“Below Zero” badges

A few years ago, I spotted an image of an old “Below zero” badge on a Fylde Scout Group website. I really fancied getting these badges for our Scout blankets or for use as an “occasional” badge. Unfortunately the badges are no longer made, so I got in touch with a badge manufacturer to see if they could help out. I updated the design and had some made.

I’ve managed to get my local District Commissioner to approve these as “occasional” badges to be worn on uniform for Cubs and Scouts who have camped out on nights when the temperature has fallen “below zero”. Even without uniform approval, they make great badges for camp blankets / scarves.

The badges are 40mm x 50mm and they’ve been selling for £1.50 each on eBay.

When I can avoid eBay and PayPal fees, I can offer them for £1.20 each with postage charged at cost price.

Get in touch if you’re interested in buying these badges and enjoy your Winter scouting 🙂

Happy Christmas from “The Bishops”

Dear everyone,

It’s that time of year again and as is now becoming a tradition, we’ve decided to donate our card/postal money to charity again. This year we’ve decided to donate to the Stroke Association.

James and Katie are continuing to enjoy dinghy sailing and we bought a boat so that we can keep up with them and watch them when they’re out on the water. My ankle is much improved after my operation at the end of last year and I’m back on two feet again. We’re hoping to test my “new ankle” out on the ski slopes in 2017.

Here’s this years “elf yourself”, together with a few photos from the year.

Test your site with Google

There are numerous websites and tools that offer web page testing and reporting. WebPageTest, GTMetrix, Yslow and PageSpeed and a few others come immediately to mind, but despite their popularity amongst testers and site developers, few are as well-known as Google.

Despite the fact that PageSpeed was already available from Google, I’ve noticed a little pop up recently when visiting google.com. This is promoting web page tests from https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/

This site builds on PageSpeed but now focusses more on mobile application performance. According to their site, “People are five times more likely to leave a mobile site that isn’t mobile-friendly.”

And “Nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don’t load within 3 seconds.”

Bearing this in mind, it is a wonder that people don’t do more to ensure that their websites perform better. After running a report you see a simple report including ratings of your site’s mobile friendliness, mobile speed and desktop speed.


After clicking on the “Get My Free Report” link, Google send you an emailed report which includes more details, although the report isn’t as detailed as some from the more established tools that I mentioned in the opening paragraph.

Where it differs from those more established / conventional testing tools/sites is that by putting pop-up ads in Chrome, this Google-sponsored performance report could encourage more site owners to consider performance and not just content on websites.