Thursday, 31 January 2013

Ethanol in petrol damages the car engine

Anyone who has drunk old wine will be aware that the alcohol (ethanol)becomes oxidised to vinegar (hence the name). The OH grooup reacts with air to form COOH groups and other nasties. Andy, a friend of mine noticed damage to his motorbike engine and investigate. He found it was due to the fact that nearly all petrol these days contains ethanol - referred to as biofuel. Most petrol in the States contains 10% some can contain as much as 15%. Car manufacturers are sueing the petrol companies because they have evidence that the presence of ethanol damages the car engine. This seems obvious when you think about it. Worth looking into. He tells me Texaco's petrol doesn't contain ethanol and is preferred.

I leave you to investigate further.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Keeping things in perspective.

Here's a message that I feel I want to take on board.

Thanks JAK

Can anyone recommend a good place for a dance?
The only place I can think of is in Lille France where this group come from:

Or for a follow up

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Time for what feels like one last push for the summit

We have (yet another) deadline coming up -
Yes you need to book your tickets of a rising star who is revisiting Ulverston

This Friday evening at the liesure centre next to the Ulverston Swimming Baths.

Roger Davies folksinger from Huddersfield who has charmed the socks of many of us when he was here at the Coro in the summer is returning with his guitar.

However an even more urgent - and to the majority of Ulverstonians- a far more important deadline is the submission of our views on the Old Robinson's Brewery Supermarket proposal.

This is where Ulverstonians have got to stand up and be counted if they want to preserve their forward way of looking at life by surporting and putting their trust in local people rather taking the easy option of letting big business walk all over us.

We need to believe that given the chance and a fair playing field, local businesses will do a far better job for the town the the clever executives miles away in their boardrooms in distant London - people who wish to rule by exerting the influence of myth and legend, people who are clever at brainwhashing the masses into thinking that they can provide a better deal for them - people however who will not hesitate to ditch Ulverston if this is best for the shareholders unlike local small businesses that are based here in the North West and care deeply that their businesses thrive.

So get in the mood - you need to get dwon to writing off to Kate Lawson, our planning officer before Wednesday - that means tomorrow, Sunday or Monday.

We're all feeling warn out with struggling against the bureaucrats who link that they have learnt how to win against likes of a small town like Ulverston.

So lets show them - Vote Yes for local businesses who know what local people want and have their roots again with other local businesses providing a deal that we all want.

Friday, 25 January 2013

and here's another one

A web site for the pottery on the Railings that were beside Gill Banks.

This too is about to disappear - or is it worth the effort to preserve it?

This site here in Ulverston has become well known throughout the world as a result of the article in the international magazine - Ceramic Review - for which you pay £7:50 a copy and reviews the best pottery in the world.
Is anyone interested enough to make sure these pots and more in the future are put there or are they just going to disappear into history because people follow the leadership of politicians like Colin Pickthall who ridicule the efforts by local people. Will anyone want to help put them back up? Well I've heard of one who'd like to help - are there any others.

Wow - this energy

All this work in order to make a presentation to the Cumbria County Council

The cobbles on Market Street

Did anyone watch it?

Did anyone take it in?

Now I'm closing this site down and moving it which means a fair bit of work.

Does it do any good?

Did anyone listen?

At least I tried.

The story of my life.

The has already been closed down and is being recreated. - Does anyone care if it disappears for ever?

Looking back - how did I ever find the drive and enegy to do it?

I'm on your side.

I love playing with kids. This afternoon it was in the snow.

Isn't it incredible how quickly kids suss out how to stop you pelting them with snow balls?

"I'm on your side" rang out the cry as my arm took aim at James aged 3-4. The implication was that we were now on the same side , but against who?

Obviously  - everyone else but James. This agreement stood as long as my arm was raised and looking his way ; but the split second my arm veered towards anyone else and turned my back on James then I was forced to ask "How come snow is going down my neck from the very direction that my allies were located?"

