Previous Blogs Of The Month

Previous "Blog of The Month" blogs and websites that I personally
enjoy reading, revisiting and sometimes contributing to .

April 2011. Grumpy Old Ken. One man's view of the world. Looking back as well as forward. Remember, yesterday today was tomorrow; still in love with life in spite of increasing years. Nostalgia and neuralgia in equal measure. I just love Ken and his take on life - grumpy or otherwise.

May 2011. Canal Dog Blog. People often look at me and say "its a Wire Haired Fox Terrier". The first few times this happened I looked round to see what they were talking about. However, for anyone who is unsure. I can guarantee that I am a fully paid up member of the terrier clan. I have no idea what a "Wire Haired Fox" looks like. I have seen and chased a few of those "Red Foxes" along the tow path. But I have yet to meet a Wire Haired Fox.

June 2011. Granny Buttons. What can you say about a canal blog that is always one of the first you check out and read each day. Good stuff, very varied, never boring.

July 2011. Tales of Three Men in a Boat. A totally off the wall experience in unarmed blogging at its best. Sometimes below the belt and often in the eye, yet always a compulsive read. One for your blogging shelf in the boat library.

August 2011. There are three blogs this month  Nb Trudy Ann (David and Karen), Nb Waiouru (Tom and Jan) and Nb Net Profit (Sally and John). Each has some perspective to offer about boat builders and their build quality.

September 2011. Lost and Fond Aim to provide a warm and welcoming place where we can all remember the pets who have enriched our lives and find friendship and support from the huge community of animal lovers who understand just how we feel. Lost and Fond - Just like it says on the tin.

October 2011. Bee Strawbridge Love this planet. Hate what we are doing to it. Trying to help by raising awareness about the importance of biodiversity and other important issues such as: bees; soil; permaculture; food; ethics; animal rights; growing food; sustainable living and more.

November 2011. Grumpy Doctor A jaundiced look at life through the eyes of a doctor. My stories are true. The names, minor details, and dates of occurrence have been changed to protect the irritating.

December 2011. The Grassland Trust  Our flower-rich grasslands are fantastic places for wildlife. Not only do they bring colour to our countryside and towns, but they are also home to some of our best loved species: birds like the skylark; animals like the brown hare; and many different bumblebees and butterflies.

The Boaters Manifesto. This manifesto was compiled as the result of responses to a request made on half a dozen boaters’ groups on Facebook (total membership around 2,500) and through various individual boaters’ Twitter networks and discussion groups. Boaters were asked to let the transition trustees know what they actually need from them so that they can respond to the new charity with enthusiasm and commitment. A first draft was produced and offered to boaters for further amendments and additions and this is the final result.

The Barefoot Beekeeper Beekeeping has suddenly become popular again, having been in decline for more than half a century. Honeybees have been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Collapsing colonies, pesticide poisoning and parasitic mites. All this bad news seems to have triggered an almost primitive desire in people to want to help and nurture this vitally-important insect that, despite all our scientific advances, we still do not fully understand.

January 2012. Green Prophet. Green Prophet is a sustainable voice for green news on the Middle East region. The Middle East and North Africa region includes more than half a billion people. Controlling about 60 percent of the world’s oil, and 45 percent of its natural gas reserves, and with little environmental awareness in general and dwindling water resources, the region’s activities are of immense consequence for climate change, human migration, and the future of our planet.

BirdLife International is a global Partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources.

Grumpy Old Woman. Just like it says on the tin - one womans grumpy view on life.

Buglife- Buglife is the only organisation in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates, and we are passionately committed to saving Britain's rarest little animals, everything from bees to beetles, and spiders to snails. Today bugs are under threat as never before, so help us to secure a diverse and wildlife-rich planet for future generations.

February 2012. UK Butterfly The UK Butterflies website provides information on all of the butterfly species found in the British Isles, including those that are extinct or migrants. This website is open to anyone wishing to contribute, the many website features can be accessed using the drop-down menus found at the top of each page.

Retirement Rocks. A quick summary for new readers. I'm a 59 yr old Brit from Leeds, England. From 1989-2000, I took every work holiday I could touring the US and in that time, I visited every state except Alaska.

