Well Done HMG….

I’m that sort of guy. I like to see the data wherever possible, that backs up policy announcements. Since quite early on I’ve been downloading the UK Government’s Covid data and analysing the data myself. It has not always been easy to get hold of the data and for me the overall trend is more important than the day to day. So this afternoon I went to get my weekly data download and guess what – it wasn’t there even though it is supposed to be.

Now you could get all X files on this crap and see some great conspiracy which I always find less than helpful for one big reason: Very few organisation, especially governments, l are that good at organising anything let alone a huge conspiracy. No they are much more likely to be incompetent and so any conspiracy will quickly fall apart. Anyway Governments have far easier ways of deceiving their populations like just lying or making distracting claims.

Of course this is exactly what ‘they‘ want you to believe but if we follow this route it is the way that lives are ruined and you start making Wyoming mountains out of mash potatoes. So HMG – get you act together and fix the data release!

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Does anyone really know anymore what the hell is happening? I fear we all know the answer to that. In Britain we have a government who try to pretend everything will be fine as they demonstrate a total lack of any ability to govern. The latest nonsense is that we should all embrace the idea that a no deal Brexit is nothing to be concerned about. Of course we must now not call it No Deal instead we now must use the correct speak Australia Deal. Perhaps this may well have worked last year or maybe even the first month or so of this year but now? How many ‘world beating‘ things have we been promised since Boris Johnson started taking the virus seriously and how many have been ‘World Beating‘ but not in the way that he was trying to pretend? Then of course there was Barnards Castle.

Look, I haven’t got the first clue what is going to happen between now and the end of the year as far as Britain’s relationship with the European Union is concerned. Perhaps we’ll get a deal perhaps we won’t but the one thing I do know is that we can always tell when Boris is telling porkies – his lips are moving.

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Not I….

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Sometimes this is exactly how I feel….

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Damp Day in the Glade…

Soggy underfoot and the leaves tired and damp. Welcome to October in England. One moment the sun shines then next it hides behind a layer of cloud.

The acorns ripen and are consumed or concealed by Squirrel or Jay. It won’t be long before the frosts sharpen the wet puddles. Yet this year there has been little flooding so maybe the winter won’t be too harsh. Or it could be a bad one although with the way that global warming is taking hold it is more likely to be damp and wet than snow and frost.

The fruits of another year.

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Into the Grey Shire….

As October starts to bite deep into the year so the mists rise. Today found me out once more pursuing the sun as it peaked through the dampness of October. Over the last three years I had spent my time in the hills and valleys of the very rural Melton Borough. I Now wander the highways and byways of Harborough for next project.

Whilst it is easy to assume that Harborough is as rustic as Melton this is not true at all as Harborough takes in both the south and south east of Leicestershire and so is attracted by the distant pull of London.

The far west of Melton had the Fosse Way and the road to Lincoln. Harborough, on the other hand, has possibly the most important junction in Britain – Junction 19. Here the traffic from the North East and North West meets the traffic from the East and encrusted around these arteries are more and more sheds that hold so many treasures in this pandemic restrained shop online land.

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The ‘new normal‘ requires new social etiquette. Here are just some of the things I now find myself doing:

Covid Leaning – When sitting in a cafe and someone walks near to you you tend to turn your head and lean away from the person whether wearing a mask or not;

Mask Stare/Dirty Look – This is when someone is somewhere that requires a mask and they don’t have a mask on. I must admit in the past I have told people to obey the law but that is muscle memory from a previous life. Now I just tut, stare and give a dirty look – like most other people;

Exposed Nose – this is another version of Mask Stare and it happens when some has a mask on but they don’t cover their nose.

I’m sure there are many more that over time, and I think this is really is the new normal, I will develop many other. Sp apart from this new etiquette what else have I been up to? Well, I’m sorry to say it has been a week of burying myself in textbooks, PhD thesis and archaeological reports. This time I’ve been trying to get my head around Iron Age Oppidum – a very niche pursuit!

The result of this research is that the use of the term Oppidum is a complete mess and doesn’t really help to understand the late Iron Age in Britain. I am putting together a paper for myself to bring together what I have discovered. The purpose of this is twofold: Firstly it consolidates what I have found out and secondly it highlights what I don’t know. This then allows to consider whether I need to dig any deeper.

One final thing. WordPress has changed the interface used to create posts and it is driving me nuts. I am sure that over time I’ll get used to the blessed thing but until reach that new level of karma I’ll moan about the bloody thing. Perhaps I should develop a new etiquette for that – the WordPress Shout!

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5 Mistakes that new photographers make….

Just recently my social media feed has seen an increase in ludicrous clickbait like the title of this post. Photographers telling other photographers how to take ‘better’ photographs. I have no idea what a ‘better’ photograph is and honestly I don’t care. I only make photographers for myself and having been at this strange pursuit for nearly half a century I would suggest that is all any photographer can hope to do.

So the five mistakes all new photographers make are:

  • Listening to Opinions on Social Media about what is and is not a good photograph
  • Listening to Opinions on Social Media about what is and is not a good photograph
  • Listening to Opinions on Social Media about what is and is not a good photograph
  • Listening to Opinions on Social Media about what is and is not a good photograph
  • Listening to Opinions on Social Media about what is and is not a good photograph

I know what I enjoy and what I try to make. They only way to do that is to make photographs and then make some more and then…well you get the idea.

Does this count as “…Listening to Opinions on Social Media about what is and is not a good photograph…’? Yes. I rest my case.

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Time for a Breather….


Over the past few days I have been rewatching Game of Thrones and especially the last season and I have to say on the whole it isn’t that bad.   I would agree that it did seem somewhat rushed.  I guess some on the internet would argue that it was rubbish and that is fine but it is also worth recalling that it is just fantasy and isn’t real.


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On the Common…


Well that was an interesting experiment – bolt a couple of Canon FD lens circa 1975 onto a Sony A7 R3.  Suddenly you come to appreciate just how sharp modern lenses are!   I find when using these lenses the best images are usually black and white.   Interesting as the experiment was I don’t think I’ll be repeating it anytime soon.

In the afternoon autumn light the old trackways across the Common are secret glades of light and autumn fruit.  Occasionally a Coney’s tale can be seen bobbing through the undergrowth.  Less than 500 metres away a new brewery is coming to life yet along trackways there is a timeless feel.   People have been living in this area for milenia – the Roman armies that marched along the nearby Fosse Way are closer to today than they are to the first houses and farms in the area.  Somehow, in the autumn sun you get a glimpse of what the world was like back then.

The next day’s dawn breaks through the mists of autumn.  Another year seems to pick up it’s skirt and cantor towards the  winter solstice.  However, this year, unlike the last, the common has seen little flooding.  Whether that will last is really in the hands of forces much larger than anything that man could unleash.

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