Life on Mars at Stockport art gallery

Oh, the irony! Stockport art gallery is holding an exhibition of scenes from the acclaimed and thoroughly enjoyable BBC police drama Life on Mars (2006-2007), which was filmed on location in Stockport.

If you didn’t catch the series, let me summarise. It’s set in the past, from the perspective of a present-day Detective Chief Inspector. As the opening credits voiceover explains, “My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident, and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever’s happened, it’s like I’ve landed on a different planet.”

Well, it’s not hard to see why they chose to film in Stockport. What is puzzling though is why the art gallery would wish to celebrate the (painfully accurate) characterisation of its town as stuck in a 1970’s nightmare.

Installing a Reverse Osmosis water filter system

For a couple of years now we have been drinking filtered water at home. We started off with a jug system when we decided the strong whiff of chlorine from water straight out of the tap was too unpleasant to ignore. But filter jugs are fiddly, clutter the kitchen, and are expensive in replacement cartridges.

So we fitted an under-sink filter and separate drinking water tap. Actually, we sited the filter housing in the cellar beneath the kitchen, where there is more room. The system worked very well, producing plenty of pleasant odour-free water. The cartridge needed changing every six months, but apart from that five minute job it just sat there, doing its thing.
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River names – or names of rivers …

Have you ever noticed the way we refer to rivers? In Europe, we have the River Danube, the River Seine, the River Thames. You could say the Thames River but it’s more usual to put the name second.

In the rest of the world, it is more usual to put the name first, as in the Colorado River, Potomac River, Athabasca River, Volga River, Yangtze River, Murrumbidgee River etc.

So, there’s simple rule of thumb: name first, except in Europe.

Er, except the River Nile …