Pointless road factoid

Road A ZonesEngland’s major A roads, the A1, A2 etc up to A6 all start in London, with the A1 heading north to Edinburgh, the A2 eastish out to Dover, and so on, clockwise around the capital. Similarly, the A7, A8 and A9 all start in Edinburgh.

(The only one I’ve been on as far as I know is the A9 which goes up to Loch Ness and has many, many stunning views from the road)

The numbering system then works so that all roads beginning A1… start in the chunk of Britain between Edinburgh and Dover, the ones starting A2 are between Dover and Portsmouth and so on.

So it’s particularly interesting that when driving to Nottingham from the M1, we have three roads leading into the city in different sectors: the A453, the A52 and the A610.

Well, I think so, anyway.



We went out and had a picnic in Wollaton Park yesterday amidst hundreds of other people taking advantage of the weather and the space.

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I cooked. Homemade feta, tomato and spinach quiche. Home baked bread rolls with salmon and cucumber, and with ham and pickle. Potato salad (but need a better recipe). Melon slices and fresh strawberries. Scone round with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam. Homemade elderflower cordial to drink. All packed into a wicker hamper P was given by someone planning to move abroad.

A lovely time was had by all!


My cousin got married yesterday, so we spent the day at his wedding with lots of my family. A lovely day, with the reception at Fairlawns – who did a really, really good four course meal: melon, soup, a pot roast blade of beef, and creme brulee. Yum.

Halfway through the proceedings, after the speeches (brief and very touching) but before the evening do, we all trooped outside onto the lawn and released the helium balloons that had decorated the room, with tags tied onto them with well wishes. A nice touch, and a clever seamless way of getting us out of the room while they got it ready for the evening do.

I drank far, far more than I should have done, carrying on well into the night largely with the brides family, long after most people went to bed. I finished at about 3am, with several members of the party keeping going much later.

The following morning, I felt much better than I had any right to – with practically no hangover at all. We had a lovely a breakfast then set off home.

I eventually remembered my camera. I’d left it out of sight in the hotel room which unfortunately meant it went out of mind also, and I had to drive all the way back to the hotel later in the day to retrieve it.

There were one or two nice photos on the camera.

Lib Dem blog-meet

Just like we did last year we’re hosting an informal Lib Dem blog meet in Brighton. This year it’s in conjunction with LibDemVoice.org and LibDemBlogs.co.uk. We’ll be in Brighton’s Evening Star pub from 7pm onwards, and warmly welcome bloggers and friends to join us for the evening or part of it. The pub is very close to the railway station, and just over half a mile from the conference centre. People are welcome to join us whether or not they are registered for conference.

Further details available over on Lib Dem Voice.

Online Scrabble

I have found http://www.scrabulous.com

Oh, boy.  I’ve been playing online scrabble for a few days now, and it’s great.

You can also play it on Facebook, and I’ve just kicked off a few correspondence games.  Of the 3 I started, I managed to go all out on two of them, with FELLOWS and GUITARS.

But I’ve just played a game against a very strong opponent who clawed his way back from my early all out of PARABLES which earned me 76.

My parents are huge Scrabble fiends. Maybe this is finally the thing to get my Dad on the internet!

Photo uploads

I have uploaded some more photos to Flickr. Firstly, the pics from our Norwich holiday in May, which have been languishing on my computer untouched for months. A boat trip on the Broads, an afternoon in Walsingham, and an eery fog that engulfed the chicken farm we camped on all feature.

Following on from that, photos of our choir week in Hereford – mainly long-lens candids in the pub, but also the official photos of all of us in our cassocks, taken using a tripod and a time delay, so I’m in some of them too. And because I was at home, there are also too many parents of Ellie, my aged parents’ aged cat.

And then later some photos from our weekend in Ipswich last weekend – more particularly our afternoon on the beach in Aldeburgh.


I have a new camera – my first digital SLR. I do like have the extra control, and seeing the machine focus for you. Some of what I learned using an old manual SLR has been useful with the new camera, but the amount of control you now get is great. Changing the sensitivity of the “film” at a key press is great. And instant feedback on whether the settings you used worked or not is fantastic. No more having to wait days to see whether you wasted another whole roll of film.

Interesting cycling challenge

A panel on the City Council that I’m a member of has been in discussions with our transport department, and Pedals, our local cycling advocacy group.  In early September, councillors have been invited to join officers and local cyclists on bikes around Nottingham city centre to look at good cycle facility design – and also some not so good.

I’m definitely interested in taking part, but I don’t own a bike.  Not only that, but even if I did, I wouldn’t really know what to do with it.  I can’t cycle.  I never quite figured out the balancing thing as a child.

One early way around the problem that was discussed was to use a cycle rickshaw. That would almost work, but would make me feel ever so lazy.  Councillor Lord Muck.  I think it’s also been ruled out as an option, but I’m not sure why.

I’m not averse to learning to cycle.  It would be a good way of getting more exercise, and P has long been talking about getting a bike, and reminiscing of cycle days out in Clumber Park,  and also closer to  home.  However, I’m chary about buying a bike if I’m not ever going to be able to figure out the balance.

I also live halfway up one of the highest hills in the County which is a a major disincentive to getting on a bike.  In theory, getting into the city would be great – I push the bike to the top of the hill, then coast down the cycle path on the Woodborough Road all the way into the city centre.  Getting home again would be rather more of a challenge.  And we also don’t currently have anywhere convenient at home where bikes could live.

One last plan of action is that I’m in discussion with Pedals to see whether I could borrow a trike for the day.  In the longer term, though, a trike would be even harder to store at home.  And they look, ahem, ever so slightly nelly. Even with a big hairy biker on them.

Today’s pointless factoid

Nominet UK sent me an email today asking me to complete a survey as a person who has just renewed a *.uk domain (I can’t remember which one it would be!)

In the email, they say they look after 6 million UK domain names.

That suggests there’s a .uk domain for every 10 people who live in the UK, assuming the population is still roughly 60 million.


I have way more than my fair share of domains, but then practically no-one else I know has one at all, so it all evens out.