31 October 2018

#ARSBLA

Another chance to see Arsenal play against lower league opposition in Blackpool of  League One.


After two home games that I have missed because I was at home with Claire after her hip op, it's nice to be able to get to a game. Even one in the Carabao Cup where the Arsenal team will be made up of mostly the second string players. 

Although last night the U21 side went away to League Two Cheltenham and got their arses roundly kicked,  So a lesson to be learned.

This week it has turned cold although as "Two Jumpers" Devall I expect it to not be too bad. I do have a coat in case it rains!

See what tonight brings.


Result.

What should have been a formality became the usual nervous breakdown inducing Arsenal display.  Down to ten men after the referee gave Guendouzi two yellow cards, the first a little harsh as his first tackle.

But at 2-0 it should have been plain sailing but Blackpool sensed that with an extra man they could do seething and they did. A mistake at the back and O'Connor headed them back into it.  Then it was a matter of seeing the game out.  Aubameyang and was fouled later by O'Connor and after the VAR ref was consulted he saw a straight red.

So debut goals by Lichsteiner and Smith-Rowe were enough to earn a last-eight game at home to Tottenham Hotspur.  Our "local" rivals in North London.

30 October 2018

Goodreads - Reading Challenge 2018

One book to go. I set a target of 25 books to be read this year.  At the time of writing I am at 24/25 and about 35% through the last book to achieve the goal.

Most of my reading is done on the train and on holiday/vacation when having some quiet time. I very rarely read at home!  I know I should instead of watching TV.  But.

Recently I have started checking the free or low price books on Amazon Kindle.  I have picked up quite a few "series" that way and the free book does entice you to carry o n if you like it.

The latest is Lindsay Buroker's "Dragon Blood" series.


The Dragon Blood Collection, Books 1-3The Dragon Blood Collection, Books 1-3 by Lindsay Buroker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Three books in one. Magic and Errol Flynn swash and buckle in one set...



Patterns in the Dark (Dragon Blood, #4)Patterns in the Dark by Lindsay Buroker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Another dangerous mission into enemy territory to find out why the enemy is getting stronger.

I don't want to say too much without spoiling it for reader's that haven't got this far.


The Blade's Memory (Dragon Blood, #5)The Blade's Memory by Lindsay Buroker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Enjoyed this one more than Book 4.

And now we have a dragon.



Under the Ice Blades (Dragon Blood #5.5)Under the Ice Blades by Lindsay Buroker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A much shorter book than the previous 5 outings for this crew. It concerns Captain Kaika and her relationship with the King.

A secret mission and....... dragons.


View all my reviews


Goodreads.


Movember - Just Two Days to kick-off

Bully-off or tip-off for you that aren't football aware!

To find out more about why some dumbos like me will be shaving smooth and then starting a mo on Thursday, check out the link:  https://uk.movember.com/

To donate some moeny to my attempt, then of course you are very welcome.  Movember is an international fund raisong charity and so whatever currency you want to use, they will accept.

I kicked off my account with £5. That's 10% of my target.  I'm sure that some of you can afford a quid, or a euro or a buck, for what is a good cause.

Of course, other currencies are available.


You donate here:  https://mobro.co/invicta-grow-the-mo

MAG calls for a consistent approach to bus lane access

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has published a report this week detailing the national picture on powered two wheeler (PTW) access to bus lanes.  The report demonstrates an inconsistent and patchwork approach to access that inevitably leads to confusion, mistakes and, ultimately, increased risk for riders.

Motorcyclists first saw access to bus lanes being granted in the mid 1990's following pressure from MAG and other riders' rights groups demanding the safety benefit of being allowed access.  National blanket permission, however, has never been an option due to the fact that the decision to allow or deny access is taken by local transport authorities.  Startling revelations, however, show that there is inconsistency even between sections of bus lanes in single authorities, as campaigners fight for access to be granted one bus lane at a time.

In London, the Easy Rider Report produced by the Greater London Authority (GLA) Transport Committee in 2016 highlighted the need for a consistent approach across all London Boroughs stating "the failure to convince many London boroughs to allow PTW access to bus lanes has created confusion and inconsistency. It is time TfL finished what it started seven years ago, and secured motorcyclist access to all bus lanes."

