Project Four: 29th February

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I have lived through nine 29th Februaries and have never really given them much thought.  This is my oldest child’s first 29th February (and my second child’s first 29th February), so the first leap day since I have become a father.  It was with this in mind that I decided to catalogue the general happenings on this auspicious day.

Obviously this is going to be a very slow moving project – with updates only once every 4 years – but should be fascinating if I can keep it up for the next 10 occurrences (should I live that long)!

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Project Three: The Ides

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This is perhaps a simpler project then the first two that I have set myself (hey it’s my website I can do what I want to do with it!).  This involves no research, no checking of facts and very little time.  It does take discipline though.

I enjoy taking photos but they tend to be snaps, very little art or structured work.  To be frank I don’t have a lot of time to do that and my muses for the majority of my photos tends to be my family or holiday ‘snaps’.  I have toyed with the idea of trying to have some form of focus to a selection of photos and never have, well not until now.

I have decided that I will catalogue the Ides of each month.  Why?  Because I wanted to chose a date each month to record the changes through the year but I also wanted to be a little geeky: hence the Ides.  The Ides (Idus) where thought to be the day of the full moon in Roman months.  This was usually the 13th of most months except March, May, July and October where it was the 15th.

So there will be an update on, or more likely just after, each of the above dates and hopefully it should be a fascinating portrayal of the turning year.

Project Two: Bygone Postcards

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This is another of those projects that have been sitting at the back of my mind and hopefully by putting it into words and publishing it on the web for all to see, it will give me the encouragement to actually do something about it.

I own a number of photographic historical postcards with various scenes from places that I know, namely around West Bromwich and Staines.  They are mainly from the early part of the 20th century and although I am far from being classed as a deltiologist (even an amateur deltiologist) I find the historical significance of the photographs incredibly intriguing.  It is fascinating to see how much places have (or indeed have not) changed in nigh on a century.

Some of the postcards that I own are virgin postcards (they were never used) but there are a number that have messages and that is quite fascinating too.  It is a glimpse on a moment in someone’s life.  In 1894 British publishers were given permission by the Royal Mail to create and distribute picture postcards and at that time there were up to 12 deliveries a day in some cities in the UK.  Thus the postcard, with its reduced postage rate (of 1/2 d),  could be used as e-mail or text messages are used today with multiple exchanges between correspondents in a single day.

This project is simply to try to recreate the same photo as depicted on the cards I have.  Literally find the landmark, guess as to where the photo was taken from and snap.  I will scan the original postcard and upload my 21st Century version and try to make notes on how the environ has changed in the intervening years.

This may be a little slow moving as it will depend upon when I get the free time to go and take the photos but hopefully I should have some here for your comments early in the spring (2012).

Project One: ‘Old Moore’s Almanack’

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Welcome to 2012 and welcome to the first of ‘Baggie’s Projects’.

Many years ago I was given a copy of Old Moore’s almanack and it intrigued me.  For those of you that do not know of Old Moore’s almanack it is an astrological almanac that was first published in 1697 by Francis Moore astrologer in the court of King Charles II.  It contains astrological predictions of world events and of various sporting events and well as conventional data such as lighting up times.

Occasionally you will hear that major events were predicted by Old Moore’s almanack or Nostradamus or Old Mother Shipton or whoever but some of these interpretations either need to be taken with a large pinch of sodium chloride or have been significantly edited after the event to fit the facts.

Part of me would love to think that the future can be predicted (the cupidinous side of me) although it does grate with the notion that we have free will.  Even Yoda would have an issue that events can be foreseen and I have real difficulty in believing anything to do with the pseudo-science that is modern astrology.  It was therefore with this in mind that I parted with my £2.50 and decided to run an experiment.

This year’s Old Moore’s Almanack boasts of previous successes: it claims to have predicted the 1991 Robert Maxwell fraud, the 1938 Munich Crisis, the bomb in the Tower of London 1974, the death of John Smith (the then Labour Leader) in 1994.  Apparently it also predicted the 2008 property crash (I also predicted that one), the Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, the floods in India (2009) and the Iranian embassy siege of 1980.  It predicted the historically lower interest rates in 2009 and the resignation of Tony Blair in 2005.  You could say that is a pretty impressive success rate.

Indeed, according the official website,  “…In 2012, Old Moore’s Almanack will be 316 years old and deserves its world record-beating inclusion in the Guinness Book of Records. With accurate predictions, including the 2001 terrorist attacks, everyone agrees that Old Moore is the No. 1 seer, with the best prediction record…

Old Moore’s Almanack is divided into a number of sections but I am only going to concentrate on the major world event section (pages 37-48) and the horse racing (also pages 37-48) and football pools sections (page 72).  For your information the other sections include monthly horoscope predictions for each star sign (need I explain why I am not entertaining that section) and horoscope predictions of various public figures (this year’s are: Alan Sugar, Nick Clegg, Catherine Zeta Jones, Sebastian Coe, Kelly Holmes and Theresa May) which again could be open to interpretation.

The copy of Old Moore’s Almanack that I have was published in June 2011 and my copy arrived via the postman via a well known on line retailer at the end of October.  So what ever you think about the publication at least it hasn’t been retro-edited to fit the facts and therefore lives and dies (this year’s version anyway) by the predictions that have been printed at least a couple of months before the turn of the year.

I will therefore make extensive contemporary searches for each of the predictions that are made in the 2012 edition and report back via the medium that is this website and we will see whether the £2.50 was worth the investment.

The truth is out there

Baggie

‘Always in motion is the future’ – Yoda