One Year On From A Narrow Escape

An anniversary, some thoughts about autism, the London Mayoral elections and diplomatic immunity and a lot of photographs.

INTRODUCTION

I have various things to mention besides the main subject of this post, and a few links to share. First up, in accordance with this blog’s “reverse tabloid” policy regarding such matters comes…

AN APOLOGY

I recently suffered a problem with my email settings that caused two things:

  1. I missed some of your posts because they were going to my spam folder.
  2. A couple of commenters waited longer than they should for a response from me because due to the same issue I did not initially see the comments.

I have now resolved the issue, and all should be back to normal.

THE NARROW ESCAPE

Exactly one year ago, on October 8th 2018 I was so ill that I had to be given a half-size saline drip and a lot of further assistance to get from the flat I was then living in to an ambulance that took me to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. I will be visiting that hospital under my own steam today for a hearing appointment. I have written various posts about the illness that nearly killed me and my subsequent gradual return to health and fitness.

COFFEE MORNING

There is a coffee morning taking place at King’s Lynn Library tomorrow between 11AM and 1PM. At this time of year various shops and businesses have an “autism hour” during which they make particular efforts to be more accessible to autistic people. Of course many of the changes they make could and should be made permanently anyway – are such things as ultra bright lights and loud “music” really necessary to attract allistic customers?

Talking of which, Pete Wharmby, an #actuallyautistic autism advocate, posted a splendid thread on twitter last night about employing autistic people.

LINKS AND PICTURES

Just a couple of links before the pictures…

  1. The London Mayoral election campaign is now in full swing. There has been much entirely unmerited excitement about the decision of Rory Stewart, who knows precisely nothing about London, to stand. If I lived in London my vote would unquestionably go to Sian Berry, once again the Green Party candidate, with a second preference for the incumbent Sadiq Khan (they use STV for the London Mayoral elections). Here is an article in inews inwhich Ms Berry takes aim at Mr Stewart with (IMO) deadly accuracy.
  2. Autistica have produced an excellent guide to writing about autism, which I recommend you to read in full.
  3. Jerry Coyne at whyevolutionistrue has put up a post about Anne Sacoolas’ abuse of “diplomatic immunity” after she killed Harry Dunn in a hit and run accident. She is very probably going to escape unpunished for killing someone because neither of the two countries has a leader who can even be hoped to do the right things. For those who use social media look up #JusticeForHarryDunn. My own view is that diplomatic immunity should be waived, she should be done for causing death by dangerous driving and hit with the maximum possible punishment for that offence (on the grounds that her attempted use of diplomatic immunity counts as the absolute reverse of co-operation).

PHOTOGRAPHS

First up, a warning to arachnophobes – there is a spider coming up. Now, my usual sign off…

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A bug of some description exploring my spectacles (four pics)

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The first of a load of pictures during a journey to and from Addenbrookes

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Walking home from King’s Lynn station post Addenbrookes…

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…this poster produced by school students impressed me (sadly the weather overnight was dreadful, and I had to pick up a couple of badly damaged copies the following morning when on my way into town).

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A Very Important Petition and Imaging for the May Auction

A signpost to a pwtition that should get very biog very quickly, some of the best images from today at work and a couple of links relating the latest blunder by the Goldsmith campaign for London Mayor.

INTRODUCTION

A two part-post, as I was always going to be sharing some images from today, and I have something else that needs to be given prominence…

PETITION: QUALIFICATIONS OF HEALTH PROFESSIONAL FOR PIP/WCA
MEDICAL TO BE OPENLY AVAILABLE

I received a comment on my recent post “Many Things” (I have the commenter’s permission to quote verbatim) that runs as follows:

i started a petition to have open transparency about the Health care professionals that do the WCA a assessment on behalf of the dwp, the reason for this is that are they qualified for the role there doing ie a physiotherapist doing a mental health assessment for bi-polar, ask directly for there qualifications and you will find a wall of hiding behind laws, so to make it easier the petition is about having this in public domain so vunerable adults do not have to go through loops to find out the information and decide whether the person that assessed them is fit for purpose, in light of channel 4 dispatches nothing has changed so this is more important now. can you sign please the link is below https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/126229

This petition struck instantly, and I followed up the link, which revealed the following:

Petition

I have signed this petition, shared on twitter & facebook, and urge everyone to sign and if you are able share it. Please use the link below:

VIEW, SIGN AND SHARE PETITION HERE

MAY IMAGING

Today at work I made a stgart on the imaging for the May auction, and here are some of the highlights for you…

THE CASE OF MR GOLDSMITH
AND THE SCRAPED BARREL

Mike Sivier at Vox Political set me on to this story, which is typical only worse of the way in which the whole of Mr Goldsmith’s campaign for London Mayor has been run:

  1. Mike’s post, which signposts…
  2. This Guardian piece.

 

AUCTION AT THE MAIDS HEAD HOTEL

An account of Wednesday’s auction at the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich, with a few other bits and bobs, including another mention of the Positive Autism Awareness Conference.

