Network Autism

An important autism related meeting in Dereham plus a few shares and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

As well as my title piece, which as promised yesterday, is about the meeting in Dereham organised by Autism Anglia and ASD Helping Hands that I attended this morning. Karan and I were a little late arriving as she could not leave before the person who would be looking after her son had arrived and I had arranged a meet up point at The Gatehouse since while I was definitely up for the meeting I was not up for forking out the £11 it would have cost to me travel there and back under my own steam (at some point I will be putting up a post on public transport that will highlight why this particular shortish journey is so extortionate – for the moment suffice to say it has nothing to do with logic, reason, meeting passenger needs or anything else that has any place in the proper running of a public transport system). This meant that although we were able to introduce ourselves we missed most of the other people’s introductions. 

THE MEETING

The meeting had been arranged to discuss amendments to an autism strategy document which as it stood was laughably incomplete. Autism Anglia and ASD Helping Hands were effectively doing the kind of outreach stuff that Norfolk County Council should have been doing but weren’t. The County Council’s own meetings about such matters are invariably in Norwich, generally with a requirement that one arrive by 9:30. Before moving on to NAS West Norfolk’s role in the events of this meeting I will mention two things from the preliminary talk that caused hackles to raise. First, Norfolk County Council’s person responsible for co-ordinating matters relating to autism appears to have his fingers in a suspiciously large number of pies, and extending from this seems to be overly averse to scrutiny (as a West Norfolk resident who has the incinerator debacle seared on his memory I am naturally inclined to be mistrustful where Norfolk County Council are concerned – although we eventually won that one and the thing did not get built). Secondly there is the role of Norfolk Steps, who seem to have a monopoly on training provision for parents and carers and to be very reluctant to see that change – one person at the meeting had tried to use their materials to provide training and was told to desist. Another strike against Norfolk Steps from our point of view is that their training is not autism specific.

The key pages of the inadequate document that we were trying to improve were pages 16-19, and there was little we could do about what was on page 16, so as we seated around three tables each table was assigned a page to look at and make additions to. Ours was page 18:

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I have already covered a lot of the problems with Norfolk Steps, but there is one extra point – they have recently had their funding reduced, and no longer offer “steps plus” to parents. 

There were a few additions to point 5, which started our page. Point 6 was the single most inadequately expressed point in the whole sorry document. For this point to be worth the ink and paper it has to contain chapter and verse – the specific Act of Parliament and the specific clauses contained therein that are of most relevance. 

Anne Ebbage of Autism Anglia will be passing all the points raised at this meeting on to the council, and if the final version of this document is not massively changed and enlarged there will be trouble.

This was a very useful and productive meeting, and I hope it will play a role in dragging Norfolk’s approach to autism and autistic people out of the dark ages wherein it seems to have been stuck for some time.

A SEGUE LINK

The first part of this post has been about autism, and so I introduce the remainder of it by way of a link to an interesting piece by The Inked Autist. My views are rather different to those expressed in this post, but I recommend that you read it here.

A BUSY WEEK FOR DPAC

That title is no overstatement – this section contains a link to a post on the DPAC website and two embedded videos. 

The post, which gives this section of this post its title, can be accessed by clicking the DPAC logo below. Then you can find the two videos, which are both about a protest outside Parliament. The first video was created by Let Me Look TV, the second by Steve Topple of The Canary.

DPAC

PHOTOGRAPHS

I had planned to include more stuff in this post, but a malfunction has prevented that – I have just lost a large amount of stuff that was in here and have no way of getting back, so here are the photographs.

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A magpie near the pick up point in Lynn this morning

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Three shots featuring a stretch of the Mid-Norfolk Railway in Dereham
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One of the “Ecocity” towers near Swaffham – even in this picture, and still more so in the further edited version the observation room near the centre of the propeller is clearly visible. The original shot from which this picture and the next were both obtained was taken through the window of a moving car.

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Winter Pictures

A few links and some pictures – enjoy.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to my first post of 2017. I have some pictures to share with you of course, and one or two other things.

SOME LINKS

My first link is a quiz from the British Humanist Association entitled “How Humanist Are You?” 

My remaining two links are to petitions:

  1. 38 Degrees are running a petition to stop filibustering in the House of Commons.
  2. petitionsite.com have a petition calling for the renationalisation of our railways.

Mention of the railways leads me to the following from twitter:

This is part of a nationwide protest against the continuing increase of fares for increasingly poor services on British trains.

PHOTOGRAPHS

These pictures comprise my last from 2016 and my first from 2017…

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This picture is the last of the 2106 vintage…
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…and this is the first of the 2017 vintage.

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Walking in the Winter Sun

Mainly photographs – a drone that my nephew was given for Christmas and some pictures from a walk I took in the winter sun today. Read, enjoy and please share!

INTRODUCTION

I am having a quiet day today, having spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the company of various family members. Earlier today there was blue sky and bright sun over King’s Lynn, so I went for a walk. 

THE STAR GIFT OF YESTERDAY

Although most of the presents given out yesterday seemed to go down very well there was no doubt as to which was the best received – a drone that was given to my nephew. Here are some photos from yesterday…

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My cousin and his Swedish girlfriend came bearing gifts – this crispbread is exceedingly good.
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A piece of stained glass at my aunt’s house.
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The side view of my parents new burner.
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Front on picture of the same.
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The remaining pictures all feature this drone…

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A WINTER WALK

I walked along the riverbank as far as Hardings Pits and then back into town by way of the parkland…

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The Custom House
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Two pictures of the bright but very low sun reflecting off the river.

