Some Pictures

A largely pictorial account of my day.

INTRODUCTION

I have just finished editing the pictures I took while out and about today. I have a collection of tree pics ready for the next post in my “Trees in Transistion” series, but for the moment it is the other pictures I am sharing. I will put them up in three segments…

NURTURE

These are pictures featuring my aunt’s plants, which I have been watering while she is on holiday. Barring a freak return to summer weather tomorrow I anticipate one more visit on Wednesday being sufficient.

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NATIONAL LIBRARIES WEEK

This week is National Libraries Week. I have visited King’s Lynn Library today, will definitely visit Fakenham Library at least once this week after a working day, hope to call in at Norwich Millennium Library when I am in that fine city on Wednesday (an autism event) and on Saturday en route to Musical Keys should find time for a visit to Gaywood Library. Here are some pictures of King’s Lynn Library…

NATURE

We end with some pictures focussing on nature…

Cormorants 1Cormorants 2Cormorants 3Cormorants 4Cormorants 5BirdsCormorants and churchGullsFlying birdsFlying birdCormorants 6Cormorants 7LBBpreparing for Ashes duty!Flying ducksMoorhen 1Moorhen 2

Coming Up – A Trip to Cornwall

Letting people know that I will be visiting Cornwall in the near future, and a few other bits and bobs.

INTRODUCTION

My parents have recently moved to a place near Plymouth, and all they are currently out of the country travelling they will be back for a month or thereabouts from late October. I will be visiting their place in mid-November. I have asked for leave on the 9th and 10th of November so that I can go down on the 8th and come back on the 13th. 

THE JOURNEY

To get from King’s Lynn to Plymouth (nearest station to my parents’ new place) by public transport one needs to to travel from King’s Lynn to London King’s Cross, get a Hammersmith & City line train from King’s Cross to Paddington and then travel from Paddington to Plymouth (I already knew this). The journey takes in the region of six hours (I expected this to be the case but until I investigated did not know for certain). This why I requested leave for the two days concerned because the two days on which one travels are not going to be much use for anything else. 

THE TICKETS

I discovered via www.thetrainline.com that tickets were available for £57. Thus I have made the booking and picked up the tickets.

COLLECTING THE TICKETS

Having made the booking I was assigned a code I could use to collect the tickets:

KL-PLY

I decided that memorising an alphanumeric code of eight characters would be a bit of an ask even for me, so I called in at the library where I could screenshot the email containing the above, paste into paint and edit as appropriate before printing at a cost of 10p. 

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From there it was a short walk through the park to the station to pick up the tickets. 

KL - PLY ticket
Outbound ticket
PLY - KL ticket
The Homebound ticket

 

Receipt
The receipt.

The email giving me the code to collect my tickets also included itineraries for both journeys.

THE BRILLIANT.ORG 100-DAY
SUMMER CHALLENGE

I recently received (by email) my certificate for having attempted all 100 of the problems (almost 50,000 people attempted at least one of these problems, of whom 1,797 attempted the whole lot).

Brilliant certificate

Here for you to peruse if you like are all the problems:
Brilliant’s 100 Days – All 102 Problems

This version features one problem per page:
Brilliant’s 100 Days – One Problem Per Page

Before moving on to the photographs that will conclude this post I offer you…

A PUZZLE OF MY OWN CREATION

Archaeologist and adventurer Idaho Johnson is near to making the biggest find of her life, but to do so she needs to get past the “Door of Death”:

Door of Death

Can you fill in the missing fourth vertical panel of numbers and get Ms Johnson through the “Door of Death”? As a bonus question can you identify the real door that I have used to create the above image?

PHOTOGRAPHS

Purfleet meets OuseS&TBirdsWaves on OuseThe AllaThe Alla signZBBoatZB nameGullGateway

Hairim Scarim
This ‘story stone’ is in Loke Road Rec.

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Links, Pics and Puzzles

Lionks to various pieces I have found on the internet, an answer and solution to one problem and a new problem, and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

This is a sharing post with some of my own stuff as well. I hope you enjoy it.

