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walking update

update: i may reach Paris by the end of the week.

beer for breakfast

is it ever appropriate to have beer for breakfast ? i occasionally think i might fancy a pint when i’m walking to work. but by then i have been up a few hours. what’s the cut off point before which drinking is unacceptable and you have to admit you have a problem ?
Here is a van advertising Honey Dew, my favourite honey based ale.


i went to the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall for a meeting this afternoon.
The Royal Automobile Club club is one of those historic gentlemen’s club things which were very popular with the upper classes in years gone by. The people who were running the presentation i was attending had hired a room on the 1st floor.
I arrived at the same time as about 10 of my colleagues. As i walked in a very nice waiter/bouncer chap approached me and in front of everyone asked if i had a jacket. i replied i didn’t (preferring shirt/tie/suit trousers with jumper rather than jacket). he then said “sorry, you have to wear a jacket to get in”.
ooops. luckily he had one in his jumble sale box which i borrowed. i felt like the kid at school who forgot his sports kit. he said i could take it off as soon as i got to the room. i got a few remarks about the jacket, which matched one of the other attendees normal jacket !
here is me wearing the borrowed jacket in the men’s toilets and below it and the communal comb and hair brushes provided for club members to brush their receeding hairlines (i decided not to try them out):
why did i call this item RAC IQ ? because i wasn’t smart enough.

naked lights

jane took this photo out the car window. it’s the gubbins in traffic lights (before they stuck the head on them)

red tape

there’s definately too much red tape these days. and yellow.


i’m pleased to see that rope and knots are still in use in modern britain. i thought ropes were only used at the seaside nowadays, with urban man preferring a more secure padlock.
this knot is quite elaborate and one i never learnt when i was in the cubs.

marble on the carpet

there’s a period in life when you don’t have to worry about marbles on the floor. for me this was the period between leaving my family home and having children. like all things you forget what the reality of a thing was like until it returns.
marbles are great at just being there when you put your foot down. usually directly underneath your foot.
when i was a kid i used to think that marbles were miniture spy cameras which were put in our house by aliens / the police to spy on me and my family. i was utterly convinced about this and i can remember vividly staring at a marble which had rolled under the sofa in my old old house when i could have been no older than 6 ! i was really spooked back then.

charles and diana

here is my favourity drinking glass. it’s probably a highly valuable collectors item, but i use it every day and the dishwasher has slowly faded its beautiful design.
in particular, dear dead diana has become transparent in the body. When filled with Ribena she goes all red.
update: a picture in its full configuration is here

manufactured pie

i ate something which was not quite a quiche last night. it was in fact made of goats cheese i think. but to me, it looked like an egg pie.
here is a cottage pie. we don’t eat much processed food nowadays. it never ceases to amaze me how space age we’ve become. each pie individually processed and precooked and wrapped in plastic ready to be reheated.
i think i could live with that idea, but somehow the printed writing on the plastic film makes me think the manufacturers consider this a ‘pie unit’ and not someone’s diner.
It says ‘uk Cottage Pie 900G’ and is printed in a nice old courier font. 900G is probably the pressure they put the pie under or something.

leap year

it’s a lucky bonus leap year day today. i find the whole thing a little puzzling.
one thing that dissappoints me (other than spelling words correctly) is that they chose February as the month to have the extra day.
why didn’t they put it in june/july/august ? that would make the summer last longer and may even coincide with prebooked holidays thus giving an extra day.
at the very least it should be a public ‘bonus day’ holiday.
all it does stuck on the end of february is postpone the summer for an extra day (and lengthens the winter).
who makes up these rules anyway ?
there’s an excellent page on leap days and wonky calendars here

how far have i walked ?

thanks to my pedometer i can now reveal that i am over halfway to Paris from London. here is the graph to prove it. Total so far is 240km and average weekly distance is 60km.

click for detail

high tea

i like how these cups blend in with london below:
they look good out of context too:


three seperate bulbs have blown in our house in the last 24 hours. very mysterious. one even blew a fuse and i had to do some mending in the fuse box. what does it all mean ?
i’m reminded of The Fall song which repeats “there’s no bulbs in the house, the lights have gone out”. that was a fantastic song.


it’s quite popular when you die to have a bench named after you. i like this idea. it’s people can rest on you when you’re enjoying your own eternal rest.
this bench in Hyde Park was one of a few which seemed to be dedicated to living people and said things like “to my wife in celebration of our 50th wedding aniversary”. i thought this was a great idea.
when you go to some churches it seems that every piece of brass work is ‘in memory of’ someone or other. it’s a kind of eclesiastical individual sponsorship scheme.

pancake day

it’s pancake day today. my trains are broke and i’m in a conference all day so next update tonight.
send me your pancake throwing pictures

hideous sayings

two phrases from my youth have just sprung to mine.
my dad, a lovely gentle chap would occasionally threaten to “skin us alive” or “have our guts for garters”.
before the child protection people move in and have me sent to a children’s home he never said these things in anger, just as comedy phrases in play arguments (he’s not the arguing type).
As far as i know, he never went through with either of these threats.
here is my dad with kezia:

the end of TV

our telly broke. we bought it from ASDA (Walmart) so it’s got a three year guarantee on it and a man is coming to look at it tomorrow morning. i’m feeling quite positive about the whole situation.
as a stop gap measure i enjoyed resurrecting an old PC and installing a TV card in it. Once i’d got it up and running and all tuned in we realised there was nothing decent on anyway. oh well.
i like having a PC in our front room. it somehow speaks of a future world of interactive enjoyment. even if the machine is 5 years old, massively noisey and only boots one in three times.
i suspect it may be sent back to its rightful corner as soon as our telly gets mended.
UPDATE: the telly man came and took it away to be mended and left a loan one for us to watch whilst they are doing the work. So far this has been great post-sale support from Asda !

finger misery

i have one of those annoying bits of flappy skin between my knuckle and finger nail on my middle finger on my right hand. all my other fingers are without blemish.
these little things are annoying as any contact with anything causes a little short stabby pain.
however, it has revealed to me how much daily activity involves very close contact with the back of my fingers. my life must be so finely tuned that even a small blemish less than a milimetre high can break the flow of normal activities.
shoe lace tieing, getting stuff out of my pockets, putting my coat on etc all involve close contact with fingers. usually this goes un-noticed, so i welcome the opportunity to think about them again, and in particular take note of the involvement of the top of the backs of my fingers