Archive for 18/03/2014


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Old School Gardener

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Abundant Life Children

In the last two months our family has spent time in six different countries, visiting parks in every location.  I have a growing theory that the casual observer can learn something about the culture from paying attention to the types of equipment in a playground and watching the ways that equipment is used by the children and the adults they are with.

My sampling of playgrounds from the countries in the title of this post (plus, the post I wrote a few weeks ago about parks in Japan) is very small, and I’m sure does not provide a clear overview of playgrounds across that country.  Still, I enjoy reflecting on our experiences in these parks and wondering what conclusions I can draw given my very limited experience.

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Official blog of the Met Office news team

Every year on the 23rd March meteorological services around the world celebrate World Meteorological Day to mark the creation of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1950.  This year’s World Meteorological Day theme is ‘Weather and climate: engaging youth’.

World Meteorological Day 2014WMO is engaging with young people through a variety of ways, including:

  • A new and revamped “Youth corner” website providing fun information like ‘how to make a tornado in a jar’ or ‘creating a portable cloud’.

The Met Office is continually looking at ways to get young people engaged in the fascinating world of weather and climate. Here are some of the things we’re doing:

Inspiring the next generation with EDF Energy

This Met Office and EDF Energy collaboration is part of a wider partnership programme to help…

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Picture by Len Gun

Picture by Len Gun

‘The fair-weather gardener, who will do nothing except when wind and weather and everything else are favourable, is never a master of his craft.’

Canon Ellacombe from A Gloucestershire Garden, 1895

Old School Gardener

Architecture, Design & Innovation

Timeguard’s new LED  NightEYEs are a completely new concept in PIR lighting design.   Small and remarkably powerful, these  8Wfloodlights are compact and stylish enough to be used anywhere, whether as effective security lighting or attractive courtesy lighting.

The LED NightEYEs give instant brightness equivalent to  100W but are under half the size of old style halogen designs and use a fraction of the power.

TimeguardAvailable in black or white, there are also  twin versions delivering the equivalent of 200W lighting using a maximum of 16W (2 x 8W) of LED power, and larger 32W options. All promise running costs a tenth or less of a comparable halogen output.

With a detection range of 10m the floodlights can be panned and tilted to ensure optimum coverage.  An adjustable PIR detector and both lux level and on-time adjustments are other refinements of the NightEYE  range.

With a low operating temperature

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Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse

As with all my blogs, I like to talk about machinery and equipment. So this one is going to be no exception, in this edition I am going to talk about the plough and ploughing.

Richard Ploughing Richard Ploughing

Ploughing is a type of cultivation and the purpose of ploughing is to turn over the top layer of soil bring all the fresh nutrients to the surface. As the ground is being turned over it is also burying all the weeds, remains of last years crop, allowing them all to break down under the surface. Once ploughed, you normally leave the ground for a couple of days to dry, and then you can harrow the ground to produce a finer seed bed.

Ground diagram Ground diagram

The first ever ploughs used to be human powered, but once animals started to be used, this became a lot easier and efficient. The first animals that used…

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Municipal Dreams

By 1944, 1 million British homes had been damaged or destroyed by German bombing.  Lewisham alone had lost over 1600 dwellings in the first wave of the Blitz in 1940 and would suffer heavily again as the V1s and V2s rained over London in June 1944.  There are those in the Excalibur Estate in the borough who feel they are the victims of enemy action once more.

Back in 1944, Churchill gave his ‘word that the soldiers, when they return from the war and those who have been bombed out …shall be restored to homes of their own at the earliest possible moment.’

Hector Murdoch's homecoming, 1946 Hector Murdoch’s homecoming, 1946

To fulfil this pledge, the 1944 Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act was passed, earmarking £150m for an emergency programme of temporary housing.  Aircraft factories which, in these closing days of the European war, might move to peacetime production were tasked with the construction of…

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