Monday 2 May 2005
Protest or ignorance?
Interesting – the Protest Vote Party. I’m not sure that suggesting that people put their X against the PVP simply because they do not know enough about the candidates and their policies is really going to encourage them to do so – in fact, I think that such a suggestion is more likely to deter those who have rejected the other candidates after thorough consideration.
Tuesday 3 May 2005
Turbotanks – hard. I can’t get past level 4. But brilliant, nonetheless.
My car broke down today. Thanks to Big Brother, I managed to get it to my parent’s home. He’s going to replace the thermostat switch which has failed, resulting in overheating and loss of coolant when I got caught in a horrendous traffic jam surrounding a lorry accident on the A27 this afternoon. Gah.
Wednesday 4 May 2005
Men with big sticks
Nipped round to the pub this evening to watch some big grown men dancing and hitting big sticks, with bells tied around their ankles and wrists. Apparently, good luck and fertility shall favour those that watch Morris dancing. Not sure about the fertility bit, but I had the misfortune of having to stand the drinks. Bah.
Ruralville must be one of the few places in the south east of England where Morris dancers can perform their rituals in the middle of the main road at 8.30 on a Wednesday evening with no fear of being run over.
Thursday 5 May 2005
Our challenge this morning has been trying to decide how to vote in the county council election. Labour aren’t really an option, as the council has only ever been either LibDem or Tory. The Tories are the current incumbents.
Having studied the literature, I can find hardly any differences in policy at a local level. The main one I have found is that the LibDems oppose the introduction of charges for local car parks, whereas the Tories would rather introduce them and reduce the Council Tax – either way, you end up paying for the car park somewhere. Also, there is a rather complicated argument about the local planning process which essentially boils down to the LibDems wanting to keep the existing cumbersome and expensive process or the Tories wanting to spend a lot of money to change it – either way, it ends up costing us somewhere.
On balance, we feel that it comes down to track record and, put crudely, the Tories have increased the Council Tax more slowly during their period in charge than the LibDems did when they were in charge. Services have also improved and a few niggling local issues seem to have been sorted out.
So, it looks like a split ballot for me – different Xs on each of the two papers. But at least I can feel safe in the knowledge that I’ve voted locally in the local election and nationally in the national election. I encourage you to do the same.
Oh, and another factor – only the Tory county council candidate bothered to visit Ruralville (or our home at least) – so we can be sure that he knows we exist out here.
UPDATE – H has been to the polling station already and caused quite a stir, being the only voter there and causing palpitations for the rather elderly polling station officers who clearly are not used to such glamour so early in the day! I’m on my way there now.
Friday 6 May 2005
Right, election over. Move along. What’s next?
On the subject of the election result, I can’t see last night’s outcome really changing anything. The Tories certainly didn’t make any spectacular gains that are worth mentioning (at least in terms of share of the vote), whilst the LibDems continued their steady improvement and have certainly done more to be taken seriously as a proper third party. For Labour, the fact that a lot of the Blairites have disappeared will weaken the leader, but probably not sufficiently to change his plans regarding stepping down.
As I see it, the opposition parties still have a lot to do to be in a position to replace Labour in 2009. Or, more likely, Labour have yet to make that really big cock-up that will lose an election (although they’ve made some fairly horrendous cock-ups so far).
Just you watch…
My bet – Tony and Gordon will move for a referendum on the euro as soon as the Conservative leadership contest turns nasty – assuming it does (most previous contest have done so), which may be why Mr Howard has given the party space to bring in new rules in an attempt to smooth and hasten the process.
Sunday 8 May 2005
Brighton 1 – Ipswich 1. Brighton live to fight another season of Championship football. Hurrah!
Monday 9 May 2005
Wild flower survey
The new edition of the Vascular Plant Red Data List for Great Britain has been published. Whilst there are some positive news points there, it generally makes fairly dismal reading – a large number of plants that were familiar during my father’s childhood are now very much threatened. Hopefully, the list can be used as a tool to improve conservation measures, as well as directing research to areas where it is most needed (a quick scan of the list reveals that our understanding of montane species is pretty poor, for example).
