Sunday, November 22, 2009

Farm Foods and the Fuzz.

There has been some development work going on adjacent to the Farm Foods ("for when Iceland is just too upmarket") store in Erith town centre for the last week or so. Initially I had concerns that it was the beginning of the development of the nightclub that has been planned to take over the former Tease (and before that "T's" site - the owners were not exactly brimming with imagination). I then saw the Farm Foods notice erected on the hoarding, and subsequently opined that the down market supermarket chain was expanding the floor area of their store. I am extremely pleased to announce that I have now discovered that the development is actually a Safer Neighbourhoods office for the Metropolitan Police. It is due to open in February next year. Hopefully the Police will start cracking the skulls of the local chavs and low lives forthwith. This hopefully may bring some discipline and law to the area, for which it is currently sorely lacking.

On a similar law and order theme, there will be a public meeting this coming Wednesday the 25th November in the Baptist Church in Queen Street, Erith at 8pm. It will be to launch a Neighbourhood Watch scheme for the area, and all local residents are invited to attend; I will be going along, as I think the organisation of a neighbourhood watch scheme is greatly overdue.

In the great British tradition of exhibiting suggestively shaped vegetables and mocking inappropriately named foreign consumer products, below is a small photo showing a popular brand of Vietnamese toilet paper, apparently made from "100% virgin pulp". Quite, ahem.

I have been spending some time in Birmingham over the last week; you may well recall my distaste for travel, and this has indeed been somewhat trying. The journey from home, first to London Bridge, then via the Northern Line tube (now twinned with Gehenna), to Euston Station, and thence to Birmingham New Street via the Virgin Trains service. It takes almost four hours door to door - a not inconsiderable venture. Demands of work mean I will be doing this commute on a semi regular basis until some time around Christmas.

Birmingham has a German market each Christmas, apparently the largest one outside of Germany. You can read all about it by clicking here.

You will by now have gathered I am quite a fan of the select, exclusive and somewhat quirky Bristol Cars. I have been surfing round a couple of the Bristol enthusiasts websites, and have found a couple of photos of their forthcoming Blenheim 4 coupe, none of which have to my knowledge made it into the mainstream press yet. The Blenheim 4 is an evolution of the Blenheim 3 model with all new panels, a revised interior with more extensive use of the highest grade of Connolly leather, and a brand new compact and more powerful air conditioning system. The cars are designed to be practical  and discreet daily transport for owners that prize subtle and understated engineering excellence over flashy ostentation. Prices start at around £165,000. You can have the vehicle customised to your own specifications. More photos of the new Blenheim model can be viewed here. Click here for the Bristol Car Company website. Somehow I don't think I will be placing an order for one any time soon. If I had the necessary funds (which unfortunately I most decidedly don't), I would opt for the Blenheim 4 S (sports model) in midnight blue with a cream leather with midnight blue piped interior, and Linn car hifi system. Dream on...


I was travelling back from Birmingham on Wednesday afternoon. The carriage I was in was relatively empty upon departure from New Street, but when it stopped at Coventry, a group of around 20 Hassidic Jews got on and filled the carriage around me. They sat down and began a debate along the length of the carriage, in a language that sounded more like Hebrew than Yiddish (though I am hardly qualified to judge, being entirely ignorant of either language). After a short time they were getting extremely heated - it would appear that some kind of academic argument was being conducted. Voices were raised and fingers pointed. I hunkered down in my seat and tried not to be too conspicuous. Only an hour's further journey time to Euston, fortunately. For some reason I seem to attract the more opinionated and dynamic breed of theologians; as I wrote only a few weeks back when I encountered a rather eccentric coven of Catholic priests and a nun whilst quietly eating my lunch in the Robin Hood and Little John.

For your information, if you leave a comment on the Maggot Sandwich, it will  not appear immediately as it used to. I have been suffering spam attacks from a Chinese pharmaceutical supplier, and also a script kiddie has been trying (unsuccessfully) to try a SQL injection hack via the Blogger comments function in order to try and take control of my blog. Consequently I have activated comment moderation. I will manually check all submissions before publication. It should at worst mean waiting a day to see your thoughts and feedback appear on the site.

Local photographer Justin (often referred to by his alter ego, Crash Calloway) has taken some fresh shots, both of the local area and in and around London, following his successful exhibition in Erith Library - mentioned a few weeks ago on the humble Maggot Sandwich. You can see his Flickr photo stream here.

