Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

My Photo
Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

For My Sins...

I watched Vernon Kaye's Game Show Marathon on ITV 1 last evening where they recreated the classic game show The Golden Shot and once again...Global Warming even managed to get into an entertainment programme.

As one of the prizes being given away was some garden furniture(chairs and table)and they worked a reference into the spiel the announcer was reading about the product to include a reference to it being "carbon friendly" Oh, Pleeeze!

This on a programme that was also giving away cars and other electrical goods and a two week holiday to Hong Kong. And how much power does the tv studio use that is making the programme?

This is how crazy the situation is getting.

And whatever is won on the programme each week, they deliver the same to a viewer who has phoned in and answered the silliest easiest question possible and if chosen a massive truck arrives outside the home of that caller. Everyone that is succcessful is happy with it's contents which can be two cars, washing machines, televisions and so on. I have yet to see anyone refuse their prizes because it will harm the planet and the fact they are entering the competition in the first place shows that most want to enjoy their lives and be comfortably well off. And though it's superficial and we know what is of real value, who if offered lots of brand new items to make your life easy would turn down the chance?

It's just getting silly...

They're Coming To Get Us...

The following story as published in the Daily Express today has surfaced so often and has not been denied I have to think that there is some truth in it. For some months now I have come across a number of stories telling of trials on how property is to be revalued for the sake of increasing the community charges the population of the UK will pay annually.

As I understand the population of N.Ireland have already had their homes revalued and therefore most, if not all property, has moved up at least one band and I think something similar has happened in Wales in 2003. New powers have been talked of allowing officials to enter a property and take photographs(you cannot refuse entry as you will be fined)

(I suspect the timing is to affect the elections that are due to take place in a few days time)but if true I hope it does affect the outcome, the only problem is that for most of the UK the elections are only local(not national)therefore it won't stop the following happening because a National Election is a couple of years away.

If you look after your property and care for the environment you are improving the world. Hopefully the community has a sense of pride. And yet by making your neighbourhood desirable and improving your property, the council tax will increase.

And now from October it appears that every property in England that has a garden will also see their Community charge increase still further. Every garden, patio and outbuilding will be submitted to the appropriate authority upon the sale of any property and eventually when the legislation is passed they will include properties that are not up for sale.

We're being told to be more green and care for our environment, all I can see this doing is making people think twice about having a garden and some may because of economic reasons decide to concrete the whole thing over. It reminds me of the taxes we have had centuries ago(mentioned in a previous blog entry)such as Window Tax(where depending on how many windows you had in your property you were taxed for allowing natural light into your home. So people started to build homes with less windows or started to block the windows to avoid paying the tax.

It's said that the revaluation of all properties will not happen for at least two years but if its coming, who cares when it is? The only good thing might be if it takes that long, the idea can be knocked on the head. I don't get out much so one of my basic pleasures is to look out on the garden and feed the birds and wildlife that visits. The only thing in my favour is that I have not added lots of features to it and its basically a lawn with trees, shrubs and a few flowers. Our new neighbours might feel the effect seeing they have added a conservatory, a patio and some kind of area that could be called an amenity and a garden shed. I hope it doesn't affect our revaluation.

Oh, to be in England's Green And Pleasant Land...

Garden Tax

Saturday, April 28, 2007

It's Election Time Again...

There are elections taking place practically the length and breadth of the UK. For some it's local elections picking who will run or get onto the committees of the District, Borough or the Town Councils.

In the case of Wales and Scotland, I believe that there is an added interest as people there are voting who they wish to govern them on the Welsh Assembly and/or on the Scottish Parliament. In the case of Scotland there is an ingredient affecting the possible outcome if the media is to be believed as there is talk of if one party is dominant, they may push for a referendum to see if Scotland can come out of the Union that has held us altogether as Britain or the United Kingdom for approx 300 years and become independent.

