An A-Z of Me

A personal A-Z, inspired by a post on The Cornish Maid.

INTRODUCTION

This post was inspired by The Cornish Maid’s post “A-Z about Me!!!“. Like the post I have just referenced there will be one entry for each letter…

MY PERSONAL A-Z

A FOR AUTISM

I am autistic myself, and also branch secretary of NAS West Norfolk. This entry is a very appropriate starting point because it was my diagnosis and the role I then had running a support group for Asperger East Anglia that led me to create this blog. 

B IS FOR BOOKS

I have always loved books, and am a very voracious reader. In addition to my own collection I am a regular user of several of Norfolk’s libraries, and yes I do use them to borrow books. 

C IS FOR CRICKET

I have been an enthusiastic follower of cricket for over 3o years (my attempts at playing the game foundered on a chronic lack of talent). The fact that my employers had an auction yesterday and have another on Saturday means that I am off work today, and therefore able to listen both installments of the Women’s T20 double header. Here is the feature image from Saturday’s upcoming auction:

2412-b

D IS FOR DETECTIVE STORIES

This is an extension of my love of books as a whole. I regularly borrow large quantities of detective ficition from thbe libraries. Among my very favourites are Edward Marston’s Railway Detective stories.

E IS FOR EAST RUDHAM

The village in West Norfolk where I began to rebuild my life after mental health issues had nearly destroyed me. I lived there for just over five years and was a regular visitor until my parents recently moved to Cornwall.

F IS FOR FERRY

I have travelled on many ferries in my lifetime, but the one I particularly think of nowadays is the Lynn Ferry which has been running for over 800 years.

Ferry 2

G IS FOR GREECE

I first visited Greece for a family holiday about 35 years ago and have been back mnay times. It remains a favourite holiday location. I have produced a number of posts about my most recent visit.

Tseria

H IS FOR HISTORY

One of the many subjects I enjoy reading about. One of the reasons I enjoy going to Greece so much is the presence of so many historic sites.

I IS FOR IRRELIGIOUS

I have been a staunch atheist for my entire adult life. For those who take the approach that the Northern Ireland census form used to I am a “catholic atheist” – that being the specific religion that I rejected. To paraphrase Richard Dawkins most people are as atheist as me about almost every god who has ever been believed in – I just go one god further than they do.

J IS FOR JOURNEYS

I love travelling, and being a lifelong non-driver am able to make good use of almost all my journeys – if the route is not familiar to me I will be observing the scenery and taking photographs, and if it is it represents reading time.
Major bridge from 37,000 feet up
K IS FOR KERNOW

Kernow is the Cornish name for Cornwall (this is the only entry in my A-Z that overlaps with The Cornish Maid’s), and although unlike the person who inspired this post I do not live there I have been there a number of times over the years and my parents have recently moved to that part of the world. It is a Cornish picture that appears on the reverse of my personal cards:

framed lighthouse

L IS FOR LONDON

I grew up in London, and still visit the place on occasion. Also, I run a London Transport themed website, www.londontu.be. I will be back in London during the latter part of next week, for Marxism 2018 which runs from Thursday to Sunday. 

Crossing the the Thames

M IS FOR MATHEMATICS

Another lifelong interest, and something that I am very good at. Here is a frecnet problem from brilliant.org that took my fancy:

plus-plus

N IS FOR NATURE

Nature has always been very important to me, and I love being out and about in nature with my camera for company. My name is often to be found among those supporting campaigns to protect nature, and as a thoroughgoing internationalist I take pride in having been the first non-Swede to sign the online petition to save Trosa nature.

Dragonfly
A spectacular creature, presumably some form of dragonfly.

O IS FOR OVAL

Because of their shape many cricket grounds have Oval in their name. The two with which I am most familiar are The Oval, in South London not very far from where I grew up, and served by two stations, Oval and Vauxhall; and the Adelaide Oval, which owes its name to a transplanted Surreyite who suggested it because he wanted to be reminded of home.  Of the innings I have seen live at the ground the most memorable at either of these two venues was played by David Gower in 1990. England could do no better than draw the game, which as it happened was enough to give them the series. Gower made 157 in that innings, and by the time he was out the draw had long since been secured.

P IS FOR PHOTOGRAPHY

This is a hobby of mine, and also something I do at work. Here are some recent pictures:

Black Headed Gull III
Three recent bird pictures

Moorhen IIITwo moorhens

840
This was lot 840 at yesterday’s auction – some good tools but the box being solid iron makes for an extremely heavy item.

