04 December 2023

Mr Bates vs The Post Office - coming soon to ITV


Nick Wallis says: The first trailer for the drama has been shown on ITV, and can be seen here on YouTube. I've been lucky enough to watch all four episodes and whilst I am a little biased, I can honestly say it is a stunning drama which will hopefully bring the Post Office Horizon scandal to a completely new (and vast) audience.

I was out at dinner last night, sitting next to two people who had never heard of the story. It was great to be able to show them the trailer. The star power of Toby Jones immediately piqued their interest and they wanted to know more.

I'll let you know as soon as the TX dates are confirmed.


01 December 2023

Child of Hope Nativity 2023, and a fundraiser for Christmas

Here is Child of Hope's 2023 fun nativity video; enjoy! 
There are seven days in all:

As the holiday season approaches, we're reaching out to share an opportunity to make a meaningful impact this Christmas. Your generosity can bring joy to hundreds of Ugandan families in the Namatala and Karomoja slums.

In these communities, poverty is more than a word; it's a daily reality, especially in the remote area of Karomoja. Families face desperate situations, struggling against hunger and malnutrition.

Yet, in the face of these challenges, your kindness can be a beacon of hope. Last year, your support enabled us to provide food parcels and host a fantastic party, leaving an incredible impact. This year, with your help, we hope to repeat this gesture. Could you assist us in making a difference?

Your donation, regardless of size, will ensure that our pupils and their families experience the taste of happiness this Christmas. To contribute via JustGiving, please click here. For those who prefer PayPal, cheque, or online banking, please click through to our website here.

Additionally, your support doesn't end with a donation. Sharing our appeal with your network helps us reach more hearts and make this Christmas special for everyone! Any amount exceeding our target will provide food for needy children throughout the year. 

Thank you for your ongoing support. Let's join together to make this Christmas a season of hope and happiness for those who need it most.


30 November 2023

And now for something completely different: a mountain bike that thinks its a motorbike, or is it the other way round?


Mike & I went to Motorcycle Live last week & had a brilliant time - there was lots of great stuff to grab the attention ;0). 

One of the two bikes that I rode on the day was a mad thing called a MECR-X. A tiny light electric motorbike that rode like a mountain bike - without the pedals. I totally loved it! As you might have noticed, I have a thing about motorcycles LOL! Also I enjoy cycling: my Specialized RockHopper Pro (which I've had for 15+ years) is a brilliant mountain bike. The MECR-X is somewhere in-between. Really light & stumpy, fast handling & accelerating. You might have seen bikes like this in the news recently, for all the wrong reasons...

They were demonstrating the MECR-X & other bikes in the electric test ride zone - and gauging feedback. After my ride (so much fun!) I had a chat with the peeps on the stand. Target price was £2500-£3000 - I said I be happy to have one! However, after thinking about this a while, I have to temper that comment... What we have here is something from a Chinese company that no-one has heard off, with little or no dealer network, spares, after sales, etc. Now, Sur-Ron is a player in a similar space - that has been around for a few years. Their bikes are £4500-£5500. However: for that sort of price you can (more or less) get a proper bike like a Honda CRF300L with a real support network & known longevity...

Hmmm: lots of fun to be had here, but still not convinced that small electric motorcycles are ready for primetime, yet...


Santa is preparing to lower this down the grandson's chimney!


Introducing the OFFICIAL Alex Marquez Replica Wooden Balance Bike!

Speedy Adventure: Designed to ignite your child's sense of adventure, this balance bike makes them feel like they're racing with its Alex Marquez-inspired design.
Eco-Friendly Construction: Crafted from sustainably sourced birch plywood, this bike is both speedy and environmentally conscious.
Comfortable Control: Soft rubber grips and real pneumatic tires ensure that little hands and feet can maintain comfortable and confident control at all times, enhancing the overall riding experience.
Official Alex Marquez Design: Authentically designed with Alex Marquez colours and branding for an exciting riding experience.
Child-Safe Paint: Painted with child-safe water-based paints, ensuring a safe playtime experience.
Lightweight: Weighing just 5kg, it's easy for little ones to handle and control.
Designed in the UK: Created in the UK by Kiddimoto, a trusted name in quality children's ride-on products.
Age Suitability:
Suitable for ages 18 months to 5 years.
Technical Specifications:
Material: Sustainably sourced birch plywood
Weight: 5kg
Tire Type: Pneumatic tires for a smooth ride