For my own town, the local freesheet and leaflets from the candidates that are standing, most are from one party(and there is little if any competition)many are members of one family so you'll get a husband, wife and their children putting themselves forward. To see a candidate from one of the other major parties is rare and so if it wasn't for a few Independents putting themselves forward, you could forgive people for not using their right to vote because, the same people will be elected even if the majority is much reduced.

The votes of this household have already been cast(postal votes)so the spin that is reaching me now will make no difference.

In the last two weeks before the local election happens and in particular the last day or two the delay over the redevelopment of this town's retail area and where Tesco's located and a few other local retailers moved into the vacant units (and I mentioned)months ago in my blog, word gets out this close to the election that most of the problems have been solved and that our Prime Minister has become involved in trying to push things along. Looks good on election leaflets, I guess.

As for the development of the town centre a letter from a reader in the freesheet talks of approx 20 retail units as being empty in the older part of town. And the unit that has been empty since last year which was the main supermarket for the town until Tesco's arrived, there is word at last after many rumours of who might take up the lease, that too has suddenly moved along with news that two retailers are interested(one has said a definite yes(the report suggests)and the other has almost said yes. As to who they are, that is still a secret. This older part of town also has rules and I believe is run by some company and the signs put up at various places tell you that you cannot skateboard, cycle etc...but as the letter writer says...it is happening and nothing is seemingly stopping it.

Looking at the design of the building, unless they both share the same entrance and then split the interior, I cannot see how both can have a suitable seperate way of entering the building. As the only other entrance is on the side of the building and is out of the way. And there is no exit on the back of the building that is suitable and they actually built an entrance it would face onto the main road and be the only one facing that way.

I don't know who owns the new development where the work still has to be completed(and I know you have to blame the local population for any mess or vandalism that takes place)but considering that its in use 24/7 already as I mentioned previously...trees that were planted practically next to Tesco's have been broken or left to dry out(I am unaware that anyone waters or cares for them)they are planted within a flagstone area and if it wasn't for the little bit of a metal grill at the base of the tree that might allow some rainwater to get into the base of the tree where the roots are, I doubt they would get any at all.

Some rubble or large gravel that was in an unused area close by to the stores has all but being thrown or kicked into the precinct so that all along the bottom of the retail units that have been taken you have a long line of these stones littering the area. I have also seen litter bins destroyed and litter strewn all over the place. So its good to see that even when the town is given a new amenity, its so lovingly cared for.

Having talked about climate change and Global Warming...the only good thing I can say is that the relocated Lloyds TSB Bank that did when it open have its lights on well into the night has for some months now(and this was before the nights were getting lighter)started to save energy and leave all or most their lights off.

So in the coming weeks we are told that the older part of the town centre that was to be demolished months ago, will happen very soon, that the Health Centre and Library(That you have seen pictures of on an earlier entry will be relocated temporally)as the old buildings are torn down and hopefully new and appropriate modern one's will replace them and just maybe at last we'll feel that we are getting somewhere.

Oh and perhaps even more importantly a councillor who is standing has mentioned that though we pay one of the higest community rates in the area and we are one of the largest towns in this region...our main police station appears to be closed most of the time in the evening and we are down to the barest minimum of staff to call on if they are needed. When you see the size of our police station, that did come as a surprise.

And yet most evenings(tonight included)a few hours ago a policeman and Woman walked past my home on their beat.

When Is An Earthquake Not An Earthquake?

I think we all know what a real disaster is whether we live through it or we see one as reported in the media. A major disaster sees people homeless, starving etc...they could be caught up in a war and there are many reasons from fire, flood(possibly a tsunami)causing tidal waves or high winds etc.

So today at around 8.08am in the area of Kent(Southern England)there was a 15 second earth tremor. Depending on where you are located the effects ranged from minor awareness that something was going on to people feeling their house move, items falling off shelves and walls, some cracks appearing in property, beds shaking, tables moving and some chimneys falling down. Some areas have since reported losing gas and electric utilities.

I'm not dismissing what's happened(I know something that is unusual is frightening)and if damage has been caused or people have been made anxious that's bad but my point is how the media reports these events.

