The Anonymous Widower

Custom House Station – 25th February 2015

I took these pictures today.

The works are showing how long the Crossrail stations will be. As a Crossrail engineer said to me a few months ago, you may get complaints about all the walking the two hundred metres from one end of the train to the other. As she was female, I suspect she was thinking high heels and not her sensible work boots.

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Petite France

Petite France is an area of Strasbourg, that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


I walked around for an hour and had lunch there.



February 19, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized, World | , , | Leave a comment

Could This Be From Where Crossrail 2 Is Dug?

As I trundled along the Gospel Oak to Barking Line (GPBlin) between Blackhorse Road and South Tottenham stations, I took these pictures.

As the reservoirs to the east of all this dereliction are going to be turned into the new Walthamstow Wetlands, could this be used as the site from where Crossrail 2 is dug?

This image from Google Earth shows the area.

East Of SouthTottenham Station

East Of SouthTottenham Station

The orange line is the GOBlin and the light blue is the Victoria line. The red arrow indicates South Tottenham station.

The area I photographed lies south of the GOBlin. Note how it is bordered by railways, with the West Anglia Main Line in the east and the double-track curve that connects the two lines in the south. Slightly to the south of where the two lines join at South Tottenham Junction, the River Lee runs close to the site in a south-westerly direction.

So the spoil from the tunnelling could either be used to help create the new wetlands or barged down London’s other navigable river to the Thames. When I worked for Enfield Rolling Mills at Brimsdown in the early 1960s. their supplies of copper wirebars were delivered by barge from London Docks using this route. In those days, the river wasn’t as clean as it is now, and there was quite a lot of commercial traffic.

Britain From Above has some wonderful pictures of the area from the 1930s here. This image shows the River Lee as it goes under the railway.



This modern picture from Google Earth gives a good comparison.

Note how the tracks on the West Anglia Main Line have been reduced from four to two by the closure of the easterly pair of tracks. Proposals for the line include four-tracking from just south of here to Broxbourne.

The large East Warwick Reservoir is just off the picture to the right and the timber yard is now housing.

The GOBlin is shown in orange on the second image and you can just pick it out on the 1933 aerial photo.


February 4, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

No Contactless Cards On The Emirates Air-Line

This is the welcoming sign you get at the Emirates Air-Line.

No Contactless Cards On The Emirates Air-Line

No Contactless Cards On The Emirates Air-Line

As there is talk that contactless cards are gradually taking over from Oyster, not accepting them, is a really good way to discourage ridership.

January 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

A Gallery I Wish I’d Missed

I regretted going to the Musee D’Orsay, as I was tired after my walk and it wasn’t a gallery that was easy to visit, if you were in your sixties and showing the odd sign of wear and tear.

Compared to the Louvre, it was very second rate, with no working lifts and no escalators, and steps everywhere, which would make it probably a no-go for many.

In some ways if your compare it to the Louvre, the four Tates, the Royal Academy and the Louvre, the layout is very 1980s and the Musee D’Orsay desperately needs an update to bring it up to modern standards.

It also annoyed me that photography is not allowed, so I was unable to take pictures of the building, which was one of my reasons for going.

I also felt that the Sade exhibition was rather pretentious, long winded, cramped into a too small exhibition space and badly presented.

It certainly wasn’t good value at I think eleven euros with no senior discount.

January 13, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 5 Comments

Would Reorganising Cross-Channel Freight Cut Illegal Migration?

People can argue about the advantages and disadvantages of migration into the UK.

But in my view one of the reasons for the high level of illegal immigration into the UK, is that it is a rich source of income for criminal gangs and probably money lenders in countries like Syria, Ethiopia and Somalia, which transport these migrants to the French ports. Never underestimate the role of money-lenders in these sort of enterprises!

Once in the ports, they probably only have reliable way to get into the UK and that is to sneak or be welcomed aboard a truck. I have only heard very occasionally of an illegal immigrant trying to get into the UK in someone’s car.

So could we reorganise cross-channel freight to cut illegal migration?

It would be a good exercise to analyse truck movements through the Channel Tunnel and see how many could be replaced by a direct rail container transfer. It could be argued that jumping on to a train going at over a hundred kilometres per hour is not easy and this alone would cut the number who try to enter the UK illegally.

Could we also run the truck-shuttles from a dedicated truck terminal at a remote location perhaps fifty kilometres from the tunnel itself? I’ve heard drivers complain of bad facilities and not being able to stop before the tunnel, so this could be a lot better for the drivers. I’m sure the French have a really isolated spot close to the autoroutes. If someone thought about this sort of terminal, it could be made into a very secure and comfortable facility.

