Friday, June 30, 2017

Beyond belief

Something about 'dead wood'
There's some talk going around amongst the metropolitan 'liberal' elites about the dream of forming a UK  equivalent to the French movement headed up by current Wunderkind President  Macron -this doubly so after the Labour Leader acted quickly against his own party's Euro tendency - I'm not quite sure how serious the Gary Lineker idea is though

We've had a series of so-called defining moments over the last few months but the Tory MPs cheering the news that they'd won a vote to keep Public servants (we're talking Police, Nurses and Firefighters)  wages at the level of 1% or less seems extraordinary.

Let's not forget  we've recently had an on-duty Policeman killed in Westminster and firefighters putting their lives in danger in West London while terrorist victims have been taken to NHS hospitals - oh yes our Westminster politicians have done okay with increases (MPs get over £76,000 a year minimum  plus the still generous allowances).

And now

the end is a long way off
but we have £284

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Events dear boy

Arty Artichokes 

Politically things are fluid is one way of describing the current UK government - they're already  having some uncomfortable pressures exerted on them  regarding their new DUP  friends' attitude towards abortion being different from the mainland.

Perhaps though the arithmetic of the newly elected MPs  has been part of the Culture secretary's decision (as well as OFCOM advice) with respect to a referral to the Completion authorities - this would seem sensible as it will mean that talk of a grubby backroom deal will at the very least be delayed  and is perhaps a little piece of good news .

Or it might mean that News International will  look for another Tory to head up the government and takeover from Theresa..

Here we are

At a tidy £282

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On notice?

Colourful debates
As children many of us were told that 'you can't hide deceits and your actions will find you out' - it's not always the case but the internet and free flow of information does change things.

Tory discomfit is now on much show - from the MP Iain Duncan Smith being required to be 'impartial' while he sits in for the vacationing Jeremy Vine on his popular radio programme to Tory cabinet ministers who are required to support their Prime minister while she performs a U turn on public spending for Northern Ireland to 'buy' the votes of the DUP.

While some MPs on the Tory benches speak out with honesty and conviction (I'm thinking here  of Ken Clarke and the straight talking Anna Soubry MP)  so many turn blind eye to those who lead the party.

What will happen? - The economy and stability of UK Plc are effectively under the control of a small caucus who it seems to many value their party far beyond the health of the country's electorate at large.

And now

Okay let's take it to the next level

Pressing on to £280

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lights, action and mulch

Neat light with charger and battery bargain at  £35
Of course not everything about the internet is great but it fantastic for getting 'things' this little light is perfect as a 'fill' for taking pictures of people and arrived promptly and works - would have been nice if supplied with a 'shoe' adaptor to enable it to sit on a tripod - but that's ordered now too

Seems an absolute bargain too it's called  Hakutatz LED portable photography videography light and was just £35 from UK Ebay seller 'Blue Dimensions' including good packaging and prompt shipping.


I'm not sure how long ago I got our first consignment of wood mulch from local tree feller - seems that it's very popular (free is an even better price than £35)  - wonder if the whole site will rise a few inches.

Don't put this type it on your crops until it's stabilised - chemical reactions going on and I could see steam rising today.

You might just about see the steam on our fresh Mulch 

Another day another dollar

or so the saying goes but actually £2 to make

a total so far of £277

Monday, June 26, 2017

Kale, Cabbage and Cauliflower

Today I've been planting out my vegetables from the Brassica Oleracea family   -and only really have Chard and some leeks (perhasp)  to be planted  in the ground  now.

Need to make sure that I keep away pigeons

Seems this genus has been cultivated for several hundred years and is good for us.

A few weedy looking plants

A small looking sample.
Cabbages and Cauliflowers are similarly protected

I'm bringing home soft fruit every day now and also courgettes - the first (but only a few).

 Redcurrants which I will have with some blackcurrants - If I think of each tub  as being about £1 it makes the allotment seem cost effective (almost) keep in mind that there's all this other good thing too.

I'm also having a go at growing some Melba Melons too - but they'll stay in the greenhouse (most of the time).

Now that was (National) Radio 1

It's £275

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Flower and Cake

When I was young my parents were knocked out when Nick (my brother) came back from France with Champagne - their first holiday abroad was in the 1970's.

