Setting The Stage For Tomorrow And Monday

Setting out my stall for tomorrow and Monday, answering one problem and setting another. Also demonstrating the creation of a poster.


Between work, an important meeting on Tuesday and editing photographs from last weekend I have not been able to put up any blog posts since Monday. This post will set out what is on the agenda for tomorrow and Monday, give a solution to one problem and set another. 


I have already produced two posts in my “Autism Events” series, which take that story up to the end of the Norwich event (see here and here), and covering Saturday’s event in London will certainly take two posts, possibly three. Additionally the photographs I have of the journey between King’s Cross and Uxbridge will form the backbone of a couple of posts (at least) on my London transport themed website. 


In Midweek Medley III I posed the following problem:


Below is the answer and a published solution from brilliant.




Another one from brilliant:



This is one of the tasks I had to perform at work this week. I actually produced two versions due to a dispute over which photograph to use as the official sample. The brief was to produce a poster that looked like the front cover of a catalogue, advertising the fact that part 1 of the W A Sharman collection of  iconic steam locomotive photographs will be going under the hammer:

Dent Head Viaduct main
This was the choice of former railway worker Paul, one with which I am in full agreement…

Dent Head Viaduct - Label

Nicholas Nickleby main
…but auctioneer David liked this one, so I produced two versions of the poster. These images were obtained by scanning the original photographs at 600dpi.

Nicholas Nickleby Label

This is a screenshot of my preferred version.
Flyer 2
I also produced flyers for Paul to use at an event he was attending.

Flyer 1

Below are the links to the original word documents.

Sharman poster 1

Sharman poster 2

Midweek Medley III

A little bit of everything.


A sharing post again! I am doing stuff first tomorrow and then Saturday that will provide material for a number of blog posts, so watch this space…


Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK is working on (among many other things) a project he calls the Ten Commandments of Tax. Below is a graphic of his first draft.

My next piece comes from The Guardian, and is Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley on why the Greens will not simply fold into Labour. It is an excellent piece, well worth  reading. I would say that Labour and the Greens can work together, and that if Labour are able to form a government after the next General Election they should still seek to put Ms Lucas in charge of environmental policy even if they have an outright majority that would entitle them appoint ministers exclusively from their own ranks.

This feeds nicely into the final piece in this section, a petition calling for Environmental Studies to be part of the National Curriculum. As this petition is on the official site for petitiions to the UK parliament only UK citizens can sign it – if you are one and want to sign it please click on the screenshot below:



We begin this section with a link to a post on Cambria’s Big Fat Autistic Blog titled “Preparing for April, the Trauma Month“. It sets out in detail just why “Autism Awareness Month” is actually not a good time for autistic people, and I recommend everyone to read it. Below is the infographic that heads the post:

My next link is from the the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism and is titled “The Toxicity of “Autism Parent” Memoirs“. Please note that this piece does not at any point even suggest that parents of autistic children should not write about their children’s experiences – it merely points out recent examples where this has been done in a way that is not acceptable.

My next post, courtesy of Fire Bright Star Soul, is an example of a parent of an autistic child writing about one of said child’s experiences in exactly the right way. “Autistic and Suspended” could serve as a model for how to write such stories. Below is a quote from the middle of the piece (the first of the two paragraphs is italicised in the original as well):

I spoke with the assistant principal of her grade, and he was compassionate, thoughtful and had an easy way with B. After speaking with both him and me, she decided not to have me take her home from school but try to push through it and stay the rest of the day. I was extremely proud of her for making that effort, and it worked. It’s a step toward success for her, because she is making progress to self regulation and learning that even if she has a meltdown, it doesn’t mean the ruin of the rest of her day. She can calm down, pick herself up and keep going. This won’t always be the case of course, but it’s an achievement on her part that I am happy to celebrate for the victory that it absolutely is. A year ago she would have been down for the entire day.

A word: By now you are probably aware that I follow a strict self-restraining policy of not posting any detail of my daughter’s life as an autistic without her express consent, and this is no different. We discussed this last night, and I explained why I wanted to write about it. She was amenable to this, so here we are.


