Division plans

The UK is divided.

First off, it’s divided into 4 bits geographically and then it’s divided into 2 very different bits politically.

And then there are numerous other divisions you can apply, as documented by Brilliant Maps.

There are 12 different methods of dividing the UK up by such diverse means as Religion, Rugby, Inbreeding and Booze on that link above.
And the reason that they’re so amusing is that they’d all 100% accurate.

Landscapes

If I take photos of local mountains and stuff, a lot of the time, they are actually landsCapes, because of where I live: Cape Town. So, landsCapes… Capes.

Geddit?

Fortuitously, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the recently announced Landscape Photographer of the Year 2017 awards in the UK, “showcasing Britain’s eclectic landscapes”, and being reported about in The Guardian.

Now obviously, all the images that they’ve given us in the article are really good, they’re unlikely to lob an Owen Crompton in there or anything, so having looked at the brief, I’ve chosen a couple of my favourites which fit it nicely to share here. Click through on the link above if you want to see the rest. It’s not rocket science, folks.

First up, George Robertson’s The Cauldron, the industrial landscape of Grangemouth in Stirlingshire. It won the “Urban” category:

And then, about 150km south of there, across the border into civilisation (although you might not think it by comparing the images), Ken Rennie’s The Raven. (That being the name of the boat in the photograph.)

Quite glorious, both. And a reminder that while South Africa and other countries may have the natural features, the outstanding beauty and the drama on an altogether more impressive scale, the UK can still have its moments.

Another attack

Another attack, more outrage, more division, more strong words.

No solutions.

There will be a vigil, prayers, candles, hashtags and a minute’s silence. But give it a week and we’ll all have moved on and forgotten about it. The only reminders will be the banners across the bottom of the profile pictures of our more dramatic Facebook friends.

I’m tired of being told that this is the new normal, tired of being policed on which adjectives I’m allowed to use when describing the individuals involved, tired now of this cycle of horror and distress followed all too quickly by acceptance.

We’re told that hundreds of terror plots have been foiled, and that’s to be congratulated. But when things like Manchester and London Bridge happen (because that’s how we describe them now – just the geographical location – we all know what we’re talking about), then whatever measures are being taken are clearly not robust enough.

Don’t ask me what to do. I’m a microbiologist. If you want to know what eight spots in the second panel of an immunological test for latent tuberculosis means, then I can tell you. It’s the politicians and the leaders who get paid the big bucks – our big bucks – to make the policies which should explicitly prevent these attacks from occurring. And you don’t need to be a rocket scientist (which I’m not either) to see that whatever policies exist right now around this area need to be strengthened. It’s not for me to say how. I’ll look at your blood test and tell you whether or not you’ve been exposed to TB. You stop the terrorists from killing innocent people on a night out.

And yes, some rights might get trodden on, some individuals might get offended, upset, angry. So be it. The needs of the many and all that. A van and some knives, a jar of homemade TATP surrounded by screws in a backpack? That’s nothing compared to what these people would like to be able to do, nothing compared to what they are aiming for. So put on your big girl panties, take a deep breath, and make those decisions which you know are going to be unpopular with some people.

Because hashtags and candles aren’t ever going to stop people being murdered.

On UK politics

As Helen Zille puts foot firmly into mouth with her “Colonialism wasn’t ALL bad” tweet, thus conveniently removing the spotlight of the SASSA scandal from the rotten and rotting ANC, I spotted this on twitter this morning.
Not sure whose words, but… well… yes.

Yep. It’s free rein for the Conservatives at the moment. Theresa May could poo on the front lawn of Buckingham Palace on live TV* and she’d still win the next election by a landslide. Helen Zille? Not so much.

* not a campaign suggestion.  

Facebook images

On my Facebook this morning, these:

6-0

Yes, it was “only” Leyton Orient, but you can only beat what – or who – is put in front of you. And they were well beaten.
Apparently it was “a footballing exhibition”. We don’t get many of them at Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane.

And then… this?

14962518_10154240154903710_9161354421735151647_nIt’s all a bit Scarfolk, isn’t it?

Here’s the gen.

Housed in a graffitied 40ft shipping container, The Aftermath Dislocation Principle (or the #ADPRiotTour) is a miniature world full of irreverent, post-apocalyptic scenes created by artist Jimmy Cauty (from 90s duo The KLF). This artwork was originally part of Banksy’s Dismaland Experience in Weston-super-Mare in 2015 and was shown at the Royal Academy in London this summer.
With your support this unorthodox artwork will be outside B&M Bargains in Macclesfield from Tuesday 15th to Monday 21st November to continue the town’s cultural revolution.
The container is internally lit from 11am-7pm so visitors can view the interior townscape through the peep holes all around.

Ah yes, but beware the Macclesfield Cultural Revolution. Knowledgable individuals will tell you that it’s been coming for quite a while. And it’ll be big too. Right up there with the Great Illyrian Revolt and The Khmelnytsky Uprising of Cossacks in Ukraine against Polish nobility in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

And we all know how that ended.

And meanwhile, on the Isle of Man:

the strictly craze grips the nation

Yes.

14980618_10154638425284134_6515707000528030111_n

Presumably the nation in question being that of Ellan Vannin. And yes, given the Islan’s geographical position twixt England and Ireland, Manx Folk Dancing seems to basically be the bastard child of Morris Dancing and Riverdance:

I bet your Facebook was nowhere near this interesting this morning.