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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Out of Date

An error at the Royal Mint means that 1000's of "faulty" 20p coins have gone into circulation.

As you may know coins were redesigned last year and on the 20p the date was moved from the tails to the heads side. A number of new design 20 pence coins have been incorrectly struck using the heads side of the old design and tails side of the new version. This means that the coins have no date.

According to coin collectors 20p coins accidentally issued with no date on them could be worth £50 each.

British coins have had a date printed on them since 1662. This is the third error since decimalisation was introduced in 1971.

Between 50,000 and 200,000 of the coins are thought to be in circulation.

The coins are legal tender.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I have succumbed!

As the observant amongst you will have noticed I've joined Twitter. You can see my tweets on the right handside.

I can update it via text. Handy during the day or when I'm holiday!!

Tweets anyone?

Will someone please explain to me the beauty of twitter?

Oh I can see it is useful if you need to get a message out to the rest of the world but on a regular basis but for most of us?

Wouldn't the tweets be inane?

My tweets would be something along the lines of.

Pete has just got up.

Pete is wondering if anyone has cut the price of the Olympus E-P1 by £300

Pete is trying to justify not getting something out of the freezer but popping into Tesco for a pizza or other ready meal

Pete is reading the Triumph of Caesar by Steven Saylor.

Pete has less than 2 weeks until he goes to wales.

Pete reckons the general public ought to listen to Nick Robinson's programme Moats, Mortgages and Mayhem. ACTUALLY YOU REALLY SHOULD IT WAS RATHER GOOD.

Pete is sitting in an office without air conditioning and hopes the pension is worth it.

would any of this be of interest?

Can you update via mobile?

thought I'd ask.

I'm fed up with facebook! The only joy it gives me is when Trisha scores a 125 word and loses :D

You have to wonder

As I've mentioned before I've rediscovered the joy of reading comics (I found out recently that Lenny Henry is a fan).

I get 2000AD delivered every week and the Judge Megazine once a month. I buy the odd collection of stuff I read when I was a lad Spider-Man, Thor, Avengers, Fantastic Four as well as working my way through the Complete Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog. And I'm discovering new stuff like Witchblade.

No hang on! You may find this interesting! Then again...

Another comic I subscribe to is Spaceship Away. This started out as a way to get a newly created 1950’s ‘old Eagle’ style Dan Dare strip story (Drawn by Keith Watson and Don Harley) in print, along with how it was done. As time has gone it has published more Dare stuff as well as a 1950's Daily Express comic strip of Charles Chilerns Journey in Space and other stuff.

To be fair most of what they publish is typical 1950's - nowt wrong with that but recently they published to newer stories and both were CGI and look very different.

One of the stories Ex-Astris was hardly controversial, ok the art may have been but the story has been good so far.

The other story Space Girls prompted outrage and was described by one reader as porn I think. Now I know some of the scenes in the link show the two young ladies sans bras but the ones in SSA were not. And I think porn is going it a bit far, even in the 1940's the Daily Mirror published a story called Jane.

The writer of the story has pulled it from the magazine. Hope he'll stick it on the website as I'd like to know what happened.

Anyway on Thursday I received the latest issue. The editor wanted to know given the furor if people objected to him committing to an extension of Ex-Astris (given it was CGI) and announced that from next issue they'd be reprinting a Garth Story.

Now in case you don't remember Garth was comic strip that ran in the Daily Mirror. It ran for 3 panels per day and was an action adventure story. Great stuff it was too.

Now my memories of Garth are vague (but it was the first thing I turned to in the Mirror) but I do remember that his true love was the god like Astra who appeared in the odd episode and she seemed to not wear very much. I did comment to the editor it would be funny to see such an episode in SSA given the furore over Space Girls and he confirmed that the story was one such (hope he has his tin hat).

I then joked they ought to print Axa. For those who don't know Axa was a similar format to Garth and it ran in the Sun. Axa is a woman who, having grown sick of the regimented and stifling society inside a domed city, flees into the untamed wilderness. She tears off her jumpsuit to show her rejection of the domed city's ways and then replaces her attire with a reliably flimsy rag bikini. Which can be relied on upon to fall off occasionally.

Rod tells me that they had considered it (and I have the mock up) but wondered whether some of his readers would approve. Personally I'd love them to do it, it was a fun story.

The Sun and the Mirror were two "papers" we had in our house so both stories would be nice parts of my youth to rediscover.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Disappointed at Welney

We had a big storm last night and there was fog this morning. The latter meant I din't nip out early.

I wasn't sure what to do and so ended up at WWT Welney. In winter this is a fine place to see Whooper and Bewick Swans, I haven't really birded there in anger at this time of year for some years. In the past there would be a variety of waders and in good numbers, there would also be lots of Common Terns with young. You'd have to wary of Swallows as you walked into the hides.

