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

Links to some of the best pieces from today, includign several about autism, a solution, a problem and some photographs.


This post is divided into three main sections – a sharing section, because there has been some truly outstanding stuff come to my attention today, a problems and solutions section and some photographs. 


To clear the deck for the rest of my shares, which are all around the same theme I start with this little gem from Atheist Republic titled “5 Major Reasons Why Creationists are Dead Wrong

For the rest of this section we will be using shades of #RedInstead because all these pieces relate to…


I start this section with an old post from Autism Mom titled “10 WAYS YOU CAN DEMONSTRATE AUTISM ACCEPTANCE

I have already reblogged stimtheline’s magnificent Autistic Bill of Rights, but I take the opportunity to point you all in that direction once again, complete with a jpg of the suggested Bill of Rights…


My remaining shares in this section are all from a new find…


Not many people have produced three full-length posts in the space of a day that I am eager to share, but this blogger has managed it with the following:

  • Think Different, on of the best pieces I have ever seen on the theme of embracing one’s diversity, in this case neurodiversity.
  • The Nuances of Discrimination, which deals with protecting autistic people from discrimination, and is an absolute must-read.
  • Is Autism a Disability? A wonderful post which tackles head on some of the ways in which the conversation about autism is currently cooked against us from the start. I quote the closing lines of the post as an appetiser:

    It’s a label that holds me down and pushes me into a box I can’t escape from.
    Give me some new words to define me.
    Or better yet, let me define myself.


First, a solution to the problem I posed on Saturday in “Failing to Convert“:

Logic Solution

Here is Hamz George’s explanation of why this is so:

Hamz Jeorge 
Jan 6, 2018

Relevant wiki: Truth-Tellers and Liars

Since every statement is false, let us convert them into true statements, and number each statement:

Ann: 1) One of us took the painting. 2) The painting was gone when I left.

Bob: 3) I arrived first, third, or fourth. 4) The painting was still here.

Chuck: 5) I arrived first, second, or fourth. 6) The painting was gone when I arrived.

Tom: 7) Whoever stole the painting arrived after me. 8) The painting was still here.

According to statement #7, Tom is not the thief. #8: Since the painting was there when Tom arrived, he could not have been the last to arrive. Tom must have gone there first, second, or third. #6: The painting was gone when Chuck was there, so he didn’t arrive first. #5: So Chuck got there second or fourth. #4 and #8: As two other members (Bob and Tom) arrived to see the painting, Chuck didn’t get there second, either. So Chuck arrived fourth. #3: This means Bob arrived first or third. #2: Since the painting was gone when Ann left, she didn’t arrive first. Otherwise, no member after her would have seen the painting. So Ann went there second or third and Chuck arrived fourth. But since two other members (Bob and Tom) saw the painting when they arrived, Ann didn’t go there second, either. So Ann arrived third. #3: Therefore, Bob arrived first, and Tom arrived second.

In summary, Bob arrived first. Tom got there next and the painting was still there, so Bob was not the thief, and neither was Tom. When Ann arrived, the painting was still there, but it was gone when she left. So Ann was the one who stole the painting. Chuck arrived last and discovered that the painting was gone.

Yes, Charlotte, you were right.


Another one from brilliant



Although not as dramatic as a few weeks back, The Walks, King’s Lynn’s best known park, is still somewhat lacustrine, which has led to it receiving a most unusual visitor – an Oystercatcher, a wading bird which would normally visit a park and for which King’s Lynn would be the extreme South of its possible living area…

gull and oysercatcher
The oystercatcher in shot with a gull.
A close-up of the oystercatcher
Oystercatcher - vignetted
a second close-up of the oystercatcher
Oystercatcher BB
What my bird book has to say about the oystercatcher
Oystercatcher range
The Oystrecatcher’s range

As you will see there were a few other fine birds on show today…

Library display
Close examination of this display of local publicity materials just inside King’s Lynn Library, will make my contribution to it obvious – it has looked like that for some time.

lacustrine walksmudlump Imudlump IImudlump IIIBlack muscovyGullsMixed muscoviesMoorhenMoorhensmuscovies x 3Muscovy ducks x 4Muscovy ducksMusocyv ducks x 2Swan 1Swan abd drakeSwans and muscoviesSwans IISwans IIISwans IVSwans VSwanstwo muscovy ducksWater birds


Autism Acceptance Months II – Luke Beardon Joins The Fray

Sharing a wonderful post on the theme of autism accpetance from Luke Beardon. As this is a pure sharing post comments are closed – please comment on the original.


