Monday, 21 June 2010

Panic on the streets of Timperley

Chris Sievey (AKA Frank Sidebottom) has died. Sievey fronted a band which had a hit with "I'm In Love With The Girl On The Virgin Manchester Megastore Checkout Desk"  and, my favourite, "Wrap up the rockets". Mrs Merton started out as a character on Frank Sidebottom's "Radio Timperley". Probably a northern thing from a particular time but he was just a year older than me.....

Sunday, 20 June 2010


Sitting outside Carluccio's in Spinningfields, Manchester. Big screen just shown Elano score the third for Brazil. This really is how life should work.


Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Out of the way

Memorial, East MallingExam done and dusted. It's the first one I've taken in eight years, the courses since then have all had an end of course assessment, an extended piece of work rather than three hours mano a mano with a blank answer book and equally blank mind.

Despite advising others on exam techniques I'm a nightmare for days before and for a short time after the event but I'm generally okay at the time. Today was fine, arrived good and early and got my bearings. Grabbed a coffee and did the nervous chat with others. East Malling is a really good venue and the invigilating team did a great job of making sure people weren't overly stressed by the preamble. By then I was sitting in my seat with my pens and mints and water and ruler and ID and I was keen rather than stressed. Afterwards I also need some headspace so I went for a wander round East Malling church and took some photos of the church and surroundings (it didn't take long, EM isn't the largest place in the world). And here's a photo I'm pleased with. More from the set, including the lovely church, are on Flickr.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Specials

The Specials

These guys are the stars of an online docu-soap about their lives. They are based in Brighton and the first series runs to eight episodes. Yesterday they wrapped up two awards at The Webby Awards, an international shindig which honours excellence on the web - this year it gave a lifetime achievement award to Vint Cerf. Click on the banner to go to the site and check out what it's all about. I've not watched all of them but the ones I have watched are great.

Monday, 14 June 2010


I've mentioned the closing of pubs in other posts. Here's a quick & dirty map of pubs in my neck of the woods. It shows the closures as well as those still trading. I'll update and expand as time allows.

A rose by any other name

DSCF6386I know it's another flower but so what? I think it's nice. It's the rose which grows round the front door (yes, seriously) and I've been hacking it back so that the postie can get to the letterbox. When we were growing up there was a big old house on Dickenson Road. The garden was overgrown and we told lurid tales of the people we imagined might live there. None of the scouts would go in the garden, even for a dare. Now I don't live in a big house but I'm slightly nervous of going in the front garden....

For full details check out my special Google map. Anthony Burgess domiciled a character in "Any Old Iron" (from memory) in a house on Dickenson Road

It's the World Cup!

Twenty years ago George and I watched the Weltmeisterschaft in Munich. Every time George went to the toilet during the Cameroon game England got a goal. That was the team that Roger Milla danced through. We weren't allowed to watch the Germany game in a bar - we went to someone's house and that might have been the jinx.

Sunday, 13 June 2010


This lovely pond is within five minutes walk of where I live and, to my shame, I've only just found it.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Let battle commence

This isn't actually a kite as far as I can tell. These big characters are attached to the kit line and it's held up by the kite rather than because it has any means of lifting itself. Here it's being taken down but I like that it looks as though the character and the guy are involved in a fight.

I've processed and uploaded some more shots to the Teston kite festival set on Flickr.

Teston bridge

Teston bridge
Teston bridge, originally uploaded by nogbad the bad.

In letters of gold on a snow white kite

Teston kite festival today - more images on Flickr

We few, we happy few

This is to get everyone in the mood for the football.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Red mini

Red mini
I used this as my Blipfoto yesterday but I've done a wee bit more work on it and I know that some folk who read the blog don't check out Facebook or Blipfoto so I thought I'd indulge myself and post it here. It's outside All Saints in Loose looking down towards Church Street from High Banks. It's part of a set of images I took around the village yesterday - they are on Flickr.

We made this happen

So the World Cup kicks off today. The first time on the African continent and in, of all places, South Africa.

Just over 100 years ago Britain was engaged in a war in South Africa, just under 100 years ago The Natives' Land Act (1913) started the march towards segregation and apartheid. After Nyerere asked that we didn't buy South African produce politics arrived in the grocer's shop and we didn't buy Outspan oranges. For more than thirty years people in Britain played a small part in showing South African that apartheid was wrong. Sports were boycotted and pitches dug up, we didn't bank with Barclays and we sang about releasing Nelson Mandela and not playing Sun City.

And now, 20 years after Mandela's release, the world is in South Africa to celebrate the biggest sporting tournament and lots of us made a very modest contribution to making this possible. Sometimes things do work out the way they should.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

This week were looking at birds

Yellow birdIf anyone knows what this is please shout. I tried the RSPB site but that didn't give me anything close enough. It's about the size of a sparrow and has a long, thin tail. I know it's not a flamingo....

