Tuesday 25th October 2016


Well I never stopped apart from twenty minutes for my lunch.
I arrived at nine ten because I wanted to be there and ready to start.
I took my own Gafa tape as I knew there would be none available to tape down the wires.We taped all the loose wiring down and made the area safe.
Then Anna and I collected more jars and the hanging bars from the store container.
I went to the briefing at ten thirty and by the time I got back to the studio at ten fifty the first family was waiting.From that time it never stopped until I had to stop a family of seven coming in at ten to four. Anna had gone out into the grounds so I was on my own.I had a volunteer with me after two.It was not difficult but it was full on. Explaining the idea and the process is a little more intense than we normal do as I felt it important to explain the end result of the jars. I explained that each tree would occupy its relevant tree space.


Today I was only allowed to use the Alder leaf and this may change tomorrow.
A couple of the family’s wanted to use other shapes and were grumpy because they could not. One family did this while I was not looking. There is a red tape to stop them doing this. I told them what they were to do with the materials to create the lanterns and did not give them the jars until they were ready to put the leaves and things in. Also I had to explain that they could not take the jars home and as they normally take their creations away this too was difficult in a few circumstances. There were no volunteers to go with the families to take the jars into the grounds so the jars were left in the room.

The children wanted to put their names on them so I added tied on labels.


I found that it took time to explain and had to go step by step through the landscape process. Once finished, the children enjoyed just looking at their work without the laminate of the landscape underneath. The director of the project gave me an i-pad as he wanted documentation of the work.

I had 99 people and they used 47 jars. It was a logistical problem to begin with as they all wanted to do the jars and there was not enough room on the tables so I had to kind of insist that others did the landscapes which they did.


This not how I feel personally but how history may have dealt with the Russian fleet.

Admiral Kuznetsov

Nelson would have got amongst them for sure
Harvey and Collingwood with sails billowing
Would have cut their line
Blotting out their black smoke
Ivan would have had to think again
Drake would have sent in fire ships
Hawkins and Howard would have harried their sterns
Jellico and Beatty although more cautious
For sure would have run them back to Severomorsk
Ivan would have had to think again
And as for Churchill?
Churchill would have sunk the fucking lot
And be dammed

Bish 25th October 2016
Putin’s Great White Fleet

By Matthew Bodner Moscow Times

In 1907, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt had a message to send to the international community: America was no longer a regional backwater, but a great power in global affairs.
To deliver the message, the jingoistic Roosevelt commissioned the construction of 16 brand-new warships. He had their hulls painted a stark white, rather than the customary dull gray, to better catch the eye. And with that, Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet – as the grouping came to be known – spent the next two years audaciously parading the oceans in a global publicity cruise.
Reportedly a keen student of history, Russian President Vladimir Putin may have had Roosevelt’s publicity stunt in mind when signing off on his navy’s largest deployment since the end of the Cold War: eight ships, including two of Russia’s most prominent warships, en route to Syria. And they are cruising slowly off the coasts of every NATO nation they pass.
But when the group, led by the Russian navy’s flagship – the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier – entered the British channel, it was not met with the alarmism typically prompted by Russian military maneuvers over the past two years. Instead, the Kuznetsov’s dramatic, billowing smoke — hardly the image of a modern aircraft carrier — was ruthlessly mocked. The battlegroup, it seemed, failed to impress.
“The Russian Defense Ministry is not as good at image making as it claims to be,” a source close to the ministry told The Moscow Times on a condition of anonymity. “If they knew that this was going to be the international community’s reaction, I am sure they would have thought twice about this publicity stunt.”
But the lashing Kuznetsov received in the international press missed the point. The ship is traveling with some of Russia’s heaviest hitting warships. Their arrival off the coast of Syria will represent a major upgrade to the Kremlin’s available firepower in the region. The journey is also being used by the navy to evaluate Kuznetsov’s abilities, and train its crew in combat situations.
Although the Kremlin clearly intended to use the Kuznetsov’s battlegroup as an important outward projection of strength, the motivations behind the deployment are largely internal. The ship has never seen combat before. Syria, already serving as a testing ground for Russian military hardware, gives the navy an opportunity to train and evaluate the crew. “There is no operational necessity to send the ship there, since we already have an airbase in Syria,” the Defense Ministry source said. Instead, beyond training the crew, it provides the navy with an excellent opportunity to evaluate the Kuznetsov’s overall performance. The navy has been embroiled in a heated debate over the actual utility of the ship for years.
Kuznetsov has been a financial burden since it was commissioned in 1990. Despite several major overhauls to keep the ship operational, it has spent most of its life in port. And it is due for another overhaul after completing this current deployment to Syria. That should happen early next year, since Kuznetsov has never spent more than six months at sea. When it does leave port, it is under the escort of the Nikolai Chiker, an ocean-going tugboat.
Russian navy brass and politicians see Kuznetsov as an important component of Moscow’s claim to great power status. Over the past two years, they have been lobbying for the construction of a new aircraft carrier to rival American designs. But others within the military see no real role for aircraft carriers in the Russian navy, which is oriented toward national defense rather than power projection abroad.
“Aircraft carriers are a waste of money for the Russian navy,” says retired Russian navy captain Maxim Shepovalenko, now an expert at the Moscow-based Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST). They require the construction of large battlegroups to escort them, and far-off destinations worth sending them to. Russia can make due with land-based airfields.
Instead, given Russia’s economic crisis, the navy should focus on its competitive advantage: a strong tradition of nuclear submarines, Shepovalenko says. This is, indeed, where a significant portion of Russia’s 20 trillion ruble ($350 billion) military modernization drive is focused. But Kuznetsov’s performance in Syria could tip money in favor of a new carrier. In sending Kuznetsov to Syria, Russia is also promoting its defense industry. Russia sold Kuznetsov’s sister ship to the Chinese, and refitted another old Soviet aircraft carrier for the Indian navy. It is hoping to sell Sukhoi and MiG aircraft outfitted for service on these types of ships to India for use on that ship.
The timing of Kuznetsovs’s deployment has rattled defense circles in the West, who have speculated that the ship is en route to destroy what remains of the Syrian opposition. A short-lived ceasefire intended to allow civilians to escape the encircled opposition stronghold of Aleppo last week did little to change the dynamic there. In the absence of renewed dialogue, all sides are retrenching.

