Monday, 31 August 2009

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Don't look back in anger

No mention of the Samaritans setting up a helpline such as when Take That split up.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


For Ian and Angus and Isaac.
There's a band playing riotous Elizabethan music and the usual bustle of people and the sun is dipping behind the buildings - wonderful.

Canterbury West Gate

Here to meet Anna. Train Karma means she is running late :-)


It's a year since Cal started working on the railways!

I don't think he's challenging Bob Crow for leadership of the RMT yet but he's getting the railway language. He's usually too tired to talk when I collect him but he'll mention problems with the changeover and he tells a story about a visiting driver running out of steam (literally!) on the approach to Tenterden such that the engine stopped on the level-crossing and they had a few minutes delay while building up enough energy to pull into the station.

I pictured a rainbow

Five happy minutes - this is for Rita

Monday, 24 August 2009

Fifty years ago today

It's the fiftieth anniversary of The Manchester Guardian changing its name to The Guardian. Interesting editorial piece in today's paper which contrasts the world then and now.

"The striking thing about reading the Guardian then and now is how much about the country has improved in the last 50 years, and not just the standard of Test cricket at the Oval. It is worth remembering that things we now think of as modern social ills existed in 1959 too – in Liverpool, the paper reported, "terror children" were hurling rocks at trains and drivers were refusing to work on some routes. Against that, much else has got better; Britain is more tolerant, better educated, healthier, more cultured and richer."
Hard to argue with that except there are still pockets of extreme deprivation in one of the wealthiest countries on the planet. It's harder to get out of poverty now than at any time in the last thirty years and we're locking up more and more people with no real idea about how to deal with the underlaying problems. Here's to the next fifty years of the Guardian!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Editing OpenLearn content

Editing OpenLearn content
Editing OpenLearn content, originally uploaded by nogbad the bad.

This is about the screen size I need nowadays............. :-)

Shot shows editing some OpenLearn content in the iSpace at UC Marjon in Plymouth. Lovely place to meet and work and my fourth such place (Digilab, Creativity Zone and Creativity Lab(?)). I can certainly recommend Marjon as a venue if anyone is down that way.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Thoughts about Munich

Forthcoming trip to Munich has got me thinking about when I lived there. At the time one of the TV channels I watched was MTV and this was one of the most often played videos and it's great. Love the song too! Another which formed part of that period is the B52's and "Love Shack"


A collection of powers here. Solar power is reflected off the waves which are created by the breeze, not really strong enough for generating much electricity with the wind today. The tide was coming in and that could also crank out some energy.

And if that lot isn't enough to run all the kettles in Kent........... Dungeness nuclear power station is silhouetted on the horizon.

From Lear

"Come on, sir; here's the place: stand still. How fearful
And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low!
The crows and choughs that wing the midway air
Show scarce so gross as beetles: half way down
Hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade!"

(King Lear, Act IV, scene VI)
This is rock samphire; the plant Shakespeare was describing when Lear referred to the dangers in collecting it. It was collected to supplement the diet and is now seen as a delicacy. Check out this blog for a wonderful recipe with a mouthwatering photo of samphire, scallops and black pudding. The samphire in this photo is just coming into flower and I took the shot at Samphire Hoe which nestles in the shadow of Shakespeare Cliff - the Hoe was built using spoil from the Channel Tunnel excavations. Marsh Samphire is eaten now rather than this stuff.

Green stuff

Green stuff
Green stuff, originally uploaded by nogbad the bad.

Look! Green stuff, fruit! I'd hate anyone to think that we only eat unhealthy stuff when we do a picnic.

Here's the trolley as we headed for the checkout at Waitrose in Hythe.

Note the healthy drink and meat and, under the tissues, Cumberland Sausage rolls (truly wonderful) and the Natural Confectionery Company snakes (scrummy).


Cal and I have decided on a project. We're going to take photographs of 10 things which define Kent. Our list (currently) is

  1. Countryside (this is the Garden of England)
  2. A castle - which one is yet to be decided, might be Dover or Leeds or Rochester or another one
  3. Beaches in hot weather
  4. Canterbury cathedral
  5. A pub - probably a Shepherd Neame house
  6. Hops/Oast house
  7. Eurostar
  8. White cliffs
  9. Invicta - the white horse
  10. Sheps Brewery
This is a very loose stab and we'll be changing this - anyone who has any suggestions please offer them. The images will be on Flickr and when we've decided on the best ones I'll put them here too. This project has no set end date.

Bill's bit

Shakespeare Cliff from Samphire Hoe.



Olives, salt beef on a fresh roll, Lucozade Sport, The Guardian, sunshine and my son. Nice way to spend some time


Cal getting chairs for the picnic. On the beach at Hythe with a gentle breeze and clear blue sky.

Monday, 17 August 2009

On the way home

I was listening to this song - this version is live on TOTP and isn't as powerful as the version I have on the mp3 player but it's still a stirring ditty.

Summing up

To round up the Plymouth trip. The hotel was brilliant and at a very sensible price. It's outside the town and nice and quiet.

I think I mentioned the beer..............

Moroccan Chicken for the main course - very tasty but not as good as the starter.

