Monday, 23 November 2015


We had to have our 6 month old kitten - Odin - put down yesterday morning. We'd just started letting him go outside a few weeks ago and he loved it, he was so eager to get out - literally hanging off the window until we opened it. That morning was no exception.

We let him out at around 9am and I walked the dog about 10 minutes later. When I got back and was near the house, I could hear this loud meowing. I looked for the source and found him sprawled under a bush. He wasn't laying right - his back legs looked funny - so I called my wife right away. She came out and had a look and I took the dog in. We got into the car and took him straight to the vets where he had three X-rays, and they revealed that his spine had been crushed and his pelvis was broken. He was in a lot of pain, would never be able to walk again and wouldn't be able to have any quality of life. They recommended that he be put down.

He was such a lovely little kitten. He was already heavier than our other cat (who is 4 and a half years old) and always seemed so happy and energetic. My Dad called him a "smashing little fellow." He had a wonderful life, and I wish he hadn't had to go so soon, but I don't think there's anything we could have done to make him happier.

I really miss him - the house seems quiet without him (even though Dusty and Thor are still here), and I miss his little purr and the way he'd stand up to get cuddles, and the way he would sit on my shoulders and purr. I hope we did the right thing for him - and we will never forget him.

Rest in peace, little one.

Friday, 8 May 2015


I'm sure I've gone into this before, so I won't belabor the point but this election is a great demonstration of the flaws with First Past the Post, when combined with single member constituencies.

The latest data I have shows 643 seats declared Table updated to show final result (and I'll try to update these numbers as more data comes in). It shows that 30.7m votes have been cast, which would equate to 47,223 votes per seat in a perfect democracy.

Looking at any party that got at least 47,223 votes, we see:

PartySeatsvotesvotes per seatseats under PR
Alliance Party061,556-1
Green Party11,157,6131,157,61325
Liberal Democrat82,415,888301,98652
Plaid Cymru3181,69460,5654
Ulster Unionist Party2114,93557,4682
Sinn Fein4176,23244,0584
Social Democratic & Labour Party399,80933,2702
Scottish National Party561,454,43625,97231
Democratic Unionist Party8184,26023,0334

(updated to reflect final score - the single "other" seat is left off of this list)

Doesn't look so good for UKIP, at 3.8m+ votes per seat, does it. That should come down a bit when Thanet South is declared. Greens are also in a bad place with over 1m votes per seat. Interesting to see the Lib Dem position - under PR they'd have got a lot more seats.

The system does seem to be set up to ensure that the bigger parties cannot be challenged.

For the record, the PR figures above assume that anyone getting less than enough votes for one seat would be ignored, and the seats split among the remaining parties according to vote share.

Interestingly, these PR figures would still leave Conservatives and UKIP 1 seat short of a majority if they worked together.

Someone at Tim's place mentioned that UKIP have more votes than Lib Dems and SNP put together - something to think about!

Numbers taken from the BBC page at