A Mixed Bag

A giant mixed bag of a post covering the European Elections, other recent developments in my life, cricket and liberally equipped with photographs.

INTRODUCTION

A lot has happened since I last put up a blog post I will try to cover all the interesting bits, and I have a large number of photographs to share. First of all…

THE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS

Today is polling day in the European Elections. Here in Britain the polling stations are open until 10PM. The decision for me was between two parties. In a general election, knowing the support base of the respective parties in my constituency and constrained by the outdated, unfit for purpose FPTP system used in such elections, I would vote Labour as the only way to have even a chance of unseating the Tories. In a European election, run under the D’Hondt system, it was a question of maximising the number of progressive MEPs from my region, and that dictated a vote for the Green Party who were just short of having someone elected last time round. Therefore, I made my way to the Discovery Centre, which I expected would be the local polling station (fortunately I was right – for some reason I never received a polling card for this election, so I was relying on the same polling station being used for this one as had been used in the local elections a few weeks earlier – when I was unable to vote, being in a hospital bed at the time), equipped with ID to make up for the absence of a polling card (neither should be required but Tories are up – or down – to all sorts of tricks these days and it is better to be safe) and duly cast my vote for the Green Party.

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STAMPS

I have finally got all my stamps mounted (I was given a large quantity while in Addnebrookes being treated for cancer, to go with some that I already had). Here are the photographs I took while finishing the job:

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The main division of the non-themed stamps was between Polish and not Polish, and as you will see later I did not quite manage to get all the Polish ones in the same place, but did pretty well.

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I particularly like the Occitane stamp – it is always nice to see trees being honoured.

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SUNDAY LUNCH

With my Aunt not being around my parents and I had Sunday lunch at Goldings, which is a very fine restaurant. Although my alcohol consumption is restricted at the moment a pint of Adnam’s Ghost Ship (not hugely strong at 4.5%) combined well with steak and chips. I am not yet quite fit enough to get from my bungalow to the town centre on foot, so this meant a car journey.

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A pint of Ghost Ship
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Anything in a glass bearing this label will be drinkable!

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TAPPING HOUSE

On Tuesday, as usual, I had my physio session at Tapping House. It went very well, even including one set of exercises that involved balance and co-ordination (neither of them strong points even before I became ill). This has become a valued part of my life.

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NAS WEST NORFOLK COFFEE MORNING

This took place yesterday morning at the Pretty Little Tea Shop on Norfolk Street (thanks for stepping in at the last minute to give me a lift, Rachel). There was a reasonable turnout, a good time appeared to be had by all, and, mirabile dictu, the filter coffee was drinkable (though somewhat under strength by my standards), although £2.15 for about half the amount I make for myself at home in the morning seems a trifle steep.

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FINAL THOUGHTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS

Much has happened in the cricket world over the last few days. England did defend their total of 350 in the final ODI. David Willey and Joe Denly not very surprisingly missed out on places if the final world cup squad, although I was a little surprised to see Liam Dawson given a place (the other selections were all pretty automatic given Alex Hales’ recent indiscretion which ruled him out). Somerset have consolidated their place at the head of the County Championship table by beating Warwickshire in seven sessions (out of a possible 12) while Surrey and Kent are involved in a fine scrap, likely to end in a draw, though a victory for Surrey remains possible. Now it is time for my usual sign off:

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The Penultimate ODI Between England and Pakistan

A look at the ODI between England and Pakistan and the County Championship, a few other things including plenty of photographs.

INTRODUCTION

The current round of County Championship matches are approaching their conclusions (some being already finished), and the ODI between England and Pakistan is at the halfway stage. This post looks at what is going on, starting with…

THE ODI

England won the toss and put Pakistan in. Pakistan have just finished their 50 overs on 340-7. This might look a good total, but England at this ground have recently scored 481 versus Australia and 444-3 against Pakistan, and that 340 is the lowest total of the series to date. Thus I expect England to chase these down trivially easily, just as they did when facing 358 a few days ago (they got home with over five overs to spare). Babar Azam made a hundred for Pakistan, but was slow by modern day standards, being only just better than a run a ball. There were four wickets for Tom Curran, albeit at a cost of 75 runs from his 10 overs. Now we move on to…

