Trains and planes and satellite pictures

Loads of scenes with trains and railway lines – much better then “T2:Trainspotting“.
So this film couldn’t miss.
Lion” is at its best when showing action and landscapes; dialogue – not so good – a soap opera style of misunderstanding, whilst some of the lines are swallowed.
Despite it being based on a true story, I was sceptical.  A child being lost in the ’80s and not found?  The film explains it all, including just how many children are lost in India.

International Women’s Day – 2017

C6aU6gDXQAEYVNOA tweet from Nottingham Library Services to tell us of Nottingham City’s first woman Councillor – Caroline Harper, whose obituary in the Nottingham Evening Post has been found from the online newspaper archive.
The tweet – ‘“Nottingham’s Pioneer Woman” who died in 1937: first female City Cllr, first female , first female Magistrate
I know the current residents of the house in Lucknow Avenue and they report –
“Surprisingly, we had not heard of the lady.
“An earlier resident here was the popular Town Clerk from 1912 to 1937 Sir William John Board OBE and his family; and

I have some info on him (was he known as Bill Board?).
“He died in 1946 and Lady Board in 1947, both aged 77.
“The City Engineer Brown, whose works included the Victoria Embankment and Wilford Bridge, lived next door.”
More anon.

Meanwhile, should not leave this topic without mentioning the first woman leader of the city council – Betty Higgins.

The Dilettante Society published an article on Nottingham suffragette Helen Watts via Left Lion.

17202721_954766740280_5698338505358977230_nMeanwhile, Gedling Borough Councillor Roxanne Ellis was part of a launch of a quilt commemorating the 598 women killed between 2009 and 2015, which was unveiled at the Houses of Parliament.
(From memory), one of the victims was from my home village, Hanwoodbank (in Salop).

McDonald’s closes in Shrewsbury town centre

… on the day I went to see “The Founder“.

Apparently the beginning of the film is a great advert for McDonald’s burger, but this was lost on me cos I’ve never had one.
Somewhere, sometime in the past, I was steered away from eating at such establishments, and part of football and politics away days was going to local cafes, such as Hanley town centre on Monday.  Lambs liver, followed by caramel shortcake with a strawberry milkshake. (I didn’t check how the milkshake was made – a significant part of the film’s story.)

Two brothers design a product – high quality food from a very  limited menu prepared in a hygienic, consistent and fast way, which people collect at the counter and eat from the paper products.
(Food in a paper is reported to be an innovation, when in Britain, we’ve been eating fish & chips from paper for a very long time.)
A failing salesman sees the potential for franchising, but only makes a success of it when he sees the business as a real estate business too – his appeal to the brothers for a better deal having been refused.  He becomes the founder of a new corporation.
20170225-sstar-ab0374h-mcdonalds-closureThe film is certainly more educational – and arguably less cruel –  than BBC tv’s “Dragons’ Den”.  Although the scene where the 100th new franchise is set up to drive the first fast food outlet – did the USA never have fish & chips shops? – out of business demonstrates meanness.
One parallel with Trump – using corporate power to not meet commitments previously paid – but only reviews have drawn this out, and remember, in the period of Trump’s trail to The White House, Hollywood was missing.
Still don’t particularly care to have a McDonald’s but was surprised to come home to the home computer to find a friend bemoaning the closure of a 34 year old McDonald’s franchise in Shrewsbury town centre.  (The part-medieval building can’t be upgraded to a new standard any further at the end of a lease.)  Never went, and now never will.
Meanwhile, anyone in Nottingham fancy setting up a mushy peas and mint sauce franchise?
P.S. worth checking out stuff on employees terms & conditions.

Salop’s community programme cover

A great photo on the programme cover; and a celebration of the community activities of the football club (like all clubs do I think).
The match featured 2 clubs in the relegation zone, so important for Salop to win.
A league table for games since the arrival of Paul Hurst as manager shows Salop 12th, but more than that, some of the forward play was good to watch, and with the team getting to know each other more, there is potential for even better. 

