Homeward Bound

My account of the homeward journey from Fort Picklecombe.

INTRODUCTION

We have reached the penultimate post about my Cornish holiday – the last day. This post details the long journey home.

STARTING OFF

The length of time it took to get from Plymouth to Fort Picklecombe on the Thursday was playing on my mind, and I wanted to be sure that we were away before 9AM, since my train was due to depart Plymouth at 10:44, and I reckoned that a single ticket from Plymouth to London bought on the day (London-Lynn would still have been valid on the original ticket) woulkd probably cost more than my original ticket (in this assessment, to borrow from history, there was the proverbial “cubit of error my way that does not obscure the 99 cubits of error the other way” – actually said ticket would have been fractionally less. Nevertheless, I did get a few lasy pictures before leaving the fort:

Sun on waterthree boatsTwo boats

Heron
A first for me – the first time I have captured a heron on camera.

On the journey into Plymouth I managed to snap two pictures from the back of the camper van:

Water viewBridge, Plymouth

I had some time to kill at Plymouth station and did so by taking photographs…

Platform 7, Plymouth

Gull waiting for train
An avian passenger?

Posters 1Plymouth PosterPenzanceDevon PosterDevon Poster 2Departure Board

PLYMOUTH – LONDON

This train was a service called “The Cornish Riviera”, which starts in Penzance and snails up through Cornwall stopping pretty much everywhere and then makes up time by calling only at Exeter St Davids and Reading between Plymouth and London. Although I had an aisle seat on this journey, and no opportunity to move to the window seat I was not going to be denied at least some photos. I got a good few between Plymouth and Exeter and a handful thereafter…

Across the water from the trainAcross the Water from the train IIBridge from trainThe seaCliffsAcross the water from the train IIIHeadland from the trainTown across the water from trainBoats and buildings through the windowBoats and Buildings from train IIBoats and buildings from train IIIAcross the water from train IVBoat and housesboat and buildingsRed cliffsRed cliff and two big housesStately homeRed cliffs, buildings and treesRed cl.iffs and red houseWaterfront buildingsWaterside viewView through the bridgeAcross the riverLarge churchLarge church IILarge church IIITwo towersSpire through treesSpire II

Plat 1
Exeter St Davids (two images)

Exeter St DavidsMonument

Chalk Horse
This chalk horse, carved directly out of the hillside, is visible at distance at a time when the train is at full speed.

Chalk Horse II

Reading
Reading station
Royal Oak
Royal Oak – the Hammersmith & City line’s last station west of Paddington. The next station towards Hammersmith, Westbourne Park, used to offer an interchange with mainline railways but nowadays Ealing Braodway is the last mainline station before Paddington. Back in the old days there was a connection – the first locomotives to run over what was then The Metropolitan Railway were supplied by the Great Western, while this extension to Hammersmtih opened in 1864, only one year after the original.

LONDON TO KING’S LYNN

I crossed to the Hammersmith and City line platforms, nos 15 and 16 of the main station, and waited a long time for an eastbound train, then discovering that it was terminating at Edgware Road (very odd indeed for a train from Hammersmith), so I had to change again. I arrived at King’s Cross and was just in time to catch the 14:44 to King’s Lynn, which was not overfull (as the 15:44, the next service, certainly would have been). This means that I was at home and unpacking by 5PM. 

Paddington 1View from the Hammersmith & City line platformsPaddingtonH&C trainCablesTrainEdgware RoadEdgware Road from aboveEdgware Road Plats 1&2

Hammersmith & City line
This picture was the cause of minor quarrel – I was challenged by another passenger as to why I was taking pictures of his friend, and it took my a while to get the point across that I was not, and that it was this map which was my target. His friend’s hat did appear in the uncropped version, but no face was visible, and my only interest was the map. I was perhaps a little harsh as I was fully expecting to miss my intended connection at Kings Cross due to the delays on this leg of the journey.

Great Portland StreetEuston Square

Kings Cross clock
The platform from which the train to King’s Lynn was l.eaving was revealed with a mere eight minutes to spare, and if you going to Lynn you have to go to the front of the train (or else get out and dash along the platform at Cambridge).