The public broadcaster BBC has reported and continues to call it an "Earth Tremor" and I believe even the official organisations that monitor these events across the world are calling it by that term. They do happen all the time and often pass un-noticed by the public.

British Geological Survey

U.S. Geological Survey

However, the commercial news station based in London that is heard across part of the South East that takes in this area insists on "Bigging Up" the event by calling it an Earthquake and when a presenter decided to interview a member of staff that works at LBC but lives in Kent she introduced him by saying a big or major Earthquake has happened and he was there when it happened and when he came on the programme he corrected her and said it is not an Earthquake. The presenter tried to laugh it off by saying something like "Well, it's a big event for Kent" and "It's given them something to talk about" And we've had all the jokes about "The Earth Moving"

The guest she was talking to is part of LBC Management so if he says it wasn't an Earthquake perhaps he'd like to tell his journalists and presenters to stop using the term "Earthquake" I suspect they are using the term for dramatic effect which brings us back to the subject of spin and how it used by the media. It's always happened even back to the days of how how the Circus owner and showman P.T. Barnum promoted his shows, or Hollywood promoted it's stars in the "Golden Days" and placed stories in the magazines and papers to get a reaction to how the media promotes serious stories with the script or headlines to grab our attention but this makes me more cynical and likely to look at the underlying elements or for what I am not being told.

I wonder if its worse today or about the same but just seems to be much worse because there are so many more outlets and access to instant media these days and they are all trying to out do each other?

Technically, by the end of the day it may be it will be classed as an earthquake as the experts will have data to back up what's happened...and I see that even the BBC on their website are now calling it an Earthquake.

I understand that though many guessed it lasted 15 seconds, the latest figure suggests it was approx 5 seconds in length and about 10 minutes later than many thought.

Mixed Signals...

The weather forecasters and news people don't know what to do for the best. Every day we are told that the world's climate is going through big changes and how, yes even the UK will be affected and yet yesterday we we were told that we are in for a beautiful weekend of weather, hot and sunny and to get out and enjoy it.

According to the news we are having our warmest April in 300 years since records began(I hope those records from so long ago are accurate)A newspaper today tells us we're going to be warmer than Mexico and a variety of other countries.

So what are we supposed to do? Get out and enjoy it or go around worrying and saying that we're all doomed!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's All Sh** To Me

A bizarre story caught my attention in passing yesterday. I have seen or heard very little of the news but in passing BBC Radio 5 mentioned and poo pooed a story instigated by the American singer/songwriter Sheryl Crowe. Now, copy that is sent out via news agencies especially if it's a press release will look for a sensational angle and unless you hear it word for word it can come across slightly different to intended.

She is proposing that people should use one square of toilet paper per visit. Yes, that's what I heard. It was greeted with laughter and many jokes from presenters and listeners alike. Why is she saying this? It's another idea to help the environment and I guess in turn Global Warming.
I have heard something like this before and perhaps had it been put across differently, it might be less ridiculed. Modern sewage systems engineers have said that too much paper is used and in some circumstances the system can become blocked. And it could possibly come down to the type used. By that I suppose they mean in reality they'd prefer that thin tracing paper type stuff that also claims to be medicated but hey who can blame many of us for having a little bit of luxury when visiting one of our most personal acts?

In reality(I've never thought of this before)and cannot believe I'm writing this...I suspect Men only use paper for one function. So use less in general, Women probably use paper for both. But in general expecting one square to be used is extreme. I don't think any further detail needs to be thought about and there are some conditions brought on by lifestyle or a medical condition where quite a few squares will be required. And we haven't talked of wipes yet.

Having found an article on the net, it says that she proposes even washing out the used square and re-using it!

Well, at least she has got people talking and I guess that was the plan all along. I just hope this is not the start of a series of tips from celebrities leading towards the Global Warming concerts being held later this year telling the rest of us what we have to do.

