scribbles tagged ‘BBC’

gadgets for gadgets sake

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 | tags: , ,  |

Do I care that the apple watch

  • Is a precise timekeeper? No, I have a beautiful classic, hand crafted Tissot
  • Is a ‘comprehensive’ fitness device? No. I’m not interpreted in spending time counting and tracking health related things
  • works seamlessly with my iPhone. No. Both my phones work fine in my back pocket.

Apple hasn’t successfully ‘sold’ their watch to me. But it could offer value. I’m disappointed they haven’t bothered to point out that value….   I’ll wait and see what the dedicated fan boys say after paying their premium to own it first

Apple’s business model relies on them selling more hardware…  I wonder what they’ll do next….

gadgets for gadgets sake
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heat wave level 3

Friday, July 19th, 2013 | tags: , ,  |

The UK ‘Met office’ has announced that we’re having  a ‘Level 3’ heat wave, with associated Health warnings. Roads are melting and railway tracks are buckling. The next warning level is a national emergency. Gosh. Whatever the temperature, Britain is quite a humid place, 88 today. It reminds me of my trip to North Carolina in June 2006 when I was advised to only fuel the car in the evening and not to ‘paint’ anything.

I’m indulging in lashings of ginger beer. Yummy.

The Blue Nile capture the mood beautifully

heat wave level 3
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BBC’s ambiguous title outbreak

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013 | tags: , ,  |

New York baby delivered after car crash kills parents – precocoius new-born commits patricide!

Shark kills number 100 million annually. That’s one murderous shark!

Keep them coming BBC – they work to make me read the full news article.

BBC’s ambiguous title outbreak
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3rd time unlucky for the big town

Thursday, March 15th, 2012 | tags: , ,  |

Mother ReadingOnce again, for the 3rd time, Reading town’s bid to become a city has failed. Reading town suffers from city appraisal anxiety

I rather like living in such a well-endowed town, though many  townsfolk seem to have a chip on their shoulder about Reading repeatedly not being made a city. Big town even sounds good like ‘Big heart’ or ‘Big ted

According to the BBC’s description of the recent bid Reading town was a bookies favourite to win city status. Our local ‘civic leaders’ believe that attaning city status will provide Reading town with ” huge economic, cultural and social benefits to the area, as well as a jobs boost.”

I wonder what has changed for the people in the towns that were promoted to cities for the Millenium and in 2002?  Have Brighton and Hove, Wolverhampton, Inverness, Preston and Newport all experienced HUGE cultural, social and economic growth since achieving city status?

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light shelving

Thursday, February 16th, 2012 | tags: , , ,  |

top of the stairs
A tall slim windows sits at the top of the Wendy House staricase of doom. In February it  drenches the hallway in the glow of snowcloud light. Warmly – double-glazed. Privately – not overlooked by other houses. Nakedly – without dressings of any kind. A few coloured glass bowls sit on the low sill. On sunny days the glassware sparkles. I contemplate this window several times a day, when I climb the wooden hill to Bedfordshire

window dressing
The Danish Drama series’ (The Killing, Borgen) and mumsie’s memories of her Danish friend’s home have inspired me.  I’m planning to dress the window with some glass shelves to hold trailing plants and more sparkling coloured glass ornaments

Paint prototype
I’ve used Paint to mock-up what different placements might look-like from the perspective of someone, probably me, climbing the staircase of doom

Which option do you think works best ?:

Glass shelves across hallway window

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Apple Software Update has stopped working

Saturday, February 4th, 2012 | tags: , , , ,  |

Apple Software Update FailJust incase you thought eveything in the Cupboard was running smoothly, here is error of the day “Apple Software Update has stopped working”. This is how the story unfolded

Avoid using any Apple products or services because they:

  • are rumoured to treat their employees, vendors, contractors etc rather poorly
  • do not systematically promote and drive socially responsible behaviours – Bill gates rocks!
  • target being a monopoly. For example they undermine multiple hadware manufacturers. By contrast, companies such as Microsoft promote partnerships with other companies that sell Hardware (e.g. Dell, HP, Nokia, HTC etc). This approach enables those companies to thrive rather than competing with them. This strategy cost’s Microsoft in terms of time – the liaison and planning required and the lack of control leading to lack of consistency that introduces more potential for ‘errors’

Captured by BBC evil alliance

Unfortunately, when I started wanting to use BBC’s iplayer the only way to view the programs that my Licence had helped fund was to use Apple’s quicktime. Furious that the BBC chose to align with a company’s product rather than an industry standard. Darn, effectively the BBC was saying download Apple’s quick time or eff off.

