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Tuesday, 23 January 2007


This week I found a Childline poster on the issue of racism on a school notice board.  I think it’s worth reminding ourselves that racism is not just entertainment on a Channel 4 program but can have consequences for people in the real world.

Posted by bigblue on 23/01/2007 at 09:12 PM
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Sunday, 21 January 2007
Being watched

traffic watch

Here are some of the crew I referred to yesterday, writing down the number plates of vehicles at all the traffic lights in Uxbridge on the day of the storm of last week.  I called out to one of them asking what they were doing. She told me that they were noting down car registration numbers and said they were working for Transport Watch. I may have got the name/link wrong because I didn’t write it down.  I could only find one article on the Transport Watch website which mentions Uxbridge: a complaint in their forum about the proposed Uxbridge to Shepherd’s Bush tramlink.  Transport Watch seems to be a pro-car anti-rail lobby group. I remember seeing their adverts about a year ago. They weren’t totally convincing. I think they are feeding on the current shameful state of the railways, focusing on this instead of its potential, and that they understate the problems of road congestion.

Posted by bigblue on 21/01/2007 at 10:39 PM
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Saturday, 20 January 2007
The Storm

The Storm

This photograph is about the people in Uxbridge who stood in yellow reflective jackets making a note of vehicle registration numbers, as the storm closed in.  More than 10 people died across the UK:

The storms battering the UK were so destructive because strong jet streams pushed the weather system across the Atlantic at an “explosive” rate, a climatologist said. David Stephenson, of Reading University’s department of meteorology, said the storm could be described as an extra-tropical cyclone. It took just two days to reach the UK from Canada, he said. “The system has grown, deepened and the winds have got stronger as it travelled across the Atlantic,” Dr Stephenson said, adding that slower storms normally had time to curl away from the UK and head towards Iceland. “This has developed so fast that it has come ploughing into Europe.” Recent wet weather saturated the ground, making it easier for trees to be pulled up. Dr Stephenson said the impact of a storm was related to where it hit land and to the population of an area. For example, the October 1987 storm was seen as so severe because it struck such a densely populated area.

Our weather is increasingly unsettled. This can also be seen as a global warning.

Posted by bigblue on 20/01/2007 at 10:05 PM
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Friday, 19 January 2007
Which year?

Christmas Pub Sign

Spotted outside the Crown and Treaty pub in Uxbridge this week. Not just outside the pub, but right in front of the front door. Bigblue had thought that he was a bit lacsidaisical in taking down the Christmas decorations (he overshot 12th Night by one day). On the other hand could they planning their big event of the year 12 months in advance?

Posted by bigblue on 19/01/2007 at 10:44 PM
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Wednesday, 17 January 2007
ice art

Ice Art

This impressive and season display of ice comes from Shropshire, courtesy of Your Teacher and can be viewed in its full glory at her Flickr photostream.  The BBC reports that we are braced for heavy storms.

In between work and watching the latest Channel 4 bully-fest I haven’t had much time to blog lately. Hence the short posts. Nonetheless I managed to sniff out a tribute to Heather (I have no idea who she is, but it’s a good read).  I also see that The Screen Cinema in Oxted are premiering the psychological thriller Notes on a Scandal starring Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench, on Friday 2nd February 2007 to raise funds to the Royal London Society for the Blind. Booking details..

Posted by bigblue on 17/01/2007 at 09:52 PM
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Tuesday, 16 January 2007
Ice crystals

Ice Crystals

Another global warning: This is a rare example of ice found on the roof of my car during this winter.  The BBC has a section on its website devoted to Climate Change.

Posted by bigblue on 16/01/2007 at 09:21 PM
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Monday, 15 January 2007
une boîte de la crotte

Clean up after your dog

I found this box in Oxted while I was out walking the other night.  I suppose I was struck by the light (it is under a streetlamp), and the droplets of ice. I think dog owners generally use these things. I haven’t seen anyone actually using it, but I haven’t seen any evidence to the contrary either.

Posted by bigblue on 15/01/2007 at 08:58 PM
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Sunday, 14 January 2007
Global Warnings

bare tree

I noticed this tree the other day. Recently I have seen several trees with an unseasonal display of leaves on them. As it is winter the skeletal looking tree above is not unusual. However the tree is developing spring shoots.  If we have a sudden cold snap, with frost and even snow, I wonder what the effect of this will be on the tree’s new growth.

Posted by bigblue on 14/01/2007 at 09:08 PM
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