I wonder if there is a secret cabal of local pensioners who have arranged to all go shopping on Saturday mornings. I was in Morrison's at around 11am on Saturday morning; all I had popped in for was a packet of prawns which I was going to add to the Kedgeree I was cooking for Mum and myself when I visited her later that day. I would estimate that something like 50 per cent of the shoppers in the supermarket were those past retirement age. I appreciate that one can run out of certain ingredients at unpredictable times, but it seems past the wit of man to have so many retired people in the place at that time. They can shop as and when they please, whilst most working people are limited to evenings and weekends.  I think it is a plot to keep the younger generation on their toes...

I am becoming more and more convinced that Pooshun will not re-open. They have taken down the notices featured in last weeks' blog entry, and peering through the whitewash covering the windows, it would appear that absolutely no refurbishment work has been carried out at all. Chairs and stools are atop the tables, and the till is still powered up, but other than that, the place is empty and desolate. Whilst personally being no fan of the establishment, I am sorry that a local business would seem to have failed. Upon reflection, it would seem that opening a bar at the height of the recession in August last year was not the best of moves - the level of disposable income in Erith is not high at the best of times, and this was decidedly not the best of times. More news as it happens.

The video clip this week is the long trailer for the two part Doctor Who Christmas special. It was originally shown on Fridays' "Children in Need" and has now found its way onto YouTube. The second part of the story will see the demise of the tenth Doctor, and his subsequent regeneration.  Please feel free to leave a comment below.


  1. Gotta admit shopping at Farm Foods is a guilty pleasure of mine occasionally.
    They just do the best "my God I can't believe they make it!" frozen Connivance food, you know things like "Frozen Cajun Chicken stuffed with preformed BBQ pork ribettes served on a plastic plate with frozen potato cobettes n' gravy" or the like.
    Sadly food like this is like catnip for me, my taste buds love crap food but my body doesn't. I thoughrly enjoy fresh healthy stuff, salads etc don't get me wrong but sometimes you need a heavy hit of some Farm Foods crack!

    Sorry to say I have absolutely no faith in a "Safer Neighbourhood Office" OR a Neighbourhood Watch.
    Got to say my opinion is basically more Police on the street visible (not really PSO's or whatever their called, yes they have a role but not in place of real Police) and more people being pulled up and pulled in. Not having a little room as a seeming afterthought in the Town Centre. Without wishing to sound slightly to the right of the Daily Mail (#Spit! Spit!#) but zero tolerance for everything from littering to knife crime is currently the best way forward.
    Neighbour Hood Watch is great to begin with but after awhile it just peaters out but to nothing happening/lack of general interest. What would be far better is some type of Local Community Group with the role of Neighbourhood Watch as part of it. Social cohesion helps lower crime!

    On paper Bristol's are stunning(...Bristol...Hmmm...Bristol Cities...rhymes with....ANYWAY!) and are unsurpassed as a luxury car but mostly they look like they were made in Eastern Europe in the 70's. Deeply unattractive but my God if I could afford one I'd have one over almost any other car. It's an engineers car rather than a focus group or designers.
    Out of interest is there many famous Bristol owners?
    I have a vague memory of hearing that chimp-faced Manc "singer" Liam Gallagher was refused a purchase of one but not sure if that was true.

    I truly believe there is a "grey cabal" controlling the OAP masses.
    I used to work in Sidcup.
    It's their heartland.
    The second it hit 12:00 they SWARMED out of the woodwork like ants out of a nest when you pour in boiling water but at the stroke of 14:00...POOF!
    Gone like the person who leaves a lingering olfactory present in a lift just before you use it.
    Didn't matter if it was a library, supermarket, cobblers whatever they were there in front of you creating queues.
    At least now I work in Woolwich they're all to scared to leave their flats so I can get round the town in my half hour!

    So Pooshuns is closed?
    Never set food in there as it looked like a goldfish bowl (don't want to be stared at by the local knuckle draggers waiting for a bus) and the beer was nitro keg lager stuff. Sorry to see Erith lose an..."amenity" but I'm not going to miss it.

  2. Re Bristol Cars, dropped a passenger outside the Bristol showroom today had aglance in the window and saw a silver sporty little number called the Sterling not sure if this was a new model?

  3. Hi,

    Thanks for your feedback regarding the Bristol cars showroom - are you sure the car you saw was not the Speedster? It looks quite 1950's retro with no roof. The model is made to order and based on an old body design with new mechanicals - old school looks with up to date engine / brakes / interior.

    Link here:

    If it is not this, then you could have indeed seen a new model. As bespoke vehicle makers, they do build "one offs" from time to time.

  4. so you was completly wrong about the night club and with the idear about farm foods getting larger ha ha ha you dont know much about whats happening around you do you ????