Thursday, June 22, 2017

Facial recognition

Not Debbie

Yesterday I saw someone from a distance because of where I saw them and the time of day  I thought it was my 'other half' Debbie -it wasn't...

The World population is  around 7.5 Billion and growing (you can see it here) - you can take it that we're creating new Einstein's or that we're doomed.

What I take is that we can (more or less) detect difference at one in 7.5 Billion.

I do have a slight fear that I won't recognise someone I know when I'm away from them for some time (and there's a condition - Face Blindness that Oliver Sachs famously suffered) .

I met a guy called John Bradford who suggested I take some exercises to tune my aptitude around this - the question is 'is it a Psychological problem or maybe a neurodevelopmental one?   - either way it's not too surprising but perhaps it points towards some childhood trauma?

{I think Google's Picasa  has an algorithm for this anyway]

Galloping along

Now it's £267

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The new PM?

For our Queen probably felt like the longest day
Some Tories think it's  been the longest day

Jeremy Corbyn has a spring in his step and Theresa is looking more and more like Cruella de Ville - how long can this 'end of the pier show' run?

What is fascinating is that someone has told Philip  Hammond (the Chancellor) that he's now the Prime-Minister -Immigration (what concerned the electorate) is being sidelined.

I'm wondering if the timescale for Brexit is now going to be 5 plus years and in politics nothing happens if it's 5 years.

Oh dear.

Cash Money

I guess £263 50 is no surprise

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Brexit talks start

What people can get in a nice safe market

Seeing David Davies MP shaking hands (rather needy?) the true gravity of last years decision  to leave the EU is there for us to see - I wonder if Davies is focused on the detail  or if he sees this as part of realising his ambition to be leader of the Tories and the UK's Prime-minister?

Being made clear by Mark Carney that his view remains as before -it'll be challenging for the economy but  for some of those at the time of the vote they made it clear that this was not what it's about -UK bill to leave likely to be in the Billions - wonder where the extra NHS funds we were teased with (on that battle bus) will come from?


As part of my 2017 have put a load of Business books on the BookMooch site - it's a place where you can get totally free books and use the points generated either to get other books or donate to good causes - as I want to clear space my points are given.

As I've entered the books onto the database it's been a reminder from my business studies (about 10 years ago) of  how I'd go through books looking for quotes that I could use in assignments - plenty of post its and bookmarks removed - I guess it's slightly more web based now.

And more

Perhaps my fund should be used for something other than a replacement camera..

or not- And the sum is now £262

Monday, June 19, 2017

Social Media Training

RACC has been adapted to fulfil it's goals
I suppose the Millennials and people around this group know all about Social Media by both by shared experiences amongst their peer groups  as well as training.

I'm often an early adopter of the applications that help us communicate but my own experience has been a little ad-hoc to date.

I was fortunate enough to hear about a course that could have been designed just for me and it was held not too far from home at RACC (A college in Richmond West London).

This really was a chance to speak, listen  and learn from someone who had been on a journey from the corporate marketing world to a One man band type of operation where he was able to get the chance to put into action what he picked up on the value of Social Media.

Julian Holden (for that was the name of the course leader - as you'd expect he's all over the web) started by hearing what the four 'students' wanted from the day giving some background on his own career.
Think about the people, the platforms and the message

The course wasn't about SEO (Search engine optimization) but usefully Julian did touch on it - there are always Buzz words in these techie type fields.

I'm on Facebook, Twitter and have a blog and like one of the other participants  on the course I've not pulled these different elements  together so it was great to look at this and always see what the low effort way of using Facebook might be (create a 'public' page under your profile - open to all 'users') .

What I need to do now is investigate some of the 'Social Media Desktops' - there are free ones to start with like a basic version of Hootsuite.

And of course the thing to do (which I'm bad at) is look at what is effective - and that's not necessarily what you like (Sprout Social was mentioned).

The Money Pot

Another 'round-ish' figure -£260

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Travelling on Richmond Green

Lovely weather and people milling around - reminded me of Oleta Adams


On foot
or even Running

A fast walk 

Aeroplane - get here anyway 

Okay here we are

At £258

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Zombies and misery

Rocking out in Richmond 
First of all where I'm coming from - I've lived through about ten Prime ministers I think and can recall about nine of them our current PM is by far the worst I've experienced and is now a political Zombie.

But I do not think she is alone in being guilty of considering financial consideration too highly - I do not condone the pack mentality that smells blood and is looking to see her toppled  - it's far too similar to those terrible blood sports that I thought were behind us.

On my MBA course (a few years ago now) one of the first topics we covered  was leadership -The thing is  is leadership is a two way thing it's not just about the figure head it's about those who follow too - blind obedience does not remove responsibility.

Where do we go from here - ? The Conservative party are well known for their ruthlessness in despatching electoral liabilities, the figure who can bring cheer (in the short term) and some consensus could be a reformed BJ (Boris) or perhaps it'll be Philip Hammond who will be the uniting figure -?

