Introducing the GoGo hares – worthy heirs to the elephants and dragons that preceded them.
The charity Breakhave established something a tradition involving large painted fibreglass animals – it started with elephants, then dragons, and now for a third installment we have hares. This year they are looking beyond Norwich – there is one in Fakenham, which I saw on Friday, there is one in Dereham which I saw through the windows of the ExCel bus travelling to and from the auction that my employers had in the fine city of Norwich yesterday and there are a load of them distributed around Norwich, some of which I captured on camera.
An important autism related meeting in Dereham plus a few shares and some photographs.
As well as my title piece, which as promised yesterday, is about the meeting in Dereham organised by Autism Anglia and ASD Helping Hands that I attended this morning. Karan and I were a little late arriving as she could not leave before the person who would be looking after her son had arrived and I had arranged a meet up point at The Gatehouse since while I was definitely up for the meeting I was not up for forking out the £11 it would have cost to me travel there and back under my own steam (at some point I will be putting up a post on public transport that will highlight why this particular shortish journey is so extortionate – for the moment suffice to say it has nothing to do with logic, reason, meeting passenger needs or anything else that has any place in the proper running of a public transport system). This meant that although we were able to introduce ourselves we missed most of the other people’s introductions.
The meeting had been arranged to discuss amendments to an autism strategy document which as it stood was laughably incomplete. Autism Anglia and ASD Helping Hands were effectively doing the kind of outreach stuff that Norfolk County Council should have been doing but weren’t. The County Council’s own meetings about such matters are invariably in Norwich, generally with a requirement that one arrive by 9:30. Before moving on to NAS West Norfolk’s role in the events of this meeting I will mention two things from the preliminary talk that caused hackles to raise. First, Norfolk County Council’s person responsible for co-ordinating matters relating to autism appears to have his fingers in a suspiciously large number of pies, and extending from this seems to be overly averse to scrutiny (as a West Norfolk resident who has the incinerator debacle seared on his memory I am naturally inclined to be mistrustful where Norfolk County Council are concerned – although we eventually won that one and the thing did not get built). Secondly there is the role of Norfolk Steps, who seem to have a monopoly on training provision for parents and carers and to be very reluctant to see that change – one person at the meeting had tried to use their materials to provide training and was told to desist. Another strike against Norfolk Steps from our point of view is that their training is not autism specific.
The key pages of the inadequate document that we were trying to improve were pages 16-19, and there was little we could do about what was on page 16, so as we seated around three tables each table was assigned a page to look at and make additions to. Ours was page 18:
I have already covered a lot of the problems with Norfolk Steps, but there is one extra point – they have recently had their funding reduced, and no longer offer “steps plus” to parents.
There were a few additions to point 5, which started our page. Point 6 was the single most inadequately expressed point in the whole sorry document. For this point to be worth the ink and paper it has to contain chapter and verse – the specific Act of Parliament and the specific clauses contained therein that are of most relevance.
Anne Ebbage of Autism Anglia will be passing all the points raised at this meeting on to the council, and if the final version of this document is not massively changed and enlarged there will be trouble.
This was a very useful and productive meeting, and I hope it will play a role in dragging Norfolk’s approach to autism and autistic people out of the dark ages wherein it seems to have been stuck for some time.
A SEGUE LINK
The first part of this post has been about autism, and so I introduce the remainder of it by way of a link to an interesting piece by The Inked Autist. My views are rather different to those expressed in this post, but I recommend that you read it here.
A BUSY WEEK FOR DPAC
That title is no overstatement – this section contains a link to a post on the DPACwebsite and two embedded videos.
The post, which gives this section of this post its title, can be accessed by clicking the DPAC logo below. Then you can find the two videos, which are both about a protest outside Parliament. The first video was created by Let Me Look TV, the second by Steve Topple of The Canary.
I had planned to include more stuff in this post, but a malfunction has prevented that – I have just lost a large amount of stuff that was in here and have no way of getting back, so here are the photographs.