In “Midweek Medley II” I posed the following problem from brilliant:

the cube

Below is the answer and then one of the published solutions:


Here is Geoff Pilling’s very succinct explanation:

There is 1 way you can have three reds all adjacent, and 2 ways you can have two of the reds be on opposite edges (distinguished by whether the green is opposite the third red or not). That gives,

1+2 = 3
My new problem for you, also from brilliant, is a variation on a very old theme, which caught a surprising number of solvers on the hop:


As the world knows (since many of us Brits are absolute drama queens about such matters) we have recently had some rough weather, which means I do not have as many pictures at my disposal as usual, but here are some:

Sandringham Railway Path
Although the weather had definitely eased by Saturday not all the snow had melted

Snowy walksblackbirdGulls in the snowWillows and snowFlowers IThe Walks floral sign

I-pad 1
Musical keys ran as normal.

Yellow flowersMoorhen

gull and lapwing
Today was wet at times, but never really cold (though I would have advised against anyone going out without a coat)
A redshank near the Nar outfall, earlier today.

Midweek Medley II

A mixed bag of bits and pieces from around the net and some of my own stuff, including photographs.


Yes folks it is time for sharing post, including some of my own photographs. I have a lot of interesting stuff to share, starting with…


The bodytext of this section is in #RedInstead because it relates to Autism. To be exact, today marks 20 years since Andrew Wakefield published his “research” indicating a link between autism and vaccines. One impact his decision to go straight to the press without having his “research” peer reviewed first (it was badly flawed, and that is being kind) had was to cause measles to become a significant factor in parts of the UK as parents declined to have their children vaccinated. There can be no comparison between autism (a neurological DIFFERENCE – and don’t forget that different is not a synonym for lesser) and measles (a dangerous illness). However, in the minds of some parents, fear of autism has been sufficient to prevent them from vaccinating. Mr Wakefield has since decamped to the US (Texas to be exact), and he has just weighed in on an election in his new home, supporting the challenger against the current incumbent, republican Sarah Davis, who has supported vaccines. I am not USian, nor based in the area where this election is taking place, but if there is anything that could induce to me to vote for a republican it would the likes of Wakefield urging a vote for their opponent.

I end this section with some links:


I start with a link to a piece by John Jonasson of The Photo Bloggers, titled “En dag med uttrarna – A day with the otters” – as an aperitif here is a picture showing two of the creatures:

Having just celebrated nature with the above link, here from closer to home, is a link to a petition by the Green Party calling for a new Clean Air Act fit for the 21st century. Please sign and share.

I finish this mini section back here in Norfolk, bringing up a topic close to my heart. Stagecoach are closing their King’s Lynn depot on April 30th (a king sized betrayal of Norfolk Green, the company they bought to get that depot) and will not be running any Norfolk routes thereafter. This leaves Konect, Lynx Buses, First, Sanders Coach Services and West Norfolk Community Transport to pick up the pieces. Our bus routes are very important to us, not least since thanks to Dr Beeching our county has no train routes to speak of. Thus I bring you a 38 Degrees petition calling on the council to work with these companies to ensure that the Coasthopper service (under threat of being entirely shut down) keeps running. Please sign and share the petition, via the screenshot below:



Autistic Bill of

There have been two posts created by people responding to my Sunshine Blogger Award nominations. Anna’s response which handles the entire brief is also titled “Sunshine Blogger Award” and is an excellent effort. I have already reblogged stimtheline’s Sunshine Blogger Questions“, which does a magnificent job of answering my questions, and I share it once again now. 

The Autism Women’s Network have recently produced a piece titled “Is Autism Speaks a Hate Group?” (spoiler: the answer is yes).

I end with a link to the petition to save the Morley House Respite Unit, which now has just over 3,200 signatures – please sign and share!


