Monday 19th February § Leave a comment

A group of us went up the Crib Goch ridge

Snowdon 1


Heading straight ahead. Not exactly a path.

Once we’d got up that first scramble we could see all the way along the ridge.


The peak tinged with the solar flaring is Snowdon itself.

There was fog for a while.



Looking back along the ridge with a bit of snow on the ground.


The peak of Snowdon from the same vantage point.

From the high ridge the views out across the cloud were glorious.


After reaching the top the time was getting late and we headed down the Miners path, down past the lakes.


Then today we had a lazy climbing day above Porthmadoc.

One of the climbs lead up from the white tree. It was a good climb except that the rock on that particular section tends to come off in brick sized chunks, so you had to be careful what you were trusting your weight too.



Eco-house Site

Monday 12th February § Leave a comment


Silver Birches

Bowling And Metalwork

Wednesday 24th January § Leave a comment

What I sat down intending to write last night was a breif account of how nice an evening I’d had. 7 of us went bowling (which I haven’t done since I was 10), followed by a pizza, too celebrate one of the fellow-coursemates birthday. Only one of us acted adult. And then it snowed! At 11 o’clock at night and it was beautiful.

Today contained much source of intrest. Metalworking is now integral to my model making tool-kit. The workshops here are seriously good (in my entirely inexperienced opinion). Thumbs are not for hammering! I have the blood-blister to remind me.

And there was this lecture about TEQ’s (Trading Emissions Quota’s) by an old guy called David Fleming. It really was very simple. There is cause for hope. The inevitable recession from the combination of Climate Change and Peak Oil can be dampened. Our society might just survive. There will have to be a process of total overhaul (or Lean Thinking as he would term it) of our entire lives, but something that is vaguely recognisable as our society could still exist. New Orleans was a demonstration of how little time it took for laws to fail and for the people to resort to mob rule. If only we could get it implemented we might stand a chance. It seems so obvious.

A Windy Day

Friday 19th January § 2 Comments

After having done almost nothing for the last two weeks, I’ve
tried to compensate by two weeks worth of activities in the space of two days.

Yesterday was really spent on borrowed time, after having not slept that evening. About 5:30 in the morning I decided that I was going to write(code) a fullscreen image viewer, which is really useful for previewing images.

There was a fantastic open-lecture by the sudo-client (who’s name I promptly forgot) for the Performing Arts centre designed by Raphael Vinioli. It’s a really interesting project: two theatres, setup in such a way that either can make use of an extended central stage, or even to open up the whole space to include both spaces, the idea was that the workings of the stages would be revealed to the public. What was really interesting was hearing from a clients eye view on such a huge project. This guy was so pashionate about the project and the possibilities, this is Stage 1 of an idea he’s been pushing for 8 years now. Really crappy on the eco front, and 3 times over it’s initial budget, it’s still quite brilliant architecture. (Apparently, being environmentally friendly costs approximately 5% extra)

Today was a bit slow to start. Missed the last of the moisture ingress laboratories because I slept in. Spent 2 hours messing about in Sketchup. For our first model we’ll be copying Mies Van De Rohe’s iconic Barcelona Pavilion, originally designed in 1929 (The current pavilion is a 1970’s replica, because the original got carefully dismantled, but then they lost. They lost a whole building in the post!). The roof of the CAD-lab was groaning ominously in the storm-force winds. The courtyard of our building was roped off because but’s of the Fletcher building where falling off.

Then Rose, Chris and I went house shopping ‘round lunchtime but discounted that property because it didn’t have a double bed. But later saw a house at 5 and came out and within half an hour we’d each withdrawn a £250 deposit so hopefully that will go through in the morning – in my absence. It couldn’t be closer to the campus.

In between the house hunting I sketched a small doodle that I instantly saw in 3D. No inspirations, no process. Miraculous conception.

It’s more like walk through sculpture than true ‘architecture’. Blurry lines I know. General themes that I was pondering at the time: wind 🙂 waves, texture and puzzling about what makes an idea worthy of scaling up into an all out concept. How do you chose what to develop? Why? How should that choice be made? But in the end this idea turned up out of nowhere, complete, and perfectly formed and so I’m just going to go along with it. It’s not as if I can forget this idea, so I’m stuck with it, no matter how hard its going to be to draw/model/construct. Anyway, next Wednesday shoud see inductions into the Metal Working workshops which will be brill.

