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Showing posts with label uk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label uk. Show all posts

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

EU and BREXIT talks

At the moment the EU seems to want to play "hard ball" with the UK over Brexit. Personally, I think it is in the interest of most in the EU to reach a good settlement.

Many of us in the UK only wanted Brexit so we could keep control over our population: we are a small island with limited space and resources. Like many, I actually voted to remain in the EU, even though it was/is far from perfect.

No, personally, I think the hard EU line is because they are peeved we are leaving and will no longer contribute money to the project. EU nations need our trade. We will be free to trade with the world on our terms.

EU - get real!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Cambridge Grand Arcade

A few days ago we walked through the Grand Arcade in central Cambridge. This is a covered pedestrian shopping centre. I don't think I have bought much here.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Visitors to Cambridge

As a famous university town, Cambridge gets a fair number of visitors. With BREXIT, I guess the money now goes even further.

This was a group of visitors from the Far East outside St Johns College. Of course, you have to take a few photos! This café, Le Pattesier, just opposite St Johns, serves decent meals at decent prices, with a smile.

Backs (Cambridge), UK

Recently, we visited the Backs (of the colleges) in nearby Cambridge, UK. With all the flowers out, this really is a sight. This is in the grounds of St Johns College.

We really are quite lucky living so close. As residents, we get free entry into the colleges.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Burwell Cottage

Although our village (Burwell, Cambs, UK) has grown a lot in recent years, it still has some lovely cottages like this one.  Some parts of our church are around 1000 years old and the oldest house dates from around 1200AD. I suspect this cottage dates from the 1700s, so is quite new!

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Right shift

In recent times, there seems to have been a swing to the right in the UK and the rest of the world and a sense that our politicians are "out of touch".  The victory of Mr Trump and his "make America great again" speeches are indicative of this. There is a danger that several European nations could move to the right this year.

Here in the UK, we have no effective opposition. The Labour Party opposition is in disarray and faces two difficult by-elections.

This swing to the right may be temporary, but all parties in all nations need to wake up and be aware.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38704082 .

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Blackbirds

Every other Tuesday I have been going in to Cambridge on the service bus to my U3A course on Polar Studies at the Scott Polar Institute. As the speaker today was commanded to go to the Economic Forum in Davos, we had a different speaker at short notice: he was very good.

On the way in, I just relax and count the bird species I see. Usually it is between 8 and 12 different species, although in total I have seen many more.

What struck me today was the vast number of blackbirds. They were everywhere. I am not sure why there seem to be so many: are the marking territory or seeking mates?

See https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/b/blackbird/. The image on the LHS is on the RSPB site.

There are some waxwings in Cambridge. These birds come from Scandinavia and are quite rare most winters. I have yet to see one. They are often seen eating berries in supermarket car parks.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Moulton, UK

My brother came up for a few days from Devon, so we went out for a lunchtime meal in the nearby village of Moulton. Here is my wife and my brother on our walk around the village before our meal. There are lots of thatched cottages in this village a few miles from Newmarket. As always, the food at the Packhorse Inn was excellent.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Mr Bean - sacked

The man, allegedly, who stabbed Boris Johnson - a possible UK Prime Minister candidate - in the back (metaphorically) has been sacked from the new UK Cabinet. I for one, although not a Conservative, agree with this. There is no place in the UK government for such people.

I am told Mr Gove is a bright man. His recent behaviour has left me speechless. I only hope that all around the Cabinet table are people who take theír jobs with great seriousness. They will be married to their jobs and all will have to work long, hard hours.

Friday, 1 July 2016

UK Weather - summer?

We are now in July and certainly here in East Anglia we have had one of the worst summers I can remember so far.  We have had just a few continuous days of sun and settled weather. Most of the time it has been a mixture of rain, cloud and some sun.

In the west of the UK it has been better, but we have had a real absence of high pressure over us with long settled, warm, sunny, weather.

Roll on summer!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

The UK Queen at 90

Although not a royalist, I think the UK queen has done very well over her long reign. The very survival of the institute of monarchy is in no small part due to her. The money that royalty brings in must more than make up for the expense of the royal household.

