Welcome to Sunday Social

Come and join the fun at Rachel’s Sunday Social…

Rachel McKee~Illuminated Literation

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A Grockle’s Eye View of Cornwall 1: Getting There

The start of a new series – A Grtockle’s Eye View of Cornwall.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome the first post in my series about my recent visit to Cornwall. Before we move on, here is a little bit of etymology for you:

Screenshot 2018-07-22 at 9.41.12 AM

For an insider’s view of Cornwall check out the Cornish Maid blog. In this post, because it is an introduction, and mainly about the journey down, you will only see Cornish photos near the end of it, but there will be several with many more pictures (St Ives is getting at least two posts and maybe more, St Michael’s Mount may well get more than one post and the Cremyll Ferry may figure in more than one post) before I wrap things up with a post about the return journey.

KINGS LYNN TO PADDINGTON

I had booked my tickets in advance, and part of the deal was that I had to be on a specific train for the long haul section between Paddington and Plymouth. My recommended itinerary had me on the 08:44 from King’s Lynn, but my usual prompt preparations on the morning of a major journey saw me at the station in time to catch the 08:12, and figuring that having extra slack to make the connection across London from King’s Cross to Paddington could not hurt I took that train instead.

This service was listed to call only at Royston between Cambridge and London, but at Cambridge stops were added at Letchworth, Hitchin, Stevenage and Finsbury Park, at which point having got the earlier train seemed an even better idea than it had originally. 

From King’s Cross to Paddington was noteworthy only for the fact that in a situation that is practically headline making these days all of London Underground’s lines were working properly at the same time, and I was early at Paddington, and had to wait for information about the platform. 

Cambridge NorthKing's Cross main stationKings Cross St Pancras MCHCKCSP roundelUxbridge trainGreat Portland StreetDistrict line mapCHC mapBaker StreetMail trainEdgware RoadPaddingtonTFL RailTFL Rail logoPaddington canopy roof

PADDINGTON TO PLYMOUTH

I was booked in a seat in a designated quiet coach, a window seat that should have been facing the direction of travel, but because someone had decided to reverse the running order of the train was not. However, the coach was quiet, and although I was facing against the direction of travel I did get some pictures along the way, and this train stuck exactly to its schedule.

Near Old Oak Commondistant view of trainsDepotHanwellPassing traintrackside tower, BerkshirePassing a train, BerkshireOld FactoryStation, BerkshirePassing a stationCountry house, BerksApartment blocksReadingPassing a train IIMaintenance trainUrban sceneChurch tower IChurchTrain at stationstation shotMajor station565BoatsBoats IIBoats IIIBoats IVSmall YachtSmall boatFishing boatsLong bridgeHouse through the trees585Water

PLYMOUTH TO FORT PICKLECOMBE

My train from Plymouth to St Germans was due to call at a number of places en route, and at Devonport it picked up a number of schoolchildren, who were fortunately well behaved, and not too noisy. It arrived at St Germans exactly when it was supposed to as well, making two successive trains that had run to schedule. My parents picked me up at St German and we went by car to their apartment in Fort Picklecombe.

Metal SculptureDevonportTamar Valley line590

The Brunel bridge
Crossing the Tamar

Many boatsArmadalarge boatsA medley of boatsBoats all over the placeGathering of boats

Unusual flower pot
This “flowerpot” can be seen at Saltash station
Bridges
A distant glimpse of the famous bridge. bridge that is used by Saltash station for advertising

HarbourRiverriver with boats

AT FORT PICKLECOMBE

Thursday evening in the vicinity of Fort Picklecombe is fish ‘n’ chips evening, courtesy of the two wonderful girls who run ahoyfishandchips, a mobile chippy. The meal was magnificent – if you are ever in an area being served by Ahoy Fish and Chips do not miss out. 

BreakwaterLighthouseA137sloopdecorative containersLighthouse and boatsBoat and islandOfficers messslipwayemplacementRocks

Fort Picklecombe
A view of the fort from out on the bfreakwater.

Sun on the waterPassenger boatLighthouse and fishing boat

Looking towards The Hoe
I found a location harbourside from which The Hoe is visible (this is only a couple of miles from Plymouth in straight distance).

