Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Leading from the front ..

Programme 1

Keeping an eye on activities 

Oddly I've seen on TV this evening programmes about leadership - If I need to see how businesses work and what teams are about there are few better than  Restaurant Stakeout with the no nonsense Willy Degel in the driving seat -I can't help but get the impression that  a week with him would be better than any MBA.

Do as you say, listen but lead and respect your customers (who pay your wages).

Programme 2

Busy Bees -creating a buzz?
The BBC election debate was on earlier - I've underestimated Corbyn and his team he made the right decision to appear - the central issue , the undoubted elephant in the room in this debating session  was a Conservative leader who called the election but was not wanting to debate the issues in front of an audience.

Theresa May instead chose to throw an uncomfortable looking Amber Rudd (the current Home Secretary who has just lost her 93 year old father) into the battle.

How does Sir Linton Crosby think this will play?

Is May so uncomfortable under  questioning by the electorate that she can't be trusted?

Is it a better  move to keep her in 'controlled' scenarios?

For me the two top performers were the SNP's Angus Robertson who was solid and unruffled and the clearly impassioned Greens's co leader Caroline Lucas - always human, reasonable  and likeable (a rare mixture for a politician)

Expect a Jeremy bounce (time will tell if it is that of a dead cat though) - and there was an impression at least of leadership from him here.

And now

I have £227 .90

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


I'm not sure we've heard enough about Industry?

Only just over a week before the UK General Election takes place and (as usual) story is that it's tightening (but is it?) - are there still all these closet Tories proclaiming their support for change but fearful of the economic impact?

Wondering who to vote for? why not have a go at this Crowdpac - my view would be that it doesn't allow for you to list the priorities as you see them - say paying for your child's Education might be the most important thing for you right now - good to find I emerge as a libertarian (today anyway).

Perhaps get some £50 notes

Getting bulky at £226 50

Monday, May 29, 2017

More Beans and bean counting

Well sympathies are with travellers who were let down by BA - despite words from their Chief Executive (Alex Cruz) this is playing like the United Airlines self inflicted PR disaster when they forcibly removed a grandfather from a plane they'd overbooked.

A Broad Bean plant - one of twelve.

I can't see Cruz (the BA Boss) winning awards for his communication skills - it seems to me we've gone as low as we can with airline services and it's time for the so-called market leaders to rebuild their brands by lavishing some TLC as well as investment in the dreaded IT.
[Stop digging Alex]

Anyway I strayed from my point -better to spend time on the allotment - Broad Beans planted out today (I know I'm late with these too)


Reach for the sky (and C4News)

Odd that the people who might gain something from engaging and perhaps watching political figures are turned off by it - having seen the Tory and Labour leaders - must say they're much better than I'd be in working a crowd and (almost) answering difficult questions.

Some things they say are close to 'untruths' but Corbyn performs well and seems to be relishing the campaign - Theresa May less robotic than I feared - in fact they're both older than me, doing a hard job and (I think) genuine in wanting the UK to be a better country - sometimes it almost feels that Jeremy might do okay(?)

{I would like to ask Jeremy about how much the 4 extra public holidays will cost - reminds of when Cameron was promising workers could take 3 days  paid  time off work to do charity things - what happened to that?}

Ever onward

And arriving at £225

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Just the things on Plot 202

Ready to climb
Planting time and beans (climbers) up today

Lettuces are small 

Not sure if you can see them but they're beetroots


Now at £224

Saturday, May 27, 2017

New projects

I'm planning to get busy with at least two projects one is to see some utility boxes decorated

And the other is to have a few weeks in another Pop Up shop (hopefully)...

Possible unit?

Camera Fund - The next one like this will be £333 33p

It won't happen too much and I might have finished before I get to £444 44p- so enjoy the symmetry.

I predicted this £222 22

Friday, May 26, 2017

So sad

Well words are hard to find but this snapped today is something that Manchester will be making the most of in the next few days..

Thinking of the terrible events but moving on 

Can't wait to £222

or maybe £222.22, anyway now £220

I'm optimistic I'll see  £222.22 soon

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kindness in courgettes

Always stuff to see..This new place near Ealing Broadway Risotto & Pasta..

A taste of Italy

How kind some people are - plot holders near me gave me three very healthy looking Courgette plans - hope they egg my own on to better things!

