The Anonymous Widower

The Tall Ships Race 2014

I went with a friend to see the tall ships moored in London for the Tall Ships Race 2014.

We started at Canary Wharf, then moved on to Woolwich, before going to Greenwich.

To avoid the crush, we escaped under the river, using the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, before finally taking a look at the ships from the North Bank.

September 5, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Another Talking Statue

I took this picture of the war memorial on platform one at Paddington station.

Another Talking Statue

Another Talking Statue

A voice track has now been added.

August 28, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

There Are Some Honest People In This World

A couple of months ago, I lost my little ticket folder, which contains a credit card, my Freedom Pass and Senior Railcard on a 38 bus.

Imagine my surprise today when I got an e-mail from someone claiming to be at the Transport for London, that they had found it and would I go to Baker Street to collect something.

Could this be my little folder?

It was and it cost me just four pounds to get it back.

I only actually need the folder, as I’ve replaced all the cards.

August 26, 2014 Posted by | Travel, Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Islington Has Got A Smart New Post Office

When I came here in 2010, Islington had two Post Offices on Upper Street; an old traditional one by St. Mary’s Church and a rather dodgy structure on the forecourt of Highbury and Islington station.

Both are now gone and a smart new one has opened in a double-fronted shop opposite the Town Hall.

Islington Has Got A Smart New Post Office

Islington Has Got A Smart New Post Office

Peering through the window, it would appear to have all the latest automatic machines to send letters and parcels to Oblivion and everywhere else. According to Livy, Oblivion is defined as the Limia River in Spain.

August 17, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Easing London’s Housing Crisis

It’s now four years since I bought this house.

It had been built rather badly by a company called Back Street Developments about ten years ago and there seemed to be no NHBRC registration for it. In the intervening years the previous owners had put tenants in, and they had done there best to wreck it. The owner obviously skimped on maintenance, but then all these facts were reflected in the price I paid.

Some time ago, I started to get the house straight. Finding a builder has been a nightmare!

The first builder walked away from the job after personality clashes between the owner and his work-force, leaving me without a bathroom.

I’ve got one coming in fom outside London, things seem a bit better.

An illustration of the problem is that people locally are always asking, if I know a good builder. I also want to sort my dreadful kitchen. I have asked several companies to look at it and not one has ever made a fixed appointment or even turned up.

I suspect that kitchen companies would prefer to fit out some multi-millionaire’s house in Mayfair, rather than my small kitchen.

I do wonder how many properties are not lived in, as the owners are waiting for a builder to sort it out. And how many people are put off downsizing, as theycan’t be bothered to go through all the hassle of finding a builder.

So if we sorted out the refurbishment of small and medium sized properties, would we release more properties for occupation?

The first thing we should do is to seriously analyse the homes market and identify why properties are empty or under-occupied!

Any soutions we propose should of course be nationwide, as I don’t believe this is just a London problem.

July 28, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized, World | , | 1 Comment

The Crossrail Portal At Royal Victoria From The Bridge

I was on the bridge at Royal Victoria DLR station this morning and took this picture of the works creating the Crossrail tunnel portal at Royal Victoria.

The Crossrail Portal At Royal Victoria From The Bridge

The Crossrail Portal At Royal Victoria From The Bridge

When completed the tunnels will go under where I took the picture to the next station, which is Canary Wharf. Custom House station and the crane used to put the pieces together is in the distance to the left of the electricity pylons.

According to the documentary on Crossrail, it was a tight squeeze at Tottenham Court Road, but this shows it’s as tight as a duck’s arse, virtually everywhere.

Rude words are allowed when talking about Crossrail, as one of the female project managers used the F-word in the documentary.

July 27, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

How Would The Scottish Diaspora Vote On Independence?

I ask this question as the BBC has a story about five famous Scots, who live outside Scotland would vote.

I can’t find a poll of Scots outside Scotland asking how they would vote, but I can add an anecdote.

I used to play real tennis with an American, who was an academic at Cambridge. His research area was  the relationship of the diaspora, with their original country. He had found that a lot of the troubles in the Indian sub-continent had been funded by donations from abroad. As a Bostonian, he did add that he didn’t think that the Irish in his home city, had helped find a solution in Northern Ireland.

I also think, that we all like places where we grew up or to which we have a strong connection, to do well and have control of their destiny.

For this reason, it could be that if Scots living outside Scotland had the vote, then the referendum would more likely be a vote for independence.

So could Alex Salmond have got it wrong, on not allowing Scots abroad to vote, if he wants the vote to go his way?

July 25, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Which Idiot Obscured The Clock?

I was in St. Pancras recently and someone has put pointless stained glass in front of the clock.

Which Idiot Obscured The Clock?

Which Idiot Obscured The Clock?

I suppose it’s art, but for those of us who don’t wear watches it’s a big annoyance.

July 24, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

The Scotties Steal The Show

It is generally reported in the media, that the Scotties stole the Opening Ceremony of Glasgow 2014. Look at what the Aussies said for example.

But it would appear, that finding enough dogs might have been a problem, as according to this article, they had to bring in Archie from Ringwood in England.

Perhaps they should have shared the duties around and perhaps got in a corgi for the Welsh team to add a touch of humour near the end.

Queen Elizabeth would have been amused!

It will be interesting to see if sales of Black and White whisky increase.

July 24, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Liverpool Gets The Puppets Out Again

In 2012, Liverpool staged the Sea Odyssey: Giant Spectacular to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

On Friday, they’re staging another giant puppet show to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great War. It’s reported here in the Liverpool Echo.

I wish I could go, but I’ve got to be here for my builders on Friday, which would be the best day.

You may question, if a free show like this is a good idea, as surely it costs a lot to setup. This is what Wikipedia said about the financial benefits of the Sea Odyssey.

An independent report into the impact of Sea Odyssey concluded it was the most successful event in Liverpool’s history. The report showed that 800,000 people took part in the event, which resulted in an economic impact of £32 million.

So it would appear that spectacular events are a good idea financially.

How much did Leeds, Cambridge and London benefit from the Tour de France? And after the Commonwealth Games, how many people having a holiday in Edinburgh, will now take the trip across to Glasgow?

What odds will I get on the French puppeteers turning up in Liverpool again in a few years time. Perhaps they’ll bring a puppet of Red Rum to the Grand National!

July 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

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