Thursday, 22 February 2018

A few local pictures, bit of sketching in Refectory Kitchen in Canterbury

Pictures should expand if you click on them a bit

A quick watercolour sketch over a bacon sarni in Refectory Kitchen in Canterbury today

Here is the view for aspiring art critics

most of the day was spent buying books for the bookshop and here is the link to the ones that went out yesterday for any dedicated followers

Spotted this bird in Canterbury today
 natural history isn't my strong point - if it had pink legs I would have assumed it was a migrating flamingo

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Some old pictures of Ramsgate. Forming local government around an airfreight hub, airport and other local issues and Margate's dark satanic mills

 Pictures will expand if click on them and as you can read the weather 111 years ago, rotten.

21 Conservatives or at least something like that, May’s Marauders – I think they are interested in cuts, although cuts of what – real estate perhaps?

13 UK Independence Party, possibly hoping for? The DCO so the government can use a compulsory purchase order to buy The Manston Airport site? is that wrong? leaving the EU for Thanet?

12 Independent UK Independence Party who want to find a financial partner so the council can use a compulsory purchase order to buy The Manston Airport site. I think this was the group that started out wanting an airport so they couldn't fly to Europe, Thanet politics is a very complex issue. Anyway Bob said - no dice.

6 Labour, only six of them after Iris and her serling work resolving the issues in Ramsgate where most of the Labour vote came from.

2  Independent Party. Indipendent

2 Independent Independent Party. More independent. 

On the whole I think the important thing here is not to panic. We know the answer is 56 it's the question that's the problem 

They have to form a wosisname? Government, augment, failure, something like that, no overall wosisname? Controls.

What should we say our objectives are?




Dog poo



What do we want?

To win


Big dinners

What will we get?

Long and rather boring meetings.

After a very persuasive argument on the benefits of flying in bananas on Facebook I have now to admit to having changed my stance over Manston.

I am now inclined to favour the freight hub with Roger Gale, wosisface and RSP, I would say sacrificing a few years off the lives of the oaps in the Thanet coastal towns is a small price to for reducing pollution levels in the rest to the southeast. Getting a situation where the pollution generated by over 10,000 freight movements p.a. only arrives in the Thanet towns before it harmlessly blows over Europe. As the scientific community are coming down with the view that PM2.5s are the main cause of dementia the oaps probably wouldn’t know too much about it anyway.

To quote RSP’s 2018 Preliminary Environmental Impact Study (non technical summery) 1.1.108 “There is health evidence drawn from the scientific literature that allows potential impacts on mortality and rates of certain diseases due to changes in noise and air pollutant exposure to be predicted quantitatively (in numerical terms). The scientific evidence shows that, depending on the level of noise or air pollution concentration, these may affect diseases of the heart, lungs and circulation system, mental health and wellbeing, and the overall risk of premature death.” I do wonder how they are getting on calculating the mortality rate? “In numerical terms.”

One difficulty for me on this one is the two secondary schools in listed building in Ramsgate, two of my children are studying in one of them, of course as part of the airfreight hub planing consent (DCO special 7 card whist trump rules para 1.1.108b) we could remove the conservation zone and listed building status so they could be fitted with double glazing, Or better still demolished to make way for modern buildings.

You know another interesting aspect of the particulate pollution associated with the 10,000 freight movements which would burn at least 10,000 tonnes of avgas on the ground at Manston per year would be a reduction in fertility here in Thanet. This could go some considerable way to solving out housing problem 

And of course when you get right down to it. Do we really want people wandering around charged with a lot of healthy sperm? 

You know how some people have difficulty distinguishing between left and right, or in one embarrassing case Port and Starboard (famous twins Ransomely) with me it's, up and down.