A busy greenhouse

I'm getting quite happy about this..

Well £218 50 is the running total

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Apocryphal survey of posh schools

Not political giants
I recall from some time ago  a story  (possibly Apocryphal ) that a survey of party affiliations was conducted at various 'posh schools', as you might expect the Tories did well less so the Labour Party - a mildly curious result from the survey which has stayed with me was the high ranking of various left wing factions amongst the students - including a selection of the ideological strains of the factious battles at the vanguard of the revolutionary groupings.

This said I suppose it should not come as a surprise to me (although it does) to find that Seumas Milne is in fact a product of a privileged background the son of a former BBC DG Alistair Milne.

[the odd spelling of the Christian name does hint at something perhaps]

Like Andrew Howard (another of the current crop of Labour Party's 'media specialists') he is wedded to Russia even under the non- Communist leadership of Putin. Like Howard Milne is also someone who  had an expensive private education, in fact Seumas Milne's own children went to selective schools in Kingston, London (selective schools being something that  like Dianne Abbott he presumably doesn't support).

 I enjoyed the strong  piece by Dominic Sandbrook on how figures like these have 'hijacked' the party.

Nice reviews

are pushing me back towards the Canon G7 X Mk II

£217 perhaps over halfway?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

More Planting and Minimalism (Danshari)

Cabbages and Cauliflowers 

Today I've been planting (in seed trays)  again - Lettuces,
Lettuce and Broccoli 
Pumpkins, Peas all sort of things and also planted out a couple more Sweet-Corn plants too.

The greenhouse on Plot 202 is getting congested and I hope that I'll have ground prepared soon.

Which strangely brings me on to the topic of the book I'm getting engrossed in it's called Goodbye Things and worth a read I'd say - taking actions to de-clutter is a goal but I feel that Fumio Sasaki (the writer) has some issues - I expect it'll become clearer as I read on.

[Slightly ironic that the book has added to my clutter and that there are so many words about this topic in Japanese - Danshari is the one  Fumio opts for most often.]

Of course it says a lot about the writer 

And I'm still going

Okay £215 50p

Monday, May 22, 2017

Sale of the century

We all like Hearty Jokes
Rather scary as we get closer to the actual UK poll (or election if you prefer) the way various parties are offering what they think the electorate wants.

I believe there's a general rule if a deal looks too good to true it probably is - sometimes you need to walk away - and the idea of something for nothing is actually rather insulting

And where I can see the logic behind the Conservative idea of your resources  being used to fund 'care' one could not help but anticipate action being taken to transfer assets (especially by those with the wherewithal) but  it seems that Mrs May has now  decided too much truth might not be needed at this time.

The LibDems are painfully aware of  of the downside promising (to Students) what they can't deliver (and then finding that they're expected to) - The Greens are still in the territory of there being little consequence (or damage) to promising Nirvana (which looks quite good to me) -We will see in time what Brexit means but I fear many voters will have some disappointment there too.

And this bird has flown

[Don't suppose that I should be shocked  to see Boris again revealing his true colours during Robert Preston's Sunday ITV show.]

Here we go

just keeps improving..

£214 it is

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A worthy goal

The British Museum Where I heard Demis talk about AI

Kirsty Young is a good interviewer, she gets her guests to relax and tell her what they're comfortable saying, she's  well suited to Desert Island Discs -today's show was particularly good.

It was nice to hear her talking today to Demis Hassabis (who I saw speaking nearly 2 years ago at the British Museum), he's not only extremely bright but has goals set in the field of AI where he wants to make a difference.

One of the points the guest today was keen to make clear is how limited our time is.

We should savour

Camera Fund

My intention at the start of the year was to be able to buy a new compact camera sufficiently better than my current one (a Canon G16) to improve the pictures I can take in terms of quality and also have some nice features (perhaps the exposures every few seconds for example) - I'm beginning to feel  that it won't be so long and I need to start my research seriously ( had thought of the G9 MK II but now am not so sure.

£212.50 getting there

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Euronews old boys meet-up

When the European project was pretty much at its peak - I worked for a couple of years at Euronews in France - the idea was that Europe needed an international News TV station which wasn't CNN.

