I have spent some time this weekend trying to research a bit about Blogging Etiquette and have decided it is a mine field out there with so much conflicting information that ultimatley I am going to have to do what works for me.

Just simple questions like do I post once a day once a week do I post on one particular subject or several, provided to many conflicing answers I gave up in the end.

I am sure it was just easier to post as and when and on what ever I wanted.

As for questions on writing styles!

Well I am not a writer where as some of the blogs I read obviously have people behind them are skilled and able to express themselves very clearly.

I tend to write as I think and let the fingers do the typing. Then again I suppose that is how I am as a person, say things as I think them .

When I broke it all down I decided a blog should reflect the person behind it, their personality, likes, dislikes, style and thoughts. Otherwise there is a danger of the blog becoming clinical with the personal touch being removed.

In my view it is the personal touch that makes blogging interesting!
I really hadn't got myself motivated for the Royal Wedding but had long since decided I was interested in what the dress looked like.

I wasn't going to hog the TV and if I wanted to watch it I would take the Laptop to the shed and sit quietly watching on line.

Anyway to cut a long story short the OH had the Laptop I had the TV.

I Thought Catherine Middleton looked stunning I thought the wedding ceremony was like any body else’s but with a bigger audience and a bigger church!

I thought Prince William and Princess Catherine or the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge or Kate and Wills did a great job today of owning their own wedding yet paying respect to tradition in their own way not totally ruled by tradition.

As one who was not going to watch or not motivated , I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am very proud
Congratulations to all happy Couples today and a HUGE thank you to all those HM Forces and Police Forces that helped make today safe. As a UK resident I am equally as proud of you and the way you represented Britain to the rest of the world watching
The above site has a load of old pictures and history about Earlswood Lakes Station interesting!                                                                            

Earlswood Lakes station was situated at the highest point of the line between Birmingham and Stratford Upon Avon. The long bank from the south required heavily loaded trains to be piloted from Stratford Upon Avon. Watering facilities were provided for trains that might have otherwise have been hard pressed to continue on to Snow Hill.
The station was opened with the line in 1908 and was deemed significant enough to be provided with brick platform structures and a goods yard which remained open until 6th July 1964. Access to the station was via a path to the up platform from the road that crossed the railway or via a drive way that led to the down platform and to the goods yard. The main facilities including the Booking Office were situated in the down platform building

WARWICKSHIRE Wildlife Trust is urging nature lovers to muck in during the Royal Wedding weekend.
The Trust is holding a series of work parties for volunteers to get hands-on at wetland nature reserves and ancient woodlands.
The first work party will be at Brandon Marsh, a Coventry Site of Special Scientific Interest, starting on Thursday at 9.15am.
On Sunday there will be woodland work at Clowes Wood in Earlswood, Crackley Wood in Kenilworth, and Ryton Wood in Ryton-on-Dunsmore – all from 10am.
The conservation continues on Monday with from 9.30am at Rugby’s Cock Robin Wood.
For further information contact Michael Drummond on 024 7630 8998.

I am obviously over the moon that my little blog has started getting busy. 

Well busy for my little corner of the world. 

Today I decided to have a think about what caused a busy blog and as a blogger how it has affected my blogging.

All it took was a Twitter account! why I took the plunge to open such an account I don't know! you can all see what my previous thoughts on Twitter were in previous posts and they were not all endearing thoughts. 

Its taken a bit of work to get used to and it has been a learning curve for me. 

Not only has it been a learning curve I have actually found out quite a lot of things that have proved quite useful.

Primarily I use Twitter to keep up to date with what is happening in the local area and just occasional to link to my blog. 

It was this action that sort of led me away from my everyday personal posts and started me wandering around the web to see what the rest of the Local Community were up to these days.

What strikes me as strange, odd is that there are quite of few local places that have there own little corner of the web all doing their own thing which is great. I am one of them but how beneficial would it be to Local Organisations and Business to have a bit of joined up thinking. 

