Posts

Getting serviced

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  Having done 1,000 km (not hard with a trip to Mallacoota and back at 350 km each way) it was time for the Mazda to get its first service.   The drive up to Canberra on Monday 13 June had some potential to be interesting.  The first element of this was realising it was the last day of the long weekend which opens the ski season.  So there was potential for chaos on the stretch from Cooma to Canberra.  A second element was the poor weather - cold and damp - leading to an Alpine weather warning from Brown Mountain to Cooma.  So we set off early to minimise the first issue and hope that the second was not too bad. As it turned out there was no evidence of snow or ice on the 'Alpine' stretch.  Rather than the forecast 2C it was 4C when we came through Nimmitabel.   I noticed a rally car parked by the bakery in Nimmitabel and guessed there had been an event at Bega. The results  are  here , and lots of photos etc in  this Facebook post . As we left that village there was plenty of

Firecrests

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 Following a post by Dave Flumm about Firecrests and their recent arrival in the Old Dart I looked up the maps in the European Field Guides I have around the place to see how things have changed.  The first is Peterson et al from 1965 (reprinted in 1972).  The line barely brushes England but the text says 'has bred'. Next is Heinzel et al from 1972 showing mainly a Winter bird (blue) but a small green (breeds and year round) dot just visible around Oxford(?). Finally Bruun et al  (1987) show a much larger breeding area (purple) with a wintering area off to the West including Cornwall

Pom and Australian elections

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The investigation reported below arose through a discussion of voting systems and a question being asked about the number of candidates per constituency in the UK (with first past the post). I initially contacted the UP Elections Commission.  They didn't have information about the number of candidates per constituency but gave me a link to the UK House of Commons Library (HOCL) who publish a mass of data online.  After a bit of fiddling I found a useful briefing which has the number of candidates for each constituency for all general elections since 1918 . The basic data from that shows the following for 2019: Chorley is the seat with 2: this is the current Speaker's seat and by convention he stands as an independent an is usually unopposed.  In 2019 the Greens broke with convention (how unusual) and ran against him. The seat with 8 candidates was Strangford in Northern Ireland.  This has a full array of the Irish parties (including NI Conservatives in the Wiki, which HOCL list

Work continues on the cladding

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 This has a few snaps of the continuing work to replace the flammable cladding on the Manhattan.  Earlier posts on the project are here  and here . The actual work is concentrated in the entrance area at present, as that represents both the highest risk (open to the public) and a very bad outcome if it goes up (especially with a fire door opening through the flammable cladding).  The first image is of work starting on the area at the back of the entrance. This is towards Bunda Street,  The fenced off area is where the site office is located. In the second post linked above I commented on the confusion around how much access was needed through our apartment to clear flammable cladding from that area.  Today, in conversation with representatives of the project manager and the contractor it was agreed that there was no need for any access through the apartment.  As it probably affects 52 apartments (at least 13: I don't know for sure about the 07 series or South Tower) I am astonishe

Briefly back in Canberra

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 We have a bit of business to do in Canberra so are here for a couple of days.  After arriving we set off for an exercise walk (ie no stopping for long periods to look at birds or take photos).  I was just able to keep up, with a few wind-sprints to catch up when the rules were transferred to the guideline column! The first image is the walking track under some oaks outside the National Library. This was a surprisingly unpopulated image.  Most of the time there were hordes of people around, many of whom had dogs with them.  Also a few cyclists who appeared to believe they were about to win Paris-Roubaix and thus behaving as though they were on a velodrome: Muppets. This is a work titled "Holden On" by Robert Fielding: it is part of the indigenous art Triennale at the National Gallery and according to a sign on the edge of the Lake is challenging the politicians up the hill to do better.  Fair call. Back at the apartment I pointed my Peak Finder app to the North and got this r