It's easy to forget how lucky I am - here today  an indoor  plant we've had for a few years is finally flowering.

Not every day

especially nice when shared.

And I'm able to take a cake home made to share  with others.

Medium Wave

Again looking back radio stations were described by their wavelengths ..

273 would be a good one (radio 275 & 285)

£273 - Not a MW  radio station 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The worlds of Arts and Crafts

We love 'A' Frames

Noticed a contrast between the Artists who spend some of their time  painting and creating and those who commit more fully.

Interesting to see, last night  work of EAG (Ealing Art Group) at St Barnabas Church (nice place too - but the Kingsgate Workshops   today in West Hampstead was full of people who 'walked the walk' - great tour of the Ceramicist workshops by one of the best competitors in this years'  BBC  Pottery throw-down Freya who shares workshop space with her father and sister.

The results of creative endeavour 

A taste of the place

Reusing old industrial space 

Great to meet people who've been at the workshops for 30 plus years and be able to smell the oil paint that's part of the fabric of the place.

Here we are

It feels like soon I'll be arriving at a point where the temptation will be to add a 'hefty' sum to reach a bargain/offer  price for the Canon  G7 MkII- there are lots of offers out there  now - new models coming  from Canon I expect.

At the pint we can say £271

Friday, June 23, 2017

And Brexit means ..

Well it's a year - here in Ealing there was a shop that proclaimed its colours

Some did but not London

And one year on now we know we' re heading to our own destiny - what do you think happened to the shop?

Why it remained (empty) and looked sad

Now here

but the money box doesn't remain empty (it doesn't exit either)

Hello £269

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Facial recognition

Not Debbie

Yesterday I saw someone from a distance because of where I saw them and the time of day  I thought it was my 'other half' Debbie -it wasn't...

The World population is  around 7.5 Billion and growing (you can see it here) - you can take it that we're creating new Einstein's or that we're doomed.

What I take is that we can (more or less) detect difference at one in 7.5 Billion.

I do have a slight fear that I won't recognise someone I know when I'm away from them for some time (and there's a condition - Face Blindness that Oliver Sachs famously suffered) .

I met a guy called John Bradford who suggested I take some exercises to tune my aptitude around this - the question is 'is it a Psychological problem or maybe a neurodevelopmental one?   - either way it's not too surprising but perhaps it points towards some childhood trauma?

{I think Google's Picasa  has an algorithm for this anyway]

Galloping along

Now it's £267

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The new PM?

For our Queen probably felt like the longest day
Some Tories think it's  been the longest day

Jeremy Corbyn has a spring in his step and Theresa is looking more and more like Cruella de Ville - how long can this 'end of the pier show' run?

What is fascinating is that someone has told Philip  Hammond (the Chancellor) that he's now the Prime-Minister -Immigration (what concerned the electorate) is being sidelined.

I'm wondering if the timescale for Brexit is now going to be 5 plus years and in politics nothing happens if it's 5 years.

Oh dear.

Cash Money

I guess £263 50 is no surprise

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Brexit talks start

What people can get in a nice safe market

Seeing David Davies MP shaking hands (rather needy?) the true gravity of last years decision  to leave the EU is there for us to see - I wonder if Davies is focused on the detail  or if he sees this as part of realising his ambition to be leader of the Tories and the UK's Prime-minister?

Being made clear by Mark Carney that his view remains as before -it'll be challenging for the economy but  for some of those at the time of the vote they made it clear that this was not what it's about -UK bill to leave likely to be in the Billions - wonder where the extra NHS funds we were teased with (on that battle bus) will come from?


As part of my 2017 have put a load of Business books on the BookMooch site - it's a place where you can get totally free books and use the points generated either to get other books or donate to good causes - as I want to clear space my points are given.

As I've entered the books onto the database it's been a reminder from my business studies (about 10 years ago) of  how I'd go through books looking for quotes that I could use in assignments - plenty of post its and bookmarks removed - I guess it's slightly more web based now.

And more

Perhaps my fund should be used for something other than a replacement camera..

or not- And the sum is now £262

Monday, June 19, 2017

Social Media Training

RACC has been adapted to fulfil it's goals
I suppose the Millennials and people around this group know all about Social Media by both by shared experiences amongst their peer groups  as well as training.