A Link to the story

BBC's Take On The Story

Update:A Great Take On This Story From Straightshooters Blog as I never got around to investigating Laurie David and her opinions and views at the time of writing this blog entry. In fact I missed making reference to her as in the UK news media, as most of it concentrated on Crowe's comments, I suspect because David is reasonably unknown over here.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Bit of Good Old Commonsense...

According to BBC Radio 5 news Scientists have made a remarkable discovery in their battle to stop what is called childhood obesity. Now, if you show me that someone has a medical or mental condition that has resulted in them being overweight or treatment given has a side effect that has caused the problem, I will be as compassionate as anyone could be. I have seen my own weight increase dramtically with steroid use in the past.

I am not particular bothered if someone has a bit of extra flesh. I'm talking extremes. I would like to know what is called obese as I have a feeling many experts and government departments set the target at a level that is far too low. And they can make(maybe with all good intentions)too much of it and be part of the problem just as people can get so obsessed with being thin, they go the other way. And lets us not forget that there are some who make a very good living out of the business of anything connected with lifestyle.

So what's the startling discovery that led the news bulletin this morning?

A group working at a Hospital in London had taken one hundred and seven families(I think)which had at least one obese classed youngster. For nine weeks the whole family was taught about nutrition, how to read labels on products purchased at supermarkets, to eat less but east more healthily, to exercise and so on. And surprise, surprise when checked at the end of the year. The whole family and in particular the obese child had continued to keep the weight off.

Well, I'm afraid, there is nothing particularly unusual or clever in what has been announced, its common sense and a case of(to use a slang term)"Stating the Bleedin' Obvious"

It's obvious that when anything goes wrong in a family you need to look at the family as a whole and how they react to each other.

The answers are in our own hands and most of it has been caused by the changes in society.
Though, I suspect if you looked in great detail at previous generations we were not so very different. In fact there is a series of documentaries on BBC4 television showing how Edwardian Society is comparable to today.

However, perhaps it's anecdotal eveidence but when my Mum and Dad were young, they walked more, transport was not as widely available as it is now. Many jobs were more physical. Games were more physical.

The hours that many families find themselves working means that parents are not always there for their children so they can all do something together. It's not always their fault, economic factors these days are not always of their doing, some people do put their children first but again, social pressures often led by Government policies or experts force families into making decisions that affect them. Though, some families would have problems whether everything was ideal.

The choice of food plays its part but I find it takes no more time to cook a meal from scratch using either frozen or fresh vegetables and add meat or fish or if I have something that is processed, I'll put something alongside it that is good.

And even a simple meal like beans on toast can be OK if you watch the salt and sugar content.

Its not rocket science. Look how the nation survived during the war and managed on the rations that were allowed and how many meals were adapted to give all the nutrition required. To some extent education could and should play its part but how much more do we expect our schools to fit into the curriculum? Again, they looked at the family as a whole...how many parents pass on their cooking skills to their offspring or how many children see their parents cooking something that hasn't come in a can or a packet?

Perhaps it depends where you live. There must be fat people around where I live but they are few and far between and looking at the children and teenagers that I see, it's rare that I see anyone that looks overweight, let alone obese.

This could also have something to do with the difference between living in a city, a town or village and whether there is access to many takeaways. Naturally, when television or a newspaper has an agenda to covers a story about health they look specifically for the worst examples they can find.

So for me we have another study that doesn't really add anything to the debate. But even if you say OK, it has shown that what we always knew to be correct, were the findings so earth shattering they needed to make it the lead story?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Confession Time...

There are millions of bloggers out there...who really are doing something special.

Its been said that the art of conversation is dead but is it? Looking around the internet I see so much thoughtful and insightful writing.

Did we really come home in the evening and have long insightful conversations. How many of us are fortunate to have friends and family where we ever really sit down and talk? How many of us have something really unusual happening that you would get into a really deep discussion with your partner? Of course it's too easy to take people for granted and hopefully I never will or realise in enough time to see that it's happening and do something about it.