CROSSBOW BOLT STOPPED PLAY

Play between Surrey and Middlesex at the Oval has been halted and the ground has been locked down because a crossbow bolt was fired from outside the ground into the ground. Everyone at the ground is now in sheltered areas not out in the open. Armed police are now present at the ground. The match has now been officially abandoned, and a controlled evacuation of the ground is now underway.

SCIENCE AND NATURE

First a trio from wildlifeplanet:

  1. “Unreal Photos Of Animals From The Scandinavian Vicious Forest” – a piece highlighting the work of Finnish photographer Konsta Punka taking pictures of forest creatures:

  2. “Beach That Disappeared 33 Years Ago Has Reappeared” 

  3. “Here Is The Bird That Is Able To Fly For 10 Months Non-Stop (Video)” – a piece about the swift.

Hurricane Harvey has quite rightly received a lot of coverage. Here are three of the better pieces:

THE BEST BUS STOP

This bus stop is the subject of a post on illaboratoriodipleeny titled “Una meravigliosa fermata del bus….” that was brought to my attention by Anna, who was as impressed by it as I am. Here is the bus stop:

SOME POLITICAL PIECES

I start with a tool created by the Labour Party called the living wage calculator. You enter your postcode and it tells you how many people in your area would benefit from the minimum wage being increased to £10 per hour. Below is what is says about my postcode:LW

My next two pieces both come from the Skwawkbox:

A SOLUTION AND A NEW PROBLEM

In one of my posts on Monday I set a problem from brilliant. Here is I show the answer and an impressive solution. I also offer a new problem to end the section.

Thomas’ answer:

Screenshot 2017-08-31 at 5.51.15 PM

I admit to being lazy on this one – knowing that the internal angles of an octagon add up to 1080 degrees and that 7 x 90 = 630 I realised that with seven acute angles the remaining angle would have to be over 450 degrees, and the max is just under 360 degrees which takes you back to where you started. However 6 x 90 = 540 which means that the remaining two angles would have to add up to something in excess of 540 degrees, which is no great difficulty. Therefore I gave the correct answer of six (in less time than it has taken me to type this). However, one solver by the name of Atomsky Jahid produced a splendid effort:

Screenshot 2017-08-31 at 5.52.52 PM

A NEW PROBLEM

The mass extinction at the end of the Permian era is at the time of writing officially the largest in Earth’s history. An estimated 96% of all species on Earth at that time were rendered extinct. If the death rate in species that were not completely wiped out had been the same as the extinction rate what proportion of living creatures would have been wiped out in this event?

PHOTOGRAPHS

Guildhall
With Heritage Open Day coming up soon I decided to revisit these first two pics which feature thw town hall.

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Greyfriars + wm
Greyfriars tower and the war memorial
Library
The library, taken today

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A hald-moon in an early evening sky.
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The first of three closer up and enhanced shots of the half-moon.

P1040563P1040562Moorhen£2 - end of WWII

The Quorum: Book Review

A review of Kim Newman’s “The Quorum”.

INTRODUCTION

For this post I am reviewing a book I read recently. When I review books I do so because I consider it worth doing – I gain no pecuniary benefit at all. 

HOW I DISCOVERED KIM NEWMAN

I first came across Kim Newman a couple of years back when I saw a copy of Moriarty: Hound of the D’Urbervilles in Norwich Millennium Library. I enjoyed that book, and the kept the author’s name in mind for future reference. 

HOW I DISCOVERED THE QUORUM

I was in King’s Lynn library on Monday, as I often am when not at work when I saw the book. I checked out the back cover to see if I could glean more about the story, and decided it was worth borrowing. On Wednesday, with the beginnings of this post already in mind I returned it having read and enjoyed it…

Librarium
King’s Lynn library, donated to the town by Andrew Carnegie

 THE STORY

The prime mover of the story goes by the name of Derek Leech, and the story starts with him emerging from the muck and slime of the Thames (even today, half a century after Leech’s supposed emergence and after considerable efforts to clean it up the Thames remains fairly slimy and mucky). The other principal characters are four schoolfellows who end up in a situation whereby three of them become very rich and successful courtesy of Leech, but they have to stuff up the life of the other as part of a Faustian deal.