It’s been quiet here lately. I promise that I’ll try to write more soon, as well as post some photos from a few recent outings.
In the meantime, please note that this Sunday sees the twenty-second plant fair at Pashley Manor Gardens to have been organised by yours truly. Your attendance will be appreciated – there will be cake.
Tuesday 10 May 2005
Work in Progress
Work in Progress column by Peter Day. Definitely worth reading and watching.
From Viking Direct – free bathrobe when you buy a carton of envelopes. Huh?
Wednesday 11 May 2005
PPPoE or PPPoA?
Taking up BT on their broadband upgrade offer? I have, and now surf twice as fast as I did yesterday – if I was nearer to the exchange, I’d be going twice as fast again.
But, if you do, please note that you need to change from PPPoE to PPPoA. If you don’t, you’ll be sitting looking at your PC all day, wondering why you have no broadband connection. Not that I know anyone who did that, of course.
It would have been useful if BT had alerted users to that in advance.
And I have no idea what PPPoE and PPPoA stand for. Or what it means.
Thursday 12 May 2005
A mobile phone packed into an old bakolite rotary dial telephone. Probably wouldn’t fit in your pocket.
Reading at the dining table
I always used to get told off for doing this:
Cats have no manners.
Friday 13 May 2005
Safety in numbers
Hels and I have had tests this week. Apparently we are normal. This, evidently, is good news.
Make up your own jokes here.
Monday 16 May 2005
Very very busy and also likely to be away from my PC for much of this week, so expect quiet.
The plant fair at Pashley was very successful – thanks to everyone who turned up. I got slightly sunburnt, which considering that the original forecast was for rain was quite an achievement.
…but, the new BBC weather symbols, maps and displays.. crap! Where is the Atlantic synoptic chart? How the hell can you tell what’s going on? Bring back the old magnetic clouds!
nope, can’t figure out what is going on here – it would help if I read Japanese, I guess. Just click on things and eventually things happen. Then more clicky things appear. You click. Things happen. And so on. And then he flies away. Which is kind of sad.
Sunday 22 May 2005
Is this thing on?
Still alive, but away from the PC or a connection a lot lately. Normal service will resume shortly, you’ll be dismayed to hear.
In other news, the idiot who pulled out in front of me on the A27 on Friday evening whilst driving a lorry carrying gas cylinders and who then proceeded to give me some tattooed gesticulation out of the window, will find when he goes to work tomorrow that it doesn’t pay to do that when in control of a vehicle with your employer’s telephone number on the back.
Monday 23 May 2005
Tuesday 24 May 2005
Driving Miss Crazy
Short film (but loooong download).
Thursday 26 May 2005
One day, I might just have time to write something here when I’m not
- running around to meetings
- travelling around the UK or other bits of Europe
- sorting out the garden (there may be photos, but I don’t think that you believe me on that score any more)
- sorting out boring stuff related to Hels’s flat sale
- trying to catch up with my piled-high in-tray
- doing any one of a million and one other things.
I know I’m not unique in being busy, but it is getting in the way of blogging at the moment.
Saturday 28 May 2005
Music and birthday
Forgot to mention on Thursday that it was Lord Percy’s birthday. The poor chap was 21 again.
In other news: Soul Deep has to be the best series that has been on TV in years – absolutely fantastic and compulsory viewing. The track listing on the CD compilation that goes with the series looks a little lacklustre, so I’m hoping that the Beeb will release the whole thing on DVD.
Tuesday 31 May 2005
…and still battling to keep on top of tasks. A series of largely sleepless nights hasn’t helped either, but that’s a good excuse to get a jug of coffee on the go.
Meanwhile, the garden is progressing nicely…
Small but strong
Our Monty may weigh only a little more than 3.2kg, but he is a strong cat. We’ve just been fighting to get a worming tablet down his throat, and both of us now have the scars to show for it. In the end, we had to crush it and add it to his food, which has worked.
Treacle wasn’t much easier, but being only two-thirds of Monty’s size, she was easier to hold and medicate.