I suspect the truth is that talking still happens but less so because we live in a "now" kind of world. Everything is so immediate and in your face.

I've never intentionally hurt anyone, or knowingly done so. I have helped too many people and had people come to me for help whether actually helping with a specific problem or sometimes talking has sometimes been enough, the old adage of "Being There"

To anyone that I may've let down...I'm sorry. I am indulging myself as having an alter ego on screen who will know? Only me.

I would hope that if I have failed, it was for the best reasons or intent. Misunderstandings do happen. Sometimes we meet people at the wrong time.

I mentioned blogs at the start of this entry because to be honest, I simply keep finding great one's I'd love to read regularly but it cannot be done. There are not enough hours in the day.

However, Blogspot does pick out blogs that they feel are exceptional and I took at look at the one that has been picked out as the 1,000th blog of note.

French Toast Girl Try it, it has some beautiful illustrations and a lot of work put into it.

And in one entry there is the mention of a quote that has been found in an old magazine. Its short and simple. I think it is appropriate for those of us who are being hard on ourselves for whatever reason. And it tied in with my thoughts on this entry. If you are beating yourself up or putting yourself down. Or regret something you did or did not do. I don't think you can add anything to it. It says it all.

Be Gentle With Yourself - Max Erhmann

The more I think about this, I do think it belongs to a much larger piece of work known as Desiderata which may be worth a look but that's a pretty good one liner as it stands.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Climate Change?

Oh, I fear for our planet. I do believe it is under threat. I am sure that the Human Race has played its part in many things that could be responsible for how the Earth is progressing whether it's due to us killing fellow creatures or taking resources out of the ground to make our lives easier or to come up with inventions and medical advancement but I'm not sure I could honestly say that we should take all the blame.

It was only a matter of years ago we were being told that we were heading for an ice age again especially those of us in the Northern hemisphere and that means in particular The United Kingdom. Even now, there are some scientists and theorists that will tell you that yes, the world is still heating up but we are still coming out of the ice age. Some think after we reach a certain point we will start to go back into an Ice Age again.

We are told that the Earth like many planets(the few that we know of)will go through cycles and we must not forget that as clever as we believe we are science is not necessarily exact and there are many variables. Weather forecasting is clever and yet I am sure that many times we forget when the experts get it right and we can all recall incidents where we had weather totally different to what we were promised on the tv or radio.

But things can be so different within a few miles. We keep being told that slight changes in the climate at a certain time of the year is due to Global Warming and then in the next breath experts can point to exceptions where the weather has not always behaved as we'd expect.
We have many more things that are likely to affect our future on the planet. Just breathing as any living creature must will add to the problem of warming the planet but we cannot all stop breathing. It's an awful thing to suggest but perhaps we should be looking at the size of the Human population across the globe and accept that there are too many Humans.

Why should we(though you obviously try to protect your own)believe that it is our right to survive and be on the Earth until the very last minute. How many organisms or creatures have had to adapt or become extinct since the Earth began? And how many will continue to?
How many natural disasters will cause harm to the planet much more than we ever will? A massive Earthquake, a big volcanic eruption could put out a massive amount of debris that could cause lots of problems across the planet. What if a meteor smashed into the Earth? Its all "What If's" and probabilities.

Then we have to look at what scientists believe they know of the Universe and how a planet will eventually fail probably because of how the Universe behaves such as a Sun exploding or imploding, Black holes and many more things that I don't understand.

What about the fact that our Earth is slowing down, what about the middle of our Earth cooling down or what happens as the Magma or Lava that comes out of it, What's replacing it or will it at some point collapse?(Sorry if the terms I am using are incorrect, I'm only an ordinary guy)There is some worry over the magnetic field of the earth becoming less which some scientists see as another threat to our existence(I forget why)and it also behaves strangely in that every so many years, it reverses itself and I don't believe as yet anyone can explain why.