Srewth I forgot, here are some pictures of Margate's dark satanic mills in celebration of the new cap and vein

The Winners of the 2017 Thanet Schools Art Competition Laleham Gap & St. Lawrence College at

The Winners of the 2017 Thanet Schools Art Competition Laleham Gap & St. Lawrence College, exhibition runs 21st Feb - 28th Feb 

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Some old local pictures a few belated thoughts on the council and Manston

 The pictures of the pictures should expand if you click on them

 The only postcard that said anything on the back was this Ramsgate one
Fragments today, from stuff that came up, as it were. I have spent most of the day dealing with business correspondence so the other stuff has been by way of light relief 

It's one thing going along to the general election and voting Labour, Conservative or UKIP but quite another finding ballot papers for councils you have only a very foggy idea about (is it county, district or town that does drains) containing the names of people you have never heard of. Let me see, was I voting for Gordon Brown, David Cameron wosisface Forrige, oh yes here he is on the ballot paper, and who is this?

Anyway I went onto the council website to check just who my councillors actually are, this is a far cry from the days when councillors used to come into the town centre shops and ask how things were going and what they could do to improve matters.

From: michaelchild
To: Customer.Services
Sent: Tue, 20 Feb 2018 14:22
Subject: vertically disadvantaged discrimination issues

Hi this is a council website related issue.
Browsing the council’s website, I know sad isn’t it, but someone has to, I noticed that where councillors appear in a table at their pictures seem to be vertically disadvantaged.
I surmise that it is possible they have all gone to have a lie down after the resignation of their leader, however it also occurs to me that this could take the form of a joke, however common sense suggests it is just an error

Best regards Michael

I guess the Manston DCO that is integrated with politics and politicians locally just doesn't go away and probably won't go away for a long time. 

With the Manston DCO 2018 consultation  the main issue I covered in my response was the PM2.5 particulate air pollution, this is the new research findings that are making the government think about a diesel car scrappage scheme and when it comes to the legal side of airports it’s still all a bit of a grey area which I rightly figured the statuary consultees would have to miss out.

With the DCO at the moment Thanet District Council have the role of a statutory consultee, or in other words, you pay your taxes and if you didn’t read the last lot of RiverOak documents and respond to the 2018 consultation in some meaningful way, then the council had to read them for you and did their best to make a response that would shape a viable airfreight hub at Manston on your behalf. The council at the moment have a very important role in the DCO, but it is mostly a technical one done by unelected officers. The council response has now been published and here is the link

Something of an area where I think the penny hasn’t quite dropped among the save Manston groups is that the various consultation phases are as much about shaping any airport facility we may eventually get at Manston as objecting to it’s construction altogether, or saying that any aviation use of the site is good, whatever form it may take.

Once again what I can’t find after another round of consultation is a detailed response from anyone supporting the rsp airfreight hub.     

On the bookshop front there was a fair amount occult looking book went out this is the link to the pictures  

The new KCC draft budget is out this is the link

Monday, 19 February 2018

I try to sketch Neil Gaiman, Manston, the council, the leader's resignation, another fine mess we seem to be in ans some old local photos.

Well the leader's fallen on his wosisname, the fumes of cars and vapes drift into the bookshop and I wonder once again what on earth to write.

I honestly don't think Chris Wells did that badly as leader of our UKIP council, his big success is that we are now leaving the E.U. and his big failure was saving Manston Airport. Obviously neither of these things which our UKIP councillors stood on and got elected on are something the council could achieve. Although there are still people saying "the king is dead, long live the airport." 

In the previous post I asked who people would like for leader of the council, given that this person has to be chosen from the existing councillors, I didn't get a list of names despite linking the post to most of the popular local Facebook groups. 

Me well I think the only thing we have left to try with our council is the elected leader system, a sort of mini version of what London has with its mayor, not a ceremonial mayor eating big dinners and opening fetes but a political elected one running the council. 

Lets try some old local pictures next to relive the wosisname, well politics is a bit boring for some people. 

 I do love it when there is writing to decode on the back of a postcard form over 100 years ago, don't you?

 On the picture front I have gone back to painting pictures of authors from their photos on I haven't tried to paint likenesses of faces from the screen photos for some time and there is a sense where this type of painting isn't like riding a bicycle - once you have done it, what? O yes you can. Anyway it's partly because of this that I choose authors, I figure they understand the pitfalls of creativity and will be more forgiving. 