Along the way we are told much about the various ways in which the three who have been granted success. One is a TV presenter and best selling author. In his capacity as an author he names characters after London Underground stations, so we encounter Colin Dale (look near the northern end of the Edgware branch of the Northern line), Ken Sington (South Kensington District, Circle & Piccadilly, High Street Kensington – District & Circle, Kensington Olympia – – District), Mai Da Vale (Maida Vale, Bakerloo line) and Barbi Can (Barbican – Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan) are all mentioned in the book as names used by Michael Dixon for his characters. Of these names only the first really passes muster. The s in Kensington is pronounced as a z not an s – Ken Ington, losing an N from the name of that Northern line hub station would have been better. Mai Da Vale is a mishmash of a name – a clearly oriental first name and surname with an Italian prefix, in addition to which were Vale a recognised Italian name (I do not believe it is) it would certainly pronounced as Var-lay in that language. Barbi is not usually spelled without the e, and I have yet to come across anyone surnamed Can. However, I credit Newman with selecting these names as a way of indicating just how undeserved Michael Dixon’s best seller status is.

The kicker moment comes late in the plot, after Neil, the ‘loser’ in the bargain finally concedes defeat. It turns out that he as the person whose pain has been feeding Leech’s “device” is far more important than the other three, who having driven him to utter the dread phrase “I give up”, have now ceased to be useful to Leech. 

I enjoyed reading this book and recommend that you read it too. 

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END NOTE: THE LINKS
FROM THE CHARACTER NAMES

All the links in my information about Michel Dixon’s dodgy character names are to posts on my London transport themed website, www.londontu.be. South Kensington has two links because there are two posts about that station, written at different times. 

 

Booking a Trip to Scotland: British Public Transport Daftness Exposed

A combination of an account of the booking of train tickets for a trip to Scotland and an expose of the sheer craziness of British public transport.

INTRODUCTION

My parents have booked a house near Kyle of Lochalsh for a week which includes my birthday. As a birthday present I have been given the wherewithal to purchase train tickets for the journey, which happens to feature one of the most scenic routes anywhere in Britain. To set the scene for the rest of this post and give you a little test here is a photograph of my railway tickets for the journey:

tickets
Can you see what it is about these tickets that even before I go any further reveals an element of daftness in British Public Transport?

BOOKING THE JOURNEY

Those of you who follow this blog with due care and attention will be aware that for some years I have been resident in King’s Lynn for some years, and had I moved I would certainly have mentioned it here. Why then is the ticket above booked as a return from Peterborough to Kyle of Lochalsh and not from King’s Lynn? 

The following screenshots will expose the reason for this and the utter craziness and illogic of pricing on British public transport.

KL-Ky
Note the difference in price between this ticket and the one from Peterborough (almost £60!!)
Peterborugh-Kyle
Given the immense price difference, the booking from Peterborough was bound to leave my up on the transaction (as you will see after these pictures in point of fact to the tune of some £50)
Outbound
My outbound journey.
return
The suggested return journey (don;t worry parents, I can also get back leaving on the later train from Kyle, at 12:08 and arriving home around about midnight)
KL - Peterborough
Even were I to rely on train for the King’s Lynn to Peterborough and back section of the journey two anytime day singles (the max I would have had to pay), would have set me back a mere £24.60 as opposed to price difference on the all-in-one of almost £60, but….

I will actually be travelling the King’s Lynn – Peterborough and its reverse route on the First Eastern Counties X1 bus, which will set me back £6.40 each way or £12.80 in total, making a saving of approximately £47 as compared to the all-in-one booking from King’s Lynn. 