I suppose that is what I have tried to do on a basic level here. 

Wouldn't it be great to have a community what's on where all local organisations and Business pop in their local events instead of them being splattered everywhere or tucked away hidden and hard to find. 

I am so tempted to do that here but hold back because so many things can go pear shaped.

So I suppose what I would love is a community Calendar Central Calendar that gave a Date and an Event and link back to the organisations website almost like a Hub a starting point for anyone visiting or resident to Forshaw Heath & Earlswood.

How has Twitter changed my blogging well to some extent I have a little voice and should perhaps be using it a bit more. I have been listed on Openly Local and have a responsibility to tone some of my thoughts down. 

Once I am on a role there is no stopping me but having become a little bit public I need to be more constructive and use my blogging platform properly. 
On holiday listening to what's going on around me. Wouldn't it be good to know what the Police Car + Siren found so urgent in Forshaw Heath. 

Funnily enough that's twice in one week. 

I Guess we will never know and never be able to help.

Nah forget it. It was probably West Midlands using us a a cut through from the M42 back into Solihull then again it could have been West Mercia doing the same but back in to Worcestershire 

Then perhaps it was Warwickshire. Who knows?
I have sort of got mixed up with this blog and by accident am tending to steer away from personal musings. I find myself refraining from what I wanted to say and end up deleting posts. Which I didn't mean to do!

I suppose it would be confusing for anyone passing by.

Having recently been listed in Openly Local I have now had to decide how I should approach what started off as a personal blog with a few everyday personal thoughts, without mixing it up with my key interests which happen to be raising awareness in the followiing areas using the Internet
  • Local Policing
  • Local Community
  • Local Events/News
  • Local Broadband
  • The Internet in the Local Community

However this Blog  HERE I will concentrate on the following!

Local Policing

I am one of those disappointed that Warwickshire Police appear not to have joined the many other constabularies  using social networking to their advantage.

Local Community

There is a Local Community on line as well as off line and my aim is to make the Cyber dwellers aware how much good work our many volunteers do on our behalf alongside urge our Local Organisations to keep their web presence up to date and current and remember to engage via the web. Whether we like it or not Cyber Space is here, now and current.

Local Events & News

My aim is to raise awareness of Local Events/News

Local Broadband

I really am going to try and raise awareness of the lack of Broadband speed in Earlswood & Forshaw Heath. Like many I am annoyed that I pay for up to 8 MB and in 1 whole year have not managed to reach even 3MB. In actual fact 10 years the PR Spin could be I have managed to double and a half my Broadband speed. 

A bit sad really as BT go on their Infinity Project. Its not so much the speed for me it's the price. 

Just Give Me A low Tarriff for A Low Speed.

Oh dear it's back to normal everyone must be back at work or back indoors because its so chilly outside
OMG My blog is Hyperlocal and has now been listed in Openly Local not only that I am the first Hyperlocal site to be listed under the Stratford -On- Avon listings. Come on Parish Council, Residents Association and Birds Of Earlswood come and join me. A few weeks ago for the first time I came across the word Hyper Local and wondered if I fell into that category it seems I do :o) I am really pleased as our nearest Hyper Local site previously was in Acocks Green!

What is Openly Local?

Openly Local is a new project to develop an open and unified way of accessing Local Government information.

So far we have opened up data for over 140 local authorities, and more are being added every week, with more information being opened up too.

We currently have information on:
  • 162 councils
  • 10,283 councillors
  • 6,341 committees
  • 66,280 committee meetings
Today I have spent the day Spring Cleaning my computer. I have done away with Internet explorer and FireFox and decided I have got used to and quite like Google Chrome, it speeds up my browsing experience and helps BT with their PP Performance.

I have defragmentated my hard drive – Thats like watching paint dry and got rid of all the rubbish I don't really want.

Now this is what I can't understand I am in the garden with my laptop wizzing along like no ones Business.

