Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Marching On

It's the Tolpuddle Martyrs Trade Union march again this weekend in the small village in Dorset that bears its name. Once again we'll have two 'ships' over the top with banners for different Trade Unions, Joe Mann's 'Community' and Bob Crow's 'RMT.' I find it a little ironic that the Trades Union movement relies heavily on a Conservative-leaning pilot but they don't seem to mind and last weekend I had a banner flying over the annual Durham Miners march. 

Sunday's march recalls the events of 1834, when six farm workers from the tiny village of Tolpuddle in Dorset were sentenced to seven years' transportation, a massive protest swept across the country. Thousands of people marched through London and many more organised petitions and protest meetings to demand their freedom. 

Blogging in these peak summer months is a bit of a challenge because it's hard to find the time or indeed the enthusiasm when it get hot. Last Saturday, I was dragging a banner for Tradeshop, a local business over the beaches and the fair at Quex park in the morning and Thanet could have been somewhere on the Mediterranean coast of France, basking in the heat below. A couple of hours later, over at Bournemouth, it was still very hot but to be honest, I think our beaches are better! 

I'm probably going to be blogging intermittently for a while now so expect some long gaps before the autumn.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

In Synch

Blogging time is increasingly becoming a luxury these days, wedged firmly between the competing demands of business and cabinet/council duties. That said, I finally gave in a bought a new desktop PC and it's taken a good twenty-four hours to move most of my programs across and re-install the  more important software.

I haven't a clue where some of the licenses have gone or what's going to happen to the music on one machine, now I've switched across, thanks to the oppressive digital rights management that makes it very difficult to migrate from one system to another. On the way to school this morning, I told my daughter of those happy days, many years ago, when a new PC simply involved a mirror copy of its predecessor. Rampant software piracy and new licensing technologies soon put an end to that and I can recall attending the first meeting of FAST, the Federation Against Software Theft, which took  place at a wine bar in South Kensington in the late eighties I think.

Anyway, switching PCs means synchronizing my iPhone with another machine. I very carefully avoided accepting the iTunes 4.0 OS upgrade I was offered earlier and looking briefly at Tony Flaig's weblog, It seems that I did the right thing. However, the 'synch' process has been running for two hours now and I can't really be sure whether its actually working or not.

An interesting request came in earlier today, when I was called and asked if I could arrange a flight over the forthcoming Papal visits in both London and Glasgow. I replied that not even the Almighty himself, I suspect, would be able to convince the police that me flitting about over the top of the leader of the Catholic church was a good idea and I would expect the airspace surrounding the visit to be firmly closed to all but visiting angels and police helicopters.