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 In the year 2014

6 July 2014
DIY at Catslide

No Cheesist meetings recently as I have been moving Cribbit [slowly] North to have the engine re-conditioned. You can follow her journey North on CribBlog. Meanwhile I have been busy around the house. Our neighbours have also been busy, replacing ceilings and improving the insulation in their house. For this they have needed a skip and once the builders had finished with it, Claire said to me 'If you have anything to get rid of, use our skip, we have finished with it now' well as it happened I did have a few bits of stuff that I wanted to get rid of; in the form of the grotty concrete raft that brutalised the front of the house. Unfortunately, I could not convince Rosemary that the strip right by the door was not a major flood barrier so that has had to stay.

At some time, the front of the house had been 'paved' with water washed limestone pavement, its hard to call these slabs as some were very thick. These have been popping up all round the garden and under the donkey shed and I've been saving them for just this day when they could go back roughly where they were originally.

Breaking the concrete


Concrete cleared and stones waiting to replace it

Dug a trench to fill with coarse rubble to act as a drain

View from the front door, part of the transverse field drain just visible


The first slabs slide into place

The rest of the jig-saw puzzle completed








1 September 2014
Busy but blog free summer

Not many theBlog posts as I have been moving Cribbit and out on Wolf, both with their own blogs. Also I have been complaining so much about Microsoft that tw gave me a copy of Xubuntu which has kept me very busy. I like it a lot as an alternative to Windows but we have enough non-standard kit here that getting it up to full functionality is taking some time.

Of course the other consumer of time is the allotment, directly as in growing things and in-directly as in buying non-working mowers and fettling them up to the point where they can wheeze and splutter round the allotment shredding the grass.

I was doing the pathways the other day with one of these when I managed to run over a wasp's nest. The mower didn't mind this too much, but the wasps did and attacked me as if it was my fault. I had to run away, knocking my glasses into the raspberry patch and ended up diving into the [empty since we had then stolen] mower shed. Here I hid until the heat was off but as the mower is an old one that pre-dates the dead man's power switch, it was still rumbling near to the nest. I sneaked back, grabbed it and set off at full speed [for me] down the path on the other side. The fastest I have cut anything.

The wasp's nest

The raspberry bushes

The mower shed

Waiting inside

When I was about seven, we had a wasp's nest in the turf wall of our compost heap. My dad decided that these were not welcome and took steps to get rid of them. He waited until dusk then appeared carrying a pint milk bottle full of petrol. This he poured lovingly into their entrance hole. Then stood well back and threw a lighted match towards the thing. There was one great 'whooomf' and the whole compost heap exploded with turf, wasps and compost flying everywhere. So far I have resisted the desire for a repeat performance.

1 May 2014
Cheesists progress on the Central Line at last

Our next station shop was Lancaster Gate tube station and the Victoria. A pub much frequented by Mike in his student days and a perfect venu for the Cheesists being a Fullers pub. With the brewery less than four miles away they say.

Moored Cribbit down at Greenford, but the visitor moorings were full so had to make do with my Grand Union pegs behind where the Hovis factory used to be. This used to be a noisy and [bread] smelly location but is now quiet and peaceful.

The only downside was the RAIN, lots of it

The Victoria

Mike and Jason

But look behind you Jason

The Victorians had ways to deal with people like YOU


Mike is still evaluating time shares for the European Commission so we had to rely on Joerg for some new information. Amongst other things, he designs spam filters and got into a little trouble recently when one of his managers tried to apply for a job with the EU. Apparently he sent off for the particulars of the job but never received them as got trapped in the company spam filter. The EU were looking for a SPECIALIST but the spam filter detected CIALIS and that was the end of it.

The Victorians had ways of dealing with people like you Joerg. [See above]



Next day Jason and Cristina joined me on Cribbit

Jason went for the beer

While Cristina soon got the hang of the tiller

They sailed off into the sunset for a weekend together

27 April 2014
Van's 100th birthday

I'm just back from going to Van's one hundredth birthday party in Cortland, New York. It was also a good opportunity to catch up with my paisan Donato and my daughter Sarah.

Donato picked me up from Syracuse airport and we drove to Cortland. We quickly confirmed that neither of us had changed very much since we first met at a faculty of physics freshman social in 1963.

We spent our time before the celebration visiting old friends and meandering around past haunts in Homer, Cortland and at the university. A visit to see Van in the morning and then we were soon immersed in good old Italian hospitality with an invitation to a Good Friday meal of wild trout and smelt. Both baked in the oven, a much better way of cooking the smelt than the usual blast in the frying pan that they get when I do whitebait I think.