This meeting will be taking place in Norwich on the evening of March 8th (I will be in Norwich that day on behalf of NAS West Norfolk and will stay on for the meeting):

Norwich Trans liberation 2018 A6 cmyk


This is not too difficult IMO, from my regular source,

the cube


These are all from Monday:

BriggsSun on waterCormorantsCormorantCormorants and gullsNeck StretchflappingGreat OuseCormoranr vignettedMoorhenfemale blackbirdMoon 1Moon 2CMsCM x 5CM brownCM x 3CM whiteCM black


Sunshine Blogger Award

My response to Alison (The Unabashed Autist and Alison Wonderland) nominating me for a Sunshine Blogger Award)


Sunshine Blogger Award

I am honoured to have been nominated for this award by the wonderful Alison (The Unabashed Autist and Alison Wonderland) – click here to see her post in full.


I have borrowed this section heading from Jerry Coyne of whyevolutionistrue. Title explained, here are the rules:

The Sunshine Blogger Award is for bloggers who are creative, positive and inspiring as they spread sunshine to the blogging community. 

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you with a blog post and a link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.


  1. Do you sing in the shower? No
  2. Is there someone for whom you’d die? I cannot answer this one.
  3. Set a time for 10 minutes.  You have until it expires to pick a band name.  Go. I am mainly a fan of classical music, and am no good at coming uo with band names.
  4. One thing you would surely grab before exiting if there were a fire? My camera
  5.  You’re chosen as part of an exploration team to visit a new planet and return in two years.  Do you go? Absolutely – no way am I missing out on something like that.
  6. A time traveler offers a choice between a cure for AIDS and cancer or a clean, plentiful source of energy in exchange for keeping her story secret. Which would you choose? I go for the clean, plentiful source of energy – we are already making good progress on AIDS and cancer, but not on ensuring that our planet remains capable of sustaining life, so I deem the latter the greater necessity.
  7. How long since you last ate peanut butter? A very long time.
  8. What do you collect? I collect things with a railway connection.
  9. If you could step outside of time for however long you wanted, then return and no time has passed, what would you do with the time? I genuinely don’t know.
  10. Who is the first comedian that made you laugh so hard you cried? I can’t remember
  11. Who will play you in the hypothetical movie about your life story? Daniel Radcliffe


Whether I have nominated you or not please feel free to respond to the challenge if you so desire. My official nominations are:

The Thoughts of Life and Me (Masgautsen) – sample post #tbt Kaffekanna (The coffee pot) opening paragraph below:

One of the posts I found in my drafts was this post about a nice cafe and wine bar. It is quite fitting that I started this post and never published it, because this is one of those places that I really wanted to go visit when they first opened, but it took me quite some time before I actually went.

The Adventures of Captain Cornwall (Laura Easlick) – sample post A Sunday Afternoon in Zennor – opening lines reproduced below:

If I won the lottery, I would buy a house in Zennor.

I love the idea of having plenty of space between houses, with unspoiled views and dramatic coastal scenery.

West Cornwall can feel like a different place to the rest of the county. Driving from Hayle in West Cornwall to Zennor in the area known as West Penwith, the views change quickly and it suddenly feels like you’re on the way to the end of the Earth!


…However, it seems that Mr Neil agrees with us that recent smears by Tory front-benchers against Jeremy Corbyn have been beyond the pale – as they prompted him to ‘do a Paxman’ on Wednesday on a hapless Tory minister during the BBC’s Daily Politics programme:

Robert Loves Pi – sample post Three Rings of Eleven (as I pointed out on the original, I saw five rings of eleven shapes) – given the significance of the number 11 to this challenge this is a particularly neat fit (IMO):

Three Rings of Eleven

Undestined Pieces (Anusha Sridharan) – sample post Bright days bring bright beginnings.

…A day gets a good start when you have made up your mind to think all positive, and nothing but positive. What acts like an icing to it is having a nobel purpose attached to it.

Travelling the World (Ester) – sample post Greenwich-London:

Our Autism Blog (Emzamy) – sample post A Cure for Autism? (note the question mark with which this title ends – and that this piece follows the usual rule that applies to titles including a question, or I would not be linking to it) – quote from the end of the post:

The most important “cure” for Autism is to teach the child that being different is not a bad thing.
We need to make it possible for a child to live and thrive by helping people to understand the nature of the condition.
For the child to grow up and be happy, their Autistic needs have to be met.
The way forward for us all is to accept difference in a world full of discrimination.

