Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another example of a ruthlessly efficient and effective UK Govt IT project, not #fail

Today saw the launch of  This is a service that allows people to access the wills of soldiers from England and Wales who died on active service between 1850 and 1986.  As a bonus, it is possible that the documentation will include the soldier’s final letter home that he will have written in case he was killed on service.
If, like me, you have such a relative, the will is likely to give you more information on your family tree, and give you further insight into that ancestor.
So, all keen, I searched online and found one of my two GG Uncles who were killed on the Somme in 1916.  Hurrah! And of course *click*
Create an account (another damn password!)
Checkout *click*
#FAIL - the payment system is still programmed to the test account, and in German too (no irony there at all, oh no)
So I then click on the link for feedback and send them the image (now pretty *&%^% off that my relative’s will is still tantalisingly just out of reach)
An email comes back, with a phone number.  The email is from the Office of the Public Guardian.  Which has nothing to do with this site!!!  I call the number, and sure enough the civil servant on the end of the line has no knowledge of this, cannot even get to the website, and has nothing to offer me in terms of alternative help.
Remind me, how much of our income is taken each year by the government? 
To be fair, this is shown as a beta site, but you think *someone* would have tested the payments and feedback sections at least once…

Monday, August 12, 2013

#BBBR13 Day 2 - Compiegne to Amiens

Arising early and a light (too light) breakfast we hit the road on a nicer day than before.  Fairly early in the day we came upon a group of colleague who were outside this cemetery.  Stopping for the anticipated tour guide it turned out that people were just taking a breather!
But there was an interesting local cross to view...

Moving on we came to the tour stop proper.  In the day's still early light a field of crosses were on display down a small country track.  Not for the first time I wished I could have brought a DSLR with me on the ride...

Just before we left, I caught this sight, and just had to take the photo!

My team-mate and companion on wheels - Keith.

Sometime later (!) I staggered into the lunch stop quite late and realised that whilst I could cycle onto Thiepval for the ceremony I would probably be late.  So sacrificing miles for attendance I grabbed a lift and got to Thiepval just in time for the highlight of the week.

This time I had crosses for my Great Great Uncles personalised for me by a friend, and I proudly laid them and then spent a while thinking of them, and others before heading off for the final bit of the day.

Whilst Arthur George has a grave at Bernafay Wood, David Albert (killed on the first day of the Somme) does not.  His name is on the Thiepval memorial, but after the last year's research I was albe to go the Newfoundland Park just north of Thiepval at Beaumont Hamel.

Somewhere, in the distance past the memorial is the ground where he fell.  And may even remain to this day (although it is possible he is one of the many "Known Unto God" burials.

Continuing on, we cycled the remaining miles to Amiens, and had an excellent dinner with a few new companions we made that evening.

Everyone does the ride for a different reason - it's quite something to learn more and more of those reasons...

#BBBR13 over, what a week

At the weekend my Paris to London bike ride finished with the Hero Ride into London.  If you were anywhere near a TV news channel you probably saw the images of a phalanx of cyclists (over 1400) riding in formation up to Horseguards, to be welcomed by cheering friends and family.

The week was a tough one, cold wet weather on day 1, lengthy days on many cycling days, and plenty of hard work.  Sadly, because of a lung infection, and the consequential (quite severe) asthma attack I was unable to cycle every mile of the way.  I made just over 300 miles in the week, but when your lung capacity is eroded by 40% or so, there's only so much you can do!
My main ride ended in Kent when on a level road, I found I could not turn over the pedals even in 2nd (out of 20!) gear.  I was very disappointed at the time, but some kind words from Jamie Hull (one of our heroes cycling with us again this year), and Charlie Chaplin (the trike cycling Sapper from 2012) helped me see it in a better light.  The diagnosis from the quack this week made me realise I *really* had tried as hard as I could.  But it still disappoints!

The absolute highlight for me this year was the Spitfire flypast at the Battle of Britain memorial at Capel Le Ferne.  That morning I had risen at 4:30am, cycled into the dock at Calais the promised 4 miles (along with the remaining 3.87!) and gently cruised across to Dover.  The next stage was a 7 mile uphill ride (a bit of a struggle for me by then - thanks Keith!) to the memorial where tea, biscuits and other wonderful refreshments beckoned.  A moving ceremony with the Peddling Padre (Fr Roger), the British Legion standard bearers completed the atmosphere; and then the Spitfire turned up!

I hope to blog a few photos here later, but I need another rest!  But in the meantime, the crosses for my 2 Great Great Uncles at Thiepval will have to do

Bye for now!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Updating a Garmin Nuvi? Got "No detailed maps found that support routing. The nuvi cannot be used without them"?

Then you are probably really *(%^ off right now!  And you have probably found that when connected to your computer, the Nuvi does not show as an attached device.

However, I have a solution for you.

The update to your Nuvi failed, and the maps are not on it.

Take your Nuvi, and press on the message (which nearly fills the screen) for about 5-10 seconds.  The message will then disappear.  At this point you (if you have a password on it) will have to unlock the device.

Then attach it to your computer, it should now appear, and the updates (using garmin express probably) will then continue and complete.

Your brick should now be functional again.