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Friday, 29 April 2016

Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds is our favourite place to shop. It is a bit further than Cambridge but easier to get to. It is a classic Suffolk market town with charming shops and a good market twice a week. Most of the people you see are true locals from the area with Suffolk accents.

In Cambridge it seems that a good proportion of the people are from China!

See .

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Sepura share rebounding?

See .

Shares in my old company seem to be bouncing back after heavy falls earlier due to a profits warning. I retired 8 years ago, which is a long time. I am very out of touch. Sepura design, make and sell TETRA and DPMR radios with a focus on public safety. They sell worldwide to more than 100 countries. On the whole, I enjoyed my time there.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Alibris (again)

Yes, you guessed, another "special offer" today. I just ignore them. Silly, stupid marketing.

Witchford walk

This morning the sun shone.

As I write this, we have hail again!

On the walk we saw baby moorhens, swallows, house martins, a blackcap, a chiffchaff and a buzzard among the many. It was a shortish walk but tired me out. It is years since I was last in this village near Ely.

The name "Witchford" comes from witches. Not far away is the village of "Coveney", which must also have past connections with witchcraft centuries back.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016


We had a very mild and wet winter followed by a cold spell in February and March. Here we are at the end of April with a wind from the north 7 deg C, hail, and now thunder! We have had daffodils in flower since the end of November. The weather is crazy! Because of the storm risks, I have disconnected all my amateur radio gear.  There has just been another hail storm and the grass is now white!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Alibris UK "bargain"

Well, this must be a bargain - NOT!  Yet again, they are offering "up to £20 off". I must get at least 3 a week from them. Never, EVER pay the full price as there is always a "never to be repeated" special deal.

Yes, this IS the place to go for secondhand books, but why treat us as idiots?

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Police and Crime Commissioner Elections

On May 5th we have elections locally for a new Police and Crime Commissioner. I have received no postal correspondence, haven't a clue who holds the post currently, and frankly don't care. I shall not vote as I feel I have no data on which to base my choice. What a shambles! The sad thing is this probably cost us all millions.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

President Obama and the EU referendum

In the UK referendum I am likely to vote "IN" to remain in the EU but I get saddened by all the negativity and "spin" on both sides in this debate. The intervention by the current US president Obama does little good.

We have not had a trade deal with the US before and who is likely to benefit? Well, the USA of course.

Mr Obama, your intervention, although possibly well meant, is probably going to encourage people to vote "OUT".

It is fine to have an opinion (like I am amazed by the support in the USA for Mr Trump) but if you were in the EU Mr President you would not want the centralism in Brussels.  The EU needs to change and the UK is better in there shaping it in my view.

Your intervention is likely to backfire Mr Obama and is not helpful I am afraid.

UPDATE 2200z:  President Obama is quoted as having said that a trade deal with the USA could take "up to 10 years if we left the EU". Should we be voting to leave then?

Friday, 22 April 2016

Britain and the EU

Just watched the second Nick Robinson BBC2 programme about Britain and the EU. Some decent information in this series. If you are looking for real information,and NOT spin, I suggest you watch this on iPlayer or Catch-up if you can.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Trains talk

Just been to an excellent talk at Burwell Museum on "Railways in Burwell" by Steve Crane. It was well attended.

More talks - see the Museum's website at .

FTSE 100

At the moment the UK share index the FTSE 100 is down 0.46%.  There is plenty of time for it to fall further or recover.

Burwell Museum Talk Today

See .

Thursday 21 April 2.00 
Steve Crane, Burwell Museum’s Collection Manager 
"Railways in Burwell".
Talks are followed by tea and biscuits.   Free with museum admission. No admission charge for season ticket holders, Friends and museum volunteers.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Oxborough Hall

Today we visited Oxborough Hall in Norfolk. This is a splendid moated Tudor house owned by the National Trust. The Bedingfield family has lived here for 500 years.
We ate at Hingham in a small cafe where we had been before.  Hingham is where Abraham Lincoln's ancestors came from. It is between Norwich and Watton. It is a lovely place.


Swallows - at last

Yesterday, I was questioning if the number of swallows returning on migration was down as I had seen none so far in East Anglia, although there are daily sightings in Devon.

Well, today I saw 2 in Norfolk. By this time in April I have usually seen several, but not this year. I am sure numbers are down. At least I have now seen some.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Fewer Swallows?

Usually by this time I have seen quite a few swallows here in East Anglia, UK. They migrate from deep in Africa and I usually see them here from April 7th. In South Devon they are usually arriving by the beginning of April.

Swallow (Barn Swallow)
I know there are swallows around in Devon - they appear every day in the reports - but I am surprised not to have seen any up here yet. I may have seen one last week at Felixstowe Ferry but I was not certain. I definitely saw a house martin.

So, I am beginning to wonder if there are fewer swallows about this year as by now I would be seeing them quite commonly on telegraph wires. Of course, it could just be that I have been unlucky.

Swallows usually fly south from mid-September. They take a long and hazardous trip twice each year. Their forefathers have been doing this for thousands of years. I hope they still do long after I am gone. It is quite humbling really.