All's fair in snowball fights - as long as we get the satisfaction of some snow taking off in the direction of someone's ( anyone's) neck and especially if they weren't expecting it. And who better for a target than an unsuspecting 'ally' - well that was a second ago and alliances shift far faster than that particularly when there's a delicious warm flesh gaping cave sitting in front of your upraised snow filled hand. . . .

Life continues!

My regular trip over Hoad continues to be very enjoyable. Today I was accompanied by an adult and a dog.
There was very light slow which caused no problem to the decent on the steep side overlooking the A590. The ground up the track was deliciously crunchy and we saw few sheep so the old dog had a good saunter along - undesturbed.

Coming home through Ford Park there was evidence in the snow of someone wearing zigzag type crampons; someone else had two ski sticks. We're all treating this weather very seriously!

As for me- back at home - the priorities are clarinet and new web site. The former has reached the steady slow improvement stage whilst the latter the change in large jumps, stage.

You can keep track of my progress by watching ! Today I'm off shopping to buy the 'Wooslider' plugin for use on this blog - it will show itself off in a gallery shortly to be added.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Tim Farron's commitment to CAB weakens

Tim behaves like a typical wily , very astute politician.

He only supports issues that are going to win.

When I saw him at Grange he started by being in full agreement with me. The Citizen's Advice Bureau was very important in it's present form. The Trustees were wrong in giving it no support and throwing in the towel as far back as last June. Everyone I talk to is in agreement that the CAB needs saving but when push comes to shove only one or two want to give their support.

In his letter to me above he has given up and merely agreed to "work closely with the Council to ensure that the changes to the service are as smooth as possible". When I left him he was going to drum up support in SLDC now that pledge has is downgraded bit ay a time.

Step by step his support evaporates even though this means that Kendal will also lose this service. Taking the trouble to travel to Grange to see him was a total waste of time. It is very frustrating. Even our politicians here in Ulverston have given up and are refusing to take a stand. Colin Pickthall, Mark Wilson, John Clough all make reassuring noises that "everything will be alright" when they know know it won't. Even Jane Harris has enough on her plate with the Supermarket issue to be able to find the energy to fight yet another issue.

Fifty years of strong support for our CAB is going down the drain when a solution  is within our grasp.

However the solution has to be in our own hands and it's no use looking to others to lead on this issue. It would all be solved with of just ten pounds a month but we don't care enough. I asked Tim to make a rallying speech to get people to join together and help themselves but he declines.

We need a very rare kind of person - someone who takes on a challenge and sees it through. What would seem as a caring Town here in Ulverston just isn't. Sadly we will realise our mistake when it's too late.

Looks like we are no better than our politicians who give up when things get tough.

Monday, 21 January 2013

This is obscene

Making money out of food.

  Bankers get rich betting on food prices as millions starve.

Some of my friends argue that if it's legal then we can't complain.

I disagree strongly. I expect people to act ethically.

I wouldn't be surprised that with this philosophy, the rich will make fuel for cars out of food while the poor starve.

We must stop this.

But how?

Any ideas.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Snow signals from you and I

This snow map is generated by people sending in their tweets regarding snow they are actually experiencing!

For those would like to join us, a number of us that live in The Gill area are all set to pounce on the first layer of snow that settles and sweep it off our pavements. We'llthen follow it up with salt-grit as we've done in previous years. We'll be focussing on the area between The Gill and the end of Sun street with the Health Centre, Mill Dam sheltered housing and Garden Terrace in the middle.

We'll see if there's interest in the footways beyond!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Italy unpacked

My what a celebration of Italian culture. And who better to present this topic : two exuberant males brimming with excitement and

Joie de vivre


It does my soul good to watch it and helps me understand the person I am deep inside.

Life - and what a wonderful world we live in.

May my epitaph be : "He died living" - sounds like D.H Lawrence to me!

Reminds me again of the young people at the Stan Laurel.

