Saturday, July 22, 2017

Various and catching up

The real public servants

A fiddle player at Ealing Broadway station

There's been plenty of coverage of top earners at BBC - some serious pay levels, not sure you can blame those with high pay, it's those who do the paying - there's an issue when their pay becomes the story and I do find some pay being a bit high (like the rather wooden presenter who is on BBC breakfast time who doesn't work Sundays).

What is (to me) irritating is the story of people who are well paid as 'Public Servants' today I witnessed someone at Ealing Broadway Centre who needed medical  attention (perhaps a seizure) - people helped, called an Ambulance (about 10 minutes or so to arrive) and supported this guy - they weren't on a meter or Public Servants just nice people - If I here more about Politicians who have 'sacrificed' for their jobs I might let out a little scream.

Coffee

I've been reading about the benefits of regular coffee drinking - seems the jury is still out but it could be beneficial for heart and mind.

For quite a few years now I've been waking around 4:00 a.m. on a pretty regular basis - I've also avoided Orange Juice that's made from concentrate and Freeze dried/instant coffee ( I'd heard it wasn't good for you).

Well I know coffee is meant to keep you awake  I'd not found this but in the last week I've not had Coffee after about 3:00 pm and I've not woken around 4:00 a.m. - not sure if this is real cause and effect but shall continue (if I remember) .

Here's an interesting piece on 'Segmented Sleep' - more soon (or not)


A target gets closer

so I didn't blog yesterday - so here's £333 and £335 - I get alerts for the G7 X Mark II and price is dropping nicely I'm not sure if it'll drop below £400 but it's certainly getting close.


Here's what £333 looks like


And £335 looks similar 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Somalia emerging from failed state status

BT Tower I worked there for some time
It's a dozen or so years since I first became aware of the troubled nation of Somalia, when I worked at BT Broadcast services (now  I suppose part of BT Media as a pre-sales engineer there were plenty of prospective broadcasters with wildly optimistic business plans and shortages of both finance, experience and realistic business plans.

(In fact I see a reference to the country in  my Blog 10 years ago)


Having been heavily involved with setting up Deepam TV a channel for the Tamil Diaspora in Europe, it felt like a similar solution could work for the Somalis who had left their civil war besieged country to start a new life in Europe.


The Tamils though had established businessman (and women) in the UK who were able to draw on Indian TV programming and some money.


So even now if you look at Direct to home Satellite TV in Europe (like Hotbird at 13 degrees East) you'll find a number of Somalian  satellite TV  channels, not particularly professional but presumably having some sort of audience.

Anyway what I'm leading to is the fact that I met up with one of the guys from this rather disastrous project for a cup of coffee today and the news is that Somalia is starting to be a functioning state again (at least in places) the money the 'Warlords' were able to accumulate is now available to start infrastructure projects and the developed world has  good reason to want Somalia to function.

The UK's Premier league would be a great draw for TV viewers in Somalian homes and social centres 

 I expect to keep in touch with my friend as Mogadishu at least starts to join the 21st Century and foreign investors start to do deals for the mineral deposits  and other opportunities.


The Tyranny of Tens


£330 is another multiple of £10



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Growing more


Following on from yesterday - here are some other crops that are growing.


A Melba Melon
A bunch of Plums


A good year for Blackberries












More

Here we are on Wednesday

Here's £328

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Plotting on 202

There's a lot of pleasure for those of who grow fruit and Vegetables at this time of year - nearly every day it feels like you're going to a fresh free shop.

And it's not just that, you can see what's around the corner too - plenty of grapes.



Home wine in the future?

Or cider perhaps








It could be a good year for tomatoes 

And beans of different colours 

And not to mention Courgettes and Beets

































Oddly there was a Frog too but it got away - can you see it?

Frogs legs anyone?


More 


Well £325 is not to be sniffed at 

Monday, July 17, 2017

2 sides to an argument

It's often said that there's 2 sides to an argument (in fact there are so many more).

Locally there's a 'Abortion Clinic' that's been in operation for many years of late there's often e presence by 'pro-life' demonstrators, peaceful but making their argument powerfully.
I'm sure they are genuine but hard for people using the facility

How this impacts those who have made a difficult decision to abort a life I'm not sure.

There's now a 'pro-choice' counter presence - we'll see how it plays out.


Also making their case.


looking forward to


It's £322 but I  imagine £333

Sunday, July 16, 2017

More on Tallinn

So I said there'd be more about our long w/e in Tallinn.

First thing is to say it was far warmer than I anticipated, it's some way north of London but at this time of year the weather is good and the days are long.
The tours help you get the geography of the city



Pedal taxis are available for hire too






You can skateboard too







Or take the Segway 


















We got a Tallinn card you can buy for different durations and the version we got covered us for the City Bus tour which runs every 20 minutes and has multiple routes (with audio soundtracks in several languages) - pedal taxis are also popular but did witness some price haggling going on, so make sure you agree price before you travel.


Each of the evening meals we had was fun - the first in the centre of activity in the old Town Square - was standard European Fayre (Italian style about 50 EU including wine) - First we shared bruschetta then  I had lamb cutlets and Debbie had Risotto  - not bad.


