What did you want to be when you grow up?

I found this BBC article interesting about a report from the OECD.

By the age of seven, children are already facing limits on their future aspirations in work, according to a report from the OECD international economics think tank.

It got me thinking about my own aspirations and career plans when I was younger.

If I remember correctly at the age of seven I think I wanted to be a postman!

Royal Mail Van

At secondary school I went through a range of ideas, including being a BBC camera operator, an architect and working in a bank. I even ran our school bank for a couple of years.

Midland Bank

Then doing work experience at my local Midland Bank certainly put me off working in a bank!

When I was in my teens I wanted to work in the city in London. As a result I did Economics at A Level. Then I watched ITV’s Capital City and decided not to!

Just doing a Google search on the series I now see it had a young Jason Isaacs in the cast.

Jason Isaacs

I thought Capital City was broadcast in the mid 1980s, but according to the Wikipedia page it was actually broadcast in 1989. Shows how time plays tricks with your memories, as I always thought Capital City was one of the reasons I studied Economics, which wasn’t true, as I chose my A Level choices in 1985, a good four years before I saw the series. Now thinking that the series probably had a negative impact on my career choices.

At University I studied Economics, however my career plans were somewhat skewed by doing charity fundraising. So was not going to attempt to work in London.

I left university without a clear career plan. What about you? What did you want to do when you were seven?

My top ten tweets of 2018

Last year I posted my top ten tweets for 2017 and I did the same in 2016 which were interesting to see which tweets of mine were popular.

The top tweet back in 2016 was this one for #WednesdayWisdom

Whilst top tweet for 2017 was this one from the 2017 ALT Conference and it was my sketchnote of Bonnie Stewart’s keynote on openness.

My tenth most popular blog was a response to another tweet of mine which was responding to the question:

Men of Twitter, is there a woman that you look up to in your own field or in another one? Who is she and why does she inspire you?

The ninth most popular tweet was a response to a Jeremy Vine about tweeting and cyclists. My point was that signs don’t work!

The tweet at number eight was responding to the question:

Men of Twitter, is there a woman that you look up to in your own field or in another one? Who is she and why does she inspire you?

The seventh most popular tweet was my sketch note of Maren Deepwell’s keynote at the 2018 ALT Conference.

The tweet at number six was about Bristolian emoji.

https://twitter.com/jamesclay/status/1019686814536421377

Fifth tweet was a reply to Andy Ihnatko with a composed image of Andy with Beyonce on the International Space Station.

No real idea why the tweet at number 4 was so popular, it was just a complaint about some issues I was having with Twitter back in April.

The third tweet which saw The Range competing with WHSmith on shop floor tidiness.

Second most popular tweet was about a carpet, a carper in a WHSmith in the Bristol area.

My most popular tweet in 2017 was about the newly revamped WHSmith at Bristol Temple Meads complete with storage cage!

Stuff: Top Ten Blog Posts 2018

Over the last twelve months I have published 89 posts.

The tenth most popular post on my personal blog was Cinematic Advent Calendar #07 – The Eagle has Landed.

Cinematic Advent Calendar #07 – The Eagle has Landed

In at number nine, is one of a few posts about the harbourside in Bristol, Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Five

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Five

Eighth most popular post, was about how Trenchard Street in Bristol had changed from the 1970s to today.

Trenchard Street, Bristol, circa 1970s

At number seven, was a post about the Bryan Brothers’ Garage Demolition, Bristol, in 1999.

Bryan Brothers’ Garage Demolition, Bristol, 1999

The sixth most popular post was about A nice clean new shiny Millennium Falcon as would be seen in the Solo: Star Wars Story film.

A nice clean new shiny Millennium Falcon

The post at number five was a post containing photographs from the harbourside in Bristol. Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

Fourth most popular post was Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Three. This was another post containing photographs from the harbourside in Bristol.

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Three

Post at number three, Changes at the railway station, was how things have changed at Weston-super-Mare railway station.

Changes at the railway station

Second most popular post was some photographs from the Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

The most popular blog post this year was Cinematic Advent Calendar #05 – Leon.

Cinematic Advent Calendar #05 – Leon

65. Swallows & Amazons

The 2016 hit film Swallows and Amazons, based on the Arthur Ransom’s book is the inspiration for 65. Swallows & Amazons, which can be found at the main entrance to the Willow Brook Centre in Bradley Stoke. Gromit is basically a map.

65. Swallows & Amazons

I love the flags on the ears, now is the flag of the Swallow boat, the other is the skull and crossbones of the Amazons.

65. Swallows & Amazons

On Gromit’s back you can see more details and places from the stories. Wild Cat Island taking centre stage

65. Swallows & Amazons

There are also the boats from the story as well as Holly Farm where it all beings.

65. Swallows & Amazons

The whole map thing works really well.

