Fussell's Balance Lock

My dad and I went to see Fussell's Balance Lock:

Okay, it's hard to make out from the photo, but the two deep bits on each side are where the canal boats would have gone up and down in the caissons.

Looking at this artefact of industrial archaeology prompted me to quote from Shelley's Ozymandias, 'look upon my works ye mighty, and despair'. My dad thought I'd just made it up.

We went for a walk around the area, and I mapped it on OpenStreetmap. This is a memorial shelter designed by Lutyens.

Below is a photo of me outside the local shop in Mells.



Dave asked me what the French call a cul-de-sac. I think it's an impasse:

Actually, this is my last blog post from France. I'm feeling sad to be leaving, in fact I haven't got my head around the fact that the holiday is ending.

I've been doing a bit of mapping on OpenStreetmap, and I'll post the results once they're visible. Tomorrow I'll take a few more GPS traces before catching my train at about 15:00. Once last lunch in Amboise I think.

Thank you for reading.


OpenStreetmap Limeray

Here's the area around my gite on OpenStreetmap:

Over the next couple of days I'll try and fill in some of the missing bits. Actually, the scale might be a bit small to see any difference in a side-by-side comparison afterwards. I'll have to learn all the French words for various features, like ralentisseurs.

Polifesto Favicon

I've done a little icon for Polifesto:

It's the favicon that the browser puts in the address bar, tabs etc. What do you think? It's okay, you can be honest.

Apart from bugs and odds and ends, Polifesto is done for the moment. Also, the example manifesto La Licorne is finished for the time being. Let me know if you find any bugs or have any ideas for Polifesto.


Gite La Licorne: 2

Fnarr, fnarr!!!

A view of the Loire, taken at Amboise.

There are huge corn fields. Walking in them you feel like you're in Signs.

Segueing neatly from Signs the film, to a sign for a public footpath. This sign means that to follow the blue path, if you're coming from the right stop, and turn right. These signs can be painted on trees, painted on the road, or embedded in dirt tracks. You go from sign to sign, like following spoor when hunting an animal.

The area that I'm in is filled with vineyards.

Grape picking is mechnised these days. The owner of my gite isn't a fan. She says that wine from hand picked grapes is superior.

The grape picking machine on the left is pouring the grapes into a truck.

You'll say that I've been watching too many sci-fi films, but this could be a scene on an alien planet, like the spice harvesters in Dune. The peasants following the machine, tending it like an elephant. Of course they're not really peasants, probably multi-millionare owners of a wine empire. I said bonjour to them, and they replied cheerfully. I've no idea what they said, I learnt French by reading Emile Zola.

I'm going for a jog now. Since I can't understand the signs, I just jog down any old track. I'm sure some of the signs say 'Keep Out', 'Strictly Private', 'Biohazard' etc. Some have pictures of slavering guard dogs, and I've no idea what they indicate.

At Claire's Birthday

The blur on the left is Meg running away after undoing my shoe lace.

Action Shot of Dad

At the swings with my nephews, there's this skate-swing thing.


Ages ago, Andy made a cocktail, with me choosing the ingredients, this was the result. Fantabulous!


Polifesto 17

I've been doing some work on Polifesto, both the functionality of the site, and the content. Polifesto is a wiki of political manifestos. You can rate the manifestos and write your own. You can include policies from other manifestos. I've fleshed out a manifesto call La Licorne Manifesto.

The technical changes are:
  • Now uses the excellent GAE Utilities to handle sessions.
  • Fixed bug where the wrong radio button was checked that said what your policy rating was.
  • Corrected problem with logging out by using cgi.FieldStorage().
  • Fixed bug where rating radio button didn't stay checked when it had been checked.
  • I'm using Selenium for testing. This probably means an end to my own Imprimatur.
  • Fixed loads of other bugs.