Sunday, 18 November 2007

Eco-home of curves and tower, cedar and sedum - and indoor well!

Stourbridge Green Network visit to Prickley Top. Very cold and wet Sunday with 8 others. Remarkable tower with fabulous spiral staircase that I have long coveted for my own 'eco-castle'. Actually, Oliver and Sue's is the castle and my abode is the gate house! Grand design of spacious high lounge ceiling taking a 14 feet high panoramic window, overlooked by the master bedroom as part of the balcony. A wood burning stove gives focus in the lounge. Film studio coloured lights must give a warm and delightful effect at night. The lounge and dining hall ceiling slopes down to the kitchen down wooden steps. The kitchen has fetching pink floor, fridge and kitchen table with red seating. The dining hall has stainless steel table on wheels and six transparent plastic seats that are in perfect keeping with the modern design of the whole.

Underfloor Calor gas heating; two solar water heating panels and a sedum (not a grass) roof! The building is encased in cedar that, after two years, has mellowed to the intended grey appearance. The cedar is non maintenance. The spiral staircase comes out to the very private balcony and sun trap.

A further bedroom with en suite is in the main body of the house with two or three further cosy rooms. The office is at the opposite end of the house from the spacious lounge and dining hall. The design of curves in two planes for the lounge and dining hall shows the house up to its very best advantage from the commanding SW aspect. The great lounge window overlooks the beautiful and rolling Worcestershire countryside of orchard, hill and woodland.

With a building like this, compromise is unavoidable. Thus, the solar panels could not be ideally placed to avoid some shadow from the sun at the beginning and end of the day; and, the freezer and condensing boiler are not heating living space.

Yet, easily a home fit for the TV programme, 'Grand Designs' but, Sue and Oliver declined to pursue an initial show of interest by the programme makers.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

British Legion respond to poppycock!

Dear Frances

It seems as though you are growing your business on the US/UK's
longstanding predilection for warfare around the globe. Should you not be
a little more ethical and outspoken about our love for bringing freedom and
democracy down the barrel of a gun and, condemn rather than condone our
crimes of aggression?

All your servicemen have been injured or died on foreign battlefields and
certainly not defending our own homeland, since 1945.

Could you not start talking a little about the innocent blood we are
responsible for?


From: on 03/11/2006

Afternoon Tim,

Thanks for your message. You absolutely have a right to your opinions, and
it seems you have strong opinions around the idea of what the poppy
represents to you. Thanks again for sending this through.

Frances Hoy, Head of PR and Campaigns
Corporate Communications Department
The Royal British Legion
48 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5JY
Tel: 020 7973 7385 Mob: 07990 774 390

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Weller []
Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 1:49 PM
To: Frances Hoy
Subject: Is this poppycock?

In my lunch hour:

Summary: The red poppy should remember the much innocent blood shed around
the world by our fallen heroes. And, a most unequal volume of blood it is

But, we overlook that on Remembrance Sunday, because we don't like to be
reminded of all our invasions and bombings of other countries since the

For me, the red poppy is a symbol of military might is right, where we are
remembering only our war dead of the 20th century and this. Even worse,
remembering our fallen heroes when, in actual fact, in the 2WW and in
everyone of our wars since, our dead soldiers, airman and sailors had
killed many times more of the other side, including women and children than
those who got killed amongst our armed forces and civilians!

The red poppy should be remembering all our war crimes of aggression and
the shocking bloodshed we have inflicted in fighting for our vital
strategic interests around the world - but it does not!

Palestine/Israel War of the 1940s
Korea and other Far Eastern wars in the 40s and 50s Suez War in 1956 that
killed many times more Egyptians than our dead soldiers Vietnam War (and
attacks on Cambodia and Laos) from 1959 to 1975 - 3 to 4 millions
slaughtered by our side and our WMD according to Encarta. UK
arms trading with America
during the Vietnam War; we supported our foremost
ally and failed to express any disapproval for the genocide of the
Vietnamese by our side, apart from refusing to send troops to join in the
killing - only because we were fully engaged elsewhere in SE Asia
evil, godless Communism. Actually, of course, killing innocent men, women
and children that we labelled as Communists.

War in 1982 of mainly Argentineans dead, especially the Belgrano
sailors from our war crime then. Lord Carrington (Foreign Secretary at the
time) said in 2006 on BBC Radio 4: " It was a very chancy business to get
them (the islands) back and now one doesn't realise how chancy it was.
The Chiefs of Staff said that they thought it would be almost impossible to

Gulf War in 1991after we had armed Saddam Hussein for two decades, that
included supplying him with WMD! The highway of death, that was our doing,
showed no mercy on a defeated army of retreating Iraqi conscripts.

War of Terrorism (that includes Israel
's attack on Lebanon in July/August
2006) that started on 7 October 2001
has slaughtered hundreds of thousands
of Palestinians, Lebanese, Afghans and Iraqis - and, 3,000 USA
, UK and
Israeli soldiers and airmen.

Is the blood of the poppy only the blood of our fallen heroes or, also, the
vastly greater numbers of fallen victims they were responsible for around the world?
Were these men, women and children of foreign lands, with a different
colour skin from us, asked if they wished to perish to leave their land
enjoying the blessing of western democracy, western values and true

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Unusual mix of nuclear and nature in her wildness

Walk with Colin and Ian from CemlynBay, Anglesey. From Bryn Aber Ho to tiny church of St Rhwydrus and we turned back at Hen Borth beach. Very windy; near high tide when we arrived and plenty of white water on the 'flat' rocks. Views of Wylfa Nuclear Power Sta, lagoon, shingle ridge between sea and lagoon, very high brick wall built as a bird refuge round Bryn Aber Ho and massives of sea spray driven inland by the powerful wind with flecks of dirty foam like snow blowing around and on the ground!