THE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP

This is what is going on in the County Championship…

  • Kent v YorkshireYorkshire 210 and 469, Kent 296 and 207-9.
    A massive second innings by Yorkshire turned the tables on Kent, and the only question now is whether Yorkshire can get the wicket they need before time runs out. I fully expect them to do so. Ballance made 159 in that Yorkshire innings. The Kent second innings has been a tale of batting failure, with Bell-Drummond top scoring with 41. Ben Coad has 5-48 so far.
  • Nottinghamshire v Essex finished yesterday.
  • Surrey v SomersetSurrey 380 and 255-8, Somerset 398 – Match Drawn.
    A combination of bad weather and decent batting by Surrey saved the defending champions in a match dominated by Lewis Gregory who must now be firmly on England’s Test team radar. Somerset did not try George Bartlett’s offbreaks even though Jack Leach had three second wickets with his slow left arm. Burns made 78 in the Surrey second innings and Will Jacks 54.
  • Warwickshire v Hampshire Hampshire 354 and 302-5 declared, Warwickshire 233 and 109, Hampshire won by 314 runs.
    Hampshire made early inroads into the Warwickshire second innings yesterday evening and comfortably finished the job today. Only youngster Robert Yates topped 20 in a dismal second innings effort by Warwickshire. The wickets were shared around the Hampshire bowlers.
  • Glamorgan v GloucestershireGlamorgan 250 and 481-8 declared, Gloucestershire 463 and 103-5 – Gloucestershire need a further 166 with five wickets standing and 16.4 overs remaining.
    This looks like a marvellous recovery by Glamorgan thwarted by their unwillingness to risk defeat, which has led them to an overcautious declaration leaving insufficient time to get the wickets. Glamorgan’s recovery after being made to follow on was built on a partnership of 231 between Nicholas Selman (150) and Labuschagne (137), following an opening stand of 133 between Selman and Hemphrey (58). The fifth Gloucestershire wicket has just gone down, giving Glamorgan s shot at victory, although the draw is still favourite. Offspinner Kieran Bull has two wickets in this fourth innings.
  • Middlesex v LeicestershireMiddlesex 349 and 223, Leicestershire 268 and 226-5, Leicestershire need 79 runs with five wickets standing.
    It is raining in London at the moment, which may baulk the fans of what should be a fine finish. Ackerman is 70 not out for Leicestershire.
  • Lancashire v NorthamptonshireNorthamptonshire 230 and 200, Lamncashire 415 and 17-0, Lancashire won by 10 wickets.
    Lancashire claimed the extra half-hour to attempt to finish this yesterday, but could not quite do so. However, they finished the job this morning. Gleeson picked up his second five-for of the match in the Northants second innings.
  • Worcestershire v DurhamDurham 273 and 197, Worcestershire 390 and 84-5, Worcestershire won by five wickets.
    A fighting 47 from Liam Trevaskis was the only contribution of note to a poor second innings by Durham. Josh Tongue five wickets and Joe Leach three. Worcestershire managed to lose five wickets in knocking off a tiny target, all to Chris Rushworth.

THE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS

I have received my first European Election publicity – a leaflet from the English Democrats which I tore into tiny pieces and put in the recycling (they are absolute b**t**ds), and this from the Green Party:

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MOUNTING STAMPS

It being a dull day today weather wise I have spent some of this afternoon mounting stamps for display:

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OTHER PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

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Upcoming Local Elections

Politics and nature combine to form one YUGE blog post!

INTRODUCTION

In my part of the world there are local elections happening on May 4th, so I thought I would use some thoughts about them as the starting point for this blog. I will go on from that to sharing various interesting and important stuff, and of course there will be some of my own photographs.

LOCAL ELECTIONS

Although my polling card is safely in my possession I have yet to receive any communication from any of the candidates, and can therefore talk only in general terms. I will definitely be voting. Since I became of voting age more years ago than I care to reveal I have only once failed to vote in an election I was entitled to vote in, and that was in the first election for Norfolk Police Commissioner. I will not be voting for any right wing parties or individual candidates. After their massive betrayal of those who voted for them (myself one of them) in 2010 the Liberal Democrats have much ground to make up and at this moment the odds against me putting my cross in that particular box are of the “write your own ticket” variety. While it is possible that I will be impressed by someone standing as an Independent candidate it is not very likely. This leaves me looking at two options:

  1. Labour – if the candidate is of the right type and not someone who will use their entire campaign to bash their party’s  twice elected leader I may be induced to vote for them.
  2. Green – this party stands for many of the things that I  believe in, and I am not going to hold the entire party to account for a mistake made by one of its co-leaders (Jonathan Bartley endorsing “light it up blue”, which readers of this blog will realise is an absolute guarantee of an entry in my bad books). If they can find a candidate with the qualities shown by Sian Berry in her campaign for London Mayor and subsequently in her work as a Greater London Assembly member I will certainly by influenced in this direction.

I will probably be voting Green because I see the way forward as being in a red/green partnership, and I think the Green side of that partnership needs strengthening. Also, a Green vote has the merit of being a vote cast unequivocally in favour of Proportional Representation. 