If the Earth continues to slow down and then stop. As this happens our days and nights will become longer. Some areas already hit be extreme cold and/or drought will be further affected and I suppose eventually one half of the Earth will remain in constant heat from the Sun whilst the other half will be so cold and dark it too will suffer.

There is only so much that we can do. The Earth behaved in many extreme ways before we were created and the same will be true of the future.

I believe to some extent that the Earth goes through cycles. Of course I am all for trying to do things to help the environment but its not that simple. Many experts and pressure groups will tell you to plant a tree. How many can we plant? What kind should we plant? Can we all afford to keep buying them? Then experts will tell you that some trees are more harmful than others and where they are planted can cause problems.

If you recycle as I do, what I put out is taken away in big lorries to other parts of the country to be reused so all these extra vehicles are on the roads travelling great distances using petrol or some such fuel and adding to the so called carbon footprint of the planet. My eyesight isn't as good as it was so we are all being told that from 2009 or there about we have to use energy saving light bulbs. I'll know better when I use them but all that I have read suggests that they are not as good as those we already use.

They keep saying we'll save energy and therefore save money but that's assuming that the energy companies do not keep increasing their charges. I watched a programme telling you how to save energy costs and to put it bluntly if you followed all they were suggesting and were saving all that they said that you could you were receiving your gas and electric for nothing and we all know that's impossible.

I don't like to see celebrities banging on about Global Warming and telling us what to do(especially as many of them then return to their fancy lifestyles, cars and big houses. Some will be genuine but most know it looks good for their public image. The same is true of many of the media companies. If its so harmful the use of cars, what are the Motor sport organisations doing to offset their Carbon Footprint. At least most people who use a car have some motive behind their journey whether its to collect families or go to work. Something like Formula 1 they are just going around the world and then going around a track burning loads of fuel.

There are many theories as to why the Earth is heating up but some of the most plausible are not getting the publicity that they deserve or at least the chance of being discussed. Even sceptics like me accept some of what we are told is genuine but a lot is questionable.

Link To Image and the website

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A Visitor Returns...

Somehow, I've lost a photo that I had posted but these will do.

Last year for the first time in all the time I have lived here(Decades)we started seeing a few young squirrels around the garden. They were no trouble to speak of and added some enjoyment to the other frequent wildlife that had started to appear such as a variety of birds and even some toads and frogs.

From a previous post you'll know I had created a kind of nature garden which was neat and tidy but had enough features to please animals and they felt safe.

But you'll have read the great changes some new neighbours have managed to cause which has resulted in a very open area and though I hope some of the area will be returned to the way its been for probably 40 years or more, it will take so long to grow again, I probably won't see the results. Climate change is happening and though I do not agree with all we are being told as to the causes(that's for another time)this need to rip out green stuff and alter the environment must have some effect. The previous neighbours had a lawn to sit on and enjoy the sunshine in the Summer, trees, shrubs and flowers to lok on but now most of that has gone. And that's why it was a surprise to see this in my garden last week. It must be best part of 6-8 months.

One evening a squirrel who had lost part of its tail but was still quite agile had started to trust me and almost come to the point of taking peanuts from my hand. It and the rest disappeared after that. I'll never know if they were harmed, took up residence elsewhere or moved back into the countryside.

However, lots of changes had been happening and I just think it was too much.

These changes mean the wildlife have less protection to hide in. And yet, the other day a Robin still visited which as experts have said Climate Change may see Robins not visiting the UK is encouraging as by now I would've thought it may've migrated by now. Then again, I can remember seeing many Robins in Bournemouth in Summer years ago so unless it gets extremely hot, this seems to suggest they are happy with a reasonably warm climate.

I said that I would attempt to plant more shrubs and I hope this may be the year but they'll take time to grow and as a fence erected by the neighbours was not strong enough and then was damaged in winds I cannot really do all that I want as there is a promise that its going to be taken down and rebuilt from scratch and that will get in amongst the flowers and shrubs already planted so I better wait.

But this was good to see and gives me hope for the future.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Bids Are In...

