Privacy Policy



Privacy and the EU cookie monster


New legislation (GDPR) adopted by the EU means that websites must have a privacy policy and that includes a “cookie” policy. Infringement of the policy can rack up huge fines. This is a pain for small informative websites such as this one – we have no commercial activities and use third party applications to analyse web-statistics. That means that we use IP addresses and receive information regarding what browser you use and what country/city you live in. This helps us to design our website and to see which topics are most engaging for our visitors.


Of course, we all know why this was done. It was done to stop the “big boys” at the top end of town from misusing and selling our data for nefarious purposes. That is a good thing but will it really stop them? They always have ways of getting around it and in an age where data can be snatched out the air and meta-data is collected and stored on billions of people by spy agencies and governments (and facial recognition/machine learning is used), will it really make a difference? Only for the bureaucrats who can look forward to secure jobs chasing down “offenders” (usually small businesses and blogs) who (like me) don’t have a clue what they are doing or whether it is sufficient. No matter, I will consult with my team of high powered lawyers and web developers (me!).


So, what about cookies? Cookies used to be biscuits that you ate with a glass of milk (yum) but no longer. Cookies are ubiquitous and used everywhere by everyone. Simple, disable cookies, block everyone……good luck with that!


You used to be able to add something like this; “By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies”, but apparently such “implicit” agreement is no longer sufficient. We have therefore used a “third party” app (a privacy button) on our front page (which required me to redesign certain elements of that page). So now everyone is warned before they enter the site (caution here be dragons) and everyone has privacy –except me because now my email and address are visible to all (Go figure, doh! Where is my right to privacy?)


Cookie Policy –unwrap eat and enjoy


We use cookies on our web site for a number of purposes. They help us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website, and also allow us to improve our site. A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer if you agree. Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer’s hard drive. . They allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users find what they are looking for easily. We also have a clustermap that gathers information such as visitor IP, location (country) and browser/OS. This is apparently now classified as personal information.


We use the following Analytical/performance cookies. Our website will set several types of third-party cookie, and we do not control the operation of any of them. The third-party cookies which may be set include:


  • Google Analytics – we use Google Analytics to collect data about website usage. This data does not include personally identifiable information. You can view the Google Privacy Policy here: You can opt out of Google Analytics by installing  Google’s opt-out browser add-on.
  • Revolver Maps –we have replaced Clustrmaps with Revolver Maps to collect data about website usage. Clustrmaps only displayed unique visits (not total hits) and this did not tally with web analytic software. Revolver Maps data does not include personally identifiable information.
  • HTML Comment Box on our feedback page. You can comment anonymously –we collect no data from this app. Their privacy policy can be found here (but I think it is more pertinent to the website owner than the users/commentors): 
  • WordPress blog – another third party app with its own analytics etc. How do they use cookies?  I don’t know this is getting tiresome.


What can you do?


We have no advertising on our website and no pop-ups. This is not a commercial site but a labour of love. We do not handle filthy lucre or ask for donations. We do not sell information. We do not stalk our visitors. We do not try to sell them any goods. I really don’t care about your personal details (boring). You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our site. You could get a big hammer and destroy your computer and phone or bleach bit it (like some politician did) and completely check out of the digital world. However, I recommend using that ever disappearing commodity called “common sense”. Our website is safe, is scanned regularly by the server for viruses and is (as far as possible) hack proof. But most importantly, besides the analytics, we hold no personal information. It is difficult to understand how IP address can be classified as personal information but I suppose clever people could track down the exact location and tie it in with an address or a name? So, disable cookies if you will but it is a bit like driving a car without a steering wheel…it is entirely up to you. Give my best wishes to the EU and all the lawyers. I bet FaceBook and Google are quaking in their boots and will never do anything naughty again.

P.S...If there is something that I have missed or if you have complaints and want changes to the privacy policy send us an email. Then we will track you down and put a contract out on the “dark web” (LOL) . Please don’t tell the EU! It was only a joke.

P.P.S...Oops! Forgot to add ten pages of terms and conditions and other legalese with lots of small print absolving me from responsibility if your computer blows up. Oh well, you will just have to risk it....go on, I dare you.