British Ecological Society. The vision of the British Ecological Society is to advance ecology and make it count. Ecology is the scientific study of the distribution, abundance and dynamics of organisms, their interactions with other organisms and with their physical environment. At a time when finite natural resources are being used at increasing rates, it has never been more important for human society to understand its impact on ecological systems and their importance in maintaining human health.

Skinboat Journal. The blog is about various boat and environmental topics.

21st Century Conservation. The purpose of this blog is to explore and extend new ideas in conservation. Sometimes we will post short articles that reflect our current research, thinking and work, at other times we will comment on current issues and debates. We hope you find this blog interesting and we welcome comments and feedback.

March 2012. The LILO website is where you'll find information about the eco-boating community in Britain, as well as the LILO Handbook. The Handbook is a guide and resource manual to low impact life on board. It's co-written by anyone who has something to contribute - whether it's personal experience, a tip on where to find eco-products or designs for a new biodiesel reactor.

Tree Hugger What would it be like to swim through the estimated 100 million tons of trash swirling around in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The Wherryman's Web The Wherryman's Way runs for 35 miles between Norwich and Great Yarmouth, following the route the wherries used to take along the rivers Wensum and Yare. Six years ago I was sitting in the White Horse, Chedgrave wondering why no-one had written a book about it. A few pints later my mates had convinced me I was the man. It was published in May 2010.

Bean Sprouts Five of us live in a very small ex-council house with a very small garden on the edge of farmland. We grow some of our food. We keep chickens and bees. We try to be "green", whatever that means.

National Death Service A bloggers view on the bungling bureaucratic service that we call the NHS.

Mark Wadsworth Cartoons Cartoon caricatures combined with a snappy comment. I find it so compulsive I go back again and again. in a reverse form of logic, some of the people are beginning to look like their caricatures!

April 2012. Ambush-Predator An irreverent take no prisoners view on life and Tesco.

Self-Sufficientish You’ll find packed into the pages of this website information for anyone wanting to be a little more self-sufficient… …ish, from home-brewing and sheep rearing to wild food and natural remedies. We like to think of ourselves a one of the leading resources for anyone who wants to explore the world urban homesteading, self-sufficiency or even just those who want to do a little to leave the stresses and strains of modern life.

Special Posting on: Blogs that I have come across whilst wondering around in some backwater or other of the Internet. I have an interest in most things including: Green Issues, The Law, Policing, Inland Waterways, Politics ....... the list could go on-and-on!

Beneath The Wig. "I toiled at the bar until I ambled off into the digital sphere. I am somewhat ranty, unapologetically sweary, very much so a law geek, a bit of a geek geek and (un)reasonably political. Oh, and female."

I love her perspective on our archaic system of law, I find her observations insightful on a difficult subject and obviously well informed.

Custody Record. "Custody Sgt at a busy 30+ cell suite. My ramblings, gripes and observations on life, policing in general and this unique role. All views are of course my own."

When people are arrested and taken down to the local police station. Then the Custody Sargent has to look after their welfare whilst in custody. Long portrayed as the place where people bump their heads or trip on the stairs. The reality is just the opposite, or is it.

Minimum Cover – The Police Officer Blog "Written in a darkened room, somewhere in the UK, this blog is intended to provide an insight into the world of those that keep your streets (and mine) safe at night; the serving men and women UK policing. We do our best to protect the communities we serve under difficult circumstances, but it’s getting harder every day. We don’t always get it right its true, but we always try our best. And yet the Government, the public, the media all want their pound of flesh on the rare occasion when it goes wrong. They, however, are not the ones who are expected to run toward the chaos with barely effective kit and insufficient resources in the belief that it will all work out in the end. I am a Police Officer. I know this because I have spent nearly a dozen years being called Plod, Copper, Pig, Rozzer, Gavver, Old Bill, 5-0 and many other degrading (and unprintable) names by those of restricted vocabulary, those with criminal tendencies or those blessed with a personality that includes a subtle blend of both. As if the uniform, car, horrendous hours and encyclopedic knowledge of form-filling were not enough, I also have these delightful daily reminders of the job that I do."

Magistrates Blog. "Musings and Snippets from an English Magistrate This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source."