For a while I managed without the BBC iplayer and just fumed until the lure of quality drama on-demand got the better of me. I installed Quicktime and lost a little of my self-esteem in the process.

Pompositively indignant

When I buy or use Microsoft services, part of their profit goes to causes I support. Microsoft products may not be beautiful to look at and they may be error ridden but they genuinely show social values that I respect.  They can have my money and time before Apple anyday because of how they spend my commitment


Apple Software Update has stopped working
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business cards

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 | tags: , ,  |

BBC Breakfast news anchor man said:

Like Americans, they carry their business cards with them everywhere

Is ‘carrying business cards’ a euphemism for something like

  • helpful
  • friendly
  • organised
  • pretentious
  • over-prepared


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Vermeer composition Forbrydelsen cinematography (part 2)

Thursday, December 15th, 2011 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Adjacent room

Vermeer's painting of the 'Love letter'The viewer of a Vermeer painting is often placed at a distance where they can see the people in the scene and something of the surroundings

This can be in an adjacent room. In the ‘Love letter’ we can see a dull wall in the foreground to the left and linens on the shelves to the right – as if we, the viewers, are in the servants closet wathcing the mistress of the house pass a letter to a servant

The main action is in the centre of the painting, a well dressed lady taking a moment from playing her lute to pass a letter to a less well dressed lady, pressumably a servant. Both women are sunlit from the left hand side. Even though they are looking at each-other Vermeer has contrived a natural pose that bathes both their faces in sunlight

Viewer lying on the floor of the hallway The Killing II regularly uses this technique. A mother and child talk while the viewer watches from floor level in the hallway. Nearly half the frame is taken-up by the plain dark hallway wall on the right

Unlike Vermeer paintings, the light source is in view. It is low and to the left of the frame. Like Vermeer the reflection adds brightness and focus to the picture. The reflected light on the floor traces a line to us, the viewers

To get to this view the camera has slowly moved along the hallway until it revealed the doorway, the people, then the light source. Unlike Vermeer, cinematographers have the additional dimension of time (movement) to play with. The Killing II cinematographers appear to have carefully considered how we move from one place to another, how people, place and meaning are unravelled and intertwined visually

Voyeurs, not participants

Viewer outside the roomThe same technique is used in this mortuary scene. We, the viewer, are in the adjacent room. We can see the door in the forground to the left.  Comparing with high quality programmes like CSI and NCIS, tradtional cinematography – their approaches focus on the faces of the people in the room. We watch the reactions of the people in the room, watch them ask questions, see close-ups of relevant body parts. These traditional approaches place the viewer in the room – a participant in the post-mortem

In The Killing II we are a viewer at a distance. We watch everyone’s body language, listen to the conversation while staying slightly outside… a voyeur…

The few occassions when they break this general theme, and the actor looks directly at the viewer, become more personally impactful moments:
Actor talks directly to viewer

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Vermeer lighting Forbrydelsen cinematography (part 1)

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

The cinematography for the original Danish TV drama  ‘Forbrydelsen II’ (‘The Killing II’) is wonderfully atmospheric. The imagery reminds me of paintings by the 17th century Dutch master artists Johannes Vermeer and Pieter de Hooch. This is the first of several scribbles exploring the masters’ possible influence

Viewers eyeline

The viewer of Vermeer’s paintings often has the eyeline of a person crouching, 10 or so feet from the main subject. Thier eyes are about 3 foot above floor.  ‘The Killing II’ often places the viewer in the same position, especially when the main players are seated.  This positioning of the viewer was unusual in 17 century paintings and it’s unusual in 21st century TV cinematography. I find the effect pleasing and engaging, as-if I am in the room but not so close to intrude on the main conversation