Kings Cross arched roofTrains at Kings CrossKing's Cross just before departureJourney PlannerAeroplaneStansted ExpressStansted Express 2

Ely Cathedral
Ely Cathedral.

 

Study Title: Attention and Perception in Autism Spectrum Conditions

A personal account of taking part in a study at the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge,, accompanied by photographs, with some interesting and important links and some more photographs.

INTRODUCTION

The main body of this post is a personal account of my involvement in the study whose title I have used for the whole post, run as so often at the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge. I also have a variety of links and a few photos that are not directly connected with the title piece but which I wish to share. I hope you will all enjoy this post and that you will take the opportunity of sharing it.

ATTENTION AND PERCEPTION IN AUTISM SPECTRUM CONDITIONS

THE PRELIMINARIES

i found out about this study just five days ago, and made contact with the person conducting it. A brief exchange of emails concluded with an arrangement for me to attend at 11AM today. As part of the preparation I had to answer various questions and solve  various puzzles online.

GETTING THERE

An scheduled start of 11AM meant getting the 8:57 from King’s Lynn, and to make sure that I got my travel expenses reimbursed I carefully got a receipt. It was shortly after getting on to the platform that I brought the camera into action for the first time of the day…

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Pictures taken through the windows of moving trains are tough to get right, but these two worked out okay…

"A goods train: the shame of it" Gordon the Big Engine in the Rev W Awdry series
“A goods train: the shame of it” Gordon the Big Engine in the Rev W Awdry series
I could get a clear shot of the whole of Ely Cathedral, but this shows the main tower and the octagonal construction designed by a 14th century Prior known only and uninformatively as Alan of Norwich.
I could not get a clear shot of the whole of Ely Cathedral, but this shows the main tower and the octagonal construction designed by a 14th century Prior known only and uninformatively as Alan of Norwich.

Arriving in Cambridge I decided to take a longer route than usual to the Autism Research Centre, heading towards town as far as this church…

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Turning on to the link road that connects to the town end of Trumpington Road I passed the Scott Polar Research Institute, named in honour of Robert Falcon Scott, one of the most famous runners up in history. Scott also gave his name to an itinerant cricket team some of whose deeds are chronicled in Penguins Stopped Play by Harry Thompson and Rain Men by Marcus Berkmann. Although I could not get a shot of the whole building without crossing to the wrong side of a busy road I did get these shots…

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Next up was the Cambridge University Chemical Laboratory…

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At the very point of turning onto Trumpington Road I passed Hobson’s Conduit…

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This is the first major building on Trumpington Road itself, on the opposite side of ti to me…

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A shot of the water alongside Trumpington Road…

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I next passed the public entrance to Cambridge Botanic Gardens (the admission price convinced me to go no further than the gates)…

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A little bit further along I passed a locked gate into the same establishment, with some red flowers growing next to it…

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The last shot I got before arriving at the Autism Research Centre was of this dragon fly (or similar), which although quite large was moving exceedingly fast, hence why I got only the one usable shot…

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AT THE AUTISM RESEARCH CENTRE

I arrived at the centre at about 10:40, and did not have to wait too long for Owen Parsons, who was conducting the study, to put in an appearance. After the usual preliminaries of form signing and checking the experiment itself ran in three parts…

MIND YOUR TS AND LS

For this test one had eight seconds in total to view an intermittent display of red and blue letters, most of which were Ls but one of which was a T. The task was to identify which colour the T was and click the appropriate button to record that identification. A wrong identification, or wrong button pressed, or being timed out generated a horrible beep.

IDENTIFYING DUPLICATION

For this part of the process one was required to press the space bar each time the same image was shown twice consecutvely. The images were all of full scenes, but shown at thumbnail size. Again, a misidentification or a failure to identify within the time limit generated a beep. There was then a second part to this section, involving familiarity. One was shown sequences of three images and asked to identify the set that looked more familiar. The pictures were similar in nature and size to those previously shown, but some were definitely new.

WHICH BOX WAS THAT X IN?