After this start it is time for some…

POLITICAL SHARING

I start with a piece by Richard Murphy titled “Time For a New Political Party?”, in which he looks at a suggestion originally made by Richard Dawkins in a piece in the New Statesman. While I would say that the launch of a new political party should be delayed until FPTP is replaced with PR (under FPTP the Tories have a built-in advantage that would only be strengthened by the addition of a new party) I believe that Professor Murphy is pretty well on the money with his suggestions about this new party. Please click on the screenshot below to access this post, and if so inclined add your voice to those commenting on it:

TRUK

Next, from the Skwawkbox comes the most recent piece on the story I have dubbed Coynegate – the massive breaches of the Data Protection Act by right wing candidate for Unite general secretary Gerard Coyne. To read this story, titled “EXCLUSIVE: COYNE TELLS BBC HIS LABOUR DATA USE ‘CONCLUDED’. IT ISN’T.” please click on the image below:

coyne stopped amended

My next link is to the homepage of the We Own It Campaign’s website. To find out for yourself what they are all about click on the screenshot below:

WOI

Next, courtesy of DPAC comes a public service piece titled “Important information on how disabled people can enforce their right to travel on buses“. Although the title is on this occasion set up as a link, I also provide a screenshot below on which you can click to get to the original:

DPAC

The focus, including my photographs is about to shift to Nature (note to my many  fellow autistic bloggers although you do not feature in this post I have some of your finest stuff bookmarked for use in the very near future), and the turning point is a campaign against the large scale felling of trees in and around Sheffield. I have two links in connection with this. First, for the benefit of those of you who use social media, a Thunderclap, which you can boost by adding your own connections on facebook, twitter and tumblr. I link to it by way of the screenshot below:

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The second link on this subject is to the page that lists all the campaigns in and around Sheffield that are now grouped under the umbrella of Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG). I link by way of a screenshot once again:

Sheffield Tree Action Groups

The last piece of shared content for today before moving towards my photographs comes to you from Sweden, and has a section to itself:

ANNA INTRODUCES EMMELINA

Anna is a Swedish blogger who needs to no further introduction to readers of this blog. As for Emmelina, that will have to wait for the moment. Yesterday Anna put up a post about a very curious little creature she had photographed on her door, which she called “Who’s This?” I thought that the little creature was a stick insect, but the reveal when it came today was far more interesting. It turns out that the creature is actually a moth that resembles a stick insect. Here is a link to the piece in which Anna reveals the identity of the creature. Finally, revealing the Emmelina part of the title, here is Wikipedia on Emmelina Monodactyla.

PHOTOGRAPHS

To end the post here are some of my own photographs…

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The first bee I have caught on camera this year.

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Using a derelict shop front to explain the importance of King John to King’s Lynn’s history is sensible. My main quibble with the new statue of him being…
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That is bad quality work, not that it is of a bad quality human (though he was certainly that, in spades).

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The first ducklings of the year. I hope that some at least of them survive the marauding Herring Gulls (this is NOT a joke btw)

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I have bagged a number of peacock butterflies of late, but these light coloured ones fly both faster and for a greater percentage of their lives, so for the third time today this is a first of the year.

 

 

 

Sunday, Monday, Today

An account of the last few days, with some excellent pictures, some important links and a great infographic courtesy of Dr Lisa Sulsenti.

INTRODUCTION

My last blog post was about my cousin Olivia’s wedding on Saturday. This post tells of Sunday, Monday and today, with plenty of pictures. Also, I have some links and infographics to share. Talking of sharing, I hope that some of you will choose to share this post as well.

KEGWORTH HOTEL AND CONFERENCE CENTRE

While possessed of precisely zero architectural appeal, the Kegworth Hotel and Conference Centre is clean and comfortable…

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I have plenty of good pictures from inside the hotel…

This is a 24 hour roman numeral clock - can you spot the deliberate mistake in the numbering?
This is a 24 hour roman numeral clock – can you spot the deliberate mistake in the numbering?

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Detail from the ornamental glasswork at the reception desk.
Detail from the ornamental glasswork at the reception desk.

My bedroom had some pictures as well…

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You will note a degree of duplication between the public pictures and those in the rooms!
You will note a degree of duplication between the public pictures and those in the rooms!

SUNDAY LUNCH

My cousin Richard and his fiancee Ida are off to her native Sweden soon, and he had the idea of a farewell pub lunch at the Plough in Normanton on Soar. Eventually after a few cancellations, 12 of us were there for this excellent meal, which we ate outside overlooking the river itself, much used by boats and birds…

Richard and Ida
Richard and Ida

I have lots of splendid pictures from this event, and both the food and drink were magnificent.

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Tables overlooking the Soar
Tables overlooking the Soar

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The local product - look up Leciester Rugby Club for more on the name.
The local product – look up Leciester Rugby Club for more on the name.

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As well as boats at surface level, a plane flew high over our heads.
As well as boats at surface level, a plane flew high over our heads.