Viewer At Table     A lady writing a letter - painting by Johannes Vermeer

Lightsource out of frame, left

The use of reflected light, above on the table, is also striking and atmospheric

In Johannes Vermeer’s ‘A lady writing a letter’ the light source is outside the painting to the left, the primary light within the painting comes from reflected light on her face, dress and forearms

viewer at the tableVermeer’s paintings are typically lit from a source outside of view, to the left of the painting. ‘The Killing II’ shows a similar preference for low light from the left hand side. Light within the frame is balanced by using reflection of walls, faces and objects. In this still from ‘The Killing II’ the room is lightened by reflection from a white table, water bottles, drinking glasses and the face of the woman who looks towards the light source

I wonder who had the insight to set this visual direction and stick with it – Producer? Cinematographer, a collaboration? Sadly, the BBC4 website for ‘The Killing II’ doesn’t provide this kind of background information


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in a fortnight

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

less than 2 weeks after arriving in the USA I’m in a project meeting with 10 Americans mostly wearing the pants (UK = shorts) of the khaki cargo variety

programme manager: wendy, can we get a time on that deliverable?

wendy: a fortnight


more silence, I have no idea what’s happening

team leader: did you say 4 days?

wendy: errrr, no! a bit longer, more like 2 weeks or 10 days if my weekend goes for a burton

programme manager: lets touch base after the meeting

This prompted much giggling from the team. I knew they wouldn’t understand ‘go for a burton’, I hadn’t anticipated that they also wouldn’t understand ‘bit’. Most British English speakers understand American English, many American English speakers do not understand  quirks of British English.

Hometown cafe tabletopI picked up and started using American English phrases while mostly maintaining my British accent. The Hispanic American staff in the canteen couldn’t understand my accent unless I used an American pronunciation.  I started imitating American English to get tomatoes with my burger. Thinking about how to pronounce my vowels made my fake American accent delivery rather slow. Amused people in the canteen line (UK = Queue) commented that I sounded like a Texan, because of my  drawl.

Since returning to England I have maintained many Americanisms, they are understood.

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downmarket residential area

Thursday, April 21st, 2011 | tags: , ,  |

Dallas Laundry at DawnBBC Radio 2 described the shooting of two British students in Sarasota Florida as happening Several miles from a recognised tourist area in a Downmaket residential area where it is very unusual to find tourists

Apart from an exta 8 syllables what are the main differences between Downmarket residential area and Ghetto? Why do you think the BBC chose the longer phrase?

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usn journal verification

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 | tags: , ,  |

another file checkAfter another reboot and windows update

I was priviliged to again see the black screen of file verification. Apparantly my usn journal has been verified. Phew. Not that I needed to know about this. I’d rather they showed me a video of kitties playing, or potters potting, or even mentioned they are sorry for interrupting my usage.

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Saturday, January 15th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

SheffieldTardisIn the cult BBC drama ‘Dr. Who’ the Dr travels in a time machine called the TARDIS (type 40) that uses a ‘chameleon circuit to change its outer visible form to fit with the local surroundings.

Unfortunately the chameleon circuit broke when the TARDIS was disguised as a 1950’s London blue Police box. They are essentially a mini police station for use by Police people, and members of the public can use them to (phone) call the police. Police boxes were first used in Albany NY (1877) soon after the telephone was invented! The first boxes in Britain were placed in Glasgow (1891).

By the time I was old enough to visit London (1970s) the London police boxes had long since been removed.

This green police box is alive today, in Sheffield!

Seeing this Box kept me happy for weeks, I hope the photograph does something pleasing for you too …

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inundated with water

Thursday, January 6th, 2011 | tags: , ,  |

BBC radio 4 reported that many houses were inundated with water in the Queensland floods. The reporter went on to explain that the water contained snakes and crocodiles, but that the local residents were taking this in their stride. The image of Australians pragmatically striding through crocodile infested water was an entertaining image of a devastating event.

