Sunday, March 15, 2009

Return of the Sun.

This weeks' Blog entry has a distinct nautical feel, with a good shot of Jolly Roger thrown in for good measure. Above is a shot of a freighter moored off Erith that I took earlier. A lovely day today, and the light is good for landscape photography, which is a nice bonus. Click for a larger version.

You may notice that there is a new text box to the right of the Blog text, and below the list of Blogs I read, called "Followers", well I have now enabled Blog following, so if you want to get an automatic notification of an update, or just to generally keep up to speed with developments, click on the "Followers" box and follow the instructions; don't worry - you don't need to leave any personal information, or anything dodgy. Several Maggot Sandwich readers have been asking me to add this functionality for some time - so here it is. You can always drop me a line by clicking on the "Comments" tag at the bottom of each entry should the fancy take you.

What's this whirling panorama below then? It is a little Java Applet showing a 360 degree view from the pier on the River Thames, behind Morrison's Supermarket in Erith. It is the longest structure on the whole of the river, and on a nice day it is an exceedingly pleasant place to be. The viewer may leave you feeling a little dizzy; never fear - click on it with your mouse pointer and the animation will freeze; you can then drag the scene with your mouse to the left or right at will. You can also use the "A" key on your computer keyboard to zoom in, and the "Z" key to then zoom back out. All good fun, and it does show quite nicely that not all of Erith is a blighted hell hole; just most of it.

The Java Applet has now been switched off, as it was rather flaky and unreliable - and it also annoyed the hell out of a number of people.

The publicity campaign for "The Boat that Rocked" has begun to grind into gear; there was an article in the Sun online on Friday talking about the movie featuring the fictional 1960's offshore radio station, and comparing it to the reality. There are a number of clonking errors (but, after all, we are talking about the Sun - who never let the facts get in the way of a good story). You can read the article here. I gave a talk about life on board the Ross Revenge, home of Radio Caroline in the late 80's / early 90's to the BRATS Amateur Radio Club along with Colin G6PBS on Thursday night, which seemed to go down rather well. The traditional video at the foot of this weeks' Blog entry is a report from ITV News at Ten in 1970, showing life on board one of the slightly less well known to the general public offshore radio stations - the English / Dutch / German run Radio North Sea International. The station was arguably the best run and most technically sophisticated offshore radio station until the launch of Radio Caroline's then new ship, the Ross Revenge in 1983. Have a watch and leave a comment if you wish.

I have just found out that skinflint supermarket giant, Morrison's are to start charging for their remarkably flimsy plastic carrier bags; Already I find I am forced to "double up" and use one inside another to prevent splitting. It is not going to be possible for me to carry a couple of said shopping bags within my laptop bag when travelling to and from the office, so I will be forced to pay the bag tax. Morrison's are going to catch a bad cold with this move. Most of the evening visitors to the Erith store have come straight off the train from working in London - they are not shoppers who have come from home by car and have the luxury of toting bags with them. Knowing the way senior management at the store think, they are actually cloaking a pragmatic method of cost saving / revenue generation in the economic down turn with a green and "caring for the environment" image. It is cynical and manipulative in the extreme. I am fortunate to be able to foot the bill for bags, but many will not.

I ate at the Spice Master restaurant in Upper Belvedere on Friday night. When it opened the service was slow, and the food was bland and uninspiring. The place is still quite showy with turbaned and uniformed door staff and somewhat flamboyant waiters, but the food and service have improved greatly. Prices are reasonable and I was pleasantly surprised at the general level of improvement.


  1. Thanks hevens for Adblock, that whirling panorama view of Erith made my PC flcker a zillon times, now it's gone :>))


  2. Plastic bags.

    If you go into Blacks or any other camping store, you can buy a key ring, 7cm x 5cm, inside is wrapped up parachute material which opens into a bag which you could not fit in enough to make it split, unless you have bought a bag of unsheathed scimitars of course. This solves the just of the train issue as well as affordability.

    Plastic bags given out free by supermarkets is a cultural hangover from the 20th century, attitudes need to change, remember when it was 'ok' to drink and drive? It used to be ok to smoke etc.

    Don't let a little 20th century consumer laziness confused with cost cutting cynisism.

  3. #Ahem#

    "Plastic bags given out free by supermarkets is a cultural hangover from the 20th century, attitudes need to change, remember when it was 'ok' to drink and drive? It used to be ok to smoke etc"

    Not only are you comparing COMPLETLY diffent things (as far as I know a persons choice to smoke is somewhat different to somebody getting boozed up and driving home...slight BIT of a difference don't you think?) your just spouting the current media-friendly clap-trap.
    Hang on, the scales have fallen from my eyes! Now I SEE your RIGHT!
    Getting a bag when you buy an item is SO 20th Century maaaan! I mean you have pockets don't ya?
    I don't expect to buy a bag when I want to carry an item home and come on, there is the tech' there to have a bio-degradable bag! I reuse all my carrier bags for varios outher uses (as in yesterday one got turned into a table protector when my kids were playing with Play-Do), always have done.
    No, I don't have a "Loyalty Card" I just want a bag to carry my stuff i just bought HOME!
    Rant ends...