Infact you could say I was at the bottom of the garden eating worms and well away from the Wireless Hub so why is it that it all works so much better outside?

Come on BT You can give me 3 MB of the up to 8 I pay for if you really want to. Alternatively could you cut my broadband price by 1/2 . I will accept up to 4 MB and won't quibble about the other missing 4 and a bit MB.

I might even do away with moving the portable TV and watch the RW on the laptop. LOL that will be interesting.

Christ I am looking at the grass I mowed the day before yesterday It needs doing again I can't believe how quick it grows.
Why is it when I don't have to go to work I wake up at the crack of dawn without even wanting to have an extra 5 minutes in bed. It has been the same since Friday morning.

I am one of those that have taken advantage of the long holiday and I can just see it now I will be waking up early when all I wanted was a lie in recharge the batteries.

I am not normally one to take advantage of the Bank Holidays in order to use fewer days of my own accumalated holidays. That is except for the August Bank Holiday but this year I have to say I did think why not and booked it.

Its great the OH goes back to work tomorrow.Its not that I don't love him but throwing old stuff out whilst he is about is almost impossible as he keeps everything and Spring Cleaning doesn't happen. I have plans for the odd socks and old T-Shirts :o)

I have all the washing done up to date and dried, not Ironed and have decided to spend the rest of my Holidays doing the following

  • Have my hair Cut
  • Buy a new suit for work
  • Spring clean my little home
  • Spend time with our lovely little dog who is also on Holiday. He normally goes to work everyday with the Other Half.
  • Go out with Dad to find him a new TV
  • Chill on Friday and watch the Royal Wedding in the shed :o)
  • Book our flights for our Summer Holiday
LONDON | Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:33pm BST
I must admit as I saw the pictures of the Union Jack adorning the streets of London on a beautiful sunny day. 

I thought how beautiful it looked and how good it was to see the Union Flag fluttering. 

I know almost 30 years ago our family home and garden was full of bunting and my Parents and my God Parents had their own street party in the garden with the TV. 

For the life of me I can't remember where I was but I wasn't watching a Royal wedding at home with Mom & Dad. I have a feeling I was living abroad at the time and missed out on the celebrations. 

As I ponder on some of Mom's photos of that particular day I wonder what she would have done this time around and I really don't know. Dad reckons she would have gone all out with bunting everywhere and had a huge party. I am not so sure she would have done.

I am finding it difficult to get motivated for the Royal Wedding of course I hope they have a great day and a long and happy marriage. 

Will I manage to keep away from the TV? I really don't think so I am really interested in what Catherine Middleton's wedding dress will look like. 

I am very tempted to take a portable TV to the garden shed put a bit of bunting up around it. Take my bottle of wine and quietly watch as and when I feel like it.
I have taken the plunge and registered with Open Locally. Whether it will be listed is another thing. If I don't try I will never know.

In any case I might as well !  No one else local seems to have done it YET  :o(

I have just noticed they have a new link and new look website.

As has the Children's Farm In Umberslade/Tanworth

Both links updated in the In & Around Earlswood section to the Right

Nearly There at 3MB put the Flags out mind you everyone is on holiday or out in the sun.

I have grown to like Twitter I like what it is famous for short timely updates. I really don't think it should be used for anything else other than announcements,quick updates, reminders, quick warnings. 

From the people I have been following London Midland on the whole they provide me with most everything I need to know at short notice. I was also alerted to my new solar light via twitter.

I really don't think twitter should be used in meetings,where concentration and listening is important. I really do feel it could distract attendees. Now I am unsure if Police Chat this afternoon was on about tweeting to the general public from meetings or to colleagues not attending the meeting which ever way I still think there is a better way to include those that aren't in attendance.

I am sorry but anyone advising that a web cast is expensive has been misled it can be done by anyone for free even I can do it which is saying something. Not only can web-casts be saved or archived enabling viewers to view at a later date they can be cast Real Time. I think a really good example of this has been done by Stratford District Council at one of their planning meetings.

