Home | Links | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Videos | Oxted Paris Cycle Ride | Scarlett | Site notices

About This Site

A personal weblog with photographs and comments. Quiet ramblings, quite rambling...


Login | Register | Why?


Advanced Search

Most recent entries

Recent entries with comments



Monthly Archives


Lately listening to

Site Statistics

Site Credits

Saturday, 31 March 2007

Dirty Van

Working on a Saturday sucks, especially when the computer network and systems fail to come up and (after several hours) you have to reschedule the work until the following day.

Posted by bigblue on 31/03/2007 at 11:33 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (4) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Friday, 30 March 2007
Caution: English driver


Another nasty Friday evening today as I and several thousand other commuters faced long delays on the M25.
  Here are a few interesting links: A visitor to Oxted posts some photos; while someone else went into Oxted and was attacked by chavs. Mmm. Here’s some random London graffiti.

Posted by bigblue on 30/03/2007 at 10:57 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Thursday, 29 March 2007
Power Problems

I may be posting irregularly over the coming week - the power supply adaptor for my personal laptop has broken and I am in the throws of ordering a replacement from Dell.

The above video shows Caroline Lucas MEP (Green Party) addressing tens of thousands of demonstrators at a central London national Stop the War rally. She called on the government to scrap plans to replace Trident and withdraw UK troops from Iraq. P

Posted by bigblue on 29/03/2007 at 11:46 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Wednesday, 28 March 2007
Sunshine again

Godstone Station

I took this photograph in the same place as this one last year.

In unrelated news, Mark Taylor highlights that the local brewery Westerham Brewery has gone holistic:

In summary (from their website), the Westerham Brewery state that they have launched one of the only Fairtrade beers available in draught form (South East of England only - elsewhere it is in bottles).  The William Wilberforce Freedom Ale was launched during Fairtrade fortnight (beginning on 26th February).  The William Wilberforce Freedom Ale is made with Fairtrade Demerara sugar from Fairtrade plantations in Malawi, southeast Africa. More than 20% of the dry weight ingredients are made up of the sugar, which permits the beer to carry the Fairtrade mark. There is a local link to William Wilberforce, because the anti-slave trade campaigner was friends with William Pitt, who lived near Westerham. A local oak tree which they met under is now known as the Wilberforce Oak. 

The release of this ale is timed to coincide with the 300th anniversary of the abolition of slave trading in the UK.  Moreover the Westerham Brewery is concerned with the issue of slavery today.  They state on their website:

People trafficking is one of the worlds fastest growing illegal industries, devastating the lives of men, women and children who are taken by deception or coercion from their homes for exploitation. The Westerham Brewery supports Stop the Traffik and will make a donation from the sales proceeds of the beer to support their work in fighting slavery today.

Stop The Traffik is a global coalition of organizations, communities & individuals raising awareness of people trafficking & promoting practical action through a global declaration, media, events, celebrities & projects around the world through 2006 & 2007.

I would just add that when people in the UK think of slavery and people trafficing they tend to think of it happening in far-off third world countries. In actual fact it’s happening closer than you think:

The harsh reality is that Croydon is one of the biggest ‘ports’ for human trafficking in the UK. We want that to stop and we want the people enslaved by this trade in human life to be brought to justice. Everyone has a role to play: men, women, the council, the police, our parliamentary representatives and the media.

Join us in the fight to rid our town of the injustice of slavery that is Human Trafficking.

- from the Croydon Community against Trafficing Group website.

Posted by bigblue on 28/03/2007 at 10:58 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Sunday, 25 March 2007
Pigeons and people

pigeon & person

Pigeons and people behave quite similarly in railway stations. They walk around the concourses, they eat and they make a mess.

My current client is an American multinational, run by a woman. We were talking about her on Friday and some of the managers who have met her said that she is very down to earth and approachable, and not a 1980’s male-clone at all. Rebecca Blood recently blogged about an Economist article about the global glass ceiling. It has some surprises: the Phillipines has the highest percentage of senior management positions held by women (50%). The US is only in 6th position (behind such diverse democracies as Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa).  Britain is in 9th position.

Posted by bigblue on 25/03/2007 at 08:17 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Saturday, 24 March 2007

La Rucola Restaurant

This is La Rucola restaurant in Uxbridge, where we went on Thursday for lunch to say goodbye to one of our client’s employees who resigned to join another company. It is a genuine Italian restaurant whichi s found at the base of a residential apartment block.

Tonight Bluemeanie and I took Gogo and Popple to see Miney perform with SCYWO at the finalé of the Farnham Festival.  The other performers at the concert were the Farnham Youth Choir, and the Alton College Jazz Band.  The Farnham Youth Choir’s performance included the world premiere of Jonathan Dove’s “It sounded as if the Streets were running”, commissioned for the choir by Andreas Klatt.)  It was based on the American poet Emily Dickenson’s poem of the same name:

It sounded as if the Streets were running
And then — the Streets stood still —
Eclipse — was all we could see at the Window
And Awe — was all we could feel.

By and by — the boldest stole out of his Covert
To see if Time was there —
Nature was in an Opal Apron,
Mixing fresher Air.

Farnham, in South West Surrey, is about as far from Oxted in Surrey as it is possilbe for a town to be, so it was quite a drive and we got back late. Plus I have one less hour for sleeping in tonight.

Posted by bigblue on 24/03/2007 at 10:58 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Friday, 23 March 2007
Bless you


This is my youngest cousin Maxine. She’s a second cousin, and is the baby in the photograph, not the man! Lately when I heard Joan Baez singing Dylan’s Forever Young I thought of Maxine:

Forever Young

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young.

Posted by bigblue on 23/03/2007 at 10:50 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Thursday, 22 March 2007


I suppose that a boerelf is a farming elf. Sort of like Dobby but a country cousin. I found the grafitti scratched onto this railway carriage on the Metropolitan Line in London earlier this evening (on the way to a work function). I had assumed it must be an Afrikaans speaking vandal who was responsible, but now think boerelf could also be a Dutch word. According to Yahoo there’s even a boerelf in China.

Posted by bigblue on 22/03/2007 at 10:25 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Page 1 of 4 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›