had yet to be promoted to full member status).

The Bellerive seems to be a serendipitous ground for great things to happen at – it was here that Ireland edged out Zimbabwe in a thriller just a few days ago. The word serendipitous derives from the wondrous island encountered by Sindbad the Sailor in his sixth voyage, the Arabic name of which is rendered in English translation as Serendip, Serendib or Sarandib. The name by which this island is now known? Sri Lanka.

I do not see this game developing into a Zimbabwe v Ireland style thriller, especially with Kyle Coetzer, the Aberdonian with a South African surname having gone to the second ball of Scotland’s reply.

As those familiar with this blog know I never leave you without sharing some pictures…

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Work on what will be the Northbound exit from the new bus station.
Work on what will be the Northbound exit from the new bus station.
Gaywood Clock through the window of an X8.
Gaywood Clock through the window of an X8.
A lacewing on the inside window of an X8 on the return journey.
A lacewing on the inside window of an X8 on the return journey.
A close up of the same lacewing.
A close up of the same lacewing.
A new dawn (something English cricket needs) breaking over King's Lynn
A new dawn (something English cricket needs) breaking over King’s Lynn
My new bathroom window - I also have secondary glazing on the High Street side of the flat.
My new bathroom window – I also have secondary glazing on the High Street side of the flat.
A glimpse into the Jewish Cemetery, Millfleet, King's Lynn
A glimpse into the Jewish Cemetery, Millfleet, King’s Lynn

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These swans, swimming in the Nar, were a trifle uncooperative.
These swans, swimming in the Nar, were a trifle uncooperative.

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Moorhen about to take the plunge...
Moorhen about to take the plunge…
...And now happily swimming.
…And now happily swimming.

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The Cricket World Cup (and Some Pictures from Kings Lynn)

The cricket world cup is well and truly under way. The night before last our time Ireland chased down a target of over 300 to beat the West Indies. Last night co-hosts New Zealand took on Scotland in Dunedin and a look at the scorecard would suggest a typical Dunedin cold, grey day with the ball nipping about all over the place. The truth was that after some excellent new ball bowling by Trent Boult and Tim Southee reduced Scotland to 12-4 the match was as good as over. Scotland rallied to reach 142. New Zealand then squandered seven wickets knocking off this very modest target (the dismissals were almost all down to bad batting rather than good bowling – but fortunately Geoffrey Boycott was not there to bear witness).

I have plenty of pictures to share with you, which I shall do in two tranches, starting with some from Sunday…

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The newly refurbished steps from the street to Boal Quay Car Park, done as part of the work of increasing the height of the flood defences.
The newly refurbished steps from the street to Boal Quay Car Park, done as part of the work of increasing the height of the flood defences.

Before sharing the pick of yesterday’s images, mention of my new work shoes, which after periods of wear indoors on Sunday and yesterday are going to get their first outing today (if this proves a mistake I can revert to the old work shoes that I still have for Thursday and Friday). The key day for when I have to be able to wear them without issue is a week tomorrow, when we have our next auction down at Fakenham Racecourse, and I will then be playing bridge in the evening without going home between the two events. At this moment I am not anticipating that there will be any problems because I have catered for all eventualities including buying a box of cushioned plasters in the event of a bad reaction from my heels. My mother spotted these shoes in Russell and Bromley while in London last week, for which I was very grateful as I had drawn a blank at Clarks. Now for some more images…

The flag fluttering from the Guilhall.
The flag fluttering from the Guilhall.

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One shot, three species - the smallest of which is only seen in this area at low tide when there is exposed mud.
One shot, three species – the smallest of which is only seen in this area at low tide when there is exposed mud.
They were there in great numbers - 28 in this shot post cropping.
They were there in great numbers – 28 in this shot post cropping.

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These birds are not regulars in Kings Lynn.
These birds are not regulars in Kings Lynn.

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