You might think that having cut through all the BS re fares and booked the tickets the daftness would end there, but you would be wrong…

COLLECTING THE TICKETS

The booking accomplished yesterday evening, this morning I set about collecting the tickets. First, as a precaution since I would be needing to keep them safe for a long while I searched out a receptacle of suitable size, shape and robustness to put them in, locating this pretty swiftly:

ticketholder

Having thus equipped myself it was off to the library to print off some booking information that I was going to need to collect the tickets.

library

Then with the information printed it was on to the station to pick up the tickets. This is usually done via ticket machines, of which King’s Lynn station has two. Here are pictures of both machines, showing precisely why I could not use them…

DSCN5103machineoo

I fully understand the desirability and indeed the need to replace old ticket machines with new, but why take both out of service simultaneously? Why not take one out of service and keep the other operational until the first new machine is ready, then take the second old machine out of service and replace it, thereby keeping at least one machine operational the whole time?

Fortunately, there were staff present, and I was able to get my tickets printed at a ticket office. While waiting I bagged an image of the station plaque:

plaque

Although the process took longer and entailed more frustration than I had anticipated, I have the tickets and other info safely stowed, and am looking forward to my visit to the wilds of northwest Scotland. It will not be my first visit to Kyle of Lochalsh – back in 1993, before the opening of a swanky new toll-bridge and consequent removal of ferry services to maximise said bridge’s profits, I passed through Kyle en route to the Isle of Skye, returning to the mainland by way of the southern ferry crossing to Mallaig. 

I conclude this post with two more photos, one showing all the printed material I have for the journey, and the other ending our journey back where we started (a lot more straightforward in a blog than in a journey on British public transport!)

traveldocstickets

 

 

Musical Keys

A personal account of yesterday’s Musical Keys at the scout hut on Beulah Street and a walk on either side of the session.

INTRODUCTION

Musical Keys sessions happened at the scout hut on Beulah Street yesterday. I was there both as NAS West Norfolk branch secretary and someone who enjoys the session. With it staying light later in the evening and yesterday being pretty benign for an early March day in England I got two good walks in on either side of my session.

GETTING THERE

I made a quick visit to King’s Lynn library before heading for the scout hut by way of the Broad Walk and the Sandringham Railway Path. I had sufficient spare time to take some photographs en route…

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This town centre cafe is the venue for an NAS West Norfolk coffee morning on Wednesday
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Here are some of the trees from which it takes its name, on the bank of the highly sculpted stretch of the Gaywood river that passes through The Walks.
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The library, fresh from recent repair works.
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The first of four flower pictures – all featuring crocuses.

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AT THE SCOUT HUT

I arrived with the youngsters session still in progress – here are some pictures I took before my session started.

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Before getting into details of what I did, I have a short subsection about…

A SPEAKER SYSTEM FROM Q BRANCH

This is best shown in a series of photographs…

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The speaker system in use
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Partially closed up – machine and bag of cables in the centre, the two speakers forming the sides of the case.
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And fully closed – a stout black plastic suitcase.

MY SESSION

I was on the computer, using Scratch 2. Once again I consider a series of photographs to do a better job than words…

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A modest but sufficient set up – I have eight notes on my chosen instrument (Cello) set to be played by pressing a, s, d, f, h, j, k, and l respectively, and various extras, including getting the cat avatar to move and draw, with the pen size increasing each time I pressed one particular key.

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THE JOURNEY HOME

Once the session finished, and the clearing up and locking up was done it was time for the walk back. I journeyed back by a different route, heading for Bawsey Drain, the Tuesday Market Place and King Street. Here are some photographs from this walk.

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A Couple of Winter Pics

Some winter pictures – enjoy!

INTRODUCTION

On Sunday Anna put up a post showing some winter pictures from Sweden. Now I am putting up a couple of winter pictures from here in Norfolk.

PICTURES

Here are the pictures…

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A spider web highlighted by droplets of water.
moss
Moss growing on the wall the bounds my outside area.
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Detail from King’s Lynn library.
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Not bad for £4 plus commission! These last two pictures are of my most recent railway themed acquisition.

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