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Friday, 30 June 2006
Radioactive Waste


I am currently spending a lot of time driving up and down the M25 every day. Some days, like today, there is gridlock. The truck on the right in the photo above has a notice on the back warning that it contains radioactive materials. One wonders what company would transport hazardous radioactive materials on one of the busiest motorways in the world during rush-hour. I took the photo this afternoon which appears to have been some kind of breakdown day: I counted about seven or eight accidents or breakdowns along my stretch of the M25.

The company that does this is Circle Express:

With global logistics integrators increasingly becoming one-stop-shops for their customers, Circle Express is meeting this need by increasing the number of services it offers. For example, it has established a separate division, Connection Couriers, for the movement of ‘same day’ time sensitive consignments and incorporating radioactive, highly hazardous material and firearms. “It’s specialist, immediate-response work – apart from the distribution side of the business – which is generally overnight. It’s a growing area for us,” said Coffey. “Most of our depots already have a dedicated Connection Courier department and we’ll be extending that service to all of them over the next year. Again, it will benefit from the IT enhancements – in-cab data system, traceability, real-time information and so on.”

They don’t state what the consequences might be if one of their trucks is involved in an accident and some of the radioactive or hazardous materials is released.

Then again, according to GreenPeace,

Every week trains carrying highly radioactive nuclear waste travel on Britain’s outdated public rail network, often during peak hours.

If one of these trains was targetted by terrorists and caught fire while in a tunnel, the radioactive release could spread for over 50 kilometres, spreading cancer-causing radiation in its wake. In a city like London, 350,000 people might have to take shelter or be evacutated and over 8,000 people could die of cancer in the long term.

Yet this deadly cargo routinely passes through more than 20 major cities and towns including Edinburgh, Bristol and London.

Tony Blair wants to build 10 new nuclear reactors, quadrupling the amount of highly radioactive waste already produced - all of which could be transported around the UK. But there is a cleaner, safer and cheaper alternative to nuclear power: decentralised energy.

It takes over 1 million years for the most highly radioactive nuclear waste to become safe, but it only takes one man to make a dangerous decision.  Take action now.

Posted by bigblue on 30/06/2006 at 11:02 PM
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Thursday, 29 June 2006


This is a photograph of a poster hanging in my client’s offices. It reminds me of the old joke: “It’s not true that only men can’t multitask. They read the newspaper and go to the toilet at the same time”.  I had a busy evening. After work I drove back from Uxbridge to fetch bluemeanie at a singing lesson in Reigate. We made a quick supper then drove to Heathrow to fetch Sharon, and drop her off in Limpsfield. She’s going to be here for 2 weeks, although she will be delivering a paper at a conference in France so will be travelling for a couple of days.

Posted by bigblue on 29/06/2006 at 11:19 PM
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Wednesday, 28 June 2006

London Bridge Escalator

I snapped this on Saturday coming into London Bridge Station from the tube, on the way home from Lynette and Alan’s farewell party.  That’s Brenda and David waving at me.

I have started loading my photos into flickr again. 

Posted by bigblue on 28/06/2006 at 08:35 PM
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Tuesday, 27 June 2006

M26 Roadworks

This evening after work we went across the road for drinks at the Swan and Bottle and then on to La Rucola Italian restaurant for a meal. This was to mark the departure of Alan, who I am replacing.

Later tonight while driving home I noticed that there were roadworks taking place at regular intervals along the M25. This was not advertised on the radio traffic reports, and when I got home I noticed it was not reported on the various websites that provide information about live traffic conditions either. Fortunately I had given a colleague a lift home and cut through South West London, so I probably avoided the worst of it.

Posted by bigblue on 27/06/2006 at 10:45 PM
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Monday, 26 June 2006
No children over 21

Bar Goosh in Uxbridge

This is Bar Goosh in Uxbridge at lunchtime today. I have copied the notice from the bottom right of the photo into the bottom left. It reads:

This is a football free zone.
- No football colours
- No children   over 21’s

I didn’t know you could get any - children over 21 that is.

Today Fink broke the news with some photographs about the fire in Kings Cross:
here, and
Kings Cross station itself was closed most of the day and may not open tomorrow morning.

Posted by bigblue on 26/06/2006 at 10:26 PM
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Sunday, 25 June 2006
Another farewell

London Thames

On Saturday was bluemeanie’s schools Founders’ Day cum prize-giving so we spent several hours there watching demonstrations, and listening to speeches and singing hymns (the prize-giving takes the form of an inter-faith service). Thereafter, bluemeanie and I dashed into London to see Lynette and Alan left for Australia today. We spent several hours with friends and family at The Ship and Whale in Rotherhithe. The Argentina/Mexico match, dubbed the best so far in this World Cup, was on (several) screens around the pub so we managed to catch some of the highlights.

Today I did some gardening and then watched the fooball.  My knowlege of football is not so great, which is why I have been finding the Guardian Unlimited World Cup Podcast very useful, especially for behind the scenes information. They generally have a good panel discussion and are in touch (“via the miracle that is the telephone”) with reporters not only in Germany but as far afield as Sydney and Brazil.

I also played around with a tool called The iTunes Signature Maker. Listen to my 20 second iTunes signature here (Warning: large file!) I notice my mobile phone tune pops up as one of my “most played” tracks. How sad.

Posted by bigblue on 25/06/2006 at 10:19 PM
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Friday, 23 June 2006

michael owen poster

I didn’t take this photograph of a poster that the Football Association sent to a Westminster office on 22 June. What he highlights as fantastically inappropriate, I ripped off from Recess Monkey, political blogger of Westminster. As we Meanies use measured language, I am dropping the “fantastical”.

Posted by bigblue on 23/06/2006 at 08:02 PM
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Hari Christians in Regents Park

At the picnic in Regents Park on Sunday (mentioned here) this large group of people came and set up (on a tarpaulin) nearby. They all wore dayglo orange crosses around their neck and some had black tee-shirts with dayglow crosses on front. For that reason, and the fact that they looked like hippies, I dubbed them the Hari-Christians. Unfortunately you can’t make out the distinctive garb in this photograph.  Anyway, who knows what that was about.

Posted by bigblue on 23/06/2006 at 07:34 PM
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