Tag Archives: england

Redbrook Walk

Redbrook HDR 1

Redbrook Walk, a set on Flickr.

This morning I walked from my home in Wales across the border into England, specifically the village of Redbrook in the Wye Valley. these are some HDR shots taken with my iPhone using the TrueHDR app.

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Crop circle aliens are vandals

The silly-season, sorry, crop-circle season story of the man arrested in a crop circle for allegedly firing a shotgun to deter sightseers provoked the following thought:

There are those who marvel at the amazing complexity of some of the crop formations and find mathematical and symbolic meaning in them that, they say, is proof that they are not made by humans. Well, I’m in the “made by humans” camp but am willing to listen to those with sound, scientifically valid evidence who believe otherwise. However, what I’m not willing to do is marvel at how “advanced” these aliens are.

They are vandals that cause thousands of pounds worth of damage. If they really need to communicate profound insights into human destiny, surely it’s not beyond them to learn one of our major languages or send a radio broadcast? I mean, if I were trying to convey information to creatures on a remote planet, I wouldn’t thoughtlessly make cryptograms in their valuable crops, causing damage and costing the alien farmers money.

That would just be a display of selfish criminal damage akin to graffiti.

If extraterrestrials are making crop circles, they are certainly not gentlemen 😉

Halt says he saw “structured machines” at Rendlesham, “extraterrestrial in origin”

File this under in the “If true, it’s very important” category:

Col. Halt, famed in ufology for his taped commentary of strange sightings outside a nuclear weapon-packed US Air force base in 1980, has apparently stated in an interview cited in UFOWeek.com:

“I wish to make it perfectly clear that the UFOs I saw were structured machines moving under intelligent control and operating beyond the realm of anything I have ever seen before or since. I believe the objects that I saw at close quarter were extraterrestrial in origin and that the security services of both the United States and England [sic] were and have been complicit in trying to subvert the significance of what occurred at Rendlesham by use of well practiced methods of disinformation.”

The significance of this remark, if confirmed that he did indeed make it,  is that he scores very highly on the credibility scale as the former deputy base commander outside which strange phenomena were observed over Christmas 1980. Much has been written and much pored over in the pursuit of the facts in this case, considered by some to be second only to Roswell in importance. This statement is completely at odds with those researchers who claim that what was seen by several people over three nights was simply a misidentified lighthouse.

If it isn’t already, this should be one of ufology’s stop-the-press moments and if the mainstream media would get out of snigger mode it would be breaking news.

England or Britain? A guide for Americans and too many English people

“We call our islands by no less than six different names, England, Britain, Great Britain, the British Isles, the United Kingdom and, in very exalted moments, Albion. How can one make a pattern out of this muddle?”

George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn

This BBC News article, combined with a recent visit to the USA reminded me of the misunderstanding that exists in the minds of not just Americans and others but – embarrassingly – English people about when to use the word words England and English. I should stress that I don’t believe it’s malicious; more a bad habit whose avoidance can prevent giving offence to those born in the constituent countries of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland outside England. I also stress that I’m no constitutional expert: my own qualifications are merely having been born in England and living in Wales.

Credit: Wikipedia

In short England is used wrongly to refer to the sovereign state whose formal name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This misuse went on in political circles until relatively recently, with Winston Churchill speaking during World War Two of ‘England’ when he was referring to the aformentioned sovereign state. Or was he? There’s an essay for a first year PPE student.

Recent devolution of some government powers away from the United Kingdom government and parliament in Westminster to Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland have served to make this issue more important to handle sensitively.

My guide for the uncertain:

  • Only use England when referring to the constituent country called England. Don’t use England if you mean the United Kingdom. If you are talking about someone or something from Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and the constituent country is relevant, don’t say ‘English’. Say Welsh, Scottish or Northern Irish. If you’re not sure, see below.
  • Use ‘Britain’ or ‘The United Kingdom’, or ‘The UK’  when referring to the United Kingdom or if you’re not sure – or it’s not relevant – to which constituent country you are referring. The same goes for the adjective British.