Sunday, 31 August 2008

Rother Valley Brewery

Originally uploaded by nogbad the bad
The Rother Valley Brewery Buffet - what's not to like??

This is at Tenterden - I've also uploaded a couple of videos taken there today.

Sheep marched over London Bridge

I'm sure that this is exactly the kind of story that those unlucky enough not to live in this country will find amusing. Here is a middle-aged woman exercising her right, as a Freeman of the City of London, to drive sheep over London Bridge.
"Mrs Cottrell, 67, a former High Sheriff of Kent, drove six New Romney rams from the City side to the south side of the river on Sunday morning."
And why not? My only concern is that the photo suggests that someone is driving the sheep on her behalf but as long as that's within her gift then that's fine. She's raising money to help support Canterbury Cathedral, a building which costs a few bob to keep going, and this looks like a far better way than some of those used in the past.

Full story on the BBC site

Saturday, 23 August 2008


A real gem of the Olympics has been the live text coverage on the BBC web site - the numbers are the time of the posting. Ben Dirs and his colleagues have been great value with some real dialogue between the BBC authors and people texting and using the 606 discussion boards. They've used a brilliant "light touch" and been joyously irreverent at times. Well done BBC and thanks for the coverage.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Tell me what you want

Sadly it took a furniture advert for me to get my head around this wonderful piece of rock music. Hearing this fills my heart with hope that this generation might outgrow Britney and turn out alright.

Whoops! (Part XXII and counting)

Thus spake Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary, following the loss of a data stick containing personal details of the 84,000 people currently banged up, details of a further 10,000 "prolific offenders" and another 30-odd thousand records from the police national computer.

Ms Smith's response looks very much like "We didn't do it - someone else broke the rules". This rather ignores the responsibility to keep these data safe and any system which allows anyone; external contractor or member of staff, to grab this volume of the stuff without it being spotted is simply not working.

For those interested in the technical stuff consider this. It's very unlikely that there are many copies of the raw data sitting around outside Whitehall, it's certainly not available in a prison because they wouldn't be seeing the police data even if they had access to data about all the prisoners - and I sincerely doubt that they have that. It's also unlikely that it's on any single system, i.e. the database storing the offender records is linked to but not the same as the "prolific offender" data which are both a subset of the police national records. I'd bet a few quid of my own money that the police records aren't stored in an Excel spreadsheet but in a rather whizzy database system with posh front-ends and password protection and stuff. Whoever downloaded these records from wherever did so because they have access (or someone did it for them) to a system at a level where access to the clever stuff wasn't a problem - Whitehall or somewhere near the centre?

One other thing to note - PA Consulting, the jokers being blamed for this fiasco, are working with the government on the national ID card scheme.....................

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


One of the traditions of the office I work in is that we take in biscuits for the team, our team has a little area with different biscuits ready for nibbling with a cup of tea. A biscuit always represented is the Anzac so I thought I'd post a picture so that everyone would know how this wonderful ambrosia is packaged.

A project I'm involved with

Are you using social software / web 2.0 tools with your students? For example, social networking sites, blogs, wikis, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter ... ? If so, we would like to hear from you. We are most interested in initiatives that have been running for some time (for example, more than one semester) and those which include a reasonable number of students.

We are working on a JISC-funded project to create case studies of social software use in UK higher and further education. The aim is to help the educational community explore the potential benefits - and problems - of this new domain.

The case studies and project report will be disseminated via the JISC web site in early 2009. These resources will be of significant interest to the HE and FE community, and should attract a very wide readership.

If you think your practice might make a suitable case study, please email Dave Roberts ( at the Open University. For further details of the project, see

Many thanks & with kind regards,

The Project Team

The Open University, UK

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Linguistic dexterity

Who said that we English don't learn other languages? Here is a clip of the ex-manager of the English football team showing his versatility by chatting in a relaxed manner with a Dutch TV crew. Those of you with a keen ear for languages might just pick up a few words of English in there too.

Hat tip to Rob for flagging the video

Wednesday, 13 August 2008


There is a cycle in blogging and I've reached the point at which most of us apologise because we've not posted for a while - so I won't.

The reasons I've not posted include spending the weekend with my son and taking him to see "The Dark Knight" (we're liking that!) and enjoying my birthday with a family meal. I'm also on the final leg of the latest course, E891, and working on the ECA which is due in at the beginning of September. Also writing some stuff for a couple of employers who will put money towards my booze funds if I get this stuff done.

I'm also considering applying to do an EdD (that's a Doctorate in Education) and bumbling around looking at what that entails.

So that's some of why I've been quiet - so there!

Monday, 4 August 2008


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Saturday, 2 August 2008


Shouldn't be surprised that the OU is taking advantage of YouTube to create a presence. Check out OUView for the full range of videos. You might also find me in the "What YouTube taught me" section

Cricket - Horsham Festival

Have to post a little about the cricket festival. It's actually an excuse for three middle-aged blokes to get together for a few beers. We worked together some 20 years ago. Horsham is a smashing little town with some great architecture and brilliant pubs. We also had a day out to Bognor and a hike around Arundel - no beer in Bognor but we visited a few pubs in Arundel. We dined on tapas in the sun on Friday evening and had a couple of beers in the Beefeater next to the hotel.

A good time was had by all. Click the image to go to the Flickr photostream.

Pint of the week (for me anyway) has to be the King & Barnes' Sussex in The Bear in Horsham but an honourable mention goes to the Harvey's Sussex Best in The White Hart in Arundel (shown in the photo posted earlier). Pub of the week is The Bear - anyone in Horsham should visit it for the great beer and friendly folk. Cricket moment of the week was de Bruyn's straight drive over the bowler's head for a big six which landed among the children learning tennis on the courts behind the Church End. Stickiest Tables goes to the Bar Vin in Horsham. No need to wax your arms, lean on a table here and it'll do the trick - the bar is the same (I'm afraid).

Friday, 1 August 2008



Nuff said?

Nuff said?

The seafront in Bognor

The seafront in Bognor. In the teeth of a gale, nobody about at the height of the season.