Now I'm recharged with the energy needed to design and create the new web site.


and that fantastic walk over Hoad - can't wait for tomorrow and the sweet peas that are ready to shoot skywards - now crouching in the green house ready to be powered upwards by the sun in Mill Dam Park - ready to shoot up to a height of well over ten feet - covering the whole of the right hand side of this gem of a park by the end of August

By contrast there are some people here in Ulverston who I see as mean spirited imitations of men. People who aim to curb the creative spirit even when it gives enjoyment to the majority of Ulverstonians. These people despite doing some great work in other projects have a negative attitude to a lovely leisure spot like Gill Banks - they come across as the  diametric opposite to these two men making their program. There are several projects in these difficult times which need positive energy - such as preserving our Citizens Advice Bureau which is about to be lost and disappear into a call centre? More than ever we need people who will take positive action. People who work with the council to maintain and create facilities for Ulverston.

We need people who will use their priveledged position to not only preserve what may be lost but surely not to thwart others from improving and creating what others see as benefits to the town.

Let's work together to create places that we're all proud of.

This blog will be moving within a month

 Heartinternet has been chosen to be  our server for a new site which will continue this blog.

This decision was made because of price (£65 per year for three web sites), because they fully support Wordpress and are highly recommended.

What will be done now is to transfer already owned domain names to Heart - is available for this blog; a design will be explored using the temporary training on this web site. If you're interested in making suggestions as to the new design,  your comments and participation would be welcome. Maximum participation from viewers will be the aim with them becoming editors, authors and subscribers. Editors will have total reponsibility for what they contribute.  They will have freedom to express themselves as long as they avoid mindless critism. The aim of the site will be to be positive and encourage doers to share their aspirations. The scope of the site will be wide covering a fair section of the north west - the use of a meaningless domain name such as will enable it to mutate with time into whatever purpose is most suitable for its participants. The hope will be that people (the editors) will be interested in continuing with the site into the long term future.

How does that sound ?

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Staying positive

Is difficult for me at the moment.

The thing that cheers me up most is my daily walk upoad for many reasons - the second is the positive emotions gained by playing along with good performers.

I find that I'm allowing myself to get dragged down by:

People not fulfilling promises they have made - it's hard waiting when one realises these very exciting promises may never be kept.

Taking the trouble of putting effort into trying, when the support of people like Tim Farron MP just melts into the gutter.

Struggling to improve the town when people like Cllr Colin Pickthall are openly hostile. Incomprehensibly they make sure they stop initiatives, many in the town want to go ahead their ego appears to be more important than the wish of the people.

The lack of that god , the sun, takes some coping with.

Never-the-less there are people in far worse situations that put a cheerful face on their troubles - far worse than mine and again people like Hannah Bell provide a bright light o positive action.

Thanks to my friends it doesn't take long to bounce back into a positive frame of mind and put the disappointments behind.

Word Press

Why Wordpress?

First, I aim to improve this web site by making it more interesting - there is a distinct downside in all theposting being made chronologically - there are some great stories, pictures and videos that are buried and difficult to find. For this reason I'm going to change to Wordpress.

It's a source of software that will enable you to design very good web sites because it uses the world resources of free software brought together by a voluntary organisation with a web site called

This is very different to which is a commercial site that never-the-less offers free blogging facilities in the similar way that Google offers the facilities that I'm using now.

At the moment people are making money by :

1. Using it to design web sites

2. Teaching others how to use Wordpress sometimes at extraordinary prices .

However it doesn't have to cost more than £100 for a very good one day course which is what I paid for the course run by Pootlepress in Manchester this last Monday. Jamie did an excellent job of presenting his course tp ten of us. There's a lot to learn and for me with my old brain it was hard work but this course sets you up to teach yourself - you're given a web site to experiment - Here's mine 

Here's the Pootlepress training course details at the moment there are three places left in Manchester on Feb 8th  jump in if you're interested with hard work you could build a successful career - it will have to be done by personal contact and you'll have some stiff competition. Great if you like a challenge.