Ours is a constitutional monarchy: although the queen has weekly discussions with the Prime Minister of the day, she in no way influences the day-to-day running of the nation. She does open Parliamentary sessions in her "official" capacity as head of state (The State Opening of Parliament)

I cannot imagine us as a republic with a president. We are lacking people that we could all look up to and respect. Somehow I cannot imagine the monarchy after Elizabeth dies. It is bound to happen sooner rather than later. Will we still have a monarchy 50 years from now?

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Quy

Today we did a walk at Quy, knowing that nearby Anglesey Abbey (National Trust) would be quite busy at the weekends. On this walk we saw very few people, but quite a few birds including 2 little egrets and 1 buzzard overhead. We heard a couple of green woodpeckers and saw mute swans, tits, a coot and several mallard ducks.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The EC and the UK

When it comes to our UK national referendum on whether we should stay in or leave the EC, I am undecided. In many ways the EC is a good thing. On the other hand it is a creaking bureaucracy in great need of reform. I like that Europe has been (largely) at peace in my lifetime. I like free trade in Europe. However, we are a small island running out of room, with creaking services and the UK should have the final say over who lives and works here.  I am in favour of a common market. Why do we need more?

I really feel for the genuine migrants fleeing conflict. Having had a nasty tummy bug in the comfort of my own home, I cannot help thinking how much worse this would have been if I was also cold,wet and hungry and thousands of miles from home. Even worse if you are a child who does not understand. Personally I think we should take more real refugees but not economic migrants.

No, there is still a great deal that needs fixing. Mr Cameron has NOT basically changed anything his recent negotiations. We are being asked to stay, when really very very little has changed.

So, in summary, I am undecided which way to vote. At the moment I am voting to leave, but I may well change my mind.



Sunday, 6 September 2015

Weather

According to the Met Office records we had 10% more rain last month than average for August. We seem to have had a very dull summer here with few settled periods:  we seem to have had a few good days followed by rain and yet more rain. We seem to have had no big blocking high pressure systems that give good weather for several weeks.  Maybe we will see this in the autumn?

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.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Election blues

See http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/05/05/richard-littlejohn-labour-jimmy-savile_n_7210932.html?1430818808 .

People are getting rather stupid about the upcoming UK General Election voting for which is on this Thursday.  The real difference between Labour and Conservatives is actually not that great.

 We are likely to be in a hung parliament with another coalition, so the policies of either Labour or Conservatives will have to be moderated. Both want the deficit to be reduced. Both want to keep the NHS free at point of use. Both want to keep Trident (I don't).

In the end, I hope we end up with another coalition involving the Lib Dems.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Neck and neck still

The UK General Election next week still looks far too close to call. Some opinion polls show the Conservatives ahead and others show Labour.  UKIP seem to be gradually losing support.

At the moment my intention is to vote Lib Dem as they do have a chance of winning here in East Cambs. Labour really have no chance at all having won just 6.5% of the vote last time. UKIP could well split the Conservative vote, so the Lib Dems have a decent chance. Personally, I think the moderating influence of the Lib Dems on either the Conservatives or Labour would be a good thing. I supported the Greens in the European elections but in a "first past the post" General Election they (sadly) have no chance here. Elsewhere, who knows?

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Still too close to call

The UK General Election is on May 7th (2 weeks only) and the leading parties are still too close to know who will get the most votes. It depends on which poll you look at who is deemed ahead. The margin of error is greater than the difference, so essentially they are tied.

Friday, 17 April 2015

That General Election in the UK

Well, I look at the BBC pages on the polls and it is clearly going to be a hung parliament with some sort of coalition the most likely outcome.

Personally, I think the UKIP support will weaken and a coalition involving the Lib-Dems (with either the Conservative or Labour) could be probable. This would be no bad thing.

We have only a few weeks left. There is still plenty of time for politicians to make gaffs, that could lose them a lot of support.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Net inward migration into the UK

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-31638174.

So, net inward migration is up to its highest level since before the last election. There is no doubt that some people are needed, but surely, on our small island, we should be able to decide who can live and work here?   I am not political and have never voted UKIP (to me this is just a protest party) but I can understand why there is a genuine concern over our rapidly rising population. Yes, it shows people want to come here as we have a relatively decent standard of living and a half decent economy that is growing.

The next government must address inward migration. The current government has totally failed. Our housing is over-stretched as are our public services. We have too many people.