Today? Well I saw good birds, Avocet, Common Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail, Marsh Harrier, Turtledove (heard), Red Legged Partridge and a Little Ringed Plover (LRP) with young.

Good eh? But the numbers? drastically reduced! There were no Swallows in the hides, not a single Tern and whereas previously there were 4 or 5 pairs of LRP from the main hide now there was one, the numbers of waders was dramatically reduced. Why? Well there was more water and the grass had grown considerably. As an example the small islands outside of Friends hide used to be alive with Terns and LRP but now? just grass.

These weren't only my views, one of the volunteers whose been there ages said the same.

There were lots of Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies.

Oh and sorry no photos :(

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Day out



I took Dad to Bury St Edmunds today.

The Abbey Gardens were looking lovely.






We went for a stroll around the market and had a tea and scone in the cathedral refectory.






Then on to Clare Country Park, the star bird being a Kingfisher and these chaps.


The Abbey was dissolved in the reformation by reestablished in the last century. The old Abbey church is now a garden.








Curiously though it was warm it was grey and we even had some rain! At home it was blue skies!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Farewell to a part of my childhood.

Why is it that somedays I struggle to think of anything to talk about and the next day I want to write 5 things at once?

When I got in last night and saw Shane's message I thought ah right that's tomorrow done.

I then had an idea for a post which will interest no one probably but I'll write it anyway (bet you can't wait!) and I awoke this morning to two other things worthy of comment.

Firstly I awoke this morning to hear that Michael Jackson had died. I expect lots of people to either be crying there eyes out or criticising him for his lifestyle choices and the allegations. I have to admit I was never really a fan but I can acknowledge he wrote some really memorable tracks. He had a troubled life and somehow I'm not surprised. He's at peace and I'd prefer to remember the music rather than the rest.

On a personal note I was more sad to hear that Farrah Fawcett had died of Cancer. For a generation of people Farah was THE sex symbol. All blonde hair and teeth. It all seems very innocent nowadays but Farrah was at her most famous when I was about 14.

She tended to play roles were here hair and teeth were the most interesting but later in life she gained some acclaim for her acting gaining a golden globe as well as 3 Emmy nominations.

She appreared nude in Playboy in 1995 aged 48 and it was the biggest selling issue of the 90's.

This is how many people will remember her. It sold in huge numbers.

And an update from Shane


Thursday, June 25, 2009

You have to wonder.

Sometimes the pure viciousness of some people astounds me.

For example this story of Dave the cat that had a 14 inch crossbow bolt fire at him!! Luckily Dave is making a full recovery.

You have to wonder what motivates these morons to do something like that.

Some goodnews though was that Lucy a 17 year old border collie went missing from her home in Cornwall in February and was found 550 miles away in Scotland and returned to her family. The assumption is that Lucy was abducted.

And lets give a thumbs up to German tennis player Tommy Haas. His second round opponent had to retire injured, now he could have wandered off and gone back to his rented house, but no! Instead Haas played some shots with various of the ball boys and ball girls.

It didn't cost him anything but he probably made a few kids years! Nice one Tommy (and I hope he does rather well).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Birds and Gardens

I was off today. I await the sarkie comments :D but if you get in at 7 everyday and seldom get a chance of a full lunch break (although I book that I take an hour and a quarter everyday).....

I thought of going to Norfolk but instead I went to Amwell to see the Marsh Warbler, or not! It last seen and heard 30 minutes before I got there. Now I could have stood around for hours waiting (and no doubt it showed again) but I've seen one before and well the sun was shining!

Cuckoo - record shot


Reed Warbler



Common Tern



Lapwing




Common Tern





Cormorant


Rabbit



Anyway I went to the RHS Garden at Hyde Hall

















Red-Eyed Damselfly






Azure Damsel I think







Now the garden at Hyde Hall is undoubtedly fine but ..... in one or two places (path to the bee hives for instance) it seemed "scruffy". Something I can't quite put my finger on, for some reason it was a garden I admired but couldn't love.

There is a lot of development work going on but that didn't affect my visit.

There is something called the National Garden Scheme (NGS). NGS gardens are often private gardens that open to the public on specfic days for charity. Details are published in the "yellow book".

Looking at the excellent Garden Visit site I found that Saling Hall garden was open this afternoon and so I thought hey its for charity.

Beside the hall is St James Church







The garden....

























Now Saling Hall garden may not be as celebrated as Hyde Hall others may tell me the planting is not as good, these things I am not qualified to comment on BUT I did really enjoy my visit to Saling Hall Garden.