Van at home

Friday fish lunch

Great hospitality, wild trout, smelt and homemade wine

Of course we had to visit the shops, as opposed to going shopping. Apparently, there were many bargains to be had.

Downtown Cortland

At the celebration, surrounded by children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren

The mayor of Cortland declares the 19 of April to be Van Akin Burd day

With Jim and Shoji Sato. Shoji has translated some of Van's recent papers into Japanese.

Then on to Donato's house in Poughkeepsie, New York with Linda and Beatrice [93]


Sj picked me up from there and so on to Amesbury, Massachusetts

We visit her high school in Newburyport

We have lunch

We detect a warning to errant parents

and to drivers of non-compact cars

Then a physics tour of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT

Neutrino detection

Then to see development work for the large baseline dark matter detector. This optics bench stabilises a commercial laser beam

The two arms of the dark matter 'Michelson and Morley' experiment

Eliminate building rumble with a seismometer and counter vibration activators

Flexible bellows allow for the vibration adjustment

A single track railroad goes through the campus

The engine driver waived to me!

Sj's favourite view of MIT....from the basements

Where one can find some strange notices of impending dangers


Then across the roof

This is Sj's classroom at MIT, or more properly the room she uses as the base for her MIT mystery hunt team

Then more physics: Is that a photo multiplier tube or a gypsy's crystal ball?

Lightpipes to extract flashes of light from a liquified xenon detector

In Sj's condo

Her collection of model chairs


My last morning and 'Breakfast in America'

A busy week, not entirely hassle free mostly due to me breaking some of my USA travelling rules. These are:

NEVER travel by USA domestic carrier across the Atlantic
NEVER travel through Newark, New Jersey
ALWAYS book separate legs of a journey as separate transactions

Failure to do this resulted in much additional annoyance and cost. I had to PAY for my customary on-board gin and tonic AND what's more they would not accept cash so I had to put it on my card, which cost ME a transaction fee. Clearly United don't trust their staff with real money but even so they charged me twice for my single in-flight drink.

Failure to book each leg meant that they cancelled all my on-going flights when I did not take up my option to fly from Syracuse to Boston. They then charged me an additional £120 to re-instate my return flights BUT this time routed through Newark. {Just believe me when I tell you to stay well clear of Newark]

HOWEVER there was ONE redeeming feature of the internal flight. This was in the form of United's in flight shopping magazine, 'SKY MALL' to be found in there are these friendly little critters: Skel-E-Gnome, Skel-E-Gnomette and Skel-E-Dog. They can be yours for a snip and they sum up United very well I think.

A family flying United via Newark

A weakly little old man

His weakly old woman

29 March 2014
Private View

On Friday, I went to the private view at the Coffee Art Project in the Old Truman's brewery in Brick Lane. Alex had a coffee inspired piece of art work in the exhibition so this was too good an opportunity to miss.

All the artwork submitted is destined to be auctioned at The London Coffee Festival with the proceeds going to support clean water and sanitation initiatives in coffee producing countries.

Alex's entry

Alex's entry was of two coffee cups of different sizes. She has not publically divulged the inspiration for this piece but we know because we were there. In early 2001, my siblings and I, were in Northwich in Cheshire, our home town. We decided that we would like to have a coffee together in town and decided that Bratt and Evans would be our purveyor of choice. When we were young Bratt and Evans was a very upmarket department store and its cafe was the place to hang out. Not by us of course, it was far too posh. So this little jaunt was to make up for all those years of teenage deprivation.

We duly got in the coffee line and debated between us as to what sort of coffee we should have, I like espresso, Ann Americano and Alex Cappuccino. When it came to our turn to be served, Ann, full of innocence, asked the server:'What sorts of coffee do you have?'. She was rewarded with a strange look but only for a moment then she understood the question and replied that they had two types of coffee: 'Big cup or little cup'

Pic of Coffee cup from Brat and Evans coffee shop website

Not sure from this whether they have more than two types of coffee available now either. Their website only mentions tea. Do they know that you have to grind the beans to make coffee? Probably I would have the small cup.

Alex and her entry



At the private view which is now open to the public in Shop 12, Old Truman's brewery.

18 February 2014
Gnomic chess

Tw and his friends usually have several chess games on the go, both on-line and physically.

11 February 2014
Turner and the sea

Met up with Tom and Adham at the National Maritime Museum and Tom and I went to the Turner and the sea exhibition.