I am in radio anorak mode again for which I apologise, in the great scheme of things, its not important. But seeing that I do mention such matters from time to time(not being in the business)I am unable to find out the real juicy stuff and I have look at what I find by accident and guess where I think things are going.

Its obvious from recent articles Digital radio is not settled in the UK. I would suggest don't spend too much on your new radio if you purchase one because you'll probably require a new one quite soon or if you like to own the best and enjoy, do it but be ready to part with some more money at a future date because another system will be available which will eventually take over or though they'll cost more models are becoming available which will allow them to hear the present system and pick up the newer version.

The BBC are even experimenting with another digital format which I understand Virgin Radio has or will be. And that could even make use of the AM wavelength. For now, I believe the FM spectrum is being used.

The BBC is being used to promote and encourage take up of digital television even though it affects commercial broadcasters as much and in the next few years region by region analogue transmitters are being turned off and though FM and AM radio transmitters have not been turned off, the promotion of Digital Radio has to mean there is a plan at some point to switch them off too. However, many homes own many radio's and to replace all of them will be costly and transmitters that give an adequate signal or transmitters that are needed to fill in and boost the signal to the next main transmitter are not as many as are required to give the whole of the UK a decent signal. You know from an earlier post, my DAB radio works in one bedroom , in one location, anywhere else...failure.

The other problem is that though the BBC has been allowed to build and transmit the National stations, its local output has to be allocated space on the transmitters of commercial broadcasters so to some extent its at the mercy of commercial concern.

If you live in an area where you get DAB you'll have seen an increase in the number stations you can hear but already some stations have folded leaving gaps and requiring other stations to take over(Primetime last year)A news Station and a few days ago a country Music station serving Scotland, North East England also went off air. The news station has been taken over by the London FM service of LBC(which is OK for me as I am a fan)Other stations are being broadcast at a lower bitrate than listeners would like and actually can mean that with a good signal FM is better, the volume of stations that want to broadcast also means that some stations are sharing the space they have and altering the bit rates so depending on what is being broadcast, they borrow some from a sister station. Others are there but they are in mono which for a music station is not ideal.

And now we have a new development. The system in use is based on local radio as far as commercial radio goes so though you may get Real Radio across the country, it is geared to each region and though some out put is the same, you may get the play list in a different order or they may decide some music works better in one region to another and the news may be slanted towards the area its serving but the new bids to run the next stage will be more geared towards a series of national stations that I assume will sound the same wherever you go.

And as there is a limit of ten or twelve hopefully they will all be in stereo and a higher bitrate. Unfortunately, IMHO the choice is not much different to what we already have and I am afraid that both bids have existing broadcasters wanting to be involved...again. They also are mainly aiming for an audience of thirty five and younger and whilst you need to get people interested in radio so they'll make a lifetime habit of listening, many of the stations on air now are chasing that market and freezing older people out on the age factor or by neglecting a wider range of music.

BBC Radio 2 is said to be the most popular of all national networks but lots of its output is similar to commercial radio except its commercial free. Some types of music are being dropped or being put on so late its minimising the audience and there is nowhere else for this displaced audience to go. You kind of expect Radio 1 listeners to move to Radio 2 but they are pushing the traditional Radio 2 listeners away. And recently, though denied, there have been reports that BBC local radio has a similar policy so you cannot go there for your music but BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Radio Wales and my local BBC stations still have a couple of programmes filling this need but for how long?

Expect some links here in the next few hours to take you to a list of what stations are being planned depending on which company wins the bid from the Broadcaster regulator. One bidder even plans to bring back Radio Luxembourg who's English service disappeared many years ago(anyone of a certain age will have memories of what that station means to them)First it closed its AM frequency down and then after a brief flirtation with the Astra Satellite in the early 90's it left that medium too. Imagine what it was like that a company in England was in its early days recording material in England and selling commercial time and then shipping the programmes out to Luxembourg to be heard in the UK between 8pm-3am each night. With a signal renowned for fading and it was so important to get your fix of pop not available in the UK any other way(we'd put up with it)until the pirates. But those on the High Seas are very different to those that now exist on land and are usually based in cities interfering with legitimate broadcasters.