I'm often an early adopter of the applications that help us communicate but my own experience has been a little ad-hoc to date.

I was fortunate enough to hear about a course that could have been designed just for me and it was held not too far from home at RACC (A college in Richmond West London).

This really was a chance to speak, listen  and learn from someone who had been on a journey from the corporate marketing world to a One man band type of operation where he was able to get the chance to put into action what he picked up on the value of Social Media.

Julian Holden (for that was the name of the course leader - as you'd expect he's all over the web) started by hearing what the four 'students' wanted from the day giving some background on his own career.
Think about the people, the platforms and the message

The course wasn't about SEO (Search engine optimization) but usefully Julian did touch on it - there are always Buzz words in these techie type fields.

I'm on Facebook, Twitter and have a blog and like one of the other participants  on the course I've not pulled these different elements  together so it was great to look at this and always see what the low effort way of using Facebook might be (create a 'public' page under your profile - open to all 'users') .

What I need to do now is investigate some of the 'Social Media Desktops' - there are free ones to start with like a basic version of Hootsuite.

And of course the thing to do (which I'm bad at) is look at what is effective - and that's not necessarily what you like (Sprout Social was mentioned).

The Money Pot

Another 'round-ish' figure -£260

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Travelling on Richmond Green

Lovely weather and people milling around - reminded me of Oleta Adams


On foot
or even Running

A fast walk 

Aeroplane - get here anyway 

Okay here we are

At £258

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Zombies and misery

Rocking out in Richmond 
First of all where I'm coming from - I've lived through about ten Prime ministers I think and can recall about nine of them our current PM is by far the worst I've experienced and is now a political Zombie.

But I do not think she is alone in being guilty of considering financial consideration too highly - I do not condone the pack mentality that smells blood and is looking to see her toppled  - it's far too similar to those terrible blood sports that I thought were behind us.

On my MBA course (a few years ago now) one of the first topics we covered  was leadership -The thing is  is leadership is a two way thing it's not just about the figure head it's about those who follow too - blind obedience does not remove responsibility.

Where do we go from here - ? The Conservative party are well known for their ruthlessness in despatching electoral liabilities, the figure who can bring cheer (in the short term) and some consensus could be a reformed BJ (Boris) or perhaps it'll be Philip Hammond who will be the uniting figure -?

All present and correct

£256 50 is here Sir!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Anglian Windows Fascia work

Actual work for some - not blogging

It's quite easy to forget that there are (a few) people who actually get out there, do physical work that requires effort - we've become (and I include myself) sometimes feels that we've become a nation of commentators and critics.

Couple of weeks ago I got in touch with Anglian Windows about replacing Fascia (side and eave's bargeboards) these are increasingly made up of filler, they get a hammering from sun, wind and rain.

Anglian salesman was personable and proficient on his product  and a quote was soon with us, this was followed up  by a surveyor - Scaffolding erected yesterday - 2 guys working solidly.

Today two (Martin and John)  installers arrived about 8:00 and immediately got stuck in and have kept me updated on issues as they arise- well done to them (but I now have a small rendering job to make good).

And the steady trend

continues and

brings us to £255

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A BEAT/Photo Pop Up perhaps

Yesterday went and took a look at potential exhibiting space in Ealing Broadway Centre - be great if we (me and BEAT) can deliver - obstacles to navigate but should be surmountable.

A blank canvas
The shutters are down

Throughout the UK there are shops that are unused and the idea of bringing people to use these spaces to positive ends does appeal to me - so much that I was willing to attend a meeting (pretty much anathema  to me) and get support for the necessary people to help make this a possibility  - we'll see what happens.

And a  suburban meeting place
These shared spaces where life takes place

In fact the part of the meeting I attended wasn't too bad and I was able to see that we were all broadly in agreement - and only about an hour of my time.

It didn't feel..

Appropriate/right  to go on about this yesterday - so sad to hear of an avoidable tragedy like that which we saw in 21st century London (a modern city in a rich country) - worse in some ways than other things we've suffered of late

but here the two that brings us to £253

£251 50 on route to 
the £253 we're at now