For this third and final part of the experiment, there were four boxes in which an X could appear. When it appeared one had to identify the box as follows: X for leftmost, Z for left-centre, N for right-centre, M for rightmost. Thus, the duration of this section of the experiment was spent with the index and middle fingers of each hand poised over the keys in question. There was then a second subsection, involving pattern identification and made more complicated by two factors:

1)Obviously enough, not knowing about this in advance I was not especially looking for a pattern in the first stage of the process.

2)The pattern was not adhered to at all times (about 15% of the time, the X appeared in a box it was not ‘supposed’ to).

All in all, I quite enjoyed performing these tests, and would say that it is a worthwhile study. If you are aged 18-45, have been diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Condition and can get to Cambridge, contact Owen Parsons: oep20@cam.ac.uk about taking part in the study.

GETTING BACK

There was a small delay getting back to the main building from the place where the study had been set up as Owen initially came out without his swipe card, during which I snared this shot…

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On my way back to the street I took a shot of the front of the main building…

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I opted for the short route back to the station,along Brooklands Avenue and past the new bus interchange to approach the train station from that angle. I got these shots in the course of that walk…

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I got a couple of shots en route to the platform as well…

A worthy effort to represent all of Britain's railways on one map.
A worthy effort to represent all of Britain’s railways on one map.
A somewhat loose definition of London & the Southeast!
A somewhat loose definition of London & the Southeast!

On my way off the train at King’s Lynn I took the opportunity to capture this plaque on camera…

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LINKS

As regular readers of this blog or those who follow me on twitter will be well aware I regularly sign and share petitions, and my first link is to a piece from Huffington Post detailing the success of one such, concerning the Henry family.

My next link is to Mike Sivier of Vox Political on the subject of a possible Greek default.

Next up is this about the effect of London on social housing.

Then we have this on the origins of turtles.

WELCOME TO A NEW FOLLOWER

The next two links both relate to autism, and indeed to the website of a recent follower of mine:

1)The main website, ambitiousautismambassador

2)A particular impressive post taking on stereotyping.

AN IMPORTANT PETITION

My final link is to a petition on change.org protesting against a planned European law that will mean the end of photography as we know it – PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE!!

A FEW FINAL PICTURES

While my right to do so remains I am sharing these photos…

Stand E, on the occasion I first used it, Tuesday AM
Stand E, on the occasion I first used it, Tuesday AM
The new electronic displays now at every stand.
The new electronic displays now at every stand.
Vancouver and the Custom House
Vancouver and the Custom House
I realised before using it as part of my bus fare that this 50p was of a style I had not previously seen.
I realised before using it as part of my bus fare that this 50p was of a style I had not previously seen.
A close up of the detailed board at Stand E
A close up of the detailed board at Stand E

Autism Research

Having signed up to participate in another research project relating to Autism I had to visit Cambridge today to perform some tasks at the Autism Research Centre on Trumptington Road…

Douglas House, 18 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, which houses the Autism Research Centre.
Douglas House, 18 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, which houses the Autism Research Centre.
Detail from the wall of Douglas House.
Detail from the wall of Douglas House.

This particular study was devoted to assessing how people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions respond to visual stimuli. Apart from the final exercise, which was identifying the odd one out from sets of four pictures, some of which were very tough, it was not too difficult. If you are interested in Autism, are able to travel to Cambridge and would like to take part in this study you can contact Rose Cooper by emailing rahc2@cam.ac.uk.

Both on the way there and on the way back I got some good pictures…

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A mist shrouded view of Ely Cathedral.
A mist shrouded view of Ely Cathedral.

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Metal plaques like this adorn the ground around the bus stops outside Cambridge station.
Metal plaques like this adorn the ground around the bus stops outside Cambridge station.
Modern flats near the Railway Station
Modern flats near the Railway Station
Sculpture at one corner of Brooklands Avenue
Sculpture at one corner of Brooklands Avenue

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Moorhen enjoying the botanical gardens
Moorhen enjoying the botanical gardens

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The two towers of Ely Cathedral, homeward journey.
The two towers of Ely Cathedral, homeward journey.
The nearest i came to getting a complete picture of Ely Cathedral.
The nearest i came to getting a complete picture of Ely Cathedral.

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