Our exclusive new drone footage shows dramatic scale of development works in Winchburgh

Exclusive new drone footage recorded just before the Covid lockdown has shown the dramatic scale of building works in Winchburgh. In the video, the development of the new £6m public park can clearly be seen. The new 78-acre park will include 31,000 newly planted trees providing woodland walks, as well as several play areas, a café, an enclosed dog park, community growing areas and a mountain bike trail.
The greenspace, which is due to open in spring 2021, is part of £1 billion plan to develop a new town around the village of Winchburgh. Also visible are the 93 homes being built as part of Bellway’s Winchburgh Grange development. The new Bellway homes will add to the 588 homes completed in phase one. When complete the masterplan will deliver at least 3,450 homes, including 700 affordable homes of which 400 will be for social rent.
 

Will I be single forever?

Chloë is our new ‘agony queen’. She invites you to take a chair, tell her your problems and await her judgement. Dear Chloë, I have been single now for ten years, since splitting up with my boyfriend after university. He wanted to settle down, buy a house and visit IKEA very weekend. I wanted to party and travel and maybe move to London to further my career. Ten years later, I looked him up on Facebook and he is living near the University town in a 4 bedroom house with a wife and beautiful twin boys with a not so stellar career but one which seems to afford an all-inclusive holiday to Spain every year for his family. I on the other hand can barely afford a weekend away now, still living in an expensive flat share in London, working in a ‘career’ that shows no signs of progression passed a basic admin role. Men were two a penny even five years ago, but now I’ve hit thirty, they are either taken, cheating or gay! I need some stability in my life, but fear I am doomed to endlessly flicking through Tinder profiles for the rest of my life. Help! Take a seat – there is a lot to dissect here. Firstly, your regret. Your letter talks more about your university boyfriend than it does about your present situation. In a sense, this is understandable – you have both turned thirty and recently celebrated New Year/ a new decade, both times of inner reflection. But rather than focusing on your own past and future, you have focused on your ex and wallowed in the ‘what ifs’ of what life may have been like should you have stayed together. You seem to regret a few things – your choice of career, moving to London and not settling down. But the choices you made seemed valid ten years ago, and probably you would make the same choices again. But they are not valid for where you are now. Secondly, anger with your current predicament. Focusing your anger on a relationship that was never meant to be, or choices you made ten years ago, will not help you focus on the choices you have to make today. If you are at the stage of wanting to settle down, are you likely to be able to do that on the salary of your current role, living in a flat share in London? If not, be prepared for a lifestyle change, but given you seem to want to change your home, career, finances, location and love life all in one fell swoop, this change can seem overwhelming. Thirdly, then, hopelessness. Your letter ends on a sombre note, wishing that some knight in shining armour will appear, give you the ‘stability’ you crave for, whilst also imagining that this will never happen if you stay at home flicking through dating apps into your forties. And in this – you are right! Or probably right in my experience. So what is my advice here? Focus on one change, and the rest will follow. So focus on what you really want to do in life first. I don’t know what you do currently so lets say hypothetically that you want to change from being a recruitment consultant to working with horses? You would find a course online that allows you to train whilst working, and saving for and planning your next move. You find a starter job in Wales where the money is half what you earned in London but the accommodation costs far cheaper. You really enjoy your new job and quickly specialise which sees your salary soar. You make a new group of friends who introduce you to a guy from the rugby club returning to his home village from London, where he hopes to take on the family farm… Well, I am not promising it will be as easy as presented above to change your life, nor that you will end up with a gorgeous rugby playing farmer! However, my advice still stands; focus on what you want to do career wise first and the opportunities and possibilities will fall into place once you have made that initial decision. Best of luck!

What is the Future of Retro?