All present and correct

£256 50 is here Sir!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Anglian Windows Fascia work

Actual work for some - not blogging

It's quite easy to forget that there are (a few) people who actually get out there, do physical work that requires effort - we've become (and I include myself) sometimes feels that we've become a nation of commentators and critics.

Couple of weeks ago I got in touch with Anglian Windows about replacing Fascia (side and eave's bargeboards) these are increasingly made up of filler, they get a hammering from sun, wind and rain.

Anglian salesman was personable and proficient on his product  and a quote was soon with us, this was followed up  by a surveyor - Scaffolding erected yesterday - 2 guys working solidly.

Today two (Martin and John)  installers arrived about 8:00 and immediately got stuck in and have kept me updated on issues as they arise- well done to them (but I now have a small rendering job to make good).

And the steady trend

continues and

brings us to £255

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A BEAT/Photo Pop Up perhaps

Yesterday went and took a look at potential exhibiting space in Ealing Broadway Centre - be great if we (me and BEAT) can deliver - obstacles to navigate but should be surmountable.

A blank canvas
The shutters are down

Throughout the UK there are shops that are unused and the idea of bringing people to use these spaces to positive ends does appeal to me - so much that I was willing to attend a meeting (pretty much anathema  to me) and get support for the necessary people to help make this a possibility  - we'll see what happens.

And a  suburban meeting place
These shared spaces where life takes place

In fact the part of the meeting I attended wasn't too bad and I was able to see that we were all broadly in agreement - and only about an hour of my time.

It didn't feel..

Appropriate/right  to go on about this yesterday - so sad to hear of an avoidable tragedy like that which we saw in 21st century London (a modern city in a rich country) - worse in some ways than other things we've suffered of late

but here the two that brings us to £253

£251 50 on route to 
the £253 we're at now

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

So sorry to hear

of the tragic deaths in West London fire - seems to have been so much difficult news to swallow of late.

There have been though some reports of amazing bravery, kindness and we've seen some great efforts by the marvelous emergency services..

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Apologies to some but sorry seems to be the hardest word

to the nation...

Odd that Mrs May felt able to say sorry to here fellow MPs ahead of the electorate but there you go.

A coalition of colours but no blue

Despite the 'full support' she's receiving currently and the warm reception by the 1922 committee what we have now is an exercise in damage limitation - Tories will be working towards the time when Theresa May can be replaced and the 'caretaker' government will try to engineer a situation where they can win the next election.

[The 1922 committee is the Tory backbenchers getting together normally each  month but exceptionally too like this to hear from their leader - it was named when Tories and Liberals split form their coalition government and actually started in 1923]

Runners and Riders are not yet officially  announced but there's a feeling  amongst those in the know that at the end of the Conference season  this year we'll have a new PM and leader of the Conservative party.

 We like

The round sum of £250

Monday, June 12, 2017

Playing it for laughs?

A possible use for the Red Hot Poker?
After what even some Tory MPs are calling the worst election manifesto I'm beginning to wonder if Theresa May our Prime minister has a very dry sense of humour with a surrealist streak   running through it.

Yesterday there was the announcement that Michael 'Back-Stabber' Gove was coming back into the cabinet as Secretary of State for the Environment - Theresa's line that   she was working with Talent from across the Tory Party can not have been anything but a sly joke (can it?)    - here's what happened 11 months ago admittedly the deeply religious Leadsom   hasn't been sacked merely, demoted    but it does seem rather quirky.

And today we've had the Queen's speech delayed as it's dependent on making a yet to be agreed deal with the DUP - oh and then there's Ascot too this is surely beyond satire.

Meanwhile  Boris is pledging his support and loyalty to the beleaguered PM

 No doubt there are some Tories who would say that the manoeuvres are being done in the 'National Interest' but would they be able to keep a straight face as they said it?

Fox hunters may need to be patient - the programme of bills for the new session might not include the free vote the PM wanted to hold and  new Grammar Schools could be delayed too.

Calling £248

And £248 answers I'm here

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Dust not settling?

A flavour of the mood in No 10 Downing St.

I'm hardly the PM's biggest fan but it's not a pretty sight to see Theresa May under such intense pressure with so few friends .

Deckchairs on the deck of the Titanic spring to mind in the reshuffle headlines the newspapers will run- The limits of what can be done are to put it mildly limited - be nice to see the plan she had compared with what she's now able to do.

 There's talk about a deputy PM being appointed and perhaps what is happening is the ground is being prepared for a smooth transition to the next Tory PM

A place to view changes from

High-water mark

I keep my consistency

What £246 50 looks like

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Back as Picture of The Week

I think this is the first one of mine for 2017
How long can local papers survive?