840-a

2188
Lot 2188 in Saturday’s upcoming auction.

Q IS FOR QUIZ

With my eclectic interests and retentive memory I am pretty good at quizzes (unless they are overloaded with questions about pop music), and generally enjoy taking part.

R IS FOR RAILWAYS

Railways are one of my special interests. I have travelled on railways in many different countries and have also built up a decent collection of railwayana. I may add to my collection on Saturday. 

20502050-a2050-b2050-c2050-d2050-e

 S IS FOR SCOTLAND AND SWEDEN

These are two of my favourite countries to visit, both very scenic. I could find no way to split them so I have decided to honour both places.I have produced a number of posts about both Sweden and Scotland. Here are a couple of pics: through the window 2A view from Strome Castle, Scotland

DSCN9318This river is in Northern Sweden.

T IS FOR T20

Yes – another cricket related entry. T20 (where each side bats for 20 overs) has been a great success since its introductiuon in 2003. However the new 100-balls per side competition is being too clever by half (and consigning the County Championship to the start and end of the season when conditions are least suitable for long form cricket). 

U IS FOR UNIVERSE

I find it fascination reading theories about our universe, its possible origins and its possible place in a wider cosmos. I also find the history of how we moved from considering our planet to be at the centre of a fixed universe to recognising it as pale blue dot (hat tip to Carl Sagan who wrote a book of that title) in the immensity of the cosmos to be fascinating.

V IS FOR VARIETY

One of the things I enjoy about my current job is that there is plenty of variety there. I am firmly in the camp of those who say that variety is the spice of life.

WHY EVOLUTION IS TRUE

Jerry Coyne’s 2009 book with that title remains a firm favourite (along with his more recent Faith versus Fact), and it is also the title of a blog run by Professor Coyne that I follow. 

X IS FOR EXHORT

As I near the end of this post I exhort you to produce your own version – it is time consuming but fun. You have seen my version, and if you followed the opening link you have seen the version that inspired me to take on this challenge – now go and do likewise!

Y IS FOR YARBOROUGH

This is a bit of a cheat – it is my way of mentioning the game of Bridge which is a firm favourite of mine. A yarborough is a hand with no card higher than a nine and 4-3-3-3 distribution, and is named in honour of Lord Yarborough who had all bridge players at his house contribute a guinea to a kitty, while if someone had the misfortune to be dealt the hand that now bears his name they got 1,000 guineas (he was on to a winner – the actual odds against the hand coming up are 1827 to 1). I do not get to play very often but I am a pretty good player of the game.

Z IS FOR ZOOM

A zoom lens can be a real boon for a photographer (my current camera has a zoom capacity of up to 60X) – a little tip from experience is to not stretch the zoom lens right to its limits – leave a bit of space around whatever you are photographing (you can always crop it out during the editing process). This post was inspired by a Cornish blogger, so I end with a Cornish picture.

St Michael's Mount and Flying Gull

 

Autistic Special Interest 1: Public Transport II

The second post in my personal series about #autisticspecialinterests.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to my second ‘special interests’ post for the month of May. The first, which set the scene can be seen here. The first post dealt exclusively with London, where I grew up. This post looks wider, although it still deals with events from before I was diagnosed. NB – undiagnosed means just that, not diagnosed – it DOES NOT mean “not autistic”.

ST PETERSBURG

This overlaps with the first post, because I visited St Petersburg in 1991. The two week visit I made to that city in 1991 was significant in many ways – it was there that I learned to eat a more varied diet, because I was just mature enough to appreciate that it was a choice between eating what was served or not eating at all and make the best of things. Also, because the family I was staying with were living very close to one of its stations I gained a considerable acquaintanceship withe the St Petersburg Metro, and also experienced the trolleybuses and trams that were a feature of daily life there. 

Other than being horrendously overcrowded the St Petersburg Metro was a significant improvement on the London equivalent – a far more frequent service, and no delays. Also the underground portions were much deeper than in London, with often two colossally long escalators (far longer than any London equivalent) between the platform and the surface. This was my first major experience of public transport anywhere other than London. 