The National Maritime Museum in the rain

We enjoyed this very much and both of us found a couple of items we would have liked to take home with us. The exhibition brought together other painters interpretation of the sea and how these influenced Turner.

I liked Constable's painting of Brighton chain pier. This appealed to me as it reminded me of Herman Melvilles description of Nantucket and the Try Pots Inn. I fully expected to find 'Hosea's brindled cow' on the foreshore.

Fishiest of all fishy places was the Try Pots, which well deserved its name; for the pots there were always boiling chowders. Chowder for breakfast, and chowder for dinner, and chowder for supper, till you began to look for fish-bones coming through your clothes. The area before the house was paved with clam-shells. Mrs. Hussey wore a polished necklace of codfish vertebra; and Hosea Hussey had his account books bound in superior old shark-skin. There was a fishy flavor to the milk, too, which I could not at all account for, till one morning happening to take a stroll along the beach among some fishermen's boats, I saw Hosea's brindled cow feeding on fish remnants, and marching along the sand with each foot in a cod's decapitated head, looking very slipshod, I assure ye.

When I was about thirteen, I had no time for constable's art. Yes I knew that foliage on trees was made up of individual leaves but how ridiculous to do a painting that showed them. I favoured the French impressionists, they told it like it was. Then I got my first pair of glasses and I had to change my ideas a bit.

Brighton Chain pier by Constable

When Turner saw the Constable he had to go one better and did his painting of the pier from the seaward.

Brighton Chain pier by Turner

I rather think that a bit more was expected of passengers in those days. This is: 'Passengers going on board', 1827

'The fighting Temeraire', 1838. Look out for the same steam powered paddle tug in Whistler's 'Wapping'

'Snow Storm', 1832. Turner liked to claim that he was lashed to the steamer's mast to get this outlook.

'Rockets and blue lights', 1840. So why did Ruskin object so much to Whistler's nocturnes?

After the exhibition, we walked through the Greenwich foot tunnel to the Isle of Dogs and The Ship, for our planned meeting of the Cheesists. This is Mike and Jason's local and we met there so as to be convenient for the locals as there was a Tube drivers strike and only limited transport services. The pub earned the disapprobation of the beer drinkers by running out of Doombar and forcing us to try the John Smith's smooth. We managed one pint and won't be in a hurry to have another.

The travel chaos meant we weren't all able to overlap.

Adham leaves

Jason arrives

10 February 2014
Westminster Tube station

In my last theBlog entry, I got a little diverted by details about Westminster Tube Station so I have decided to move them here. Especially as we were early for our lunchtime rendezvous with Andrew and Sonia on Sunday. So we were able to make a quick detour for a photostop at the station enroute from Baker Street to Waterloo.

The station was opened in December 1999, just before I took up my post as Executive Director of Technology at Newham College, in this role, I was invited to the monthly meetings of the Institute of Civil Engineers close by. One month we had a presentation from the architects, Michael Hopkins & Partners. Apparently, MPs insisted that the entrance to Portcullis House, constructed above the station, should be 'step free' from the street. A consequence of this is the honeycomb structure of the ceiling at the ground floor level designed to give sufficient headroom in the station to accommodate the 'step free' exit.

Space saving roof design at Westminster Station

The station is the deepest on the underground network, this is because, again to save space, the two directions of the Jubilee line were placed on top of each other with the Westbound line below the Eastbound. The existing District and Circle lines also had to be accommodated in their box above the Jubilee line.

Top of the escalator from the Westbound platform at Westminster Station we are at East bound level

To stop Big Ben from falling into the hole, a reinforced concrete box was made by close piling and concrete filling its sides and then the earth inside was removed. Sounds easy but that the earth inside was what was stopping the box walls from being pushed in. Solid steel shafts were inserted between the walls of the box as excavation continued to hold back the soil pressure outside. These are clearly visible in the station to-day and although they are a nuisance, it would be unwise to remove them. Some of the engineering problems and solutions can be found in this link.

A side of the containing concrete box at Westminster Station

Solid steel rods keeping the walls apart

The escalator hall and thrust rods at Westminster Station

I enjoyed my invitations to the professional lectures and used to go to similar events run by the Mechanical and the Electrical Engineers.