Given the Kuznetsov’s limitations, it is hard to imagine the deployment is purely about Aleppo. The ship’s MiG and Sukhoi aircraft are less effective than the ones already fighting in Syria, because the ship is unable to launch its planes with full fuel and bomb loads. Even if it could could, Russia has a shortage of pilots capable of tricky carrier flights. Their performance in Syria remains an open question.


Instead, the strength of the Kuznetsov battlegroup is not the aircraft carrier, but the battlecruiser that accompanies it – the Peter the Great. The ship is loaded to the brim with anti-ship guided missiles, radar-aimed cannons, and is generally designed to destroy American ships in an all-out naval war. It is a very serious ship capable of dealing significant damage, but not to land targets in Syria.

“Sure, you can use the Peter the Great to fire some cruise missiles into Syria, but this is a very expensive way of bringing misery to a few huts somewhere,” says Mark Galeotti, an expert in Russian military affairs. “But sending that ship is symbolic. It’s about demonstrating to NATO that it should not be too confident about its ability to control the Mediterranean.”

The ship’s deployment also coincides with renewed discussions in Washington favoring potential military solutions to the raging civil war in Syria. Peter the Great is a deterrent to American carrier groups, which could conceivably be involved in some kind of action against Assad.

At the moment, little dialogue is taking place between Russia and the U.S. Two weeks ago, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested Russia should be investigated for war crimes over its actions in Syria. On Oct. 24, after rebels in Aleppo rejected an extended ceasefire proposal, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Moscow now sees a ceasefire as irrelevant.

So, when the Kuznetsov battlegroup arrives in Syria – presumably sometime in the next two weeks – it will be inserting a massive amount of Russian firepower into an increasingly volatile and intractable situation in Syria. Putin may yet have an opportunity to impress the world with his Great White Fleet.

Liverpool 2 Spurs 1

Vincent Janssen offered us late hope but our young team were ultimately undone by Daniel Sturridge after a valiant effort in the EFL Cup against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday night. Mauricio Pochettino made 10 changes to the team that started at Bournemouth on Saturday – Eric Dier the only survivor – and only three players were over the age of 24, Michel Vorm, Tom Carroll and Kieran Trippier. Dier, back in midfield, wore the captain’s armband.


Sturridge struck after nine minutes and was denied soon after by Vorm, who had another fine game deputising for Hugo Lloris. Indeed, as the night progressed, Vorm would save from Divock Origi, a fantastic fingertip out of the top corner, Georgino Wijnaldum and Danny Ings. However, there was nothing the Dutch stopper could do when Sturridge raced clear on 64 minutes and the second goal gave the home side the buffer they would eventually need.


Pochettino’s teams carry a never-say-die attitude and it was on show again. Erik Lamela buzzed around off the bench and was chopped down by Lucas Leiva for a penalty with 15 minutes remaining, clinically converted by Janssen. Liverpool remained a threat on the break – Sturridge denied a hat-trick by the crossbar – but we piled forward at every opportunity. Lamela went down again in the box by Alberto Moreno only for penalty appeals to be waved away and then a late final chance for substitute Shayon Harrison on his debut as Lamela switched play but the young striker allowed the ball to run away from him. The players were out but had no reason to be down on the final whistle after giving their all.

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