Setting the stall out for today and some stuff about autism. Read, enjoy and please share.
This is my first of what will be a number of posts today. I have come across a variety of interesting and important stuff over the last couple of days, and have decided that I have too much to share in one post, so I am attempting to group my links into categories. Thus a title the three main words of which begin with A, B and C – this is the first of a series of posts I shall be producing through the day, and as it is the first I shall start near the beginning of the alphabet, with some autism related stuff.
THE AUTISM AWARENESS CUP 2017
I am starting with a reminder that following its successful launch last year the second Autism Awareness Cup football tournament will be taking place at Ingoldisthorpe Social Club on June 4th. There are three links relating to this, accessible by clicking the images below: the first image will take to you to the Autism Awareness Cup homepage, the second to the Autism Awareness Cup facebook page, and the third to NAS West Norfolk Sports Co-ordinator Grant Cotton’s own facebook page:
STOP THE BAD BEHAVIOUR
This relates to a petition created by an autistic parent and aimed at Brighton & Hove Council. As well as the petition itself, which I urge you to sign and share by clicking on the screenshot that ends this section, there are two other links that go with it:
Although this petition is not about autism specifically I am including it in this post because autistic people are disproportionately likely to be among those confined to institutions. As with the other petition I urge you to sign and share it.
A COFFEE MORNING
This Wednesday just gone there was an NAS West Norfolk coffee morning at the Willow Tree cafe in central King’s Lynn. I was able to get there, and enjoyed it. Here are some pictures from that morning:
AN UPCOMING EVENT
On Tuesday I will be in Dereham for an event organised by Autism Anglia and ASD Helping Hands under the catchline “Help to shape Norfolk for autism”. I booked the day off work for this some time ago, because I considered that as someone is both NAS West Norfolk branch secretary and #actuallyautistic it was an absolute necessity that I be in attendance.
The story that is the raison d’etre for this post is already in the hands of Adam Lazzari, the EDPs chief reporter for Fakenham and Dereham. It concerns the situation with my Nikon Coolpix P520, and the plain text version is here:
THE CASE OF THE CROOKED CAMERA REPAIRERS
This is the story of the fate of my Nikon Coolpix P520 up to today, when I uncovered evidence that admits of no interpretation other than serious criminality on the part of Messrs Christopher Robert Simpson and Mark Gregory formerly of The Camera Repair Company, Dereham.
The significant milestones are as follows:
October 27th took camera in for repairs, handed over a deposit and was told I would be contacted as soon as they had identified the fault.
A week and a half later I was told that the fault was a damaged USB port and associated damage to the motherboard. I was assured that they could fix it in approximately ten working days, so although I was going to have to pay for the privilege I agreed to the deal.
Three full weeks (i.e 15 working days, since there were no public holidays in the period concerned) later I phoned them to ask what was going on and was told that they just needed to perform quality checks and would then be able to return the repaired camera to me.
On the Saturday following having mean time heard nothing I phoned them to find out what was going on, and was told it should be ready by Monday.
Thus on the Monday following that I went to Dereham expecting to pick up the camera and was told that one of them was doing a job in King’s Lynn the following evening and that they would return the camera to me then.
That following evening no one showed up, so…
On the Wednesday I made another trip to Dereham expecting to return with a functioning Coolpix P520. I was then told that the replacement board had malfunctioned and that they needed another which they were waiting for. They also said that as soon as it was ready they would deliver it to me. So I waited, and waited and waited some more, hearing nothing until…
I decided that today, with them having had three full working weeks since Christmas to get things sorted I was going over to Dereham one more time and come hell or high water would return with a camera, which brings us to what I as a classical music lover call…
I arrived at the shop to find it shut and locked, and with a notice from Brown & Co Estate Agents attached to the door, explaining that the shop had been repossessed and that more information could be obtained from them. Therefore, I travelled on to Norwich (no extra cost – on First Eastern Counties one gets a day pass rather than a return ticket) to find the branch indicated (I wanted to do this face to face, not over the phone). There I found out that I was far from being the only person in this situation and that the repossession had been because they owed the estate agents a large amount of money. Additionally, I was informed that when the agents went to repossess the shop and change the locks they found it already stripped bare, and they have not been able to make contact with the individuals who ran it.