On another occasion, I was running late due to a meeting at work, jumped on the Jubilee line, rushed across Waterloo Bridge and straight into the venue. There I offered my profuse apologies for being late, saying I had just come from a board meeting. That's all right they said, giving me a glass of champagne and passing round the tray of canapes, the lecture won't start for ten minutes yet. Somewhat relieved I relaxed a little and accepted another glass of champagne thinking that this was rather better treatment than we usually received and considerably better than the meagre spread we set out when the meetings were held at Newham. In due course I took my seat in the lecture hall and settled back for the evenings lecture. This turned out to be a rather detailed analysis of some sort of gynecological complications. I had only come to the wrong place and got the wrong lecture.

This reminded me of sister Alex's assertion that one could always eat for free at lunchtime in central London simply by walking into any conference venue well dressed, sporting a name tag and joining the food queue along with the other conference goers.

By then it was time to meet up for lunch at Fratelli la Bufala on Villiers Street



After lunch it was time to take our seats in the Sothbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall for a concert of what I have been calling Mozart's greatest hits.

In finding the links for this post, I came across this rather good video [below] which I expect you will be seeing again once we Cheesists get back to our explorations of the Central Line when the weather improves.

6 February 2014
Whistler and the Thames

As promised, I have had a go at replicating Whistler's view of the Houses of Parliament. These photographs turned out to be much more difficult to take than I had anticipated. For a start, they had to be taken dead into the sun and this was at 1230. Of course the Thames sweeps round here and actually runs almost exactly South-North on this reach and not the West-East that one would expect from its overall direction. I realised that the Embankment had not been constructed when Whistler did his etching but what I had not anticipated was that the trees planted along it would all but obscure the North end of Westminster bridge.

Plan of the Palace of Westminster

I used the parallax generated by the three towers of the Houses of Parliament to decide where Whistler was located to make the etching.

There are three towers, from the left in the plan above, these are:

The Victoria Tower: Is the tallest tower in the Palace of Westminster. Named after Queen Victoria, it was for many years the tallest and largest stone square tower in the world, with a height of 98.5 metres (325 feet).

The Central Tower: This was built as a ventilating chimney for stale air and smoke from the fireplaces in the Palace of Westminster.

Big Ben: Actually, that's the name of the main clock bell, but that is how it is best known. The tower has variously been called St Stephen's Tower, the Clock Tower and now should be referred to as the Elizabeth Tower to which it was renamed in 2012 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. A name change that was not universally popular with all. It is 96.3m high and would have been considerably lower had it slid into the 39-metre deep hole they dug 34 metres away for the Westminster tube station on the Jubilee Line.

I like the way that the into-sun shot has wiped out the colours in the photograph and , serendipidously retained them over the modern intrusion of the London Eye. I may come back to this view at an other time and a different season. Also I should take some pics in Westminster station to illustrate what I have been going on about.

Inverted Whistler etching of Westminster viewed from downstream of the old Westminster Bridge 1859

The view from Hungerford bridge on 5 February 2014

The parallax shows that my viewpoint is too high, [well I am on the bridge], and too far to the left [I had wondered if Whistler had stood on Hungerford bridge for his view] but I think the parallax suggests that he was just about on the dry land that existed before the embankment was built.

Closer to where the original was taken. [I think]

Risked life and limb to get this one, which seems to be in the right place but maybe too low, or too far away.

The 'new' Westminster bridge [opened 1862] from Hungerford bridge.

20 January 2014
MIT mystery hunt

OR what is BETTER than christmas???
According to sj THIS is what is better than christmas.

So just a quick post that I can get in before before sj wakes. This will be full of erroneous information that she will want to deny later.

The truth IS that she has claimed that this event is better than christmas. Now I can see what she means. As a child, I hardly slept in the run up to christmas worrying that my stocking would be full of coal, or worse ashes.

On the day, I would eat too much unsuitable food and develop my alcohol dependency by eating my mother's trifles, christmas pudding and cake. Even worse in the late '40s at Queen's Cottage, I remember falling downstairs on christmas day morning and upsetting all the bowls of jelly that my mother was cooling there in readiness for the BIG day. [This was when we only ever heated one room in the winter. Except for the front room on sundays. In the summer, the scullery stayed cooler than most fridges do to-day, which was fortunate as it was years before we had a refrigerator..]

So I expect that sj has gone for 48 hours without [much] sleep. Has eaten Ross's ice cream and a formidable amount of puzzler sustaining [err junk] food. AND is feeling quite happy and maybe just a bit hyper!!!

I watched the live wrapup stream which is where the following screen grabs come from. The trouble with live streams, I find, is that there is no fast forward button.

Congratulations go though to her team as they were awarded with an accolade for the best 'Ice Cream Social' AND for 'Being Good Sports'. [Arthur Ransome would be proud of them as indeed I am]

The wrap-up team

Her team is called 'Left as an Exercise for the Reader' and I leave it as an exercise for the reader to work out why this might be.