After a nice English breakfast it was off up the road to Marjon (about a mile?) for a great meeting with people from Plymouth City Council about some work I'm doing. Then home - it's a bit of a way but a smashing trip.

Do they?


Hormone something therapy?


Is this where Romeo and Juliet came from?


Faggots in a Yorkshire pud with mushy peas - as a starter! Mmmmm


Clouds over Marjon, Plymouth

Sunday, 16 August 2009


Part of the hotel - Mickey D over the road and KFC further down. Brilliant room, Budweiser Budvar on tap. I may not come home!

I'm going on down to Yasgur's farm

The 40th anniversary of Woodstock -

By the time we got to Woodstock,
We were half a million strong
And everywhere was a song and a celebration.
And I dreamed I saw the bomber death planes
Riding shotgun in the sky,
Turning into butterflies
Above our nation.

We are stardust, we are golden,
We are caught in the devils bargain,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.
Words and Music by Joni Mitchell © 1969 by Siquomb Publishing Co.

Photograph: Dan Garson/Genesis Publications

Friday, 14 August 2009

These are wonderful

I can’t praise this product enough – superb and wonderful. Try some now!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

In memory of Les Paul

Les Paul contributed greatly to the soundtrack of my life so far. Here's Mr Slash (ignore Mr Rose's strangled voice) showing what Paul's kit could be made to do.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Location, location, location

While waiting for my Chinese takeaway I thought I'd show the good folk of blogland something of the village of Coxheath. First some context,

Until the 1700's the heath was a deserted tract of land which was the haunt of highwaymen.

The deserted heath remained that way until in 1756, twelve thousand Hanoverian and Hessian soldiers were encamped on the heath. This large influx of foreign soldiers caused bad feelings within the local area.

So now to the present day

This is, as the sign says, the Chinese takeaway. Excellent food at sensible prices.

Here we see the Chinese on the left and, past the bakers, Coxheath Tandoori - mouthwatering Indian food to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

Finally and taken from the same place - the front of the Chinese looking towards the Indian restaurant and takeaway (yes another one but not shown here) we see Threshers Off Licence. There is also a kebab shop, a fish and chip shop, a Londis, two butchers, two newsagents, a charity shop, a chemist and other less useful things. All spaced around the corner from which I took these photos. There is also a car park behind the shops and here you can see the pull-in area for parking outside the essential shops.

It's difficult to see what more a bloke might need when it comes to purchasing the essentials.

The Blue Bell

Established 1660 - sorry for the slope, I was queuing to turn onto the duel-carriageway so it was a very quick shot.
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Tuesday, 11 August 2009


Busy guy our Andrew.


Haute cuisine

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Monday, 10 August 2009

Anyone in the area.....

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Loose allotments

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Sunday, 9 August 2009


Cricket in Bishopsbourne is a reminder that all is well with the world

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Clangers in Dover Museum

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The castle dominates the town

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Saturday, 8 August 2009

Wild Toblerone

Usually just seen in duty free. Only wild, free range examples grow this large. Farmed Toblerone are smaller.

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Thursday, 6 August 2009

On the way to work

Love this building

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Wednesday, 5 August 2009


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Not exactly now

02:10 but this is close enough for government work :-)

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

European peacock

European peacock
European peacock, originally uploaded by nogbad the bad.

A European peacock butterfly on the Buddleia. Loads of butterflies sunning themselves yesterday but not easy to get close enough for photographs because the approach is across loose gravel. Other photos are in the butterflies set on Flickr

Monday, 3 August 2009


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Saturday, 1 August 2009

James May

James May
James May, originally uploaded by nogbad the bad.

James May talking to a random child during the "Day of Queues"

Blue in the rain

Blue in the rain
Blue in the rain, originally uploaded by nogbad the bad.

I'll try to summarise today. Firstly it started a great deal earlier than I'd have preferred - I picked up Cal at 07:20. We arrived at the Denbies Vineyard at 08:30 and hit the queue. That filled the time to midday and we were finally given tickets for the 15:00 session, yes we queued for three and a half hours. Apparently the earliest arrivals were at 04:00 and had traveled from Manchester - we were in Dorking.

The restaurant (posh cafe) had posh food but we're blokes so we went with the burger van and then cakes and hot chocolate in the cafe. Back outside to watch the building work. The task today is to make the big bricks which will be used to build the house. They are hollow and use 272 Lego bricks. They are all the same size (12 long by 5 + 2 halves wide) and are each of a single colour. As the clock ticked down towards our session time the light drizzle turned to rain. Our ticket number meant that we'd be working outside and by the time we went into the build area the bricks were floating on the tables. Working with a father and his twin nine year old sons we set about a crate of white bricks and when they were all done we were restocked with blue. All up we made more than ten bricks in our hour and we were slowed down by me building a brick which was too narrow (because I can't count I suppose) and by the filthy weather - it's difficult to manipulate Lego bricks with cold, wet, pruney fingers. They need about 4,000 bricks, they'd taken delivery of 3 million Lego bricks, and had completed about 3,000 when our session started. The house will be built over the next few weeks.

Check out the Flickr stream for more photos. Oh, and James May? Yes - he shouted at us through a megaphone a few times but one can't blame him for not wanting to stray too far into the rain.


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I scream

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