The MAG report highlights inconsistencies such as single routes in the West Midlands that change access rights two or three times along a single route, and situations in Wales where riders from one city - at the time not allowing access - had failed their motorcycle test in a neighbouring city that did allow access, for not using bus lanes during their test.

Author of the report, Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, sums up: "The rules of the road need to be consistent if you want users to remain safe.  Can you imagine the chaos on our roads if you had to check a sign at every roundabout to see if you should go clockwise or anti-clockwise?  The safety benefit for motorcyclists is not being maximised due to a lack of common sense and consistency, and it is high time that this issue is addressed.  We are calling for the Department for Transport to review its guidance for local transport authorities to make PTW access to bus lanes the default position.  We understand that local authorities may need to restrict access in certain unusual situations, but the need to have the same argument for access with every bus lane is, in my view, bordering on criminally insane. Riders deserve better.  Motorcycles are a legal mode of transport and as such, their riders are entitled to expect that measures be taken to improve their safety."

The full report can be found online at https://tinyurl.com/y7oo4tw3 .

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


27 October 2018

William Devall KIA 16/7/1916

With the centenary of the end of WW1 coming very soon. I thought I'd post this little snippet from the KSLI Regimental Museum in Shrewsbury.

It's filled in a few details of what little we know about William.

"William died 99 years ago. He landed in France with the 2nd Battalion on 21-12-14, at some point moved to the 1st Batt., wounded with the 1st Batt. about 6th or 7th Jan 1916 while in trenches in La Brique left sector. I do not know when he joined the 7th Batt."

As far as I know La Brique is on the Ypres Salient. I'll have to check the maps and the KSLI Regimental history book.


P.S. It's 102 years now.


Update 29/10/2018

This is from the KSLI website.  The 2nd Battalion arrival date at le Havre tallies with the above note from the museum's curator.


As for being wounded whilst serving with the 1st Battalion I surmise that he must have transferred in from the 2nd as they went to Salonika in Greece in December 1915.

As for La Brique.  I can find two CWGC cemeteries and these are on the Pilkem Road to the north east of Ypres city centre. La Brique was a hamlet named after a brick works that was there before the war.



The history does show them in that area with attacks on Hooge and then along the Ypres-Langemarck road.



posted from Bloggeroid

24 October 2018

Pins - RBLR & 14-18



Not the whole collection as I have a load but these are for 14-18 events and the Poppy Appeal.

After scanning with them face down on the scanner glass I see the Non-Attendance rally pins are upside down. I can't find 2017!

Had another go!
And these are some official ones done for football clubs to sell.  I only need two.


Finally found the 2017 Non-Attendance pin.





posted from Bloggeroid

The Poppy

Why does the Royal British Legion sell poppies around the end of October?

Here's a clue.



First two of the year.  Despite having a selection of pins and brooches, I do like to buy a paper poppy each year for the donation and I like to have one!




posted from Bloggeroid

23 October 2018

RBLR Non-Attendance Rally 2018



Signed up again for the rally. It's a bit far this year so I am glad I am not going.  Hopefully, some of you that read my blog will also not want to attend and will pay the waiver or donation. 

The money raised goes to the Poppy Appeal.

Click here to sign up.


Clangers information:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clangers

And there own website - http://clangers.com/

posted from Bloggeroid

Centenary of Czechoslovakia

This was written by my good friend Ivan Benda.

I first met him through his love for Suzuki motorcycles when I joined the Suzuki Owners Club in 1978. At first it was exchanging letters as Czechoslovakia was still under Communist rule.

I first met him in 1986 when my partner, Audrey, and I went to the FIM Rally in Hungary. We travelled through Czech and Slovakia to get to Budapest.

We stayed with him in his flat in Bohunice and then he took us to a spa resort nearer the border with Slovakia. Obviously in those days there wasn't a real border.

I went to the Czech Invader Rally a few times and over the years we have been many times.

In 1992/93 I went to work at the grammar school in Zastávka near Brno. Ivan was a good friend and helped me settle in.

And so to his email and picture:

" I am sure you are informed my homeland celebrates 100 anniversary of foundation just now ( Oct 28th ), so I am sending you a critical picture of "Crying Thomas Garrigue Masaryk the founder of our state" pointing our Czechoslovakian state.