Mooring ring

Crab I
A crab in the shallow water

Crab IIlooking out to sea

salt deposits, breakwater
This image from the breakwater reveals two things: The concrete had not set before someone walked on it, and that it regularly gets sea water washing over it.

ahoyfishandchipscruise linerCruise liner IIPrinsendam

Ferry and cloud
A rarity – a sky with exactly one cloud in it.

Solutions to Guards and Clock Problem

Solutions to na couple of problems and a new problem for you to get your teeth into.

INTRODUCTION

A couple of aeons ago in the post I put up immediately before setting off for Marxism 2018 I presented two problems from brilliant.org, one easy and one hard. Now at long last I offer solutions to them.

THE GUARDS PROBLEM

Here is the answer:

Guards answer

Now here is an official solution, posted by Siva Budaraju:

Guards solution

Yes, Anna, you were right about this one, as you are about many things. 

THE CLOCK PROBLEM

For this one I shall present the confirmation that my answer was correct, my sneaky way of solving the problem and then an official solution.

Clock answer

I got the solution by realising that if there was an arrangement of the hands that enabled this to happen it would not be unique – as with problems involving two hands on a clockface there would be a number of possibilities, which would mean that finding such an arrangement would not be very difficult, and this was supposed to be a dificult problem, which led me to the conclusion that there could not be a time when the three hands divided the clockface into equal segments. Now here are two official solutions:

clock solution

A NEW PROBLEM

I finish by sharing another problem with you that I enjoyed solving:

3 and 2

 

 

 

Marxism 2018: The Closing Rally

Wrapping up my series on Marxism 2018 with an account of the Final Rally.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the final post in my series about Marxism 2018. As this series has for various reasons been somewhat spread out I start by providing links to all the previous posts in the series, in chronological order:

GETTING TO THE FINAL RALLY

As I mentioned in the overview of the weekend I left my last regular meeting a little early to head for Friends Meeting House. I deposited my bag there, and then had to wait to be let into the meeting room because it had been decided not to open the doors until 5:15PM, which given the size of that room was allwoing absurdly little time for people to be in and seated before the 5:30PM start. Knowing that I would be leaving early I positioned myself in a position to do so without generating any fuss.#

Posters, FMHPosters, FMH IIThe light, just after openingThe light IIThe light IIIThe PlatformStarting to fill upSister actJanet Alder, Christine Buchholz, Amy Leather and chair Naima OmarFull panelChristine, Tina and JanetFilling upFilling up IIThe Light IVTina, Christine, JanetFilling up IIIFilling up IVFilling up VTina, Christine, Janet, Amy, NaimaAlmost ready to startPanelalmost starting time

Panel II
The panel for the final rally – Tina McVeigh, Christine Buchholz, Janet Alder, Amy Leather and chair Naima Omar

Filling Up VIFilling up VII

THE RALLY ITSELF

A little later (but only a little) than originally intended chair Naima Omar got things started.

Naima opens the rally

The first speaker to be introduced was Dublin councillor Tina McVeigh, who talked inspiringly about the current Irish political scene, and reminded us of the recent triumph for progressive forces in that part of the world, the repeal of the 8th, about which her compatriots Mary and Siomha had spoken so movingly during the Opening Rally. 

Tina McVeigh speaks
Tina McVeigh making her speech

The team

 

The picture above shows The Team, the people who keep the event running smoothly, act as first point of contact for queries etc. This is a challenging and exhausting task (I did it six times myself, so I know whereof I write).

The second speaker was Christine Buchholz of Die Linke, a member of the German parliament, and virtually bilingual. She gave us a direct account of fighting against the rise of the far right in mainland Europe (Germany being one of the places where this is a particularly hot topic at the moment).

Naima introduces Christine
Naima Introduces Christine

Christine starts her speechChristine Buchholz

Third to speak was Janet Alder, whose brother Christopher, a former soldier, was killed while in police custody. This is bad enough, but what followed was if anything even worse – while consistently refusing to reveal the truth about what had happened to Christopher the police also used resources that should have been used to investigate the death to spy on Janet instead (similar to how Doreen Lawrence was spied on by those who were supposed to be investiagting her son’s murder). Janet told us about the campaign, which has now been running fior almost 20 years to get justice done – to this day Christopher’s killers remain unpunished. It was at the end of this speech that I left the event.

Janet Alder
Janet Alder

Standing ovation for Janet IIIStanding ovation for Janet IV

The two pictures above show the response to Janet’s speech.