This year's theme was loosely based on Alice in Wonderland and administrated as 'Alice Shrugged'.

When sj was 'brand new' the house opposite us was inhabited by a band called Smokie. I always felt a little sorry for them as they gained the disapprobation of the village for having a recording studio on their property. I don't know who this blasted but it certainly wasn't us.
I will admit now though that it was MY goats that ate all their prize roses one sunny morning AND it was my errant bees that swarmed so effectively in their apple orchard. But such is life.

However, their one hit wonder was 'Alice'. It should have been called SARAH.

17 January 2014
Natural History Museum at Tring

Met up with Margaret and Terry at a 'mutually inconvenient' location for us all at the Natural History Museum in Tring. It is an interesting visit, a huge Victorian space filled with stuffed animals. Most collected by Walter Rothschild with a strong emphasis on flightless birds and Austrailian fauna. Many now extinct. The building opened to the public as a museum in 1892 and much of the collection dates from this time onwards.

Once you get used to the idea af all these stuffed animals it becomes fascinating and there is always something else to discover round every corner,

There is even a section of domestic dogs and many of them are named individuals.


A famous greyhound, Mick the miller

Working dogs, sheepdogs

Looking up from the ground floor

The primate cases...with err a primate

Margaret and Terry look at the fake dodos


When tw and I went to watch the mumeration of starlings before christmas, we got to talking about how seemingly co-ordinated behavior comes about and techniques for measuring and describing it. This turned out to be timely as there have been several papers and articles recently on the same subject.

This article from the Guardian describes research with non-sentient components that exhibit the same behaviour as birds and fish. This one is about the 100th aniverserary of the passing of the last passenger pigeon, Martha, who died on 1 September 1914 at Cincinnati zoo. The article describes the passing of a flock of passenger pigeons so great that it darkened the sky and took 14 hours to pass overhead. In the 19th century, it was America's most common bird.

The Tring passenger pigeon.



I was just a little disappointed when 'selfie' was made word of the year for 2013 as I rather favoured 'camel toe' myself. They did not have a camel in the stuffed collection but they did have a dromedary. I am willing to concede that dromedary toe does not have quite the same cachet as camel toe. After all they only have one hump compared to the two on a camel and the extra syllables don't exactly trip off the tongue in the same way either.

Dromedary toe

Then to a very nice lunch at the Greyhound in Aldbury with a glass of fine Badger Ale. The route to Aldbury crosses the Grand Union Canal in a deep cutting close to Tring railway station. A part of the canal system we know well from our summer outings in recent years.

11 January 2014
Whistler and the Thames exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery

I enjoyed this exhibition very much but then I am rather keen on things aquatic and especially so when they includes sights of the Thames. I had thought that this might be a minority interest so was quite surprised by how packed the gallery was so much so that there was a queue to gain entry.

I had not been to Dulwich before so this was new territory for me and I was very pleasantly surprised by the Picture Gallery. My first impression was that it looked a bit like a 50s council crematorium so was more than surprised when it turned out thst it had been built in 1811.

The entrance

Its very different inside though, well lit, accessible and sumptuous

But I had come to see the Whistlers. It was too busy to take photographs in the gallery so those that follow have mostly been culled from the internet. Links under the pics refer to the location from where they have come. I was particularly interested to see his views of the Thames as gentrification and modern development have swept much away. What I like though is finding bits that are still recognisable and remembering when my viewpoint has been that from Cribbit's stern.

The first part of the exhibition was from 'The Thames set' a series of etchings published together in 1871. The fineness of the lines in the etchings was remarkable and I particularly like the way he includes and renders figures in most of the works. As these are etchings the views are mirror images. This is just a little disconcerting when you almost recognise the scene and is especially confusing where he has etched mirror letters on buildings which come out the right way round when printed, but not the buildings on which they are written.

The old Westminster bridge with Houses of Parliament and tower of Big Ben on the LEFT Glasgow University Whistler Etchings Project Westminster Bridge

Now inverted, Westminster viewed from somewhere downstream of Westminster Bridge

Captured Google image Next time I am on Hungerford bridge I will try and get a pic to replace this one

Eagle wharf and the Tyzak Whiteley works Glasgow University Whistler Etchings Project Eagle Wharf

Black Lion Wharf Glasgow University Whistler Etchings Project Black Lion Wharf

Wapping WebMuseum Paris

I liked this painting because it reminded me of sitting in a balcony seat in The Captain Kidd when I did one of my short walks. In fact, it is The Angel in Bermondsey

I have seen several descriptions of this painting which are more interesting though. The girl is Whistler's mistress Joanna Hiffernan and some descriptions have it that she is depicted as a prostitute seated next to her pimp and a potential customer.