Back in 2015 I attempted to see and photograph all 70 Shaun the Sheeps I managed to get 62. This time I am aiming to get all 67 sculptures. I have created this page to record all the sculptures we find. Download the app to find the sculptures.

Snowing again

We’ve had some heavy snow again, combined with cold winds from Siberia, a storm from Portugal called Emma. This snow is different to the snow we’ve had before in Weston-super-Mare, this was colder, icier and blew around a lot. So in some places we had big drifts and in others the snow had been completely blown off the pavement.

I have over the years (when we had snow) taken a particular photograph so here is the 2018 version.

Snow in 2018

This with the wind and the cold was actually some of the worst weather I have seen down here, but as you can see it doesn’t look too bad…

This was how it looked in December 2010. Back then we had very heavy snow.

Snow December 2010

This was how it looked in eleven months earlier in January 2010,  again heavy snow.

Snow Jan 2010

And here it is in February 2009. At this time this was some of the worst weather we had seen in twenty years.

Snow in 2009

This time though we are seeing less of the slushy roads, people appear to be taking note of the advice and driving less. Also it is very cold so the snow isn’t melting as quickly. You can also see in the series of photographs how much the tree on the left had grown.

Stuff: Top Ten Blog Posts 2017

The ten most popular posts from 2017 in reverse order.

10. The tide is coming in…

9. Trenchard Street, Bristol, circa 1970s

8. Things never said in the office…

7. Cinematic Advent Calendar #05 – Leon

6. Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Five

5. Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Four

4. Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

3. Bryan Brothers’ Garage Demolition, Bristol, 1999

2. Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Three

1. Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

Muscle and Power Cars and Trucks

On Tuesday evening, a bundle of muscle cars and American trucks arrived on the Weston seafront for a “cruise”

Nice looking vehicles, but to be honest I have no idea what they… though I can see this is a US Ford F150 pickup truck.

…and this one is an older Ford pickup truck.

A Ford Popular.

No idea what this one is….

Big gas guzzler…

Ford

A Ford hotrod!

A Ford Mustang?

All looked very nice, bright and shiny.

The tide is coming in…

When I mention where I live, the talk often comes round to people getting stuck in the mud or cars getting caught by the tide.

Those who live in Weston-super-Mare will know that every summer weekend, a visitor or three gets caught in the mud trying to cross between Uphill beach and Break Down. The river Axe gets in the way, but it’s usually the mud that gets in the way first.

After the mud, the other thing that comes up in conversation is the tidal range.

Usually referred to the as the second highest tidal range in the world, it is actually the third, only the bay of Fundy (North America) and Ungava bay (Hudson straits) are bigger. The tidal range on the Severn can be as much as 15m (49ft). What this means for Weston-super-Mare is that the low tide mark in Weston Bay is about one mile from the seafront. For most of the time you don’t see the sea, which is why when I get the chance to see the beach with the tide in I take a photograph!

Grand Pier in the sea at Weston-super-Mare

Although the beach itself is sandy, low tide uncovers areas of thick mud, hence the colloquial name, Weston-super-Mud.

The other aspect of this long ideal range is that sometimes people get caught out by the fast rising tide having parked their car on the beach and their car gets swamped by the incoming tide.

This was the first time seeing the tide in at Uphill beach (just along from the main beach at Weston-super-Mare) that I saw a bus right by the high tide.

Bus in the sea

This wasn’t any old bus though, this bus served coffee!

Stuff: Top Ten Blog Posts 2016

Across this blog I wrote fifteen posts in 2016. As might not be expected most of the top ten posts that year were from 2016, and I was pleased to see how popular my 1990s photographs of the Bristol Harbourside were.

I visited Legoland in 2013 and felt that it was A bit tired and this was the tenth most popular post, dropping one place from last year.

Also about Legoland Miniland was the ninth post.

The eighth post was about Time travelling by train which was a post on the newly painted GWR High Speed Train in the classic 1970s blue and yellow.

Inter City 125

The seventh popular post was inspired by a newspaper article and talked about the many Changes at the railway station in Weston-super-Mare.

The sixth placed post was from my 2012 series of Cinematic Advent Calendar posts, this one was #07 – The Eagle has Landed. There were quite a few films in the advent calendar that have significant memories over and above the film itself. Queuing for Star Wars was significant for example. With The Eagle has Landed I went to see it at the Aldeburgh cinema with my grandparents.

When I used film, I didn’t take than many photographs, but I did take a fair few of the Bristol Harbourside, so the fifth post was of the Bryan Brothers’ Garage Demolition, Bristol, circa 1999.

Three of the next four posts were similar and all contain photographs from the Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s.

Construction in the Bristol Harbourside

Fourth was this post Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s and third was this one: Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s (second part).

The second most popular post was a comparison of Trenchard Street, Bristol, circa 1970s and the view today.

The most popular post of the year on the Stuff blog was a series of photographs of Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s.

So quite a few posts from 2016 in the 2016 top ten.