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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

1. Limestone Pavement - Malham Cove

2. Butterfly Bush - Kettlewell, Yorkshire, September 2006

Review of the year 2006

There is no better day than 31st December to review the old year and make, if not New Year Resolutions, neccessary plans for adjustments to one's life bearing in mind the experiences of the past. Plans too, for the coming year, where to go for holidays, who would appreciate a visit, who could be invited to visit me? These questions can wait even though some entries in the diary are already pencilled in.

2006 has been a year of mixture and mixed emotions. My work at the Pearce Group has been busy and happy with the number of projects growing steadily to the situation now when I am needing assistance to provide support for all the different teams who rely on me to provide updated drawings and other head office support. I particularly like giving the training support for staff and also to our partners such as architects and contractors in the use of the Pearce Extranet - 4Projects and training and familiarisation for our own people in the use of Microsoft products, mostly Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

During the year I have joined the Bristol Ornithologists' Club and the Avon Bat Group as an active member of both. Several bird and bat excursions have been made and I hope to fill the diary again in the coming year. The geologists will not be neglected either, and at the moment WEGA - the West of England Geologists Accociation has its monthly winter lecture programme ongoing.

On personal matters, By Easter, Viki with whom I had gone on the wonderful cruise to Antarctica at the end of 2005, and I, decided for various reasons that our relationship was going nowhere. We are still good friends [I hope!] but are no longer visiting each other. To some extent, the flurry during the summer in joining in new activities was because of the gap in my life that had been left after Viki was no longer in the picture.

In September as reported earlier here, I enjoyed a tour to Yorkshire which was a wonderful break from the routine and which also gave me the opportunity to build up more experience in using my new Nikon SLR digital camera. I am still learning of course, but have had some pleasing results. Also as reported earlier, I went to the International Wildscreen event at Bristol's Watershed, where I was mixing, as an interested amateur with some of, if not a majority of the World's best wildlife photographers. I have yet to assimilate much of the excellent information I was given at that symposium, but if I have one new year resolution it is to do more photography.

New friends at home and abroad have been made during the year, and again some of those have been mentioned in here before. The ability to use virtually free telephone and text messaging using the internet services of Skype and Googlemail has proved invaluable. One of my special friends from Hungary is planning to visit Bristol in June and at the moment we are in the early planning stages for what must be seen and done.

I haven't visited my parents' old cottage since July, but gather from the neighbours that the new owners have finished all the renovations and have now moved in. It will be interesting to see what they have done and I plan to go and see them in a few weeks time. My brother and I still own the land, and so I do need to visit the tenant farmer from time to time and make sure that all is well with him.

Christmas - has been and gone, Stephen who is thriving and living in London, came up and stayed with his mother at her new house in Portishead before coming to visit me on Boxing Day. I wish a very Happy New Year to all visitors to my blog. Please drop by again and if possible leave comments.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


You will need the sound on to get the full effect of this neat and amusing bit of cosmology.

Boldly go to GALAXY

Good Man - Sir David

Sir David Attenborough has called for a "moral" crusade against wasting energy.
Sir David, 80, the presenter of the Planet Earth television series, told a Commons committee the wartime slogan "Waste Not, Want Not" should be used to persuade homeowners to switch off electrical appliances instead of leaving them on standby.
"I grew up during the war and it was a common view that wasting food was wrong," said Sir David. "It was not that you thought you were going to defeat Hitler by eating a little bit of gristle but that it was actually wrong to waste food. There should be a moral view that wasting energy is wrong," he added.
Sir David said he was convinced global warming caused disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. "I have just come back from Australia. People accustomed to living in hot temperatures in the Outback are saying, 'It has never been like this'."
He said climate change was a "political hot potato" but he was glad it was being grasped. He refused to be drawn on whether Gordon Brown had gone far enough with his pre-Budget report in tackling climate change.
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee is investigating how the public can do more to combat climate change.

BBC Link

Monday, December 04, 2006

Addressing Climate Change

[Photo shows the Power Station at Ironbridge Gorge - Shropshire - birthplace of Britain's Industrial Revolution!]

On Saturday I spent a very interesting few hours at Bristol University attending a day school at the School of Earth Sciences:

"Addressing Climate Change" The main speakers were Colin Palmer CEng and Pam Gill BSc(Hons) BEd PhD. An enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience considered whether technology alone can remedy the situation attributed to climate change, or if fundamental changes to our behaviour will be a necessary part of a solution. A question and answer session was followed by us having to prepare a written assignment and I for one, came away thinking positively that there are some people out there who are dedicated to doing something positive about the issues. Lessons are being learned but sadly the ice caps are still melting and we still burn fossil fuels as if they were an unlimited resource. The build up of atmospheric carbon may slowly lessen over the next decades, but sadly we are far off seeing real improvements in my lifetime. An awful legacy we are leaving for our children and grandchildren. A new Google Group has been formed for the participants of the day school and their friends and I commend it to any of my visitors who may be interested!