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 In the year 2019


1 April 2019
Tadpoles.

The first batch of frogspawn is starting to hatch, it was laid on the 14th March and it is now 1st April, 17 days later. Just a squiggly mass and none free swimming yet.


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  Spawn on the 31 March, little commas in each egg cell.


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  What a difference a day makes, most of the tadpoles out of their jelly globules which have all but disappeared.


24 March 2019
The People's Vote march.

Spent yesterday exercising my democratic right to protest against brexit and affirm confidence in and regard for the European Union.

Went down by train with members of the Banbury for Europe group, the coach being fully booked. Standing room only on the train and it was clear when we arrived that most people were also heading to the march. One who was certainly not going though was the permed and preemed woman who commented ‘charming’ as I passed and she saw my ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ sticker.

Joined up with members of the
Scientists for the EU group and gave out a few stickers and appropriated a sign.

It would be hard to describe our progress as a march, the crowds were so dense that at times we were reduced to a stop start shuffle, no way to estimate the number of people as everywhere one looked it was packed tight.


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  Went down by train with members of the Banbury for Europe group.


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  It was clear when we arrived that most people were also heading to the march..


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  Marble Arch.


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  Heard a person on their phone saying: 'Oh you will find me quite easily, I'm on Park Lane by a big tree'.


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  mScientists for EU


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  mScientists for EU


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  This guy had come down from Glasgow this morning AND made his own Scientists for EU sign..


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  This chap had come down from Banbury this morning AND had appropriated a mScientists for EU official sign.


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  .


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  Bollocks to Brexit.


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  Part of the Scottish contingent.


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  Hastings, European since 1066. [Some unfortunate logic here.]


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  A Tory supporter, Boris look alike.


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  My favourite sign, made from a real pizza box, 'E.U.'RE taking the PIZZA!'.


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  Upped the contrast a bit to make it clearer.


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  Bollocks to Brexit. But I thought they came in twos and not threes.


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  We pass the Ritz.


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  Trafalgar square, filled with people too.


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  Tight squeeze down Whitehall.


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  In Parliament square with mScientists for EU sign.


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  Marchers from Sussex.


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  Started back up Whitehall and still folk were arriving, after 1800.


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  Trafalgar Square.


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  Mooched around here for a while, lots of marchers still passing through in both directions.


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  Chatted with a group on the steps of St. Martin in the Fields church.


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  They wanted a photocall with my mScientists for EU sign.


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  Then clogged it back to Marylebone Station, Oxford Street packed ... with shoppers!


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  Back home and the campagne continues ... mScientists for EU sign in the window.


Some links and thoughts.

Throughout the march people were reporting to each other on the progress of the petition to revoke article 50. A good article here on the Guardian about it where they say: 'As of 2.18pm on Sunday, 5,000,438 people had signed the petition, making it the most popular to have been submitted to the parliament website. The previous highest total of 4,150,260 was for a 2016 petition calling for a second referendum should the initial poll not provide a definitive enough result.'

As we neared Trafalgar Square we were able to see the live screens showing the stage in Parliament Square supplemented with pictures of 'movers and shakers'. A pic of Jeremy Corbyn was shown and immediately the crowd burst into cries of derision, followed by a chant of 'Where are you Jeremy', he was hiding in Morecombe BTW. I have been a great supporter of Jeremy in the past but this brought home to me how hopeless it is to carry on supporting him, like the Tories, he is not on my side.

The march also brought home to me how 'not fit for purpose' is our outmoted political system. When you see the circular, non-confrontational chambers of the European Union and the Scottish and Welsh assemblies you realise why ... confrontational politics determined by first-past-the-post is not in our best interests. If we want something 'traditional' why not try the round table of King Arthur instead?

First-past-the-post has ensured that NEVER in my lifetime [I'm 75] have I EVER been represented by ANYONE I have voted for.

Links for this post.


mScientists for EU Ok I know I have put this in quite a bit!
mThe Guardian
mRevoke Article 50 and remain Sign the petition if its not too late. 5,216,403 signatures just before I posted this at: 2016 24 March 2019. [It's rising by about 600 per minute as I type]
mPlacardsBetter pics than mine.
mPeoples vote I marched against the Iraq war too ... for what that was worth. Though that is why Tony Blair's pic would have had much the same response as to that of Corbyn's.
mPeople's vote People's vote and see my post about lobbying for it in m  Cambourne with Heidi Allen.   and about Heidi Allen
The people on the steps to All Saints said that they had been on the previous march as well and that that had been a bit like the queue at Waitrose. This one was slightly better in its demography but it was still predominately white, middle class and 'mature'. I have a horrible feeling that 'we' still don't get it.
Look at 1.00 and 1.56 in this clip for example: youtube a lot of old people not interested in making a noise, too civilised.