GOING SOLO 1: SCOTLAND 1993

My first solo holiday took place in the summer of 1993, when I travelled to Scotland for two weeks. I travelled all around Scotland in those two weeks. As well as some seriously scenic journeys on mainline railways (I experienced both the lines the head towards Skye among others) I also made the acquaintance of the Glasgow undeground system (a single, circular route). 

This holiday was a splendid experience overall, but a mere curtain raiser for…

A SCANDINAVIAN HOLIDAY

This happened in the following summer., Equipped with a rucksack and a two week rail pass for Norway, Sweden and Finland I started by taking a plane to Gothenburg. From there I travelled north, pausing in Stockholm. From Sundsvall I temporarily abandoned trains to take a boat across to Vaasa in Finland. From Vaasa I headed for Helsinki, and then the longest single journey of the trip, to Narvik, the most northerly railway station in the world. I continued my northerly exploration by bus as far as Tromso, before switching to boat for a journey along the coast to Hammerfest, the northenmost town in Norway. I varied my route back by taking a bus from Hammerfest to Alta (a mistake, this place is the Nordic equivalent of Brandon, only with even less appeal). Back in Narvik I selected a bus to Bodo, Norway’s other northern rail outpost. This decision cost me a  night spent on the sgtatiopon platform at Bodo before I could head south to Oslo. From Oslo I headed east to Stockholm, and my last journey of the holiday (other than the flight home) was from Stockholm to Gothenburg.

Not having previously explored any foreign public transort systems in this kind of detail I was highly impressed. Although there are many ways in which Nordic public transport is a vast improvement on British I note a few things in particular:

  • Comprehensiveness – although the terrain in these countries is much more difficult than anything in Britain pretty much anywhere of any size has some sort of public transport connection.
  • Integration – there is not much duplication between bus and train routes. The buses tend to cover the routes that the trains do not. The only small flaw I noted in that first visit to these countries was that en route from Helsinki to Narvik we had to disembark at Haparanda on the Finnish side of the Finland/ Sweden border to transfer to Boden on the Swedish side for the last leg of the journey to Narvik, and even that was handled efficiently.
  • Reliability – never once in these two weeks, nor in my more recent trip to Sweden, did I encounter a service not running precisely when it was supposed to, and there has never been a two week period in my lifetime when one could be in Britain, travelling by public transoort most days, and get that kind of service.

FUTURE POSTS AND PICTURES

My next post in this series will look at public transport in various cities that I have experience of. Here to end are some public transport themed pictures…

86
Lot 86 in our next auction – see my post about my first week as a commuter on the Lynx njumber 49 re the rarity of such uncut cigarette cards

86-a86-b86-c

110
Lot 110
181
Lot 181

181-a

199
Lot 199 – second behind on lot 86 on my wanted list…
199-a
…not least for this.
200
Lot 200
223
Lot 223
224
Lot 224
278
Lot 278

 

 

En vision blir verklighet – vi flyttar in!

A very interesting post from lagnobo, brought to my attention by Anna. The original post is in Swedish, so here is an English translation courtesy of Google:

A vision becomes reality – we move in!
7 JANUARY 2018LAGNOBO
In autumn 2010, Sörmlands Nyheter had an article with a picture about a house to be built in Nyköping. Very big, not so beautiful but with large conservatory. It sat on the fridge at Lagnö Gård and raised thoughts about a house, but smaller, more beautiful and in the countryside. In December 2010, on a journey to Gothenburg, a vision was formed which later became the basis for a leader application and a preliminary study.

A report on the preliminary study with the whole vision and the work to the association was formed (pdf). ✎ EditSign

Excerpt from Vision:
We thought:
“We like to have close to the neighbor to go in and have a cup of coffee, have a party in the evening or on a walk.” _ _
“We want to grow old with company because we feel better. We think of many dinners with company without having to go somewhere.
We think it will be cheaper to have some things together. Perhaps guest room, dining room, cafe,
car pool or electric car, conservatory, storage room, library, spa.
We think that this accommodation creates jobs for others, like gardeners, housekeepers,
cooking driver, foot care, massage, wellness etc. By coordinating our needs we can get
economic opportunity to utilize these services. “
“We think that if we want our children to be able to live on our soil, we need to develop housing that is scared of the environment, both in the construction process and in the accommodation.
We think of a house with maybe 10-12 apartments, two-three rooms and a kitchen, large garden, please both
inside and out, adapted for building in the countryside.
We think of a house that we own and manage, for example, cooperatively or otherwise in common.
We are thinking of a house for residents, not to make money. “