On Probation Blog. "Welcome to the wonderful world of probation! These are the personal thoughts of an ordinary probation officer struggling to come to terms with constant change, whilst trying to do a useful job for society. Sadly, change is so often obviously not progress. I am fully aware that my views do not represent official policy of government, my Service or possibly anyone else - but hey - it's my blog!"

Ben's Prison Blog. "The first blog by a serving British prisoner, looking stupidity and ignorance in the eye whilst attempting to inject some neurons into the criminological debate. Variously described as being "obviously extremely intelligent" (Michael Gove MP), "full of shit" (Mark Leach) and a "fully paid up member of the awkward squad" (Parole Board). Ben strives to generate debate around the moral and political nexus that is imprisonment."

May 2012. Bumblbee Conservation Trust Bumblebees are lovely little creatures - their bright stripes and gentle buzz bring colour and sound to our summer gardens. They are also very important because they pollinate our wild flowers and crops. Sadly things aren't going well and some species are threatened with extinction.

Orphans of Liberty  We are differing voices who come together under one banner – that of liberty. We are political and apolitical – some belong to parties, some do not. Some are self-professed libertarians, some are small “c” conservatives, some classical liberals – the names are varied. However we all have one thing in common, a love of personal liberty; that casualty of the encroaching state as it seeks to micromanage our lives.

June 2012. Captain Ranty Here there be rants. There will be Freeman stuff, Lawful Rebellion stuff and Random stuff. I am rebelling because I want my country back. My lawful obligations are as follows: “together with the community of the whole realm, distrain and distress us in all possible ways, namely, by seizing our castles, lands, possessions, and in any other way they can, until redress has been obtained as they see fit…” Ch. 61 Magna Carta 1215

The Law seen from the cheap seats. Political, social and world class ranting on subjects loosely connected to the law.

Zenataomm An alternative view on life, often with a commentary to make you smile. Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. Was a book I read in 1975 and truly affected my take on things at the time.  I didn't realise until a couple of years ago when I re-read it that at the time it had also moulded me regarding my opinions and attitudes.

July 2012. Whiskey and Gunpowder explores the crossroads of liberty, finance and moral philosophy. Frankly, we don’t believe these things can be examined separately and we do our best every business day to demonstrate why. We regard state intervention as the danger it is to healthy free markets. We also lean heavily toward a consideration of commodities in a world of increasing scarcity.

The Grumpologist I am fed up with being overtaxed and over controlled by an out of touch, self serving political elite.

The Cynical Tendancy One man's world class ranting on subjects loosely connected to the world.

August 2012. Where Green Roads Meet. I am not sure how to describe this one but here goes - A blogger who is an Inveterate daydreamer, loafer and enthusiast of many things from Tunnocks Tea Cakes to collecting driftwood.

The Society of Biology is a single unified voice for biology: advising Government and influencing policy; advancing education and professional development; supporting our members, and engaging and encouraging public interest in the life sciences.
The Society of Biology’s vision is to represent all who are committed to biology to facilitate the promotion and translation of advances in biological science for national and international benefit.

September 2012. Junk News. Angry people in local newspaper. An irreverent hotchpotch osf the crazy, weird and wonderful people who make up this world. Quote " feel sorry for local news photographers. They are hugely skilled and poorly paid, and sent out to photograph miserable people pointing at dog turds. Here, we celebrate their work."

Spitalfields Life. One of the best blogs on the web. I revisit again and again. Quote "Over the coming days, weeks, months and years, I am going to write every single day and tell you about my life here in Spitalfields at the heart of London. How can I ever describe the exuberant richness and multiplicity of culture in this place to you? This is both my task and my delight."

October 2012.  Liars, Buggers and Thieves. a far from complete list which readers will find useful as well as shocking. Future miscreants from the big three parties be warned, you'll be getting your very own posts on here.

Inspector Gadget works in an unnamed force (rumoured to be in the south of England) and is also the author of the memoir Perverting the Course of Justice: The Crazy World of the War on Crime. The blog is one of a number of "whistle blowers" that have inspired books that lift the lid on the bureaucracy and frustration that many police officers face in the UK.

November 2012. Mammy Woo Mammy Woo's is the open, honest no holds barred blog of Lexy who 'used to be cool, then I had a baby. Now I wee when I sneeze'. Dealing with life with a two year old, an Irish Man and herself through depression it makes us howl with laughter and cry our eyes out in equal measure; it is beautifully written and hard to leave.