17 March 2019
Even more from the croakers.

Panic over!

Two new batches of frog spawn laid overnight and the original two discovered lurking in the murky depths of the pond and not eaten by passing cats as suspected yesterday.

Not very convincing pics below water using the pyrex oven dish but it looks like both batches of spawn are there and safe. No wonder the frogs were smiling.


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  Two new batches of frog spawn laid overnight.


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  Not very convincing pics below water but this is one of the two earlier batches.



15 March 2019
More from the croakers.

Next day, 16 March, the first blob of spawn had gone! No idea what took it overnight but no a sign of it anywhere. Have moved the second blob away from the bank but it has sunk. At least I think it is safe there though whether it will be warm enough or get enough oxygen I don't know. Still I think this gives it a higher chance of survival. Both frogs still around in the pond but the female is back to normal size.

The first batch of frog spawn appeared just eight days after my previous post and the next the day after that. It was a very different week though to the ones preceding my first sighting of the frogs as the unseasonably warm weather gave way to bitter cold, biting wind and even the odd snow flurry so they did well to hold off with the spawn.


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  The first batch on 13 March.


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  Something to smile about.


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  .


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  New batch of spawn.


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  The original batch.




6 March 2019
Croakers.

Last year on 30 March we discovered frog spawn in our derelict pond here at 'The Grove' and once all the tadpoles had gone, and what water there was had evaporated, we filled it in and inaugurated a new one a few metres away. We were concerned that this might not suit the frogs so I have been watching it very carefully for froggy activity. Soon after it was filled we were relieved to see that our resident frogs had discovered it and to-day I found a pair of them 'in flagrente' so to speak.

Bit concerned that this is 24 days earlier than last year as we could still have frost. The new pond is much smaller than the old one but it is deeper and more shaded so I don't think it is likely to be any warmer than the old one was nor do I know if the frogs are triggered to mate by the water temperature.

Just measured the water temperature, it was 8.7C. Spoke to Alex earlier in the week and she told me that she had been for a swim in the sea at Hastings which was 'not too bad', 8C according to World sea water temperatures. Just did a check on the sea temperature for Stoupa and it was 15C and what's more it told me that it would usually be 20C when Terry and I are usually there. This makes me such a wimp as I shiver every time we swim!!! No wonder I get sand kicked into my eyes on the beach by weedy beefcakes.

It's quite difficult to see into the pond because of the reflected light and photography is even more fraught. I know that reflected light is polarised so started to think of ways to eliminate the reflection by using a polarising filter made maybe by stretching some cling film or by finding some broken sun glasses when it occurred to me that all I really needed was a diving mask and what could be better than a pryrex oven dish?


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  The pond.


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  Floating oven dish.


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  In flagrente delecto.


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  How much bigger the female looks, distended with her eggs.


1 February 2019
Random.

Snowing today so writing a blog post and watching the big flakes fly by my window. The observant may have noticed that there is a new option on the website home page, I'm rather pleased with this and I've been trying to check it each time I look at the page.

What it does is serve up a random file from the webserver, I like it because I can check that things are working ok but I am also enjoying seeing posts long forgotten. The option selects files from the whole website, not just those linked through the right hand oldie column, so it often jumps into the middle of a thread and not at the start like the oldie column links.

I'm repeating the link here:

Random Link

This option generates a link to a random file on the web-server. Click on the link to run it.

cocsoup.php



14 January 2019
Dudley Canal.

Back in December 2013 tw and I did an xmas walk along the route of the derelict Dudley Canal also known as the Lapal canal from its junction with the Worcester and Birmingham Canal to where it disappears underground in a thicket of briars just beyond the ruins of Weoley Castle.
Back then the area around the Worcester and Birmingham Canal had just been cleared for development so we could have a good poke about. This Sunday we had a little light shopping to do so went to the brand new Sainsbury store and of course had to have a quick look at what had happened to the canal in the meantime.


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  The road bridge tunnel to the park.


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This is what it looked like in December 2013.


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2013


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  Where the canal one day should join back up to the Worcester and Birmingham Canal

Links in this post:
mDudley No 2 Canal
mLapal canal
mReports Lots of progress reports on the restoration and other items of interest.
mWorcester and Birmingham Canal
mSainsburys
mThe development scheme
m  Walk Dudley No2 canal Our walk in 2013.


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