Retro,​ ​no​ ​more? By Alisdair Mans Cornwell Retro comes and goes. We’re a nation that will obsessively lap up anything that even remotely smells​ ​of​ ​vintage.​ ​Yet​ ​will​ ​this​ ​sentimentality​ ​stretch​ ​into​ ​and​ ​beyond​ ​the​ ​age​ ​of​ ​technology? The​ ​tentative​ ​answer​ ​to​ ​this​ ​is​ ​a​ ​careful​ ​“maybe”,​ ​and​ ​here’s​ ​why: Since the dawning of the digital revolution, the proliferation of the internet inescapably has poured into every nook and cranny of our society, spawning limitless amounts freedoms such as connectivity, content and interactivity that has promoted individualistic freedoms for us to chew and​ ​feed​ ​on. We have seen social media bludgeon its way into our everyday routine, giving us the freedom to personalise and curate our lives in the most enhanced ways imaginable. We have witnessed a dramatic surge of independent media outlets publicising news and content wired to suit both the mainstream and alternative audiences. We have witnessed the rise of user generated content plastered all over self-made blogs and websites, as well as self-made entrepreneurs, developers, writers, and coders marketing themselves without the aid of degree educated professionals. And according to the Office for National Statistics, 89% of the UK population now have access to the internet, 1% up from the previous year , and 34% of pre-schoolers, alongside 41% of 1 teenagers,​ ​have​ ​access​ ​to​ ​their​ ​own​ ​portable​ ​devices . The​ ​numbers​ ​are​ ​in​ ​and​ ​in​ ​favour​ ​of​ ​a​ ​digital​ ​takeover. Yet whilst the excitement of new media and technological advancements is still in a heightened state, there is scope to suggest that all of this should have come packaged with a cautionary label that elicits a feeling of cultural and societal vulnerability – a vulnerability ​that has left us wide open to the idea that the freedoms attributed to the aforementioned are giving rise to a form of individualism with the potential to force our collective selves and our sentimentality into a confusing​ ​limbo. This limbo, or perhaps more accurately, a search for some solid ground between both our collective and individual consumption has pushed us into a relationship with new media and technology​ ​that​ ​is​ ​entirely​ ​different​ ​to​ ​the​ ​one​ ​we​ ​had​ ​a​ ​mere​ ​20​ ​years​ ​ago. Gone are the days of the BBC and Sky being the only platform to fulfil our viewing needs; no more are the days of physical CDs and cassettes being the only way to obtain your favourite music; no more are we solely inclined to sit around a table with our friends and family and play an intense game of scrabble – we have traded all of this in for a sleeker, more convenient portable​ ​model,​ ​where​ ​choice​ ​is​ ​paramount. It’s here that we find one the most crucial elements to our struggle: we can do everything we used to without having to wait for the tick by before we watch our favourite TV programmes, nor do we have to needlessly put a CD into a stereo system; everything is now overwhelmingly at our​ ​disposal​ ​to​ ​be​ ​personalised​ ​and​ ​on-demand​ ​24​ ​hours​ ​a​ ​day,​ ​seven​ ​days​ ​a​ ​week. So​ ​how​ ​does​ ​this​ ​affect​ ​us​ ​and​ ​what​ ​are​ ​the​ ​consequences​ ​further​ ​down​ ​the​ ​line? In an already widely publicised research study conducted by Microsoft to determine whether or not our attention spans have deteriorated, researchers surveyed 2,000 participants and another 112 were hooked up to electroencephalograms (EEGs) to monitor their brain activity. Startlingly, they concluded that since the mobile revolution began in the early 2000s the average attention span​ ​fell​ ​from​ ​12​ ​seconds​ ​right​ ​down​ ​to​ ​a​ ​stunning​ ​eight​ ​seconds . Because of this, we are viewing everything through an ADHD-like lens, where we click, consume, forget, and move on. The entirety of our time is no longer spent satisfied with what we have, instead we endlessly chomp at the bit to satisfy our consumer cravings, which will ultimately​ ​lead​ ​us​ ​to​ ​the​ ​next​ ​generation​ ​of​ ​technology:​ ​virtual​ ​reality. Originally used in science fiction as a representation of the future, virtual reality has steamrolled itself into the mainstream and is already starting to shape how we progress into a ​post ​ -digital era. Oculus VR, a division of Facebook Inc., founded by Palmer Luckey, designed and created the first ever virtual reality headset, Oculus Rift, where users can immerse themselves in a totally​ ​3D​ ​world​ ​right​ ​before​ ​their​ ​very​ ​eyes​ ​with​ ​full​ ​bodily​ ​control. One can only assume how much of a consequence this will have on us, not only on a societal and​ ​cultural​ ​level,​ ​but​ ​on​ ​a​ ​psychological​ ​level​ ​too. Digital media site Mashable wrote an interesting article named “Virtual Reality is Ready to Manipulate Your Memories” where the author, Chelsea Stark, tested out an artificial recreation of a real life scenario based on a man named Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, who died in 2010 trying to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Stark watched from a rooftop as Rojas was arrested, beaten and tased. She recalls this experience as “unnerving”, and by extension, “virtual reality holds the potential for immense power, the ability to impact – or even manipulate people’s​ ​experiences​ ​for​ ​days​ ​or​ ​years​ ​to​ ​come”. With the the very thought of consuming technology at such a rapid rate running directly parallel with an increase for that which we are consuming, Stark’s words sum up the effect that new technology is having, and may have, in the future. The power of manipulation associated with new technology is indicative of how our consciousness can be altered. We can only predict that technology in the future could possess the ability to take away collective thought by individualising our experiences. There may be no need for us to dream of past experiences or the things we miss from a bygone era if we have it all there ready for us, in a digitally reproduced theme park of our own memories and experiences that caters to our very own individual​ ​needs. Alisdair Mans Cornwell is a writer from Berkshire UK with specialist interests in CBD, tech and travel.   Sources:
  • https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/itandinternetindustry/bulletins/internetusers/2017
  •  ​https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/features-and-news/childrens-media-use
  • http://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/
  • ​http://mashable.com/2014/06/26/virtual-reality-memory/#Gcdib4az8sqU

