28 December 2011

A little trip to London with Anna...

Sequence for the day:

09:10 Leave Frimley
09:20 Panic ticket buying at Farnborough
09:25 Rush over the bridge to join the
09:30 to London Waterloo
10:05 Waterloo via Green Park to Knightsbridge (A decides that shopping is more attractive than museums)
Then - Harrods (food hall, expensive watches and "pink floor"),
Anna selects Science Museum out of available list,
Walk to South Ken, sandwich (Ham and Cheese) handmade to order by a nice man at South Ken station.
Eaten while watching the skating at Natural History museum.
Uncle David is wearing his Hi-vis jacket - so gets asked twice for twice for directions.
Short locomotive heavy visit to museum and then the attraction of "Hamleys" becomes too much
So it is "follow the dark blue to Picadilly" and "its four stops...".
Hamleys very busy - we patronize "build-a-bear" and then David needs a Latte.
Post Costa we went to look at the posters for "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" - no Jason this year and then down to...
Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade, Parliament Square, Westminster Bridge, once more asked for directions (London Eye)
Waterloo Station (30p to spend a penny - what a rip off!) and then M&S for Tuna and Sweetcorn sandwiches and then home to Frimley.

The last time I took a train in this direction from Waterloo would have been about 1969 - but I still had a moment of spooky Deja-Vu

Gen. Kitchener was all alone - and no one paying respects - so we dodged the H&K toting police and had a little talk about Kitchener only to learn later that A is off to Gordon's School next year and not General K's

"Beware these horses may bite or kick" - all Anna got was a good sniffing over

Houses of Parliament looking stunning

"...your valor will not be forgotten by a grateful country" - unfortunately - it has - see Wikipedia entry for H Havelock

A chilly Trafalgar Square

There is a SAAB in the Science Museum! Sadly all SAABs will be museum pieces soon (bankruptcy a few days before Xmas)

Strange building in South Ken - it is the Ismaili centre?

£199 - we decided that this was sadly... out of our price range

Yes - really - its Wills and Kate Wedding Dolls - groovy smiles!

First stop - Harrods - Food Hall and then the "pink section" of floor 4 - little girls toys

Jubilee Line - Wall cladding like something out of Blake's 7 crossed with Dr Who

Heading for Green Park

On the train from Farnborough to Waterlook (after stressful experience with the automatic ticket machine - too many options - too little time)

24 December 2011

Another Xmas, Another Reading

A very nice Thali

Very nice and reasonably priced food at the Chennai Dosa - a favourite of Simon & Martin.  It was early afternoon, it was busy and (good sign) we were the only Anglos in the place

Reading 2 Brighton 0 - good match

No 13 - Reading Fans Everywhere!

My contribution to Xmas lunch -  Lüneburg style sprouts

We went to see James Corden in One Man, Two Guvnors and then afterwards a Calzone (with extra anchovies for me)

This was the restaurant where Joce and I ate post Patrick Stewart/Gielgud/Christmas Carol* - it has been done up and gone up market a bit - as usual Italian Waiters were brilliant.  *I note that 6 years later I am still wearing the same coat and fleece - oops!

Swedish Christmas Eve Supper

Effect of Swedish Christmas Eve Supper

Nero in his new preferred position

Making a year's supply of Pepparkakor

09:00 and a bunch of (not all) strangers in a field

Its the Reading "Park Run" - only 5 minutes from the Anderssons - Martin and I went - and it seems we knew, between us, about 5% of the 300 present.  Photos all by PeterCook71 on Flickr

Catching up - I missed the start signal and forgot that "runners" always go off super-quick
3k in and the wee girl* and I are lapping runners - I was struggling to keep up at this point  (*possibly a relative of Tammy's)

Struggling with the final sprint - I gained 10 metres through the pre-bridge mudbath - but only one position
22:05 for 5km - the bloke in the red jacket is Erik's nemesis - John Gregory

"Park Run" is everything too many orienteering races are not - really easy to enter, really easy to take part - and all over without using up a whole date.

49 John GREGORY              22:02 VM50-54 68.61 % M 40 Reading AC PB stays at 00:20:07 24
50 Mark WILLIAMS              22:04 VM40-44 62.76 % M 41 PB stays at 00:21:49 6
51 David Duncan WILLIAMS 22:05 VM45-49 66.26 % M 42 Harlequins Orienteers First Timer! 1

21 December 2011

Young Bailey & I go to Cadbury World

The new owners dared not touch this bit (when Cadbury changed the FRY sign at Somerdale there was much grumbling and muttering)

Stomp on the Roses

This is my favourite!

18 December 2011

I just put £95 of fuel in the tank, while in 1988...

I just put £95 of fuel in the tank of my car - in 1988 it took just £15 - Ow!

Clearing out the loft and throwing out old paperwork and statements.  This was from when I was commuting 600 miles a week to Marlbrook and back.

Of Bread and Ferrets and Friendly Cows

Its the HOC Club Champs at Hartlebury Common

A surprisingly good position for me - down to local knowledge and thoughtful route selection

The common is now home to a herd of calm and very friendly (at least to other) cows
We had our post race celebrations at Wilden church hall - hiding behind the bins was...

An unexpected visitor to our post race feast - while various scaredy men pull their trouser legs up  - I go looking for suitable food to entice our guest back outside

Mr Ferret is not interested in Quiche*
In the end Uncle Robert produced a pair of gardening gloves and using these I lifted the calm ferret into a Sainsbury coolbag and took him outside.  Obviously a nice dark and reassuring hiding place as my gentle attempts to extricate ferret were met with raised hackles, arched back and threatening noises - so it was an undignified up-ending and a good shake for bag and a rapid retreat for me.

*Must be a "real man" as in "real men don't eat quiche, neither do they orienteer" (according to Mr Feirstein)

As usual I won the bread - but it was a nail biting wait - I bought at least 1/6th of the tickets but none drawn in the first 15

17 December 2011

Not licensed for modification (but might be pretty good for chemical warfare)

The Material Safety Data Sheet for black HP printer ink

Be afraid be very afraid!

Dell Part Number 023X761 REV A00

Having a bit of a tidy up at work - and I found this

Its just a wee little screw

Here are instructions for use - and an invitation to consult "the documentation that came with your computer" for more information

and here are the disclaimers and copyright notices


11 December 2011

Attenborough went to Clyde River...

...But I was there first, and boy has the melt got earlier:

The final episode in "Frozen Planet" was all about the changes at the poles in the last few years.

There was a segment filmed at Clyde River - 13 years after my visit - the melt is earlier and cracks are opening up where they never did before.

May 1997:

and now...

...and a very quick back link from the BBC...

I wonder how automatic these things are?  It took just a day or two before the BBC visited my blog