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The Joy of Fix

My coffee machine broke and I didn’t have the heart to throw it away, so I learnt what I needed and fixed it. My Sage Barista Express which I treated myself to over a decade ago has been serving up to 30 coffees a day without fault. It’s a great machine if you are a coffee addict like me. Beautifully engineered and reliable even though the price tag is rather high.

In November 2023, it began to make horrible noises suggesting something mechanical was going wrong. Part of me was considering its retirement due to its age and excellent service. However, as with my 1989 Defender – it was too good to say goodbye to.

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When did social media go wrong?

Social media: initial novelty then perceived powerful tool for positive social change. Why did it go wrong?

One of the earliest adopters of UK social media was Stephen Fry, an incredibly kind, intelligent chap who saw social media as a massive positive opportunity for change. At that time, YouTube was only just a source of silly videos and TikTok hadn’t even been conceived.

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Leaky Bucket

The UK is a leaky bucket and we’re looking in the wrong place to keep it full.

It’s clear the UK has some serious problems ranging from rampant obesity, poor mental health, demoralised staff, anti social behaviour and decaying roads. Are we looking for the solutions in the wrong place? That’s what this article is about.

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My COP26 climate message.

  • Stop buying any plastic tat from China even if it lines the aisles of your local supermarket and your kids or partner really want it. If you don’t buy it, supermarkets won’t stock it, and it won’t be produced.  
  • Eat less. We’re all too fat already. If you want to eat more – eat more plants that aren’t deep fried.
  • Stop wanting more/bigger/more expensive stuff. Learn to enjoy more of what you have now.
  • Don’t think the answer is somewhere else and don’t blame anyone else. It starts with you.
  • Don’t think a new Tesla will solve the planet’s problems, or a flat on Mars. A new Tesla is 2500Kg of weight you need energy to move so that you can get a pint of milk.
  • One for young people in particular: if you can’t even pick up your own crap then don’t expect any world leader to do so on your own behalf.


Another day of the morning routine. Wake up. Make coffee. Let chickens out. The half-awake routine was wonderfully interrupted by something other than the chorus of eager chickens wanting to break out of their house and have breakfast. There was a big egg in the run. Bluey greeny sort of thing that had to have come from something much bigger than a chicken, after all, it seemed to weigh about as much as one of the chickens so the hole it came out of was much larger than the ones chickens had. Read more

Odd Day in Norfolk

On Friday 26th January, I was woken up ahead of my normal 530am time by what appeared to be a chicken celebrating an early morning egg. When doing the rounds  of letting dogs out, feeding the chickens etc, I noticed one of the chickens was a bit bedraggled. Mavis appeared she had gone for a swim in the river, which is a bit odd. The penny dropped, foxes had made a visit and despite getting away with nothing, had spooked one of the girls into the river. That at least, was how it seemed. Read more

Of Marbles and Men

Remember marble runs when you were little? There was something so wonderful about putting them together and seeing a marble end up  where it should. That fascination never ends – even at 48 I was equally fascinated by how the Moors in the 9th century channelled water from one place to the other. In this case, the old waterways feeding the pool in the Andalucian shack I was staying in. Read more