Formats of some radio stations have changed...recently Choice decided to get rid of their presenters/dj's and go interactive with the audience depending on the audience texting what they wish to hear.

The Jazz has decided to introduce presenters and a couple of presenters from mainstream radio have joined the rota, best known of all has to be David "Kid" Jensen(once of Radio Luxembourg and Capital)Unless he's pre-recording some of his links, he's going to be very busy as he has a daily programme on Capital Gold(6 days)and now weekdays on The Jazz.

DAB radio has given a new lease of life(whether received on Digital radio or Satellite)to many dj's that have been let go by mainstream radio broadcasters and to be honest its both heartening that they still have access to an audience because many still have something to offer and many are still better than those they have been replaced by IMHO. Then again, that also makes me sad because the quality of some "personalities" has gone down.

DAB Radio may've increased choice but Satellite still offers more choice, more stations and so far less chance of the stations having to broadcast in mono so perhaps as in the States we may see as the next stage of radio a system where radio is delivered by satellite and that being seen as a normal way to get radio. As a customer you may pay £10 a month but you'll get access to radio stations that are themed to a particular format and another attraction is that subscribing can see some stations reducing or doing away with advertising which is one reason why it is proving popular in the States where the audience is growing tired of advert breaks. They've been used to commercial radio having had it for approx 80 years but the breaks are becoming more frequent and longer. And many listeners are saying enough already.

National Grid Bid:
Adult/Album - competitor to BBC Radio 2's younger listeners that will offer content "beyond the confines of the chart" that "better reflects their own record collections and the music they choose to play at home or on their portable music devices"

Channel 4 Radio 1 - music-based, general entertainment service targeting under-35s with a "wide range of strands and genres synonymous with Channel 4 including news, comedy and satire"

Channel 4 Radio 2 - talk-based service with news, views and documentaries designed to appeal to younger BBC Radio 4 listeners 50-plus - designed to provide strong competition for older BBC Radio 2 listeners playing easy listening music

Radio Luxembourg - will target under-30s with new music and "active rock" designed to appeal to the "iPod generation" and provide strong competition for BBC Radio One

Premier Christian Radio - the voice of the Christian community with news, views and "uplifting music"

Rolling - a 24-hour rolling news service on events in the UK and the wider world

Radio Play - a games, challenges and competitions station by Somethin' Else, the independent radio and cross-platform production company

Asian - a mainstream commercial service targeting the UK's 2.3m adult Asian population

FUN Radio - an under-10s station with content from the 50% joint venture between GCap and HIT Entertainment

Love Songs - love songs from the past four decades designed to appeal to a predominantly female audience.

Colourful - will target the UK's black, African and Caribbean communities, predominantly with talk, but also music such as reggae and soul

BBC Asian Network - the BBC's service will transfer from its own digital radio multiplex at higher audio quality

Channel 4 Bid
E4 Radio - interactive music and entertainment station for 15- to 29 year-olds, spin-off from E4 TV channel

Channel 4 Radio - contemporary speech-based station for 30- to 54-year-olds, offering comment, drama, comedy and documentary programming

Pure4 - knowledgeable, accessible radio station offering music and modern culture, from Channel 4

Talk Radio - from UTV

Closer - spin-off from Emap magazine title, targeting women 30+ with mix of current and classic chart music

Sky News Radio - 24-hour rolling radio news joint venture between BSkyB and Chrysalis

Sunrise Radio UK - station offering mix of Asian music and culture Virgin Radio Viva - aimed at women 15-30

Original - album-led music station for 40- to 59-year-olds, from Canadian company CanWest

Radio Disney - children's station offering music, entertainment and education

Guardian Link 1
Guardian Link 2

I do think some of the proposed services strange and are there to please political parties.