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


Okay, I know it's another flower photo but I love the delicate structure. Clickage on the image will whiz one's view, automagically, to the original so that those who are interested can see the details in more detail.

Sunday, 6 June 2010


Posted this in case anyone thinks I only take photos of flowers

Hatton locks

DSCF6010This is looking up the Hatton flight. The top lock is just about visible and to the left, behind the green umbrellas, is the cafe. It was originally stables but now serves a smashing cup of tea and there was a very tempting smell of bacon wafting about when people passed with trays. I've posted the rest of the set on Flickr.

Hatton locks are about 5 minutes from J15 on M40. Take the A46 Warwick Bypass for a couple of miles to the A4177 (signed Warwick Parkway rail station). Go north, towards Solihull, on the A4177. After a mile and a half Canal Road is on the left, it's signposted. There is a pay and display car park. This link goes to a Google map showing the route.

Smashing place to break a journey and a nice change from a motorway service station.

Friday night

We went to East Z east for food - the one we visited isn't on their website yet but the food is glorious. I had Saag Murgh Tikka Handi and it was lovely even though I made the mistake of eating what I thought was a small tomato but turned out to be a chilli. From there we went across the road and down a bit to the Lass o'Gowrie for a beer and then we went to a couple of other pubs for a beer. Finished up in the Grey Horse which is an unapologetically old-time Mancunian boozer.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Cup of tea

Nice cup of tea at Hatton locks.

Hatton locks

21 locks in total

Thursday, 3 June 2010



Where is it?


Allington Lock

SXR103 and badgers

Anyone who has taken the OU course "SXR103: Practising science" at the University of Sussex will have been to Beachy Head and looked at the magnificent chalk cliffs. They will also know that these cliffs were built by badgers many years ago - details here. Now I find that badgers built the shingle banks at Dungeness albeit by extension, i.e. when they built Beachey Head that led to the creation of Dungeness. This poster is at the RSPB Nature Reserve at Dungeness and it's a bit blurred because I was so excited to read this!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010


So I ended up at Dungeness again. It's almost inevitable, one of my favourite places. While there I visited the RSPB Nature Reserve for the first time. I can't see me becoming a twitcher but I am wondering whether I can justify investing in a DSLR with a good telephoto lens for taking better distance shots of furry or feathery things.

This photo is from the track through the Dungeness Estate and is cropped from a bigger shot showing part of the lifeboat house. In the original the boat is in the centre of the frame but I've cropped to move the boat and also brought the sky down which has brought the flowers in the foreground into play. I've messed about with the edges to see how it looks.


Dungeness A is on the left. It stopped production a few years ago and the main hall is due to come down this year. Dungeness B is scheduled torun for eight more years. This photo from a hide at the RSPB Reserve.


No shortage of power

Dungeness nuclear power station

Romney not Rodney!


Grilled artichokes, soft figs, olives, falafels, fruit. This isn't just any picnic - this is a Waitrose picnic!

Paddling like.............

I tend to photograph things that don't move (flowers, bridges, buildings, etc) because they are easier. This guy was moving towards me and everyone knows that swans will break your arm so I grabbed a couple of photos and jumped in the car. Check out the surface of the water for evidence of the rain. Beautiful weather today so I think I'll head out for some photo adventures.

Breakfast time

Some of my neighbours waiting for breakfast.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010


IrisThis is my favourite photo of the day. It's in a neighbour's garden and I'd walked up - in the rain - to see if there were any colourful flowers. Also took some photos at Twyford Bridge, Yalding. The rest of the set is on Flickr.

Mystery solved!

The mystery plant has been identified by Lynne. It's a Pseudofumaria lutea which is known as the Rock Fumewort or Yellow Corydalis. Fumewort, it seems, is a common name which can mean any of a dozen different species. The obsolete Latin name for this plant is Corydalis lutea though I have no idea how a plant name becomes obsolete.

Many thanks to everyone who made a suggestion and to Lynne for finding the little rascal.

Breaking shells

ShellI like to think that whatever needed this shell for protection was able to grow and face the world without it.


Gatepost, originally uploaded by nogbad the bad.

Here is that yellow flower in situ so that folk have an idea of the scale.

It's come to this

Here are the materials for DD208 laid out for review. I'm taking some time out this week - I should have been heading north but that's not certain now, what is certain is that I have an exam for this course in a couple of weeks time so a spot of revision might be in order. In case it's not clear in the image the printed paper front and centre is the catchily titled "Penalisation of poverty and the rise of neo-liberalism" by Loic Wacquant (European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 9: 401 - 412, 2001).  The course is rich in "social sciences porn" type DVDs; lots of film of earnest looking chaps asking "normal" people (innocent bystanders?) seemingly trivial questions and we're invited to draw lots of pertinent conclusions from the innocuous answers. Education is a social science so I'm used to this type of enquiry but not so much and certainly not accompanied by a full multimedia experience. It's a smashing course though and well worth doing - I've enjoyed it even though (like everyone else I suppose) I wish I'd had more time to get into all the detail.