An account of the penultimate day at the Australian Open accompanied by some pictures and some links.


As well as my thoughts on the Australian Open I have some links and pictures to share. 


There is one day remaining of the Australian Open. Tomorrow morning our time Andrew Murray takes to the court to play Novak Djokovic in the final of the men’s singles. If he wins, it will be the first time in the open era that a pair of brothers have won the singles and doubles titles at the same grand slam event, since today’s amazing action concluded with Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares beating the uber-veterans (combined aged 80) Daniel Nestor and Radek Stepanek to claim the men’s doubles. Gordon Reid having already won the wheelchair singles finally ran out of steam in the closing stages of a very long wheelchair doubles final.

However, the main event of the day was the women’s singles final. Serena Williams started as a red hot favourite against Angeliqe Kerber of Germany who had ended the run of Johanna Konta in the semi-finals (in reaching that stage of the tournament Konta had done enough to guarantee that she will be seeded at the French Open, as it took her ranking into the top 30 and she will be playing tournaments that she was not in last year between now and Roland Garros).

However, in the event, Angelique Kerber did the highly improbable and beat Serena Williams in three sets. This was a truly superb match (I heard every shot of it on five live sports extra) and I end this section by stating something in bold capitals:



The front of the Duke’s Head Hotel where the Positive Autism Awareness Conference will be happening on April 15th.
The rear of the Duke’s Head
St Anne’s House
Below this Tudor frontage is a hairdressers.



To open this section I mention a new find, dreambigdreamoften to whom I was introduced by Anna. My second encounter with DBDO came courtesy of Maria who signposted me towards this Meet and Greet post.

I also wish to share this from Ambitious About Autism.

My other links all relate to my London transport themed website,




An account of Wednesday’s auction at the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich, with a few other bits and bobs, including another mention of the Positive Autism Awareness Conference.


Although mainly concerned with the James and Sons auction that took place the day before yesterday, this post will also mention a few other things at the end.


This section divides into several subsections, starting with…


Given the early hour at which it was necessary for me to be at the venue and the fact that I was not returning straight to King’s Lynn but was instead going to my parents because we were going to a bridge evening at the Jolly Sailors I decided to aim to be on the 5:55AM X1 bus to Norwich, with the more circuitous X8/X29 route, the first of which departs at 6:10AM as back up.

I achieved my intended aim of being on the 5:55AM bus and this bus not only departed on time, it benefited from a clear run along the A47 to arrive at Norwich bus station precisely when it was supposed to. I then walked down to the Maids Head, picking up a few photos along the way as I was in plenty of time…


All the stuff for the auction had to unloaded from the van and set up in the room we were using (the Erpingham room) at The Maids Head, and a few things had to be moved around for the room to properly organised for our purposes. That and a few technical hitches notwithstanding (mere trifles such as initially having no internet connection!) all was ready by 9AM when the first viewers started to arrive.


The auction started quietly, with only a few people present at the venue and no one bidding online on the early lots, but the internet bidding started at just after lot 100, and was very lively at certain points – lot 204 with an estimate of £50-60 went for £260, lots 283 and 286 both went for substantially above estimate, and a sequence of sets of penny reds with Great Western Railway perfins saw some spirited bidding involving a room and an internet bidder, with half a dozen lots estimated at 10-15 actually getting three figures a piece.

These are some of the penny reds which caused such excitement.

Lots 597 and 737 both sold very cheap to yours truly (even with buyers premium there was change from £15 for the two lots put together). Here they are…

In connection with these pieces of railwayana, a quick reminder of my London transport themed website,


The last lot went under the hammer not very long after 2PM, after which everything that had not gone to people in the room had to be loaded back on to the van. Then my colleague Andrew and I travelled back to Fakenham in the van. My initial plan had been to get the 17:38 bus on from Fakenham to East Rudham, but because we were ahead of schedule, but not sufficiently so for there to be a likelihood of me catching the 15:38, and because the weather showed its teeth when we just east of Fakenham, Andrew very kindly gave me a lift to East Rudham. I worked out that I had handled some of these lots seven separate times (carrying them to my imaging area, carrying them to the storage area, carrying them down to the shop for viewing, carrying them the shop to the van, carrying them from the van to auction venue, carrying them from the auction venue to the van and finally carrying them from the van back to the shop).


