Flashing in Public

For the keen photographers out there, this article from the BBC has some useful information on when it is legal / not legal to take a picture in a public place (it would appear to be always legal) and when a member of the police can confiscate or ask you to delete an image (when they have a court order).

I can’t help but think back to the concert in St. Helen’s last year where the band’s manager told the security staff “No more pictures” about 5 minutes into Echo and the Bunnymen’s set in the middle of St. Helen’s, leaving them the task of pointing at people with cameras and mouthing “No photos”. It worked fine for the front three rows.

Its one thing to know your rights – its another thing to be able to enforce them in the face of an angry bouncer or policeman.

Fast-track idiots

I realise that this post may attract the ire of any motorists, but I personally feel that these people are complete idiots and thoroughly deserved to lose their case.

Anyone caught on a speed camera doing 47mph in a 30 zone is clearly breaking the law. Given that these days speed cameras are only put up in accident blackspots, they were being reckless too. Finally, given that every camera is well signed beforehand, painted bright yellow, and has little white lines on the road, they were probably too blind to be able to see where they were driving anyway.

I agree that not every speed limit is appropriate for the road its on all the time – for instance, I think faster speed limits could be introduced around schools out of term term, and in the evenings. However, there is a law, and like it or not, people should obey it or at least not be quite so blatant about breaking it.

I reserve the right to change my opinions if I ever get caught speeding.

It's A Green Christmas In This Town

(for cross posting to HowToSaveTheWorldForFree)

Manchester City Council have some statistics on waste this Christmas, plus some ideas on how to cut it down (mostly by carefully choosing what to buy, which might be a little late for most of you) and some guidance on what can be recycled.

If you live in Manchester, the link to the recycling centres around Manchester and what each one accepts is also useful.

(Title taken from Green Christmas by Barenaked Ladies)

Cheese Fest

Because Ian wasn’t here to enjoy them, we thought it only fair to assess each cheese of the several cheeses we’ve sampled here today and post the results here so that he can see what he was missing. We’ve rated each one on the classic criteria of Damage, Style, Control and Agression.

The results are:







Mostly harmless


Very difficult to get out of the packet


Sticky toffee cheese

A moment on the lips and a lifetime on the hips

Classy and sophisticated

Very well behaved

It’s a sweety.


It didn’t blow Lorna’s head off

Farmyard chic

Very soft

More bark than bite

Blue Stilton

Tingles on the tongue

Stately home

Soft and sticky

Voted cheese more likely to take over the living room


This cheese or the fumes given off by it have started to dissolve the glass table top

You could introduce it to your mother

This cheese is uncontrollable: it has already made three attempts to escape

Likely to start WW3 all by itself


Broken three knives all ready

Milan couture

Keep on a leash

Hard as nails

Cheddar with onion, chutney and redcurrants


Fruity with bite

Slightly Flaky

Pub bitch slapping

Wensleydale with cranberry



Very crumbly

Safe to leave unsupervised

Double Gloucester with caramelised onion


A little bit Trinny and Susannah


Mild mannered

Cheddar with cracked black pepper

Mild kick

Smooth and creamy

Holds together nicely

Not going to take the roof of your mouth of

White Stilton with Apricot



Crumbles under pressure

Couldn’t burst a grape in a fruit fight

The clear favourite was the Sticky Toffee Pudding cheese, probably closely followed by the Italian thoroughbred Gorgonzola which was loved by anyone brave enough to try it.

On the non-cheese front, the brownie was voted product least likely to survive until Ian’s return.

Mixed Messages

On the one hand, the Government is telling us that we’re all living too long and that we won’t be able to get our pensions. This would obviously cease to be a problem if either there was a mass injection of money into the system, or if people had the decency to die younger, allowing the survivors to cash in.

On the other hand, when approximately 1 in 4 Britons are helpfully eating themselves into an early grave and several million others are doing their bit by smoking, the Government is doing all it can to persuade them not to.

Am I the only person to spot the irony?

Junk Post

UK readers of this blog may have caught the news item yesterday about the postman suspended for advising residents on his walk how to opt out of receiving junk mail.

The BBC News item here has information on the story, plus details on how you can opt out yourself. Note: you will have to register with two services, Royal Mail Opt-Outs, and the Mail Preference Service. The article I caught on the radio stated that the postman had told people to write direct to their local sorting office.

You may also want to consider registering with the Telephone Preference Service and the Fax Preference Service.

Now if only there was a “Door to Door Salesman Preference Service” – it would stop things like this…

Thrills, Pills and Spills

If you’ve missed the TV adverts recently, you may be unware that Bez has picked his favorite songs from the Madchester era and released them as a double album. The music itself is a great selection and the only thing stopping me from buying it is that I have most of the tracks already on other albums or compilations.

What’s currently amusing me though is the sheer number of tracks on the album which in one form or another are about drugs or are heavily associated with the drugs scene!

On the Plus Side


A website which does exactly what it says on the tin. Found while trying to answer the question “What is a Trillion?”

Personally, I’ve always believed that to an American, it is one thousand (American) billion, which is one British billion (or one million million) or 1 followed by 9 zeros, whereas in the UK, it is one (UK) billion x one (UK) billion (1 followed by 24 zeros).

However, most of the internet would have it that one UK billion is in fact 1 followed by 18 zeros.

And Oxford University blame both systems on the French and say that the British / American parts are just labels!

We were confused before and this hasn’t helped.

Does anyone else want to add anything?

Technorati tag:

Drunk in Dubrovnik

At Ian’s request, here is my holiday post.

Have been in Dubrovnik and the surrounding area for a few days now and can definitely recommend Croatia as a holiday destination.

Dubrovnik itself is very picturesque and would be in several hundred of my photographs by now, if only my camera hadn’t decided to misfunction. Its a definite incentive to move away from digital technology to the older, more reliable sort.

Yesterday was spent on an excursion organised by the travel company (at extra cost of course!) to the neighbouring country of Montenegro and we have a similar trip planned to Bosnia-Herzogovenia on Saturday.

Montenegro was also well worth visiting, but we were a little constrained by the timetable, so didn’t get to spend as much time as we wanted in some of the towns on the way.

With our itinerary beginning to sound like a whistlestop tour of the Eurovision Song Contest, we’ve decided to stay domestic for tomorrow, and have a look at some of the local islands.

In the meantime, I can report that Croatia produces a very nice dark beer and some pretty good wines. The food is also of a high standard, and not too expensive either. So, rather than type any more, I’m off to find more food and drink.

Fully Booked

Information on the living book project conducted by Malmo library in Sweden following a similar event in Denmark.

The article doesn’t go into too much detail and highlights the gay interest – it is paraphrasing from a UK gay based website.

Other “books” involved included a Muslim Imam and a gypsy. The aim of the project was to allow people to talk to representatives of minority groups and find some common ground / help people to understand each other.

Global Conspiracy

Global Frequency is the pilot episode of what was going to be a five season TV drama series, based on the comic books by Warren Ellis. Sadly, shortly after the pilot episode was filmed, there was a management change within Warner Bros and it was never broadcast. Filming for subsequent episodes was also cancelled.

However, the pilot was somehow leaked onto the internet where thousands of people around the world have since downloaded and watched it. Global Frequency is now arguably the internet’s most viewed TV episode.

If you have managed to see it, you’ll understand my use of the word “sadly” above. It isn’t very often that a TV series is created which I think I could watch, but this has all the hallmarks of being great, despite having the handicap of being written by the man behind the worst film we ever had the misfortune to waste 3 hours of an Orange Wednesday on. The internet being what it is, there is now a site starting a campaign to persuade another company to pick up filming.

I live in hope.