Yesterday I was inspired by a wonderful piece of work done by Jennifer Lisi to create a blog post titled “Autism Acceptance Months“. Well I was not alone in being inspired by it, and I now share with you a post created by Luke Beardon titled “Inspired by Jennifer Lisi“. Because this is a pure sharing post I am closing it for comments – to comment please visit Luke’s post, linked to above and in the next section.


Below is the opening of the post, and a screenshot showing a bit more of it:

Are you aware that there are moons and stars?
Are you aware that there is a theory of relativity?
Are you aware of the music of Mozart?
Are you aware that cars have engines?
Are you aware that houses need careful planning when built so they don’t fall down?
Are you aware that there are creatures living in the sea?
Are you aware that pacemakers help people with heart problems?
Are you aware of Harry Potter?



Having set the ball rolling by providing the inspiration for both my and Luke’s posts, Jennifer has subsequently created this lovely meme:



Some thoughts on sharing, provoked initially by the Gorsuch plagiarism case as reported by whyevolutionistrue and given the final push when I saw a post on and reblogged it.


I first started thinking about this post yesterday, and then a few minutes ago something else  occurred that prompted me to actually create it. 


Yesterday I read on whyevolutionistrue about an accusation of plagiarism against the US Supreme Court’s most recent appointee, Justice Gorsuch. That post makes it very obvious indeed that Mr Gorsuch is indeed guilty, and to an extent that would have earned any student an automatic zero for cheating. 

The second post, the one the actually got me started writing this post, comes from, and those of you who follow this site should already have seen it by way of this. If you have not yet seen this post, titled “What if the Tables Were Turned and This was an Autistic Workplace?” I urge you to do so. 

The first post I have mentioned in this section shows Gorsuch seeing something he appreciated and making use of it an unacceptable fashion that gave no credit at all to the person who had actually done the work. My reaction to the second demonstrated one (there are several) example of the…


I reblogged the post, with the addition of a line of my own explaining where I had found it. However, because the real work had been done by the original blogger, I then opened the editing screen and made two small but important alterations (as well as a few others not relevant to this post):

  1. I made my mention of the site from which I had reblogged it into a link.
  2. Because all credit or otherwise that might be due to the post belongs rightfully to its creator I turned off the comments section on my reblog.

If the post in which you are using content from elsewhere also contains significant work of your own, then it makes sense to keep the comments section open.

There is one golden rule when using content from other sources in a piece of your own: always give full credit to the original creator. Thus when I am sharing multiple pieces in the course of one post my own usual approach is to link to the source website of each piece the first time I mention it by name, and link to each piece individually. Also, if boosting the appearance of my own post by using pictures or screenshots from the other site I format them as links. This is especially important with screenshots, as they are not automatically attributed to the site to whom you are linking. 

It is nice if someone is impressed enough by your stuff to want to share it, but to put it very mildly it takes some of the gloss off if they omit to mention where they got it from (btw I have direct experience of this – when the Lynn News printed a report on the inaugural Autism Awareness Cup every word of that report had also appeared in my blog post about it, which had peen published some days previously, and no credit was accorded to me).


These pictures are of items that will be going under the hammer in James and Sons May aujction (22nd, 23rd and 24th of May, all three days at our own premises in central Fakenham):

Lot 499
Both sides of the brooch
The front of the brooch.
The back of the reverse (not the markings at the bottom). The reflections are unavoidable when taking a close up of an object this tiny and this shiny.
Lot 500 – a lot that required many images
both faces of the medals in one shot
Closer ups of each face of the medals


The back the middle medal, showing the naming.
The three images I took to show the markings on the rim of this medal combined to form one…
…and the individuals


Finally, completing the gallery for his lot, a close up of the cap badge.

Thursday Titbits

Just some stuff I found in my inbox this morning and decided to share.


I am sharing a few highlights from this morning’s inbox – to comment you will have to visit the pieces I flag up..