HOMEWARD BOUND

There was a train nominally for Cambridge and King’s Lynn leaving just after 7PM, which I managed to be on. An announcement by the driver told us that they hoped to be able to split at Cambridge and travel onwards to King’s Lynn but that they may not be able to because there had been problems, so I prepared myself to change at Cambridge (I have a justifiably low opinion of Great Northern, so I given two possibilities I naturally assumed that the worse would eventuate). In the event my assessment was correct, and those of travelling beyond Cambridge did have to change trains, so I arrived back at almost exactly nine o’clock.

St Pancras
St Pancras Station from the far side of the Euston Road
Ely Cathedral
Ely Cathedral

Press Release Success

A brief account of the genesis and development of a Lynn News article advertising James and Sons’ upcoming auctions.

INTRODUCTION

This post tells the story of the development of an article that appeared in today’s Lynn News about James and Sons upcoming Militaria auctions.

EMAIL AND PRESS RELEASE

I created a document for emailing out to potential militaria buyers, using lot 11 as the main image (at that time I envisaged that lot being on the front cover), but also including an image of lot 50, which I realised was an interesting item. On the advice of my employer I used the exact same document as a press release, though for this purpose I attached the original word document, a jpg thereof and full image galleries of both featured lots. Thus those receiving the press release saw all of the following:

AUCTION REMINDER MILITARIAMilitaria Email1111-i11-h11-g11-f11-e11-d11-c11-b11-a5050-a50-b50-c50-d

Not long after I had sent this press release came a response from Julie Graham of the Lynn News, whose eye had been taken by the Agincourt bas-relief. She requested some additional information which I supplied and indicated that an article in the business section of the issue for Friday July 20 would be forthcoming. For obvious reasons the Agincourt piece also became the front cover item on the printed catalogue. The article duly appeared as promised this morning:

Agincourt Article

You can find out more about James and Sons from the company website, and online catalogues for our upcoming auctions can be accessed from there, or on the following links below:

Marxism 2018: Meetings with an Environmental Theme

The environment themed meetings at Marxism 2018.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the penultimate post in my series about Marxism 2018 (to be followed in the not too distant future by a series that I will title “A Grockle’s Eye View of Cornwall” following my recent visit to Cornwall (more on that curious word grockle at the start of said series). I missed only one of the environmentally themed meetings at Marxism 2018 (it clashed with a meeting about mental health, which I attended instead), the one featuring John Bellamy Foster.

MEETING 1: MARTIN EMPSON ON CLIMATE CHANGE

THis meeting was the subject of my first Marxism 2018 post. Here is the featured image:

WHY DOES CAPITALISM LOVE PLASTIC?

Amy Leather started her talk with a potted history of the development of plastics. She then talked about plastics as a by-product of fossil fuel extraction, linking in to controversies over fracking. She also talked about how when disposable plastic first became a thing there were advertising campaigns to persuade people to dispose of the stuff. During the discussion James from north Derbyshire mentioned that the company who are seeking to engage in fracking in his part of the world and against whom he and others are fighting are primarily a plastic making company, and their interest in fracking is based on a desire to use by products of fracking to make more plastics.

Amy prepares to give her talkPlastics meeting just before startAmy at the ready.Amy and booksAmy makes final preparationsrecruiterBooksPlastics meetingSpeaker and ChairAmy speakingAmy speaking IIPlastic filled whaleA contribution from the floorthe filmer filmed

SARAH ENSOR AND IAN RAPPEL ON CAPITALISM AND EXTINCTION

This was the first meeting of the Sunday. The Institute of Education has a somewhat curious system of floor numbering, whereby you enter the building from outside on level 4. This meeting was in a room on Level 8, and I chose not to use the lift (I have been known to opt for the stairs at both Russell Square – 175 – and Covent Garden – 200 – stations, so for a mere four floors it was barely even a question). 

I enjoyed the meeting – both speakers were excellent, and although the sun prevented the presentation from being seen to best effect (even with blinds drawn and the lights off in the key part of the room – the latter a suggestion on the part of yours truly) it was still well worth the climb up and down.

