Sunday, March 08, 2009

Down by the river.

Photos above of Erith - click on either for a larger version. The shot of the Riverside Gardens shows the area that would have been built on with high density apartments, had the project gone ahead; as mentioned last week, there has been an unexpected benefit from the credit crunch, and the Crest Nicholson scheme has been cancelled. We can continue to enjoy what is without doubt the most pleasant part of Erith for a while longer - until the council comes up with another crackpot idea to further spoil the area.

I see that pint sized (allegedly) kiddy diddling, collapsing faced, bonkers pop warbler Michael Jackson is to take up a residency at the O2 Arena this summer. Good luck to him - he needs to pay off his huge debts somehow. Problem is, the venue is a bugger to get to from the South East of London. You have to get a train to Charlton, then try and get on one of the unreliable and irregular single decker buses, and from the drop off point, walk for a brisk ten minutes to the front door. No thank you. I think Jackson is a talented individual who is coasting on past successes; much of his undeniable back catalogue was either written, or co - written with his long time producer Quincy Jones, who gets none of the credit he really should. Unlike Jackson, he does not court fame, or blow his share of the ensuing huge royalties on bottled oxygen and chimps.

As you may know, I am a heavy user of public transport in London and the South East - part of the reason I seem to encounter so many incidents with the criminal underclass of the area. I am thinking about getting a car for the first time in around eleven years. I gave up driving as I had a serious back injury which made driving nearly impossible - for several years I had permanent sciatica down my right leg, due to me having slipped two disks in my spine. This made sitting with my right foot at the correct angle to push the accelerator intensely painful. That has now cleared up, though I do have a permanent 15% loss of sensation in my right leg. My main problem now is that I don't have anywhere to store anything other than a supermini sized vehicle, and that is not something I would want. Plans on moving Pewty Acres to another address are currently on hold, as just like everyone else, the credit crunch bites. I thus have a quandry. The kind of vehicle I would like (a V8 Jaguar XJ-R, or an old Bentley Turbo R) could not be left in the open with impunity - indeed most prestige car insurance is invalid if the vehicle is not garaged when at the home address. What to do? I am currently unsure. Comments below if you will.

My H.F Receiver and ancillaries

I have been listening around the short wave broadcast bands quite a bit recently; my receivers are a JRC NRD 345 table top receiver as shown in the photo above, a Sony ICF 2001D portable receiver and a tiny Roberts R 9962, which lives in the bathroom. It is amazing what you can pick up - especially from the U.S where there are innumerable private, high powered stations such as WBCQ The Planet from Maine, USA. You can see an example of one of their more dedicated listeners if you click here. Many short wave listeners go on to take the exams to become a licenced radio amateur, as I did back in 1997. I don't actually transmit very often, even though I have the highest class of UK licence. Here is an excellent short article from American TV which gives a pretty good overview of the whole amateur radio philosophy. Watch and let me know what you think.


  1. I'd forget moving house and maybe go for a cheap/economical approach to travel. gas guzzling sports machines don't really fit your intrinsic eco-warrior persona ;)

  2. Any car I have will be a toy, not a means of regular travel; I would not have it insured for more than 3000 miles of use per year. Actually the likes of Bentley are actually quite ecologically sound. Far more natural resources are used in producing a car than in the whole of its' working life in the form of fuel. Over 60% of all Bentleys ever made are still on the road, so they are actually a lot sounder than you might appreciate. Also, I am green through circumstance, rather than conscious effort. I don't think anything I do as an individual will affect to the planet to any degree - those individuals who do - it is an affectation.

  3. "We can continue to enjoy what is without doubt the most pleasant part of Erith..."
    It's GREEN but plesant?
    It's okay but not pretty or nice, it's just a slightly rundown council space BUT ininatly more pleasurable than a tower block!
    'RAAAY for the downturn!

    Micheal Jackson...well I hate to say it but he sorta disproves Darwins theory. Him and his fans should have died out years ago due to natural selection...
    I must admit to going through a Jackson stage when i was about 14. I say stage, more like a stop. It was when Bad came out and as when i was 10 I loved Thriller (used to dance about the living room to it). I bought Bad and an album called Atlantic Soul Classics at the same time, guess which one got played to death and I still listen to the music of?
    Answers on a postcard to Lumberjack Towers...
    Early "child-labour" Jackso was blistering, truly amazing and Off The Wall isn't that bad but Jackson just isn't all there and has nothing musically I like.
    I think you got the last line wrong though it should read "share his blow of the ensuing huge royalties on bottled chimps and oxygen"

    Ooooh just get a darn car will ya!
    No, seriosly, I agree you have to wait due to not having a garage and not being able to store it properly at the current Pewty Acres BUT if 2 blood clots, a Pulmanory Emablism and a whole in the lung has taught me DON'T WASTE TIME WAITING.
    Your right you don't reeeally need to drive, it's gonna be for Sunday best, but your legs could fall off tomorrow, don't leave it too long. maybe start with something smaller?

    I just enbiggened the photo of "your average Ham operator".
    If you were born on a different coninent maan....that would SO be you!
    Although you Radio Shack would be smarter.

  4. OOOPS!
    Hadn't spell checked or read what I'd typed!