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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Thunder storms

This next few days we are at great risk of thunder and lightning. We are in the middle of a heatwave with hot, damp air moving up from the south. As a precaution I have disconnected my amateur radio rigs, PC, antennas and mains plugs.

Luckily I have never suffered a lightning strike but know friends who have. One was living in a very ordinary home, was not a radio amateur or short wave listener, had no big antennas, but his electrics were ruined. Earth's natural electrical activity should always be treated with respect. I don't like thunderstorms at all.  Even if not directly hit, the power surges can cause damage.

As I write this, Greece is having bad storms according to the maps.

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Monday, 29 June 2015

Hate and the internet

There is no doubt that the internet is a powerful force for good and evil. It allows people to connect, whether fit or disabled and irrespective of class, creed, or sexual orientation,and anywhere in the world. However there is also a dark side. People can use it to spread hate and violence.

There is a fine line between openness and censorship. I am a believer that what a person does in private is his or her affair as long as no-one else is hurt. What is acceptable to one person may not be to someone else. However, I believe it is right to take down anything that is hateful or incites others to act in a hateful way.

I don't think this is ambiguous or likely to lead to problems. Here I am thinking about social media, websites etc. Facebook, Twitter, and similar plus ISPs should act responsibly. All that is required is a light touch. If a post, or website is likely to encourage hate, then it should be taken down. If not, it can stay.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Lunch in the garden

 On a lovely summer day we ate our salad lunch in the garden. Such days are all too rare, but all the nicer when they occur. I'd hate a climate when it was warm all year around. We sat on the patio (LHS). Later, a friend called on the off-chance and we had cold drinks and biscuits outside too. The car needs a wash but this will have to wait until it is cooler.


I feel sorry for this nation which is bound to be adversely affected by the killings yesterday. Tunisia is a peaceful country that just wanted to get on with life as usual. Sadly, this will not be so for some time to come: tourists are likely to choose alternative destinations and desert Muslim nations. Surely in the end this is counter-productive?

Friday, 26 June 2015

Hot days

At last we seem to be in English high summer with high temperatures and high humidity. Although we have passed the  longest day, evenings are still light for weeks to come. The real change tends to come in September. It must be my age but it seems only 5 minutes since last Christmas! We'll blink and it will be Christmas 2015 and the nights will start to draw out again!

When we have long summer evenings it is all too easy to take them for granted. There is something nice about all the seasons: each has its own beauty. Of all the seasons, spring is my favorite with the cold winter gone and done with and new life in the earth.

Greece and falling stock markets

With the continuing uncertainty over the Greek debt crisis it is not surprising that the FTSE 100 is still falling. Until the uncertainty goes, I think we'll see further falls. At the very least expect markets to be erratic.

Thursday, 25 June 2015


One of the joys of an English summer is the sound of screaming swifts in the air. This is most common in May and June. The swifts are one of the first summer migrants to leave. It always seems a long time until they return again next spring. Usually the first ones arrive here by the end of April. Once, long ago, I found one on the ground. We kept it in a box overnight. The next morning it flew off as if nothing had happened. Swifts spend most of their time on the wing and if they do land on the ground it is not easy to take off again. I found this out much later. It was lovely to handle this scythe like bird.

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