Great to see the pot holes being filled up

Sadly this will be a temporary solution as these repairs will inevitably lead to more problems as the holes start fraying at the edges. I'm reminded of the superior road surface that doesn't suffer from similar problems  - the Rolls Royce of surface - the use of Setts as on Market Street. When will this job get finished? Will there be a councillor with the guts to guide this job through to a speedy solution?

Recognition for an impressive young Ulverston woman

Hannah Bell has been singled out by the Guardian to write about for her business enterprise.

She set up Lakes Legal to provide legal services for low, fixed rate fees.

I was immediately impressed with Hannah. She joined us in the male preserve of the Pool Room at the Stan Laurel and started playing chess even though she was a beginner. There have been other women showing what they can do - playing pool for their pub team, for instance. The days when women feel the need to be pretty sit up dollies are changing, thank god. Now we're seeing people who can take the lime light; and perform without the slightest bit of kerfuffle. In Hannah's case she not only runs an efficient company which earns her a living but she leads the way in showing us to live as caring humans without making a thing about it. People like this just 'stand up' and have the balls to do it as though it comes naturally - and for them - it does.

Make contact with Hannah though her web site

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Let's celebrate

We have a market on a Thursday where you can buy all the fruit for a week for only one pound: ten mandarins, seven bananas and five reasonably sized cox apples. Amazing.

Those that say we need a supermarket are surely ignoring the benefits of the flexible pricing you get with a local small business.

Not only are there good bargains but we help build local businesses that in the long term not only keep local people in work  but provide the cash to enable canny businessmen/women to provide even more services and hence jobs - something that won't happen when the likes of Sainsburys march in.

Let's use some imaginative thinking and think local rather than follow the mindless belief, produced by hjigh power brainwashing that supermarkets are good for us.

They're not - they will never have the above low prices on a regular bases but only in order to capture a floating market with their superficial 'deals'. Our market stall holders deliberately buy stock at prices that the supermarkets can't copy because they are so efficient at getting the goods into the hands of potential buyers.

Come on you guys 'Wise up' - you're being duped by well honed Supermarket Talk.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Our Citizens Advice Bureau

Sadly, this is about to close.

This amazing facility is being deserted by everyone as far as I can see. Though four of our Town Councillors have been alerted to the problem, they have been persuaded that a solution has been found.

 It hasn't. I've researched the situation thoroughly and the trustees at their last AGM which I attended, are resolved to close it down . John Dersley their chair decided that there was no hope as far back as last June and ceased to try to save it. He has persuaded his fellow trustees that there is no future in it's present form and that people will have to put up with a remote call centre. The way this has been handled is in my opinion an absolute scandal.  A deliberate policy has been to keep what was happening quiet. Even now Dersley claims that a millionaire may appear or that the government may change their policy - they might - but not if we stand back and do nothing.

After trying , with Roger Lindsay - who did a web site - to raise awareness to the problem we've almost accepted defeat. However I have to make one last try.

I'm going to try to persuade Tim Farron MP to get involved, so I'm going to see him at his surgery in Grange tomorrow morning.

However as I see the situation, the real solution is for Ulverstonians to make a commitment to keep this place open. I've pledged ten pounds a month, indefinitely to this end - if we were joined by others, (one other, Gladys Hobson has) I'm sure this would work.

There is an alternative organisation - Cumbria Rural who would take the Ulverston CAB under their wing and I'm sure they would welcome support from Ulverstonians.

I visited and talked to Tim Farron this morning. I introduced the topic without spelling out which precise topic I had come about. Tim and I are old contacts going back five years and it seems that we have a fair bit of mutual respect. He listened carefully and then showed by his comments that he had a detailed knowledge of what had been happening having been briefed by John Dersley in the last month or so. He fully agreed with me that more need to be done to save what is both Kendal and Ulverston CABs because the Face- to face drop in service was essential to the  needy public who came to CABs required. Sadly the whole operation is dictated to by the leadership of the trustees. His hands are tied but he will approach the SLDC to encourage them to get more involved.

Monday, 7 January 2013