Like anything a web-cast can be for a selected audience or open to everyone.

So my whole view on Tweeting from meetings is it shouldn't be done and alternative less destracting technology should be used.


When I started following Police Chat I thought it was for everyone to take part in not just for those working for the Police. I must admit over the weeks I have felt that it quite a clique just a personal opinion nothing more. Having a looked at this weeks agenda what a hot potato I think it is. Just take a look at the questions.

Discusses whether it is acceptable to tweet from meetings that take place within organisations. Among the questions we will consider are:

1. Do you tweet from internal meetings? Do you do it with permission? 

A) No I don't Tweet from internal meetings! Blimey concentrate on the meeting and tweeting = loose concentration. However if it were structured and when a quick public input required then I can see the value of a nominated Tweeter posing the question via Twitter and announcing the response to the rest of the meeting if there is one.

2. Why tweet from meetings – does it give us any benefits? 

A) As above I can see a benefit (Quick short responses to a direct question)

3. Could tweeting from meetings go horribly wrong? 

A) Like anything of course it could go wrong. That is why it is important that if Tweeting is to happen from meetings.

  • The purpose of Tweeting needs to be established (Perhaps asking direct questions) 
  • One person Tweets not several so as there is not room for those reading to misunderstand.
  • In fact I am not so sure Tweeting is right for a meeting however I did see a web cast by Stratford District council Planning Committee that was very good. Perhaps a web cast is better for a meeting!

4. Does tweeting distract us from the task in hand? 

A) Yes I think Tweeting would distract from the task in hand loss of concentration as answered in question 1 that's why I would use a webcast instead.
In previous days of the Internet it would be called Real Time Chat but there is a difference.

Social Media these days although real time is not Real Time Chat.

In Fact very rarely do I see RTC used instead it appears to have been replaced with Short timely messages from Twitter and Face Book or the use of forums which although can be real time are often delayed due to when someone wants to respond or finds it convient to respond.

As I watched the Police Chat unfold and I have been viewing for a few weeks now. What concerned me is that it appeared IMHO to be Police Staff chatting or tweeting each other, staying close and discussing the way forward with each other but perhaps not engaging as they should with the outsiders or the General Public.

If the whole aim of using Social Media is to engage with the General Public then I don't think Social Media is working.

If the aim is to Inform the general public then I think it can work.

It shouldn't be all about what the police have done well. It should also be about asking for help ie Car Stolen have you seen it. Missing Person have you seen them, Short timely messages and alerts

I think one of the big problems is that there are so many Social Media outlets knowing which one to turn to as a member of the public is difficult.

The other thing that is really confusing is that each Police Force use different methods. If as I do you live in a county that borders 3 Police Forces. I have one activley participating and updating Tweet. I have one that only appears to concentrate on the Heart of the County which hardly helps me who is on the outskirts and one I have not seen hide nor hare of.

I think in the first instance Social Media should be used to give short timely updates.

Such as! Have you seen XYZ can you help?call us on XYZ!

Like the General Public at large it would be daft if the Police ignored what I now know as Hyper Local sites but it is a matter of finding trusted sites,blogs.

That goes for anything on the web and I suppose in Police Language Trusted Sources. Just like they do it Off line they should be able to do it on line. They guage the value of the information.

As for tweeting during meetings how bloody rude and unprofessional. If meetings are for Public Consumption just Webcast it live. That way people in charge become accountable for what they say and members of the public are in the position to view and ask questions.

There is a place for Social Media use by authorities in our Society but it must be used properly and consistently and it shouldn't be one or two Police Forces it should be all of them. Doing it the same way. That way people know what to expect and the Authorities know what to expect from their followers.

The Key is Consistant Clear communication and not mixed messages.