A French influenced meal for a french influenced occasion

The organisation was based in Lyon and had a cosmopolitan work force of Journalists and Technicians  - fast forward on 20 or so years and several of us are still in touch and meet up when we can to reminisce and socialise.

Today was one of the days when 4 of us managed to be in the same city (London) and spend some time.

As well as a jolly meal (pretty much Steak and Frites washed down with a couple of bottles of wine) we put the world to rights (as we did last year oh yes and the year before) - it was  a blast (oh yes we did it the year before that too.)

It's not finished 

Surprisingly busy in Canary Wharf area on a Saturday with new buildings still going up- and really good meal at Le Relais de Venise.

Interestingly one of our group has already left the UK (for work in Czech Republic) and another is looking to retire (to Germany)- does it tell us something about the British experience?

Let's call it £210

Because it is

Friday, May 19, 2017


Well after there being a distinct lack of rainfall the situation has turned around - so weeds are everywhere but it's green.

Looking promising on the fruit front - Apples and Pears

And Pears

As I look around (and dig too) there's often some friendly birds around (feathered)

Waiting for nightfall before singing 
Not Batman 

A Plum or two?

And there might be some Cherries

You can hardly see the shed 

The money  pile

It might look the same but now £207.50

Thursday, May 18, 2017

(Hockney) Well it's certainly popular

Tate does this sort of thing well
I first visited Tate (as it was then) more than 40 years ago- it's Tate Britain now and I've never been to a more crowded exhibition than the current Hockney retrospective.

I'm not always a fan of these 'Blockbuster' exhibitions and do become increasingly irritated by people who bring pushchairs to crowded adult events but it's a good show but I enjoyed looking at some of his up-to-date work a couple of years back so wanted to see a more complete view of his oeuvre .

There's something about Greatest hits that is more attractive than ploughing through all the albums to find a few elusive gems that others have bypassed - well here I'd day there were whole 'albums' I'd been unaware of - the early stuff where he was finding a style and approach are patchy but things like the four seasons videos  more than compensate.

There are plenty of portraits - noticeably direct and often uncomfortable.

On show too are his works which look at water (A bigger splash amongst them) and his sometimes witty referential adaptation of the styles of other artists show his knowledge and skill.

Tate has curated the exhibition well )as you'd expect)  and I might even try and squeeze in another visit before the exhibition ends in a few days time (29th May).

So busy - school groups and all
Oh and the special neons (measuring it's said a bout 2kM) by the Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans are worth a look too

Like so much that is modern it references 'Duchamp'

Leaps and bounds

There's a feeling of speeding up £205

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Uncomfortable and unanticipated

The launched Labour Party manifesto is meeting far more positive coverage than was anticipated when leaked 'headlines' from the document first surfaced last week.

A bus but not a battle one

Politicians have long known that it's your colleagues you need to worry about - note how criticism from long term cabinet colleague George Osborne needs a daily paper to contain his critique of Mrs May.

Undoubtedly some of this is because of changes that have been incorporated since the 'draft' but there is also a feeling amongst some that the margin between the two main parties is slimming.

Manifesto's of course assume that the only things which will change are those they wish to change so the idea that a change in Tax burden will not change behaviour is positively as naive as the claims made around the immediate Brexit dividends (on both sides of the argument) - rest assured capital flight is not something that would help investment and unanticipated consequences will abound for all the manifesto promises from the major parties.

Watch out for moles of all types

[Also I'm getting increasingly irritated by the language used around taxing the better off - 'will be asked to pay' - don't recall that option being available as a PAYE  'contributor'.]

The internal elements within the Labour Party are in an uncomfortable position, they do not wish to appear disloyal or heaven forbid lose 'moderate' MPs who will look to regain control from Momentum and fellow travellers of the so called Hard Left.

If you think this is exaggerating splits take a look at Tom Watson at yesterday's launch - there's a question about how big a Labour defeat needs to be before the 'leadership' recognises that it has failed - already  Union boss Len  Mcluskey (he who is challenged by keeping upright and by not meddling) is managing down expectations - seems that anything over 200 seats for the party under its present control could be considered a triumph by some.

[Not sure if anyone is saying that Len was pushed by the same forces who made sure that BBC cameraman was run over!]

The Pound is sinking

Was the story but  now US dollar is having problems ..

An increasing asset - £202 50