Gaimanish? perhaps 

On the airport front I keep getting the old justify your comments comments on Facebook - as though I have the time to write the same stuff over and over. 

I wonder whether it would really be the answer - to kill off a lot of the local oaps that is, would certainly help with the housing crisis, what do you think? 

Here is one reply from today, from me:-

"I suppose the people who would be most likely to suffer mostly in terms of death and dementia would be oaps in the Thanet towns, so if you don’t fall into that bracket you haven’t got that much to worry about. The other category fairly hardly hit would be students in the two schools that are listed buildings and therefore almost impossible to insulate in terms of sound.  

This isn’t something that RiverOak/rsp disagree with, if you care to read their 2018 PEIR document it is pretty detailed on the subject.

In terms of documentary proof the IRAC EHO 2013 study involving 312,944 people in nine European countries revealed that there was no safe level of particulates and that for every increase of 10 μg/m3 in PM10, the lung cancer rate rose 22%. The smaller PM2.5 were particularly deadly, with a 36% increase in lung cancer per 10 μg/m3 as it can penetrate deeper into the lungs.

When it comes to airports the main study was done by the University of Southern California and showed that the particles from the fuel burn travelled further than was previously thought. I have added a picture from the study for your consideration.

I haven’t put lots of links to the evidence in as you have google and can look for yourself, from my point of view the research showing the connection between particulates and dementia is the most worrying and at the main sources are gas central heating, diesel and jet engines it does seem to fit with the time framework.

However like asbestos in schools and hospitals, I don’t believe this will result in a reduction in the amount of travel, but the research into alternative fuels for jet engines isn’t going well.

I think perhaps the issue with Manston is that in order to qualify for a DCO the freight hub has to be seen as a new project starting from an airport capacity of zero and while you can have something that you know is killing people and take action to mitigate this. Building a new airfreight facility upwind of a large concentration of people, particularly where the onshore breeze is likely to hold the pollution in the densely populated part around the coast seem a bit like building a new hospital or school out of asbestos.

For comparison the amount of fuel burnt unfiltered and without a catalytic converter on the ground at Manston for one freight movement would be significantly more that that burnt driving a family car three times around the equator."

This was to a sort of you're making it up comment, which was partly a quote from RSPs own documents which say something along the lines of- we will go off and see how many people and airfreight hub will kill and how many it will drive around the bend. 

On the bookshop front, here is the link to today's post Only restocking the local books that sold on Saturday I'm afraid, I know I should try harder, but you know how it is. 

And yes I am going to try to paint more authors, but this time only authors I have read a fair amount of, I can't paint them from life, but I sort of thought that the influence of having read their books would - well if not shine through, at least make the process of painting from a photo, which I don't like much, a bit more interesting all round. 

The whole business of painting people as opposed to buildings, I don't do natural history, trees, bunnies and stuff as it isn't my bag, give me architecture and people any day, I'm just not interested much in the other stuff.

I sent off the following email about the council:-

"From: michaelchild
Sent: Mon, 19 Feb 2018 16:34
Subject: Thanet District Council
Hi Sajid.

You may have noticed our council here in Thanet is in a state of leaderless disarray, the leader having stepped down and as the opportunity for a vote of no confidence didn't occur it points to a poisoned chalice situation. 

I wonder if you would consider changing Thanet to an elected leader constitution so us voters could have a go at electing a leader rather the councillors putting up a councillor into a no overall majority situation with a rejected local plan, in fact a horrible mess.

Perhaps it isn't in you gift, if not, any solutions gratefully accepted.

Best regards Michael Pictures of books going out on the shelves in my bookshop My general pictures and writing 
Due to the nature of Clown Computing this email has been sent to you from some sort of fruit, it may make you more comfortable to know the following:- If it makes sense, it was sent by my PineApple Device, which has an ordinary keyboard. If it contains random wrong words, it was sent by my RaspBerry Device, which has predictive text and a small screen that I can’t always see properly. If it makes no sense whatsoever, it was sent by my new BaNana Device, with which I develop the persona of a chimpanzee and hit keys randomly hoping it will produce the works of Shakespeare, or at least something coherent."