As for how to measure Social Media and its success or failure in the Police Case it is all about Outcomes

Have they prevented a crime as a direct result of Social Media
Have they Caught the baddies as a result of Social Media

Silly season has begun, The noise has started again admittedly not from the usual source for which I am grateful.

It started off at about 20:30 last night with I heard it through the Grape Vine blasting out. Where it was coming from I don't know but I sure as hell heard it!

It was still going on at 3am this morning well as long as all those attending what ever party or function it was enjoyed themselves sod the rest of us.

I sound like a real kill joy I really don't mean to be. I feel a little bit grumpy this morning, probably something to do with lack of sleep due to noise
I am sorry but I find it really insensitive  that poor Catherine(Kate) Middleton and Prince William have not even got married yet and it is already being discussed in the media about them having children and Heirs to the throne. 

For Gods sake let the pair get married first.

As for having a Woman on the throne if Prince William and Kate Middleton produce a daughter. 

What exactly is the problem we have had a Woman on the throne since 2nd June 1953.

There's nothing like putting pressure on a couple to have children. How dare we just assume this is what they want. For all we know it might not be (I doubt it) but I really don't think the Media or the public should be discussing the Royal Couple and Children before they have even got married. Good God the girl could change her mind in two weeks!
I remembered Police Chat this afternoon where the topic was Communication.

It seems there is either not enough communication or so much communication coming from so many directions nobody knows anything any more.

I think communication is important in all walks of life and depending on who is communicating depends on what tools should be used and how it should be done.

To much communication can confuse and to little leaves one feeling alienated. 

Then of course there is the finding a trustworthy tool to communicate by. As we all dip in and out of

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Blogs 
  • Websites
  • Email
To name but a few

As I watched the Tweet session develop these questions were asked 

Q1 Should we invest time and money in detailed evaluation of communication activity?

Well of course it should be evaluated other wise no one can say if it is successful or not or whether it is worth doing or not. If its not worth doing Police are wasting time and effort. If it is worth doing Police may not be making the most of it.

Q2. If we do evaluate, what measure should be considered?

I find this question so simple to answer The Police Force in simple terms is there to

1. Prevent Crime
2. To solve Crime

The answer therefore is to measure How many crimes were prevented and How many crimes were solved as a direct result of which ever communication method is used (List Above)

Q3 Should the work be carried out by independent experts or by those working in communication?

I have had a change of heart on this originally I said independent experts + Police. I now think it should be done in the first instance  by those implementing the communication at local level.

Q4 How can the whole police organisation make better use of communication evaluation?

Oh er well

1. All start using the same method of communication (Pre requisite)
2. All measure the same outcomes
  • Is it directly responsible for Preventing a crime
  • Is it directly responsible for solving a crime
Same measurements Nationwide

OK so I am having a tough talk to my self here and quite frankly quite hypocritical. I smoke! I have to ask myself why I smoke! something happened today that I didn't like and it gave me a blast from the past.

I started smoking because I was one of those who could take it or leave it, I enjoyed the odd ciggie now and again. I was also one of those that could come home from a night club and smell the smoke on my clothes. I hated it

To cut a long story short I became a smoker during my early 20s

Today something happened as a smoker I smelt smoke on my own clothes especially my outdoor jacket, I hated it I was embarrassed and it gave me a blast from the past. I came home put my jacket in the wash lit up a ciggie not smoking but watching it burn then simply pondered on how a few leafs a bit of paper could have got the better of me for so long.