PS this post has 56 words before the PS
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after some chafing Finland awakes

Monday, December 6th, 2010 | tags: , , , , ,  |

During the BBC Proms the family House made a trip to see the Ulster Symphony Orchestra perform the Karelia suite in prom 68. It was very touching to see mum and dad, a Karelian, look so happy. Dad once again reminded me that he has a signed photograph of Colonel Mannerheim that was given to his mum.

Sibelius wrote Finlandia

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tooth proof

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

biting cold in Reading town January 2010Recently the BBC reported that Reading town would be the victim of a

biting northeasterly wind


Unlike the Newcastle locals, the Reading town locals can be seen shivering at the Bus stops wearing tooth-proof clothing.

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hide your bum

Thursday, October 7th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Lord Hutton’s use of the English language when interviewed on radio 4 this morning was most entertaining. I won’t provide English translations unless requested because the actual meanings were a tad more dull than

  • race for the bottom
  • push problems under the cup


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Streets in the sky

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

I first heard of the Park Hill estate during my undergraduate environmental psychology classes in 1986.  The architect’s, Ivor Smith and Jack Lynn’s, vision for a high rise estate to replace sprawling slums in the northern English city of Sheffield with “Streets in the Sky”. Streets in the sky would recreate the strengths of the communities which had flourished in the back to back slums and provide improved living conditions at a bargain price. Taking people out of small, damp, Victorian terraces where  kids played in the streets and giving them streets in the sky with views over the city, inside toilets, covered walkways, balcony’s where children could play and neighbours could chat, with room for attractive open park land around the high rise buildings.  Smith and Lynn’s designs were heavily influenced by Le Corbuiser’s Breton Brut as evident in his Marseilles Unité d’Habitation. Breton Brut became known in Britain as ‘Brutalism’,  simple functional form. They wanted to build in a sense of neighbourliness into these functional spaces.

These changes were intended to improve the standard of living for people now living in a slum area locally know as ‘Little Chicago’ in the gangster era.  The Park Hill estate was completed in 1961 with 995 flats that could house over two thousand people overlooking Sheffield city centre. Front doors opened to a 12 ft wide balcony, a street, that runs right across the estate over bridges between buildings.  Milk floats could trundle from door to door along streets named the same asthose in the original slums they replaced.  People that were neighbours in the slums were rehoused next to each other.

Worthy, admirable intentions

When built,  the social ideal didn’t happen

The estate soon became known as Sheffield’s San Quentin. The failure of the original design vision has been blamed on many things including

  • easy access routes for muggers
  • poor sound insulation
  • the streets being open to the inclement Sheffield weather
  • the building’s ugliness
  • the poverty of the occupants

In 1998 Park Hill became the largest grade 2  listed building in europe.

This centruy English Heritage, Urban Splash and Sheffield city council have been renovating Park Hill.

It’s difficult to tell from the publicity what is being changed to make the project work  as a successful place to live this time. A recent BBC TV programme about the renovation focussed on English heritage’s aesthetic and structural requirements for preservation not mentioning any changes to the space aimed at improving the occupants expereince of living there. The programme made the vision appear less social that the original. So what will have changed since it first opened?  It looks like the renovation will be

  • It’s prettier with bright rainbow colours
  • occupants will not all be council tenants, some will be home owners and some shared ownership. They will be a different socio-economic mix
  • the streets will not be open to the Sheffield weather
  • living there comes with the kudos of living in a classic listed building
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bulllying is a leadership quality

Thursday, February 25th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

The UK’s National Bullying Helpline (Charity) cited  number 10 Downing Street as being a place where  the bullying of 4 staff members happened.   Who did it?   The main assumption appears to have been that the Prime Minister is a bully.  

The reaction of members of the labour party to the accusation of bullying at 10 downing street probably demonstrates something of British attitudes toward bullying.     I’m not impressed.    These are the  responses I’ve heard so far.