Getting rid of Autism isn’t the key to the perfect child…..I love mine just the way she is.

The Neurodivergent Rebel – sample post Web Resources

My last three nominations are blogs I also nominated in my response post when I was nominated for a Blogger Recognition Award.

Stimtheline (Mish) – what else could be sample post but The Autistic Bill of Rights Shareable Image:

Autistic Bill of

The Silent Wave (Laina Eartharcher, also has a sharing site, Lainas Collection), sample post The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Neurotypicality:

In Short:

The NT Take On Life is often (too frequently) to dumb it down, complicate it with bullshit and distractions, condense it into bite-size pieces, and send it viral.  Strip it of substance, complexity, and real-ness, lace it with double-speak, polish it up into something shiny and digestible, package it for appearances, and act like That’s The Way Things Are, assuming broad acceptance and mass adoption.

I started this list of nominations in Nordic lands, with a Norwegian blog, and I finish back in that part of the world with a Swedish blog, fargaregardsanna (Anna Bohlin), sample post Så här bygger vi i Trosa kommun – not climate smart building in Trosa Sweden:

To finish this section: If you want to make a comment that relates specifically to one of the posts I have highlighted in this piece please go the original to do so. If your comment is about the post as a whole or about something that is specifically my work then by all means post it here.


  1.  If you could restore one place that exists only as an archaeological site to perfect condition waht would it be?
  2. If you remove from existence one current organization which would it be?
  3. What is the most amazing sporting performance you have ever witnessed?
  4. Who is your favourite author of fiction?
  5. Pick one word beginning with each letter of the alphabet that is particularly associated with your life.
  6. An alien visitor offers to give you the solution to one of humanity’s great unsolved problems: which one do you ask for?
  7. If traveling were free, where would you like to go? 
  8. If you could have a dinosaur renamed in your honour which one would it be? (note to Autism Mom, if you take these questions on you are permitted to subcontract this one to The Navigator!) 

    the last three questions are based on the BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs – :

  9. You are able to save one music CD from the waves as you scramble ashore – what would you like to be on it? (If you want to go above and beyond and make the full eight music choices around which the actual programme is built be my guest!)
  10. Choose three books that would help you pass the time on the island (the real thing restricts castaways to one choice, giving them The Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare whether they want them or not).
  11. Choose one luxury item (it should not be too useful, but I am not going to be harsh on that, and I will allow a little latitude in the matter of what the main item has with it – e.g if you select a camera, as I would, it comes with a spare battery, as well as the fully charged one that is currently in there).


Having completed the business part of this piece I conclude it by putting up some recent photographs of my own:

Squirrel CLXIISquirrel CLXISquirrel CLXBlackbird CLXIICormorant CLXIICormorants and gullsCormorant CLXIBrace of cormorants IIBrace of cormorantsCormorant CLXWater birdsFlying Cormorant XXMoorhen CLXI


Monday Medley III

Some technical tips prompted by a post on Yarnandpencil, a wide variety of shares from around the web, including a new facebook page and a petition, a solution to a teaser and some photographs.


I have various things to share with you, and some new pictures to post. I am going to start with…


This section was prompted by a post put up by Tracy at Yarn and Pencil this morning titled “More WP problems“, and has developed from a comment I posted there. One of the problems she raised there was the ‘disappearing reblog button’ that others have commented on. 

