24 December 2017

Peter Pan at The Marlowe

Yesterday was panto time at The Marlowe in Canterbury.

As it was my birthday Claire emailed so that when they did the birthdays I got a mention too. Luckily not my age. 62.

So this year it was Peter Pan. Superbly done as usual. Great scipt as usual. And music a perfect match. The two "soap" stars this year Wendi Peters and Shawn Williamson were good and could both sing. Essential as pantos are musicals.

Next year. Cinderella.

22 December 2017

The Last Jedi 3D

Not started yet.  


I enjoyed the movie. Without giving too much away. I didn't like the ending. Seems a waste.

Obviously setting up for Episode 9.

21 December 2017

Sloe Gin 2017

A success. Claire's first attempt at uniting gin and fruit is a total success.

Last week she separated the fruit from the liquid and sieved it. It is a dark red colour.

Tonight we had the first small glass. Exceptional.

Tastes very nice.

Spada Pilgrim Grande WP Boots

My Christmas present to myself. It's easier this way.

Claire asks me what I want and I can never think of anything. I usually spend weeks and even months researching products until I finally make a purchase,  or miss a deal for waiting too long.

I need a pair or new bike boots. My existing pair are very old. They are still waterproof but once you have to superglue the rubber/plastic gear change guards back on, then their time is getting closer to the day when they go in the refuse/garbage bin. That date was probably sometime in 2016.

I wanted a pair of shorter boots to wear with jeans that once off the bike wouldn't be out of place. Boots I can walk in.

And here they are. Spada Pilgrim Grande WP Boots. Usually priced at around £130 or equivalent at UK and European stockists.  But one shop had 20% off and free postage.  Mind made up and here they are.

I'll write a review once I have been out and about with them....

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Whatever your faith this is a time for rejoicing and friendship.

Best wishes from Paul and Claire Devall.

P.S. Instead of posted cards I have donated to an animal rescue centre. http://www.hillside.org.uk

Merry Christmas from MAG

`Wishing you all a Merry MAG Christmas'

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK's leading voice for riders' rights, ends 2017 by offering a huge 'thank you' to all of its members for their support during the year and wishing them many miles of happy riding in the year ahead.

MAG Chair, Selina Lavender, said "We have seen some tough issues during 2017; particularly the significant rise in moped-enabled crime and the appalling attacks that have taken place with acid or machetes.  MAG stands firm regarding these crimes: they are unacceptable and we will continue to work with the relevant authorities to help stamp it out.  We are able to engage with these processes because of our fantastic members.  So 'thank you' to each and every one of you for your support over the past year.  I hope you enjoy a very happy festive season and I look forward to helping take MAG forward with you all in 2018."

Lembit Öpik, MAG's Director of Communications & Public Affairs, added "MAG has had to deal with some very difficult things during the year, but we are holding fast and will continue to fight against threats to motorcycling in the year ahead.  We can only do this because of our staunch members so I'd like to say a massive 'thank you' to you all because you make MAG what it is: the country's leading riders' rights organisation and every MAG member should be proud of their contribution."

MAG's Central Office will be closed over the Christmas period from Friday 22nd December at 12:30 to Tuesday 2nd January at 09:00, but you can still join on-line at http://www.mag-uk.org/en/membership/.  Normal office hours are 09:00 to 17:00.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org

20 December 2017

Blog gone

After updating my blog with the latest MAG info. I always update with meaningful stuff.  I clicked on the tags to see how many other posts I have made.

Quote a few as it happens. 

I clicked on one. Sadly, it seems with the change of MAG local rep a while back, the South-East blog looks to have been chopped.

I don't know when but it's a shame.

MAG looks back at 2017: A year of Action and Progress

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) Chair, Selina Lavender, says she is delighted by how much progress MAG has made in recent years.

'MAG perhaps used to focus more on the 'fun' aspects like rallies and demonstrations but in more recent times it has become increasingly focussed on a professional dialogue.  It looks like this change is delivering a lot more clout than we've had previously, which is very good news for MAG.'

Selina believes that this professional approach, along with investment in political and industry relationships, is paying dividends.  'Our political unit spends a great deal of time in meetings, and although that may not look as exciting as attending rallies or demos, the truth is we generate more of an impact by sitting inside the Home Office than we do by demonstrating outside it.  That's why our presence on the Home Office Task Group, which has been set up to tackle moped-enabled crime, is so important.  They've got the resources and we've got the specialist knowledge: it's a good combination.'

MAG has also been effective at generating new activity around the country.  MAG's team in the North West achieved a superb result by helping the restart of a motorcycle show at Blackpool's Winter Gardens. Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, Regional Rep Martyn Boyd and his team had a membership surge and are busy getting ready for next year's Motorcycle Show in February 2018.  Elsewhere, MAG Cumbria has recruited half the MPs in the entire region.

'We've also got much better at appearing in the media regarding biking issues.  Down in the South East, Steve Mallett has become a bit of a star, with regular appearances on the BBC.  Colin Brown is doing the same in the West Midlands - and that's all set to increase around the country next year.  It's partly about how we share best practice these days and I was delighted with the training weekend we held in York in November.  It's all about making sure we operate professionally without having to work everything out from scratch every time.'

MAG has great expectations for 2018.  'There's a lot to worry about, from illogical pollution charges through to the implications of Brexit for riders' rights.  But that's why we're here – to fix problems.  It's been a great team effort by staff and volunteers throughout 2017 and we're looking forward to building on this during 2018.'

17 December 2017

More old tech 2 - Digital cameras

Digital cameras.  I seem to have quite a few!!!

I rescued the Kodak DC3400 from the bin at work and popped some batteries and a very small memory card in it and it works.  It comes with a viewfinder that sadly isn't "through the lens" or TTL, and therefore non-WYSIWYG.  In fact, with things centred in the viewfinder the resultant photo is skewed to the right a little. It has batteries in it at the moment but is very slow. Take three pictures one after the other and it struggles to write to the memory card and you have to wait for it to save them before you can use it again.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P200 is another bin rescue. This time it was actually in the large bin outside along with some other broken equipment.  The charging cable and USB data cables had been lost and the camera deemed surplus to requirements.  I rescued it and from eBay was able to get a pattern part data cable and an original but used power lead.  

The plug is a non-standard type and so needed the right one to power it.  It came with a very small capacity genuine Sony memory stick. I have replaced this with multi-platform bodge up. An adapter to take an after market mini-stick, a micro-sd adapter to fit the adapter, and then a micro-sd card to slot in there.... 

And despite all the connections it works a treat. The camera is small enough to fit in my pocket and I use it on bike trips.  It's a little scratched and bashed but it works perfectly.  It also has a viewfinder so battery life is much better than an LCD screen only.

Another working relic - Kodak DC3200. I bought this one many years ago. In fact my second digital camera after the Casio.

It still works with a small capacity CF card and AA sized batteries.  I haven't used it for a while and might plonk the batteries from the other Kodak in it and see what happens.

Watch for more old tech posts.

Decembeard 2017


It's a bit grey and not as bushy as in previous years. It's past the itchy stage now.

More old tech..

Things get separated. In one box I have a Creative MuVo2 mp3 player. Originally bought by Claire way back in 2004.

I works really well. But. How to charge it?

Finally it has been reunited with its original charger. Found when I was going through a bag of computer and other cables.  TBH. Three bags and a magazine rack full of cables. Some of which I have no idea what they are from....


Charging it to see what's on it.

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