Obviously, we’d need a similar facility on the UK side! Manston?

December 21, 2014 Posted by | Travel, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

How To Be Scientifically-Correct For A Greener And Better World

Matt Ridley’s article about eco-toffs got me thinking. So if I was the world dictator, what would I recommend as a greener lifestyle that was scientifically-correct and hopefully gave you benefits as well!

Cook From Scratch

I have a list of quick delicious nutritious recipes, that I can cook from a series of staples kept in my fridge and store cupboard. I also experiment.

One thing I don’t use is a freezer, except to store frozen peas, although with some dishes I make enough for two and put the one in the fridge for a couple of days later.

Don’t Live In Two Houses

I’ve lived in two houses twice in my life. Once we lived between London and Suffolk and at another we had a second house in Antibes.

Never again! It’s just so much hassle and eventually C and myself got fed up with it all.

So either rent the second house or sell it and invest the money. Any income could be used to have holidays in your favourite hotels!

Don’t Smoke

I look forward to the day, when you don’t see any signs of this filthy habit.

I feel very strongly about this, as our longest son died in part because he smoked.

Don’t Use Lifts For A Couple Of Floors Unless Someone Younger Than You Is Also Riding

We’re all lazy and climbing a few stairs is a good exercise.

But do use a lift, when a lazy soul is using it. And make them feel guilty about their lack of exercise.

Feed Your Mind

Nothing improves your inner self, than seeing exciting events or places you’ve not seen before.I travel a lot and even when I’m at home, I use my Freedom Pass to explore new places in London and the area around.

Go Gluten-Free

I have to be gluten-free as I’m coeliac. But it is a diet choice with a bonus. According to Nottingham University, those on a gluten-free diet are 25% less likely to get cancer.

Invest In Peer-To-Peer Lending

Choose a reputable peer-to-peer lender with the right rate and risk profile for you. Not only will you be getting a better rate on your savings, but you’ll be lending money to individuals and businesses at a rate less than the banks. You’ll also be giving that wunch of bankers a good kicking.

Keep Your Body At Its Ideal Weight And Fitness

I am virtually the same size as I was when I left University in 1968. One doctor told me that the main reason, I recovered from the serious stroke so quickly, was because of the good state of my body.

Smart Meters and Thermostats

I have smart thermostats for my heating that I can set precisely, but despite trying hard, I haven’t managed to get a smart meter fitted for either gas or electricity yet, so I can see my usage on my computer.

Think Seriously About Your Car Usage

Too many households have car ownership that is poorly matched to their needs.

I for example, don’t have a licence any more and don’t have a car. My eyesight is getting better and I suspect that in a year or so, I could get my licence back with ease. But I don’t want the hassle of car ownership, especially as I have so many bus routes everywhere.

My son has also decided he doesn’t need a car and if he wants one for a few hours, he uses something like a Zip-car.

A friend too, had their car stolen and hasn’t replaced it.

So as a car costs several thousand a year to own and run, are your current car arrangements the best and most capital efficient?

In many cases the answer is no!

Traditional Terry Nappies

C and I were very keen on these, especially if they’re paired with a nappy service, which takes away the dirty ones and then delivers the freshly-laundered ones. I can still see C burying her face in the clean nappies and luxuriating at the experience. I have heard mothers of my generation, say that their babies almost begged to be put back in a cloth nappy when they were put in a disposable one.

I’ve also seen in the sewers how many disposable nappies end up there, before being sent to landfill.

We shouldn’t force parents to use traditional nappies by increasing taxes on the disposable ones, as there are people, who for various reasons have to use disposable ones. But we should get the water companies and councils to encourage traditional ones, as they are the major commercial beneficiaries of such a product.

I wonder if I can still fold and fit a traditional nappy.

Use Contract Cleaners

I have a three-bedroomed house and I use contract cleaners, who send two girls once a week for two hours, at a price comparable with what I’d pay for a lady to do say a whole morning.

But the big advantage of this type of cleaning, is that I don’t have to have any cleaning equipment or materials.

So other than food, I have to buy very little in the supermarket. I think it’s just soap, washing-up liquid and washing tablets for clothes.

Walk In Cities

Cities are very interesting places to walk, as there is always something to see and you might just find a nice cafe for a coffee or see a jumper that goes with your favourite trousers or skirt.

Cities should encourage walking by putting up maps and information.

November 7, 2014 Posted by | Health, Uncategorized, World | | 1 Comment



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 943 other followers