Honestly this thing is stunning! I met Simon - the MD of KiddiMoto - @ last year's MCL. Really liked the products but Kim said that as our grandson Oliver was only about two months old at the time - perhaps I should leave the purchase till he was a bit older ;0). I called Simon a few days ago, struck up a deal for a bike, helmet, bell & gloves. The kit arrived promptly, assembled easily & looks fantastic! Grandson is going to have a great Christmas & good few years play out of this thing! Highly recommended if you have a nipper in the family who could do with some wheels!  Proverbs 22:6.


27 November 2023

Advent is starting soon!


Advent with the Church of England. We invite you to mark the Advent season with us and Join The Song! As you make your preparations for Advent and Christmas, we have the following resources available:

Follow The Star App: Daily Advent reflections will be available in the Follow the Star app from 1 December and run until 24 December. The reflections include a Bible reading, short reflection, activity suggestion and prayer. Audio of the reflections is also included in the app. Learn more and download the app.

Follow The Star Advent Calendar: With beautiful illustrations and 24 stickers, you can now order these for children in your family or church. You can order each individually, or in packs of 10. Click here to order yours.

Online Advent calendar: Join The Song and find daily reflections for all ages, as well as audio versions so you can take a moment to reflect, even on the move. Follow along this December.

Christmas reflections booklets, prayer cards and more: This year's Christmas reflections by Richard Carter can be ordered in standard or large print, as well as prayer cards promoting the free digital versions. Find out more.

A Church Near You: Churches around the country are holding services and events to mark Advent and Christmas. Find a service or event local to you.

Alexa: Listen to the Advent and Christmas reflections by telling Alexa to, "Ask the Church of England for today's Follow the Star reflection."

DailyHope: Listen to the day's Advent reflection by calling the DailyHope phone line on 0800 804 8044


23 November 2023

Reading (and video) for today: Dwell on these things

While under house arrest in 62 AD, the apostle Paul wrote a letter to a church in the Roman colony of Philippi. He was no stranger to adversity. Yet, instead of collapsing under the weight of difficult circumstances, Paul discovered supernatural peace and joy. His inspired words (recorded in Philippians 4: 4-13) come alive in this unforgettable devotional video. It is  a message that has never been more relevant.

Philippians 4:4-13 - Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.


Commercial Flights Are Experiencing 'Unthinkable' GPS Attacks and Nobody Knows What to Do

Commercial air crews are reporting something “unthinkable” in the skies above the Middle East: novel “spoofing” attacks have caused navigation systems to fail in dozens of incidents since September. 

In late September, multiple commercial flights near Iran went astray after navigation systems went blind. The planes first received spoofed GPS signals, meaning signals designed to fool planes’ systems into thinking they are flying miles away from their real location. One of the aircraft almost flew into Iranian airspace without permission. Since then, air crews discussing the problem online have said it’s only gotten worse, and experts are racing to establish who is behind it.

OPSGROUP, an international group of pilots and flight technicians, sounded the alarm about the incidents in September and began to collect data to share with its members and the public. According to OPSGROUP, multiple commercial aircraft in the Middle Eastern region have lost the ability to navigate after receiving spoofed navigation signals for months. And it’s not just GPS - fallback navigation systems are also corrupted, resulting in total failure.

According to OPSGROUP, the activity is centered in three regions: Baghdad, Cairo, and Tel Aviv. The group has tracked more than 50 incidents in the last five weeks, the group said in a November update, and identified three new and distinct kinds of navigation spoofing incidents, with two arising since the initial reports in September. 

While GPS spoofing is not new, the specific vector of these new attacks was previously “unthinkable,” according to OPSGROUP, which described them as exposing a “fundamental flaw in avionics design.” The spoofing corrupts the Inertial Reference System, a piece of equipment often described as the “brain” of an aircraft that uses gyroscopes, accelerometers, and other tech to help planes navigate.