  • Not me.   Gordon Brown is my friend, he’s never bullied me.   The most common response from Labour party members.
  • Not Witnessed.     I’ve never seen or even thought of  Gordon bullying anyone.    For example, the BBC  reports Alan Johnson as saying “ in 17 years he had “never” heard Mr Brown raise his voice”.   The Telegraph  cites Ed Balls as saying “I’ve known Gordon Brown for 20 years and at no point has it ever occurred to me that Gordon Brown is or would ever be a bully”
  • Honest behaviour.   I’d rather be lead by a real person who has weaknesses and shows them than by someone calmly insincere. For example, part of this argument is illustrated by the Telegraph  citing Gordon’s wife Sarah as saying “‘What you see is what you get”   While this is not the dominant discourse it has been expressed by several individuals and news papers.
  • Expected behaviour. Gordon’s got a tough job, tensions run high, he cares about what he does, people should expect that he’s going to loose his temper and shout sometimes.
  • Desired behaviour. Bully’s have the qualities to be exceptional leaders you don’t want a wuss leading the country.   For example, the Telegraph  cites Ed Balls as saying “constituent…     …would say he gets things done, he is tough, he is a leader, and that’s what we need.’
  • Desired behaviour. Supporters actually demonstrating that bullying behaviour is acceptable. For example, in the Telegraph:   ”I think this attack on him by this prat of a woman down in – where’s she from, Swindon? – I think that’s backfiring on her”

The BBC is one of the few sources that mentions Downing Street’s processes for dealing with bullying, calling it “rigorous” but providing no evidence of the process or rigor.  

I’ve set up an anti-bullying hotline for the fluffballs but they still persist, Sampo ambushes Matrix on her way to the food bowl and Matrix pushes Sampo out of all the best sleepy spots.   My rigorous processes have failed to ameliorate the problem.

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Thursday, October 29th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

animadversions is not a creative pastiche  of

  • animal
  • advert
  • versions

Animadversions is used by the Foriegn Office (FO)  to describe the contents of the last despatch (message) by the British Ambassador to Oslo in 1975, Ralph Selby.   For Ralph, being a diplomat was a family business, his father and wife’s grandfather were ambassadors.   The style of expression within the despatch is rather fun,   I particularly liked this phrase

‘I agree with the gentleman who’s signature resembles a trombone’

In honour of this outstanding phrase I am considering changing my signature to resemble a swan.

Ralph’s animadversions  included

  • Newer diplomats did not put sufficient time and effort into studying languages
  • Diplomats circulate way too much paper “the flood of paper which has grown in a single generation is fantastic”
  • Diplomat’s wives are not paid for their valuable contributions – this disadvantages diplomats who’s wives choose to have a career.
  • Domestic staff are exensive and time-demanding ‘I do not nowadays find it easy to recruit staff who are willing to lick other people’s boots’
  • Retirement provisions are insufficient
  • There is a temptation to eat and drink well – exercise is needed “our specific calling’s snare is drink; and it is profoundly depressing to see the number of members of the service who are engaged in the process of destroying themselves by it
  • Not enough freedom of thought  
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Friday, September 11th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |
  • Human or computer?   Can a computers intellignce make it indistinguishable from a  human by another  human?     Turing test
  • Hererosexual or gay?   Can a gay persons behavior make them indistinguishable from a  heteresexual to the UK law?   Turing failed this test

The UK prime minister apologises to the now deceased Alan Turing for the government removing his security clearance and hence his job when Alan was found guilty of being gay.   Reprogramming involved chemical castration,   Alan committed suicide.

This morning BBC Radio 4  appeared to focus  on the

  • Prime Minister’s apology to Alan
  • broadening of police record checks for people that have regular or intense contact with children
  • Afghanistan election irregularities

September 11th 2001 was mentioned, a brief comment on the lack of progress in redeveloping the site of the former Twin Towers.

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apostrophe annihilation

Saturday, September 5th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Local councils are phasing out the use of apostrophes because they are complicated, confusing (to GPS units), messy and generate too many complaints.

