Easter Floral Cross

Permalink
I took some pictures of the floral cross that Wetherby Methodist Church creates each year as it is stunning...
Easter Floral Cross


Easter Floral Cross


Easter Floral Cross
Comments

Another Place

Permalink

Another Place
Close encounter with Another Place
I was away with work for a few days this week, staying in Crosby right beside the beach where Antony Gormley's Another Place is installed. I've seen pictures of it, and looked across to the beach from New Brighton, but it's really impressive. I can see how it freaks people out by making them think someone is drowning. It was nice to get a few minutes on the beach away from work, just watching the world.

Another Place 2
The original picture, lightly filtered.
Comments

Great Customer Service

Permalink
Great experience with Amazon customer service today. My Chromebook has developed a fault with its power button two weeks before it's out of the warranty (phew, at least it was before). The button seems to have failed mechanically (the Chromebook is working otherwise). This wouldn't be an issue except it means that I will struggle with some of the ChromeOS reset commands if it ever hangs (and that's happened maybe twice after updates in the last three years of using these devices).

I bought it through Amazon from a third party. Anyway, I decided to try Amazon's customer service, who got all the details, contacted the third party, put me through to them. They then said it would have to be the manufacturer's warranty and gave me the details to address it. The Amazon rep, Mauro, was on the chat system in parallel and called and connected to Lenovo, who have now arranged an uplift for repair. It was a very smooth experience and Mauro definitely was a great example of customer service (and I rated his assessment as such).

I know Amazon has a bad reputation for parts of how it addresses its workforce, but from a customer perspective, the experience was really impressive and helpful. And now I need to plan the powerwash of the Chromebook...
Comments

Catching up with old friends

Permalink
I managed to get some more of the Lyonesse writing done on Friday, in the gap between work and leaving to head down the M1 (with fingers crossed that Yorkshire Truckers for Brexit weren’t going to be in the way).

Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars
We travelled down to Stourbridge to catch up with some old friends, Jon and Becks. I’ve known Jon since we shared a house at the University of Southampton; we’ve kept in touch ever since but it’s been more sporadic since they moved to Germany when he took up a role in the aerospace industry. They’re some of the people who have been hard done by with the referendum - no say in something that fundamentally affects their lives because Cameron pitched it as an advisory vote.

The service was in an old, grade 1 listed church, St Thomas’. The connection to Stourbridge was that the vicar was a friend of theirs from Germany who used to preside at the Anglican Church there. 

We had a lovely day, also catching up with Ceri (my former lab partner in the first year of university), Nick and their daughter. As all these days go, you find yourself wishing you had more time to just chat with old friends, like you did back in the day. We played a few board games back at the Premier Inn, but it wasn’t a late night.


Untitled
Family Group


We’ll work our way home today, probably stopping off at Cadbury World to give the kids a bit of fun.



Comments

Why I wasn't at Travcon 2019

Permalink
First Trophy
First Trophy! Aidan wins the U10 Foil

Usually, at this time of year, I'm at Travcon, a gathering of fans of the Traveller RPG held in Sawtry run by BITS. This year, I was at the Qualifiers for the British Youth Championships for Fencing for Yorkshire, held at Penistone Grammar School[1]. Usually, Jill would handle this on her own[2], but it was the first year that both of the boys were competing to enter. I reluctantly bailed out, my solace being that I'd get to see the lads competing and also that North Star isn't that far off.

Aidan did brilliantly, fighting his way through to a Gold Medal and - to his delight - a trophy! He loved it so much he took it to bed with him when we got home. He also used it as bragging rights with his brother, who has never won a trophy for fencing (only medals). He's turning into a sharp little fencer. He does have the chance to get his name on this three times, something no-one else has achieved.

Nathan had a harder path. He's consistently been #2 in Yorkshire, and any medal position would guarantee his qualification for the Championships. He came second through the poule stage (only losing once) and then had a difficult semi-final. The lad he was fighting wasn't a better fencer, but there's something about his style that means Nat has to grind out a result. It went the full three periods and he was pretty exhausted at the end. Being placed second from the poule also meant that he had less of a recovery period. He lost the final but put up a determined fight. Across the whole competition, he scored 9 points against his opponent (10:6 in the final) which was considerably more than the rest of the field managed against him. His opponent's win was deserved, but that didn't take away the disappointment. Anyway, he was safely qualified.

Untitled
A worthy 2nd place in U12 Foil

Just after we finished, we had a major disappointment. British Fencing has pulled the U10 Foil class from the Championships. Their reasons?
It is the view of BF and the Home Countries, based on the latest evidence and research about participation and performance, that fencing for children under the age of 10 should primarily be about having fun and getting opportunities to practice their skills without the pressure of competing in or winning a National/British Championships. Young fencers should also be encouraged to participate in a variety of sports. If parents and coaches do wish their children to compete they are encouraged to do so at a developmentally appropriate inter school/local/regional level competition.
I find this pretty bizarre as fencing isn't a sport that you do casually. You'll most likely be learning at a club, having lessons and fencing others for fun and challenge. Fundamentally, it's a direct person-to-person sport and the competition/winning is at the heart of the whole thing. It's mock trying to stick a piece of steel through an opponent in every fight; at its heart, it's Darwinian, even. You learn fencing better fencers. Aidan loves it[3] and was upset when he found out; he's currently performing at the top of his class in the region but will have to wait another two years to try his hand nationally. He wanted to fence (and turned down a birthday party so he could go).

In my heart, I suspect that funding and organising time and effort may be part of the real reason.

___
[1] Let's see if that makes it past the firewalls and morality checkers...
[2] She's the original fencer in the family.
[3] He also swims regularly and enjoys a variety of other sports.
Comments

What has the EU ever done for us?

Permalink
EU/UK flags

In case you're curious, have a look at https://myeu.uk/

EU funding in area around Wetherby
Quite a lot, actually..

How much did I pay for this? Well, https://euworthit.uk/ has a ready reckoner based on the data that HMRC publishes.


Comments

What have the Romans ever done for us?

Permalink
This was on my mind tonight.



Comments

New Theme

Permalink

A further bit of modernisation tonight for the website with a new theme. This one - Florence - is from Brandon Lee Design and should be responsive for different device sizes. I liked the clean looks and the use of grey and orange (which is a hangover from my old site). Unfortunately, the way that it displays images doesn't work well with the stacks[1] page that allows me to link my Blogger feed to my website, otherwise, this would be topped with a glorious image I had from Mexico in 2013.

I may change the theme again, but not for a while. The themes cost money, and I'll use this for a bit to get some value out of it. One of the challenges with the new themes is that you have to get an idea in your head how they will look on the page because they are very flexible with multiple fonts, colours and layouts.

Feel free to let me know what you think about the change in the comments below.

___
[1] Stacks is a modular technology for Rapidweaver that allows very flexible design. It was developed by Yourhead software. http://yourhead.com/stacks
Comments (1)

Going Forward...

Permalink
This stream is now my main blog. I have maintained the old posts as an archive and hopefully will get them onto the Blogger platform soon.

You may see old posts appearing before 21 February 2019. These will either be the old blog merging in, or some of the backlog of posts I wrote and never published (while I neglected my old website) which I'm gradually working through.
Comments

Migration - Interlude

Permalink
RapidBlog logo

The blog is now showing at https://www.deltapavonis.net/ but I still need to find a way to synchronise the old blog into Blogger. For that I need to get a licence for a Rapidweaver plugin called RapidBlog, which will export and synchronise between the two platforms.

Little steps, but progress forward.
Comments