BBC's weak attempts at regional accents

At 1200-1215pm local time BBC Radio 4 has a series looking back 100 years to ordinary people in WW1.

Call me a grumpy old man, but I get appalled by the BBC's weak attempts at local regional accents. It really grates on me. It is not just the BBC. Why can't they get rural accents right? You can always tell a BBC Radio 4 drama a mile off! I guess they assume most listeners won't notice or care.

I watched the film "Warhorse" . It was appalling: a Dartmoor, Devon village was actually filmed in Wiltshire I think. It looked nothing like Devon. The Devon accents were very very bad. No excuses: they spend millions making these films and need to get the basics right.

No, get the accents right please!

Monday, 18 April 2016

Front Garden in Spring

This is a photo of our front garden yesterday. The windmill is in view on the right. Spring has nearly sprung: all the trees are now starting to look green or are in bud. Mind you, we still had a frost on Sunday morning.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Spring sunshine

Today started with a frost and ice on the car roof, but it has been sunny all day. The garden is still not in its "spring glory" yet, but it soon will be. There are buds or leaves appearing everywhere at last.

I like the lighter evenings too. It does not get dark here now until after 8pm. In June it is light until after 10pm.

Soon be time to hear swifts screaming in the evening sky. Great.

EU referendum

There is a poor quality debate on this matter. We vote on whether or not to remain in the EU in less than 10 weeks but the quality of the arguments is very poor.

The UK has looked towards the EU as a common market and never with a view to a political union. Many in Europe see it as a way to keep peace in Europe. At the moment I am still inclined to vote "IN" but the politicians here are certainly not winning hearts and minds on either side.

The debate needs to be more positive! All I hear are fear and uncertainty.

Late spring?

A few months ago everything seemed to be early. We have seen daffodils in flower right through from late November. Some places have loads of daffodils in flower and even some snowdrops still. Yet, if anything, spring is late here. It is now way in to April but I have yet to see a swallow in this area.  My laurel hedge is hardly growing. The grass has only been cut a few times. Odd. Yes there  are buds coming out, but spring is definitely not early here.

Friday, 15 April 2016

That EU referendum again

It is now 10 weeks until people in the UK hold a referendum to decide whether or not to stay in the EU. At the moment I am voting "IN" but I have been appalled by the campaigns so far. What comes across are fear and uncertainty. No-one seems to have anything positive to say! I hope this changes.

FTSE 100 and the world economy

At the moment the UK share index, the FTSE 100, is down about 0.48% today, no doubt spooked by Chinese growth slowing. The world economy is not that healthy and we could well be heading for another downturn. If the end result is a fairer world this would not be a bad thing.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

EU referendum


As a "floating voter" in the coming EU referendum I am not impressed by the £9M government publication going to each home and the negativity of the "IN" campaign.

Surely if staying in is a good thing, there are positive messages, not just more negative comments, that can be shared? My instinct is to vote "IN" but I may well change my mind.

I have a brain and intend to use it. I need to hear positive reasons to stay in the EU. All this negativity is counter-productive.

Innocent until proved guilty?

A recent case has arisen in which a man found guilty of a serious crime has professed his innocence  to a number of other charges. Mud sticks and innocent people get tarred even when they are innocent. Personally, I think no-one should be named until they are proved guilty of any crime. The law is an arse if innocent people are found guilty by the mob.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016


Each and every week I get an email from Alibris with so much off for a very limited time. Do they think I really am stupid?

These offers are so often and so regular that I doubt anyone buys from them at the un-discounted prices. I hate these ploys. It is years since I have used them.

Their sad marketing tricks do not impress me one bit.

UPDATE 14.4.16 1050z: Yet another amazing "deal" has come in by email. Oh yes.

FTSE 100 - little change?

At lunch the FTSE 100 UK share index was down 0.09% at 6194.5. At the moment it is hovering around yesterday's closing figure.

Alibris amusement

Each and every week I get an email from Alibris with so much off for a very limited time. Do they think I really am stupid? These offers are so often and so regular that I doubt anyone buys from them at the un-discounted prices. I hate these ploys. It is years since I have used them. Their sad marketing tricks do not impress me one bit.

Monday, 11 April 2016


"It will be quiet today", said my wife. Famous last words!  Wimpole Hall (National  Trust) was heaving today! I have never seen it so busy. It was "Lambing Day" and most schools were still on holiday. We walked to Home Farm and then had a sandwich at the cafe near the entrance.

A decent walk for me and a surprise to see so many daffodils still in bloom. Lambs were in short supply though: there were lots at Ickworth a few weeks ago.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Church blog

See .

The church blog has been updated to include the redundant St Peter's Church in Cambridge.

I have still to add a photo of the font.


Our "London" grandchildren return to London this afternoon. We had the "Kent" grandchildren and their mum and dad the week before last and another visitor over Easter. These days, I enjoy them very much, but I get tired. After a few days and nights I am exhausted.

