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Thursday, 28 December 2006
Mrs Scott rocks!

Mike Scott's mum 4eva

I was struck by this graffiti in a parking garage in Tunbridge Wells. I have no idea who either Mike or Mrs Scott are - but I suspect that this graffiti has nothing to do with either Mike Scott of the Waterboys or Michael Caine and his mother. Caine’s real name is Maurice Joseph Micklewhite but his original stage name was Micheal Scott.

Posted by bigblue on 28/12/2006 at 05:19 PM
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Wednesday, 27 December 2006
Fog in Uxbridge

Uxbridge Canal

This is the recent London fog at the Grand Union Canal in Uxbridge, London. From here you can

walk or cycle down the tow-path all the way to Camden Lock (or back the other way to Birmingham, but that might take some time).

The fog has now lifted, apparently for the rest of this year.

Posted by bigblue on 27/12/2006 at 10:29 PM
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Tuesday, 26 December 2006
Christmas time

M25 roadworks

And so it was Christmas, and it’s all but over now. I had a fairly peaceful time with extended family and friends at Mudkip’s place. I’m also enjoying a break from work as I only return in the new year. On Christmas night, after all the celebrations were over, I did a trip down the M25 and back (to drop a friend at home). I found this band of workers had shut down all but one lane anti-clockwise between junctions 8 and 7 as they were carrying out some bridge maintenance.  After all the complaints one hears (or makes) about the disruptions caused by such maintenance during inconvenient times it is good to see that sometimes such work is scheduled at a time when it is most convenient to the general public (and most inconvenient to the workers carrying it out). The photo was taken after midnight, so it was already Boxing Day. Personally I would prefer nobody to have to work on Christmas Day (and other key public holidays) but of course we should be remember and be grateful to those who work the emergency and essential services on those days.

Posted by bigblue on 26/12/2006 at 10:31 PM
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Sunday, 24 December 2006
Back to Bling

housebling

I took this photograph in Hurst Green the other evening. It is a (rare) example of two semi-detached neighbours co-operating with their housebling.  Hurst Green is the housebling capital of Oxted.

There was a power outage for most of the day today which affected the Limpsfield end of Oxted, Westerham, Brasted and some other surrounding areas. There is no indication that someone’s housebling short-circuited and tripped the power in a local substation.

Posted by bigblue on 24/12/2006 at 11:05 PM
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Saturday, 23 December 2006
Karela

karela

Pinkie and I found this vegetable karela in the supermarket on Friday night. Actually it may be a fruit, but either way it is very bitter and is also known as bitter melon.  What struck us was the smell, which was not unpleasant but which strongly resembles the smell of silkworms! 

There are two days left till Christmas. I’m thinking strongly of starting to get presents. On the other hand Christmas is very commercial and it’s the thought that counts.

Posted by bigblue on 23/12/2006 at 07:44 PM
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Friday, 22 December 2006
Site attacked

fog

The photograph shows fog (and was taken as I arrived at work yesterday morning). We are currently experiencing an unusual bout of this over Southern England and our planes and cars are grinding to a halt. BBC customers have sent in some interesting photos of the fog.

Visitors to this site over the past two days would have noticed that they were redirected to a page put up by my Hosting Service, DIY Hosting, advising that the site had been suspended and that they were not responsible for any content which may have previously appeared here.  This notice annoyed me because I was actually victim to a Denial of Service attack.  I am still trying to work out why they targetted me.  Was it something I said?  Or was it just part of the general crusade to sell blue pills to middle-aged men, and small chess pieces to younger men?  Either way this was a pretty determined person: for example over 53,910 hits were registered in a 3 hour period yesterday morning.  From what I can see the attack is still continuing. Nonetheless we must be grateful for small mercies: my hosting service allowed me back into the site, and gave me the ability to bring it up again. I am redirecting the spammers to a static error page. However I still feel vulnerable, and if I disappear again you will know why.

Posted by bigblue on 22/12/2006 at 01:05 AM
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Wednesday, 20 December 2006
Wry not?

Oxted Christmas lights

Someone suggested to me in an email yesterday that my blog posts were wry. I decided to turn that remark into a corney Chinese joke, and post a night photograph of Oxted’s most luminous shop.  On the left is one of the many Oxted hairdressers (Trimmers?) and on the right is the Cantonese restaurant (The Rainbow), which specialises in seafood.

Winter seems to have returned with fog and sub-zero temperatures today. This morning I even had to scrape the windscreen, which is not unusual for this time of the year but it is only the third time I have had to do this since autumn. The weather till now has been unusually mild.

Posted by bigblue on 20/12/2006 at 06:47 AM
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Tuesday, 19 December 2006
Giant Polar Bear of Oxted

Christmas bling

I have been known to comment at length on the symbolic meaning of garden ornaments.  The above ornament, which appears ritualistically at this time of the year on the lawn of a garden in Oxted, does not require much analysis. It is a statement of how human beings are destroying the environment through wasteful over-consumption of resources, thereby placing much life on earth (including polar bears) in peril.  According to a a study that was reported on in 2004:

Amid all the studies and first-hand observations relating to climate change, it is the small details that often convey the bigger message most effectively. One such is the forecast, contained in a comprehensive study released this week about climate change in the Arctic, that polar bears could become extinct. The study, the work of more than 300 scientists, says that the thinning of Arctic ice is depriving polar bears of life-sustaining conditions for hunting. The risk is that they could become so thin that they lose the ability to reproduce.

While the decline of the polar bear population, like any diminution of the diversity of animal life, would be highly regrettable, it is but one symptom of the adverse effects of climate change on our planet overall. Among the findings of the same study are a significant rise in average temperatures in Alaska, northern Canada and eastern Russia; the much earlier break-up of sea ice in Hudson Bay and the eventual melting of the polar ice cap altogether. This is some of the most compelling evidence ever presented for the accelerating effects of global warming. It needs to be treated seriously.

Posted by bigblue on 19/12/2006 at 05:44 AM
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