28 January 2013

Mildred Devall - 1929 to 2013

In Memorium

Remembering my mother, Mildred, who died last week in hospital at the grand age of 83.  After a fall in her home she didn't recover and passed away in her sleep on 17th January 2013.

She will be missed by all our family; from her brother Frank, sister Linda, son Neill and his partner Catherine, her granddaughters Jennifer and Eleanor, nieces Caroline and Kate, and almost lastly me (eldest son)  and my wife Claire.

Not forgetting other nephews and niece, Michael, Julie and Chris and sister-in-law Yvonne.

Student Nurse circa 1951

Christmas 2012

RIP Mum.

MAG is 40 this year

Forty years ago, the Vietnam Peace Agreement was signed, the Tory Government led Britain into Europe, the Twin Towers were completed in New York, Skylab was launched into orbit, Pinochet led a coup in Chile, Nixon accepted responsibility for Watergate, David Bowie swore he'd never perform another gig and in a house on Verne Drive in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, the Motorcycle Action Group was founded, as an organisation "opposed to all oppressive and discriminatory legislation aimed at motorcycling."

So it's our 40th Birthday and I hope you'll help us celebrate one way or another throughout the year:
see the website and your copy of The ROAD magazine for events and parties throughout the year
  • get someone you know to join MAG so they can enjoy £25 of adventure motorcycle DVDs as a special gift from Continental Tyres!
  • consider MAG if you plan any fund-raising events yourself
  • revel in the ease of use of the new MAG website which will be launched soon, making campaigns materials and merchandise easy to access
  • expect loads of great offers from Corporate members and much more- to be revealed!
The year started well for MAG and our campaigning, with another MP joining us as a full member the first day the MAG office opened.
Welcome Mike Weatherly, Conservative MP for Hove and Portslade on the south coast, who duly received his DVD pack from Continental tyres
Staying in the Brighton area, we got news that on the 22nd April, some of Brighton's bus lanes will be opened to motorcyclists. This is the culmination of lots of hard work by Chris Cordell and all the members of Brighton MAG. What's even more impressive, is rather than let the Local Authority run into all the mistakes of old, the campaign ensured that the surrounding Authorities were involved so that where the trial routes run into another Council's 'patch' there is no difference to the motorcycle right of way. This is in stark contrast to London, where the rules governing bus lane access can change every few hundred yards.
If you live in the Brighton area, please use the access responsibly as motorcycle traffic will be under scrutiny for the 18 month trial and the naysayers will be looking for any excuse to deny us continued access.
If you live in Leicester you may well be getting access to bus lanes there too. Leicester MAG is barely a year old, but has already made its mark on local government, with written and oral evidence given to Transport Scrutiny Committees, and a meeting with the Mayor to address all issues regarding motorcycling and how Leicester can become more biker friendly.  Apart from now considering bikes in bus lanes, the Mayor has decided to increase the amount of secure bike parking and signage, directed by the local MAG members.
Coventry MAG have secured convenient secure bike parking and are now working on bus lanes too.
In Buxton, the continued work of Peak and District MAG has now reaped the rewards of new bike parking areas and confirmation last week that further secure parking will be provided.
In London, Transport for London (TfL) has been putting together a £900 million junction 'improvement' scheme, which initially wanted to improve road junctions in the interest of cyclists. MAG was the only Riders Group to successfully appeal for inclusion on the Design Review Group, and through Dr Leon Mannings MAG was able to impress on TfL how important it was that no improvements for cyclists should be at the expense of, or a danger to, motorcyclists.
You may think that would sound obvious, but it really isn't and the importance of MAG being involved in all these situations was quickly demonstrated  when TfL decided to entirely junk the first of its schemes when Leon demonstrated just how bikers would be adversely affected.
It's the development and maturity of MAG as a lobby group that reaps all these rewards for riders and I'm sure we will continue to influence decision makers with your help, as we go through this year.
The more we are involved on the inside, the more we make a tangible difference.
We do have battles ahead regarding EU legislation too, but I'm sure they're going to be fun! I'll outline the latest developments on the Super MoT next week.
In France the latest news is that the breathalyser scheme, having already been postponed to March 1st, has now been delayed to an indeterminate future date, one less thing to carry on holiday and one less ludicrous fine to face!
Happy 40th!
Paddy Tyson.