Seems to me that our local free paper (The Ealing Gazette) now has an even more slimmed down operation than it did last year - news is about lots of West London and adverts not so plentiful.

Also not every week is there a letters page so I am more than usually delighted to find a picture taken by yours truly published this week - it's an oblique reference to the battle to keep Northfields Allotments from losing more of its land to residential building - very much against the spirit of the Bishop of London's land bequeath-ing generosity.

At least in some General Election good news local MP Rupa Huq who has been constant in her support of the resistance of plotholders has retained her Ealing Acton seat with a much increased majority .

Aubergines are potted and ready to plant out soon

And the beat goes on

£245 - That's the score 

Friday, June 09, 2017

The nation has spoken

What is so great about the political process here in the UK  is that there is an element  in the voting which sends a raspberry to those who seek to direct things - and so it was yesterday.
Shame the Greens didn't do better 

How can you characterise what's happened?  For sure Mrs May has made a poor decision and revealed that you do need friends and colleagues - in truth Jeremy Corbyn has not won but he has done a lot better than most of us expected.

Tim Farron (LibDems) miscalculated and Nicola Sturgeon (SNP)has been revealed as being fallible.

[Art least we've lost the 70's comedian clone and UKIP leader Paul Nuttall]

Where we do go from year - well the Tories will be more (I predict) open to spending, let's face it Labour scored some of their success by making the promise to spend more of rich folks money.

Brexit negotiations which were already stretching for the ability challenged trio of Boris, Davies and Fox now look likely to be a series of defeats punctuated by tactical withdrawals - next election probably not too far off either.

Business as usual

Still building £243



Thursday, June 08, 2017

Pumpkins, Peas and Polling

Busy with planting out this afternoon - Pumpkins and Peas will hopefully be on the menu eventually   - I'm not sure how I'll squeeze remaining seedlings in but where there's a will..

A row of Peas protected by plastic

5 pumpkins in total


Today we've had the chance to vote as Winston Churchill (a big and important Prime-Mminister) is reported to have said.. 

democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

I've voted and hope you  have too.

A chance to express a preference 

More money

£241 50

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Decision time beckons

It's a tough world
Decision time for UK voters will be tomorrow and the last few weeks have been tough for the two main party leaders - well done to them both.

What I'd say is that  we've had is a campaign that's been about everything but Brexit - Theresa May has done worse than many expected and Jeremy Corbyn better but there can be little doubt that Labour will have 'lost' the question is the scale and how it looks nationally.

[Labour are doomed to opposition having forfeited Scotland to the SNP]

The LibDems and UKIP both chose to fight their campaign around Brexit and that particular ship has set sail and is now a dot on the horizon.

No time for weeds

As well as Scotland Labour are unable to capture the centre ground that could take them back to power - further tinkering will be required of the current leadership process  for them to have a good chance of getting an electable leader.

The only party (for me) that has come out of the battle with their integrity in place is The Greens and they will be luck to keep their single  seat - so let's see if any of the thouyghts hold up in 24 hourrs let alone a week (a long time in Politics).

Whatever happens Corbyn will need to go back to his allotment and a younger centrist  person will emerge as Labour Leader, they'll need to engage with other parties and recognise 21st Century Britain (and NI)  - I'd like see it being Sadiq Khan and not just to irritate Donald Trump.

For the Tories if May does not produce a convincing win, with a healthy majority  - she'll need to recognise that Boris remains ambitious in the extreme.

Wow - I like it 

At  the lovely sum of £240

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

House (buildings) Insurance

Today I've been doing some bill paying and the like - it takes more time than you'd think particularly if you want to be able to be reasonably assured that it's not all going to go wrong.
Is it free - do I want it?

As you'd  expect when we look at inflation beyond the headline figures, it becomes obvious that while some things remain fairly consistent there are elements of the 'average basket' used for the calculations that seem broadly out of control - here I'm talking about our Buildings Insurance which has over the last few years risen by more than 12% a year - and despite questioning it (The Halifax are our providers) a clear and reasonable response (to my mind) has not yes crystallised.

 So other things rise with a formula (Like Thames Water charges) but Insurance is less tangible and seems to be now viewed by our present government as something which is an easy way of raising extra tax.

And now

it just keeps building ..

Monday, June 05, 2017

London carries on

High visibility on the streets

I was in London's West end today to meet an old friend for lunch, it seemed quieter and somewhat subdued.

Walking there past the British  Museum security there too was noticeably tighter but many overseas visitors seemed determined to get out and about.
Bag checks in evidence at British Museum

[In fact it was pretty much two years since we last had a catch up at the same location.]

Very difficult at this time to see how Genie can be contained again (but perhaps we said that about the IRA too?).

Anyway we had a nice lunch and spoke about many things but noticeably (for me)  avoided upcoming political disturbances  and the  terrorism on our streets.

Very much a French style eatery hidden away under the scaffolding 

And it's bigger

Now it's £236 50