Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Some Very Long Trains

I've just been reading about the Ghan train that goes from Adelaide on the South coast of Australia, to Darwin on the North coast.. I gather it's quite common for trains to have 30 coaches and sometimes even more.

See http://www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/site/home.jsp

Part of the case made for a new railway line  from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds is that there is little spare capacity on the existing railways, but the possibility of having longer trains seems to have had little attention.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

A Very Late Harvest

Pottering round the garden this afternoon I examined some fallen apples and found a dessert apple undamaged and free from slug nibbles. When I ate it I found it was in excellent condition. That is by far the latest time in the year that I've ever gathered anything edible in the garden.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A Quiet Christmas Eve.

When I went into town today to do some last minute shopping, I was surprised how quiet things were.

It was busier than on a normal weekday, but not as busy as it usually is on a Saturday, even though what would once have been called the 'January Sales' were already underway.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Is our Prime Minister Guilty of Contempt of Court?

The judge hearing criminal prosecution has told the jury to ignore comments about a witness made by the Prime Minister .

Lesser mortals might be sent to prison for such a transgression!!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Don't Forget the Necklace Killings

Prominent politicians seem to be competing to see who can pay the most absurd sycophantic tribute to Nelson Mandela.

Mandela did indeed do surprisingly well in keeping South Africa relatively peaceful while the apartheid regime was dismantled, but I think his virtues fall well short of sainthood.

It may sometimes be reasonable to use force to remove an unrepresentative and tyrannical regime that refuses to to submit to the test of elections, but I think that even then force needs to be carefully targeted, at key people in the regime, and at people who play an active part in suppressing dissent.

The African National Congress seems to have killed people just because they did not agree with its policies, and when it killed people did so with horrible cruelty. I don't think anyone who sanctioned or approved of necklace killings is fit to hold high office anywhere.

Monday, 9 December 2013

December Flowers: A Second Boast

I've just looked round the garden, and counted seven different varieties of plant in flower, and also four different varieties with brightly coloured berries.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Very late flowers

There are usually a few flowers in the garden, even in midwinter, but this is the first time I've seen antirrhinums flowering in December. A plant in my front garden has been flowering at full power for months.