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Tie a Yellowhammer Round the Old UK

If a week is a long time in politics, the two weeks since Boris Johnson’s government announced the prorogation of parliament has been an age. Johnson has lost his majority, lost (or ejected) 22 Conservative MPS, and lost six out of his first six votes in Parliament. Since the dramatic scenes at the close of parliament on Monday night, we have learned that the government’s act of prorogation is unlawful (subject to an appeal to the UK Supreme Court to be heard next Tuesday), and that even the barest of outlines of Operation Yellowhammer, the government’s contingency plan for a No Deal Brexit, is enough to demonstrate that Project Fear was always Project Reality. (Here’s a pithy Yellowhammer summary in summary.)

Read More · 12 September 2019 · Politics

Sydney & Gosford

After Singapore I was in Sydney again in July, visiting family with the kids, where I photographed its iconic sights—the Harbour Bridge (crossing it on foot for the first time), the Opera House—as well as some lesser-known ones, like Tarban Creek and Chinamans Beach. We also spent a day up in Gosford at the Australian Reptile Park, taking lots of photos of Aussie fauna. I was going to tack these onto the end of the gallery I posted earlier in the year, but there were enough for a whole new one.

Read More · 11 September 2019 · Travel

Signs o' the Times

Two shop signs spotted in recent months provided some unexpected spelling lessons.

9 September 2019 · Words

Disaster Area

Johnson bulldozes Britain deeper into chaos. The trade remedies problem. Do Conservative MPs really think they can cope with the consequences of No Deal? Brexit’s circles of self interest. What Johnson and co. are trying to teach us with their performative prorogation.

Read More · 6 September 2019 · Weblog

Singapore

On our trip back to Australia to visit family in July we stopped for a day in Singapore, a city I’ve visited five or six times over the years, first when my brother lived there in the 1990s, and later when my brother-in-law lived there in the 2000s. Add in some additional stops at Changi Airport for a quick curry or bowl of noodles between long-haul flights, and I must have set foot on the island eight or nine times.

Read More · 6 September 2019 · Travel

Hong Kong

While Brexit wreaks havoc on Parliament, its opponents in Parliament Square are drawing inspiration from protesters on the other side of the world, as Hongkongers take to the streets to resist the erosion of their rights by the city’s Beijing-supported administration. Their example drew me back to my photos of a couple of days we spent in Hong Kong on our way to Australia in June 2015, which has yielded another gallery for Detail (and also provided a couple more panoramas).

4 September 2019 · Travel

Long, Long, Long

My summer (winter) holiday photos have borne their first fruits in the form of dozens of new panoramas of Singapore and Australia. Some I’ve added to earlier galleries, either because those were a bit slim or there were only a few relevant new ones. All of the locations featured here will feature in regular galleries eventually.

Read More · 3 September 2019 · Travel

Get Tae Brexit

I’m not sure they’ve thought the Scottish version through.

Read More · 2 September 2019 · Politics

Hampton Court

I mentioned the other day that my London photos contained another gallery in the making. Here it is: Henry VIII’s magnificent pile, as seen on a sunny day in the summer of 2006.

26 August 2019 · Site News

London

Read More · 23 August 2019 · Site News

Grail Not Included

I had an email from a visitor to the site last week, complimenting my Scottish Sand photos of North Berwick (thanks!) and wondering if I’d ever taken any of Rosslyn Chapel. I saw the chapel a few times between 2005 and 2011, but haven’t been back since, and hadn’t done much with my photos of it. Still, it was a good prompt to go back over them, the first of which were taken on a 2-megapixel Canon IXUS and the rest on a 5-megapixel Lumix. Between them I had decent coverage of the interior and exterior of the chapel, including its roof, which at the time was accessible using the scaffolding in place during its repair. I haven’t got any exterior photos without that scaffolding, so I’ll have to go back to get some, but in the meantime here’s a collection of the best of them.

Read More · 23 August 2019 · Site News

Punctuation

Something grim rises from Trump’s rally.

Trump wants to be a dictator. It’s not enough just to laugh at him.

Muslims lived in America before Protestantism even existed.

Permafrost N2O levels are twelve times higher than expected.

Antarctic sea ice has fallen precipitously since 2014.

Our fight against fake news is starting to turn the tide.

Notre-Dame came far closer to collapsing than people knew.

Many of the “oldest” people in the world may not be as old as we think.

Critically acclaimed horror film of the 2010s or your Ph.D. program?

It’s okay to be good and not great.

The birth of the semicolon.

The dawn of the Chinese blockbuster.

Mr Olds’ remarkable elevator.

A new clue to the origins of life.

18 August 2019 · Weblog

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