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Archive for July, 2008

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No Shit, Sherlock!

Friday, July 25th, 2008

22 Years of Peace Camp at AWE Aldermaston--

Over the past year or so, our Friendly Neighbourhood Atomic Weapons Facility has sprouted a veritable forest of cranes across several building sites which—over time—gave rise to a new laser facility, super-computer building (looking a bit like this one) and a new office block.

Meanwhile, planning applications have been arriving in my inbox at up to bi-weekly intervals for anything from gardening sheds to parking facilities for 1500 new staff. Oh, and some associated sundries:

And in February, AWE was delighted that an important planning application was granted for work to start on replacing its High Explosives Fabrication Facility (HEFF) at its Aldermaston site

(Connect ISSUE 3/SUMMER 08 p.2)

Could it be that the decision to replace Trident has already been taken?

P.S. I’m surprised to see that the Women’s Peace Camp(aign) website doesn’t contain the press release I’ve just received. I’m subscribed to their aldermaston_tng Yahoo group via

Writers’ Retreat

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Last week we were on a writers’ retreat in Assynt, deep in the Scottish highlands, and —true to form—I didn’t get anything much written, nor blogged.

But it was glorious, so here are a few photos:

View from Glencanisp Lodge

‘Mount Improbable’, as seen from Glencanisp lodge. It didn’t take long for the members of the writers’ group to come up with the name, but sadly it wasn’t me. I kept thinking ‘Zuckerhut’. Having another German there does it…


The Assynt Foundation is based in Lochinver, which looked unfeasibly idyllic during (one day!) of sunshine. Sadly I didn’t get a better shot because I was to lazy to walk up the pier. Then it started to rain…

forested island

A curious thing about the H ighlands are the miniature forests that grow on islands in the freshwater lochs. This is particularly striking in the Assynt area which has very little forest because the glaciers have scoured the mountain sides down to the bedrock (elsewhere in the highlands, deforestation is to blame). Again, I could have obtained a better shot. This was taken from the car window. (Well, it was half a mile to the lodge…)

Stoerhead, Assynt

Even in the middle of the tourist season, the Assynt coastal route is remote

Village Sheep

…not counting visitors, there are more sheep than people!