Trying My Patients I work on ambulances in a city somewhere between Lands End & John O'Groats and in my spare time, own a 5 year old boy.

Debt Bombshell. Every year the UK runs a large budget deficit. The Government spends more money than it can tax, so we plug the gap by selling bonds to investors at home and abroad. These bonds - known as gilts - have to be repaid in full, with interest. Added together, our unpaid loans make up the UK's national debt.

January 2013 Bexley is Bonkers This site was created as a reaction to Andrew Bashford of Bexley Council’s traffic planning department’s constant inability to answer straight-forward questions. It was against a history of apparent incompetence and occasional illegal actions over many years but it was Mr. Bashford who developed procrastination, evasion, neglect and bluster to an art form. It is him who provoked the creation of this site aided and abetted by the Chief Executive, Will Tuckley, who never once answered any email on any subject. The name of the site was inadvertently provided by the councillor for the Lesnes Abbey ward who, referring to one of Bexley’s road designs, said it was “absolutely bonkers”. Until October 2010 the whole site was the work of me, Malcolm Knight, but since then assistance and research has been provided by five more Bexley residents concerned about Bexley council’s scant regard for democracy.

Anna Racoon The ‘Anna Raccoon’ blog is owned by Susanne Cameron-Blackie, who writes as ‘Anna’. Occasionally aided and abetted by writers as diverse as Matt Wardman, Gildas the Monk, SadButMadLad, and Thaddeus J Wilson. Each writer has their separate interests but they share a sense of humour, and a belief that the commentators are the important factor – the authors are there to start the conversation, not dominate it. They are oft referred to as the ‘bar staff’ at the ‘Raccoon Arms’. Ms Raccoon may be addressed as ‘The Landlady’ or ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed’, whichever you prefer.

Anonymong Blind in one ear and deaf in one eye.

Autonomous Mind This blog is written solely by the blogger ‘Autonomous Mind’, a free thinking soul writing about politics and government, the media, climate change, democracy, liberty and the EU. I know better than the government what is best for me. I am frustrated at our high taxes, overbearing bureaucracy and interference in our lives. I am angry at the scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money, having to continually paying more in order to receive less, the destruction of our economic strength, the corruption of British values and the undermining of our social cohesion. I’m tired of the dishonesty and distortions of our political class and their appointees, and a biased media that instead of helping to hold the politicians to account sits with them as part of the ruling establishment and regurgitates their self serving nonsense. But I have no time for the hate filled individuals who reside in the extremist sewer of identity and racial politics.

Big Brother Watch was set up to challenge policies that threaten our privacy, our freedoms and our civil liberties, and to expose the true scale of the surveillance state. 
Founded in 2009, we have produced unique research exposing the erosion of civil liberties in the UK, looking at the dramatic expansion of surveillance powers, the growth of the database state and the misuse of personal information. We campaign to give individuals more control over their personal data, and hold to account those who fail to respect our privacy, whether private companies, government departments or local authorities. Protecting individual privacy and defending civil liberties, Big Brother Watch is a campaign group for the digital age.

February 2013 British History Online is the digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust, we aim to support academic and personal users around the world in their learning, teaching and research.

Archaeology Data Service supports research, learning and teaching with freely available, high quality and dependable digital resources. It does this by preserving digital data in the long term, and by promoting and disseminating a broad range of data in archaeology. The ADS promotes good practice in the use of digital data in archaeology, it provides technical advice to the research community, and supports the deployment of digital technologies.

Victoria County HistoryFounded in 1899 and originally dedicated to Queen Victoria, the VCH is an encyclopaedic record of England's places and people from earliest times to the present day. Based at the Institute of Historical Research in the University of London since 1933, the VCH is written by historians working in counties across England and is without doubt the greatest publishing project in English local history.

PastScape Discover England's archaeological and architectural heritage. PastScape is a quick and easy way to search nearly 400,000 records held in our national historic environment database. You'll find information on archaeological, architectural and maritime sites.

March 2013 Jane Tomlinson is an Oxfordshire artist who paints magical things from the natural world: animals, birds, plants, landscapes, pebbles, stones and sometimes even whole continents. Jane uses careful drawing and strong colours to express the truth and beauty revealed by nature.