Seminar room 802-4 for Capitalism and Extinction meetingPosters IPosters IIBookmarksPosters IIIDump TrumpSlide showIan adjusts the slide showTitle slidePlatformPlatform IIPlatform IIIThe chair introduces the meetingSarah Ensor speaks firstSarah speakingTitle slide IIBiodiversity - Arctic WatersBiodiversity pictureBiodiversity pic IIBiodiversity pic IIIArctic CodCapitalism and the EnvironmentDecline in Marine populationsMarine population declineDecline in marine populationsDecline in Marine populations IICapitalism degrades natureSarahWhaling 1850sWhaling 20th CenturyIan RappelIan Rappel IIpost-revolutionary ecological renaissanceRevolutionary ecologyCapitalist ecology3rd Runway protestOne (wonderful) world to win

DIRTY ENERGY AND CAPITALISM: WHAT’S THE REAL STORY

This meeting which featured Suzanne Jeffery and anti-fracking campaigner Tina Louise Rothery took place in Clarke Hall, on Level 3 of the Institute of Education in the post lunch session of the Sunday. It had been made even more topical by the fact that in the run up to the event the Tories had simultaneously refused to provide funding for the Swansea Tidal Lagoon (capable of supplying 10% of the country’s energy needs had it gone ahead) and forced through the 3rd runway at Heathrow.  Both speakers were excellent, and during the discussion Brid Smith TD talked about a bill she is trying to get through the Dail which would mean that no more fossil fuels will be extracted from Ireland (it has already passed its first reading). 

Dirty energy meetingJuxtapositionPostersPanelFrack Free Lancashire IISuzanne Jeffery speaking

Suzanne Jeffery
Suzanne Jeffery

Clarke HallClarke Hall IIClarke Hall IIILancashire

Tina Louise Rothery
Tina Louise Rothery

TLR ITLR IITLR IIITLR IVTLR VTLR VITLR VIIIAnti-fracking noticeTLR IXTLR XTLR XITLR XIITLR XIIIFrack Free LancashireTLR finishes her speech

Brid Smith TD contirbutes to the discussion
Brid Smith talks about her fossil fuels bill that is curfrently going through the Dail

Summing up

AN EXAMPLE OF A CAMPAIGN

A common theme running through these meeting was the necessity of supporting campaigns all over the world. I therefore conclude this post with a mention of the Save Trosa Nature campaign. You can find out more about this campaign by reading Anna’s posts about it. There is a petition currently running which you can sign here.

Marxism 2018: An Overview of the Weekend

The antepenultimate post in my series on Marxism 2018.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this, the antepenultimate post in my series about Marxism 2018 (to be followed by a post about the environmentally themed meetings I attended and a post about the Final Rally), in which I cover Saturday and Sunday.

SATURDAY

Having arranged to stay in a hall of residence near the event I was able to walk in, and had time to take a few photos along the way:

Warren Street Station and the BT Tower

Warren Street Station
London’s Pride march was taking place this same Saturday, hence the crowd outside Warren Street Station.

The BT Tower

I started my day with Sarah Bates’ meeting “How did women win the vote?”. She started by pointing out that it was only wealthy British women who actually won the vote 100 years ago – their poorer compatriots had to wait, like a few of the men, a further 10 years. Then she went on to talk about the struggles that led up to women’s suffrage being granted in this country in those two stages. A lively discussion followed.

Before the meetingSarah BatesThe chair calls the meeting to order.Almost ready to startChair introduces speakerSarah making her speechSarah, close upThe MeetingA contribution from the floorSarah summing up

I then went up one floor, from the Malet Suite where that meeting had happened to room 3C/D for WhatMakes Humans Different from Animals? The Marxist View of Human Consciousness, with John Parrington. This one was based around a powerpoint presentation:

Parrington on Human ConsciousnessParrington on Human Consciousness IIPostersPosters IIThrough the window 1Through the window IIPacked housemeeting titleThe chair introduces the meetingJohn Parrington speakingLooking towards the speakerTitle slideComparisonHuman CivilizationHPEnv CatEvolution of Human UniquenessH.U RHU LA Marxist Theory of the MindP1170067Vygotsky close up 1Vygotsky close up 2VoloshinovA modern Marxist view of the mindNerve and BrainGenome and EpigenomeWaves and signalsEmotions and ChemistryConscious and UnconsciousNormality and illnessResistance and rebellionFuture of ConsciousnessParrington

A contribution to the discussion
Jenny, who was filming the meeting (most of the meetings at this event should now be viewable on youtube) also made a contribution to the meeting.
Psychologist Beth contributes to the discussion
Psychologist Beth was well received when she made her contribution.

