An eclectic collection of trivia, observation, cynicism, wit....
and the occasional rant.
Enjoy!

I'm Mark. Older than you imagine, pescetarian, husband, father, professional parent & pedant.

I post some original stuff and a bunch of other things that I like. If you own the rights to something you see here and you're not happy about me sharing it, let me know.
OK, so I know it’s more baby spam. Get over it, there’ll be more: I’m a proud grandfather. Noah bears striking similarities to his father at the same age. Apart from the obvious good looks, there’s a conspicuous ability to sleep. Runs in the family…
Perhaps I should also take this opportunity to mention sheep. Yes, you knew I couldn’t resist it… so here’s Baby Noah learning to count sheep & taking a nap on his Romney Marsh inspired quilt, courtesy of my infinitely better half.
She’d elevate herself to deity level if she’d make one of those quilts for us.

OK, so I know it’s more baby spam. Get over it, there’ll be more: I’m a proud grandfather. Noah bears striking similarities to his father at the same age. Apart from the obvious good looks, there’s a conspicuous ability to sleep. Runs in the family…

Perhaps I should also take this opportunity to mention sheep. Yes, you knew I couldn’t resist it… so here’s Baby Noah learning to count sheep & taking a nap on his Romney Marsh inspired quilt, courtesy of my infinitely better half.

She’d elevate herself to deity level if she’d make one of those quilts for us.

baby grandson noah sheep quilt quilting

Thinking about Ferguson…

…it occurs to me that the laws here in the UK are so fundamentally different to those of the US that the likelihood of incidents like the tragic death of Michael Brown are almost infinitely lower. (Poor grammar I know, but bear with me.)

The simple fact is that our gun laws are very tight. Always have been, and please, they should stay that way. As long as legal gun ownership remains as low as it is, there is a strong case for the police to remain unarmed. 

Don’t get me wrong. I have the greatest admiration for the work that the Thin Blue Line does on our behalf. They have to wear stab-proof vest at all times in order to stay reasonably safe. They routinely place themselves at levels of risk that are, quite frankly, wholly incommensurate with the relatively meagre wage they earn.

But that doesn’t mean they should be armed. The risk of escalation is preposterous. If our Police routinely bore arms, so too would the criminal fraternity. The huge risk that our Police already face would increase exponentially, as would the risk to the general public,and not just from the criminal fraternity.

There is little doubt that, given the protection (or Dutch courage) afforded by a loaded gun, innocent bystanders would become victims. Sadly, I have no doubt that, in many cases, those innocents would belong to ethnic minorities. Thus, in my view, racial tension and militancy would increase and stability in society would correspondingly decrease.

I watch in dismay as the news of avoidable situations like the killing of Michael Brown unfold. I worry about how our society may progress (or degenerate) given similar levels of “freedom”. Ask the law abiding citizens of Ferguson about how freedom feels. Take the sting out of the media frenzy, and ask yourself how much was stirred up by one-sided, even bigoted, reportage. Ask yourself how much freedom you actually sacrifice in the name of freedom.

I live on a ridiculously overcrowded island. Overcrowding leads to all sorts of social ills; you only have to look at rats. (Google it, if you don’t believe me.) Tell me I’m wrong, by all means, but as much as the lure of the wide open spaces calls me, I don’t think I’d really want to swap the security of what we have here.

ferguson michael brown police gun laws security

I’d forgotten how tiny babies are…

baby grandson
You know it’s going to be a family occasion, so please excuse the spam.
Here’s #1 son with his #1 son. Tumblr, meet Dan & Noah. One’s old enough to have his own tumblr, but doesn’t. The other isn’t, but should. Can you guess who’s who?

You know it’s going to be a family occasion, so please excuse the spam.

Here’s #1 son with his #1 son. Tumblr, meet Dan & Noah. One’s old enough to have his own tumblr, but doesn’t. The other isn’t, but should. Can you guess who’s who?

baby grandson newborn son last of the line it's on your shoulders now... pretty sure I never had that much hair
Welcome Noah everyone.
No 1 son and his wife produced a healthy boy the day before yesterday, so here’s the inevitable picture of proud grandad holding the new last of the line.
Oh, and that’s my Princess in the background (henceforth known as Aunty Em) pretending she’s happy she’s in the same room as a little human…

Welcome Noah everyone.

No 1 son and his wife produced a healthy boy the day before yesterday, so here’s the inevitable picture of proud grandad holding the new last of the line.

Oh, and that’s my Princess in the background (henceforth known as Aunty Em) pretending she’s happy she’s in the same room as a little human…

gpoy rarity grandson noah baby newborn

So this is fun. What most of you knew as Hurricane Bertha has made the trip over the pond, and here’s what’s left in all its glory.

Our near neighbours are having a birthday party. (He’s 71 today.) My wife has baked a Great British Bake Off creation, which is nearly two feet across. Now we have to cart it the thirty or forty yards to our neighbour’s house. In a monsoon. And possibly a canoe…

weather storm hurricane bertha flood british
Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red
A very moving installation at the Tower of London to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.
888,246 ceramic poppies created by artist Paul Cummings, will progressively fill the Tower’s moat in a setting by stage designer Tom Piper. Each poppy represents a British military fatality during the war.
You can contribute. Each poppy is available to buy, and ten percent of each sale, plus all net proceeds will be split equally amongst six service charities.
Photo: Jim Crossley on flickr, via Twisted Sifter

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

A very moving installation at the Tower of London to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

888,246 ceramic poppies created by artist Paul Cummings, will progressively fill the Tower’s moat in a setting by stage designer Tom Piper. Each poppy represents a British military fatality during the war.

You can contribute. Each poppy is available to buy, and ten percent of each sale, plus all net proceeds will be split equally amongst six service charities.

Photo: Jim Crossley on flickr, via Twisted Sifter

ww1 centenary tower of london art installation charity military britain
"Keep close to Nature’s heart. Break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."
John Muir (via whats-out-there)
truth quotes wisdom john muir
Ten drew me a picture. He gave it to me saying “I tried to draw everything you like “. 
Sheep in the open countryside with the sun setting over the mountains. I’m pretty sure he just nailed it.

Ten drew me a picture. He gave it to me saying “I tried to draw everything you like “.
Sheep in the open countryside with the sun setting over the mountains. I’m pretty sure he just nailed it.

parenting fostering art sheep mountains sunset
Excellent analogy for teaching kids.

Excellent analogy for teaching kids.

(Source: depressed-girl-diary)

parenting fostering
"Magic is not so much something which you do occasionally behind closed doors or in the space behind your closed eyes, but a way of living your life — a way of approaching the world you move through and everything in it."
Phil Hine, Condensed Chaos (via chirotus)
quotes philosophy
"Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things."
Elise Boulding (via theflowershop)

(Source: milklake)

quotes
Surf’s Up!

This was the reality of commuting in parts of south east England yesterday after nearly two inches of rain fell in an hour.

Surf’s Up!

This was the reality of commuting in parts of south east England yesterday after nearly two inches of rain fell in an hour.

weather england summer
This could be south east England over the past few days.

This could be south east England over the past few days.

weather summer england
"People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child-our own two eyes. All is a miracle."
Thich Nhat Hanh (via ashramof1)
quotes