The process for reblogging when there is no reblog button is:

  1. Start a new post as though you were going to create something of your own. 
  2. Link to the site on which you found the piece you intend to share and of course to the piece itself (use the actual title of the piece for this).
  3. Select a paragraph and/or an image from the original to serve as an ‘appetiser’ (making sure to differentiate the text from your own and/or to ensure that the image is clearly identified as the other person’s work)
  4. If you are using a whole post just to link to one piece turn the comments of on your post – you want to people to visit the original and post any comments they might have there. This last point leads me on to…


If your window when creating a post looks like mine, then on the right as you look is a panel of tabs as follows:


Open the ‘More Options’ tab, as indicated by the red arrow above, and you will see…

Comments Allowed

…Down near the bottom are two check boxes and you want to uncheck the top one of the two where it says “Allow Comments”. Instead of two ticks, shown above, you want it to look like:

Comments Not Allowed


I am going to open this section with a couple of links about neurodiversity. To set the scene, a post from Neurocosmopolitanism titled “Neurodiversity: Some Basic Terms & Definitions“. As an ‘appetiser’ I offer you this section on the Neurodiversity Paradigm:

1.) Neurodiversity is a natural and valuable form of human diversity.

2.) The idea that there is one “normal” or “healthy” type of brain or mind, or one “right” style of neurocognitive functioning, is a culturally constructed fiction, no more valid (and no more conducive to a healthy society or to the overall well-being of humanity) than the idea that there is one “normal” or “right” ethnicity, gender, or culture.

3.) The social dynamics that manifest in regard to neurodiversity are similar to the social dynamics that manifest in regard to other forms of human diversity (e.g., diversity of ethnicity, gender, or culture). These dynamics include the dynamics of social power inequalities, and also the dynamics by which diversity, when embraced, acts as a source of creative potential.

This leads on to an article from Harvard Business Review titled “Neurodiversity as a Competitiuve Advantage“. I give you the opening two paragraphs:

Meet John. He’s a wizard at data analytics. His combination of mathematical ability and software development skill is highly unusual. His CV features two master’s degrees, both with honors. An obvious guy for a tech company to scoop up, right?

Until recently, no. Before John ran across a firm that had begun experimenting with alternative approaches to talent, he was unemployed for more than two years. Other companies he had talked with badly needed the skills he possessed. But he couldn’t make it through the hiring process.

My next offering comes from the Neurodivergent Rebel and is titled “The Problem with Autism“. This time I provide the closing words of the piece:

If the narrative around autism changed to one of true acceptance and kindness, would things be different? If we show people how to believe in themselves, will it make it easier for them to succeed?

The problem with autism isn’t autism. It’s society’s attitude that autism is wrong.

Then we come to a piece on to aspie or not to aspie titled “To Autism With Love“, from which I give you the conclusion:

In fact, my dear, dear friend, Autism, I love you.

And I am grateful for who you have made me. And that you are there for me when I need you. 

Let’s start our journey again, and this time I promise, I’ll try my best to understand what you need from me. Take my hand and let’s tackle the world together. 

But please do try and understand what I have to give. That I have limits. 

And, dear kind, confusing, Autism, remember this: I love you. 

No matter what. Always, forever and a day. 


An aspie.

This next link is for those of you who use social media. Libby, who tweets as @LibbyAutism, has expanded her social media profile by creating a facebook page called Liberty – living with autism. Please visit and like the page if you can.

Finally, to end this section, a reminder about the petition on 38 Degrees to save the Respite Unit at Morley House. This petiton, screenshotted below, is now on just over 3,000 signatures, and I urge you all to help us increase that number:



Here is the problem I set you on Saturday:


Here is the answer, followed by a published solution:


This is Stephen Mellor’s highly admired solution:



Well done those of you who have made it to this point! We end, as usual, with some recent photographs:

We start with a fungus
Flowers III
Then we have three flower pictures

Flowers IIFlowers I

Blackbird CLXI
Then we are on birds.

Blackbird IIblackbirdCrowsgull CLXgulls

House Sparrow
Both this pictyure and the next feature a House Sparrow – a common bird, but not always easy to photograph because it is very small.

House Sparrow IIMoorhen CLX

Swimming Cormorant X
We end with two pictures of swimming cormorants.

Swimming Cormorant XI

Answer to Wednesday’s Teaser

An answer to one question and a new question. Also some photographs.


I also have a few new photographs to share, but the main purpose of this post is to answer the question I included in “Midweek Medley“. 


