Penkhull Won!

After twenty four hours and over 13000 votes Penkhull’s flag finally won out over Tiree in Scotland by 51.5% to 48.5%. So very very close. I couldn’t resist going on twitter every few minutes to check what was happening, through most of the night! It’s silly but I’m very proud of our little village in the city.

The flag institute who ran the poll was amazed at the number of votes that were cast. The lead swapped backwards and forwards between us and Tiree. A wonderful feeling to have actually won!

Up supporting Penkhull

I don’t know when it got so serious!

I live in Stoke-on-Trent and the village at the top of our hill is called Penkhull. It was mentioned in the Domesday book and was a Royal Manor from 1086 to the time of Edward the Second. It is a village in a city and people like it so much that they had a competition to design a flag.

The flag has a golden Cockerel symbolising the weather vane on top of the church steeple. It stands on a blue ground which is for the blue of Spode, the old pottery firm in nearby Stoke-upon-Trent that manufactured ceramic products including the willow pattern pots that became synonymous with the factory.

The yellow oval and lines radiating out are for the road around the village green and the four roads each leading downhill from the village.

The green is to show that is a green place in the middle of a city. The whole design was approved by vexillologists (no I didn’t know that word before the competition) from a charity called the flag institute.

So why am I up? Penkhull is taking part in a competition being run by @theflaginstitute on Twitter. It is in the #WorldSeriesOfFlags and is up against the golden rays of barley from #tiree in Scotland. This is the final. I have not been able to sleep since I saw that Tiree had got ahead of us in the final they are on about 51.8% and we are on 48.2%? Something like that. Its very even between the two places.

Don’t know if I can get back to sleep…. The vote on Twitter ends at 11am. I think I’m in for a long night.

Dragonfly

My friend found this in her house today. She said it was like her spirit animal. I loved the idea. She let it fly free. I wish I had seen it. I’ve had to adjust the exposure and colour to try and make it visible because it was a very dark image originally. The structure of a dragonfly is amazing. It looks like the bones of a spine with a skull and wings.

Bike store

Bike shed

We have wanted a bike shelter for a while. There is not enough room in the shed for bikes and they have been scattered around the garden for months. They are covered up but as the weather deteriorates they will need a bit more cover so we have had this structure built. I’m hoping it will do the trick for the storage of the bikes. If not we might have to go bigger!

But why?

Two of the pages in a letter I just got had this printed on them: ‘this page has been left blank intentionally’.

Why? that’s two sides, a whole page left blank, but it isn’t blank is it? It has ink on it! And why not start a new section on the back of the page where this is written? I wonder how many thousands of pages are wasted. How many trees it would save? Make text 1 font size smaller. See how much that would save. And if the page is meant to be blank, leave it blank, to save ink!

Aunty socials piano keys?

Auntysocial.wordpress.com is asking for a design for her old piano keys, 88 of them, because she’s dismantled her old upright piano. The keys are black and white (over 100 year old ivory). There are photos on her page of what other people have done. I’ve tried to draw something after failing abysmally on a drawing app that let’s you draw circles but not spirals. Anyway this is wonky but I thought some wall art, a square shaped white panel, and with a spiral or two of keys on it, plus some musical notes painted on it. A bit random…. I don’t know.

Mini gingerbread man

Yes, it’s a mini gingerbread man. A treat with a cup of tea. Nice and spicy with a good snap. Dunked in to his knees first, then waist, and body, finally his head. Sorry gingerbread man, but you were very tasty. I might find room for another!

I know that far more elaborate ginger biscuits used to be made, for some reason I remember them being mediaeval? Maybe made in the Netherlands? Someone please let me know. I do know they are made in Market Drayton, in Shropshire. I can’t tell you more….

Distances

I like knowing things, so I thought I would look u some measurements.

The shortest distance on earth I could find was the thinnest section of the crust of the Earth which is only under the deep oceans and is mainly made up of iron bearing rock. That is about 5km.

But the thickness of the Earth’s crust varies between 5km and 70km, so the average would be about 35 kilometers. To give you an idea of how far that is, it’s approximately the same as Dover to Calais, which is 33.3km.

The distance from the Earth’s surface to space is 100 kilometers. Or three times the distance from Dover to Calais.

Going up in size, the distance from the Earth’s surface to the centre of the Earth is 6,371km. Which is 63 times the distance to space.

Now we go a bit further. The escape velocity from Earth is 11.19 kilometers per second. That is the slowest speed something would have to move to fly up into space and leave Earth’s gravity for good. The more massive the object, the more effort it would take to leave the gravity well of an object. So a gas giant planet is huge compared with the Earth but is less dense on average. I don’t know the figures. I didn’t look them up, but I read that if we were as big as Saturn it could gloat on our sea?

Going further out, the Moon, which is the furthest human beings have travelled to after reaching escape velocity is 384,400km away.

If you want to travel to the Sun the distance is 150,800,000 kilometers….

But man-made objects have gone further. We have sent probes into the vastness of space. Voyager Two has left the Solar system and is currently about 18,603,199,501 kilometers away. In distance at the speed of light that’s 17 hrs 14 minutes and 13.5 seconds (approximately) as of yesterday.

Of ccourse that’s nothing compared with the nearest star to our Sun. Which is about 4 light years away from the Solar system. And then… Space is infinite…