  1. In   January 2009 the Daily Telegraph reports that Birmingham city council has updated their street name signs to remove apostrophes.   From now on, no sign produced by Birmingham City Council will contain the punctuation mark.   Debates over whether Kings Norton really should be King’s – or even Kings’ – Norton may rage on, but they will be useless.   And nearby Druids Heath – which was never actually home to one, let alone many, druids – will never take on the possessive, no matter how furious local apostrophe advocates become
  2. In February 2009 the Yorkshire evening post reported that Wakefield council dropped apostrophies from its roadsigns.
  3. In March 2009 the BBC reported that Bristol City is removing apostrophes from public road signs.   “Bristol City Council says the ban makes the road signs look “neater” and argues that if capitals are used then apostrophes should not be…       …Roger Mortimer, from the Cotham and Redland Amenities Society, says residents are keen to keep the threatened apostrophes.   “I think it is an example of just ignoring the English language. Punctuation is extremely important and the apostrophe is very valuable – it gives you a sense of place.”

The founder of the apostrophy protection society is quite upset.   He mentiones that ‘this could be the first step towards linguistic anarchy’  .   I wonder whether he knows about text messaging?  

The colonies find this a bit amusing.   3 News (New Zealand) wittily reports that:    “the Queen’s English is now the Queens English.   England’s second-largest city has decided to drop apostrophes from all its street signs, saying they are confusing and old-fashioned.   But some purists are downright possessive about the punctuation mark.”

Imagine  a Monty Python sketch with the team in suits and ties passionately discussing the value of the apostrophy in avoiding linguistic anarchy. Lots of arm and leg waving, diagrams and charts.    Terry Jones demonstrating what total linguistic anarchy sounds like…. …and its impact on your sense of place…     which probably involves falling over.

Meanwhile the Times reports that councils are publishing crib sheets to help their staff work-out where to put apostrophes for the rare occassions when they are allowed.  

This post  is dedicated to my many tolerant readers who refrain from correcting my spelling, typing  and gramatical aberations despite the irritation and distress this causes  them.
apostrophe annihilation
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the BBC are sorry

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

BBC are sorryDue to temporary failure of satelite connections the BBC announced that they were sorry for the interuption in our reception of thier programming.

In my day the BBC used a collection of strangely engaging short media clips to entertain viewers during program interruption,   called ‘interludes’, accompanied by classical music.   These media clips included watching a potter potting,   a spinner spinning (wool,   not exercise) and the slightly more cute kitten-playing:

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no intended disrespect

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

after putting on the kettle for my morning cup of tea,   much as I always do, I turned the TV on to the BBC Breakfast news,   much as I always  do.   The words below are approximate   just the gist because I don’t remember the details:

  • someone on TV:     This will be moment that you will remember vividly for a long time
  • someone-else on TV   Like the day Lady Diana died

My attention is grabbed,   Indeed Lady Diana’s death was memorable for me:

8am Sunday morning,   tent taken down and packed in the boot of the car,  tired and sad,   I started driving from the Yorkshire Dales to Portsmouth via London  with only a radio for company.   All the BBC radio channels played a short loop of music and provided no other news than a regular announcement of Lady Diana’s death.   After a couple of hours, hoping the loop would stop, I turned the radio off and drove through the mist and rain accompanied only by the noise of my own sad thoughts.     The BBC TV followed a similar format:

With no intended disrespect,   I suspect that I’ll forget all the uniqueness of the moment that I head Michael Jackson had died.

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EXtreme gardening

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

allergic reactionOn a sunny April weekend   post-youngster  Brits launch into the  highly risky business of  sculpting their garden.   This weekend I fell victim to the under-publicised gardening health hazards.   Not  a muscle problem from lifting, digging and carrying,  or falling over a garden ornament,   but   a  little arm-blush reaction to a local ant.  


Kids,   beware the garden,   its a jungle out there

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bus or tardis?

Sunday, April 12th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Waiting for a local bus,   for local people, locally, my other brother skipped up to me with a big smile and HELLLOOOOOO Wendy HaHaHa.   I jumped up to hug him (he’s 6 ft 4).

skippy:   Here’s the bus,   three busses at once,   OooooOOOOoo HaHaha

I walked toward the first double decker

skippy:   WRONG!     we want the single decker, Hahahahaha

Wendy:   Oh (signifying disappointment at not getting the double decker)

Skippy is on the bus and has placed himself in the centre of the back row of 5 seats by the time I’ve joined the line and paid for a ticket.   I look down the bus too see him at the end of the isle,   he shows me all of his teeth and claps his hands,   then raises one hand and waves it at me, as if I might be leaving, while laughing.     I show him my recently cleaned teeth and run down the bus to take a seat next to him.   We chat loudly  during the journey.   I laugh everytime Skippy talks because his enthusiasm and volume is  brillliant.   He is clearly happy to be with his little sister and I with him.

