Category Archives: britain

A Useful Fiction by Patrick Hannan

Sometimes I feel as if I’m always playing catch-up. This book “A Useful Fiction“, which came out last year, has just brought me reasonably up-to-date with devolution of the United Kingdom, particularly some of the finer details which I’d missed. It has many good insights into the idea of Britain and its democracy, or rather […]

Why do we have Anti-Terrorist Hotline in Cardiff? (More poster madness.)

Just a couple of days ago, I mentioned some really odd police posters I’d seen in Cardiff. This isn’t about those posters. (At least those police ones were trying to make some kind of valid point, but failed.) It’s about the ones that say “These chemicals won’t be used in a bomb because a neighbour […]

Apparently I have the right “not to remain silent”… Well, cheers. Here’s what I think.

The police have some new posters on display around the UK. I don’t like the posters. It was a definite case of dislike at first sight. It turns out the posters are there to advertise the new Policing Pledge: The Policing Pledge is a set of promises to local residents that not only gives more […]

Delia Derbyshire on Ada Lovelace Day

It’s Ada Lovelace Day today and the brief was very open – just write a blog post about a woman in technology who you revere. So here’s mine. The above video shows Delia Derbyshire demonstrating reel-to-reel music recording and production. Derbyshire was known for her creative sound engineering work at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (which […]

Do You Use WordPress? Cardiff welcomes WordCamp in July 2009

WordPress has become the platform of choice for many people, for conventional blogs and also as a fully-fledged, customisable CMS. It’s a seriously good piece of software. If you don’t care about the technical reasons, it’s very easy to use. In my opinion, that’s what a blog should be – as simple as possible so […]

Loads and Loads and Loads of Unsold Cars

Here’s a Guardian gallery with fleet upon fleet of unsold cars. If you like big pictures of large numbers of small things you’ll LOVE it. Unless you’re a car manufacturer. There’s a huge one of these car facilities on the M5 motorway in England, going south-west towards Clevedon or other Somerset towns. I used to […]

People of the UK! Let’s Show we Care about Government Openness

[ UPDATE 16/02/09: I’ve had a letter from my MP, Kevin Brennan, in reply to my email. It’s dated 12th February 2009 and reads “Thank you for contacting me regarding Freedom of Information and MPs expenses. I believe it is essential that elected representatives should have the support necessary to perform their functions, including the […]

Pidgin Stryd

There’s a scene in Alan Bennett‘s semi-autobiographical play The History Boys where two teachers are discussing the English language. Hector, played by Richard Griffiths, remarks to his colleague that he loves language. Not merely “words”, he says. “That would be so… Welsh!”. They both chuckle. I wasn’t able to quote that one exactly as I […]

England’s Dreaming

I was reading about the history of these islands last week. It set off a whole chain of thoughts, memories and some unexpected laughs. I’m particularly enjoying this page. Open the link “Listen using ReadSpeaker” in a new window and marvel at the cut glass computer voice making a total hash of the Welsh. […]