Bellerophon symbol, variation 7
Friday 12th March 2010

The bizarre workings of climatic research
img_4346.jpgimg_4354.jpg Just been watching Phil Jones and some dude Professor Acton being grilled by the UK Parliament. Fascinating stuff. It's on YouTube in five parts. This is part 2. And the complete transcript is here. Loads of it is of great interest but around 06:18, Graham Stringer (himself a scientist) gets to the bottom of a fundamental problem: the data used to produce all these graphs and models showing rises in temperature, CO2, etc., a lot of that data is not available to other scientists, so how can the results be challenged? Craziness. When asked how the science can progress if it's not standard practice to make available all your source data, Phil Jones says, "Maybe it should be standard practice but it is not standard practice across the subject." Well, in that case, it sounds like there's a serious and fundamental problem with how climatic research is conducted. Not that anyone really cares . . . Just as we had global cooling (AARRRGHHH! THE ICE AGE COMETH!!!), pole shifts, acid rain, the millennium bug . . . people love a good disaster story, even if it's got no basis of truth. I wonder what's next?

Saturday 13th March 2010

Irrelevant blog title penned more to attract attention than anything else
This amused me.

Sunday 14th March 2010


Saturday 20th March 2010

Mum and dad (aka Joan and Steven, granny-grandad, etc.)
img_1086.jpg I'm assuming that most people who know me know about what happened today. If not, it was covered on the BBC.

Monday 22nd March 2010

I'm trying to remember what happened today . . . we tried to make it a fairly normal day for the boys . . . A****** went to school, R****** went to nursery. I can't remember much else . . . except for popping to the doctors.

Tuesday 23rd March 2010

Today we (me, M****, Simon, James and Hilary) went to Langholm, visiting the cottage at Glen Tarras (for obvious reasons: this was where my parents had been staying). We then had lunch at the Crown Hotel (?!), I think. Today reminded me what a gorgeous and peaceful little town Langholm is, and perhaps why my parents had chosen to come back here so often.

Wednesday 24th March 2010

Meeting with Gayle
So I think it was today that Gayle (from the Lancaster Guardian) popped over to my parents' house to meet up with Jo and I, for a tribute piece to my parents for the next edition of the paper. With a 2pm deadline and the first draft written up at 1pm, it turned into a bit of manic exercise during that one hour when we were trying to get the article exactly right.

Saturday 27th March 2010

What a lovely little boy!
img_4409.jpgimg_4412.jpgimg_4413.jpgimg_4417.jpg So, anyway . . . after a walk around Newby Bridge (okay, High Dam if you want to be exact) we decided to drop in at the Beetham Garden centre café. It would have been around 3pm-ish, and I was starting to get that mid-afternoon lull, where I could really do with a little sleep, but hey . . . The café was pretty busy with only one or two tables free. We got our coffees, a slice of chocolate cake for the boys and sat down at our table. With the coffee almost drunk and my energy levels gradually picking up, I was like, "M****, you know, I think I could really do with a, erm . . . soft drink, you know?" and M**** was like, "Okay. Well, could you get the boys a carton of orange juice or something and did you want some cake?" but I didn't. Just the soft drink. So I went to the fridge to choose my drink. Now, at this point you gotta get a feel for the layout of this café. It's not a big café - perhaps about 8 tables crammed into a small space with not much room to swing a cat or . . . much, really. The afore-mentioned fridge was about a metre tall, sitting on the floor, close to the entrance. Facing the fridge, immediately to the right is a pile of trays and, to the right of that, the counter. So I'm there, crouched down, trying to decide what drink to get. Do I want coke? Diet coke? Dandelion and Burdock? Ginger Beer? Christ! So hard to choose. I glance to my left, towards the entrance and spot about 6 or 7 old ladies ambling gently towards the café. It doesn't take a genius to work out that these kinds of people ain't in any kind of hurry. I'm still not sure what drink to get but, before I know what's going on, there's a hand on my right shoulder and I'm like, "Erm . . . hello?" I look look towards the source of the hand and it's one of the afore-mentioned ladies and she's like, "Oh, don't mind me, don't mind me." I don't know what to do, what to say, so I smile, I laugh and say, "Oh, it's fine. I'm just here providing support." And then she ruffles my hair and says, "You're a lovely little boy!" I'm not quite sure how I reacted to that but, erm (well, let's call her Ethel), Ethel went to sit at one of the free tables and I grabbed a bottle of ginger beer and began queuing. Seemingly an eternity later I had moved forward in the queue about 40cm. My friend Ethel returned, accompanied by one of her posse. I was blocking their path. Ethel needed a tray. Sorry, Ethel. So I moved aside and they joined the queue behind me. End of story, you might think. But no! Ethel tried to initiate a conversation, "Did you choose a drink then?" and I was like, "Yeah. I went for the ginger beer?" "The WHAT?!" and I repeated, showing her the bottle, "GINGER BEER!" and she was like, "Oh. Okay." And I wish the story could end at this point but no . . . Ethel reached up (Ethel must have been well under 5 foot) and ruffled my hair AGAIN, repeating the line, "You're a lovely little boy!" and perhaps I smiled and laughed again . . . I've no idea. Perhaps Ethel and her friend were trying to queue jump (I know what these types are like), perhaps I couldn't take any more hair ruffling, but for whatever the reason I kind of gave up at that point, tired of queuing. I returned the ginger beer to the fridge and sat down at the table. M**** had not witnessed any of this, her back being to the counter. I asked M**** if we could leave now and so we did. It was all just a bit too . . . weird. Ethel seemed like a lovely lady but I can hardly be classed as a little boy, standing at 6 foot tall, with over a week's worth of beard growth.

Sunday 28th March 2010

Bolton-le-Sands (again)
img_4436.jpgimg_4433.jpgimg_4431.jpgimg_4428.jpgimg_4424.jpg A much needed walk around Bolton-le-Sands.

Wednesday 31st March 2010

Silverdale and Arnside