She features in the next painting too, Symphony in White No 2. Various descriptions make the point that she is wearing a wedding ring...even though she is not married!

Symphony in White No 2 WebMuseum Paris

Now we come to the Nocturnes which is where the real trouble starts. Like me, Whistler liked walking in the dark and especially near water. I have always enjoyed walking home to Cribbit from work or the pub along the towpath in the dark. The water seems to collect light and so it is never completely black. Painting scenes by night, in moonlight and early dawn became quite a genre in late Victorian painting.

I inherited a typical one when my grandfather died. It hung on Cribbit for years but proved too fragile for that environment and is now in need of some attention. You can see it below followed by two from Whistler.

Dawn on the thames

Whistler's Nocturne 1875/77 BBC Your Paintings

Nocturne Blue and Gold Old Battersea bridge BBC Your Paintings

Of course the trouble is that Whistler fell out with Ruskin over his nocturnes. Ruskin wrote that:

I have seen and heard much of Cockney impudence before now, but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public's face.

As is well known, Whistler sued Ruskin, Whistler won the case and was awarded one farthing as compensation but not costs. The costs tipped Whistler into bankruptcy and he fled from London.

This exhibition had a particular poignancy as the Ruskin family lived not far away first at 28 Herne Hill and then later at 163 Denmark Hill. My night walk home took me past Ruskin Park, named for its famous neighbour.

Before I left, I looked round the permanent collection and discovered this lovely Rembrandt from 1645. Whistler was a great fan of Rembrandt.

Girl at a window from the Dulwich Picture Gallery permanent collection

9 January 2014
To the
Ship and Shovell with the Cheesists

I have decided to split this post as its getting too long as it is. So my impressions of the 'Whistler and the Thames' exhibition will follow some time later.

I'm thinking that this might be a good format for future accounts of Cheesist meetings too as I like to combine them with a visit and a walk of some sort which might be better separated.

So this post is about getting to the Dulwich Picture Gallery and then walking from there to the Ship and Shovell at Embankment. Our journey starts from my moorings at Northolt. Normally, I move Cribbit when I am down in Lodon, but the last couple of times I have stayed on my moorings as the boat is winterised, with the water drained, so it is more convenient to stay put. Decided that I would walk to Greenford station along the tow path as this would give me an opportunity to photograph Cribbit on her moorings. Of course I had forgotten that she is moored against the bank at the moment, instead of outside, so not much to see.

Cribbit on her winter mooring

Telephoto lens needed

Well I know where she is

Often I moor behind the Hovis factory in Greenford, soon to be no more

Already part gone


To London Bridge station

From the platform, Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital

and The Shard

Dulwich college and picture gallery

Entrance round the other side

Leaving the gallery

A bit more up-market than Northolt

Well walking through Dulwich village made me realise just how old and curmudgeonly [as Arthur Ransome would put it] I am becoming. I passed a beauty salon which was inviting customers to come in to book for a 'one hour facial session'. I mused and passed on and then it hit me. One hour for what? How many black heads, zits and hairy moles does a person have to have to need a whole hour spent on their face?

Wooden sign posts...very posh

Ruskin Park

Elephant and castle roundabout. You can just see the wind turbines at the top of the Strata building

Royal festival hall

The South bank from Hungerford Bridge

My nocturn in blue and silver and gold

Down river towards St Pauls

St Pauls, the south bank and beyond

Through Craven Passage to the Ship and Shovell


WE enjoy a glass of fine Badger Ale from the Hall and Woodhouse Brewery


3 January 2014
Site visitors

I'm always surprised by how many visitors we get at So far, each year the visitor number has grown though I do nothing to promote the site.

2008 1259
2009 1325
2010 1689
2011 3387
2012 14934
2013 27844

I like to look through visitor profiles and theb other site statistics. I especially like seeing what search terms have brought people to my shores. This is becoming less entertaining as Google now offers encripted search strings to its premium customers so I can no longer tell what brought them here. However, I had the best ever to-day, so good I reproduce it in its entirety below:

Entry Page Time: 3 Jan 2014 04:24:22
Browser/OS: Android/Android
Mobile Device: Acer Iconia Tab A500
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