My first item comes from…


This little squib comes under the heading “The Most Desperate Tweet Ever” – to see it you will have to follow the link, but here, from the comments section of the original post is a classic counter version:


Well done to John M whoever you are for coming up with that.

For our next piece we turn to…


Disabled People Against Cuts to give them their full title have produced something about changes to the appeal process.

The remaining links I am sharing with you are concerned with…


All of the following links were contained in this morning’s Autism Newsletter from The Mighty. Firstly, written by Audra Cederquist, is this piece titled “5 Things You Should Never Say To The Parent Of A Child With Autism“.For full detail and to comment you will have to follow the link, but here are the five things not be said:

1. “What’s wrong with him?”
2. “I’m sorry.”
3. “Just tell him to stop.”
4. “Isn’t he too old/big for that?”
5. “He’ll grow out of it.”

My final piece, created by Stephanie Cooper, who is both mother of an autistic child and a former police officer, is entitled “Mom Creates Autism Law Enforcement Response Training for Police Officers” and includes a short video:

Images and Other Stuff

Highlights from today at work, a mention of yesterday, a comment on the Melania Trump story and lots of pictures.


This post is about today at work and a couple of other things.


Apart from the fact that it is so hot that for the first time in over three years as a James & Sons employee I went to work in shorts, the things I did at work covered three areas…


These numbered five, one of which was a repeat question therefore requiring no new work. Nos 2 and 3 which I will treat together featured a mishap over coin lots, which I was easily able to sort out, by producing and uploading the following images:

Lot 28 was an incorrect image, and he wanted to see both faces


Lot 29 was incomplete rather than wrong – now resolved.


Query no 4 related to a medal – someone wanted to see pictures of the rim, which are fiendishly difficult to produce, but I came up with these…

The final query was more involved, requiring detail as to whether the item was still in working order, and more info about its provenance. To help with this I produced these images:

The main bulk of my day’s work was…


There were some interesting items today and a decent variety. I will start with the non-coin items…

This box of matches may be sufficiently old that they are not so safe as ton be impossible to strike!


The cloth and the two bowling balls fir snugly inside the carrying case


There was so much stuff in this lot that I took two images and joined them together.


Finishing the August images where the queries started, here a few more…


I am not going to share all the coin images I did today (even with a mere 18 lots done that would be 54 images) but here are a few of the best…

Lot 132


Lot 138


Lot 140


Lot 143


Lot 145


Lot 147


Lot 148


Lot 149



I recently posted about the Lynn News taking the entire text element of a report that had the byline of one of their journalists from my blog (see here for more details) and pointed out that while I was grateful to them for covering the event I would have been even happier had they acknowledged me. Now today Melania Trump’s speech has hit the news for the wrong reasons – as whyevolutionistrue (who I am happy to acknowledge as my source for the quotes that follow) among others have noted it is all but identical to an earlier speech by Michelle Obama. For WEIT’s whole post click here, meanwhile for comparison, here are the two speeches:

Here’s the text from Trump’s speech:

My parents impressed on me the value of that you work hard for what you want in life. That your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect. Show the values and morals in in the daily life. That is the lesson that we continue to pass on to our son.

We need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. [Cheering] Because we want our children in these nations to know that the only limit to your achievement is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.

And here’s Obama:

And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.

And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.

In this latter case, of course we can be absolutely sure that Michelle Obama would not be pleased to hear her words from the lips of Mrs Trump.

To sum up this section:

  1. If using stuff from someone else (and Melania Trump’s speechwriters must have been aware of the origins of the words in her speech even if she was not) make sure that you are using it in a way that the original author would condone.
  2. Even if you have carte blanche to use stuff from someone else for goodness sake acknowledge the fact that you are doing so.



These last few photos come from yesterday, some of them featuring a barbecue lunch in East Rudham, with my parents, my aunt and my nephew.

Two boats moored on the pontoon jetty, South Quay (before setting off in the morning)


The first of two shots of my newphew tending the barbie!


Bees love the wild marjoram the grows just outside my parents house, and this was the best shot I managed to get of one.
Heading for home that evening – a couple of shots of the newly restored building on Purfleet Street – I would have knocked it down and started over but this still a massive improvement on what was there.




A celebration of the fifth anniversary of aspiblog – read, enjoy and please share!


