Housebound…

For reasons that are just too boring to go into I am a bit housebound just now.  So the ultimate challenge – how do you make the ordinary interesting?   Not sure whether these are the answer.

I’ve just checked the last blog entry called Housebound and I started it almost the same way that I did this…muscle memory or what!

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81 Days

Release Me

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20 things you never knew about the Sony A7 Mk 2

I really do apologise for the crap clickbait title to this blog…I must try better.  Anyway the real point of this post is that it is just over one year since I bought my almost new A7 Mk 2 and so to honour this I thought I would post the top 20 images (as on Saturday 10th August 2019 – it will change and you wouldn’t believe how hard it was to get it down to 20.)

If you have been following this blog for any time you will have seen these images before but that is the way it goes.

The one thing I will say is that you don’t need to have the latest tech to make images to please.   It does help but usually it is not essential.   Lenses, on the other hand, well that is a whole other ball game!

 

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82 Days

 

I know we are supposed to be positive and embrace the brand new world that Brexit is going to offer and to anything else is now considered a thought crime but I have one question for all those driving us to the 31st October 2019.   For all this money we are throwing at Brexit just what are we getting in return?   I am not talking about the fantasy promises that Boris Johnson is going around the country throwing around like so much confetti which all have the ring of the Boris Bridge in London.  No I am talking about the billions we are throwing away  supporting the country’s agriculture, industry et al so that whatever bump we fell after the 31st October isn’t as hard as it could be.

I have looked around and all I have found is platitudes about bright futures whilst no one appears to offer any justification as to why spending all this money is worthwhile other than to keep farmers in their farms after we leave.   I know this really is a serious thought crime but wouldn’t have been better not to have to waste this money and stayed put in the European Union?   Afterall upwards of £8 billion would certain have been a great investment in the Northern Powerhouse rather than slaughtering sheep that no one wants (possibly – we just don’t know what the post Brexit landscape will be.)

I guess the one good(?) thing to come about from this is that the next time some politician – usually a Conservative – stands up and says the country can’t afford some new social policy then we can all point to the billions being wasted on no deal brexit prep and say bollocks.

This of course won’t happen and I end this nigly negativism and embrace the positive new world.   What a fool I’ve been!  I now see the error of all my ways.

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87 Days

Don’t stop movin’

There reaches a point when everything is just absurd…we are well past that point I know and I suspect we’re only moving in one one direction.

There’s no end in sight….

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Walk on by…

If you see me walking down the street
And I start to cry each time we meet
Walk on by, walk on by

Bacharach & David

Over the weekend 29 people were murder in two gun incidents in the United States of America and we are supposed to feel sympathy for those who have lost loved ones etc which of course we do.   However, that is as far as it should go because it is clear that this is the price that the United States of America is willing to pay so that there can be so many guns in their country.   They have had a choice and they have made it – they want their guns above public safety.   If you don’t believe me then just look at the list of mass shootings in the USA in the year 2019 to the 4th of August 2019 on Wikipedia.   It is clear that there is no single definition of what a mass shooting is but the list reads like the dead and wounded in a war zone.  Maybe the most chilling statistic is that there has already been another two mass shooting incidents since the Ohio massacre.  Choices have been made and nothing will change.  (I suspect there might have been others since then but whom ever maintains the list is probably asleep)

I have sympathy for the individuals caught up in this continuous slaughter but I have none for a country that willingly lets its own citizens be slaughtered in such a way.   No other developed country does but it is the United States of America’s choice and they have to live with the consequences of such a choice.

Walk on By – nothing to see here…

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90 Days

 

The votes have been cast and the result is in:  the Liberal Democrats have won back the Brecon and Radnorshire seat from the Conservatives.  This was the 18th winnable seat for the Liberal Democrats based on the last General Election so overall a very good result.  However, before the champagne corks pop too much it might be worth while digging a little deeper to see what, if any, lessons can be drawn from just one by election in August.

It was a close run thing. 

A win is a win but it is worth mentioning that is was really quite a close.   This seat is usually a battle between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats and since 1983 the average swing from one to another has been 7.6%.   This one was only 4.5% so it was a lot tighter than the victorious Liberal Democrats would let you believe.

It was a really good night for Boris Johnson

This may well seem counterintuitive as his majority in the House of Commons has effectively disappeared but this was a really good night for the Conservatives and Boris Johnson in particular.   They only just lost the by election with a candidate whose conviction for fiddling his parliamentary expenses   caused the by election in the first place.  They also appear to have had decisive victory against   the Brexit Party who only got 10.5% of the vote. (In the European Elections the Brexit Party received 35.3% of the vote in Powys.  Powys is made up of 2 Westminster constituencies of roughly the same size so it would seem reasonable to assume that the Brexit Party vote is evenly distributed between the two seats as both are very rural seats with a similar number of Liberal Democrat voters in each.) .  So the Conservatives almost won with a convicted felon and reduced the Brexit Party vote by over two thirds.  That may well be classed as evidence of a Boris Bounce – maybe.

Labour had yet another bad day at the office.

Labour was never going to win this seat as the last time they had held it was 1974.  Since then it has been a fight between the Conservatives and the Liberals later Liberal Democrats.   However they have always had a solid showing.

Of course there may have been boundary changes during this time that might have affected the tradition Labour vote in the constituency.  Nonetheless they have always managed double figures.   This time they only got 5.3% of the vote – just under half of the Brexit Party vote.   It is even less than the European Election vote of 7.38% for Powys as a whole.   Even the Peterborough win saw the Labour share of the vote fall by  17.16 % of the vote.  It doesn’t matter how much spin you might want to put on the recent Labour performance it isn’t very good, especially given the state of the Conservative party during the same period.

The Brexit Party is starting to look like UKIP

It is very difficult to draw any meaningful data about the Brexit Party as they have only existed for less than  8 months.  However, if the performance at Brecon and Radnorshire is any indicator they are quickly becoming yet another Farage failure.   In the space of a few months they have managed to lose two thirds of their voters to what appears to be a resurgent Conservative Party  (It is hard to believe that the voters went to the Liberal Democrats.) .  If this is the case then this might explain what Farage was doing in the USA helping to launch a Brexit pressure group in Michigan of all places.   He may well be out of a job by the end of October so I guess he has to look how he will earn a crust with Christmas on the horizon.


Of course before anyone starts planning anything it is worth adding the obvious caveat – this is just one by election result in the middle of the summer holiday season.  This being said it I’m sure it will start to make the calculations of Conservative MPs change as they can see a way of saving their seats which up until a few weeks ago this may well not have been the case.   It really does strengthen Boris Johnson’s position with the Conservatives and possibly the electorate as a whole.  What this result and trend also does is make the Labour Party a lot more wary of calling a vote of no confidence in September.  They may well see their best political advantage being to allow a no deal Brexit happen and then pin everything that goes wrong on to the Conservatives.   After the short parliamentary session in September it will be organisationally very difficult for a new government to be elected and then stop Britain leaving the European Union on the 31st October 2019.

Of course this is all very well and good but a government does have to get its business through the House of Commons and Boris Johnson doesn’t have a majority.   He may well feel buoyed by this result, as well as private polling, to try and force an election in September anyway in the hope of getting the working majority he needs.  Perhaps.

So this result may well have made a No deal Brexit much more likely and also Jo Swinson may well get the chance to welcome yet another Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam seat in early October.   What she and the Liberal Democrats do then is another matter entirely as their resurranges has been built on Bollocks to Brexit.   If Britain has left the European Union what will the Liberal Democrats do then?  What indeed.

Welcome to the Major’s Jo.

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