Hardly fighted out through Austrian-Hungarian Empire and after WW1.

Lost its part the Carpatian Russia after WW2 (robbered by Stalin´s regime).

Then the Slovakia after peaceful(!) splitting in 1993.

There is only  2/4 of the Czechoslovakia founded in 1918 now, the Bohemia and Moravia incl. Silesia). "

Since my return from Zastávka in 1993, I have been quite a few times. For visits to friends including Ivan, and for MotoGP.

posted from Bloggeroid

22 October 2018

Movember... 9 days to go



A Qualification!

Hurrah!
The first proper paper qualification since I passed my degree course and became Paul Devall Bsc. Hons.



MAG welcomes further CAZ exemptions for motorcycles

On 16th October 2018 Bath & North East Somerset Council launched a six-week consultation on proposals to charge drivers of higher-emission vehicles, including cars, £9 per day to drive within Bath city centre.  In the wake of MAG’s victory in Birmingham, the Bath & North East Somerset Council is proposing, from the outset, to exempt all  motorcycles and mopeds from the scheme.

Commenting on the proposals, Councillor Bob Goodman, cabinet member for development and neighbourhoods, said: “Like many councils up and down the country we have to address NO2 levels which are harmful to people’s 
health, and we’re being told by the Government do to that in the shortest possible time.”

Councillor Mark Shelford, Cabinet member for Transport & Environment, added: “The council has looked carefully at other options, such as not charging higher emission cars, but technical analysis shows this would not be guaranteed to sufficiently reduce NO2 in the time available.”

Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement for the Motorcycle Action Group, Colin Brown, said: “We are delighted that there is a trend developing that clearly shows a growing understanding of the facts that we have promoted consistently on this issue.  Motorcycles are not part of the problem – far from it.  The emissions footprint of this economical form of transport is, and always has been, far superior to that for even cleaner modern cars on a mile-for-mile basis.  The Euro emissions standards for motorcycles were introduced far later than for the car industry but, despite this fact, commuting on a motorcycle is still more environmentally friendly because they don’t sit idling in queues of traffic.

It is time that this inescapable logic is recognised in the capital. The Mayor of London and TfL need to wake up and listen to reason.  It is not too late for them to get with the programme and announce their own exemption for motorcycles.”

The consultation for the Bath CAZ runs until 26th November 2018.  MAG urges all riders to respond in support of the proposal to exempt motorcycles and mopeds from the Bath Clean Air Zone charges.

Full details of the proposals can be found on the council website at http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/bath-breathes-2021-overview

21 October 2018

Autumn walk with Reggie

It's been very warm for the time of year. So riding Pepé was good, but out with Reggie along the canal is its equal.

Loads of autumn colours.





Sadly the GPS on the phone shows each location to be miles from its actual place!!

Hythe War Memorial

The war memorial in Hythe is undergoing a makeover. Not the small cenotaph itself but the pavement around the front.

Currently there are small garden borders that are kept well stocked by the council's gardeners. The pavement area was looking in need of renovation.



So it's being done. A resin pavement with a huge poppy motif in the centre.

Work in progress for a grand opening on November 4th. The week before Armistice Day and the parade.




posted from Bloggeroid

17 October 2018

Pre-Wash Cycle

Marvellous what Neff have come up with!!



Starts working as soon as the door is opened.

posted from Bloggeroid

15 October 2018

Claire's New Hip!

Hurrah.

After waiting for year since she had the referral she was finally admitted to hospital early on Saturday morning and later that day they operated and she has a spanking new metal and ceramic hip joint. 

It is a wonder of the National Health Service that gives us the chance to have "free" medical treatment.   

I put free in quotes as of course it is not free.  Those of us that work pay directly from our wages/salaries into "National Insurance". This funds our pensions when we retire from work and also pays for the NHS.  

It's not a perfect system, but it works pretty well.  It sometimes creaks under the pressure of numbers at certain times of the year but manages to keep going.

There are so many that like to criticise and try to bring it down, but at the end of the day the NHS is a fantastic service. A credit to this country and everyone that works in it.

I'm sure there are countries across the world that would love to have something like it? Somewhere where they don't ask if you have insurance before acting.

The service relies on dedicated staff from the medical professionals to those that support them.



