Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Electric Governess.

As you may already know, I am not really a great fan of fast food in general, and although I am rather partial to the sandwich based offerings from Subway, most other stuff does not really float my boat. Recently, whilst on a sojourn into the Medway Towns, I ate a Burger King Angus special burger, and it sat in my stomach like a hundredweight of quick set concrete. One thing that really annoys me is that even though all of the main burger chains offer the customer the option of customising their meal (more mustard, hold the pickle etc.) your average punter just takes it as it comes. I fumed on Wednesday evening as I looked out of my bedroom window and across to the other side of the road. A scruffy oik was shambling along the footpath with a Big Mac – he had disassembled the burger and was performing intricate surgery on it; he was carefully removing any form of salad or vegetable from the burger, then casually flicking the bits into people's front gardens. I was in the process of changing out of my work clothes and was unable to intervene, but the casual thoughtlessness of the scumbag was appalling. If the anaemic and unhealthy looking scrote was so set against salad in his burger, then why did he not ask for one without those items of filling? McDonald's will make one up according to your preferences, and it spares local front gardens from an unexpected salad garnishing.

With the seasonal warmer weather, I have noticed a marked increase in the number of commuters holding bottles of water; I am not referring to the 500 ml individual bottles one can purchase in supermarkets and corner shops, rather the two litre family sized bottles. How can a single person consume such as large amount of fluid, and why would they feel the need so to do? One other factor that makes me think, is where do these people go to wee? As I have previously covered, there is a woeful lack of public conveniences in London and the South East - you can read about my own experience by clicking here, so I do wonder where these epic water guzzlers go to pump their bilges? Answers on a postcard please.

I have recently been reading the collected writings of John Peel, in his book “The Olivetti Papers”. In an article he originally penned back in 1974, he bemoans the effect of television on children, and the way in which it is used as a baby sitter substitute; he coins an apposite phrase for the phenomenon “The Electric Governess”. Truer now than then by all accounts, though now one could extend the scope to include the cloud and all on line activity. Personally I view mister Ravenscroft's contribution to musical culture to eclipse that of the recently late, and perhaps not quite so lamented Michael Jackson - he may not have made anything like so much money, but he enriched the genre like no other.

The legacy and consequences of the recent local power line damage continues; I was round at Ian and Julie's house last night, when the power abruptly went off at just before 11pm. The whole area was once again plunged into darkness, the only sound to be heard was that of burglar alarms on their battery backups - as far as one could not see it was pitch black and menacing. I got my jacket to get the bus home, but within about five minutes the power was restored. I have yet to hear anything about the cause, but understandably local people are somewhat peeved, especially as no proper explanation of the recent week long power cut has yet been forthcoming from those in the know.

Ian in Dartford  703

Ian (featured road testing a new model of beard in the photo above) and I had a pleasant surprise last Saturday evening; we went to Dartford for a quiet couple of pints in the few congenial pubs in the town. One pub which we have previously avoided is the one that is allegedly the oldest in the area; the appropriately named Wat Tyler. Back in the late 80's / early 90's the place was regarded as a bit of a dive, generally filled by crusties and the “dog on a string brigade”. It is now a pleasant venue that serves a number of well kept real ales. My personal theory is that the benefits scrounging former regulars have either died off from a mixture of old age and cirrhosis of the liver, or they can no longer afford to drink in pubs, and now buy their White Lightning or Special Brew in corner shops or supermarkets and now keep the local park benches warm. To any end, it has benefitted the more affluent drinker, and the Wat Tyler is a nice place to visit. I have just been speaking to landlord Ray of the Robin Hood and Little John, and he confirms that they will be serving the excellent seasonal Late Red ale, from the Shepherd Neame brewery just as soon as it becomes available in September. Late Red is an outstanding pint, and I sincerely wish it would be available all year round.

I find that the local use of language seems to be deteriorating from an already low starting point; just earlier this week, I was outside of Morrison's in Erith when I overheard a conversation between two women. One was telling the other about her holiday. She first used the phrase “them people” followed in short order by “we was”. This kind of mangled grammar drives me to distraction. It is not only wrong, but lazy and liable to be passed onto their tribe of offspring. Is this something that is peculiar to the South East of London? I think not, since I heard the same thing whilst in Chatham High Street recently. Your thoughts would be appreciated - click on the comments link below to let me know your views.

I have had some feedback from the council in respect of the air pollution monitor located on my premises; it is about to be repaired and refurbished after quite a long period of non use. I hope that it will be able to provide more hard evidence of the high level of air pollution in the local area, so that the council can take appropriate enforcement action.

London based station Spectrum Radio are commemorating the 35th anniversary of the end of Dutch offshore station Radio Veronica on the 31st of August by rebroadcasting their final hours - you can read about it and listen online by clicking here.

I have recently been watching a rather fine Canadian detective TV series called the Murdoch Mysteries. It is shown on the UK based Alibi Channel. It features a Victorian police detective based in Toronto, Canada in 1895. William Murdoch uses the fledgeling forensic science, surveillance and finger printing to solve cases. Imagine a slightly steam punk CSI precursor and you have it nailed. Here is a short clip of a recent episode to give you a taste of the show.

1 comment:

  1. I expect one grunt is much the same as another when you are a spotty youth, so he might have grunted for no salad.

    "One other factor that makes me think, is where do these people go to wee?" - I wonder the same. It is an age thing!