Inside known as LA Grande Bellezza
Outside called the Wine Library 
















The next evening we had a meal at Goodwin's (which is a food chain)  - odd story as it is linked with the easy listening musician Ron Goodwin.

Basically a steak house - not veggie friendly but fantastic Burger (which we both had) and I had the New York Cheesecake too, we were drinking Ciders and again price was about 50 Euros.


Goodwin's - Popular place for Photo - shot








Look at the ceiling!








On our final evening we went Thai  and this was a lovely quirky place called Thai Boh (Chairman Mao was one figure on the ceiling) - good food and great service.

You probably won't be surprised to know that our meals with a shared starter and some Thai beers was about 50 Euros.

Thai Boh - outside feels like the East


Odd artwork













Around the city there are lots of nice places to take a drink and a snack for lunch too.

And here we are

£320 is the total today


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Stuff and nonsense

Tallinn old Town -Unesco Heritage 
As Europe is still so much in our minds and now there does seem to be some recognition that what Boris, Iain Duncan-Smith, Michael, Andrea and others promised us is such a long way from reality (even for politicians) that many were fooled (remember that bus?) I thought I'd frame my Tallinn Estonia visit around a positive EU.




First thing to say is that Estonia has a long history as a country popular with invaders, it though has a proud history as a sovereign country - small (less than 1.5 m) but with a language and a vision (Growth of late is largely based on IT, companies creative use of high technologies  like Skype are there 'calling cards, quite literally).




The old Prison is now the Photography Museum


Tallinn  though does not neglect it's history and it's old town is a  UNESCO heritage site full of historic buildings and museums (I liked the Photography museum in the old town jail!)



If you look into the population many of those who consider themselves Estonian are from other nations (Russia for example) .





Things like this make me sad to think the UK has because of some ignorant and ambitious Conservatives turned its back on the European project - I hope Tony Blair's intervention proves worthwhile - even the slower lane of the EU is better than Theresa May's Brexit means Brexit nonsense.
Lots of visitors - some are on 'Hen' or 'Stag' weekends others visiting Churches


There are many old churches to visit - more about eating in Tallinn in the nest day or two.


Been missing a few


My eye left the ball - but it's back
£312
£315
£318





Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Back and various with the BEAT


Back from lovely Tallinn (more on that later)

What has been coming together is the BEAT (local Ealing Artists)  pop up shop - it opens tomorrow - every day until Sunday  30th July

10:00 - 6:00 pm weekdays
and
11:00 to 5:00 pm Sundays

It's in The Ealing Broadway Centre opposite Poundland - so save your money there, then spend it on Local artists.


And the hanging takes patience





There are about 25 artists exhibiting and we're very grateful to The Ealing Broadway Centre for their support

Drawing Attention by Tim Layden


As well as work that's in the hundreds of pounds we have cards for only £3

And the fund

Well I feel I should make it more..

A boost after the break - £310

Thursday, July 06, 2017

and away

I'm away for a few days - when I'm back it'll be for some time at the shop opposite Poundland in the Ealing Broadway Centre - it'll be this year's BEAT Pop Up (Ealing's Open studios) -last I noticed was at the end of the year/start of 2017 when it was trading in Calendars.





It looks like a black hole - but not for long

And what it's opposite 

And my planning process



Seems a good place to park it.





£300 now

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

And are MPs getting 1%?

Melba Melons need water
I like people who lead from the front and set an example- don't you?

The Moral Maze has been talking about it - and so has the UK's Parliament - well why do MPs get bigger increases - aren't they 'Public Servants' and recruitment doesn't seem too difficult - so surely 1% would be okay.


The  growing clip


I'm going to run this as a sort of time-lapse  video soon - but now it's

 £297

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Comedy of errors

Are we living through one?
When I walked past the Plough Inn, a rather nice Pub in Northfields are of Ealing  the other day I saw this sign and thought how apposite for our times - it really does feel like the UK politics are a 'Comedy of Errors' where many politicians are paying 'lip service' to something they don't believe in on so many levels.

So what is the game?

1) Labour are a broad church with many talking about wrestling the party back form the 'hard left'  entry-ist Momentum (some would say a party within a party).

2) Conservatives are a less 'broad church' but they are split (seriously) over Europe and the price that some are willing for the UK population to pay for the possibility of control over the UK's boundaries - the fact that this is unlikely to address the non-EU immigration is often (it seems to me)conveniently overlooked.

People who live in London see a far different economy from those in, for example  Lincoln and Spalding  - they seem unaware that the only way for the UK to be self sustaining in terms of Agricultural jobs is if UK workers are willing to do these jobs.

So what have we done - we've decided that people like Iain Duincan-Smith and John Redwood are right that it's possible and credible to divorce ourselves from the most suitable trading block and to (perhaps) become a low tax economy.

For me the problem is that politicians from both the right and the left  (and some from the centre) are divorced from people's lives they see the electorate as a means to achieve their own ends rather than the opposite (that is for the politicians to enable the populace to achieve their goals) - I'm not sure how the tables can be turned and the tail no longer wags the dog - but I'd like to see it happen.

The pot builds

and it grows

£295 seems a lot