So today starts my battle against the Ciggie

HMS Manchester

The end of HMS Manchester's 30-year Royal Navy career was officially marked in a formal ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base last week.
The Type 42 destroyer - a veteran of the first Gulf War - has clocked up over 860,000 nautical miles in operations across the world. She is being decommissioned as the ageing fleet of Type 42s makes way for the new, highly-capable Type 45 destroyers.
The decommissioning service was conducted by a former chaplain of HMS Manchester, Father Mike Wagstaff, with musical accompaniment provided by the Royal Marines School of Music.
The Commanding Officer of HMS Manchester, Commander Rex Cox, said: "It is with mixed emotions that we approach HMS Manchester's decommissioning. On the one hand there is sadness at the retirement of a very special ship that has made an impression on everyone who has had the good fortune to serve on her.''
Guests of honour at the ceremony included the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Mark Hackett, and Rear Admiral Mark Anderson, Commander Maritime Operations.
HMS Manchester was built by Vickers Shipbuilding Group at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, was launched on 24 November 1980, and commissioned into the Royal Navy on 16 December 1982.
WoW I would never have thought it but the Doctors Surgery is on-line. New link added to tabs at the top of the page. All sorts of information on there. I hope no one needs it but the link is there just in case.
Now how complicated is this, yet uncomplicated but how to solve it is a different question.

You have a make believe village (Scenario) of 100 people.

The current system says if 40 of those people  vote for the colour Blue Then 30 of those  vote Green and the other 30 vote yellow. = 100 The one with 40 votes wins.

In simple terms it means 60 people don't actually like the colour Blue. So 60 people the majority don't want the colour blue but 40 do but the 40 vote wins! I am not quite so sure that is right as it does not represent the majority

How on earth do you solve that problem?

Well I suppose we will end up with a lot of mini coalitions. Interesting thought!

Its a shame really because at Local Level there should be no colours it should from what I understand  about the person/people who the voter feels represents their best local interests not their political party agenda!

Perhaps I got it wrong I really don't know any more
Well I don't really know and can only take an educated guess! My take on it is if you live a community that is full of busy professionals and sprawled out over a wide area a web site is a good way of keeping the community in touch and informed about what is going on around them.

I am really happy that our Parish Council has a presence on the web. It is really good news and I for one really appreciate it. I know its been there for a few years now tucked away quietly!

I am not to bothered what a website looks like as long as it is uncomplicated easy to navigate it works and comes from a recognised source of information.

Of course aesthetics do help when trying to capture and keep an audience but on the whole it's all about the quality of the content most importantly

  • The information up to date current and consistent

As soon as the content on a website doesn’t change or is out of date people will stop reading it and not take it seriously.

A website is like a new Parish Notice Board whether we like it or not cyber space is here and people use it for convenience because thats what on the whole their lifestyles dictate.

Unless the content changes on a regular basis it becomes dormant and except for the odd passer by it gets forgotten about.

56.3% of our local community are between the ages of 25 and 64 how many of those people don't use the Internet? http://openlylocal.com/wards/667-Tanworth

PS I got bored of A green blog everyone else has a green website so I changed the background again.

Last weekend my OH and I purchased a solar light with a PIR ! we thought it would be the perfect solution to our unlit stair problem- Without the hassle of calling in an electrician. 

The other half promised me faithfully he had read the instructions and duly fitted the light this time last week.

We waited patiently for the batteries to charge via sunlight by Saturday this week nothing was happening. I happened to tamper with it without reading any instruction and hey presto there was light. Don't ask me what I did I don't know.

We waited with anticipation for the dark to arrive and watch our staircase  light up. 

Nothing happened my Husband started fiddling and announced one of the batteries had a loose connection as the light sporadically went on and off as he fiddled with the batteries. Plonker well it would wouldn't it LOL!


Come Sunday (today) before taking it back I decided to have one last go at it. I rummaged around for the instructions and read them step by step. As suggested by My Local Garden Centre in the nicest possible way :o) I really couldn't face the performance of unscrewing it and waiting for it to be screwed back up (Call me impatient)

However I now have my light working in the daylight whilst on test and am eagerly awaiting the dark to see if it works. 

LOL at least I know what the buttons do which is more than can be said for the men in my life who appeared to be waffling to me. Men's language for we haven't read the instructions and don't know what is wrong.

BoD is Eagerly awaiting dark so as I can see the light work. Keeping fingers crossed and hoping it works.

Sunday Evening

IT WORKS :O))))))))))