Then there was climbing (glowing tinglyness throughout), followed by a brief spell in another pub, but I left before the pub quiz got started because my head aches.

Apparently the ‘place to be’ for live music in Leicester is a tiny pub called The Twisted Toucan, with open mic sessions with talented people and live Reggae and cool stuff like that.

Right now I’m enjoying flipping between ‘The Trial Of Tony Blair’ and the realities of Newsnight. Fiction and reality merging. There are moments when it’s . Switch from a fake Gordon Brown patronising likqwl kiddies in a classroom to the real Gordon, being even more patronising to a group of kids on the starting block of a school race, cut to him chewing the cud (in reality). Meaningful TV.

Oh, and tomorrow I’m going to gawp at the glossy glass losenge starchitecture of Manchester as part of the Uni. 10 buildings within the course of the day.

And for those in the loop, I think I’ve lost my mobile phone.

One huge plus-side, in my rather manic search for my mobile, I happened to look behind my bedside cupboard where I discovered my tiny Fuji digital camera that I thought I’d lost about 2 months ago. In the mean time, believing that the Fuji was well and truly vanished I treated myself to a fantastic Pentax digital SLR. Techno-gluton that I am, I’m tempted to keep them both. Photos will be forthcoming.
If I mention that Irn-Bru is a godly drink which would be ideal accompanied by a shot(glass) of lemon(juice) then I’ve manged to tick off all of those pesky category thingies down the side in the one post.

Love to all & noswaith da.

After The Blockade

Tuesday 19th December § 2 Comments

The blockade of Faslane went superbly. We (the Leicester group) blockaded the for a total of 2 hours. When I say ‘we’, really I mean all the other people who were brave enough to go and get themselves arrested. Seeing how easy it was, makes me feel stupid for not having been a part of the locking on. According to a Glasweegian Policeman we were the most effective block he’d seen.

It was a shame that ‘Chain Gang’ decided to swap to the North Gate, rather than the South Gate, because of course the first thing that the police did was to redirect traffic around that way. But such is hindsight. Next time we’ll do things differently. There probrably will be a next time.

Faslane 365 (check out the website) promotes an air of ‘direct action, lite’ (getting arrested, but without the repercussions). Quite possibly a stepping stone to bigger things. If there ever was a safe way to get arrested this would be it. Worth it just for the experience and the warm glow of knowing that you’re doing something that may actually make a difference.

Note to self: protesting is tiring stuff. Went to sleep at 2 last night and was still in bed at
half 5 this afternoon. Thats 15.5 hours worth of slumber (so much for Christmas shopping). Still got a lovely glowing feel-good feeling.

There’s a far more complete account of the weekend on the faslane website, from Liz, on of the GOATS (Golden Oldies Against Trident) who were utterly marvelous. Infact, without exception, all of the people (and police) we met along the way were great. Highly recommended. Go, do it now.

The Black List

Thursday 2nd November § Leave a comment

A group of charities would submit petitions to a government all-party quango who would determine a list of companies to have companies blacklisted for their records of breaking human rights legislation’s or of serious environmental crimes both here and in the rest of the world.

Banks and buildings societies as well as other corporations such as supermarkets would sign up voluntarily to boycott any company on this list. The only sanction for breaking this embargo would be the adverse publicity that this would cause.

A company on the black list could appeal to the government quango.

Six monthly reports by the quango would publicise the worst offenders with the aim of using public bargaining power to force the companies to ‘do the right thing’ in order to protect their brand image and by association, their profits.

Government run. Open to bribery? Not enforced strongly enough?

Amnesty International project? Global list.

More World-saving Stuff

Friday 20th October § Leave a comment

People & Planet are a UK wide network of student groups who campaign on various eco- and human rights issues. There are three central campaigns at the moment.

Apparently a People & Planet society is a standard fixture amongst most universities social calendars but not in DMU and considering the absence of any other viable green alternative, a group of us got together on Wednesday with the aim of filling the gap. At some point in that meeting, not entirely intensionally I became the secretary. It all seems a bit of a shambles.

So if your a DMU student interested in becoming part of the newest greenest party in town or want to know how to get involved with the Stop Climate Chaos march on the 4th of November then look out for us on Wednesday and Friday lunchtimes next week. We’ll be standing by a banner with really big smiles.

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