St Peter's Church, Cambridge

This redundant church in Cambridge was visited on Friday. It was open. It is located just north of the Folk Museum. I'll do a write-up for the church blog next week. Nice place - small but holy. It is a pity it is no longer in use.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Blog posts

To get to my blogs you may have to change the URL. See the following from Google:

Coming in late April!
All visitors will be able to view your Blogspot domain blogs over an encrypted connection by visiting https://<your-blog> Existing links and bookmarks to your blogs will continue to work. As part of this change, the HTTPS Availability setting will disappear, and your blogs will always have an HTTPS version.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

CCS Concert in Cambridge last weekend

My wife's concert was last Saturday and she spent part of this morning erasing pencil marks from the many scores borrowed by inter library loan.

She now has a break until the autumn when they start rehearsals again for the 2017 concert which is Mendelssohn's Elijah.

FTSE 100 and Sepura

The UK share index was down 1.25% this morning.

Yesterday shares in my old  firm Sepura (SEPU) dived 40% following a profits warning. They seem to be roughly steady this morning. I thought that values in SEPU close to £2 were too good to last! Let us hope SEPU shares recover.  Sepura is a good investment as they have made profits every year since they listed. Their focus is secure digital communication, mainly for public safety, worldwide. Recently they acquired a competitor and entered the North American market, which is potentially huge.

Monday, 4 April 2016

More views of the Fen

Another collection of views of Redgrave and Lopham Fen, with our best man who left after breakfast yesterday (top LHS).

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Lopham and Redgrave Fen, Suffolk

River Waveney
A few weeks ago a friend very kindly gave us a pack of "Easy Going Trails" in Suffolk. She thought I might like them. So far, we have done 3 of these.
Marsh Marigolds
Today we went to Redgrave and Lopham Fen which is located about 3 miles west of Diss. I have yet to work out how far I managed but we saw or heard lots of birds including snipe as well as seeing several Konig ponies and marsh marigolds. It was a round trip of 73 miles in the car. Although I enjoy the walks, I get very tired by the end.

Goodbye time

Our best man 45 years ago (we married in 1971) has left after a few days with us. He is a good friend and guest and we always pick up as if we saw each other just yesterday. He live 200 miles away and it is often 6 months or more since we last met.


As many will be aware I suffered a stroke 2.5 years ago. I expected to make a full recovery, but it has not worked out that way. Even now, although people tell me how well I look, I still feel giddy most of my waking hours and I tire easily.  My voice is poor and I have trouble with drinks. My fine motor skills are not good. Basically, I have struggled with things that were easy in the past. I really miss just fiddling and building. Life is much harder.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

UK Football

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The English Premier League seems more to do with money these days with many players and managers from outside the UK. I can understand this but feel sure we have untapped talent. The lower leagues are less glamorous and get far less TV coverage.

When it comes to football I admit to being a "fireside fusilier" in that I'm gunner do this or that, but rarely go to a match. I follow the fortunes of Plymouth Argyle and my local team Cambridge United and check where they are in their League (League 2). At the moment Plymouth are doing quite well and have a chance of automatic promotion at the end of the season. Cambridge are also doing pretty well too.

UPDATE 1557z:  71 minutes in Argyle were 1:0 up. In the end they lost 2:1. Had they won, they would have had a very good chance of automatic promotion, but they threw it away.

CCS Concert in Cambridge Tonight

A final reminder that my wife's concert is at the Leys School, Cambridge at 7.30pm tonight, April 2nd 2016. The venue is a new one and tickets are available on the door if you don't already have any.

Thunder later?

At the moment it is lovely here with a clear blue sky. Not many hours ago, they were forecasting heavy rain and thunder for here later tonight. We will see.

April Fool

Although I quite enjoy the humour is some April Fool articles I am quite glad we are now April 2nd: any articles today are serious and could be true, whereas on April 1st one can never be quite sure.

Many of the great ideas turn out to be jokes if published on April 1st. All I can say is caveat emptor. It is quite common to be caught out with many serious replies to obviously spoofs. The trouble is you are often not quite sure.

In the past I have been taken in and sometimes good ideas are taken as spoofs.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Meal out

Cheese at The Packhorse Inn, Moulton, nr Newmarket
My wife and I with the medieval bridge behind
We have our Best Man (nearly 45 years ago!) staying with us and he treated us for lunch out today. We went to the Packhorse Inn at Moulton near Newmarket. Yet again the food and service were excellent. We have now been there 4 times and not once been disappointed. I can highly recommend this place, which we found by accident as the pub in the next village was closed. Judging by the numbers of people at lunchtime, this place is on the up.

Aldi Low Cost Mini Brench Grinder


Steve Wigg (a radio friend) has just bought a mini bench grinder from Aldi for £26.99. This is only available in their stores and not online.

Aldi stores certainly have some low cost items, presumably made in China. At some point we will have to pay for these low prices.

FTSE 100 sliding?

I see that the UK share index, the FTSE 100, has fallen quite sharply this morning. The last time I looked it was 6093.16 down 1.32%.

UPDATE 1646z:  The index recovered somewhat during the day and ended up 0.47% down at 6146.05.