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Friday, 27 February 2009
Martin & Ketil of Denmark

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Look like they could be the Ant and Dec of Denmark. They have the same self-constructed simple-minded expression which I interpret as representing a flat-pack intellectualism. I use that word loosely. I found a video of them here: Martin og Ketil leger med Beredskabsstyrelsens varslingssirener.

I spotted their book (above) in a Danish bookshop earlier this month.

Posted by bigblue on 27/02/2009 at 10:34 AM
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Thursday, 26 February 2009
Chertsey Church

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There is some restoration work taking place on the flag pole of St Peter’s (shared) church in Chertsey. One of the bells in this tower is known as the curfew bell (and referred to in the legend). This bell provides the 5th ring of the tower, was cast in the 14th Century, and survives Chertsey Abbey. The Abbey itself was founded in 666 and dissolved in 1537.

Posted by bigblue on 26/02/2009 at 09:49 PM
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Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Hello old friend

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I saw my old friend the scarecar again. He’s a sort of pied piper of Chertsey, who shoes all badly parked cars before him.

Posted by bigblue on 25/02/2009 at 11:03 PM
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Tuesday, 24 February 2009
Flooding no more

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This is a comparison photograph for the Flooding one of 12 days ago. There’s still a healthy flow through this stream, which feeds The Thames near Chertsey.

Posted by bigblue on 24/02/2009 at 10:06 PM
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Berlin Courtyard: Night & Day

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I took this sequence of photographs last week.The night scene was taken first.

Posted by bigblue on 24/02/2009 at 07:57 AM
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Monday, 23 February 2009
Cycles and Trains in Berlin

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Last week I was in Berlin and thought I would post a few observations on how they do things there and what we could learn from them. Before I start I should mention that all these photographs were taken on the S Bahn system, which is integrated with the U Bahn (underground), with a single fare system, but has a different operator. Tripadvisor has an overview of the Berlin Bahn system here.

The photo above shows a snow-covered bicycle on the train. There is a fare (of about EUR 4.70 ) for a bicycle pass, which lasts for one day. However a bicycle pass is also included in the student ticket. It is not considered necessary for a cyclist to strap their bicycle to a fixed point on the train, and I witnessed no accidents resulting from this. People generally stood (or sat) holding onto their bicycles like this man here.

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At the end of every carriage there is a bicycle symbol indicating that cyclists should use this side of the carriage. I noticed cyclists using the opposite end of the carriage with no ill effect, as with the following picture.

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Cyclists in Berlin have no difficulty in taking their bicycles up and down the escalators with everyone else. The woman in the following picture waited to go down the escalator behind the main crush of people who disembarked from the train. There are of course also lifts for disabled passengers which could be used.

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The comfort and ease of the whole thing made me think that there must be some kind of phobia of bicycles in the United Kingdom. Cyclists are not even allowed to push the bicycles across Victoria Station. (They could however fold their bicycle and carry it across the platform and concourse because then it can be classified as “luggage”). Where does our cyclophobia come from?

Finally, although I didn’t manage to take any photographs of them, I was impressed at the vast amounts of places available for cyclists to park and secure their bicycles - outside public buildings, railway stations, universities and the like. I have commented before on the natural articulation that exists between trains and bicycles, and I was pleased to see it working so well in Berlin last week. It’s a pity that our own rail authorities and train companies don’t recognise this.

Posted by bigblue on 23/02/2009 at 07:32 AM
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Sunday, 22 February 2009
Stop Heathrow’s Third Runway

Details over on the AirPlot website.

Posted by bigblue on 22/02/2009 at 04:20 PM
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Saturday, 21 February 2009
Night in Berlin

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A view down on a covered courtyard where waiters are setting up for breakfast tomorrow.

Posted by bigblue on 21/02/2009 at 08:57 PM
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