We who lived at Lagnö Gård invited everyone interested in exploring the possibilities. The architect who helped us when we got started urged us to write a wish list, without limits, before we started. Here is the one we liked wild wish list:

“Our very own wildly wish list!
All this we would wish for in our common, comfortable and sustainable home!
Here is the place for dreams and fantasies! Everything is possible!” _ _
“Winter garden, Spanish bar, party room, dining room, kitchen, kitchen kettle with stove, hot air oven and
sorting space!
Living room, guest room, laundry room with drying room and lack, carpentry, sewer and ironing room, storage room for
the apartments, common storage inside and out, food storage and pantry both for common and
private.
Caretaker / personal butler, sauna, broadband, thrift room, compost, garden land or colony lilac,
pets, reclining room, wellness area, pool, fireplace.
Patio, room with library and computer, film screen and projector, glass door to the greenhouse section,
solar collectors and water tanks, solar cells, car pool with shared car, echo at the pier, electric bicycle,
parking, bicycle storage, electric car with garage to, earth source.
Berry bushes, fruit trees, boulebana, storage room, playroom, tv, indoor and outdoor seating, barbecue area,
music system, bulletin board, speed dial phone …… ..
and in the apartments we wish
bathroom, kitchen / kitchenette, walk-in closet, pantry, open plan living, fireplace, balcony / patio, bay windows. “

Moving in!
After 7 years and an incredible amount of people’s commitment and non-profit work, the first tenants now move! And when we read the vision and wish list that then felt so unattainable, that’s incredibly probably the most. Surely there is a bit left, but we see that everything is possible!

Sure it’s amazing!

Lagnö Bo kooperativ hyresrättsförening

Hösten 2010 hade Sörmlands Nyheter en artikel med bild om ett hus som skulle byggas i Nyköping. Väldigt stort, inte så vackert men med stor vinterträdgård. Den satt uppe på kylskåpet på Lagnö Gård och väckte tankar om ett hus, men mindre, vackrare och på landet. I december 2010 på bilresa till Göteborg formulerades en vision som senare blev grunden för en leader-ansökan och en förstudie.

Rapport om förstudien med hela visionen och arbetet fram till föreningen bildades (pdf). 

Utdrag ur Vision:
Vi tänkte oss:
“att vi gärna har nära till grannen för att gå in och ta en kopp kaffe, få sällskap på  kvällen eller på en promenad.” _ _
“Vi vill bli gamla med sällskap för att vi mår bättre så. Vi tänker oss många middagar med sällskap utan att behöva åka iväg någonstans.
Vi tänker oss att det blir billigare att ha en del saker tillsammans. Kanske gästrum, matsal…

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Save Trosa nature – Behåll och stärk Trosas natur

An excellent and important post from Anna, with some sp;lendid infogđraphics/memes/drawings – please read and share!

Annas Art - FärgaregårdsAnna

Läs detta före 9 januari 2018, så har du chansen att bidra till att bevara och stärka Trosas natur.

Read this before January 9 2018 of you want to participate in the efforts to save Trosa nature.


Du har antagligen redan läst att 2017 uppmätte de högsta medeltemperaturerna någonsin (sen vi människor klarat att mäta de värdena). I SvD uttalade sig professor Johan Rockström och sade följande: “Om vi ska kunna leverera på Parisavtalet får vi inte chansa. Om planetens förmåga att buffra våra utsläpp går ner måste vi minska våra utsläpp ännu snabbare.” Han sade också “Vad vi gör de kommande fem åren blir avgörande för klimatets framtid”.

You have probably already read about how 2017 was the warmest year ever since mankind started to measure temps. In the Swedish newspaper SvD the professor Mr Johan Rockström said “If we’re gonna live up to Paris agreement we can’t take…

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News from Save Trosa nature people 

Anna has more for us on the Save Trosa Nature campaign (and features a classic infographic/ meme that she created out of a comment on mine on an earlier post)…

Annas Art - FärgaregårdsAnna

One of my Save Trosa nature friends and I have worked on a report. We have examined if the project new big road can proceed without negative climate effects. It can’t, so we told the authorities and media. Here’s the first news article about our report. You can read it in Swedish at itrosa.se.

