Sunday, August 30, 2009

Late Red and Oxide.

Ian in full rock star mode above; last Saturday night he stood in as the temporary singer with local rock band Oxide, playing at the Bear and Ragged Staff pub in Crayford. - click on any photo for a larger view. A good local music venue, which has been featured on DAB radio station Planet Rock. The pub is well known for its support of local music, with bands appearing live almost every night. You can see more photos of the gig by visiting my Flickr site here.

Erith Riverside shopping centre
may have many shortcomings, such as a lack of traders, with many of the available units still being empty since opening. One thing however that it does not lack is provision of car parking. There are a plethora of places both in Morrison's car park, and in the pay and display car park on what used to be the location of the old Erith Market. With this in mind, I find it amazing that a seemingly large number of people park their vehicles on the corner, outside of Blockbuster video, despite it being on a double yellow line, and causing a major obstruction to the 229 and 99 double decker buses that use the road on a continuous basis. The selfishness with which these people flaunt the traffic laws beggars belief. Free parking is available a scant ten or so yards from Blockbuster, but these unthinking individuals would rather cause traffic congestion and dangerous blockage of sight lines on a sharp corner with a pedestrian crossing in close proximity. The photo below shows the location in question, although the sharpness of the corner is not readily apparent - it shows up more readily when viewed from the other side of the road, especially from the view point of the bus stop.

Erith Riverside centre

The Blockbuster in question, unusually free from illegally parked cars.

One other thing that separates Erith from many other civilised towns, is the total lack of places to eat; I am not talking about fast food outlets and takeaways, such as McDonald's , Dominos pizza or KFC, or even the local kebab or fish and chip shops, but a proper "sit down" restaurant experience. I am not counting the on / off carvery experience in the Running Horses, as this seems to be unreliable and almost totally un - publicised, to the point most people are either unaware of its' existence, or convinced that the place has closed down. Unfortunately we don't have so much as a branch of Nando's or even a local curry house, more is the shame. A trip to either Upper Belvedere or Northumberland Heath is required if you want a decent, non takeaway curry or similar meal.

I am currently in the midst of a dispute with internet domain registrars 1 & 1 Internet. My current personal experience to date leads me to believe that they are a bunch of shysters - the digital equivalent of a highwayman - read the letter I sent to them below:

Dear 1 and 1 Internet Ltd,

I recently received a letter from Arvato Finance claiming that I owe you £25.24. I contacted them and they told me to take the matter up with yourselves. After a number of telephone calls I was eventually given this Email address.

I attempted to register the domain with you last year; you duly took my money, but the domain registration happened on paper only. My host .Mac was never able to connect (Apple's excellent technical support said the domain did not appear to have been created), and after being repeatedly left on hold when I attempted to telephone your technical support team, I gave up and wrote off the £10.24 fee as a learning experience. I Emailed you accordingly at the time to say I was unhappy with your lack of service and that I would not be renewing the domain, as it was non - existent. You had taken my money under false pretenses.

No service was provided during the term for which I paid.

To now receive a demand for £25.24 from your collection agency is nothing short of extortion and fraud.

After consulting with a number of online bulletin boards and other resources, I have discovered similar issues experienced by a number of your customers; consequently I have copied this Email to BBC Watchdog for their information.

Under the Sale of Goods Act, I am demanding the cancellation of this fee, along with the refund of last years' fee. Please ensure that this is forthcoming by immediate return.

We shall see what happens. Suffice to say that I am currently seething. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the money, but absolutely everything to do with fair play and good business practice.

As previously mentioned, local free radio station WNKR have changed frequency from 1476 to 1395 KHz on the AM broadcast band; I understand this was undertaken to avoid interference from a strong Catalan language radio station broadcasting from Spain, which caused severe interference at night. This week is WNKR's 22nd birthday; if you cannot hear their medium wave broadcasts, you can listen online to their 128 K/Bit stereo internet stream here.

Apple's new OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system arrives on Tuesday; I have pre - ordered my copy, which does not contain many new features over and above version 10.5.8 that I currently run on my 24" iMac, but it is leaner, substantially smaller in footprint, and markedly faster in execution. What's more it is sensibly priced at a cost of £25 with free delivery. Bargain! As you may be aware, I operate a completely Micro$oft free establishment, instead using both Apple OS X and Ubuntu Linux by preference on my computers. I must admit, I would really like a mint Atari Falcon 030 computer - but these high end computers from the early 90's are extremely rare and hard to find nowadays.

Earlier this week I sent a speculative Email to Kent brewers Shepherd Neame, enquiring about their outstanding seasonal hop ale - Late Red, which is available between the start of September and the end of November each year. I suggested that as it was so popular, the company might wish to consider making it available all year round. Within an hour of my sending the Email, I had a personal reply from Shepherd Neame head brewer David Holmes:

Thank you for your e-mail and kind comments on Late Red. The beer has been brewed and is available from September 1st in our tied estate. It is our most popular seasonal beer and my personal favourite. I will pass on your comments about making it available all year to our Sales Director and also make sure the people who look after our web site for us try and resolve the message problem. Thanks again for taking the time to make contact.

David Holmes was filmed demonstrating the art and science of brewing at this years' Great British Beer Festival; this weeks' video clip shows him in action. See what you think, and do feel free to leave a comment by clicking on the link below.

1 comment:

  1. Late Red....YUM!
    I seem to remember a certain shin-dig where the party you arranged drank almost a whole barrel in the space of an evening!
    I know I couldn't look at anying thing "Red" or in fact "Late" (so I was bugger when I needed to catch a bus!) for days after as my liver processed it!

    Thanks for taking the photo's Mr.P' as always very muchly appreciated!
    Although in saying that the amount of people who comment on the state of my scalpe/hair makes me wonder if I shouldn't just have a mo-hawk! You could have least airbrushed it before setting it loose into the public domain!

    I know what you mean by that courner, me and the mini-ReV's were almost mowed down a couple of weeks ago at that spot on the way to the libary. An um.."lady-of-dubious-asylum-status" in a red rusting Honda (why do they always drive Honda's??) happily drove between the trees shouting at the car full of kids. I did give her abit of backchat and her excuse was "i need to get my children out" as theres bugger all in that part of town I must admit to shouting back "Well how about using the 'KING car-park you ignorant...." and that dear reader is where we shall leave my reply for it is not for the faint of heart.
    Luckily my childeren were speared the sound of me "talking to the nice lady" (toungue in cheek) as they were busy playing and chatting with a friend who had just come round the courner. Although I have the full ability to speak like an Erith native I don't wish to subject or teach my childern it's nuanses!
    Oh and as for food/resturant places