Watching the results

Early coverage of the result focussed on 3 more contested states that closed their polls earlier – Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
The ache was that Virginia was so close, given Trump had pulled his campaign out of that state some weeks ago.
Florida fascinated cos “bellweather” counties suggested Clinton was going to win, knowing that the later returns were to come from urban districts.  Eventually Florida and North Carolina were lost, but they didn’t have to be won.
The election was lost in Pennsylvania and the East North Central states.
Not Ohio, which this year had for some time been less for Hillary than the national mood.
But in Pennsylvania (which I understand was the state that tipped the election), Michigan and Wisconsin which polls did suggest were becoming less certain, but never really suggested would be lost.  (Nor did Hillary’s own campaign see it, with all its activity on the ground.)
If it was thought the polls were saying Hillary would win, they were studied avidly cos actually for the last 2 weeks, they were saying she might not.
The BBC tv news’ contention that no-one expected Trump might win was nonsense and Michael Moore’s documentary was just one example of mobilisation because it was all too possible that Clinton would lose.
Hillary, like Al Gore, lost the election whilst winning the popular vote (as of 8th Jan., by 2.87 million votes, 2.09%).
And a better across the board performance of just 0.8 points higher majority would have given Hillary the presidency, and just 1.3 points would have taken the result from 232- 306 to 308-230  (Michigan (0.23%), Wisconsin (0.75%), Pennsylvania (0.72%), Florida (1.19%); from 48.1%-46.0% to 48.8%-45.4%.)
With elections that close, maybe the FBI’s intervention over the Clinton Foundation’s e-mail server in the last week was enough to cost Hillary the election.
But that comes on top of a lot of other arguments.
So what else to pick out?
1. proper jobs for all;  2. your leader has to have traction with the public;  3. another example of rainbow coalitions not winning;  4. vision for change.  Expanding –
1. That you have to act for areas that suffer from structural changes to their economy with the advance of globalisation.
In that context, free trade is not a popular notion and “local jobs for local people” is a great slogan as well as a social and economic imperative (we can’t afford social programmes if not enough people are paying in).  We’ve known it for a while now (e.g. South Derbyshire 2010) and yet we still can’t make it the focus of what we should do.
2. Hillary won the TV debates and yet there still weren’t any memorable moments of wit. As a person, Trump was more unpopular, but his lines were more memorable and built on his celebrity status as a problem-solver. (“The best qualified” didn’t work for Gordon Brown either.)
3. victories in all the minorities did not add up to total victory.  Doesn’t mean you should dismiss the minorities; does mean you should focus on what wins majority opinion.
4. It’s harder when you’re following one of your own, but you do have to have a clear vision that says this is what you want to do with post for the next four years.  It was a bit of a surprise when Michael Moore started to explain the policy package on the economy, and it just wasn’t memorable.
Trump’s package is bizarre – a huge expansion of investment in infrastructure whilst cutting taxes for the rich; rip up trade deals and climate change deals – accelerate exploitation of coal and hydrocarbon fuels; spending on a big wall; more pro-Russia and more aggression against Da’esh.
Change in political fortunes may come very soon – and Hillary hinted at this – “sooner than we think”.
See Washington Post articles.

Adam Hills’ Clown Heart show


Well, Andrea, a graduate in environmental sciences certainly knew what this gig was about.  The night before halowe’en, but the only member of the audience to turn up in fancy dress – albeit as “Eyeore”.
And it was her 21st Birthday and she was spending it alone; rather it was her birthday 2 days before.
Great fun was had with Andrea, and the discovery of an audience member whose laugh was higher and squeakier than a mouse’s.
The first part of a show that was mainly audience particpation and the second half largely scripted to discuss dealing with disability and with cancer.
The second half was therefore harder work than you might expect on a comedy night out.  And the improvisation suffered from a comedy alphabet of courting activities being reduced by the participating audience to a tour of Roger Mellie’s profanities.
In all, not as topical as might have been expected.
But it’s clear the audience, and the reviewer from the N Post, had a good time.

Salop’s all-time XI

These things are always a matter of opinion of course, but in my opinion, much as I love the players listed,
– I’d make one definite change  – Colin Griffin should be alongside Nigel Pearson,
– Alan Durban gave us a lot and is unlucky not to be in alongside Graham Turner, even though Ian Atkins was great;
– Gary Stevens upfront was such a power in the air; Chic Bates was a greta character.