There are three elements to this section – first a screenshot showing the correct answer, then my written explanation of how I worked it out (I did it in my head in rather less time than the explanation takes) and then another screenshot showing a solution posted on brilliant.


I solved this one as follows:

Firstly I noted that the smallest base that need be considered is base 8. Then I converted 777 from bases going upward from 8 back into base 10 and assessed whether or not the number was a fourth power.

777 in base 8 is 511 in base 10 = 73 x 7 = not a fourth power.
777 in base 9 is 637 in base 10 = 91 x 7 = not a fourth power.
777 is not a fourth power
777 in base 11 is 931 in base 10 = 133 x 7 = 49 x 19 = not a fourth power
777 in base 12 is 1099 in base 10 = 157 x 7 = not a fourth power.
777 in base 13 is 1281 in base 10 = 183 x 7 = 61 x 7 x 3 = not a fourth power
777 in base 14 is 1477 in base 10 = 211 x 7 = not a fourth power
777 in base 15 is 1687 in base 10 = 241 x 7 = not a fourth power
777 in base 16 is 1911 in base 10 = 273 x 7 = 39 x 7 x 7 = 39 x 49 = 3 x 13 x 7 x 7 = not a fourth power.
777 in base 17 is 2149 in base 10 = 307 x 7
777 in base 18 is 2401 in base 10 = 343 x 7 = 49 x 7 x 7 = 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 = 7^4 = a fourth power.
Thus the answer is indeed 18.

Below is a screenshot of Jerry Han Jia Tao’s solution posted on brilliant:


Rather more elegant than my method of solving by brute calculation – but it was early in the morning when I tackled this problem, which is possibly why I missed this approach. 


This was the one I solved this morning to extend my solving sequence on brilliant to 252 days:



GullSwimminjg cormorantgulls and lapwingsGulls

Midweek Medley

A mixed bag of a post with nature, mathematics and photography all featuring prominently.


This post features stuff from a variety of sources, and of course plenty of my photographs. I am going to start with the focus on…


I start with some news from Germany, where in a bid to reduce congestion and air pollution a number of cities are trialling free public transport. The image below comes from the Guardian’s coverage of this story:

Regular visitors will recall that I mentioned something about London possibly becoming a National Park City in one of my earlier posts. I am now delighted to say that it will happen – London will become the world’s first National Park City. 

Finally moving on to a local level, the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk have produced a new pamphlet titled The Walks Tree Trail. Copies are in stock in the Custom House, which houses King’s Lynn’s tourist information office, and I have photographed every page of one of the pamphlets:

A really good idea, and a we,lcome show of ‘treespect’. Thst the nearest entrance to The Walks is a mere few minutes walk from my flat is a bonus.



A while back the then education minister Nicky Morgan was interviewed about some comments she had made regarding mathematical standards and during that interview was challenged to perform a very simple multiplication, which she balked at doing, bringing down on herself a storm of mockery. You might think that Nick Gibb would have learned from his predecessor’s embarrassment but you would be wrong. Interviewed on TV after announcing the launch of tougher maths tests for primary school children he was challenged to perform a very simple multiplication (8 x 9) and in a repeat of Ms Morgan’s performance he refused to do so. Nicky Morgan may not have known what she was bringing down on her head by ducking the question in her interview, but for Nick Gibb there is no excuse. In the event that I am ever interviewed on TV and challenged in this fashion I will give them the answer (72 if it is the same question that Mr Gibb shied away from answering) and then ask if they might care to set me a proper question. I have three takes on this story for you:

  • The Guardian’s version
  • The Evolve Politics website’s version
  • Mike Sivier of Vox Political’s version

This is a good preamble to my next section…


I offer you a question from the mathematical website brilliant which I greatly enjoyed when I tackled it myself. I will give the answer to this little conundrum at the weekend.



These are from today, in and around King’s Lynn:

MoorhenCormorantMoorhen 2BlackbirdMute Swan CMjute Swan CIMute Swan CIIside by side by sideMute Swan CIIIMute Swan CIV3 Muscovies, 2 MallardsMute Swan CVMultiple species