My early arrival at East Rudham proved useful – my parents had unearthed some silver spoons which needed to photographed with a view to selling them. I have two picture galleries in this connection, both created from the same set of originals – the first using Microsoft’s own image editing software, and the second, which I unveil for the first time, using my own image editing software, which was designed specifically for use with Nikon Coolpix cameras…

This is the set of images created using Microsoft software…

This was the result when I edited the same photos using my own software.

The bridge went well after a poor start – I emerged plus 13 on the evening (65p at Jolly Sailors stakes).


Monday 1st February: James and Sons feature on Antiques Road Trip – episode on air on BBC1 at 4:30PM (should be available on i-player by 6PM) – I am the guy in the red jacket sat next to the auctioneer.

Wednesday 24th February: James and Sons auction at Fakenham Racecourse, starts at 10AM. This auction features a wide variety of lots, beginning with bonds, passing through banknotes, coins, stuff from HMS Britannia, Ephemera and Militaria before finishing with Stamps.

Friday 15th April: Positive Autism Awareness Conference, the Dukes Head Hotel, King’s Lynn – for more information check out the following links:

Yesterday’s blog post dedicated to this event

West Norfolk NAS’s facebook page

The Facebook event listing

West Norfolk NAS’s website



I have shared some of London mayoral candidate Sian Berry’s transport related ideas on

London City Airport

Fair Fares

This is the official Fair Fares piece

Having provided these excellent suggestions Sian has turned her attention to London’s sky high rents, with this proposal for a London Renter’s Union

If you are eligible to vote in this election I urge you to vote for Sian Berry.



An entire post dedicated to publicising NAS West Norfolk’s Positive Autism Awareness Conference, which will take place on April 15th, starting at 9AM.


This brief post is the first of what will doubtless be many about this event, being put on by NAS West Norfolk.


West Norfolk NAS’s Positive Autism Awareness Conference will take place at The Duke’s Head, King’s Lynn. I have three images to share to complete this post, a screenshot of Claire King’s facebook post about the event and jpgs of a map and a google earth image showing the location…

Positive Autism Awareness Conference

Positive Autism Awareness Conference MapPAAC Google Earth

Not mentioned specifically, but already lined up as part of the event is a photographic presentation by yours truly.

Birds of Stone: Avian Fossils from the Age of Dinosaurs

Another super post from the team at whyevolutionistrue!

Why Evolution Is True

by Greg Mayer

This coming Monday, February 1, at 7 PM in the Student Union Cinema, the University of Wisconsin-Parkisde will present Luis Chiappe, Director of the Dinosaur Institute of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, will speak on “Birds of Stone: Avian Fossils from the Age of Dinosaurs”.

Dr. Luis Chiappe of the LACM Dr. Luis Chiappe of the LACM

Many of the features commonly associated with birds (feather, wings, hollow bones, wishbones) were inherited from their dinosaurian ancestors, and these features arose at various times during the birds’ long Mesozoic history. New fossils have laid out this evolutionary saga in great detail, allowing us to trace the changes from the earliest birds, such as Archaeopteryx, to the dawn of modern birds. The talk, part of UW-Parkside’s Science Night series, is intended for the general public.

At noon on Monday, in Molinaro Hall D 139, Dr. Chiappe will present a more technical…

View original post 250 more words

Auctions, Auctions, Auctions

Mainly concerned with today at work, this post also mentiuons the test match just concluded in South Africa’s favour and a piece by Why Evolution is True about a white giraffe.


I will be mentioning stuff opther than auctions, but it is the auctions that form the basis of this post.


Today’s work at James and Sons featured three different auctions, hence the title both of the post and of this section thereof.


This played a comparatively minor role, everything having been done save for actually holding the auction. However, it was necessary to get the stuff loaded on to the van ready for being transported to Norwich tomorrow morning and I had to remember to disconnect the mouse from my work computer.


There were still a few items to be imaged for this auction, and one lot that needed special treatment so that it could feature on the front cover. Thus two photo galleries for this section…

These are some of the highlights from the unimaged lots.