The problem there is I don't think it is in his power to do this and I don't fancy some unelected civil servant - I'm sure they would do a very good job, save the airport get a good deal with the EU, but it's the principle of the thing - democracy being bad but considered to be the best there is.    

Where we go from here though I don't really know, I do know that our council has issues, one of the main ones being that a lot of good administratores don't want to work for it and officer morale is generally pretty low. I think the council has made a very poor job of the way they engage with local people online, especially social media, which they were very late in accepting had a place in the governing process.  

I am adding this link to the TDC response to the 2018 RSP consultation, lest I forget 

My own response focussed mostly on particulate air pollution as I think it is the most serious problem related to a large fuel burn at Manston 

Chris Wells steps down as leader of Thanet District Council

Thanet District Council Leader, Cllr Chris Wells and Cllr Bob Bayford (Leader of the Conservative group), met on Friday 9 February 2018 to discuss the changed group arrangements within the Council Chamber. Cllr Bayford indicated as Leader of the largest group he would move to form a fresh administration. Cllr Wells agreed to step aside to minimise disruption and maintain stability at the council by ensuring a vote for a new Leader without the disruption of a vote of no confidence.

Cllr Bayford said: "This is an appropriate way to recognise the changed council groupings and a sensible way forward following the fault lines that emerged across the Chamber during the Local Plan vote of 18 January 2018."

Cllr Wells has today (Monday 19 February) given formal notice of resignation as of Wednesday 28 February, allowing the calling of an extraordinary council meeting to take place on Thursday 1 March to elect a new Leader for Thanet District Council. Deputy Leader, Cllr Lin Fairbrass will be Acting Leader for the period between the resignation taking effect and the results of the Leadership election.

Cllr Wells said: "It has been a rare privilege to lead this council through some difficult times, facing declining budgets and increasing demand for services. My resignation recognises a simple fact of political life, that an administration needs to win votes to get policy through, and an administration supported by 13 or so of 56 Councillors would be a highly unstable proposition. The uncertainty that would create damages the smooth running of the council, something so many have worked so hard to maintain in challenging times."

Given the next stage will be a Full Council decision to elect a new Leader, neither Cllr Wells nor the council will comment further until the result of that election is known.

This really does beg the question. "Who would make a good new leader of the council? We have lots of people who have been saying resign, but given that the new leader is chosen from Thanet councillors by Thanet councillors, it may be a good time to decide who you want and tell your councillors, comment publicly on the internet blogs, Facebook and local papers. 

An alternative would be to lobby your councillors to change the system at TDC to the one where local people stand for the post of leader and we elect them. Obviously at the moment the councillors voted for the system where they choose a leader from one of their number  

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Some old photos Ramsgate, Margate, Broadstairs, a bit more sketching in Canterbury today and Rabbits.

Being neither a Man of Kent or a Kentish Man, having dfl’d in around 1965 I didn’t recognise these implements and thought they had something to do with wading after shellfish. As it is, I now know, having read the card, that this is your basic hop picking kit.

Time to rabbit on about something or another, is it? Suppose you all know the joke about the afterlife, Ethel want’s to know how her Ernie is getting on, on the other side. At the séance, “knock knock – is there anybody there?” “Ernie here, is that you Ethel.” “Yes dear, at a séance, what’s it like, are you in paradise dear?” “well not exactly, it’s very green here and there’s lots of sex.” “What on earth do you mean Ernie, the vicar hasn’t said anything about that?” “I have been reincarnated as a rabbit!”

Canterbury today, would these be indigenous Canterbury rabbits, escaped pets, decedents of escaped pets? Have you checked you hutch recently? These two both gone riverside, today in Canterbury.

Old Thanet photos which will probably expand if clicked on with enthusiasm.

At Ramsgate Sands with "you know" in 1907

August in 1905, the message which seems to be bilious may have lost some of its meaning down theyears.

I did a bit more painting in Canterbury Cathedral 

tried some panorama photos 

from where I was sittin, as you see a bit of a hot seat.