Here’s what the Swedish news article says:

Municipalities Ingrid Benson and Anna Bohlin have examined the project New big road and the exploitation of the Tureholm Peninsula. They have compiled a 10-point list of climate councils that Trosa Municipality has not taken into account. The following press release has been published to media and environmental stakeholders:
Project New big road and the exploitation of Western Trosa – Tureholm Peninsula will counteract climate targets of 10 points.

In a review of the project based on climate reports from the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Environmental Protection…

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SBS

Some nature themed links and some of my own photographs. Snakes, butterflies and slugs feature prominently in this post, hence its title.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this nature themed post on aspi.blog. The title is formed from the initial letters of snakes, butterflies and slugs, all of which feature prominently. 

SOME SWEDISH STUFF

Of course when posting about nature and mentioning Sweden, Anna is going to feature prominently, but also featured here is the work of two Swedish photographers, Ingrid Benson who specialises in butterflies and John Jonasson who photographs reptiles.

A SERIES OF BUTTERFLY POSTS

Some of you may remember that I reblogged a post from fargaregardsanna about butterflies in and around Trosa that was marked as the first of a series. Well that series now runs to six posts, four posts based on the work of Ingrid Benson and two more featuring some of Anna’s own photographs. I now provide links to all of them:

  1. Fjärilar i Trosa – Butterflies in Trosa Sweden part 1 – the series opener – as all posts in this series are titled in this way the remaining links will only contain the part number at the end of the title.

  2. Part 2 – more from Ingrid Benson.
  3. Part 3 – more from Ingrid’s collection.
  4. Part 4 – the last of these posts to feature Ingrid’s work.
  5. Part 5 – the first of the two posts featuring Anna’s own photographs – I include two rather than the regular one as I could not decide between them.

  6. Part 6 – the last post (to date) in the series.

SNAKES

Anna put up a post titled “Snake day” featuring some pictures of snakes near where she lives…

…at the end of it she included a link to the site run by John Jonasson and featuring pictures and information about snakes.

A COUPLE MORE
NATURE RELATED LINKS

Firstly, from A New Nature Blog comes a post titled “Guest Blog: Agri-environment – a need for detailed scrutiny, by Steve Peel” which is quite a long post but well worth reading.

Secondly, from Mitch Teemley, comes a piece titled “Caterpillars Don’t Become Butterflies!” which explains the process of metamorphosis.
10298900_10203759279603307_7085417779304645126_n

MY PHOTOGRAPHS

We end as usual with some of my own photographs:

butterfly1
The first four of the six butterfly pics that open this set of photos were taken yesterday.

Butterfly2Butterfly3Butterfly4

Butterfly 1
This was taken today, and I thought even at the time that it was out of focus, but luckily…
Butterfly 2
I then got this.

moorhen and chickCorvid

small water creature
This was floating along the Gaywood river too rapidly for its progress to be down to the flow of the river (which is sluggish).
Slug 1
The slugs (three pics) – today is warm and just a bit damp – and the slugs love it that way.

Slug 2Slug 3

Swimming cormorants
Two swimming cormorants in one shot – a first for me.
Diving cormorant
This cormorant went into a dive as I was clicking the shutter…
Cormorant
…but then came up again not much later.

 

 

Fjärilar i Trosa – Butterflies in Trosa Sweden part 1

In thios post Anna focuses on butterflies in and around Trosa and alomng the way gives me an honourable mention…

Annas Art - FärgaregårdsAnna

I västra Trosatrakten och Tureholmshalvön går det fortfarande att beskåda ett rikt fjärilsliv. Ingrid Benson har lånat ut några av sina fjärilsbilder, som hon tagit på alla möjliga slags fjärilar som dykt upp framför kameran.

Det är roligt att fotografera och gå på fjärilsjakt. Har du väl börjat går det inte att sluta låta ögonen scanna efter fjärilar. Lite som att gå i svampskogen, fast med fjärilar som sökobjekt istället. Prova får ni se. Öppna ögonen och försök att zooma in fjärilarna med kameran. Det går att stå ganska långt ifrån och ändå få tydliga bilder. Se till att försöka fånga både över- och undersida på fjärilsvingarna. En mängd arter avslöjar sin tillhörighet endast genom en kombination av över- och undersida. Många arter är mycket lika varandra och då kan över eller undersida skilja dem åt.

In west Trosa and Tureholm peninsula there´s lots of butterflies to discover. Ingrid Benson

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