9 October 2018

Movember....


Getting nearer by the day.

If all my Facebook "friends" and visitors to my blog pledged a quid, a dollar, a euro or whatever your currency is that equates to £1 sterling, then I'd make a good sum for the charity.



FD-MOTO Throttle Grip Lock


Luckily, I was gifted it.  It didn't seem to work for the donor and so he gave it to me.  Complete with half destroyed bubble packaging.

It seems like a good idea to protect the bike for a short time.  It fits over the throttle grip and applies the front brake. Allegedly this will stop the bike being pushed away and it can't be ridden.

Obviously the professional thief will come equipped and chop the brake lines and push it away or simply, with the aid of scum mates, lift and  put in in a van.

But it might deter the half-witted thief that happens past where you are parked.

Except.

It doesn't fit the Rocket either.  If I pull the brake lever in as far as I can go it still won't fit. 

Looks like it will be gifted again.....






8 October 2018

IWM - Weeping Window Poppies

The final two exhibitions of the poppies are currently available it the Imperial War Museum in London and at the newer version of the IWM  in Salford Quays, Manchester,  not far from the Lowry Theatre and the BBC.

As we live in the south-east of England, Claire and I will be making the trip up to London’s big city to take a look at them before they are removed the week after Armistice Day.  This weekend seems as good as any and there is no football to interrupt the weekend. It’s what they term the “interlull” when club football at the upper levels takes a back seat and it’s all international matches.

The link (https://www.iwm.org.uk/events/poppies-weeping-window) will tell you all that you need to know.  It’s a few years since we last went up there.

As we are on the train, I applied for a Senior Railcard. It’s get over-60’s money off the rail fares and works out at about a third. Of course, you can’t travel on peak services!! Shame as that would save me an arm and a leg getting to work!

I’ll take the Samsung camera as it fits in a pocket and takes decent enough pictures.  A DSLR is rather more cumbersome and makes you look like a tourist, Even in the city where you were born. In fact, the IWM is about a mile from where I was born!

So let’s see how it pans out.


Update 9th October 2018.

Claire has a date for her hip operation and it's........ Saturday! So we won't be going this weekend or for any foreseeable date and it will have closed.  I might see if I can get up there on the bike one day before it finishes.

2 October 2018

MAG Press Release - West Midlands Crime

West Midlands MAG develop vital lines of communication with West Midlands Police.

With the ever present issue of motorcycle theft and related crime in the region, West Midlands MAG is pleased to announce that it is developing a formal communications channel between West Midlands Police and the local motorcycling community.

Superintendent Rich Youds has stepped forward to act as the single point of contact between the biking community and the police.  Colin Brown, Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, said "This is an important step in the right direction for combatting motorcycle theft in the West Midlands.  There is much that we, MAG, and the wider biking community in the area are doing to try to work in partnership with the force, but these small projects need some structure and co-ordination to yield the best results.  It is vital that we have a single route for communications.  This will not be a day-to-day replacement for 101 or reporting crime, but will enable wider issues and difficulties to be discussed openly and honestly with a view to improving outcomes.  We will be able to put forward ideas and suggestions and also act as expert advisers to guide the actions of the local force initiatives."

West Midlands Regional Rep, Graham Wells, said "Initially we have asked Superintendent Youds to come back to us with more detailed information and statistics that will allow us to better understand the true nature and scale of the problem based on fact rather than just anecdotal evidence.  There are limits to what can be established through Freedom of Information channels, so the ability to interrogate the data in a more scientific manner will help both sides.  We also hope that the relationship will help with gaining closer co-operation on things like security awareness events that we are planning in the coming months. 

This is the beginning of a partnership that we hope will evolve to have direct impacts on the levels of detection and conviction of motorcycle thieves in the area."

Superintendent Youds said 'Motorcyclists are an important part of our community, and I'm pleased to be able to work with MAG to understand the needs of the community and seek out ways that we can work together to reduce the incidents of motorcycle-related crime for the benefit of all.'

For more information or to bring your questions and ideas to us, please come along to one of the West Midlands Regional Meetings, held at 8pm on the first Thursday of every month at The Hare & Hounds, Rednal.  This is an initiative to help all bikers, so please feel free to get involved. 

The meetings are open to MAG members and non-members alike.

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

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