Book review – Cold As The Grave by James Oswald

Posted in Authors, Books with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2019 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

The ninth book in the Inspector McLean series and you don’t have to read them in order, although like any long running crime series the author will refer back to events in the past covered in previous books.

The opening sees the discovery of a mummified body hidden in the dark corner of a basement room, a room which seems to have been left untouched for decades. The plot unfolds from here to include a mysterious circus, human trafficking, a 60’s rock star and a djinn.

James Oswald is similar to John Connolly in that both add in supernatural elements to their books and they work well, also like Stephen King’s excellent Mercedes man trilogy.

Although used a lot in book reviews, ‘Cold As The Grave’ is a proper page turner as you want to keep on reading to see what happens next, such are the twists and turns in the plot. Highly recommended and James Oswald joins my select list of ‘must read’ crime writers.

Government response to Make ‘netting’ hedgerows to prevent birds from nesting a criminal offence

Posted in countryside, Family life, News with tags , , , , on April 11, 2019 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

We can only hope the Government holds developers to task over this. In the meantime good to see community action against developers using netting in this piece. A sobering statistic on hedgerows –
“Since the 1950s the UK has lost an estimated 120,000 miles of hedgerow – amounting to four times the earth’s circumference – and, with it, prime habitat for birds and wildlife.”

The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Make ‘netting’ hedgerows to prevent birds from nesting a criminal offence.”.

Government responded:

Developers must fulfil their obligation to safeguard local wildlife and habitats. Netting trees and hedgerows is only appropriate where genuinely needed to protect birds from harm during development.

On 8 April, we wrote to developers to remind them of their legal obligation to consider the impact of any project on local wildlife and, where necessary, to take precautionary action to protect their habitats. Developments should enhance natural environments, not destroy them. It is vital that developers take these words on board and play their full role to make sure we can deliver new communities in an environmentally sustainable way.

Wild birds are protected by provisions in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to cause unnecessary suffering to a bird by an act, or a failure to act, where the person concerned knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that the act, or failure to act, would or be likely to cause unnecessary suffering.

Any development project must consider the impact on local wildlife and take precautionary action to protect habitat. Bird netting should be kept to a minimum, and used only to help protect birds during development.

In accordance with Natural England’s standing advice for local authorities needing to assess planning applications that affect wild birds, survey reports and mitigation plans are required for projects that could affect protected species. Our revised National Planning Policy Framework also makes clear that planning policies and decisions should contribute to and enhance the natural environment by minimising the impacts on, and providing net gains for, biodiversity. However, we plan to require developers to deliver biodiversity net gain, under new arrangements in the forthcoming Environment Bill. This will mean wildlife habitat must be left in a measurably better state than it was before any development.

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Stoke get that winning feeling again as Didcot draw away

Posted in Championship, Didcot Town FC, Football, non league footnball, Stoke City FC with tags , , , , , , on April 8, 2019 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Stoke went back to winning ways away at Blackburn and scored a goal – a great strike by Peter Etebo! Bojan missed a penalty, so we’ve only put away three out of the last thirteen penalties. That makes it nine games undefeated now with Swansea away tomorrow evening. Both Tom Ince and Ryan Shawcross are likely to be missing due to injury.

Congratulations to Tyrese Campbell, currently on loan at Shrewsbury Town, who won the EFL’s Young Player of the Month award for February.

Didcot Town drew one all away at Kempston Rovers, which given the team changes (player manager Andy Ballard and Adam Leyroad were serving the first of their two match bans), was a decent away point and they still remain in the final play-off spot. Kidlington at home this weekend is a ‘must win’ to help secure a play-off place.

Big Garden Birdwatch Results 2019 – The RSPB

Posted in birdlife, Family life, News, wildlife with tags , , , , , , on April 5, 2019 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

In my own Big Garden Birdwatch the house sparrow dropped from top spot, mainly down to the hedgerow being removed at the end of last year by Taylor Wimpey. Instead it was the starling at the top, followed by the sparrow, blue tit, long tailed tit and wood pigeons.

Since we have planted three new trees at the rear of the garden to go some way to replacing the lost hedgerow habitat, we have seen a few more sparrows plus a regular pair of blackbirds, a wagtail and even Jenny wren has been back to sample the delights of the bug hotel I made with my son last autumn.

Top spots

We can now reveal 2019’s results. Once again, the house sparrow has hit the top spot. At number two is the starling, closely followed by the blue tit and the blackbird.

The woodpigeon flies in at number five, followed by the goldfinch, great tit, and robin at number 8. The top eight remain the same as last year, so it’s a battle for numbers nine and 10. The chaffinch has seen off the long-tailed tit to be at number 9, and the magpie has crept in at number 10.
Read more here

Didcot Town v Bromsgrove Sporting this Saturday 30 March 3PM KO

Posted in Didcot, Didcot Town FC, Football, News, non league footnball with tags , , , on March 29, 2019 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Tough home game against Bromsgrove Sporting, who currently lie in second spot, 20pts ahead of Didcot who are currently fourth in a play-off spot. Last week’s 5-1 drubbing away at Berkhampstead means Didcot need to bounce back. Bromsgrove have won their last eight games, with only one defeat in twelve games, a 3-2 defeat away at Dunstable Town.

One to watch is their striker Jason Cowley who scored last week against Corby Town and it even made the BBC.

Should be a bumper crowd as well with Bromsgrove Sporting averaging 938 for a home game. Come along and support non-league football 🙂

#uptheDiddy #DidcotTown #nonleague #football

Happy Birthday – this blog is eleven years old :)

Posted in Stoke City FC on March 29, 2019 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

It seems like only yesterday I started off this blog to cover Stoke City, music and family life. It has since seen offshoots for my love of music (The Rockin’ Chair) , fundraising for the Nordoff Robbins charity via Fifty Gigs In A Day, my past fundraising (Keep On Fundraising) and finally one on the memories of the Theatre Royal, Hanley.

However, this blog and the Rockin’ Chair are the most used and popular.

The most viewed post to date is from 2008, a Beginners Guide to Blue Oyster Cult.

Thank you all for reading the blog, comments and sharing posts.

Book review – A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty

Posted in Authors, Books with tags , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2019 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake
Harper Collins [Pub Date 04 Mar 2019]

It’s a thin line between love and murder…

A tense new thriller, perfect for fans of Clare Mackintosh, Cara Hunter and Lisa Jewell

A murder that shocks a city… 
Shots ring out on one of Savannah’s most famous streets. A beautiful law student lies dead.
  
A case full of secrets and lies…
Three men close to the victim are questioned. All of them claim to love her. All of them say they are innocent of her murder.
 
An investigation that could prove deadly…
As crime reporter Harper McClain unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy, the killer focuses on her. He’s already killed one woman. Will he kill another?

Second book featuring crime reporter Harper McClain, this time she is investigating the murder of a law student and the events that unfold afterwards, including plenty of references to the first novel.

Different view as it is not a standard police procedural novel, instead it focues on a murder from the press viewpoint and Harper McClain soon becomes entangled in the case in a dangerous way. Fast paced, with minimal description, Christi Daugherty has written an enjoyable thriller. Good enough to have the reader looking forward to the next McClain novel.