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Friday, 22 May 2015

Kent earthquake

Earthquakes are far less common in the UK, but they do occur. Last night one occurred in Kent shaking homes and waking people in the middle of the night. This one was 4.2 on the Richter scale. This one was felt by my son near Canterbury and they think some tiles came off their cottage roof.

Some UK earthquakes have caused real disruption and damage. This one must have been quite a shock to those that were aware of it. Being in the middle of the night, many may have been totally unaware. Even though this one lasted several seconds it was nowhere near the force of the recent ones in Nepal which were many orders of magnitude stronger. The strongest UK earthquake in recent times was the Colchester earthquake of 1884 which measured 4.6 on the Richter scale.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Begonias

Today we planted our remaining begonias against the house wall in the back garden. As they grow and get established they should look good.  Unlike many  bedding plants they need very little attention and they usually last until the first frosts in late October. They don't need dead-heading either.When these finish we will plant winter flowering primroses. This is not until late October though.

Another success this spring are our clematis. One has just come into flower and looks a picture. We thought this one had died and very nearly dug it up! We are hoping that 2 clematis plants will grow and cover our brick archway into the back garden. Both are growing well and this should happen.

A few bare patches in the front lawn have been reseeded. It will take 2-3 weeks for the seeds to germinate and grow, but hopefully the few mossy patches will soon be grass again.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Old university friend

Today we were visited by an old university friend, Robert. Although we met at a reunion 3 years ago in Shropshire it was really good to have a chance to properly catch-up today. We went out for lunch at The White Pheasant in the next village. The food was very good.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Another crash?

Some commentators are predicting that we are on course for another crash. I have no idea if they are right or wrong, but economics does seem to be cyclical. Some investments may give lower returns but may be safer bets?

Petrol and diesel prices - creeping upwards

Have you noticed that the price of petrol and diesel is creeping upwards again? OK the price of a barrel has risen slightly and the exchange rate against the dollar of the UK pound is a little worse. However, it seems someone is out to push prices up again to maximise profits.

Personally, I think fuel prices should be set nationally as in Iceland. In Iceland prices are the same wherever you go.   I also think it is odd that anyone profits when fuels are essential to all of us.  I'd run all energy supplies as nationalised industries, with any profits benefiting the consumer and not private share-holders. In this I'd put all essential services like energy, trains and buses. Clearly privatisation may encourage efficiency but making profits for private shareholders is stupid, in my opinion, when we are talking of essential services. These should be run for the benefit of all, not the few.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Jackdaws

Jackdaw
At the home we moved to a couple of years back, just before I was taken seriously ill, we see far fewer smaller birds.  They are around, but don't seem to be attracted to the bird table or nut feeders. We also see no squirrels.  We get a reasonable number of small birds in the garden and nearby such as dunnocks (hedge sparrows), great tits and blue tits, robins etc. Maybe they visit other bird tables or find food naturally very locally?

Our nut feeders seem to attract larger birds in the main like pigeons and collared doves. We have lots of trees and other cover in the garden and nearby.

Every morning at much the same time we get jackdaws on the bird table. We have red legged partridges in the road most days and we have even had mallard ducks in the garden.

See http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdguide/name/j/jackdaw/ .

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Football playoffs

If Norwich win against Middlesborough in the Championship playoff final they could be back in the Premier League next season. Quite a few hoops to jump through though but a win against local rivals Ipswich must give them hope.

No such luck for League 2 team Plymouth Argyle who were beaten by Wycombe Wanderers for a place in the League 2 playoff final. Still, they did well this season and I wish them well in the next.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32670810 .