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Saturday, 25 November 2017


Birds in our garden love to scrape the soil for creatures to eat. I can't tell you how many times I have had to sweep up! So, this autumn, I am adding edging stones in an attempt to reduce the summer workload. I have done one bit, but have still to do along the path, which is about twice as long.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Little Egrets

Back in the 1980s, seeing a little egret in the UK would have be rare. Today, whilst sitting in the kitchen at breakfast, one flew overhead. I could tell it was a type of heron, but as it got closer I could see it clearly. Nowadays they are all over the UK.

Next it will be cattle egrets. These are now widely seen in Devon. Another 20 years and they will be common in the UK. Climate change?

Yesterday they were expecting 18 deg C in some parts of the UK - in November!

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Sunday, 19 November 2017

Driverless cars

It seems we are going to see driverless cars on our roads in the UK sooner rather than later. The UK budget is this week and rumours suggest the go-ahead will be given for more on-road tests. Already the collision avoidance software is very good, but the main issue is consumer (driver) confidence. Somehow we find it hard not to still want to drive, even though the software driven car is probably safer!

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Takeaway tax - what a good idea

The UK budget is this week.

To my mind, this is a no brainer - tax takeaways that can't be bothered to use bad materials that harm the environment. Takeaway boxes that are not environmentally friendly should be heavily taxed. These are a major source of litter and such a tax would make suppliers switch to better materials that are better for everyone.  In the end few will pay as they will just use better materials. Switching is easy and they just need a nudge.

I also get annoyed with supermarkets: these days all packaging should be environmentally friendly. The big supermarkets should be blazing the trail and telling their suppliers. Waitrose is bad, with lots of their packaging unclear about whether or not it can be recycled. I find this totally not excusable in this day and age. They should lead the way.

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Friday, 17 November 2017

People power

We often have more power than we think as individuals. As an example, a private company slipped in an application for a large gas power station on unused land on the edge of our village. The village council "quietly" nodded it through. It was about a month before most of us found out. Locals were up in arms and very many letters were sent to the district planners. We also found out that some of the data used in support of the application were wrong.

Since the protest, the applicant has reportedly withdrawn the application. The applicant was out to make a quick buck (allegedly) but this was thwarted by people power.

Power to the people!


We have a pot of roses out on our patio. The colour is lovely. I am not sure how long they will look good.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Black Friday - I hate it!

OK, retailers are having a hard time, but this recent import from the USA makes me want to vomit. It is purely about profits and how to encourage people to spend more. If you can, boycott it. 

In my view retailers have to adapt or go out of business. Online sales are a reality. Those that adapt will remain and those that do not will close. Maybe a good model is a mix of retail places and online? Models like John Lewis comes to mind. You often browse in the shop, but buy online then collect from a John Lewis or Waitrose store.

Like the commercialisation of Christmas, Easter and Halloween, I think Black Friday has no place in UK society. If you like this sort of thing in the USA, by all means keep it there. I, for one, hate it. It is retailing of the worse sort.

All change

In the UK BHS has closed its doors. Many of the shops are now being occupied by other retailers. This one in the Grafton Centre, Cambridge, UK is undergoing extensive changes. I have no idea who is coming here next. Boring to many, but a reminder to me of when these changes happened. Picture taken from a moving bus.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Student Flats in Cambridge

Years ago we bought a car from West's garage in Cambridge. They moved and now they are building new student flats on the site. This photo was taken from a bus tonight in the dark. No doubt these are "posh" flats with en suite facilities. Not a bit like we had back in the 1960s.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

The leader of the free world on a visit to Asia

So the president of the USA is on an official visit to Japan, South Korea and China. I am not sure if anywhere else is on his agenda. I hope he is presidential and not the butt of more jokes. Maybe he can stop tweeting and actually engage his ears?

Allegedly his views on the causes of climate change are at odds with scientists who have access to facts and evidence. Oh silly me - this is all rubbish and a Chinese plot. I quite forgot. Fake news.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Daffodil bulbs

We had a few bulbs left over, so these have been planted in these pots and in the garden where we had sweet peas over the summer. Hopefully they will come out sometime in the winter or spring. At the moment they look pretty boring!