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West Lynn Church.
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Moorhens in and around the Nar
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The South Gate
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The Red Mount Chapel from a distance.

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The railway station.

A Sunny Morning in West Norfolk

An account, complete with a fine haul of photos, of a walk around King’s Lynn. This is followed by some important links and some interesting infographics. Please share widely.

INTRODUCTION

Being up bright and early this morning and noting the sunny weather I headed off for a walk. The body of this post is devoted to sharing the best sights from that walk. After that I have some links and infographics to share. I hope you enjoy this post and will be encouraged to share it.

THE WALK

My first ports of call were…

THE TUESDAY MARKET PLACE AND ST NICHOLAS CHAPEL

These places looked very fine in the sun. The extensive restoration work on the chapel is now nearly complete.

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From there I headed to…

BAWSEY DRAIN

This is a far more significant waterway than that name may suggest, and was rewarded with a clutch of fine pictures in that section of the walk…

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Watching and waiting in the undergrowth...
Watching and waiting in the undergrowth…

I left Bawsey drain part way along it’s length to head towards the Great Ouse by means of a nice route that I know, but I am briefly going to diverge from strict geographical recounting for a subsection on…

BUTTERFLIES

The butterflies were out in force, but it is always difficult to photograph them due to their speed. Nevertheless, I did get some good pics to share…

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This was the last butterfly  I got, while walking through Hardings Pits
This was the last butterfly I got, while walking through Hardings Pits
This was the first butterfly pic I got today.
This was the first butterfly pic I got today.
The only non-animal flyer I got today - a helicopter (Helico- = spiral, pteron = wing)
The only non-animal flyer I got today – a helicopter (Helico- = spiral, pteron = wing)
This one had its wings folded.
This one had its wings folded.

ARRIVING AT THE GREAT OUSE

Just a few pics here, but it was a delight to see the river at very high tide…

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My next set of pictures are themed around a small but (to me) very significant little landmark which I have dubbed…

CORMORANT PLATFORM

The very high tide meant that most of the structure was submerged, and the presence of boats and the river and West Lynn Church on the far bank also contributed to a great set of pictures…

A brilliant piece of photobombing by the flying gull!
A brilliant piece of photobombing by the flying gull!
Multiple species of bird coexisting peacefully.
Multiple species of bird coexisting peacefully.
The platform and a boat.
The platform and a boat.

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The church contributing to the scene.
The church contributing to the scene.

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Two cormorants took wing in my direction.
Two cormorants took wing in my direction.

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Not all of the boats i saw on the river were there for leisure purposes – there was also a…

RESEARCH VESSEL

Four pics showing the boat and website details…

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From here all that was left was…

THE HOME STRETCH

The pictures I took in these final few minutes are very varied…

One last boat pic.
One last boat pic.
The Custom House.
The Custom House.
Looking north from the Lower Purfleet.
Looking north from the Lower Purfleet.
An adult moorhen in the Upper Purfleet
An adult moorhen in the Upper Purfleet
The smallest baby moorhen I have ever seen.
The smallest baby moorhen I have ever seen.

We have reached the end of my walk, but I do hope some of you stay for the…

LINKS

I have a shed load of important links to share, starting with some on…

CONSERVATION

My first link comes courtesy of Huffington Post and features Richard Dawkins giving Idaho huntress Sabrina Corgatelli the full treatment.

My next three links are part of a developing story involving airlines stopping the idiots from getting their “trophies” home…

  1. First to step up to the plate by refusing to carry such items were Delta.
  2. Who have already been joined by American Airlines and United.
  3. On change.org a petition is taking off to get South African Airways to impose a like ban.

Although it was a universally revered lion whose demise sparked this activity they are not the only species targeted by noxious individuals, and my next link is to a take part petition on behalf of the elephant.

Finally in this subsection, from Mark Avery comes a story about hen harriers which was written in response to a piece in the Telegraph that was shockingly inaccurate even by the “standards” of that detestable rag.

SCIENCE

Just a few links in this subsection. First up, a brilliant scheme from Norway to combat climate change (unlike the “I’m all right Jack” types who currently form the British government these people can see beyond their own immediate concerns). I am also classing as science these two connected links regarding London postcodes:

1)From londonist an interesting post about why London which has compass point themed postcodes beginning with E, SE,SW,W,NW and N has no S or NE postcodes.

2)The website of the author of the above piece, mapping modernity.

Finally in this section, a quirky piece about science facts, accompanied by a graphic. courtesy of viralands – there are 22 facts in total in this piece.

Scientific Facts

DISABILITY AND AUTISM

A few links in this section, which i shall present as a bulleted list:

CELEBRATE SUFFRAGETTES NOT SERIAL KILLERS

I mentioned this yesterday, and the story has moved on since then. My source today is Socialist Worker with a piece giving great detail, including the fact that the museum which got planning permission on false pretences did not open yesterday as planned – let us hope that in it’s current incarnation as a musuem dedicated to Jack the Ripper it never does open its doors. here are the two links:

  1. The Socialist Worker article.
  2. The 38degrees petition

ODDS AND ENDS

A final bulleted lists of links that did not belong anywhere above but which I wish to share:

INFOGRAPHICS

A few infographics to round things off…

Earth Age End the Great Housing Giveaway IDS

There is a link to the story behind this earlier in the blog.
There is a link to the story behind this earlier in the blog.

Social Exclusion Map Stop benefit sanctions