INTRODUCTION

Although mainly concerned with the James and Sons auction that took place the day before yesterday, this post will also mention a few other things at the end.

THE AUCTION

This section divides into several subsections, starting with…

GETTING THERE

Given the early hour at which it was necessary for me to be at the venue and the fact that I was not returning straight to King’s Lynn but was instead going to my parents because we were going to a bridge evening at the Jolly Sailors I decided to aim to be on the 5:55AM X1 bus to Norwich, with the more circuitous X8/X29 route, the first of which departs at 6:10AM as back up.

I achieved my intended aim of being on the 5:55AM bus and this bus not only departed on time, it benefited from a clear run along the A47 to arrive at Norwich bus station precisely when it was supposed to. I then walked down to the Maids Head, picking up a few photos along the way as I was in plenty of time…

THE SETUP

All the stuff for the auction had to unloaded from the van and set up in the room we were using (the Erpingham room) at The Maids Head, and a few things had to be moved around for the room to properly organised for our purposes. That and a few technical hitches notwithstanding (mere trifles such as initially having no internet connection!) all was ready by 9AM when the first viewers started to arrive.

THE AUCTION ITSELF

The auction started quietly, with only a few people present at the venue and no one bidding online on the early lots, but the internet bidding started at just after lot 100, and was very lively at certain points – lot 204 with an estimate of £50-60 went for £260, lots 283 and 286 both went for substantially above estimate, and a sequence of sets of penny reds with Great Western Railway perfins saw some spirited bidding involving a room and an internet bidder, with half a dozen lots estimated at 10-15 actually getting three figures a piece.

These are some of the penny reds which caused such excitement.

Lots 597 and 737 both sold very cheap to yours truly (even with buyers premium there was change from £15 for the two lots put together). Here they are…

In connection with these pieces of railwayana, a quick reminder of my London transport themed website, www.londontu.be.

THE CLEAR UP

The last lot went under the hammer not very long after 2PM, after which everything that had not gone to people in the room had to be loaded back on to the van. Then my colleague Andrew and I travelled back to Fakenham in the van. My initial plan had been to get the 17:38 bus on from Fakenham to East Rudham, but because we were ahead of schedule, but not sufficiently so for there to be a likelihood of me catching the 15:38, and because the weather showed its teeth when we just east of Fakenham, Andrew very kindly gave me a lift to East Rudham. I worked out that I had handled some of these lots seven separate times (carrying them to my imaging area, carrying them to the storage area, carrying them down to the shop for viewing, carrying them the shop to the van, carrying them from the van to auction venue, carrying them from the auction venue to the van and finally carrying them from the van back to the shop).

POST AUCTION

My early arrival at East Rudham proved useful – my parents had unearthed some silver spoons which needed to photographed with a view to selling them. I have two picture galleries in this connection, both created from the same set of originals – the first using Microsoft’s own image editing software, and the second, which I unveil for the first time, using my own image editing software, which was designed specifically for use with Nikon Coolpix cameras…

This is the set of images created using Microsoft software…

This was the result when I edited the same photos using my own software.

The bridge went well after a poor start – I emerged plus 13 on the evening (65p at Jolly Sailors stakes).

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY/ CALENDAR

Monday 1st February: James and Sons feature on Antiques Road Trip – episode on air on BBC1 at 4:30PM (should be available on i-player by 6PM) – I am the guy in the red jacket sat next to the auctioneer.

Wednesday 24th February: James and Sons auction at Fakenham Racecourse, starts at 10AM. This auction features a wide variety of lots, beginning with bonds, passing through banknotes, coins, stuff from HMS Britannia, Ephemera and Militaria before finishing with Stamps.

Friday 15th April: Positive Autism Awareness Conference, the Dukes Head Hotel, King’s Lynn – for more information check out the following links:

Yesterday’s blog post dedicated to this event

West Norfolk NAS’s facebook page

The Facebook event listing

West Norfolk NAS’s website

 

CALLING ALL LONDONERS

I have shared some of London mayoral candidate Sian Berry’s transport related ideas on www.londontu.be:

London City Airport

Fair Fares

This is the official Fair Fares piece

Having provided these excellent suggestions Sian has turned her attention to London’s sky high rents, with this proposal for a London Renter’s Union

If you are eligible to vote in this election I urge you to vote for Sian Berry.

