Skip to main content

Scattered About


Well, that's another Christmas Day, past. I've been out this morning and would personally like to express my personal 'thanks' to the occupants of the house which regularly dumps its household rubbish next to the council bin at the start of the St Mildred's Bay car park. I'm sure those responsible and I could read out the names from their Xmas present labels, will be delighted to know, that with help from the ever present and voracious seagulls, the remains of their Christmas dinner and gift wrappings, are now scattered as far down as the beach. Strangely enough, I see, even the gulls won't eat Brussel sprouts.

Further down in the recycling area, people either can't be bothered or are not strong enough to lift the cover on the skip and have dumped bags of wrapping paper and boxes next to it. Yesterday, I shoved a whole load of boxes and paper to the back which was blocking the opening. So what happens next, is when the wind picks up, all the paper will end-up decorating the putting-green and the sea front. It's a shame because up until now, the beaches and sea-front area were looking remarkably clean, with great credit to the council sweepers and this will soon change as the paper becomes sodden and scatters.

Today, I had considered changing the template on this weblog but if I do, I'll lose all the links down the sidebar and would have to type each one back in again, a rather long-winder process. Also, because I have a number of 'Blogs', such as Zentelligence, I can't easily include and move other code around on the later interface, whereas the old blogger code accepts HTML (however poor my scripting is) so I guess we're stuck with it for now.

With less than a week before the start of 2010, I need to think of a New Year's resolution. The more immediate priority is to get back into a personal fitness regime. With my travelling around this month, freezing weather and two colds, I have 'dropped' the ball and need to re-discover the willpower to get back into my regime. The problem I find, post-fifty, is dealing with the challenge of discomfort and fatigue when one re-starts and I can easily understand why people simply give-up on the gym as falling asleep in the arm chair is a far more attractive option than lifting weights in the cold.

What I would like to do is take a quick break in the New Year if the opportunity allows. I haven't had a holiday in over two years and it would be nice to go exploring again. It's a great way of losing weight as well! Places I've always wanted to visit include the oasis of Siwa in the western desert, Reigandou in Japan, the ancient city of Timbuktu and Hissarlik in Turkey, the site of ancient Troy. Maybe one day!

I did offer to take my daughter to Westwood Cross this morning but she gave me a pitying look and described the idea as 'madness.' I'm sure she's right. Has anyone else made the attempt?

Popular posts from this blog

Median Saleh

I mentioned in the last post, the 1981 expedition that took in Median Saleh, the ruined Nabatean city in Saudi Arabia


A temple carved from the rock from Petra's sister city.

By coincidence, one of the most important train stations on the Hejaz railway sat next to the ruins and when Lawrence of Arabia blew the line in 1917, the trains were trapped there and are still there today, gathering dust and with "Krupp" on the engine casings.


One of the trains, sitting where T.E. Lawrence left themwith Dr Paul Garnett as the passenger

Below, you can see one of the fortified train stations that Lawrence attacked along the Hejaz railway between Damascus and Medina.



More photos Medain Saleh can be found on THIS Site - Apparently you can catch a tourist bus these days, rather different from risking life and limb to cross an unfriendly Saudi Arabia twenty years ago!
A Christmas Tale

It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.



I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

Perhaps I should stick to technology but then, the instruc…

A Matter of Drones - Simon Moores for The Guardian

I have a drone on my airfield” – a statement that welcomes passengers to the latest dimension in air-travel disruption. Words of despair from the chief operating officer of Gatwick airport in the busiest travel week of the year. Elsewhere, many thousands of stranded and inconvenienced passengers turned in frustration to social media in an expression of crowd-sourced outrage.

How could this happen? Why is it still happening over 12 hours after Gatwick’s runways were closed to aircraft, why is an intruder drone – or even two of them – suspended in the bright blue sky above the airport, apparently visible to security staff and police who remain quite unable to locate its source of radio control?

Meanwhile, the UK Civil Aviation Authority, overtaken by both the technology and events, is reduced to sending out desperate tweets warning that an airport incursion is a criminal offence and that drone users should follow their new code of conduct. Yet this is not an unforeseen event. It was i…