HOMEWARD BOUND

I travelled back as a passenger in my aunt’s car, since we live very close together in King’s Lynn. Taking pictures while in transit is not easy, but this one worked…

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After helping my aunt to unload her car I walked back to my flat by way of another river on which boat travel is not unknown, the Great Ouse…

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DOWN TIME

Knowing the effect that such a busy weekend would have on me I had taken the precaution of booking this week as leave to enable myself to have some quiet time. Last night was a group meeting for KLASS (more on this in a future blog post), but apart from that it has been a very quiet couple of days.

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To give you an idea of how vast an eyesore this building is, this photo was taken from a point that is a 20-minute walk from the building itself!
To give you an idea of how vast an eyesore this building is, this photo was taken from a point that is a 20-minute walk from the building itself!

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LINKS

I have as usual plenty of links to share with you, starting with…

CONSERVATION

  1. From the Humane Society comes this on banning trophy hunting.
  2. From petitions.whitehouse.gov comes the call for the US Government to do the right thing and extradite Walter Palmer to Zimbabwe so that he can be charged for his crime.
  3. Huffington Post provide this story about a certain Sabrina Corgatelli posing alongside her kills.
  4. And this is thedodo.com’s take on the same story.
  5. From the same source as 4 comes this on Giraffes.
  6. From change.org comes this climate change petition.

OTHER LINKS

From 38Degrees by way of Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, comes a petition entitled “Celebrate suffragettes not serial killers”. I quote the opening paragraph of their explanation and urge you to sign and share:

“A new museum gained planning permission by promising ‘the only dedicated resource in the East End to women’s history’, but has now been unveiled as a venue dedicated to the violent crimes of Jack the Ripper”.

A shocking story of religious persecution from Patheos in which a seven year old was the victim, merely for telling a classmate that they did not attend church

My next story concerns a police officer who is already facing a lawsuit for handcuffing children in a very dangerous way, and should as the story makes clear be suffering more than that (defo a jail term measurable in years for this crime).

My next link is to a petition calling on Lego to produce toys that show disabled people in a positive light.

Now, a sad blast from the past. Unbelievably Kevin Healey is still suffering impersonation on twitter and still apparently receiving no protection – please either sign and share the petition if you have not already done so or keep on sharing it to apply pressure to twitter.

I found my last link by way of the aforementioned Natalie Bennett, and it is to a story in the Yorkshire Evening Post about a crackerjack plan for a disused railway viaduct in Leeds.

INFOGRAPHIC

Dr Lisa Sulsenti has produced this infographic providing guidelines on fireworks…

Fireworks

Borough Council Elections

This post will be in three parts. First of all I have a very important link to share, then I will be writing about the Borough Council elections, and finally I will say something about the Test Match that finished late last night our time with two full days unused.

A HYPER-IMPORTANT HYPERLINK

This link is to a radio interview with leading autism campaigner Kevin Healey. Please listen and share!!

BOROUGH COUNCIL ELECTIONS

In King’s Lynn we have two decisions to make on Thursday, who to vote for in the general election and who to vote for in our borough council election. I have already made clear, both here and on my twitter feed who I will be voting for in the general election, and I will say no more in this post than that it would be folly for anyone in King’s Lynn who considers themselves even remotely progressive to vote for anybody other than Jo Rust. I have not previously mentioned the Borough Council elections, because I had not formed a definite conclusion. The game changer that has prompted this post was the following from our local Green Party

Look to the central part of this leaflet in particular to see why I am so definite about the decision.
Look to the central part of this leaflet in particular to see why I am so definite about the decision.

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TEST MATCH HUMILIATION FOR ENGLAND

Not long after 10PM our time last night the final test of the series between England and the West Indies ended (with two days unused) in a defeat by five wickets for the visitors. England’s batting was woefully inadequate with the exceptions in the first innings of Cook who ground out a century and Ali who made 58. 123 all out at the second attempt when seeking to build on a lead of 68 tells its own tale of woe. The other problem for England was lack of a serious spin option (Ali, the ‘front-line spinner’ recorded match figures of 2-110 from 22 overs on a turner). If Adil Rashid was not the right option on this pitch he never will be.

Whoever they go for, and wherever they find them, England need a genuine front-line spinner (and not a batsman who bowls being bigged up) and they need one as soon as possible. A spinner who takes only two wickets in the match and goes for five an over on a turning pitch does not deserve to be described as such. It was not just the number of runs being leaked but the deliveries off which they were being hit – frequently short (including a substantial ration of rank long hops). Wilf Rhodes, a great spinner a century ago, used to say talking about the length he bowled “Ah were nivver hooked and Ah were nivver cut”

Congratulations to the West Indies on being able to take what was handed them on a plate.

Now for a few more pics…

On Saturday there were no fewer the seven boats moored at the new jetty (I am fairly certain that this is a current record)
On Saturday there were no fewer the seven boats moored at the new jetty (I am fairly certain that this is a current record)

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