Month: December 2009

Hebden Bridge in the snow

The town of Hebden Bridge – where I work – is a lovely town all year round, but in the snow it looks beautiful.  Over the last few days I’ve taken a few photos around the town, and I’ve uploaded a few of them to Flickr here.

My camera is just an ordinary compact camera – although as compacts go I would recommend a Canon Powershot A720 – and so on a dull day and over distances the pictures aren’t super sharp, but I’m still pretty pleased with them.  Unfortunately after downloading them what I realised was how many telephone wires, rubbish bins, grit bins, road signs etc. get in the way of what otherwise might have been an even better photo.  None of these photos have been tidied up or cropped yet, but I wanted to upload them as soon as I could.

Song of the week 1: Since I Left You – The Avalanches

I’ve just been reminded of a song that I’ve not heard for ages (thanks to Duncan Stott) and had forgotten about until spotting the video for it on his blog.  It’s ‘Since I Left You’ by ‘The  Avalanches’ which was released in the UK in 2001 and comes from an album of the same name.  Duncan pretty much sums it up with the comment that it’s “a truly unique work, and somehow manages to be exciting, groovy, silly, sentimental and cheery all at the same time.”

It’s always good to hear a song that you used to love but had forgotten about.  I may have to now find it and download it to iTunes as I think it’s something that I once had on a CD or cassette but don’t own anymore.  On a day where everywhere is under a thick layer of snow it also seems somewhat appropriate that it should be a track by The Avalanches that I rediscover.

BBC debates whether it’s OK to execute homosexuals

I think Caron Lindsay sums this up best with the following tweet:

I thought I was unshockable until I saw that the BBC were asking whether it was ok to kill gay people as if it were legitimate debate.

Whilst, the original question on the BBC website has now been changed from “Should homosexuals face execution?” to “Should Uganda debate gay execution” and they’ve closed the debate to further participants, it is still remarkable that the BBC should ever have thought this was a debate worth starting.

BBC debates putting to death homosexuals

Disapproval of homosexuality is your personal right.  But for the BBC to instigate a debate on whether gay men and women should be put to death is just unbelievable.

Update:  I see Caron Lindsay has also written about this on her blog.

Two bits of good news for Sheffield Wednesday – now that’s not something you hear very often these days

As a long-suffering Sheffield Wednesday supporter it isn’t often you get two bits of good news for the club in one day.

First, and the most exciting bit is that Hillsborough will host World Cup matches if England wins the bid for the 2018 World Cup.  Of course, that’s a huge if, but it’s really good news for the city.  Although a pessimist, I had an expectation that Sheffield, and Hillsborough in particular, would be included.  After all, to not include England’s fourth largest city, the home of Sheffield’s oldest football club and oldest ground and the place where the modern rules of football were invented, would have seemed odd.  Mind you, including Milton Keynes in the bid at the expense of Leicester, Hull and Derby does show that tradition can only carry you so far.  I was less confident of Hillsborough winning out over Bramall Lane, but hoped that its tradition of hosting international matches and its continuing status as the city’s biggest ground, would overcome the problems that, compared to Bramall Lane, it hasn’t had investment for years and in recent times Sheffield United (deep breath) has been the best club in the city.  By 2018, much of the planned investment in the city centre should have been completed with Sevenstone finally opening, the markets moved to The Moor and the redevelopment of the old markets and the riverside, and so Sheffield will be looking good.  It should be an exciting time.

The second bit of good news is that Sheffield Wednesday are expecting to announce a £20million investment in the club.  Now we’ve been here before and I still have doubts about how reliable any big investors will be if things get difficult, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  Chairman Lee Strafford has done a lot for the confidence of the club’s fans – he’s a genuine supporter and is a local boy from a nearby council estate who then went on to sell PlusNet ,the company he built up, to BT for £67million.  But the club’s poor performance and now the departure of Brian Laws hasn’t exactly helped things recently.  If he can now get the investment that will turn Wednesday back in to one of this country’s biggest football clubs, then he will be a very popular man indeed.  Well, at least he will be in the Wednesday half of the city.

Where can I get a map of the new constituency boundaries?

This post is a very simple plea for help.

At the next General Election most parliamentary constituency boundaries will change and what I’d like is a map of the UK showing the new boundaries that I can pin to my wall.

The last time this happened in 1997 I had a really good map that showed not only the boundaries but the main towns and cities in each seat too, so it gave you an idea in rural areas of what each seat actually covered.  I don’t necessarily need one that detailed, although it would be nice, or alternatively it would be nice to find one coloured in to show the notional winner last time.

I’ve already tried DODs and the Hansard Society, (who produced the last really good one that I had), but neither of them are planning to produce one before the next General Election.

Can anybody reading this help?

Note: Yes, I know this does show me to be a complete elections anorak!