We are Over The Hump! Issue 3

We are officially ‘Over the Hump’! It is Wednesday, and the downhill slope to the weekend starts here! There was much to celebrate this week. Two more locations launched for WIL West Lothian and WIL Florida launched a further location page. And we continue to grow on social media with a new Instagram account launched, and Over the Hump now is followed by 20,000 people!
  • Instagram account launched. Follow us @whereilivecom
  • We reached 20,000 followers on Twitter!
  • We reviewed Sky One’s new political series ‘Cobra’. Read more here.
  • Our Agony Queen Chloë gets asked, ‘Is a 26 year age gap ok?’ Read her advice here.
   
  • Livingston and Dechmont site pages launched
  • We celebrate Burns Night find out how not to eat a haggis! Read more here.
   
  • Bonita site page launched
     
  • Ten inspirational deaf people from Britain? Find out who they are in this article from Tenby10

Review – Cobra – Sky One

Cobra, 9pm, Sky One ★★★

Fresh from fighting aliens in the recent BBC adaptation of War of the Worlds, Robert Carlyle takes on a new threat from the skies above in this new Sky One series – a geomagnetic storm which threatens the UK’s electricity supply. Robert Carlyle plays the role of Conservative Prime Minister Robert Sutherland in Cobra, Sky’s new sci-fi/political thriller.
Ben Richards’ drama is based on the Carrington Event, a solar storm in 1859 which resulted in burnt out telegraph systems across America and Europe. Cobra asks what would happen if such an event happened today, supposing that a geomagnetic energy could knock out the National Grid, shut down the internet, disrupt satellite systems and bring down mobile networks. The six part series starts well – tension quickly builds as the PM’s team gathers in Cabinet Office Briefing Room A (hence the title): “We’ll have half an hour to know if it just fuses a few kettles or sends us back to the Stone Age.” When it becomes clear that the scenario is very much worst-case, Sutherland and his chief of staff Anna Marshall (Victoria Hamilton) battle as much with their team and the odious, scheming Home Secretary (David Haig), as they do with the consequences of the solar storm. Northumbrian Police Chief Collier played by the excellent Steven Cree not only has to deal with a plane crash on the A1 but also a prison riot and mass civil disobedience. Here the series scored well with some memorable disaster scenes and fantastic visual effects.
The initial momentum of the show was quickly lost, however, with storylines going off in too many directions; the drug death, the divorce, the ‘freckles’ incident served only to distract from the central storyline, and too many subplots were left in limbo. There was a big opportunity missed here to explore the cut and thrust of the decision making process in an emergency scenario. The key decision the Cobra team had to make; which one of four regions would miss out on the three replacement electricity transformers, was reduced to a brief comedic interlude about Wales. No analysis about population sizes of the regions, gas vs electricity users or civil planning. No debate. Just a decision that it should be Northumbria. Which includes the massive urban centre of Newcastle. A city that Sutherland then decides to seal off with the army despite the fact they are running out of water and basic supplies. Pop over to stay at your relatives in Yorkshire where everyone seems to be carrying on with life as normal? Nope – you will be shot at an army checkpoint! This lack of realism made it difficult to buy into the drama. No complaints on the quality of the acting or the technical production. But if the show does return for a second series, it should ditch the whining kids, get a believable Home Secretary, and scale back to concentrate on the true star of the drama – the Cobra Room itself.