Skippy is looking forward to the Easter special Dr. Who  episode,   he tells me about it.   I posit that maybe this bus is a TARDIS and one of the passengers is a time lord disguised as a local,   the conversation deteriorates from here on.  


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popping sensible pills

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Family House enjoyed breakfast  with the  live BBC  coverage of the  boys in the Melbourne F1 race:

It’s not over yet (lap 30 of 58)

Fisichella has missed his box,   Fisichella has  previous for missing the box

he’s just had a moment

we’ve lost a Renault

The Maclaren has clearly got the grunt,   it just hasn’t got the grip

he’s just popped a sensible pill

It’s a living thing an F1 race

Lots of excitement  was consumed and Tea spilt.    The outstanding performance by the former Honda Formula 1 racing team,    beautifully demonstrate how an asset sold-off by a retrenching multinational company (Honda) can quickly turn their product into an inspiration following a management buyout.       But then the shine was taken off the win by the subsequent announcement of substantial redundancies.  

Hoorah!… Oh!


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pen shifting to key

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Yesterday a BBC article posited the influences contributing to the ‘slow death’ of  handwriting.  

A  gradual metamorphosis, not necessarily death.  Scrawl and scribble can convey a message without well formed, legible words,  as many a toddlers parent and their fridge postings will attest.   That a message is penned is a message of significance in itself.     The significance may change with time, but it will remain significant.   Keys on boards can convey  a clear and consistent letter form reducing the variety of messages conveyed by the personal and environmental quirks of pen-personship.   My own  left-handed scrawl gets worse in cold weather and when I get a tad over-excited,   these things are not conveyed by the clear system of key-strokes.   Pen or keys will always imply different messages and the messages with change with time.   Just as the messages of  ‘hand made’ and ‘factory made’ have changed from the initial high value associated with the consistent quality of factory made to the subsequent high value associated with the craft-skill required for  hand made.

The art of pen wielding will be maintained by people who take the care to love and use and explore it well, and I may shift from these keys to further pen a wobbly  thing or two for your merry bemusement and befuddlement.   Consider yourselves warned.

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Eleven plus

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008 | tags: ,  |

Not a European clothes size to denote adulthood or large children.   An exam used in the English school system that was taken by 11 year old students between 1944 and 1974.   It was used as a filter for to divide students stream students into entry to Grammar schools  or State schools.   If you failed you went into an ordinary State school rather than a Grammar school.

This BBC article provides  example of questions in a self-test format:

I passed an 11+ exam in 1974 at the tail-end of the tripartite school system.

I went to a Comprehensive State School, formerly  a Grammar school with teachers that missed the good old grammar school days.    It wasn’t an ex-Secondary Modern’ state school that had  traditionally educated the children that failed the 11+

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impulsive Waites

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

The Observer,   also known as The Gaurdian, reports that:

Reading is ‘worse than Beirut’, claims Terry Waite

Former hostage Terry Waite stunned Women’s Institute members in Reading by telling them that dealing with their town’s traffic was worse than being held captive for almost five years, after being delayed on his way to speak to them.

Do I think  Terry is  exaggerating a bit at the detriment of our glorious town’s already overly maligned reputation?  

RUSH hour traffic in ReadingOH YES!  

The town traffic may indeed be a bit slower than the executive’s posh car, or Fiat Panda,  can travel.    It is, however,  a reasonable, leisurely, pace for the good and even-tempered people of the town to go about their honest toil.  

Even the BBC doesn’t cite Reading’s roads as  main UK traffic  black spots.   No wonder those members of the Women’s Institute were stunned to hear such ill considered twaddle uttered from a professional public speaker and humanitarian.  


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