Monday, April 23, 2007

Off road

After 80,000 miles, my overworked, somewhat thrashed 1.0 litre Micra has developed a terminal dose of corrosion. So I've retired it. Its (not 'hers', I'm not in the habit of giving a gender to my car, the only time I talk to it is generally something along the lines of 'come on you bastard, get up the hill') replacement is a 306 2.0 litre turbo diesel. Now my conversations have taken on a 'whoah, steady on betty' approach.

Being an estate, I can get a whole lot more cricket gear into it. I'd make a comment about the climate change implications but I suspect my flight to Mexico on Friday will probably dwarf the annual 306 emissions...

Global warning

Knut's been receiving death threats. Olaf received no such threats, but was defenestrated all the same.

Monday, April 09, 2007

A Surprising Anglia on Easter

After a hOME Good Friday service and associated stations of the cross installation, le petit amie and I wandered across to Norwich to meet the family. I've never been to Anglia before. I've been to the Ipswich ring road to teach, but this time I made it onto the Norfolk Broads and as far as the coast at Happisburgh (pronounced Haysbrough - go figure). Happisburgh is rapidly being reclaimed by the sea. Five years ago the village temporarily lost its lifeboat when the access ramp collapsed.

From Happisburgh LPA and I went onto Norwich, where there are more ruins and old churches than I'd expected. We wandered through Norwich Cathedral, past Edith Cavell's grave and through the nave, where the stained glass windows let the light dance on the pillars. Up from the cathedral we walked up to the forum to see an Earth from the Air exhibition. You know, those pictures that cause the heavy coffee table books. A lot of the pictures had an associated tale, generally lamenting the decline of the environment associated with the picture due to a blend of our consumption and apathy. All of the pictures were surrounded by sated shoppers. It made me think that perhaps we get deluged with too much information, as it is tempting to go through the phase of 'this is shite! I must be informed', where we assemble as much information as we can. The assembly of information then becomes a substitute for action, and then finally we read so much we end up with 'yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before', and while we're sitting with the apathy, someone comes along with the great climate swindle+. Happily we justify our inaction, and while we have our head in the sand, our house falls onto it.*

*As far as my hypocrisy is concerned here, I could quote Mark Knopfler, or Jesus on this one. 'When you point your finger 'cos your plan fell through, you got three more fingers pointing back at you'. I'll be off to remove the plank from my eye now. It's quite unlikely that anyone has ever confused Mark Knopfler with Jesus. ('Two men say they're Jesus, one of them must be wrong...' Ok, enough Dire Straits lyrics now).
+The most enjoyable part of the swindle was that the popularity of climate change was to do with an unholy alliance between Thatcher and the hippies. Thatcher hated the miners, the hippies hate development and would be far happier if we all went back to scything and tilling.

Take me down to the lovely sea and the sky

Happisburgh lighthouse, not as Happy as you might think.

The inside of Norwich Cathedral...

...and the outside.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Four images from the New Zealand War Memorial in London. The memorial is best seen up close, or alternatively from the Oxford Espress bus (I prefer it to the Oxford Tube) as it nears Victoria Station. From the side the memorial looks like a series of iron stakes, but as the bus swings round Hyde Park Corner towards Grosvenor Place, the tops of the stakes reveal silver crosses. (The lovely Sarah can be seen wandering through them in the second picture).