The second photo gallery in this subsection deals exclusively with lot 450, which I was reimaging specifically for use on the front cover…

The photograph was fairly straightforward – although you will note that I edited it a number of different ways. The set of medals was more difficult because I had to prevent external light from intervening and they are attached to a display case that is about an inch thick.


Towards the end of the day I made a start on imaging items that will go under the hammer on March 30th. Thus, here is another picture gallery…

While this gallery brings today at work to a close I have one last James and Sons item to share…


Regular followers of this blog may recall that James and Sons feature in an episode of Antiques Road Trip. I can now inform you that this particular episode will be shown on February 1st at 4:30PM (meaning that it will be available for watching on i-player by 6PM that day for those like me who refuse to pay for the ‘privelege’ of watching live TV)


In a post I put up yesterday I expressed the opinion that England were headed for defeat in the final test match of their series against South Africa. This became reality reamrakably quickly – by the time I left for work at 8:30 this morning our time England had plunged from three down to six down, with Kagiso Rabada picking up his 10th wicket of the match just before I left (Bairstow, morally out twice – saved first time round one the TV replay umpire picked up a no-ball and then done in precisely the same way by the very next delivery). A discreet check while eating my sandwiches confirmed that end had come swiflty thereafter, with Rabada taking a further three wickets to give him 13 in thge match and, of course, the player of the match award. For full details on events please visit the official cricinfo report.

Also from the continent of Africa but otherwise utterly unrelated to the above, the good folks at Why Evolution is True have come up with this offering about a rare white giraffe which is now fifteen months old.


Some Sporting Stories

A couple of sporting stories, news of a bold new plan for London City Airport and an important petition.


This is going to be a blog post of many parts. As well as the sporting stories in the title I will be sharing some other stuff that I have come across recently. I will cover the sporting stories first…


Two different stories from South Africa. First…


England’s victory in the third test match gave them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four match series, so the fact that they took two sessions (SA 220-1 in 1st innings) to wake up in this match and have never been on terms is less of a worry than it might be. Going into the final day, extended to make up for time lost to the weather, England have 98 overs to bat and with seven wickets in hand need what would appear to be a purely nominal 330 more to win.

Kagiso Rabada who took seven wickets in the first innings already has another two, and one more would make him the youngest ever bowler to take 10 in a test match. Hashim Amla was one good blow short of completing twin centuries in the match and two South African debutants made centuries in the first innings, Cook (like his English namesake an opening batsman) and De Kock (wicketkeeper and middle order batsman).

Barring cataclysmic weather the final outcome of this series will be a 2-1 win to England.

My second cricket story concerns a rather graver matter…


Gulam Bodi has been banned from any cricket related activity except attending anti-corruption programs for a period of 20 years for contriving or attempting to fix matches in the 2015 Ram Slam T20 series. A full account, by Cricinfo’s South African correspondent Firdose Moonda, can viewed here.

While I am pleased to see that a severe punishment has been dished out I can only concur with the thoughts voiced by Michael Vaughan on Test Match Special today – this is not tough enough. Anyone caught engaging in this kind of behaviour should be banned outright for life.


We are deep into the second week of a grand slam tournament (the Australian Open), and Andy Murray is not the sole remaining Brit in the main singles draws (he is of course still there). He has been joined in reaching the last eight by 24 year old Johanna Konta, the first British woman since 1984 to make a grand slam quarter-final.


I have a few other items to share, starting with…


I have already given this some coverage on my London transport themed website. Sian Berry (Green party candidate for London mayor) and her team have come up with an excellent alternative usage proposal for the site of London City Airport. Full details can be read here, while the original of the picture I  reproduce below can be viewed here.



First, a petition which I introduce by way of a piece of text designed for use in emails:

I just signed the petition “Don’t cut benefits for people living with disabilities” and wanted to ask if you could add your name too. 

This campaign means a lot to me and the more support we can get behind it, the better chance we have of succeeding. You can read more and sign the petition here: 

Can you also take a moment to share the petition with others? It’s really easy – all you need to do is forward this email or click these links: 

Share on Facebook 

Share on Twitter 

Thank you! 

For more detail please view this post from disabilitybenefitsconsortium.