What does the title of this post refer to? Here, courtesy of Robert Harris, backed by Edgar Allan Poe is a clue:

The definition of lustrum from the front of Robert Harris’novel of that name.


From Edgar Allan Poe’s “Eleonora” an example of the literary use of the word lustrum.


The special significance of lustrum in the sense of a five-year period to aspiblog is that today is the fifth anniversary of aspiblog. To view the post that started it all on May 10th 2011 click here.


There are many approaches to blogging. Some blogs deal almost entirely in original content, some blogs are devoted principally to sharing stuff created by others, and some like this one are a mixture of the two. I create new posts such as this when I feel I have stuff to write about and/or enough good pictures to warrant creating a post to share them.


Sharing can be done in various ways. There is the “Links” section was has been a frequent feature of this blog, which enables one to share lots of stuff in a single post. Other wordpress posts can be reblogged, and some other posts not on wordpress allow one the option of ‘pressing’ a link on to a wordpress blog (I have a ‘press this’ tool for my wordpress hosted London transport themed website to enable me to post links to interesting and appropriate articles). This morning I used the press this button on Richard Murphy’s Tax Research UK blog to post a link to a piece of his speculating on the prospect of Mr Osborne being reshuffled into obscurity on June 24th and took some screen shots along the way to illustrate the process:

Share 1
This is first stage, at which you merely need to press the button marked Publish
Share 2
You will then see two buttons saying Customise and Edit, and it is the Edit button you want to click
Share 3
At this point, having done some simple editing and put in some tags I have opened up the ‘more options tab’ and you will notice two checked boxes indicating that at the moment I am allowing comments and trackbacks/ pingbacks…
Share 4
I conclude by unchecking the ‘allow comments’ box so that people who wish to comment have to visit the original and post their comments there (this is not to avoid fielding commments, but to ensure that the creator of the post gets full credit for it)










This blog features many things, but there are several recurring themes:

  • Autism – I am #actuallyautistic, and although the Asperger’s Support Group that I ran for some time ultimately became a casualty of Tory funding cuts I am now on the branch committee of NAS West Norfolk.
  • Photography – I am a very keen photographer and invariably share pictures in my posts.
  • Politics – I am politically very active and I follow many political blogs/ websites.
  • Cricket – I am a huge fan of cricket and particularly during the summer months I will frequently have things to say about the game.


I spent yesterday listening to commentary of the fascinating match between Somerset and Warwickshire. While elsewhere in the country vast numbers of runs were being racked up this match was low scoring, and the better for it. The big scoring that has been such a feature of this early season is partly due to a daft playing condition introduced into the county championship whereby the visiting side can dispense with the toss if they wish to bowl first. This has resulted in a succession of pitches on which batsmen can fill their boots. There is no logic to such a playing condition – if you want to absolutely ensure that home teams cannot prepare pitches to suit themselves simply get rid of the toss altogether and award choice of innings to the visitors, although I would personally stick to having a toss for innings. If, as currently seems likely, Somerset win, they will owe it in large part to Peter Trego who in a low scoring game has amassed 94 and 51.

I heard while listening to that commentary yesterday that there are going be matches played between the North and South to give the best county players a chance to play in matches of higher standard than normal county games, taking place in the UAE in March, before the MCC v Champion County match, which I think is an excellent idea.


I have three links to share:

First, a petition on calling for a statue of a suffragette to be erected in Parliament Square, which  I urge all of you to sign and share.

My next two links are both related and concern a subject close to my heart: libraries. Libraries in many parts of the country are facing cuts, and one of the areas affected is Lancashire. A campaign is running to save their libraries, and they have recently created a bit of a stir by telling their MP to stay out of it, such is their (entirely justified) lack of trust in the individual concerned. Two links for you:


No aspiblog post would be complete without a few pictures, and I choose to finish with this section…


The Erie Railroad pass now in its display place
The top portion of the Clifton House tower.r
The top of the flagpole above Clifton House Tower, doubling up as a bird perch


I also found a way to display the Old London Bridge print.
The Stories of Lynn flag – the trouble with this newly opened attraction is that at £5 the admission price is too high.

Finally to end this post a message to all my readers, and fellow bloggers who have helped to inspire me to keep this blog going…