Additionally to what is mentioned above in the word document (attached below), the website is still active, but I have not bothered to attempt to contact them by that means as I do not consider it worthwhile.
The December auction of James and Sons took place at the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich yesterday. As the person running the company database it was a particularly full-on day for me, and I have decided to take you through it in chronological order:
5:45AM: Left the flat to be sure of being at bus station in time for 6:00 bus to Norwich (although the sale does not being until 10, with my responsibilities it is mandatory that I be at the auction venue by 8 at the latest and this is the last bus that will enable me to do that)
7:35AM: Bus arrives at Norwich bus station bang on schedule (not even a British bus company can contrive to be running late at this stage of the morning) and I head straight but unhurriedly for the Maids Head Hotel.
7:45AM: Arrive at the hotel and find my way to the Erpingham Room where I will be based for the next few hours.
8:30AM: By this stage the setup and layout are complete and viewers are starting to arrive. My computer is set up in a location that ensures that no punters will have access to confidential information and the internet connection is working, although it will still be necessary to phone the shop in Fakenham every time someone wants to pay by card as the connection does not extend to our portable card reader. Before attending to my own specific tasks I print out a listing of commssion bids that have been registered online via http://www.the-saleroom.com. Between the information on the registrants page of http://www.the-saleroom.com and the written and printed records of bids received in advance I am able to ensure that my database is as up to date as it can be before the auction starts.
10:00AM: Kick off, and the auction starts with a bang as lot 1 sells for £130 against an estimate of £50. This is the occasion for the first of various live tweets I manage to post in between doing the work I am paid for.
The lots come and go very fast, and it is significantly before 11 that the first lot I am interested in, number 171, two postcards of East Rudham and West Raynham churches goes under the hammer. I stick in a bid but then realise I am up against the proprietor of Lynn Gold and recognising that he has much greater financial firepower decide not to bother contesting further.
After 250 lots the auctioneer takes a brief break and I have my first problem of the day, when instead of printing out an invoice as I require my computer wants to print out the entire Auction Form record (fortunately I am able to cancel the job before a single page has been wasted). I resolve the problem by the tried and tested if unscientific method of closing the database down and reopening, and as it happens there will be no further technical malfunctions that day.
Approx 12:30PM: We have now been through 500 lots, and are about to move on to coins and banknotes, with militaria, ephemera and some misecllaneous items still to come. This is a sensible point at which to take a 15 minute break, as planned by the auctioneer. Lot 441 in the meantime had been knocked down to me for £12.
A combination of the speed at which auctioneer David is getting through the lots and the frequency with which I have to produce invoices causes me to fall behind, but with only two room bidders other than myself still left this is not actually as serious an issue as it feels at the time.
14:18PM: Lot 786, the last item in the sale goes under the hammer.
14:40PM: The clear-up is complete and I take my leave. A call at the Glasshouse just down the road for some liquid refreshment and a visit to the library (which I regard as a must when I am in Norwich) mean that I end up on the 16:40 bus back to King’s Lynn. The front of the bus provides a sight I have not previously been treated to: although we are in Norwich and the bus is terminating at King’s Lynn the intermediate destinations listed are those between Peterborough and King’s Lynn! This causes a degree of confusion among my fellow passengers, especially those travelling to intermediate destinations, as you might imagine.
It is just a shade under thirteen hours after setting off in the morning that I finally arrive back at the flat. Come Dine With Me via 4OD followed by Strictly on iplayer complete the day. It was semi-finals week on the latter, meaning that each couple had two dances to perform. The best was saved till last as Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev produced the routine that finally persuaded Craig to flourish the 10 paddle.