 

Some Sporting Stories

A couple of sporting stories, news of a bold new plan for London City Airport and an important petition.

INTRODUCTION

This is going to be a blog post of many parts. As well as the sporting stories in the title I will be sharing some other stuff that I have come across recently. I will cover the sporting stories first…

CRICKET

Two different stories from South Africa. First…

HAVING LOST THE WAR SOUTH AFRICA
LOOK LIKE WINNING THE FINAL BATTLE

England’s victory in the third test match gave them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four match series, so the fact that they took two sessions (SA 220-1 in 1st innings) to wake up in this match and have never been on terms is less of a worry than it might be. Going into the final day, extended to make up for time lost to the weather, England have 98 overs to bat and with seven wickets in hand need what would appear to be a purely nominal 330 more to win.

Kagiso Rabada who took seven wickets in the first innings already has another two, and one more would make him the youngest ever bowler to take 10 in a test match. Hashim Amla was one good blow short of completing twin centuries in the match and two South African debutants made centuries in the first innings, Cook (like his English namesake an opening batsman) and De Kock (wicketkeeper and middle order batsman).

Barring cataclysmic weather the final outcome of this series will be a 2-1 win to England.

My second cricket story concerns a rather graver matter…

MATCH FIXING

Gulam Bodi has been banned from any cricket related activity except attending anti-corruption programs for a period of 20 years for contriving or attempting to fix matches in the 2015 Ram Slam T20 series. A full account, by Cricinfo’s South African correspondent Firdose Moonda, can viewed here.

While I am pleased to see that a severe punishment has been dished out I can only concur with the thoughts voiced by Michael Vaughan on Test Match Special today – this is not tough enough. Anyone caught engaging in this kind of behaviour should be banned outright for life.

TENNIS

We are deep into the second week of a grand slam tournament (the Australian Open), and Andy Murray is not the sole remaining Brit in the main singles draws (he is of course still there). He has been joined in reaching the last eight by 24 year old Johanna Konta, the first British woman since 1984 to make a grand slam quarter-final.

SOME OTHER BITS AND BOBS

I have a few other items to share, starting with…

FAREWELL TO LONDON CITY AIRPORT (HERE’S HOPING)

I have already given this some coverage on my London transport themed website. Sian Berry (Green party candidate for London mayor) and her team have come up with an excellent alternative usage proposal for the site of London City Airport. Full details can be read here, while the original of the picture I  reproduce below can be viewed here.

LCY

DON’T CUT BENEFITS FOR PEOPLE
LIVING WITH DISABILITIES

First, a petition which I introduce by way of a piece of text designed for use in emails:

I just signed the petition “Don’t cut benefits for people living with disabilities” and wanted to ask if you could add your name too. 

This campaign means a lot to me and the more support we can get behind it, the better chance we have of succeeding. You can read more and sign the petition here: 

http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/don-t-punish-the-sick-and-disabled-with-benefit-cuts 

Can you also take a moment to share the petition with others? It’s really easy – all you need to do is forward this email or click these links: 

Share on Facebook 

Share on Twitter 

Thank you! 

For more detail please view this post from disabilitybenefitsconsortium.

 

 

Public Transport

Links to information about a wonderful idea concerning London transport put forward by Sian Berry and to a campaign being run by Which?

INTRODUCTION

I have today seen two public transport related items that I wish to share, one of which I have already pressed on to my London transport related website. I have also tweeted about both items.

SIAN’S SUPERB SUGGESTION

The Sian of this heading is Green Party candidate for London Mayor Sian Berry. The suggestion that I am so enthused by is that the entire area covered by London Transport should be a single fare zone, so that people who work in London but cannot afford premium property prices near the centre do not also get hit by higher fares. For more details I have two links for you:

  • Sian’s own piece, posted here
  • This article in the Standard.

I wish Sian luck in the London mayoral contest.

MAKE RAIL REFUNDS EASIER

Just a brief piece here pointing you in the direction of the Which? campaign to make it easier for customers who have been let down by rail companies to secure refunds (I still remember how much work I had to do when claiming a refund from Midland Mainline 12 years ago, which was so clear a case that they actually gave me more in compensation than I had asked for). To find out more, and hopefully sign up to this important campaign please follow the link below:

Make Rail Refunds Easier