And not forgetting Hythe managed to sort out the lack of info for parking in Shepway.....

24 January 2013

Sanyo Xacti (2)

Wow. This video camera lark is a bit harder than I had imagined.  The human eye is such a complex piece of equipment and with no thought at all our brains track objects near and far with ease.

As soon as you put a small screen at arms length, or nearer, the whole thing goes awry. Tracking the simple run of a dog becomes the hardest thing imaginable. 

I uploaded a couple of test videos to You Tube.  It was so much easier when I used the video recording tool on the little Sony compact camera.  The Xacti is much better quality, it does 720 HD, but the technique of following the more random motion of the dog in the snow needs mastering.

Video 1 - Springer Spaniel

Video 2 - Ducks!

The second is marginally better as the camera was resting on the bridge support and this allowed it to be steadier.

Practice needed!

22 January 2013

EDM 573 - Safe Standing

In England there is a campaign to get a change to the knee jerk reaction law passed in the aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster to force the larger clubs to have all seated stadiums.

However, other countries have what is called "Safe Standing" and the Early Day Motion in the UK Parliament is to introduce this in England.

I emailed my MP, Damien Collins,  as requested and received a letter back which was basically bollocks. He hasn't read the facts or anything.

I sent this to the FSF and this is their reply:

Many thanks for your email and taking the time to contact your MP as part of our Safe Standing Campaign.

Unfortunately this is not the first MP to give us this standard reply, I have made a note of this MP a long with the others as we hope to send them an official FSF reply to the 'no appetite' comment very soon and will update you of the outcome.

We have successfully managed to get 64 MP's to sign the EDM 573 http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/573 and will continue to push this area of the campaign in the coming months to find out more please visit our new website at http://new.fsf.org.uk/

Kind regards 


The Football Supporters' Federation
The Cherry Red Records Stadium, Kingsmeadow, Jack Goodchild Way, 422a Kingston Road, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 3PB
Tel: 0330 44 000 44 |Web: www.fsf.org.uk

8 January 2013

Landmark Birthday in 2014

Although it might seem a little early to be looking at 2014 when 2013 has just started, we are looking for places to go for Claire's landmark birthday in 2014.  It's rude to ask a lady about her age.

I am thinking America. Claire is thinking America.  But not the same places.  I am thinking warm and sunny all year around, Claire is thinking cold and snowy in winter.

I am thinking Florida and Claire is thinking New England.

We have the timeshare we can use and the US must simply have the most access to places to visit.  I have scoured RCI for places but until we think of a date, it's all pie in the sky.

We will come back to this!

4 January 2013

Sanyo Xacti

Borrowing this little toy at the weekend from work.

It has to go back, but it will give me chance to see if it is worth buying one of these type of combined video and still cameras.

It takes HD video and a claimed 10mp still.

The first test of the still camera wasn't that easy to get focussed. The screen shows the object "live" and when the button is pressed, the photo is in focus, but not WYSIWYG.  In fact much smaller.

First pic with the Xacti


2 January 2013

Back to Work

Miserable cold morning. The early frost on the screen had melted by the time I left the house.

This was taken at Sandling Station. Cold and an empty platform.

1 January 2013


New Year's Day drive to Dungeness.

Dungeness, originally uploaded by InvictaMoto.
Had a drive out to Dungeness so that Claire could test the budget Sigma lens I bought for her Sony DSLR.

A good day for the bike but at the moment she is still not able to take to the back seat.

The weather was pretty mild and very bright and so I managed a few pics with the D50.

Via Flickr:
Old Lighthouse & Martello with cottages.

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