After lunch I headed for Nunn Hall and the meeting on Disability, Oppression and Resistance, featuring an excellent panel of speakers from DPAC. This meeting was particularly fiery, as you might expect. Mention was made of the petition that DPAC have started to get Esther McVey sacked for lying to parliament.

Nunn Hall 1Nunn Hall 2Education painting, Nunn HallThe panelEllen Clifford from DPACFilling up IIEllen starts the meetingPaula Peters makes a contributionMeeting underwayMark DunkRebeccaThe panel IIThe story of the murder of a disabled asylum seekerconcluding the opening speechesPaula PetersThe picture on Paula's t-shirtPaula Peters IIRMT

Paula Peters IIIEllen Clifford

After this meeting I headed for Politics of the Mind: Marxism and Mental Distress, a book launch meeting. There were two other meetings in that session that would have been of interest but for the clash, John Bellamy Foster on Marxian theory and eco-revolution, and a debate being Charlie Kimber and an as yet unnamed Labour MP, What Would a Labour Givernment Look Like?. The meeting I opted for was a very interesting one, with many people sharing their stories during the discussion section.

Room 3CD for the Politics of the Mind - Marxism and Mentakl Distress book launch meetingThe platformThe bookPostersThe chair calls the meeting to orderIain Ferguson speaking

I concluded my day by going to Alex Callinicos’ meeting on Marx the Revolutionary.

The Venue before the start of Marx the RevolutionaryPreparing for Marx the RevolutionaryPlatformSpeaker and chairBannerJust before the meetingSarah intorduces the meetingAlex Callinicos speakingDuring the meetingCallinicos continuesThe VenueThe Venue IISarah opens the discussion section

SUNDAY

Since I was returning to King’s Lynn that night I was leaving my accommodation on the Sunday morning, and got away earlier than I needed to. My first meeting was at The Institute of Education, but before that I needed to deposit my larger bag at Student Central. I walked via Euston Square this time, using its two street level entrances as a convenient way to cross the Euston Road. 

Euston Square stationDisplay bioards, Euston Square

My first meeting of the day was Capitalism and Extinction, featuring Sarah Ensor and Ian Rappel. This is one I shall be covering in my next post, so for the moment here is a single picture:

Decline in Marine populations

After this meeting I headed for Brian Richardson’s meeting on “Who gets to be remembered: should all the statues fall?”. The thrust of this was that while statues do not necessarily have to fall it is appropriate to demand that the bad side of people like Cecil Rhodes (vicious racism and imperialism) be acknowledged. 

Platform for the who gets to be remembered meetingPlatformchair Despina introduces the meetingAudienceAudience IIRoomDespinaBrian Richardson speakingThe Rhodes statue

Mary from Norwich makes a contribution tio the discussion
Mary from Norwich contributing to the discussion.

Mary speaking

A brief note on meals: food was available at the event for £5 per meal, and also there were district picnics, where the food was cheaper. I therefore attended the Norwich picnics, donating £2 per time.

The lunch area

My third meeting of the Sunday was “Dirty energy and capitalism: what’s the real story?”, featuring Suzanne Jeffery and Tina Louise Rothery, which I shall be covering in my next post. 

TLR XII

For my final meeting before the Closing Rally I opted for “Corbyn, antisemitism and justice for Palestine”, featuring Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi (founder of Jewish Voice for Labour), Salma Karmi-Ayoub (British-Palestinian lawyer) and Rob Ferguson. This meeting was chaired by Anna Gluckstein (I do not usually mention chair’s surnames or origins, but she is Jewish, and her father Ygal, also known as Tony Cliff, was a founding member of the Socialist Workers Party, organisers of the Marxism Festival). 

I left this meeting slightly before the end in order to reach the final rally venue early because I was hoping to catch three of the four speakers at that before departing in time to at least be home by 9PM.

Upper Hall before meeting on antisemitismNaomi Wimborne Idrissi, Salma Karmi-Ayoub and chair Anna Gluckstein before the meetingBefore the meetinghalf a rose windowAnna and Naomi preparing themselvesAnna and NaomiPostersRob Ferguson arrivesNaomi Wimborne-IdrissiAnna opens the meetingNaomi continuingThe upper hall during Naomi's speechNaomi finishes her speechPalestinian biorn lawyer Salma speaksSalmaSalma Karmi-AyoubUpper hall during Salma's speechUpper hall during Salma's speech IIRob's speechA contribution to the discussion